PopTart Vlog!

My friend Sarah and I love it’s Grace! and her Vlog (video blog) on YouTube.

Grace is hilarious and she lives in the same town as me.  I feel like if we ever met, we would become instant friends.

Ha. Creepy…

But back in (sort of)reality, Sarah and I like to sometimes send each other videos that we call Vlogs. Most of the time Sarah sends me a Vlog of her doing something active and awesome around San Francisco.  Usually I send her Vlogs from my kitchen, making something sugary and delicious.  Sometimes our friend Mochelle even gets in on the fun and sends us a Vlog from her adventures around Orlando.

Nationwide Vlogging.  If you also have friends spread out all over the US, you should try it.  I don’t know why, but it’s really, really hilarious.

Aaaaanyway… Yesterday I was in the kitchen making pop tarts when Sarah texted me that I should Vlog it.  I assume she meant to send the Vlog to her, but as I hit record I thought to myself, “this could be kind of funny (or ridiculous) to share with my actual blog.”

So here it is.  Brad says I’m making my mirror face.  I think it’s hilarious, so I hope you at least find it enjoyable.  Maybe one day I will make an actual blog, where I edit it and make an entire recipe and don’t have The Black Key’s new album blasting in the background.

I promise I will share these pop tarts with you soon.  I just had one for lunch…


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Salted Caramel Shortbread Cookies

Caramels have become my new obsession.

I was buying cookie-making materials recently and happened to see one last jug of Martinelli’s Apple Cider hidden on the juice shelf.  Normally just available in the colder months, I snatched it right up to make another batch of those apple cider caramels from smitten kitchen.  They are to die for.  And shouldn’t be limited to certain times of the year by such a thing as seasonal fruits…

But then, after I forced Brad to take bags of the addicting wrapped candies to work so I would stop eating them by the handful, I started brainstorming different ways I could eat caramels no matter the season.  Things I could put in caramels when apple cider is unavailable.  Things I could put caramel on.  Things I could put caramel in.

Endless possibilities.  Expect a lot of variations on caramel coming up.  Like these.  Salted caramel on shortbread.  It sounded delicious.

salted caramel shortbread cookies

Gooey caramel on top of a flaky, sweet, buttery cookie?  Yes.  Sign me up.

salted caramel shortbread cookiessalted caramel shortbread cookies

So I gave it a try.  I found myself two tart’s recipe that didn’t use cornstarch (because – really? is that necessary??) and got to work.

salted caramel shortbread cookies

I only changed the recipe a tiny bit, using unsalted butter because I like to have more control over the amount of salt in my candies.  I think I’d rather sprinkle the salt on top than have it all mixed in.  I also got really excited and forgot to let the shortbread chill for 30 minutes before baking.  It still turned out wonderful… but I recommend using patience if possible. Continue reading

Music to Cook To: Four Hour French Baguettes

four hour baguette

In seventh grade, we had the choice to start taking Spanish or French in school.

I very adamantly insisted on taking French.  I remember thinking it was such a beautiful, exotic language.  I thought it was the language of love.  It was the country of butter and croissants and pastries and delicious things galore.  It seemed exciting and romantic in a gorgeous way that, at the time, I didn’t find Spanish.

I don’t think my parents were thrilled – Spanish is so much more practical in our country – but when a kid is excited about learning a new language, who’s going to stop them?

four hour baguette

I ending up sticking with French up until my junior year in high school.  When I graduated, I could absolutely hold a formal conversation with someone in the language.

In college and beyond I became interested in wine, which – of course – included those of the French varietals.  I was thankful I had the background to understand a little extra from the labels.

four hour baguette

And now, as the wife of a chef, I have found so much happiness in baking.  Recently, I even tried my hand at what looked like a relatively simple recipe for Four Hour Baguettes.  Because who doesn’t love a hot, soft loaf of bread with dinner? Continue reading

Dogs Can’t Eat Caramel, Gibson


dog and candySorry, Gibs.  Maybe one of these days I’ll look into baking for dogs…


Concussions to Sugar Cravings

So, I hit my head.  Hard.

It’s a stupid story, but let’s just say that the rest of last week didn’t go as expected.

Yes, it was our third wedding anniversary on Wednesday, and I started out the day feeling pretty good.  Being in the car was a little weird and I was making really spacey comments about how slow we were driving and how it made me feel like I was in a movie… but overall, we had a great day!  Market, coffee, nap, and an amazing dinner planned…

We made it to dinner.  We even really, really enjoyed dinner.  I’ll have to tell you all about it another time.

Because as soon as I stood up from my chair to leave the restaurant, it was like I was on a boat.  A boat on really rocky waters.  I was dizzy and nauseous, and by the time I got home I was a total wreck.

You don’t need all the gory details.  Let’s just say it all ended up with me wearing this bracelet that I never wanted to wear.

kels hospital braceletYep, that was me the morning after our wonderful anniversary dinner.  Waiting to get a CT scan at the Santa Monica ER because that bump on my head was most definitely part of a concussion and I just wanted to make sure I was alright.  You know, because not being able to think clearly and mixing up words in normal conversation gets a little scary.

Don’t mess with your brain, folks.

Turns out my brain was ok and I was sent home to rest and take care of myself.

Except that chocolate craving I had the night of the fated head collision with the dog?  It never went away.  I’m not even kidding when I say I think Gibson knocked a sugar sensor loose.  All I’ve been wanting to eat is sugar all day, every day.

So since Brad bought me a beautiful cake stand (complete with amazing dome! yay!!) for our anniversary, I couldn’t let it go empty.  Plus, having a recipe to concentrate on seemed to be helping my brain heal.  At least that’s what I’m going with, since everything turned out delicious.

This is what I’ve been making…

IMG_3248 IMG_3229 DSC_0987 DSC_0002DSC_0232DSC_0247With plans for many more sugary projects.

Have you ever heard of people craving sugar after a head injury?  I’ve Googled and Googled, and I can’t find anything that looks credible.  One doctor even gave a one word answer on his website: No. So maybe I can’t use brain swelling as an excuse to bake anymore?

Not that I needed an excuse in the first place.




Craving: Cake Stands

Ever since I made a giant pink cake for my birthday, I’ve had cake stands on the brain.

My cakes always look great on a simple white plate, but some cake stands are so darn cute.  And they add so many presentation points!

So the other day I walked by one of my favorite Abbott Kinney shops, Bountiful, where I love to find unique glassware.

Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot Kinney Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot KinneyThe store also gives me slight panic attacks, given the reality of earthquakes here in California and the height they have these cake stands stacked up.  I’m already scared enough of accidentally bumping something, but factor in the earth moving and you’re just asking for disaster. Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot Kinney Cake Stands Bountiful Abbot Kinney

Come to think of it, I hope they fared alright yesterday morning after that 4.4 early morning shake we had.  Not much can wake me from my sleep at 6:25am, but both Brad and I opened our groggy eyes and looked at each other confused as Gibson ran around the room like a maniac and our apartment shook for what seemed like thirty seconds.  Brad simply declared, “earthquake” and we rolled over, falling immediately back to sleep.

We just don’t do 6:25am.

However panic-inducing, Bountiful’s cake stand displays are incredibly impressive.  And since this week they are on sale, I might just be going back very soon!

Until then, I’ve been scouring Pinterest, Etsy, and the rest of the world wide web for the coolest cake stands ever to satisfy my cake stand craving.  Here are ten of my favorites:

Craving Cake Stands @thekeyofkels

1.  This Vintage Milkglass Cake Stand in BarkingSandsVintage‘s Etsy store.  Who doesn’t love vintage milkglass?

2.  These Antiquitarian Cake Stands from Anthropologie.  I would definitely buy more than one and stack them into tiers!

3.  This Fondant Marble Cake Stand from Anthropologie.  The marble and the wood together are classic and beautiful.

4.  This White Lace Ceramic Cake Stand from dianezeigler‘s Etsy store. Dainty, elegant, and gorgeous.

5.  This Stratford Cake Stand from Anthropologie.  I love the color, the details, and the dome.  Why oh why is it now sold out?!?

6.  The most amazing Tentacled Cake Stand from BHLDN. Stunning, yet also sold out. I have to find this somewhere!

7.  This Madera Pedestal Plate from Bed Bath & Beyond.  Love the color of the wood.  Love the dome!

8.  This “Baroque” Footed Cake Stand from Horchow.  Oooh.  New shape!  I like!

9.  This Emma Cake Stand from Pottery Barn.  Simple.  Elegant.  Let’s the cake shine.

10.  This Wood Vintage and Rustic Cake Stand in LeAtelierdiMontti‘s Etsy shop.  I like nothing better than that worn wood.  Isn’t it beautiful??

And now, all I want to do is bake a cake.  So, I’m off to do that.


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