Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blackout Chocolate Birthday Cake

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I don't find myself with much time to make huge celebration cakes very often anymore these days, but I did put this one together for a friend's birthday over the summer. The only thing I knew about his dessert preferences was that he loves chocolate, because every time we'd go walking their dogs, he'd order a chocolate sundae with chocolate brownie pieces and more chocolate fudge on top at the local ice cream stop. So, hence the invention of what I deemed, the true blackout chocolate birthday cake. Like this one, with moist black chocolate layers of cake and dark chocolate fudge frosting and embedded chocolate chips and cacao nib brittle on top, is truly a sentence of death by chocolate. Everyone needed milk, but it was glorious.


In other notes, I've been finding myself avoiding blogging recently, mostly because time constraints on the tenure track keep me from "perfecting" blog posts. Sure, I've still been cooking and making fantastical desserts, but I haven't had time to write down recipes and create picture-perfect set-ups with brand new props and mood lighting each time. In fact, I've just been living and cooking in real life. Which is kind of a refreshing change of pace. It's freeing, to cook creatively and spontaneously without having to note down every minutiae, but I miss the blogging aspect, the interacting and sharing with you all part.

So here it is, the start of a new chapter in the blog: the imperfect chapter. This is now going to be Desserts for breakfast: the notebook, the journal, the not overly-crafted diary. There aren't going to be perfectly written recipes. Instead, I'm going to share a glimpse into how I normally write down recipes for myself: jotted notes, lists of ingredients. Because cooking ultimately shouldn't be about following a recipe to a t. Cooking should be about following such finely-honed instincts that you have about flavors and textures and tastes to make a recipe your own. And then sharing it with others.


So sorry but I'm not sorry for the casual tone this blog is going to take on from here on out. It's going to be this way because blogs, like everything else, need to evolve. To grow. To develop. And so this is the phase in Desserts for breakfast life where we learn to love the imperfections. Where I learn to share just because that's how people connect. Where I figure out how to live parts of my life contently, to value what's in front of me, rather than always trying to make every action serve some purpose of getting ahead. Because there's enough of that rat race for my career. And dessert should just be about dessert.





Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Postcards: Autumn in Yosemite



It's amazing that I've been out here, near Yosemite for a year now. I recently took a few friends on trips into the park and realised that I'd seen every season this year around Yosemite Valley, and the changes are just gorgeous to witness. Each season is just totally different: cloudy blankets of snow and fog in the winter, roaring waterfalls and exploding dogwood in the spring, dry moss padding underfoot in the summertime, and heavily slanted sunsets and blue-orange-black-browns in the fall.

Here are some photos I managed to capture the past few times in the park. Several visitors are coming in for November, so I'm extra excited to get to see the park at the autumn-winter transition this year.


Get outdoors! Breathe deep! Stand silently at the topmost point and dream.
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