Sweet Inspiration – No. 2

I have big plans this weekend that involve soaking up every ounce of lazy summer days (on my couch in sweats) because word on the street (and by the street I mean the weather channel website and the halls of my office) is that Chicago is due for some nice rainy weather this weekend.

I’m hoping to make some ice cream (and if I do, I promise to share…I have big plans for it). In the meantime though, these are other recipes that have my attention.

Coco decided to join me while I was drafting, so enjoy this little cuddle pic


Have a delicious weekend!

Chocolate Panna Cotta with Spiced Pepita Brittle from Food and Wine– you might not know this about me, but I love chocolate. Only love doesn’t adequately describe it…crave, desire, become a raving lunatic if I can’t get me some chocolate when the need arises. So being the chocoholic that I am, obviously this recipe looks amazing! (Plus Spiced Pepita Brittle = insert that one gif of Emma Stone saying yum here)

Flourless Chocolate Cookies from Adventures in Cooking – I’m realizing that I must have a chocolate deficiency today, but I’m sorry? Chocolate and no flour? hmmm I must investigate.

Rhubarb-Raspberry Streusel Tart with Lavender Whipped Cream from Wit and Delight – This sounds like such a wonderful summer dessert. Perfect for a baby shower/wedding shower/event where people give gifts. I’m dying to know how that lavender whipped cream is, because I think it would be epic on Jeni’s Goat Cheese Cherry Ice Cream

Flaky Bread from Bon Appetit (and Glasserie) – is it just me or does this bread totally remind of naan, and then your mind goes to butter and how you just want garlic naan and indian right.this.second…no? me neither. But I definitely want this bread in my house so I can make up things to put on it just so I can eat it, but then it would be in my house…hmmm

Blood Orange Sangria from Domino – Because sangria solves lots of problems and it totally easy and perfect for when you have people coming over but only have random half drunk bottles of wine from girls night the night before (never happens…I like to call it “Day Punch”)

Also sorry for the mishap with publishing! Still trying to figure out how to work my ipad!


Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake

Can we talk about this weekend? I did a bunch of baking and I made this cake for birthday breakfast for my dad’s birthday (which turned into a giant sugar fest, but that’s another story), but somehow I didn’t even take any home and I’m already dreaming about it again. I have some leftover yogurt in the fridge so I might make a mini one today!

This cake is super moist and has a great crumb. Perfect for breakfast as a coffee cake or for dessert, or eating over the sink because you can’t be bothered to get a plate when it is that good…wouldn’t ever happen in our house…)

I adapted this from my favorite French Yogurt Cake recipe that I tore out of my Bon Appetit magazine many years ago. Feel free to throw in other berries that you might have lying around or trying other citrusy combinations. I did a version of it a couple years ago with grapefruit which was delicious.


Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Cake adapted from Bon Appetit

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 handful fresh blueberries (optional)
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

INGREDIENTS for lemon glaze
Juice from 1 lemon
Powdered sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bundt pan with butter or non-stick spray. Dust with flour and tap out excess.

Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Muddle handful of blueberries in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, rub sugar with lemon zest and muddled blueberries in a large bowl until the sugar is moist.

Add yogurt, oil, eggs, and vanilla to sugar, mix to blend. Fold in dry ingredients. Add the blueberries and mix. Pour batter into the pan. Bake until the top of the cake is golden brown and the tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes). Let cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert on rack and let cool completely.


While cooling, whisk lemon juice and powdered sugar to taste. Once the cake is cooled, brush the top of the cake with glaze. (It is helpful to do this once the cake is on your serving tray, or with paper towels under the wire rack.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you want for serving. Enjoy!


Current Cravings… of the baking accessory persuation

So I don’t know about all of you, but I always am looking for new and/or pretty new toys for my baking, cooking, and entertaining endeavors. Below is a round-up of things that currently have my eye.

I’ve really been wanting to work on my souffle technique lately, so I’m loving all forms of souffle and ramkin dishes. I really like this one from Sur La Table.

I LOVE Mules! I’m not talking about the animal or shoe, but the delicious and currently very popular drink. I am partial to a Gin Gin Mule, but love a good Moscow Mule as well. They are tasty and refreshing, especially in the summer. Plus, mules stay especially cold (and look so elegant) when served in copper mugs.

How gorgeous would this marble pastry board from WS be for serving brunch or fresh cookies?! Plus, it would be so great for making pie if you stuck it in the fridge first to stay cool.

I am working this summer to turn my black thumb of death a little more green and nuturing…and it looks like it’s working. I now am starting to have fruits and veggies coming out of my ears thanks to my garden and our CSA farm share, so I want to try my hand at “putting up” the delicious summer flavors so that we can have them the rest of the year also! This book, this one, and this one all have me inspired. (Also, am I the only one who wants to try raising bees? mmm honey. Too bad it’s not allowed where we live because this book has me really inspired.

Have a really delicious weekend!

Weekend Recap

This weekend was great. Not too much scheduled, a little R&R and some errands made for a very calm weekend.

I didn’t end up doing any baking over the weekend, but I just had to share what I made for Father’s Day weekend back in June. I needed a dessert that would travel well and could work for Father’s Day brunch with one side of the family and dinner with the other side.

I ended up making strawberry shortcake adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe. I used farmer’s market strawberries which were just bursting with juice. I also made the biscuits smaller than the original recipe called for and served in a buffet style so that everyone could decide how many they wanted (and could load up on whipped cream). They were delicious!!


Strawberry Shortcake adapted from Bon Appetit

¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, beaten to blend
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, quartered (about 4 cups), divided
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
5 sprigs basil
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk sugar, baking powder, salt, and 2 cups flour in a large bowl. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work in butter until the texture of coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Add cream and mix until dough just comes together (it will be sticky).

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 12×4” rectangle about ¾” thick. Cut out rounds with a 1” biscuit cutter (or other size if you prefer), re-rolling scraps as needed to make rounds. Whisk egg with 1 Tbsp. water in a small bowl. Transfer rounds to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush tops with egg wash (I forgot to do this! WHOOPS). Bake until tops are golden brown and shortcakes are cooked through, 10-15 minutes (or longer depending on size of biscuits.
DO AHEAD: Shortcakes can be made 2 days ahead. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

Coarsely chop 3 cups strawberries (use any bruised or less perfect ones) and cook with 4 Tbsp. sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are softened and mixture is slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Let berry compote cool.

Meanwhile, muddle basil and 1 Tbsp. sugar together, then toss with remaining 1 cup strawberries in a medium bowl and let sit until fruit begins to release juices, 15–20 minutes. Discard basil.
Using an electric mixer, beat cream, vanilla extract and remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar to soft to medium peaks, about 4 minutes.

To serve, top shortcakes with berry compote, whipped cream mixture, and macerated strawberries.

Sweet Inspiration: What I want to make next

Happy Friday! I’m loving this great summer weather and the beautiful (and tasty!) fruits and veggies that are all around now. As we head into the weekend, I’ll probably be whipping up a new batch of cookies, but here are some other fun recipes that caught my eye this week.


Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches from Smitten Kitchen (brownies + ice cream = yes to all the things)

Blueberry Yogurt Cake from Cannelle et Vanille (because, you guys, I LOVE YOGURT CAKE)

Fresh Blueberry and Mint Lemonade from Joy the Baker (let’s add gin, also can we be best friends)

Peach and Blueberry Pie from Delightful Crumb (um, I think I’m into blueberries right now)

Blueberry Buckle from Bon Appetit (I’m just embracing blueberries)

Blackberry Goat Cheese Thumbprint Cookies from Two Red Bowls (you mean I can have one of my favorite fruits with one of my favorite cheeses together?!?!)