High heeled shoe cupcakes

Celebrations, Food

My little girl just turned four years old. This sends cold shivers through me. I wonder if it’s the beginning of the end, and if we will ever again be as close as we are now, and what I should be teaching her about femininity that I haven’t learned yet myself. So because I do […]

August 18, 2014

How to work with phyllo


Confession: When it comes to desserts, I love the impractical. My favorite impractical ingredient right now is phyllo dough (pronounced fee’-lo or fie’-lo). It really looks like it shouldn’t be edible—it’s papery thin, crackly, and dry. It’s probably made of tree bark, I don’t know. It has no nutritional value at all,* and it has […]

September 6, 2013

Remembering Grandpa


When I was a child, I had more grandmothers than I could count—grandmothers and step-grandmothers and great-grandmothers, all beloved— but only one Grandpa. Grandpa was from Minnesota—a tough cookie, hardly sick a day in his life. He loved snow and popcorn and apple cider and northern lakes. He could tell stories that left us in […]

June 10, 2013

Spring impromptu

Life around home

Confession: Though I am quixotic enough to dream of intimate tea parties on the lawn, complete with parasols and petit fours, in the meantime this is how I do time with friends— Hey. Any chance you wanna stay for lunch when we do that photoshoot? I’ll make egg sandwiches and iced coffee. Yes! you can […]

May 7, 2013

The cake

Food, People

When my friend Amy walked into The Sweet Shop* that day, she stepped with the confident mien of one who knew from experience how great these gals’ cakes were. She’d ordered two before. The little mom-and-pop operation in downtown Meadville produces made-from-scratch, delectable chunks of sweetness, prettily custom-decorated. What could be better? The Sweet Shop […]

February 5, 2013