Tagged: Mint

Summer Fruit Bruschetta & Homemade Ricotta

Most of the time, I enjoy baking and cooking alone. This can typically be attributed to two things. The first being that, well, I’m Haein and I am the clumsiest girl I know. In other words, I like sparing myself the shame, so please continue to keep me on that culinary pedestal as I continue to make a mess masterpiece in my kitchen. The second being that having the kitchen all to my lonesome gives me a deep sense of serenity and control – and who doesn’t want complete and total control?! Oh, right, and peace.
But, every once in a while, I have the unexpected pleasure of friends willing to help or learn or just eat in my kitchen (as opposed to my dining room, I guess). My most recent catering event was one such instance of true camaraderie.

One of my best friends was here this past week from California and she’s just left, leaving me feeling bereft. She spent one of her first weekends home helping me prepare for the biggest baking extravaganza of my still-developing life. Not just her, but also several more of the most kindhearted and compassionate friends I have. They volunteered their time and energy to help create a success beyond my imagination. Success for me, of course, being all-inclusive of my ability to occasionally stuff their mouths with so-called mistakes or “extras” (though there really weren’t any) in addition to shoving extra jars of homemade strawberry jam or fresh ricotta cheese into their arms.

But enough about that.
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Chocolate Soufflé Cupcakes with Mint Cream

I’m not going to lie. I used to be one of those grinch-like people that cringed at the idea of Valentine’s Day around the corner. I just never particularly bought into the commercial holiday disguised as a single-day celebration of “love,” as defined by Hallmark. It just seemed overly contrived, an unnecessary excuse of a holiday to muster up hackneyed displays of overexuberant chivalry and romance, as evidenced by the ample amounts of purchased flowers and chocolates (of which I cannot complain). That was, at least, until I began turning the day into yet another more appropriate excuse to bake heart-laden morsels of chocolate in every form to win the love of not one, but many.

I can’t help that I”m a little selfish. Continue reading