S'more s'mores...

We're making some s'mores favor kits for a wedding this weekend - housemade marshmallows, fresh baked graham crackers, and thin squares of an organic chocolate, all packaged in Weck canning jars.

It's easy to find good recipes for marshmallows, but it took us a long time to perfect the graham cracker recipe - not too sweet, just the right amount of spice, excellent on its own. Will definitely be making some extras to enjoy at our own firepit in Santa Cruz...


Cake Tuesday: subdued versus vibrant.

We've done so many lovely cakes recently it's hard to keep track of them all.  Here is one that we did for a wedding at Quail Lodge - very simple tiers that finish in a riot of ruffles:
And this one, from a wedding at The Holly Farm, matches the watercolor from the couple's save-the-date, separated by tiers of edible gold leaf:

I love the monochromatic elegance of the first, but also the vibrant opulence of the second. How does anyone choose?  When we were getting married I said I wanted LOTS of weddings - one in each season, maybe - just because it was so hard to narrow it down to one choice.  

But I guess if we can settle on ONE spouse, we can settle on ONE cake... :)


Winding down and catching up.

So hi.  The season has been a doozy, and I just now feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It's been fantastic, for sure - some of my best work ever - but so challenging with toddlers, feeling the constant pull and need, and I don't mean that in a bad way.  I WANT to spend every waking moment with them (and all my sleeping moments, too).

I've had a hard time returning to this blog after they were born, for several reasons. 

One, the Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes Facebook page has been a very quick and easy place to post cake pictures, keeping it very professional and business-y, and so the Cake Tuesday posts became obsolete - I don't like posting stuff in multiple places just for the sake of exposure.  Ugh.  For years this blog was a glimpse into my personal life, and that has become something I'm not as interested in sharing with the public any more.  (If you're my friend on Facebook, however, you'll know I'm HUGE at over-sharing there!)

More importantly, and I'm finally ready to talk about this a little, or at least explain my absence here, the birth of our boys was a long-planned, and ultimately very difficult thing.  After years of heartaches and loss and subsequently sitting on the fence regarding our future as parents or as a child-free couple, we jumped off the fence in 2012 and took a couple of our frozen embryos and approached a surrogate agency about "borrowing an oven" (in baking terms).

The agency ended up being awful and the surrogate was a disaster, but at the end of the day we got our beautiful, perfect, healthy boys (albeit six weeks early and in the NICU for one very stressful month).  I wouldn't wish our experience on anyone, but it sounds petty to complain when we GOT OUR CHILDREN, something so many people wish for and haven't been able to do.

And also, knowing that she knows who I am and what I do, I haven't wanted her to have one bit of information about my children, when she took countless unnecessary risks and was so cavalier about their existence. 

So the blog has stagnated, and the boys have grown, and the cakes have continued, and life does go on, faster than ever with two little whirlwinds in the mix. 

I guess I'm trying to figure out what to write about (I really do enjoy writing) that doesn't involve my children and doesn't duplicate my cake posts on Facebook (which don't actually include much information, just pretty pictures).  If you've got any ideas, let me know, and I'll see what I can come up with as I slide into winter and things slow down just a bit. 

In the meantime, thanks for checking in and hope you're well and wonderful. 


It's been awhile...

So it's been an interesting break.  Hundreds of cakes, pies, macarons, brigaderos, fruitcakes, cookies, and jelly shots later, here we are. 

Naked cakes are getting a lot of attention right now - they're beautiful and inviting - they look more delicious than a fondant or even a frosted cake - and they're really fun to make.

One of my favorites last year was an ombre version, with three different flavors of cake that created a graduated dark-to-light presentation.
Another was one of a trio of cakes - one was hand-painted to look like the bride's grandmother's china, one was rough-frosted buttercream, and one was simply fresh whipped cream and berries in split cakes.

I used olive branches and lavender from my garden to garnish it, and it was a huge hit. 

I will definitely be back to tell you about the last twelve months - lots of adventures - the main one involving these two amazing critters:
and our lives have been forever changed.  TWINS.  And wedding cakes.  The challenges are tremendous and terrific.  I'm happy to introduce you to Henry and William.


Cake Tuesday: heartfelt.

(While I am writing this, seemingly composed and at ease, please note that the cat just dragged in a fairly large snake which is now resting quietly in the guest bedroom under a mixing bowl. Let's pretend that it isn't.)

The season is fast approaching and things are shaping up nicely.  I've been meeting with so many lovely couples, juggling schedules and sketches and dessert ideas - you've seen the jelly shots before, but I just got asked to create a mojito version.  I'm thinking fresh mint from my garden and a rhum agricole blanc from Martinique?  Heaven.

I'll be doing another stack of books shortly, with a super-cute theme, and some sports-themed cakes as well.  Never a dull moment.

We celebrated Easter with some wonderful friends we don't see enough of - they're building a beautiful place in the country, so everyone gathered at the construction site for delicious mimosas and brunch-y food and whiled away the afternoon on the soon-to-be front porch.

And next week I'm disappearing with my mom for a couple of days, wine tasting and spa treatments and decadent meals - probably the last time we'll manage this for quite some time.

Here's a pair of hearts - a simple design but unusual just the same:

Shot through with a sugar arrow. Rich cheesecake, or bittersweet chocolate with an orange zest ganache. How does one ever choose?


Cake Tuesday: panna cotta.

WOW.  It has been a crazy month, starting off badly with the never-ending cold, one of our cats missing for days (but finally turning up), and a horrific tragedy for our small town, but lately improving through lots of time with family and godchildren and good friends.  Hadley turned up locked in a shed behind an unoccupied neighbor's home - she's safe and sound now, no worse for wear:

We got to see our godson with his team win their first little league game of the season, and both godson and goddaughter killing it at swim team practice. Then my younger brother came out with his girlfriend from North Carolina for a long weekend:

The weather was beautiful, so we spent time at the beach before heading to Tahoe to snowboard:

where the snow was a little slushy but the weather was equally incredible.  We had a day at Heavenly and a day at Northstar, where I worked with my goddaughter (an excellent skier) for her first day on a snowboard.  Teaching snowboarding? To a seven year old? Who is regular while you are goofy? Challenging.  I can barely walk, two days later.  But she was a champ, and by the end of the day was actually connecting turns.  She'll be doing jumps next season, I'm convinced.

On the cake front, dessert buffets still seem to be all the rage.  I recently did a fun display at Pie Ranch, which (of course) included little pies but also various cookies and vanilla bean panna cottas in these adorable little mason jars:

I worked with the creative team at Going Lovely, who did a gorgeous job on the whole event.

I'll leave you with a photo I took last week - this was just sitting on a metal box on a street corner in San Anselmo.  The light was so good and it was so random I couldn't resist:

  (What does it MEAN?) 


Cake Tuesday: reanimated.

I am finally feeling a little better; family visits always help.  My in-laws were in town for a few days, and then my mom came in to provide a little TLC, too.  She seriously showed up with (delicious) homemade soup.  That she drove up from Los Angeles.

She and I were able to catch the Oscar-nominated animation shorts and the live-action shorts - a double feature!  I was sadly disappointed in the animation shorts this year, but the live-action shorts were terrific.  My two favorites were Death of a Shadow - so creative and unusual - and Curfew - heartbreakingly funny and sweet.  You can see clips of them here.

February is a big birthday month for some reason - friends and family - and I've been making my share of birthday cakes.  Here's a cute little cake - the edible paper is printed with Happy Birthday in lots of languages and wrapped around a layer of white chocolate which is wrapped around a decadent chocolate cake filled and frosted with dark chocolate ganache.

The only thing that would make it better is a layer of blood orange curd.  Or maybe a glass of red wine...