Emily Eveleth

I’ve always loved donuts. I know that they’re bad for you, but they’re so sugary and delicious that I find them pretty hard to resist. It doesn’t matter the kind, chocolate, fruit filled, crème filled, sprinkles, if I see I donut, I want to eat it. (Well, except for those silly glazed donuts – yawn!) I thought I understood donuts. I thought I knew them well. Then, I saw Emily Eveleth’s paintings and the donuts that I thought I’d known since childhood suddenly grew up! I had never thought of a donut as a sexual object before, but there is something so sensual and visceral about her paintings. The donuts are almost Rubenesque, more like portraits of nude women than ordinary donuts. In person, the painting are quite large in scale, which only intensifies the feeling that you’re looking at something greater than your normal, average breakfast treat. Bridging the chasm between portrait and landscape, Emily’s paintings make you look at donuts in a whole new light and I love that! You can check out more of Emily’s work via her website. ~Erin


M. Robin Cakes

Where wedding cakes are concerned, the old saying "if you've seen one, you've seen 'em all" generally holds true. There isn't much variety in the wedding cake industry. It's a traditional sweet and most bakeries don't veer too far off course in their wedding cake offerings. It is definitely a business that needs a good kick in the pants and M. Robin Cakes in Portland, Oregon, is just the bakery to do it! Instead of making run-of-the-mill wedding cakes, owner, baker, and designer Marcella Robin makes these amazing and beautiful entrement cakes, which is a European style cake also known as a torte. It is made with sponge cake and layered with a variety of creams, custards, and mousses. The cake designs are created using a jaconde, which is a decorative sponge cake. The design in not applied to the cake like frosting, but actually baked into the sponge, creating a smooth finish. It is a completely fresh approach to wedding cake design and it makes perfect sense that Marcella is not only a graduate of the Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver, but that she also has a bachelors degree in sculpture. She treats her cake design in much the same way as any traditional artist.

From Marcella:  I can’t always predict how a design will “read” on a cake, so a big part of what I do is testing to see whether a design is truly spongeworthy. The tests are never eaten. They get wrapped, labeled, and frozen for inspiration and archiving. Instead of a sketchbook, I have a sketch pile — of spongecake.

Needless to say, I am a huge fan. When I first saw their website, I immediately jotted down the link and wrote the words "so awesome" next to it. You can check it out for yourself, right here.


PIE: A Hand Drawn Almanac

I love illustrated recipes. If you read this blog on a regular basis, you probably love them, too! And if you love illustrated recipes as much as I do, you’re also going to adore this new illustrated pie book from artist Elizabeth Graeber and Emily Hilliard, who writes the blog Nothing-in-the-House. The two recently joined forces to produce this fun, almanac-style book that provides different recipes for every month of the year. So, in January, you’ll find a recipe for Dark Chocolate and Vanilla-Bourbon Caramel Pie, which is a perfect dessert for those chilly winter nights, and, in July, summery berry tarts are featured. Each recipe is accompanied by stories and delightful drawings that celebrate the history of this classic dessert. PIE: A Hand Drawn Almanac is available at a discounted preorder rate of $13 via etsy. All preorders come specially packaged in a pastry bag and baker’s twine. After December 1st, the book will be available for $15 online and at various local shops in and around Washington DC. {Thanks, Emily!} ~Erin


Seattle Chocolates: Holiday Collection

In honor of holiday season, which is now officially upon us, I wanted to share these fun new truffle bars from Seattle Chocolates. I’ll admit that it was the cute, retro-inspired wrapper that originally caught my eye, but it was the unusual flavors that really reeled me in! The collection, which is titled Baby It's Cold Outside, was inspired by song titles and lyrics of the 1950’s, and comes in five different flavors: Hot Buttered Rum, Mom’s Hot Cocoa, Candy Cane Crunch, Holiday Cheer Eggnog, and Christmas Cookie.

I shared my bars with my friends and family and they all disappeared fairy quickly, but there were two clear winners: Hot Buttered Rum, which combines toffee and a hint of rum to recreate that warm cozy feeling that you would normally get from the drink, and Candy Cane Crunch, a delightful blend of chocolate and peppermint that also has the distinct advantage of being the only dark chocolate bar in the bunch. These two also happen to be my favorites visually speaking, especially the Hot Buttered Rum, which features an old-school skier against an aqua background. You can check out the full line of holiday truffle bars, and shop online, right here. You can also click here to find a store near you.


The Pancake Button Book

Who doesn’t love a cute illustrated recipe? It’s fun to look at, it’s arty, you can fold it up and put it inside a button when you’re done. Wait? What? Fold it up and put it inside a button? Yep, that’s right. This tiny illustrated recipe by artist Vicki Smith is bookmarked on either side by two 1 ¼ inch buttons. Once it is unfolded it reveals an oatmeal pancake recipe, told in fourteen watercolor illustrations. Fold it back up, take it on a trip, keep it in your pocket, give it as a gift. It’s miniature and therefore delightful. Click here for more info and to purchase online.

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