Sunday, April 11, 2021

Is there anything more comforting than a warm muffin?

Okay, yes: there are melty, gooey chocolate chip cookies, fresh from the oven; plush, decadent weekday pancakes swimming in hot butter and rich maple syrup; soul-soothing peanut butter treats that is Mr. Darcy to my Elizabeth Bennet; not to mention those steaming mugs of soup that seem to bypass the stomach entirely and go straight from the spoon to your heart.

Yet despite the wealth of cozy, hand- and heart-warming recipes out there, I can’t help but find something deeply satisfying in the humble simplicity of a good muffin.

These muffins…

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

I hope that the inspiration for this post will be sufficient explanation for its rather tardy nature; though I know nobody is keeping track, I try to post at least once a week but have rather let the past month get the better of me.

Historically, I have not always been the best at maintaining a healthy work-life balance or prioritizing the self-care for which my beloved Fab Five are always so positively advocating.

So, after I graduated from university, I promised myself that my 9-to-5 would be just that. I tried to set myself up for success by committing…

It’s hard to wait 24 hours, but it’s oh-so-worth-it.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Not everyone is a morning person.

Unfortunately for those people, I am comically attuned to the dawn, while 9 PM might as well be temporal kryptonite. “Why should that affect other people?” you might be rightfully wondering.

I am frightfully forgetful of the fact that I am an early riser. This means that if I see something amusing and worth sharing on my walk to the gym, I innocently think, “Ha! I should tell Scott about that funny bird, he’ll be delighted!” …

Thursday, March 25, 2021

People need Saturdays.

I’m not saying we should “live for the weekend” or anything drastic; I’ll be the first to admit relishing in a quiet Thursday evening spent on the couch with a good book and a mug of hot tea, but people need Saturdays.

And Saturday doesn’t even have to be on Saturday.

Let me explain.

For the past two years, with only a very rare exception, I have worked every Saturday and Sunday. Wednesdays are my day off.

At first, Wednesdays still felt like Wednesdays. But over time, Tuesdays morphed into a privately indulgent Friday — not a…

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

I remember seeing a little mirrored sign once at an antique shop that read:

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,

Oh no —

I am my mother after all!

It made me chuckle at the time, and even now, I feel the truth of that sentiment whenever I hear myself espouse one of my mother’s axioms. “A place for everything and everything in its place” is a housekeeping rule that continues to serve me well, while “getting our steps in” is now unfortunately equally well-known by my friends, who have come to tolerate my unwillingness to parallel park with good humor.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

I am not a particularly competitive person, at least not in the traditional sense. I like to do well but don’t see why my success has to come at the cost of another person’s, and vice versa. Once, after my friend’s favorite team lost the Super Bowl, I had the naïve audacity to say, “Well, at least the other team will be happy!” His disgust confirmed my suspicions: I do not understand football.

That being said, I am a bit of a people pleaser, so when someone says, “You should…” something not unlike competitive fervor starts to flutter in my…

Monday, March 15, 2021

There has been altogether too much goodness going around recently. (Bet you didn’t expect to hear that in 2021, did you?)

These past few months, I’ve been baking my way through a veritable cornucopia of bran-filled, fruit-laden, vegetarian, and otherwise healthy and wholesome recipes, and it’s been delicious.

But last night, when my friend asked me what my perfect “self-care day” would look like, I realized it wouldn’t end in a recipe that cares for my body but rather one that satisfies my soul.

Though that may sound dramatic, comfort food is fulfilling in a way that goes beyond the…

A beautiful day for a picnic lunch break.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

As we have already established, food can be transportive.

A chilled piña colada can return us to our honeymoon, while chocolate cake makes children of us all — greedy and eager in that way only precocious five-year-olds can get away with and still be called charming. With one humble mug of strong coffee (generously splashed with cream and sugar because you’re seventeen and just getting used to the bitter flavor), your kitchen becomes a midnight diner on your first cross-country road trip, cicada song filling the starry sky waiting patiently beyond your booth.

Today’s recipe is not one of those…

As I’m sure you’ve all noticed, I spend exactly two seconds photographing my bakes (when I even remember to), hence my not noticing at the time how absolutely massive that knife is compared to my wee coconut snacking cake. I promise, the recipe is much more Martha than Dexter.

Saturday, March 06, 2021

I love a good themed bake.

Like wine pairing, there’s something so sophisticated-feeling about choosing a dessert that compliments your dinner. A slice of decadent tiramisu after ragù alla bolognese, tres leches cake for taco night or to follow enchiladas, and who can resist a delicate crème brûlée after a rustic ratatouille?

That said, sometimes you just want cake, sophistication or no. Today is one of those days.

Fully embracing the dichotomy of sharing this tropical treat as I head out for a snowy outdoor adventure, I can promise you one thing: whether you’re eating this on the beach under…

Saturday, February 27, 2021

I love love.

This sometimes surprises people, but I can’t blame them. I work in biotech, wear Timberlands every day, and look more like a young carpenter than a sexy rom-com heroine, but I love love.

I’ve read every Jane Austen book twice — Persuasion even more (that final letter? Be still my Regency-era heart!) — and forced my family to sit through the entire 6-hour BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice. I find the sociology and psychology of emotion fascinating and think the most brilliant stand-up comedy is as romantic as it is darkly comedic.

Given the above confession…

Helen Grace

Pursuing the simple joys of butter, flour, and eggs, 52 weeks a year.

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