Sunday, August 24, 2008

Not really new but different.

Readjusting to life in the USA has been rather interesting. For one, my hometown seems even smaller now after my summer in Berlin.  Driving a car for the first time in 3 months seemed a bit strange as well.  I still miss different little quirks about life in Berlin, and some of the amazing people there, but it has been nice to see people here again. Also, I love having a bigger kitchen with a lot more different foods and appliances.

I have been cooking for my family a lot, and I 
absolutely had to make pizza.  It doesn't look that beautiful, but it tasted delicious. Making whole wheat pizza from scratch was something 
that I really missed doing this summer.  The white stuff is the amazing cashew ricotta style tofu from Veganomicon. The tomatoes and bell pepper are fresh from the Farmers' Market.  (Sadly, mine back home is practically nothing compared to the one that I frequented in Berlin. I can't wait for the one in Indianapolis. It isn't as
 big as the Berlin one, but it is just as good.)

Speaking of produce, my parents have a small garden in the backyard.  Lucky for me, our raspberry bush has really taken over.  I went outside rain or shine just about every morning in order to pick my favorite berries.  (Sometimes even facing off against the bugs that loved to take bites out of my legs and arms!) The bush is so big that you can easily miss perfectly ripe berries, so you have to take your time looking at the branches from all angles.  See how they like to hide behind some of the leaves!

Fresh raspberries and some strawberries that were looking a little worse for wear in our fridge provided the perfect excuse for me to make something from Yellow Rose Recipes.  The picture of the lemon almond cake in the book looked decent, and the recipe is deceptively simple, but don't let this fool you. 
This cake is absolutely delicious.  Just look at the moist lemony goodness. So good, that I almost forgot to take a picture the next day.  With the help of my family, this simple but pretty creation was gone in 24 hours.

So light and moist, this is the quintessential dessert for summer.  I cannot believe that I did not try it sooner.  Next time that I make it, I might try to use less sugar in the cake because the glaze makes it rather sweet.

Being back in the USA, my entries are going to be a little less exciting from now on. Plus, I will be very busy seeing as it is my last year for my undergraduate degree. I have lots of things to do ahead of me: taking two GREs, writing a thesis, and figuring out which graduate schools to apply to. The observations of some posts might be more political with comments on the upcoming election or environmentalism (I'm president of my Uni's Environmental Concerns Organization this year.). 

Don't worry, I will still be cooking.  I am going to try to eat healthier because sometimes I ate way too much vegan ice cream, chocolate, or falafel in Berlin.  Next up, zucchini bread. That is healthy-esque, right? I mean, it has a vegetable in it. Ok, well maybe I'll try to tweak my recipe a bit and use no unbleached flour and a healthier sweetener, or something like that.  After all, one can't really use the vegetable excuse to claim that carrot cake is healthy, though one can certainly try...

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