Mistake Cake

A few years back, I was inspired by this post, to make this cake.  Except that I was distracted.  And I made the buttermilk per the recipe’s notes section, and I added it all.  All.  Despite the fact that the recipe called for half.  Luckily, Deb takes amazing process photos, so I could tell by how the batter looked that something was wrong.  So I added some flour, and some more, and some more, until the consistency was just right.  And you know what?  It was amazing. the perfect, crumbly, not too sweet cake with a hint of berry tartness.  A very delicious mistake.

Havenly Mistake Cake blueberry

Since then I’ve deliberately repeated the mistake, and adapted it to fit my slightly crunchier taste–substituting turbinado and some whole wheat flour for the white sugar and flour.  With berries or peaches in the summer, and apples in the fall, every time I make it, it does not disappoint.

Mistake Cake (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Havenly Mistake Cake before baking

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
1 large egg
1 cup buttermilk (make your own! mix 1 cup milk w/ one tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, and let stand 10 minutes at room temp.)
1/2 pint blueberries or 1 cup fruit of your choice

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
  • Whisk the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • In a larger bowl, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until there are no lumps, then beat in vanilla, zest, and egg.
  • At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.
  • Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter fruit over top and smoosh it down into the batter a bit. Sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.


Here’s a batter photo, just in case!


Catching Up: Moving

Box Fan

116 Crown

Sprague Hall

Lighthouse Point

Box Ninja

ashley's magic garden

live art

Beltane Farm

Paul trubey and goat

Pau Trubey and milk



The last six weeks have been a blur. The kids were troopers, playing through the chaos. I was surrounded by so much love from my friends and coworkers as we visited old favorites (will miss you so Lighthouse Point!) and beautiful new places like Beltane Farm. And we ate amazing and delicious food. How is it that all my friends are such incredible cooks? And that we turn to food to nourish, celebrate, and nurture each other?

None of it would have been possible without my magical brother, who dropped everything and flew cross-country to be with me twice in the month of June, to help me keep it all together. I can’t thank him enough for reminding me that we come from a long stock of folks who work hard, don’t whine, and always find the time to eat well and drink good coffee. With his help I sorted, packed, and sold the remnants of my old life, making room for the new…

Then came the magic floating forklift to take our storage container, and we were off!

Letting in Spring!

Fickle friend Spring has been slow in coming this year to this northern spot. Only 2 weeks ago, I was grreted by a snowy scene as I waited on a train:
but just days after our first ritual spring feast

(let’s see if you can spot and identify our Passover lamb shank replacement:-)

the sun started poking out, as we readied for another celebration (once again, legos make an appearance, this time supervising prep for the easter bunny)
and just like that, Spring arrived, slowly peeking in…


The Little Yellow Book

In 1975, my mom and her best friend designed and illustrated a cookbook for kids.  I was 4 years old.

Yeladim Mevashlim

I remember my mom sitting at the drafting table in her bedroom.  I would sit next to her, at a smaller desk on the floor, doing my own “work”.  In those days, text was laid out by hand (!!!) every letter and line, hand pasted.  Hard to imagine, in the world of digitized type. My mom drew most of the little visual illustrations that went with the instructions.
Yeladim Mevashlim

On a recent snowy day, we cracked open our copy of “Yeladim Mevashlim” and made a simple, lovely, no fuss chocolate cake.  The book is still in print in Israel, 35 years later! And I love being able to share it with my own kids, who are now the same age my brother and I were when our mom was working on the book.

Yeladim Mevashlim

Spending time with my parents cooking and eating made me love to eat and experiment. Nowadays, the one thing I love more than eating and cooking, is thinking and planning what I want to be cooking and eating.

Here’s what I want to eat right now:

Early Winter Review

There was lots of moving, both literally and figuratively these last 2 months.  Much, I’m happy to put behind me.  Here are a few places I’d like to linger:


My inlaws celebrated 50 years of marriage:

we added new traditions to our thanksgiving table:

I turned 40 on a sunny day, surrounded by light and love:
watching the sailboat

and my oldest discovered the joy of losing (and finding!) oneself in writing and drawing:
drawing at scituate harbor

Hello 2012!  I’m so happy to see you.

Adventures in Home Preserving

Following a summer of canning demos at work, I finally took the plunge! Thanks to some hands on canning instructions from the lovely Elise.

A little tomato canning, a little pickling-these carrots are totally addictive!

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Carrots
Adapted from Momofuku via Esquire via Elise

Makes 2 pints pickles

1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbs pickling spice
2 lbs carrots

Make the brine: Bring the first 4 ingredients to a boil, then let cool slightly.
Place pickling spice in the bottom of your jar.
Slice the carrots about 1/4 of an inch thick, and pack them tightly in your jar.
Pour the brine over the carrots, and let cool on your counter.
Place in the fridge for 4-6 days, then try to eat just one…

Next project: perfecting tomatillo salsa!

New Year Wishes

For 2011, I’ve decided to break with my no resolution habit, and pick a few wishes for the new year.
1. Make and take more! no more lists, more finished projects. and more pictures.
2. Spend more time here.
3. Eat less animal products. Our vegetarian family eats a lot of dairy and eggs. While I could never be a vegan, I think we could use a little less animal products in our diet.
4. learn to crochet! I love knitting, but find that with 2 small boys, it’s often hard to finish a row. crochet seems like the way to go since you can drop and pick up at any point without worry your project will get holes or unravel. I got the jump on this one as soon a Yvonne posted about her new pattern. Been admiring those pillows of hers for a long time. And as 2010 wound to a close, I was able to finish all the circles. More on ravelry.
5. less is more! in 2010 we downsized into a space we love. I’d like to continue to let go of things that are weighing us down, material and otherwise.

Veggie Love

“It is simply not true that kids do not eat vegetables. What is true is that they will not eat — nor will most adults — vegetables that have been frozen or processed until they become nasty mush.”

Lisa Dobbs and Linda Moore on school lunch in DC.  Full article here. (Found via the Yale Sustainable Food Project Newsletter.)