Crandlecakes News

I thought I’d take a minute to catch my breath. I guess I’m finally living up to my name here and am in a bit of a cake baking frenzy. (Note the Instagram feed on the right.) Here’s what else is going on in Crandle Land.

Blog news:

Videos have begun!

I’ve started making videos. I’m all official, with a YouTube Channel and everything. If you head on over and subscribe to my channel, it would mean the world to me. Why am I making videos, you ask? Is it my charisma? Humph. It’s because the future is video, or so I’ve read, and some things are better demonstrated than told.

Making cakes for money

I’ve been hired to make a cake! Yes, it’s for a friend. No, it’s not a massive order. Still, what fun. Do you want a delicious and pretty cake straight from Crandlecakes? You’re in the right place. Just hit me up via social media, or send me an email at Here are some cakes I made:

Lemon Cake

Carrot Cake

Peanut Butter Ganache Cake side

Peanut Butter Ganache Cake

Carrot Cake with beet icing

pear cake iced above

Started a Tumblr

I started a Tumblr called Crandlecakes Too. Over there, I’ll be posting culinary inspiration for Crandlecakes from around the Web, along with reblogs of what you see here and some of my Instagram feed. Come follow me! It’s like Crandlecakes Light.

Waco Weekly taking a break

Remember my column Our Town Table at Waco Weekly? The magazine is taking a break for the summer, just like the college kids. (Remember summer breaks? HAHA. …digressing.) No matter. You can spend some time catching up on Our Town Table’s four months of food columning history.

Instagram Onslaught

I’m all over Instagram. I’m having a ball with it because it means I can share images and short videos with you instantly, even if I’m not ready to put up a whole blog post, and even if it’s something small that will never end up in a blog post, like this cabbage:

Tiny Cabbages


In case you missed it, Crandlecakes was featured in the March edition of the Foodie App. The app is free, and it includes tons of curated digital cookbooks with recipes from the best blogs from around the Interwebz.

Helpful Tips of Late:

Cake making resources

With all the cake baking I’ve been doing, I’ve been scouring the Internet for tips and tricks. No surprise, Deb’s guidance over at Smitten Kitchen has been the most helpful.

Books that are changing my cooking:

Writers talk about novels or authors that changed their writing. Well here are a few books that are changing my cooking:

Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Yotam Ottolenghi has written three books (Jerusalem, Plenty: Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi, and Ottolenghi: The Cookbook). I’m itching to get my hands on Plenty, which is all about vegetables, but Jerusalem has me busy enough. This cookbook introduces new staples, like a homemade harissa I’ve been tossing into everything, and a basic hummus recipe that’s easy to build on. It’s full of dishes in which meat plays a supporting role, like these leek and lamb meatballs I have on my list, plus there is SO MUCH vegetarian inspiration. This one’s a keeper.

Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way
The pasta bible, basically. So many sauces. So many shapes. So much knowledge. Infinite improvisation.

Momofuku Milk Bar
An old one but a good one. Christina Tosi looks at fine dining and thinks, “I should smash Betty Crocker into this.” The combination of classic, less-than-elite flavors and traditions (like imitation vanilla and corn syrup) with crazy innovative ideas (like corn cookies with all the corn – dehydrated, powdered, ground, all of it) is changing the way I think about rules in the kitchen.

What I’m reading:

Austin literary city guide

If you haven’t already found the blog Eat This Poem, head on over. Probably my favorite blog of the moment. Nicole mixes food and poetry and it’s the best. This week, I loved reading the Austin Literary City Guide and reviewing her Instagrams during April (National Poetry Month). Find guides on LOTS of other cities, or submit a food poem!


A blog I discovered in the WordPress reader. Darya’s photos are sunny and lovely. Her recipes are a combination of dishes that are new (and delicious looking) to me, from North African or Indian meals to classic recipes from her town in northern France. It’s a little slice of life in Lille. And she writes in French and English, which is GREAT practice for someone going to France this summer (ME! ME! ME!).

Braided Lives

This novel has had a greater effect on my writing than any I’ve read for years. It’s about Jill, a young woman from Detroit, going to college and coming-of-age in the 1950s. I read this book in bed into the wee hours, gripping it, my heart thumping with all the urgency of adolescence. Highly recommended, especially for twenty-something women writers…



What! There are two ways to collect a CSA box every week in Waco (that I know of). One is through The Home Grown Farm and one is through World Hunger Relief. With Texas being the worst state for eating locally, this is good news, people!

Farmer’s Market is huge

SO MANY PEOPLE AT THE FARMERS MARKET. Much produce. So herbs. Many succulent. The farmers market in town is absolutely bursting with spring produce. And eggs. I’m loving these flavorful just-laid eggs from Pecan Bluff Farm.


Act Locally Waco

In April, I started following this weekly email blast about happenings (from job openings to arts festivals) in the Waco community. I’ve heard a lot of people mention that they never hear about community events here in town until after they’ve happened, when they’re reading a synopsis in the newspaper. Ashley is holding down the fort at Act Locally Waco, and she’s keeping readers informed.

Waco WordPress Meetup Group

Waco is getting its first WordPress Meetup! WordPress is a blog publishing platform (this blog is hosted on WordPress!) and a Meetup is just a meeting of like-minded individuals with a common goal or interest. I’ll confess, I’m co-organizing the group with Carla Pendergraft, a local WordPress website designer, so I have a special interest in the group. The first Waco WordPress Meetups are informational meet and greets. We want to reach out to Wacoans using WordPress or interested in getting involved. We’ll see what members want to get out of the group, and plan our future meetings from there.

No level of expertise necessary. Designers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, developers. All are welcome. You can be a developer with 8 years of experience or a person Googling “WordPress” and scratching your head. Come as you are. Visit our Meetup page for more information.

That’s the end of my Monday updates. Please follow me and share my blog with others! This is just starting to get fun!


  1. Awww Randle! I was reading your post as usual, thinking hmm I don’t have a Youtube account, and hmm, I’ll never be able to order one of those gorgeous looking cakes, and hmm I don’t have Instragram, and I don’t even know what an App is (I know, I am late on catching up with technology), and Hey Ottolenghi is actually releasing a book called “Plenty MORE” quite soon (Plenty is great, but my favorite is Jerusalem), and then I saw you mentioning my blog!!! Wow, thank you, that is so kind. And really, do let me know if you need any information about anything in France; I know heaps of restaurants, cafés, unusual museums in Paris and Lille and can ask around for other places. And Lille is only an hour away from Paris, so I can easily hop on a train and meet you for drinks in Paris (or you can always do the same and come for a one-day visit to Lille). I am serious!

    1. Darya! Isn’t that funny how that happens? We’re always reading something and comparing it to ourselves? Well anyway, I love Tortore! Keep doing it please! And honestly I’m a little nervous that there is a “Plenty MORE” coming out because I’m already trying to keep myself from putting Plenty and Ottolenghi into my Amazon cart. Okay, so here’s the plan for France. We’re going from Geneva to Paris on a Monday and spending the week there (leaving Friday morning). I’d love to arrange something where we visit you in Lille or you meet us in the city! As long as you don’t mind that my husband is there, haha. He’s a great food appreciator.

  2. […] adapted from Sami Tamimi and Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook. You’ve already heard me raving about the book if you’ve been around here lately. I decided to serve mine with spiced chickpeas […]

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