Violet Jelly

Violet JellyAlong with the lovely tradition of making dandelion jelly in the spring, I also grew up with violet jelly. As a girl it took a lot of time to gather the hundreds of flowers needed to fill my mom’s pint jar. It often involved walking with my sister to parks and lawns that were further from the house than we were used to roaming. It was an adventure. Continue reading “Violet Jelly”

Pussy Willow and Speckled Eggs Cookies

Pussy Willow Speckled Egg CookiesMan do I hate making royal icing.  I hardly ever do.  Most of the cookies I make, I just work the designs around what colors are available in Betty Crocker cookie icing.  But a friend of mine whose family ran a bakery posted some pics of cookies she had dipped in icing and they looked so lovely I thought I’d give it another try.  Royal icing is a simple mix of egg whites, powdered sugar and extract or lemon juice.  No big deal, right?  Am I not the Master Of All Baked Goods?  Do I not bleed icing?

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Blackberry Bramble Bars

Blackberry Bramble BarsDespite my own personal views, apparently cupcakes are not the solution to every problem.  Sometimes you need to bake something for a brunch, for a potluck, or for a weekend treat and for some reason cupcakes just won’t work.  Sigh.  You don’t have to like it, but you do have to have a go-to, delicious, and simple recipe that will still get rave reviews.  This is it.  Plus, they have fruit in their name, so I’m thinking they’re probably very healthy. Continue reading “Blackberry Bramble Bars”

Spring Woodland Cake

Edible Coconut Moss Woodland Cake Meringue Mushrooms Faux Bois ChocolateMost years my birthday is well after Easter.  So usually by the time I’m thinking birthday cake, I’m so over bunnies and eggs and pastels and spring.  But not this year!  So I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone and make a birthday cake that was also Easter-y!  I had dozens of my favorite bunny cookies and thought I’d make a pastel cake adorned with pink and white bunny cookies, pastel watercolor buttercream and a white chocolate sail.  And then I accidentally made this.  My creative process is what some might call chaotic, but I prefer the term “experimentally unhinged”. Continue reading “Spring Woodland Cake”

Interstellar Cake

Earl grey german buttercream gold leaf lemon curdThere’s nothing I like better than inserting myself into someone else’s special event.  But I have a pretty good excuse.  As an extrovert who is also unfortunately awkward socially, I love going to parties but struggle to enjoy myself because half the time I can’t hear the other person over the voice in my head going, “You’re talking about yourself again.  Is her name Heather or Michelle?  You should have worn the other earrings.”  I just recently figured out that I do much better at social events if I have a job, task or role.  Then as long as I’m taking the coats or washing the dishes or whatever, I can make conversation without feeling like a total dummy. Continue reading “Interstellar Cake”

Simple Iced Bunny Cookies

Simple Bunny CookiesI’m a sucker for family traditions.  Somewhere along the way I picked up the belief that if you faithfully repeat the same holiday events, music and recipes year after year your kids will grow up with happy memories of childhood.  I think in my kids’ case, the best I can hope for is Stockholm Syndrome but at least I’m trying.  Bunny cookies are my Easter tradition, no exceptions.  Now that the kids are a bit older I’ve given up on elaborately planned Easter baskets and sugar-sweet Easter egg hunts in matching outfits.  But you’re going to have pry the bunny cookies out of my cold, dead, lightly floured hands. Continue reading “Simple Iced Bunny Cookies”

Banana Nut Bread Caramels

banana nut bread caramels

One of the best things about my new BFF caramel is that the flavor possibilities are so wide open.  Think of any dessert, candy or drink you like and then google that with the word “caramel” and you’ll see what I mean. Continue reading “Banana Nut Bread Caramels”

Swedish Coffee Cake Caramels

Swedish Coffee Cake Caramels

I have known how to make caramels for three days and still feel like I just invented fire.  The Salted Mezcal Caramels were a hit with the adults, but the kids didn’t really like them so I told Weezy I’d make some for her friends that were plain vanilla and she could decorate them.  They ended up with so many sprinkles on them that I had to vacuum my kitchen counter when I cleaned up. Continue reading “Swedish Coffee Cake Caramels”

Salted Mezcal Caramels

Salted Mezcal Caramels
Does your mixologist have a waxed mustache?  Suspenders?  Do they make their own artisan bitters?  Then there’s a pretty good chance you have had mezcal.   Mezcal is a smoked tequila that all the cool kids are drinking.  After a particularly tough day a few weeks ago I was having a pity-party and texted a friend #sendmezcal.  A few days later the FedEx guy rings my doorbell and hands me a box.  Inside was a bottle of Sombra mezcal!  I have the best and most literal friends. Continue reading “Salted Mezcal Caramels”