The Whimsical Cook

My life according to food.

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These came from my garden! First off, I’m surprised at how pretty they are, but secondly, I’m even more shocked that I was able to grow anything at all without it dying a slow and painful a death as a plant can.

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The epic Asian feast!!! Remember that link to a potsticker recipe I posted a while back? Well, I made them tonight with my friend. We are so damned proud of ourselves, it’s kinda not even funny. We even managed the whole “pleated crescent” thing that restaurants do! It didn’t even take all that long for two people to make 50+ potstickers, a stir-fry and boil some ramen noodles. Unfortunately, we ran out of wrappers before we ran out of filling, but I froze it, and I’ll have some ready-made filling for next time! We only cooked about half of what we made, and froze the remaining dumplings.

So it can be done! Potstickers can be homemade on a leisurely day without anybody throwing the filling at the walls in frustration! I am living proof! Now you go try it!

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I have started my accidental, large summer project. Yahoo!

I have had some trouble organizing my room after unpacking from this school year. Part of the problem is that I am a twentysomething living in a space designed for a teen. The other part is all the clutter I have built up from living in the same space for about 13 years before I moved out. One big problem I had was all my old issues of Bon Appetit sitting in a stack in the corner. When it comes to food writing, my mom and I are pack rats. We have a basket of old cooking magazines, some dating back to the ’80s, and we haven’t looked at them in years. In fact, if we ever have looked at them as a reference, I would be surprised. These old magazines tend to just take up space and clutter our free corners, but I won’t throw them away because I’m afraid one day in the distant future, there will be that one recipe I read in that one issue of BA, and I can see it in my mind’s eye, but I can’t for the life of me find it. It’s a bit silly in the age of Epicurious, but there you go.

So yesterday, I decided I would start clipping out my favorite recipes from my old BAs. Either the ones I tried and loved or the more complicated ones I fantasized over but never got around to trying (homemade marshmallows, anyone?). It started off simply enough, flip through magazine, clip out recipe, repeat. But some of the photography is so lovely, I couldn’t bear just tossing it. So I clipped out a picture of some salmon. And then ricotta. Then chocolate truffle ice cream. My humble folder of recipes turned into a mini scrapbook without my knowledge or permission.

I hate scrapbooking. Ever since our 8th grade project where we had to make a scrapbook of our family tree, I have detested scrapbooking with considerable venom. There is a table in my house covered with old photos of vacations and soccer tournaments and piano recitals and me being adorable, and I’m sorry to say that they have remained on that same table for years. This is partially because I haven’t ever gotten involved in the project. But here I am, with a quasi-scrapbook. At this point in its evolution, this thing is a bit of a magnum opus. I’ll probably have it for years and tell stories about how I made it in college, in my crazy, frugal years before brain chips that give us recipes on demand, and my kids will roll their eyes. But for now, I’ll just try to keep it from becoming a 18’x18’ collage.

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Two things cure a severe case of daddy issues like no other: alcohol and baking. Here is the result of tonight’s self-imposed therapy session, blackberry cornbread, adapted from the recipe for strawberry corn muffins in Olga’s Cup and Saucer.

Two things cure a severe case of daddy issues like no other: alcohol and baking. Here is the result of tonight’s self-imposed therapy session, blackberry cornbread, adapted from the recipe for strawberry corn muffins in Olga’s Cup and Saucer.

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I just had dinner at Chez Panisse in Berkeley! It’s a dream come true!! I had the pleasure of eating the most extraordinary rhubarb tart I’ve ever tasted. Alice Waters truly is a genius.