Cinnamon Mini Cakes with Peach Wine Compote

Hello Lovely,

I made these mini cakes in early August for a party with some friends. Once it was time for dessert, these went so quickly, I didn't even get to have one! My friends LOVED them! I love cinnamon. It's used in so many things because it just compliments EVERYTHING! This recipe comes from the Cakes By Melissa cookbook, but I came up with the topping all on my own! I started by making a cinnamon sheet cake and I cut out the mini cakes with a round cutter. While all of this was happening, I had some canned peaches soaking in red wine. You could have a cinnamon cake with cinnamon icing, but how basic is that? Go deeper into flavour profiles and see how you can related them to people or to other delicious foods that you love. For example, cinnamon cake with a peach wine compote topping - yum!

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Cinnamon Mini Cakes with Peach Wine Compote

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup diced peaches
  • 1 cup red wine (any kind)
  • powdered sugar for dusting
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Directions

  1. Have all your ingredients at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter the pan of your choice or line the pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Before you start mixing, soak the peaches in the wine.
  3. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter for 1 minute on high speed, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter and beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again.
  5. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the vanilla; then add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl midway through.
  6. Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt in a separate bowl.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add half the flour mixture. When it's mostly incorporated, add half the milk. Add the remainder of the dry and wet ingredients, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stop mixing as soon as you have a smooth batter.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the middle of the cake feels springy when you gently press your finger against it (30-35 minutes).
  9. Let cake cool completely before cutting with round cutter.
  10. Top each cake with peaches and a little powdered sugar.
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The only thing about this recipe I changed was the amount of sugar in it. The original recipe calls for 2 cups. I can't imagine why anyone would need 2 whole cups of sugar; that's waaaaaaay too much. So I shortened it. Truthfully I may have only used 1 cup of sugar. Adjust it according to your taste and dietary needs.

Festive Holiday Wine Tastings & Weekend Recap

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend was filled with holiday festivities. I had the joy of attending not one but two wine tastings this past weekend! The first one was on Thursday at Young's Fine Wine in Sandyport. I went with an old friend. I love going t wine tastings at Young's Fine Wine because even if I don't like the wines I sample, the staff makes me feel like family so the environment is always comfortable and inviting. 

I was super excited about my favourite wine being served, but it really didn't last long because it was everyone's favourite of the night. I had to buy a bottle of the Cocchi Asti. I shared the last bottle with a date over a home cooked meal back in September and couldn't wait to get another bottle. It didn't hurt that it was 10% off. I'm not a fan of Reds so I stuck with my white wine. The Henriot Brut Suvergin Champagne was delicious as well.

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The second one was on Friday at Mahogany House in Lyford Cay. I went with my best friend Krista who's the perfect sidekick. Every time we taste wine she always says it just tastes like alcohol, because she doesn't have time for all that fancy lingo. We had fun laughing at how much we hated all of the wines they had. The only ones we really found tolerable were the Scarpetta Prosecco Brut (Prosecco, like Chardonnay, is always a hit and miss with me) and the Joseph Leitz QbA Feinherb Riesling. Naturally our taste buds found the cheapest Riesling. Truthfully, I never made it through all of these wines. I gave up after the 7th white wine and the 2nd red wine. I also tried the Juice Asylum because of the interesting name but quickly regretted it. Red wine is just not my thing people, sorry.

Afterwards, we felt like going for a drive and taking pictures with Christmas lights. I completely forgot about the Christmas Extravaganza at Old Fort Bay. At first we took a few funny photos in front of some lighted trees in a parking lot.

Then we decided to head over to Baha Mar. I hadn't been since they opened earlier this year because I had some serious reservations about the shady back door deals just to get it opened. But once I got there, I had to admit, it's absolutely gorgeous! The designers clearly did their research and have a keen eye for details. Every little detail is deliberate and cohesive. The staff is super courteous and not in a fake I'm-only-this-nice-because-they're-paying-me way either; it was genuine.

After walking around we got hungry and settled on dinner at Stix. I loved that dinner for 2 was only $30 with tax and we were genuinely full. We shared a bowl of steamed Jasmine rice, pork dumplings and triple treasure rangoons. The meal was delicious and can easily become my favourite order! Next time I go, I'll definitely try one of the noodle soups.


But that was just FRIDAY! On Saturday I visited Bahama Hand Prints for their Sip & Shop event. I had never been to the store before but I had passed it and heard a lot about it.

I loved the stock! It's VERY pricey because they print the fabric themselves on site but at least you know that you will have a one of a kind piece. There's apparel, kitchen towels, aprons, fabric quarters and handbags in all sizes. I ended up spending $60 that I had no intention of spending. I plan on making a dress out of the fabric I bought which features a historic drawing of the original Bay Street layout on it so it was totally worth the price. I can't wait to get started.

I rounded out my weekend by making a fireplace out of cardboard boxes at church and posing for Christmas photos (some of which are already on the Facebook page).

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My weekend was FULL of activities but I had SO MUCH fun! How was your weekend? Did you do anything excited? Are you getting ready for Christmas with your family and friends too? Share your holiday activities in the comment section below and I'll see you tomorrow for a special Christmas edition breakfast treat!

Wine & Arts Festival Review

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend, a Wine Lover’s treat was found at the 26th Annual Wine and Arts Festival held in the beautiful Bahamas National Trust (BNT) Retreat. Wine connoisseurs and newbies were greeted warmly by the Scotiabank Bahamas team into an adventurous Cultural journey of Wine and Art: glass and booklet in hand.

This year marked the first formal collaboration for the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas (NAGB) and BNT for the Festival which showcased a variety of sculptures, jewelry, paintings and photography.  These pieces captured glimpses of the Bahamian sun, sand, sea and culture in many forms.

Exciting Festival Features

  1. A selection of sips (including Sake, Chardonnay, Sparkling, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc) from around the world such as Japan, New Zealand and Spain were elegantly on display. The Birds& Bees Moscato was the talk of the town as attendees spoke of its sweet n' fruity flavor. It’s a highly recommended brand and is available by Bristol Wines (1er Cru). Buy yours today!

  2. Bewitching Wine & Food pairings – Whether dining at home or a night on the town, we all wonder how to match our food to our wine, as the best pairings can be pure magic to your palette! A few to keep in mind for your next meal are:-

  •  

  • Shiraz with Veal Parmigiana - Australia

  • Sauvignon Blanc with Fried calamari (with lemon) - Central Coast, California

  • Brut Sparkling with Shellfish - Chile

  • Ecusson Cabernet Sauvignon with Chicken (with Port and Figs) - France

  • Sancerre Les Baronnes with Seared Scallops topped (with Mango Salsa) – Louire Valley

  • Pinot Grigio with Seafood Toastado Bites - Delle Nevie, Italy

  • Pinot Noir with Rack of Lamb - Napa Valley

**Prices range from $7.25 - $63.95 . Visitors and locals can take advantage of purchasing what they've tasted at the 1er Cru locations from October 29 – November 5, 2016**

The eye-capturing Art & Artists highlights included:

 

    1. Natalia Nunez  is an acclaimed lover of dots and stripes, as clearly seen her in her photos.  Sharing her first drawing (the Dog art piece), she has a unique way of skillfully portraying clean and elegant art pieces.

    2. Christopher D'albenas is a Bahamian artist & photographer whose works feature acrylic art on driftwood and marine life floating eloquently through the Bahamian Shores.  

    3. French Artist Leo Devilles has always created art but after attending her first Paint Party in 2015, she became a painter. A native of Bordeaux and a horse lover, she specializes in soft pastel as well as acrylic and has. Her upcoming exhibition called 'Bliss' will be held on Friday November 11, 2016 at the John Watling's Distillery: 5-9pm. Here, her originals and prints will be on sale.

    4. Hennergy began in 2014 by Illeana Harvey and offers a selection of Henna tattoos, which use a mix of two plant based inks. All tattoos last two weeks and display a reddish hue.

    5. Bahamian Painter Dion Lewis shows determination throughout all of his artwork; as he had just added the final touches to his stunning original piece 'Spanish Wells' that morning.  The colorful and soulful piece entitled ‘Sunday Morning Market’ was also shown. You can view more of his pieces off Shirley St. next to Wildflowers.

    6. Kim Deveaux began her custom engraving journey two years ago and has stayed focused ever since.  Her engraving techniques were featured at her booth and also in the art case at the Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) in connection with Doongalik Studios. You can also email any requests to kimdeveaux@gmail.com.

    7. Guilden Gilbert specializes in acrylic photography throughout the Bahamas. At the festival he exhibited a powerful photo of a white tailed tropic soaring through the air in the Exuma Cays.  He is  also available for photo shoots throughout the islands.

    8. Local artists Jamaal Rolle and Stephen of Airbrush Junkies were also on site, creating grand artistic designs throughout the day.

    How can we forget the best art of all? FOOD! We can eat pretty much anything, but food styling has definitely become our favorite form of art, and a glamour styled plate makes eating twice the fun! Here's what the festival had on display:-

    1. Chef Owen of Cassava Grille conducted the Culinary Food Demo which featured one of our native food staples: conch. He created Curry Conch Rollups which were fried and given to eager audience members. The dish was in connection with BNT's Conchservation initiative which began in 2010 and is a national campaign to assist with creating sustainability in the Queen Conch fishery in the Bahamas. This will assist in lowering the threat of conch extinction, prevent illegal harvesting through laws and creating a closed conch fishing season. Restaurants and individuals can also make their pledge to be 'Conch-scious!'.  This pledge means to take a responsibility against fishing and/or eating juvenile conch. Please contact BNT for more information.

    2. There were a few vendors who were also at the Int'l Food Festival such as: Vell Monkey Foot with scrumptious Crab sliders.

    3. I was FINALLY able to grab a bite from The Batter Girls who often have long and crowded lines.  The Cajun Fried Lobster did not miss, with its chunky texture and spicy flavor!  There was also Seafood fritters and a Lobster & Shrimp basket on sale.

    4. Handcrafted gourmet popsicles such as the Marley Pop, Sky Juice, Soursop and Summer Sangria were the main attractions at Pop Stop. In local pride style, I tasted the Junkanoo Pop (a medley of fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks, mango and passion fruit juice). The freshness of the fruits was front and center with each bite and the pop delivered a tantalizing mix of sweet and tangy.

    5. There was also Dino's Gourmet Conch Stand who offered a mélange of fruits, vegetables and citrus juices to create tasty conch salad, in Original and Tropical flavors.

    The Members Only Wine & Art Festival held on October 28th,  offered a very intimate experience for attendees.  However, this isn't BNT's last event of the year as Jollification is coming up in November so you don't want to miss it! P.S. Members pay less at these events and enjoy other exclusive membership perks.  To join this ritzy listing, click here. For a ridiculously low price, you too can be a part of this eco-friendly movement.

    Because we're such winos,  we're always looking for ways to sneak wine into our food. If you’re looking for a creative way to include wine with your meals, try these Wine Butters!

    Did you enjoy this event? What were your favorite wine pairings? Do you prefer Moscato, Merlot, Sauvignon or Sparkling?

    XoX,

    Mechelle

     

     

     

    Friday Favourites: Where to Go This Weekend

    Hello Lovely,

    I know I just got back from a much needed vacation, but I am totally looking forward to cutting loose and meeting up with my friends that I haven't seen in weeks! So if you're in the Nassau area, here are two events that are happening this weekend that I'm totally looking forward to!

     

    One of my best friend's invited me to this so I'm excited. Free Wine? Count me in!

    One of my best friend's invited me to this so I'm excited. Free Wine? Count me in!

    Come out to ShopTheCC's S/S 16 Pop-Up Shop. Where you will find the trendiest collectibles, haircare products, style tutorials & sweet treats.

    Come out to ShopTheCC's S/S 16 Pop-Up Shop. Where you will find the trendiest collectibles, haircare products, style tutorials & sweet treats.

    Hope to see you all there!

    XoX,

    Free Wine Tasting

    Tuscany Wine and Olive Oil Tasting!

     March 17th

          6pm - 8pm     

    At Young's Fine Wine Boutique!
                           
    Make it a date night and be the first to take advantage of these beautiful olive oils from 5 different regions, paired with delectable wines from Tuscany, Italy! See you there!

    All wines, champagne and liquors will be 10% off the night of the event!

    www.youngsfinewine.com

    info@youngsfinewine.com
    Tel: 601-0021
    Store hours
    Monday 11am - 5pm
    Tuesday - Friday 11am - 6pm
    Saturday 12pm - 5pm
                                 
    Olde Town Sandyport(across from Twisted Lime & Post Office)
    The Young's Fine Wine Team
    Will, Laura, Kyle, Stefon, Niko, Marco