between a rock and my parent's place {and nectarine cobbler cake}

There are few moments when something resonates so true you laugh out loud and think YES. 

For me, it was this one time in a store with a best friend when I picked up a book. On the cover of this book was a girl, laying face down on plush pink carpet, arms out as if to say "I give up." The book was titled: "At a Crossroads, Between a rock and my parent's place".

THIS IS US.

We both laughed out loud at the prospect of someone out there completely knowing what we were going through that they wrote a book about it; collage grads, minimum wage jobs, no boyfriends and confused as ever. We laughed at the continuous line repeated in the book that the main girl was asked, "So you home for the weekend?" She got me. 

A lot has changed since then, but I still own the book. In fact, I took a picture of the book this past week as I was cleaning up and sent it to this same best friend, "Look what I found?!!" :) 

"Don't get rid of it!" She texted back. 

"I would never get rid of it," I said, "it's too good."

Maybe there are some of you out there that haven't gone through this weird "where do I belong age" while living at your parent's house. Let me tell you, it's weird and extremely uncomfortable and very comfortable all at the same time. 

For me though, a twenty something "I have no idea idea what CAREER I should choose right now" living at home was what helped me discover my calling, way more than college did. 

Oh the irony. 

As the oldest kid with busy hard working parents and 3 siblings at home, I learned to be a really good cook. I fell in love with food even more so than I had in college (Borough Market in London changed my life forever, I love you) and now I was able to have a generous budget (what?!) to create wholesome crazy good food for my family.

It's here I discovered the process of simple flavors (like cilantro and garlic and a bit of lime over grilled fish) and the powerful impact they have on our tastebuds...and souls. I learned to cook without recipes and the joy was always having grateful mouths to feed that sang praises. 

Funny how our calling is usually right in front of us, but we don't think it's an option for us because it's not a "real job."

I think a lot of us struggle with that legitimacy. We go through periods of time where we doubt ourselves and our capabilities and our dreams and instead, find ourselves lying face-plant-forward on plushy carpet arms out in the "I give up position."

I'm grateful I have parents who encouraged me to get up. 

My dad was especially one of those people. There was a small while when I was going through a graduate teaching program and struggling to find the happiness in it, and my dad said one of the most memorable things to me, "You don't have to go back. I've always thought you were destined to do something else anyway sweetheart. You can just not go back and start something else." 

There are few moments when something resonates so true you laugh out loud and think YES. 

For all those moments, thanks Dad. I love you. AND I made this for you. It's cobbler cake. Yes you heard me correctly, cobbler cake. ;)

Happy Father's Day!

Nectarine Cobbler Cake

adapted from Avoc 

Cobbler cake is like, my favorite thing. Well, I'm the type of person who loves the crap out of many things, but for reals, I LOVE this cobbler cake. If I had to choose one recipe to hoard as a secret recipe for the rest of my life, it would be this one. But, since I don't believe in hoarding, or keeping recipes a secret, here you go. I strongly suggest not changing a dang thing because the combo is pure magic (trust me! I already made all the tweaks!) - well wait, you can totally change the fruit. Peaches and berries (maybe even pineapple?) would be fabulous. You just need a juicy fruit that can stand the heat. I particularly think it's heaven with nectarines. When you make this, eh, can I come over? 

 Baker's note: I love this thing under baked slightly. The 350 degrees for 50 minutes yields a very slightly doughy center, while still keeping the top nicely toasted. You can let the cake cool completely before serving, but I think it is best straight out of the oven with a little cold cream poured over the top. HEAVEN. 

PS. Don't be weirded out by the number of teaspoons required for the salt and baking powder. I promise, those quantities are correct, and they yield fantastic results. 

 

ingredients

2 cups / 250g all-purpose flour
2 cups / 250g whole wheat flour
6 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup / 100g ground almonds (almond flour)
1 ½ cups / 350g organic sugar
1 ¾ cup / 400g butter
zest of 2 lemons
4 eggs
1 lb (roughly) / 500g nectarines
¾ cup / 60g unsweetened shredded coconut

instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F / 180° C. Line a 9x13 in / 37x26x3cm tin with parchment paper.

Mix together the flour, ground almonds (almond flour), sugar, butter and lemon zest using a beater until the mixture has a crumb-like texture. Remove 150g (a heaping cup) of the mixture and add it to the coconut (this is for the top).

Start the mixer again, mix for another minute and then add the eggs, one at a time, beating slowly until it all comes together to form a slightly lumpy batter. (The batter is SO GOOD! Is that gross that I shared that?! I love dipping my finger in and tasting at this part. The batter may taste a tinge salty, TRUST ME, it will be divine.) 

Fill your pan with the batter, lining the fruit in a single row on top, and then top with the coconut crumble. Bake for 50 minutes or a bit longer if you don't want your cake to be the least bit gooey in the middle.

Serve warm, straight from the oven with a tiny drizzle of cold cream or vanilla ice cream if feeling incredibly celebratory. This cake keeps well in an airtight container for 4-5 days, and up to a week in the fridge.