January 11, 2013
Happy 2013 to you. How was your holiday? I ventured home to Northern Idaho for some good quality family time and it was much needed. The last couple months of 2012 were pretty taxing. The year went out with a bang at the annual New Years Eve party that a friend hosts for around a hundred or so people. He’s been hosting for 3 years and each year gets better and better. And with that it’s out with the old and in with the new! Time marches on and the same tasks are often at hand but there is something truly renewing about the start of the new year. Someone recently pointed out to me that resolutions could be made any time of year. Well, yea, but they carry a bit more clout in January and I love to make them. Pictured above is the shaky start of the most tangible resolution on my list which is to learn how to knit. My first of four classes was this past Wednesday and it’s looking promising. These are just practice stitches with practice yarn but at the end of the course each student will come away with a knitted hat. What did you resolve to accomplish in 2013?
A “Happy Friday” is also in order. Hope you’ve got something fun planned for the days ahead. I’m heading out to a weekend retreat in Marin in a few short hours. Looking forward to relaxing and practicing my stitches. Will be taking a break to watch my 49ers beat Green Bay in the playoff game on Saturday night and then hurrying back to the city on Sunday to celebrate the 3rd birthday of the church I attend by serving up cake to 1,200 people. Should be a wild one.
November 28, 2012
This post has been sitting in my “drafts” pile for weeks. Mainly because I can’t think of anything witty to say along with the photos. But it makes no sense to withhold it on account of that. All I really want to say is these little cakes are nothing short of divine.
They’ve enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in the past year or so and I’ve seen several variations in bakery cases across the city. Even sampled a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie from Magnolia Bakery while in New York a few months back. To me, nothing beats the classic. The super dark, dutch processed cocoa has a distinct, almost bitter chocolate flavor. Like Oreos. I whipped up a batch awhile back in place of a cake for my dear friend Kelly’s birthday, displayed them on a dessert table at a lavish wedding in October, and most recently I (appropriately) brought a batch to a church lecture on sexuality.
There’s no point in paying 3 bucks for one at the bakery around the corner. These are the best you’ve ever had.
November 22, 2012
Like the rest of you, I’m counting my blessings today. Overwhelmed by how grateful I am for such a close circle of dear friends and for constant, incredible community here in San Francisco. It’s been such an exciting year on so many fronts. Right now, a lot of change is around the corner and I’ll continue to be thankful through the transition. The whole holiday season is my absolute favorite time of year. I never tire of the music, the commercials, the decorations, the holiday issues of magazines stuffed in my mailbox, the endless number of parties and gatherings, the equally endless parade of food, and the icy weather that encourages a homebody like me to snuggle up indoors with a cup of hot tea. It’s also the one time each year that I head home. Hard to believe that in four short weeks I’ll be on a plane to what will likely be a beautiful winter wonderland in Northern Idaho. While I’m there we’ll be celebrating my sister as an expectant mother-to-be with a little baby shower. She’ll be about seven months pregnant with the first baby of the family. As if there wasn’t already enough to be thankful for!
Thanksgiving day this year is a mellow one for me. As soon as I hit “post” I’ll be out the door for a quick afternoon walk before all the deliciousness for the evening meal goes into the oven – ready to come out right at kickoff time. Although I may or may not have already torn into the pumpkin pie pictured above that came out of the oven little more than an hour ago. Looking forward to seconds.
I hope your Thanksgiving abounds with love, family, good food, and multiple naps.
With much to be thankful for,
November 10, 2012
This bundt cake properly introduced me to Dorie Greenspan. As a baker, I should have known her well a long, long time ago but until this we’ve been little more than friends-of-friends. Weeks ago when I was looking for something a little different to use a growing pile of overripe bananas for, a simple Google search led me to this recipe and I’ve made it a half a dozen times since. One bite and I promptly went to Amazon and ordered her book Baking: From My Home to Yours. If this cake was any representation of Dorie’s baking style, I needed more of her recipes in my life. It’s proved to be a wise acquisition.
To me, it’s the perfect comfort on a November Saturday morning like today. If it wasn’t so chilly in my little apartment I could probably pick myself up from underneath my blanket long enough to pop it in the oven. I’m half motivated to do it just for the sake of having the smell linger in the air and replace the one of my burnt breakfast potatoes. Oops.
You can finish the cake with a simple glaze made up of confectioners sugar and lemon juice but it certainly doesn’t need it if you can’t be bothered. Honestly I prefer it without. Like most baked goods, it’s better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to get to know each other and the crumb is ultra moist, although partaking of one slice (or two) warm out of the oven is encouraged.
Seems a little silly for me to re-type this recipe for you when I made it as is (I threw in an extra banana cause I had it but that’s it.)
You can get the recipe here!
Hope you’ve enjoyed the start to your weekend! Although I worked yesterday, mine seemingly started early with apps and cocktails on Thursday night with a girlfriend followed by a sushi date with another friend last night. Today promises more of the same and tomorrow I’m looking forward to a serious sabbath before it’s off to work in L.A. Monday morning. Busy, busy!