Archive for ‘In Other News’

December 16, 2013

life, lately.

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This semester totally kicked my ass.

I spent days elbow-deep in 20-page articles to extract a couple of sentences for a research paper. I read through countless job descriptions, only to nix the majority of them because, well, I’m overly picky some (most) times. I ate several pints of Ben & Jerry’s (… cause everyone knows that 1 pint is actually just 1 serving, right?). I ventured to the laundromat for the first time. I changed laundromats because… oddballs and weirdos. (Enough said.) I ran around campus for group projects, then ran around the city for job interviews. Needless to say, sleep was minimal. I spent a week wearing a suit and pairing it with the same 2 dress shirts; I never felt as thankful to put on a pair of jeans as I did by the end of that week. I sat on my bed and ate a slice of the best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had. I sat on my bed and let mascara run down my face (perfect make-up is overrated). I walked 20 minutes to get another slice of aforementioned pumpkin pie from Flour Bakery, only to find that THERE WAS NO MORE PIE (!!!!!). I handed in an absurd number of papers and projects; a few of those are probably some of the best work I’ve ever done. I started running. I stopped drinking coffee. Yeah, that didn’t last long (surprise!). I got stuck at JFK the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I discovered the wonder that is a cheddar/ brown sugar/ apple crepe (SO good).

In other words, this semester has undoubtedly been my best yet. Simultaneously torturous but exciting, challenging but beyond rewarding.

I don’t have a recipe for you today, but I do have a random collection of phone pictures that recap some sources of inspiration or happiness from the past few months. In other words, life lately.

LL Update-1749

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December 10, 2012

real talk: getting sentimental up in here

Yup. This is about to happen. Deal with it. Embrace it. Love it.

I met Joy the Baker yesterday.

Wait. Let me just repeat that one more time. I MET JOY THE BAKER YESTERDAY!!!

(Apologies for the obnoxious use of caps. Totally necessary, though.)

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Joy has a major online presence in the food blogging world, so I am sure many of you are, at the very least, familiar with her name. But for me, (queue cheesiness – annnnnnnnnnnnd go!) Joy and her blog have their own special significance. (See! I warned ya!)

This’ll require some back-tracking.

I’m really weird when it comes to recipes. As a general rule, I hate following them. Why? Because, totally admittedly, I’m selfish and like to have complete propriety and ownership of my own recipe. Several summers ago, I went to bake a chocolate root beer cake and, of course, didn’t even so much as look at any similar recipes. What were you thinking, girl? Gotta educate yourself on these things! Needless to say, the cake was a complete flop – gummy, dense, tasteless.

I have never been so happy to have made a disaster of a recipe. This was probably the luckiest failure I’ve had.

After tasting the cake and acknowledging how terrible it was, I took to the internet and googled “root beer cake.” And that’s how this little gem fell into my lap.

I must’ve spent a minimum of two hours on her site that day, not to mention the countless hours I’ve spent there since. I loved her writing voice, all-around quirkiness, eye-catching photos, and, of course, the recipes. It was inspiring.

Several months later, The Moonlight Baker® was born. My first post? A recipe adapted from one of Joy’s.

(Side note: At that point, I was still learning how to use WordPress and kept re-publishing my post as it was in progress, rather than just saving drafts. I can’t imagine how many annoying, unnecessary ping-backs she must’ve gotten because of that one post. Ooops!)

Last February when Joy’s book was released, I ordered it right away despite the fact that I was living in a dorm that did not have a kitchen. When it arrived, I immediately picked it up from the mail-room, returned to my room, and read through it cover-to-cover. (And believe me, I am by no means a reader!)

This book has traveled with me since – to New York, and back to Boston this fall.

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I wound up packing the 3 cookbooks traveling back to Boston with me in my safe, for the sake of saving space. But just before I closed the lid, I thought to take this picture. Unintentionally symbolic. That’s what this is.

Joy’s book is no longer in the safe. I keep it on the window ledge by my bed (I don’t have any book cases), which is the perfect spot for picking it up any time I find myself needing inspiration.

Joy, in the unlikely event that you have made your way over to my little slice of the internet, I just want to say thank you once again. It was a treat getting to meet you (just ask my roommates, I’d been talking about the Eat Boutique in excitement for days!). You are just as sweet, heartfelt, and quirky in person as you are on your blog, and I really appreciated that you took the time to chat with every  single person who came out to meet you. I promise to “love and butter-stain” your book, just as you’ve suggested! :] Keep up everything you’re doing, girl! You’re awesome.

November 24, 2010

thankful.

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A few days ago, I received this envelope.  Plain, yellow, unassuming. 

Average? 

No.  Definitely not average.

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You see, I hadn’t ordered anything in recent weeks – hadn’t sent for a cute piece of jewelry from Urban Outfitters or requested a catalogue from a specialty store.  Instead, I received this envelope the real old-school way.  Yup, that’s right.  Hand-delivery. 

My uncle passed the envelope on to me, like a baton in a track relay, and explained that this was just a little something from Cooking in Stilettos.  He watched as I opened it up, examined my reaction every step of the way. 

Inside was a copy of Bakerella‘s book, Cake Pops.  Way cool!  I’ve been hearing so much about this book since its release, in addition to being a regular reader of Bakerella’s blog and, in turn, seeing pictures from her book tour.  Before I got the chance to flip through the glossy pages, he further advised me, “Look inside.”

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And as soon as I did, I had a bit of an excuse-me-while-I-pick-my-jaw-up-off-the-floor moment.

Now, I didn’t have that strong of a reaction because of Bakerella’s status as a blogging celebrity (don’t get me wrong – I think she’s awesome!)  Rather, I was amazed by the fact that someone – someone who I’ve never actually met – would go to such lengths and do such a kind gesture  for me.  As if buying a copy of the book wasn’t enough, but waiting on a long line to have it signed too?  So sweet, considerate – personal. 

I was, and still am, so flattered. 

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 To me, this gesture said, “Welcome to the food-blogging community.  We’re glad you’re here.” 

Well, guess what?  I’m glad I’m here, too. 

For fear of becoming super cheesy any moment, I’m just about ready to end my rant.  I just wanted to thank you, my readers, perhaps my fellow bloggers, and especially Cooking in Stilettos, for letting me be a part of this community. 

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!  Don’t eat too much! (Only kidding!) :]

October 16, 2010

remember when . . .

I showed you what desire looks like. 

Square, hard-covered, and adorned with an awfully tempting picture.

Well then, this is what desire looks like in a plastic bag.  Right out of the store, in my arms. 

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BAKED Explorations.  I can’t even begin to articulate how awesome this book is.

Edgy, down-home, sweet, saulty, saucy, comforting, so-bad-for-you-it’s-good.  Oh my.  I’m beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed. 

You?

Baked - Explorations

I finally took the plunge and bought this book.  Not that I didn’t want to all along – because I did.  And I could have.  But I’m just weird and like to let anticipation build. 

 But – a  “40%  off ” Borders coupon and a stack of 5 of these books on an in-store display is enough to make a girl change her mind.  You can understand, right?

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I’ve already started to compile a list of  BAKED recipes that I am dying to try.

Nutella scones, almond joy tart, bananas foster fritters, malted crisp tart, farm stand buttermilk doughtnuts – the list literally goes on and on.  I might as well cook my way through the entire book.  I probably will.  You know what that means?  I’ll have to sample everything too.

I think we’re entering dangerous territory . . .

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October 5, 2010

this is what desire looks like.

Square, hard-covered, and adorned with an awfully tempting picture.

Yes.  This, indeed, is what desire looks like. 

If you recall, I’m not a recipe person.  I prefer to experiment with my recipes, and  I prefer to have that ownership. 

(I know, I’m a rebel.  It’s cool.)

But sometimes, every once in a while –  when the stars align, the moon shines bright, and calc. homework doesn’t exist (only kidding, I don’t mind math that much) –  I come across a cookbook.  A very special cookbook that grabs my attention and compels me to purchase it. 

Helloooooo, Baked Explorations.    You are that special little cookbook. 

I had some extra time to kill before going to work yesterday, so I decided to stop into the Barnes and Noble  just around the corner.  I headed straight to the cookbook section – on a mission.  I was on the hunt for Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

 . . . And then I found its sequel.  Explorations. 

The Baked cookbooks stem from a hip bakery, Baked, in Brooklyn.  I’ve never been there, but I plan to go.  One day.  Until then, I’ll just have to make due with their recipes. 

I’ve stumbled upon the these cookbooks numerous times.  I love their format, commentary, pictures.  But I especially love their recipes. 

I want them. 

I know I may have made it sound like I currently own these two lovely books.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Not yet, anyway. 

Books are expensive, and cookbooks are no exception.  I have to hype myself up about my future purchases, before I take the plunge. 

I imagine it’ll take another 2 to 3 more trips to Barnes before I commit and actually bring these books home with me.  But they will be mine.  That’s a promise. 

It’s only a matter of time . . .

Then again, I might as well just save the money on gas.