chocolate babka rolls

Chocolate Babka

about this month:
it’s twenty one days in
and i’m still cold
from the moment we arrived home
from our thailand honeymoon
i’ve been saying to dw
if we were still there
we’d be sweating like whores
if we were still there
we’d go down the street
for some chompoo

if only we were still there

Chocolate Babka

the season is slow to change
we haven’t visited the tulips yet
a new skeeball season has commenced
i’ve cut my hair again
and oh
my obsession for the cookbook Jerusalem

our first sunday back
suffering from jetlag
i made this for supper,
at noon,
and because i was not feeling
in the kitchen mood
we had it for lunch the entire week

i’ve had this babka on my mind
for a long time
i made it for xmas
and so i made it again for easter
this time
for individual consumption
mini-versions, if you will,
cus why not
cus who doesn’t like mini stuff
cus who doesn’t like to stand
for 3 hours individually rolling
mini loaves and rolls

i won’t post the full recipe
cus it’s long
and cus there are three other resources
who have reprinted the full recipe for you

Chocolate Babka

i will list my alterations:

organic spelt flour
earth balance soy margarine to keep it dairy free and pareve
cinnamon in the dough and sprinkling in the filling
half the dough was then divided into EIGHT sections which were then rolled, filled, & twisted into mini loaves
the other half was rolled and then cut into TWELVE rolls that were then baked in muffin tins

bake times ranged from 20-25 minutes, please keep an eye. my oven runs hot, next time will be a hard stop at 20 minutes


Chocolate Babka

for full recipe from the cookbook:
seven spoons
life love food

travel | chiang mai, thailand & elephant nature park 2014

Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014

we traveled north for a few days
to get out of the city
to see a dear, dear friend
and to walk with elephants

i looked up at the night sky,
the same night sky
that is usually invisible
to our eyes –
what with the urban lights
and smog
and lack of time to pause,
i looked up at the unending expanse,
with its innumerable exploding stars
and gigantic galaxies,
i felt the earth spinning
and i felt dizzy
and small

Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014

walking with these elephants,
these intelligent beasts
with their faultless presence
i also felt dizzy
and small

and i will tell you:
it was exhilarating

Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014

additional information for Chiang Mai, Thailand and Elephant Park
accomodations: private townhouse
dining: the Riverside, we dined here twice
day trip: sukantara, an eco-boutique resort
shopping: night bazaar
elephant nature park: 2 day, overnight visit

*note: pic of me with my hand in the elephant’s mouth courtesy of dw. he really does capture me at my most random….

Chiang Mai, Thailand 2014

we’ll go back to regular food + dream stuff soon …

travel | bangkok, thailand 2014

Bangkok, Thailand 2014

i’ve been trying to write this
for awhile
from many places
– while walking sidewalks brimming with food vendors
– crossing a busy street, clutching dw’s hand tight
– from cramped airplane seats, recycled air pressed down on me
– early morning thoughts while combating jetlag
– dreary late night musings, preparing for reality

Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014

there is a heat in bangkok
that seizes you
it gets caught mid-breath
and you’re left gasping
for some it’s oppressive
for me,
it’s joyous
i don’t mind the heat,
or the slick tendrils of hair at my temple
or the pit stains
i’m 16 again
wearing slippers, dusty toed
and ignoring hawkers as they
implore & vie for my attention

i’m caught up in the magic
of travelling
of wandering a foreign city with my love
never mind the blisters on
both feet
the stink i’m sure i’m emitting

Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014

all i know is
i am in love with everything:
being lost
the dirt
the heavy air
even the lack of soy milk for my coffee

and i am dreaming of our next adventure

bangkok information and resources:
i’m sorry, i won’t be able to highlight every place we went to, i don’t remember & most places were on a whim

accommodations: 1 bedroom condo we found on airbnb. we kept the place even when we went to chiang mai for a long weekend.
dining: no lie, i think we had khao man gai 7-8 times. i asked the landlord for recommendations and then i asked shesimmers, and if i saw a joint that had it, we’d stop for it. i’ll list just the two leela endorsed cus they were gooooood. Khao Man Gai Monkhon Wattana (ข้าวมันไก่มงคลวัฒนา) and Khao Man Gai Heng Heng (ข้าวมันไก่เฮงเฮง). if you really want to know more about those places, email me & i’ll send you the info.
urban kitchen: we met up with dw’s cousin and he took us to this great cafe. i’m now obsessed with bruised cucumber salad and drunken chicken. i will eventually recreate that meal
Methavalai Sorndaeng: dw’s parents visited thailand after their stint in india with the peace corps. they dined at this restaurant, so we did too!
shopping: we hit up most of the shopping malls, whole sale and retail, and bazaars. i could not tell you where i bought the cutest tea cup set, cus i don’t know, and cus it was by luck. i did hit up all these and the weekend market
sights: the grand palace, adhere to the dress code

Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014Bangkok, Thailand 2014

next: our chiang mai leg, specifically, walking with the elephants!

other wanderings:
vietnam 2012

coconut peppermint patties

Coconut Peppermint Patties

it’s not so much the daily
wake up ritual we partake in,
where sometimes i coax you out of slumber
with promises of kisses,
or i downright threaten to withhold kisses
it’s not so much the
evening hugs we make time for,
no matter how much i need
to go pee
this is a deep & abiding glimpse
of this love we’ve been working on

Coconut Peppermint Patties

this month you mark another
yearlong trip around the sun
it was never about the destination
i only ever care about the journey
as long as i’m with you
cus darling,
we are adventurers in this
life we’ve been working on

for your birthday this year
i made your favorite combo:
chocolate + mint
because i adore you
and because i’m your
Ride Or Die Bitch

Coconut Peppermint Patties

coconut peppermint patties
yields: 24 patties

*note: in lieu of the coconut flakes, you can use all powdered sugar. i decided to use the coconut flakes because this particular brand soaks up moisture really well, and i wanted to cut on the sweetness.

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, i used Let’s Do Organic
2 tsp pure peppermint extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBL softened (just below room temp) coconut oil
2 TBL coconut creamer, i used So Delicious

beat everything in a mixing bowl with a paddle. everything will start out crumbly and ugly and alarming, walk away. come back after 30 seconds – a 1 minute, it should be creamy and well incorporated. when you touch the mixture, it will be soft but not sticky. if it is sticky, add more powdered sugar, a tablespoon at a time, until it’s no longer sticky. it’ll be stiff.

scrape mixture out of bowl onto a long piece of plastic wrap. form into a tube, about 1 1/2″ in diameter. wrap up well and be sure to tie the ends up. fridge up till firm, about 45 minutes. cut into desired thickness, aim for 1/4″. dip into melted chocolate and allow to cool and harden.

i chopped up a 5oz bar of chocolate, at least 70% cacao, melted over a double boiler. ( i used scharffen berger)


Coconut Peppermint Patties

my other dw birthday concoctions:
homemade thin mints – 2013
mint chocolate cake – 2012

quinoa chocolate cake

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

we’re missing an hour
never before have
i wanted an hour back
like i do now

daylight saving time
never bothered me before
growing up
either because my body didn’t
register the loss
or the countries i lived in
didn’t participate in DST

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

it’s an adjustment
much like making minor
dietary changes
we made the decision
recently to cut back on
our gluten intake,
for health-reasons
and as it happens,
our close friends are
also attempting the gf lifestyle

for less than 2 weeks
i’ve missed bread
i’ve missed pasta
no lie:
i’ve cheated
and i have to remind myself
that much like when i went
dairy free
it’s not so much what i’m missing,
it’s what i could be gaining
the challenges i could tackle
in the kitchen

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

quinoa chocolate cake – gluten free & dairy free
adapted from Quinoa 365

*note: i baked this cake for my dear friend Nuria’s birthday. i’ve made many, many desserts for this hooker, including her wedding cakes, and she said this was her most favorite. the flour wasn’t missed.
*initially i had wanted to make it a two layered cake with whipped coconut milk but the coconut milk was too runny, though delicious, and i wasn’t confident that it would make the trek to the party. so i topped with powdered sugar and called it a day.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake

2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (about 1/2 cup dried quinoa, though just cook a full cup and find another use for the unused)
1/3 cup coconut creamer, i used So Delicious
4 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid but cool
1 cups sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

cook up the quinoa according to package instructions, be sure to fight the urge to NOT cook it with broth, cus i damn near forgot… allow to cool completely.

preheat oven to 350F and prep 2 8″ round pans.

in a bowl, sift the dry ingredients.

in a food processor, whizz up the eggs, coconut oil and coconut creamer. add in the cooled cooked quinoa and process until smooth, or as smooth as you want it to be. pour mixture into the bowl of dried ingredients and mix everything until fully combined.

divvy up into pans equally and bake for 28-30 minutes. the sides will pull clean from the pans.

cool on rack and either top with powdered sugar or frosting of your choice.


Quinoa Chocolate Cake