Chocolate Linzer Cookies

Chocolate Linzer Cookies

For this year's annual V-Day treat, I decided to go back to the basics with heart-shaped cookies. 

Not just any heart-shaped cookies, but chocolate Linzer cookies. If you have been around here for a while, this is the third type of Linzer cookie I have made although none of them have been particularly traditional. Maybe someday, but for now, I am perfectly happy making untraditional renditions of this Austrian favorite. 

These came about because I was trying to use up some leftover jam I canned and made last year. If I recall correctly, it was a mix of strawberry and rhubarb on the crux of spring turning into summer. I was afraid the texture would be all wrong but it was actually perfect for these cookies. Jams that are too loose or wet make these cookies messier and more difficult to handle and assemble. I found that using a jam that is more firm and thicker is easier for Linzer cookies. The jam acts as a kind of glue that binds the top and bottom cookie together.

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Pane Bianco Star Bread

Pane Bianco Star Bread

Dear King Arthur Flour, I've unintentionally accomplished two of your BakeAlong challenges in one go. 

The first time I made a star-shaped bread was with a few Hapkido friends about a year and a half ago. It was at the beginning of summer when the weather was quickly turning too warm to make bread but we were determined. Straight out of the oven, it was gushing Nutella, pillowy, chocolatey and mmm, mmm, mmm. It is definitely on my list of things to remake (as soon as I clear out more sweets). But who knows, I keep telling myself that almost every week before I make something new.

Since the holidays were only a few weeks prior to when I made this at the beginning of January, I decided to go for a more savory option. As is usual in the KBC kitchen, I was of course, trying to use up something. This time it was sun-dried tomatoes which I have been meaning to incorporate into bread for a while now. As is also usual, I was running about a hundred different scenarios of how this bread could be. Would it be a pizza? Something kind of like a savory babka or other loaf-type bread? And what other accompaniments? Meat? Cheese? Herbs? etc etc... Sometimes this goes on too long so I just have to decide on something. Other times, I finally decide on something only to change my mind and go in a completely different direction.  

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Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Wonder Woman Pie

Cranberry, Raspberry and Blueberry Wonder Woman Pie

I started a new section in the sidebar of this blog titled 'Fun Foods'.

Not that all food isn't fun—because it certainly is! As of late, I have found myself gravitating towards foods that are more "nerdy",  geometrically pleasing or delve into my graphic design background. Plus, these types of foods are a lot of fun to make and the feedback is incredibly more enthusiastic.

Pro-tip: If someone you know loves a certain character or game or movie etc., and you bake them something related to that favorite character, game, movie, they will be so overcome with joy you cannot help but smile as you make their unexpected dreams come true. 

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Pork and Beans

Pork and Beans

After getting distracted by 73 Questions videos, starting with this one with Daisy Ridley, I am back again with food. 

December was filled with travel and holiday craziness so I never found the chance to post a recipe over the holiday season. But, here are two catch-up posts about some things that happened at the end of 2017. My Christmas decorations are put away, holiday music playlists are moved to the bottom of my Spotify account and only one string of twinkling LED lights and two poinsettias remain.

So, here we are at the beginning of January and as I've written about before, I'm not one to diet with the new calendar year. The idea of counting calories, recording food and constantly checking on my weight makes me anxious so I generally choose to stick to my same routine of balance which means I can still have dessert at 8:45 p.m. if I eat my fruits and vegetables too. 

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Winding Down 2017...

Winding Down 2017...

With all of the holiday craziness and travel, here are some photos from my December adventures both near and far. I was super excited to take my new lens along. After taking too long trying to 1) decide to get it and 2) figuring out used lens logistics, I am pleased with the results and quality of my (hopefully) final choice for a while now. 

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Kitchen Mishaps of 2017

Kitchen Mishaps of 2017

Hello, 2018!

It may be slightly counterproductive to start off the year with talking about all of my kitchen disasters from 2017, as traditionally a new year is about fresh starts but I'm both a bit behind on blog posts and it's fun to reflect on what happened over the past year so I can improve for this upcoming year! So bear with me, as this post and the next post are still all about 2017. 

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Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

This is the third year I've blogged about my Thanksgiving and my family undoubtedly knows the routine now. 

The running joke was to make "everything pretty" because they knew I would be taking pictures. It made me think about food photography as a whole and stylized shots vs. lifestyle shots and the need to capture a certain aesthetic because it has to look good. I do care about how things look in terms of having a visual eye to highlight the best parts of what I am trying to capture but I don't want to do it at the expense of people feeling uncomfortable or self conscious. And sometimes, I am just plain immersed in what I am doing that I forget.

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Pear & Caramel Pie

Pear & Caramel Pie

I've found a new pie that just *might* be my new favorite.

For a long, long time, I have loved Lemon Meringue Pie. And in most recent years, this yuzu variation, which is essentially the same thing but with a different citrus. It's the dessert I would make almost every time I would visit Popo. I would crave that pucker-y custard filling and fluffy meringue topping. I'm not sure what I did the last time I made it, or maybe it really is best eaten the same day it comes out of the oven but I have found that I am not really fond of leftover Lemon Meringue Pie anymore. Maybe I am not blind baking the crust enough or maybe I should try brushing the bottom with egg white? Has anyone tried this? But for whatever reason, the fact that the crust gets soggy/syrup-soaked in Lemon Meringue Pie no longer appeals to me. I dread it and in general I really love leftovers and have loved leftover Lemon Meringue Pie in the past. So, I have found that I don't gravitate towards Lemon Meringue Pie as much as I used to unless I know I will be sharing it with enough people to eat it all on the same day. 

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