Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Korova Cookies

Musings on the East Coast

I'm back from the East Coast.  I thought I would love the East Coast.  I hated the East Coast.

Well I can't really say hate- that is much too harsh of an adjective to describe my overall experience with both Boston and New York.  I will say though that I can with one hundred percent confidence proclaim that my heart prefers life on the West Coast, where I can careen along the highway in my car everyday while belting out Taylor Swift's latest teeny bopper hit.  I'm not too sure how well the locals of Manhattan would respond to an Asian Kid singing T-Swizzle on the subway during rush hour. 

Please don't get me wrong however.  While a large part of the pleasure I experienced did have to do with the fact I had the opportunity to volunteer at numerous organizations, some of the people in fact, were genuinely nice!  The diversity of a big city will forever enrapture my heart, and rarely (if at all) will you be able to strike up a two hour conversation with a seasoned world traveler at a coffee shop in Orange County like I was able to in Boston.  

But as a sheltered West Coast baby from Orange County, where it's considered winter when the mercury falls below the 60 degree mark, I definitely was out of my natural element.  The sad reality is that I arrived to the East Coast with the ubiquitous, candy-coated, and in all sense of the word fucked up version of what East Coast city life would be like.  I speak from experience- the Devil Wears Prada is not in any way, shape, or form an accurate portrayal of East Coast life.  Instead of taking my pre-envisioned, dazzling stroll down 5th Avenue where I would then leisurely ice skate amongst the twinkling glow of Rockefeller Center, I was instead met with and the smell of cigarettes, littered streets, and the constant struggle of navigating the sidewalk amongst the constant hoards of other pedestrians, frantically darting around like a paranoid schizophrenic. 

I heard stories about the fast paced lifestyle, but it was another thing to actually experience what I had heard about so much.  Never have I jay-walked with so much reckless abandon in my life, where instead of slowing down, taxis and wealthy drivers of the Mercedes S-Class instead sped up through intersections, causing people in the crosswalk to casually jump out of the way as if saving your life was as normal and involuntary as blinking your eye.  I was practically jogging in order to keep up with the normal walking pace of everyone else, and for someone with an absolutely horrid sense of direction, navigating the subway was like asking Honey Boo Boo to work a quantum physics problem.  What was an even harder obstacle to overcome was realizing how introverted people came off in day to day life.  Eye contact was met with a dart to the pavement, holding open a door is equivalent to becoming invisible, and a ride on the subway is 20 minutes of the most awkward silence possible.  But then again, who is a random kid from Southern California to paint an accurate portrayal of the East Coast?  While I loved expanding my horizons this winter break, I am more than happy to be back on my own couch.

Boston Common

Fenway Park

Boston Chowda Company, Quincy Market

Quincy Market

Quincy Market

Madison Square Park, New York

Eataly, Manhattan, New York

23rd Street Subway Station, New York

Eataly, Manhattan, New York

Eataly, Manhattan, New York

Chelsea Market, Manhattan, New York

Eataly, Manhattan, New York

Chelsea Market, Manhattan, New York

You've probably heard of these famous little gems.  Colloquially known as Dorie Greenspan's celebrated World Peace Cookies, I can say with confidence that these fall on my list of top ten cookies.  Just don't do what I did and forget the baking soda, or else you wind up with something that is thin, chewy, and crispy (which isn't bad at all) versus something thicker and substantial.

I have to admit, I felt like I was committing a mortal, sacrilegious sin of epic proportions by subtly changing what most would consider a perfect cookie, but I respectfully think you would like this winter variation.  A word to the weak though- this is a seriously chocolatey cookie.  With such a high ratio of cocoa that is consequently elevated by brown sugar, coffee, cinnamon, and chocolate chips, I don't think of World Peace when I eat these, but instead a chocolatey apocalypse, broken up by the tart zing of cranberries. 

One Year Ago: Peppermint Ice Blended Mocha, Eggs Benedict

Friday, December 7, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I think one of the most constant things I can rely upon is the fact that no matter how inconsistent I am with my blogging, there is always at least one stranger out there reading my posts.  So to that stranger today, thank you.

I don't have a recipe to post today (but I promise that I have at least two dozen waiting in the wings), because as you read I am on my way to Boston.  I'll be volunteering next week with a group of 12 other classmates who seem to be a lot more sincere than I am about helping others in need, and I have to admit it really is humbling.  However I can finally say that New England will finally be crossed off my bucket list. 

And on a side note, if you have as much time as I seemingly have to kill during finals week, then check out this little gem in development...  and it's not just because he happens to be my best friend.