Tag Archives: everyday

Food Related Goings On

A few things have been happening in my life recently that have not made it into this blog. Nevertheless, I think they need to for various reasons.


It’s been a while, but we did go camping!


I’ll start with my recent employment and unemployment.
A few weeks back I found a job listing for a baker at a startup bagel company. Baker?! Bagel startup?! I took a very different approach to my cover letter and had an application submitted within minutes. To my surprise, I received an email back requesting an interview (for the first time in my recent job search). After a successful interview I was hired!

I worked at the bakery for less than a week’s worth of days. In that time, I learned that a) I cannot work at night, b) I’m not really into cleaning/washing dishes on a commercial scale, c) the scent of garlic stays on ones hands for a veeerrrrryyyyy long time after scooping handfuls of raw garlic onto bagels. Yuck. Lee was not a fan.

I really liked my coworkers at the bakery and the company itself was awesome. The bagels were delicious and it was pretty nice to come home from every shift with a bag full of reject bagels. Hey, I always wanted to make bagels! It just wasn’t meant to be, though. I couldn’t handle never seeing my husband and working till midnight in front of a blazing hot oven. I guess I’m not cut out to be that kind of baker. At least I know that now!

News item #2 is much more exciting and positive than getting a job and then quitting it.
Last week, I started another blog! Yes, I needed a third blog (technically, Pirat doesn’t count cause we’re not sailing so I’m not writing). I needed a blog about my troubled relationship with food and my body. You can read all about it here so I’ll spare the details. In short, I had an eating disorder in college, never really gained enough weight back, and am now realizing that I cannot go through life chronically underweight. If I was not so skinny I’d be much happier and healthier. Head on over if you’d like a hopefully not-too-boring account of my push to recovery.


not so skinny includes all my lovely eats, like this

I suppose news item # 3 is that Lee and I are looking for a house. Last night I thought we’d found the one but someone snatched it out from under us. It was a big disappointment and I really, really don’t want to look at any more houses : (


Filed under inspiration and musings

Back to Baking

…not that I ever stopped.


It’s summer in California and I am enjoying every foggy morning turned sunny afternoon! Running up and down the Napa hills is giving me great morning workouts. I have a bike and a car to get around and there is so, so much to see and do here!

The first priority is finding an apartment. Lee and I are looking at our favorite candidate this evening so I have my fingers crossed that we get this place and don’t have to keep playing the San Francisco housing game. All I want is a good-sized (as in not tiny) kitchen, preferably with a gas stove, and a place to sleep.

Once we have a place to live, I’ll pick up the job search again. Does anyone know of a bay area museum that’s hiring for entry-level anything? Until I find employment, I’ll find a place to volunteer in the area and do as much blogging as I can! That doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend a few months!

I dove right back into cooking as soon as I got back to the mainland. After a short stint in a hotel on St. Kitts while Lee and I put the boat away I was ready for some home cooking in a real kitchen. My first stop was my mom’s house in Seattle, where I wanted to pick up my car and spend a little quality time with my mother. We had a great week cooking together, visiting her favorite Seattle restaurants, and taking in some culture.

My aunt was visiting as well and the three of us drove to nearby home of some long-time family friends for one night. The baker in that family was generous enough to share his sourdough starter with my mom and me! We brought home a generous portion, which we grew and then divided in half when I left for California. This 10+ year old starter is a treasure that I hope to craft into delicious bread in my own kitchen.

Not only did our friend share his starter with us, he also made us his famous Swedish Pancakes for breakfast! My parents used to make this recipe when I was growing up but I haven’t cut into a gooey, sweet Swedish pancake for years. They were better than I remembered them and I watched closely to pick up the proper cooking technique. These delicious breakfast treats will definitely be appearing on this blog soon!

At my mom’s house, our baking endeavors included a hearty polenta bake (for which I will have to find the recipe), rosemary walnut bread with fresh rosemary from the garden, and a yogurt cake that starred as dessert with strawberries and vanilla sugar.


Unfortunately I didn’t use a recipe when I made the rosemary walnut bread. I loosely followed this one and added some chopped fresh rosemary and chopped walnuts before the final rise. The result was quite good considering I’ve never experimented with adding ingredients like that to bread before. The rosemary flavor was wonderful with the chewy wheat bread and it was a great accompaniment to dinner at our friends’ house.

For dessert, this yogurt cake was too tempting for even our full bellies to resist. I couldn’t resist a cake recipe that called for plain yogurt, one of my favorite staples that I always have in the fridge. I added lemon zest to the original recipe because I thought a summery flavor would be nice. My mom, my aunt, and I picked up a few boxes of fresh strawberries at a local stand to serve with the cake. Nothing says summer like cake and berries!

I didn’t have my camera with me on this adventure so I wasn’t able to photograph the cake and berries. I did snap a few pictures of both the cake and the bread when they came out of the oven!


Simple Yogurt Cake
From Whole Foods Market

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 cup cane sugar 3 large eggs
1/3 cup expeller-pressed canola oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh berries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Oil a 9-inch cake pan, then line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper. Oil the paper, too; set the pan aside. (I used a square cake pan, as you can see)
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, oil, almond extract and vanilla extract.
Gently whisk flour mixture into yogurt mixture just until blended and smooth.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until cake is golden brown and top has formed a thin crust.
The cake should be just firm in the center when done. (I think I slightly overcooked my cake so check it after 35-40 minutes)
Cool cake on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan and peel off parchment paper. Continue cooling on a rack.
Slice and serve with berries.


Filed under desserts, inspiration and musings