Almond Raspberry Birthday Cake

Almond Raspberry CakeAnother year, another birthday, another cake.  It's the last year of my 30's, but that doesn't bother me.  All the best things in my life have happened in my 30's - falling in love, getting married, buying a home, giving birth to my beautiful baby boy - and I can only imagine all the amazing adventures that await our family in the years to come.

I've gotten in the habit the last few years of making myself an ice cream cake for my birthday, but this year, I really just wanted cake and buttercream.  The almond cake has a tender, moist crumb, and I filled each layer with raspberry amaretto jam.  Almond buttercream, covered in sliced almonds and fresh raspberries, dusted with a little edible shimmer powder make this cake simply irresistible...

Fizzy Lavender Lemonade

Fizzy Lavender Lemonade with Ginger Ale and Strawberry Ice CubesColorado summers are dry, so I can't really complain much about the heat, especially after talking with my mom today and being reminded of the humidity in South Carolina where my parents live, and where I grew up.  It's a bone-drenching humidity that puts the best intentions of getting some sun to rest if there is the temptation of something cold to drink and plenty of shade in which to enjoy it.

Still, though, it does get hot here, and I toss and turn at night, in spite of the air conditioner cooling the house down to a comfortable 74 degrees, since I like to be a little chilly in bed so I can snuggle deep under the covers to fall asleep.

The other day, David Lebovitz shared his recipe for Fresh Ginger Lemonade, and ever since then, I've been craving a cold glass of lemonade...

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins

Chocolate Blueberry Muffins
The muffins I make the most frequently, that I will never ever tire of, are my blueberry coffeecake streusel-topped muffins.  They are simply the best.  Not to mention, they're just so pretty to look at, with all those plump juicy berries peeking through the batter and that tempting crumb topping.  Everything is better with crumb topping.

But just to mix things up a bit, I created a little mash-up of those and my chocolate muffins, to create a uniquely flavored and incredibly moist muffin, not unlike my chocolate blueberry cake, which you might not even suspect contains blueberries, but rather has you wondering just how a cake could be so moist?  And with my homemade blueberry rhubarb jam baked into the centers of each muffin, they are even more wonderful.


Curly Girl Kitchen on Instagram
Although I find myself short on time, pretty much always these days, with a busy 8-month old who is crawling, exploring and climbing everything in sight, and I don't interact with all of you who regularly follow my blog as much as I would love to, I do so appreciate my loyal followers, both here, and on Instagram...

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Salted Caramel Ice CreamIt's suddenly hot here, and I've been stocking our freezer with all sorts of frozen treats.  Ice cream cookie sandwiches, which are my husband's favorite, as well as frozen cookie dough, and sugarless strawberry and coconut milk ice pops for me.  A no-recipe ice cream that I made by melting down some leftover chocolate cheesecake that was taking up room in the freezer, but that made a lovely, rich and decadent chocolate ice cream with more chunks of the cheesecake swirled throughout.

But the first ice cream I made this season was this salted caramel ice cream...

Cookies and Creamsicles

I remember that, growing up, I had a friend whose family would never buy cartons of cookies and cream ice cream.  Instead, they would buy vanilla ice cream, and a package of Oreos, break up the cookies and mix them together, convinced it was better that way.

But I disagree.  A crunchy Oreo cookie does nothing for me, and I'll only eat one straight from the package if I have a glass of cold milk to soak it in first until it's nice and soft.  And the same goes for ice cream.  The cookies need time to soak up all that creamy goodness so that they become one with the ice cream, not a too-crunchy afterthought that's tossed on top of vanilla ice cream.

Mimosa Cake

Mimosa Cake, Champagne, Orange Juice, SprinklesFor my first Mother's Day as a mother to our almost-8-month-old baby, my husband planned a special breakfast for me.  I slept in a little while he fed baby boy and then made a breakfast of eggs benedict and mimosas.  It was a lovely way to wake up.

We couldn't manage to finish the champagne, so I jumped on the chance to make a mimosa cake which I've had on my "to bake" list for quite a while.  Besides, we couldn't exactly waste a half bottle of champagne...