Lemon-soaked Ginger Bundt

After repeatedly ripping bundt cakes during unmolding, I finally gave in and bought a heavy, nonstick cast-aluminum pan. I’ve made six cakes since then, and all of them have effortlessly slid out of the pan, perfectly browned. It’s a case of my mom and aunt’s culinary advice (“right tool, right job”) hitting home.

I’ll take bundt cakes and coffee cakes over cupcakes any day. I find them homey, unfussy, and satisfying, especially if they’re topped with streusel or a crackly glaze.

For recipes, I usually go to The Simple Art of Perfect Baking, The Cake Book, Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More, or Baking From my Home to Yours. There are, however, plenty of other great classic and new titles you could use. I’ll usually take a notebook to the library or bookstore and jot down any recipes that really stand out. It’s a good practice- it’s how I found the fabulous Sweet Potato Bundt in the Sweet Melissa Baking Book.

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Homemade Pizza (not so) Secrets

I am not the sort of girl who aspires to pizza perfection. I’m not an expert, and I don’t expect to ever re-create my favorite Neapolitan style pizzas at home. I have learned, however, that it’s easy to produce a pizza that’s far superior to anything you can find in a freezer.

The trick is to:

  1. Find a good crust recipe
  2. Heat your oven as hot as you possibly can
  3. Use good toppings, and not too much of them

More often than not, a cold oven means a pasty, doughy, floppy crust. Too many toppings can also make the pizza floppy and unattractive. I’ve been experimenting with a few different topping combinations. My favorite so far is onions, chicken, mozzarella, and bleu cheese, with a good helping of Penzey’s Sandwich Sprinkle (my new favorite spice blend). If you’re hungry for more pizza recipes, check out pizza week at food52, or Slice, one of my favorite blogs for pizza-ogling.

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