Sweet, spicy, but never bitter

The other day, my cousin brought over a big box of gourmet cookies, one of which was a spicy Mexican chocolate cookie. I didn’t know there was spice in it beforehand, but it was the first one I reached for. Imagine my surprise when the sugary sweetness flung off its disguise and I found myself with zesty chocolate in my mouth.

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of spicy things, but I can handle them, and I won’t reject them. So as interesting and strange as the flavor combination might sound, they complemented each other quite nicely (though that is supposed to be the point). Savory and sweet.

This got me thinking about some things. You might be aware that it is at this time of year that senior high school students all over the world are getting their fates shoved into their faces. It is college acceptance/rejection season. In a time period of just barely over a month, a tiny, tiny fraction of our lives, we are faced with a decision that will potentially shape our entire future. And so, just like our tastebuds are sensitive to new flavors, some people are sensitive towards college decisions. Thankfully, I am not. But I would be.

What?

Let me explain.

(Warning: long post)

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Bite by Bite: The Journey for Health (recipe included)

As I mentioned in the previous post, my family is a foodie family, and as a result, we eat a lot. A few years ago, a cousin stayed at our house for a week–and ended up gaining ten pounds. Yeah.

It has always been a mystery to the various members of my extended family as to why my immediate family never gains weight. Of course, this is untrue, because we are always gaining weight; however, we are always trying to lose it, as well. As for myself, weight has never been a comfortable topic; for most of my life, I’ve been pretty chubby. Being surrounded by fit, skinny people at school has never helped that. As a result, I’ve gone on countless “diets,” but I’ve failed countless times. My weight isn’t threatening to my health–it’s just something I, like many other girls, sometimes get insecure about.

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The Secret Life: The hidden struggles of culinary hobbies

We all have talents. Sometimes it is a hidden talent. Sometimes it’s not.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but my family is a foodie family. Our talents lie in the culinary field; we are a family of cooks, hobby chefs, and bakers. If you are one of the few who can’t whip up a nice meal yourself, then you at least have the taste for one–we know our foods. When it comes to family gatherings, my family is the one to celebrate with–there is good food, and lots of it. I think this is why I (and my siblings) have become such a food brat.

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Spear me through the heart (recipe included)

There is probably some kind of mysterious psychology involved when I say that I have never been attracted to food on sticks. I don’t mean to say that I don’t like food on sticks, just that I wouldn’t pounce on it as soon as I see it (like I would with every other food…*laughs*). I don’t know what it is; I have always preferred things like, say, beef, on plates rather than on sticks. I wouldn’t call it snobbiness or some kind of class ideal that makes me think this way, because the fact is, kabobs are probably easier and more fun to eat anyway. I still love the flavors and whatnot, especially if they’re arranged creatively and appetizingly. But you could serve me the most delicious chicken kabob in the world and I would still hesitate (just for a second, I promise) to eat it.

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Mixing it up on Valentine’s Day (recipe included)

Love is in the air!


As Valentine’s Day creeps just around the corner, there are those of us who are planning dates with our loved ones, and those of us who are, well, planning dates with ourselves. I am of the latter group.

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Fooding Anew

We’re all familiar with the Food Network, with culinary giants Geoffrey Zakarian, Giada de Laurentiis, Ina Garten, etc–and it’s always exciting to watch them construct new and delicious-looking creations on all of their cooking shows. Their food is delicate, sophisticated, and carried out with expertise and confidence that average people like me can only admire. But it’s also great to look at cooking through other lenses–through people who are not celebrities, but give us the same amount of satisfaction and inspiration with their ideas. Their ideas are simple, but amazingly fun and interesting. I love learning new recipes through looking at videos, and thought I would share one with you all today–it’s a series I discovered last year, but they’ve updated it considerably since then, and I thought you would all enjoy it (I definitely did). It’s super creative, fun, and a really cute way of sharing recipes.

Enjoy!

Life is a box of…crackers? (recipe included)

Sometimes life is like a burnt cracker. We throw everything together and hope for the best. And sometimes it works out.

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But not always.

As we make our way through high school, through college, and to life beyond, things get overwhelming–we close our eyes just momentarily, and it seems as if everything has gone wrong. It’s just like a cracker–all the goodies are in there, but one look away from the oven, and all your hard work has been wasted. We can only watch as our lives (and the crackers) burn to a crisp.

So how should we avoid this?

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The Art of Deceit: Why presentation matters

I think it is safe to say that just by being human, we are familiar with the art of deceit and manipulation. Whether it is more common to be a victim or a culprit of such tactics, I don’t know, but it’s not uncommon to be both, either.

You’ve seen it in literature, in films, in life–deceit is everywhere. More often than not, the perpetrator is seen as a villain–take, for example, Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello, or Napoleon in Animal Farm. The question is, why? Being a manipulative hero isn’t so bad either.
Just look at Dantès in The Count of Monte Cristo. Okay, maybe he’s not a complete hero, but I’d certainly like to be as boss as he is (just without all the tragedy).

Villain or not, manipulation is an exceptionally effective and useful tool in getting what these characters want.

You see, telling a lie isn’t always such a terrible thing. (Don’t get me wrong, though–I certainly am not advocating a life of lies and deceit.)

Just think of the last time you smiled and shifted uncomfortably as you told your friend’s dear mother that her cardboard chocolate chip cookies were divine. Okay, maybe that’s just me.

If we’re talking about manipulation, though, Othello‘s Iago pulls it off perfectly. He has the immaculate facade of a well-disciplined, honest man, fooling others into believing that he is not the sly fox that he is. He doesn’t even have to lie–everything is perfectly planned through subtle gestures and seemingly harmless, well-intentioned comments.

And while we’re at it, the same kind of manipulation is found everywhere in food. “What?” you say. “Manipulation?” It may not be the kind you are thinking of, or the harmful kind that Iago uses, but keep with me here. Assuming that the same ingredients are used in each, take a look at the different cupcakes below:

Which would you rather eat?

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