Baklava

Baklava

After a somewhat wild night this weekend (in which I was lured by the promise of an excellent all-male Lady Gaga cover band who were, in fact, little better than your average garage band escapees with extra eyeliner and a disturbing habit of pulling out skinny black combs to touch up their heavily gelled hair), I am:

  1. Missing my new $50 umbrella, which I managed to leave at the club after using it for less than a day. A few (too many) drinks can make one forgetful, and
  2. Massively aching and severely bruised along my left hip, ribs, and arm from another tumble down a set of wet stairs in the same pair of dependable hiking shoes that I wore to traverse slippery, perilous rocks in Iceland when standing next to the massive Gulfoss waterfall where one slip could have resulted in icy death. The bruise from that previous fall, mind you, has not even fully healed yet. I am starting to look like a domestic abuse victim and can you imagine how that conversation would go? “What happened?” “Uh, I fell down the stairs.”
  3. And, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I am unable to fully recover from an all-nighter in less than 24 hours, with over a third of them spent sleeping.

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Surprise Baby Shower Cupcakes

Surprise Baby Shower Cupcakes

“I don’t want children,” I once said to my eleventh grade Calculus teacher.

I can’t remember the context though or why it was even brought up. This may seem crazy, but I don’t usually make a habit of sharing my reproductive choices with everyone, nevermind 40-something year old, slightly balding high school math teachers.

“Ever.”

He paused a moment and then nodded once, decisively. “You are going to come back to your ten year reunion with five kids hanging off your arm, I’m sure of it.”

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Midnight Amaretto Cupcakes

Midnight Amaretto Cupcakes

This weather, you guys.

Last weekend it snowed six inches. This week it has been in the high 40’s. Sometimes balmy. Sometimes that balmy day ends in “a wintery mix” of snow and sleet. Or, the old New England standby: rain.

I have three overcoats in operation, each of a varying thickness, warmth, and permeability (this last is now more important than ever since my umbrella gave up the ghost during Boston’s last rain-and-furious-wind storm, may it rest in peace). Choosing which coat to wear before I walk out the door is tantamount to planning a military operation. This is weather in New England.

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Chocolate Cocoa Nib Pecan Bread

Chocolate Cocoa Nib Pecan Bread

I have a few confessions to make.

  1. I recently stopped washing my hair with shampoo, and now I just use conditioner. My hair looks a frillion times better as a result.
  2. I am pretty neat in all areas of my life except my workspace. My workspace is a hopelessly cluttered mess, full of objects that do not have any meaningful relevance to each other save for the fact that I had, at one time, placed them there. For example, my workspace (which is to say, my bedroom) currently has, on the bed: A bunch of empty boxes I want to recycle for gifts, some full boxes of things I’ve received in the mail from Birchbox (Have you gotten one of these subscriptions? Delightful!), piles of unopened letters, Michael Rulhman’s Ratio, my Nikon D80 with USB cord still attached, a book on learning Korean, a menu for an Ethiopian restaurant, a half-finished baby blanket, some expired Loft coupons, the Verizon information packet to my iPhone, Amnesty International address labels, a cutting board, cupcake wrappers, black onyx cocoa powder, some Valrhona chocolates, and so many other things.
  3. Sometimes all I will eat for dinner is a spinach and mushroom omelet. EVERY DAY. FOR A WEEK. SOMETIMES TWO. This often happens because I am so doggone exhausted from work and don’t want to spend a lot of energy in putting something fancier together. Also, I really love eggs. A lot. They are nutritious and filling. I can’t seem to get sick of them. Omelets are the perfect food for us low-carb eaters. Sometimes I have an omelet for breakfast AND dinner. So there.

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The NYT’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies

I am ten minutes late to every party, trend, fad, etc.

So of course I would only cotton on to this recipe 3.5 years after the New York Times published a cookie recipe that took the food blogger world by storm. Forget your grandmother’s tried and true Betty Crocker cookbook. These cookies were frequently touted to be the “best chocolate chip cookies you will ever make.”

Well, natural skeptic that I am, this was something I’d have to see for myself.
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Homemade Marshmallows

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I am becoming plumper.

Pleasantly plump, if we are being kind, but if we are being honest, it’s not a good kind of plump. It’s not the pretty plumpness-that-is-really-more-like-normal-sized-because-English-people-are-all-tiny-tiny-people-plumpness of Nigella Lawson.

And these last two weeks haven’t helped.

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Bittersweet Chocolate and Roasted Pear Tarts

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Recipe from Not Without Salt.

These don’t look nearly as professional nor as well done as Alison’s tarts, but for my first attempt (and for several mistakes made in haste along the way), not bad. My tart molds must have been larger than what was used in the recipe, because I found myself having to made more dough for the shortbread crust.

I used edible gold dust, which resulted in much suspicion.

“Is this real gold?”

“No. I just thought I’d shellac them to be pretty.”

Nevertheless, these went down a smashing success, even if the sheer size of the tart seemed to intimidate all but the tallest and most food-keen.