Espresso-Cinnamon Swirl Crème Fraîche Bundt Cake & My Mother

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We always need people in our lives whom we can turn to for advice and inspiration — someone to keep us honest and to push us to be the best versions of ourselves. And I count myself lucky to have a role model like that in my momma.

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She has always shown me that one of the best things you can do for any relationship is to spend uninterrupted time with that person. When I was five, we planted a garden of tall, fairy-like foxglove and radishes in the shape of a “K.” She made me countless steaming bowls of buttery quick grits and fried salami sandwiches in all their thin, crunchy, salty glory. We watched numerous cooking shows when I was in high school and then took those recipes and crafted them into something entirely our own as she taught me how to substitute, swap, season and taste, season and taste.

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My mother is a woman to admire. She’s someone who is so gracefully giving of her time to everyone in her life …keep reading

Lemon Rosemary Pound Cake

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Looking for baking inspiration on a rainy day, I was thumbing through some of my favorite cookbooks when I remembered that I just recently unpacked my grandmother’s recipe file. It’s truly a thing of beauty.

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The pages are lightly browned with age and falling out, the torn tabs range from “_heese and Egg Di__es” to “Pies and Pastri__,” and all the while my grandmother’s perfect script rolls across the pages. Magazine and newspaper clippings are tattered and falling out from behind their dividers. The advertisements from her magazine recipes make me smile — with a grinning 50’s housewife and lines like, “Everyone loves you when you bake cookies,” and “Sweet treats with marshmallows please everyone.” And of course, there’s a …keep reading…

Browned Butter Coffee Cake

It’s been a wonderful start to fall! I hope yours has been equally magical.

I’m finally settled into my new place in Nor Cal. Hooray! I’ve started an amazing job working crazy hours in a bakery. I’ve been exploring my new city, and I’m LOVING being back in California.

…I can’t stress that enough. I’ve lived all over the world, and nowhere makes me feel more at home than this state and the wonderful people here.

Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Also, I’ve made fast friends with my roommate’s cat, Cliff…he’s pretty adorable and very snugly, so he’ll be making the occasional appearance on here. I hope you’re cool with cats. Either way, you’d be cool with Cliff, promise.

In addition to cat, fall has been filled with late night croissants, the glorious return of my yellow bouillabaisse pot out of the depths of packed boxes, a beautiful new kitchen, and browned butter. Butter. Browned. Until it’s nutty and turns into dreams.

Best Coffee Cake recipe

I had a craving for butter coffee cake recently, and decided it would be silly to

Keep reading…

Brown Butter Cake

Today I have a guest post from my friend, Takiya! She made a bomb.com Brown Butter Cake, (and you know how I feel about browned butter…spolier: it’s heaven) and she wrote these lovely words on the Beauty of Where You are NOW!

I hope you enjoy it…I know I did! :)


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While you eat your brown butter cake, ponder this – the beauty of where you are now! There’s nothing wrong with venturing out into the world and experiencing new places, but there is something to be said about contentment, appreciation, and mindfulness.

I was born and raised in the DMV (that’s DC/Maryland/Virginia…not the dreaded place where you wait in line for hours), and I love it! My friends, however, often express their discontentment with living here. Perhaps you’ve always lived in the same place and feel the same way. I encourage you to appreciate where you are. Keep reading…

Pancakes, Chocolate Cake, and Biscuits, oh my!

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Coming to you live from a humid back porch in Florida, I have a few of my favorite old blog recipes for you! Since I’m always making one new recipe a week, I rarely remake recipes, so this week provided the perfect opportunity for me to revisit some for my family’s sake….They always look at my blog from afar, so it’s not often that they get to sample my cooking these days. Like these guys – Gpa and mi hermano :)
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I did manage to make two new recipes this week: Butter Pecan Cookies and Joy the Baker’s Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies. They were a welcome addition to my Christmas cookie line-up for both my family and for Santa – particularly because they come with an ice-cold glass of homemade eggnog (made with four different liquors ;)
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I made my famous Buttermilk Pancakes for our annual Christmas Eve pancake decorating contest. We used to use a boxed mix for the pancakes and we also used to go with basic designs that took maybe ten minutes to put together, tops. Needless to say, we’ve upped our game significantly…
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I also revisited the divine Double Coffee Chocolate Cake recipe for a Christmas dessert show-stopper! This cake is incredibly, seriously, insanely moist and the frosting makes it extra decadent. Hey, why not? It’s Christmas.
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And last, but certainly not least, I whipped up these wonderfully flakey and delicate biscuits for a big family breakfast this mornin! Because guess what!…I got biscuit cutters for Christmas. Woohoo! :D
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Enjoy these quality blog throw-backs! We sure did.

French phrase for fun:
J’ai fait du kayak avec les lamantins cette semaine!
I went kayaking with manatees this week!

P.S.- this is a real Christmas decoration in Florida. ‘Merica!

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Double Coffee Chocolate Cake

Double coffee chocolate cake

Everyone deserves a celebration on his or her life anniversary – preferably one that involves birthday cake (or birthday pie if that’s your thing). Last week, we celebrated one of my oldest and best friend’s start of another year. She’s beautiful and funny, smart and reliable; I’m always in good hands with her :) And possibly most importantly, she really appreciates a good dessert – which happens to make my home one of the best test kitchens around.

Birthday candles

This year, I think I may have achieved one of the best cakes I’ve ever made (currently in competition with this one) but definitely the best I’ve ever decorated. I don’t want to brag, but I’m gonna: I may have had a few people ask where I bought the cake :D (…one of the ways to my heart – right up there with a native French speaker asking where in France I’m from. Yesssss.)

This all comes back to my deep love for Don’t stop! Keep reading…

Gateau au Vin Blanc: White Wine Cake

White wine cake

Once upon a time I decided to start learning French just because that’s what my brother, Will, was learning. I figured we could have a secret language that our parents wouldn’t understand, or honestly, it was simply because I look up to him and wanted to be just like him. Well, thanks hermano, because that one decision has given me so much France/ French/ Frenchies in my life that I now couldn’t imagine it without.

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And here we are; I’ve just spent over an hour walking down memory lane looking at hundreds of photos from my French encounters, and you’re gonna get a lot of that today. I suppose it began at a very young age: a bite-sized version of me living in Brussels, learning Flemish and jetting off to Paris on the weekends like the chic bébé I was. Don’t stop! Keep reading…