Field Notes: Happy Birthday, Taste Tester

I won't bore you with the details, but my Tarot reader* intuited that I should carve out more time for cooking and this blog. How she does it, I don't know, but I couldn't argue with her. It's true; I've been dying to work on more kitchen projects. To me, there are few things in life more satisfying than creating a dish with my hands and feeding them to my loved ones. 

The reading was especially timely, since it was only a few days before my boyfriend's birthday. He had planned a BBQ/pool party at his apartment, and I decided to bring a homemade cake. My boyfriend has been a very enthusiastic taste tester since the beginning, so baking a cake only makes sense. After a very easy investigative work (e.g. I asked him what kind of desserts he likes and he didn't suspect a thing), I settled on the carrot cake. Bon Appetit's April 2016 issue featured its Best Carrot Cake recipe, and this was the perfect time to break it out. 

One of my best qualities in the kitchen is also one of my worst downfalls: blind overestimation of my own skills. I hardly test out a recipe before serving it to people. This birthday cake represents a lot of first. It was my first layer cake, my first carrot cake, and my first ever attempt at cake decorating all rolled into one. How hard could it be? I foolishly thought. 

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Field Notes: How to Make Bone Marrow and Impress Someone's Pants Off

It's been quite a long time since I've cooked a real meal. The kind that takes me days to plan, and on the day of, I'm giddy from finally putting the recipe into action. Valentine's Day was the last time I made a meal like that, and I do miss it.

For two weeks, I Googled Valentine's Day menu ideas. A co-worker who went to culinary school helped me develop one, and after a few email back-and-forths, I decided on the following:

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    2015 Year in Review

    2015 was probably my best year ever. Thus far. I only know because I definitely didn't have as much fun in 2014. 

    This isn't to say that nothing bad happened to me this year. Actually, I think this year has seen a greater concentration of shitty things for me than any other years. I started the year being really sick (tonsillitis!), and more bad things happened throughout the first half of the year. I also met some wonderful people and deepened existing friendships that outweighed all the bad. 

    Since this is a food blog, though, I thought I would share some of my food-related highlights of the year:

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