Ever Onward (+ Little Applesauce-Spice Cakes)

In the yard, February 2015.

As I sit here eating (vegan) chocolate chunk cookies and swilling coffee, the thought occurs: wasn’t this blog once more about vegetarian food than sweets? I blame flourless. - which is finally back in stock on amazon and elsewhere; yippee! – and all the recipe testing that occurred during its creation. I always baked a lot, but things really ramped up two years ago when I was in the depths of writing the book and not much has changed since. Though in my defense I do still make and eat a lot of vegetables: Last night I had a bowl of delicious sweet potato/parsnip soup and piled lemony sauteed brussels sprouts atop quinoa and it satisfied my typical wintry cravings for vegetables and whole grains. Yet we’re on the cusp of yet another life change and thus I bake ever more, or at least I tell myself that’s the reason why. Strangely it does seem to help ease the transition.

While Morocco and I haven’t always been friends I made a sort of peace with my life here last fall — just in time to learn we’ll be packing up and leaving. Ain’t that always the way … And while there’s a lot I won’t miss the nostalgia factor is strong. This is after all the place where my baby took her first steps, said her first words, played in the grass for the first time, made friends with construction workers, nannies, and neighbors alike, chased the cats lingering outside our garden walls. I’ve finally! slipped into a routine, made friends, know the drill and while it’s not perfect I find that on the cusp of moving on that my somewhat rut has become a mostly comfortable one. Since I’m still rather sleep deprived the reality of packing up and starting again is not exactly an exciting one. But, such is life. And as the cliche goes as long as we have each other home can be anywhere – that’s no joke. Especially if there are sweets.

Continue reading

Banana Bread Muffins

The day before we left for summer vacation back in July I made these muffins and lordy my, why have I been hanging on to the recipe since then?! As I type this out I’m wondering if I can post this speedily enough so that I can whip up a quick batch before S wakes up from her nap. It’s chilly and grey here and if there’s one thing this afternoon could use to spruce it up it’s a banana bread muffin and a cup of tea. Instead – and unfortunately – I will probably stay curled up in my blue chair listening to the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and eating pistachio nuts until my time is up and I’m back on duty.

Continue reading

Rainy (+ Flourless Pumpkin-Chocolate Bread)

It’s raining as I type this, pattering down on the roof and slipping through the leaky skylight on the stairs leading to the second floor. The California wind chime on the porch is merrily beating against itself. Two nights ago there was a fierce windstorm that had the whole house creaking and groaning; I always forget how it does that, and how the desultorily-attached outside shutters blow back and forth with great crashing booms. If during rainstorms my San Francisco apartment felt like being inside a ship at sea – still cozy, though, especially with a wool blanket tucked around my knees – my house in Casablanca during thunder-and lightening storms feels a bit like being inside a tent in the mountains. I was thinking about long ago backpacking trips the other night when the wind tore at our outside bedroom door and then managed to push it open for a minute, how sometimes it seemed as though that flimsy contraption of aluminum and nylon would slide right off the slick granite and tumble down to the valley in the darkness below. We’d huddle in our bags and listen sleep deeply if fitfully and then in the morning the sun would shine brightly again and the breeze would be a gentle thing. Oh the mountains are calling and I must go — yes. Always.

Continue reading