Recipe Innovations: Cherry-Lime Sourdough Cake

On Sunday mornings, Mom has set the expectation that I will make brunch. I have inherited this, as I’ve inherited other responsibilities, because my father used to do it. I can make an argument that it would make better sense for her to make me brunch on Sundays, because the dynamic was that she did 90 percent of the cooking, and so on one of his days off, he’d cook brunch for her, but I do 100 percent of the cooking for both of us (she’ll sometimes heat something up for herself if I’m out, but she prepares food for me 0 percent of the time) and it’s my day off. Fortunately, I’m not bitter about it. Well, not very bitter.

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Cooking Hack: Non-stick Measuring Cups

I definitely didn’t invent this hack, but I was visiting a friend recently, and they hadn’t heard about this, so I thought I’d share. They were measuring honey into a measuring cup for a recipe they were making, and complaining about how you lose half the honey to the sides of the measuring cup, and then when you scrape it out, it ends up all over you and every surface in your kitchen.

In case you hadn’t heard, the way around this is to measure your oil using that cup first. It coats the measuring cup and all of your honey (or in my case, your sourdough starter) makes it into the bowl instead of clinging stubbornly to your measuring cup.

Recipe Innovations: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cake

This weekend, I meant to bake something. I went to a potluck brunch at our community pool and I meant to bring something made with sourdough starter. The perfect intersection of necessity (to use starter regularly) and opportunity. But the opportunity to bake something did not come. I was busy every time I had hoped to do it. I wound up bringing roasted vegetables (broccoli, onions and red pepper) that I’d tossed with Sriracha and apple cider vinegar— something I’d prepped earlier in the week for use as a side dish and then didn’t use. (I thought I’d eat it as a cold salad and heat it for mom, who likes her food hot more often than I do). It went over… better than I thought it would, among the French toast and fruit trays, and I used the leftovers in a pasta salad I’ve been meaning to make, so it’s all good.

Yesterday, I was ready to bake. I woke up with the idea of a peanut butter and jelly coffee cake, made with sourdough starter. I wanted something a little less sweet than my last outing (cherry-lime cake with cherry-lime sauce, which was delicious, but less of a coffee cake and more of a dessert cake. Want that recipe too? Well, if you insist.)

I don’t know where I got the idea that peanut butter and jelly cake was a thing, but the internet was not helpful in leading me to a recipe to use for the foundations. I could abandon the idea and do something else, but have you met me? What are the odds that I would actually let it go?

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“Say What You Want to Say, and Let the Words Fall Out Honestly…”

It has long been my issue that my filter is far too good. Like the Meg Ryan character in “You’ve Got Mail,” my struggle is going mute in the face of outrage. Like she finds, in the movie, I truly acknowledge that most of the time, my filter helps me not to be cruel, but there are a lot of times when my inability to speak out in the moment just means that issues don’t get addressed when they should.

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It’s hard to tell if it’s progress, or if it was just a good day. As usual, these days, I worked just as hard all weekend on not-work as I do all week on work. And Mom kept acknowledging how hard I’m working. It’s unlike her— she normally wants to compete about how hard anyone is working or how tired you are, but this time, she acknowledged it. Possibly because I came home at the end of my rope at least once last week. Hard to say.

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