Lavender Earl Grey Pound Cake

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Well. This one was a flop.

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It started out so well. Plenty of dried lavender, mixed with earl grey.

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I made it on Easter Sunday, so I was going for something with a refined tea-time feel.

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I had such high hopes. It smelled amazing–but then it took waaay too long in the oven. And it never did quite cook through. The slices I had were delicious, but you quickly hit raw batter, which was pretty disappointing.

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Luckily, the random might-as-well-make-this-too recipe I whipped together turned out splendidly: Lemon Curd!

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So all was not lost, in the end. If you try this recipe, or have a better tea-infused pound cake recipe, please let me know! I’ve still got a craving… Continue reading

Ridiculous Cookies

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Well, it’s mid-April in Wisconsin. It snowed outside today.

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I agree with what you are thinking right now. That is pretty ridiculous. Ridiculous in a bad way. So it was fitting that I made cookies that were equally ridiculous. But ridiculous in a good way.

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These cookies do not look ridiculous, until you know the ingredients. I mean… Basically this recipe puts the trifecta of baking super star ingredients into one cookie. There is toasted coconut. Crunchy and just a little bit exotic.

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There is browned butter. One of my favorite things. Nutty, full of depth, not-quite-but-almost teeth-achingly sweet.

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And dark chocolate, of course. All rolled up into one chewy, barely-baked, golden little cookie.

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It is almost too much–all these rich ingredients that usually take the spotlight. But worry not: they all get along swimmingly together.

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If your day is somehow ridiculous, whether because of weather or some other reason, make these cookies. Trust me. I guarantee they will make things better. Continue reading

Polish Easter Eggs

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A couple of weekends ago some friends and I decorated Easter eggs Polish-style over at the Utrecht art store! It turns out so beautifully and is actually really easy, so naturally I wanted to brag I mean share my little creation.

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All you do is dye your eggs–our instructor dyed them with onion skins; see a recipe here–and then once they’re all dry, you scratch lightly into the dye with an exacto knife. From far away the designs seem solid but they’re delicate and sketchy up close.

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In Polish it’s called “Skrobanki.” Don’t ask me to pronounce it, though.

Go-To Fruit Salad

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For about half a year, my go-to dinner party contribution has been this fruit salad. It is easy but also impressive because of a secret ingredient…

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Cardamom! This salad is, of course, perfect in summer months, when the fruit is fresh and from the farmer’s market. But it can also be really nice in winter because of the addition of cardamom.

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Cardamom is one of my favorite spices… it’s comforting for snowy days, and makes a fruit salad in the winter seem more relevant than random. Meanwhile, if you are having this in the summer, it just adds depth. When I’ve brought this for dessert in winter people immediately go, “Mmm, cardamom, right?” and in summer people forget that the spice exists and say instead, “There’s something different about this fruit salad… what is that taste?” Cardamom! It’s this fruit salad’s secret weapon!

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Oh, and the almonds are a nice winter-friendly touch, too, but definitely not necessary–they just add a little crunch.

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The best part about fruit salad is that you barely need a recipe: you can just throw any old fruit in there and it’s always pretty awesome. I like this recipe, though, because it lets the fruit shine, since it only uses honey and a bit of spice. With a little bit of fresh, not-too-sweet whipped cream, it’s always a hit. Continue reading