The last time my brother and I had dinner he brought me a present. A cutting from his lush wandering jew. He had planted the little stem carefully in a bit of soil and made a small newspaper pot to transport it. He had carried it in hands on the subway all the way to Brooklyn, where I was living at the time. It’s the last physical gift he ever gave me.Read More
If you have a moment, make yourself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Use nutritionally void soft white bread. Eat the crusts off first. Then look at what you’re left with. Examine it objectively. Close your eyes and take a bite. It’s tender but toothsome with just the right amount of ooze. It’s soft and sweet. It’s creamy and tart. Be honest. It’s not really a sandwich, is it? It’s more like a perfect little layer cake. Dessert masquerading as lunch. And it’s really delicious. This exciting discovery has changed my life and my fridge.Read More
First, I owe you a big, fat thank you! As you have probably figured out from that new badge over on the right, Love, Cake is one of the 6 finalists in the Best Baking and Desserts category of this year’s Saveur Blog Awards. I’m really excited (and frankly a little shocked) to be included. The finalists make up a serious group of talent. Internet heavy-hitters. I know I made that list because of you and your generous nominations. So thank you a hundred times over. I’m so grateful. Click here to see the full list of finalists and vote for your favorites in all 13 categories.Read More
In 2001 my dressiest pants were a pair of gold velour bell-bottoms. Utterly misguided fancy pants. I can remember wearing them on two special occasions. First, the Rent audition I reluctantly admitted to a few weeks ago. Second, my very first real job interview for an actual position with benefits. Despite the hideous pants, I got that job.Read More
“Titles stink and they’re too hard to figure out.” I was pouting from the moment I woke up yesterday morning. Gus said, “No. They’re an opportunity to tell your reader what you care about.” Oh. He’s so annoying and rational sometimes. My first cookbook goes to the printer next week (!!) and at the eleventh hour I’ve decided to fuss about the title. I’ve made extra work for my dear editors (I’m sure they’re cursing me), but I think it’s worth it. It may or may not change, but there have been a flurry of emails back and forth and now I can’t stop thinking/agonizing about it.Read More
For a good chunk of my life, I didn’t know that there was more to New York City than Chinatown. I assumed that the earth fell off at the edge of Kenmare Street, Frank Sinatra was singing about dim sum, and the Great White Way referred to Mott Street with its rows of fish markets full of pale creatures in white Styrofoam coolers. When I was little my family made countless day trips to New York City, but we never went to Macy’s or saw a show on Broadway. Instead we made a beeline for Chinatown and stayed there. After so many visits, I just assumed that the only thing to do in the whole of New York City was shop for groceries from busy street stalls and eat delicious Chinese food. That was my New York City and I liked it.Read More
First, a little request. If you like Love, Cake, and I hope very much that you do, please consider dropping her a nomination for the 2015 Saveur Blog Awards. You can nominate Love, Cake by clicking here. Thank you!
Ok. Now, imagine a guy with a body like Vin Diesel and a face like Rodney Dangerfield. If you dare. Let me explain. I’ve been thinking a lot about jobs lately. My current job, which is to finish the manuscript for my gluten-free cookbook, is flying by far too fast. I’m deep in it right now. That's where this week’s doughnut recipe comes from. And my friend Merritt's excellent book called First Jobs comes out next month. Hearing her stories has made me reflect on all the jobs I’ve had and loved over the years. My first job out of college is still one of my favorites. And that guy, Mr. Rodney Diesel, made me love it even more.Read More
Our Whole Foods has a cookie bar. It looks like a salad bar but it’s stocked with cookies. Genius idea. I don’t know what the cookies taste like. Shockingly I’ve never succumbed to their calls. But they look appetizing. No matter how stale they must be. No matter how dry I’m sure they are. Piles of cookies look unbearably good. And seeing a setup that usually holds spinach and arugula replaced by shortbread and chocolate chips just makes the brain short circuit a little.Read More
February: ugh. Despite the mix-in related romance around here, it’s been a slog. Who’s not fed up at this point? We’ve come down with a serious case of studio fever. One room and two adults, afraid to go out in the cold.
But whenever my insides feel all gray and slushy, I think of the trip I took two weeks ago. I think about going to the airport. That was the trip. I went to the airport. JFK. And I loved it. What a beautiful place!Read More
I know there has been a lot of awards-season buzz about this, so I'm happy to announce that it's true: Gus is guest-posting this week with another special dessert for Valentine's Day.
Wow. It is already time again for my annual culinary paean to St. Valentine. Can you believe it? That year just flew by. Now I know exactly what my wife means when she says that the blog sneaks up on her every week.
The good news is that I am really feeling romantic this year for a change. Why is that, you ask?Read More
I’m a proud former chorus nerd. Most of my friends know that in the midst of a post-college what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life freakout I auditioned for the Broadway musical Rent in New York. Maybe I’ll just be a Broadway star!? The nice lady who was subjected to my audition stopped me mid-song and thanked me for coming in.Read More
I’m fighting a battle with my refrigerator. My cabinets are against me too. I think they’re all in cahoots together. I’m not sure who is winning. “Let’s shrink” they’ve plotted. “Let’s spit bottles of vinegar and frozen peas at her when she opens our doors!”Read More
I feel like a miss. But lately I’ve been getting ma’amed all over town. I live in a youngish neighborhood by some standards. Perhaps in that context I look especially ma’am-like? I only have a handful of grey hairs. Maybe it’s the fact that my gums are receding and my teeth are just a bit gappier than they were before. I didn’t think that was noticeable.Read More
New Yorkers are not unkind. Ask one of us for the time or for directions and we’ll gladly help you out. We’ll tell you where the best bagels are. I’ll even swipe you a ride on my Metrocard if the transit authority guy isn’t looking. But we do keep to ourselves. We maintain a respectful distance. And we don’t often make eye contact.Read More
Set-It-and-Forget-It Seneviratne. I’ve earned a few choice nicknames over the course of my life, but I think that one might be the most apt. (Samantha the Panther was probably the least.) See that pot that’s bone dry and smoking because someone put water to boil an hour ago? Who did that? What about those nuts, burnt to an unrecognizable crisp? I like to think that my absentmindedness is charming. But possibly not.Read More
The other day my mom asked me not to go to the movies until after Christmas. She’s worried about the North Koreans. Thanks for that, Kim Jong-un.Read More
I have to be honest. I haven’t exactly been glowing with holiday spirit this year. Last month we ate Chinese food on Thanksgiving. We don’t have a tree, just the same old plants. There is printer paper all over my desk, but no wrapping paper to be seen. I’ve kept my head buried in work while the tinsel and the lights have been strung up around me.
The whole season might have come and gone if it weren’t for gingerbread. The other day, I got to bake some for Mrs. Patmore. Do you know her?Read More
My friend’s new baby smells like sugar. I met him today for the first time and I took a big whiff. Nine days of living smells sweet to me.
I’m pretty sure I was a Viking in my last life. Granted, I hate the cold. But I do love to explore other countries. I often braid my hair. And I think Scandinavian desserts, loaded with cardamom, saffron, and almond paste, could conquer the world.Read More