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pumpkin almond cake.

pumpkin almond cake.

Because pumpkin doesn’t have to be exactly the same way each and every year, right? It’s such a versatile ingredient that it would be a mistake to limit it to pie, bread, lattes, and granola. In fact, pumpkin is so essential to our baking lives that Baked devoted an entire chapter to it from their Elements book: a chapter it totally deserved.

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an open letter to nigella lawson.

thoughts for nigella.

Dear Ms. Nigella Lawson:

I’m making one of your always-stunning cakes today – the old-fashioned chocolate one from Feast, which is my all-time favorite – and I can’t help but think about you while I do it.

No one, I imagine, likes their personal life to become fodder for public consumption. Well, I suppose some people revel in it, but those aren’t the kind of people I enjoy. You don’t seem to be one of those people at all, and thank goodness for that. It must make your current situation that much more intolerable, egregious, and overwhelming than it already is, if that is even possible. You remain silent about it; I can only assume you’re doing that out of respect for your own privacy and that if your children, and I commend you for that. The only opinions which matters right now, and the only hearts you should be concerned with protecting are those. Continue reading →

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classic chocolate bundt + chocolate honey glaze.

classic chocolate bundt + chocolate honey glaze.

So I just got finished with a luncheon event with Deb Perelman. Yes, that Deb Perelman. I say “with” because for a few ticks of the clock, I want to imply that I was her opening act.


I wasn’t. Maybe someday, but today I just bought tickets like everyone else, lunched on three lovely offerings from her cookbook, and realized she would probably be the most fun ever to hang out with. This last bit is great news, because I have been invited to attend a meet and greet this evening with Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen fame. So we’re clear about which Deb Perelman we’re talking about, I wrote that out. Currently the thing which weighs heaviest on my mind is if I should wear the same thing as I did (thus upping the chances that she recognizes me) or if I should go for something different (thus making it seem like I have many outfits.) Needless to say, complete sentences aren’t coming easily to me at the moment. Forgiveness requested in advance, and in return, I’ll tell you all about Deb in my next post. I took so many notes too, between the eating and the happy tears.  Continue reading →

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salted white chocolate macadamia cookies.

Let’s talk oven temperatures. Seems as though a little article on Slate Magazine has lots of us talking. I didn’t an instant reaction one way or the other, but the premise stayed in my head and wouldn’t leave, which means it bothered me somehow. “Really?” I thought, “Oven temperatures don’t matter? Surely this can’t be true.” And indeed, if you read the article, it’s not necessarily saying setting your oven to say, 350˚F is the same as setting it to 200˚F. What it does indicate, however, is that vague temperature settings would be a better indication what’s actually going on in there. I don’t disagree; however, I don’t agree with telling a large audience to ignore their oven settings and go for it. Here’s why. Please allow my cookies to serve as visual aids as we wander along. Continue reading →

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you’re invited: state fair birthday party.

So, we had this little state fair birthday party yesterday. You know, the one I’ve been telling you about, for the (now two-year-old) Wee One. I’ve been stringing pennant garland and fashioning felt animals for three solid weeks now. And if you think I have a Farmers’ Market Monday post today, you’re wrong; because unless you want my recipe for buying pre-made broccoli slaw and adding matchsticked fresh carrots to it to make it look classy, I don’t have anything for you. What I do have is a little recap of how the day was spent, and some of the other food I made for the party.

Today is also my blog birthday, people. It’s been one year since I started working on this, and I’m happy to say it’s been great. To celebrate, I’ll be rolling out a few new sections on the blog over September, and I hope you like them. I’ll be back in a few days with more recipes, and we’ll be back to our normal fun around here. Right now, I have some felt animals to clean up.

Enjoy the party, and thank you for coming. Continue reading →

stolen ice cream + awards, thank you.

Wouldn’t you know it; I had this post written and almost ready to go when adorable Sara at Stalk My Kitchen goes and gives me an award. So Sara, thank you so very much; I promise in my next awards round-up I will steal one of your recipes and give you a proper thanks. 

This post has been a long time coming, but it’s about time I say thank you for a few awards I’ve been given over the past few months or so. As it turns out, time does actually fly when you’re doing something you genuinely love, and we’re running up on my 1-year blog birthday. That’s right, people;  I’ve been doing this for almost one full year. August 20th will mark the actual day, but I’ll be celebrating a little bit in my head for the entire month. Celebrating that I actually did this, love doing this, and have you all to keep me company and encourage me forward while I continue to do this. Some way, somehow, I’ve managed to accumulate a few awards from fellow bloggers (and friends) along the way. I don’t know about you, but I feel like the best way to say thank you is to steal their ice cream recipes, make them for myself, and talk about them a little bit. So here goes nothing. Continue reading →

independence day.

Well hello there! Happy Independence Day to you; I hope you had a lovely day in whatever weather you prefer for your summer holidays, and I hope you had a chance to sit around and eat with people you love. I did. We made these funny little cupcakes out of white box cake mix (because I’m on vacation, and there’s nothing wrong with a good white box cake). We dolled them up with the Momofuku Milk Bar birthday cake frosting, sprinkled them with a little patriotism, and fashioned tiny fireworks out of licorice whips. Then, we gave them toothpick flags. Continue reading →

fish market monday: cilantro-lime slaw for fish tacos.

Wait a minute; did I say Fish Market Monday? That I did. Because, people, I’m so on vacation right now it’s not even funny. And when you’re this close to the ocean, your head gets a little wobbly. You feel different, because hey; you can relax. And eat outside on a pool deck. And grill fresh fish. Not the “fresh” fish I am blessed with in my normal landlocked location which hops a flight to get to me, nooooo. Like, FRESH fish. Fish that shakes my hand when I walk up to it fresh. Fish that is up for a game of beach volleyball fresh. Fish that has never seen ice or the inside of a cargo hold fresh. The fish I never, ever get to have except when I am near some sort of ocean. Continue reading →

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farmers’ market mondays: middle eastern salad.

This has been one of my favorite salads for a while now, but I especially love it in the summer, when my herbs are overflowing. I’ve grown my own fresh herbs for the past few years now, and sometimes I end up with more than I bargained for: a happy situation to be in, but one which requires some thinking in order not to waste what I’ve grown. Sometimes I make a quick pesto, and some herbs (like sage and rosemary) freeze really well; some things, however, need to just be eaten right away. Continue reading →

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happy easter!

Happy Easter to you!

I hope all of you are eating until you can’t eat anymore, enjoying whatever weather you were blessed with, finding every egg you wanted to find, and otherwise having a lovely day. These little breads are what I made to give as “Easter baskets” this year: English Muffin Toasting Bread from my friend Jen’s website, Juanita’s Cocina. It’s terrific, and addicting, and exactly what I’d want in my basket. Continue reading →