How was your memorial day weekend? Mine was fabulous!!!
I went to my second cousin's Bar Mitzvah in NYC, and the party was beyond amazing. As in, I had caviar, lamb chops, center cut sirloin, pizza with truffle oil, dim sun, crab cakes, cheese of every variety, and there was an open bar, of course
I got to introduce the boyfriend to my family, and I was able to impress everyone with how much I've matured in the past year, as well as bore them with details of my new job.
You heard me correctly. I have a new job.
YAY!!! Only weeks before my current research grant ran out, I was offered a full time position doing super exciting clinical research. I made those brain cupcakes after my interview two weeks ago, and they ended up being the good luck charm I needed! So there's going to be a lot of changes in the next few weeks, and I have no clue how my schedule will adapt to blogging/cooking/photography. But hopefully I'll be able to keep it up, because I can't imagine my life without it.
And while I was recovering from my food induced coma this weekend I found this recipe for real popcorn chicken in my sister's Parents magazine, and immediately tore out the page. I imagined it would be a fun thing to make, and I was right! ...continue reading →
The warm weather and high humidity is proof that summer is finally here. Time to refill my grill gas tank, set up my hammock (I don't actually have a hammock, but I can dream!), and most importantly, start buying in-season fruits and veggies.
As a person with an insatiable sweet tooth, I am disappointed with myself as a child for not embracing the natural sweetness of berries. It's only been within the past two or so years that I've been able to get over my hang-ups about texture, and now I simply cannot get enough of them (Though, admittedly, the hairs on the raspberries still creep me out if I think too hard about them). I love berries dipped in chocolate, eaten plain, baked into pies and cakes, and made into smoothies. Any way I can get my fill of these mouthwateringly juicy flavors.
And when it's just too hot outside to even imagine turning on your oven or grill, this cool, sweet soup completely hits the spot.
Though calling it a soup might be a bit of a stretch, this creamy pink smoothie in a bowl will delight everyone, and it's so simple to make! Eat it as a dessert, a snack, or with a large salad for a perfect and easy summer meal. ...continue reading →
Cooking is a lot like art. You can experiment and substitute and adapt, and still get fantastic results. Baking, on the other hand, is a lot more like science.
Being a "scientist" myself, you'd think that this make me a pretty good baker. Unfortunately this wasn't the case. It took me several months before I could bake an edible cupcake, and several more before they actually tasted good. I guess my creative, artistic side is more at home in the kitchen than my precise, analytic scientist side.
Photography is another art that can be boiled down to science. Our brains are wired to find certain pictures appealing, and others unattractive. This makes food photography even more difficult, because you have to find a way to tell a story and create a mood...while making the food look appetizing!
These brain cupcakes were a fun experiment (ha) in combining the art and science of both baking and photography, as part of my new desire to take better, more interesting pictures.
I remade my favorite biscoff cupcakes, but this time I added a chocolate ganache filling and a swiss meringue buttercream frosting to pipe the cute little cortex. I got the idea directly from Not So Humble Pie, a great blog that unfortunately isn't updated much anymore, but has an awesome section dedicated to science-themed cookies and cakes.
You might notice a goat cheese trend on my blog, and there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this phenomenon: I freaking love goat cheese.
But the main reason is because my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, and as he loves to cook with me, we have been trying out some low-lactose dishes. Luckily, there are some amazing recipes with goat cheese out there, like this delicious pasta medley that incorporates the goat cheese into a tangy, alfredo-like sauce.
Disclaimer: the photography might not be quite up to par for this post, as I was cooking at Kevin's apartment and he has little to no counter space to set up lights. ...continue reading →
As I type out this blog post, I am already rearranging my schedule around in my head so that I have time to make a double batch of these tonight. The first batch, which I made last week, disappeared far too quickly for me to savor them. Granted, the cupcakes were phenomenal. Simply the most successful cupcakes I've had since Ken and I made the chocolate and beer cupcakes with Baileys buttercream frosting.
I find that the further I push myself into becoming a better cook, the more my palate evolves. Where once I preferred my cupcakes as sweet as I could make them, I now gravitate towards more savory desserts. As soon as I bought my first jar of biscoff I knew I wanted to start baking with it right away, but I wasn't sure how to make sure the sweetness didn't overpower the dish.
Biscoff, for those of you who don't know, is heaven in a jar. Made from Lotus biscoff cookies (you might have had them in Europe, or on planes), it's similar in consistency to peanut butter, but deserves a spot on that high pedestal right next to nutella. It has a gingerbready flavor with a hint of cinnamon, and maybe even a little bit of toffee in there. It's to die for, and you can use it in so many ways. Luckily, I found the prefect recipe to use the unique flavor of this spread without being too sweet. ...continue reading →
While I was perusing my friend Bee's blog, over at a Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine (congrats on the new domain name, chica!), I noticed her most recent post was a Cinco de Mayo recipe. Panicking slightly, I looked at my calendar and realized it was, in fact, almost May 5th. Where has this spring gone!? With the strange weather we've been getting in Rochester, my brain has not really wrapped around the fact it'll soon be summer.
But it's true, and I must forge ahead. So being inspired by Bee, I frantically searched for a fun Mexican dish to make to celebrate this fun holiday. Five minutes before I left work to go grocery shopping I stumbled upon this recipe for chorizo, bean, and cheese nachos from Emeril, over at FoodNetwork.com. It is layered like a lasagna and baked, and the rings of onions on top gave it a cool polka dot effect that I thought was cute
Despite my mother not liking sausage, I tend to use it in quite a few of my recipes. I love how versatile it can be! You can cook it whole and shove it in a bun, you can slice it and saute it, or you can crumble it and use like ground beef. Chorizo is different from regular sausage, and it has a distinctive taste that comes from the vinegar and paprika. There are many varieties, so for this Cinco de Mayo dish, make sure you purchase a Mexican chorizo (Spanish chorizo is very different). ...continue reading →
You know how oftentimes at a party, the first appetizer to disappear is the simplest one? People will always love complicated dips, and food wrapped in other foods of course, but sometimes they just want something safe and delicious. Well, these toasted baguettes are easy to make and as non-threatening as you can get with an appetizer, and each bite packs a big punch of fresh flavor.
I don't need to write paragraphs about how delicious these are, because I'm pretty sure that by reading "toasted baguettes with goat cheese, basil, and shallots," you acquired a general idea of what they taste like. So lets skip right to the chase! ...continue reading →