Hoppy Easter Bread

Not going to lie. I love how these little bunnies turned out for Easter! The original intention was to bake Folar da Páscoa, a Portuguese bread given to God children by their God parents (the dough over the egg symbolizes a cross). Even though my beautiful God children live in West VA, I thought it would be nice to include at our own dining table as a cultural tradition. 

While researching the recipe, I discovered that there are a variety of Easter breads from other European cultures (i.e. Greek and Italian). They were so pretty! The braided dough and vibrantly colored eggs nestled in the crevices had me smitten.  

Hummingbird Cake

A Hummingbird Cake. What in the world is a Hummingbird Cake? If I hadn't stumbled into this magical world of blog baking, I would never have learned of its existence. I assumed it was an American tradition but when I asked around, no one else had heard of it either! Turns out, the origin of this recipe hails from Jamaica and it didn't hit the United States until 1960's as part of the country's tourism marketing.  As for the quirky name, there are two theories but I am more partial to the idea that the cake is sweet enough to attract humming birds who only consume fruit nectar. 

That being said. What in the world is a Hummingbird Cake?

Chocolate, Almond, & Pear Cake

For all the cakes that I have baked, this one right here from Twigg Studios is in my top five. I never would have found it if it wasn't for my brother. Every year, I make it a point to bake him something other than the standard confetti cake. He has an adventurous palette and loves trying new foods. This year, I decided to try the fruit route. He likes pears - heck he even has a guest post on this blog for a cake using canned pears (brace yourself, it's from a time when I didn't have a fancy camera). I had the idea - I just needed some inspiration.

Vanilla Bean and Cardamom Scones with Dried Cherries

A few weeks back, I saw an Instagram post from King Arthur Flour that had me salivating: vanilla and cardamom scones studded with dried cranberries. I love both vanilla and cardamom - just the smell of them makes me weak in the knees. The image was a total tease as there was no shared recipe just yet from the creator, By Guess and By Golly.  In my impatience, I decided to search the internet for a substitute until the original was available.

Sticky Buns with Pecans

This recipes comes from one of my favorite cook books, "The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science" by Kenji Lopez-Alt. I had never even heard about it until it was given to me by my awesome MIL (thank you!) The mission of Food Lab is similar to that of my beloved America's Test Kitchen but instead of an arsenal of chefs, it's a one-man army. Kenji tinkers with the science of recipes in the quest of not just perfection - but understanding how to achieve such results. Luckily for us, he's done the hard part and we get to reap the benefits! It's an insightful read that will give you the tools to grow as a home cook.