Happy Valentine’s Day: (In an anime, this is called a filler episode)

So over the holidays since I had and still have no money, I just made a ton of baked goods to bring to parties and treat my friends. Mr. Chokkattu’s favorite cookie is the gingersnap, small and crispy and normally purchased for like $6 from the store only to be demolished in 2 hours or less.

If your significant other is similar, you should try this cookie recipe and maybe buy yourself a heart cookie cutter.

Happy Valentine’s Day Mr. Chokkattu.

I adapted this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, whom I’ve followed for at least 5 years now if not more, who adapted it from other recipes herself.

Mr. Chokkattu was upset when I started to pack cookies for my family and his family. He was under the impression that all of the gingersnaps I made would be going exclusively to him during the holidays.
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Iceland Day 1: Reykjavik

Iceland is so far beautiful, and glorious, and confusing at times. Reykjavik is lovely and eccentric and proud of its uniqueness, as it should be. Perhaps the business transactions we made today didn’t go down quite smooth (why exactly do we have to retrieve our wireless hotspot from above a post box underneath some stairs near a furniture store, and why do people think this is totally normal?!) but the people were welcoming, kind, and generous, and that’s all Mr. Chokkattu and I could ask.

Today, I saw all of these things!

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By Kilian Addictive State of Mind – Intoxicated

“So are you to my thoughts as food to life,
Or as sweet-seasoned showers are to the ground;
And for the peace of you I hold such strife
As ‘twixt a miser and his wealth is found.”

– Sonnet 75 by William Shakespeare

Intoxicated
Wet: ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, gasoline, patchouli
Dry: speculoos, lapsang souchong

This one is really yummy. I love speculoos cookies and the spread more than I love Nutella or peanut butter. And the dry down smells like speculoos served with lapsang souchong, a smoky black tea from Fujian, and it’s so nice. I know it’s unisex, but I can’t really see a guy wearing this. It’s very sweet, and it makes me want to lick my wrist, even though that’s a terrible idea. It reminds me of a girl I know who’s incredibly beautiful and warm, and she’s the only one who comes to mind when I try to think of a character profile to fit this fragrance.

Chocolate: three ways

Damian Allsop’s Water Chocolates

Having used and shaped chocolate in the past, this is intriguing to me because water was usually the bane of my existence. I can’t even imagine what the process would be to keep the chocolate from separating into an unappetizing grainy mess. It’s apparently about 10% less fat than regular chocolate, and I believe the chocolatiers when they say the process makes eating the chocolate a lot more of a pure chocolate taste experience. I wonder if it’s genuinely creamy, or if it’s more of a hard candy texture. Obviously, I really, really want to try it ;D

https://i1.wp.com/lovetunbridgewells.com/wp-content/gallery/damian-allsop-chocolate-pop-up-shop/damien_allsop05.jpg

I was also looking into some Latino literature and was thinking I would start reading Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Defying preset roles and destinies, growing the nerve to stand up to crazy people, and expressing oneself through food, complete with recipes? Sounds fantastic. In fact, a lot of Latino literature seems to include something food-related, generally as a mood indicator. I think that this common device, which, don’t get me wrong, is used in a lot of literature in a lot of cultures, is interestingly blatant. It’s very clear what Rebecca’s lime-eating tic in One Hundred Years of Solitude is supposed to indicate (though I’m sure there’s subtext in there that I haven’t yet examined), and Like Water for Chocolate creates a story where for a while, the biggest indicator of Tita’s emotions are her cooking (according to Goodreads, haha.) Antonio in Bless Me, Ultima is picked on for eating traditional Mexican food at school, an obvious indication of the difficulties of trying to stay true to both your roots and your leaves. It’s so clearly intertwined with descriptions of culture, it’s fascinating.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f5/Like_Water_for_Chocolate_(Book_Cover).png

And of course, we return to modernity: chocolate chicken.

Have you seen how incredible chocolate fried chicken looks?

Unfortunately, it’s on the other side of the country, so I guess I’ll build up my Type 2 Diabetes some other way. Sigh.

Bento Boxes

 

Bento Boxes

…are the best. Hobbyist culinary art at it’s most adorable. It also makes it easier to eat simple, wholesome foods with reasonable portion sizes. Notice that the majority of these lunches have lots of raw fruits and vegetables in them; way healthier than the cafeteria’s take on pizza or a fake McRib.

And in case you need miniature sauce containers, Amazon has you covered.