All posts filed under: Desserts

Upside down rhubarb cake on plate

upside-down rhubarb olive oil cornmeal cake

Two weeks ago, I turned 30. Despite the stigma around aging, especially for women, I feel really, really good about being 30. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we measure time and how a year, in particular, is simultaneously extraordinarily long and yet, somehow, it passes wildly fast. Last year, in particular, was full of transitions and growth and new beginnings. And so, this year, I’m celebrating a lot of firsts/one year “anniversaries.” One year of prioritizing myself, of really, actually getting to know myself & loving myself wholeheartedly. One year of knowing and loving, adventuring, cooking, cuddling, talking (oh my gosh, so much talking), having the most fun I’ve ever had, and laughing, laughing, laughing with the greatest (life) partner (in crime). One year of living alone, and feeling the least lonely of any year before. This new decade, a brand new number to mark my age, seems a fitting metaphor for this new season of my life. You know I like to find metaphor in these moments, the parallels of where I …

Gluten free rhubarb buckle cake cut into slices

gluten-free rhubarb buckle cake with lime & coconut

Sometimes, it’s really hard to write the story of a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write a recipe. Sometimes, it’s really hard to write. A few months ago, when I really dove into returning to this space, I maybe didn’t dive all in. I was shaking off the cobwebs, pulling the dusty white sheets off all the furniture like you see in abandoned haunted houses in old horror movies, & I had writer’s block. For recipes, for stories. So I decided to start over by starting from the beginning of this blog. By revisiting, revamping & re-photographing old recipes. Like this cake. It was, really, a buckle cake — I just didn’t know that at the time. I also didn’t know much about rhubarb, but I was (as always) strong willed & stubborn. I didn’t want to coat it in sugar or dress it up. I just wanted it to be what it was. So, I made a cake that was OK. A cake I ate like a little kid (by picking all of …

Hazelnut crumble topping

gluten-free golden milk banana muffins with hazelnut crumble

When I was a wee writer still in school, I struggled with metaphors. Similes were so easyyy — just look for the “like” or “as” in a comparison. But metaphors felt fleeting, ethereal. Untethered in a sentence, not anchored by or to anything easily spotted by the skimming eye. Metaphors felt infinite: any one thing could be compared to any other thing in just a few words or a sentence, or an entire stanza, paragraph or page. In the nearly two decades (oh, lord) since, however, metaphors have become a constant in my life. I find they work best as an almost parable; I learn about myself and my life through metaphor. A few years ago, I wrote at length about how making pie from scratch was a meditation for me. Baking in any form still is meditative: it requires a calm, steady focus. If you’re not paying attention or you add ingredients out of order, you might miss something or forget to add a key ingredient. For me, oddly enough, I often forget to …

how to use thanksgiving leftovers

how to use your thanksgiving leftovers

Let’s be real. Thanksgiving is all about the leftovers. You see my sister makes these amazing turkey sandwiches. Her secret is, she puts an extra slice of gravy soaked bread in the middle. I call it the Moist Maker. Raise your hand if you really wanted to soak a piece of bread in leftover gravy to put in the middle of your leftover turkey sandwich after hearing about Ross’s sandwich on Friends. It must have been good, because he freaked out when someone else ate it. That sandwich was the only good thing going on in his life. And, as I’m nearing 30 myself, I can kind of understand where he’s coming from. That must have been one helluva sandwich. For the first Thanksgiving I ever hosted, all on my own, I bought my turkey just a few days before Thanksgiving. There wasn’t much of a selection left at the grocery. I ended up with a huge turkey. I think it was at least 20 pounds. (We had 7 people over for dinner.) We had …

baked plum and grape pie

italian plum, concord grape and apple gin pie 

This pie has been many years in the making. Back in 2010, I checked out David Lebovitz’s newest cookbook, Ready for Dessert, from my local library, eager to learn about making pastry and ice cream. It was then, I think, that I really discovered that baking requires a lot of work. (It would be many more years before I figured out that it is very much worth the extra effort.) I’m not sure I made a single recipe from that book; I was intimidated by the names alone. Profiteroles. Crème Brûlée. Gâteau Victoire. Ingredients I hadn’t yet discovered, like black currants and anise. And Concord grapes. There was a recipe for a Concord grape pie in the book, which I dreamed of making for my little brother (who was, and still is, a huge fan of all things grape flavored). This was, however, before I discovered farmers markets, and the extent of my shopping skills involved picking out the most exotic produce from Whole Foods. Concord grapes could not be found. The recipe had so many …

gluten free cake with cherries and rhubarb

gluten-free cherry rhubarb cake with buttery, crunchy pecan crumble

Do you say pee-can or puh-kahn? Growing up in the Midwest, it was always the latter. Then, I moved to Georgia and started working at a few farmers markets. I found myself settling into a subtle Southern drawl (to this day, I still greet most folks with a cheerful “hi, y’all”). With the territory, and probably also thanks to the peach and pecan farmers down the way, I started saying “pee-can”. I still say it this way. It’s a hard habit to shake. The pecans I used in this recipe, like the pronunciation, are all the way from Georgia. I bought a huge bag at the farmers market last year and squirreled them away in my freezer. I couldn’t bear to part with them so, like the squid ink, these nuts made the 2,600-mile trip across the country with us. I have a confession. I had never eaten rhubarb before creating this recipe. Its appearance was always so fleeting, and I never spotted it at farmers markets in Atlanta. Even if I had seen it, …