fake-cation to florence!

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Happy 2021!

I hope you all had restful enjoyable holiday breaks and were able to come into the new year feeling like your phone after a long overnight software update and super-charging session! (Hm… I’m going to keep workshopping that new year greeting…)

We had about the loveliest fake vacation to Florence possible and I want to tell you all about it before I scamper off to filming GMF (season 8!):

  1. We basically just ate a bunch of mozzarella and prosciutto all week that we splurged on from the fancy section of the grocery store (by the bakery, not in the deli section) and it was delicious. We even acquired burrata which I’ve never seen in a grocery in Grand Forks. That was a TREAT! We had it all week long with loads of basil and the focaccia and Tuscan bread from Emiko’s book.

  2. For dinners, we cooked through Emiko’s book and made a great brick chicken, lots and lots of beans, homemade pappardelle, and one of the best homemade pizzas I’ve ever had in my life. It was so simple, just San Marzano tomatoes from the can, fresh mozzarella, and basil… but the thing I loved extra about it was dusting the dough with semolina flour for some good crunchiness.

  3. We celebrated Christmas outside with steamy bowls of ribollita and the weather was perfect. Not that I love talking about the weather but if we’re going to be forced to socially distance on a wintery holiday, we could at least get nice sitting-outside weather and we did!

  4. Our Florentine art exploration included making a “fresco” with Bernie, AKA we taped a big sheet of paper to the wall and drew all over it with crayons and rubber stamps. We made a mountain scene with ducks, so many ducks.

  5. We took a “day trip to ski* in the Italian Alps**” (*sled on a giant inflatable unicorn, **on a hill in town)

  6. We went “wine tasting* all over the hills of Tuscany**” (*swing set testing, **playgrounds of Grand Forks)

  7. Had not one but two blissful spa days, AKA I sat in a coconut tub with a face mask on and read Adam Rippon’s book for the entirety of Bernie’s nap time. Then used a lot of cuticle oil.

  8. Watched some great TV on the “airplane” (couch), including The Flight Attendant, Bobby and Giada in Italy, Bridgerton, Wonder Woman, Big, and Soul. Wow, Soul.

  9. Meditated! I got the Calm app and wow my brain is like “Thank U, self!!” 10/10 recommend.

Where should we fake go to next?? Should we time travel back to the 90s and only eat pizza rolls and dunkaroos all week? Ooh that sounds fun… Alright g2g, figure skating nationals is on!! Bye!!!

-yeh!

bye, 2020!

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photos: birthday cakes for nick and grumpa / ugly hanukkah sweater dala cookies / graham cracker village / black sesame halloween cats! / bernie as elmo / one of many recent hotdishes / homemade gelt! / the splatter cake i made on drew barrymore’s show! / making latkes on the today show / latke nachos (lat-chos!) / pumpkin pies packed up for special deliveries / day-after-thanksgiving sandwich / thanksgiving / the donut cake from yossy’s new book, snacking cakes / snow and mitten / a random hummus platter / made pancake cereal lol / s’mores sufganiyot

Hi fronds! 

I just wanted to check in and say hi/happy holidays before we leave for our fake-cation to Florence later this week!! A fake-cation is when you strap yourselves to the couch for seven hours while you “fly” to Italy and then when you “get off the plane” you only eat Italian food and wear fanny packs and have very limited cell phone service for a week. We’re going to pretend that we’re staying at the Four Seasons Florence and only use tiny soap and then when we depart for our day we’ll map out our route based on what’s walkable and then choose our meals according to menus in the area. Is this deranged? On a scale from pancake cereal to breastmilk cheese have we lost it? Ok we’re not actually going to simulate the flight because can you imagine doing that to yourself with a toddler (!) but we ARE stocking up on Nutella and ingredients to cook through Emiko DaviesFlorentine, and we do fully intend to immerse ourselves in Italian art and music and, oh yeah, wine. I should set alarms on my phone to sneak chocolates onto Nick and Bernie’s pillows before bedtime. 

So that’s where we’ll be next week and I don’t plan on bringing my computer (i.e. I’ll do the thing I always do between Christmas and the New Year which is that I tape my computer shut with washi tape). But I wanted to tell you about some highlights of the latter part of our year!  As some of you have noticed on Instagram, we’re in a temporary house right now because we’re adding onto our home! It has been such a fascinating process and I can’t wait to share more details, but it should be ready sometime in the summer. So that means I’ve been writing Home Is Where The Eggs Are in a temporary kitchen which has been a highly informative adventure because I have an entirely different set of appliances to test recipes on. But we also miss our house so much! Being in a temporary house + this pandemic feels like walking in a never-ending ball pit some days but we’re safe and cozy and here are things that make us smile:

  1. I have stumbled on one of the great unexpected bonuses of having a child: Bernie loves brushing my hair!!! I don’t even miss going to spa days anymore, I just sit on the living room floor and Bernie says “comb! comb! comb!” and does this hybrid brush/pet thing on my head, it feels so nice.

  2. Our temporary house is more out there than our farm and yet there is so much life all around. There are three deer, two mamas and a baby, who come by at dusk and eat the apples from our trees. We wave at them from our window. And also a cat! Mitten. She comes on evening strolls with us and puts up with a certain someone who likes to tug her tail. Probably because she knows she gets post-soup chicken carcasses if she sticks around?

  3. We had a tiny but very tasty Thanksgiving. It was one of the few meals I can remember that didn’t revolve around testing for my book and so I didn’t have to sit down and immediately analyze every bite and bring myself on that emotional roller coaster haha… I could just use butter/salt/pepper and enjoy brussels sprouts, Alexandra Stafford’s stuffing, Hayden’s cranberry sauce, Sister Schubert rolls, smoked ham, lefse, Nick’s pumpkin pie, and more stuffing in all of its delicious glory.

  4. Bernie has become such a great help in the kitchen! We got her this thing called a Toddler Tower which is basically a really high step stool with a railing around it and she helps wash potatoes, whisk batters, dump seasonings into things, and just last week I put her on piping bag duty for our little graham cracker gingerbread houses. She ate all of the crackers that she piped frosting onto so none of them made the final houses but her coconut snowstorm did!!!

  5. We had a great Hanukkah in which we lit candles and read new books every night! The best book of all was this board book for Bernie that we made using pictures of her doing all of her favorite things (it is called “Self” because she loves looking at “self”). And we made homemade gelt!!

  6. So much soup. Always soup. I love soup.

  7. And so much Elmo. And then when it’s naptime, I watch that new Disney+ ballet series! It’s so great.

Ok that’s all! Happy holidays, friends!!!!!

-yeh!

bagel and lox aprons!

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Do you ever look at the colors in a bowl of pasta or braiser of brisket or plate of chicken shawarma and think, “Gee… this color palette would look AWESOME on a dress?” Or like daydream about a beautiful matzo ball-colored sweater with rosemary stitching and black pepper flecks all over? Or a tahini trench coat. This is what occupies my brain and this is what I’ve been having fun thinking about for months now in designing this new bagel and lox apron with my friends over at Enrich and Endure!! I’m so excited about it and today it goes on sale!

Here is what all of the linen colors and stitching represent:

The main panel is salmon, obviously, for the lox.

The red pocket is tomato and there is a chive cream cheese pocket on top of that because chive cream cheese is the best cream cheese (this small pocket is a great sprinkle tweezer or lip gloss pocket)!

The beige pocket is bagel color and it is a poppyseed bagel because poppyseed bagels deserve just as much love as everything bagels. 

The neck strap represents dill and capers.

The purple strap is for the sliced red onion.

And the dark brown strap is for the edges of a bagel that is toasted, which you’re allowed to do if the bagel you’re eating is more than a few hours out of the oven. So I guess if we want to be specific, this is a day-old bagel and lox apron haha. 

That’s it!!! Add it to every gift list this holiday season and enjoy!!! And get one if their very comfy, very beautiful face masks while you’re at it.

Enrich and Endure is based in Northern Ireland and they ship all over the world. Their quality is stunning (they make the aprons that I wear on Girl Meets Farm!), the owners are the best, and I cannot say enough good things about them. So go check out our little collab right this way :) 

Don’t like bagels and lox? Or just need more aprons?? Check out the rainbow and sprinkle aprons I designed with them last year!!


photos by Chantell Quernemoen

let’s ketchup!

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Let’s Ketchup!

And I promise I will not use the phrase “in these uncertain times” because if I hear that phrase one more time I’m going to pull my hair out. Which might actually not be that bad because a lot of it is going grey and it is in desperate need of a color. But, like, it’s a given that we are all losing our minds (?) so I’m doing something that I used to do when I’d lose my mind back in college and ketchup to you in the form of a… HAPPY LIST!

1. It’s gonna snow tomorrow! And it was the fastest sugar beet harvest in recent history so Nick is currently tucking the fields in for their long winter nap and then after that, it’s all Hallmark Christmas movies, all the time. And maybe some road trips, depending on how long Bernie will sit in her car seat and play with stickers and watch Elmo.

2. Omg, Bernie loves ELMO. And stickers and painting and playing with Play-doh and pouring vinegar into baking soda and eating smiley face pizza and crunching through piles of leaves outside, all of the typical toddler things that I can still remember loving when I was a kid. So each day with her allows me to relive awesome kid stuff. She’s also learning so many words. New words every day. And the pronunciations are next level. For example: she says “shirt” without the “r” sound, “walk” with a German “w” sound so it sounds exactly like the F word, and “clock” minus the “l” sound. Honestly thank goodness we are social distancing during this time of language development.

3. I’m working on my next cookbook! It is called Home Is Where The Eggs Are and it features all of the food that I make for our little family on a regular basis. No big celebrations or parties or deep fryers required, just really tasty cozy stuff, a lot of which you can make with a toddler in your arms. So far writing it has been a dream, it’s one of the great things that is keeping me from going completely insane these days. I love the subject of feeding my family food. It’s probably my favorite subject of all other than Bernie.

4. I’ve been consuming a lot of media (just like you probably?) and here are some of my recent favorite books/music/shows/podcasts:

-American Royals and Majesty: it’s basically if Gossip Girl took place in a world where America was a monarchy.

-China Rich Girlfriend: the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians. I never read the first book, just watched the movie over and over. I can’t wait to read the third book now.

-Very Amusing: a podcast all about Disney!

-Unorthodox: I know, I won’t shut up about this podcast, but their most recent one with Mayim Bialik was extra great.

-Somebody Feed Phil: I am late to this game but Phil’s happiness and energy is like a good espresso shot for the soul.

-Emily in Paris: freaking duhhhh

-Invention: This is an album from my old college friend Michael Thurber and Tessa Lark and it is for when I need something autumnal and cozy but can’t handle the strong emotions that Sufjan pulls out of me.

5. I bought yogurt dip n dots yesterday

6. We’ve been eating a lot of soup

Ok, well, I think that mostly covers it. No real adventures to report back on, other than going through the Starbucks drive-through. Oh! We did go hiking at Turtle River State Park and that was beautiful and delightful. But yeah that’s it.

What’s new with you??

How to Make a Funfetti Cake From Scratch

It’s always more fun (and fulfilling!) to DIY. Today, we’re making an artificially delicious childhood treat a little bit more authentic. Molly Yeh from My Name is Yeh shows us how.
Deep in the heart of Park Slope, my family and I sat at…

It's always more fun (and fulfilling!) to DIY. Today, we're making an artificially delicious childhood treat a little bit more authentic. Molly Yeh from My Name is Yeh shows us how.

Deep in the heart of Park Slope, my family and I sat at my sister’s wedding rehearsal dinner, eating and drinking merrily, as a wedding party does. Up until that point, my day had been spent in my small Brooklyn kitchen, baking cakes in five of my sister’s favorite flavors (pistachio, black sesame, lemon, chocolate, red velvet) for what would be my very first wedding cake. It was epic—enough for a wedding four times the size of my sister’s—and I was a very proud maid of honor.

Read More >>

Apple and Honey and Marzipan Rolls

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My concept of time right now is all thrown off, I’ve just gotten home from celebrating Hanukkah* (and I have the dreidels on my nails to show it), summer has decided to come back for a weird unwelcome encore (get away!!), and I spent all last week testing Christmas cookie recipes. And the tomatoes have finally decided to turn red. Have you ever had a tomato and mayonnaise sandwich for lunch followed by a piece of stollen for dessert? It’s so weird. I mean, ok, I can’t complain, it’s all good things except for the gross 80 degree heat but I am ready to truly immerse myself in the upcoming high holidays because I think Rosh Hashanah is my preferred new year out of the three new years that we do. I just feel like the fact that it happens at the beginning of the school year and the start of sweater weather makes it feel way more like the dawn of something exciting than the Gregorian New Year (which hasn’t really been fun since I was 22 and could drink a Red Bull and vodka together) and the Chinese New Year (which is delicious and great but January as a month is kinda a drag. And I’m too old to get envelopes of money now 🤷🏻‍♀️). 

*We just filmed the Hanukkah Cooking Championship for Food Network! It was a dream. I even got kinda emotional over the fact that there is actually going to be a Hanukkah show on Food Network!! The food was so delicious and the other people on it were the bee’s knees. Whether or not you celebrate Hanukkah, you guys are going to lurrrv this show. 

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Speaking of celebrating Jewish holidays on the TV (!), this weekend is the Rosh Hashanah brunch episode of Girl Meets Farm! Both Stoopie and my silly Aunt Cathy came to town to film this episode and it was a blast. I cooked brisket with my mom, made a celery cocktail with Aunt Cathy, and introduced Bernie to her crazy family. The recipe I’m most excited about is these apple butter rolls, which look just like cinnamon rolls, but they’re better because they’re topped with honey marzipan frosting. If you’ve ever thought omg challah baking in the oven is the best smell evarrr, try filling little swirly rolls of challah with a very cinnamony apple butter and grated almond paste and, wow, your pumpkin spice candle didn’t stand a chance. And then they get topped with a frosting made of marzipan butter and honey which is thick, glossy, luxurious, parve, and perfect. So you’re checking all of the Rosh Hashanah boxes with these rolls: Round challah? Check. Apples? Check. Honey? Check. A make-ahead situation? Check check. And marzipan, because a few years back I started including marzipan with the apples and honey tradition since almonds go so well with both apples and honey, and it just decided to stick around. They are so soft and fluffy and decadent and good. Exactly the ticket for a sweet New Year!


Apple and Honey and Marzipan Rolls

Makes 12 rolls

ingredients

1 c (236ml) almond milk, warm (105-110ºf)

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp + 1/4 c (50g) sugar

4 1/2 c (585g) all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

a pinch of cardamom

2 large eggs

1/2 c (100g) flavorless oil

1/4 c (84g) honey

1 tsp vanilla

 

filling

3/4 c (204g) apple butter, store-bought or homemade

1 tsp cinnamon

6 oz (170g) almond paste, grated on the big holes of a box grater or finely chopped

Eggwash: 1 large egg beaten with a splash of water

 

frosting

1 1/2 c (192g) blanched almonds

1/4 c (84g) honey

Zest from 1/2 a lemon

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp almond extract

6 tb (89ml) almond milk

Toasted sliced almonds, for topping

clues

Combine the milk, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of sugar and swirl together. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy on top.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, honey, and vanilla. Stir the yeast mixture and the oil mixture into the dry mixture and then knead, either on a work surface or with the dough hook, adding more flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and slightly sticky, 7-10 minutes. Place in an oil bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 1/2-2 hours, or until doubled in size. 

Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and roll it out into a large 18” x 12” rectangle. Spread it with the apple butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and almond paste. Roll it up tightly the long way, and pinch the edges to seal. Cut into 12 rolls and place evenly spaced in a 9” x 13” baking dish (3 rows of 4). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or let rise at room temperature for another hour and then go directly to the baking step.

When ready to bake, remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours, until puffy. Preheat the oven to 350ºf. Remove the plastic wrap and brush with the egg wash. Bake until the rolls are lightly browned; begin checking for doneness at 35 minutes. 

To make the frosting: Blend the almonds in a food processor, scraping the sides occasionally, until creamy and spreadable, about 5-10 minutes. Add the honey, lemon zest, salt, and almond extract and continue to blend (it may clump together at this point up that’s ok) as you drizzle in the milk. Blend until creamy. This can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.

When the rolls come out of the oven, spread them with the frosting, sprinkle with the almonds and serve.

Print this recipe

-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen.

Summer of Bernie!

The summer is over! It’s quarter-zip fleece weather! But still acceptable birkenstock-with-no-socks temperature! The apples are getting their color, th…

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The summer is over! It’s quarter-zip fleece weather! But still acceptable birkenstock-with-no-socks temperature! The apples are getting their color, the sky is cloudy on the reg, wheat harvest is here, and two nights ago we ate PHO. This is my dreamscape. Good gosh geez I love being on the cusp of peek coziness sooo much, I can taste the pumpkin bread already. Bernie’s world is about to start smelling less like fresh basil and Eggboy sweat and more like cinnamon and brussels sprouts with spätzle and butter and it’s awesome. Ok but I didn’t want to zoom to the next season before documenting some of my favorite moments from this summer!

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We went to the the county fair! Bernie met baby goats, baby chickens, mini ponies, and a 7-day-old alpaca! We danced to Eggboy’s big band concert and then I ate a big sausage which tasted exactly how fairs smell, smoky and meaty. And we drank a chocolate strawberry malt. A+ day.

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We went on our first little family trip, to Bemidji! We stayed about two feet away from the lake in a tiny cabin with gigantic windows, so all of my nightmares about arriving at our destination to find that we had forgotten Bernie’s sound machine went out the window because we had nature's sound machine of the waves all night and it was the loveliest. During the days we hiked, ate pizza and spumoni, had wild rice in our pancakes, tried on Lester Nygaard hats, waved to Babe and Paul Bunyan, and picnic’ed on fancy cheese and ‘ndujia. It was a short but sweet trial vacation for the next time when we choose a destination that’s more than two hours away!

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I went to LA for, like, a few hours because that’s all I could manage for a first trip away from Bern! It was for a little work trip and I got to get all dressed up and stand in front of a background while someone shot a fan at my hair. This is what that looked like! Thanks to Getty and Benjo for the left photo and to TV Guide and Maarten for the right photo!

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Bernie met Bernbaum’s and all of our other Fargo faves, like India Palace and Twenty Below and Zandbroz and Sandy’s and Barnes and Noble. (Umm have you been the new Bernbaum’s?? It’s epic, get the black and white cookie.)

We had so many visitors! Sonja and Alex came for a pizza party, my bridesmaids came for a Girl Meets Farm episode, and Auntie Cathy even came and did her famous turkey impression :)

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I forgot what TV looks like. Every time I turn it on, even just to have Savannah and Craig chatting in the background, Bernie cranes her head and only wants to look at it and not sing Baby Beluga so I stopped turning it on. What happens after they fall down the elevator in Stranger Things? Anything good?

Baby Beluga is always in my head. Always.

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We went to The Lake! I don’t know what summer weekends are like where you live, but here everybody flocks to The Lake. The Lake refers to any number of lakes in the area and what I’m told from Eggboy is that the lake is a place where you eat potato chips and relax, either in the water or in a chair looking at the water. I didn’t get it when I first moved here because I thought, we already live in a very calm relaxing place and I already eat potato chips, why do I need to get more relaxed and eat more potato chips? But I’m slowly starting to get it, that’s where the weekend energy is and floating in a lake is fun and it’s acceptable to subsist on boloney on white bread (in addition to potato chips) at the lake. So even though we don’t have a Lake house we found the public access spot where we’re going to go from now on anytime we feel like chips. And next time Bernie will actually be able to go in the water!

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I had my fifth summer at Unglued Camp!!! I only went for a quick second since you-know-who had bedtime and other you-know-who was harvesting but in that time we made fancy uncrustables, splatter painted cake, ate delicious ice cream sandwich sliders, and gossiped with all of my new and old fronds. Camp is the bessst.

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We celebrated nephew Cliff’s first birthday! I made his cake and smash cake and wow making cakes these days takes serious nap time ninja moves but we did it and Cliff smashed it!!

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We gardened, we looked at the baby in the mirror, we danced, and giggled!

Ok the end, craziest/best summer ever!! Welcome, fall!!!

-Yeh!

Rainbow Cake with Strawberry Buttercream + My Blog is Ten!

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10 years ago this week, this blog was born! I feel like I should make a speech?? I’m terrible at speeches (see: the time I officiated Stoop’s wedding and made the speech about farts), but I’ll give it a try anyway because I’ve been getting a little emotional reflecting on these past 10 years and thinking about how much fun and fulfilling it’s been to keep this blog. She’s been with me through so much! My bangs and eyeliner phase, my schnitzel eating phase, my lunch packing bike riding phase! The first layer cake I ever made is buried in these archives, as is the first recipe I ever wrote. I blogged about my first date with Eggboy, our move to the farm, our wedding, our Bernie... I’ve made so many of my closest friends through my blog and documented adventure after adventure after weeeeeeird adventure. And seriously now that I think of it, I really would have no friends here if I didn’t meet them through my blog haha. 

This blog has led to my book and my show and helped me cobble together a job that I wake up every day excited to go to and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I am also so extremely grateful for the connections I’ve made to you. I feel like I have pen pals all over the world! The internet and social media world has changed so much in the past 10 years (can you believe that this constituted a blog post back in the day?!) and it’ll continue to change but this blog is like a roach, it’ll never die because it’s my diary and since I was 7, I haven’t been able to *not* keep a diary. I just have always had this wild urge to document, no matter how normal my week was.

Thank you for being here and reading and following along and sending over your sweet comments. You really do make the world feel like a smaller warmer cozier place. 

Ok that’s the end of my speech, I’m done being mushy, let’s celebrate with cake!!!

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This is my first layer cake postpartum! Making it was a journey. it took like three days! I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to, with all of my time now spent singing Baby Beluga and changing diapers, but finally I put Bernie in the sling and committed. We walked around the house collecting ingredients and remembering where I put the measuring spoons, and the stand mixer white noise sound was like music to her ears. I stuck some cake scraps under her nose so she could smell them and I think she liked it! I also tried to make the colors good and bright so that she could appreciate them. 

I am so happy with the end result, both aesthetically and texturally. I was admittedly nervous about the texture since adding food coloring to batter requires so much extra stirring (and an over-stirred batter can lead to a gummy weird cake) but I ended up basically saving the last stir until I divided the batter between the six bowls and added the food coloring, and that kept the texture just how I like it: fluffy, dense, and moist! This cake is sooo rich, delicious, buttery, and sweet. I like adding coconut oil in addition to butter to up the richness. I typically use refined coconut oil, which doesn’t have any coconutty flavor, but this time I went with unrefined and the tiny hint of coconut flavor was so good, almost almondy. The frosting is flavored with a plop of strawberry preserves which adds a hint of sourness that balances the sweetness quite nicely. I loved eating this cake! I would have eaten way too much of it if I didn’t have the Girl Meets Farm crew here to share it with. 

The colors that I used were all Americolor and in ROYGBV order, they are: chili pepper, pumpkin, dijon, moss, wedgewood, and eggplant. In another world I would have maybe tried to go the all-natural coloring route with matcha and freeze dried berries and turmeric but there was only so much Baby Beluga singing time that I was able to give up so I figured this was an OK compromise!

Obvi you can forego the food coloring all together and just make a hella good vanilla cake with strawberry frosting and maybe even add a layer of strawberry preserves between the cake layers, ooh that’d be good. 

Happy baking!


Rainbow Cake with Strawberry Buttercream

makes one 6-layer 6” cake

ingredients

3 1/2 c (450g) all-purpose flour

1 tb baking powder

1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 1/4 c (300g) heavy cream, room temperature

1/2 c (120g) sour cream, room temperature

1 c (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 c (100g) refined or unrefined coconut oil, soft but not melted

2 1/4 c (450g) sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tb vanilla bean paste or extract

1/2 tsp almond extract, optional

food coloring (see notes above for specific colors that I used)

 

strawberry buttercream:

1 c (225g) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 c (80g) strawberry preserves

5 c (600g) powdered sugar

1/8 tsp kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract

6 tb (90g) heavy cream

a drop of pink food coloring, optional

clues

to make the cake:

preheat the oven to 350ºf. grease and line the bottoms of six 6” cake pans with parchment and set aside (if you don’t have six pans, you can bake in batches).

in a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder, and then lightly stir in the salt and set aside. in a large measuring cup, whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream and set aside. 

in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, coconut oil, and sugar on medium high for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. add the vanilla and almond extract, if using. reduce the mixer to medium low and add the dry mixture and cream mixture in 3 alternating additions, stopping right after you add the last of the dry mixture and cream mixture- don’t mix them in completely because when you mix in the food coloring you’ll continue to mix and that’s when everything will get combined. (the reason for this is that you want to prevent over-mixing at all costs!) divide the batter between 6 medium bowls (using a scale is the most efficient way to do this) and stir in good big plops of food coloring until the batter is bright. distribute the batter evenly between the cake pans and spread it out evenly.

bake until the tops of the cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs on it; begin checking for doneness at 22 minutes and try your darnedest not to let it overbake. let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

to make the buttercream: 

in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and preserves until creamy. gradually add the powdered sugar, and then mix in the salt, vanilla, and heavy cream. mix until creamy.

to frost the cake, level the tops of the layers and then stack them up with a thin layer of frosting in between. frost all over and decorate as desired! enjoy!

Print this recipe

-yeh!

photos by chantell and brett quernemoen

Bernie, Two Months!

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Hello from Bernie’s 10th week! She is nearly 2 1/2 months old and smiles more and more each day! We have settled into the best little routine where every morning we have wiggle time, then go to the gym to stroll and listen to Unorthodox, and then come home and make a big summery salad for lunch. In the afternoon we do a fun thing like read crinkly tail tale books or swat at hanging vegetable toys before snuggles and nap time (that’s when I watch Jeopardy and read Bringing Up Bébé). Then we make dinner and Eggboy and I watch Fargo while we wait for Bernie to poop so that we can then give her a bath without worrying that she’ll poop in it (yep, learned that one the hard way haha). It’s peak maternity leave livin’ around here and we are soaking it in. Also the weather has been amazing, so we are, as Bernie puts it, “GOO!” Some highlights from this past month include:

-Our first little family picnic! On Memorial Day, we grilled sausages, potatoes, and broccolini, and drank rhubarb soda while we enjoyed the evening breeze.

-Bernie’s first out of town visitors! Jaclyn and Katie came to town and we had the best weekend ever, which included a trip to Fargo for the Antiques Roadshow (with a stop at Silver Lining Creamery after), the North Dakota Shakespeare 5K (err- we walked 3Ks of it ;), an afternoon picnic in the backyard with cookies and cookie dough (and carrots for balance), and cinnamon roll pancakes at Darcy’s.

-Cuddle time with Mrs. Moose. Bernie’s been grasping and swatting at toys and in true baby fashion she definitely prefers the super saturated weirdly colored high contrast ones. The muted rainbow lover in me is like “😳🙄 But Bernie, this hot pink neon green bumble bee clashes terribly with your navy car seat, mustard outfit, and olive pacifier…” but it’s ok, maybe one day she’ll love dusty rose like I do??

-Bernie’s first Syttende Mai, Norwegian Constitution Day! She is 5/16ths Norwegian, so we went to Sons of Norway and ate lefse, krumkake, rømmegrøt, and all of the other faves. She wore her Norwegian accessories from our friend Trude in Norway and had the best time!!

-My first Mother’s Day, it was delightful! Bernie and I worked on her cookbook and snuggled the day away. Then the following week it was my birthday and we went out to lunch wearing identical outfits and spent the rest of the day baking cookies and cake!

-Bernie talks soo much!! We have great conversations about Ooo and Ahh and Goo, I love them.

-She has gotten very tall, she has Eggboy’s legs. Hallelujah!

Ok, we’ve gotta go pick rhubarb!! Bernie’s sending some friendly hiccups in your general direction and I’m waving! Bye!

-Yeh!

Passover + Bernie’s First Month

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Despite getting aggressively sick of matzo and showering millions of matzo crumbs all over Bernie every day (sorry, Bernie!), we had the best Passover ever. My mom flew in like a true Passover Mary Poppins and prepared the most delicious brisket, sweet potato kugel, matzo balls, and charoset while I fumbled around just trying to melt some dang chocolate for a flourless chocolate cake while Bernie snoozed but sometimes wailed in her ring sling. (Check out the finished cake! Whatever the cake decorating equivalent is to the Ravel Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, I’m practicing for it.) We set the table with my favorite flowery tablecloth and a makeshift seder plate, complete with Bernie’s toy beet because we couldn’t find a bone and it turns out that a beet is commonly used on vegetarian seder tables, and had the Eggs over for a short and sweet Seder. Bernie slept the entire time and even let me put her down in her bouncy chair so that I could safely eat some soup. She kind of woke up to telepathically guide Eggboy to where she thought the Afikoman was hiding and won, of course. Her prize was a Mo Willems book from Auntie Elaine.

The rest of the week consisted of leftover brisket matzo pizza, cheesy matzo brei, matzo lasagna, pb and j on matzo, kewpie and swiss on matzo… If I was an octopus I would have fixed big beautiful ramp-filled spring salads while also cuddling Bernie, but I’m not an octopus so I chose the next best route which still involved cuddling Bernie but required having to just one-hand scarf the most readily available calories on top of matzo. (And I only cheated once when I determined that one hour of solid Bernie screaming earned me one unit of chametz, which I redeemed in the form of a Jimmy John’s Turkey Tom.)

Other than Passover, we have had such a wonderful month, the first month of Bernie! It has included lots of firsts and lots of learning: 

-Bernie took a pacifier for the first time yesterday and I melted almost as quickly as I did the first time I held her. What is it about baby faces with pacifiers sticking out of them that are sooo outrageously adorable??

-We baked challah for the first time! Bernie was nestled in her Solly wrap while I braided. We made three loaves: everything bagel, cinnamon raisin, and sea salt. I hope she enjoyed the smell of it baking. Imagine smelling freshly baked challah for the first time!

-I learned how to not get projectile pooped on. (Of course, it took getting projectile pooped on to learn that…but it was my own fault for standing in the line of fire.)

-I learned how to plan a Sunday to avoid the witching hour so that Bernie would be calm throughout Game of Thrones.

-This morning I took Bernie up a flight of stairs for the first time. She was in her sling and fast asleep but in my mind it was a *moment*.

-Bernie had her first bath and I think she likes bath time!!

-I learned that the acoustics in the grocery store are not actually that bad when combined with Bernie screams. The acoustics in the gym kind of are though. Conveniently, it’s easier to drop everything and leave the gym than it is to drop everything and leave the grocery store. 

-And lastly, I learned how to have reasonable limits. Do one thing every dayjust one, advised Eggsister, and it’s been the best goal. One outing (like going to the grocery store or on a walk at the gym, but not both) or one project (like writing this blog post or baking something or working on Bernie’s baby book) plus all of the necessary baby stuff (feeding, changing, tummy time, bath time, cuddling) and adult stuff (brushing my teeth, eating a granola bar, staring at Bernie, and occasionally showering) makes a successful day these days. I’ve been slow moving but doing my best to savor every bit of it. 

Ok now if you’ll excuse me I’ve wanted a piece of challah for the past three hours so I’m going to prepare to make the journey with Bernie from living room to kitchen for that piece of challah. See you in a month!

-yeh!