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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Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

Hello... I am back from my short hiatus with cake.

Here we are in November where the weather has taken a turn and Thanksgiving is starting to nudge more permanently in my mind and thoughts. October was a blur. Since I last posted, fires continued to blaze through Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, I turned 25 and transformed into a Hobbit for the day. 

It was difficult to find the right words to say these past few weeks and to put myself out there on the Internet. It's challenging to balance stuff that is going on in the world without either ignoring it or sounding like everything is always so dreary. Even though I wasn't here, I was still making food, working on some Hapkido projects but mostly enjoying my introvert time. It made me grateful that I don't blog full-time or have to be "on" the Internet full-time but I suppose if this was my job rather than a personal hobby, it would be a little different. It was especially nice to take a break from posting on Instagram for a while. But, we'll talk about my feelings about Instagram on another day.

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Giant Apple Cinnamon Roll

Giant Apple Cinnamon Roll

This is the result of Sunday's craving for a combination of apples, cinnamon and fluffy yeasted bread. 

I woke up last Sunday knowing I wanted to make something of that combination but the options were endless. And off went my brain. Should it be another kuchen? Or should I do this bakealong with King Arthur Flour? Should it be a loaf? A braid? A round? Should I attempt kouign-amann (someday, soon)? Apples sliced or diced? (tbh, I didn't do the KAF version because it looked a little dry and I didn't find myself with potato flour or instant mashed potatoes on hand.)

Finally, I forced myself to decide because if I didn't, I wouldn't have enough time to photograph and go to hapkido (both are very important things). And this is how this  beautiful roll came about. And why waver from something both simple and easy if you know it works? So I went back to this kuchen dough from last week. 

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Plum Streusel Cake (Plfaumenkuchen)

Plum Streusel Cake (Plfaumenkuchen)

And thus I resume my adventures into more German food making.

Last year I made this German Apple PancakeAnd prior to that there is of course spaetzle which Popo would make for Kristen and I when we were kids so it has a special place in my heart. We were obsessed with it but of course ate it in the least German way possible with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. I can feel my friend Mark cringing and cringing. But we will talk about spaetzle on another day. 

This plfaumenkuchen which I have pronounced again and again in my head and got kind of freaked out when hearing this pronunciation, is something that I stumbled across by accident. Well not completely since I religiously read Molly's blog. It got me researching more about plfaumenkuchen and it sounded fascinating. Why would you not top bread dough with fruit and streusel? It basically combines all of the things that I like. And since it was finally gloriously cool enough to make bread, I decided to tackle this thing that I had known nothing about only days before.  

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Triforce Linzer Cookies

Triforce Linzer Cookies

I made these for my coworker, Lydia, whose father passed away last week. 

As is the nature of my office, we all decided to do something for her when she returned to work. The first thing was decorating her desk with a forest of flowers. Since Lydia loves Zelda, anything Triforce-related and dessert, it was almost too good to pass up combining the three of those things into one. The birth of these cookies came to me in a moment of pure joy and excitement and I knew I just had to make them come to life. I think it's actually pretty perfect that Lydia was born the year the first Legend of Zelda game was released and that her dad knew that game through and through. Kind of crazy how the universe is like that sometimes. 

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Fig Galette

Fig Galette

I have something embarrassing/silly to admit.

I still have not upgraded my camera lens and it has been almost two years since I upgraded my camera body. I am so indecisive when it comes to larger monetary purchases. I remember the first time I purchased my first DSLR (a Sony a390)—that was huge. I loved the heck out of that camera. I took my first photography classes with it and produced some really amazing projects that I was so proud of in school. The originals still grace the wall in front of my desk and are a constant reminder of the tug I felt towards the combination of food, photography and design.

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