Spring Cleaning in the Kitchen

A few weeks ago, I was going through the fridge and pantry, checking expiration dates of every food item in the house. (Wow, this unopened jar of cream of tartar expired in 2012. Wait, why did I even buy cream of tartar?)

I came across a box of carrot cake mix which would expire in another month.  Hmmm, what should I make with this?

I used about half of the box mix to make a dump cake.  And instead of making one cake, I make several mini-dump cakes in casserole dishes.  I made a pineapple-apple filling, sprinkled on the dry cake mix, poured on the melted butter, and then added shredded coconut and chopped pecans.

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The following week, I combined the rest of the cake mix with some cinnamon, a beaten egg and orange marmalade. I cooked the batter in my donut maker machine, and when they cooled, sprinkled powder sugar on top.

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Watermelon “Cake”

While in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, I grabbed the closest magazine and started flipping through it.  I came across this photo:


photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping magazine

Now, I am not a big watermelon fan, but I thought this was a clever idea.  Made from seedless watermelon, whipped topping, and fresh berries, this dessert is simple to make and certain to be a hit at summer parties.




Gummy Bear Layer Cake

Gummy Bear Layer Cake


Clever idea, very colorful, great for a kid’s party.  As gummi bears are rather chewy, though, I wouldn’t think that they are the best for decorating the cake.  In fact, the creator of this cake stated on her blog, “The gummy bears are a lot chewier than I remembered. So as awesome as it looks as a cake decoration, it makes it a little impractical when you are trying to have a bite of everything at once.” Then she added that she did not regret this choice, from people’s reactions to the cake.

I might think that M&M’s or Skittles would be a better candy choice for the decorating of the cake, although not having quite the same “Wow” effect as the gummy bears.  However, it is a beautiful-looking cake, making me want to try it.  You can find the recipe on the blog Raspberri Cupcakes:




Gummy Bear Layer Cake




Winter Citrus Pound Cake

Reading this recipe makes me wish I had the cake in front of me right now to eat!

The Hungry Artist

January 2014_melissa3

This is pretty much what our January is looking like!

Even after living in NYC after more than sixteen years, seeing trees shed all their leaves in autumn and snow fall in winter is still a novelty for me.  Hey, it beats mudslides, wildfires, and earthquakes.

One thing I miss about California, though, is the fresh produce year round.  Here, on the other hand, I usually only buy apples, pears, and grapefruit regularly during the winter, because they are plentiful and reasonably priced.  At our local green market, grapefruits are three for a dollar, which is a great price for the city.  And who doesn’t love a burst of fresh citrus in the morning?


Denis likes his with sugar, and I like mine with salt (I know–weird, but maybe it’s a Hawaiian thing passed down from my parents?)  Jamie doesn’t like grapefruit, which works out fine, because then I only…

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April Fool’s Day


April Fools' Cake Recipe



Mmmm. This cake looks yummy, doesn’t it?  Only, it’s not a cake.  This is a pizza bread made to look like a cake.  The red jelly filling is tomato sauce, and the glaze on top of the cake is thin slices of mozzarella allowed to melt over the finished cake. This April Fools’ recipe was created by Taste of Home.  You can find the recipe here: