BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked


20 Comments

Adjusting to Island Time

What do you call a trip that’s not quite a vacation, not entirely business, and lasts for a whole month? No, this isn’t a riddle, this is what I’m trying to figure out! I’ve made the leap over to Hawaii in hopes of weathering the worst of winter in a tropical paradise, and it’s wonderful, disorienting, dizzying, and exciting all at once. Never fear; regular posting will resume shortly, as soon as I adjust to island time.


12 Comments

Take Your Best Shot

On the cusp of another new year, it’s hard to imagine where the last 365 days could have possibly gone, no matter how thoroughly they were lived. Reflecting back on 2013, the temptation to sum up all of the most brilliant aspects into one neat little package is high, and yet the results always feel inauthentic at best. Who can really quantify the “best” of anything when there are so many muddled moments inextricably mixed in? What was your favorite recipe? Your most rewarding project? Your greatest victory? Even as I reflect back, pouring over the contents of my hard drive and all the fine details lost to a poor memory, I struggle to find answers.

Lest this sound too morose, fear not! It was a banner year for me, an excellent and joyous year overall, filled with greater successes and stronger friendships than I could have ever hoped for when the clock struck midnight 52 weeks ago. I just know that I could never do all of those things justice though a top-ten list or whirlwind round up, forced out at the last minute.

Instead, I find myself drawn back of course to a more recent event, still fresh in mind, that points to new possibilities in the future. Car photography is not a niche I ever considered, not once, and would have never even attempted without the prompts of a homework assignment. Despite all my misgivings, the results remain one of my top photos- A shock, considering that for once, there’s absolutely no food involved!

With that, I look to the future, planning to explore this new world of possibilities further, along with all the other tasty ventures that have serve my camera (and stomach) so well thus far. Let’s not wrap everything up and tuck it away on a high shelf, starting again with a clean slate. Take all those experiences and move forward with them, stronger, wiser, better prepared for 2014. May it be the best year yet, only to be topped by its successor.


26 Comments

Aloha from Hawaii

Eyelids weighted down by a marathon 29-hour day in transit, it hardly seemed worth fighting their slow descent. Nodding off for 15-minute stretches at a time while waiting, waiting, waiting endlessly to stop hurtling through the clouds, I eventually succumbed to exhaustion. Next time I came to, I was in paradise.

I don’t care if it’s horribly cliched- It’s completely true. Honolulu, Hawaii is like no other place I’ve ever been, and I couldn’t have dreamed up a place more perfect if I truly had died and gone to heaven. Stepping off the gangway into the cozy embrace of 80-degree air, the afternoon sun sparkling overhead, I wasn’t quite sure I had actually woken up yet.

Though my hotel room wasn’t ocean-front or even ocean-facing, the view was still unparalleled in its grandeur. Each sunrise and sunset was a sight to behold. On my last morning in the city, I rose while the sky was still dark, dragging a chair in front of the window for a front seat to the show. In those wee AM hours, nursing a large cup of hot Kona coffee, I watched as the streets slowly began to glow and come alive and the sky danced with a changeable rainbow of colors.

Readjusting to 12-degree days and 5:00pm nightfall has been challenging, to say the least, so I’m not yet fully back up to speed. Consider these landscapes just a small taste of what’s to come, and keep checking my Flickr set for additional photos and descriptions, some of which won’t be featured on the blog. Though all my photos are full of treasured memories, too beautiful to keep to myself, I don’t want to bog down anyone’s loading time further. Consider it a somewhat hidden bonus for the truly curious. Next up, a handful of island food finds simply too incredible to limit to mere images. Stay tuned!


22 Comments

Veggin’ Out with VegNews

Months race by with a quickening pace, exaggerated by summer’s dwindling warmth and a sun that goes to bed just a little bit earlier each day. 2012 slips through my fingers just a little bit more each day, as fluid and irrepressible as water trickling out of a leaky faucet. Since this is more than a mere plumbing issue with an easy fix, it’s at least decent consolation that the runaway months frequently bring with them a new issue of VegNews to pour over and forget all about the usual over-scheduling woes. The September/October issue may be dominated by compelling recipes for all things cheesy and unbelievably dairy-free, but there’s so much more nestled into those crisp, glossy pages, too.

There’s always a need for something sweet to balance out all of those salty snacks, and Beverly Lynn Bennett‘s Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Pudding fills in that requirement with ease. Lightly spiked with bourbon and redolent of warm, comforting spices, merely popping this dish in the oven does wonders to soften the blow of a fading summer season. Simple enough for the most novice baker to excel, it’s a recipe to hang on to for the coming holiday season. Plus, when served with the suggested sticky, gooey, Salted Caramel Sauce, it’s truly a dessert to remember.

Bringing in a healthy yet hearty option, Gena Hamshaw proves that raw food needn’t be contained to only the warmest of months in order to satisfy. Savory “Meatballs” made of mushrooms, sunflower seeds, and red beets top a generous mound of zucchini noodles, all smothered in a rich sun-dried tomato Marinara Sauce. A delicious departure from the standard fatty, heavy rendition of the concept, these uncooked balls pack incredible amounts umami into tiny little flavor bombs.

For an issue like this, the best part of the job is definitely “cleaning up” when each photo shoot is all wrapped up. Keep an eye out for your copy if you’re subscriber, or venture out to the local bookstore if you’re not, because this is one you’ll want to hang on to!


15 Comments

Summer Rain

Heat and humidity build over the course of a standard summer day, until it feels as though you’re being smothered with a damp towel every time you set foot outside. Relief comes only when the sky finally breaks open and beats the flames back with a soothing spray of warm raindrops. Thunder rumbles with the gentle vibrations of someone talking in low tones, easily lulling the listener to sleep at night. When morning comes, a few remaining water droplets remain, clinging dearly to leaves and grass. The air is the fresh and new again, until that familiar heaviness grows once more.

Click to view full size. If you’d like to save it as your new wallpaper, simply right click, select “Set as Desktop Background,” and choose the “Stretch” option to properly fill any computer screen.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 9,948 other followers