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Archive for May, 2010

I am having a tiny problem getting started on this bake sale menu.  As you can see, it’s all set.  However, I need to test the recipes since most of them I have never tried before!  Unfortunately, it’s a lot to do, so I am starting to feel unmotivated.

For now, I am trying to be honest with myself and getting through one recipe at a time.  Baby steps!  Maybe once I get this project started, it won’t seem so bad.

Then, I received Ready for Desserts in the mail, and in my excitement, I nearly forgot about my bake sale project.  I guess that’s what happens when you see all these food bloggers trying out all sorts of interesting recipes in his book, and I wanted to too!

As I was thumbing through the book, I noticed that he had an intriguing recipe for green tea financiers.  Although I have never made a financier before, the idea of a little grassy green cake rolled in white and black sesame seeds sounded adorable.  Plus, it would be within the bake sale theme!  Off, I headed into the kitchen.

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Having a doctor as a roommate is like having a second mom watching whatever you eat.  No soda, no chips, no junk food.  Some days, I think it’s fine because it’s healthier that way; other days, I think “Darn, I just want a bag of potato chips, but she is going to give me a speech!”

That was slightly problematic because I had to keep the junk food cravings on the down low.  Like blockaded by stacks and stacks of textbooks or practicing it-shall-not-be-named kind of thing.  Doing this for months and months at a time does not do a body good.  In fact, it’s like a dream deferred–festering like a sore and explodes.

That’s a very bad visual of a pizza craving.  This Big Sur Bakery recipe, however, is a very wonderful visual of what an awesome pizza could be…

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Bake Sale Menu

I know I haven’t mentioned the bake sale in recent weeks, but it is not forgotten!  It’s just that it’s been so hard to come up with a menu that seems cohesive and interesting simultaneously!

Plus, I have to consider the bottom line.  Although Sherry Yard has a delectable Yuzu Lemon-Lime Meringue pie, I don’t think people would be willing to fork over a premium to compensate for an $8 bottle of yuzu juice.

Here’s the tentative menu listed below, which is bound to change as I test the recipes through.  Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions what I should include or exclude, and any items you’re especially excited to see :)

Just Lychee Bake Sale Menu:

Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Raisin

Sakura Sables & Almond Shortbread

World Peace Cookies & Black Sesame Cookies

Little Matcha Emeralds

Ispahan* Cupcake & Matcha Chiffon

Black Sesame Cake & Mocha Muffin

Vietnamese Coffee Jello & Cocoa Brownies

* Ispahan refers to the flavor combination of rose, lychee, and raspberry, which was made famous by Pierre Herme’s macaron.  It’s now pretty hip in Paris and has caught the eye of many Asian and French food bloggers.

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Lately, I have got coffee in the head.  I think I got it after spending eight-hour days on campus for the past month.  I suddenly began to crave for a pick-me-up, and my tea obsession was not doing it.

I started missing coffee, which I used to make by the pot everyday.  Coffee used to be my desk-side friend during boring class lectures and my steadfast partner during late night papers.

Then, I went cold turkey for reasons that are not clear in my mind.   I would like to think that it was for health reasons.  Coffee is, after all, a stimulant.  My mother would like to think that she won that battle.  By that, I mean she kept nagging at me for weeks–something about drinking too much coffee would make my boobs grow too big.  Fear not, coffee lovers!  I checked with a doctor and Google and found that there are no scientific studies to confirm this correlation ;)

With all this coffee in my head, I started thinking about these coffee crunch bars from Molly Wizenberg…

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Between the scribbles of numbers and account titles, I can taste the freedom from school.  I have one semester left to go, but that’s all I have been thinking about as of late.  I am not sure what that cliche is supposed to taste like, but I envision it to be something like stepping out onto a beach.  The slow inhales of salty zephyrs.  The gaze across the shimmering blue expanse.  Alas, the tickle of spring breeze and dash of sunlight is getting to me!

That case of spring fever brought me to the Ferry Building’s Farmers’ Market, where all sorts of tantalizing produce and food were ready to be oogled and bought.  Verdant greens abound, including some gorgeous asparagus :)  Then, I thought of this pasta recipe I had tucked away for a while that highlighted goat cheese and asparagus.  Time for a cooking project study break!

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I know I work too hard when I receive metaphors about life while cooking.  It’s funny to me since while some people hate cooking, I gravitate toward it when I need that meditative quiet to refocus.  To me, there’s a pleasant something in the quiet scrapes of potatoes against the grates and the sizzle of hot oil.  At least, it sounds better than hearing the noise in my head about how I could have done this or that.

Somehow, between that dancing shimmer of oil and that lackadaisical flip of the pancake, I realized how much I have been holding myself back.

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Oatmeal Pancakes

To be honest, I was not looking for a Mother’s Day brunch to dazzle.  Well, that was the cake’s role.  I was hoping to find something earthy and filling and delicious–something that will be worthwhile to the whole family after all, it’s been a while since my family sat around together at the dinner table.  Ever since my brother and I left for college, the need to wait for everyone to sit ’round the table has left, leaving us to eat whenever we want.

Although I am used to it now in college, it makes me miss the days when my family sat around the table, especially since my parents and brother have very colorful personalities.  Often times, I am literally rolling off the chair laughing because maybe my brother is mocking my dad’s facial expressions and gestures on the side or my mom sasses back at some other comment someone else said on the table.  Yes, I am “the boring one” in the family, but I think someone in the family needs to play the role of audience!

Anyway, when I saw this recipe, I thought this would be a hearty and unique complement to the almond cake.  Time to give this recipe a whirl!

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