Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gettin' Busy

We're going to the beach this weekend!!!
So of course I am baking cookies for the trip. It's been a busy week, lots of baking, but that's fun.
Tonight I made chocolate chip from the King Arthur Cookie Companion, which is an awesome cookbook, and tomorrow the plan is oatmeal scotchies, but I need to buy more flour, sugar, and brown sugar first.
Cookie dough & my cookie scoop:

Here are the cookies baking:

We're not ready for disaster:

I like how that last photo turned out, with the newspaper headline. :)
And finally, a few shots of the super rhubarb pie, thanks farmer's market!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Rhubarb Pies!

Last week, post trailer loading for Stotesbury (which went not so hot for my little mosquitoes), I went to the farmer's market at Foggy Bottom. (1) I got a pain au chocolat from the French bakery, (2) I learned that I can still understand French pretty well - apparently these pastries are like you bought them in France - too bad I can't really speak it anymore, and (3) I bought two bunches of rhubarb (expensive at $4/bunch, considering my mom steals hers).

y cousin & I holding a pitcher & glass from "Cousins" - in Philly Thursday night, if you look close enough, that's the city glowing in the background

Unfortunately, I was in Philly from Thursday - Saturday night and Sunday spent a few more hours with rowers, so rhubarb sat in the fridge until tonight. Then after my nap, because I napped instead of running, clearly still exhausted from the weekend, I finally got into the kitchen and made a hell of a mess. But the result was this super-awesome rhubarb pie. The crust is perfectly flaky, and the rhubarb is tart and gooey. Sadly, the photos of the pie cannot do the taste justice, but I'll add them later anyway. It went quite well with vanilla ice cream too. And, if only I had more steps today, I'd have another piece... Goals = running Tuesday morning. Right...

Monday, May 12, 2008

More Birthdays (from March)

Dear Shamus,
Happy Belated Birthday to You! Except that you got this cake on your birthday (or a little before)... And the photos were MIA until now. I finally re-found this excellent brownie recipe that makes a wonderful ice cream cake. The recipe is still stuck on the side of the fridge, and I think about the awesomeness all the time. I need a good reason to make another.

Anyway, this was a fro-yo cake, with mint oreo in the middle. The star-sprinkle S and the Happy Birthday Candles really make it pretty spectacular. So does the amount of chocolate involved, and the gooey condensed milk icing. Basically, this would be a signature cake of my imaginary bakery.

Side-view, cake-tastic

These candles are bananas

And, sugar coma, go!

Wish you were here...

So, you wish you were here, swimming in the fishbowl of my kitchen year after year.

If you've never been a roommate, boyfriend, rower, coworker, brother, parent, or a Sean to me, right now you wish you could get into that position. I'd say coworker is the only available space right now, soon to be classmate I suppose. (And I anticpate testimonials in these comments from said roommates, boyfriends, rowers, coworkers, brother, parents, and Sean. So at least from my mom.)

Because, this is what I've been up to:

Birthday cupcakes:
I got a "cupcake decorating kit" the last time I was at Target, so I spent some time playing with it and making flowers/stars on the top.

Before you get too blown away by my stupendous skills:
(1) It was funfetti cake mix
(2) And rainbow chip icing, so baking skills were minimal there.
Anyway, Sean still doesn't have these cupcakes for a variety of reasons. Don't blame me, blame Radiohead being at Nissan Sunday night. (Hold on, we could could put a lot of blame on Nissan, but I made it in to see the show, so I'll just say it was wet, but AWESOME!!!!!)

Molasses cookies (!!!!)

In my baby's first big jump into the pool of life, she cannonballed in with some very serious molasses cookies. By serious, I mean seriously delicious. Now that I can actually cream the butter & sugar, the cookie is so much better - and so is my wrist. Plus, I bought a cookie scoop and that makes stuff way easier too! I am now about 2 steps closer to opening a bakery I think. Whole lot of good this next degree would do me then.

So, many more tricks & treats where these came from, since I bought a lot of butter today and have chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in the cupboard.

And pizza
With some props to Trader Joe's for the dough & cheese, and to Paul Newman for the sauce, but courtesy of my oven... This one actually turned out round and pretty, with some bubbles forming under the crust (and I for one love pizza bubbles). Not a thin crust this time, but crispy, and good nonetheless.

My Baby

Here are some shots of my new baby! Isn't she beautiful? We wish we could spend all our time together, but sadly work and life and some semblance of restraint in terms of how much butter I consume keep us apart.

So that was the big news, she came in the mail last week, thanks to Amazon! And UPS has been coming straight to our door instead of delivering through the apartment office, which is awesome, because our apartment office sucks big time. Anyway, this is excellent news and a welcome addition to the family. (She hangs out with the wine rack & the electric kettle all day. Can you see how I need a bigger kitchen?)

Get ready life, stand mixer coming at ya!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

not food, just food for thought

I read this piece from the Washington Post about yoga for soldiers at Walter Reed, to help them cope with PTSD. The sad reality of it is that so many soldiers are coming back in need of serious mental health care, and they are not receiving what they need. Very obviously, the country that sent them to war is failing them. I wish I was more altruistic (and/or a yoga teacher) that I could get a degree in social work and take the time to help these people, but... I just wouldn't be good at it. The altruism, yes, I may have that in me. The compassion and empathy that is needed to be a good therapist and listener... Well, let's just say that I never want to get angry enough at the kids I coach to make them cry, because then I'd have to deal with them crying. And YUCK. :)

Then again, regardless of how much you want to help, it doesn't mean that the government wants to spend the money for you to do that. Just to make it necessary for someone to help.

I guess what's also interesting is that across from our office this morning there were some Code Pink protesters - 2 women & a man, and as I walked into work, the cops showed up (somehow just 1 car - I thought they always had 2) but they couldn't really do anything, because outside of yelling into a bullhorn, they were being peaceful.
"You're in bed with George W. Bush and Nancy Pelosi... Call your congressmen." Etc.

I'm guessing someone kind of important lives in the Washington Harbor building though, it would explain the black SUVs that hand out there every so often.

And, ok, food. Big news ahead... BIG BIG BIG F'ING NEWS soon. ;)