Citrus-Poppy Seed “Muffin” Cake

I am a huge fan of lemon goodies, but I really don’t make them very often. The husband isn’t a huge fan and I think eating an entire cake by myself would be ill advised (I may be wrong), so I save up all of my lemon cravings for when I get a blank slate order. This week was one of my boss’s birthdays and after much poking and prodding, I got no flavor requests or detests, so the choice was mine: lemon, obvs! But I’ve made plain ol’ lemon cakes before. I wanted something new and interesting, so I turned to my handy dandy Martha Stewart Cakes book. [p.s. Life goal: Make everything from this book.]

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Meringue Dreams

Every year around this time I start getting really antsy for some cooler weather. I know this is ludicrous considering I live in Texas AND August is the hottest time of the year AND it won’t really begin to let up for another six to eight weeks. But I just can’t help myself. And with my daydreams of cooler weather also come the fantasies of holiday baking. In fact, I nodded off last night with sugar plums dancing in my head …well, my version anyway.

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PB & Sour Cream?

I have two standby baking/cookbooks that I swear by: Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking and Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. My stepmom gave me the former and my mom gave me the latter, and I don’t have any idea how I survived in the kitchen before either of them. They have the best standby recipes so I don’t have to hunt around for the perfect pecan pie or the best way to chop an onion. It’s all right there. So, when my friend asked for a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting for her birthday, I knew exactly which one I would bake: Martha Stewart’s One Bowl Chocolate Cake from her book. Aside from a few measuring cups, it really does only require one bowl, and miraculously that one bowl doesn’t sacrifice any of the quality. It comes out perfectly every time (so long as I properly butter/flour/paper the pans) with the richest flavor and perfect texture.

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Summer Showers & Succulents

If you live in Texas, you know that if you wake up to the sound of thunder in July, it must be a dream. So when I woke up to the sound of thunder this morning, I assumed I was still sleeping. Imagine my surprise to discover it was real, actual, honest-to-goodness water falling from our Austin skies! What a perfect mid-week refresher to help rejuvenate and inspire me. As an added bonus, my sister came over for family dinner last night with a birthday present in tow for me: a miniature glass terrarium with a miniature succulent! If you know me, you already know how high pitched I squealed, “It’s so cute!!!” If I could have snuggled it, I would, but I don’t imagine glass and metal make the best snuggle buddies… Continue reading

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all of the beloved daddios out there, including my own! I wish I had the time to drive up to Dallas every year to give him a hug on this special day, but alas, adulting tends to get in the way. In lieu of a visit, though, I colluded with my stepmom to surprise him with some chocolate chip cookies, aka my first attempt at shipping baked goods.

OH MY GOODNESS.

If I were to say only one thing about this process, it would be that you will absopositivilutely need more cushion than you think. Chocolate chip cookies are not delicate. I was not shipping palmiers or macarons. But trust me, I needed more cushion. Continue reading

Waffles for Dinner

Growing up, my mom and I would go to Waffle House in Grapevine, Texas every weekend followed by Main Street meandering. It was tradition for me to stack the rectangles of jelly and slip self-destruct-Inspector-Gadget style notes between the packets of sugar. My mom always got grits with butter, eggs over easy, sausage patties, and cup after cup of coffee, and I always got a Belgian waffle with bacon, sliced strawberries, and fresh whipped cream. I also had a quirky no-syrup policy when I was younger. I only put butter on my waffle, never failing to make my mom giggle and my friends raise not one, but both eyebrows. Continue reading

Frosting Collection

Much to the chagrin of my wonderful and understanding husband, I have commandeered an entire quarter of the freezer for Sweet Tweats purposes. The shelf usually holds extra butter or cake layers awaiting their parties, but the drawer. Oh the drawer. The drawer houses all of my leftover frosting. Inevitably there is a little a lot some frosting that doesn’t make it onto its cake, so I keep it. (You never know when you might need it!) There are always at least three or four flavors and colors from which to choose. How very enticing! Continue reading

Spike it Like You Like it!

Every once in a while you just have to take a step back and reflect on what really matters in life: Vacation! Duh! But in all seriousness, between tax season and house renovations, we needed a break from reality, so we packed our bags, bid Waffles a tearful farewell, and hopped a plane three planes to the Bahamas.

“But what is there to do besides laying on the beach and drinking out of coconuts?” I’m so glad you asked: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And it was glorious. Continue reading

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

Mardi Gras has arrived! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am currently stuffing my face full of king cake sprinkled with green, gold, and purple. It is my small homage to the holiday while my New Orleans family really gets to let loose in long white gloves and masks. I hope the rest of you get to have a little fun, too 🙂