arts and crafts and chocolate cakes (gf)

I realized recently that I am often compartmentalizing. Friend groups; appropriate topics of conversation therein; the year by season; music by playlist; and, most recently, books by Kindle folder.

(Aside: 800-odd books later, I’ve finally invested in a Kindle. The future is now.)

It’s one of those things that reminds me of the extent of my neurosis. Having a mental grid where things must belong, a metaphoric handbag with thousands of pockets designated for particular things. A cross-section of my brain would probably look like a filing cabinet. Which is a mental image that makes me want to die, a little bit. (So much neurosis.)

Shockingly, I was not always like this. I was quite a carefree child, in fact. Artistic; always sketching in the margins of notebook papers; experimenting with watercolors and charcoals on canvas and sketchpads; molding clay or carving foam; and, eventually, graduating to digital painting with graphic tablets to accompany my shoddy web-designing (I still remember vividly how my 13-year-old face lit up like a Christmas tree when dad gifted me an absolutely gorgeous Wacom tablet). I don’t know when it died down, my love of art. College, I expect. Other obligations got in the way, as they always do.

(The tragedy of growing up.)

IMG_3713

Continue reading

cardamom white chocolate biscotti (gluten free)

Biscotti

As a twenty-something young professional, it should come as no surprise that approximately 50% of my internet time is spent on Buzzfeed. Lately it’s a result of inane personality quizzes, which Roods and I have co-opted into this odd ritual of soul-searching every few nights when it’s past dinnertime but minds are still too restless for bed. Take a quiz, evaluate the response, decide to what extent our entire existence can be penned down to words and sentences.

(Frighteningly often, apparently.)

I Buzzfeed for the articles, too. Most recently a story about a young man from Notre Dame who tore through the walls of a spa in order to eat every hot-pocket in their kitchen. Which he also heated up using the kitchen oven, if I’m not mistaken. (Truly, I admired his dedication.)

But Buzzfeed is nice in that totally-stupid-waste-of-life sort of way. Like, I’m pretty disturbed that I could be spending my excessive internet time taking a walk or writing a novel or something. But I also work with current event analysis on a daily basis, and it’s a nice escape from wars and climate change and human rights abuses.

Continue reading

halloween weddings and pumpkin pies (vegan & gluten-free)

“Ah, but remember that the city is a funny place
Something like a circus or a sewer
And just remember, different people have peculiar tastes
And the glory of love might see you through”

Coney Island Baby, Lou Reed

DSC_0213

I hate taking hiatuses from baking and blogging, because they tend to stretch on for eons. Time escapes me and days get lost among the neat boxes of calendar pages. What I’m left with is a slew of photos and nothing to say. Nothing that I could fathom into any sense of coherence, anyway.

(That’s the problem with time. Each moment holds a horizon of infinity that no words can adequately paint.)

Continue reading

new cities, uncertainties, and flourless cakes

I’m the type of person that prides herself on having her shit together, so to speak. Typically level-headed, rarely emotional, a stoic wall of realism and rationality. So the last few weeks have been a rather unwelcome change in my routine.

It’s as though the world is resting on a different plane; a mirror of reality tilted a few degrees past the point of comfort.

Collage3

Turkey was a month ago, but it feels a lifetime away. I haven’t had as much time to dwell on the loss as I feared, though, since my days following arrival back in the States were spent flying from city to city; transporting crates of furniture and boxes of a life haphazardly printed on coffee mugs and pages of unread books; catching up with family and old friends; trying to assemble a picture of the upcoming months from puzzle pieces cut like shards of broken glass. It has been exciting and nerve-wracking and utterly overwhelming.

Continue reading

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

DSC_0008

Continue reading

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.

DSC_0459

Continue reading

cinnamon raisin pumpkin bread with honeyed walnut cream cheese (GF)

As if I thought the year could not get any weirder, the month of March has proven me wrong.

I’m currently sitting on my couch with a glass of kombucha I’ve been working my way through for the past 3 hours, glancing out the window every few minutes at the steady fall of snow gently coating car roofs and asphalt. I have about twenty minutes before I leave to go teach, twenty minutes in which I hope to finish this tea and find a clean sweatshirt dug out of the bottom of my closet.

DSC_0273

Continue reading

gluten-free bruschetta

I don’t understand how anyone – least of all a uni student living on her own in a bubble of social narcissism – can be expected to remember such occurrences as Daylight Savings.

Just, what? No.

So of course I woke up at close to 11am after having set an alarm for 9:30, and am still recovering from the disorientation of having had an entire hour taken away from me. It’s a good mental justification for not being able to wanting to get work done. Like, that hour could have been spent writing one of the fourteen hundred papers I have due in a week, but, alas, no longer.

Guess I don’t have time for anything save for lying on the couch and writing this entry.

DSC_0223

Continue reading

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.)

DSC_0042

Continue reading

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.

DSC_0073

Continue reading