design: Woodblock Chocolate

On May 18, 2014 by theseventhsphinx


Gorgeous packaging from Woodblock Chocolate, an artisan chocolate company based in Portland, Oregon.


It is so civilized, to me, to indulge in a small, excellent piece of chocolate now and then.

on the menu: cocoa banana nut muffins

On March 30, 2014 by theseventhsphinx



This is really a quick bread but I baked it in muffin cups instead of a loaf pan. I was craving muffin-shaped things, and muffins are so easily shared.


I used the Cocoa-Nana Bread recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours (recipe here), with the cocoa powder much reduced (I didn’t have enough, but it’s delicious this way too), and chopped pecans added in.

So moist that no additional topping is necessary. Delightful.

bon anniversaire mon blog!

On March 14, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

One year ago I transferred a handful of wordpress blog posts over to, and the rest is all there in the archives.

My little blog is growing up.

This calls for…



At kathycancook’s recommendation I used the excellent yellow cake recipe (black and white cake) from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours (an excellent book all around), which—a bit tragically, given how well it was going, really on the road to being the the nicest cake—I overcooked slightly.* Alas. Pardon, mon blog!  Not to worry, a bit of ice cream and a dousing of salted caramel improved matters. This is that kind of rich chocolate frosting you start in a double boiler with butter, unsweetened chocolate, and milk, then add vanilla and confectioner’s sugar, and it sets up as it cools.  You know the kind? I like that kind.

*This means that the next time I make it, it will be sublime.


Let’s see, shall I recap some favorite posts? Definitely the turban (more head wraps are in order), the sweater dress (I should wear that again soon. I love that dress), the tuxedo stripe leggings (there will be more wigs), Halloween, getting my bike (which it’s finally getting warm enough to consider riding), various posts with my beloved leather jacket (which it’s finally getting warm enough to consider wearing), the bandeau top, the baseball cap, that other wig, the massive floppy hat, that mango guacamole burger…so many, really.

Do you have a favorite?

Lot’s of plans for the upcoming year in the universe of the blog, and lots of stuff I can’t wait to show you.

Thanks for reading!



on the menu: brie, havarti, mustard, figs, almonds…and sherry

On February 23, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


Sometimes I eat like a small, ambitious bird.

Who loves cheese, and mustard. And zucchini relish (homemade by the mom).


I am always up for a miscellaneous platter like this. Some combination of cheese/nuts/fruit/protein. Maybe prunes or dates, olives, sardines, pears, basil leaves, chocolate…so versatile, and always good.

It makes me want something fortified…


Like sherry.

on the menu: chocolate pecan banana bread

On February 17, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

IMG_1654I like the banana bread recipe from this retro 1968 Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. The chocolate and pecans are my contribution, along with some other little substitutions and additions. For whatever reason, it’s never turned out so well before. Mysteries of baking.



Why is it sometimes crumbs bother me in photos (and I will make a tiresome effort to get rid of them), and sometimes they seem to add a kind of unposed and appetizing authenticity?

Oh, and I had a soft-cooked egg, too (note to self: 3 minutes is not enough). With soldiers, as they say. Eggcup performance going strong.