V-Day Delights Part 1: Dessert with Tiramis-Who?

I happily proclaim to be on the Valentine’s-Day-is-silly bandwagon, where one doesn’t need a commercialized “holiday” in which to declare and express his or her love for a significant other, family, or friends etc.  Do you not find something kind of… unsettling knowing that you are getting your romance on at the very same time as the retired and wrinkly old couple living next to you?  How pleasant.

That said, I will give it some credit for two reasons.  As newlyweds, I suppose we are supposed to celebrate the fact that we are together for this first Day of super-duper-Love, and will be for the rest of time (God Willing! Haha).  Second, it gives me some confirmation that G will actually get home on time, as opposed to working a little later or stopping by his sister’s place before coming home.  On a day that every single sentient being waxes poetic on what plans they have, I can pretty much expect he’ll be home on time if only because he’d feel guilty not to.   And since that’s the case, I have the opportunity to actually have an awesome dinner ready precisely when he walks in, without needing to reheat anything etc.  Plus, I do enjoy the smell of fresh flowers, so that’s a plus too.

So we had a fabulously divine and decadent dinner for Valentine’s Day.  It was the most spectacular spread I had made in a long while, but like most sweet-toothed fiends, I’m going to start with dessert first.  Back in the day, G used to swoon over the tiramisu at Cheesecake Factory.  I know by critics’ standards it isn’t “the best” because it’s overly creamy, but that was precisely what G drooled over.  Crazy Cream Lover.  Just give him a big vat of whipped cream and he’ll light up like the New Year’s Eve Ball in Times Square.

He hasn’t had Tiramisu in a long time though, so I figured I’d try it out.  Enter in little snafus, stage right.  Didn’t have time to go to any grocery stores that I knew would have the right ingredients, so I made do with the following: cream cheese rather than mascarpone, coffee rather than coffee liquor (well, we keep it alcohol-free in these here part, folks), and sponge cake rather than ladyfingers.  I know I know, you’re thinking what the heck?  But trust me, it was just sooo rich and fluffy and had just enough of the coffee flavor to make even a non-café fan like myself all dreamy. Continue reading

LiterEature 101: Gideon the Cutpurse

Our Third Session of Litereature 101 commences with a brief discussion on Gideon, The Cutpurse by Linda Buckley-Archer.

As mentioned in the previous session, I continue to explore Young Adult literature in an effort to familiarize myself with the themes, styles, and goals of the genre, to see from whence it came and to where it is heading.  I admit wholeheartedly that I also just find it to be more fun as well—where fantasy, science fiction and generous doses of unreality are implemented to explore human psyche, emotions, social issues etc., much like adult fiction.  So I wandered through the library in search of my next prey when my eyes settled on one of the most engaging covers I had seen in a long long while:

Thus I went against that age-old adage and indeed judged the book by its cover, in the best way possible.  A quick perusal of the summary revealed a relatively new story (2006) that is part historical fiction, part coming of age, and of course part science fiction—there is time-travel after all.  The summary describes it as a “modern genre all its own,” so I wondered how unique it really could be… Continue reading

G’s Utopian Dream Cake

When I took this delight out of the oven, my heart burst out and galloped forth through the sweet aromas filling the kitchen.
When I pulled it out as a surprise after dinner, G’s eyes drooled even more than his mouth.
When I cut a slice dolloped with fresh whipped cream and handed it over to him, the clouds parted in the wintry sky, heavenly lights shone down and angels sang from G’s rapturous face with every bite.

I have to say, this orange chiffon cake really is THAT good. Continue reading