Explore 2019: Local Artist Love

Creativity is powerful (quite frankly, I think it's the thing that will ultimately save us!) and one of my favorite things is connecting with awesome artists. I met Carolyn Mackin this past winter at my friend Paige’s holiday party and she is just such a lovely human being and I love the light and energy in her work! Carolyn sent me a couple of pieces from her new acrylic blocks summer series (which just went live this morning) and OMG they are so rad! Check out the whole series at her website; these blocks now have a home as art pieces on a table in my office, but they would be awesome styled in a bookcase or atop a series of books on a coffee table. Ysy, women artists!

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Explore 2019: New 4-Component Cake Recipe

Normally when I make a cake, it's just two parts: cake + frosting. I tend to avoid cakes with multiple components! But when Violet asked for "some kind of chocolate mint cake" for her birthday I immediately went to my recipe binder. Years ago (decades ago?!) I clipped a recipe for a delicious-looking chocolate mint cake but had never made it. I decide to give it a try!

This cake involves 4 components. The first 3 (devil's food cake, dark chocolate ganache, white chocolate cream) were actually really easy and I prepped them all yesterday. This afternoon I figured I was cruising but then I made a mistake. I should have assembled these 3 components BEFORE making the marshmallowy peppermint frosting (component 4). I didn't realize why this was bad until I saw the frosting starting to harden in the bowl while I was assembling the layers. GAH! Totally my bad, not the recipe!

I guess this is where experience helps! I didn't want to remake the marshmallow frosting so I spread a thin coat of it all over as best I could, then let it set up in the fridge. And luckily I had enough white chocolate whipped cream left over to cover the whole thing. I skipped the chocolate curls because I was tuckered from the stress, the pile of dishes in the sink, and the reality that I still need to work today!

As I've said many times, DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT. I can't wait to celebrate Violet tonight!

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