Devil’s Food Cake with Heavenly Chocolate Frosting

Homemade cakes have about 5 basic ingredients. Did you know devil’s food cake in a box has over 20!

Box cakes contain things like Sugar AND Corn Syrup, Leaveniers (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), and usually cottonseed oil – which in untreated forms is used as an insecticide!

Even store-bought cakes from the grocery store have usually been freeze-dried for several weeks before they are put out and decorated (with frosting that is usually filled with saturated fats and high fructose corn syrup). I guarantee you have everything in your kitchen right now to make this delicious cake! Give it a try! Read more…


Bread Pudding Muffins

imageIt almost doesn’t seem right kicking off the month with this recipe – it’s so easy and sinful with pretty much no work. The Grand Central Baking Book recipe calls for “crusty artisan white bread” so when I ran across some from one of Seattle’s other famous bakeries in Columbia   City, I knew it was fate.  Read more…


Don’t Mess with a Mamma Cow and her Calf: Lavender Soaps

I have been wanting to make soaps for a while but kept putting it off because it seemed like an impossible project. I mean, hand-making soaps, really?  I see them at the farmers market all the time, and I think how hard can this be, but really, I know it has to take forever? It turns out, it actually is not that hard! Now, don’t get me wrong, there are harder versions of soap making – I just didn’t choose them. You  can make soap through the process of using lye (sodium hydroxide), but I have to leave that up to the professionals at the farmer’s market. I chose to buy bars of goat’s milk base that contained coconut, safflower, and glycerin then flavor them to my taste, this is known as the “melt and pour” method. If you do this, making soap  is pretty basic. Read more…


Dreamy Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is so sweet and delicious and can be used in so many ways. I’m sure once you learn how to make it, you will keep a jar of it in your refrigerator at all times. Originally used by the English for tarts and pie fillings, it is especially delicious on toast or hot scones right out of the oven.  Read more…


Chocolate Birthday Cake with Beet Powder Frosting

I’m always surprised how hard it is to find food coloring that doesn’t have strange dyes in them that t I’ve never heard before in my life. You know, like “erythrosine dye” for pink or 5,5′-indigodisulfonic acid sodium salt, also known as indigotine or D&C Blue #2 used for that pretty blue color on wedding cakes. Or how about, erythrosine for candied fruit cherries (that’s right, even candied fruits have artificial dye in them!). When I started becoming interested in skin products and did not want to use anything artificial in the lip products, then, it occurred to me, that the same ingredients I used for natural colors in lip stains, could probably be used in frosting.  This recipe is my first attempt: Rose Butter Cream Frosting, colored with beet powder. Read more…


Brioche Pear Bread Pudding…with Chocolate!

I don’t feel like as American’s we grew up knowing much about Bread Pudding (at least I didn’t). So, when I came across this recipe by Martha Stewart I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I was initially drawn to it because she uses Brioche bread, and I love Brioche bread (who doesn’t). If you haven’t tried it, Brioche is a French pastry bread that has a high butter and egg content so it is deliciously fluffy and flaky at the same time. It is perfect for dessert recipes, or even just for French toast. In the South, bread puddings are typically served with whiskey or use, served warm, and with a nice dollop of fresh whip cream. There’s no whisky in this recipe, but I think Martha makes up for it with the chocolate! Also, and I know I say this a lot, but, this recipe is so EASY and looks so FANCY!  Read more…


Homemade Bread in 2-hours!

The first time I made this bread, I couldn’t believe how easy it was and how good it taste. There is no doubt that the art of bread-making in the modern kitchen is really a lost art. But, I think easy recipes like this, have an opportunity to help bread-making make a comeback. I remember a few years back when those big machines machines came out and bread-making had a little comeback. But, those still involved box recipes and little hands on. This recipe comes from America’s test kitchen and can be done in about two hours. It’s really a sandwich bread and is best when eaten the same day, so it’s perfect for picnic. I often slice it and keep it in the freezer and toast it. I love it for my breakfast bread, since there’s nothing like homemade toast and jam. Read more…


Cherry what? Oh, Cherry Clafouti!

One of the best things about doing this blog is that I often stumble upon recipes that I’ve never heard of before; and that was the case when America’s Test Kitchen posted a picture of a Cherry Clafouti. I thought to myself, “a cherry what?”. Well, I couldn’t wait to give it a try, and, as it turns out, this recipe may have a fancy name, but it is so easy! The most time consuming part is pitting the cherries, but after that, you can pull this together in about 15 minutes. It looks so pretty when it comes out of the oven, everyone will wonder if you went to French cooking school!
Read more…

Featured Image -- 1733

Going Bananas

Here’s one you may have missed. Summer bananas can get forgot about since the berries tend to take center stage…use this recipe and you’ll be happy for brown bananas!

Pies, Petals, & Pound Cake

Best Banana Bread

There are so many great recipes for banana bread, but I generally stick with a slightly modified version of the America’s Test Kitchen recipe, because it comes out perfect every time (although, I have yet to try Julia’s recipe).

View original post 696 more words


Everything is bigger in Texas…Texas Sheet Cake!

When my goddaughters bought me this delicious looking cookbook this month, Vintage Cakes, I couldn’t wait to try out the recipes. The author is from the Pacific Northwest, and since I am a recent transplant to the region, it’s exciting to try out recipes from these local bakers. Well, I tried the first one, and I can’t lie  – it was hard. It required not only a cake, but also a meringue, and a curd. It took about 3 hours – but this was really my fault though, I fell in love with the picture before reading the recipe  (a big fault of mine sometimes). Needless to say, when I was flipping through the pages a few weeks later and saw a recipe that said something like,  “one of the fastest cakes you’ll ever make”, I couldn’t resist… Read more…