I love prunes. They’re sweet and chewy and delicious. I always travel with them (for obvious reasons). I once brought a huge bag with me on a trip to Sri Lanka. My adorable grandmother tasted a prune, presumably for the first time, and then asked me if she could keep the entire bag. I said yes because I also love my grandmother. I realized that if prunes didn’t have such a stigma everyone would be eating them all day like candy. That was my grandmother’s plan. I get it.Read More
I’ve been creating sad, superfluous loungewear out of old clothes for years. And that’s not my only problem. I’ve also been treating my parents’ home as a “haven for mementos”, and I have a deeply rooted book-hoarding problem. Marie Kondo has me figured out! I’m reading “The Life Changing Art of Tidying Up” and learning so much about myself.Read More
We were just walking down the street when an elderly lady handed my dad a big, wide basket full of passion fruit. The bowl was lined with newspaper and filled to the brim. She had run out of her house as we were passing by and she beamed when my dad accepted her present. We were in Sri Lanka. I was eight. According to mom, who translated the transaction for me, the old woman had known my grandfather. The passion fruit were from her tree. They were her gift to my grandfather’s eldest son to welcome him back to the island after so many years.Read More
The frozen yogurt craze of 2008 hit us hard. I’m referring to the Pinkberry and Red Mango era. While TCBY and Tasti D-lite were good for their time, they could never hold a candle to the faux-healthy yogurt treats that followed them. When a Pinkberry opened up right around the corner from our apartment we lost all control.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
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
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 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
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
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.
First impressions get a lot of press. A firm handshake and a big smile can’t hurt, I suppose, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not impossible to come back after a goof. People are kind. This tart is a testament to that. This tart is all about redemption.Read More
“You could build an empire on those fritters!” Those are the words I would quote in a court of law, proving without a doubt that my husband loved the fritters at first bite. Even after the fifth bite, he was grinning like a kid. It was only 5 minutes later, after I told him the truth about the fritters, that he tried to change his tune.Read More
Reading about the referendum on Scottish independence last week really made me think about the big questions. Independence. Secession. Democracy. The Loch Ness Monster. Scones. I’m sure you’re not surprised. Besides thinking about the United Kingdom and whether or not it should stay united, I’ve been thinking about how much I like British pastry. Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish pastry, equally.Read More
I’m so glad that Birkenstocks are acceptable again. Almost cool. Over the past couple of years I’ve seem them on fashionable New Yorkers, and I just bought a pair. I had forgotten how comfy they are. They’re still not exactly good looking, but I like them. They feel sort of age appropriate in a nice way.Read More
I spent this last week doing not a whole heck of a lot. I made two trips to the beach with dear friends, a new baby beauty, and a baby in utero. (Not my utero.) I watched another inspiring friend complete her first triathlon. I read books and drank coffee on my couch. I saw the new X-Men (x-tremely boring) by myself and drank my annual cherry coke (delicious). I went to the farmers’ market for the first time this summer (!) and bought a ton of heirloom tomatoes. And I loaded up on more currants. Lots more currants.Read More
I’ve seen the movie Titanic more times than I would like to admit. I saw it in the theater when it came out. We owned a copy on laser disc that I used to enjoy occasionally. And it’s been on TV a fair number of times. Let’s just say that I know the film pretty well. Well enough that the best way that I can explain my life is through a scene from the movie. Not that “I’m king of the world” business, either.Read More
What the heck are black currants anyway? I’ve been watching old episodes of Louie so I feel entitled to phrase all my questions really aggressively.
I was at Whole Foods the other day. I had a short list of things I needed and a long list of things I needed to do. I had a strict schedule to follow. And then I got carried away by the currants.Read More