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in food, photography

Hostess in training Valentine’s Day Edition

With the house coming around the corner, it’s really time to brush up on those hostess skills. And what better challenge than an adorable Valentine’s dessert? And what better adorable Valentine’s dessert than a red velvet cupcake?

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Red velvet is a craze. It’s a trend. It’s hip. But most of us don’t care about that. Most of us just care that it tastes delicious. Or many of us just consider it a cream cheese frosting delivery system. But these scrumptious cream cheese frosting shovels are not so easy. It’s a science really. It’s literally exactly like a volcano science experiment where you mix in some baking soda with vinegar. Supposedly to make the batter airier and fluffier. If you believe in things like that. science.

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Hostess in Training 1.6.2016

This week I made one of my husband’s favorite desserts, miniature clementine cakes. I got the whole idea of baking these the first time from the movie “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”. From Kristin Wiig singing “Space Oddity” to Ben Stiller outrunning a volcano, the movie is so surreal and yet so believable at the same time that it really makes you think about how amazing life is. I would like to think we live in a world where those things could happen, a world where clementine cake could win the good graces of an Afghan Warlord.

Which is why I bake this cake. I took the recipe straight from the blog The Woks of Life except I substitute Pamela’s gluten free pancake mix for the flour. The only reason I started doing this was because at the time, my husband was trying to isolate an allergy and we started cutting out gluten. They were so delicious that I just always make them this way. And I tend to keep Pamela’s pancake mix in the pantry because it is just really good.

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The second element of today’s training was to try out a new technique of food photography that was inspired by A Brown Table. It was just so unique and such a huge departure from the normal bright, nearly over-exposed photos that are normally associated with baking. What do you think?

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Baking + Photos

Part of the perfect home is the perfect hostess. Like many women finding their balance between career and domesticity, I have unrealistic dreams about throwing glamorous parties with beautiful centerpieces, calligraphy name cards, and photogenic dishes. I figure with these ambitions, I should start honing my baking skills.

The ultimate goal of course it to bake something so beautiful that there is a collective “Oooh” across the dining room and everyone can’t help themselves but get their phones out and take a photo.

In this post – a terribly photogenic but downright inedible lemon ricotta cake, the moistest chocolate cupcakes in the world with delicate matcha green tea buttercream, and some pretty decent yet unimpressive lemon bars.

No you didn’t misread. I did something stupid which is that I took a random recipe off of pinterest without doing any research on the blogger nor did I read any reviews on the recipe. Now the photos are gorgeous, just as they were the first time I saw it on pinterest. But I might as well have been eating sawdust. Now, to be fair, I made a very cavalier substitution of coconut flour for almond flour because I didn’t have enough almond flour left in the house – oops. Anyway, here are the beautiful photos but BEWARE DO NOT MAKE.

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