delicious.

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beet muffins.

black sesame otsu.

the makings of dark chocolate, dried cherry cookies.

when i was younger, untainted by adolescent angst, i used to tell people i wanted to be an artist and chef when i grew up. then i actually started growing up and forgot about that pretty quickly. i never took many art classes except for photography because it never seemed practical. then i thought i wanted to be a journalist--where i really do think you can exercise a lot of creativity--but still it never quite stuck for me. so now i am rounding out my third decade on this planet and thinking that my first career options sound pretty good.

although i don't currently have the urge to be paid for my cooking, it really is my favorite hobby. i cook the way i do everything else--when i am inspired and making sure to never throw anything away. i keep my kitchen full of healthy staples (and a few more decadent indulgences) from places like the glut which helps me to throw things together without always having to go to the grocery store first. i get a little inspiration from the my favorite cooking resources, but really its the necessity of using fresh ingredients while they are fresh that becomes the driving force behind my cooking. this fuels creations that are different, surprising, and sometimes pretty delicious. for the past year, i've been getting a csa-like share from field to city (formerly timor bodega) in my neighborhood and this has yielded some really interesting cooking projects, especially during the winter months of cabbage and root vegetables (such as the above beet muffins). i cook big dishes and bake when i have time (usually 2-3 times a week) and keep rotating through the leftovers, which makes it really easy to throw together a healthy, satisfying lunchtime plate when i am teaching a lot and don't have time to cook.

as for my resources, a lot of my inspiration comes from heidi swanson at 101cookbooks.com and her wholesome, simple approach to eating great food everyday. also, i was resistant for a while but my dad finally turned me on to america's test kitchen and now i sing its praises because its well-written, informative, and each recipe comes out beautifully if you follow the directions. i also like laurel's kitchen for its straight-up healthy 70's approach and moosewood cookbook because it's what i grew up cooking with and continues to be great.

and this cookbook came in the mail yesterday and i stayed up late reading it--wonderfully caught up in recipes, photography and voice of the author/chef/proprietor and her dream of parisean lunchtime bakery.

this has all gotten me terribly inspired for my bodywork and dessert party i am co-hosting with sarita moore from nyc. i've been looking at a lot of dessert recipes, but this morning i narrowed the choices down to black bean vegan brownies, rosemary shortbread cookies, sour cherry crumble bars, and dates stuffed with feta cheese and walnuts. yum yum yum, the dream continues.

ps this is written one week into my no-sugar cleanse, as a kind of therapy i think.