Vanilla Vanilla Snack Cake

  Sunday snack cakes are the best. Knowing there’s a 13 X 9-inch covered dish filled with cake sitting on the kitchen counter makes me happy. And this one in particular made me very happy today. It’s all vanilla. And no fuss… except maybe for the buttercream swirlies I decided to add at the last […]

 Vanilla Vanilla Snack Cake

Sunday snack cakes are the best. Knowing there’s a 13 X 9-inch covered dish filled with cake sitting on the kitchen counter makes me happy. And this one in particular made me very happy today.

It’s all vanilla. And no fuss… except maybe for the buttercream swirlies I decided to add at the last minute. 

Frosted Vanilla Snack Cake

But only because today’s a meaningful day to me. Today marks the 30th year since my first kidney transplant and even though that kidney did not last as long as I had tried and hoped it would, it’s still special and important to me to this day. It helped me live nearly 20 more years of life and when I started getting sick again, it allowed me the time to receive a second transplant from my mom which is still doing good thankfully after 11 years. So today, we’re going to enjoy the heck out of this cake. And I hope you get the chance to try it and enjoy it as well.

That being said, I’m going to keep this post short so I can get back to snacking.

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7 Best Barbecue Cookbooks for Your Summer Reading List

For me, June always signaled the last day of school and thus, pure and unadulterated freedom. The “Hallelujah” chorus sang in my mind as I ran out the front doors of my elementary school and into the arms of my parents, who were waiting to pick me and …

For me, June always signaled the last day of school and thus, pure and unadulterated freedom. The “Hallelujah” chorus sang in my mind as I ran out the front doors of my elementary school and into the arms of my parents, who were waiting to pick me and my sister up for a celebratory dinner. Our summer reading list was clutched in my hands—the requirements are now lost on me some 15 to 20 years later, but the idea was that you had to read at least part of the list, circulating through a few different genres, and report back on them to your new teacher the following year.

Now that school’s (almost) out for summer in most parts of the country, we're commencing the best weeks of the year with a more grown-up reading list: the essential barbecue cookbooks to study while your smoker is working its magic. For hot and sunny days, start your smoker at twilight and by dinner the next day, you’ll be feasting on succulent smoked meats.

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The Internet’s Favorite Grandpa Gardener Is Now An Author Too

In 2019, Gerald Stratford made a Twitter account to connect with other gardeners. One afternoon in 2020, he had his partner, Elizabeth, snap a few iPhone photos of Stratford proudly holding a massive bucket of potatoes he’d recently harvested from his …

In 2019, Gerald Stratford made a Twitter account to connect with other gardeners. One afternoon in 2020, he had his partner, Elizabeth, snap a few iPhone photos of Stratford proudly holding a massive bucket of potatoes he’d recently harvested from his plot in Oxfordshire, U.K. “Nothing special,” he thought, but hoped his 94 followers would enjoy the images.

Suddenly, the phone started buzzing uncontrollably. “I thought something was wrong [but] didn't know at the time how to mute it,” Stratford recalled. He hid his phone and eventually called Elizabeth’s son, Steven, to help him out. They soon discovered there was no problem with his phone: “You've gone viral with your sprouts, Gerald!” Steven explained.

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Favorite Chocolate Snack Cake

I have a new favorite chocolate cake. Like it is really good and the frosting … Oh my. I took one bite and immediately knew I was in trouble. In a good way, that is. This cake recipe found an instant place on my forever baking list. And I hope you will love it as […]

Happy Snack Cake

I have a new favorite chocolate cake. Like it is really good and the frosting … Oh my. I took one bite and immediately knew I was in trouble. In a good way, that is. This cake recipe found an instant place on my forever baking list. And I hope you will love it as much as I do.

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8 New Children’s Books That Celebrate Food Diversity

Reading books about stone soup, and green eggs and ham were entertaining and fun when I was young, but as a Korean-American kid who grew up eating westernized suburban fare and kimchi jjigae from my birth country, they barely resembled my culture and d…

Reading books about stone soup, and green eggs and ham were entertaining and fun when I was young, but as a Korean-American kid who grew up eating westernized suburban fare and kimchi jjigae from my birth country, they barely resembled my culture and definitely didn’t reflect my family’s dinner table.

Still, I never questioned the lack of representation and the implications it had on my understanding of my own culture until I read Bee-bim-bop! last year as a full-grown adult. It’s a beautiful peek inside the vibrant and sensory details that make up a typical Korean-American family dinner, and resembled all the scents, sights, and sounds of a regular night at the Lee household growing up. Though I hate to admit how long it took me to find this book, I’m grateful for authors like Linda Sue Park who make me feel seen and proud of my culture.

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14 Best Cocktail Books for At-Home Mixology

Are you sick of paying $16 for a cocktail and want to learn how to mix drinks at home? Me too! This sounds like the start of an infomercial, but I promise it’s not. It’s a plea to invest in a cocktail book…well, maybe two. Written by bartenders, mixolo…

Are you sick of paying $16 for a cocktail and want to learn how to mix drinks at home? Me too! This sounds like the start of an infomercial, but I promise it’s not. It’s a plea to invest in a cocktail book…well, maybe two. Written by bartenders, mixologists, and bar managers for home bartenders, this lineup of the best cocktail books includes hundreds of recipes, thousands of techniques and tricks for mixing drinks, and pages of fascinating cocktail history. In each book, drinks experts share their go-to spirits for any number of classic cocktails and how to determine what you really like (not what you think you should like).

With a well-stocked home bar and any one of these insightful cocktail books, you’re well on your way to mastering the martini, nailing the Negroni, and feeling victorious with a bottle of vermouth in hand.

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The Most Important Food Lesson I’ll Ever Teach My Kids

I grew up in the middle of the city in Copenhagen, but I found peace in nature. From as early as I can remember, I spent time in the woods and ocean, visiting my grandmother and other relatives on the islands of Fyn, in the Southern part of Denmark. …

I grew up in the middle of the city in Copenhagen, but I found peace in nature. From as early as I can remember, I spent time in the woods and ocean, visiting my grandmother and other relatives on the islands of Fyn, in the Southern part of Denmark. I’d pick herbs from her garden or fish with my uncle and grandfather, the sight and scent and sounds showing me the way.

As a kid, I struggled in school; the more traditional side of academia collided with my energetic, restless boyhood. But in the ever-changing forests or the icy waters of Denmark’s archipelago, I found another type of education. Less theoretical, more tactile. I swore that when I became a father, I would bring my kids into nature. I wanted to instill in them the same type of curiosity and reverence for the land that I was fortunate enough to experience.

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Our Most Common Decluttering Dilemmas, Answered by a Pro

The title of professional organizer Shira Gill’s new book Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life might have you thinking of all-white spaces and capsule wardrobes of just 25 items of clothing (I know that’s what I use…

The title of professional organizer Shira Gill’s new book Minimalista: Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Better Home, Wardrobe, and Life might have you thinking of all-white spaces and capsule wardrobes of just 25 items of clothing (I know that’s what I used to think when I heard the word “minimalist”). However Shira’s brand of minimalism is different: It makes room for all types of aesthetics and styles, kids, spouses, pets, and in Gill’s own case, a weakness for vintage jeans.

In the introduction to Minimalista Gill writes, “To me minimalism doesn’t refer to the lack or absence of something. It’s about having the perfect amount. Just enough without the excess. More specifically, I mean the exact right number of something for you. You might love hats. No problem. One hat is the perfect number of hats for me. For you, it could be ten. It could be fifteen. It’s probably not one hundred. I preach a philosophy of minimalism that confronts excess—not one that deprives you of the things you actually enjoy. In the end, whatever the number, you’ll be left with only the hats you truly love, they’ll be displayed nicely, and you’ll always be able to find them.”

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The Only Floral Arranging Tools You’ll Need, According to a Pro

When Ingrid Carozzi, founder of Redhook, Brooklyn-based floral design company Tin Can Studios, is working with clients like Vogue, the Queen of Sweden, and designer Carolina Herrera, it’s usually for extravagant events with impressive large-scale insta…

When Ingrid Carozzi, founder of Redhook, Brooklyn-based floral design company Tin Can Studios, is working with clients like Vogue, the Queen of Sweden, and designer Carolina Herrera, it’s usually for extravagant events with impressive large-scale installations. Think hundreds of blossoms cascading from the ceiling over a candlelit dining table, undulating vines that snake up structural columns in an event space, and huge budgets. But even she is no stranger to grocery store florals or a handful of foraged greenery.

In her latest book "Flowers By Design: Creating Arrangements For Your Space" out this November, Carozzi distills everything she's learned from eight years in the industry with super easy-to-follow directions, practical tips, and tons of inspiration to bring flowers into our homes in fresh ways. “I want to encourage people to find inspiration outside of the digital sphere—look at fashion, look at cooking, look at interior design, and find your inspiration there,” says Carozzi. 

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Can You Actually Put Glass in the Freezer?

In many ways, the freezer is the closet thing we’ve got to a time machine. It can stop bread from going moldy. It can make summer blueberries last until fall. It can take tonight’s leftovers and transform them into next month’s Tuesday dinner when you …

In many ways, the freezer is the closet thing we've got to a time machine. It can stop bread from going moldy. It can make summer blueberries last until fall. It can take tonight's leftovers and transform them into next month's Tuesday dinner when you don't have time to cook. But how do we get the most from this magical appliance? What are the big dos and don'ts? In Modern Freezer Meals, Ali Rosen shares a slew of freezer-friendly, flavor-forward recipes—Ricotta Gnocchi! Breakfast Sandwiches! Brownie Thins!—and in the excerpt below, she answers some FAQs to lead you toward freezer bliss.


Before Freezing

Can I refrigerate before I freeze?

Absolutely! You want to make sure you are freezing things only when they are room temperature or cold, because the faster food freezes the more intact it stays. Just make sure to know what is surrounding your food. If you put something super-hot into the fridge next to milk and eggs, you might heat those up, so just try not to put anything too hot in the fridge.

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