Kami’s Birthday Cake 2014

I loved this cake. I loved its perfectly imperfect messy abandon. I loved its sweet-tart Meyer cloud cream, made with the very last of my Meyer lemon stash, and generously dolloped between layers of cake. I loved those layers of cake: orange-zest-spiked, tender and moist, perfectly flat. I loved the droopy, thick & luscious cream cheese icing, made a glorious pinky-purple with a reduced beet purée, and I loved the finishing touch, a light sprinkle of homemade orange sugar, for […]

Kami’s Birthday Cake: A Cautionary Tale

Those who have been paying attention know that I had been testing cake recipes for Kami’s birthday cake, which was due for her birthday dinner, last Thursday.  Well, let’s just be brief and say “the best laid plans of mice and men (and crazy red-headed baking chicks)…”  Let’s just review the cakes I’ve baked over the last couple of weeks: A mini-version of the Pink Lady cake over at Smitten Kitchen.  I cut the recipe to 1/4 of the original […]

Kami’s Cake 2015: Jimmie Cake!

Jimmies, people. Not sprinkles, not shots: jimmies. Said in your best South Park Timmy voice: jim-MAH. I went simple with the Kami Birthday Cake this year: 2 layers, basic cream cheese frosting, and lots and lots of jimmies. I opted for a quick-baking, no muss, no fuss chocolate layer cake from Molly at my name is yeh, though I swapped out hazelnuts for pecans because I’m ornery. And I was out of hazelnuts. [Though I will make that chocolate hazelnut […]

Double Chocolate Ombré Cake {Kami’s Cake 2013}

For longer than I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve been making birthday cakes for my friend Kami. There have been successes (a fantastic strawberry-pink yellow cake with a piped frosting garden by Tai the Pastry Chef, a lovely golden orange mousseline cake with royal icing butterflies) and disasters (an attempt at this cake that looked, well,  absolutely nothing like that, and the Great Kami Cake Disaster of Aught-Nine); regardless, there has always been fun and laughter, good food and love. And while […]

Orange-Kissed Chocolate (cup)Cake

Of all the dessert flavor combinations, orange and chocolate is by far Tai’s favorite. Anything orangey-chocolate, or chocolaty-orange, is sure to rate high with his tastebuds.  Since it is Valentine’s Day (our first as an ‘official’ married couple) I wanted to make him something special and use his two favorite flavors.  My first thought was of a Cointreau chocolate cake with Burnt Orange Buttercream.  I’ve made the Burnt Orange buttercream before, and he loves it; I figured I could sneak some […]

Nadine’s Birthday Cake

Nadine’s birthday was about a week ago and last week I went over to her place for a little birthday celebration: a few presents, a little play-time with her daughter Kami, and, of course, cake.  I’m lousy at decorating cakes.  Tai is the trained pastry chef at our house and he is great at it: he breaks out his cake turntable (yes, doesn’t everyone have one?) and makes a beautifully smooth frosting layer, pipes perfect litttle flowers and curlicues, and seems […]

Battle of the Cake Flour Substitutes

My friend Nadine’s birthday is tomorrow; I’m going over to her place next week to celebrate, birthday cake in hand.  After the Kami Cake Debacle, I decided that I would do a little advance planning, even though 1) the oven is now fixed, 2) I am the proud owner of an oven thermometer, and 3) presumably I can put together a simple butter cake without undue panic.  Uh huh.  Exactly what I thought. So, I decided to test out my […]

Tailgate Mac & Cheese

Although the excitement of the Women’s World Cup reached a fever pitch with the US win, I’ve kept the soccer travels to a minimum this summer. After spending a good chunk of last summer in Brazil, I’m happy to watch more of my soccer on TV this year and focus my energies on other things: friends, family, cleaning the dad-blasted garage. But when the Gold Cup schedule came out and I saw that the US men’s team were scheduled to play […]

Favorite Posts of 2013

Happy 2014! I know some of you are back at work today (and those of you in the Northeast are wondering if the year’s first #snowpocalypse will send you home early) while some of you may feel that vacation is just starting: no more parties, no more traveling, no more commitments, just you, the couch and a pile of movies to keep you company. So, whether you are bored at work, wishing you were home playing in the snow, or […]


Blood orange and Rio Red grapefruit, Meyers and Mandarins, kumquats and Cara Caras and lemons galore: for a local eater in New York, I sure am fond of citrus. Though citrus doesn’t grow here in the Northeast (at least not outdoors), it does have a season, and winter is it. I’m happy to ship citrus from sunnier climes as a once-a-year indulgence and while I do use lemons in my cooking year-round, winter is the time to really indulge in […]

Link With Love

This post is long overdue: link with love established themselves this summer, and I wanted to tell you all about it, but I got swept up in the craziness of the preserving season. Now that it’s mid-October (can you believe it?) and things in my kitchen have calmed down somewhat, I want to talk just a bit about blogging, sharing, and playing nice in this big jungle gym we call the Interwebs. ‘Round about the time that I stumbled across link with love this summer, I had just been having […]

Use It or Lose It! Jam + Cream Cheese Frosting

Nearly every year, I make at least two birthday cakes: one is for my friend Kami, a practically-grown-up girl of seven this April, and one is for Kami’s mother Nadine, who as of last weekend was old enough to have a seven year-old daughter but young enough to squeal with glee at the thought of birthday cake. I’ve had my trials (who can forget the Great Kami’s Birthday Cake Debacle of ’09) and my successes (the orange mousseline buttercream cake turned out particularly lovely) […]


The recipe index is live! Feel free to offer any feedback; categories you would like highlighted (vegetarian? quick & easy? holiday?), organization that would make the index more useful, shock & awe at my deep and abiding love of the scone. SEASONAL Spring Summer Fall Winter INGREDIENT Citrus Leafy Greens Tomatoes PRESERVES Individual preserve recipes are listed on the Preserves page and are not listed separately here. Preserves page Freezing Vegetables Preserving Apples Preserving Cherries Preserving Herbs Preserving Rhubarb Preserving […]

Ramp & Asparagus Frittata

Have you ever spent an entire day in a jumpy house with a 7 year-old? Let me just tell you, for the sake of science, that it is possible to pull every sinlge muscle in your body at the same time, especially when, inspired by giggling, 7 year-old cries of “Do it again!,” you demonstrate your NBA-style, windmilling slam dunk on the jumpy house baskbetball net about 847 times. My friend Kami celebrated her 7th birthday a couple of weeks ago […]

Peach Preserves with Forsythia & Chile

I know it’s Tuesday morning and all, but I need you to do something for me: run, don’t walk, to your nearest peach orchard or farm stand, grab a bag of peaches (before they disappear), and make this preserve. This, my friends, could very well be the perfect peach preserve: sweet yet tangy, beautiful texture of plump slices of fruit in a just-barely-set jam, just the right floral note from the forsythia and the sweet heat finish of fiery pequin peppers […]