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Happiness is to Hold Flowers in Both Hands
But also cake in both hands + other recipes to transition to spring.
The green shoots that broke through the earth in early February are currently covered in snow. My daughter and I planted tulip bulbs in the fall, hoping the colorful petals would soon dot our yard. Instead, the baby and I spent the first week of March in our buffalo plaid flannel, pattering around the house away from the cold.
But with this late season snow comes more opportunities to ski! Last month, I came out of my 14-year retirement to ski with my brother and the kids. It was glorious! I only had to keep up with an 8 and 4 year old, but these old bones still remember the swish, swish of the powder down the slopes. We finished with fireside s’mores and warm Chocolate Self-Saucing Cake.
Coming up on Bake Club:
COUNTDOWN TO EASTER
Easter comes early this year - April 9th, to be exact. I’ll be bringing you sweet spring treats, sharable snacks, and celebratory desserts over the next few weeks. Whether you are hosting at home or need something a bit more portable, I’ve got you covered.
What I’ve Been Eating:
Pasta Soups - Pasta is my all-time favorite food, and turning those dishes into soup is just what I’ve been craving this season. Make the sauce into a flavorful broth like in Zuppa all’Amatriciana and this Vegetable Orzo Soup.
Chickpea Salad - A can of chickpeas is capable of transforming into a week of nourishing lunches when smashed with yogurt, mayo, seasoned rice vinegar, and fresh dill. This mock chicken salad is great scooped over greens with a few olives and pita chips. Try it as a filling for a lettuce roll-up burrito or in a wrap like in this recipe.
Cabbage Roll Soup - Again, turning my favorite dishes into soup. This version is so much easier than making actual cabbage rolls. I made a variation of this recipe but added ground beef and made it a bit brothier. I’ll be making it again for St. Patrick’s Day later this month.
Matcha Cake - This ancient Style Sweet recipe got a major update. I tweaked the recipe to make it even better and fit into more standard loaf pans, but kept the coconut frosting because omg it’s so good.
What I’ve Been Reading:
Substack Recommends - Have you checked out my recommended reading? If not, find some of my favorite newsletters on my homepage - scroll down to the right of the archive.
The Paris Apartment - If you’ve been following my book recommendations, then last year you would have seen a lot of light-hearted rom-coms that I read to stay awake while feeding Carmen. I must have grown tired of the genre, because I’ve abandoned my last several books. But I am trying again with a who-done-it mystery. So far, so good!
Anyone Can Cake - Whitney of Sugar and Sparrow released a brand new cake book this week. It is super charming and full of layer cake recipes and decorating techniques. If you like either Layered or Icing on the Cake, I think you will love her book too.
What I’ve Been Listening To:
Samara Joy - I was introduced to this young jazz singer and her beautiful voice last year. It was playing while the kids and I made Valentines. Keeping the tradition going, I put on her album yet again while addressing heart-shaped cards for Amara’s preschool - coincidentally just days before her Grammy win.
Caroline Polachek - After catching part of her interview on the How Long Gone podcast, I had to check out her music. I’ve been listening to Desire, I Want to Turn Into You while cooking dinner all week. Her indie pop sound gives me Haim vibes with a bit of old-school Enya.
What to Bake This Month
Orange Pound Cake - National Pound Cake Day is March 4, and this Orange Pound Cake is an obvious choice to celebrate the faux holiday. This tender orange pound cake is bursting with sunshine and loads of citrus flavor. The vanilla glaze makes each bite taste like a creamsicle.
Lemon Chiffon Cake - Layers of light and springy lemon chiffon cake are sandwiched with mascarpone cream and lemon curd swirls. This cake comes together with just a few components (that can be prepared in advance!) and is the perfect balance of casual and sophisticated for any spring celebration.
Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake - You’ve gotta try this fresh, new spin on a classic flavor combination. Using lemon juice in place of (some) water makes the buttercream fresh and bright!
Brown Butter Carrot Layer Cake - Get a head start on Easter planning by testing out this reader favorite. It’s a Huff favorite, too - one I personally make on repeat all year long.
Vanilla Mascarpone Crepe Cake - Thin, delicate layers of crepes are filled with whipped mascarpone cream to create this 25-layer cake. While it does take some time standing in front of the stove, the melt-in-your-mouth bites and ruffly edges are totally worth it. As we transition between seasons, this one is the perfect rainy day project.