Favorite Food-Related Memoirs

I grew up in a family of readers, where you could almost always find someone with their nose in a book on a lazy Sunday afternoon. So in first grade when I started painfully sounding out each simple word, it felt like such a big accomplishment.  I felt included into a secret world and could now join in on the family past time. Recently, my 5 year old has joined his older brother and has also started reading. I see the same pride in him that I felt. Last week, while rubbing his eyes and yawning, he told me that he woke up early so that he could read one of the books that was laying by his bed. I totally get it.

I still love to read and always have a book or two on hand that I’m working my way through. My favorite books are food related memoirs.  After reading one, I feel like I’ve met a new friend, and am inspired with a whole new set of recipes that I want to devour. It’s a cross between a cookbook and a memoir, which is a win-win to me. So if you’re looking to dive into something new, here are my favorites.

Delancey: a Man,  a Woman,  a Restaurant,  a Marriage” by Molly Wizenburg

Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table” by Ruth Reichl

Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home” by Jessica Fechter

Hope you get a chance to cuddle up with a good book this weekend and let me know what you’re reading. Enjoy!

xoxo,

Rachel

Exhale, It’s Wednesday

How’s your week going? I’m doing good but feel like we could all use a deep breath and to read some links to make us smile, right? Here are a few of the things that have made me smile this last week. I hope they do the same for you!

  • After ruining our old comforter in the washing machine (grrr!) I ended up with this one and totally love it! I even talked my hubby into the shams. Win!
  • I’ve started wearing more accessories lately thanks to one of my good friends who became a Noonday ambassador. My favorite piece is this bracelet that I wear all the time.
  • I have heard a lot about muscovado sugar and thanks to the lovely Alice Medrich, I now actually know what it is. Read this and you will too!
  • I could look at her cakes all day.

You are doing great. Lets finish out this week strong.

xoxo,

Rachel

Buttercream Conundrum

Hey there, how’s your week going? I have had cake on the brain and am on the hunt for the most perfect classic celebration cake. With this blog being called “Sifted” I feel like its ok to focus mainly on cakes for a couple posts, right? Cake to me is the dessert that beats all desserts. A layer cake is what we call for whenever there is a big event to celebrate. A Birthday, wedding, graduation, or a new baby and a thick slice of cake will announce to the world that this day is special. But alas, my perfect cake alludes me.

I have been working on making Italian Meringue Buttercream. This is the type of buttercream that many pastry chefs make. It is a bit like making candy, you heat sugar and water to a soft ball stage and pour it into perfectly whipped egg whites to create a sweet and silky meringue. Then the meringue is added to butter and whipped.  With so many moving parts, its hard to identify exactly what I have done wrong. So far, my buttercream is more like sweetened whipped butter and not pillowy light melt in your mouth buttercream.

So yesterday, I decided to head to a local bakery and order their biggest piece of chocolate cake topped with Chocolate Italian Buttercream. It was absolutely divine! I’ve posted a picture (of part!) of the cake for you to drool over.

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Chocolate cake from Coyle’s Bakeshop

I talked to the pastry chef and she said to try whipping the buttercream longer and see if that helps. I felt so encouraged afterward to keep at it and give it another try. I’ll keep you posted!

Hope  you all have a great weekend and let me know what you’ve been working on. It’s fun to hear about everyone’s projects, baking or otherwise.

xoxo,

Rachel