Jun 11, 2015

Honeyed Yogurt Cheesecake

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The Kitchen

Photo credit: David M. Russell

Quick note: Hi! If you’re visiting my site after having watched The Kitchen, thank you and welcome! How awesome to have you here. I’m thrilled and crazed to discover that Amazon is actually out of stock for Real Sweet! We are on the case and more copies will be available through Amazon within days–they are gloriously quick about resolving stock issues. You can still place an order now and it will go out to you within the week. You can also check these other lovely online book sellers, or support your local brick-and-mortar bookstore and get a copy of the book in your hot little hands immediately. Thank you again for stopping by! And now back to our regularly scheduled blog post….

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Oh, helllooo. I’m just sitting here, still basking in the glow of last week, which was decidedly more exciting and glamorous than my regular life. By that I mean I kissed my babies goodbye, and got on a plane to New York for a series of media hits for the new book with nothing but a bunch of carefully curated outfits and a book I’d been trying to read for months. Not a packet of Goldfish or juice box in sight. It was an event, I’m telling you. However, any time I embark on a trip out of town without my kids, I figure that it takes a solid 18 hours to wind down from the grind of motherhood and realize that I am actually, truly on my own. For example:

• On the plane ride there, I nearly offered the guy next to me a snack, tissue, hand wipe, etc. at least half a dozen times.

• Upon landing, I got into a taxi, fully expecting to have to sweatily install a carseat, then suddenly realized I didn’t have to. Gave myself a mental high five.

• After settling into my hotel room and taking a shower without someone else in the bathroom with me for THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE SHOWER, I ordered room service and took to a cushy, clean bed to horf a hamburger and two chilled glasses of Sauv Blanc while watching non-animated television, and I’m pretty sure my guttural sighing became a little much for whoever was on the other side of the wall.

• I had been anticipating a delicious solo night’s sleep for weeks, which, sadly, never came–between the time change from west coast to east, and the constant startling to ghost toddler wailing, my wake-up call came cruelly early. Upside: multiple cups of coffee the next morning, sipped leisurely with no spillage, due to lack of small people unexpectedly pulling on various parts of my body. Good enough for me.

Once I got into the groove, though, it was a terrific trip. Busy, but super productive. I had a few great Business Lady Meetings, and hit up Wake Up with Al before sunrise to make some Homemade Fruit Leather. Professional hair and makeup before 6:00 a.m.–now that’s living.

And then! There was one of the more fantastical moments in my book tour history. This weekend, on June 13th and 14th, you can catch me making a cheesecake and sharing embarrassing college photos on Food Network’s awesomely fun show The KitchenIt was Oprah-level greatness, guys.

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May 26, 2015

World’s Best Cake

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World's Best Cake

First things first: for once, I’m not just spazzily doling out superlatives: the name of this cake is not of my doing. Also called Kvæfjordkake, this cake was popularized in the 1930s in Kvæfjord, a tiny town in northern Norway. It has been a national sensation ever since, and several years ago, this heavenly specimen was given the title of “verdens best” (world’s best) by the country itself.

My friend Luisa informed me that this style of meringue-topped cake has German roots as well, baked in round pans with the name Himmelstorte, but I’m not here to start a war or anything. As far as Norway is concerned, however, it’s a cake that comes with literal accolades, people. It’s enough to make me want to move to Norway right now. Who can resist a magical land where people so highly regard cake? And birth so many supermodels? LET’S ALL GO.

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May 17, 2015

New York Event at Baked!

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Real Sweet NYC event

I’m gearing up for an exciting trip to New York in just a couple of weeks, and I just can’t wait. In addition to eating all the pastries on the island of Manhattan, I’m looking forward to a couple of TV appearances, some meetings, uninterrupted sleep, and the most thrilling bit of all: a chance to party with some of you!

I’m sure you all know about the genius that is Baked bakery–first the location in Brooklyn, then numerous awesome cookbooks, insane merchandising, and now a second, gorgeous location in Tribeca. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to go from Baked fangirl to actual friends of Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito (though I’m still an ardent fangirl). I might have teared up when Matt offered their Tribeca space for an event for Real Sweet. I mean, it’s not everyday you get to celebrate a book you wrote in the bakery owned by people who endlessly inspire you to do things like write cookbooks in the first place. Good grief.

So all gushing aside, if you’ll be in New York the first week of June, I’d absolutely LOVE for you to use my book event as an excuse to hang out at Baked bakery, sample treats from the book and ones from the Baked pastry case, enjoy a glass of wine, and say hello!

You can RSVP for the event via Brown Paper Tickets, and even purchase a copy of the book through the link, if you haven’t already. Hope to see you there!

May 8, 2015

Sugar and Spice Popovers

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Fellow moms out there–holla if y’all hear me?–this is our weekend. Our legit ticket to be pampered and flowered and gifted upon and generally do whatever the heck we want without apology or guilt. I encourage you to embrace it, whatever that means to you at your given stage of motherhood. It could be as extravagant as a spa day, or just some extra sleep and plenty of wine, or for some of you with toddlers and younger, this simply might mean peeing alone. For me, it will mean a little family getaway, and maybe, if I’m lucky, this necklace, a lemon meringue cake from Tartine, and a t-shirt that says I SHAMELESSLY ASK MY HUSBAND FOR GIFTS BY BROADCASTING MY WISHES ON THE INTERNET. A girl can dream.

The point is this–you do you, ladies. Whatever it takes to remember that we all deserve a little breather and a major high five for keeping our offspring alive and cracking open our souls for them every single day, and living with the sort of constant, low-lying anxiety (what do they need/where are they/how are they/who will they become) that buzzes deep within us at all times because we are mothers. We should treat ourselves with a little something homemade and sweet and simple, or at least give our partners and kids a simple, awesome recipe that they can make for us (and for crying out loud, clean up afterwards). And if you’re not a mother yourself, consider this recipe the perfect way to treat the mothers in your life in a breakfast-y way.

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Apr 21, 2015

My Week in Sweets and Greens

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Now that the new book has been out in the world for a solid month, I’ve found myself with a few more pockets of time here and there to do some really fun things that have absolutely nothing to do with the book. For example, going to a lovely event to celebrate someone else’s book, doing an entire load of laundry from start to finish (and even putting it away!), and baking with absolutely no intention of extensively photographing it or writing about it (although I will still occasionally Instagram it, because if I don’t do that, did it ever really happen?). As we usher in a new week, I thought I’d share a couple particularly delicious bites from the last one. Oof. It was carnival of go-big-or-go-home greatness.

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Apr 8, 2015

Cinnamon Shortbread with Dark Chocolate Ganache

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Although I realize I may still be “young” in the grand scheme of things (I am, right? RIGHT?!), lately I’ve become increasingly more satisfied with my Old Lady Tendencies. Soup for dinner? Love it. A cup of tea and an 8:30 bedtime? The stuff of dreams. I’ve even invested in a brand-new pair of glasses that are decidedly more statement-making than any pair I’ve ever owned, and have made good on my commitment to better my ocular health by getting my contacts out as close to sunset as possible. I also think more about things like “ocular health”, and am now somehow old enough to be the parent of a very clever first-grader, who upon being asked for her opinion about my new glasses immediately responded with, Excuse me, can you tell me where I can find the non-fiction section? Kids these days, I tell ya.

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Apr 1, 2015

Sweetapolita’s Jumbo Frosted Animal Cookies

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Spring is in the air! Sunshine, warm (-er) breezes, new produce, longer days (sort of great because of that aforementioned sunshine and warmth, sort of not because I have a two-year-old who wakes up when it’s still dark and sprints like Usian Bolt all day, so come 3:30 p.m., I’m seeing Care Bears). It’s also a season that brings with it lots of new inspiration in the kitchen, and a chance to start baking with fun new ingredients and sweet splashes of color, a welcome change after a long season of golden brown comfort baking (not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course).

That color could be fresh seasonal fruits, but it could also be the kind of color that makes you feel like a real artist while baking, using all kinds of edible paints and adorable decors, something I don’t get to do nearly enough of these days. When a book lands on your doorstep that makes you want to sprinkle-toss and bust out the gel food colorings and more or less become a much more Pinteresting version of yourself, you know you’ve struck cookbook gold.

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