Cupcakes and Shadows

pink raspberry cupcakes - coco cake land

Is that post title goth enough for ya? Shadows… oooooooh!!!! What is lurking behind the shadows of my fragile little minnnnnd?? I made these sweet and simple pink vanilla buttercream chocolate cupcakes for my niece’s birthday last month and forgot I had photographed them all artfully (ha) on a sun drenched morning.

pink raspberry cupcakes - coco cake land

I started radiation yesterday. I can’t help but think of it in a comic way, it’s so sci-fi 1960s, you feel like you’re on a film set with huge, looming technology hovering around you, red lasers lining up dots (they tattoo you with little dots so they can line up the radiation beams properly). Maybe I felt like an animal being experimented with, or one of the lower class organ donor “clones” – children raised to donate their organs later on for the upper class – in Kazuo Ishigiro’s science fiction novel Never Let Me GoThe radiation technicians are all very nice, but like any job, they forge ahead like worker bees and maybe forget there’s a person lying there (me!) with their half boob lying out. You get used to flashing your boobs however, during breast cancer treatment.

pink raspberry cupcakes - coco cake land

I was feeling pretty dark this last month, and I was feeling worried about myself. It’s an awful and scary feeling to wake up and just not really care. I feel easily overwhelmed by things that, in my pre-cancer days, I could handle. I was guilting myself out over feeling overwhelmed and feeling down and frustrated that I felt unable to do my usual things – playdates, social outings, baking, cake or Coco Cake Land related things… then realized that I have to go easy. I’m not the me of 7 months ago. I’m in treatment and I gotta play it cool and give myself a break. I “let it go” like a Disney princess. Buying a new pair of screamingly pink runners has helped. I’ve gone power walking/light running maybe 7 times since I bought them and it helps to elevate my mood for sure. It takes a hell of a lot of pushing myself to go out and exercise because sometimes you just want to wallow in the pain, you know?

pink raspberry cupcakes - coco cake land

I’m feeling a little brighter this week, at least for now – eating a little better and exercising more. My hair is definitely growing back and although it’s still patchy and not filled in everywhere it’s looking like hair! Not a hairstyle yet by any means (I think I have months to go for that) but every day there’s a little bit more. One day at a mutha-effing time. xo Lyndsay 

The Opposite Of Cake

pink buttercream raspberry macaron - coco cake land

I ran into an acquaintance at a café the other day. She didn’t recognize me at first with my grunge smurf toque look but when she did she was kind, and chatty, and inquisitive – all things I didn’t mind. She told me that when she found out I had breast cancer, she had cried. She asked me “how are you doing – no really. How are you doing?” and it made me realize she was asking… in an offhand way… was I going to die? Or, I suppose – was I going to live? A light wave of freaked-out-ness rippled through me. This isn’t the first time this has happened – and it occurred to me that there were some people out there that had heard through the grapevine that I had cancer, and perceived that I might die. It is sort of the first thing you think when you hear about someone having cancer. What stage is it? What’s the prognosis? It always brings me straight back to that creeping feeling in my mind, the demons that come out at night when I can’t sleep, where I hamster-wheel and mind-spiral down a path of negativity. I could die, but they say I won’t. I could die, but the chances aren’t that high of a recurrence as long as I do A, B and C treatments. You are lucky you are able to do A, B and C. I know I am lucky. But A, B and C have still taken huge emotional and physical tolls out of me. And I still have D, E and F to go.

maggic boyd ceramics cup

There are days when I wake up and look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. I look beaten, older, different. Puffy, with the bald-but-growing-back-hair of someone who’s been through chemo and the demons that go along with it. I remember going to meet with the oncology surgeon back in January, before I lost my hair (oh how I miss my hair), and riding up the elevator behind an Asian woman in a grey sweatsuit. Her hair was just a light baby duckling fuzz, patchy, coming in. Her face was unhappy, tired. A wave of panic went through me. This woman was on the other side of where I was going. The other side is still a long way away. I’m calling it my Mental Pain Mountain. The polar opposite of cake. Cake is a happy place. Cake is pretty, sweet, sugary, symbolic of love, family, friendship, community. A slice for everyone. Mental Pain Mountain doesn’t have much cake. Except for an awesome cake at the peak??

raspberry purple macaron

When I’m online, interacting in a silly/serious way on Instagram or liking pics so much I’m getting a thumb-ache, I can sometimes forget what I look like now and what I’ve been through until I start getting pangs of jealousy over pretty, stylish women posting beautifully composed photos so freely with seemingly no life problems or concerns, no cancer breathing down their neck. But then I’ll remember that online life is not real life. Many of these women are now businesswomen and entrepreneurs – they’re making a living making things look good. Which is great of course. But maybe on the other side of the iPhone they are like me – waves of depression, fatigue, never having enough time for partner/kid/work/keeping the house clean and in order. Wishing they had the energy and desire to lose ten pounds but eating a bag of chips instead. Generally glass half full but sometimes glass half empty. Dreaming and praying for things they can’t have, mourning losses of their own. Some people choose to share the uglier parts of their lives and some people don’t.

purple macaron with pink buttercream

Sharing has been healing for me, helpful. To know I’m not alone, that so many people have gone through cancer, and breast cancer, and gone to battle. I feel like I’ve been sent into a giant cartoon factory and when I entered the front door of this mysterious factory, I was a whole person – happy, confident, with long black hair, red lipstick, healthy, energetic, creative, my life ahead of me. Then they shooed me in and shut the door behind me and I went through these horrible weird pipes and darkness and got cut up on a conveyer belt, poisoned and mentally effed with… and now it’s spit me out and here I am. Yes. Sometimes I feel like factory seconds. But I am still here, I am still me, like a little root inside myself, trying to grow. xo Lyndsay 

Summer Daze

painted toes swimming pool

Summer has come to mean sunny, splashy days at the pool or beach with my little Teddy. It’s been a different feeling this summer, being a no-haired egghead, and feeling the swimsuit pain of 6 months of emotional eating, body changes and low self esteem. My hair is growing back ever so slowly. I think it’s filled enough to almost look like I’ve coloured my head with grey charcoal – it’s still patchy and baby duckling-like. It’s so hard to be patient, particularly when I get tired of being looked at on the street or at the public pool, especially. But I’ve found that nothing feels better than splashing in, head under, floating and bobbing around in underwater silence, the cool water covering my head. After a few false starts of wearing my turban into the pool, then trying a mesh baseball cap, I finally went freedom zone no hat. It felt wonderfully freeing to do LAPS. It felt amazing, gliding through water, my front stroke in wobbly, crappy form, but still just going for it, feeling my muscles working, supporting me.

pink raspberry topped cupcakes

A mostly scorchingly hot July meant it was pretty much too hot to bake … my baking motivation is kind of low anyway… but sunshine makes the prettiest shadows!

watermelon pizza with fruit toppings

Chomp chomp! I made a cute watermelon pizza with fresh fruit “topping”! It was fun to eat it like this, and when I pulled it out of the fridge after photographing it, it still looked so pretty, inviting and colourful. If only I could train my mind to think that ice cream tasted BAD. I know I’ve been hard on myself for all the emotional eating/weight gain – but I’m trying to turn it around… eat less crap, exercise more…

handmade wooden bento box - shako club

This gorgeous handmade triangle bento box! Part of the magical Shako Club bento box I received as part of a community art project.

purple macaron party

I made macaron shells a few weeks ago that were misery-making bombs – cracked tops, no feet! I made them into “almond meringue cookie open faced sandwiches” with ruffly buttercream and fresh raspberries, ha. I dunno what I did wrong. I’ll need to make them dozens more times to get the hang of it.

perfect pastel swirled cupcakes

Cute pink swirled cupcakes I made for my niece’s 4th birthday!

little boy with wooden cake toy

Teddy going zen The Matrix cake guy on me.

trawicks at the powell street festival

My little family at the Powell Street Festival - my favourite festival in Vancouver! Doing my Fugazi/ “Grunge Smurf” look with a black cotton toque. Summer is an odd, very hot time to be wearing a toque, I can tell ya that much. I figure since the hair on my sideburns and top front of my head has grown in a bit, maybe it just looks like I’m a seriously punk mama? We were at the park by our house the other night after going out for pizza and the Trans March rolled through – I felt right at home, visually –  I’ve been feeling so gender bendered, physically – it was actually very nice.

kaki gori powell street festival

Kaki gori – Japanese finely shaved ice! I could eat this every day. I am obsessed with ice.

coleman tent golden ears park

We made it camping for one night! Wildcard last minute decision, we packed up and headed to Golden Ears Provincial Park just outside of Vancouver and camped among tall trees and the beautiful Alouette Lake.

centennial beach boundary bay

Hot beach day at Centennial Beach in Tsawassen. I love this photo as it looks like Teddy has tiny little people living on his head… I’ll leave you with this nice interview Creators Vancouver did with me. Elizabeth asked me lots of nice, interested questions – as well as this, which I’ll ask you too: What advice would you offer to others looking to pursue creative working lives? Hoping you’re all having an excellent summer, cake pals! xo Lyndsay 

Cupcakes Revival and Boob Exams – Cop A Feel!

cute cupcake face - coco cake land

Winkety wink! G’day mate! (with a paper watermelon mouth.)

dairy queen soft serve cone

Cheers, cheers and more cheers! It’s been a week and a half since my last chemo. That barfy nausea inducing all-over-body hell is over. I hope forever. In a way, it’s been so surreal, these past six months. A young woman with breast cancer – it still doesn’t feel like me. I have the physical scars, I have the taste memories, the fear… but my optimism shines on. Life! It feels at my fingertips again, to enjoy, create and explore.

pink rosette cupcakes - coco cake land

Kind of in love with cupcakes again. The sheer simplicity, cuteness and just plain yumminess of a bite of cake with a creamy sugar sweet frosting; the texture crunch of some sprinkles or burst of juice from a fresh vibrant berry. I was so sick of making cupcakes for so long … I think the world wanted to barf thinking about cupcakes too – so twee, so girly, so overexposed. But… I think just the simplest of cupcakes ever might be where it’s at – a perfect rosette and a colourful liner, or a modest swirl and minimal decoration.

pink furry cupcakes with raspberries - coco cake land

Sarah from Buddy and Bear sent me a bunch of the cutest kids plates and egg cups – look at that little smiling bear buddy above! I think Sarah and I share a love of the same aesthetic – I’ll call it “kawaii minimalist”… hehe! Teddy’s been enjoying his hard boiled eggs poking out of his bear egg cup. Um, we’ve also done “milk shots” using them… ^__^

super cute ice cream sundae - coco cake land

Sundae, bloody sundae! Everything tastes better in cute little containers – this I believe! I am going to be sad when my stockpile of Poppytalk for Target ice cream cups are finally gone. But, my new anti-hoarder mentality says – enjoy and use it up, or give it away!

bakedown cakery chocolate gems

More amazing mail – my new pal from Australia, Jen of Bakedown Cakery, sent me a big old box of treats in the mail! It turned up just as I was a few days post-chemo, lying in bed feeling super gross. I opened up the box to find a whole bunch of chocolate (I’ve never had Tim Tams before!! Life changer!) and these handmade chocolate gems she made from her chocolate shop. Cute enough for ya!??

oreo ice cream sandwich eyes!

I posted this photo on my Instagram the other day. Number one: I was craving an Oreo ice cream sandwich, haha. Number two: my 6 month cancer diagnosis “anniversary” was coming up and I felt the need to share the story of how I found my tumour. It was so innocuous and possibly-nothing that I could’ve left it unchecked. But I didn’t. And they found cancer. So as I noted on my post – COP A FEEL! Give yourself a breast exam and don’t ignore anything that feels a bit weird. The Oreo ice cream sammies kind of look like creepy Owl eyes or burnt boobs. Oops. But still, I hope I got my point across.

pink rosette cupcakes - coco cake land

Cupcake diamonds! I can’t get enough of cupcake diamonds! The pretty pink rosette cupcakes I made for my niece’s 6th birthday.

lighthouse park - west vancouver bc

My sweet boo. A sunny day at Lighthouse Park a few weeks ago.

lighthouse park - west vancouver bc

Turban in the wild! I must admit I am getting pretty tired of having no hair. My patience is wearing thin but there’s nothing I can do about it… except scrutinize my hair every day in the mirror to check on its growth! Right now I’m feeling a little like Ripley in Alien (although not even quite there yet!)… I keep looking back at older pictures of myself (like 5 months ago pictures!) and being jealous of my own long hair. Sad!! I have a wicked long break before my radiation starts closer to the end of August! So I am a happy chappy about this. I plan on maxing out summer, plus Teddy’s 3rd birthday is coming up in August so I may go loose cannon wild on it.

dinosaur video at science world

And Teddy getting up close and personal with a large scale video of dinosaurs – that T-rex burst into the frame. I would’ve crapped my pants but Teddy stood and stared… Feeling blessed and beyond happy I am finished with chemo. FOREVER FOREVER I hope! I feel like my life’s been handed back to me – I can plan trips and fun thing without worrying about feeling like a chemically poisoned dead fish… Hooray! Here’s to the rest of summer. Hoping you all are enjoying it so far! xo Lyndsay 

Seniors Are Cool: Shako Club + Mini Cupcakes Decorating Workshop

flower topper mini cupcakes - coco cake land

I had such a fun time a few weeks ago teaching my very first (!) mini cupcakes baking and decorating workshop ever as part of my incredible artist friend Cindy Mochizuki‘s “Shako Club” project. I’ve been asked several times over the years to do decorating workshops or classes but it never felt right. But I was honoured to be invited to teach some cool senior ladies in a relaxed setting. Luckily the delightful Japanese Canadian seniors I worked with didn’t give a damn that cupcakes are so 2002 – it tickled my heart to watch them get super excited about piping tips and edible flowers, proudly plating their mini sweets and posing for photos. These cool ladies are creating 60 custom bento boxes based on lucky participants’ answers to a questionnaire – each box personalized, an edible gift of community, tiny food art and collaboration. Pretty special.

japanese seniors making cupcakes

Shako Club has an amazing little blog that documents the weekly goings-on in their humble little kitchen. The Shako Club members are a mix of widows, ex-caterers, sweet and artful, kindly old women – each with so much food memory in their fingers. I love the idea of decades of food making and creating, that history and experience, going into the edibles of each bento. I can’t wait to get my bento box in a few weeks!

flower topper mini cupcakes - coco cake land

mini cupcake decorating workshop

Me, looking like a Charlie Chaplin eyebrowed proud overlord in tied scarf, with the lovely ladies and their sweets. Thank you Grunt Gallery, Cindy and Shako Club for hosting me – it made me feel creative, useful and like a funny little cake “expert” – a wonderful energy and spirit boost! xo Lyndsay

Cheery Cherry Rainbow Cake Dreams

cherry rainbow cake  - coco cake land

cherry topped pink buttercream cake - coco cake land

I made this sour cherry topped rainbow cake yesterday. Just for the hell of it. Just to bake, to make something pretty, to exercise my frosting arm. Our lovely neighbors’ tree was filled with these bright, sweetly sour cherry bombs – I love it when fruit just bursts from a tree all of a sudden, speckled like shimmery red polka dots. The last time I baked a whole cake was way back in January, for my mom’s 70th birthday high tea party. The day before my mom’s big party, my family doctor phoned me, her voice hushed and strained with concern. She had called to tell me the results of the biopsy on the “weird growth” that had shown up on an ultrasound of my right breast. My worst fears were confirmed: it was “C.” Cancer. Me!! Breast cancer. I tried to remain calm as she told me the specific type of cancer it was and how she had made me an appointment with a surgeon. I scribbled down what she was telling me, but my body was in shock. I could hear Teddy playing in the other room. As soon as I heard him, the tears welled up and gushed out. I had breast cancer. I might die. I might have to leave my child. Teddy could be motherless. I had no idea what was going on in my body.

bright red sour cherries - coco cake land

It’s been almost 6 months now and my body has been through so much. IVF to save my eggs for hopefully future babies. The passing of my beloved grandma, the coolest old lady in town, who I miss very much. Surgery to remove a portion of my right breast (I call it a mini boob now – a mini version of my left boob. The little sister.) The loss of my lovely black hair. Chemo, which I hate so much and gives me great anxiety. And on many days, the loss of my self esteem, my energy and my creativity.

cherry topped pink buttercream cake - coco cake land

The first half of 2015? It’s had some shitty times, let’s just say! I’ve had horrible days of deep depression, confusion and frustration with my body, my brain. But through all the yucky stuff, there’s been plenty of good stuff. It’s the stuff I look for daily, the stuff I treasure and keep in my heart. For instance: I am pretty good at tying a big old scarf on my head. I am medium-ok (not really) at drawing on Charlie Chaplin style cartoon eyebrows. I have experienced soooo much goodness and kindness and incredible gestures from so many people, whether it’s been meals made for my family, big and little cheer-me-up gifts in the mail, hats knit with love, thoughtful messages, letters and so many offers of help. Presents for Teddy, snacks left at the door. Even Miffy spam musubi! Such an enormous amount of love and dammnit, I feel blessed. I am sooo in a deep treasuring state for all of my friends and family. For the new friends I’ve made, people who have reached out. For my friends all over the world who I’ve met through this blog and my Instagram. Other good things: my husband graduating from medical school! And Teddy practicing all of his “bad words” is pretty amusing too. Penis, pennis, bagina, poo, pee, diarrhea – the songs and giggles are endless. What can I do? Some days he tells me to put on my hair (my wig). Other times he tells me to take my wig off so he can see my “egghead.” All I can do is laugh.

pink cherry cake cuteness - coco cake land

I have one more chemo to go, on June 30th. Just seeing the words chemo makes me sick to my stomach. I can’t wait until it’s over. I’m ready to freak out for when it’s all done. Then I have a long-ish break before radiation starts in late August – so this Chinese bald eagle is gonna FLY! Not really. I’m going to hang out in my backyard and eat homemade snowcones and tons of snacks and read magazines and watch Teddy frolic around his kiddie swimming pool. Heck, I might even dunk my bald head in there if he hasn’t peed in the pool.

slice of cherry rainbow cuteness - coco cake land

cherry rainbow cake overhead - coco cake land

perfectly pink slice of cherry topped cake - coco cake land

slices of rainbow cake - coco cake land

rainbow cake insides

half a rainbow cake - coco cake land

half of a rainbow cake - coco cake land

This cake! Baking this cake gave me hope. I saw my cakey future again. To have ideas, and energy, and excitement again to work and create, to work on my cake book… to take my son to preschool, to run around with him without getting so tired. To cook, to celebrate, to hang out with friends, to travel, to go on a nice mini trip with my husband who has been so incredible throughout this… to see my hair grow back and not feel so low self-esteemy. This happy chappy pink cherry topped rainbow cake is my little beacon of hope on the horizon, that my life will be coming back to me. I can’t wait. Hoping you all get to do something fun this weekend – here’s to the second half of 2015 tearing the first half a new one! And thank you as always for reading! xo Lyndsay 

Sweet + Easy: Strawberry Buttermilk Popsicles Recipe

strawberry buttermilk popsicles recipe - coco cake land

strawberry buttermilk popsicle recipe - coco cake land

How many photographs of pretty pink strawberry buttermilk popsicles does one post need? Heh heh. I feel proud of my photos in this post – because these light and bright babies are the first photos I’ve taken in months with my fancy camera. I’ve been lazy cancer iPhone-ing it and my poor camera has been sitting there, like baby in a corner. My hands were shaky for real (damn chemo!) and for styling, I pretty much just lightly sprinkled some things down on my white table, pretty summer morning light streaming in through my sheer white curtains and I snap snap snapped. These popsicles are so sweet alone from local strawberries and tangy from the buttermilk and yogurt – summer in a chilly bite!

easy strawberry popsicle recipe

The freezer is full of strawberries from local summer berry picking and the sun’s been beating down. I’ve been feeling like eating very cold things – crisp, sweet cubes of cold-from-the-fridge watermelon, mostly – so popsicles felt like the right thing to do! These are so painfully easy – making popsicles is like making smoothies – take what you want, blend the ingredients and pour into molds – then you’re done like frozen dinner.

strawberry buttermilk popsicle recipe - coco cake land

Strawberry Buttermilk Popsicles

10 popsicles

For The Popsicles

  • 1 pound of washed and hulled strawberries, preferably local summer fruit
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • ½ cup full fat Greek vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • pinch of salt

Make It!

1. In a medium bowl, blend all of the ingredients together using an immersion blender. (Or, use a conventional blender!)

2. Pour mixture into a spouted liquid measuring cup.

3. Using the spouted measuring cup, carefully pour the popsicle mixture into your popsicle mold.

4. Freeze for a minimum of four hours or overnight until firm.

5. To remove pops from mold, run the popsicles under very warm water for 15-20 seconds to dislodge.

strawberry buttermilk popsicle recipe - coco cake land

strawberry buttermilk popsicle recipe - coco cake land

pink flower and popsicle stick!

PS – any berry is interchangeable in this recipe! Blackberries or raspberries would be perfect too!

Summer pops! More popsicles recipes on Coco Cake Land:

Milky Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles. These ones are ridicks delicious.

Farmer’s Market (aren’t I cool?) red currant tart and tangy popsicles! 

And if you’re feeling wacky tobacky - earl grey milky tea popsicles with grass jelly!

Also: this is not popsicle related but WATERMELON CARVINGS! Maybe I need to put “make a watermelon carving” on my summer bucket list.

Happy popsicle making, my friends! xo Lyndsay 

Sugar Crush: Molly Yeh!

citrus confetti cake molly yeh interview

When I think of Molly of My Name Is Yeh, I think of this song by Ex Hex, for its whimsy, guitar sounds, fun party lady times. Like a party with Molly would just turn out like this – chuckles galore, gorging on food, deviled eggs, cake, cocktails, sweet guitar vibes and crushing on life. Molly World!! As with many of us old timer bloggers, Molly has been around these interweb parts before, blogging since 2009 in fact…

courtesan au chocolat by molly yeh

But there is a reason Molly has stuck around, and become a huge part of the food blogosphere as we know it today –  Molly is HEE-larious, her personality is infectious, her photographs are bonkbonks and she is an all around treasure trove of coolness and cuteness. She is like a dreamcatcher, ladling up delightful snacks and new friendships and blasting out delicious, off-kilter recipes in her sweet sweet spell. As I wrote about her before, which I still profess to now: “Molly brightens the internet like a half Chinese half Jewish, percussion-playing gorgeous firecracker blasting through the milky way!” Truth.

mousse moose cake molly yeh

Molly’s marzipan moose mousse cake. Hehe!

molly-yeh-interview-11

Love this sparkly gal so much I even got to make a PIE for her wedding.

courtesan au chocolat by molly yeh

(Also, last year, Molly, Renee and I triple teamed up to make courtesan au chocolat, a la Grand Budapest Hotel … it was FUN!)

molly-yeh-interview-10

And here is Molly and Nick, cutting into the eggiest cake that could ever be at their wedding last year. So here you go: I’m sugar crushing on my buddy today – Molly Yeh! Go Yeh Go! (say that five times fast)… 

Molly! Using your favourite ingredients, walk us through making us a cake from start to finish! 

I have a very particular order to things when I make a cake. Very particular. Dry ingredients always come first, that way you can reuse the measuring cups without washing and drying them. And the retired mathlete in me always tries to find a common denominator in my measurements, like do I need 3/4 cup of sugar and 1 1/2 cups of flour? Great, I can get away with only dirtying up the 1/4 cup. Once I have my dry ingredients mixed together, then I mix the wet ingredients in this order: eggs, extracts, oil, other add-ins like nut butters or tahini, milk, and then if it’s a chocolate cake (hopefully it’s a chocolate cake), boiling water. Eggs come first because that way if something unexpected happens like there’s a double yolk or there’s some blood in it or if I get a shit ton of eggshell in the bowl, it’s easier to fix, whereas if I cracked an egg into a whole bowl of batter, it would be a great deal harder to fix. After eggs come extract, if I’m feeling nostalgic it’s clear imitation vanilla, and then hopefully a bit of almond as well. I love almond. Oil comes next, and I try to think ahead so that if I need to measure out peanut butter or some other sticky substance like molasses or honey, I can use the same measuring cup because whatever oil is left in the measuring cup will help the sticky stuff slide right out. And then dairy, usually buttermilk. Whisk up the wet ingredients, add it to the dry ingredients, whisk in the boiling water, pour it into cake pans, and bake! When those are done and cooled, I level them, freeze them, and then hopefully by then I have some sort of idea in mind for how I’ll decorate them. Marzipan shapes are my go-to. And sprinkles! Of course. Many many sprinkles.

sprinkles cake molly yeh

Using your least favourite ingredients, walk us through making us a cake from start to finish!

First I put a gas mask on so that I don’t have to smell any of this. I mash up bananas, add mushrooms, decorate it with olives and then ship it off to anyone that I have beef with at the moment. My second to last Uber driver! I’d send it to him.

molly yeh cake

You’re basically (and well-deservedly!!) the It Girl of the blog world – cute, stylish, aspirational, creative, hyper-talented and hilarious – What has been your greatest bloggy related accomplishment, small or big? 

If no one read my blog, and if I didn’t make one cent off of it, I would still do it. And being able to say that about my job is what I consider to be my greatest accomplishment.

strawberry hi hat cupcakes

You have a beautifully minimalist modern meets casual country vibe to your photos – what are some of your favourite photography, lighting or styling tips? 

Wait til a storm’s a comin, and then snap away. “Deliciously cloudy,” I call it.

snail cake molly yeh

What are your top three favourite songs or albums, and why? 

I wasn’t a complete person until I heard Sufjan’s latest album. I’m not a lyrics person, I just let his sounds wash over me like a hot sauna. Son Lux and Punch Brothers and Lorde’s music tend to get into my bones like that too.

painted striped cake molly yeh

Your favourite piece of music?

Mahler 2 and Philip Glass’ Satyagraha. Oh! And Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht. And if you don’t know them, listen to them in that order. Get a little bit drunk for Satyagraha.

What are you favourite movies? 

The Back to the Future trilogy.

cute smile molly yeh interview

Do you ever wish you still lived in NYC? Do you see a greater movement of people returning to slower, rootsier lifestyles? 

NO. I wish I still had access to Breads Bakery and Hummus Place and all that pizza and my friends and the music scene. But no, day to day life, having to use that subway system, living in an apartment with a small kitchen, I do not miss that.

confetti cake molly yeh interview

How do you deal with blogger burn-out?  Sometimes it feels so rat-racey to me … like I can’t bear to look at another DIY or recipe and it’s rare to find a new blog (food or otherwise) that isn’t trying to be a template of one that already exists … food styling, recipes, everything’s repeating itself – who do you find to be innovative, or fresh, funny or interesting to read these days? 

There are two points where I get stuck most often in the blogging process: the photo styling and the writing. Styling is challenging for me because while I love looking at photos that use beautiful props and effortlessly scattered ingredients, every time I go to do it myself, the logical part of me (which is a big part of me) is like, no, none of this makes sense. So that really results in a minimalistic vibe, but that can feel too minimalistic to me at times, so when that happens I’ll just like stare at Cynthia and Linda Lomelino‘s photos and even try to replicate their styling as an exercise. Once Cynthia and I did a shoot together and I couldn’t believe the styling magic that she was doing before my very eyes. When I hit a writing rut, my first line of defense is usually to go read Nico Muhly’s blog. He doesn’t write often enough, I guess he’s busy writing operas, but his use of the English language makes things like the entryway in a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Indiana sound fascinating. I want to make the entryway in a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Indiana sound fascinating. Other people I love are Graham Blackall, Josh Scherer, and this new-to-me blogger called Beau (Probably Baking). They say it like it is and they’re not a-holes! It’s great.

marzipan cake molly yeh

What are some of your favourite cookbooks, and why?

Jerusalem and Janna Gur’s Book of New Israeli Cuisine because I could eat Israeli food every single day, three meals a day, if I had the produce for it. Rose Bakery’s Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea has the photography that got me into food photography. A stack of my mother in law’s church cookbooks has taught me so much about my new home. And then Food52 Genius Recipes is exactly genius. And Tara O’Brady’s book… heavens, her photography takes no prisoners. You’re gonna have to stop me because I could go on and on about this, I have a large stack of cookbooks that I sit with on the couch and cuddle with on a regular basis, I’m still working my way through.

strawberry hi hat cupcakes molly yeh

What would be your last meal on Earth? 

Mac and cheese.

Any last words of inspiration for the readers out there??

“When life gives you lemons, squeeze them on a schnitzel!”

Go Yeh Go! This should be a tshirt, I believe. Thanks so much Molly! Check out more of Molly’s wonderful insanity over at My Name Is Yeh, or glomp onto her Instagram feed, because everyone is possibly painfully addicted to Instagram!