Category Archives: Foodie Friday

Foodie Friday: Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake

Valentine's Day Recipes - Baked With Love

Valentine's Day Recipes Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake

Photo by Marni Elyse Katz/StyleCarrot

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day and I don’t love to bake. So why did I sign up on to share a recipe for a Valentine’s Day dessert when Wayfair asked if I’d like to participate in its “Baked With Love” campaign? I’m not sure!

I love to eat dessert (though technically I’m on a diet). I can’t resist a raspberry (allowed on the diet!) or I suppose, the chance to use pink frosting and heart sprinkles. And Wayfair’s Valentine’s Day bakeware is pretty darn cute.

So after spending this glorious snow day day drinking with my love at Saltie Girl, I spent the evening baking this  raspberry lemon layer cake. It’s delicious, but don’t worry, I ate only one small piece. The rest is for the kids.

Raspberry Lemon Layer Cake

cake ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

frosting ingredients

  • 8 oz. block of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • pinch of salt
  • Red food coloring
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Directions for cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously grease the sides and bottoms of two 9-inch pans with non-stick cooking spray.  Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment paper and spray again.
  • In a large bowl combine butter, both sugars, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl as needed, until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, mixing well to evenly combine. Add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and mix on low-speed until everything is just barely combined. (You should still see some lumps and dry streaks. If you over mix the cake will be dry and dense.)
  • Add milk, sour cream, and lemon juice. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients into the mixture, stirring until everything is incorporated. Again, do not to over mix. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, gently toss the raspberries with 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour. (This prevents the berries from sinking to the bottom of the pan while baking.) Add the raspberries and any remaining flour, to the batter. Fold in by hand, using a rubber spatula, until just combined. (Don’t over mix.)
  • Divide the batter evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are firm and slightly golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with moist crumbs.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes before gently running a knife around the edges to loosen them, and turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • While the cakes cool, make the frosting.

Directions for frosting:

  • In a large bowl beat cream cheese and butter on medium-speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and gradually add confectioners’ sugar. Add lemon juice, lemon extract, and salt; beat until combined. Increase the speed back to medium and mix about 2 minutes until creamy. Add a few drops of red food coloring and beat on high for about a minute. Add fresh raspberries and beat for another minute until blended.
  • Frost when the cakes have completely cooled. Decorate with abandon.
  • The frosted cake will stay fresh, covered and stored in the refrigerator, for 3 days. Take it out of the fridge an hour or two before serving so it can come to room temperature.

The recipe was adapted with love from Baker By Nature.

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Foodie Friday: 17 Naked Wedding Cakes

Boston Globe Magazine Wedding Cakes

Marni Elyse Katz/StyleCarrot

The Boston Globe Magazine    January 15, 2016

I put together a page of naked wedding cakes for the Boston Globe Magazine Weddings issue last month that I think turned out beautifully. So many local vendors sent me images of their gorgeous cakes, so I wanted to share the overflow here. I love the look of these restrained confections, though I admit, to me, the frosting is the best part when it comes to eating.

Naked Wedding Cake By Flour(ish) Bakery Boston

Amy Spirito Photography

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream and dusted with confectioner’s sugar by Flour(ish) Bake Shoppe, Beverly, Mass. Decorated with fresh apricots, blackberries, raspberries and greenery.

Naked Wedding Cake By Mayflour Confections Boston

Henry + Mac

Coconut cake with strawberries and rhubarb by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Flowers from Marc Hall Design.

Naked Wedding Cake Delicious Desserts Cape Cod

KML Photography

Torted apple spice cake and caramel cream filling by Delicious Desserts, East Falmouth, Mass.  Decorated with fresh succulents by Courtney’s Floral Creations and placed on a custom made rustic wood box. Decor and planning by Pink Polka Dot Events; wedding at Bourne Farm.

Naked Wedding Cake By Mayflour Confections Boston

Dylan M. Howell Photography

Funfetti cake by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Flowers by Boston Pollen; party design by Lauren S. Wells.

Naked Wedding Cake By Mayflour Confections Boston

Kelly Dillon Photography

Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Decorated with herbs and greens by Petal Floral. Wedding design by MStarr Design.

Naked Wedding Cake Boston

Katie Noble Photo

Cake by Greggory’s Pastry Shop, Hadley, Mass.

Naked Wedding Cake By Sweet Indulgences Boston

Cake by Sweet Indulgences, Cranston Rhode Island. 

Naked Wedding Cake Mayflour Confections Boston

Deborah Zoe Photography

Lemon yellow pound cake with blackberry puree and lavender buttercream filling and vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream frosting by Jenny’s Wedding Cakes. Decorated with fresh blueberries, spray roses, ivy, sweet pea, spirea, and ranunculus by Les Fleurs.

Naked Wedding Cake Peppers Catering Boston

Kelly Dillon Photography

Cake by Peppers Artful Events, Northborough, Mass. Decorated with flowers by Becca Olcott.

Naked Wedding Cake Katie Made Bakery Portland Maine

Melissa Robotti Photography

Chocolate cake with white buttercream frosting and caramel drizzle by Katie Made Bakery, Portland, Maine. Decorated with French macaroons and fresh flowers by Emily Carter Floral Designs. Event design and planning by L.Brook Events.

Naked Drizzle Cake By Oh Miss Kate

Kate Arabatzis/Oh Miss Kate

Vanilla cake with the cardamom whipped cream filling, cream cheese frosting, and chocolate ganache drizzle by Oh Miss Kate. 

Naked Wedding Cake By Cakes To Remember In Boston

Sour cream pound cake filled with fresh raspberries, tart lemon mousse with lemon buttercream frosting by Cakes to Remember. Decorated with fresh strawberries, raspberries, flowers, succulents, and sugar leaves.

Naked Wedding Cake With Figs By Mayflour Confections Boston

Hello Love Photography

Marble cake with mocha buttercream by Mayflour Confections, Rockport, Mass. Decorated with fresh flowers and figs.

Naked Wedding Cake Morin Catering Boston

Lens CAP Productions

Funfetti cake with buttercream frosting by Russell Morin Catering & Events, Attleboro, Mass.

Naked Wedding Cake Party Favors Boston

Sabrina Baloun Photography

Gold cake with chocolate mouse and fresh raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream icing by Party Favors, Brookline, Mass. Decorated with fresh flowers and topper by Alexis Mattox Design from Party Favors.

Naked Wedding Cake By Flour(ish) Bakery Boston

Amy Spirito Photography

Vanilla almond cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting and decorated with fresh wildflowers by Flour(ish) Bake Shoppe, Beverly, Mass. 

Naked Wedding Cake The French Sisters New Hampshire

Sarah Jayne Photography

Chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting by The French Sisters Bakery, Littleton, New Hampshire. Decorated with a fresh garden roses and ranunculus by Apotheca Flower Shoppe. Planning by All the Fuss Events.

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Foodie Friday: Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles in a Box Recipe

sponsored-post-wayfair-bbq-bites

As I mentioned, my husband and I held a pop-up art gallery event this summer we’ve dubbed Art + Cocktails Truro. We showcased 96 works of art from about 30 different artists throughout our home on Cape Cod. Last week I posted an array of paintings and next week I will show you a sampling of the photography we exhibited.

Today, however, is Foodie Friday and we’re going to talk about a spicy peanut butter noodle recipe.

Peanut Butter Noodles In Chinese Take Out Containers

Photo by Samara Vise for StyleCarrot

In a moment of insanity I decided I wouldn’t need a caterer for the event.I figured I would spend the two days prior whipping up the food myself. After all, I had catered parties in my 20s. Ha. The guest list got out of hand and soon I had 90 RSVPs. I frantically called around and got two different gourmet take-out places to provide tuna tartare on rice crackers, filet mignon crostini, and two kinds of chicken skewers.

veggie-skewer-hors-doeuvres-platter

Photo by Samara Vise for StyleCarrot

I could take care of the rest. The rest consisting mainly crostini bar fixings, cheese boards, marinated olives, herbed nuts, and such.

How to Create a Crostini Bar

Photo by Samara Vise for StyleCarrot

I needed one substantial dish though. Aiming for an Instagrammable, Pinterest-worthy event (after all I am a blogger), early on I ordered mini Chinese take-out containers made from Kraft paper and bamboo sporks. I settled on filling them with spicy sesame noodles.

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles In Chinese Take Out Containers

Photo by Samara Vise for StyleCarrot

My son and I broke out the lobster pot. He boiled ten packages of spaghetti in two batches while I concentrated on not blowing up the blender with the peanut butter. I did a mash up of a few different spicy peanut butter noodle recipes I pulled from Pinterest pics, based on what seemed easiest and tastiest. The resulting recipe went something like this:

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles in Chinese Takeout Boxes

Noodles
1 box of spaghetti

Sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons honey

Garnish
Matchstick carrots
Red bell pepper
Cilantro

Boil noodles, rinse, drain. Make sure they’re not all clumpy. Mix the sauce ingredients in a blender. Pour sauce over noodles. Use clean hands to mix together. Set up your boxes, add noodles to each. Top with garnishes. You could also use cucumber, scallion, chopped peanuts, and sesame seeds. Stick a fork in it. Serve on a tray.

Big thanks to photographers Samara Vise for mixing the noodles and Michael J. Lee for garnishing.

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Foodie Friday: Saltie Girl

Tinned fish is about to become a thing in Boston. Brand new Back Bay restaurant Saltie Girl, brought to you by the local MET Restaurant Group, opened June 1 complete with raw bar and a tinned fish menu. MET Restaurant Group president Kathy Sidell (who by the way is Stephanie of Stephanie’s sister, who knew?) was inspired by tapas bars in Barcelona.

The skinny sliver of a space (just 30 seats, galley style, with four banquettes down one side and the bar down the other) is located adjacent to MET Back Bay (it used to be its private dining room). It’s a much needed addition to the neighborhood, which mostly lacks cooler restaurant concepts.

The Saltie Girl interior is design perfection. And I mean perfection. Even more impressive, Kathy Sidell decorated it herself. She is responsible for all of it: the Moroccan patterned cement tiles for the bar backsplash, the turquoise fish scale tiles that clad the bar itself, the perfect aqua paint color, the rope wrapped columns, the glossy wood banquettes, the copper light pendants, and the travel photos

As for the food, it is also exquisite. Gorgeous and insanely delicious.  Chef Kyle McClelland (a culinary artist) works behind the bar to make the cold offerings, while hot dishes, overseen by MET chef David Daniels, come from the kitchen downstairs. Oysters are shucked barside, obv.

New Back Bay Restaurant Bar Saltie Girl Moroccan Tile

The bar is the restaurant’s focal point, and an on trend thing of beauty. Its back wall is lined with Moroccan patterned cement tiles(#trendalert); glass shelves hold the liquor. See those copper pineapples? (#trendalert)  Exotic drinks for two are served in them. The second time I was there a young couple was sharing one, but it seemed rude to intrude upon their moment for a photo.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Raw Bar

The bar is lined with aqua fish scale tile (#trendalert) by Mercury Mosaics. The first portion of the bar is dominated by a raw bar. Glass canisters hold garnishes and sauces are served in apothecary-like bottles with medicine droppers (#trendalert) .

Boston Bar Saltie Girl Serves Bloody Marys With An Oyster

Bloody Marys are topped with a raw oyster (#trendalert) . The straw is stainless steel (#trendalert) , which I quite appreciated. (I have an unreasonable aversion to black plastic straws.) The clipboard (#trendalert)  lists the raw bar offerings: various oysters, clams, shrimp, king crab, and sea urchin.

Oyster Platter At Boston Raw Bar Saltie Girl

Two young women sitting next to my husband and I at the bar ordered this spread of oysters. I did ask them if I could take a photo. Note the medicine dropper condiment potions.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Banquettes Rope Wrapped Column

Four banquettes line the deep turquoise (I’ll ask Kathy for the exact paint color) wall parallel to the bar. Columns are wrapped in thick rope. Worn copper pendants illuminate marble tabletops.

Travel Photography Boston Restaurant Design Saltie Girl

Kathy told me the name of the photographer who took all these travel shots (his day job is a globe-trotting position for Ralph Lauren), but I cannot recall. I will find out and update.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Raw Bar

The floor is a simple white hex tile with black grout. A dozen industrial style metal stools(#trendalert) are used for bar seating. A handy black pipe means your legs don’t dangle.

Tinned Fish Display At New Boston Restaurant Saltie Girl

Back to the tinned fish(#trendalert). They’re imported from Europe and the packaging is pretty. Options include tuna (for the unadventurous like me), sardines, anchovies, trout, and mackerel.

Tinned Fish Clipboard Menu New Boston Dining Experience Saltie Girl

Time to order. Raw bar and tinned fish on a clipboard. Salads, sandwiches, and hot dishes on a paper placemat, diner style (but definitely not diner prices).

Tinned Fish Served On Slate Slab At Saltie Girl

Obviously we had no choice but to order a tinned fish platter. Lamely, we got tuna, though I understand the mackerel is easy to eat too. Cockles are not for me. The tinned fish is served on a slate slab (#trendalert) with crusty bread, pickled peppers, some sort of delicious jelly, and OH. MY. GOD. The BEST homemade butter I have ever tasted. There went my diet.

Black Salt Grey Salt White Salt Boston Restaurants

And to make everything even better, Chef Kyle (complete with requisite tats (#trendalert))  treated us to a trio of exotic sea salts (#trendalert). A black lava salt (from Hawaii maybe) with a smoky flavor, a grey sea salt, and a white. I’ve probably not mentioned this on the blog before, but butter and salt are basically my two favorite foods.

Tinned Fish Served On Slate Slab At Saltie Girl

As you can see we ate every bit of that tinned tuna fish, jam (#trendalert), and butter. Okay, I got seconds on the butter.

Chef Kyle Serves A Salad At Saltie Girl In Boston

Next,Chef Kyle McClellan serves my husband a salad.

Green Salad At Saltie Girl

Have you ever seen such a pretty green salad?

Stone Crab Toast At Saltie Girl In Boston

Both times I ate at Salti Girl I ordered Stone Crab Toast with burrata and avocado. There is a whole section of toasts (#trendalert) on the menu. At $10 it’s a good deal; very filling. It melts in your mouth and tastes heavenly.

Best Tuna Tartare In Boston

My husband, who is much more disciplined when it comes to sticking to his diet, ordered the tuna tartare. Scrumptious. Those purple flowers are chive blossoms.

Moroccan Tile Backsplash At Saltie Girl Restaurant In Boston

Another shot of the Saltie Girl bar (aka, my husband’s new neighborhood haunt).

Travel Photography Adorns The Wall At This New Boston Restaurant

Some more travel photos above the banquettes. Looks like Capri.

Tinned Fish Packaging At Saltie Girl In Boston

Tinned fish packaging is cute and pretty. That squid looks like a Disney character.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Pop Up Towel With Check

At the end of the meal, there is this Japanesque presentation — a wood block with water and a compressed cloth.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Pop Up Towel With Check

Voila. It rises. Pull it apart and wipe your hands.

New Back Bay Restaurant Saltie Girl Canned Fish Tin

The bill and an empty tin. A mermaid is the Saltie Girl mascot. There’s a carved one mounted at the bar too.

Saltie Girl Restaurant In Boston's Back Bay Has Raw Bar Tinned Fish & Great Design

Saltie Girl, 279 Dartmouth Street at Newbury Street, Boston

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Foodie Friday: Dry Line Artisanal Gin

On Tuesday night I attended the launch of Dry Line Cape Cod Gin at Outlook Kitchen in the Envoy Hotel on the Boston Waterfront. Although it’s hard to get me to an event, there was no way I’d miss this.

Dry Line Gin is crafted by South Hollow Spirits at the Truro Vineyards. I spend many summer afternoons on the lawn enjoying lunch from the food truck Crush Pad. (They also produce Twenty Boat Rum, which you may have spotted on my bar tray.)

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Distilled With Peppercorns

South Hollow Spirits is the Cape’s first craft distillery since Prohibition. Dry Line Cape Cod Gin is a small batch, twice-distilled spirit made from organic sugar cane juice that is fermented for three weeks. After the first distillation, the gin is moved to steel drums to steep for 48 hours with botanical-filled hemp bags.

The botanicals used to distill Dry Line include Eastern Red Cedar juniper berries (sourced on their own property), orange peel, lemon peel, cardamom, allspice, coriander, orris root, grains of paradise, angelica root, anise, and dried cranberry. The spirits absorb essential oils from these botanicals, then redistilled, and brought to 94 proof.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Bottle + Launch Party Invite

Local graphic designer, who also used to own Farm Gallery, Susie Nielsen, designed the bottle and labeling, which is exquisite. Here are images from the launch party on Tuesday. Everything was delicious, including the four gin drinks served. (No, I did not drink them all.)

Cocktails Made With Dry Line Cape Cod GIn

Dry Line gin drink served upon arrival.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Launch At Outlook Kitchen + Bar

We were seated in a private dining room with a glass wall to the kitchen. I was lucky enough to sit between Kristin Roberts and Dave Roberts Jr. (head distiller). It’s a family business. Their dad was there too.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Boston Tea Party Cocktail

The arugula and pear salad was served with the Boston Tea Party Cocktail made with Dry Line gin, peppermint lemon infused tea, lemon juice, muddled strawberries, and basil. My favorite. (Please serve this at the Truro Vineyards drink shack this summer!)

Outlook Kitchen + Bar Wall Installation Lighting

Cool lighting installation on the wall behind our table.

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Party At Outlook Kitchen + Bar

Tagliatelle pasta with onion puree, cherry tomatoes, peas, spinach, and Grana Padano.  Served with SeaPORT Martini made with Dry Line gin infused with citrus, pink & black peppercorns, and port. (Sorry I didn’t take a photo of that one, which was actually too strong for my sensitive self.)

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Launch Party Menu At Outlook Kitchen + Bar

The evening’s menu. (Oyster shell from last month’s Timberland dinner at Row 34, but hey, it’s Cape Cod appropriate.)

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin Bee's Knees Cocktail

Lemon tart made with Meyer lemon curd, meringue, and mint for dessert. Served with Bee’s Knees cocktail: Dry Line gin, lemon juice, honey syrup.

Craft Spirits In Cape Cod


All photography by Marni Elyse Katz / StyleCarrot

Dry Line Cape Cod Gin is available in select bars, restaurants, and liquor stores throughout Massachusetts starting May 20, 2016. Also available at South Hollow Spirits/Truro Vineyards or online.

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