Sunday, July 24, 2016

Vertical Lemon Lime Layer Cake

You guys. You can't look at this cake without smiling. It's so fun! 

There are layers of lemon sponge, lime and vanilla buttercreams, and sprinkles. 

My niece is in town, and she just happens to be a blast to bake with! We had such a fun afternoon mixing and rolling. 

We were both pretty giddy when it was time to slice this bad boy. 

The lemon sponge cake is a recipe from Brit + Co. The rest was throw-it-together-as-you-go recipe. ;)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Growing Out a Curly Pixie, 8 months

I reeeeeeally didn't want to put on makeup or fix my hair today. I'm sure you guys will forgive me. When my hair was drying, I tugged on it occasionally so that it would be straight-ish. It's long enough for me to hide behind for this picture. ;) 

Friday, July 15, 2016

World Peace Cookies

Seems like every self-respecting, baking blogger has posted about these cookies. So, I'll keep it brief. "World Peace Cookies" are intensely chocolatey, and they have a texture very similar to sables, sort of sandy. The recipe is by Dorie Greenspan. Google it if you need a chocolate fix. 

Friday, July 8, 2016


A couple of days ago I posted about George Stinney, Jr. Look him up. Read his story. Sadly, it's still completely relevant.  It's hard to know what to do when you are faced with such horrible things. I want to take action. I want to make things right. I don't know how. I do know that I will not be part of our problems because I choose kindness and love. 

The photo below was posted by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.  Random acts of kindness will not repair what is broken, but at least they will do no harm. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Vik Muniz Exhibit

The Vik Muniz exhibit currently at the High Museum is a very special thing. 

I went with lighthearted expectations, and I left with thoughts that will keep my brain busy for quite a while. 

Vik Muniz creates his art with materials that surprised me. Here's his version of Dorothea Lang's Migrant Mother. At first glance I thought "okay, it's pixilated, recognizable, looks modern, beautiful, sad". 

Then, upon closer view, I could see that it was created with a black liquid. Ink. Interesting. 

When viewing each work I had to look from close and far. I wanted to see the big picture from a little bit back, but then I needed to be close to inspect the materials that were used to make the bigger picture.  When I watched a video interview of Vik Muniz I realized that this dance of close and far and close was exactly the experience that he intended. His words explain it so beautifully. 

"When you go back, you see something that was literally a product of somebody's mind. You see mind. And you go closer; you see matter. In between mind and matter there is one moment, a very delicate, sublime moment, where you cross this threshold between what's inside of you - the world of things that are supposed to be understood - and the world of materials - things that are mundane, and they do not necessarily have to have any meaning. The experience of art lies not in either side of this bargain, but in that precise moment when something turns into something else."

Love that so much. Magic. 

Vik Muniz's version of the Mona Lisa was funny to me. It really made me laugh. The thought of something so expensive and treasured being recreated with common, approachable peanut butter and jelly is kind of hilarious! 

The pieces created from other photos were very powerful. You see from afar it's a smiling baby. From closer, you can see the baby is made from photos of many babies. It's intensely emotional to think of all the moments that make a life. The birthday parties, vacations, milestones, etc., they all add up to create you. It's a lot to take in within a moment. How interesting it would be if others could see all of the moments that have made us. 

Thinking of life and all the things we enjoy, survive, and experience, makes the piece below almost too intense for me. This is George Stinney, Jr.  

To look up close, and to see his image created from the moments that he may have experienced, but also the moments that he never is heartbreaking. 

My light hearted expectations were fulfilled, but this exhibit is so much more than just clever arrangements of objects and images. For me, it was an intense interaction with art and humanity. Phew, I need a drink. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cake

I'm on a major Dorie Greenspan kick here. I made her perfect marble cake a few days ago. Sometimes the best things don't get a photo shoot. :) 

Today, I made her Sunday in Paris Chocolate Cakes. They are named after the patisserie in France where she discovered them. 

The cakes are filled with chocolate and peanut butter, topped with chocolate ganache, and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. 

Peanuts and peanut butter aren't really typical ingredients in Paris, but they feel especially appropriate for this French loving Georgia gal. (Georgia is the largest producer of peanuts in the US.)

The cakes are dangerously delicious.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Fraisier Cake

I decided to make a Fraisier Cake. 

I used Mary Berry's recipe. It was easy to follow, and the accompanying video was totally helpful. 

There are two layers of Genoese sponge soaked in a lemon sugar syrup. The center is filled with strawberries and crème mousseline. The whole thing is topped off with thin marzipan (the green part). Then, I garnished with chocolate, strawberries, vanilla buttercream, and marzipan roses. 

This was such a pleasure to make! It was my first time working with marzipan. I found out that it sticks terribly to parchment. Now I know. ;)