Raspberry Almond Cake

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I work as a pharmacy assistant. It’s not the *most* dynamic sort of job, but I do get to interact with a wonderfully diverse group of people. Today I was ringing up a lady dressed in varying shades of pink– from her top, to her jacket, to her nails, to her jewelry– very spring-appropriate, I thought. (I silently applauded her, because pink is my favourite colour and has been since I was old enough to understand what a favourite colour meant). She kept her gaze fixed on me, even after she had inserted her card into the machine. Her fingers hovered over the keypad as she looked at me. Finally, she blurted: “but how can you be a pharmacy assistant when you’re like, grade three??”

I smile politely and told her I just finished my first year of pharmacy school. She nodded and said, as if to convince herself, “well yes, of course I wasn’t being serious, I know you can’t be working here if you were really in grade three…”

I somehow felt apologetic and tried to assure her lightly, “I know I look young”.

She just looked at me, her fingers still hovering over the pinpad.

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Mother’s Day Ginger Mango Tart

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For Mother’s Day, I’ve always baked something and wrote a card for my mom, which I realize is very predictable, and considering the fact that I bake all the time and my parents are always eating what I’ve baked– it may not seem that special. So I wanted to take my mom out for high tea (she’s always been intrigued by it, especially after seeing pictures on social media), or treat her to a massage at a nice spa. Also very predictable, but my mom’s the type of person who doesn’t treat herself that often, so I knew the new experience should be fun for her.

In the end, not much happened because my mom ended up working most of the Sunday and Monday. So instead, I was planning to do a mini high tea at home– I was thinking earl gray madeleines with citrus glaze, matcha scones, a mini jasmine tea cake with honey… which, I realized, with 3.5 hours until she returned home, that it would be a time crunch, factoring in all the dishwashing. So this tart was conceptualized: a sweet tart shell, a rich ginger pastry cream, ripe mango slices, and some berries.   Continue reading →

Frangipane stuffed Pineapple Bookies

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I’ll be running my first half-marathon TOMORROW (cue heavy gasping), and my superbly disciplined, nonexistent training regimen has left me *really* prepared. Actually, I’m pretty sure I developed shin splints from chronic never-stretching after running long distances, and my legs are getting payback at me, big time. I’ve also been preparing by eating really nutritious, healthy food, as evidenced by these buns (sigh). I should know better. So right now my body is nowhere near where I’d like it to be for Sunday, but I will sure as heck give it my best.

I’m counting on that marathon magic and adrenaline of having a zillion runners next to you. That helps too. Continue reading →