I’d always look forward to the end of summer when I was younger. It sounds crazy for any kid to WANT summer to end, but I loved the fall. I loved the back-to-school excitement, buying all my school supplies and new school outfits. I loved raking pine needles and red-orange-brown maple leaves into piles, feeling so accomplished when I’d see them all tucked into big black garbage bags (even though the yard would be covered with leaves again within two days). And I loved going apple picking.
When you’re a kid, there’s something so magical about running around to pick and gather something that you can actually eat. Because when mom comes home from the grocery store with a bag of apples or a box of blueberries, it’s just not the same. You can’t feel the energy and sunlight and crisp fall air, or be awed by the efforts of the universe that went into creating that piece of fruit (granted, there are few things that don’t awe a six-year-old).
It’s fitting then, that just before heading off to college, my friends and I went blueberry picking. It was sort of a farewell to childhood (as was watching the last installment of the Harry Potter movies). Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t indulge our childish sides every so often. This isn’t the last time we’ll go blueberry picking.
I think if happiness were a food, it would be cupcakes. Well actually, that’s debatable, since ALL food makes me happy.
But there’s something about cupcakes that just makes me feel all warm and happy and smiley (part of it could have to do with cakespy‘s incredibly cute cupcake cartoons). You won’t see me grinning quite as much at a slice of pizza, as much as I love myself some pizza.
So if cupcakes are happiness, they are the perfect subject for this post. Because I don’t think I’ve felt so happy for years. My mom is so accustomed to me spilling out all my troubles to her that she is pleasantly surprised when I tell her no, nothing is worrying or bothering or stressing me. And I really can’t think of a single thing that could cause me trouble right now, except maybe the possibility that this won’t last forever. But that’s an inevitable problem of life– time is limited. So that one doesn’t really count. On to cupcakes!
Phew it’s been a while! Over the summer, I have all the time in the world to organize my 34 gigabyte(!) photo collection, to write my dessert-lover’s guide to Paris, to…post on my blog? Yet ironically, that’s the very reason that I never get anything done once June rolls around. I’m halfway through Season 4 of the Big Bang Theory, and I think, “Hmm it’s been a while since my last post. Eh, I’ll just do it later. It’s not like I’ll be busy…”
All intiative abandons me.
And so I lapse into a deep pit of television marathons, reading food blogs, sleeping, and eating. Nothing else.
Until I summon the will to write up a full post, I’ll share one of my recent online finds: Inhae Renee Lee’s “My Milk Toof.” Cute and creative, it’s like a picture book following the adventures of two…milk teef.
"Careful not to break the eggs."
Phew, what a busy last couple of weeks! (My attempt to make an excuse for the large gap since my last post.) But really, it has felt like things are going so fast all of a sudden. But more on that later. For now, let’s get on to the food.
Zuma is, without a doubt, one of Dubai’s best restaurants. Look at any “top ten restaurants” ranking for the city, and Zuma is sure to be there. It has been on my must-try list for a while now, and I decided I absolutely had to have it before leaving Dubai. After my plans to have dinner there with a group fell through last week, it was the obvious choice for my celebratory post-grad dinner.
We arrived at Zuma flustered, having rushed out of the grad reception to make our 8 pm reservation (we arrived 40 minutes late but managed to hold onto our table despite their 20 minute tardiness policy). Yet as soon as we entered the lounge/restaurant, the cool, relaxed vibe put us at ease. With soaring two-level ceilings, dark wood accents, and dim, muted lighting, Zuma screams–or rather, seductively whispers in your ear–cool, understated sophistication.
When I visited Paris in April, I’d grab breakfast from Eric Kayser every morning before heading off to tackle the city’s food. It was just around the corner from my hotel, and as I passed it every day walking to the Metro, I’d inevitably be tempted by one of the delicious-looking treats and breads. Warm baguettes with chunks of salty Comte, pain au raisin with coffee, chunky and complex walnut-chocolate chip cookies…
But my favorite was the financiers. Buttery but not greasy, sweet but balanced, they were like glorious muffin tops (the best part of muffins, of course) with crisp-chewy caramelized edges. I only wished I could reproduce them when I returned home.
Without realizing it, I found all the elements of financiers that I loved– in this Swedish Visiting Cake. I actually decided on the recipe because I was on a lemon spree (after making some incredible lemon bars) and the cake seemed quite simple to make. The beautiful photos over at honey & jam didn’t hurt either.
Have you ever woken up one day with the memory of some perfect [insert food name here] on your mind, before promptly embarking on a quest to find the “best” ? You swear you’ve had that perfect slice of carrot cake or juicy burger or fluffy quiche, but you just can’t seem to find one that measures up to your lofty ideals. You come close, yes, but that only makes the search even more frustrating, more teasing.
Enough of this suspense and drama. This quiche is awesome. Everyone should eat it. Continue reading