My Second Shift

Hey, guys. I’m eating a plumcot right now. Do you know what a plumcot is? My computer’s dictionary apparently doesn’t, as the decorated squiggle line is so graciously letting me know. If you’ve never had a plumcot, and I hadn’t until this very moment, I would recommend going out right this second and buying one. I think mine cost 75 cents – I bought two, one for each human member of my household, but I might just have to hide this purchase from the man of the house and instead bribe him with luscious blueberries and freshly baked whole grain bread, as well as this dish which I’m going to make later tonight (with some minor adjustments- because why would I want carrot and celery in my casserole?).

Hi!

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The Little Grad Student that Could, someday.

A breakfast worth waking up for, even on the run.

Once upon a time, within the last year, I was enjoying a cozy Saturday night to myself when all of a sudden I realized that if I did not immediately bake and eat a cake, things would turn ugly really fast. So I used the handy dandy internets and found some random recipe for pumpkin layer cake. Then I found a simple buttercream recipe and voila! Cake! At midnight! And let me tell you…that was one of the best, moistest, pumpkiniest cakes I’ve ever made. And all on a whim from ingredients I had lying around.

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Pound Plus

Edit: After re-reading this post, it seems like what I was trying to say and the words that actually got put together may read like two very different things to different people. Maybe.

I’ve heard that a pound cake is called such because all it takes to make one is combining a pound of basic cake ingredients (flour, sugar, butter) with eggs and leavener. I have never tested it and I don’t know whether it’s true or not. I will be making a bundt cake this week, which is a bit like a pound cake, so I’ll get back you regarding the ingredient proportions. Regardless, thinking about pastry ingredients in terms of weight is much less fun that thinking about everything in cups, which is way less…tangible?

Fig is wondering where I’m going with this. Let’s read on.

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Caponata and Cherry Pie

I don’t like cherries, except the occasional fresh, real, on-the-stem specimen, if it’s trying really hard. Cherry lollipops and other candies, cherry pastries, cherry drinks, cherry-anythings just make me think of medicine (although I did like those red Ludens). I also used to not like pineapple (or pesto or honey or tofu or any vegetable or blueberries or grilled cheese…), so I figured that if I could take the truest of cherry and showcase it in its proudest pastry, maybe the little fruit could sway me.

Did you know that with a lot of patience and a bit of luck, you can teach your Shepsund to fly?

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OMG A SQUIRREL OMG DID YOU SEE THE SQUIRREL OMG OMG OMG DIDJA!?

My dog is a fu**ing rockstar. Seriously. We can hardly get to the end of the block without people unable to contain themselves with oohs and aahs and copious amounts of petting. I have to admit- I’m very proud; I always beam and say “thank you” when she gets a compliment and it’s especially touching when others (including trainers) comment on how well-trained she is, or at least how well I’m doing when she’s out of control and I’m calm (my dog is helping me work on my own frustration tolerance!). Basically, my dog is the epitome of marvelous 90% of the time on 90% of our walks. That other 10% of the 10%, however, is pretty disastrous. But I’m not here to talk about her extreme prey and play drives (she doesn’t take “no” for an answer when dogs or squirrels are near, or basically anytime we’re in Central Park).

That’s how she sits, cuz she be rockin.

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House-Arrest-Cupcakes with Dulce De Leche

I am still under house arrest, thanks to a dog with severe separation anxiety and trainers who won’t respond to my emails. On the one hand, I have started having full-blown conversations with my puppy, and I think that’s the first step towards crazytown. On the other hand, I got some wonderful cupcake inspiration by watching a few episodes of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Like…avocado cupcake with avocado buttercream! If I could figure out how to make that, I think I would. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water, and I am really not a savory-cakes kinda girl. The winner of one episode made a banana cupcake stuffed with dulce de leche. Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man.

They looked absolutely beautiful upon emerging from the oven. A few minutes later they were flat and dense.

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Cooking with Dog

My beautiful amazing never-runs-out-of-love-for-everyone new dog has separation anxiety. If you’re not familiar with dogs, you probably don’t know much about it, but it’s incredibly common in dogs who spent time in shelters or that are coddled as puppies. According to the internet (can’t remember the source), it’s the second most common reason for euthanizing a pet.

Dog separation anxiety basically means that when the owner leaves the dog gets very anxious and stressed because she doesn’t know if/when the owner will return. This makes a lot of sense for shelter dogs- they had a home and then their owners just up and left, and then they were probably cared for by a huge slue of awesome folk, and then finally someone (or a family) comes and rescues them. I told myself I should leave her alone when I brought her home and I should ignore her and make sure she doesn’t develop separation anxiety. But alas, she is amazing and I am smitten and today was the first day I actually left her alone! I had previously left her with my boyfriend – she apparently wailed for me the entire time I was away.  Today I really had to get out. First I went to CVS, about three blocks from here. She was fine. I was like okay great now I can go to the library – about eight blocks from home. Unfortunately, when I got back from the library, I quickly noticed she was not okay. She tried to jump up onto my dresser and knocked everything off and lightly scratched the top (no big deal, but I feel bad for stressing the poor girl).

Why on earth would she bother standing up to eat?

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