Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Invisible Illness Awareness Week

...that's what it is, so I drew this really messy scribble in which I clearly gave up after the first panel.  But you know, if you read it, you might excuse me for that.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pumpkin Swirl Brioche

Today I'm gonna show you a new variation on one of my most popular recipes that hasn't appeared in its full form yet on this blog.  Tis the season for pumpkin spice, but the secret is, you can fill brioche with anything.  Cinnamon sugar is a staple, Nutella is pretty darn good, and pastry cream is to die for (though I use a slightly different shaping method for that one.)  It's a good simple trick to have up your sleeve if you need an impressive brunch item or snack!

EDIT: IT GOT BETTER.  Thanks to some genius test baking by my bff Kitt, I was given the inspiration to put some cream cheese in here too. OH MAN.  Read on for more.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Chicken Korma with Rice Noodles and Lime

So I've got this cook book, New Indian Home Cooking, that has slightly healthier versions of a lot of classic Indian recipes.  This chicken korma is one I've been making and playing with for a few years now.  It's pretty healthy, pretty quick and easy, and very adaptable.  The way we usually end up adapting it is inspired by a Burmese chicken dish that our friend Hana makes, which is delicious, and served over rice noodles with lime juice, green onions, and crunchy fried garlic, (and as I recall, green chilies and cilantro if you're into that.)  Once we'd made this korma a few times mostly as written, we decided that was just what it was missing.  That, and a can of coconut milk.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Well as you can see, the blog and my brain are already firmly in Fall Mode, but considering we're about to enter into yet ANOTHER heat wave, I don't feel TOO bad finally posting my long-procrastinated illustration for Summer.

Summer and I are notoriously Not Friends, which is why I chose one of my real life friends as the model for this piece, to help me think positively about the season.  I also set it at night, of course, when the sun is not boiling and you can imagine crickets chirping the rich perfume of magnolias wafting on a warm breeze, and if it wasn't so ridiculously humid, it might be pretty nice.

Since this is my imaginary idyllic summer illustration, imagine that it is not humid.

Sunday, September 11, 2016



Now look, I know we all know how to make snickerdoodles... but I'm just getting my feet wet again with blogging.  Maybe next time I'll blow your minds.  Today, I was happy with a classic comfort food that brought a little cheer to my (still very hot) kitchen.  Who doesn't like a snickerdoodle?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Twilight II

Once upon a time, I was occasionally a poet.  As the years have gone by, I've lost the habit, but I'd love to start again.  The hardest part of writing is "killing your darlings" - well, it is at the time you're writing it.  Going back seven years later, it's easy to delete everything you've ever written with a keystroke because you're embarrassed by it.  But I still like this one, so I'll post it.  I don't remember what Twilight I was, but I do remember I submitted this to my poetry class with a disclaimer that it had nothing in common with the then-presently-popular trilogy.  Has it been long enough yet that we can say a time of day without invoking sparkly vampires?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's just one of those things.

So I've mentioned here before that I have fibromyalgia, and I want to write a little about the really confusing experience of having a chronic, invisible illness. It's gonna be a really long one, so bear with me.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy Winter Solstice

Finished early enough to send these out this year.  Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Impossible, Everything-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello, blog!!  As ever, it's been a while.  What can I say.  Life is busy and having the perfect confluence of natural light in my very dark kitchen and time to snap glamor shots every time I make a recipe... does not always happen.  Rest assured, however, that I have been hard at work mixing and baking and tweaking and inventing, and somewhere in this process, magical things have occurred.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


I start this new post on an old topic with a sigh.  Is there anything more to say?  For this hippy in the city, the theme of isolation from nature comes back around each year to bite me again.  In the summer I don't want to go out anyway - I'm a Stark.  I don't do well with sweltering.  So I just save it all for the dream of a cold fall wind, or that rare heavy storm that brings a fresh breath of clean air in the thick summer heat.  

In fall, we have our brief bit of joy visiting the mountains I want to call home.  I run in forests and look out from the peaks and remember what I feel like when I'm where I'm supposed to be.  And then we come home to the city, and the few leaves that we have fall, and winter starts to seep in through the windows.  The days are all shades of grey clouds and slanting gold sunbeams and long shadows that make morning and afternoon seem frozen in the moment before twilight.  Bare branches show their intricate designs, where there are branches to be seen.  I love these days, because in my childhood so much of the year was this way.  But it's not the same here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Grandma's Carrot Cake

So when my job told me they wanted a carrot cake, I knew there was only one choice.  My grandma's been making this cake for longer than I've been around, and it's always moist and carroty and perfect.  Well, I only made some teeeeny tiny adjustments.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I often debate whether brioche or challah is my favorite bread.  They share many similarities, for sure.  But brioche has that perfect illusion of lightness that can only come from a TON of fat.  Like slicing into a rich, buttery cloud.  Here I'm using Peter Reinhart's brioche recipes from his classic book The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I say recipes, because I made both the Rich Man's Brioche and Middle-Class Brioche, the difference between the two mostly just being the amount of butter.  The rich man's brioche has a full pound of butter, resulting in an extremely moist bread with a more open crumb and a very intense buttery flavor.  Great for eating as-is, toasted or untoasted, or with jelly or preserves (my favorite accompaniment is actually a sour cherry compote which I sadly don't have at the moment.)

The middle-class brioche has only (hah) a half-pound of butter and is better suited to sandwich buns than its richer sister because the dough has a little more stretch and thus the bread holds together more, while the rich man's will pretty much crumble between the pressure of sliced meat and teeth.  It's excellent for French toast,  too.  The middle-class brioche is also a little easier to shape, because working with a really high butter content dough is kind of like trying to make pottery with clay that melts when you touch it.