Anniversary Champagne Cake

My parents celebrated 41 years of marriage on Monday, and on that bright day in 1976, they served champagne cake to their guests in Portland, OR, my mother’s favorite. Mom recently came to New Orleans for a visit, and in addition to entertaining the chickens, restructuring my patio and filling raised beds made chicken-proof by […]

Guinness anti-Gravity Cake for St. Patrick’s Day

Let’s have a moment to consider fondant. This was my first time experimenting with the substance, prompted by the fabulous and inspiring cookbook Gravity Cakes by Jakki Friedman and Francesca Librae (who, consequently, I imagine would be just the sort of kindred spirits I like to befriend, based purely on their silly taste and body […]

Pumpkin Cupcakes for my Pumpkin

We celebrate Izzy’s 8th birthday this year with cupcakes, a kibble cupcake for the bully, and pumpkin marshmallow cupcakes for us. She has settled into our lives like an heirloom, a treasure, a thing that we have been lucky to get, ancient and precious, decorating the living room with various stations of repose. She loves […]

Torta Caprese for My Birthday Cake

What a fabulous birthday. Surprise after surprise after surprise! Bright flowers from KP. A dozen eggs (thank you magnificent seven!) Presents and cards and several evenings out this week with friends and loved ones. And the Italian Baker, by Melissa Forti. Literally the most beautiful baking book I’ve yet seen. Full of mouth-watering photography featuring […]

Mocha Bundt Cake

Glorious Springtime Weekend. Planting seeds by day, House of Cards by night. There is a new chicken at the Hammer ranch, Juicy. She’s a beauty. And a new flower post fashioned from a PVC pipe, hole punched and spray-painted and stacked with petunias and other bloomers. Pretty sure this is un-waterable…. didn’t think about that […]

Juicy Wine Cakes for my Favorite Dunce

“When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” -Jonathan Swift, from “Thoughts on Various Subjects, Moral and Diverting” Happy 7th Birthday, Izzy, bulldog of mine. You and Ignatius Jacques Reilly, the fat buffoon protagonist of Jonathan Kennedy Toole’s Confederacy […]

Buckwheat Chocolate Torte

It’s my birthday week! Among my favorite gifts rolling in was this generous box of bittersweet chocolate baking bars from Sarris Chocolates, to whom I dedicate this post. I decided to use the bars to bake a healthy chocolate torte with buckwheat. Gluten-free dessert that tastes amazing! Such a success. Last time I tried to […]