cherry chocolate almond cookies

Posted by on Aug 8, 2014 | 2 comments

cherry chocolate almond cookies

Here are some Cherry Chocolate Almond Cookies for you to enjoy…because everyone enjoys a cookie every now and then, right? Oh God, I hope so.

If you have something against cookies, well then maybe we just can’t be friends. I mean, there’s an essential difference between us and I doubt that we’ll ever be compatible in such basic and important aspects of life. And I don’t know about you, but I personally enjoy the combination of cherries + dark chocolate + almonds.  But that’s just me. I think we can still be friends if you’re not too fond of that flavor combination…just not best friends.

cherry chocolate almond cookies

Anyways speaking of chocolate, cherries, and general deliciousness, I have always been a dreamer…a big one. I’ve had too many dreams for my own good and that has gotten me in trouble sometimes, but it has also kept me motivated and interested in this thing we call “life”. I think life would be quite dull without them.

When I was in eighth grade, I dreamed of becoming a singer of a cool rock band…you know, kind of like Gwen Stefani. That made me pursue music for a little while. I was in chorus and in band class during high school and became maybe too proud when my music teacher once told me that I was, “a very musical person.” Anyways, what teenage girl doesn’t dream of being a strong musical figure at least once in their life time?

cherry chocolate almond cookies

When I was getting ready to choose a major in college I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to become and my dreams were all scattered and confused..I had to choose though so I made myself create a fake dream because like I said before, without a dream (even if it is a false one), I find it difficult to keep moving forward. I thought I wanted to be a photographer. Not a digital photographer. I wanted to keep it old school. I wanted to own my own dark room and make money by selling black and white prints made from film. I didn’t want to mess with digital cameras and I didn’t want to bother with Photoshop. Film was what mattered. That “dream” made me pursue a degree in visual media. And then…then the digital age completely took over and I lost all interest in the field.

And when I was a child, I dreamt of being an elementary school teacher. That was a real dream, not a fake one. I dreamt of having my own colorful classroom full of plants, activity centers, a reading rug, some sort of classroom pet (no, not an actual teacher’s pet, but a real pet. ie: a hamster, a lizard, a fish, etc.) That dream was subdued for sometime but then returned in my twenties. That dream was the motivator of me becoming a 4th grade teacher and then being accepted to an Education Masters program in Columbia University. I deferred my enrollment because I had other dreams that needed attention before I committed more fully to that one…That dream was pastry.

DSC_1229

So many interests. So many “dreams”.  Such a long journey. I’ve been so confused throughout the years in all the different directions I’ve taken. Unfortunately I haven’t been a person who has always been sure of what I wanted to be so I needed experience in several fields to feel confident when choosing “the one”. I’ve seen myself being many things. I’ve seen myself holding many professions and actually going far and beyond to hold those positions to see for myself what it feels to live and breathe being that; whether it’s a teacher, a photographer, a graphic designer, a cook, or a pastry chef.

And so now what? I’ve become the pastry chef of two sister restaurants in D.C. and have worked incredibly hard. I’m relatively “new” in the field as I have been working in the pastry world for about 3 years. I’m not a celebrity chef and I don’t want to be. (Truthfully, the PR companies kind of weird me out. If I’m going to be in the newspaper it’s going to be because I truly deserve to be in the paper).

cherry chocolate almond cookies

Luckily, all these years of experimentation and “dating around” have given me more confidence in choosing pastry as my one and only. I’m no longer asking myself, “But what if baking cakes for a living is what brings me happiness in the end?” I’m not asking myself that question anymore because now I know for a fact that it does. Out of all the other candidates, pastry, you are the winner and I’m pretty excited with the future plans that we will hopefully share together.

I don’t want to speak too soon, but recently I’ve been really focused on a dream that has been present for years. The dream has always been kind of abstract and out of reach, but it has recently started to take more form in my mind. I see it play out before me in more detail and I’m starting to think of the logistics of the situation if it were to really happen. So yeah, dream on…
[easyrecipe id=”3722″ n=”0″]
 

Read More

almond granola

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 | 0 comments

 

granola

Today I’m mad at the world. Not only am I pissed off, I’m also discouraged and saddened when I look around. Sometimes I feel hopeless. Do you feel that way too sometimes? Don’t feel bad if you do. It’s almost impossible not to.

Yes, I know I’m begin extremely cynical right now. After all, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and I’m not homeless or ill. Things could be much worse after all.

And guess what? They are. They really, really, are.

granola

Commercial airplanes are being shot down, children are being bombarded (on beaches now?!?), stupid and psychotic parents are leaving their toddlers in hot cars, terrorists and radical groups are still wanting to exterminate us all, etc, etc. And Gaza…I mean, I’m just going to go ahead and say this, can the Middle East just please get along for once? In fact, can we all get along?

 granola

I know it’s not that easy, we all have our differences and our deep-rooted beliefs, but when it comes down to it, my simple and pragmatic mind (okay, I’ll admit that it’s not always such a logical mind) tells me that whatever the issue may be, it’s not worth the lives of thousands of people. Figure it out already and stop being selfish, assholes! Stop killing your fellow human!

granola

But wait…I’m not done venting yet. I feel a little better, but I’m not all the way purified from all evil of the world…

granola

Health insurance…Oh my lord, where do I start? Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m not the best person at keeping up with current events, but I don’t have to read the New York Times on a daily basis or hear the president’s Obamacare speeches to tell you that the health system in this nation is truly backwards and borderline useless. I have my own personal experience to know that it just sucks, as I’m sure you may have your own experience as well. Medical care is a human right and necessity, but it’s just a corrupted business in this country.

granola

And last but not least…Yep, I think it’s happened. I may have finally reached my limit of stupidly rude people. People who are obviously bitter and unhappy with their existence and try to make others around them feel just as miserable as they’re feeling.People who don’t acknowledge you when they see you, because somewhere in their little brains, they don’t think that you are worthy of being acknowledged or noticed. People who talk to you in a condescending manner because somewhere in their little rat brains, they are programmed to believe that they are better than you. “Hey, guess what douche? You’re not better than me, but if it makes your day, you can believe that you are.”

granola

Okay, I’m done for now. Anyways, here is some yummy almond granola that will make all of this mess a little bit better, especially if you mix it with some deliciously thick greek yogurt, honey, and fresh berries.

Oh yes, things are already looking brighter.

Thank goodness.
[easyrecipe id=”3678″ n=”0″]
 

Read More

chocolate chip scones

Posted by on May 10, 2014 | 0 comments

chocolate chip scones

I love chocolate. I love sweets. Duh, right? I’ve only made pastry my career and main source of income. So therefore, I love these chocolate chip scones. I simply do and I think that you will too.

chocolate chip scones

chocolate chip scones

These scones are  full of flavor and unlike many other scones that may appear to be overly dry and extra crumbly, these are moist, fluffy, and tender. I’ve been making them for countless Sunday brunch services. They have become one of my favorite pastries to taste when hunger hits during the morning shift. Ssshh, don’t tell anyone, but I steal a few before I set the tray out on the line. Oh whatever, I’m sure the other cooks do the same thing as well. They’re just hiding it from me.

chocolate chip scones

It’s getting to the point where I think I need to change the scone flavor, but it’s hard to do so when I have these enticing goodies in my recipe book…they always call my name and whisper, “Make me again…you know you want to. No other scone will satisfy you or others quite as much.” By that point I’m exhausted and still half asleep, so I always end up listening to them…obviously. Because scones obviously know the deal. And I’m obviously not crazy just because I can hear scone voices in my head…I promise.

chocolate chip scones

Anyways, I hope that you enjoy these Chocolate Chip Scones as much as I do every week. I have a feeling that you for sure will!

chocolate chip scones
[easyrecipe id=”3637″ n=”0″]
 

Read More
©2014 "sweet-lab".