Duck Confit Spring Rolls and more for Nina’s Birthday Party!

April 25, 2010

My friends Aric and Nina had moved here a couple of years ago from New York but unfortunately Aric works crazy insane hours and we never really have a chance to hang out with him. His job requires him to be working both east coast AND west coast hours. I believe it has something to do with finances (hedgefunds maybe?). He’s explained it to us about twenty-six times, and I still don’t quite understand it. Basically it’s one of those “grown-up” jobs that I always imagine adults did when I was child – vague and kinda important and long hours, but probably makes lots of money, as the people who had these grown-up jobs when I was a kid always drove shiny new cars and lived in big houses.

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A Ten Year Celebration: with Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

April 22, 2010

Ten years ago this past Monday, I kissed AJ (or AJ kissed me, I guess it depends on who you ask!) on a street corner on a gray rainy day in San Francisco, only to have him leave the following day for a four-day cycling trip that he had previously scheduled. It’s the sort of memory that is both crystal clear and nostalgically hazy at the same time. If it were being filmed for a romantic comedy (the sort of film that AJ and I specifically avoid watching) there would be this sort of grainy feel, with the background blurred while the camera zooms in on us, under an umbrella kissing, traffic lights and car lights multicolored specks in the background, an atmosphere of uncertainty, of what was going on, where things were going, what it all meant. There would be melodramatic symphonic music swelling (probably scored by John Williams because AJ love Star Wars) at the kiss moment. Then we would part, walking to our separate apartments alone.

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National Blogger Bake Sale! Gluten Free Cookie Bars!

April 18, 2010

Dude. I am totally late to the game.

It’s been a crazy week, with traveling to Ohio and back, and so I decided this weekend was going to be a mellow weekend. I slept in this morning and leisurely lounged about in bed until about 10:30am where I grabbed my iPhone (because I was too lazy to actually get up and move to my computer) and stared at it’s tiny screen to see what was going on in the world.

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Emergency Strawberry Shortcake Birthday Cake

April 16, 2010

I’ll be honest…strawberry shortcake isn’t necessarily the first thing you think of when you think of a birthday cake. And though it’s true that I’ve made a pretty fancy strawberry shortcake like desert before for my dessert party (an adaptation of Sherry Yard’s Desserts by the Yard – it’s a white chocolate buttermilk cake with layers of whipped marscarpone cream and fresh strawberries – one of these days I’ll blog about the fancy version on the left there as it really is one of my favorite cakes), I just didn’t have the time nor the cookware available for me to make something that fancy.

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Minneapolis HO! Vegan Apple Spice Muffins

April 12, 2010

How many hours (including sleep) does it take to eat six Vegan Apple Spice Muffins? 24. Well, 24 hours if you are my friend Hadley. Let’s back up a little bit. I was told a couple of weeks ago that I needed to go on a business trip to Minneapolis for work. Thing is, the trip was going to go as follow: I wake up and go to the office, work half a day, fly out at 3pm, land in Minneapolis at 9 pm, go to the hotel, check in, go to bed. Wake up the next morning at 8am and go into a day of meetings and running around and then head home on a flight arriving back in San Francisco at 11pm.

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Olive You! A Mediterranean Citrus Olive Oil Cake

April 7, 2010

One of the first times my friend Megan came to our dessert party she told me she loved everything I made but raved specifically about the Mediterranean Citrus Olive Oil Cake I had made. So when we recently had our friends Megan and Erik and their adorable child Brady over to our place a week or so ago, she requested it for dinner again. She wasn’t the only one, as it’s probably the one dessert that we don’t have leftovers of in our vast sea of desserts – which is all the more impressive as I usually make it gluten free for a few of my gluten/wheat sensitive friends (ok, I really only have one good friend who is wheat allergic, but it just gives me an excuse to play with flours that I normally wouldn’t play with – thereby expanding my baking palette).

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Susie’s Pseudo Seder – A Really Good Passover Cake

April 3, 2010

Growing up in my part of town, I was surrounded by The Jews. That’s what my mom referred to them as. The Jews. It’s not that my parents were Anti-Semitic. It was more that my mom, being immigrants and having English as a second language, didn’t quite get the difference between the article “a” and the article “the”…thus it was The Jews, The Catholics, The Blacks. Even The Orientals (that would be us). It probably would have been The Latinos too, if we knew any Latinos, but St. Louis didn’t really have a large Latino population, what with, it being smack dab in the middle of the country.

Strangely though, it was never The Whites. I guess, white people were the norm in the Midwest and everyone else had to be described.

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Mochi Mochi! Apple Caramel Mochi

March 29, 2010

Years ago my friend Emmie (who does this awesome line of cards, and I’m not just saying that because I apparently inspired her “meat birthday card” but because her cards are truly awesome) made a dessert for a get together of ours.

This was especially impressive as she claims to have no real talent for cooking, and in fact would often call me up and tell me about how she would make herself dinner and then look at it, puzzled at that fact that the food she made was totally unappetizing. She claimed this happened on a regular basis.

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Cornmeal Blueberry Streusel Topped Muffins with Lemon Glaze

March 24, 2010

There’s a classic Seinfeld episode where Elaine only eats the top of the muffins and her former boss decides to start a business called Top of the Muffin to You! where he only sells the muffins tops. The problem was that he only baked the muffin tops with these special muffin top tins and no […]

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Comfort Food = Chicken Pot Pie.

March 22, 2010

Sometimes, just sometimes (and definitely not all the time) I feel the need to cook.

Not Bake. Cook. Sustenance. Comfort. Food.

It’s the soothing prep of chopping and putting everything out in bowls – the “mise en place” (as all the professional chefs call it, and what anyone who’s ever read a book by Anthony Bourdain will know as the “meez”). It’s the need to slice, chop and mince everything and prepare all the ingredients and to have the satisfaction that I made the food. Not someone else. Me. Just me. Nothing processed. No preservatives. Just food. Real food.

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I’m FAT! Vegan Banana Bread – which is what you bake when someone is complaining about their weight

March 19, 2010

This was what I kept on hearing from my partner as I started this blog about baking. Which, of course, probably wasn’t the best thing for me to hear as I decided that I wanted to bake more. A lot more. Forget that he exercises way more than I do (which, granted is probably not difficult as I go to the gym three times a year, but still – he’s usually on his bike at least once or twice a week and at the gym a couple times a week).

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Today is Pi(e) Day. I did not bake a pie, I baked chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

March 15, 2010

I had every plan to bake a pie today, on Pi(e) Day – March 14. 3-14 (get it? Pi! 3.14!) I was planning on baking a lemon meringue pie, as the lemon tree outside was bursting with fruit and since AJ and I are the only people in our apartment building that actually harvest the fruit, the lemons just sit on the tree until they rot which is just sad. I’ve thought many a times that I should gather up the lot of lemons and walk over to Bi-Rite Grocery and see if they would buy them from me, but that seems like way too much work. But, of course, that means I have access to fresh, free, completely organic lemons (SUPER LOCAL as well!). Go me! Mostly this just means I cut up the lemons and put them in hot water like the Old Chinese grandma that I am turning into.

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Some counter-intuitive advice, or why I started this blog

March 15, 2010

I was exhausted a few weeks ago by the sheer amount of work that I had to do at my job. I was staying late, getting up early, and even waking up in the middle of the night in a state of stress thinking about what needed to be done, and how in the world was I going to get it done!?!?

Though I normally like my job (you know as much as most people like their job), in the past six months it had devolved into a boring menial task position, one that had me doing repetitive production work instead of actual design (I’m a sr. designer at a small branding agency). The problem was (and still is) that I am good at my job. Too good. I’m the one that people turn to to get the project done in time. I can work faster and more efficient than most people, and thus I often times get stuck doing the mundane tasks (make this powerpoint! do these five changes the client asks for! we have a meeting in 5 minutes and I need you to print and bind these four books!) because I can crank it out in time for the deadline. Usually.

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