my two go-to chocolate cakes

chocolate layer cake (with espresso buttercream + mocha ganache)

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I’ve been meaning to post these recipes for years. In fact, if I were being completely, unabashedly honest with you—I’d admit that I’ve even photographed each for the blog before. Multiple times. It’s not that they weren’t worth posting. The pictures sat in my iPhoto library, collecting dust until I moved away from whatever dorm I was in. Then they became obsolete. But I have a theory why I never felt the usual rush: Because every time I made chocolate cake—be it layer, or bundt—some part of me knew, I’d make it again. I couldn’t stay away. 

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green gazpacho

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It was just the other night. Smith and I were settling into bed, the bugs outside our window were just waking up. I had a glass of bourbon and peach juice in one hand, an unread issue of Bon Appétit in the other. Everything seemed very peaceful and perfect. Then I got to the “Readers’ Favorite Restaurant Recipes” section of the magazine. And there it was. Green gazpacho. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” I squealed. I waved the magazine around and shoved the page in Smith’s face showed the page to Smith. “It’s here!” I yelled, outraged. “Green gazpacho! You’ve got to be kidding me!” I should clarify, the indignation wasn’t because I made green gazpacho over two months ago and, still, Bon Appétit beat me to the publishing punch. It was because I made green gazpacho over two months ago. And it was gross. 

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if my mom made potato salad

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I know a Nora Ephron character who bears a striking similarity to my mother. I should emphasize—a striking similarity. In most other ways, they’re nothing alike. Her name is Rachel Samstat. She’s the narrator in Heartburn (if you haven’t read it, really, you should), a pregnant cookbook author with an asshole husband. And my mom isn’t pregnant, or a cookbook author, and my father is the nicest man in the world. But. Both Rachel and my mom preach crispy, crunchy, crackly potatoes. As if making them any other way is a sin. 

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brown butter coconut cookies

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I have a love / hate relationship with brown butter. Admittedly, a sentence I never thought I’d say, but I really do want to talk about it. Brown butter. The best thing since butter. The new “It Girl” of the internet. The secret ingredient. That je ne sais quoi. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. 

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spicy stir-fry shrimp with rice noodles + coconut milk

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Yesterday’s discovery of the A & C Supermarket began in the Whole Foods tea aisle. If you’ve never been, really, you should go—it’s just as wild as you’d expect. Every tea—as in, every tea that’s ever existed—comes in a colorful tin and each one promises to make you more balanced or more beautiful or more “zen.” One day, when I’m don’t-worry-about-the-money-honey rich, I plan to shop at Whole Foods for all my groceries. You know, like cereal and milk and cat food and bottles of electrolyte-spiked water. Just because I can! Er, I mean, could. When I’m rich. For now, Whole Foods is the place I go to find ingredients to which other supermarkets say, Eh! Gross. Who would buy this? And I wail in response, Me! Me! I would buy unsweetened coconut flakes. And tahini. And matcha. 

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