Thursday, September 29, 2011

TGIF



Given that Fridays are, like, my busiest days of the week, I'm just going to be glad when it's finally Saturday. :) This week has been way too hot (90 degree weather in SF proper!), and I'm definitely looking forward to a cooler weekend, with rain on the horizon next week, and a quick (and productive) trip to the antique fair on Sunday. Weekend plans? Share below!

(P.S. Boy with cake is my kind of guy. :-))

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pumpkin S'mores Cake, and a Blogrthday!



Well!  This little slice of the internets is turning two!  Two!  That's two years since the first recipe, vegan chocolate pumpkin cupcakes, went live on the air.  That's roughly 170+ recipes--one a week--since then.  That's roughly 200+ posts, and countless pounds of butter, chocolate, sugar, cream, and flour.

To me, this is amazing.  I can hardly believe it.  I've never been able to keep any consistent journals before in my life.  In grade school, I was always the first to slack off when teachers gave "journal" assignments over the summer or holidays.  Currently, in my old room at my parents' house sit stacks upon stacks of partially-used journals (much to my mom's great frustration), in which I wrote a page or two before giving up and starting anew.  Sure, I have a personal blog that's been on the web since the start of college, but often long months and stretches of time go by without me even logging in at all (and I only really ever log in to have a place to complain and vent).  So really, the fact that desserts for breakfast has been here, week after week, for two long years... I have no idea how this has happened!

[click on photo for larger image]

But really, it's amazing, and exciting, and I honestly think that you all, readers and blogging community friends, are to thank for whatever has kept this blog going all this time.  Two years ago, I was extremely lonely, having (relatively) recently moved to a new town and situation.  I so clearly remember standing in my kitchen, woefully longing for a group of friends who were like-minded and understood my baking obsessions and not knowing where in the world I could find such people, though I knew such people must exist!  And by some sheer luck, two years later, here I am now, with so many of you.  :-D  Wonderful!

To celebrate this two-year blogrthday (aka: "blogiversary"), I decided to make a play on the blog's first recipe and remix it with one of the darling desserts of the food blogosphere for a pumpkin s'mores cake.  The cake layers are super moist and airy spiced pumpkin-graham cracker chiffon (made with homemade graham crackers, of course!), alternating with generous mounds of sweet, fluffy toasted marshmallow frosting and a thick glaze of deep, dark chocolate ganache.  This is one of those sticky, melty, and ever so slightly gooey constructions that you end up licking clean off the plate!


These past two years have been absolutely wonderful for me, packed with tons of new experiences and friends and things to learn and foods to eat/bake on the blogosphere.  So, thank you! for making it so wonderful and fantastic, and here's wishing us plenty more butter, flour, chocolate, cream, and sugar to come.



Read on for recipe....

Friday, September 23, 2011

TGIF



I've got a date with homemade graham crackers this weekend.

What are your plans? Share below!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Postcards from Summer: Hawai'i, part I


I have a confession:  Two weeks ago, I played hookey from school (okay, fine, I did tell my professors) and took one last summer hurrah! on an escape to the Big Island of Hawai'i.  I had never been before, and it. was. awesome.  There's by far too much to fit into one post, so instead, here's Part I (already, in and of itself, too big and long).  Click on the top photo to launch a gallery, full-screen view!

[mauna ulu]

The Big Island of Hawai'i was definitely not what I had expected.  From stereotypes and the movies, I thought Hawai'i was going to be nothing but white sand beach after beach after beach.  Before we left, I complained to my travel companion, "But I'm going to be so bored sitting on the beach all day doing nothing!"  (Yes, I know I'm ridiculous, complaining about going on vacation.)  But, suffice it to say, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Our first stop was Volcano (for some reason, I couldn't get this movie out of my head while I was there).  Rocks, steam vents, volcanic fog (aka: 'vog'), pāhoehoe and 'a'ā lava flows, barren black earth.  It was a reminder of how terrifying but amazing the natural world is.  And it was a geology-enthusiast's dream. Yay for the Roadside Geology of Hawai'i!-- and Yes, I'm a geek who vacations with a geology book. So what?


Then, there were the rainforests.  Mosquito-filled, yes.  But beautiful and lush nonetheless.  I don't think I have ever seen so much green growing upon green growing upon green in my life.... and then suddenly, the green would open up to reveal dramatic waterfalls, with little magic rainbows reflected off of them in the mornings.  One of the places we stayed, too, was tucked away right smack dab in the middle of the rainforest, perched on the hillside of the Volcano.  You must stay here.  It is unspeakably amazing.  Oh, and then there were these wonderful and wise-looking  banyan trees whose majesty just couldn't fit in the 24mm frame of my camera.  And the drives to the ocean through the forests!  *sigh!*

[akaka falls]

[to Kapoho Bay]

Stay tuned next time for the Ocean and what we ate (because this is a foodie journal, of course!).

more Postcards from Summer:

Friday, September 16, 2011

TGIF


The sun's setting earlier and earlier each day--and conversely, my to-do list is getting longer and longer each day--so it must really be the end of summer soon. Sigh!

How was your week? Share plans for the weekend below! As for me, I get to clean house this weekend! Woooooo*! (*not) Please tell me yours will be much more fun.

Have a great one!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cornmeal Olive Oil Cake, with Ugly Green Plums



I feel sorry for these plums, because they most definitely do not deserve the name "ugly green plums."  First of all, I don't find them ugly at all!  And second, whatever they supposedly lack in appearance as compared to, well, more physically attractive plums, they make up for in flavor, for they are sweet and juicy all the way through, with none of that characteristic tartness that most oftentimes plagues plums.  And, just because they're pointy and green doesn't mean you should call them ugly.  I mean, have you not seen Wicked?


And yet, I have no idea what the official variety of these plums are, since the woman who sells them at the farmers' market just labels them (and I'm not exaggerating here) with a large sign that reads "UGLY GREEN PLUMS."  Granted, she does insist that these are her favorite fruit to bring to market, so at least that's something.... Anyways, in an effort to give these plums a better name (PR is everything these days, people), I sliced them up and baked them into a wonderfully moist and yet a tad bit crunchy cornmeal and olive oil cake.  And they were delicious.


I vote it's time to rebrand these beauties with a new name: suggestions, anyone?


In other news, I'm back from Hawai'i and attempting to resist settling back in to a normal routine--of course. :-)  Lots of photos to come, though this might take a little bit....


Read on for recipe....

Friday, September 9, 2011

TGIF



Every now and then on rare occasion, I remember to step back and snap a shot of my photography setup.  Here's the one I used for the fig, mascarpone, and pistachio tart from a few posts back, for those interested parties.

[click on photo above for a larger image.]

I know not much has been going on in this little corner of the blogosphere this week.  But! In addition to the feature in N.E.E.T. magazine, I've also been illustrated (by illustrator Amanda Waggoner), along with a few other wonderful bloggers, in a super-fun fall food feature in the second issue of Styled Magazine--check it out here!

Next week, we shall return to our regular, scheduled programming.  :-)  In the meantime, what are everyone's weekend plans?  Share below!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Caramel Apple Crisp, in N.E.E.T.


This week, I have the honor of being featured with two of my favorite food bloggers, Hannah at Honey & Jam and Julie at Always with Butter, in the latest issue of N.E.E.T. magazine.  Click here to head on over to N.E.E.T. for our comfort food recipes, including a caramel apple crisp from me!
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