Skip to main content


Unexpectedly So…

Getty Villa - L.A

Just looking at this picture, I’d say it looked I just took a trip to my beloved Provence. But I did not. This was taken at the Getty Villa in California last week, in between two workshops.

Getty Villa - L.A

If I did not know any better I’d think these were shot right outside the window of the house where I grew up. Cherry blossoms. Figs just starting to budd. Olive trees. Cypresses. Sun and warmth. The ocean in the distance. Still at the Getty Villa.

Getty Villa - L.A

More cherry tree blossoms. Just because I can’t get enough. Because I even love baking with their extract. Because I grew up surrounded by them. In another South. Feeling dangerously like home. Mine. Back home across the other ocean.

Monkey Tree - Vashon

Lunch at the Monkey Tree on Vashon Island, Washington where I stayed with Shauna, Danny and Lu for a couple of days. Giggled with Lu reading books after books. Baked gluten free goodies and ate with friends. Family now.

Monkey Tree - Vashon

Warmth and comfort. Blackboard specials and used wood. Worn. Shared. Felt a community coming together in a great little quaint spot around a good bowl of soup and a crusty loaf of bread.

Monkey Tree - Vashon

On top of the piano at The Monkey Tree. Where things that don’t belong suddenly start to make sense.

Monkey Tree -  Vashon

If I did not know any better, I’d say I were in North Carolina for a couple of days. This cafe. The trees. The fields. The houses and the greens. I could get used to this. There are piers, docks and seagulls. I’m thinking this is so easily familiar…

Monkey Tree - Vashon

Oh Vashon! Temptress… I could easily forget I can’t have any of these. Not with friends who are constantly searching a way to make great foods just a tad bit differently. That’s all. We tried and experimented. The process. The friendship.

Snowy Lucy

And this little one. Who steals my heart each and everytime. And the snow. Big fluffy watery flakes of snow that made the moment just that much more magical.

Thank you dear friends…

Guest Blogging: Mele Cotte’s Ode to Macarons

Pink Macarons

Be ready for a sweet post today! Actually, I am leaving this space to my friend Chris while I am knee deep working on the pictures for the book (selecting just one per recipe is not that easy!!).

I wish I could find three words to describe Chris, but three are never enough for that. Talented, fearless, funny, heart of gold, bad ass Doctor, Italian, smart and beautiful… See, I could go on. Did I mention generous? And crazy busy…Thus, I am so glad she gave me the gift of her time this week to come up with a post that celebrates one of my favorite foods. I can’t wait for her next visit to spend another fun filled baking weekend with us and the crazy pupps! Hope you guys enjoy today’s post and will take the time to thank Chris for stepping in. I will be back next week with a dessert baked with my mom during their visit.

To all who have volunteered to test recipes, I have not forgotten about you. I just have to weed out some kinks in backed up files before sending assignments out to you, so please bear with me for the next few days.

I have the pleasure of being Helen’s guest blogger this week and I am not sure if words can accurately express how honored I feel that she asked me. There are those blogs that we have all been following since blogging came into our routines. Are you naming them in your head right now? Yup…me too. When I recite my list, Helen is at the top of my mine. I followed silently for a long time, then a comment here and there, slowly moving to pretty regularly.

Then, there was one day about two years ago that I was in a panic with a baking question…about tart dough. Who could I ask? Helen? Would an email be really intrusive, random, and weird? Ah! What the heck? I threw caution to the wind, typed my ramble, and hit send. You know? She emailed me back! And since then, she and I have been chatting like long time girlfriends.

It is pretty funny (to me) that I moved to Atlanta over ten years ago, always said I wanted to see Charleston, and never got there until… visit to Helen’s! Although I was really there to visit Helen and B, it was also a working weekend. Helen was working on her cookbook, while also teaching me some tricks of the trade for a job I had gotten in a restaurant. Within those tricks of the trade? Macarons. How I love looking at all the pictures of Helen’s macarons! But, my ability to create them was lacking and I did not want to leave without learning how to make one of my favorite sweets in the world. Since then, I have made them several times and the various flavors are received well.

However, as seen across the blogosphere, I am not the only one enamored with macarons. Macaron making and baking. So, that is what I have decided to focus my post on today….an Ode to Macarons.


David Lebovitz


Kitchen Wench


Mele Cotte (that’s me!)


Tasty Treats

And, (this is just phenomenal) Apartment Therapy matched Helen’s macarons with room décor! Macarooms! You must check out the post for all the pairings.



The pictures above are only a fraction of postings that pay homage to macarons. And, I am sure there will be many more. Helen, thanks for all you do and who you are, my friend! 😉

Oh, and my next visit to Charleston? Who knows what trouble we’ll get into? But, what’s more? Will I recognize Lil’ Bailey, who is now all grown up?