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I made mini-cakes! They are adorable and mini.

Here’s what I did – it was pretty easy and a fun way to make personalized desserts.

I made one recipe of my fave carrot cake (, and baked it in a 9×13 pan. Once baked and cooled, I wrapped the cake tightly in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer for an hour or so.


Then I used a biscuit cutter to make little cake rounds. I cut all the cake rounds into two pieces. Each cake was then made with 3 layers – 1.5 times the thickness of the cake as baked originally. It is easier to cut each round in half individually than to try and cut the whole cake in half (into two layers) at once. Trust me.

I frosted these with lots of cream cheese frosting, chilling as I went so that the outer layer would harden. I added some marmalade to the middle for yummy filling.


I also rolled some in party sprinkles.

These were so yummy and pretty. Very easy, and very fun. I served them in cupcake wrappers, for ease of eating and mobility.

One note: While cream cheese frosting is clearly the most delicious frosting ever, it does not harden like a true buttercream, which can pose decorating challenges. For example, it is difficult to pipe designs with cream cheese frosting because the shapes begin to melt, while piped buttercream designs tend to hard and hold better. You may consider just using cream cheese frosting for the middle filling, and using buttercream for your decorations.


Another note: You may be wondering why I made mini-cakes instead of making cupcakes. You may think cupcakes and mini-cakes are the same. You would be wrong. The frosting-to-cake ratio in a cupcake is way off, in a way that really bothers me. Also, cupcakes tend to be drier, in my experience, since they are basically all corners. By making mini-cakes, you reduce the amount of heat exposed edges, which makes for more delicious moister cakes. Finally, I think fully frosted mini-cakes are more adorable than cupcakes, plain and simple.


Now go make some delicious and adorable mini-cakes.





Valentine’s Cookie: Super Yummy Butter Cookie

Valentine’s Cookie: Super Yummy Butter Cookie

I have talked before about my love of Alice Waters and her lovely cookcook, The Art of Simple Food. No recipe in it has yet let me down. So why, oh why, did I wait so long to try her butter cookie recipe? What is wrong with me?


This simple recipe will knock your socks off with its perfect buttery saltiness. And then you can change it up and add some raspberry jam, or a light powdered sugar glaze to decorate them. They will make your Valentine’s Day extra yummy.


PS. This realization that everything in this cookbook is amazing means that I am now going to start cooking almost exclusively from this book, because YUM.


Butter Cookie Recipe: Adapted from Alice Waters,’ The Art of Simple Food.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg, at room temperature

2 tsps milk

2.5 cups unbleached flour

Preheat over to 350F. Cream together butter and sugar. Then add vanilla, salt and egg.  Gradually add the flour, mixing until just combined. Divide into thirds, and shape into logs. Wrap in saran wrap, and chill until firm. Then slice into 1/4 inch slices, and place two inches apart on baking sheet.  (Even though the dough has no levening agent, the cookies do spread).  Or, instead of logs, divide the dough in half, and form round disks, wrap in saran warp and put in fridge until firm. Roll dough out to 1/4 thick and cut with cookie cutters. Place spaced out on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350F for 10 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Let cool on sheet for a bit. Feel free to frost or make jam-filled cookie sandwiches (my favorite).

Happy Valentine’s Day!




Breakfast (Homemade Super Easy Bread)

Breakfast (Homemade Super Easy Bread)

I made breakfast this morning. Nothing too complicated: homemade bread, straight from the oven, butter, some sliced mozzarella and coffee.

So simple and so yummy.

So simple and so yummy.


You have probably seen this no-knead artisanal bread recipe floating around on Pinterest. The one you bake in your cast iron pot with a lid.

The recipe is here. She has great pictures and lots of instructions along the way.

For some reason, her recipe comes out a little too watery when I do it. She calls for three cups of flour, but this morning I used 3 cups, plus three heaping tablespoons of flour and that seemed to do the trick. Different flours can all absorb different amounts of liquid, even if the packages both say “unbleached white flour” on the front. Go figure.

There is something so European about having fresh bread with butter, cheese and coffee for breakfast. And the fact that it comes out of my oven makes me feel like a total rock star.


Anyway, just wanted to brag share with you! Give it a try. It’s super easy and so rewarding.

Have a great yeasty day!




A few recipes that you might like for thanksgiving!

A few recipes that you might like for thanksgiving!

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: I FREAKING love Turkey Day! Oh whatta day! A day devoted entirely to cooking, setting pretty tables, drinking wine and hanging with good friends. Good golly, Ms. Molly!

Here are three things that I have already made on the blog that you might want to consider adding to your Thanksgiving table:

Rustic Pear Tart. Make this. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. My boyfriend’s favorite dessert, and probably one of mine (choosing a favorite dessert is like choosing your favorite child – or at least what I imagine choosing a child would be like, if, you know, I had kids).


Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake.

This thing was WAY more than a pound. It was probably closer to 4 lbs of delicious cake.

 This thing is so amazingly yummy. Fairly easy to make and very impressive.


Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Nom nom nom nom!


Well, this is embarrassing…

Posted on
Well, this is embarrassing…

I set out this summer to learn how to make yummy Austrian food. I bought an Austrian cookbook even.

First on my list to make: Linzer Torte. A sweet, nutty pastry crust, almost a shortbread, holds a layer of tangy current jam, covered by a criss-cross of more pastry, sprinkled with sliced almonds and powdered sugar. Sounds good, no?

Though I have not actually tried one, I know what sounds yummy when I hear it, so I figured that I am decent enough baker to undertake this task.

In my head, the results would look like this:Image

Being that I am subletting an apartment for the summer, I forgot about all the loops that one must jump through when learning to bake in a foreign land. Do I have the correct pots? When can I buy ground almonds? How do I say ground almonds? What is the cooking temperature in Celcius? Is the oven I am using true to temperature, or is it off a little bit? Will the fact that I am making a pastry when it’s 90 degrees in my apartment with no air conditioning affect the outcome?

I pondered these all quickly and threw caution to the wind. I mean, how hard could it be, right? It’s like a pie, and I have made about a million pies. No biggy.

Boy was I wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I couldn’t find ground almonds, so I figured I would hand chop mine until they were very fine. I got them pretty small, but never the same texture as buying ground.

I didn’t let the dough chill enough because my refrigerator here was actually pretty spotty on the day.

I swore that I had seen a 9 inch spring form pan in the apartment, but in reality, I had only seen the bottom portion of the spring form pan, but the sides were no where to be found. So I used an 11″ tart pan that had seen better days.

I converted the degrees on the Internet, but this oven is an electric convection oven that is warmer/faster than my oven at home.

I was sweating buckets (not into the dough, mind you). The dough wasn’t properly chilled. The pan was too big. The almonds were too course. This porridge is too hot! That porridge is too cold! Wait… wrong story.

Anyway, when the evening was over, this is what I had made:


At least she tasted good. I doubt she tasted how real linzer torte is supposed to taste, but still, the butter, nuts and jam, it’s hard to go wrong.

I know this picture is going to be all over Pinterest any minute now for being so lovely.

They say it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? Well, let this be a lesson to those 4 people who read my blog: sometimes even bloggers make mistakes. Shocking, I know. I still haven’t bought the correct pan, but when I do, I will try again. Maybe it will be better next time. Maybe I will redeem myself. And maybe not. I guess that’s part of life’s journey.

Yum, right?

Like how I turned this into some greater life lesson even though in reality it was me failing abysmally in the kitchen and throwing a small tantrum?

Mit Liebe,


Spicy Chipotle Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Spicy Chipotle Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I started this blog because I wanted a creative outlet. A place to share my cooking, painting, and decorating, all with a dash of neurosis. A place away from the competitive grind of law school and my masters program.

I started this blog because I needed a judgment-free space to be me.

And then something happened.

I started judging myself based on the number of hits on each post. I started judging myself on how many “likes” I received. I would check my site states incessantly to see if today’s post beat yesterday’s post. I worried if my new craft project was really blog-worthy.

The blog I created as a creative outlet started becoming a new source of stress.

It’s like that time when I started playing Words with Friends because Scrabble is fun. But within a few weeks I started using one of those cheating apps that tells you your best words because it was too upsetting and stressful to lose. It took me a while to realize that I was cheating at Words with Friends. It took me even longer to realize that I wasn’t enjoying playing because my competitive ego got in the way. Really, Rachel? Cheating at Words with Friends? What is WRONG with you?

I don’t want that to happen to my blog. I don’t want Suits and Aprons to be pushed to the wayside because I start competing with myself and competing with others. I mean, why do I even have to compete with other bloggers? They’re all so amazing! And inspiring! Their success does not cheapen my success in anyway.

So I took a step back. I wanted to think about what this blog is supposed to be for me. A happy space full of pretty things that I want to share. Not another forum where I am competing with my peers for the best grades. I REFUSE to let this blog become another law school!

While taking an evaluative step back, and reminding myself that no one cares how many clicks I got on my blog today (I don’t even have advertisements, so it REALLY doesn’t matter), I made my friends some delicious treats.

My friends didn’t judge the treats on whether they would be popular in the blogosphere.

Nope. My friends wolfed them down and asked for more. My friends “liked” my treats by telling me so in person – not simply by clicking something on this webpage. And that felt good. There was no self-doubt about my worth because I have fewer followers than someone else. Or because the pictures I took of these yummy treats don’t do them justice (but I’m getting better at photography with each post, I think. Yay!).

Therefore, I have decided to return to blogging with a renewed sense of purpose. My purpose is not to create content all the time. Not to get as many hits as possible because I spent 12 hours linking up to linky parties (if that’s your thing, more power to you). My purpose is to return to the time when this blog only brought joy. And if people like it, great. And if people don’t like it, well, then they don’t get to eat any Spicy Chipotle Triple Chocolate Brownie Bites with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.

Oh, and one more thing: I didn’t make this recipe from scratch. I love baking and almost always make everything from scratch. But baking, like blogging, is my Happy Time. Sometimes I don’t have a lot of time in my schedule specifically reserved for Happy Time. So if I need to modify a box of Trader Joe’s truffle brownie mix because I am short on time, then I will darn well do it without any shame!

I am reclaiming my love of baking, crafting, blogging and decorating without any stress or crippling self-judgment! I will make ugly, but delicious, food and post it on the interwebs. I will paint things weird colors. Maybe I will have to paint over them, but hey, that’s part of the fun process! And this blog will no longer be a source of stress – only a place for happy time, and hopefully some love from my fellow creative bloggers.

The Recipe

One box brownie mix (I like TJ’s truffle brownie mix), mixed according to package instructions

One milk chocolate TJ’s truffle bar, cut into little pieces (could use any other chocolate bar really – or even a large handful of chocolate chips)

1-2 teaspoons dried chipotle powder (a little harder to find, but Whole Foods might have this). Cayenne will do in a pinch.

Preheat oven according to brownie box instructions. Make the brownie mix according to package instructions. Mix in the chocolate. Mix in 1 teaspoon of chipotle, and then taste the batter to make sure its not too spicy. Adjust according to your tastes.

Pour batter into cupcake tins, lined with cupcake papers about half-full (or make in pan according to package instructions). I didn’t grease mine and they turned out fine, but I used cupcake papers.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs/chocolate. Do not overbake.

While baking and cooling, make the frosting.

The Frosting

4 oz cream cheese, at room temp

4 oz butter (1 stick), at room temp

2-3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3 tablespoons milk

2-4 tablespoons cinnamon

With electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until fluffy. Add one cup of powdered sugar and one tablespoon of milk, blending until well combined and fluffy. Add second cup of powdered sugar and enough milk to get a good consistency. You may or may not need to add the third cup of powdered sugar or third tablespoon of milk. Use taste and consistency as your guide. Then add the cinnamon, one tablespoon at a time, blend until well combined and taste after each addition. I like my frosting super cinnamon-y, but again, this is a personal preference.

Only frost the cupcakes once they are completely cooled. Serve.


Spicy non-competitive blogging love,


Carmelized Banana Upside Down Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

Carmelized Banana Upside Down Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream

Yeah. You guessed it. I got this recipe from Julie over at Willow Bird Baking. Again, she hits it out of the ball park. And again, her pictures gave my pictures a wedgie, stole my pictures’ lunch money and then slammed my pictures up against a locker while the cool kids laughed. So really, if you are skeptical about how delicious this thing actually can look, check out her site.

This upside down cake is amazing. It has a little party in my mouth. Seriously, there are strobe lights, techno music and even bouncers going on in my mouth when I eat this thing.

The caramelized bananas have ginger in them, which give just enough zing to make this cake really interesting. Then, you top each delightful slice with cool coconut whipped cream, and sweet, lightly browned coconut flakes that add a delightful crunch. OMG. This thing is divine. Men-in-tight-shiny-shirts-party divine.

Really, the coconut cream takes things to a whole new level when combined with the ginger.

I was going to type out the recipe here, but honestly, you should go get it from Willow Bird Baking. She’s kinda amazing!

The only thing I will say to change her recipe is that letting this rest in the pan for more than 5 minutes is fine. I took it out at 7 minutes, and it was still too soft and turned kinda messy. You could probably let it sit for about 10 minutes before removing the cake from the pan.

Let me know if you love this thing as much as I do!



Party Time!

Bacon Time

Somewhat Simple

Shabby Creek Cottage

Beyond the Picket Fence

Weird Day

Weird Day

Yesterday was weird. Today is a little weird, but less so.

Warning: Serious topic post below.

I am currently doing a substantive edit of my student note (which is somewhat like a master’s thesis, but for law students). It’s about the legality of preventive strikes on nuclear reactors, to be published this summer.

In between working on this note, I wrote a post about Valentine’s Decorations. I did that all day yesterday: switching back and forth from talking about pink felt hearts and then terrorist acquisition of fissile material. I’m doing the same thing today, but I guess with less of a focus on my love of pink, and more of a focus on my dislike of nuclear weapons.

And then I started wondering, what is going to happen when I am a big kid? What will happen when people google me to see what I have written: a sixty-something page legal article on nuclear weapons and a blog post about how important it is to throw dinner parties? Fortunately, Rachel Weisz, the actress, is usually the first 50 or so hits on google, which provides me with a layer of anonymity, but that could change.

This blog is supposed to be a space for me to do the creative things I love in my spare time, while I pursue a career in international law. And it is that. But I do worry about whether I could ever be taken seriously as a top nuclear negotiator when the person across the table may have seen my blog, and knows that I spent Saturday baking and frosting a cake to look like a dog. Will that hurt my professional persona?

Madeiline Abright. Now I don't know about whether or not she baked, but I do know that she always wore fabulous jewelry and everyone took her seriously.*

And what really gets my goat?! Is that I shouldn’t have to worry if my personal career will be hurt because I like to sew! A man’s career isn’t hurt if someone knows that he likes to make his girlfriend dinner or have nice furniture. Yet, I feel like mine might be impacted by this. Part of me wants to be defiant. To dare people to judge my intelligence based on my looks and pass-times, because I will show them wrong. The other part of me wonders if it wouldn’t be so much easier to conform? To pretend like I don’t like sewing, and embrace the bra-burning feminism of the 70s.

Maybe Golda Meir liked to make a noodle kuggel and feed her kids and grandchildren.

The 70s were a long time ago. Isn’t the idea behind feminism today that it doesn’t matter what life choices you make (whether to be a mom or a business lady), what’s important is that today women actually have that choice?

I once gave a presentation in graduate school about the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. Afterwards, the woman who was leading the public speaking seminar told me that she didn’t expect anything so serious to come out of my mouth, given my blonde hair and pretty necklace, that maybe I should work on looking more serious. I almost lost it. I felt like she was telling me I had to cut/die my hair and wear a less stylish outfit, just to get my point across. (For the recond: I was wearing a black pencil skirt, rose cami and grey cardigan, with multiple-strand pearl necklace – a completely appropriate business casual outfit.) Like people couldn’t or wouldn’t listen to me because of what I look like?!? A friend of mine said I should have asked her if her girdle was too tight.

Hilary is blonde too! And I know for a fact that she picks modern art out of the State Department art collection to keep her office looking nice.

So here’s a question to you, ladies: To be a leader in a man’s world, do I have to act like a man? Should I worry that all my carefree writings about thrifting/baking/sewing/crafting/decorating are going to hurt my “serious” man’s-world career aspirations? Am I only allowed to wear gray and black and navy from here on out?!

Margaret may have been a man in a man's world, but I feel like she might have had a collection of antique tea cups at home. Or something British like that.

I really hope not. I love doing all those domestic things and wearing pink. And I love writing about those domestic things and my love of pink. And I love writing about the legality of preventive strikes on nuclear reactors in the name of self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter? Can’t I love do both?

Elle Woods - Likes dogs, glitter, fashion, and the law. If only there could be a musical montage in my life where I study super hard and graduate head of my law school class!

I want to be defiant. To make it OK for girls to love Hello Kitty (you know who you are 😉 ) and to talk about nuclear weapons with the big boys. So I’m going to keep on blogging. And I will keep on working towards becoming an international leader too. I refuse to let those things be mutually exclusive.

(I) Love (pink and nuclear non-proliferation),


* I saw Madeiline Albright in a bathroom once. She was wearing the most incredible turquoise necklace, earrings, and maybe a bracelet. Love her!

Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

Awesome Cinnamon Rolls

My friend Molly and I love cinnamon rolls. No. I don’t think you get it. We. LOVE. Cinnamon. Rolls.

One summer, we both worked in SF, our BART stop was Montgomery. Right by the BART station, there was this place that made incredible fresh cinnamon rolls. We used to go there maybe once a week in the morning before heading off to our separate internships. It was sublime – WAAAAAY better than anything like you get at Cinnabon.


But then, we were hooked. Like, once you’ve had a really good warm, gooey, sweet, cinnamon-y, delightful roll, you cannot go back to what some places pass off as cinnamon rolls, but are not.

Since that summer, we have literally gone on multiple hunting missions to find yummy cinnamon rolls. We never came back with anything like what they sold at that place by the Montgomery BART. It was so disappointing, because when you want a cinnamon roll, nothing short of a cinnamon roll will do.

Every now and then, I will IM Molly, talking about how I could really use a cinnamon roll. Then we both end up with distracting cinnamon roll cravings, 3000 miles apart. We usually accept our fate that our cravings will go unmet.

But not this time. NOT. THIS. TIME.

I was blog-surfing and checked out Sew Dang Cute Crafts, who had JUST COMPLETED A CINNAMON ROLL RECIPE TEST!!! Sew Dang had baked hundreds of the blessed things to find the best recipe. And then told us how we could skip to the cinnamon roll holy-land without doing all the leg work ourselves. Hallelujah!! I then mosied over to the winning recipe at Pioneer Woman’s blog. I sent Molly a link to the recipe, and then promised myself to make them that weekend. And then eat them. And then blog them. And I did. All was right in the world…

These rolls were AWESOME! Like, I may or may not have licked the pan to get every last morsel out of there. These were sweet, gooey, cinnamon-y, warm, dense, but still light, melt-in-your-mouth awesomeness in a pan. And, they really weren’t that difficult to make. So freaking worth it.

Two things I may change the next time I make them: 1. I will put fewer rolls in each pan. Pioneer Woman warned me about that, but I didn’t listen. That wasn’t a huge mistake though, it just meant the glaze layer didn’t cover as it should. 2. I may use a cream cheese frosting instead of the maple glaze. I liked the maple glaze, but it was a little sweet. Besides, anyone who reads my blog knows just how I feel about cream cheese frosting.

Oh, and I guess a third thing: I halved the recipe, thinking to myself, who on earth would need 7 pans of cinnamon rolls? But ladies and gentlemen, I regret halving that recipe. My thighs may be thankful, and my arteries too, but nonetheless, one of the dumbest decisions of my life. Within 30 minutes of the things coming out of the over, I had already fed a whole pan to my various grad student neighbors. Then I took the other pan with me to NYC for the weekend for the boyfriend. Boyfriend was a happy camper.

I only wish that Molly could have been there to partake in the cinnamon-roll goodness.

So Molly, this one’s for you. And next time we are in the same place, we are making ourselves some cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon roll-y love,


Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake

That amazing Julie over at Willow Bird Baking does it again. This time it was her Pumpkin Streusel Swirled Cream Cheese Pound Cake. Again, my pictures aren’t as good as hers, but I think the final product was just as tasty.

This thing was WAY more than a pound. It was probably closer to 4 lbs of delicious cake.

I was in charge of dessert for Christmas day. Since I spent with Christmas with a bunch of people who were all at least 30 years older than I am, I didn’t mind that I had to spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen assembling this thing. Actually, it didn’t take that long to do, and it was SO worth it. Plus, there is something so therapeutic about baking – it totally calms my nerves, nerves that can get a little frazzled around the holidays. Plus, with a nice glass of Syrah, it really calmed my nerves. Go figure.

Look at all that maple-y glaze and toasted pecan goodness...

This pound cake was a huge hit. People were raving, and rolling their eyes back in their heads as they licked their forks. Always a good sign. The pumpkin and pecan swirls made this pound cake so much more interesting than plain pound cake (which I also love). It didn’t hurt that it was served with some premium ice cream as well. Because we needed more fat and sugar on Christmas.

I mean... yeah...

Plus the maple-glaze was so interesting and awesome with all the other fall flavors.  And when sliced, there was beautiful marbling on the inside (which I neglected to photograph since I was pretty busy stuffing my face dantily eating a small slice).

Pound cake and wheat grass: a match made in heaven.

I am pretty tired from a long day of thrifting (cannot wait to share my finds with y’all), but just wanted to finally post this and to send mad kudos over to Julie for this awesome recipe. Besides, the words don’t do it justice – pictures say it much better.



PS. I am not responsible for breaking anyone’s New Year’s Resolution by posting this recipe. Suits and Aprons is a limited liability corporation. (Not really, but wouldn’t that be cool if it was? Well, sorta… Sorry. Bad lawyer humor is taking over. Must stop writing because I say more really dorky law stuff. . . . Torts. . . . Rule Against Perpetuities . . . . Sigh. Too late.)