Where in the world has CakeSpy been?
Well, let me tell you. In the past two weeks I have been in all of these places:
- Rincon, Puerto Rico
- Belmar, NJ
- Lancaster, OH
- St. Louis, MO
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Santa Fe, NM
- Des Moines, IA
- Dubuque, IA
- Brodhead, WI
- New Glarus, WI
- Madison, WI
I know. It's a record, even for ME. So what the heck have I been doing in all these places? Well, let me tell you a bit more.
I departed Puerto Rico and spent a few days with my family in Belmar, NJ. There, I baked this cake, which was a definite highlight...of life.
I also visited Kane Brewing Company with my parents. It is so neat to see my home area develop into such an artistic and cool place. Here's me and my mom.
Next, I hit the road en auto and stopped in Lancaster, OH to visit my friends Ben and Misty. Ben, apparently, has been "really into breakfast" lately. I benefitted from this newfound passion (really, I've never been not into breakfast) by receiving this plate of awesome in the morning. Those pancake-y things? Corn-cakes made using Jiffy cornbread mix (here's a recipe for cookies made with apple Jiffy mix!). Brilliant!
I headed back on the road to visit my friend Lisa in St. Louis. She has this adorable tea shop called Smalls. It's only a limited lease, so check it out now, if you live in the area. Cutest ever, right?
I wasn't in St. Louis for long, but I did find enough time to take a yoga class at Southtown Yoga (such a stylish and cool studio) and enjoy a slice of gooey butter cake at the Mud House. This was a rather nice specimen of one of my favorite cookie bar/cake hybrids. Also: just an observation, gooey butter cake is a short phrase in which no single word is wrong, yet together they are even more right. Don't you think?
OK. Literally, OK. That was the next stop: Oklahoma City, where I did a little yoga pit stop and then continued on my journey. I stayed in Amarillo, TX overnight, which is also home of Belmar Bakery, which I love because in addition to carrying sweet treats, it also bears the name of my hometown in New Jersey.
I kept on going and ended up in Santa Fe the next day, where I spent the next 18 hours and was reuinited with this guy:
Hooray! Twinsies, right?
Then, not too long after, we got back on the road to go to a wedding in Wisconsin. Back through New Mexico, enjoying this sort of beauty:
and this time was treated to this beautiful sunset.
There was a stop at one of the Casey's General Stores on the highway for doughnuts--surprisingly good.
Next up was Lawrence, Kansas, where we stopped for some sweetness at Sylas and Maddy's Ice Cream.
I was so impressed by this place. They had fantastic flavors like "ladybug crunch" (strawberry ice cream with oreos) and a chocolate and rainbow sprinkle-laden birthday cake flavor. But what I got, and what I considered a masterpiece of ice creamery, was the item in the forefront: BANANA PUDDING ICE CREAM. Can we all say "best thing ever" in unison, please?
Continuing on the road, there was a stop in Des Moines for, well, more yoga (I have a goal to do yoga in all 50 states, so this trip provided me a great chance to add more spots to my list), and then jetted off to Dubuque where more doughnuts were consumed. I'll tell you the truth, they were from Hy-Vee groceries, but they were actually pretty good!
Next up was Brodhead, Wisconsin. I got myself a unicorn there.
After that, we jetted to New Glarus, which is where the wedding will be held. We had a lovely picnic dinner, and the hosts had actually made a recipe from my second book, The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts , for dessert--jumbles!
Um, I should probably tell you that this happened, too, at the New Glarus Hotel. We only ordered the three that are not on the tray. But yes, there were three desserts. The first cake (going clockwise from the top) was a blueberry cake with cream filling; the second was a German chocolate; the third was a lemon custard. The desserts were all satisfying, with my favorite being the custard--like lemon curd in custard form, even better with sweet Wisconsin dairy whipped cream! The filling from the German chocolate cake was something I wouldn't mind eating my weight in, either.
(It's OK to laugh at this cruller. I did).
Whew! It's been a whirlwind so far. And I still have the wedding to go! Now, I think I'll explore New Glarus more, including the bakery everyone keeps telling me is great. I'll keep you updated on my sweet adventures, my sweetest ones.