Hot Polka Dot
14Feb/13

My Mind Lets Go A Thousand Things.

Chocolate Raspberry Forbidden Love Cake via @hotpolkadot

Chocolate Raspberry Forbidden Love Cake via @hotpolkadotChocolate Raspberry Forbidden Love Cake via @hotpolkadot

I've always been fascinated by the things our mind chooses to remember and the things it chooses to forget.

I can't remember learning to whistle, but I can vividly remember that time in fifth grade when Justin Kennedy flashed one of his perfect smiles at me. That terrible haircut I got to impress him thankfully didn't last for long and my whistling skills have only improved.

I can't remember the moment I met my best friend, but I can clearly recall my recurring childhood nightmares about ET. He hid in my closet mostly and creeped up on me with his weird glowing finger. I'm still terrified of ET, but at least my best friend understands me.

I can't recollect the details of that amazing Radiohead concert, but I can remember every excruciating hour that my cat was lost by the airline. My cat is subsequently terrible at travelling, but my souvenir Radiohead t-shirt is still my favourite despite the holes and faded patches.

Sometimes it even feels like the space between our ears is finite. You learn a new friend's name and suddenly you forget your PIN number. You finally memorize your favourite pizza dough recipe and you forget who your eighth grade math teacher was. You cram for your written driving test and instantly forget which key fits in the back door deadbolt.

Here to illustrate my point is Thomas Bailey Aldrich with one of my favourite poems, both beautiful and aptly named, Memory.

My mind lets go a thousand things,
Like dates of wars and deaths of kings,
And yet recalls the very hour -
'Twas noon by yonder village tower,
And on the last blue moon in May -
The wind came briskly up this way,
Crisping the brook beside the road;
Then pausing here, set down its load
Of pine scents, and shook listlessly
Two petals from that wild-rose tree.

I remember seeing my sweetie for the first time. He was framed in my basement apartment peephole nervously shifting his weight to one foot while clutching a bouquet of flowers. I remember hearing his voice for the first time and being startled by how deep and warm it was. I remember how much his whiskers tickled when I kissed him. I look forward to capturing little mental snapshots like these in the years to come.

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope it's one to remember!

Chocolate Raspberry Forbidden Love Cake via @hotpolkadot

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16Sep/12

Berry Good.

Meet Berrie. He's spunky, inquisitive, adventurous, incredibly smart, a little grumpy, a bit spoiled and definitely adorable.

He enjoys mirrors, seed balls, messy baths, nomming on computer keys, hanging out on noggins and chirping at cats. He's a cute little lovebird we recently had the pleasure of bird-sitting.

Berrie was named after the colourful fruit that his feathers resemble. His soft face looks like it was dunked in a bowl of white raspberries or pineberries. His tail feathers are splashed with blueberry and his wingtips with blackberry.

I just want to eat him up!

But that would be weird and wrong...

...So I made these Berry Baby Bundts instead inspired by his yummy name.

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24Jan/11

Made With Love.

Valentine's Day means either nothing or everything to an individual person. You're either a skeptic or a romantic. More and more the world is being peopled by skeptics. People who don't believe in anything they can't see or touch and make fun of those who dare to.

I was once one of them before I met Lee. I'm not going to tell you that rainbows and butterflies follow us, but we are ridiculously happy. The kind of happy that gives you cavities and your face hurts from smiling too much. He's my match, my better half, my sweetheart.

A note in a lunch bag. A heart shaped box of chocolates. A bouquet of roses. A romantic dinner on a rooftop. A picnic in the sun. A long distance phone call. A marriage in secret. A well composed email. Whatever love means to you it deserves celebration.

I thought I'd give you all a simple yet sweet recipe for your own sweetheart. Just ganache, raspberries and hazelnuts. These Chocolate Razelnut Truffles are decadent, rich and best enjoyed when made with love.

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7Sep/10

Pretty Pictures.

There are a fair number of people out there that turn their noses up at food blogging. I know! Crazy right? They criticize food photography and food staging for being contrived.

But it is...

I'm not going to show you pictures of what I actually did with this rack of cookies or this plate of cake. That would be weird. Who really wants to see pictures of me stuffing my face messily, repeatedly and, dare I say, uncontrollably?

When you make something yummy your first thought isn't to place it artistically yet casually next to some perfect strawberries or pair it with a jug of milk that you'd never really drink from. And, admit it, some things we make aren't even that pretty.

This is why I spend hours in the kitchen just to bake a simple batch of cookies. 90% of this time is spent making sure my cookies don't look like junk and the other 10% is spent actually baking them.

Food photography can be a tricky business. There are tripods, expensive lenses, reflector panels, all the digital editing and cropping and let's not forget how hard it is to find photo-worthy dishes and utensils.

So yeah, it's contrived. But it's pretty. I'm all about making things pretty. Food bloggers go through a lot of trouble to bring you pictures worthy of mouth watering and stomach grumbling.

These pancakes are pretty. I didn't even need to do much to them. For reals. I just slapped them on a pretty plate, dusted them with powdered sugar, dropped a handful of raspberries on them and slathered them in syrup. Some things are just naturally beautiful.

And after turning off my camera I inhaled them, natural beauty and all. Can you blame me?

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24Aug/10

Crash.

I'm sick of being sick.

I've been flat on my back eating nothing but handfuls of chicken noodle soup and crackers. Before you start to wonder how exactly you go about clutching a fistful of soup let me distract you with these cookies.


Feel better?

Me too. For now. Otherwise I'd still be asleep and not sharing this recipe with you.

Funny how sometimes you feel worse after starting a course of antibiotics than before. I'd almost rather take my chances with my ear infection than take another one of those giant pills. Almost.

It's the ten day antibiotic crash diet. Emphasis on the word crash.

All the cool kids are doing it. Lose ten pounds in ten days. You'll be half conscious while shuffling around the house like a zombie in wrinkled pjs and sporting unwashed bed head, but hey you'll look fabulous.

Ok so this is getting a little random, a smidgen bitter and my head is starting to feel a bit fuzzy so I'll just shut the heck up and let the cookies speak for themselves.

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