So I just got back from what has been one of my best trips thus far (well to be fair, I haven't had many trips). For the past week, I went to two great places - Trinidad and London - and I got a chance to enjoy the sights, sounds, and food in two completely different cultures.
Over the next few posts, I'll post a ton of pictures of these trips and tell you more about my experiences...
Ina Garten has never steered me wrong. From her Date Nut Loaf that clearly won rave reviews from all of my taste testers to her Orange chocolate cake (which I actually should revisit soon for this blog), she is a culinary great.
I had made her Lemon cake for the first time several years ago, and I am still amazed that I did not post how well the cake had turned out (well it was more my fault - I just didn't realize I hadn't posted it by accident).
Apart from candies that I discussed in my previous post, the holidays are epitomized by cookies. In fact most food blogs, including my favorites: Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker, and Lottie+Doof, bring forth the deliciousness of the cookie in a variety of ways. Whether it be chocolate, macadamia, chestnut, or any other flavor cookies, they highlight how delicious the holiday season can be.
Thus far, I felt like I haven't yet contributed to this wonderful tradition and that changes today.
That changes today with my white chocolate, walnut, and almond snowball cookies.
So I finally finished my first semester in medical school! What a semester it has been - learning about the cells that make up our body and how they work, seeing patients, meeting my amazing classmates, and having a lot of fun with exploring the city.
I admit that it was stressful, but I enjoyed myself. Still I look forward to the holidays - a time when I can recover with reading novels, listening to new music, cooking, baking, and eating.
When I think of the holidays, one of the first things that comes to my mind is candy. Traditionally, one sees peppermint candy canes, chocolates of various sorts, and boxes of truffles. They make a great gift for the ones that you love (although I'm sure they'd prefer something shiny).
But, what takes it up a notch and trust me will gain bonus points from the people you care about is when they are homemade.
The last few months of my first year in New York have been a whirlwind. Medical books, clinical work, parties, and hanging out with friends have been an absolute blast. Dinners, frozen margaritas, and broadway shows have only made it infinitely better.
But, now and then, when I want to get away from the stress and the busy life, I turn to the little oven in my dorm and try and bake something. Last week, for a mexican fiesta night planned by my friends, I decided to try something a little outside of my comfort zone.
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake topped with little black nuggets of deliciousness - a.k.a blackberries.
Sorry I've been missing for the past few months. It has been insane!
Let me tell you the many many ways that my life has been in constant motion....
1. Packed and shipped everything from California to Michigan
2. Best friend's wedding in Kansas. (I loved my first ever wedding!)
2. Visited family in Michigan
3. Packed and shipped stuff to New York
4. Came to New York
5. Started medical school.
The last part has been intense, but at the same time, I've made so many many friends here that I'm very glad that I'm here in New York. It has also given me a chance to flourish as a person and I'm so excited for the many adventures - both city life and cooking that await me in this crazy yet wonderful city.
Forgive me for this short post. I'm in the process of wrapping things up here in sunny California before I move to New York (exciting!) for the next four years of grueling education in medical school (equally exciting, but daunting as well). So to speed up the cleaning process I'm trying to use up as many ingredients as I can before I move. Especially the ingredients that will spoil in the shipping process - nuts, frozen goods, produce, the usual stuff.
A few weeks ago, I had made those delicious pancakes with the strawberry sauce and the main ingredient in the pancakes was hazelnut meal. That is posted here. Trust me, they are fantastic. In fact, I've made them religiously for the past several weeks, because they are cheap, delicious, and easy to make. When I ran out of hazelnut meal, I turned to the bag of almond meal in my fridge.
So imagine my reaction when I got up this morning only to find that the almond meal was all gone. I smacked my head in frustration. I wondered why the universe was plotting against me. Now what would I use as a dry ingredient that would be tasty (flour is not tasty by itself). The clock said that it was 7 am. Do I really want to wait for an hour for Trader Joe's to open to make pancakes? The answer was an emphatic NO.