This Might Help

Roasted Pears and Chardonnay Ice Cream with Olive Oil and Pine Nuts

olive oil pine nuts
How can a world so white seem so dark? This isn’t the first time I’ve asked this kind of question in this space. But walking through endless walls of winter white so tall I can’t see beyond them has gotten old and contempt, depression, and illness is brewing in our apocalyptic (no longer hyperbole) city. Weak. Tired. Done.

We have limited means of transportation. We’ve suffered through arctic blasts of ice-cold air. There’s nowhere left to move the white. We just continue to pile, hoping the sky is as far away as it seems.

Continue reading

Road to the Recipe

Browned Butter Almond Torte with Pears and Cranberries

torte serving
My memory had always been laser sharp—a gift I received not from my mother or father but perhaps from my grandmother. So it’s unfortunate that I can’t recall when I got my first cookbook that wasn’t a kid’s picture book. It must have been a Christmas gift—Christmas is the only time I receive cookbooks from family. I wish I remembered what title it was so I could know how all of this started.

This Christmas, I hope to see a couple cookbooks under the tree like this one and this one. Because lately I feel like I haven’t treated cookbooks as I used to. It’s been some time since I’ve flipped furiously. I don’t hold them as close; I don’t study them. I’ve been too wrapped up in my own cooking to take pause and keep up with newer works.

Continue reading

Hello, Love

chocolate-almond pear tart with cinnamon whipped cream

Cinnamon Whipped Cream
It’s over. The experiment is over. Winter is here.

Remember this? You thought I was crazy. You were ready to revoke my dessert-lover’s license. I may be crazy but this year, like every year, I did not have a hard time avoiding chocolate from mid spring-December. (And I’m talking real chocolate; the use of white *cough*sweetened cocoa butter*cough* chocolate was totally acceptable.)

This certainly does not (as I tried and failed to explain in my farewell post) mean that I didn’t eat chocolate or chocolate-laced baked goods made by others. I was not following some sort of regime or cleanse. I eat chocolate everyday, and I definitely indulged in plenty of chocolate desserts and pastries while out and about.

But since I did not use my hands to manipulate it—chop a big block of it with all of my might or stir it ever so carefully as it melts into velvet in the bowl of a double boiler—I was still somewhat disconnected from it. Now I am craving something rich, dark, and maybe a bit gooey like I never have before. But the process was justified. I didn’t long to bake with chocolate. I was distracted for the reasons I outlined: The fruits and the flavors of late Spring, Summer, and Fall are too intriguing and too fleeting to put on the back burner. The yearly experiment is a way to broaden my baking horizons and stray from the obvious, from the universally loved.

Continue reading