Recently in Quickbreads and Everyday Cakes
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

carrot almond cake with ricotta cream

carrot almond cake with ricotta cream

Last week, I made this cake, and I think you should make it this week. Trust me, I think you’ll be glad you did. I bet there are a few carrots that are lounging around in your crisper – everyone does. I wanted to tell you more about it a few days ago, but things, here, have been a little busy. For one, we’re going on our honeymoon in a few days, and as all weeks leading up to a vacation go, this one is frenetic and busy.

Since we got back from Florida, you could find me doing either of the following two things: learning the ropes for this new part-time position I’ve accepted (it’s not food related, but I’m loving it and learning a ton), or reading Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy. The latter has also been quite a thrill; I’ve been reading it the way one reads a novel, page by page, recipe by recipe. It’s part cookbook, part botany lesson, part gardening companion. For the record, and sadly, I do not garden since we live in a 650-square-foot apartment, unless you count watering my five-year-old jade plant, Harold (named for a children’s book character) once every four days gardening, in which case, yes, I certainly do dabble in the practice. Harold is a succulent and as far as plants go, you can have a black thumb and not kill it. And given how hot our current apartment gets, not even a sun-loving basil can make it through the scorching summer.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

jamaican banana bread

jamaican banana bread

Does the world need another recipe for banana bread? I highly doubt it, and yet here I am today, writing about it, right after talking about not wanting to throw the same thing (in slightly different giftwrap) your way. And yet, mere days later, I went ahead and did just the opposite – and I blame Jamaica, where my head is these days, for all this.

Why Jamaica of all places? Because that’s where we’re (finally) going on our honeymoon in about two weeks. Ten months into being married, we’re sneaking it in before our one-year anniversary. I am told that, technically, it’s no longer a honeymoon, but we’re calling it that, and go ahead to try and argue with us.

Wait a second, you’re probably thinking, “Didn’t you just get back from Florida? And now you’re going away, again??”

I know how this looks on paper: that all we do is fly to Florida and the Carribean, but normally, we’re so not the jet-setting type. But the way travel schedule worked out this year (especially when it came to visiting Andrew’s grandmother in Florida), it does seem like all we do is vacation in warm, sunny places replete with palm trees and swim-suit appropriate venues. I promise you this: we don’t.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

almond cake

almond cake

A couple of weeks ago, while picking up a coffee at an East Village cafe, the Bluebird Coffee Shop, I ate the best almond cake of my life. The experience was so monumental, that I couldn’t stop talking about this amazing cake. I talked about it to anyone who’d listen, I’d use superlative adjectives, I’d gesticulate wildly. You’d be surprised by just how few people want to hear about the “best almond cake” they’ll ever have. Kind of blew my mind.

I became besotted with this almond cake so much, that I did something I’ve never before in my food blogging and writing career have done—I gathered enough courage to ask the café, outright, for the recipe. And lo!—they gave it to me!

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Friday, October 19, 2012

cranberry snacking cake

i stole a piece already

This just might be the easiest cake to make period. Something to have on hand that you can whip up when company unexpectedly shows up as a fail-safe quick dessert. I wouldn’t be even the tiniest bit surprised if that, besides apple pie, of course, becomes your other favorite Thanksgiving dessert, (because no one grows weary of pie). Or perhaps, this snacking cake can become your morning-after-Thanksgiving coffee cake; you know, while you wait for the pancakes. It could also become your there-is-nothing-exemplary-about-today-so-I’m-going-to-make-cake cake, or your it’s-gray-depressing-and-cold-out-and-I want-my-house-to-smell-nice cake. Any of those descriptors can apply. But honestly, do you really need a reason to bake in this weather? I didn’t think so.

Also, something of an important thing to note: In the time that it took me to write out the above paragraph, you might have made your first cranberry snacking cake and I’m not even slightly exaggerating.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

pflaumenkuchen – yeasted plum cake

Plaufmenkuchen – Yeasted Plum Cake

Dispatch from a photoshoot: I’m sitting at the Marc Forgione Restaurant right now, while the book photo shoot is under way. It’s kind of an amazing feeling to see something you’ve worked on for over eight months to be coming together so clearly, so resolutely. The cooks are in the kitchen cooking and plating; the restaurant is buzzing with activity; there’s a photographer, an assistant, a stylist, an editor, just to name a few. And all I think to myself – wow, we’re making a book! We’re making a book! It’s been the hardest and best nine months – like having a baby, it feels, but without any breaks whatsoever.

I’m supposed to be editing, but I’m sneaking in a writing break. In my bag, along with my laptop, book materials and notebook, is Luisa’s wonderful book, My Berlin Kitchen* and a slice of her yeasted plum cake, pflaumenkuchen. I read her book in two days (read: you want this book!) while out on the Cape in Wellfleet a few weeks ago. I look back to that week as a singular bright spot after the wedding. My first vacation since January when the book got its start, and I lifted nary a finger. My computer, usually a workhorse and a mainstay on every single trip we’ve taken, got no use; and instead I read, slept, cooked, and ate. The moment I hit “send” on the computer and sent the manuscript onto the editor, my brain shut down. It was time for some Wellfleets and some beer.

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Grapefruit Pound Cake

ready to eat

I am in the final stretches of the manuscript before I hand it off to my co-author and she puts her finishing touches on it and then off it goes to the editor – wheee!

So my narrative is pretty boring these days. It goes a little like this.

Continue reading Grapefruit Pound Cake.