a chocolate ipa cake, friday links, and a lightroom giveaway

i made a cake! i made a cake! it's a rich little chocolate thing, spiked with fargo brewing company beerand it's in the newest issue of the beeeeeautiful fargo-based wolftree magazine. yay, north dakota!

in the venn diagram of my cravings right now, we have this pineapple pico de gallo on the left, this coconut quinoa pudding on the right, and then in the middle there is this coconut milk grilled pineapple.

and furthermore on the subject of coconut, i made these dark chocolate coconut granola bars yesterday and they were beyond.

for supper yesterday i made ottolenghi's black pepper tofu for the egg parents and egg cousin and it was, how do you call it, sofa kind good.

stoop is making a funfetti wedding cake for us, so does that mean i have permission to wear a sprinkle dress?

i bought a bar of lux almond soap when i was in new york and it pretty much smells exactly like marzipan and i know this is not normal, but sometimes i just stand at my desk and smell it for minutes on end. i'm afraid to use it because then i will use it up.

i've spent lots of time looking at pictures of dumplings and trying to take good ones myself, but i'm going to stop now because these win everything.

cake tutorials are my new favorite genre of reading material. i really want someone to have a birthday soon so i can make an ombre cake and a ruffle cake, but i'm slowly becoming convinced that all farmers plan to have their offspring in the winter.

i miss college?

annnnnnnd a fake shack burger.

i'm giving away lightroom 5 today! it's my most favorite photo editing software. for the longest time i tried to hack my way through photoshop, but then i made the switch when i learned that lightroom isn't a lesser version of photoshop, it's actually just plain different. and way easier to use if i'm editing a billion photos of cake at once. i use it pretty much every day along with some snazzy vsco filters and i love it like a sister. almost. this giveaway is open to all north american residents. to enter: leave a comment with your favorite photo editing tip! the winner of the giveaway will be chosen at random next friday. update: this giveaway is now closed.


chocolate ipa cake


2 c all-purpose flour

2 2/3 c sugar

3/4 c cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/3 c milk (dairy, almond, or coconut)

2 large eggs

2/3 c canola or vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

1 (12-oz) can Fargo Brewing Co. Wood Chipper, or other IPA


for the glaze:

3 c powdered sugar

5-7 tb milk


Preheat oven to 325. Grease a large bundt or angel food pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla.

Whisk the milk mixture into the dry ingredients.

Bring the beer to a boil and immediately remove it from heat. Whisk it into the batter until just combined. Pour into the pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool slightly in the pan and then remove and let cool completely. To make the glaze, mix the milk into the powdered sugar one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. Pour the glaze onto the cake and garnish with orange slices.

Enjoy with friends!


chocolate tahini cake with rosemary buttercream

what a gift today has been.

wide awake at six am, egg and i found ourselves en route to darcy's for a little breakfast date. darcy's is where the farmers go for breakfast. it's the kind of place with a counter and bottomless coffee and usuals, who are welcomed by first name and served without ordering. 

we had diner eggs and diner potatoes. we indulged in buttery diner toast, which is one of the best kinds of toast, if you ask me. we took our sweet time and talked about sugar beets, just like the other farmers... and then when a farmer friend came in, we talked about china and mooncakes. it was perfect. i think darcy's is my new favorite.

i took eggboy to the farm as the sun rose, and after i dropped him off, i stopped at the market for berries and herbs to make a very special cake. 

a few months ago, i donated some cakes as donor gifts for wolftree's kickstarter. wolftree met their goal (yay!), so a few people received vouchers for a custom cake. one man gave me the freedom to make any cake and to deliver it at any time.

i am sort of in love with the idea of a spontaneous cake appearing at a moment's notice. perhaps he'll invite friends over to eat it, perhaps he'll eat it all himself! who knows!

so for this friday cake, i made a cake that i have been desperately wanting to try: a tahini cake. i used my favorite chocolate cake recipe and with the help of my friend jennafound a good way to incorporate tahini: rather than using the 1/2 cup of oil, i used six tablespoons of tahini and two tablespoons of oil. i also always use coconut milk instead of cow milk with this recipe. it gives it an extra somethin somethin and then also makes it dairy free. the results were so moist and delicious.

for the buttercream, i infused two sticks of butter with rosemary by boiling it for a few minutes with a handful of rosemary sprigs and then covering it and letting it sit out overnight. today, i melted it back down, strained out the rosemary sprigs, and then stuck it in the fridge for a bit to firm up. once it was firm but not too hard, i whipped it up with some more softened butter, added a splash of vanilla and powdered sugar to taste, a few pinches of salt, and a few tablespoons of milk. literal. perfection. 

frosty frost frost, in the naked fashion (don't you love naked cakes??), and then this cake got some fresh raspberries, pearl sugar, powdered sugar annnnd candied rosemary a la carey from reclaiming provincial. that girl is a genius.

boy, i had fun with this cake! i wanna do it again! i wanna do it again! 

happy friday, all! i am off to fargo to deliver this cake and for a little wolftree* party... and then a halloween celebration! i am going to dress as a garden. i think. 


  *speaking of wolftree. if you live in the midwest, you should come to this wolftree cooking workshop lead by yours truly!! i am nervous. it is my first cooking workshop. i've taught paradiddles and marimba songs and other music things to big groups. but i've never taught pies and soups and bread before. eeeek! i promise not to poison you, i promise it will be funnnn!!!! 


update from three minutes after i originally posted this: how the fock am i going to get this cake to fargo?




you guys! i catered a thing and not one person puked the whole night (i think). it was wolftree's launch party in fargo, which was massive and filled with people that i want to be bffs with. so not only was i trying to not kill all of the guests, but i was also hoping to impress, or at the very least create conversation starters such as "i like your two-tiered plate." or whatever. 

and what fun it was! i am so thankful for my little apple buns and tartlets and sriracha cheez-its for bridging the gap between new kid me and the fine folks of fargo. talking about food is definitely my safety blanket during first conversations.

following is a little recipe for the tartlets that i served, which got gobbled right up! they were my way of serving apple butter (at wolftree's editor's request!) without the mess of tons of mingling people doing balancing acts while spreading it onto something. 

apple butter & bacon tartlets 


one batch of this pastry dough

12 strips of bacon, prepared according to the label and finely chopped

1 cup of apple butter  

a few pinches of kosher salt

powdered sugar for dusting


preheat oven to 375. prepare 36 mini muffin tins and set aside.

roll out pastry dough on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. cut out little circles or flower shapes and place in muffin tins.  

sprinkle a pinch of bacon bits into each shell and then use a pastry bag to pipe a plop of apple butter on top of the bacon.

bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes, until shells are slightly browned. 

let cool and then sprinkle each with a tiny bit of salt.

finish with a dusting of powdered sugar. this will add a touch more sweetness and also detract from the fact that your apple butter plops probably look like tamagotchi poop


here are some photos from the event taken by the awesome chantell ziegler:



i imagine a common fear one has when moving from brooklyn to north dakota is how am i to find and befriend any creative types and people advancing an art amidst the wheat fields and the beet fields and the winters? and do these people even exist here? which is an asshole and naive way of thinking. but it's also that temporary mindset that drove me to get in wolftree'editors' faces as soon as i happened upon the beautiful midwesty magazine at a little shop in fargo. 

the editors are some of the first people i've met here who aren't part of eggboy's family, and they are such wonderful humans. they had me write a recipe for steamed apple buns and tell part of my new kid story for their second issue, which was released this weekend. they had a killer launch party at a sassy art gallery in fargo and then last night i stayed up way past my bed time reading the issue cover to cover. 

in the issue, the midwest almost plays this character that is crazy and occasionally out of control, but also honest and loving, and deeply cared for by the people who call it home. it's a kind of midwest that's very different from the one i grew up in, outside of chicago, and i really didn't know that existed. 

as if the farm lunches and my new king sized bed weren't enough, wolftree has made me extremely excited to be here. midwesterner or not, you should definitely read this magazine.