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Archive for July, 2010

My eyes are seeing fuzzy.  Learning to stare at an extended desktop screen for eight hours does that to me.  You know, the kind of fuzzy that puts you prematurely to sleep when you’re not tired?

I am learning to cope with the fuzzy, but as hard as I try to focus, that kind of fuzzy prevents me from seeing cool tabs like this “Newsletter Sign-Up” feature by the “About” section.

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I think it is summer.  The makeshift flats of berries glistening at each facade and the piles of shucked corn husks at the market have been insisting it’s indeed summer, but the zephyrs–the ones greeting me on the lunch strolls to and from the office–haze the fruition of such an idea.  Summer, it argues, is completely absent.

Perhaps, that is the case every year in the Bay Area, as the heat lunges forward sprinting during the final months of summer.  However, this time around, I keep thinking about hot tea, cinnamon-laced desserts, and knee-high boots.  Sometimes, my mind ventures off to things involving chocolate and bourbon or chocolate and chili.  Am I embracing the crisp nonchalant wintry air too early?

My taste buds lusts for the spicy pungency of autumnal sweets.  I blame the weather for my current obsession with ginger.  This ice cream bridges that fantasy of an autumnal wonderland and the reality that it is indeed summer.  Something spicy yet cool for the palate!

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Please tell me you get the giggles reading the name of this post.  I know I can’t be the only one because every time I loosely mention it in conversation, people stop me and repeat it, “Crack pie?  You got to be kidding me!”

Reading the name alone gave me the giggles for months because it had such an unpolitically correct name.   It took me a long time to take the name of this pie seriously.  By seriously, I mean acquiring the desire to make something silly like crack pie.

Meanwhile, many bloggers have made this pie and raved about its addictive potential.  Dusted with a dubious powder, the pie and its catchy name has taken the nation by storm.  Martha Stewart raves about it.  Anderson Cooper made his mother addicted to it.  I wanted to understand this obsession.  It seems lonely to be left out of this madness!

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The thought of walking barefoot in the sand, perusing through the farmers’ markets, and mingling with the hippies suddenly appeals to me.  Perhaps, it’s the sunshine and heat that’s speaking to me because it finally feels like summer here in the South Bay.

It finally feels like California, and I want to celebrate that.  And its food.  I can’t forget about all of those summer fruits and vegetables, especially since a lovely farmers’ market is just around the corner from my work.  Just when I think that an eight-hour workday is tiring, I see all these beautiful produce and dream to myself about all the fancy things I could make with them :)

That reminds me of a certain amazing (and addictive) granola recipe that I have bookmarked for months…

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Leisure time truly is a luxury as of late.  After an eight-hour workday, I am squeezed for time more so than what I am used to–only four hours to eat dinner, do something, and get ready for bed.  For a person as indecisive as I am, I find that determination of what that “something” is to be troublesome.

Prioritization for tasks that have some degree of urgency?  That, I can do.  Prioritization of hobbies?  That, I get stumped.  I want to do it at all, which leads me to do crazy things like getting up an hour earlier to squeeze in time to look at the food blogs.  It’s definitely not the ideal situation since most of the time, I am half-awake trying to sift through blog after blog.

Then again, no amount of sleep deprivation can undermine the gorgeousness of these Bill Yosses’ muffins.  What’s not to like?  Pillowy and light with a serious splatter of blueberries!  Even at 6 AM, my sleepy brain transmitted: I like, I like!

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It is always funny (and revealing) the kind of quotes we choose to remember from elementary school.  One friend confessed to remembering who “sprouted” first.  For whatever reason, my memory of my second grade teacher revealing what she thought was a perfect gift was withstood the test of the time.

“Dried apricots!  They’re better than candy!”

I remember how my second-grade brain couldn’t fathom her answer.  Not chocolate, not jewelry.  Dried apricots!  However, I tried to be open-minded and got myself a generic supermarket bag of dried apricots to understand her penchant.

To my dismay, my second-grade self felt that they were a step below raisins!  Dried apricots were definitely wrinkly, often sour, and usually not as flavorful as their non-dehydrated counterparts.  Ick!  At least, raisins are sweet!

That lack of flavor in the supermarket kinds kept me away from dried fruit for the longest time.  However, after the granola-making experience, I could never hate dried fruits again.  In fact, I adore dried fruits now because the sweetness and flavors become more concentrated as the fruits dry!

Anyway, in my “study of dried fruits, I was intrigued by the David Lebovitz comment about the superiority of dried California apricots.  In fact, that note is clearly set out in his ingredients list in The Perfect Scoop.

That comment in and of itself lured me to this ice cream.  Oh yeah, I like pistachios too :P

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Just Lychee Ordering Menu

It has been nearly three weeks since I last mentioned the Bake Sale here.  It is not that I have not been thinking about it; in fact, I have been thinking about it quite a bit!

The biggest problem I am having with the bake sale concept is that I don’t have the manpower to do it.  Yes, I can do much of the prep work for all of the cookies in advance, but if I intend to bake cakes, those need to be baked near or on the day of the bake sale.  One oven can only do so much baking at once.

The other quibble I have is that I felt like the bake sale menu, while interesting, was not exactly what I had envisioned.  I wanted to make lots of little cute yummy cookies and cakes that highlighted Asian ingredients like lychee and black sesame.  Yes, lots of little things because we girls have a soft spot for all things tiny :)

With thoughtful consideration, I decided to set my little business as a made-to-order kind of deal with options to buy cookies, cakes, and ice cream.  Yes, I did say ice cream as a kind of fun ode to summer!
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