Shredded parsnips and apples keep the cake moist and tender. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Zbigniew Bzdak

Lie back, demands the hair professional. This is a clarifying shampoo, she explains. It helps your hair focus on a time when it was pure, before you stripped, and parched and broke it. It’s called Bain d’Existence.

Choose a conditioner made from keratin, or protein, same thing. Did you pass chemistry?

Your hair is fine, weak; it’s desperate for discipline. You should color it. Color opens the cuticle and fills it with light, magnifying each strand. Like a perspective drawing with tiny objects in the distance and your hair — huge — in the foreground.

Think layers. Layers stack up into a voluptuous mound — if you have a round haircut. Not if you have a square cut. You have a trapezoid; that’s wrong. See how that flattens everything out?

Stop sweating; it discourages your hair. It’s struggling with depression. Use the round brush to pull the strands straight. Hold the blow-dryer perpendicular. The right angle gives your hair strength, resilience and a sense of entitlement.

Curl with a flat iron. Spritz with dry oil. Now spray. But don’t actually spray the spray. That can burn a hole in the ozone shield around your head and deflate the look. Pat it on, and you’re good to go. Your hair looks super smart.

PARSNIP CAKE

Prep: 25 minutes

Bake: 25 minutes

Makes: 1 cake, serves 8

Carrot cake’s sweet, blond cousin. Good round, square or trapezoidal.

  • 1½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 3 large parsnips, peeled, grated on small shredding holes
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, grated on large shredding holes
  • 3 large eggs
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon each: ground nutmeg, salt
  • Cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
  • ½ cup toasted and chopped pecans

1. Stir: In a large saucepan, melt butter, both types of sugar and maple syrup. Cool slightly. Stir in remaining ingredients, except frosting and pecans.

2. Bake: Butter two 8-inch square or two 9-inch round pans. Pour in batter. Bake at 350 degrees until a toothpick stabbed in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans, 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.

3. Frost: Spread the top of one layer with half the frosting. Stack on the second layer and spread the top with remaining frosting (leave sides of cake bare). Sprinkle with pecans.

Frosting: Beat 4 ounces unsalted butter and 8 ounces cream cheese fluffy. Beat in 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons milk.

Provenance: Adapted from Good Food magazine.

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