Hearst Castle Shortbread

I baked these for my former manager who was moving back to Scotland. The recipe was used at Hearst Castle. Hearst Castle was the 127-acre estate of William Randolph Hearst near San Luis Obispo, CA. I picked the recipe because my aunt lives near and used to be a tour guide there. Although not a traditional Scottish recipe, it did meet with approval from my Scottish manager (as well as everyone else).

Apple Streusel Cake

Happy Thanksgiving! First off, I want to comment on how crazy the weather has been in Seattle this week. Record rainfall then blue skies, hail and lightening. And it is really cold. Usually it is just grey and drizzling. Anyway, I am looking forward to having Thanksgiving dinner with Cory and my dear friend Sarah and her husband. I know my mother will be sad that I won't be home this year but all three of her children will be back in a couple of weeks for early Christmas and I know she is excited about that.

Rainbow Cake

I promised my friend Rula I would post more. We have a blog pact which I have been neglecting but I know she will both appreciate this cake and the sentiment behind it! This rainbow cake is in celebration of Ref 74 passing in Washington. I am super happy to live in a state where gay men and women have the same rights as everyone else, to marry the person that they love. In Washington, the additional revenue from marriage licenses for same-sex marriage (conservatively estimated at $50,000) will be going to help at risk LGBT youth. We also legalized marijuana but just to be clear, this cake isn't "special". Just beautiful and delicious.

Walnut and Honey Soda Bread

Seattle's summer may finally be coming to an end. We had our first day of rain in 48 days (3 days from the longest dry spell in 1951). I know it isn't officially fall yet but there is definitely a different feel in the air today and in honor of that I am posting this very Fall recipe.


 Two friends of mine got married, which was lovely. They had a potluck brunch for their wedding reception. The groom is particularly big in the swing dance scene. It was probably the most impressive wedding I've been to. When the dancing started the dance floor was immediately full of people who clearly knew what they were doing. Girls were being thrown in the air. Basically it looked like a movie in a wedding. It was pretty fantastic.

Pear Muffins

And now for something completely different from macarons, which seem to be elusively difficult to get right these muffins are basically impossible to get wrong.The most challenging part is chopping up the walnuts, which always results in my kitchen having walnut pieces in the oddest places. I could by walnuts already chopped, but I like them to be a bit chunkier than the ones you can find. I like some good substantial pieces of walnuts in my muffins.

Mocha Macarons

 When I went to Paris with my mom and aunt I had macarons for the first time. Real French macaron not American macaron with coconut (shudder). I consider myself a reasonably adept baker but was unable to master the macaron so I was very excited when I saw a French cooking class offered. I learned a lot. Apparently a lot of French cooking is about mastering the properly beaten egg white. We made a pear tatin, marshmallows (which I will have to make and post as they are great fun) and souffles.

Cinnamon Mini-Muffins

I brought these mini-muffins to the Game of Thrones season 2 premier at my friends house. They were a big hit. I read all the books in the series and gradually hated myself more and more for it. The author is a good suspense builder but not really a good writer or storyteller. I'm a huge book snob and could (and have) spend a great amount of time ranting about badly written but popular books so I will restrain myself to saying; do not read the books. Please. For me. Spend your time reading something better like the King Killer Chronicles.

Chocolate-Cream Cheese-Peanut Butter Bars

Hey, guess what: I'm alive! I know it has been hard to tell based on my posting frequency, but I'm hoping this recipe will make up for it. This is a peanut butter cookie bar base with a lay of chocolate, followed by a layer of cream cheese and peanut butter, topped with more crumbled peanut butter cookies. Yeah, I know, you still love me.

Chocolate-Espresso Snowcaps

This is the last of my Christmas cookie posts and it is only February. Although you wouldn't know it in Seattle where we're on day two of sunshine and 60 degree weather. Cory and I sneaked out of work a couple of hours early yesterday to enjoy the sun. Totally worth it. He is on a plane to Boston for a week right now, so I predict lots more posts in the next week especially when the weather gets nasty again (and it will, Seattle likes to taunt us every year with a couple of days of faux Spring before more rain).

Millionaire's Shortbread

Hey guys, look more cookie recipes. I was back at my parents' house in Moscow, Idaho for over a week this Christmas and I baked a lot of cookies. I am trying to catch up with them. I realize it lacks variety but really, who can complain about more delicious cookie recipes. I promise soon there will be non-cookie recipes (interspersed with even more cookie recipes, what can I say, I love cookies).

Nutella Cookies

I first had Nutella when I lived in Germany with my family when I was 12. I remember it being called something else but there is absolutely no evidence of this so it is probably a false memory. I went ice skating with a friend and there was a crepe stand where you could buy Nutella filled crepe. It was love at first taste.


This is gingerbread. It is moist cake with ginger and molasses. Most people think of gingerbread cookies when they think of gingerbread; it is very confusing, especially because it is hard to be more descriptive than gingerbread. Gingerbread cake sounds redundant. However, after getting over the initial confusion, everyone seemed to love it. I certainly did. I tried to resist by cutting myself small pieces. I'm sure the size of the slices are much more important than the actual percentage of cake consumed (which was quite large in my case).

Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Crisps are one of those things I under appreciate. They don't result in particularly fancy or elegant desserts, but they take about 4 minutes of active work and they taste delicious. I made this to use up some remaining pears I had lying around. Cranberries and pears are actually seasonal in the autumn, but for some reason I always think of them as winter fruits (early winter probably) so I think it is perfect for right now.

Ginger Eggplant

First post of 2012: Happy new year. What are your resolutions? One of mine is to post more often! I only took a couple of pictures but this recipe for eggplant was so quick and so delicious I had to share it with you.