Lab Girl (plus, how baking meringues is like doing laboratory work)

The book: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren. Earlier this month I read Hope Jahren's memoir, Lab Girl. Dr. Jahren is a professor and researcher at the University of Oslo in Norway, but she has also held professor positions at Georgia State University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Hawaii. Lab Girl tells the story … Continue reading Lab Girl (plus, how baking meringues is like doing laboratory work)

Lost Children Archive (and the ginger-banana cheesecake bars it inspired)

The book: Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli. Earlier this month, I read Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli. The novel follows a family of four taking a road trip from New York to Arizona: the father, a documentarist, is creating a sound documentary about Apacheria (the former home of the Apaches). At the same … Continue reading Lost Children Archive (and the ginger-banana cheesecake bars it inspired)

The Truffle Underground (and my above-ground fungal feast)

The book: The Truffle Underground by Ryan Jacobs. Last month, I read The Truffle Underground by Ryan Jacobs. This non-fiction book exposes the fraud, corruption, and even violence that goes on in the truffle mushroom industry - generally, without the knowledge of the consumer. As a lover of fungi, I was compelled to learn about … Continue reading The Truffle Underground (and my above-ground fungal feast)

If You See Me Don’t Say Hi (short-stories unified by a single theme, and unique cupcakes unified by a base flavor)

The book: If You See Me Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel. Recently I read If You See Me Don't Say Hi, a collection of fictional short stories by Neel Patel. Each short story is told from the perspective of a different character, most of whom are first-generation Indian-Americans. Individually, the stories are shocking, uncomfortable, … Continue reading If You See Me Don’t Say Hi (short-stories unified by a single theme, and unique cupcakes unified by a base flavor)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (plus, my first attempt at baking something “gorgeous”)

The book: On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Earlier this month, I read On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. The book takes the form of a letter from a son to his (illiterate) mother, divulging parts of his life to her that she has never known. In the book/letter, he also … Continue reading On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (plus, my first attempt at baking something “gorgeous”)

Maybe You Should Talk To Someone (a book about therapy, and a mint cake inspired by therapy)

The book: Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb. After reading two novels involving characters overcoming trauma through therapy, I decided to stick with the therapy theme, so I read Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb. The book is a non-fiction account of Lori Gottlieb's insights on humanity that she … Continue reading Maybe You Should Talk To Someone (a book about therapy, and a mint cake inspired by therapy)

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (and so are these cheddar scones)

The book: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Last month, I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. The novel's title character, Eleanor, lives a regimented and lonely life without realizing that anything is wrong: she goes to work and prepares healthy meals during the week, and enjoys pizza, wine, and … Continue reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (and so are these cheddar scones)

Queenie (plus, a bundt cake fit for a queen)

The book: Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. A couple weeks ago, I read Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. The title character, Queenie, has just separated from her boyfriend of two years, and now must make sense of her life without him. Between her job at a national newspaper in London, some tense familial relationships, and several post-breakup … Continue reading Queenie (plus, a bundt cake fit for a queen)

The Hate U Give (and red velvet cheesecake brownies that are somehow related to the book)

The book: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Earlier this month, I read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr, a 16-year old girl who is trying to fit into two separate worlds - one, the poor black neighborhood where she lives, and the other … Continue reading The Hate U Give (and red velvet cheesecake brownies that are somehow related to the book)

Red, White & Royal Blue (and an almond cake of those colors)

The book: Red, White & Royal Blue. I've spent the past couple of weeks reading the wonderful romantic comedy that is Red, White & Royal Blue. The premise of the book is that after a PR nightmare, frenemies Alex (first son of the United States) and Henry (Prince of England) stage a fake friendship to … Continue reading Red, White & Royal Blue (and an almond cake of those colors)