Posts in Simple Living
"Cakes of Color" : Natural Food Dyes :

  Exciting news: The first book of the 7 {squared} Collection is now published and available to order online. The limited edition signed books will be in the store here in 2 weeks. I will announce.

While the "Cakes of Color" core theme is all about the multi-sensory experience of color and food ... what is less clear is that adding food dye into the cakes is optional and more importantly, there are organic options of food dye available to make or buy. An astute friend and subscriber brought this to my attention today and it's the perfect blog topic.

I personally love to play with color in baking. Here are a few ways to incorporate it.


This article, 8 Ways to Make Organic Food Coloring is excellent. I really like how she introduces other options besides beets for red. For instance, pomegranate or raspberries. In the case of the red cake, either of these options will only enhance the undertones of the cake flavor. While beet juice works nicely to deepen a chocolate cake or add color to the frosting.

Organic Food Dye Online:

For the red cake you purchase organic food dye from India Tree. I've tried it and like it. You need to use a little more than non-organice food dye, but that's okay.

For color mixing, use India Tree's 3 color set. Blue and red for the lavender cake and yellow and blue for the green tea cake and blue with a tad of red for the blue velvet cake.

Here is a recent article on FDA certified color additives and influences in children and behavior. I believe food dyes have evolved a bit from what they were but we still have reason to feel better about organic food dyes from vegetable extracts.

I hope this helps ease troubled minds about adding color to your delicious cakes.

Gratitude, Gravity & Grace

  The words gravity and grace have my undivided attention right now. I'm not sure why ... but I do know Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) has something to do with it.

Recently, I've been reading "The Innocent Eye" -- this is a book I've never been able to let go of and will likely see it to its raggedy end.

Considering how children express the truest character of their soul when they draw and paint. Or, when they make a mess in the kitchen trying to make pancakes. Nothing is wasted. Nothing is useless. The compassion, patience and utter abandon that is involved in the sentiment of the expression is something I feel awe for.

During the holidays it can be so easy to forget the simple magic of gratitude. Gratitude for the the things that didn't work out that makes us dig deeper in and change course if necessary. Gratitude for the daily kindnesses and simple surprises in life.

Though we may think a lot about what we want that we don't have, there is a grace in what we do have. If nothing more than an imprint of where we've been and markers for the journey forward.

I say, life isn't something to master but experience in all of it's imaginative power. Getting the "goof" on and the simple return to nature through food and love is the gravity and grace I'm aiming for this season. And I am already super duper grateful for it!

If you really want to be inspired watch Ursula LeGuin's speech as she accepts a Lifetime Achievement Award.

ps: The silly drawings are my from my daily sketchbook as I aspire to be a child everyday.