Baking

a clean slate

I don’t know what to say, really. I pressed the publish button on my last post with much hesitation. I’ve shared some tough moments here, but talking about my perceived faults as a mother was not easy. Regardless of how much I struggle with it, though, being a mom is the single most important thing I will ever do with my life. The Mr. used to often say a test should be required to have children. I knew exactly what he meant. It wasn’t about being perfect all the time, rather the ability to understand the overall responsibility. It’s so much easier to manage this delicate balance when you’re part of a team. You can hand over the baton when patience runs thin. There’s also someone else to remind you that one bad moment doesn’t erase the many good ones. Continue reading »

I lost it

There’s simply no sweet way to sugar coat my behavior a few nights ago. I take my life into my hands every night I tuck my girls in. Maybe my drama is in overdrive, but have you ever stepped on a tiny Lego? If so, then you understand the pain it induces when it burrows itself deeply between your big toe and whatever we call the one next to it.

Almost three years ago my life fell apart. I’ve been struggling to put it together, piece by piece, but the reality is it can never go back to what it was. There are so many hard things about accepting this truth, but one of the most difficult is being thrown into single motherhood. I know women who have gone through extraordinary feats to become mothers. Their need to have a child was something so deep, they couldn’t imagine life without one. Continue reading »

mixed berry muffins

Where to begin? It has indeed been a while since I’ve been here. While the packing felt utterly overwhelming at times, the move was ultimately uneventful, and for that I’m eternally thankful. I’m sitting here with this silly grin, as I write in my backyard. The sun is strong, but the wind is an equal rival, and the trees provide a natural umbrella of shade. The wind chimes are softly dancing behind me. My smile is from the wonder as I pop my head up from the computer to gaze at the woods behind the house. Perhaps the property sounds grander than it is—I only own a 1/4 acre, but it’s my 1/4 acre. The woods behind the house are protected property, providing us with some extra peace and solace. To my right, is another 1/4 acre of field that belongs to my neighbor, and she kindly lets the kids play there. Continue reading »

all-natural oven cleaning tip + a recipe for strawberry pie

I need to apologize for being a pie tease, for those of you following along on Instagram. It’s downright awful to post this many photos of strawberry pie without sharing the recipe. The thing is, when I’m not in work mode, I just eyeball much of what I cook. When I’m stressed, the need to feel untethered is especially necessary. Needless to say, anxiety is my middle name these days as moving boxes pile higher, and higher…and higher.

My apartment in Brooklyn feels like a war zone. My hope is that things will get better after the apartment sale in a few days. Once the stuff I’m not taking with me is gone, perhaps I won’t feel so utterly overwhelmed at the amount of boxes to be loaded onto the truck in two weeks. Continue reading »

the best therapy {chocolate chip cookies}

You know that whole don’t judge a book by it’s cover theory? Well, today the perception I projected gave me just the boost I needed, even if it didn’t match exactly how I’m feeling these days. I met M’s best friend for breakfast. DL’s friendship has been one of the good things that came out of this often awful situation. Is it okay to admit that anything good actually grew from my husband’s passing? There goes that grief guilt vortex, opening, threatening to suck me in again…

My point is, when I sat down at Balthazar, DL said I looked dazzling. Inside, I felt like a wreck, Disheveled, exhausted, and aches in places I forgot you could get aches, from the physical work of packing boxes, working on the garden upstate, and an overall lack of sleep. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.

Continue reading »

peanut butter & chocolate cinnamon buns

My relationship with peanut butter and chocolate desserts needs no explanation for long-time readers. One day I’ll tell the story of how the little peanut butter pie that could came to be. Today, though, I want to share a new peanut butter and chocolate recipe with all of you. It’s only recently that I could even fathom that flavor combination again. Cooking has the power to heal, but some recipes, some flavors, well, they’re too reminiscent of moments that I’ll never experience again.

Continue reading »

milk chocolate brownies

There’s no shortage of chocolate recipes floating around the internet, especially this week with it being Valentine’s Day and all. A more organized person who writes a food blog would’ve even planned such a thing out. I always chuckle when I get a PR pitch about my upcoming editorial calendar. This little space of the internet is about as organized as my daughters’ room. This is one place in my life where no plans are actually comforting. I can be who I want, when I want. It just so happens that my craving last week coincided with a holiday where chocolate plays so prominently. Why is that exactly?

Continue reading »

two-ingredient biscuits

Mondays are probably the least loved day of the week, which is why I decided it was the perfect time to finally share one of my biscuit recipes. A little over one year ago, I perfected my buttermilk biscuit recipe. For years I’d been making Dorie Greenspan’s, and while I never fell out of love with it, it was time for this little bird to stretch her wings and go out on her own. The ingredients were pretty much the same—flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, very cold butter, and buttermilk. The ratios and technique are what I tinkered with to make what I think are the fluffiest biscuits, ever.

Continue reading »

chewy, bittersweet brownies

I found myself craving brownies the other night, which rarely happens. I must confess that while I love baking chocolate desserts (they generally make everyone happy!), they are not my first choice for eating. I reached for my copy of Homemade with Love to make the walnut fudge brownies on page 185. Honestly, it still blows my mind, and humbles me, every time I pull my own cookbook off the shelf.  A quick scan of the ingredients, and I realized I didn’t have any espresso granules in the house. I decided to brew up a small pot of very strong coffee in its place. While I was at it, I swapped in whole wheat pastry flour for the all-purpose, and used less, too. You can use regular all-purpose flour if that’s all you have on hand, and it’ll be fine. I just figured I’d fool myself into believing the whole wheat would make them healthier.

Continue reading »

chewy white chocolate & pistachio cookies

Write. Delete. Repeat.

This has been my habit as I stare blankly into the screen this morning. It’s not so much that I’m at a loss for words. In fact, the words are scattered in my mind, a mental game of 52 pick up in progress. Still, my lack of clarity to how I’m feeling lately shouldn’t get in the way of sharing these cookies with you. They’re inspired by a recipe for chocolate chip cookies from a bakery in Paris called Laura Todd. It took a little detective work to figure out if levure sans phosphate was baking powder or baking soda, so thanks to Mardi for helping me out with that one.

Continue reading »