Feeling Good (Dried Persimmon Granola)

As a newly graduated high school alumnus, I could say that I’m feeling pretty good.

Not only that, but I’ve got a new job at a bakery and more time to cook at home, so, my fellow readers, you’ll be seeing “New Post” much more often this summer.

Now, what will make you feel really good is looking at–and more importantly, baking–this recipe for dried persimmon granola. What will make you feel even better is knowing that this granola has absolutely no sugar added to the mix, but does have yummy, yummy powdered sugar.

Wait, say wha? No sugar added, but there is powdered sugar?

My friends, I give you the dried persimmon:

It’s covered with the stuff. Dried persimmons undergo a (typically) month-long drying process, through which they shrink in size, intensify in flavor, and develop a fine coating of natural powdered sugar. Under the snowy-white exterior lies that bright orange flesh that you saw three pictures above, and boy, does it taste incredible. The flavor is of a fruit you’ve never tasted before, somewhere between a candied apple and a pear. In a word, it tastes like fall. Now, what is fall without cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves? Well, a very bland fall, I can tell you that much.

Even though fall is over 3 months away, you can have fall in a jar whenever you make this–and trust me, when you see the ingredient list, you’ll be feeling good when you eat this stuff.

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Good Food (Coconut Curry Chicken and Garlic Chicken Gyoza)

What a delicious week this has been.

First off, as you all know if you have been reading along, I’ve been interning at a bakery all week where delicious pastries of all sizes and shapes abound. Goodness, have I had my fair share of test tastings and sweets during the last week.

I’ve also been cooking up some more extravagant dishes in the kitchen as of late with the free time I have away from school. This free time has been an absolute gift; not only have I found time to care of so many things on my to-do list, but I’ve had time to dive into some dishes I have been waiting to cook up.

Also, as you may also know if you have been reading along, this was prom weekend for me, meaning a great dinner — filet mignon, chicken, sweet potato souffle, creme brulee — at prom and a scrumptious breakfast with friends and Girlfriend (you can see of what breakfast I’m talking about below and in this post).

With all these sweets from the bakery and elsewhere, my sweet taste buds are starting to get a bit tired out. My saving grace? Coconut Curry Chicken and Garlic Chicken gyoza I prepared and froze about two weeks ago, ready to be steamed or pan-fried at will.

These gyoza were incredibly fun to make (and very time-consuming, but I already told you that I have lots of time on my hands nowadays) because I started with some gyoza wrappers I bought, excess coconut milk and garlic, a fridge-full of ingredients, and no recipe in hand. I have to say, these gyoza definitely turned out very well for my first time preparing them, considering I was cooking off the cuff (off the top of my, umm, chef’s hat? But I digress…). The chicken delicately poached in a combination of coconut milk and curry is just awesome and, well, who doesn’t like garlic and chicken? I mean, come on, that combination was born a winner.

Here’s to another week of deliciousness–albeit, a bit further towards the healthier side :P.

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Happiness (Angel Food French Toast with Strawberry-Ginger Sauce)

It’s nice when you can say that you are truly happy. At this moment, I can definitely say that I am.

Everything in life seems to just be falling into place. First off, I just got an internship at Big Sugar Bakeshop for my two-week senior project at the end of the school year, something that I am incredibly excited about. Working in a restaurant as a cashier and barista is one thing, but being able to work behind the scenes and BAKE ( 🙂 ) is going to be awesome.

Second, all my college acceptances, declines, and wait-list notifications have come through, and I’m happy to say that I’m going to Columbia, my first choice college. I couldn’t be more ecstatic about my future four years in New York; don’t worry, this blog will still be up and running as I travel from the west coast to the east coast! (Also, the fact that the above two things happened on the same day was an awesome double whammy :D)

Angel Food French Toast, pre-sauceification

Third, I’ve got awesome friends, Girlfriend, and Mom. I’m always happy about that. Enough said.

What could make me happier than all of this? Well…probably cake for breakfast. But that’s unreasonable…

Or is it?

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