Expect the Unexpected

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Archive for the tag “birthday cake”

Recipe Reveal: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcake with traditional Ermine Icing.

Red Velvet Cupcake with traditional Ermine Icing. —Patricia Gay photo

At our newspaper office we celebrate birthdays in a low key way. Someone will circulate a humorous card, and someone else will either bake a cake or a pie or buy an ice cream cake or cookies. Nothing fancy, just enough to let the Birthday Guy or Gal know we think they’re special.

I’ve seriously cut back on sugar, so my co-workers surprised me with a lovely fresh fruit platter. Perfect.

For my editor’s birthday, I was in a baking mood and decided to make Red Velvet Cupcakes. Chosen for no particular reason, just for the fun factor. Read more…

Recipe Reveal: Rhubarb Upside Down Crumb Cake


Got fresh rhubarb? A moist Rhubarb Upside Down Crumb Cake will put it to good use.

Rhubarb is the happy harbinger of spring. It’s the first crop of the season to pop up in home gardens in Connecticut, so it’s welcomed with open arms. Tall green and red stalks jut out of the ground surrounded by massive leaves proudly announcing their arrival. Rhubarb is still here in June, but its season is almost over. It hangs on just long enough for strawberries to arrive, which is why I Imagine rhubarb is often paired with strawberries in recipes such as Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is usually treated like a fruit because it is very sour and nearly impossible to eat without adding sugar or other sweeteners. When I was a kid, I remember pulling a stalk off a rhubarb plant growing in our yard in Massachusetts and taking a quick bite, expecting it to taste like pink celery. Oh no. Soooo sour! Couldn’t even finish chewing that one bite. Read more…

Recipe Reveal: Kitty Litter Cake

Kitty Litter Cake is the purrrfect dessert for that "special" occasion.

Kitty Litter Cake

Sometimes a recipe is irresistibly good because it looks soooo irresistibly bad. That in a nutshell is Kitty Litter Cake. An absolutely delicious dessert that looks just like a dirty cat litter box. Gross! Yuck! Yep, all that and more.

I came across this recipe in the 1990s and have served it on many an occasion. It receives shrieks of laughter as well as sneers of derision.

The first time I made Kitty Litter Cake was for my daughter Katie’s birthday. She was sitting at the head of the dining room table surrounded by all her little friends, giddy with excitement waiting for me to bring in her birthday cake. I waltzed in and plunked a cat litter pan down in the middle of the table. “Here Katie, Happy Birthday!” I said. Read more…

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