2.09.2017

photo op: BIRTHDAYS cake

RER 12.9.16
The end of the year is pretty sweet and birthday-intense for my family: mine is in October, my sister’s is in November, and both my parents have December birthdays.  That means a lot of cake. This year, we celebrated with one cake for two birthdays in December. I wanted to try to make a sheet cake, and Sally’s Baking Addiction did not fail me, per usual (like the time I made brownies, mini red velvet cheesecakes, and apple pie butter bars). I made the yellow sheet cake with chocolate fudge frosting. It was delicious....
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And rainbow sprinkles make all the difference #winkwink


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2.9.17
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11.28.2016

MangiaMore: PUMPKIN cake with cream cheese frosting

RER 11.25.16
Jack-o-lanterns feel like decades away, fangs faded to gummy smiles. Festive gourds on stoops are withering with fall warmth and snaps of cold.  Mallow crème pumpkins are drying out, toothy with time. Pumpkin pie is buried in our bellies after Thanksgiving feasts, but the spices and stringy middles remain. Pumpkin has left its mark on this season with a damn delicious pumpkin recipe.
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Once a whole pumpkin, its innards and seeds were transformed into a scrumptious fall treat (well, two, but one was less successful than the other). We used boiled and mashed pumpkin from our first attempted dessert—a pumpkin pie— to create a modified version of damn delicious’s pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. Instead of cupcakes, we doubled the recipe to make a sheet cake. And it was truly delicious.
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Other modifications were made to the easy-to-make recipe. We did not have pumpkin pie spice (as I have said before, it costs far more than I prefer to spend), so we whipped up a small batch of our own, minus the nutmeg (which we legit did not have).  Instead of using the full amount of oil for a doubled recipe, we used unsweetened applesauce to lighten the load.
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In the end, the cake sang fall. The intense exterior and almost savory middles of the squash forfeited stiffness and vegetal notes, and melted and surrendered to the sweet spices of cinnamon and allspice and all that makes fall. On top, the cinnamon cream cheese frosting was subtle with the tang of the cheese and kept the moisture in. Because there was only layer and one thick strip of frosting, the cake was not too sweet and laden with butter and powdered sugar.  Each slice was fluffy and light, airy and warm. So delicious.

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11.12.2016

photo op: this IS fall

RER 10.28.16
Fall is spicy and sweet, pumpkins and apples, warmth and cool air.  Fall is the mix of cold mornings and sunny afternoons with the rustle of leaves, amber from the changing seasons. Fall is light when it used to be dark and dark when it used to be light.  Fall is a mix of dichotomies, opposites that attract and mingle and meld to make the beautiful.
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A few weekends ago, fall was the smell of sliced fat apples warming in brown sugar and butter, seeped in spices. I finally was able to use some gifted apples (I am a teacher) and made fall tumble into my newish kitchen.  The roasty caramelized apples sat atop some plain Greek yogurt and meal-prep protein waffles for a scrumptious and comforting autumnal brekkie. No recipe, just brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, allspice, love, and fall.
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How have you cooked up fall?
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