a recent discovery

It's not like I have something against healthy food. Seriously. In fact, there are times---like at the end of last week, in which I'd shared an entire dozen doughnuts with a friend, ordered things like toasted (and breaded) ravioli and huge slices of pizza, eaten meat in my lunches and dinners, gotten takeout more often than I'd brought brown-bagged meals (and had the accompanying bloating and heaviness to prove it)---where something fresh and healthy is all I do want. I know it may not seem like it around here, where I've posted dozens of cookie recipes and, lately, an onslaught of cakes, but I swear it's true. It's just---I'm going to be honest---I don't like eating things that don't taste good. Is that so terrible? And, at least up until this point in my life, the things that taste good are, usually, not exactly healthy. The way I see it, if I'm already frustrated about, say, the fact that an apartment I went to see was in a creepy, creepy building with hotel hallways, I don't … [Read more...]

parties covered in confetti

Update 2013: This years-ago post has recently begun attracting a lot of attention on Pinterest, so to those of you who are coming over from a pin, hello! I hope you'll take some time to look around here and maybe say hi. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I should let you know that in the four years since this post was written, I've drastically changed my diet. I tried remaking this cake with einkorn flour and coconut sugar, and it was delicious, but more of a caramel cake than a sugar cookie cake, for what that's worth. You can learn more about our love of whole foods here. You can also see our most recent posts at the front page of FoodLovesWriting.com. I'm starting to really, seriously love Twitter. Recently, I put out a request for the absolute best cake recipe, and, within minutes, I had close to 10 (!) responses. There was a flourless chocolate cake, a vegan version, a suggestion of using something by Mark Bittman. But it was @parapluiesdoux who told me … [Read more...]

to save you time

The summer after my senior year, I hit the jackpot: after years of just babysitting, I got my first job---part-time cashier at a local craft mall for $6.50 an hour. I spent afternoons with a handful of middle-aged women who, aside from always changing my soundtrack choices from Nat King Cole to 1970s bands that I still don't know names of but shudder when I hear in the grocery store, were very nice to me. They also kept Sunchips in the break room, and that made me like them very much. The next summer, I worked at camp, and the summer after that when I came back home, the craft mall had gone out of business. A friend was living with us at the time, and she and I stalked job listings daily, which is what led us to a joint interview with a marketing company offering between $15 and $18 per hour, all summer long. I should stop here and interject: There's a chocolate cake recipe circling the Internet---maybe you've seen it? It promises chocolate cake in mere minutes. All you have to … [Read more...]

this right now

Morning, and the kitchen is quiet, with sunlight streaming across the sink and onto the wood floors, and I pour coffee, grab my lunch, take my keys from the little basket by the door. There will be 20 minutes at least, between me and the office, along expressways of commuters, and I will look at them, talking on their phones, singing with their radios, glancing at their watches, before I park and walk inside, up stairs to my desk, to begin the work day, to talk with my coworkers and double-check spellings at Merriam-Webster and watch the geese fly past my window and onto the roof. 5:30, and I'm getting in my car, like I've done so many times, and I'm stopping by the train station, like I do every day, and I'm walking in my front door, and I'm eating dinner, again. It's spring here---when did spring come? Weren't we just talking about fall and winter and how I hated the snow? The light lasts longer now, and the days are warmer, rainy. I take it all, eagerly, greedily, like it will … [Read more...]

Kitchen Mixer Buying Guide

hand-mixer

While my shiny stand mixer stirs batter, kneads dough or whips marshmallow fluff, I'm wiping down the counter or grabbing chocolate chips. But up until my last birthday, I had only ever used a hand mixer, which is still my mom's choice. Which is better? To answer that question, the folks at Cookware.com offer this buying guide, the first-ever guest post here at Food Loves Writing! When it comes to cookware sets, there are certain appliances that are more important than others; and for people who bake frequently, a kitchen mixer is one such accessory. When upgrading a to a new mixer, be aware that there are a number of different types out there for every kitchen's need, so if you are planning on purchasing one, it's important to get a good idea of how often you will be using it and what exactly you'll be mixing. So we're going to help out by providing a quick overview of the type of kitchen mixers that are out there. Stand Mixers If you're planning on baking early and often, … [Read more...]

for a loud-laughing, card-playing caterer, on her 95th

I'm not going to tell you I miss her. That's what everyone says. I'm just going to tell you I think about her sometimes, like each year when I smell my first fresh spring lilac, heady with sweetness like the big bushes in her backyard that she'd pick from to make corsages on Mothers' Day; in summer, when the tomato plants grow big, their leaves overwhelming the wiring around them and huge, red fruits forming on the branches; at night, when I can't fall asleep, and I watch the shadows from the windows dance across the wall, just the way they did in Grandma's room, when we slept with the window open, a street light's beam extending across her ceiling. I also think about my grandma on days like today, her birthday. If she had lived, she would have been 95. And I think about her, mostly, when I bake. After her husband died at the age of 50, Grandma was left alone, with one daughter, in a brown brick bungalow with a shaded back porch and a fenced backyard, a few miles from her four … [Read more...]

a matter of time

You could say it began a few years ago, at the moment in Internet history when I first clicked on a food blog. That was what led me to celery root after all, or even to hearing about it. Before then, I must’ve walked by it in the produce section a hundred times, unknowing, overlooking its gnarly brown exterior and bulb-like shape for more familiar things like bright orange carrots or leafy green spinach or, really, anything but it. Yet in another way, you could say it began much earlier, when I was young, the girl who wore thick pink glasses and sported puffy bangs that were regularly permed. I played no sports, belonged to no clubs, had no real accomplishments. Looking back, truly, it seems all the signs were in place from the beginning: this girl was meant to like celery root. It was only a matter of time. Celery root, also called celeriac or knob celery, is many things, but looking at it for the first time, only one stands out: this winter vegetable isn’t pretty to look at. In … [Read more...]