Because it’s Friday …

because I’ve had a cold all week and am only now exploring what it’s like to be able to breathe again …

because I am 7.5 months pregnant, haven’t baked in ages, and want one last chance to rediscover a hobby I really love …

… I made a cake. Smitten Kitchen’s take on my girl Ina’s lemon-yogurt cake, only with grapefruit (of course)! The only change I made from SK’s recipe was to sub half the oil with applesauce. I’ve already gained enough weight with this baby. Heh.

Here’s a picture of the final product, though let’s be honest; the ones on Smitten Kitchen are much better!

I am much better at baking and eating cake than I am at photographing it.

Several years ago I used to bake a lot. I vividly remember spending my 27th birthday making bread and biscotti from scratch, and I can’t tell you how many breads, muffins, cakes, and cookies I’ve made. I even took a Wilton cake decorating class in 2008 and I loved it! In another life I’m a pastry chef, and I used to peruse the website for the New England Culinary Institute regularly, daydreaming about going to pastry school. For a long time, my worst nightmare was showing up somewhere with brownies from a box or storebought cookies — the homemade version is always better! However, for various reasons (life changes and not wanting a lot of uneaten baked goods around the house among them) I haven’t baked much — or cooked much — in the last year and a half. My baking pans, jars of fancy vanilla beans, and cake decorating supplies have all sat dormant in my cupboards. But now with the perfect timing of being two months away from a baby, I have really been wanting to be back in the kitchen. Unlike a lot of self-professed foodies, I prefer baking to cooking (which, when you consider I’m not good at math and have pretty poor attention to detail, is kind of weird to me) — I find myself in a flow state that’s simultaneously calming and energizing — not (can I say it again?) unlike yoga, or writing, or knitting.

And then, of course, there’s the fact that at the end of it all, you get to eat it …

Happy weekend, friends!

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