Indian summer continues on in full swelter here in the bay area. It's honestly the hottest it's been here for the last six months: the mornings start out promisingly grey and overcast, and then by mid-morning it's just cloudless sky and shimmering heat. Not-so-little-Isabelle is growing out of her summer t-shirts and shorts, clothes I thought I could safely pack away by now but instead I'm desperately hoping will still fit until cooler weather finally arrives.(more…)
October 14th, 2014 · 53 Comments · Cakes, Recipes
November 15th, 2013 · 13 Comments · Personal, Recipes, Tarts
I've been busy for weeks with pre-trip madness, but on Tuesday I got a sudden, sad reminder of how fragile and precious life is. Lisa, the blogger behind La Mia Cucina and one of the founders of the Daring Bakers, unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a community of baking bloggers that she helped create.(more…)
I’m not really a pumpkin spice latte fan. But I do like big mugs of hot, comforting drinks to sip slowly while watching autumnlight dwindle. And a long-handled stirrer to twirl pensively (I’m an inveterate fiddler). So it suddenly dawned on me last week: why not make an edible stirrer? One that might produce a pumpkin-pie-spiced coffee to my liking?
Autumn is for caramel: that cozy golden hue fits the season perfectly. I’ve been cooking a lot of sugar lately, so I’m surprised I didn’t think of spiced, Halloween-appropriate candy sooner.
February 27th, 2012 · 20 Comments · Cakes, Chocolate, Recipes
So I was leafing through the latest issue of Donna Hay and came across this nigh-irresistibly named-and-photographed Caramel Crunch Brownie. A brownie covered with a crunch-filled caramel and a layer of chocolate ganache sounded like something that needed to be coming out of my kitchen posthaste.
November 21st, 2011 · 31 Comments · Books, Cakes, Chocolate, Recipes
I rarely mention my non-food-related reading here (and judging from the pile of new cookbooks on my kitchen table, leisure reading time is at a premium these days), but I thought I’d have to mention The Night Circus as I haven’t made any literature-inspired recipes recently . (By the way, for all you Song of Ice and Fire fans, this is the most amazing fansite out there.)
The Night Circus is a novel about magic, but a kind of magic far removed from the carefully delineated, all-encompassing sorcery of the Harry Potter world. Magic in this world is a mysterious, shadowy phenomenon practiced by a rare few. Although at least one character has certain “systems” for wielding magic, no elaboration follows. I found this nebulousness frustrating, but in the end I realized that the author wasn’t really interested in exploring the hows and whys of the feats of fancy in her book. Magic is a conduit to create some fantastical and evocative imagery, and lead the reader into a world where everything is deliberately, delightfully, extraordinary.