Posts Categorized: Baking and Sweets

Happy Fourth

Last week, when my Mom and I were dreaming up red-white-and-blue treats for our Fourth of July celebration, I talked a big game. There would be a flag cake, of course. But not just your garden-variety flag sheet cake. I was imagining cross-sectioned flag cakes, maybe even horizontally slicing a pound cake and re-assembling using red frosting or jam. Maybe I’d bake different… Read more »

Happy

Besides the fact that it’s Friday and that we have a grilled leg of lamb on the menu tonight, what else is making me happy today? 1. Finding a ridiculously easy way to frost the ridiculously easy mud cake I make for every birthday. The one above was for my dad’s 75th — don’t worry, I eventually added the “birthday,” part…. Read more »

My Life as a Man

It was late Saturday morning, Memorial Day weekend, and we were at all home, puttering. The kids were upstairs doing their thing, and Jenny was at the kitchen table, her face buried in her MacBook. I opened the refrigerator, and then the freezer. “We have any butter?” I asked. Jenny looked up. “Why?” “I think I’m gonna make some snickerdoodles with the… Read more »

Breakfast of Champions: French Toast Sticks

In the very early days of DALS, I wrote a short post about my Aunt Patty, who introduced us to the life-altering pleasures of (a) Marcella Hazan, and (b) Marcella Hazan’s milk-braised pork loin. Patty did a lot of things well in the kitchen, that rare person whose talents matched her ambitions. Porchettas; marinated, butterflied, grilled legs of lamb; real tiramisu… Read more »

Life in the Slightly Less Fast Lane

Just about a year ago, my neighbor Helene walked into her midtown office at Bloomberg LP, where she was employed as in-house counsel, and told her boss she was quitting. She had two teen-agers at home and was tired of the grind, tired of her son’s friends asking him “So where does your mom live?” She wanted to be around… Read more »

Strawberry Pie

How great is vacation? How great is the idea of having an entire afternoon dedicated to tracking down shrimp in a 200-year-old Spanish-moss draped Lowcountry town on the Edisto River? Only to discover that the dock is closed for business on Mondays so could you come back tomorrow? The thing is, we can! (What else is there to do?) And… Read more »

Whose Party is it Anyway?

I didn’t make this cake for my nine-year-old’s Secret Agent Party. I had the local bakery write the birthday message in “code” (see if you can crack it!) but that’s where my confectionary contribution ended. I opted to buy the cake instead of bake one from scratch because by the time I was thinking about this last piece of the party… Read more »

Chocolate Moose

I never go to Paris — haven’t been there since way back in the 20th century, when Andy and I stayed in a friend’s 300-year-old apartment in the Sixth. (Even just writing that sentence I worry about how unsophisticated I sound: Did I phrase it wrong? Is that how people say it? “The Sixth?” Am I going to lose whatever… Read more »

Holiday Exclusive: Santa Speaks!

Santa: Hello? [To elf] I don’t think this thing is working. There’s no one… [Into phone] Hello? Hello? DALS: Hi, Santa. Santa? I’m here. Santa: Oh, okay. [To elf] It’s working now, Shorty. Go wrap. [Into phone] So, what can I do for you? DALS: First, I just wanted to say it’s an honor talking to you and thanks so much for… Read more »

Absolute Value (or…A Note About Splurging)

In the mid-90s, my father and I worked two blocks away from each other — he was on 47th and Third, and I was on 45th and Third, toiling away at my first Big City job while simultaneously trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. We’d regularly meet for lunch — at sushi bars, bagel… Read more »

Some Winning Holiday Rituals

Let me just start out by saying there was some science behind figuring out the winner of DALS’ First Annual Holiday Ritual Contest. I poured through the 50+ submissions (thank you everyone!), selected my favorites, then read each finalist aloud to my daughters — separately, so they couldn’t influence each other. They were responsible for grading each submission, with A+… Read more »

The Candy Roll-Out

Halloween Night: Eat until face falls off Lunch next day: Two candies After dinner: Four candies Tuesday lunch: One Tuesday after dinner : Three Wednesday after dinner: Two Thursday after dinner: Two Friday after dinner: One Saturday at any point: One Sunday: Done* *Parents should find ways to surreptitiously either eat a good portion of the candy themselves, or throw… Read more »

Friday Round-up

…to have family dinner: When my kids are 16 and 15 (instead of 8 and 7) and we are dealing with friendship dramas, SATs, sexting episodes, and God only knows what else (Parents of teen-agers: please refrain from telling me what else) dinner will be so firmly established as my family’s 6:30 Magnetic North, that my kids’ hormone-raging, eye-rolling, parent-resenting… Read more »

Get Your Game On

The party officially began at 6:00 and ended at 8:00, but at 5:58 I had already checked my watch twice, counting down to its finish. Why do minutes feel like centuries during birthday parties in your own house? Or at least they do for me. But its sorta like having a baby, I guess. Because I forget the pain as… Read more »

Guaranteed Crowdpleaser (For the Under-10 Set)

It’s a miracle if I bake something from scratch even once during the course of my child’s birthweek. And if I’m going to do it, it’s going to be Rosa’s Mud Cake for the actual birthday party. But for the classroom party? No chance. A few years ago I debuted this Dunkin Donut Cake at school and was actually embarrassed… Read more »

Apple Gazette

A few years ago my coworker Alex was describing a friend of his — let’s call her Anya. While Alex sat in Anya’s kitchen he watched as she removed a homemade pie crust from the freezer, rolled it out, peeled and sliced a few Cortland apples right into the middle of the dough, sprinkled them with cinnamon, butter, sugar, nutmeg…. Read more »

Vegetable Hater Special

My 3-year-old nephew Nathan is not a big fan of vegetables. Or the idea of eating in general. I spent a few days and many meals with him on vacation last month and watched as his dad — my brother — agonized over each crumb that did and didn’t go down the hatch. Annie’s Mac & Cheese is pretty much… Read more »

Outsourcing the Family Recipe

Guest Post By Claudia Heilter, former news producer, mother of Arlo, 6 and Lois, 4. I’ve been wracking my brains on ways to pass along my Hungarian roots to my children. I speak the language but found it a bit too tricky to teach them. My husband doesn’t speak it and my parents live 2,000 miles away in Western Canada. It only… Read more »

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