Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Playing With Pumpkin Pie

I had a rough week last week.  I was stressed about packing to move, the boyfriend was working long hours, the dog was crazy, and I quit my SSRIs.  I had two long papers due last week, it rained all week, and on top of everything, I had my period.  I was one big crying hot mess.

By the time Friday night rolled around, I knew that I HAD to force myself to go to Shabbat.  This wonderful combination of close friends and amazing food always cheers me up.  The tough part was that I am responsible for bringing dessert each week, and all my baking materials are already packed.  And I don't have any ingredients, except for a few things on my shelf that I haven't put into a box yet.  Luckily for me, those things included a pie crust, pumpkin, evaporated milk, and white chocolate chips.  It was a sign.  I had to make a pumpkin pie.  But who wants a boring old pumpkin pie in the spring time?  I decided that the white chocolate needed to be incorporated somehow, and boy am I glad that I made that ridiculous decision.  This is what I came up with:

White Chocolate Pumpkin Pie
Recipe adapted from Libby's
Yield: 2 9" pies, or one pie and a large mug of extra filling for yourself

Carla's Cake Tutorial

One very important member of my internship family is Carla G., a very sunny Peruvian child clinician at LHI.  Even though we have only worked together for 6 months, Carla has been incredibly influential upon my professional and personal development.  She is not only one of the sweetest and friendliest people I have ever met, but she is also one of the most impecable dressers.  She has shared with me several recipes from Peru, as well as fashion advice.  She gives me insight on difficult cases, and very appreciated tips on self-care.

When Carla G. asked me to teach her to bake a cake that I had brought in for a staff meeting, I was so excited.  This was my chance to give something back to the woman that has inspired me so much this spring.  I went over to her house last week and she shared her beautiful home with me (she decorates her home just as well as she does her outfits).  We ate fruit, gossiped about work and life and kitchen appliances, and began the cake tutorial.  While the cake was in the oven, she taught me how to make an incredible breaded tilapia with rice.  There is nothing I love more than a great recipe swap!

The cake turned out great, even better than the first time I made it!  Carla's fish was delicious, our gossiping was fun, and it was just a lovely ladies' afternoon.  This is what we made together:

Mounds Cake
Recipe adapted from here
Yield: 1 double-layer 8" cake

Monday, June 3, 2013

Carla's Crazy Cheesecake

I am so grateful for the internship experience I had my first year of graduate school.  The clients may have been extremely challenging, and I didn't always love the therapy process, but the office environment was what kept me going.  I met some of the most incredible people, both clinicians and fellow interns.  LHI is a family to me, and I am so sad that I will be leaving in only two weeks.

One of those incredible new family members is Carla, one of the masters interns from MSPP.  She is from Puerto Rico and is one of the silliest and most wonderful girls I have ever met.  I can't go into her office without smiling, and any time she comes into my office for chocolate, she always makes me giggle.  She is spunky and fierce, and also a fabulous dancer.  (She also didn't mind checking the grammar on letters I sent to my Spanish-speaking clients, even though she was working full-time and doing school full-time).  It's safe to say that I love and admire this girl like an hermana.

Carla is on a really inspiring fitness quest, and amazes me with her will power to eat healthy.  For her birthday cake, I had two choices: 1) make her a healthy, all-natural, fat-free cake, or 2) make her a cake that was as wild and wonderful and crazy as she is.  I obviously chose option 2.  This is what I came up with:

Chocolate and Vanilla Zebra Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Tales of an Overtime Cook
Yield: 1 10" cheesecake (approx 16 servings)