Sunday, February 11

Blue-Ribbon Winning Carrot Cake with Buttermilk Glaze and Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake (photo)

This is one of those cake that only comes around once-in-a-lifetime, and I was lucky enough to have found it and 'made it my own'. Over the years I've tweaked and added

Friday, February 9

The Quintessential Gingerbread

This gingerbread is the ULTIMATE cold morning breakfast here at the Porter household. It's rich, moist, delectable and downright sinful when you serve it right out of the oven. Add a cup of coffee or tea and it just doesn't get much better. I pulled this recipe out today knowing Jared would be coming over. This is one of Mr.P and Jared's favorite cold weather treats. So from my kitchen to yours, a blue-ribbon winner and my all time favorite Gingerbread recipe.

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 3/4 cup molasses, I use   Grandma's
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2tsp. baking soda MIXED with 3/4 cup boiling water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan, at least a 10 cup pan. I use my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar. Beat at medium speed until pale, light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides a few times during this process. Beat in eggs, molasses and buttermilk. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together all dry ingredients except baking soda. Stir it around good making sure that all of the spices are evenly distributed. Using the same measuring cup that I measured the molasses in add 3/4 cup water. Pop it in the microwave for about 2 minutes, making sure it comes to a boil, then add baking soda. Make sure all of the wet ingredients have been stirred up from the bottom of your mixing bowl. Add flour mixture alternately with the baking soda water, beginning and ending with flour mixture. The mixture will be very loose. Pour into prepared pan and bake 40 to 45 min until toothpick comes out clean.

I make a sauce that I brush on my gingerbread while it's hot. It changes from time to time. Mostly I use a little less than a 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice, a 1/4 cream, unsalted butter or buttermilk. I use whatever I have in the fridge, if I have all 3 on hand I would choose the cream. Combine all 3 in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil, turn your burner down and let it cook for a few minutes making sure the sugar is dissolved. When the cake comes out of the oven I brush the bottom using  pastry brush. Let the cake rest 10 minute, invert onto a cake stand then I brush the rest of the cake with the sauce until it's all gone. This is one of those recipes I use over and over again. Sometimes I slice mine and freeze the slices separately. A big hit with the kids, and so convenient - they can take out however much they want and pop in the microwave for a warm breakfast or a snack. Try it sometime and let me know how it fared in your Kitchen and with your family. ENJOY!
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Monday, May 1

Parisian Jazz Trio - Rue Mouffetard

Still my all time favorite soundscape from Paris. The conversations, sounds of children playing, shoppers buying fresh produce for their dinner, people walking past... and these guys!

Wednesday, April 26


When I think of macarons, I think Ladurée. The French luxury bakery best-known for baking and selling the double-decker macaron, fifteen thousand of which are sold every day! However, the Macaron cookie was born in Italy. It was first introduced by the chef of Catherine de Medicis in 1533 at the time of her marriage to the Duc d'Orleans who became king of France in 1547. The term "macaron" has the same origin as that the word "macaroni" -- both mean "fine dough".

Monday, April 24

Last Minute Party Preparations

I always joke that the better the party I throw, the worse I look when my guests show up. I’ve gotten better at getting ready way in advance so I don’t look like a madwoman. However, I do have a little routine I go through before the party starts. Even though I make sure the house is clean the day before, right before the guests begin showing up, I will do a quick “walk through.” Basically, I pretend I am a guest in my own home. I try to think about what would make people more comfortable and then go around sprucing things up.

Monday, April 10


Home Economics 101. Mrs. Rogers. Skyline High School. Dallas, Texas. 198....

Pie dough was the first thing I learned to make in the kitchen. As a child my mother always gave me bits of raw pie dough to eat.I loved being in the kitchen with her, both my sister and I did.  Fast forward 12 years and as I sit in Home-Ec class, Mrs. Rogers is teaching her class how to make a basic pie dough. And that simple pie dough has taken me to such great places.... with wonderful memories.

Friday, March 24


Although it’s most famous as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Verona has much more to offer than its connections to the star-crossed lovers! In fact, there’s little evidence that anything like the Romeo and Juliet story actually took place here… but it is indisputable that you won’t be short of sights in this beautiful city, even if you ignore Juliet’s “balcony” and “tomb.” In fact, the city’s rich culture and history has landed it on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Thursday, March 23


I don't know how it happened, but, slowly overtime, when our family celebrates a birthday I end up cooking for and entertaining our family. No complaints mind you.... in fact, my favorite part of our little celebrations of life is baking the birthday cake.

Wednesday, March 1

Bridge of Sighs ~ Venice

If you happen to be in Venice... don’t stare across at the Bridge of Sighs – Go INSIDE the bridge and stare out!

Thursday, January 26

A Well Traveled & Weary Trunk

Yesterday, E bought this vintage wicker steamer trunk for her and Bradley's new home. It comes with such a cool history. It hails from 19th century France. It has traveled all over the world, from Ireland to China and everywhere in between - even Italy.

Thursday, December 1

Baskets Overflowing With Good Cheer!

Often the best way to package good cheer is in a basket.... to tote to a neighbor's house, to hand off to a favorite teacher, to present to your hostess at that yearly, jolly, Christmas party, or simply a fun way to give a cherished friend or family member that perfect gift.