May 2012

Every once in awhile I get a hankering for some kind of dense, rich, buttery cake. The kind you cut into really thick slices. And even eat for breakfast. They are usually quite high in fat, these cakes, especially since their main lineup of ingredients reads like a list of high-fat dairy products. But life is meant for living and a slice or two of bundt cake or pound cake is not going to end your life. Or diet. It will enhance it. Trust me on this. Cakes like this can be tricky at altitude because they contain lots of sugar and are dense to begin with. It’s not uncommon for them to collapse or come out ‘gummy’. This adaptation seems to be a good formula for the altitude in [...]

Upon my return back to the mountains, I was shocked by a strong desire to be back in the kitchen. I did a lot of cooking and baking while I was visiting my family in the Midwest. But I think part of it was just the whole ‘settling in again’ process. Flipping through cookbooks awhile back, this recipe caught my eye. It’s from Rebecca Rather’s Pastry Queen Parties cookbook and I love her recipes. They are always delicious and worth the effort. The cake is studded with peanut chocolate chips and topped with a thick peanut butter frosting that is almost like that nougat layer you find in the middle of candy bars. It’s quick to put together and totally addictive. There’s also something comforting and perhaps nostalgic about eating [...]

The past several weeks I have been doing a lot of traveling. Most recently, I was in the Midwest visiting my family, which was wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Sometimes I don’t understand why I live so far away. But that kind of distance certainly brings clarity- when I am given the time to be with them, I don’t take it for granted anymore. I spent many breezy afternoons and evenings cooking in the kitchen with my mom. I spent many hours discussing future business dreams with my dad. Laughing with my brothers. Sitting outside on the deck. And going for walks around the lake in the late evenings. It was lovely. I visited with both of my grandmas, one who I hadn’t seen in three years. I also met up with [...]

Oh my. I am so excited for this weekend. I will be returning to the place where it all began for me, Chicago. My first big taste of professional kitchens. A food scene. The who’s who in the industry. Long hours doing stages and learning the livelihood of being on your feet. All. The. Time. It was in that very city that I first started seriously food blogging. Every day after class I’d bring home my ‘lessons’ and the natural light of my apartment made for some spectacular food photography sessions. In the very beginning of 2009, I was enrolled as a student at The French Pastry School. I learned how to make the most tender, flaky, buttery croissants. And whimsical pretty things. My first wedding cake. European-style entremets and [...]

This is my go-to bread recipe when I want something that is tasty, soft, and can be sliced like regular sandwich bread. I baked it for my trip to Moab, Utah, recently. I also had a loaf in the car while I drove across the country back to my home state, Indiana, to visit my family. At one point I was driving through Iowa and using one hand to reach into the bag and grab slices to scarf down for lunch. But hey, it makes my body feel better than eating fast food. I also like knowing what is in the food I put into my body. And a bonus for us mountain/foothills people: bread rises much faster at altitude so we get to enjoy it sooner. Sometimes you would [...]

What’s a great ‘getaway’ trip for mountain folk? Somewhere hot and sandy! I recently took a little trip to Moab, Utah with one of my best friends, Mere. It was the perfect escape. We left after work in the late afternoon and drove with the sunset. The terrain changes quite remarkably from Vail to Moab; Vail is filled with dramatic mountain peaks coated in pine trees, while Moab is red and rocky. The drive was easy and so was the view. I made a bunch of food for us to have on hand. We wanted to spend a lot of time in the national parks, and we were unsure as to how the food scene was in Moab. We also didn’t want to spend tons of money on marked-up meals. [...]

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