Mini Lemon Layer Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

Friday, April 27


Dear Friday,

First of all, just let me tell you how beautiful you look in lilac and soft daffodil-yellow. (You should wear them longer, and more often.)

Since we have always been close, I thought I could come to you with a tiny request.

I managed to make a perfectly, symmetrical, layer cake. This is very rare, very rare, and I'm concerned about a hidden price.

Also, aside from the shifty-looking "freckle" on my arm, and a shady "unknown" number that keeps ringing my cell phone at 2am, it's been kind of smooth sailing lately. *knock on wood*

Because I tend to get a bit antsy when I don't have something huge to pick apart anxiously, I'm really hoping that this isn't a "calm before the storm" scenario.(If that were the case, I'd like to believe that we're tight, and you would give me some sort of a heads-up, yes?)

So I'm just going to ask that you please allow today to be amazing. No pre-weekend bombshells, please.

Thanks, Friday. ♥

~Valerie

P.S. If it's not too much to ask, could you please pass this along to your bff, Saturday? xo

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, April 24


Chocolate chip cookies are going through some sort of an identity crisis. I am not complaining.

The classic cookies have an ongoing affair with several different ingredients. They're often caught in the company of various eye candies, ranging from snarky, salty, bacon, to simple sweet butterscotch...or both! (Oh, butterscotch, what's become of you?)

Lucky for us though, it doesn't really matter who the cookies mingle with, as long as we're allowed to indulge in the results of their delicious, free-loving lifestyle.

Alice Medrich's Lemon Bars

Thursday, April 19


Aside from making a killer Key lime pie, speaking with just about any accent, and completing the NY Times crossword puzzles with a pen, I have another random talent; Baaing like a sheep. Not a lazy, childish, meh-baa, I'm talking a spot-on, where-the-heck-did-that-come-from?, Baaaa. Please, try not to be too jealous.

I'm not sure how, (or why,) I ever made my first "baa," but when you're a natural at something, it's only a matter of time before it finds you. (Sadly, my understanding of proper comma usage remains aloof, and out of reach.)

Much to the amusement of friends, and the embarrassment of family members, I can turn heads and procure confused, uncertain glances from complete strangers in grocery stores, malls, and restaurants. Most of the time, they can't quite locate the source of the noise and look around in vain for the elusive, petting zoo escapee. Good times...good times. ;-)

Cosmic Brownies

Sunday, April 15


My ability to write is still meandering around somewhere in an empty, massive void. (When it returns, it had better bring back socks, lots of socks.)

My writing has always had the attention span of a gold fish, and the twitchiness of a cat with scotch tape stuck to it's paws.

Hopefully it'll hop it's way back to me, soon. Until it does, please bear with me, and try not to mind the extra seasoning of chaotic randomness.

Brownies, anyone?

Anna Olson's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, April 10


Sometimes I can write, and write...and write, until I'm completely off topic and adrift in sea of topics ranging from food to the philosophy of love.

Other times, I can't write one. Single. thing. When I hit that wall, it's unbearably frustrating. The food photos and recipes are just sitting on the page, waiting for me to breathe life into them, and all I can think about is how I need to stop brushing my teeth so hard because I seem to destroy a brand new toothbrush in a matter of weeks, or, I'll ponder the reasoning behind half-filled bags of just-opened sea salt and vinegar kettle chips.

Easter Dessert Roundup

Friday, April 6



Wishing Everyone a wonderful Holiday weekend! Here are just a few last-minute dessert ideas that encompass happiness, spring, and excuses needed to postpone that summer diet plan.

In order from left to right and top to bottom:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cinnamon-Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Boy Bait *
Chocolate Macaroon Bars
Chocolate Mocha Cake with Raspberry Cream Filling
Lime Chiffon Cake
Coconut Lime Cupcakes with Blueberry Cream Cheese Frosting *
Apricot-Rosemary Squares
Lemon Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting
Brown Butter Cranberry Shortbread

* You can use frozen berries in both the recipes. Just be sure to thaw out the blueberries before adding them to the rest of the frosting ingredients.

Dark Chocolate Brownies

Thursday, April 5


If humans could purr, we'd surely do so after eating chocolate.

When Niles was a kitten, he used to sleep on my chest at night. (Unlike me, he didn't seem to mind the lack of substantial cushioning.) I always loved the way it felt when he began to purr. The repetitive humming buzz was comforting. Niles is still my aloof shadow when I'm rocking things out in kitchen, but now that he's all grown up, he doesn't sleep in my bed anymore. However, as soon as I pull out The brush, he turns back into a playful, needy, purring kitten. I love that loud, intrusive, purr.
 

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