I’ve been an admirer of The Vanilla Bean Blog by Sarah Kieffer for years. I was anxiously awaiting the release of her cookbook (The Vanilla Bean Baking Book) ever since she announced it, and I followed along diligently through her Instagram account, which documented her obsessive recipe testing and hard work while creating it. When I went to Minneapolis last April I was thrilled to meet her. I may have talked her ear off a bit about the making of her book. (Sorry about that, Sarah – I was a bit tipsy and I talk a lot when I’m drunk, and my nervousness just added to the chaos.) She’s as sweet and humble in person as you would expect her to be. I’ve always felt a kinship with her because of our love of books and baking, but now after reading her book and learning more about her, it turns out we have even more in common than I thought. [Read more…]
Robert and I recently celebrated our two year wedding anniversary, which feels totally bonkers. We honestly still feel like little kids pretending to be adults most of the time. (Does this feeling ever go away?) Our summer was pretty jam-packed with random trips and wedding stuff for friends, so we didn’t do anything too crazy to celebrate. A simple dinner out at our favorite local restaurant was all we needed – we put the phones away, caught up with each other, reminisced, and got a little bit tipsy. We were supposed to hang out with friends afterwards but that didn’t happen, and we were secretly (or not so secretly) excited to just go to bed early on a Friday night (because we’re actually sixty years old). [Read more…]
I did one of these “top posts” roundups last year and it was really fun for me to see what was the most popular with all of you on the interwebs. As 2015 drew to a close, I was highly anticipating this moment so I could see what truly came out on top. I’m a numbers and charts kind of person, so I love looking at stats and data and all that stuff. Some highlights in my mind were the super fun Feast of St. Pizza post (where myself and a bunch of friends visited 10 pizza places in one day in my hometown of Lebanon, PA), talking about my wedding (and sharing my wedding cake recipe), plus my honeymoon (parts one and two, which included a recipe for the amazing kouign amann pastry from France), and let’s not forget about the #virtualpumpkinparty (more on that below). [Read more…]
Okay so … I might have lied to you a little bit. This isn’t officially called a “golden milk cake.” Its true name is “hot milk cake.” However, Robert and a few of our friends thought the name “hot milk cake” was a little … let’s just say: off-putting. We brainstormed a bit (while sitting around a table and eating almost the entire cake – THE SIX OF US), and Robert won with his idea of calling it a “golden milk cake.” So that’s what I have for you today. [Read more…]
Since we’ve already passed our six-month wedding anniversary, it’s about time I talked about that day on here. It only seems like 2 minutes ago Robert was planning his stag do with StagMadness! It’s been a great marriage so far. And oh, what a day it was. Actually, it was an epic weekend that led into an epic honeymoon (and I’ll talk about that eventually, too). There’s so much I could possibly say about that day, but I’m going to start with a little wisdom for you:
Two maids of honor are better than one. Also, it helps to have a constant group text message going between you and your two maids of honor. I don’t really know how people planned weddings before there were emojis. This bride would not have survived without the crying face, head massage and poop emojis. Words just can’t express wedding stress and anxiety like an emoji can. Or several. AND, a wedding should never be planned alone, so surround yourself with special people who can make things easier for you along the way. [Read more…]
As a kid I wanted to be an artist “when I grew up.” (Mission accomplished on that front.) After taking my high school introductory art classes, it became extremely clear that my destiny was to attend an art college, which I did. However it wasn’t until my sophomore year of college, during one of my illustration classes, that it hit me: In my little second-grader brain, when I thought about being an “artist” when I grew up, I was actually picturing myself as a children’s book illustrator. I had known for years that such a job would be a fun profession as an artist, but it didn’t dawn on me until that moment that it was what I had originally imagined for myself. [Read more…]
I’ve mentioned on here before that I’m getting into a whiskey/bourbon craze. I’ve noticed a lot of people around me getting into that scene lately as well, so maybe we’re all just conforming to a bigger trend? I actually heard an interesting story on NPR recently about how women are the future of whiskey. Historically considered a “man’s drink,” whiskey is becoming more and more popular with the female crowd, and whiskey producers are paying attention. Personally, I think I can attribute much of my coming around to whiskey to the artisanal cocktail scene. (I prefer to get used to a new spirit as it mingles with other tasty items in a fancy beverage.) To celebrate my newfound love, I’ve rounded up the whiskey and bourbon-focused recipes I’ve been eyeing on the internet. This wish list of mine is so true to life – I clearly love the sweets and cocktails more than real food. Also, you can totally tell which other bloggers are deep into the bourbon by their repeat appearances on here. (I’m looking at you, Minimalist Baker, Chasing Delicious and How Sweet It Is.) So let’s talk whiskey and bourbon recipes and get all boozed up together: [Read more…]
It’s time for another wish list! It’s been a while since the last one. These days I’m craving s’mores. A lot of people consider s’mores to be a summer thing, but I associate them more with autumn weather. They are perfect for those first cooler evenings, where it’s cold enough to be cozy in a sweatshirt AND next to a campfire. The smell of the toasting marshmallow is so inviting, but you can also smell the fallen leaves in the damp grass and the smoke of the fire. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? While I do love s’mores (and they are one of the only places where I truly enjoy marshmallows, thoroughly toasted of course), I do hate the sticky fingers that are an inevitable result of eating one. That’s why some of these other s’more recipes that can be eaten with a fork intrigue me. Here’s what I’ve been eyeing from around the web: [Read more…]
As of today I am a quarter-century old. Honestly, that freaks me out a little bit. I’m starting to feel the weight of my impending mortality these days. Quarter-life crisis, anyone? Life just seems short. So many places to visit, so many things to eat, so many recipes to try … people to meet, loved ones to spend time with, TV shows to get engrossed in, books to read, magazines piling up on my nightstand, cookbooks not getting enough love on my bookshelf, blog posts to write, jokes to laugh about, runs and bike rides to go on … you get the picture. I will continue to do my best to fill my days with as much as possible, in what will hopefully end up being a life that I am proud of at age 87. [Read more…]
Today I’m talking about something other than food (kinda)! Valerie from Nuance and Bubbles asked me to contribute some wedding planning tips to her lovely blog. I’m over there today talking about two of my favorite parts of the planning process (other than the dress): color palettes and …. you would never guess – cake. Yep. Be sure to check it out! (I also created this illustration for the post of my wedding and engagement rings.)
PS- you can read more about my wedding here.
Prints of my illustrations are available in my Etsy shop.