False spring or not, everything is coming into bloom this month. Up here in the Pacific Northwest, the intermittent hail continued through April. Despite the bizarre weather, our walnut tree is sprouting, the blueberry bush is perking up, and our yard is dotted with red, purple, and yellow tulips. The sun is fleeting until July, but we’ve been trying to get outside as much as possible!
Here’s how I’ve been keeping busy lately and which recipes I recommend for May:
What I’m Eating:
My mom is in town, so we have been taking turns cooking for the family. She cooks a perfect salmon, is a master of the grill, and bakes the best butter mochi. Maybe I can have her share a recipe soon!
Everyday Entertaining - When I meal prep, I often choose several recipes from the same cookbook. I find that authors tend to use repetitive ingredients and similar techniques over different recipes which makes shopping and cooking a bit more streamlined. This month, I made several recipes from Elizabeth Van Lierde’s Everyday Entertaining. In particular, we liked her take on steak fajitas, cashew chicken, vegetable ramen, and tangy black bean salad. And, of course, these Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Brown Butter Carrot Cake - If there ever was any doubt, I do make and eat my own recipes. Like a lot of you, we had the Brown Butter Carrot Cake for Easter. Even though I used to make fancy cakes for my bakery customers, it turns out that my family prefers these more casual ones. I could probably make this cake once a month and not get tired of it.
Empire Cookies - I made the cutest cookies for a client for Earth Day. The homemade jam filling was made from raspberries and fresh rosemary. Long after the cookies were gone, the jam was perfect for adding to yogurt and made an amazing base for salad dressing.
What I’m Reading:
I am loving the Substack App. Have you downloaded it yet? Here are some of the newsletters I subscribed to this month:
Edible Living - I love Sarah’s cookbook, Everyday is Saturday, so I was excited to find her new newsletter here. If you enjoy stories of travel, family, and food, then I encourage you to check it out. I just started following myself, so I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet but this spring pasta is calling me.
SCRAPS - If you love Carolina’s IG Reels, then I think you will enjoy these quick yet flavorful recipes. I made a similar red pepper pasta recipe last week that was a total hit with the whole family.
What I’m Listening to:
Pamplamoose - I feel down the rabbit hole of this musical duo and their catchy cover songs. I might be a little late to the party, but I’ve been enjoying their fresh takes on everything from “Lovefool” to their Jamiroquai-Bee Gees Mashup.
Aoi Teshima’s Cheek to Cheek - In an effort to get her interested in music other than Kidz Bop and Encanto, I’ve been playing my daughter these jazzy cover songs from classic cinema. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” totally slaps, but sometimes you just need a break.
Join me at The Bake Fest!
During this 2-day virtual baking event, I’ll be leading a session about dessert styling and photography. We will be going over some of my favorite composition techniques, lighting tips, and more in order to create captivating photos of your cakes and desserts.
The online event will take place May 21st and 22nd. Recordings are available for one year! There will be over 40 classes including hands-on baking sessions, baking science demonstrations, and business and social media strategy. This would make a great Mother’s Day gift!
Recipes to Make in May:
Mother’s Day is May 8th. Here are some of the recipes I hope someone makes for me:
Lemon Chiffon Cake - Traditionally made in a tube pan, this layered chiffon cake is stacked with mascarpone cream and lemon curd.
Lemon Curd - Lemon curd pairs with so many delicious recipes (see above). It can also serve as a gift on its own!
Raspberry Almond Cake - This simple cake is made extra moist and flavorful with homemade almond paste. I could eat this one morning, noon, and night.
Pavlova - One of my mom’s favorite desserts is pavlova. Crispy, chewy, with loads of berries and cream, this meringue dessert is perfect for celebrating.
Mini Layer Cakes - These would be so cute at each place setting of a Mother’s Day brunch. Would you believe they are made from a sheet cake? So easy!
May 19th is National Devil’s Food Cake Day! This sounds like the perfect time to make last month’s Chocolate Hazelnut Cake.