Saturday, 29 October 2011

A First Time for Everything: 2-Hour Whole Wheat Bagels

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I've always wanted to make bagels, but every time I thought I was up for it I either balked at all the steps or had a yeasted-things-disaster just before I was planning to make them and got too intimidated.  It seems like such a process: all that kneading and rising, then more rising and resting, then the shaping, and to top it all off they have to be boiled before they're baked??  WTF.

But then, last weekend, I found myself with nothing interesting to do (the bf was off with his study buddy) and some extra whole wheat flour on my hands (not literally, that part comes later), and I came across this recipe for bagels in two hours.  Yes, two hours, start to finish!  It seemed too good to be true, but I was bored and I figured I'd give it a shot.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The End of an Era, Marked by Crumb Coffee Cake

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So, my MA course is officially over.  We've all handed in our dissertations, and even though some people are still working on their books (poor researchers...), most of us are starting to look for agents and publishers to take us on.  It's a whole new ballgame, and this time we're on our own.  No weekly workshops where we can glean advice from those farther along than the rest; no meetings with grown-up writers (ie tutors) who can guide us in the right direction; no grades/marks to let us know whether what we're doing is working.  Nope, each of us is on her own now, and that's both freeing and terrifying.

But it doesn't mean we can't still meet up and gossip over cake every now and again, and that's exactly what we did a couple weeks ago!  After much back and forth on scheduling and location, we settled on a date and time and met up at our classmate C's house in West London for brunch.  And yes, the tube lines were down, and yes, the journey was long, but it was so worth it for the lovely outdoor space and even lovelier hospitality.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Fall Baking, Without the Pumpkin: Dairy Free Spice Cookies

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The air is biting, the leaves are turning, and the adolescent swans down on the canal are finally starting to turn white, which means two things: 1. the swans are currently a mottled grey-white, which is adorably hilarious, and 2. it's time to bust out the fall recipes!

Now, I'm not the most creative cook, so fall recipes, for me, usually just involve pumpkin.  I love pumpkin.  Pie, bread (or bread, or bread), muffins, oatmeal – you name it and put pumpkin in it, I'll eat it.   

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Healthifying a Craving: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

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My cravings aren't always butter-related.  Often I crave sushi, or heirloom tomatoes, or noodles.

But if we're going to be really honest here (and I think we should be – this is a safe space for honesty and cravings), I have to admit that the majority of my sudden desires involve copious amounts of sugar, egg, flour, and yes, butter.