Monthly Archives: August 2012

Cheesecake challenges.

Hi. I’m Jess, and I burn cheesecakes. That photo below? That’s not a chocolate cheesecake with some vanilla frosting from the knife. That’s a vanilla cheesecake – the Smitten Kitchen cheesecake, to be exact.
It’s not like I haven’t made this cheesecake before. I admit that I haven’t been baking much lately, so my mojo is off, but this particular recipe is ridiculously easy. First, warm up some cream cheese – a lot of it. Add some other ingredients, stir. Add eggs, stir. Pour into pan, heat ridiculously high, then let bake for an hour at 200 degrees. Monitor for doneness, let sit overnight, then dig in. And yet, I burn this sucker time and time again.

I feel like I need to belong to some form of Bakers Anonymous.
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Meringues and Sunday baking

Today I woke up with the desire to bake. With the end of the summer heat, it just seemed like the perfect time to make something, anything. I was supposed to join a friend for crepes, and it felt much better to scour a dozen cookbooks for ideas than go out. Thankfully she was curious about my baking, so we rescheduled the crepes for another day and decided to stay indoors. I also had an afternoon appointment as a limiter, otherwise it would have been far more dangerous. One weekend a few years back I made fourteen dozen cookies, so I don’t mind a little restraint.
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A learning process.

Earlier this year, I broke a toe. The middle toe on my right foot, in an incident that lacks any form of an interesting story. (My major advisor asked if I had fallen off a boat; that would have been a much better tale than the truth: stubbing it into a chair leg.) Toe injuries are slow to heal, particularly when you drop a half liter bottle of conditioner on the damaged site a few days later. But it did heal, and I’m no longer stuck taping my toes together.
I finally rejoined my gym a few weeks ago, a big step – if you’ll pardon the pun. This is a barre gym, one where you often spend time balancing on your toes while gripping a ball in your hands, so I had avoided returning. Now, some sessions in, I can feel my leg having trouble responding, and it sucks. It’s weak, delicate. I once could balance easily on one foot in convoluted poses, but months with a limp aren’t going to mysteriously go away on their own. I feel like a minor athlete returning to the field with all the knowledge of their past glory but their body unable to keep up. But it’s also enlightening – returning to the basics has made me more aware of my movements in class. I’m more careful, more cautious, and becoming a much better student for it.
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The Seattle Gift Show

So the other day I attended the Seattle Gift Show. I didn’t know quite what to expect, as it was my first time going as a buyer in any capacity. You know how all the malls that aren’t super high end seem to have the same windmill booths and alpaca ponchos in little booths? I now understand where it all comes from. It comes from gift shows. I saw rows and rows of rhinestone jewelry, beads, paper journals, and cards with witty sayings. There were perfume stands, baskets, even cookbook distributors.

(Photos today are vaguely related; I felt odd trying to snap photos in the show proper.)

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Overkill in ice cream form

I love overkill. While my stomach is finally beginning to concede to adulthood, I grew up happily eating whole racks of pork ribs and nibbling constantly on whatever snacks I could find. I remember this one time in college where we estimate I consumed four whole sushi rolls, a bowl of rice, edamame, and who knows what else. I was in the back of my friend’s car, groaning “I regret nothing!” while said someone else exclaimed, “Where did it all go!?” Instead of just eating tons of food, I’m now moving towards small bites of decadence with a vaguely healthy center.
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