Category: foodstuffs

Mastering Macarons, Attempt #3

pumpkin spice macarons So it turns out I was being a little cocky with my raspberry macarons. Because guys, I tried to make Pumpkin Spice macarons, and I utterly failed. And in multiple ways.

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I Made A Fondant Cake And It Wasn’t A Total Bust

First off, who’s the nut who assigned me all these wacky baking projects anyway?

Oh. Right. Me. Fine then.

Here’s my IRL confession: I actually like fondant. I think it makes cakes look pretty and, I dunno, the texture is cool. Overtop buttercream and served with a lovely milky coffee, it’s pretty great to eat.

I’ve always wanted to try making a cake with fondant, and because I hate myself, I wanted to make sure that cake was made with homemadegross-chemical-free fondant. So of course 30 Before 30 was the place to put it.

Here’s the thing: I didn’t actually know what I was getting into with the fondant. Would it be incredibly tricky, like last month’s macarons? Would the ingredients be entirely wackadoo?

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Mastering Macarons, Attempt #2

finished beauties
Don’t worry about that wonky guy on the right. He was the last of the batter, and I sort of cobbled him together with a spatula and my finger.

ICYMI, I’m a dumb-dumb and decided that a really cool thing to try and do before I turned 30 was master the art of making what one person has called “the hardest cookie to make” or something like that. (Sorry, it’s Friday and I’m too lazy to go back and actually pull that quote.)

Macarons are finicky, and they just aren’t worth it, except that they totally are, because one of those addicting little sandwich cookies will cost you upwards of $2, depending on how fancy the place you buy it from is. I’m talking about saving money here — if I can manage to unlock the secret of macarons, why, I’ll be a rich lady.

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Dr. Sears’ Pregnancy Smoothie: A Review

smoothieI’ve read a lot of books in the last 20-odd weeks. Books on breastfeeding, on birthing, on French parenting…you name it, I’ve read it. (Except for the old classic, What to Expect. I can barely stand the tone of the website, and I’ve read that the book instills more fear than anything, so I’ve just avoided it altogether. #sorrynotsorry)

One book I skimmed through was Dr. William Sears’ The Healthy Pregnancy Book. I say skimmed, because I get in these moods where I’m simultaneously exhausted with reading about pregnancy and yet still wanting to read about pregnancy. In any case, a couple things caught my eye while flipping through: his 12 pregnancy superfoods, and his Pregnancy Smoothie recipe.

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Mastering Macarons: Attempt #1

This is what the 'rons looked like after ten minutes in the oven. They didn't come off the pan in one piece. Looks like I need to invest in a Silpat!
This is what the ‘rons looked like after ten minutes in the oven. They didn’t come off the pan in one piece. Looks like I need to invest in a Silpat!

Guys, I am not a perfectionist. This may come as a surprise to some of you! Or, well, maybe it doesn’t. Because, seriously? If something doesn’t work for me the first time, I’m apt to abandon it. If something doesn’t come easy, I’m done. It’s not worth my effort.

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An Ode to the Pressure Cooker

pressure cooker failIf you’re like me, the first thing you probably think of when you hear the words “pressure cooker” is that scene from I Love Lucy where Ricky explodes the pressure cooker and the chicken ends up on the ceiling of the kitchen.

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Recipe: Thai Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Potatoes

IMG_7547A lot of times in life, you screw up. Sometimes, you even royallscrew up–which is a level of screwing up so elevated that it’s actually comical.

Case in point: my first attempt at this Thai Yellow Curry. Hey you guyz, did you know that not all coconut creme is created equal? *~*Sometimes*~* it has a whole bunch of sugar in it so you can blend it in with rum and pineapples and make a delicious piña colada!

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Vegan Tomato-Braised Lentils With Broccoli

It tastes approximately 82 times better than it looks. That's a fact.
It tastes approximately 82 times better than it looks. That’s a fact.

It took a year of not really being able to cook, in India, to make me realize that I actually love cooking. Why? First off, it’s relaxing. Mindful, you could say! What better way to work your way into a state of meditativeness than by chopping up an onion? (Or what better way to listen to all your podcasts, if we’re really being honest?)

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Buckwheat Pudding, Veganized

Fancy Mason jar presentation entirely optional, of course.
Fancy Mason jar presentation entirely optional, of course.

This weekend, my interest in eating more whole grains met my need to clean out my pantry met my current (temporary!) vegan status met the fact that I had a cookbook I’d never made a single recipe from. The result: a deliciously sweet, spiced buckwheat pudding. Yasss!

Think of it as a heartier rice pudding. To be fair, I thought it was going to be more of a breakfasty porridge. And it could definitely go that way–provided you cut back on the sugar. Me, though? I followed the recipe recommendation and ended up with more of a dessert than anything.

Which is not to say it isn’t fantastic. Especially when you fill it with strawberries. Nom! Check out the recipe below:

Vegan Buckwheat Pudding
Adapted from Good to the Grain


  • 3/4 c. buckwheat groats
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 1/4 c. dark brown sugar, unpacked
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp nutmeg*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional: berries for topping


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F. Add the buckwheat groats, along with 3/4 c. water, coconut oil, and salt to a 2-quart baking dish. If the dish has a lid, put it on; otherwise, cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed by the buckwheat.
  • Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk with the brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and vanilla. Add the mixture to the buckwheat after its initial cooking, stir, replace the lid, and put it in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, check on the pudding. It’ll be thin, and that’s okay. Take the lid off and bake it for another 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the buckwheat is tender and the milk has barely thickened. (Don’t worry about how thin it is–it will thicken as it cools.)
  • Cool the pudding for 15 minutes before serving with berries or other seasonal fruit on top. Serves 8.

*I know. I thought 1 tsp was a lot, too. But I went for it, and it ended up alright. That said, the pudding still ends up with quite a bit of nutmeg flavor, bordering on the edge of too much, so cut down if you’re not a huge nutmeg person.

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Lent-Happy Nachos, Two Ways

Vegan Nachos
Vegan nachos should be an oxymoron, but there you go.

Look, these nachos aren’t indulgent. They’re sort of sad. In fact, a better name for them is Sad Lenten Nachos, because that’s what they are: a poor excuse for the meaty, cheesy version you get to eat when you’re not remembering Jesus’ suffering. Read more

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