Tag Archives: comfort food

No One & Naan

It’s only been 4 months since I posted last & 3 weeks since I started writing this. I wish so whole-heartedly that I was better at all of this that I am. Regardless. I finished something.

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bread dough

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I came home tonight and I felt alone.

For the first time in the two weeks that I’ve been roommateless, I felt really alone. Maybe it was because I had no to-do list to keep me company. Maybe it was because I knew that I was exiting a car with two people whom I love dearly and entering an empty house.

My co-worker’s father died this week. Tonight was his wake. Tomorrow they will put him in the ground, whisper long goodbyes.

Death stirs up so many questions, and still for me, illuminates so many fears about family, friends, and self. And this haunting thought—it is coming for those I love.

It’s on nights like these- lonely, quiet, fearful- when you need something warm and hopeful and home.

So I mixed the flour and the sugar and the yeast and the water. I formed thin, round circles. I covered with a cloth. I waited.

There’s something about yeasted bread that gives so much comfort. The perfume of dough rising smells nothing less than home.  The feel of a loaf proofing puts magic at your finger tips.

Yeast is a magical thing. It lies dormant in our refrigerators and pantries, awakening to life with a little warmth, a little sugar. It’s comforting. It shows evidence of life—springing up, bubbling over— where there seemed to be nothing by dry, desert death.

And I heated oil over flame to transform the dough into bread, the nothing into naan. Four misshapen rounds of dough becoming bread.

I took a round from the plate where it lay cooling. I broke it, still so warm—almost too warm for my skin to take— and remembered a body broken. Remembered a death. Remembered a sacrifice—a remembrance so unexpected.

I took it and ate. I remembered and gave thanks for a life-given for my life-rescued.

I chewed and thought only of communion, thought only of doing this in remembrance of Me. Thought only of the dry, dead yeast springing up dough like my dry, dead heart springing up with new Life, new Hope. I thought only of the death which gave and which gives life.

And I was filled—with warmth, with home, with Hope. I was filled with remembrance & thanksgiving that from death springs forth life; from old springs forth new; from pain springs forth joy; from Christ springs forth communion.

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Strawberry Rhubarb Mojito Sorbet


I know what you’re thinking.
It’s been a while—it’s just been too long.

I know, I know. I’m so sorry. You were probably thinking awful thoughts, thoughts like:  Did she die?! Has she given up on baking?!  Is she throwing her life away?!

I’m back to assure you that I’m still alive, I’m still baking, and…well, I’m still alive.

That last bit is too weighty for this fun post that is all about sorbet. Ah, yes! Light! Refreshing! ALMOST ICE CREAM BUT NOT QUITE!

Or not at all…

Anywho, after several months of what we’ll kindly refer to as “tummy troubles,” I had some allergy testing done. Long story short, I’ve been avoiding three major items: wheat, eggs, and milk. Talk about throwing a wrench into the life of someone who loves food! But, I’m surviving and having fun trying new foods and learning to live life as a carnivorous vegan.

Mmmm…meat!

This dairy-free lifestyle has also meant giving up one of my favorite things in the entire world: GoBerry frozen yogurt. It’s a cute, local frozen yogurt shop serving up perfectly tart and delicious froyo made from local yogurt and local milk and a marvelous array of toppings.

Sigh. Drool.

With warm weather on the horizon, I’m finding a need for a frozen treat that isn’t frozen grapes.

Enter…SORBET!

After buying an excessive amount of rhubarb for a berry crumble (gluten free & vegan—delicious! I can’t wait to share!), I decided that I’d find a way to get the extra into a sorbet. What I ended up with is tangy yet perfectly sweet with hints of citrus. Plus, it looks really beautiful!

I give you…Strawberry Rhubarb Mojito Sorbet!

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Forbidden Fruit

Today, I’m posting over at Quarterlife Woman.

I’m sharing a little bit about my unhealthy relationship with food, our perverted relationships with God’s good gifts, & our life-escape tactics.

Here’s a little snapshot:

I guess that I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food forever.

I’ve never really found a way to effectively deal with my emotions. My main means of “dealing” consists of crushing it down and scooping it out in the form of cookies or pasta.

I think that I’m okay with admitting it: cake feels good. Cake is a constant. Amy Adams as Julie Powell in Julie & Julia had it right:

“I love that after a day when nothing is sure, and when I say ‘nothing’ I mean nothing, you can come home and absolutely know that if you add egg yolks to chocolate and sugar and milk, it will get thick. It’s such a comfort.”

And so, for my whole life, I’ve let it comfort me.

I’ve fed myself lessons that were actually lies. Lies like, food makes it feel better and the sweetness of sugar balances out the bitterness of life.

This has become my ‘when life gets hard’ ritual: tying up my apron, perusing Pinterest for a recipe, and whipping up a meringue that seems to somehow mirror the state of my life.

And then of course, there’s the eating. Always the eating and the jokes about eating my feelings and how delicious they taste.

But, in the end, it’s never enough to dull the pain, relieve the pressure, or placate the anger.

Won’t you join me? Read the whole deal here! And let me know- where are you running?!

Forbidden Fruit: Are You Hoping the Apple Satisfies You?

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White Chocolate Macadamia Blondies

I have felt extremely busy this past week… and a half– holy smokes it’s Tuesday! I’m not sure if I’ve actually been busy–the level of busy that I’ve felt– or not. Whatever. It’s all the same.

And then the time change! Goodness gracious. As if I hadn’t felt tired enough! And then all of this rain!

WHEN WILL IT END?!?!

Sorry. That’s a bit dramatic.

Regardless, I made these blondies last week and wanted to share them with you.

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Mid-making I got into a heated discussion with my roommate who told me that a blondie was the same thing as a cookie which was the same thing as a brownie which was the same thing as cake. Butter-whipping, sugar-scooping Alyssa (das me) nearly had a heart attack. After she had one of these guys, she took it back…I think.

I guess that means that they were good.

When you love baked goods and your body hates wheat, life can be hard. Gluten-free flour substitutes just aren’t they same. They’re not bad, just different.

The beautiful thing about these blondies is that they’re made with almond flour (or almond meal) so it doesn’t require any substitutes. Almond meal is literally just almonds ground until they’re suuuuuuper fine. Kind of like flour…hence the name. You could even blanch almonds and make it yourself with a food-processor. But I am lazy so I just bought mine at Trader Joe’s.

Glorious!

If that wasn’t motivation enough, these blondies have macadamia nuts. If butter were a nut, it would be a macadamia. They’re smooth and light and unsuspectingly fattening. I don’t think they qualify as a “heart healthy” nut. They’re probably Paula Deen’s favorite. And they also pair amazingly with white chocolate.

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And this white chocolate situation–yum. I know some people be hatin’ on white chocolate. Not me.

I’m going to be real with you right now. I’m lazy. The evidence:

  • I took most of these photos on my iPhone.
  • I didn’t have unsalted butter so…yup.
  • I didn’t have corn starch so…we’ll get to that. Continue reading

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Lemon Blueberry Bread

Food is the way that I care for people. I’m not always very good…err…very eloquent with my words. Especially if I have to say them outloud.

However, I’m pretty well-versed in food.

I firmly believe that things like sugar and butter say “I love you!” louder than most words that I could string together.

I made this bread for a boss’s birthday a few years ago. Since it was sort of a “free game” type of deal in the office, one of my selfish, male coworkers ate most of it. But as he choked down nearly half of the loaf, he kept remarking that it was “like, the best bread [he’d] ever had.”

His passion for the Lemon Blueberry Bread was evident. It was literally all over his face.

And I agreed. It was pretty dang good. And pretty dang easy.

Lemon Blueberry Bread

I needed a snack idea. I needed it to be easy. I needed it to be yummy. I needed it to be easy to serve. And I needed it for that night.

I had all of these ingredients on hand, which is just wonderful, so Lemon Blueberry Bread it was!

Don’t get me wrong, I love blueberries, but they are so not the star of this bread. The best part of this treat actually isn’t even the bread part- it’s the lemon glaze. It’s sweet and tart and totally changes your life. Without it, this bread would be ehhhh. But the lemon, it makes it mmmmmmmm.

Lemons are one of my favorite things. They make me think of springtime and sunshine and warm days and barbecues  They’re beautiful and tasty. I like lemons in my water and in my baked goods. My signature dessert is a lemon square. That is a different post for a different time. My friend Nikki told me that I should open a bakery, name it Lemon, and only serve things made with lemon. I see very few things wrong with this idea.

This recipe contains both lemon zest AND fresh lemon juice. This is a win-win.

Prepare to be dazzled.

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Homemade Rice Pudding.

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November 7, 2012 · 8:05 pm