Lemon Yogurt Cake of Doom

I suspect that the universal adoration of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, has something to do with her gift for making  us all feel like everything is going to be OK. These are the lessons of reading her cookbooks and watching her show: if you roast a chicken for your husband every Friday, the weekend will contain joy.  If you have lemon cake waiting in your freezer, you can handle unexpected guests and unexpected things. The Barefoot Contessa calms me.

And I now have a freezer full of lemon-yogurt cake, so bring it on, world.


This is the recipe. Do not depart. It’s the best lemon cake imaginable. Better than Starbucks lemon loaf, for sure.


Yes, you need all of this lemon zest. It tastes like sunshine and is always my favorite thing to add to anything in the kitchen.




#Prettytrash. Send the lemon rinds down your disposal to clean it and fragrance the house.


One recipe departure: poke holes all over your cake to help it better absorb the lemon syrup. Not the icing — the syrup. Yes, there’s a reason this is so moist.



I’m ready.

And speaking of lemons, have you tried my lemon crepes? Or lemon bars? This lemon cake is also fantastic — another Barefoot Contessa iteration, sans yogurt. I like the yogurt cake even more.

By |2013-05-15T05:29:40-07:00May 15th, 2013|Recipes|1 Comment

The Best Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

I love going to the grocery store just as the seasons change. I am thrilled to see watermelon, peaches, cherries, piles of artichokes and asparagus, and, for a few short weeks, rhubarb. Someone needs to use this pretty stalk in a flower arrangement.


Tyson loved his grandmother’s rhubarb pie. I love Tyson. And so Sunday in our house meant homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie.



JaimeeRose_TheBestStrawberryRhubarbPie  JaimeeRose_TheBestStrawberryRhubarbPie

I followed this recipe for the filling, and made my favorite Martha Stewart all-butter pie crust. It’s fabulous. (Add a teaspoon of sugar to the flour, which is what Martha did in her original cookbook.)




On this Tuesday morning, this is all that’s left of the pie, which is sweet-tangy-buttery-floral and a really great breakfast, if you’re feeling naughty.


Grandmothers are always the best inspiration.


By |2013-05-07T07:34:43-07:00May 7th, 2013|Recipes|1 Comment

Spring things at my house

We’ve been enjoying small symbols of spring at our house: an Easter supper, flowering branches, eggs everywhere — and a bottle of Zyrtec omnipresent on the counter. A peek inside:

I piled together this textured table setting for our Easter dinner for two: eggs, mini vintage terracotta, slubby linen and a sprig of green.



Flowering branches and hydrangea on the buffet.


My first attempt at deviled eggs, courtesy Martha Stewart. I hate eggs, but I love to make them.


I don’t know if this pink quartz thing is supposed to be an egg, but I love it for Easter and all the days in March, April and May. It will soon be styled in a more appropriate and rough-edged setting.


For supper, I tried to make a copycat Honey Baked Ham. It was good. But next time, I’m going to stand in line with the rest of the smart people.




Greens with hazelnuts and shallot vinaigrette:


Popovers hiding under woven beehives from Sweet Salvage, and Tyson in coral linen:


A little marble birdbath from Antique Gatherings:


And behold the most evil and caloric dish in the history of the casserole universe: Funeral Potatoes. In this little dish, there is a pint of sour cream, a half cup of butter, almost two cups of cheese. They’re called funeral potatoes because church ladies like to bring them to funeral luncheons. I think of them as potatoes that will hasten your funeral exponentially. Use this recipe. Add 1/2 tsp. salt.  Die happy.




By |2013-04-02T07:41:20-07:00April 2nd, 2013|Parties|3 Comments

The Best Popovers Ever (with Neiman Marcus Strawberry Butter) for Easter

I get grumpy about Easter. In Arizona, it marks the end of all the nice weather. The days of sweat and suffering are on the way. Also, I’m expected to wear pastel clothing. I get grumpy about that, especially.

But homemade popovers with Neiman Marcus strawberry butter? This could mitigate the email I received from my mother specifying “spring-like Easter hues” for an 8 a.m. family photo on Saturday morning. Ugh.

I had huge, billowing popovers at the Arlington Club on a recent trip to New York City, and the entire table swooned. I need those for Easter, I thought, and oh, my, YES. For all future parties, brunches and breakfasts at home — YES.


The strawberry butter is key. (I’ll take my butter in spring-like Easter hues, as long as my dress can be black.)


You need a popover pan for proper puffed results. Mine was $20 at Williams-Sonoma.


The kind people at The Bitten Word tried a few popover recipes, and pronounced this concotion from Martha Stewart’s Twitter feed supreme. I agree. (Omit the Gruyere cheese if you want to serve with strawberry butter.)


Best Popovers Ever
From Martha Stewart’s Twitter Feed

Place popover pans in oven. Heat to 350 degrees.

Sift 4 cups + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour with 2 teaspoons salt.

Heat 4 cups of milk.

In a separate bowl, whisk 8 eggs.

Slowly add milk and flour, alternating and whisking until smooth.

Remove pans from oven. Spray the hot pans w/cooking spray. Fill each cup half full with batter and top with Gruyere cheese. (You’ll need 10 ounces cheese total — omit if serving strawberry butter.)

Bake 15 minutes. Turn pans, and bake 35 minutes more. Invert to remove.  Makes 22-24.

JaimeeRose-BestPopovers-StrawberryButter JaimeeRose-BestPopovers-StrawberryButter

These are best served warm, so try this: if you poke a hole in them immediately after they come out of the oven, the steam will escape and they won’t deflate. Just warm them when you want to serve.

For the strawberry butter — which is served with the popovers at Neiman Marcus restaurants, just mix one cup butter with 2/3 cup strawberry preserves and a pinch of salt. I used my homemade strawberry jam to devastating effect.

I recommend using a food processor to get the strawberries properly incorporated into the butter. I first tried mixing by hand but heard Shirley MacLaine in Steel Magnolias in my mind: “That looks like an autopsy.”



This is better:


The insides of the popovers are craggy and hollowed, perfectly structured to encourage rivulets of melting strawberry bliss.



Happy (grumpy) Easter.

P.S. Isn’t this the cutest (little black) Easter dress you’ve ever seen?

By |2013-03-29T08:10:53-07:00March 29th, 2013|Recipes|4 Comments

Weekend Projects: the Easter Egg Edition

I’m in the mood for a weekend of family, creativity, and general joy. These egg crafts are tempting me to invite my niece over to help. She will eat jelly beans and chatter. I will make obsessive-compulsive Easter eggs. Behold, the contenders:

These calligraphed eggs  from Oh Happy Day are made with tattoo transfer paper.


You all know my silhouette leanings, which are particularly excited by the bunny and the pipe in these eggs by Rook No. 17.

I’m into the chalkboard art and the plastic egg garland — I’d need mine to be all white, however. Instructions on Eclectically Vintage.

Screen shot 2013-03-15 at 6.48.15 AM

Gold leaf eggs from Sugar and Charm — I want to do a gold leaf monogram.

Lynne Bonnell, you should make these crocheted eggs — as seen on LVLY.

Paper strip art from Julep. I like this project best in steps two and three, actually.

I want to do a set of these glitter dots eggs from Domestifluff in shades of silver, gold and taupe. Easy — they’re made with glue dots.

Which is your favorite?

By |2013-03-15T07:12:05-07:00March 15th, 2013|Style|2 Comments

Recipe: Strawberry Pavlova with Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream

Valentine’s Recipe: Strawberry Pavlova with Creme Fraiche Whipped Cream

There exists a dessert named after a tutu and somehow it escaped me.

The Pavlova — an airy puff of meringue filled with whipped cream and berries — was created by a chef in Australia in honor of a visit from ballerina Anna Pavlova.

It’s gorgeous.

It’s also as fussy as the worst prima ballerina that ever danced across the stage. I made SEVEN, in one week, trying to get the meringue to obey.

The key, if there is one, is to have your egg whites at room temperature and to use fine baker’s sugar or caster sugar. This recipe is the one that finally worked for me. For the whipped cream, I use 1 1/2 cups cream, whipped with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Right at the end, whip in 3 Tablespoons creme fraiche. It’s as good as whipped cream gets, I promise.

Toss one pint of sliced strawberries with 2 Tablespoons of sugar about 30 minutes before spooning on top of the pavlova. Serve immediately.

By |2012-02-22T07:47:35-07:00February 22nd, 2012|Recipes|2 Comments

Valentine scenes from my house

V-Day: I’m into it.

I believe in heart-shaped dinner plates and leaving presents from Cupid on the doorstep. I send Valentines in the mail and make ridiculous desserts.

I love Love.

What the holiday has looked like at my house, thus far:


Vintage peek-a-boo glasses that won my heart from across the store. My heart rate actually quickened. (Thanks for the shopping trip, Christina and Sarah.

Tulips in a vintage mercury glass ice bucket.

Pink-striped candy ribbons from Hammond’s. They’re cherry-flavored and delicious and feel like the kind of glories my Mom might have bought as a girl at the St. Johns drugstore soda fountain.

Lazy cake.

A topiary turned hostess gift — found at Trader Joe’s, dressed up with burlap.

Tulips at Puddinn’s house.

Vintage his and hers statues from Found. I like his outfit better.

My paper straw collection is getting a bit insane. Heart-dotted versions from the Alt hotel sweet shop, also at Crate & Barrel.

Australian Licorice in a candy dish for Mark and Angela’s visit. (We’re all so obsessed that last summer, in Lake Tahoe, we had a licorice tasting.)

I love to watch people’s faces when they look at sparklers. Everyone grins. I’m putting these mini hearts on V-Day dessert. (From Kitty at the Scottsdale Quarter)

The Valentines my nephew made for his kindergarten class:

(And I love my sister, for teaching her little boy about celebrating l’amour with homemade things.)


By |2012-02-22T07:44:16-07:00February 22nd, 2012|Parties|3 Comments

My $1 flower arrangement for spring

It was bad enough when I told the checkout guy at Trader Joe’s that I loved the TJ’s frozen lemon bars because they were pretty. “Pretty doesn’t matter,” he said. ” I like them because they taste good.”

Uh-huh, sure, whatever you say, I mumbled. But I think this might be a higher achievement in nuttiness: at the Old Town Farmers Market on Saturday, I spent a good long while picking out the two prettiest pots of wheatgrass to bring home — not to drink (but i should), not for the pets (don’t have any), but because they were gorgeous and the best $1 flower arrangement I can imagine.

That’s right. This happy little piece of spring was $1.

I tucked mine into my new treasure:  vintage trophies I scored at a Phoenix antique shop — a coup, as I’ve been lusting after the idea of vintage trophies ever since I saw them in a California shop for $400. Mine didn’t cost $400, not anywhere near it. (I now can pretend my imaginary grandfather the track star swept the high jump in Boston in 1917 and 1922. Go gramps.)

Rhibafarms also sells the wheatgrass in awesome square flats for $10 (seen below in a pic from Rhibarms’ blog) that would make gorgeous centerpieces for a spring party. I told the very kind woman in charge that I’d be back for some just as soon as I found the right size vase. She smiled and nodded and looked at me like that made perfect sense, which was kind of her, you know.

By |2012-01-15T20:19:07-07:00January 15th, 2012|Style|0 Comments

Recipe: Lemon Crepes

My girlfriends like to come over and spend the night at my house, because they know that in the morning, there will be lemon crepes.



In a bowl with a pouring spout, mix:

2 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon melted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar (I use stevia), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the zest of one lemon. Whisk vigorously.

Cook crepes in a nonstick pan. (Good directions here. Or, if you’re feeling shy, go buy a crepemaker. That helps.) The key is to use lots of butter in the pan, a shy quarter-cup batter, medium-high heat, and don’t try to flip until the crepe is browned and crisp on the bottom.

Remove the crepe to a plate. Sprinkle with a big heap of powdered sugar, then spread it around the crepe. Squeeze about a tablespoon or two of fresh lemon juice over the top. Pretend you’re in france.


By |2012-01-15T12:33:36-07:00January 15th, 2012|Recipes|0 Comments

D-I-Y Numbered Napkins

I dreamed of numbered napkins available only through H&M in Europe. Humph. So here’s how to make our own:

The inspiration:

It wasn’t THAT bad, although I will admit that on number six I was cursing myself for not telephoning Sweden and having them sent to me instead. Here’s how:

First, gather the supplies: black fabric paint, a small brush with an angled tip, a fabric marker, and an embroidery hoop — all available at Michaels. (Don’t buy the wood hoop in the first pic. It broke right away, and I had to go back for the plastic one. Grr.) You also need a sheet of blank label paper from Staples or Office Max and 8 napkins. (Mine are from Pottery Barn, here. Use whatever you’d like. Cotton or cotton/poly works best.) Before you start, be sure to wash and dry the napkins to remove sizing, and do NOT use fabric softener or dryer sheets.

Next, print out your numbers onto the label paper. Are you ready to love me? I made a template and you can download it right here. You’re welcome.

Carefully cut the numbers out, leaving the label backing intact.

Next, peel off the label backing and affix your number on the napkin, wherever you’d like it to be. It helps to fold them exactly how you plan to in the future.

Center your number in the embroidery hoop to give yourself a taut working surface. Using your fabric marker, trace the number. (Fabric markers are glorious. They rinse out with just a little water — a magic disappearing act.)

When you’re finished, peel off the label.

Here comes the hard part. Carefully fill in your number with black fabric paint. I will tell you that I did this s-l-o-w-l-y. And that a small, angled brush is the key to your happiness. And that I turned this thing every which way – upside down, sideways, whatever — to get it all filled in. You’ll want a heavy coat or two.

When you’re finished, let it dry flat overnight.

In the morning, rinse out the marker, iron the napkins, line them up, and feel very smug. You have outwitted H&M and their annoying reluctance to share their home collection with the U.S.A.

Set the table. Dream up dinner parties. Ask your boyfriend to model the matching glassware you bought long ago at Macy’s. Feel quite proud.


By |2012-01-14T20:33:58-07:00January 14th, 2012|DIY + Projects|1 Comment


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