Raspberry Ricotta Cake

Raspberry Ricotta Cake RecipeI promised myself I wasn’t going to bake and write a post while I was on vacation. Although I packed my camera and tripod, it would strictly be used for practicing landscape photography.  After all, we were staying in a charming beach house just steps from the water, all I wanted was to take photos of the sand, waves, and any sea creatures willing enough to be my subject.

By day number two, I was feeling the pangs of withdrawal.  The house had such a baking-friendly kitchen, open and bright.  From the center island I could gaze the waves as they crashed against the sand.  And the light!  Goodness, there were so many areas in the house for taking beautiful photos.  The fresh venue ignited a spark of creativity.  Before long, I was searching the internet for recipes.
,It just so happened that my inbox that day had an email from Bon Appetit with a recipe for a simple, yet intriguing, ricotta snack cake.  As lovely as it was, the house we were staying in did not come with a well-stocked pantry. I was able to rustle up a few basic ingredients, but a trip to the local market was a must if I was going to bake a cake.  With a quick trip to pick up some cheese and berries, I could have a raspberry studded ricotta cake in the oven in no time.
Raspberry Ricotta Cake RecipeMy mother is famous for saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, and since the house didn’t come equipped with a 9-inch cake pan, I had to use some ingenuity when it came to a substitute.  A skillet was the obvious choice, and actually, my only option.   It worked perfectly and I loved the added rustic and homey look it lent the cake.
Raspberry Ricotta Cake Recipe
This is what I refer to as a ‘last minute’ cake.  Although it takes an hour to bake, it literally comes together in minutes.  Bake it for breakfast, and then enjoy it later as an afternoon snack.  Topped with a scoop of ice cream, it’s compelling enough to be served as dessert.
Raspberry Ricotta Cake Recipe

I eventually made it outside with my camera.

 Beach House-March-4155-2Beach House-March-4157-2

Pink Sky at Sunset



Black Cocoa Bundt Cake with Butter Bourbon Glaze + A Book Giveaway

Black Cocoa Bundt Cake RecipeThe months pass and I am drawn back to my kitchen and camera over and over again.  It’s been three years now, and still I find baking to be as enticing and intoxicating as ever.  Sure, there are days, many days, when I ask myself why I continue writing a blog.  Some days I have answers, some days not.  Nevertheless, I return.  This blog, this space I have created to share my deep passion for baking continues to feed my soul, and that is the best answer I have at the moment.  It is enough.
Black Cocoa Bundt Cake RecipeSpecial occasions hunger to be celebrated with memorable cakes.  My third year blogging birthday being no exception.  With my penchant for both chocolate and bourbon, this recipe from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito was the ideal cake for celebrating such a personal milestone.
Black Cocoa Bundt Cake RecipeThank you readers for coming back post after post.  It warms my heart just knowing I have kept you interested.  If you’ve just now stumbled into my little corner of the blogging world, welcome!  Do stay around.  I’ll try my very best to keep you enticed.

As a way of showing my appreciation for all of you who follow along here at Sifting Focus, I am giving away a copy of Baked Occasions.

*   Please leave a comment telling me what special occasion you like to celebrate with cake; and, what is your favorite celebration cake.  To complete your entry, click on the widget below.

*   Entries accepted until 12:00am Pacific Time, Thursday, March 26, 2015

*   One winner will be randomly selected and notified by email.  The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email notification, otherwise an alternate winner will be selected.

Black Cocoa Bundt Cake Recipe


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Black Cocoa Bundt Cake Recipe


M & B’s Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars

Apricot Cherry Crumb Bars RecipeEven though I live three thousand miles away from my family, I see them a lot!  I journey to Kentucky four or five times a year, and when I’m very blessed, one of my family members makes it to California to visit me.  Having a brother, sister, niece, or nephew in MY home is a precious gift.  There were trade-offs in choosing a life in Los Angeles, living so far from family has been the most difficult by far. Continue reading

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge Brownies

Chocolate Chip Cookie Fudge Brownie RecipeMy sister arrived from Ohio today, and I am thrilled!  Our next few days will be filled with all those things sister do when they spend time together.  And believe it or not, although we are both bakers, we won’t be spending much time in the kitchen.  I have her all to myself for five days, and it just so happens the weather in LA is incredible this week.  If anyone is looking for us, we can be found at the beach, or an outdoor cafe, or perhaps a boutique or two. Continue reading

‘Make Ahead’ Chocolate Soufflés

Make Ahead Chocolate Soufflés RecipeGenerally speaking, I’m not a huge celebrator of Hallmark holidays.  Oh, I send cards and all that (Hallmark is happy), but in other ways, I play it pretty low-key.  On Valentine’s Day, you’ll never find me in a restaurant partaking in a ritualistic over-priced dinner with bad service, made such due to the throngs of others who have also decided to hallow the day set aside for love and romance. Instead, I prefer the comfort of my own home and the pleasure of good food made by loving hands. Continue reading