Saturday, November 3, 2012

First Loaf

When I was in middle school, I made my first loaf of bread.  It was whole grain bread, full of molasses and wheat flour and thick rolled oats.  It came together, rose, and baked perfectly.  It was like magic.  I was prepared for the first loaf to be an absolute flop.  But it wasn't; I made giant avocado and mustard sandwiches on it.  I toasted it and drizzled honey on it.  It was my bread.  Even though I branched out to white bread, to challah, to brioche, and to french bread, the sweet oat loaf held a special place in my heart.

On Thursday I made my first homemade gluten free bread.  From a mix, but still.  It turned out well -yeasty and hearty and full of holes.  It was also pale yellow and tasted pretty rice-like.  *sigh*  It toasted up fine, though, and was the perfect vehicle for melted butter and local homemade buckwheat honey and blueberry jam.

The next loaf will be even better.



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Corndog Muffins > Other Muffins

It's no secret that I love muffins.  They're a pretty great option for the single cook, because they are pre-portioned, easily freezable, and fit into all of my tupperware.  It's an affair that can't be broken up.

I'm fairly experienced in the muffin world, but I had certainly never had a corndog muffin before.  I've been sick and sleepy all week, and everything in me screamed for carbs and meat.  What better way to solve that with some delicious muffins that pack a meaty punch?

After scouring the web.  Well, Pinterest, actually, I found A Sweet Simple Life who had a recipe for such muffiny goodness.  I adapted it a little, so keep reading to find a cheesy, filling, meaty muffin that can make YOU renounce any other muffin for good.



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Making New

I grew up in a family with a strong culinary tradition.  We ate real food, lovingly prepared by my mom.  We sat at our old, dented kitchen table every single night to plates of warm casserole, savory pie, chicken, rice, spaghetti, lasagnas, piping hot bread, soup, and perfect baked potatoes.  We'd tell stories over desserts of cake and ice cream and cookies of every imaginable kind.  My mom made the simplest of dishes seem elegant.  Every one of them was special because she made it.  She didn't just go through the motions to get food on the table.  Homemaking was and is my mother's job, and she did and does it (like she did and does everything) eminently well.

I started keeping a cookbook in middle school.  I created a huge collection of photos and memories that I planned to carry with me my whole life, my culinary heritage if you will.  I carefully documented each experiment, each hand-scooped cookie, each soup.  I rated and noted and described every dish.  I soaked up every cooking lesson as I watched my mom crimp piecrusts and frost cakes and brown meat.  I made those recipes my own until my hands deftly mixed fat into flour and dabbed ricotta into lasagna noodles and picked every last scrap of meat off of roasted chickens.  I added my own notes to the margins.  I dreamed of a long future making cheeseburger for my college friends, coming back to my first apartment at the end of a long day to chicken divan, and someday making fried chicken for my kids.

I know now that that's not going to happen.  As the holidays come up, I'm realizing more and more just what I'm missing.  My relationship with my mom is strengthened by food and the love and care and joy that we've shared over loaves of bread and cookies and delicious piping-hot pies.  I miss that more than I ever could have anticipated.

So I'm suddenly in a position I was never prepared for.  It's daunting and strange and filled with crumbling piecrusts and overly dry muffins and rubbery eggplant lasagna.  It doesn't taste or smell or look like my childhood.  It's full of ingredients and flavors and cooking tricks that my mother has never used.  Wallowing isn't going to solve it, though.  I'm researching new Christmas cookies.  I'm making new flour blends.  I'm learning to roast my own chicken and to remember to buy xanthan gum.  I'm creating my own culinary history from scratch, and I think it's going to be ok.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bad Blogger Award AND Smitten Kitchen Goes Gluten Free

Senior year: 1, Blogging: 0 is how it's going so far.  Everything is pretty much a giant vortex of time-sucking-ness from homework (how did I manage to pick ALL intense classes in the one semester I'm taking all 100 and 200 level courses meant for freshmen and sophomores??!!) to debate, to just about everything.  But I miss blogging, and I miss baking and cooking.  There's not a lot of that happening either.  I'm pulling the cookbooks out again, because there's only so many rice chex a girl can eat. 

So today I made these:



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crunch Time

It's getting down to crunch time here in the land I love.  Just two weeks left before I am back on American soil.  Wow.

I'm going to be taking a blogging hiatus from both blogs until then.

See you on the flip side!

Homemade Corn Tortilla with Sweet Potatoes and Chicken

Roasted Mangoes and Red Onions with Black Rice Pasta in Thai Curry Sauce
 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Honey Butter Cornbread


When I was little, one of my favorite weekend breakfasts was cornbread dotted with butter and covered doused in real maple syrup.  This was also my dad's favorite breakfast, so the two of us would sit at our kitchen island and talk politics and eat syrupy cornbread.  I felt awfully grown up.

Unfortunately, the long list of ingredients on out boxed cornbread mix scared me long before they were actually off limits.  I don't think partially hydrogenated vegetable oil belongs in any meal, much less breakfast.  Today, I had a real breakfast cornbread craving, and with all the ingredients tucked safely in my fridge and cupboard, I decided to go for it.  The results were, in a word, perfect.  In fact, I'm devouring a nice big piece with butter and syrup as we speak.

Keep reading for the natural, sweet, wholesome, and delicious version of my favorite cornbread from childhood.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lemon Almond Pancakes


Last time I made gluten-free pancakes, they were pretty gross.  Rubbery, flat, and 100% blah.  After making both cookies and cake from almond flour, I realized I really liked the stuff.  My last almond-flour pancake experiment was also semi-successful, so I had a good idea it might work.  To "replace" the gluten (what keeps regular wheat pancakes together) I used a lot of eggs -4, in fact.

I came up with this recipe.  It's not perfect yet, but the best GF recipe I've tried.  Simple, too, because it doesn't use an abundance of gums and blends and extras.  The only big thing I'd change is fiddling about to reduce one of the eggs.  These were quite eggy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tall, Dark, and Handsome

My parents both really like Medjool Dates.  I can't stand the things.  I think they taste weird.  I pick them out of my granola, I extract them from salads.  I don't understand how some people rave about them and call them dessert. Where I come from, a chocolate craving must be honored.


So how did I choose to make these?  I am a big fan of no or low added sugar.  In fact, most of the time I make dessert, I reduce the sugar by at least a quarter or substitute with honey.  I use raw sugar whenever I can.  Making a delicious cookie with fruit as the sweetener?  Yes please!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Food and You: Healthy? NOT.


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College can be a really difficult time to eat healthy.  Even if you steer clear of pizza and too many cookies, there are lots of things we are told are healthy that actually aren't.  After the jump, see a list of five common so-called "healthy" foods and better substitutions, as well as a "bonus" tip ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Simplest (and most delicious) Soup Ever

Yes, it's summer.  Yes, I had a craving for tomato soup and grilled cheese.  Lucky thing, because the farmstands are totally overflowing with fresh, glowy, beautiful tomatoes.  I knew these beauties could really shine in soup, so I went ahead and picked up just over two kilos (four and a half pounds) of assorted tomatoes -green and stripey, romas, yellow, red, sauce tomatoes.  They were all perfect and ripe and juicy and colorful.  Just look!


Strawberry Cake

Mmmmmmmm, delicious.  That's what I thought when I saw that cake on this sweetly-named website.  My first foray into gluten-free sweets was a pretty delicious success.  I (as usual) made a couple changes to suit my tastes, what I had, and what was in season.  Without further ado, pics (cause you know you want them) and my adaptations.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Arepa Caprese Sandwiches

Whew.  This whole "no bread" thing is quite the challenge.  Thankfully I discovered the "Arepa" a kind of South American corn English muffin.  Incredibly simple to make and very delicious with a wide array of spreads, they're my new go to.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

New Leaf

It's been a couple weeks now, folks, but my silence has been for a good reason.

For a variety of reasons, cutting gluten out of my diet was a much-needed change.  I cannot begin to explain how much better I feel and look -inside and out.  I didn't know I could feel so GOOD.  No idea that I could have so much energy and feel pleasantly sated after eating.  All full and happy tummy, clearer skin, and bright shiny eyes over here :)  And so much ENERGY!  ENERGY!  ENERGY!  Did I mention that?


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Buttermilk and Berries


Baking blogs are just so inspiring.  I'm never sure how they manage to make their cakes so fluffy and light, their cookies so thick and gooey, or their piecrusts so perfectly browned.  Yes, I can make all of these things, but not with the same artistic flair as the likes of Desserts for Breakfast or Smitten Kitchen can.

While perusing the artful photography and recipes of the latter, I came across a delicious-looking buttermilk cake.  Just the thing to make for the tea party I was planning.  Light, lemony, sweet, and almost puddingy in the center, it was just delectable.  The sweetness of the fruit (almost 2 cups of fresh fruit in the whole thing!!) was fresh and crisp, and the lemon helped ensure the cake itself was never cloying.

I halved the recipe and baked about 50 minutes in a loaf pan (with a little tinfoil hat to prevent over-browning).  Just a note about all the butter you see greasing the pan: comments on the recipe said that even nonstick pans, like mine, didn't work well and their cakes fell apart.  I was taking NO chances.

The loaf made 12 servings, and, not to brag, but every single one was delicious.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Grapefruit Remixed

I love reading the blog "No Big Dill."  Aesthetically, it's lovely, and full of inspiring sewing.  Maybe someday I'll practice up and get that good, but for now I'm sticking with the food.  When I saw this in her recipe page, I thought I'd make my own broiled grapefruits.

I mixed some melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together to make a paste.  I smeared it over the top of two grapefruit halves.  I broiled/baked until the whole thing was melty and warm.  Mmmmmmmmm.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Meatless Meatballs

I'm not vegetarian anymore, but I still LOVE my veggies.  I just feel at my best when I eat less meat, especially red meat, and I save money too.  A win-win, as far as I'm concerned.  After seeing these yummy (and easy) looking eggplant meatballs on "A Cozy Kitchen" (what a great name, right?) I had to act!  I really like eggplant, I could honestly have eaten the whole bowl of roasted slices right out of the oven!  My patience was rewarded, though, and the resulting "meat"balls were super-delicious.  I adapted the recipe a little and made half of it.  I ended up with ten smallish veggie-balls.


Get the recipe after the jump.


Banana Breakfast Squares

I like shaking up breakfast.  Cereal and milk one day, veggie eggs (scrambled eggs + frozen mixed veggies) the next.  Pancakes are, of course, a constant star.

With an overripe banana and some almost-overripe peaches hanging out in my room, I decided to act.  It wasn't enough for quick bread, and I wanted something a little healthier anyway.  After a little peeking, I found this recipe from Gingerbread and Bagels on Pinterest.  Healthy, yummy, and something to use up all the fruit :)

I replaced the milk with 1/2 cup pureed cooked peaches and left the sugar out.  I ate the results plain, but they would also be good with jam or fresh fruit.


*EDIT* the blogger seems to have disappeared, so here's the recipe.

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats 
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar (I used peach puree, but you could use any sweet fruit puree)
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
 Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten 
1 large mashed banana 
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl.  Mix together and pour into a lightly-buttered 8x8-inch baking pan.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pancake Days: Lemony Bananas Foster

My sourdough starter is nice and strong again and ready to make tonight's dinner.  As for syrup, I didn't have any maple, so I made Bananas Foster.  A tiny bit of brown sugar, some lemon juice, some cinnamon, and two very ripe bananas later this resulted:


Yes folks, the pancake plate is back again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Peach Pie Brioche

Thought I'd go back to yeast-bread baking while I wait for my Sourdough starter to bulk up again.  After seeing this beautiful (and processed-sugar-free) brioche, I figured I'd do my own twist, haha.

So I made peach pie bread.

Instead of cinnamon-sugar for the filling, I used half a jar of peach-applesauce and sprinkled cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins over it.  I also replaced half the butter with more of the fruit puree.


Swedish Eats

Fun fact, all of Sweden (well the indoor bits, anyway) smell like cinnamon sugar.  I kid you not, it is DA BOMB.

They also have delicious pastries (the source of this delicious smell):

They sell marmalade in tubes, like sausages:

They have Skippy-brand peanut butter in regular stores:

And Nutella-banana sandwiches are just as good here as they are everywhere:



Sunday, June 10, 2012

Pancake Days: Coconut Almond

My sourdough starter spend the last couple weeks chilling (hah) in the refrigerator sans food.  This is totally ok, it just needs a little extra TLC and strengthening time when it comes back out, before it can be used again.  While I wait for next weekend, I decided to try ANOTHER new pancake recipe.  Dear me, branching out!

Today I made coconut almond pancakes with coconut milk and toasted almond and coconut shavings. I topped them (and filled them) with butter, cherries, and blackberries.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baby Cakes

I have a love affair with this blog.  It's partially the name -how can you NOT like something called "Desserts for Breakfast?"  After scrolling through page after page of drool-worthy photos, I had bookmarked about ten different recipes that I just HAD to make.  HAD TO.  Given my time, monetary, and kitchen restraints, I settled on a simpler-looking one.  These adorable little sandwich cookies really got me.

Om nom.


My beloved neighbor is moving out.  My cookie muse, so to speak, with his inspiring love of all baked sweets.  Mostly cookies.  I call him cookie monster, sometimes.  I baked these for his going-away-bbq and because he squealed when he saw the recipe.  I'm going to miss that one.

He provided the jam, black cherry.  I dipped most of them into a plain dark chocolate ganache, but did one or two in CHILI-chocolate ganache.  Oh my.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Peachy Keen

I love a good peach.  Their juicy sweetness, textural perfection, and versatility make it a fruit I'm proud to call my favorite.  (Like blueberries, strawberries, oranges...  Playing favorites is tough!).  They're just beginning to show up at the groceries at ludicrous prices, so I bought just two.  After eating the first one a little too soon, I waited a nice long time with number two.  My patience was rewarded today with this delicious lunch:


Peaches sliced on Wasa crackers topped with peanut butter, ground almonds, and shaved coconut. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soup for Summer

The weather here has been anything but summery, of late.  Rainy, dreary, and chilly, it has called for soup.  I picked up a little Jamie Oliver magazine at the Bremen airport, after realizing just how long the wait would be.  P got a dictionary and we learned words to help us get out of trouble, like "to deny everything."  Leugnen, if you're curious.

The ham-mint soup sounded really appealing, and I figured it would be a good way to assimilate, given that Germans like their Schweinefleisch (pork). 

I ended up making it without the mint, and added a little pasta tonight since I didn't want to brave the cold to buy fresh bread.  You don't buy bread for the week here, you purchase it by the day.


American Style

Thanks to our local Asian grocery, S. and I were recently equipped with a bag of (expensive) organic light brown sugar.  It was nestled in between blocks of palm sugar and other curious exotic sweeteners.  We decided to stick with what we knew, because...


Monday, May 28, 2012

Food I Didn't Make

I have culinary adventures both in and OUT of my kitchen.  Enjoying some family Bubble Tea (Perlentee) time in Munich.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Orange You Glad...

I like Orange food didn't you know?  Especially when it tastes like Oranges.  I can't figure out if Oranges were named after Orange, or if Orange was named after Oranges?  Very confusing.  Something to ponder while I made this:


The most time-consuming cake in the world.  And OH so worth it.  Oh my, yes.

You'll recall my recent obsession with the combination of orange and chocolate.  Given that, it's no surprise how I reacted when I saw this.  Please click on this link and take a moment to look at the pictures.  The flaky sea salt.  The dark chocolate frosting.  The moist, dense, orange cake.  Oh my.  Oh my. 

I decided right as I saw the first picture that I HAD to make it.  HAD TO.  Despite the fact that I am leaving on a fabulous adventure on Sunday (more on that on my other blog), I needed to create this masterpiece.  Right.  Away.

So being a powerful independent woman I seized my destiny and did just that.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Pancake Days: Orange and Blackberry (almost) Gluten Free


What we eat for breakfast says a lot about who we are, culturally.  That makes me sound a little like Dr. Emma, "excuse-me-while-I-button-my-tweed-suit" the breakfast anthropologist.  No matter.  I grew up eating cereal every day.  Hot breakfasts were served for lunch or dinner (think coffee cake, scrambled eggs, pancakes, and bacon).  Here in Germany, breakfast is also cold.  People eat bread plain (like a pretzel or a Quarktasche) or rolls with jam, cold cuts, cheese, butter, or nutella.  They also eat muesli and yogurt.  I rather like this system too, and I've gotten quite used to it.  I just can't QUITE get on board with the sit-down hot breakfast.  It just seems like too much food, too warm, and too early.

Except.

I have a real thing for pancakes.  Thick.  Fluffy.  Golden.  Delicious.  Pancakes.  It's kind of a recent thing.  An infatuation, if you will.  Not sure if it will stand the test of time.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chocolate for Breakfast

Starting my day off right with kefir, kamut, cocoa powder, and frozen cherries.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

American Food: Marshmallows

I've been cooking and baking for a long time.  At this point, I know what a pinch of salt looks like, the science behind a good cookie dough, and what consistency a cake batter should have.  I know when to flip a pancake to get that perfect golden color, how to tell if a watermelon is ripe, how to bake a loaf of bread, and that grilled cheese sandwiches are never done when you think they are.

I know a lot.  I am so grateful to all the people who taught me to cook.  Grateful, too, for the time and space I've had to experiment.  I'm quite simply blessed.

But there's still stuff I DON'T know.  How to work with sugar is one of them.  It's incredibly frustrating, to be honest.  Sugar has a mind of its own and is devilishly sticky.  For bowl-scraping-don't-waste-a-drop people like me, it's especially aggravating.
After a long and unsuccessful search, I decided to make some marshmallows.  They don't really exist here (except, uhm, in mouse-shapes?) and we're cooking out again tomorrow.  S'mores are one of the hallmarks of American cookouts.  I needed to introduce them to the Fatherland ;)  Continue reading to see HOW.


Friday, May 11, 2012

Pudding for Pudding



For lots of people, Rice Pudding is the ultimate comfort food.  They have memories of their grandmothers ladling spoonfuls of the stuff filled to bursting with plump juicy raisins and sweet cinnamon.  I don't remember the first time I ate rice pudding, but it certainly wasn't in such a setting.  It was probably at summer camp or somewhere institutional like that.  Since it was clearly not memorable, I probably found it just ok.  For whatever reason I have always found it a bit "blah."  It just never excited me the way a chocolate layer cake or a crumble or ice cream would, until now.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On Repeat

Have you ever liked something so much that you wanted to make it again and again?  I have.  Just pulled a second batch of orange cookies out of the oven.

This time with cocoa powder in the place of part of the flour ( I also used more orange zest and used spelt flour in place of the whole wheat flour).


Sweet.

Monday, May 7, 2012

FYI: The Goodness Keeps Going

***
Welcoming Monday with cocoa-orange-coconut qinoa.  Happy breakfasting.  Thank you God for the little things in life.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

For My Grown-Up Taste Buds

My maternal grandmother always had this bowl of potpourri on the table in the basement kitchen.  I remember  being fascinated by it for several reasons.  Firstly, because when I held a chunk right under my nose it was strong enough to make me want to sneeze.  Secondly, because it was her favorite shade of cranberry-red that populated the whole house.  Thirdly, because there was a whole dried pomegranate, right smack dab in the middle.  When I shook it, the seeds inside made a pleasant rattling sound.  One Christmas I remember running down to the kitchen to check on that potpourri bowl (the work of a seven-year-old is just never-ending!) and finding a new addition.

There, right next to the pomegranate was a ball the size of an orange wrapped in foil to look like, well, an orange.  My mom explained that it was her favorite sort of chocolate, orange-flavored.  I was certain (one of my many drastic seven-year-old opinions) that nothing could be quite so gross.

Fast forward 12 years (uhm.  wow.) and I've discovered the delights of orange and chocolate.  Not sure how it happened, but one morning I woke up determined to make orange chocolate cookies.  Thankfully this bright and cheerful blog had a post dedicated to orange cookies.  After dipping them in a little chocolate, I had my fix.

No pictures for now :(  If I manage to get my act together before I devour them, I'll add some ;)  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Beets Me




I made pasta once before.  It was sticky and eggy and not quite delicious.  Passable, yes.  Fabulous, no.  Pasta is cheap, and I don’t like it all that much anyway, so why bother making it?  After discovering the blog Pure Vege, that I highlighted in a previous post, I knew that attitude had to change.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lemon Tea Bread

I've been having a less-than stellar week.  It's been a little tough to keep my head above water for whatever reason.  When I feel that kind of stress, my go-to activity is cooking.  Somehow the motions and and control are calming.  Evaluating, mixing, spreading, baking.  I love the repetition and the peace.  Today I made lemon tea bread, because I was craving a sweet dessert.  I adapted this recipe to use up some of the packages and ingredients (including lemons) currently populating my corner of the fridge.  Pumpkin Lemon Bread was born.


Continue reading for the recipe

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food Philosophizing

I discovered this lovely blog yesterday.  The author's "about" page includes this wonderful quote, encapsulating something I've wanted to put into words for quite some time:

"Cooking is a reflection of lifestyle and culture. It tells about the qualities we appreciate and adhere to. It is a form of social interaction and a way to share affection and care. It is a primary need that, unfortunately, is devaluated by the modern society. It bothers me."
and then later...
"Every spoonful [of food] is a gift. It makes cooking and eating an act of devotion." 
wise words.
***

Friday, April 27, 2012

Delicious Failure

**Another repost, again in celebration of my new/old cooking blog.  And in celebration of Black Forest Cake.  You don't really need a reason.**


I'll be the first to admit that "failure" and "delicious" are not common pairs.  This is especially true in the culinary world, where the former conjures (at least for me) visions of soggy souffles and over-mayonaised tuna salad.  In this case, however, I am glad to report that a disappointing cake experience was rescued -with delectable results.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

How To Make Your Own: Pumpkin Puree

**Cross-Posting from my other blog in a double celebration.  One, because I now have a cooking blog, and two, because I found squash at the farmers' market yesterday.  Cue the celebratory trumpets.  Or just this awesome blog post**

I love pumpkin.  It's got a weird name, a weird shape, a weird flavor, and is stuck being the mascot of Halloween.  Willing or unwilling, we'll never know.  For whatever reason, this winter squash and I get on well.  I've used canned pumpkin for lots of different things -to replace some of the butter/oil in baking, to make bread, pie, macaroni and cheese, and soup.  I've even eaten it plain with blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup.  Ok, more than a drizzle.  Bottom line, I love pumpkin, and I am headed to a place where the cheerful orange Libby's cans will be lacking (or cost $10 apiece which is pretty much the same thing).  With two uncarved pumpkins left over from Halloween, I figured it was time to make my own roasted, pureed pumpkin.  Here's how to do it, complete with step-by-step pictures, after the jump.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Great Döner Vergleich of 2012: Part I

(the reigning champ -see cellphone and hands for scale)

It's pretty wonderful that Germany's favorite street food is also MY favorite street food.  It's always available food.  Fantastic comfort food.  Terrible date food.  Brings-people-together food.  It's greasy and big.  Substantial and truly hunger-busting.  One of my guy friends even told me that the best way to scare a man who was being a little too friendly off was to eat one in front of him.  Guess it tears people apart too?  In short, Doener is everything the best street food should be.

...And like every street food, people stand by their favorite vendor.  I decided to do a little "vergleich" or "comparison" of the establishments in Tuebingen.  I've made it to two so far, hence the title "Part 1."  This is seriously going to be a food-nerd post.  Don't say I didn't warn you.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Food and Friends

I love to cook (as I hope you can all tell!) and few things are more fun than sharing an interest with like-minded people.  Today was one of those days :)  In the morning, Silene and I made pancakes, each with our favorite recipe.  We swapped pancakes and toppings (Grade A maple syrup and butter for me, separate stacks of margarine with grade C maple syrup and nutella and strawberry jam for her).  I should have brought my camera to document the pancake bar, but sometimes moments are valuable just for being moments, not because a camera is there.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Honesty and Brown Sugar


I think cooking blogs bear a higher burden than other blogs when it comes to honesty.  Like science experiments (well, if we're being technical, cooking IS science) following the steps to the conclusion usually produces the desired result.  But like art, the expectations and inspiration don't always pan out.  This is one of those times.

I've liked papaya (isn't it a fun name?) since a family trip to Costa Rica when I was in middle school.  To me, it tastes like sweet, slightly caramelized brown sugar.  It's light, but also a little bit starchy.  Less fruity than many people expect it to be (I know I was surprised when I first tried it).  It's most often paired with mango or pineapple in some sort of tropical concoction like a smoothie or a fruit plate.  It's a shame that it never gets to be the star of its own show, though.