A Better Method: Cold-Process Infused Simple Syrups

A Better Method: Cold-Process Infused Simple Syrups

Whoopsie, I disappeared for a little bit there! It seems that a weekend of baking and peddling treats makes me not want to think about food for a good stretch of time. But now that I’m back, I’d like to talk to you about something I started experimenting with a couple months ago. Something that kind of revolutionized my approach to creating simple syrup infusions.

It all started back in July, when I began making this shrub. I’d combined the fruit and sugar, let it sit, then macerated and covered it, as per ushe. As I walked by the plastic wrap–covered bowl a couple hours later, I looked at it and thought, “huh, it looks like a lot of that sugar has dissolved into syrup already.”

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Smoky Cardamom-Coconut Cuba Libre

Smoky Cardamom-Coconut Cuba Libre

Ah, the Cuba Libre. Better known to many as the rum & coke. Has anyone else felt somewhat “above” this drink, or was it just me? My skepticism was most likely due to the fact that it was the preferred beverage of many a douche on the UAlbany campus during my years there — providing those fine young gents with a special combination of caffeine and liquor that let them really get their drink on, as loudly and late into the night as possible. (Seriously, you can only hear “yo bro gimme five captain ’n’ cokes” at a seedy college bar so many times before any thought or mention of rum + coke is met with Pavlovian eye rolling.)

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Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

Banana Buckwheat Pancakes with Cacao Nibs

These pancakes — they’re problem solvers. Of course pancakes, by nature, are pretty good at solving things. I’m pretty sure they have healing powers, especially when they’re stacked high and smothered in maple syrup and bits of bacon. But these particular pancakes solve a few specific problems for me. Before I get into that, let me explain a little bit more about these things. They are, in their simplest form, made with only two ingredients: bananas and eggs. “Whaaa?” you say? Yep. That’s what I said when I saw Izy’s post back in January. Mashed bananas + eggs = pancakes. Pretty healthy pancakes, at that.

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Guest Post : A Trio of Summer Beverages

A Trio of Summer Beverages

Hey everyone! I am super duper excited to be sharing a guest post over at The Vanilla Bean Blog today. I adore Sarah’s space, and having the chance to occupy it (coupled with the recent unseasonably gross heat wave) inspired some ambitious drink-themed planning. The result was three pretty ridiculously delish drinks. (Also, I shoot with a white background, and I LOVE it. Madness!) So head on over to The Vanilla Bean Blog and check them out. Also, Sarah will be taking a little break this summer, so be on the lookout for lots of other awesome guest posts!

Happy Summer of Fun to Sarah and her family!

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Red Bell Pepper, Lemon, & Basil Soda

Red Bell Pepper, Lemon, & Basil Soda

Earlier this week, while enjoying my usual early morning routine of sipping coffee, catching up on blog posts, and postponing looking at my work email for as long as possible, I happened upon Lan’s question: What color would you describe your days right now? It made me pause, not in search of an answer, but in surprise at how quickly mine came to me.

Lately, my days have been a little grey. This is due, in part, to the much-needed rainy spring weather. But mostly to the fact that I am, for the first time in a long while, single. After nearly four years, Johnny and I decided to part ways last week. It was not preceded by constant arguing or festering animosity, nor was it entirely unexpected. We’ve simply realized that we are better friends than anything else, and that freedom from the constraints of a relationship would be best for both of us, as individuals and as friends. Despite the fact that this is the most amicable end to a relationship I’ve experienced, the sadness is no less difficult to bear. It makes food taste bland, turns seemingly normal breaths into heavy sighs, and makes it impossible to write this post without pausing to brush away a few tears.

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