Sunday, November 13, 2011

Simple As That Almond Butter

Ah, I am terrible. I seem to have gotten a bit ahead of myself with this blog.

I had this glorified image of a food blog that would flourish rapidly and I would prance around showering my family and friends with baked goods and delicious recipes. Well, blogs don't quite write themselves and I am very aware of that.

Many things have been happening in my little world lately. I am back working part-time as retail-person and barista at a local bakery where I worked during my senior year three years ago. It's such a great feeling to be back there and I've slipped quickly into the rhythm of things with some help from friendly old faces. It's like I never left!

Along with starting my online education in January I will also be teaching my very own Japanese adult-education class. As excited as I am, I am also very nervous. I've never taught before and I feel extremely under qualified to be teaching a room full of students years older than myself.

I haven't been completely bad about my culinary aspirations, I've been cooking and baking quite frequently as of late but I get so "in the zone"that I completely forget to take photos. I have also been experimenting with different recipes and of course these things need to be refined first before I can share them with you.

I will do my best to churn out these recipes as soon as possible but for the time being, I will leave you with this simple almond butter recipe that I whipped--or should I say pulsed--up this morning.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Satisfying Saturday

I've got big plans for The Minima. I spend much of my free time browsing food blogs for inspiration and brainstorming new ideas for improving and expanding this blog. That being said, I always welcome any feedback my readers can give me.


I take note of many things while I spend hours scrolling and clicking through food blogs. One recurring theme I've noticed is just that. Many food blogs seem to have the days of the week dedicated to different themes of recipes. I don't know if there is a blogger's rulebook deciding how one runs a food blog but I've come across numerous "Meatless Mondays" and "What I Ate Wednesdays".  This inspired me to come up with my own Theme of the Day schedule:

Macrobiotic Mondays - Recipes posted on on this day are based on the Macrobiotic Diet of natural, organic whole grains and local produce with little to no refined, processed or animal foods. 
Worldly Wednesdays - This day is dedicated to traveling the world through our tastebuds. 
Satisfying Saturdays - At the end of a long week we certainly deserve a reward and this is the day to be a little naughty.

I figured that with just three themed days I have the other days free to post what ever kinds of recipes I want and hopefully this will help me cook and bake more regularly. My aim is to have a new themed recipe queued up to be posted at midnight of it's designated day every week.

To officially start off this newest addition to The Minima, lets jump into the Satisfying Saturday with a little indulgence that you don't have to feel too bad about come Self-Condemnation Sunday. Oof, not to worry, such a theme does not and should not exist anywhere. I wouldn't even want to imagine what sort of cuisine that day would entail!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sugar and Spice, and Everything Nice

Gastronomically speaking, autumn is my favorite season. I think it's safe to say I'm not alone on this one either. This is a time when crispy apples, juicy pears, sweet persimmons--not to mention our Autumn produce King and Queen: pumpkin and cranberry--are at their peak and invade almost every dish, beverage and baked good you can think of. When I'm not complaining about the sudden change in climate I am thinking of all the lovely foods and wondering why it can't be Autumn all year long. It's kind of like how General Mill's only produces their Monster themed marshmallow cereal around Halloween. What if I do want a bowl of bright pink Franken Berry on a hot August morning? 

The return of these Autumn yummies also represent the gathering of family. I live in the United States of America and here, Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal. My household is a bit unconventional and our Thanksgivings haven't always been the grand Norman Rockwell affairs but still, I couldn't imagine a November without the holiday of feasting. A November without a day dedicated to cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and mulled apple cider? How do you foreigners do it?!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tea for Troubled Tummies

We all have our moments of weakness. Last night was a particularly bad episode for me where I found myself in the middle of the night sneaking around the kitchen with a mad determination in my eyes and brandishing a fork ready to strike at any morsel of food left defenseless to my raid. 

My midnight binge resulted in my shameful retreat to bed nursing a terribly bloated and angry belly. The pressure of food pushing out against the walls of my stomach was so uncomfortable that I could hardly manage three whole hours of sleep. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friendship is Thicker than...Ganache?

Tomorrow marks a very special day, and a special day calls for a special (and less than healthy) treat. 

One of my closest girlfriends is turning the big "two-oh" and to celebrate, I have baked her a deadly chocolate cake slathered with ganache frosting and concealing a thick layer of super-secret raspberry jelly. Okay, maybe not super secret since I fully intend to reveal the recipe within this blog entry.

It feels a bit silly to be starting my healthy lifestyle blog with a recipe that contains so many no-no's but hey, you only turn twenty once and I think that is more than enough of an excuse to plunge fork first into this decadent cake. Besides, I slaved all day baking it. It would be a complete waste of my efforts to let it go uneaten!

Monday, October 17, 2011

To New Beginnings

"Follow your heart, do what makes you happy and f**k the rest."

Here I am, finally listening to all that commonsense wisdom I know we've all heard countless times before. On the morning of Tuesday, October 11th, I woke up a third-year student at a large Massachusetts state university and by 2:45 that afternoon, I was officially a free bird. After two very unhappy years and a month and change into yet an even worse third one, I finally decided to withdraw from the school and follow my heart. I had known even before I began applying to colleges that a conventional college education wasn't likely to suit me but I had no idea what I wanted to do instead so with much reluctance, I followed what everyone else was doing. 

Finally sometime half-way through my second year I realized that my calling had been there all along. When I replayed the dusty home movies in my head they always seemed to have some running theme of food. Those weekends I spend with my mother, my little elbows deep in flour as we made animals out of whole wheat dough with wrinkly raisins for eyes. The excitement of unveiling what delicious treasures were hidden in our bullet-train lunch boxes during summer trips to visit cousins in Japan. Giggling with my brother as we slurped up the sticky, sweet juices from the bottom of the watermelon fruitbaskets my mother would carve for my birthdays. I had realized my fondest memories of childhood all shared a common theme of food and the way it brought people together.

Whole Wheat Bear Bread with Raisin Eyes/Nose.
Weekend Bread Baking with MamaBear.