Red Red Raspberry

Late summer is raspberry season. Unfortunately it is also smoke season. Smoke season in Montana forces me to spend more time indoors than I would hope. I turn to what I call “food crafting”. I use my garden harvest and make things like pesto, pickles, jam, dehydrated herbs, etc. Stay tuned for spicy dilly beans, roasted red pepper walnut pesto, basil pesto, and dehydrating herbs in posts to come.

I have had raspberries in my garden for years. At our old house we had cultivated our raspberry patch carefully. We always got great harvests of big plump berries. More than we could eat in a summer. I made all sorts of things with them. At our new house, our raspberries have been more challenging. Last year we barely got any harvest. We added some more bushes but they will take some time to produce. This year we have a been luckier.

There’s nothing better than the mixture of lemon and raspberry. They are a perfect compliment. Perfect for cakes, loaves, scones, and muffins.

Lemon Raspberry Greek Yogurt Muffins

Muffin mix

  • 1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Zest of a full lemon, divided in 2 parts
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 2 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • Juice or half a lemon, to total 2 T
  • 3 T milk or half and half
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries


  • 1/2 c lemon juice
  • 2 T half and half
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 2 c powdered sugar

What I love about muffins is that typically they are a one bowl wonder if you will. Everything goes in a bowl, then the tin, then the oven, no muss no fuss, nothing too fancy. This recipe makes 12 muffins.

Start with your wet ingredients: yogurt, oil, eggs, lemon zest, and sugar. Whisk the wet ingredients together. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Then add the lemon juice and milk. Switch to a spatula and fold in the raspberries. Separate into muffin tins you can either use liners or spray the tin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 16-18 minutes. Mine typically take 18 until the tooth pick comes out clean.

Cool slightly while you whip up the glaze. I put all the ingredients into a glass measuring cup and mix, then pour over the warm muffins.

I recommend eating them quite quickly, while they last.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Get your vaccine. Make some muffins.

Once upon a scone.

Scones are the baked good I make the most. They are my absolute favorite.

They are a tender cross between a cookie, muffin, and biscuit, designed to be nibbled while drinking a hot beverage.

4 C flour
6 T sugar
8 t baking powder
1 C butter (2 sticks) cubed
1 C milk or half and half or almond milk
2 eggs (beaten)
2 t vanilla

Start with this basic recipe and go from there. You can add in anything. Here is a list of my favorite scones:


  • Lemon
  • Lemon rosemary
  • Lemon blueberry
  • Lemon Raspberry
  • Raspberry white chocolate
  • Huckleberry
  • Chocolate chip
  • Chocolate chip espresso
  • Chocolate chip and orange
  • Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Rosemary
  • Strawberry Rhubarb
  • Rhubarb and Cardamom
  • Maple and Pecan
  • Maple Bacon
  • Pumpkin spice
  • Pear and Cardamom
  • Peach and Cinnamon
  • Bacon, Cheddar, and Scallion
  • Cheese and chive
  • Vanilla bean

Toppings and Glazes

  • Course sugar
  • White sugar
  • Demarara sugar
  • Egg wash
  • Cream wash
  • Cinnamon glaze
  • Citrus glaze
  • Maple glaze
  • Espresso cream icing
  • Vanilla cream icing

I start by mixing my dry ingredients. I usually put my additions in at this section excluding fresh fruit. Cut in the butter until its is in pea sized pieces, crumbly and integrated, its ok if there are some larger chunks. Mix your milk, vanilla, and eggs together in a separate bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the wet ingredients in. Fold the dough onto itself and mix until just combined, do not over mix. I cannot stress this enough. Scones are on the edge of being biscuits. If you overwork the dough their texture is ruined. Add in whatever you want. Separate dough into 3 rounds, cut crossways into 4 triangles. Arrange on baking sheet on parchment paper. Bake at 400 for 18 minutes. Cool. Glaze, if you choose, its often recommended. By me. Because the best scones have glaze.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Get your vaccine. Eat scones.

Creature of Habit

I am instinctively a creature of habit. I crave a routine. It is self imposed. If I am derailed it is sometimes no big deal, I mean, I can be flexible, but I have my preferences just like anyone else.

When my routine is in chaos… well, you can guess. So am I.

Some of my habits, my “domestic habits” are making sourdough bread and brewing my own kombucha. Both of these things bring me a certain satisfaction as a maker. I can be more sustainable. But it is also about growth and a journey. There multiple steps in each process. I personally have excellent outcomes, sometimes, and sometimes the results are left to be desired. I find solace in the process. I like the steps. I also like the variance and specific challenges that both sourdough and kombucha provide. They are both dependent on outside factors like the weather, like time, like what they have been fed… lets be real- who isn’t dependent on what they have been fed.

Today, is brew day. That’s the day that I brew new kombucha (1st ferment) and flavor old kombucha (2nd ferment). As far as the kombucha goes, I tend to stick to some very specific flavor profiles. The reason I do this is that I already did all the trial and error. I tried all the different fruits, fresh fruits, frozen fruits. I tried different teas, different sugar substitutes but I go back to the same thing. Habit, I guess. My process is the same everytime. That might be why I find it challenging to write about it. I put it in my weekly’s- what else is there to say.

I typically make one of three types of kombucha. My go to: lemon ginger. In the summer when I have lots of fresh herbs on hand- I add herbs. My second, herbal tea infused uses 1 of two teas I buy locally called “montana gold” or “evening in missoula”. Finally my third and last is a seasonal fruit of either rhubarb or huckleberry. Very specific times of year.

Right now, it’s rhubarb time. In 2 weeks, it will be huckleberry time.

I brewed today:

  • Instructions: ( if its your first brew check weekly’s)
  • Bring a clean kettle to boil with 3 cups of water.
  • Prepare the vessel you will brew in, I use a gallon jar (16 cups). I sterilize it by cleaning it with mild soap and very hot water.
  • Then I pour 1 cup of granulated sugar into the bottom of the dry jar.
  • Once boiling I pour the 3 cups of water over the sugar and add 4-5 black tea bags. It can be the cheap kind. (I started making my own kombucha for 2 reasons: 1. IT IS SO CHEAP TO MAKE with minimal effort. 2. Mine tastes better than theirs)
  • Steep the tea in the sugar water for 10 minutes. It should be very dark.
  • Fill the vessel with cool water 3/4 of the way.
  • Once the sweet tea mixture has reached room temp add your scoby and some of your previous brew. Cover, and place in your kombucha cave (somewhere dark, with a relatively consistent temperature)
  • Now, flavor your previous brew. I am fan of efficiency. I flavor and bottle at the same time. Today I used some mint and some rhubarb sauce. I’ll tell you about the sauce.
  • Rhubarb sauce
    • Chop whatever rhubarb you have. I had about 3 cups once it was all chopped.
    • Place the rhubarb, 1/2 c water, and 1/2 c sugar in a sauce pan.
    • Bring to a boil, stir frequently.
    • Once the rhubarb starts to dissolve, turn off the heat but leave the pan on the hot burner. As the sauce starts to cool, smoosh (technical terms here) the soft rhubarb against the side of the pan.
    • Once cool- transfer to a jar. Refrigerate and put on all the things.
    • ( in this case I used 1-2 tablespoons per jar depending on the size of the jar of kombucha I was making)

So, like I said- the brew, some mint, and some rhubarb sauce. Twist the lids on tightly and leave in a dark place for 2-3 days. Refrigerate for at least one day before you crack it open. Drink a little booch, everyday.

Today was an unusual brew day. It also fell on “feed your mother” day. So I started my sponge for my sourdough as well.

I keep my mother in a wide mouth mason jar, she likes it there. I fed her half a cup of flour and about 1/4 cup warm water. I stirred until completely combined and smooth then I covered her loosely with the the lid and left her in the sink (in case of overflow). Usually she bubbles just right to the top, but when its hot- she sometimes overflows.

Tomorrow morning, I will mix my sponge from my fed sourdough, and tomorrow night I will bake my bread. Ah, habits. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Get your vaccine. Make habits.


There is something about chocolate. Something rich and important. Something of substance. Something necessary. Chocolate can be simple, basic or chocolate can be fancy, elegant. This dessert is both. Literally both. All four things at once.

Simple, basic, fancy, elegant.

Chocolate, I have found is also the easiest thing to bake gluten free with. Cocoa powder is gluten free and can act like flour. You also don’t seem to need as much sugar as other flavors. I’m a fan of dark chocolate. I like the bitter finish. This recipe is pretty versatile, you can you top the cake with whatever you want: cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or ganache.

It’s fast, simple, and flawless every time. It’s flourless chocolate cake.



  • 4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 t vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 T instant coffee powder/ espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


  • 3 T butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 t vanilla

Start by prepping you ingredients. Line a springform pan (8 inch) with a parchment paper round. Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth and silky. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar, vanilla, and instant coffee into chocolate mixture. Add eggs one at a time and whisk well. If you do not whisk quickly you risk getting scrambled eggs because of the hot chocolate mixture. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into a springform pan and bake in middle of oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. You can cool the cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate, or just serve from the base of your springform, either way.

This time I chose to top with a simple ganache that I make in the microwave. Butter and chocolate chips, 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, add vanilla, stir until smooth. Spread on top of the cake.

I have made this cake so many times I can make it by heart without a recipe. The original recipe I started using was a generic one from online. I added the vanilla and instant coffee. 😍 I have never been sorry.

This recipe is written to have cocoa powder sifted on top. But you can also sift powdered sugar or make a very simple chocolate ganache (2 T butter and 4 oz chocolate). Served with with berries or either whipped cream(boozy whipped cream is usually a hit) or ice cream.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Get your vaccine. Eat all the chocolate cakes.

Lemon bars taste like summer

I have been tried and true making the same lemon bar recipe for years. I want everyone to brace themselves. This recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups of sugar. I know! If someday I can find a way to make lemon bars as good as these with less sugar I will be sure to let you know. In the meantime…these are sinful. I love love love lemon bars. I am known for my lemon bars and they often come by request. I love all things lemon. I love every baked good that has lemon. Lemon bars are summer in your mouth. They taste like summer. They are summer. Rarely do I make them in the dead of winter. But sometimes… you need a little summer.

Lemon bars

This is a super simple dump type recipe.

Ingredients: crust

  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t vanilla (because the crust is like a cookie)
  • 1/2 t salt

Ingredients: filling

  • 6/7 eggs (depending on size)
  • 3 c granulated sugar
  • 2 T lemon zest or really just the zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 4 lemons approx 1 cup
  • 1 c flour
  • powdered sugar to sprinkle on top

Crust: cream the butter and sugar then add dry ingredients OR put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse together. Press crust into 9×13 pan. I love this recipe because 9×9 is not enough! Poke the crust with a fork all over to keep it from bubbling. A lot of recipes say to chill the crust. I have done it both ways and never noticed a difference. I just bake crust right away at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Because we like to be good stewards of our time, make the filling while the crust bakes.

Filling: I start with the sugar. Then I zest the lemons directly into the bowl with the sugar. Stir to combine. Juice your lemons. Add in your eggs, juice, and flour. Whisk eggs, sugar, zest, juice and flour vigorously to combine. I’m talking, your arm should hurt, and maybe switch arms half way through- just to even things out. Once the crust is done wait about 5 minutes then pour the filling into the crust and bake 30-35 minutes. There will still be a slight wobble. This is fine! Don’t risk overbaking. Cool, dust with powdered sugar before serving.

I always use a metal bench scraper to cut my lemon bars. Cut small squares- they are super rich and indulgent! Also it makes it easier to manage the powdered sugar. I like a generous layer on top but you could do just a dusting. This is a combination of Ina’s lemon bars (best ever) and my moms ( of course).

Nom Nom Nom.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Get your vaccine.

All things pumpkin

It’s that time of year. When girls wear boots and scarves and sweaters and drink pumpkin spice lattes. That time after Halloween but before thanksgiving. When leaves crunch under your feet and swirl on the road when you drive by. I love this time of year, but not necessarily the pumpkin spice latte. I’m pretty basic when it comes to coffee. Coffee and half and half. But I do bake a lot with pumpkin. I really like pumpkin baked goods but I hate pumpkin pie. Its a texture thing. If I could get past the texture I’d be all about it. I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin scones, pumpkin cookies, and pumpkin bars. YUM!

I made pumpkin bread last week and I had some leftover pumpkin puree. I put most of it in a squash soup I made but I had a little less than half a cup left. It’s raining and threatening snow. I’m going to a socially distance garage sitting wine date later and wanted to take something so I’m making pumpkin cookies, with all the things.


  • 1 1/2 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Rolled Oats
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 C (or just short) pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 C dark chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 C walnuts
  • 1/2 C pecans
  • 1/4 C shredded coconut

Combine all your dry ingredients: flour, oats, spices, baking soda, baking powder, salt and stir with a fork, set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Combine room temp butter and sugars, beat unit smooth. Add in egg and vanilla. Add pumpkin. Then add in dry ingredients slowly, until the dough has just come together, do not over-mix. If you are using a mixer, remove the bowl and use a spatula to mix in the goods. I like a generous cookie, otherwise you need 2. This recipe makes 16-20 pretty good sides cookies. I always stick a few extra chocolate chunks on top.

Bake 14 minutes. Yes 14. Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before you attempt to remove.

Obviously I am having these cookies with wine, but they are also excellent with coffee or tea. Just saying…

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.

Recipe Roundup

I have been working a lot on these…

So that’s why there isn’t much on here. My old book is full. So I am transferring and trying to organize the new one. I honestly thought it would be quicker and easier.

In addition to working on my recipe book I have been trying to narrow down recipes that I have multiple versions of. That makes for a lot of trial and error, which I then do not post in here- don’t want to give you a recipe that doesn’t turn out. I also have been doing a lot of baking as a way to support my mental health and self care. When I do that, I allow myself the freedom of not measuring, or writing things down.

I am currently in the breads and loaves section. The sweets sections of the loaves. I love flavored loaves. They are typically easy with few dishes, ingredients you always have around, and they make an awesome breakfast. I love carbs in the morning.

Here is a little sneak at the list of my loaf recipes I have honed in over the years:

  • Zucchini Bread
  • Chocolate Chocolate Zucchini Bread
  • Lemon Rosemary loaf
  • Banana Bread
  • Citrus and poppyseed
  • Pumpkin Loaf
  • Carrot Cake Loaf

Today I am only sharing two, but eventually I will share them all. This summer I spent a good amount of time going through recipes for things made with shredded zucchini which I had an excess of. Lately I have been into pumpkin, because it’s fall and its a cozy flavor. So I will share the plain old jane old zucchini bread recipe and the pumpkin loaf.

I found that I had 7 zucchini bread recipes. I made four of them and immediately got rid of 2. I adapted from the other 5 and I now have a go to recipe for zucchini bread. It is dangerous. In a really good way.

On that same note I had 4 pumpkin bread recipes. I had it narrowed down to a yummy browned butter loaf with lots of warm flavors like cardamom and nutmeg, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and a crisp cinnamon sugar sprinkle topping. I recently landed on a gem watching the food network with my mother in law. It was the final inspiration I needed for my go to pumpkin loaf. Molly Yeh puts cranberries on top of her pumpkin loaf. GAME CHANGER. Not in, just on top. It makes its look so beautiful and adds this lovely tartness.

Zucchini Bread

  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 C flour ( if you don’t have whole wheat or don’t want whole wheat you can do just all purpose flour, then it is closer to 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t cinnamon+ 1 t for topping
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cardamom
  • 1 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C either oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 C applesauce
  • 4 C shredded zucchini, drained of excess liquid
  • Chopped nuts (optional: occasionally I add 1/2 C walnuts)
  • 3 T turbinado sugar

First step with this loaf is to shred your zucchini. You can do this multiple ways. I typically used my food processor then transfer to a mesh strainer. You do need to strain it but don’t squeeze out the juice, there is a balance. While you are shredding your zucchini turn your oven to 350 and spray 2 loaf pans with cooking spray. Yes, 2. Thisis a double batch, my favorite! Next I mix all my dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Combine your eggs, yogurt, butter or oil, sugars, and vanilla with a whisk until combined. Add your dry ingredients and stir until just combined, then add the shredded zucchini and nuts if you want them. Transfer to the loaf tins, split equally. Now make a cinnamon sugar mixture out of the turbinado sugar and extra teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle on the top of the loaves. You do not want a layer that is too thick or it won’t crackle like it should. Bake about 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Pumpkin Loaf

  • 1/2 C or 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 C packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 C maple syrup
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 1/2C whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t cardamom
  • 2 t cinnamon + 1/4 t for sugar topping
  • 3/4 C pecans (1/2 C rough chop for top, 1/4 C fine chop for batter)
  • 1/2 C fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 3 T pumpkin seeds (optional: sometime I add 2 T for batter, 1T for top)
  • 2 T turbinado sugar (mix with 1/4 t cinnamon)

Part of what I love about this loaf is the toasty warm flavor. Partially attributed to browned butter and partially to the warm spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Step 1 with this recipe is to brown your butter. Put the whole stick into a saucepan on medium high, melt the butter down, as it melts you can stir it a few times to get an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Once melted, turn down to medium and leave it alone. DO NOT STIR. Let it brown for up to 5 minutes, typically it bubbles a little, you will see it separate a but be able to smell a nutty smell, and you will start to see small brown flakes in the butter. If you stir you release the heat, if you leave it too long it will burn. You can swirl the pan a little but that is it. Now, burned butter does not taste good in a pumpkin loaf. So make sure you watch it, if you burn it start over. Cool your browned butter for 5 minutes before using.

While your browned butter cools, prepare your loaf pan with cooking spray, preheat oven to 350, and combine your dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices in a small bowl. Mix all your wet ingredients: browned butter, pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add your dry ingredients. Add the finely chopped nuts if you want them (optional). Pour into a prepped loaf pan. Start with cranberries first, sprinkle them on top of the loaf then press them into the batter so they are half submerged, then sprinkle pecans and pumpkin seeds if you want them, then lastly the cinnamon sugar mixture. Pat the top of the loaf, make sure that the nuts and sugar have contact with the wet batter. Bake at 350 for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy! These both go great with coffee and cold mornings.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.

Cupcake Consult

You guyyyyysssss……I did a thing. It’s a thing I always wanted to do. Its a thing I’m pretty proud of.

I made cupcakes for a friend’s wedding, as a gift. I like to make cupcakes for friend’s kiddos birthdays. I make cupcakes for work. Matt loves vanilla cupcakes. This was the big leagues. I have been playing with my own cupcake recipes for quite some time now.

I made… a lot of cupcakes. I made 290 cupcakes. I only took 225 to the wedding. The perfect ones. The ones that turned out exactly how I wanted and planned. The other ones? Those are in my freezer. And the reasons and fact that they exist could be an entire blog in itself. I am a bit of a perfectionist, per say.

I had a plan. I laid it all out. I made a timeline. and it actually worked.

I pretended I was a bakery. I did a tasting and let them choose their cupcakes. I made 3 Costco runs and 4 grocery store runs and 3 amazon orders. I wrote out the recipes (doubled) for cupcakes and frosting. I separated out dry ingredients, both correctly and incorrectly. Take 1, I put my sugars into the dry ingredients. A cake no no. Learning opportunity. Don’t do that. I bought transport boxes and I bought 2 of my local grocery stores completely out of mascarpone cheese. I drove over a mountain pass slowly, like I had a baby on board.

They decided on Strawberries and Cream, Chocolate, and Salted Carmel. I decided on freezer bags, timelines, lists, and friends.

Specifically: I made my signature chocolate cupcake with chocolate mascarpone frosting, my strawberry cupcakes with vanilla white chocolate mascarpone buttercream, and my caramel cupcake with salted caramel cream cheese buttercream.

I knowwww….

Strawberry Cupcakes with Vanilla White Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream


  • 3 C Flour
  • 1 1/2 C Sugar
  • 2t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 2t vanilla bean paste
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 3/4 C butter
  • 15-20 dices strawberries depending on size


  • 8oz mascarpone cheese (room temp)
  • 1 C butter (room temp)
  • 2t vanilla
  • 10 oz melted quality white chocolate (slightly cooled)
  • 3-5 C powdered sugar depending on desired consistency
  • 2 T whipping cream


  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 15-20 diced strawberries, depending on size and how much you want on each cupcake

I like to have everything prepped before I start, I think it makes it faster and more efficient. The first thing I suggest is that you dice your strawberries. You could do all of the: cupcake and topping, but make sure you separate them. Or you could just start with cupcake strawberries. I combine my dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in a small bowl, stir with a fork and set them aside. I typically pour all my wet ingredients into cups, in this recipe your wet ingredient is buttermilk. Please believe the baking gods or Paul Hollywood that your eggs should be room temperature. Start by creaming your butter and sugar. Add in one egg at a time and all the vanilla bean paste. Alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet. Half the dry, half the buttermilk, repeat. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix. I used a spatula to fold the diced strawberries into the batter. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, fill 3/4 of the way full. DO NOT OVERFILL. Bake 18-22 minutes at 350. Check with toothpick to ensure cupcakes are done. I can get anywhere from 28-32 cupcakes with this recipe.

For the frosting, start with the room temp butter and mascarpone. Beat until combined. Add melted white chocolate and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and whipping cream. I like this frosting to be more dense, but then it is more difficult to pipe but it hold the strawberries better if it is more dense.

When I pipe, I do a small frosting blob (technical term) in the center and then I pipe a 2 layered circle to make a nest for the strawberries. I think these are the most beautiful cupcakes. They are simple but lovely.

Chocolate Cupcake with Chocolate Mascarpone Buttercream


  • 2 C flour
  • 1 C cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1/2 C sour cream
  • 2 t coffee
  • 1 t espresso powder
  • 6 T butter (room temp)


  • 4 oz mascarpone (room temp)
  • 1/2 C butter (room temp)
  • 8 oz melted quality semisweet chocolate
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3-5 C powdered sugar depending on desired consistency
  • 2T whipping cream

First brew some coffee, because you can drink coffee while you make these. Also, coffee brings out the chocolate flavor. Don’t overdo it, you literally only need 2 teaspoons. Combine and stir your dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, espresso powder. Cream your sugars and butter. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time. Add 1/3 of your dry ingredients, then the sour cream, another third of the dry ingredients, half the buttermilk, add the 2 t coffee now, repeat dry then buttermilk. Mix until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. This dough will be thick. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 way full. I get about 24 from this recipe. Bake at 350 18-22 minutes, sometimes longer on these.

For the frosting, start with the room temp butter and mascarpone. Beat until combined. Add cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar and whipping cream. I like this frosting to be more light and fluffy, almost like a mousse, I tend to be around the 3 1/2 cups. Decorate as you choose. I did a simple sprinkle.

Caramel Cupcake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream


  • 3 C flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3/4 C butter (room temp)
  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 2 t vanilla bean paste
  • 3 T salted caramel topping/whatever you have or make your own
  • 1 C milk
  • 1/2 C sour cream


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 C butter
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 3 T salted caramel topping
  • 3-5 C powdered sugar depending on desired consistency
  • 2 T whipping cream

Carmel Drizzle

  • 6 T butter
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 6 T heavy cream
  • 1 t salt

Choose whether you are making your own caramel for the cake and frosting or not. It’s okay if you are not. But you should make your own drizzle for the topping because it’s just better. It’s easy and I’ll share my secret. For this cupcake I combine my dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and salt) in a small bowl, stir with a fork and set them aside. I pour all my wet ingredients into their measuring cups, in this recipe your wet ingredients are regular milk and sour cream. Start with your sugars and butter, cream these. Next add the caramel, then eggs one at a time then vanilla bean paste. Next add 1/3 of your dry ingredients, then your sour cream, another third then half you milk, then repeat this step. Mix until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 way full. Bake 18-22 minutes at 350.

For the frosting, start with the room temp butter and cream cheese. Beat until combined. Add the caramel and vanilla. You will probably need at least 4 cups of powdered sugar for this frosting. I piped this on with a french tip then drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with course salt.

So the caramel drizzle. Its totally not cheating, because caramel can be hard and I have burned a lot of caramel and it is so frustrating. Make the drizzle in a glass microwave safe measuring cup. Melt the butter first. Add the brown sugar and salt. Stir furiously with a fork. Microwave for 30 seconds. Add the cream. Stir like you mean it. Microwave for 30 seconds. Based on consistency and if the brown sugar has melted all the way, you may have do 15 more seconds. Let it cool for a bit before you drizzle or you will melt your frosting.

There you have it. These are my carefully curated recipes for the cupcakes I made most recently. They are tried and true and you hope make them and love them as much as I do. I learned a lot with this process. Some great take aways and some things I won’t forget. It made for some good laughs. I had help from my tribe. I frosted and home and decorated onsite. It was nerve wracking. I had an epic caramel spill on the beautiful pink tablecloth. TG for paper towels, wood constructed cupcake stands and aunts. It went off rather well. I was surprised. I thought it would harder than it was. I just wanted it to be perfect for my dear friend. I know I could do this, like, do this do this- to make monies. But I still want to love it. If it became my job, I don’t know that I would.

The great thing about these cupcakes(or most of my cupcake recipes) is that you bake each recipe at 350. For 18-22 minutes. If you have more batches in it takes longer. On average I would say that the chocolate ones take the longest.

Because of my work and my personal feeling about large crowds, I didn’t stay to celebrate at the wedding. In some ways I think that was a good thing, I would have been watching everyone like some creeper to see what their reactions were to the cupcakes and if they liked them or not. It could get pretty weird. Even though I wasn’t at the wedding, I sure am glad I had the opportunity to use my love language as my gift to them. It was a way I could be there.

Eat cupcakes. Celebrate love. Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.

A sense of foreboding

I haven’t felt inspired to write much or share much of anything lately. Especially related to food. I have held this in my drafts. I look at it. I edit it. I don’t know what I want to say or how I want to say it. I’m not looking to offend. I have not been able to put my thoughts to words. I have something I want to share before I post about food again. I need to talk about some real things. I posted something months back, and took it down because I received some very negative comments. I wish I had been more brave. I wish I had been more eloquent. The problems of the world are not about me. I know this. But I experience them. It’s difficult to explain what’s been going on in my mind and my heart, but I’d like to try.

I am a chronic over thinker. I have ways of pulling myself out of the pattern. I am also an over feeler. I tend to feel intense emotions related sometimes to things I have no control over. Sometimes its suffocating. It feels like the weight of the world. I just want to cry when I read the news. I just want to scream “how could you?”, literally, how? Lately I have been lost in thought and feeling about the current state of our country. I feel this sense of foreboding. I feel this heaviness, anxiousness, uncertainty. It think it is almost ironic to me, in an incredibly sad way, that we are call the United States, when I feel like we are constantly so divided. Especially right now. I am proud to be an American. I feel quite blessed to be born in this country with the parents I had, the access to first world resources, and the opportunities that I have been given.

I am not interested in talking politics. I do not believe that politics are a part of who we are as individuals. I believe that our values are a vital piece of who we are, what do, how live, and how we interact with the world around us. Our values are what contribute to our partisan view. I was taught at a young age that we are all equal, that we are special, that we are all important. I was taught that we should take care of each other. I was taught that it matters what you do in this life and how treat other people. I was taught that you should do good.

I have felt great sadness, guilt, anger, and fear in 2020. In many ways I feel helpless. I am not asking for pity, I just want to talk about what I am feeling. I wonder if others feel this too. I am a white female. I have been educating myself. For me, that looks like reading, A LOT. I have been checking my privilege. With that comes guilt and questions. The biggest question is age old, “why?”. I have donated to causes, local, national, and global this year. It doesn’t actually make me feel better. I have many things that I believe everyone deserves. I know that is not realistic and is not a reality for many. I have never been discriminated against because of skin color. I have never had that dictate any aspect of my life. I have been discriminated against because of my age and because I am a woman. But that is not the same. I have felt safe, protected. I believe that laws are important and should be enforced to keep people safe. I have never feared institutions that should be designed to protect, serve, and promote peace. I have known individuals in law enforcement, those are people I respect, love, and admire. I could never do that job. I wouldn’t even try. I also think they have a responsibility, just as I do as a nurse. I know that what you do, as a career does not make you better or more valuable. It does not make your life matter more than another.

There is a code of ethics for nurses. If you cannot uphold this code, you shouldn’t be a nurse. The code is specific and straightforward. It says that you will provide care to those in need, free of judgement or personal prejudice. As nurse, you take care of individuals often at their most vulnerable. You are their advocate. It is a huge responsibility. I do not take it lightly. I think this applies across the board with any public service. With the pandemic, healthcare experts and healthcare workers have begged the public to heed the warnings, to mitigate their risk, to do simple things… like wash their hands, social distancing, and wear a face covering in certain situations. These requests are not meant to infringe upon people’s rights. These requests are made as a plea to care about each other and protect each other, especially our most vulnerable populations. We are all just trying to figure out how to deal with our “new normal” and live our lives. This is temporary, but far from over. When I hear people make comments about the pandemic, mask mandates, and people’s rights, I cringe when it gets political. It’s not a political issue. It’s a human issue. It’s a global issue. It’s a free country, thank God for that. We have the right to make our own decisions and believe our own beliefs. People fight and die for that right. I am all for diversity of belief. We do not have to agree. The only problem I have is when individuals justify certain actions and as inherent freedoms. I cannot understand, on a fundamental level, making a choice to condemn and refuse to comply with a recommendation that is put in place to try to protect people.

It all feels heavy and wrong. Can we do ourselves a favor? Can we care about the people around us…in our circles, in our communities, in our towns and cities, in our states, in our country? Can we care enough to stand up and say something, do something, when things are wrong? Can we care enough to try to protect each other? Is it too hard? What I am most afraid of is that we won’t show each other we care on a personal, political, professional and national level until its far too late.

Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.

Strawberry Rhubarb everything.

I’m in this place in summer where I am desperately trying to keep all the summer flavors as my access to them slowly starts to slip away. Strawberry rhubarb is one of my absolute favorite flavor combinations: pie, scones, muffins, breakfast loaf, syrup, sauce, jam, kombucha. This summer I have made them all.

My friends Carol, Christina, and Karen graciously shared their rhubarb with me this summer. Christina even gave me a little rhubarb plant to add to my new garden, which I promptly killed. I believe I drowned it. When they keep me in the rhubarb, they know I bake for them. Four cups of rhubarb can go a long way. A week ago I made a strawberry rhubarb galette. This week I made strawberry rhubarb scones, rhubarb sauce, strawberry rhubarb syrup and strawberry rhubarb kombucha.

I’ll tell you about my scones and my booch today.

Strawberry Rhubarb Scones

  • 4 C flour
  • 6 T sugar
  • 4 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t cardamom
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 C butter ( 1.5 sticks)
  • 1 large egg (rom temperature)
  • 1 1/2 C half and half
  • 1 C chopped rhubarb
  • 1 C chipped strawberries

Preheat your over to 425 degrees. Prep your baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk to combine. Prep your half and half in a 2 cup glass measuring bowl, add egg and whisk. Prep your fruit. Your butter should be cold, do not defrost or soften. Chop butter into small squares, sprinkle into try ingredients. Combine using a pastry cutter, use your muscles.

Make a well in the center of the dough. By well, I mean circle like indentation where you can create an eggy half and half pond. Pour the egg mixture into the well. Using a fork, bring the dough together, start with circles from the outside in. DO NOT OVERMIX SCONE DOUGH.

You will be so disappointed because the scones with be super dense rather than light and airy. When the dough has almost come together add the strawberries and rhubarb.

Dump dough out on a floured surface. Separate into two dough blobs. Work the first one, kneed about 5 times then pat into a round inch and a half high circle. Repeat with second dough blob. I cut each circle into 8 pieces so I get 16 scones. Most recipes say cut into 6 and get 12 scones. It really depends on how big you want your scones. And how many scones you want to eat and at what increments. Do you want to say “I only had one scone” or do you want to be able to say “I have had three scones!”, for the price of one large scone… its totally up to you.

Brush the tops of these with 1/2 and 1/2 or an egg wash if it pleases you. Sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake these precious bebes at 425 for 15-18 minutes.


Be smart. Be kind. Stay healthy and safe. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face.