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.
Hi everyone! The launch date for Real Sweet is just around the corner on this Tuesday, March 17th. What-whaaaat…?! So great. And kind of insane. So as the date approaches, I wanted to let you know about some upcoming book events and a big, exciting book launch giveaway, all coming your way in just a couple of days.
Excuse me, but where on earth did the first half of March go? Did it even happen? How are we almost one-quarter of the way through 2015 already? How did my baby boy actually turn TWO last week?! Hold me.
Don’t get me wrong–I’ve basically been waiting for March 17th since August 2013, which is when I officially started writing Real Sweet. And now March 17th is almost here, and my third (!!) cookbook is about to be born into the world. Unreal. I really hope you’ve pre-ordered, because all signs are pointing to you getting a copy delivered to you on the release date, as opposed to having to actually drive to a store and buy it like in the olden days. Hooray! But I guess now would be as good a time as any to admit that I will likely be stalking bookstores during the entire first week, gently sliding the book into a highly visible spot on the its shelf. (Any author who tells you they don’t do that is straight-up lying, by the way.)
Next Tuesday, March 17th will also be an awesome day to come back to this very site, because I have a huge, pretty freaking phenomenal giveaway planned for you for the launch of Real Sweet! Yesssssss.
In a move that sounds very jet-sett-y and interesting, I am reporting to you from a flight home from New York. Five minutes ago I realized that superstar pastry chef Sherry Yard is seated two rows behind me and I’m trying not to freak out about it. It’s probably a good thing that I’ve lost my voice and sound like a raptor when I try to speak, because it’s the only thing that’s keeping me from flapping back to 7D and stuttering my undying love for her like a crazy person.
So I hear there’s a football game happening around here this weekend? Terrific. Can someone come get me when all the sports-ing stops interrupting the Katy Perry Show? Thanks.
I realize it makes me totally un-American and very unpopular, but I really don’t understand the excitement of the Super Bowl, no matter how hard I try. But I can get behind the thrill of Big Game Day snacks. Particularly snacks that involve cheese, are terrific with booze, and offer something beyond a bag of chips.
In my childhood, my mom was The Queen of Garage Sales. For a certain number of years, I spent many a summer afternoon “going sale-ing” (get it?), treasure hunting in the more affluent Chicago suburbs. Sometimes we’d go with friends, making a day of it, a bunch of kids crammed into a van, driving to the North Shore, as our mothers drank Tab and gossiped and squealed and high fived over their finds. Other times it was just my mom and sister and I, and I’d bring a handful of small change and singles hoarded from found stray money around the house and playing mother’s helper for the family across the street for three dollars an hour–just in case I found something that I thought was interesting, then I wouldn’t have to beg for it.
In case you’re wondering how weird of a little kid I was, one of my favorite finds was an old Heloise Hints paperback, thin and worn with a yellowed, curled cover, for a mere ten cents. But I found the contents absolutely fascinating–basically a MacGyvering guide for the modern housewife (or enterprising 10-year-old girl, as the case was). I skimmed the bullet points daily, and spent the rest of the summer dropping knowledge wherever I could, telling my Gramma to boil a cup of vinegar on the stove after she stunk up the place making corned beef and cabbage, and advising mothers of friends to light a birthday cake’s candles with a long piece of dried spaghetti at parties. I’m sure this wasn’t annoying at all.
My love of “why didn’t I think of that?” tips continues to this day. Anything that makes life in the kitchen a little snappier and re-purposes what’s already around gets bonus points, in my book. In fact, I’ve bookmarked some for years. And then I thought, why am I not spreading this goodness? So now I’ll be doing just that occasionally from here on out. Here’s a round-up of some of my favorite culinary tricks.
Happy New Year, darling readers! I hope your holiday season wrapped up with a bang, whatever that means to you. Over the years, ringing in the New Year right has meant a variety of scenarios around here, everything from couching it with yoga pants, cookies, and Champers, to the sort of crazy, whoop-filled party that requires a sequined somesuch and trying in vain to hail taxis (admittedly, it’s been a while since I’ve experienced the latter). This time around, though, we struck a nice balance with a lively nearby party thrown by new friends, and as every person there had wacky little kids, the festivities were designed to ring in 2015 on east coast time. Which, in a glorious turn of events, meant I was back at home, full of good cheer, in my pajamas and both kids in bed by 9:30 p.m. PST. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. How has this not always been our thing? I think I’ll be celebrating on New Year’s Eve like this for the rest of my days. So great.
Now that we’re solidly settling into 2015, anyone with an internet connection and half an ear tuned into the rest of the universe can’t escape all the talk of turning over a new leaf. Is it just me, or does it seem like all the chatter about resolutions is particularly intense this year? Hmmm. I wonder what that’s all about. Anyway, although I am all for using a brand new year as an excellent excuse to attack life goals and start fresh, I’m also excited to bring some bits and pieces of 2014 with me for inspiration.
So many websites love to do a year-end round-up of the best fall cookbooks sometime in December, and while that makes perfect (possibly better) sense, I often find that it’s not until January that I can actually take a breath and page through all the beauties that collected on my desk throughout the previous season. Since we’ll be in a bit of a cookbook releasing lull for the time being (which picks back up right about the time my third cookbook Real Sweet hits shelves, what whaaaatttt #shameless), these are the still-new-to-me books that I’ll be hitting up for fresh ideas throughout 2015.
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