Link Roundup, 4.24.18


I’ve been busy getting ready for the release of my new book No Pressure (out on Tuesday!), but I’m still writing here and there! Catch out my latest stuff below.

Link Roundup, 4.24.18

Lemon Berry Cake


I was tasked with making a dessert for roughly 25-30 people attending a baby shower last weekend. The mom-to-be and I decided on a lemony berry-y concoction, and this is what I came up with. It was a bit precarious to transport, but it looked nice, tasted good, and fed the right amount of people. Success!

The cake is a basic 1-2-3-4 cake with a dose of vanilla and lemon zest added. I baked mine in the three-tiered wedding-style configuration—if you do that, just keep an eye on the layers since they’ll bake at different rates. Start checking them at 20 minutes. The easier way is to cook them in three 9-inch pans like the recipe calls for, but I didn’t have three. You work with what you got. Note that you can make the lemon curd beforehand (it’ll keep in the fridge for 1 week).

The combo of the sweet cake, tart lemon curd, fresh berries, and fluffy whipped cream is just so good. Technically you could leave out the berries or you could leave out the curd. It’d still be good, just not quite as good. But I get it if you don’t want to prep four things.


1-2-3-4 Cake
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 lemons, zested
3 cups sifted self-rising flour*
1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare your three 9″ pans by greasing and flouring well.

Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to mix well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and zest and mix well.

Add flour and milk alternately to mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 5-10 minutes before turning the cakes out of their pans and cooling completely.

* Make your own self-rising flour if you don’t have any. 1 cup self-rising flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour, minus 2 teaspoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Lemon Curd
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen/The Joy of Cooking

4 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small lemons, zested and juiced

Put all ingredients in a double boiler over boiling water. Don’t let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken ever-so-slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate it to thicken.


1 package fresh strawberries, washed and dried
1 small package raspberries, washed and drained
1 small package blueberries, washed and drained

Hull the strawberries and slice into 2-4 slices lengthwise, depending on their size. If your strawberries are not very sweet, you can toss them in a bowl with a tablespoon or two of sugar.

Whipped Cream

1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Chill a large, clean mixing bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla and whip using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or a hand-held mixer. Add the sugar gradually, a tablespoon at a time. Whip until stiff peaks form.

How to Assemble:

Place one cooled cake layer on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 1/3 of the lemon curd in a thin layer, followed by 1/3 of the whipped cream and a single layer of berries. If you soaked your strawberries in sugar, be sure to drain them before using. Top with another cake layer and repeat twice. For the final layer, arrange the fruit in a pretty design. Or don’t! Whatever you want. Store in the refrigerator until serving.


Lemon Berry Cake

Recipe Zine

I made a recipe zine! It shows you how to make a delicious Tom Collins pie with illustrations and words. It’s recipe card-sized, spiral-bound, and sports a hand-painted cover (too many hyphens? Never-too-many). It’s a limited run of 50, and makes a great addition to your zine, cookbook, or nick-knack collection. Or a gift! Give it as a gift.

You can order one on my site for just $7 including shipping (within the US). They’re also stocked in Skylight Books in LA (photo below)!






Recipe Zine

Cooking The Simpsons: Tom Collins Pie

It’s time for another Cooking With The Simpsons! And this time, I tackled Homer’s Tom Collins mix and clove “pie” breakfast. Gross. Read more about it here!

Simpsons Homer pie

This may have started with a gross concoction, but it ended up with a great pie recipe (below). Try it out in the last hot days of summer, or add it to your Thanksgiving line-up as a refreshing dessert—the clove makes it festive.

tom collins pie

Spiced Tom Collins Pie
by Laurel Randolph
20 min prep, 20 min cook time (40 min total)

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon ground cloves (plus extra for decorating)
pinch salt
7 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
4 large egg yolks
½ cup fresh lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons gin (optional, I guess)
1-2 lemon slices, for decorating

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, clove, salt, and melted butter. Mix well, and dump into your pie pan. Press against the bottom and the edges until an even crust is formed. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While your crust bakes, combine sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, juice, and zest in a mixing bowl and whisk until very well combined. Once crust is done baking, carefully pour mixture into the crust and smooth the top so it’s level.
  3. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, until set but not brown. It should jiggle like Jell-O in the center, not like liquid. Let pie cool completely.
  4. Once your pie is cool, pour cold cream into a mixing bowl and whip until cream starts to get extra thick (a handheld mixer works best here, otherwise your arm is going to get so very tired). Add sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to beat until soft peaks form, and add gin slowly, one tablespoon at a time. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
  5. Spread whipped cream over the top of the cooled pie. Dust lightly with ground cloves, and decorate with a lemon slice or two. Chill until ready to serve, and store leftovers in the refrigerator.
Cooking The Simpsons: Tom Collins Pie

Throw Back to Italy, part 3

It’s Thursday and I’m in the mood to reminisce. Last time I posted photos from our time in Cinque Terre, but I left out our visit to the Lemon Festival in Monterosso. It deserves its own post. I am a big lemon fan, so a whole festival dedicated to lemons? With homemade lemon desserts and limoncello and lemon lemon everything everywhere? Made from beautiful, gigantic local lemons? And it happens to be while I’m in Cinque Terre?? Um, yes. A thousand times yes.

This area is known for their lemons, and during the festival the whole village sets up tables and sells lemons and things made from lemons. Everything is decorated with lemons and everything is bright yellow. Kids are set up selling lemonade, and a prize is given to the biggest lemon and best traditional lemon cake. It’s festive and delicious. It’s also where I had the best lemon cake of my life (pictured below). The festival takes place one day in May, and if you love lemon as much as I do, I highly recommend it.

That’s definitely the most times I’ve typed the word lemon in so many words.

lemon festival lemon festivallemon festivallemon festivallemon festivallemon festivallemon festival

Throw Back to Italy, part 3