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Self-Care Oatmeal Chocolate-Chunk Cookies

I had this recipe planned out, that I was going to make the Clinton Family (Oatmeal) Chocolate-Chip Cookies for the election party and then post about it here in a victory lap.

Welp.

When marriage equality passed in 2014, Facebook offered an option to change your profile picture to a rainbow to show your pride or your solidarity. At first, I was touched by all the rainbows. Then I started noticing not just the folks who didn’t change their profile pictures but how easy it is to change your profile to something that labels you as “not a homophobe.” Did those people, who had never publicly spoke out for LGBTQIA rights before, have an epiphany? Or were they passively showing support without really understanding that cooing over two lesbian brides in fluffy white dresses and patting themselves for being so toleration of “gay marriage”* isn’t the same as standing up for the queer (especially bi+, trans, and intersex) community as allies? After all, “the gays,” as Trump calls us, are more tolerable if we seem like all we want is homonormativity: to uphold white privilege, classism, cissexism (transphobia), monosexism (biphobia), sexism, and capitalism, and, in doing so, climb over the backs of others in more marginalized positions to be “accepted” into a system that is not only broken but one that fundamentally, inherently hates us.

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Pumpkin Beer Roundup 2016

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Pumpkin Pie de Brettaville, via Almanac Brewing

Compared to prior years, I didn’t see as much pumpkin beer variety this autumn. Perhaps we’re all burnt out on pumpkin spice beers and lattes and pumpkin-spice flavors are going the way of mom memes via introduction into our breakfast cereals and snacks.

This year’s list might be small, but it’s got some good ones, most of which I found at local craft beer bars rather than in the supermarket. I am loving the sour farmhouse styles that are becoming more popular in the Pacific Northwest, some of which are on this list.

I kind of don’t even want to talk about the election here because I am so out-of-my-mind terrified of the thought of Voldemort Orange destroying my queer community at every single vector of our intersections (POC, trans, poor, undocumented, disabled, women, non-binary), so please read this article about this disaster and join me in voting early and drinking heavily. #imwithher

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Verte Chaud (Hot Cocoa with Chartreuse)

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[Image of a glass mug of Verte Chaud, a shot of Chartreuse, and a bottle of Chartreuse on a black cloth with grey skulls on it]
Our “summer” rewatch of NBC Hannibal has taken us well into autumn, and I’ve been reading wellntruly’s “How to Properly Scream,” a series of hilarious and spot-on recaps. I encountered this paragraph in the 1.08 rewatch, emphasis mine,

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GAHH WHAT IS THIS FIELD & STREAM CENTERFOLD, oh my god warn me next time I almost choked on my Vert Chaud. [Will Graham] is literally stretched out in front of a bed with two buttons undone working on a boat motor surrounded by fluffsome dogs, I just…. *sips drink while cocking an eyebrow* Bryan….

What is “Verte Chaud?” we asked the Internet. It’s hot chocolate and Chartreuse. Yes, that green liqueur. Yes, in hot chocolate. No, you don’t need extra sugar. Yes, this is vegetarian; whose home do you think this is?

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Fig, Prosciutto, Goat Cheese, Basil, and Arugula Pizza with Balsamic Reduction

October is my favorite month–the leaves! Halloween! Autumn produce! Unfortunately, it’s also a high-travel month for both me and my partner, and we often have work trips back-to-back and independently of each other, which means I am behind on updating and cooking projects (and rewatching Hannibal, garden pruning, and so on).

Here’s a pizza we made back in September when we were getting figs at the store–which have now been replaced with Oregon cranberries.

This recipe is based on one of my favorite combinations of late-summer/early-fall produce: figs, basil, and arugula with goat cheese, prosciutto, and balsamic reduction.* Balsamic reduction is fancy as heck and requires very little effort and no other ingredients but balsamic vinegar and heat.

Enjoy your October, spooky readers!

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Lavender Vanilla Ice Cream | I'll Make It Myself! 1

Lavender-Vanilla Ice Cream

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Image: a bowl of lavender-vanilla ice cream with culinary lavender sprinkled on top and blackberries.

Summer in the PNW is my favorite. In addition to all the stone fruit and berries anyone could ever want, summer is also lavender season. There’s a lovely bunch of it on my way to work that smells so refreshing when the mornings are cool and there’s a breeze.

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Twin Peaks Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 5

“I’ll save you every time” – Twin Peaks Cake

Before we get to the food: do you like feel-good ships? Like the kind where there isn’t angst between the characters and you’re wailing at the TV/computer “just kiss already you’re obviously in loooooove”?

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Image: Special Agent Dale Cooper standing very close to Sheriff Harry S. Truman (Twin Peaks); caption reads “Harry, I want it.” JUST KISS OKAY.

Contains vague spoilers for Twin Peaks.

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Candy Cap Mushroom Cookies | I'll Make It Myself! 1

Candy-Cap Mushroom (yes) Cookies

It’s Pride Month and it’s rainy and cool in Seattle, so my power is at its peak.

I had been wondering if I write too much about my partner, because you probably came here for the recipes and rants and not to hear about my schmoopy stories about how much I adore C. Then a couple things happened: I had an abnormal number of cishet folks tone-policing and explaining gender to me while demanding ally cookies in one week. The Pulse shooting happened (donate here), and it hurts, because we’re constantly dealing with constant hate crimes and the social message that being queer ends in tragedy. We have an initiative to repeal rights for trans folks to literally use bathrooms (check out Washington Won’t Discriminate for more info on fighting this petition), transphobes are tricking people into signing it, and violence against trans/gender-noncomforming folks continues, including an attack this week after a Pulse benefit in Cap Hill.

So, you know what? Screw lightening up on the schmoop. We had to fight to be together; we survived abuse from past partners, but even after our ship sailed, our lives still include biphobia, transphobia and erasure from the outside.*

It’s important to me to tell our story. I fell in love, I think, back when we were working on a cooking lesson together in Japan. I’m originally from the Midwest and C is from the California part of the PNW; our regional foods couldn’t be more different. We tried to fill in the gaps in our regional cuisine knowledge and ended up watching ridiculous YouTube videos about lutefisk and grilling pies late into the night.

One of the constants of our relationship has been our mutual love of food and of learning about each other’s food culture, which brings me to today’s recipe. C’s hometown is famous for candy caps, which are dried edible mushrooms that smell and taste sweet. (Which I guess could be a ham-fisted metaphor of sorts: people don’t think those mushrooms are real, and they don’t think we’re real, either. That’s a little queer humor for you all.)

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Rhubarb Cream Scones | I'll Make It Myself! 3

Rhubarb Cream Scones with Lemon and Ginger

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Image: two rhubarb cream scones on a plate with with fresh strawberries with a jar and a small dish of homemade strawberry jam, and a small vase of edible violas.

Rhubarb is in season at the farmers markets in Seattle, and while we’re waiting on berries to really come into season, I thought I’d make something rhubarb-focused. These barely-sweet scones are light and fluffy with lots of tangy rhubarb.

If you’d like a sweeter scone, you could add one additional TBSP of sugar to the dry ingredients or eat them with honey or jam.

I used Victoria rhubarb, which is ripe when it’s still green and has a beautiful fade from pink to green.

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Great Book Larder Bake Off Watercolor Layer Cake | I'll Make It Myself! 3

Great Book Larder Bake Off: Layer Cake

Like every other food blogger and foodie friend I know, I watched The Great British Bake Off,  (or Baking Show, as it’s known in the US) this winter. I’m not a big reality cooking competition enthusiast, and the optimism and teamwork of the show were exactly what I needed. A friend told me about Book Larder‘s new event “The Great Book Larder Bake Off,” a dessert competition at Seattle’s only cookbook store. While I missed the inaugural event (cookies) this winter, I decided to try my luck at the spring contest for layer cakes.

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Description detailed in post. Image of a three-layer cake frosted in watercolor-inspired turquoise ombre, on a glass plate, with edible violas (flowers) on top and in background.

Continue reading Great Book Larder Bake Off: Layer Cake