our town bakery

down a straight and dusty road, not more than 20 farmsteads south of ours, is a grain elevator and its town, hillsboro, north dakota. it occupies one square mile that's home to a large city hall with a stately bust of abraham lincoln out front, a very cute vintage shop where blue stickers denote the registered items for whatever town wedding is approaching, and a magical little bakery.

this bakery, our town bakery, is the definition of a gem.

one apple muffin and one bite out of the golden section of eggboy's cinnamon roll is worth every second of the 40 minutes it takes to drive there. and all i want in this moment is one of their sprinkley donuts.

sometimes when we're there we pretend that we're in the bushwick-circa-2009 of the world. if that even makes sense. it's just so much goodness in the middle of so much nowhere. and no you can't ride your bike from manhattan.

so if you're wondering a) what you should do if you ever find yourself in hillsboro without me or, b) what eggboy and i did this weekend when we should have been unpacking/painting/putting up wallpaper/ordering our floors, the answer is our town.

how were all of your weekends?? did you eat anything yummy?


spring green risotto

for the longest time, when people talked about the quiet country life, i simply imagined the opposite of new york life: friday nights spent in a comfy chair knitting a cowl by the fire, a view from the kitchen window of land and more land, bird songs cutting through the clean air at the start of the day... cliché things that include slow movements and tame leisure activities were my meanings of "quiet."

it wasn't until recently that i actually considered the true sonic qualities of the places i've lived, and realized a literal meaning behind this whole quiet country life

new york mornings sounded like the very beginning of mgmt's "kids" paired with the most relentless construction site of a neighboring building. it was loud but energizing. later the subway sounds, and more subway sounds... green peace street people saying hello and asking if i have one moment for the earth, elevator dings, the thwack thwack thwack of street stands making their egg sandwiches, and obviously lots of foot steps. at night after the bars and the shows, you could hopefully hear the glockenspiel man tinkering in lincoln center. 

growing up in chicago meant two, maybe three, very distinct sounds: the stars of food network teaching braising techniques and iron chefing in the background of whatever homework or instant messaging i was doing, and then talk radio. always talk radio for my mom, all the time. even now, i associate it with being stuck in traffic on the way to ice skating practice with the hot sun shining down on me. oh it was always one of my less favorite times of the day because i was clearly more ben folds and jean sibelius than roe conn.

here, all of the quiet sounds are amplified. if i don't wake up to the 8am town bell tower playing "america the beautiful," it's my very own alarm accompanying the hum of the fridge and eggboy's frying eggs from all the way down the hall. i can hear myself yawning, i can hear the spoon mixing the tahini into my yogurt. zero traffic equals zero traffic sounds equals a crystal clear garrison keillor and classical m.p.r. (it's the minnesota radio culture that really gets to me, i just can't believe how good it is.) it was here where i realized that eggboy makes chewing sounds.

and when we move out to the farm i plan on abusing the quiet to listen to lorde at her loudest with only the farm cats to annoy.

today on betty crocker, i'm sharing a recipe for risotto that's packed with green vegetables. it begs you to stand at your stove with a glass of wine in hand, listening to the sounds of your dinnertime kitchen.

happy monday!




{1} marzipan over a chocolate cake for farmer gene and his wife, {2} a carrot cake that looks "too normal" according to mum, {3} my response to mum's concern, {4} a cookie cake for jaclyn, {5} red velvet with cream cheese and coconut, {6} rosette practice. oy.

you guys. 

this whole nocturnal thing is baaaaananas. a typical day for me begins at 1 am with things like cinnamon rolls the size of my head and sixty cavity's worth of caramel rolls. by 5 am i'll typically be frosting a cake or cupcakes, and then after that i come home and wake eggboy up with shakshuka or egg tacos or some other big breakfast because it's dinner for me and a typical meal for him.

you'd think the logical next step would be for me to go to sleep while eggboy farms... but 1) i have not yet found blackout curtains that are anywhere near acceptably pretty, 2) it appears that small towns come with a bell tower that likes to play patriotic tunes every hour on the hour, and 3) i just started watching orange is the new black.  

so your girl is running on approximately negative hours of sleep and i have zits about it.

but it is so worth it!  

because i am frosting so many cakes! and it is so fun and creatively challenging! and no offense to my sister's wedding cake but with the help from the other bakers and the pressure knowing that the cakes i make are going to people who aren't in my immediate family is making me feel way more legit. (except for when i over beat the cream cheese frosting and it gets droopy, which so far has been every time.)

almost every day this week i've come home from the bakery and made more cake, mostly for friends, so the above photos are a mix of ones i've made at the bakery and ones i've made at home.

not pictured: the salty pimp inspired cupcakes that i made today that are in fact "salty princesses" because i suppose one simply does not throw around the word "pimp" in grand forks, north dakota. at least not as it pertains to desserts.

ok. it's 11 am aka way past my bedtime and i think i will go write about new music. 




here are a few more fargo scenes, complete with the eggboysister, eggboysistercat, and a water tower that matches the cupcake cups that i bought in hong kong (should i have a cake party about it?).

some of these photos are actually from a little town that was on the way back from fargo called hillsboro. we stopped there to go to our town on the recommendation of eggboysister. our town is the cutest little bakery with the yummiest caramel rolls and the yummiest looking other things that i wish i had the belly room to try. it was such a gem in a town of, like, six people, and i think i'll no longer be able to go to fargo without stopping through.