Salted Chocolate and Pumpkin Babka

I’m a crazy cookbook collector. I have shelves upon shelves of cookbooks, so many that I can’t even find a place for them all in my kitchen. There’s a cabinet in the dining room that holds a healthy stack, while the rest line the shelf in my study that’s slowly bowing in the middle as it attempts to hold their weight.Because while the internet is an abundance and wealth of information, there’s something just really freaking nice about holding a book in your hands ....more

Small Batch Whole Grain Chocolate Graham Muffin Mix

It’s kinda crazy to think about how much I’ve learned in the last three years of blogging. There’s all the stuff about baking and cooking, but also other things like and HTML/CSS skills from messing around with blog templates and taking photos manually with a big-girl DSLR camera. Then there's also the weird little facts and trivia I pick up, mostly from conversations with folks who read my blog for fun.I mean, to wit — just last week, my coworker was telling me that she enjoyed reading my posts about yellow cupcakes and was especially excited to find that I'd mentioned graham flour as one of my favorite ingredients ....more

Overnight Cinnamon Iced Coffee and Cream

Contrary to what this blog might have you believe, I do not live a perfect life. I’m aware that some of my pictures suggest otherwise, with pretty little desserts on gently marbled countertops adorned with flowers picked with the garden. But really, it’s all an illusion — the camera captures just a teeny tiny space of my life ....more

Homemade Funfetti Cake with THE Chocolate Frosting

Three years ago, I opened my laptop on a brisk Sunday night in Denver, Colorado. I was supposed to be preparing for the week, pulling together some reports that my boss wanted in his hands by 8AM the following morning. But instead of working through the necessary Excel spreadsheets, I was thinking about cupcakes ....more

Breakfast Cereal Cake Donuts

Today's post is a recipe for Jessica of How Sweet It Is,...more

Chocolate and Pear Dutch Baby Pancake

I hate admitting this, but I'm not much of a brunch person. Like this New York Times article, I am the curmudgeon who stays at home wondering why people would bother waiting in line for two hours just to pay an exorbitant amount for eggs and bacon they could make for themselves at home."But Michelle!" people will often argue. "There are some brunch things that are just too difficult to make at home."To which, I'll often snort: "Like what?"Most responses often relate to eggs Benedict, which I will admit is a bit of a pain to make (because let's be honest here, anybody who says poaching eggs is easy is probably cheating and using one of those weird specialized devices they sell at Sur La Table).But sometimes, people will bring up breakfast sweets like pancakes as part of their defense ....more

Yellow Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Crème Fraîche Frosting and Flaky Sea Salt + A Giveaway!

A few weeks ago, I was invited to tour Bob’s Red Mill factory. Even though I’ve lived in Portland for a cumulative total of 10 years, it was the first time I’d ever visited their factory — which is really quite a shame on me, since the factory is only 10 minutes outside of Portland. I’ve always been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill products; if I needed an obscure flour or some other ingredient, often times I would check their online store and find that they offered it ....more

Saffron and Cardamom Poached Pears

Most people have a romantic notion of fall, conjuring up images of wool sweaters and falling leaves, but I know the truth — here in Portland, it's mostly about wet skies, damp socks, and digging out my rain pants to wear on my bike commutes to work. I know that doesn't sound like the sexiest autumn in the world, but I love it anyway, especially if a double rainbow makes an appearance every now and then.This week was the first week in which it genuinely felt like fall in Portland, with the relentless rain and subsequent soggy bottomed shoes. To celebrate my favorite season, I decided to whip up this simple dessert — seasonal pears poached in white wine, cardamom and saffron, served with a dollop of creme fraîche: This recipe comes from one of my culinary heroes, Yotam Ottolenghi (author of the much beloved Plenty cookbooks and famed restauranteur behind London's renowned Ottolenghi restaurant), whose recipe poached the autumn fruit in a bottle of white wine and a handful of classic Middle Eastern spices like saffron and cardamom.Now saffron tends to lend a very subtle, complex richness to dishes, and can take on different flavors depending on what ingredients it's combined with ....more

Chocolate Orange Cake with Salted Cream Cheese Frosting

I have a confession.The truth is, this chocolate orange cake started out as a red velvet cake. You see, despite my love for red velvet cake, I've always been a little bit skeptical of its components. According to a Wikipedia article on its origins, the first red velvet cake recipes contained beet juice which gave the cake its reddish tones ....more

Concord Grape, Honey and Goat Cheese Galette with Black Pepper

Five years into working the typical 40-hour, 9-to-5 job, I've come to realize that I am the worst kind of lunch taker there is. If I'm not grabbing an unhealthy-but-conveniently-close lunch with my coworkers, I can often be found having lunch at my desk, hunched over my laptop and eating greasy takeout as quickly as possible so I can stop the rather pointless multitasking. Often times, it's a 10-minute affair — I rarely ever take the full hour for lunch, even on the occasions I eat with coworkers.Luckily, my company has a pretty easygoing work-from-home policy ....more