gingerbread whoopie pies w. cream cheese frosting & autumn

I was craving autumn, and that is most definitely what I received.

Well, let’s back track.

First of all: it’s been a month since I posted! Shame on me. I guess school grabbed hold of me by the shirt and refused to let go. No, but seriously, senior year has been a bit hectic (surprisingly less so than junior year): college applications, science competitions, classes, homework, the whole shebang. Thankfully, though, I’m mostly done with college applications so that’s something to be happy about.🙂

Also!! I bought a polaroid camera and I LOVE it. I’ll include some pictures at the end of the post.

Update on my leg! I went back to the orthopedist because I began feeling pain in my knee again, and long story short, I received the wrong brace and so my knee has actually been deteriorating over the past year. Yay! That’s always fun. So I went in for measurements for a new brace, and I’ll receive that (along with an insole for my shoe) in two weeks. Apparently I have flat feet. Oh, the woes of being a premature baby. I’m just hobbling wherever I go right now. Whoopie!

Speaking of whoopies (that’s such a horrible segue, I’m so sorry), I was feeling like autumn tonight. The weather has finally turned a bit chilly, allowing me to slip on my hoodies and bundle myself in protective layers of thick cotton, swaddled like a baby. It’s definitely refreshing, seeing as how the weather has finally turned cool.

What with the change in the temperature, of course it the change in my cravings was pretty much inevitable. To me (and probably most people), autumn is synonymous with pumpkins, caramel, hot drinks, spices, ginger, creme brulées (kudos to you if you get this reference), and fattening-ly homey foods. Foods with enough fat to make you feel shameful, but you don’t because as you’re eating  you can feel the warmth traveling down into your stomach, and man, it just feels so good. Who cares about calories?

I wanted something sweet with spice and warmth, something I could quickly make on a school night and possibly transport to school. I started with recipes for cupcakes, until my eye fell upon a recipe for whoopie pies on accident. Oh. That’s what I wanted.

gingerbread whoopies 1!

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leek risotto with sun-dried tomatoes & summer

If I’m being honest, I wrote this post and it’s been collecting dust in my drafts. In case you didn’t notice yet, I’m not the best at posting things on time.
Old habits die hard.

In other news, my birthday passed!😉

It’s hot.
It’s humid.
It’s sticky.
It’s still summer.

Not that, you know, I’m complaining or anything. But come on!! The weather is pretty ridiculous. Thank goodness for rain, though — after raining for a day, the temperature dropped by fourteen degrees. You cannot look me in the eyes and say that isn’t ridiculous.

In other news, the research at the lab and the internship at the bakery are both coming along swimmingly! I’m definitely learning a lot from the internship, and the research is just interesting.

Besides that, nothing very exciting has been going on in my life (welcome to summer). I can’t, though, believe that July is almost over. Oh my god! School is going to be here with it’s competitions and college applications and tests and stress and senioritis. I’m under prepared for that, definitely. And my birthday is in six days! I’ll be turning seventeen! Oh, how time flies.

I was hit with a sudden craving for risotto the other day as I was curled up on my couch in the cool, AC-ified room while watching Law and Order: SVU (which I finished by the way, all fourteen seasons). How random is that? You’re watching detectives solve rapes and murder and you’re just pulled under by the most out of the blue, drool-worthy craving for some creamy, hot risotto in the middle of the summer.

Well, then again. I never did say I was normal.

risotto

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brown butter pasta & updates

Well…it’s been a while.

And in that “while,” a lot of things have happened. For starters, it’s SUMMER VACATION. That means no more waking up at 6:40AM (woohoo) and going to school and staying for a mind boggling number of hours, having my mind…boggled. Ya know.

Additionally, I managed to hook an internship at a bakery. Mind you, it’s a small bakery, but it’s a nice one. It’s French-focused, so the pastries go along the lines of croissants, macarons, tarts, etc etc. It’s pretty cute.

And today was my first day.

To be quite honest, I did much more than I expected to — I expected to start with dishes, you know, and work my way up. Working there and speaking with the owner/baker today, though, I learned why I was immediately given work — because the bakery is small and run by a couple, she said it was easier to get me to the actual work right away (compared to a larger, money-raking business). I’m definitely not complaining about that.

I ended up helping her make carrot cake, cake balls (vanilla and coconut), tart shells, and I also zested and juiced some lemons. The entire time we were talking (when needed), and I learned a lot (little tips and tricks here and there) and we also just talking about general things. It was really, really fun. I was surprised when it was time to leave (my shift is 8AM – 12PM)…4 hours, where did you go?!

And in those 4 hours, I wasn’t hungry. You know why? Because of my beautiful, gorgeous, drop-dead simple summer spectacular (say that three times fast) dinner last night. That’s right.

I saw a video last night while surfing Tumblr (woo) for a recipe for pasta, and my lord it looked good. I reblogged it, and made it a few hours later. So. So. So. Good!!! And simple!!! What else do you need!? Brown butter pasta, you are deliciously luscious. (My picture is shown with some leftover tonkatsu).

final

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scones, “clotted cream,” & winding down

**I actually had some very nice pictures for this post, but they’re lost because the computer restarted itself and didn’t save anything. :^( I apologize for the picture-less post!

I woke up in the morning the Saturday two weeks ago sore all over because I went to Manhattan the day before with my sister. We ended up arriving around 8am (yeah, don’t ask). We wanted to get there in time to grab some tickets for the free Shakespeare play at Central Park, but we ended up getting there a bit…early. My sister and I walked around for a time, just strolling around the park. It was pretty fabulous – the weather was beautiful and perfect, and there weren’t too many people at the park.

We (there’s going to be a lot of “we” in this post haha, can you tell?) bummed around until 11am, when we decided to get our butts to where they were handing out the tickets because they were given out at 12pm…and oh, my, god. They were sooo many people, the line was literally winding around the park. After purchasing some food and walking to the back of the line (cries), we doodled and talked and did basically nothing for an hour. That was fun. At least we got the tickets!! But now, what to do until 8pm?

After getting the tickets, next destination was the Crafts Festival at Lincoln Center! This is a  festival where a bunch of artistic people get together to sell their art and to publicize. There were some absolutely beautiful things..I also got a dress!!! AHHH!! Also a birthday present for my friend. What a deal.

We then made our way to Housing Works. For those of you who don’t know what Housing Works is, it’s a type of I guess you could say program that has shops throughout NYC: thrift stores, book cafes, etc. (Here’s more information: Housing Works)

I managed to snag a nice top and a nice handbag, and I also purchased…dundundundun…..My Last Supper by Melanie Dunea. For 15$. I teared up a little.

Oh, no! It was nearing 6pm! We hustled our way to Westside Market (after extensive research on our phones using Yelp to decide where to purchase our food while chilling at a Starbucks), where we bought some prepared food to eat as dinner with the fam. My sister got the honey-dijon salmon with broccoli rabe and cauliflower and carrots and I got the spinach pie and a container of green bean/asparagus/feta/sundried tomato salad. For the parents, we decided on baked ziti with  bolognese with rice and asparagus for the ma, and beef brisket with rice and roasted veggies for the pops. We also purchased two scones and a chocolate croissant! With food in hand, we made our way back to the Central Park entrance to meet up with them (I was so glad I decide on sneakers!). The fam headed for the play, which was the Comedy of Errors. I have to say, the play was very entertaining, and it was really, really fun. Totally worth waiting for the tickets.

Today, I just kept thinking about the scone (it was pretty darn good). And so, I decided to make some of my own.

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pot roast & memorial day weekend

You totally caught me — I wrote this post a week ago. BUT IN MY DEFENSE, I WAS CAUGHT UP WITH..stuff. Yeah. Okay. Let’s continue.

– – – – –

Take a deep breath.
APs are over, baby. YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAH.
Ahem.
That doesn’t mean testing is over, though. I still have finals and Regents to get through. Nine days of school, everyone. Nine days. I am counting down the seconds at this point.

I promised when I made you, blog, that I would be completely honest about everything…and, if I’m being honest, I’ve been cooking loads.  I swear I have been meaning to post them up, to post every last recipe up, but…I mean…I have to transfer the photos, edit them, make the post look pretty…it’s so much work!!
But, I love blogging. So here I am. The guilt has pushed me here to post this recipe (I even have pictures for all the food I’ve made!). I have no excuse. I am sorry (kind of).

In other news, my laptop broke. Cue sarcastic woo-hoo. I basically lost eight years of information and pictures. Did that number make you cringe? Well, I hope it did because I sure cringed when the damn thing wouldn’t turn on. And cried. And possibly threw a fit.

But I got a (kind of) new phone, so I guess everything evens out. (Not really!) So basically my cat died, I had APs right after, my oven broke, my laptop broke, my phone broke (but I got a new one), my life broke, and more tests are coming up. Fun.

ANYWAYS.

This pot roast is the result of my mom buying a top round and sticking it into the already impossibly stuffed refrigerator. Of course, the fact that the refrigerator is so full that we can’t put anything else in it doesn’t stop me from opening the door, sticking my head in, and going “Oh, well, would you look at that? Nothing to eat.” and then proceeding to close the door. Oops. Old habits die hard, yes? (I know you do it too, so don’t shake that head at me because I’m sixteen!) 

So I texted her, and she texted me, and basically this recipe is the result of my mom asking me to cook dinner.

I will warn you in advance that this recipe doesn’t have any amounts or measurements. I kind of just skimmed the internet for the basics of a pot roast, and then proceeded to throw everything in a pot and call it a day. Give me a break, guys, this is the first three day weekend I’ve had in a while and I have roughly around eight tests (that I’m aware of) right after it. It’s the calm before the storm. And I’m too tired to care.

Let’s get cooking.

pot roast final

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lemon-honey madeleines & testing

It’s that time of the year again when students across the country are beginning to stress about finals. For high school students specifically, of course, it’s AP exam testing followed by finals followed by regents…and then, deep breath, summer vacation.

AP testing has started, with AP Psychology. And then AP Language and Composition. Finally AP US History…

I can wait for AP US History, thanks.

You would think that the weekend before AP testing (APUSH, omg) I’d be cramming as much as I possibly could into my head…nah. I mean, I literally pulled an all-nighter last Thursday to finish a 20 page AP US History term paper. I think I deserve a little break. (To be honest, AP Psych and AP Lang & Comp weren’t that bad.)

I was actually going to make macarons, until I remembered that my poor madeleine pan was rusting away (figuratively). I’ve used it maybe once or twice since I’ve bought it two years ago. Oops. Also, I broke my oven while baking for a contest. Yeah. Go me. (Don’t ask, and I won’t tell. Ask, and I won’t tell anyways.)

Also, I have around four..or so recipes just waiting to be posting. I know I’ve been lagging, and I’m sorry for that!! Forgive me as I wallow in shame. 。:゚(。ノω\。)゚・。

madeleines final

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candied nuts & grief

I have to apologize for not posting anything up. I just started this blog, but I’m already lagging behind. Needless to say, I definitely did not start it at a smart period of time.

I actually had this post withering in my drafts, waiting for me to post it. A lot of things came up in between, though. As an update to the post, my cat died. I have to say, it feels really weird. I’m not sad most of the time, and I try to avoid thinking about it, but then I realize she’s dead. As in really, really dead. She won’t be greeting me at the door, she won’t be entwining herself between my legs, she won’t be meowing eagerly as I prepare her food. Mayra is no more, and her body is just a shell now. She’s not here anymore. I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with that.

And then I’m unexpectedly confronted with her. Last night, for example, I was going through my pictures and I was assaulted with photos of her. I almost broke down.

mayra 2

I’m going to stop, or else I’ll be bawling again.

I’m sorry for such a somber start.

mayra 1

RIP Mayra, 04/16/13

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