Andrew’s Birthday Cake


My hubby’s birthday is coming up and I am making him this:


I took this photo of his birthday cake last year, which is Giada de Laurentiis’ Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone & Chocolate. And I am making the cake again because:

1. The cake is heaven in every bite. Light mascarpone frosting, moist chocolate cake, fresh chocolate orange zest and crunch hazelnut candy = perfection.

2. My hubby LOVES Giada.

3. My hubby requested I make it again.

4. Presentation is to die for and makes me feel like I am a cake artist (even though I am far from one).

5. The cake is surprisingly EASY to make.

You are probably thinking, yeah right, how could a cake that looks like that be easy? Well, it is boxed cake. Yes, you heard me right. Giada’s recipe calls for boxed cake, and I am all about the short cuts if it doesn’t take away from flavor. I used Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake and the cake was so moist and delicious with this mix. And the hazelnut crunch, while it looks intimidating, wasn’t hard to make at all. Simply boil sugar and water for 10 minutes then pour the mixture over hazelnuts on parchment paper.

So the next time you want to impress guests or that special someone with an amazing cake that will cause them to crown you king/queen and bow at your feet, try this cake. And enjoy!

Recipe on the Food Network’s Website: Hazelnut Crunch Cake with Mascarpone & Chocolate

Must-Eats of NYC


French Onion Soup Dumplings at Stanton Social

It has become a recent tradition for the Savory Sisters to meet up in NYC each year with our third sister for a weekend of shopping, exploring and, of course, delicious food.  There are a few go-to places that are a part of the tradition and a few others that we had the pleasure of trying for the first time on our recent visit.

Our Traditions:

Magnolia Bakery: Tucked away in a little corner of Greenwich Village is this small bakery specializing in cupcakes.  Featured in an episode of Sex in the City, this little shop has had a huge amount of success and is known to have spurred what is now known as the “cupcake craze”.  As avid Sex and the City fans, we tried out this cupcake shop after the episode premiered years ago and have been addicted ever since.  The cupcakes are nothing out of the ordinary but their simple pastel buttercream frosting on top of moist vanilla cake is, to us, perfection.

Stanton Social: The setting of this restaurant truly epitomizes the New York City scene with trendy music and pretty people, but what’s special about this place is the unique food.  Our favorite is the French Onion Soup Dumplings. Bite into one of these and the most amazingly delicious french onion soup bursts into your mouth.  The dumplings are topped with melted Gruyère cheese and a crouton so you get all the flavors of your typical French onion soup in a creative de-constructed presentation.

Places we’ve tried and loved:

Granola at Max Brenner

Max Brenner: Attention chocoholics – this place is for you!  If Willy Wonka took a trip to New York he would definitely stop here for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Max Brenner is all about chocolate with pipes pumping chocolate throughout the restaurant and creative chocolate creations such as chocolate syringes and chocolate pizza with marshmallows. Just about everything on the menu has chocolate on it or somehow incorporated into it. We tried Max Brenner for brunch and ordered the granola fruit bowl.  Although this dish sounds healthy, the granola is still topped with a generous scoop of dark chocolate shavings.   It is also served with a flask of honey that makes for a great presentation (keeping with the chocolate factory theme) and allows you to control the sweetness of granola. Order anything with chocolate at this place and you won’t be disappointed.

Cafeteria: A 24/7 diner located in Chelsea, this place is known for comfort food and yummy drinks. Almost everything on their large menu is delicious but some of the highlights for us are their Trio of Mac and Cheese including a smoked gouda with bacon and truffle oil (we can’t get enough of this stuff) and their Deep Fried Oreos served with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a chocolate shake shot. In the mood for lighter fare? No problem, Cafeteria offers a great variety of fresh salads and sandwiches.