Describe your culinary style.
I would describe my culinary style—specifically my baking—as off-the-cuff, yet calculated. I like playing around with flavors, mixing things that someone would expect with 1-2 surprise elements. Like a vanilla scotch whiskey cupcake filled with goat cheese and topped with a caramelized onion buttercream and balsamic vinegar reduction. Does it sound weird? Maybe a little bit, but the flavors come together in this fantastic mix of slightly savory and a little bit sweet. My baking can be playful and out there, but I don’t think it’s gimmicky. I understand what I want to do with the flavors, and when I don’t nail it the first time, I tweak the recipe and try again.
For someone new to your blog, which recipe do you recommend they try first?
It depends a lot on the skill of the baker, but my recipes range from those that are appropriate to a beginning baker, such as my Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting, all the way to more experienced butter-and-flour mavens, such as my Red Wine Mocha Cupcakes with Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Filling and Red Wine Buttercream. My personal favorite, though, would be my Root Beer Float Cupcakes. They’re a real crowd pleaser.
What is the main source of inspiration for your recipes?
Inspiration comes to me in a lot of forms, though possibly the two largest would be 1) perusing markets—especially the international sections—for ingredients unique to me; and 2) baking books in general. I recently spent a whole day leafing through Les Petits Macarons by Kathryn Gordon & Anne E. McBride getting flavor combination ideas for my cupcakes.
If you could have one food while stranded on a desert island, what would it be?
You might think I’d say cupcakes, but no, they’re not my desert island food choice. How about a bowl of creamy polenta, topped with sauteed onions, red peppers, kalamata olives, pecorino, salt, pepper and a sunnyside-up egg. Does that count as one? It’s my favorite go-to comfort dish! But if it doesn’t, then cheese. The good stuff. (And maybe some nice wine to wash it down?)
What is your ultimate guilty food pleasure?
Gummi worms. They’re chewy, fruity, and sometimes I crave them at the weirdest moments. Do they have any nutritional value? Nope. But there’s something about them that I love. It’s weird, I know.
Yummly is the bite you take that makes your eyes roll back a bit into your head, a sigh escape your throat, and a smile immediately curl onto your lips. It’s what makes you keep going back for more, until you’re at the point of licking the plate clean. That’s when you know something is THAT GOOD. It’s yummly.