tutorial: pink momofuku birthday cake and lollipop cookies.

momofuku birthday cake a + confetti cookie lollipop tutorial.

This is just for those of you who may be interested in reproducing either the cake or the cookies from the Wee One’s most recent birthday party. Neither thing is difficult to figure out – I imagine most of you could sort it out by looking at a few photos – but I thought I’d help just the same: some of you get (unjustifiably) nervous when faced with anything which starts with “M” and ends with “fuku.” So here we go! Continue reading →

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feast magazine, september 2014: prickly pear margarita cookies.

feast magazine, september 2014: prickly pear margarita cookies.

Prickly pears! Less weird than you think, people. Have you had them? If I think about it, I’ve probably seen them skulking around my grocer’s “exotic produce” section for years now. Considering what my grocer deems “exotic,” it almost definitely means you can find them in your area; if you live in California, the Southwest, Michigan (I swear) or Florida, chances are high you’ll wander by them at some point. They may not always look like the google search I know you just did for “images: prickly pears” – those swollen, burgundy orbs are what you’d find if you lived next door to the cacti which produce them – but give them a chance no matter color they are. Continue reading →

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you’re invited: the wee one’s birthday party, 2014.

you're invited: the wee one's birthday, 2014.

The Wee One is officially 4 years old! Can you believe it? She’s got some nerve, growing up this fast. When I started the blog, she looked like this:

you're invited: the wee one's birthday, 2014.

chubbsters!

Now, she looks like this: grown up enough to be slightly awkward and self-conscious in posed photographs. To me, it’s just another delightful way in which she and I are identical. Continue reading →

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vanilla malt bundt cake.

vanilla malt bundt cake.

My Wee One headed back to school this morning…for her second year of preschool.

She’ll be 4 years old this week.

When I started this space, she was just a baby; as in literally a baby wobbling around on pudgy legs that had just learned how to walk.

*sigh*

If you need me, I’ll just be right over here inside this cake. It’s not a big bundt – only a 6 cup bundt, more of a petite teacake – but I think if I try really hard, I could curl myself up in it and live there for a few days. Perhaps tunnel my way out by snacking. I don’t know. But that’s the plan. Continue reading →

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Things on a Plate: fig-pecan-molasses or apricot-pistachio-honey salad plates.

things on a plate: arugula, prosciutto, ricotta, fig, pecan, molasses

Every summer, my personal food choices seem to degenerate into a category best described as “some things on a plate.” I don’t know if it has more to do with bountiful produce, bountiful heat, or bountiful laziness, but it happens, and it’s happened every summer since I was a child. Perhaps it’s embedded in my genes, because everyone in my family seems to be afflicted.

Continue reading →

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feast magazine, august 2014: guava-pineapple paletas with coconut vanilla-infused cream.

guava pineapple paletas with coconut vanilla-infused cream.

White food, coming through! Sorry, friends; this is just one of those things which will forever keep me out of “professional food photographer” territory; my inability to photograph pale food well. It’s like a curse.

The August Feast is here! It was here almost a week ago, but who’s counting? I’ve been busy poring over each page, as it’s the magazine’s annual bear hug to the best St. Louis has to offer, culinarily speaking. Not an awkward hug, either: St. Louis bear-hugs right back, and it’s something to behold, especially if you’ve lived here all your life as I have. And while all this food love happens, while gorgeous plates of food are styled and captured on film, I get to work with…paste! Continue reading →

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candy bars [made from healthy things.]

candy bars.

Experts say re-entry is one of the most difficult and critical parts of space travel. Get your trajectory wrong, and you’re subject to a whole host of problems, the biggest of which is drag. The FAA states that the reentry of spacecraft isn’t all that much different from a skipped rock entering a placid lake:

“[Astronauts] must plan to hit the atmosphere at the precise angle and speed for a safe landing. If they hit too steeply or too fast, they risk making a big “splash,” which would mean a fiery end. If their impact is too shallow, they may literally skip off the atmosphere and back into the cold of space.” -Federal Aviation Administration, section 4.1.7, Returning From Space: Re-Entry

Yikes. Continue reading →

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field notes: florida, 2014.

field notes: florida 2014.

Remember when I said I couldn’t wait to get back to making food and writing about it in this little space I have here? Yeah…so as it turns out, I don’t do that much baking and cooking on vacation without really making an effort to do so. I had no idea: in years past, it seemed like the natural thing to do.

This year was different; I blame the Amish. Hear me out. Continue reading →

how i survived whole30: 10 tips + what i learned.

how i survived the Whole30 Challenge.

If you read my last post, I [successfully, miraculously} completed the Whole30 Challenge.* It was grueling, and it was not so grueling. It was hard at times, easy at times, and I would totally do it again. Some of you wanted to know more about how I did it (probably because you can’t quite wrap your head around how I could live life sans grains, sugar, legumes, et cetera for an entire month), so I thought I’d make a little guidebook of sorts to doing it – should you be so inclined – and also what I learned from the process.

Whole 30 ultimately requires you to commit, plan, execute that plan, and be mindful at all times of what you are eating. Or not eating, as is often the case. It’s not about starvation or about “dieting”; rather, I gave exactly zero cares about calories during the program. I ate each meal until I was full, and then I waited – no almost no snacking – for the next meal. Rinse and repeat. It sounds like a “diet” at first, but it’s not really a diet as much as it’s just forcing you to be 100% clear on what you’re eating and when you’re eating it.

*I should note that in no way, shape or form did the Whole30 people sanction this. In fact, I would probably be on their list of the last people on earth they’d want to blog about it. Lest you were to think this is in any way sponsored, it is most certainly not. Just me subjecting my body to experiments.

Continue reading →

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feast magazine, july 2014: halloumi bites (and what i’ve been doing)

feast magazine july 2014: halloumi bites.

(*scribble scribble crumple*)  Did you hear that? It’s me writing things!

Apparently my whole entire being felt the need to take a break for *ahem* a month or something. It wasn’t planned, but looking back, it should have been: it seems as though there are two key things I repeatedly forget in both blogging and in life, which are:

  • I can’t actually do everything all at once, and
  • There are not unlimited hours in the day; wishing does not actually make that so.

Whoops.

So, good news, I have not been kidnapped Misery-style by a Kathy Bates-like person, nor have I lost use of my fingers. Yay? I’ll tell you what I have been up to, though, if you’re interested. Continue reading →

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