It’s that time of year again–tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, in case you’ve been living under a rock–and if you’re still looking for inspiration about what to make for your sweetheart (or something to make to spoil yourself!), this mini strawberry rustic cake is simple and chock-full of sweet berries. A hint of almond extract brings out the natural sweetness of the berries, which tend to be wonderful this time of year. With billowing stabilized strawberry whipped cream oozing out between the soft, moist layers and no frosting on the sides, it’s not only charming, but that much easier to make than a proper, has-to-be-perfect iced layer cake.
Like almost everyone I know, I love ramen and eat it often. I find it even more irresistible when the weather is rainy and chilly. Then, just try to keep me away from a big bowl of noodles and throat-soothing, savory broth. I dare you. I fell in love with ramen in earnest while living in the East Village in New York City. As luck would have it, the wonderful, postage-stamp sized ramen spot Minca was just a few blocks away. People came from all over to wait outside, no matter the weather, for a chance to sidle up to their bar overlooking the tiny open kitchen or to squeeze into a table and hunch over a bowl of rich, slurpy, nuclear-hot heaven.
You might be able to tell that I’m on a little bit of a baking bender lately. Maybe it’s the cold weather (for LA!–I know, I know; I’ve become pathetically warm blooded, as they say), but I keep finding every excuse to whip up some batter and fire up the oven. Bran muffins seemed like just the thing the other day, when I needed something portable and breakfast-y for an early morning drive
I dip, you dip, we dip… our pita chips in delicious, creamy, garlicky baba ganoush. If you’re looking for an easy dip that sounds exotic, is simple to prepare, and wins you more points for originality than whipping out a container of the ubiquitous hummus, I’ve got your new favorite right here.
As anyone who knows me even a little bit knows well, doughnuts are my true weakness. Always have been. Always, probably, will be. Plain glazed; old-fashioned; maple cake; chocolate with sprinkles; they can all send me into a transcendent state of sugar-sated contentment. That said, I don’t eat doughnuts every day. They remain, and will probably always be, a once-in-a-while treat. But one way to make them a a little easier and a little healthier, and thus a little more justified in the regular rotation, is to bake ’em in one of these nifty donut pans that started showing up everywhere a few years ago.