Derby Hats, Dark Books, and Easter Desserts (Or Things that Make Me Smile)

Here are some things that make me smile:

#1 I got my dog’s biopsy results back, and his cancer didn’t spread to his lymph nodes. Sure, the tumors were level 2, which means they COULD return, but they didn’t spread, so there’s that. We are consulting with a veterinary oncologist, but it’s mostly good news for now.

#2 I’m going to Vegas for the Kentucky Derby with two of my besties from college. We’ve been scheming about hats in a group text all morning.

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This little nugget from Nordstrom is my front runner.

Part of me is tempted to have a flower crown made for the Derby, but I’m afraid it won’t survive the trip.

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I don’t actually know who this guy is.

He just liked my cakeandpunch crown, so we posed for a pic at Malibu Wines. (I think ranunculus are everything. Apparently he agreed.)

#3 In addition to conspiring about hats, we’ve been discussing poolside reading. Kelley and I shared book suggestions all morning and have basically started our own long distance, two-person book club. Most of my friends would recommend me for a padded room if I told them to read these books, so I’m grateful for a kindred spirit in the land of the macabre. (Pretty Girls, The Missing, The Murder Room, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things are our first orders of business for discussion.)

#4 It’s almost time for Easter at 816, an annual tradition that brings the best people on the planet together for food, wine, and fun at our favorite Santa Monica beach house.

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Here are a few of my beautiful bunny besties from last year’s festivities.

I’m trying to decide if I want to make the same fennel scalloped potatoes I made last year or if I want to branch out.

This gorgeous geode cake from Buttercream Bakeshop in DC gives me ideas.

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Couldn’t you just DIE from the pretty?

I think I’d put ice cream in the inside instead of cake if I made it. I’ve been scouring this link for ice cream inspiration.

Cake bores me as much as a bad book.

True story.

The Sky is Falling (Or It Rained for a Minute)

It hasn’t rained in LA since May, but I woke up to precipitation this morning.

I mean, it didn’t legit-midwestern-thunderstorm rain — it LA misted for a minute and then stopped, but any sort of precipitation is cause for celebration (and car accidents) in SoCal.

The gray skies and cooler temperatures have me fantasizing about fall… and my macabre cake pan.

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Who doesn’t want a slice of skull cake?

It would go perfectly with this ice bucket I need from Pottery Barn.

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It is everything. (source)

These festive skeletons make me want to throw a Halloween party…

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Or recline in a tub of beer. (source)

Either one sounds good.

 

 

2014 and I Are Going to be Friends (Or Will You Still be My Blog Friend?)

I was reading through old posts this week and realized my credibility is pretty shaky here in the blogosphere. I promised not to be all philosophical and sad, I said I’d write a post about meyer lemon budino fluffiness, and I failed on both fronts. If I’m being really honest, I probably still owe you a proper wrap up from Finn’s baby shower… and the child is practically walking, faux hawk and all.

Dogs and Babies on Dogs Dishes and Decor

I mean look at him! He’s going to be hiking with Woodley soon.

It seems a little inauthentic to resurrect all that now.

SO… here’s what I’m gonna do instead:

I’m going to stop making promises I can’t keep. Seriously. I’m not going to promise posts I don’t really feel like writing, I’m going to say sorry for not publishing those half written drafts, and I’m going to keep moving forward. I’m going to trust that those of you who have stuck by me through the highs and lows of the last year will do continue to do so, and those who really just want sprinkles, sparkles, and puff pastries have found all that glitters and oozes with butter somewhere else.

So this is Dogs Dishes and Decor these days. It’s the good with the bad. The highs with the lows. Life with a side of glitter.

Cool?

Cool. Now let’s talk about 2014. It started off pretty solid.

I mean, I found this on a rock while hiking with Albus on New Year’s Day.

New Year's Day Hike on Dogs Dishes and Decor

I’d love to know how this actually ended up on a rock in the Hollywood Hills, but I’m not asking questions. I’m just wearing my crown like a boss.

And now that the year is well underway, I’m helping Finnie’s mommy plan a baby shower for someone in our (now defunct) supper club, I’m prepping for a massive shoot at work, and I’m doing my best to navigate the new rules of nutrition outlined by my Ayurvedic doctor without stabbing someone on set because I haven’t had any pickled ginger or dark chocolate in days.

Here’s a preview of the baby shower brain child I’m creating.

100 Layer Cake Baby Shower Ideas on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Photo courtesy of 100 Layer Cake.

Baby Shower Cake from 100 Layer Cake on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Photo courtesy of 100 Layer Cake.

You can check out my Pinterest Board for the shower here.

And just for good measure, here’s the meyer lemon budino I made last spring when my long lost Gillian returned from producing DIVERGENT in Chicago.

Meyer Lemon Budino from Bon Appetit on Dogs Dishes and Decor

Bon Appetit knows what’s up with budino.

You can find the recipe here.

Happy 2014!

Let’s still be blog friends. K?

Amy Sedaris and the Cupcake Makeover (Or How to Make Amy Sedaris’ Cupcakes)

Amy Sedaris makes me laugh. But can she make my mouth water? Oh, come on! I didn’t mean it that way!

When I heard people raving about Amy Sedaris’ cupcakes I had to know what the hype was all about. So did my mother. We both made them this week. And we both thought they were worthy of a second bakery date, but they might not be our new bakery boyfriend.

If you’re the sort of person who is accustomed to cake mixes and this is your first foray into truly homemade cake, then you will probably be much more impressed than we were. Given that my mother and I categorically despise cake mixes and absolutely refuse to use them, I was not entirely surprised that our inner bakery snobs basically had the same reaction to the recipe.

They’re the sort of cupcake boyfriend that needs a major makeover. Like, these cupcakes are tall enough and smart enough so the fundamentals are strong, but you’ll need to overhaul their wardrobe, trade in their car for something cooler, and just basically throw out all of their shoes. In cupcake terms that means slathering them with a fruit frosting, adding vanilla bean to the batter, or filling them with a surprise in the center.

I decided to go the strawberry compote surprise in the center route, and that made a HUGE difference. Once I did that I actually sort of loved them. (Are you listening LA men? I might be willing to make out with you if you buy a chainsaw, toss your skinny jeans, and learn how to drive a car with a manual transmission. K?)

Where was I?

Making out… with cupcakes?

Oh, right. Amy Sedaris.

And her recipe. It makes 24, and you should probably give it a shot even though I’ve been kind of critical. If you do make them, I’d love to know what you think.

Oh, and here’s how I filled the cupcakes with compote.

I started off with this Wilton 230 tip.

Then I stuck the tip into the cupcake and squeezed the pastry bag. It was fun. True story.

I made owl cupcakes and Shark Week-inspired Shark Attack cupcakes out of the cupcakes. More on that later.