Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Apple Harvest Loaf Cake

apple loaf cake photo

Everyone has a story. Everything has a story. This Apple Harvest Loaf Cake has a story, but it’s not one that requires you to step away for a moment to grab a couple mugs of tea, and say, “Uh-uh” to assure me that you are listening, as you multitask in the kitchen. The story to this loaf cake isn’t exactly a story that requires you to sit up, slide to the edge of your seat, and pay close attention to each word I share with you, however, I do ask you to listen because I know somewhere in all of my rambling, there’ll be something that makes you say, “Makes sense!” Or “Phew! I’m glad I’m not the only one!” or even, “I needed this.”

The story behind this autumnal loaf is one that reminded me of something I’d forgotten. I’d forgotten about feeling. I was lost in “I think”s and “however”s, for months- since the beginning of the year. Everything since then has been about my thoughts; in the midst of constant thinking, I’d forgotten the most important part of life- feeling. I’d forgotten to ask myself how I felt about certain situations, and at times I’d break down, hold my head, and on some days, I’d want to stay in bed the entire day, sulking and trying to forget everything. On some days, I did just that- I sat in bed, waiting for something to happen, passing time reading novels and blasting Indie hits on my headset trying to forget about everything.

cutting apples photo cutting apples photo

I think it’s natural for us to have these moments of melancholy once in a blue moon; there are times for cheeriness and there are times that require laying in bed in your favorite sweater and doing nothing. At the end of your melancholic state, or at least, when you try to put an end to it, a good friend always comes in handy. Not a friend that is only great to hang-out with, but one who listens and does kick you in the butt to remind you to live life. I have a good friend (hi, Lauren!) like that, and recently, in the middle of chaos and worry, and wanting to sit in bed with the covers over my head, Lauren reminded me to “just do what feels right” and to let life turn the pages on its own.

So, I did, and I am. And I slid out of bed with my favorite sweater, and baked a loaf cake.

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Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Pistachio Polvorones (Spanish Shortbread)

pistachio polvorones pistachio polvorones

Since we last spoke, I’ve spent a great deal of my time testing and revising old and new recipes for the proposal, meeting with friends, and more recently- battling the nightmares of food poisoning (Just mentioning it makes me feel like someone’s going to say, “Kam- TMI.” Sorry.). I won’t go on-and-on about how the past several weeks flew by, as I fear there might be just one too many of those posts in the archives. And I’m definitely not going to whine yap about this entire food poisoning experience and how it’s basically made up my mind (for the time being) on cutting meat entirely out of my diet. Instead, I’d much rather talk about these cookies because in the midst of all this chaos, I took a moment to breath and bake something that can banish any bit of stress at 500 feet.

pistachio polvorones

These Pistachio Polvorones are something I’ve been wanting to share with you since my visit to San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery back in April. After ordering a few of their utterly perfect (traditional) version of these cookies, I was inspired to share a recipe for my take on these half-spheres of deliciousness. So, after months of putting this recipe on the back burner, this seems like a better time than any to finally share it.
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Easy Fig Tarts & News!

fig tarts

Getting my hands on fresh figs during any time of year, is like hitting the jackpot. On Sunday evening, my sister, dad, and I were walking past an Arab grocery store, when something caught my eye- figs. I stopped in the middle of the busy street, turned around, and shuffled back. Large sized punnets of fresh figs were on sale for $1.29, “I need to get a few baskets of these!” I felt like I was committing a crime for buying figs for so cheap.

fig tarts

I pulled each transparent-sea green package haphazardly filled with fresh figs out of the chalk-toned wooden crate, and inspected each package. Nearly every container of the figs were squidged from being thrown into the baskets; some had already gone moldy from the heat, but there they were- two baskets of perfectly ripe, dark teardrop-shaped figs, free of any imperfections. I carefully handed the baskets- treating them as if they were rare objects- to the mustachioed clerk behind the counter; he smiled as he bagged the fruit, and said, “I see you found good one’s. The baskets have been out there all day, I’m surprised any survived from the heat.” I was too.

I had two plans for these deep blackish-purple beauties- to eat them as is, and to bake the rest into-the first thought that came to my mind- fig tarts.

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Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Roasted Tomato and Thyme Soup

roasted tomato soup

In all honesty, much baking hasn’t been done in the past few weeks. There was a lemon drizzle cake, some cookies, and a few other things, but that’s about it. Days have become busier, and fall is slowly beginning to settle in.

At the very moment that I write this, I sit with a cup of tea, and a notepad filled with notes for this post. Outside, rain collects in small puddles on the cobblestone walkway, clusters of friends gather under umbrellas and walk briskly to class. Some are running to class, and some are walking slowly- balancing an umbrella in one hand, and in the other, a large Starbucks cup.

roasted tomatoes, onions, & garlic

It was like this last month. For an entire week, it rained. That week, if I remember correctly, was followed by a warm week- it wasn’t severe, but it did require the air conditioner to be turned on. After that, Hurricane Irene followed.

During the hurricane, all I could think about was the moment I made a this soup for myself, which I had made during the first week of much needed rain. I was home alone, we had a somewhat significant amount of tomatoes waiting to be used up, and the depressing grey clouds that covered the sky made me long for a bit of color in my day.
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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Twice Baked Cheese & Chive Potatoes

twice-baked potatoes

I know baked potatoes aren’t something that most people would normally rave over, but I can’t find it in myself not to rave over these twice baked cheese & chive potatoes. I mean, really, who doesn’t like a baked potato? These aren’t your normal baked potato filled with cheese, salt, pepper, and (dare I say?) a liberal amount of ketchup.

When I last made these potatoes, they were all part of a simple meal that went with this roasted chicken. We called the chicken, a simple salad, fresh bread, and these gloriously sophisticated potatoes, dinner.

twice-baked potatoes

Although I did mention that they are a bit revved-up from your normal twice baked potatoes, I am not stressing that these are entirely sophisticated because in all actuality, my version tastes almost like those ruffled potato chips with cheddar and sour cream that you are secretly obsessed with (okay, maybe it’s just me).

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