I made no cake for my birthday this year. This was by design. I wasn’t in the mood for cake: for crafting it or for eating it, and if you cook or bake regularly, you probably understand that you go through phases where the things which sound incredible to others are the things you want to be the furthest away from. So no cake was made this year, and I was perfectly okay with that.
Mr. Table is not a food blogger: probably the furthest thing from it, which means he’s all in for birthday cake. And what’s birthday cake without ice cream, right? So I threw together a little dessert featuring these beautiful things. Although not a proper layered birthday cake, the original recipe is for almond cake layers from the Piece of Cake cookbook. You remember that one: a few of you have purchased it by now, based on these gloriously be-sprinkled sugar cookies and these incredibly fun chocolate chip cupcakes. It’s a fabulous book, and these cupcakes are more proof of that. Continue reading →
I’ve been meaning to tell you about this bark. It’s terrible, when I hold out on you, particularly when it’s something this easy and this good. Did I mention that, as far as chocolate bark goes, it’s pretty good for you? There’s that too, so you can feel good about making this repeatedly for yourself and others. If you give this as a gift (which you should) and the receiver throws their hands up in protest, mumbling something about holiday calories and winter weight gain, be sure to tell them not to worry, because this is arguably the healthiest chocolate thing they’ll eat this season. Except if they eat Willow’s chocolate avocado mousse, but someday, those avocados? They’ll be gone. And you don’t want to be left with nothing. Continue reading →
BIG NEWS, FRIENDS: I am now an esteemed journalist. Well, maybe not “esteemed” as of yet; basically, someone actually put my words in print and I didn’t even beg them to.
Just yesterday, the September issue of Feast Magazine hit the stands, and I am listed in it as a contributing writer. You saw me contribute to their online site a few months back, which was thrilling in and of itself, but being in the print edition is huge. And, best of all, I’m in it twice: once as part of a feature on kitchen gadgets alongside some of my favorite local bloggers, and again in my own column, which I’ll be writing every month. As you may guess, I’m writing this on a cloud floating high in the sky above my desk right now; I am elated.
So let’s talk about the articles, shall we? Continue reading →
(Setting: early Summer in the American Middle West. Shannon has been up for hours planning the day, doing some grocery shopping, and has just returned from the gym. A thought occurred to her while on the treadmill – a rare happening – and she can’t wait to tell the one person she knows will be excited about it.)
Shannon: (slams outside door and sets her things on the counter) Lottie? Lottie!
Shannon: Lottie? Hello?
(A slight fear creeps in to Shannon’s heart as she wonders where her sheep is. She goes quickly to Lottie’s new home and rings the bell.) Continue reading →
There’s something very special about picking your own berries in the summer. It’s almost a sacred event to me, and I really geek out on it. You gain an entirely new respect for the thing you are harvesting, I think; I imagine this must be similar to what hunters feel (or at least I hope they feel this way) when killing animals for food. Even though berries don’t have feelings, I do feel like it gives you a new perspective on how amazing nature is and how much goes into putting those little plastic boxes of fruit on your grocery store shelves. Continue reading →
Pre-bathing suit dieters: avert your eyes and avert them now. Go quickly to a health food blog, do an emergency keyword search for things like “quinoa” and “fennel,” and do your best to completely avoid what I have going on here. This is not the post for you. I’m swimming in the sea of early summer fruits as much as the rest of you, but I couldn’t get this out of my head, so here it is. Page one of the newest Baked offering, Baked Elements: The Good Morning Sunshine Bars, finagled by yours truly. And I did do a good amount of finagling here. Continue reading →
File this under “posts where Shannon makes something you can easily purchase at the store and subsequently gets underwear-bunchy trying to figure out why you would ever want the store-bought version when the scratch version is so much better.” What; you don’t have a folder for that? You should. Let’s talk about angel cake. Why, as a human race, are we so willing to grab store-bought angel cake when the homemade variety is incredibly delicious? I blame our current relationship with egg whites. Continue reading →
Two very exciting things happened at the end of April this year.
Emma from Of Agates and Madeleines hand-illustrated a postcard and sent it to me from the middle of the Maine woods, where she hangs out most days. This was part of a previous agreement we had made to send each other postcards from our various locations; my vacation site in Florida versus her work site at the tippy top of the States. I sent her two postcards (I couldn’t decide which exemplified my vacation destination more) but they were not hand-illustrated, attached to a little note, and cuddled into a hand-folded envelope, friends. Only Emma would do that, and this is why I love her. She’s my kind of absolutely nuts, and I like it. Thanks, Emma.
The other thing that happened? These cupcakes. Continue reading →