I once said that my desk reminds me of my purse.  It is big and unorganized, hard to navigate and mostly holds things of importance.  As I sit here typing -at said desk, I spy a twelve-stack of cookbooks with notes and pieces of paper jutting out from every angle. Piles of printed-out recipes cover every square inch of surface area.  I have at least four-hundred & eleventy-two recipes composed, mapped-out, bookmarked and dreamed up for posting and booking,  and they all reside on this desk

I didn't make any of those recipes today.

I can't bear to relinquish one minute of my three-day weekend to the grocery store, so I've decided to work with what I have.  Today that is eggs, butter, sugar, flour and lemons.

One evening many months ago, as I was enjoying savory risotto baked in a scallop shell, I wondered - has anyone ever baked dessert in a scallop shell?  I was instantly struck with the desire to try, but I wasn't sure how to execute such a thing.  I looked online. I googled "dessert baked in scallop shell" with no luck at all.  Thereafter I searched high and low for some kind of direction, or at least an indication that someone else had tried this idea and it had worked. 

It wasn't until I came across the recipe for gâteau au chocolat (chocolate cake) with sea salt, that I had the notion to try again.  Once more I googled, I searched.  Still nothing!  I finally reasoned that the scallop shell was nothing more than nature's ceramic dish and theoretically, it should work.

And you know what?  It did.

A little over two weeks ago, tornadoes wreaked havoc in Alabama and the surrounding states.  I feel very fortunate that the damage we suffered here in East Tennessee was mild comparatively.  We'll be getting a new roof and vinyl siding, but many people in Alabama lost everything they owned, and worse.  Maybe you've heard of the devastation?  A photographer friend captured it perfectly here.

That evening, after the storm was over, we emerged from our designated safe-place to find our yard completely covered with soft-ball sized hail.  Wow.  I've never seen anything so strange and scary! 

Since then, I find myself gravitating toward creature comforts, or better said - things to soothe jangled nerves. I've spent more time with my recipe journal-slash-sketchbook and Bic Cristals in black (do other writing instruments exist?).  I keep inspiration close by in the form of a sparkly vintage brooch.  I indulge in too many cups of coffee as well as the nerdiest art books...

...and I bake, of course.  It's strange how I can completely abandon my worries while whisking eggs and measuring sugar.  I know many of you feel the same way.

I'll bet you didn't know that cake rolls are my favorite thing to make, ever.   They are so simple and beautiful.  It's been much too long since I last posted a roulade, so I've decided to put forth a little extra effort and post a video of my roulade making process.

I'm so excited to be guest posting today at Confessions of a Cookbook Queen! If you've never visited Kristan's site, you're really missing out.  She's a kindred spirit with a flair for pink, glitter and all sorts of creative confections (Angry Birds Cupcakes, anyone?). 

Hop on over for the details on my dreamy Key Lime Swirl Cheesecake Bars. 

If you are a regular visitor here, you may already be aware of my love for pink coconut confections.  When I saw a box-mix version of this cake (in white) on the Kraft Foods site, I knew I was surely destined to figure out a scratch-made version in pink.  It took a bit of trial and error, but I've worked out all the kinks.  I hope you love this cake as much as I do!

How do I love thee, Snowball Cake?  Let me count the ways.  You are:

1. Nostalgic - like a Hostess Snoball snack cake.
2. Pretty - dressed in frilly pink coconut.
3. Delicious - with scratch-made Devil's Food cake inside.
4. Quirky - baked in a bowl!
5. Easy to make - with marshmallow frosting that doesn't require a thermometer.

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