Posts Tagged ‘Gourmet’

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

The most meticulous person is not always the neatest person, or at least, I am the most meticulous un-neat person ever.  However, don’t look at my office desk for evidence because it is an exhibit of how a calm accountant’s cubicle should look like, and no, my neatly printed handwritten to-do lists are definitely not incriminating.  Look to my personal desk, which is stacked high of food memoirs, unanswered letters, and crinkled receipts.  Yes, that is my mind in physical form–one whopping mess.

In addition to the aforementioned randomness that calls my desk home, there is the list of August birthdays sat with a pleading urgency on top of the sheets and sheets of yellow.  I am not bad, and I have not forgotten.  I am stumped because I have this horrible habit of trying to one-up myself while attempting to dream up thoughtful presents.      

Perhaps, the difficulty here lies in the fact that I try to pick gifts that remind me of themselves.  Lately, I have been thinking about a past conversation with one friend with an August birthday about how good the raspberry coffee cake at one of the American breakfast joints was, and as soon as I saw this cake appear on one of the food potluck sites, I thought, This is it! 

Of course, since my mind wraps around all things food, she reminds me (maybe, unfortunately so) of a raspberry buttermilk cake.  A Gourmet one, I might add because she’s awesome like that, or so, the foodie in me tries to rationalize!



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Lately, I have been trying to make more savory dishes to carve my way out of the sweets.  Don’t get me wrong–I still <3 my sweets dearly, but I need to be able to cook and feed myself once I start living out on my own.

This has me thinking about pastas more often.  Before, I would overlook pasta dishes because they are anti-glamorous.  I mean, they were created to stretch leftovers for another meal!  That doesn’t sound as amazing as saying, “I bought this steak to make this dish!”  Okay, I haven’t said that yet, but I do say that a lot with desserts.  “I bought this block of chocolate to make this cake n_n”

Nowadays, I am giving pasta a second look with the intention of making easy yet satisfying meals.  I must put some dishes under my belt before I work full-time and experience the glory they call busy season.  For a girl who adores her artichokes, this pasta sounded like a perfect Friday dinner :)


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My mother likes to pester me periodically why I only bake sweets.  She insisted that this would not bode well for the time when I end up living out on my own.

“One cannot live solely on sweets!”  she insisted.  “How are you going to feed your future husband and family?!”

Yes, Mother.  That is the concern of every 20-something year-old woman today :P

Truth is, I have steered away from the kitchen for years because of my mother.  All of these baking projects are recent thanks to more lax policies in the family kitchen.  She has always been a bit territorial with the kitchen, which she treated as her personal office.  It’s her space to get lost in thought and work freely without being bothered.  While I understood that as a child, I was still curious about what fussy things she was doing in the kitchen.  That led to my precarious wandering around the kitchen and nosing about the hot pans and the cluttered sink.  It also meant that if I moved one of her utensils out of place and she wasn’t able to find it, I would get in so much trouble.  The kitchen was that sacred of a place for her.

That was, of course, when I was much younger.  Nowadays, we have a kind of unspoken non-competition agreement, so I could use the kitchen to bake as long as I clean up after myself and leave everything where it was before.  She was never really into baking, so my weekend baking projects would not involve using her utensils.  Of course, even that non-competition agreement has gone lax with her worried about my future prospects. AHEM O-O

Thus, I decided to push my luck and make a savory vegetarian bread pudding that she could eat.  (Yes, yes, I shall test her boundary and subject myself to her criticism!  Two-for-one deal!)  I liked the idea of a hearty breakfast bread pudding, and Gourmet’s Spinach and Cheese Strata looked like the perfect fit.  It reminded me of the deliciousness of an Ina Garten’s Spinach Gratin dish I made way back when I was in New York.  Sounds good, right?


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