day five: raw chocolate pudding (GF & vegan)

“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.”

MFK Fisher


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cardamom brown sugar cake with strawberries and honeyed cream

(I have run out of clever ways to title cakes. I figure easiest is to list out every ingredient without use of punctuation and hope for the best.)

So, I am officially a uni graduate. Well, maybe not officially. There is still the diploma ceremony to be had; all tradition, all that pomp-and-circumstance silliness. I am supposed to graduate in a garden, once the main, 5000+ person ceremony is (finally) over. I also think it is going to rain next weekend. This will be exciting, in any case. I may fall to the floor weeping if it rains.


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homemade oreos with peanut butter filling

There’s quite little I remember about this weekend besides consuming an outrageous amount of cheese.

Well, no, that’s not all. There was some baking involved. Which is not actually so obvious since these photos are recycled from almost two years ago. But, Friday afternoon was dreary and rainy and the weather did not make for good natural lighting for photography, so I think this is acceptable. I also really just needed easy access to this recipe and figured the Food Blog was an obvious choice.

homemade oreos 109

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mini musical cheesecake tarts

The first time I baked a birthday present for O, it was a pan of brownie-bottom pumpkin-swirled cheesecake bars. A pretty delicious dessert, perfectly in-season for the last weeks of autumn when winter was slowly beginning to sink into the cobblestone streets downtown. I very much enjoyed them, as I am wont to do whenever cream cheese is involved, and I figured she might as well.

Lucky for me, she adored them. The following year, I baked her another batch. Why mess with a good thing, after all?

So when she first asked me to bake for her recital a few weeks ago, she casually remarked that I could “maybe bake those pumpkin cheesecake bites you made for my birthday.” 

…There was a hint if I’d ever heard one.


Well, these weren’t quite those pumpkin bars, but I think they did the job well enough.

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raspberry almond macarons (GF)

So, these were the first of the three desserts made for O’s recital (the other two being the mini cheesecake tarts and the mini lemon poppyseed bundt cakes). First batch was baked on Thursday. Second and third on Friday. Fourth on Saturday.

Let it be known that I only needed to bake one batch.

Okay, okay. I don’t want to whine. I did enough of that for about five hours on Friday evening. But I will tell you the story. It’s a good one. Or will, at least, make you feel better about your own life.


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lemon-poppyseed mini bundt cakes

Goodness, it’s been a while. I suppose time flies when it’s your last semester of undergrad and you’re caught in the middle of job and internship applications and a thesis with zero motivation to do any of the aforementioned because Netflix has finally added every great cartoon from your early childhood to its instant selection.

Luckily for me and my lack of willpower, I got to take a break from academics, thesis-writing, and job-hunting (not the Netflix, of course, let’s not kid ourselves now) for a few days of non-stop baking.

Though, I suppose I have O to thank for that.


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russian tea cakes and a bookish monologue

I am an obsessive person. I’m sure you’ve noticed by now. Not OCD per se – there are no fidgety habits or rituals that must be performed in any semblance of routine – but, perhaps, passionate. About anything and everything that strike my fancy.

What I’m saying is: I don’t half-ass my interests. If I love something – a novel, a song, a movie, a TV series, a period of history or news article – I want everyone else to love it, too. It’ll be on my mind for hours upon hours, stretching into days and weeks. Not necessarily for incredibly long periods of time; I enjoy them for the days and weeks (and years, if it’s BBC Sherlock) that they’re a part of my life, and can look back on them in fondness months after the rush has dissipated.

It’s like metaphorical overdoses of oxytocin about anything of interest. Which is both psychologically disturbing and kind of odd, since I’ve been told time and time again that my outward appearance is that of avery stoic, very serious, calm and quasi-apathetic cynic. I am, in actuality, few of those things.


Well, okay, I am most of those things. But Noosh can attest that my obsessive tendencies would veer on the side of social embarrassment if they were ever made public. (Or, more public, I suppose, digital social sphere aside.) So, perhaps my subconscious mind recognizes this and represses it all whenever I step foot out of the apartment. In any case, I obsess. And one obsession that I’ve noticed does not seem to be dissipating any time in the near future (or, ever) is buying things online.

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elvis’s peanut butter & banana “ice cream” cookies

Yusra recently bought the Les Miserables soundtrack, which I, of course, immediately co-opted for my iTunes library.

So, naturally, I spend any time that Noosh happens to be out of the apartment traipsing about, bellowing all the tunes in a voice so loud that I’m shocked the neighbors haven’t filed a disturbance complaint.

Not that I found the adaptation to be particularly brilliant, or anything. (Annie’s performance aside, which was actually beyond brilliant. If you have any desire to see the film, go for her performance.)


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almond vanilla cupcakes with coffee buttercream

I woke up this morning and found myself experiencing an overdue existential crisis of sorts.

Well, let me back up. I’m at the apartment, alone, for a few days, attempting to clear my head enough to get a few pages of thesis written down before the semester starts. Yeah, that’s not happening. I’m not quite sure what became of my motivation, but I’m pretty positive it had something to do with toasting the New Year while thinking to myself, FRAK IT.

Let me back up even further. It’s 2013, apparently. Or at least, according to my phone’s calendar. It’s being quite insistent about it, in fact. Which, you know, doesn’t bode well for someone who still finds herself writing “2010” on almost every assignment she’s turned in for the past 2 – no, 3 now – years.

I don’t like it.

But I guess we didn’t all go up in a fiery blaze at the end of last month, so there’s something to be said about that.


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flourless chocolate torte

Noosh and I have always had an unconventional way of celebrating. Whether it be the end of a busy semester, the completion of a long assignment, the bright festivities of the holiday season, or a long-awaited birthday.

By that, of course, I mean that we hole up in our apartment with absolutely zero intention of leaving the living room, and all of our efforts are spent on ensuring the accessibility to and consumption of good food. As I type, in fact, we’re lying here on the floor, surrounded by throw pillows and knit blankets, a platter of cake and tin of sweetened cream at our fingertips, only a few small bites away from a food coma with The Man in the Iron Mask playing on the telly.

Maybe not the most celebratory of 22nd birthdays, but as far as I can tell, we’re pretty content.


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