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.