comfort food · Crock pot · dinner · easy · healthy · Lasagna · lunch · soup · vegetarian · veggies · Yummy

Vegetarian/Vegan Lasagna Soup

Last Thursday I got out of work at 2pm instead of my usual 6pm. This is something we do for everyone when they are working a half day on Saturday, but it always feels like I’m skipping school or something. I always feel like I need to do something with this bonus time rather than let it be consumed by trash tv and naps, so I ended up cooking and baking in a frenzy. I really only meant to make granola. We had some leftover plain yogurt from making grapefruit cake, and I was not looking to eat it without something delicious on top (who does that?). Before I got home, I decided I needed to start meal prepping too, so I thought I’d make something easy in the crock pot. I’d been so focused on baking for the farmer’s market that my regular cooking was seriously suffering. I was itching to stretch those muscles, so I got right to it upon arrival home.

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I got the soup started right away, and when I was rummaging in the fridge for lost celery in the crisper, I realized there was some leftover buttermilk that was also from baking at the market. I’d hate for it to go unused, left to be forgotten until several months from now when it is growing into a furry creature. I figured I probably had all the ingredients needed for buttermilk biscuits, so I got to work on that, too. Why the fuck not? I’m waiting for the soup to cook anyway, and the granola was already in the oven. My last biscuit recipe didn’t turn out all that well, so I went to the queen of cooking (IMO) at Smitten Kitchen. Deb never fails me. I only fail myself by touching the dough too much.

Naturally, once the biscuits were done (and they actually had flaky layers!), I took one bite and said to T, “I think we should have biscuits and gravy for dinner.” And so it was. I finished making this soup, but it went straight into the fridge for another night while I went to work on making mushroom breakfast gravy that was based on my original recipe, but included a lot more butter. Fear not – the soup reheats beautifully. We’ve been happily eating bowls of it for the last 3 days, sloppily dipping crusty buttered sourdough into the broth, or crumbling up a biscuit over the top to soak up all the creamy goodness. The last bowl is set aside for my lunch tomorrow, when my deliciously long weekend abruptly comes to a halt. What’s most infuriating is that I finally had all this meal prepping energy a day before this gloriously long weekend. We ate like queens all weekend, but I should really have set more aside for work lunches. It leaves me with 2 lunches, which almost takes me through my arduous 3 day work week (yes, I also have Tuesdays off), so I guess not all is lost.

This recipe used up a ton of ingredients that were on the verge of going bad (or simply at risk for being ignored). The lentils* had honestly been sitting in my cabinet since long before the move from the old place. They desperately needed to be included, and now was their moment to shine. They add the meaty texture that this soup would otherwise lack, with an added boost of nutritional value. Plus, they’re just plain good (to quote one of my idols, Molly Yeh)!

Why aren’t we (me) all using lentils more?

*After further investigation, it appears as though those lentils had been sitting around even longer than I realized. I’ve been looking for ways to use them since asking for your help in this post. Sigh.

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Vegetarian Lasagna Soup

1 pound pasta (I used chickpea based pasta for added nutrients, but any pasta will work here) – sub gluten free pasta if you’re gluten free!

4 1/2 cups vegetable stock

3/4 cup dry brown lentils

1 – 28oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large (or 2 medium) zucchini, diced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1-2 teaspoons powdered garlic (or 2 cloves minced fresh garlic)

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: 1/4 cup heavy cream, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, red pepper flakes (I added all of these things)

Start the crockpot out with the veggie stock, lentils, onion, celery, oregano, and garlic (and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you’re feeling spicy) on high heat. Stir well and let sit for 2 hours. Add in the can of tomatoes and zucchini and cook for another 2-3 hours. Finally, add in the pasta and cook for another 12 minutes. If you want a creamy soup, now is your chance to add 1/4 cup heavy cream (whole fat coconut milk would be a great vegan substitute here) and maybe a generous handful of parmesan (skip if you’re vegan). Stir to combine and serve with some fancy ass bread from Whole Foods (or homemade if you’re that ambitious). I served mine with homemade biscuits because apparently I think I am Betty fucking Crocker.

 

baking · comfort food · Cookies · dessert · jam · peanut butter · Sandwiches · snacks · Yummy

PB & J (Cookie) Sammies

I had a to-do list today. It consisted of the following items:

  • Acupuncture for my tennis elbow (ouch)
  • Hang out with Carrie
  • Grab a delicious pastry
  • Buy a frame at Michael’s
  • Get liability insurance for the winter farmer’s market
  • Apply for winter farmer’s market
  • Write a blog post

The first 4 were done easily. I even went so far as to nap during my acupuncture appointment, so I feel as though I was being extra efficient. Then I went online to purchase liability insurance. I wanted to get signed up for my market of choice as soon as fucking possible, as I’m constantly worried that the spots are filling up (they are). I also need to sign up ASAFP because I really want a Sunday spot. If I don’t get a Sunday spot, I’m going to have to arrange things at work to make Saturdays work, and that’s a whole fucking thing. I am not alone in my desire for a Sunday spot, so I need to get my shit together now.  As I’m filling out the forms, it asks for my business name. Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuckity fuck.

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I’m currently registered under Kelsey’s Cakes, the rated G named I chose after the church-run farmer’s market wouldn’t let me use Eat Me Bakery (but it was totally cool for a whiskey bar to sponsor the market, of course). This means that I have to most likely re-register. This isn’t a problem, but it adds time, which I don’t have. So now I’m left sitting and waiting to hear back from someone that might be able to help me out at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Bureaucracy.

Those items will not be crossed off my to-do list today. Sigh.

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Hannah had a baby. That baby is Mira, and she is over a year old already. Here she is devouring a PB & J Sammie with reckless abandon. I wish this photo had sound, as she was making adorable little suckling noises… no doubt to make sure she got every last drop of jam. A girl after my own heart.

Anyway, I had my very last market day last Saturday. I mean, not my very last EVER, but my very last for this season. I ended up making these delightful little sandwich cookies on a whim the night before. I knew I wanted to do something with peanut butter and jelly, as they are my favorite flavor combo. No one really uses these flavors much, likely because so many kids are allergic to peanuts now. Outside of that concern, I’m not sure why this classic duo is so often overlooked. I mean, even I only have one recipe that contains these flavors. What am I even doing with my life? Oh fuck, I guess I also made a mug cake recently, didn’t I? Shit. I totally forgot. I guess I’m finally getting my shit together. Get ready for all things peanut butter and jelly! Pro tip: Add PB & J to your vanilla ice cream. You’re welcome.

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PB & J (Cookie) Sammies (original recipe found here)

For the cookies:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup peanut butter (I used creamy Jif)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup  dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup instant oats

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling:

1/3 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup jam of choice (I used homemade raspberry)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat and set aside. Cream together butter, peanut butter, and both sugars. Add in egg and vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and powder, salt together. Slowly mix into the wet ingredients before finally hand stirring in the oats. Mix until just combined. I used a food scale to get my cookies all the same size. If you’re doing this, I recommend 11g per cookie. If not, about a tablespoon of dough per cookie. I was able to fit about 15 cookies per baking sheet. Once you have all of them lined up on the cookie sheets, use a fork to press them down in a criss-cross pattern. Bake for about 10 minutes. Once fully cooled, add the peanut butter and jam and sandwich the cookies together. To avoid a soggy cookie, make sure to do a very thin layer of peanut butter on the jam side. Shovel them all into your face, without sharing a single one.

Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

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DO THIS.

baking · cake · comfort food · dessert · potluck food · snacks · Yummy

Almond Poppyseed Cake

Okay, so here’s the thing. I fucked up pretty hard on this recipe last week when I was trying to bake it in a bundt pan to be fancy. I should know better than to try and be fancy. But I wanted something that looked different from my other loaf cakes (rhubarb and grapefruit). I wanted a bundt cake with a glaze. Is that so much to ask? I have a few glass cake stands with domes leftover from my wedding 7 years ago (at least something lasted), and I thought one of them would look so sweet with a glazed fucking bundt cake sprinkled with slivered almonds. I mean, that would have looked amazing! Right?! So professional.

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I baked this cake as directed on the recipe (I mean, with a few small edits of course). I sprayed the shit out of my bundt pan, which I should mention was purchased from Zabar’s back in my NYC days to make a wine cake that turned out to be fucking disgusting. It didn’t help that I purchased red “cooking wine” at the shittiest of shitty C-Town groceries stores in Harlem, instead of whatever nice wine the recipe required. I was literally making $7.50 an hour while living in Manhattan, so nice wine wasn’t really on my priority list. I did have a weird love affair with Malbec during that time, but I was certainly not going to pour it anywhere other than down my poor-ass gullet. Anyway, I literally haven’t used that pan since the wine cake fiasco, but I don’t remember having a problem with it back then. This time, though, that shit was not going to separate itself from the pan. They were fused as one the moment I poured in the batter. The recipe warned me that it would be difficult to remove from the pan, so I was supposed to wait until the cake fully cooled. It was starting to get late the night before the farmer’s market, so I stuck it in the fridge to speed things along. Then I banged it on the counter so hard that all the cats scattered. NOTHING.

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Slightly less pretty once sliced.

After several attempts, the first chunk came out. I admitted defeat, covered the cake in foil, and went to work making another batch with loaf pans instead. The trick with loaf cakes is that you can line the bottom with parchment paper to avoid ANY OF THIS UNNECESSARY BULLSHIT.

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How cute would a bundt cake have looked on that cake stand?!

Not all is lost, since T and I have literally been eating the cake with our hands right out of the pan all week long.

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Oh, and the loaf version turned out perfectly. Here’s the recipe, minus my minor edits (I can’t give away all of my secrets).

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Almond Poppyseed Cake

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 1/2 cups milk

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

8 ounces butter, melted

Optional: 1 1/2 tablespoons poppyseeds (this does nothing for the flavor, but it looks so much prettier)

Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

2-4 tablespoons milk or cream (I used water because I was selling to the general public, and cottage food licenses don’t allow for un-refrigerated dairy outside of butter)

Slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350. If you’re feeling brave, thoroughly butter and flour a bundt cake pan. Do not do this unless you are a goddamn professional. If you’re a normal person like me, use 2 loaf pans. Line just the bottom of the pans with some parchment paper and grease the whole thing. You just can’t be too careful.

In a large mixing bowl (only one bowl needed – yay!), beat the sugar with the eggs. Mix in flour, baking powder, milk, and almond extract. Mix well, then add in the melted butter. Fold in the poppyseeds. Pour into cake pan(s) of choice and bake for 40-50 minutes. Edges should be golden brown, and a toothpick should come out clean.

Allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing from loaf pans. For bundt cake pans, remove at your own risk, but only once completely cooled. If you can’t remove it from the pan, don’t fret. Just look at it as a gift from the snack gods.

For the glaze: whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and milk/cream. Pour over cakes after they are completely cooled. Sprinkle with slivered almonds.

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My nemesis.

baking · bars · comfort food · dessert · easy · potluck food · snacks · vegetarian · Yummy

Rhubarb Custard Bars

It doesn’t get more Midwestern than rhubarb. It is the only thing nearly all of our mothers were able to grow in the backyard despite not having a garden. It grows anywhere and everywhere with no help at all from humans. I grew up with rhubarb bread every single summer, so it felt like a no-brainer to sell rhubarb bread at the farmer’s market. I wanted to keep things seasonal, and expected to change my bread offerings each week. I honestly had no idea the reaction I would receive to offering rhubarb bread, though. People love the stuff. I sold out with in the first hour and 15 minutes of my first market. I sold an entire loaf as my first sale at my second market. I knew rhubarb bread was special to me, but I had no idea that everyone else would love it just as much (or more). What felt like something that would just be meaningful to me ended up being meaningful to nearly every customer that stopped by. Offering a slice of rhubarb bread clearly brought them back to their childhood; a look of blissful nostalgia washing over their faces after each bite. I wasn’t the only one that grew up with a mom putting rhubarb to good use. I’ve chatted with so many people about their rhubarb memories growing up, many of them having not had a slice of rhubarb bread in years. It’s a funny thing to connect over, as I was truly unaware that we had all had this shared experience, and was surprised when my bread triggered something in people.

When rhubarb bread goes right vs when rhubarb bread goes wrong.

I won’t be sharing the recipes I sell at the market, but I will gladly share this recipe from Taste of Home. I cut the recipe in half, because I didn’t need 87 fucking bars lying around. It’s just T and me, and we still had a disaster of fucked up rhubarb bread to eat (long story short – I doubled my rhubarb bread recipe one night and forgot to double the flour, which left me with 4 gooey globs that tasted amazing with ice cream, but was NOT sellable or pretty). I’ll post the full recipe here, but if you want to cut it in half, just use an 8 x 8 pan instead of the 9 x 13 it requires.

Fun fact: This recipe, when done in full, uses over twice as much rhubarb as one of my rhubarb bread recipes.

It’s super tart and creamy and FUCKING DELICIOUS. My cousin served these at her wedding. She had a dessert TABLE, which is honestly what everyone should do. I couldn’t stop blabbing about the bars, so my aunt took pity on me and sent me the recipe. I couldn’t live without them, and now you don’t have to either. Go scrape together the last few stalks of rhubarb remaining for the season, and get to baking.

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They don’t photograph well/I don’t know how to properly photograph food yet.

Rhubarb Custard Bars

Cookie crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar. Then cut butter into dry ingredients with either a fork or your fingers (I mush everything together with my hands) until it forms course crumbs* with some chunks of butter remaining. Press mixture into pan in an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.

Custard filling:

2 cups sugar

7 tablespoons flour

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 large, room temp eggs, beaten

5 cups finely chopped rhubarb (mine wasn’t “finely chopped,”and it was fine)

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar. Whisk in eggs and cream before folding in the rhubarb. Pour over the baked crust and bake again for 40-45 minutes. Let cool fully before adding the topping.

Topping:

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

In a mixer, whip together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until fluffy. Fold in whipped heavy cream. Spread over the top, cover, and set in fridge. Once set, cut into bars. Gobble up as many as you can while it’s still rhubarb season. Don’t share with friends.

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This is what I mean when I say “course crumbs.”

baking · brunch · comfort food · easy · eggs · mushrooms · Sauces · vegetarian · Yummy

Eggs and Morels in a Cream Sauce

Cooking regular meals is kind of on the back burner right now, because my farmer’s market booth opens in less than 2 weeks! That means I’m baking like a madwoman, and bringing cookies/cinnamon rolls with me everywhere I go, along with a trail of flour and sugar. Want to be a taste tester? Perfect. But you have to come to me, because I’m chained to my oven. I made 2 batches of cookies today, one of which was a double batch. Due to the nature of that type of cookie, even the double batch only made 15ish cookies. FML. How does one price out cookies that require this much butter? I’ll just have to explain, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but this cookie HAS to be $12, as there is a pound of butter included.” I’m sure they’ll understand.

The morels need to be soaked, dried, and chopped.

I have one weekend left to practice and do “research.” Research means checking out the other farmer’s markets to get ideas and tips based on their bakers’ displays. The whole thing is pretty confusing, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll be okay as long as I don’t poison anyone. And I’m definitely staying away from peanuts. There are too many fucking people that drop dead at the mere sight of a peanut. I can’t be worrying about that shit. No one’s gonna die on my watch.

My eggs stuck to the bottom despite buttering my pans.

I took a mini break from baking to make this egg recipe, as my friend has literally been raving about it for years. She is completely obsessed with morel mushrooms. As you know, I’m obsessed with mushrooms in general (as proven here, and here, and, oh yeah, also here), but I’d never tried the illusive morel. Mostly because they’re only in season for 5 fucking minutes, and they’re expensive as fuck. Who pays $70/lb for a fucking mushroom? It’s madness. That being said, I did cave. No, I didn’t spend $70. But I did find them for $50/lb, and proceeded to purchase 0.31lbs. It was still more than I wanted to spend on a single grocery item, but fuck it. Luckily, it made me 1.5 recipes worth of what I lovingly refer to as “the mushroom thing.” T and I ate it for breakfast Sunday morning, and then split one for dinner that same night. Outside of a few snacks at my mom’s house, that was all I ate on Sunday. When you add the bread into it, that shit is fucking heavy. It looks like a relatively light meal, but don’t be fooled. Definitely serve one egg per person, unless you can handle tons of cream and bread.

I 100% feel like this could be made with any mushroom, and it would taste the same. I don’t get the superiority complex of morels. I mean, they’re fine. They taste like mushrooms, and mushrooms are delicious. They for sure don’t taste $70/lb good.

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Eggs and Morels in a Cream Sauce

1 cup morel (or whatever) mushrooms, roughly chopped

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 small shallot, diced

1 tablespoon butter, plus enough to grease the dishes

4 eggs

Chopped chives (as many as you want)

Salt and pepper

1 baguette (or any other good, crusty bread)IMG_20190609_091412.jpg

Preheat oven to 375. Dissolve about a teaspoon of salt in a large bowl of cool/room temp water. Add the morels, making sure they are fully covered, and allow to soak for 2-3 minutes. You can use your hands to move them around a little bit, as you want to make sure any and all dirt/bugs/etc are removed. These things are forged, not farmed. They could legit have bugs. Pay attention. After they’ve soaked for a few minutes, strain out the water and allow them to dry on a layer of towels/paper towels. I left mine for maybe 15-20 minutes. Chop your shallots and measure the ingredients while you wait.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add a tablespoon of butter. Coat the bottom of the pan. Once fully melted, add in the shallots. Cook the shallots for about 2 minutes before adding in the chopped morels. Saute until soft, and onions are translucent. Pour in the cream and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for one minute before removing from heat. Let everything sit for 5 minutes to thicken. While you’re waiting, crack your eggs into small baking dishes. The original recipe called for ramekins. I don’t own ramekins, so I used mini loaf pans. Use what you’ve got. No need to buy extra shit for one fucking recipe.

Once the cream is done resting, pour it over the eggs into the (greased) baking dishes, making sure to even out the quantity in each. Because I used mini loaf pans, I did two eggs in each one. This mostly worked out. I ended up having to bake them for a bit longer than the original recipe recommended, but it’s fine. Bake for 15 minutes. Top with chives. Serve with bread for dipping.

This would also be a bomb ass pasta sauce.

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What could be better than eggs, cream, and bread?

Basics · comfort food · dinner · easy · mushrooms · pasta · quick · Vegetables · vegetarian

How to Fancy Up Your Buttered Noodles

You know when you are completely out of time, but you’re hungry (I call it starving to death, but I’m dramatic)? Or maybe there is a plethora of time, but you’re plumb out of patience? This happens to me most often. It gets to be dinner time, and I’ve run out of energy to make a single fucking thing. For those nights, I beg T to figure it out, or we order out. But sometimes I find the energy to make something easy. This time it had to be really easy, or I wasn’t going to do a fucking thing. In fact, I almost bailed on this meal simply because I was emotionally drained. But I had it in my head that this was the “easy” recipe I was going to write about this week. I thought for sure I’d be able to write up this post on Tuesday night. I thought maybe if I had all the pictures ready to go after cooking it for lunch, I’d be able to write after going out for dinner. But dinner was an emotional sinkhole, and I wasn’t able to do much afterwards. So this comes to you 2 days late, because I’m a human, and I didn’t plan accordingly. That’s kind of how things go sometimes. And that’s okay. Sometimes it’s too hard to cook. But if you have a tiny bit of energy, and maybe you need a cheap meal, then try making this fancy ass buttered noodles recipe. Make it a big batch, and you can skip cooking for a couple of nights in a row. Perfect for college students, broke early 20-somethings, and 33 year old grown ass women who don’t know when to stop running into the same fucking wall with the same fucking person.

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Buy fun pasta shapes regularly, so you’re not stuck with boring-ass penne again. Or be boring – what the fuck do I care?

I would like it noted that I wrote most of this post at the library, thinking it would be quiet and peaceful. I was literally being muttered to by the men sitting on both fucking sides of me. I’m sorry, what is it about my hunched forward body and scrunched up face that was signaling to you that I needed a man’s fucking attention? And after I tell you that I’m trying to concentrate, and you say you’ll give me some space, please do not fucking mumble about how you like my goddamn sweater. I will fucking freak the fuck out.

Sigh.

Go make buttered noodles, everyone. And once it’s time to serve ’em, add a little extra pat of butter on top. We’re here to live.

Fancy Ass Buttered Noodles

1/2 pound of pasta (your choice on shape – try not to be boring)

6 tablespoons butter, separated

A large handful of mushrooms, sliced

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

Salt and pepper

Optional: fresh basil, shredded parmesan, red pepper flakes, wilted spinach/kale

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta according to package. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in 2 tablespoons of butter. Swirl around the pan until fully coated and add in the red bell pepper. Saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Then add in the mushrooms and onions. Allow to cook until the mushrooms are browned, and the onions are translucent. Once veggies are fully cooked, add in lots of salt and pepper. Especially pepper! Taste as you go. Turn the burner off, but keep the pan there. Add in the pasta and rest of the butter. Fold veggies into pasta, continuing to stir until the butter melts. Scoop into bowls. If you have some fresh basil lying around (which never happens to me, but I had some left after making pesto the other day), chop it up and throw it on top. Add in that extra pat of butter when serving if you know what’s good. Then lounge on the couch (or bed) and remind yourself that you’re awesome even if other people don’t always see it.

 

baking · cake · comfort food · dessert · vegetarian · Yummy

Earl Grey Cake with Honey Buttercream

I haven’t moved in 7.5 years. Prior to my last apartment, I had moved every 6-18 months since turning 18 years old. But this last apartment stuck. I moved into it after spending 3 years in New York trying to “find myself,” lived there with my then fiance (my now ex-husband), started my blog there, watched my first cat suffer with cancer there, welcomed new cats into my life, reclaimed my identity after the divorce, fell into a yoga obsession, became a yoga teacher, started dating, suffered heartbreak, fell in love, welcomed a mischievous kitten into my life, and baked the whole way through it all in that tiny ass kitchen. That apartment felt like a part of my identity. It was my first true home as an adult. That being said, I was ready to move on from it. It was time. So we did it. T and I moved downtown, which is a fucking dream. I’ve always dreamed of living in the heart of the city, and now I finally have the chance.

The move itself was a goddamn nightmare, of course. I mean, it went as well as it could, but it’s a fucking huge pain in the ass to move 2 apartments in one morning. It didn’t help that we had both been at our old places for several years. Shit accumulated more than I’d realized. Fuck, we have a lot of shit. We both thought we’d have the place fully unpacked and set up within a week. We’re on day 10 and still semi living out of boxes. This adds to my stress level, which is already sky high with transitioning to a new job at work, getting all the paperwork and payment together for the farmer’s market, and being contacted by my biological dad’s sister on Ancestry. This literally all happened within the same week, which is why I couldn’t blog last week. This bitch needs some time to herself. Fuck.

I’ve literally been fantasizing about baking in the new kitchen. It’s not as tiny as the last kitchen, but it’s not gigantic. After 7+ years of cooking and baking in my old kitchen, I think I’ve earned the name Tiny Ass Kitchen regardless of where I live, but only time will tell if I decide on renaming things.

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During my last few weeks at the old place, I started a baking frenzy. I kept thinking it would be my last time baking in that kitchen. And I felt like making something fancy as fuck. Earl Grey is one of my favorite flavors. It’s really delicate, which is a sharp contrast to the dark chocolate I often prefer in my desserts. I’m not a huge fan of honey, but it works here. Lavender would also be a good addition, but plain old vanilla buttercream would also be lovely.

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I want to make this for Cortney and have it with tea and fancy dresses.

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Earl Grey Cake with Honey Buttercream (original recipe here)

For the cake

2 teaspoons loose leaf earl grey tea, separated (I used the bagged kind and just cut open the bags because I’m a lazy ass… if you are using true loose leaf tea, you’ll want to grind one of the teaspoons up a bit)

1 cup whole milk

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil also works well here, but you’ll want to melt it)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

For the honey buttercream

1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature

1/3 cup honey

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the cake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a saucepan over low heat add the milk and one teaspoon of loose leaf tea (not ground). Let simmer for five minutes to infuse the tea into the milk, but avoid letting it come to a full boil. Allow it to cool to room temp (feel free to set it in the fridge for a bit). Strain out the tea. Set aside. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar before adding in the eggs one at a time. Continue mixing while adding the vanilla and oil and allow the batter to become light and fluffy. I never truly know how light and fluffy these things should be, but just use your best judgement. While it is mixing, in a separate bowl you’ll want to add in your flour, baking powder, salt, and finely ground tea (or a teaspoon from a tea bag because you’re a lazy ass like me – I promise it won’t matter). The original recipe says to sift the dry ingredients together. Fuck sifting. Just don’t pack any of these things into their measuring cup/spoon, and you’ll be fine. If you want to be super accurate, you’re on the wrong food blog. This isn’t the British Baking Show. Mix the dry ingredients together before gradually adding them to the mixer while it is set to low speed. Try not to overmix. Once everything is just combined, add in the infused milk. Distribute batter into 2 greased 8 or 9 inch round cake pans (it calls for 8″, but I only have 9″ – it’s fucking fine). Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool for about 20 minutes before removing cakes from the pans onto a cooling rack. If you lose a chunk to the bottom of a stubborn pan, don’t panic. Take it as a sign from the snack gods that you deserve a treat! And fill the hole with frosting. Everyone wins.

Make sure the cakes are completely cool before frosting. I cut my layers in half to create 4 separate layers. It’s nice to have extra frosting in the middle, but it’s certainly not necessary.

For the honey buttercream

Add all buttercream ingredients to the mixer and whip until light and fluffy, about 5-10 minutes. Frost as desired! I kept my cake really minimal. It had a really thin layer of frosting, so you can see the cake through it in some spots. I also used some extra honey to drizzle along the edges. This is pretty initially, but doesn’t hold up well. If you want to do the honey drizzle, do it right before serving.

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