My First Catering Fail | Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jelly Bars - Peanut Butter and Boysenberry Jelly Bars - Square

It was bound to happen: My first-ever catering fail. About two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to cater sweets for a corporate baby shower. The guest of honor (pappa-to-be) met me at my car to help me unload, and then wheeled in the boxes of cupcakes. The time: 9:45 AM; fifteen minutes to spare […]

A Very Special Thank You | Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles - Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodles - Square

It’s March: I’m so very happy that our backyard chickens are laying again. These pale green and dark brown eggs were perfect candidates for this weekend’s baking project. … About three weeks ago, we welcomed into the brood: two little foster kids. The girl is 23 months old. Her brother is three and a half. It […]

Celebrating Friends | Scharffen Berger Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee and Chocolate and Ovaltine Buttercream Frosting

www.rusticgardenbistro - Chocolate Cupcakes with Duck Eggs

Everyone has a role. Back in the 90s, Ryan and I were the bakers. Armed with Betty Crocker boxes (or Duncan Hines if they were cheaper) and cans of pre-made frosting, we we made cakes for weekend hangouts, birthday celebrations, “I got into college” parties, and so on. If memory serves me correctly, we also […]

Dessert for a Crowd | Pumpkin Mousse with Gingersnaps and Vanilla Whipped Cream - Pumpkin Mousse with Gingersnaps and Vanilla Whipped Cream - Portrait - Square

The thing about traditional Thanksgiving dinners is that every year, we do more or less the same thing: there’s always a prime-grade rib roast, basic mashed potatoes, a salad, and an [unknown] side dish that someone always brings. (This year’s unknown was a decidedly creamy macaroni and four-cheese, courtesy of my cousin Amy – Thanks […]

The Anniversary Surprise | Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling, Italian Buttercream and Fresh Blue Pansies - Vanilla Bean Cake with Raspberry Filling, Italian Buttercream and Fresh Blue Pansies - Square

A few days ago, I received a Facebook message. It went something like this: I have a totally last second, off the wall request that you can absolutely and totally say no to. I am trying to figure out plans for my one year anniversary. One thing I was thinking about was that we never […]

Romance in Paris | Skillet Sugar Crêpes - Sugar Crepes with Fresh Strawberries - Square

We spent our last afternoon in Paris strolling through le Jardin des Tuileries. It was getting late in the day, and we were hungry, again. When I spotted the crêpe vendor, I stepped aside and asked my beau to pull out his change. We had spent most of our Euros on lunch, so it was […]

The Brahma and the Birthday | Grand Marnier Soufflé with Crème Anglaise - Souffle Eggs

I heard the Brahma that morning. She squawked, squawked, and squawked. I could hear her from inside the house… clear on the opposite side of the property. When Mr. RGBistro brought in the GIANT egg, I understood right away. Ouch is an understatement; the rock weighed in at 105 grams. (A typical large-sized egg is […]

A Typical Week at the RGB | Peanut Butter Cookies with Maple Syrup and Coconut Oil - Vegan Peanut Buttter cookies with Maple Syrup and Coconut Oil - Square

The big girls were bored and decided we needed to redecorate. (That’ll teach us to do yard work while leaving them unsupervised): The little girls decided it was time for the Egg Olympics. Based on the amount of squawking going on, I thought a hawk had injured one of them… Evidently, the poor girl was […]

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

It’s a calm, still… almost warm Thursday night in Southern California. Hard to believe that in a few hours, a storm full of rain is supposed to drench us all. It has been a long, long year. We’ve renovated a home, raised a flock of chickens and adopted a second dog. I’m ready to close this baby out. Lucky […]

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel | We Can’t All Be Winners - October 2011 1028

Let me tell you a story about my dog. I have a beautiful dog. She’s sweet, tender, kind, and… famous. Friday comes from a pedigree of outstanding Weimaraner dogs and Weimaraner people. When she was a puppy, William Wegman photographed her for the cover of the Weimaraner Puppies Calendar. At six months old, she obtained […]

Italian Buttercream Frosting | Old-School Networking at Camp Blogaway

Daffodils, outside the lodge at Camp Blogaway.

How would you bake a cake if you didn’t have an oven? Better question: What would you do if, knowing you were missing an oven, had lined up a Plan B, but the Plan B didn’t work out, you were EXHAUSTED from being at Camp Blogaway, you still had a dinner party to attend, and […]

Fresh Strawberry Pie | Springtime FAWG Dinner Party

RGB Ranunculus Garden

About this time last year, we planted over 75 pots of ranunculus. This year, we’re happy to report that about half of them made it back.   If it weren’t for regularly scheduled dinner parties, we would never see our loved ones. You see, we’re gearing up to tear down our home, gut it all out […]

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake| Christmas Morning Bites

Cranberry Vanilla Coffee Cake

Christmas morning was, for the most part, just like any other. After sleeping in, we booted up the espresso machine, fed the dog and started on the last night’s dishes. And because there was no formal agenda, I did what I normally do – wiggle the computer mouse, browse through my Google Reader and look […]

Meyer Lemon Scones with Dried Cranberries and Blueberries - Scones

This weekend was the first we’d been at home in awhile. So of course, Saturday morning’s refrigerator contents were mostly empty. We still had good eggs and cream. No yogurt, no bread, no orange juice, no fresh blueberries…  Ah, but we did have them dried. And we had a package of dried cranberries, too. And […]

Nutella Fudge Brownies | A Halloween Treat

Abby Dodge's Nutella Fudge Brownies for the office party.

Nutella holds a special place in my heart because I’ve been acquainted with it for over 25 years. As a child, it was the gift I looked forward to most when family returned from a trip to Europe. Back then, Nutella was so rare that when I brought it in for “show-and-tell,” I was crowned […]

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting | The RGB Makes an Owl Cake

RGB Owl Cake for Office Baby Shower

RGB Owl Cake for Office Baby Shower  There are three things I thoroughly enjoy about baking a cake: 1) the science of mixing frosting colors, 2) scraping buttercream out of the bowl (and into my mouth), and 3) the thrill of gifting someone with the end result.  The Office put together a mid-week baby shower […]

Cold-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies | Dessert with Jack and Diane

Cold-Buttter Chocolate Chip Cookies

We’re all about old guys gettin’ with young chicks. (Sorry, bad family joke.) So when I caught Something’s Gotta Give (with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton) on cable the other day, I DVRed it for Mr. RGBistro and I to watch after dinner later in the week. In one of the opening scenes where Jack’s young […]