Strawberry Rhubarb Rolls with Lime Glaze


strawberry rhubarb rolls with lime glaze / une gamine dans la cuisine

How swiftly the strained honey
of afternoon light
flows into darkness

and the closed bud shrugs off
its special mystery
in order to break into blossom:

as if what exits, exists
so that it can be lost
and become precious.

~ "In Passing" by Lisel Mueller

Today is a young, tart strawberry. It's not quite ripe enough to be an ample morning but I've been up since 5:34 am; it feels as though it ought to be noon, at least.

I haven't been able to slip into my springtime aura. Mornings are too crisp and my icy fingertips still curl too tightly around a cosy forest green electric blanket. For as much as my body craves the sheet-less languid nights of summer, I will miss the ritual nesting & burrowing that comes with frost tinged sunsets. There is something undeniably soothing about being able to immerse oneself into the safe confines of a heated blanket and soft flannel sheets. That rapturous warmth after so much the embrace of a long lost lover or a dryer-fluffed towel draped over chilly shoulders. Yes, dear forest green blanket, you will be missed on hot July nights.

This nascent strawberry morning finds & fills me with wistful thoughts, secret longings, a third cup of strong, creamy coffee, and two leftover rolls (gently heated in the microwave). Oh, to be in love in cruel April. xo

early morning Cinnamon Toffee Banana Bread


Cinnamon Toffee Banana Bread | une gamine dans la cuisine

"I love the abstract, delicate, profound, vague, voluptuously wordless sensation
of living ecstatically."

~ Anaïs Nin, from a letter to Henry Miller, in A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, 1932-1953

This banana bread is my love letter to you. The first loaf fell. Literally. I had everything arranged for a photo shoot; slices splayed out in pseudo-haphazard fashion, errant scatterings of flour, an odd number of eggs peeking around the corners of wrinkled napkins, and a wayward scoop of ground cinnamon...everything was perfectly imperfect. Obviously my straight-laced background board felt left out of the peppered chaos. After one sip of coffee and an accidental nudge on the table with my pointy elbow, the entire scene folded in on itself. I laughed, uncontrollably, amid cracked eggs, a mangled bread loaf, flour-coated jeans & a slimy floor. This, coupled with snow on a Sunday in mid-April, broke the dam that had been held together with celery twine and thread bare hopes of spring. Honestly, I could not stop laughing.

After sitting on the floor in a pile of flour and inhaling a few surviving slices with a cold cup of coffee, I cleaned up the drama and went about making another loaf. Because I know you will be smitten. xo  

Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust


Red Grape Tart with Rosemary Almond Cookie Crust | une gamine dans la cuisine

"The clocks of flowers rise, it's April
and yellow and these seconds are an autopsy
of this word,

~ Bob Hicok, from "So I know" 

Spring is cautious this year. I imagine a cellist who somehow feels estranged from her beloved instrument. When sunlight spills through my morning window, I feel her raising a tentative bow and bringing it to pulsating strings; but as I hold my breath there's a missed heartbeat - - an eleventh hour hesitation. Instead of creating music and violets, she sighs and softly shoves her tidings aside with a slippered foot. Tomorrow, perhaps...

I'm waiting, patiently, for strawberries. Unfortunately the season is too young and off its mark. Every berry-filled green carton I find at the grocery store is a disappointment. This was an unplanned grape tart.

Rosemary, Hiddles & Honey Chocolate-Dipped Cookies


Rosemary, Hiddles & Honey Chocolate-Dipped Cookies | une gamine dans la cuisine

April, please be candid. March has left me contrary and unreasonable. If you summon my phlegmatic, winter-weary ship to shelter under promises of cherry blossoms and endless sun, I'll turn at the last moment and head out to sea. Again. Hope is held, safely, just beyond reach. I would rather have milky, glaucous blue afternoons that yawn their way into apathetic evenings. I want to keep casting wistful sighs into the stratosphere, waiting for one or five to capture...something. Sweet April, come softly. Stretch yourself out with the measured laziness of an overfed cat and stay as long as you wish.

My untouched second cup of coffee has aged three hours but I'm still feeling the velvet *hum* and purring warmth of its predecessor. I'm also mindlessly enjoying a few enchanted cookie crumbs. Polishing off the final morsel from a batch of cookies is a heady mix of guilt and accomplishment.  

Chocolate Mocha Cake


Chocolate Mocha Cake | une gamine dans la cuisine

"There is no exquisite beauty...without some strangeness in the proportion."
~ Edgar Allan Poe 

I'm completely aware that my blog is prone to impromptu meanderings (its arbitrary author often finds herself reaching for wild strawberries only to draw back handfuls of lemongrass). Yes, I know I once stood firm in my aversion to chocolate on chocolate, but maybe I spoke too harshly and too soon. As it stands, I stand corrected. Sorely. This provocative deity is mind blowing.  It's the elusive chocolate cake one dreams about - the seemingly intangible memory, a slice of sheer, unadulterated bliss that spreads blossoming tendrils through the body like a drop of red hot ink on clear, still water.

Peut-être que je t'aime?

Pineapple Carrot Cake with Honey-Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream


Pineapple Carrot Cake with Honey-Cinnamon Swiss Meringue Buttercream | une gamine dans la cuisine

"We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix in the present. We are made of layers, cells, constellations." 

~ Anaïs Nin 

I sometimes wish my far-fetched aspirations spoke softly, with the measured voice of sweet honey, and I wish reality drew upon me with the slow, smouldering warmth of languid cinnamon. More often than not I'm effectively thrust into a state of disorientation; holding an idiosyncratic compass that points its quivering arrow somewhere between hope and reluctance.

My heart, despite a boreal hibernation, is awake and irrevocably enthralled, beguiled...mesmerized. There are no blueprints for this *occurance.* But (isn't 'but' a precarious word!) there is a rivulet of prudent excitement that trickles through my veins. I find myself slowly opening the heavy doors of "what if..." again. The anxious gust of pent up air is quite exhilarating.

Hence the arbitrary desire to bake a persnickety layer cake. 

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