I met Sonodoro (Dreamer) through Yahoo Personals when I was 23(ish). With my dating history, I was cautious. Sonodoro didn’t push. He sent many emails.

He was a poet… always carefully selecting the right word. Good spelling. Good grammar.


We had more phone conversations.

He was passionate about stories and was in fact a dreamer. He dreamt of publishing a book of poetry and short stories. He dreamt of travel. He loved his mom and family. He wanted his own family. He wanted a woman with similar passions and he wanted to dote on her.

Every time his name appeared on my caller ID, my heart raced. I could not wait to meet him in person!

We arranged to meet at the Starbucks at Western and Hollywood (in Los Angeles, CA).

3-21-14 Starbucks

I walked in the front door. I took a quick survey of the place…

A group of people eating and chatting.

Some girl doing the crosswords.

A dude reading a book.

Nope not there.

I didn’t make eye contact with anyone and certainly didn’t pause long enough to actually see if Sonodoro was there. With nerves of Jell-o, I walked straight through and out the back door.

While collecting myself, my phone rang. It was Sonodoro: “Did you just walk through?”


I took a deep breath and walked back in. He waved me over. Yup, he was the dude with the book. (A guy that reads and likes words; I was in love.) He ordered a white chocolate thing and I ordered a caramel macchiato. We split a slice of sour cream coffee cake. And, he paid. (Something, I was not accustomed to since my college boyfriend insisted on going Dutch with everything, even special occasions.)

3-21-14 SB Sourcream Coffee Cake

Sonodoro took my hand and held it as we talked. He was just as poetic and caring as he was on the phone. His ears were pierced with 8mm gauged earrings. Even going to a ridiculously liberal arts college in Boston, this was still surprising.

I noted the tattoo on his forearm: flames with Chinese characters. I confessed that I didn’t know he had tattoos or piercings. He said those facts were clear in his profile pictures and telling me would be redundant.

My computer was 5 years old and was limping through the world wide web with its sad RAM and one of those free AOL dialup discs that everyone had in the early 2000s.

3-21-14 AOL disc

Part of me didn’t believe he had pictures, but a larger part wasn’t sure if my computer had the stamina to access them, even if they were there. Nonetheless…

Sonodoro was a poet and liked words!

He was unlike anyone I dated back in New England (not that my experience was that deep). He was raised in Los Angeles and was brought up by a coyote. As I puzzled through how he was raised by a pack of coyotes (like Mowgli in the Jungle Book who was raised by wolves), he clarified: He was born in Guatemala and with his family, he was brought north by a person who specializes in smuggling new residents across the border (a coyote).

3-21-14 Mowgli

Two hours later, I realized I had to get ready for my afternoon job and he was late to do home repairs for his mother. We made plans for another date….

This recipe is inspired by Ina Garten.

Coffee Cake:
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Set oven racks to middle racks.

PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

In a Medium bowl, cream together:
Butter, sugar and eggs.
Add sour cream and mix well.

3-21-14 Cream Ingredients

In a separate bowl sift together:
Flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Slowly add to the butter mixture. Your batter will feel a stiff and have more elasticity than traditional cake batter. When the ingredients are well blended, stop. (You don’t want to over-mix.)

3-21-14 Elastic Ingredients

As with any recipe, it can be modified to suit your particular need. Rather than one giant coffee cake that doesn’t look nearly as beautiful after a couple slices have been taken, today, I opted to make individual coffee cakes. This way, I can give multiple little cakes away. Also, I’ll have some left over to freeze and eat throughout the week.

I used well-greased ramekins for some and broke out cupcake wrappers for others.

Streusel topping:
Put ingredients in a steep-rimmed bowl. Take two stainless-steel knives and cut the ingredients together. Eventually pea size (or smaller) bits will form.

2014-03-22 07.56.20

3-21-14 Coffee

Coffee helps get me through the tedium of cutting together the streusel topping.

Spoon dollops of batter into cupcake wrappers or ramekins. If you opt for a full cake,  put half of the batter into a well-greased pan. Spread with a knife.

Sprinkle batter with streusel. Spoon more batter on top of the streusel you just put down. The batter should be just past ¾ of the way up the wall in whatever cooking container you use.

2014-03-22 07.57.20

Sprinkle with more streusel.

Muffins: 30 minutes
Cake: 40-50 minutes

When time is nearly up, check with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, remove cake(s) from oven and set out to cool.

3-21-14 Muffins

A Cautionary Tale:
The individual coffee cakes are slightly more labor-intensive than one may imagine. Also, as I was reminded this morning: Put ramekins on a baking sheet. This way, if streusel bubbles over it will not make a giant mess. This morning when the streusel caramelized, it dripped onto the bottom of the oven, setting off the smoke detector. The darn thing wouldn’t shut off and I had to unwire it. Then I locked the cat in a room and opened all the doors and windows to the outside. Once I realized what I did wrong, I ran to the oven and put the ramekins on a baking sheet. But, I still had a big mess to clean up.

3-21-14 Mess

For the…


Just go to Starbucks.


  1. Pingback: *A SECOND YEAR, A SECOND THANKSGIVING (Part 1) | Stuffed Dates

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