Category Archives: bake sale

Advances in Learning to Bake Land

1) I got a call from another Sixth Grade mother – she offered me the choice of two volunteer opportunities at the upcoming Grandparents Day festivities: Baking or Serving. In the past I have gotten out of baking but paid for this by waiting on and cleaning up after the many grandparents who come to this fundraising informative event. I should add that I, sadly, have not supplied my girl with any grandparents. My mom would have been a super grandmother, but she died long before Harriet hit the scene. But this time I will not be pouring pots of decaf or speculating (silently of course) about who has or has not used Botox. I’ll be home. Because yes, I volunteered to bake!

2)  Since I am stuck off site, far from my computer (and my kitchen) I am trying to post from my phone via the WordPress Ap.


Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate-Cherry Cupcakes

I don’t like – and I mean really do not like chocolate and cherry together, but I will probably bake Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes from

Why? They look relatively do-able and Nigella reports they were a hit at a school bake sale. So I don’t have to like them to give them to a bake sale. Besides, I trust Nigella. And the cupcakes are awfully cute with the cherry on top.

This was my first visit to, which looks like it has a bunch of good recipes and chef profiles. Today I learned that Nigella Lawson and I have something in common. I also have more than 100 cookie cutters. I’m guessing Nigella has actually used hers.

Amended to add: also, Nigella and I are both freelance journalists and domestic godesses. Hee.

Rice Krispies Treats

I veered off the occasionally bumpy path of learning to bake delicious grown-up baked goods like fancy cookies and artisanal breads this week by learning to bake make Rice Krispies Treats.

Why? My daughter volunteered me. It all has something to do with a Sixth Grade public service project and a bake sale, but I don’t know the details.

The recipe for Rice Krispies Treats is on the box, and the ingredient list is short — Rice Krispies, Marshmallows, Butter. (You can use margarine, but I went with butter. You know why.)

Making Rice Krispies Treats is easy: melt the butter, melt the marshmallows, turn off the heat, stir in the cereal, pour it in an oiled pan, smooth this sticky concoction, wait for it to set. Snap, Crackle, Pop! Done.

One of our favorite cafes in Portland, Aurora Provisions, elevates the Rice Krispies Treat by adding a layer of ganache in its middle. I briefly considered taking this extra step, or perhaps drizzling some chocolate swirls on top. But these were not my marching orders, and I decided the wisest course was to do exactly what Harriet told me to do and skip any embellishments (even if it would have made these RKTs taste so much better).

Should I ever make Rice Krispies Treats again, I know I’m going to dress them up with some chocolate. Also – as I was watching Harriet stir a pot of marshmallows, waiting for them to melt into the melted butter, I thought “next time we should cut the marshmallows in half. Or use mini marshmallows.”  (I also thought, “We could make our own marshmallows!” Then I thought, “Why? I don’t like marshmallows.”

Life is too short to cook things you don’t like – which is why I never tasted Brussel Sprouts until I went to college (not a favorite of Mom’s, I guess) and why I’ll never bake with dates again. Then again, I can’t say I’m a fan of Rice Krispies Treats, and look what I did.