I returned last week from a weeklong trip to Turks and Caicos with my family. Turks and Caicos is a set of islands in the Caribbean where the water is literally turquoise and gorgeous. The sand in some parts feels like stepping in powdered sugar, and the skies are the bluest of blues. It's a haven for taking photos--we actually came across many photo shoots on the beach.
Vegan Beet Muffins
Monday, February 10, 2014
I haven't been very good about keeping up with my blogging. Every time I sit down to write, there seems to be something or the other to distract me. And yet, it's not even like I'm that busy. We did have friends visit back-to-back but that was great, and more like a fun culinary trip through StL with good conversations.
The days have been chilling to the bone, and I'm so not used to this weather. I miss my long walks in Forest Park, but Mila gets muscle cramps being outside for too long. And then there was that whole debacle in Atlanta over two inches of snow. My niece was almost stranded at her elementary school and 150 students there spent the night! And baby was born on the highway, so...'nuff said. I love my hometown but, yeesh.
Shrikhand (Shree-kund) Indian Dessert
Friday, January 24, 2014
The best part of not living close to home is getting the chance to miss and appreciate your family when you do come home. And a close second is getting to eat all my favorite childhood meals that I know my mom will make for me since I've returned. I'm so lucky to have a mom who immediately asks "what would you like me to make?" as soon as I get home :D
Earl Grey Cake Balls, and a Recap
Sunday, December 29, 2013
My last post of the year!
I made these cake balls out of scraps from my kitchen--it seemed fitting to have it as my last post, since this was the year I discovered the awesomeness of Earl Grey. For years, I wondered what the big hype was but now I totally get it and I'm so sorry it took me this long.
Additionally, I've become a total tea addict like never before...Luckily, I live in a city that has some of the best choices in tea, like The London Tea Room and Smalls.
Chocolate Cups, Many Ways
Thursday, December 19, 2013
This week I've baked over fifteen different flavors of cookies and macarons for friends, family, and Joe's attendings. I'm pooped. And yet, I still have ideas for more.
This is my favorite, most magical time of year. Chilly days filled with warm drinks and minty things and sparkly lights. And for the first time, we've even put up a Xmas tree, donated by our friend who moved away earlier this year. It was my first time ever assembling and decorating a tree. I can now appreciate coming home to my sister's perfectly adorned tree every December much more. I'm already dreading having to take it down in a couple of months, but I do love the holiday cheer it's added to our apartment.
Speculoos Cupcakes and 4 Years of Blogging
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Fast forward four years--changing jobs, then changing careers, moving to a new city, and a ton of other life changes for the better or worse--somehow, this blog has prevailed. It's been the one constant thing that I've kept up with and I'm proud of myself for that. I love sharing recipes and the online community but the blog has also provided a way for me to gather my thoughts and reflect on life. And for that, I'm grateful.
Thanks for reading, friends!
I'm going to try to keep this up for as long as I possibly can, although my posts next year might be rather limited. I'm attending four weddings, two bachelor/ette parties (I'm a groomsman!), and going on a month long trip to India! This is not counting my small excursions with friends to other cities...But I will make it work, because I always do.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
I've liked taro for a long time. I've known it mostly in the form of bubble tea, but there are also taro puddings, and taro cooked in a savory way (like taro chips!). It's similar to a purple potato--it's a tuber, a root vegetable. It's often paired with coconut in desserts.
Joe loves taro. When we get bubble tea, that's his go-to drink. For me, I usually go for lavender or jasmine, something a bit more tea-based. But when I'm introducing a friend to bubble tea for the first time, I usually tell them to order taro, it's the safest bet, and I've yet to find someone who dislikes it. It tastes like a very mild coconut, almost a floral-y coconut, mixed with fresh vanilla. It's hard to describe but it's so smooth and in a wonderful shade of natural purple.
My friend Kaylen says it sort of smells like buttered popcorn, like of the jellybean flavor variety! Go figure.
*StL peeps, try the taro bubble tea from St Louis Bubble Tea in the loop! Best taro tea I've ever had.
Peach, Raspberry, and Basil Pie
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
"basically all i want to do is invite people over to my house and hear the pop of another bottle of wine and the sound of glasses clinking together and i want to bring out a pie from the oven and tell people i hope they saved room for dessert and put a big, melty scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of each piece as i hand it off on a little plate and no one ever once talks about how early they have to be up for work tomorrow"
--From one of my favorite online writers--I love what imagery this evokes.
I made this pie a couple months ago but never posted it on the blog.
Actually, it's a funny story. I hate making pies. Mainly because I'm terrible with things that require a crust. I'm just no good at rolling out pie dough. I think it's because my hands are very warm, and I constantly have to put the dough back in the fridge to firm it up. It doesn't help that I keep my house pretty warm, too. I usually end up getting frustrated with the edges and so my pies tend to be scrumptiously ugly.
But nevertheless, I made this pie in honor of my little trip to Hermann, MO.
Earl Grey Cardamom Pound Cake
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Apple Cider Eclairs (with a caramel glaze)
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
So... you probably won't see many pumpkin recipes on my blog. I did make a pumpkin risotto I enjoyed very much. But I don't get the pumpkin hype. I just don't. I'm sorry! I didn't grow up on pumpkin pie and it doesn't do much for me. Pumpkin desserts seem to just be a vehicle for warm "fall" spices, and those just don't need a vehicle. I'll just put those spices on any and everything--thanks but no thanks, pumpkin!
But hey, can my love for apples make up for my disdain of pumpkins?
Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake
Monday, October 14, 2013
"If you're between the ages of 8 and 16 and you are not a whiskey, you are annoying."
That quote made me laugh, even though I don't actually drink whiskey. Joe has been slowly acquiring a taste for it and so I've been learning about the different brands. I still can't get into drinking alcohol much, although I'm finally starting to appreciate a good Malbec...
Oreo Ice Cream swirled with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
The weather is gorgeous, business is booming, and I'm eating plenty of delicious fall foods. I don't have much to complain about.
Joe recently bought a Fitbit on sale. At first, I had no idea what it was and didn't pay attention when he told me. But after the first day when he mentioned how many hours he slept and how many steps he walked, I decided I wanted one, too. Luckily, I was able to grab one on sale as well, and it. Is. Awesome.
It's definitely making me more fit because I want to hit my goal for the day, and being friends with Joe and my mom on it is bringing out the competitive side in me. Aaaand I'm pretty sure our downstairs neighbors probably hate us now because I'm randomly jumping in place at the end of the night to get some extra steps in. Hopefully they work wonky hours at the medical school and don't mind? I'm still waiting for an angry note on our door...
I was surprised to learn that I get plenty of good sleep, and I'm rather moderately active, just from baking all day long. Who knew?
Post-Trip Banana Muffins
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
I recently returned from a long trip. I spent much time at home (Atlanta) followed by a two week trip on the east coast visiting all our old friends and making new ones along the way. I've been in St Louis for almost a week now but I feel like I'm still recovering, and going through a bit of a writer's block.
Monday, August 26, 2013
I made this using extra scraps of sponge cake from my Chili Chocolate Marquise.
It was a happy surprise. The sour cream is tangy and sweetened, and it pairs well with soft, juicy raspberries. The chocolate sponge turns soft from the weight of the cream and adds another dimension of texture. You also can use any fruit you have on hand.
Chili Chocolate Marquise
Friday, August 23, 2013
I know some of you are still deep in summer, getting your fill of popsicles, ice cream and lots of lemony things. Well, this marquise is the opposite. It’s a deep, rich, sinfully luscious chocolate dessert. My family is pretty obsessed with chocolate and although baking encouraged me to get into other (fruitier) flavors, my sister and mother still prefer anything with chocolate to lemon.
I wanted to make this partly because I thought it looked so awesomely futuristic. Like an inverted cake of the future!
Vegan Nutty Bars w/Raspberry Jam
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Sweet Corn Chicken Soup for the Soul
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Chinese food means different things to different countries. Growing up in India, I was witness to a whole different cuisine called Indian-Chinese food. It consists, among many other things, of noodles cooked in Indian spices, American chopsuey which is a sticky sweet coating on noodles buried under a fried egg (my favorite), and chili paneer, which really isn't Chinese whatsoever. But that is what a lot of Indians think of when they think of Chinese food (they also make it all ridiculously spicy).
My sister recently perfected a lot of the Indian-Chinese dishes from our childhood and Joe can't get enough of chili-paneer, even if it is unfamiliar to his Chinese roots.
When I moved to the US and ate American-Chinese, it consisted mostly of lo-mein, General Tsao's chicken, and egg rolls.
And of course, when I finally visited China, it was none of those things, although all the variations are delicious in their own right.
Additionally, Lucky Peach Magazine has a whole issue on Chinese food and how it's depicted in other countries--it's an interesting read.
Matcha Black Sesame Cheesecake & Ramen
Thursday, July 18, 2013
My friend Pete makes the best ramen. And I don't mean your 25-cent ramen packets that college kids live off of. I mean something like this:
It takes several days to put the broth together, and to gather all the ingredients. There are different styles and flavors and he hopes to open a ramen shop one day. I have a feeling if he ever does, Joe and I are going to blow all our money on it.
Peach & Raspberry Crisps
Monday, July 15, 2013
I held my first crepe party last weekend and it was delicious. I'll share details on the crepes in another post, but I made sweet and savory ones and just kept out a bunch of fillings so everyone could make their own.
I did warn everyone amply that I still made dessert. I knew I didn't have to, but quite honestly, I'd been looking forward to eating this after a whole year had passed.
Eve's Chocolate Cake
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
|Unlit because I'm pretty sure we don't own/couldn't find a lighter or matchsticks...|
In the past year, I sometimes forgot I was even 25 because no one asks me my age, they just ask for my ID. Although I did go to the mall recently, and some cops had to verify my age because teenagers aren't allowed to wander the mall during school hours...so there's that.
I've been reading random posts from people on turning 30 and how it feels so much better than the 20s. I'm very content though, and I think upper 20s is close enough for me. I guess once I'm married with kids, I'll truly feel a different kind of maturity and stability. For now, being a doggie mom and having a very silly boyfriend who makes me laugh all the time is more than enough. Add to that, a job where I get to work on my favorite hobby all day long and life is pretty awesome.
It's easy for me to whine about things, and this past week, I waxed nostalgic far too much about past birthdays with childhood friends and my family who are now all too busy to come play with me. But the more I think about it, I realize how lucky I am to have new friends here and have my childhood friends (and family) be happy, healthy and following their goals. I love and miss them all, but everyone's gotta do what they've gotta do.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
I've been feeling rather homesick, for various reasons. Instead of being too whiny, I've been trying to distract myself with work, exercise, and Mila. I've also been yearning for all the random tidbits from my childhood.
Lately, my car has turned into a time machine. I used to keep a bunch of CDs (I was notorious for making awesome 'mixtapes') in my sun visor but they recently started skipping so I was forced to throw them out. Being a huge sentimental hoarder, this bummed me out. But then I found a bunch more CDs in the armrest between the front seats--all in great condition from being in a dark hole for years, yessss.
So now, I run errands while listening to the songs of my youth, mostly delighting in my song choices (I did have some terrible taste, for a while). But, it makes me happy.
Potato Chip Blondies from Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop
Sunday, June 9, 2013
When I first moved to St Louis, I didn't know anyone outside of Joe and his classmates. I met some folks through graduate school but they were all much older than me and we never kept in touch. It was a slow process of figuring out what I wanted--dabbling in random job options, and taking my baked goods to stores around town before I heard about the Tower Grove Farmer'sMarket. I checked it out one rainy Saturday and just knew I wanted to be a vendor there.
The day the applications opened, I enthusiastically signed up (3 months before the deadline) and eagerly awaite d the opening day. I had no idea what to expect: how much to bring, what I would need during the market day, etc. I just knew I had to be there at 5am, but I was so thrilled that even that couldn't dampen my excitement.
Lil Champagne & Strawberry Cakes
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
It's been strange, the last couple of weeks. I returned from Atlanta to find a lot of our friends had already left or were in the process of leaving. Joe's classmates all graduated this year (he took a year off). The week before we left for Atlanta was also a blur because of my large orders and all the parents in town. Then, while we were gone, our kitchen tiles had been replaced and some friends had been using our apartment. We returned to a rather huge and disorienting mess (coupled with the harsh reality of just having left my niece and nephew, sigh).
And so, the following week was spent cleaning and helping my friend Cate move out. She was the last to leave--she was our neighbor and our friend, and she's gone, too.
At least we did give her a grand send off by which I mean we traversed the Central West End for hours, eating and drinking to our hearts' content in the warm summer air. It was fantastic.
Now, we have a clean apartment, a new kitchen floor, and half our circle of friends is gone, starting new adventures in cities scattered all over the country. I miss them, more than they know.
What's been nice is having Joe at home for a couple of weeks before he starts his next rotation. I thought we'd drive each other crazy (and sparks have flown, don't get me wrong) but it's great having him around and we've bonded more, which I didn't even know was possible.
Breakfast Poha (Konkani Dish)
Friday, May 31, 2013
I recently read a very interesting book called Sweet Invention: The History of Dessert. Instead of discussing just sugar or specific ingredients, the book goes in depth about how desserts evolved over time and how tracking its evolution also teaches you about the history of the world and each culture within it.
Am's Summer Salad
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a Michael Pollan book talk which included a lunch and signing. I enthusiastically signed up, not really taking into account what I'd be doing that week. As the event approached, my orders piled up and I became more and more anxious about missing two hours of my workday for it.
But, of course, the talk was amazing and I'm so glad I went. Not only was it a great time for Cate and I to bond, but we savored a lovely three course meal from Moulin and took in some wise words from Michael Pollan.
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