Photo: Aaron Kirk; Prop Stylist: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland; Food Styling: Sarah Epperson

Cake, cookbooks, and seafood galore. 

Antara Sinha
September 14, 2018

It was someone’s birthday somewhere this week, (If it was you, Happy Birthday!) so of course we celebrated. This is the birthday cake recipe you’ll want to bookmark, print out, laminate, save to the cloud, and/or etch in stone—that’s how confident we are that you’ll love it and make it over and over again. It’s the classic vanilla cake flavor that’s so familiar and nostalgia-inducing, with a rich buttercream that’s not cloying like the store bought stuff. You’ll be looking for excuses to whip this cake up on the reg. And don’t even think about skipping out on those sprinkles. 

We also managed to get some major cookbook-perusing done this week—and there are some great ones to look forward to this fall. A vibrant, colorful, and veggie-forward book from our friends The Food Gays, an entirely unicorn food-centered collection of recipes, and a couple of new cookbooks by some of our favorite celebs like Reese Witherspoon and Chrissy Teigen all made our list. Some other highlights: A cookbook by the incomparable story-teller Rick Bragg had us spellbound cover to cover. And a Peanuts cookbook coming out later this fall has us way excited for cooking and baking throughout the holiday season with recipes like The Great Pumpkin Pie, Snoopy’s Grrr…nola, Frieda’s Naturally Curly Pesto Pasta and Charlie Brownies. 

Also, the meal-prep lunch rut is a constant struggle for everyone (we get it). Some days, you inevitably need to phone it in with a pre-prepared, pre-packaged meal—us too, we’re not ashamed to admit. That doesn’t mean you need to resign yourself to a #SadDeskLunch though. Stock your work freezer with these six actually tasty frozen meals, and even the most hectic days won’t leave you running on breakroom coffee, alone. While you’re at it, drop some Babybel cheese into your fridge too; we tasted and ranked every one of their flavors so you know which bag to grab.

We were a little enamoured by seafood this week too, but not the freezer-aisle, go-to staples like shrimp and tilapia you’ve probably come to pick up out of habit during your weekly grocery runs. Our weekend challenge for you: Splurge a little and give something a bit out of your comfort zone a try. You can totally boil, steam, bake, or grill flawless lobster at home. Buttery, brothy mussels don’t need to be just a restaurant thing. They’re both impressive, but 100 percent feasible meals just waiting to happen in your own kitchen, so we’re encouraging you to head to your fishmonger ASAP—and here’s a friendly reminder to grab those reusable grocery bags on your way out the door.

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