I was just thinking about middle school. The oversized LL Bean backpack that I insisted on wearing on one shoulder despite the threat of scoliosis. Braces that made me look so unattractive (the perm didn’t help) that one popular boy, who barely spoke to me otherwise, was moved enough to tell me how much better I looked the day they were removed. He seemed utterly relieved on my behalf. Keds. Dirty white Keds.Read More
Some people celebrate with champagne. I go for doughnuts. I need a special occasion for deep fat frying. This week I have one. Love, Cake is one year old! So what’s going to happen on this blogiversary? I’m going to express my heartfelt gratitude. Get out the deep fryer. There will be plenty of fat but I'll try not to get too schmaltzy.Read More
Someone was on our roof at 5:38am on Tuesday morning. Only about 2 inches of ceiling separates our apartment and the sky. I know because we can see the bottom half of all the nails that hold our roof together. Any movement above us basically sounds like Bigfoot doing a lively jig. At first I was mad. Then I decided to get up, make coffee, and get an unpleasant gym visit out of the way. Beauty rest be damned.Read More
Last week: pudding. This week: brownies. Are you getting the theme here? Yes. Chocolate. But that’s not what I’m referring to. I’m making things simple. Making it cozy. Baking it easy. Brownies. That’s about the speed I’m at right about now. I don’t know about you, but my mind is cluttered. I’ve got a lot weighing on my brain these days. Brownies take the edge off. Lots of brownies. (Thank goodness I’ve also picked up my running shoes after a much-too-long-post-ankle-surgery hiatus.)
So brownies. Everyone has a different opinion on what makes the perfect pan. Chewy. Cakey. Fudgy. What have you. I like mine from a box. Always have. Always will. But I wonder if that makes the best sense.Read More
This week I asked Gus what he thought I should make for the blog. “Chocolate pudding!” Well, I aim to please! Here you go.
Just kidding. It wasn't that easy. I was annoyed at his lack of creativity. The truth is, right when I asked him, we were both coming off a high from this dairy-free quinoa pudding I had just made. I know quinoa pudding may not necessarily get you salivating, but trust me, quinoa pudding is much more delicious than it sounds. Anyway, after that successful pudding, Gus wanted more pudding. (It makes so much sense that we’re married.) And this time he wanted a really good chocolate pudding.Read More
We live in a studio in a small building. It’s cozy and lovely. The building was built in the late 1800’s and a lot of the original, pretty wrought-iron stairway railing remains alongside the six flights we walk up to our home. There are still mysterious doors in the hallway that hide the space where communal toilets were years ago. I think the super uses them as broom closets now. (I did spy a reeeeaaally old commode when one door happened to be open. Neat and gross!) We have pretty exposed beams across the ceiling, really beat up wood floors, and a kind of ugly but warming brick wall. All in all, I feel extremely lucky to live here.Read More
Do you remember the first time you tasted biscotti? Do you remember what ran through your mind? Perhaps it was something along the lines of, “This stupid cookie stick is stale. Rude.” That was my first reaction. But then again, I was just a kid. I didn’t know that biscotti are supposed to be hard. I didn’t know anything about drinking coffee. And I didn’t know that the singular of biscotti is biscotto. I’ve come a long way.Read More
My friends and I rented a run-down, drafty house during our last two years of college. The kitchen was far from perfect. It had dingy linoleum floors covered with a film of salt and mud from our snowy boots and mysterious sticky patches from the last party. Fat carpenter ant carcasses dotted the faded countertops because B, one of my more courageous roommates, was in the habit of smooshing them with her thumb but not in the habit of disposing of the bodies. Thinking about whatever might have lurked in the dank darkness of the cupboards gives me the shivers even now. But, despite all of that, the four of us roommates were into good food and we were always excited to take up a cooking project together.Read More
Can geckos regrow their tails? Absolutely. (And apparently the severed limb keeps moving once disconnected!) How's Jody Sweetin doing? Much better, thank goodness. What did we do before the internet?
The other day I was thinking of one of the songs my brother and I used to sing together. It was about milk, and it was on Sesame Street. "Milk. So good. So warm and white." Seriously catchy stuff. I was curious to hear the real version and it took exactly 2 seconds of searching. You are the best, World Wide Web.
I love this video. Watch a little bit if you have a second:Read More
In the spirit of love and collaboration, my husband Gus has decided to guest post this week. Don't believe a word he says.
Believe me, I am as shocked and pleased by this as you are. I was definitely not expecting my wife Sam to invite me to do this guest post for Valentine’s Day. First of all, I assumed that she already knew how to make hot fudge. I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that she doesn’t, even after graduating from culinary school and so forth, but I am very happy to help her learn. It is so fun to team up as a couple! Love comma cake indeed!Read More
If you close your eyes, can you imagine the sound that chocolate cake makes? I can. It’s one of my favorite sounds in the world. And it’s very specific. Nothing makes a sound quite like chocolate cake.
I'm talking about the sound of cutting a chocolate cake. Rich, audible decadence. Soft and squishy. I especially love the muffled, chocolatey knock of the knife hitting the plate. So deep and promising. My mouth waters just thinking about it.Read More
Mmm. Cookies. Buttery, fruity, nutty cookies. Bejeweled cookes. Perfect for curling up with a book cookies. (Truth be told, I like all my food with a side of book.)
If you’d like to know a little bit more about these shortbread delights (including how to make them) pop over to Big Girls, Small Kitchen where I’m guest posting today. The lovely Cara Eisenpress asked me to share a sweet treat with her readers and I couldn’t resist. Cross blog pollination. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m touched to have been invited to partake.Read More
“Where'd God go?” I wasn't having some type of existential crisis, or pondering the meaning of life. No, it was an honest question, and I expected an answer. I was six and a bit confused.
We were attending a Buddhist almsgiving at a friend's house. The prayers had ended and the feasting was about to begin. The priest who had been leading the ceremony had wandered out of the living room and out of my sight, and I wanted to know where he'd gone. I can't remember if I thought his name was God, or if I believed that He himself had decided to make a visit to Connecticut and lead us in prayer. The latter seems more likely.Read More
Remember when people got fancy for travel? Not early-1900’s-voyages-on-grand-ocean-liners fancy. I'm thinking early-80's fancy. When we were kids, my family would get plenty gussied for a plane ride. I can remember pretty new dresses, shiny patent leather Mary Janes, and nicely brushed hair. Traveling was a pleasure and a privilege and my family dressed the part. Let me tell you, wearing tights on the 14-hour flight (plus layovers!) to Sri Lanka was a serious endeavor. They don't call them tights for nothing. My adult self can recognize the lunacy in the act, but the desire to dress nicely took over any consideration for comfort. I’m surprised that I could actually eat while flying (all that constriction!) but you know that I never missed a meal.Read More
My friend Cate and I have a recurring food theme. Anyone who knows us would probably guess it's noodles. We have eaten our fair share of noodles together. I don’t know if that’s because Cate loves them as much as I do or she’s just dear enough to eat them with me whenever I beg. (Which is often.) When she and I travelled back to China after a trip to the beach in Thailand, sweet Cate agreed to go directly from the airport to my favorite Beijing noodle shop - before even popping home for a quick refresh. We ran straight from plane to cab, with all of our heavy luggage in tow, and zipped to this tiny hole-in-the-wall spot all because I was craving a noodle fix. (Thank goodness noodles are my only addiction.) I still can’t really believe she agreed to do that. Dear friend. I still can’t really believe I asked her to.Read More
One day, on a visit to Sri Lanka in the 80's, my grandmother and I made a trip to town in a three-wheeler. After buying the spices and vegetables that she needed, grandmother took me to the sweet shop for a treat. I carefully weighed my options and then spent my saved rupees on some foil-wrapped toffees. You’d think I’d invested in golden bricks the way that I treasured them. When we got home, I gave everybody exactly one candy to cherish before I put the rest away for safekeeping. When I say safekeeping what I really mean is tied in a small baggie around my neck. That’s right. Just like some kind of candy-deprived maniac, I wore those toffees securely fastened around my little head. That’s how afraid I was that my precious sweets could be taken from me. Supposedly my mom has a picture of me fast asleep, candies safely secured at the end of a creepy string. Whoa. Whenever I hear this story, at the point at which I am the most ashamed of my ridiculous behavior, my sweet mom always chimes in with the fact that I did share them to begin with. As if that helps my case.Read More
“What are those things called? Crutters?” Oh. I wish. I’m pretty sure the woman in the elevator at work was asking her friend about Cronuts but I kept to myself. No one likes a know-it-all who wasn’t a part of the conversation in the first place. Do you think Cronuts, the croissant doughnut hybrid by Dominique Ansel, would be as popular if they were called Crutters? The thought made me giggle all the way down the hallway to my office and a little laugh is always a good way to start the day.Read More
What was your first job? I’m interested if you’re willing to share. First jobs are like windows into the soul. Wait. Nope. (I'm notoriously bad with idioms.) But they are usually entertaining insight into the past of the people you love. One of my husband’s first jobs was as the assistant manager of his local Electro Lux franchise. That illustrious title also earned him the responsibility of door-to-door vacuum sales. I think he was around 16. Can you please imagine buying a vacuum from a 16-year-old boy? How many teenage boys do you know who are experts at vacuuming? Hmm.Read More
These blondies are gluten free! AND they're delicious. I know those two things aren’t mutually exclusive but sometimes I worry.Read More