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What’s going on around here?


Oh it’s been a long time since there have been any posts.  I don’t like that.  But I have a dilemma…

It’s a multi-faceted dilemma.  Many parts.  Here’s me, breaking it down:

1. I got a job – there was a time, not too long ago, when I did not have a 40 hour gig.  Now I have a 50 hour gig, which I love, but which takes up a huge amount of time.  There’s no getting around it.  Cutting your “free” time down by over 50 hours a week leaves considerably less time for other things (although it also provides much more funding to do even other things, and for that I am grateful).

A Whole New World

It’s not a Disney movie but it feels just as magical!  After two years of photographing everything for the blog with a point and shoot, Bake Like A Ninja finally has a decent DSLR camera.

Since it’s spring, a baby sprout coming up seemed fitting for the very first picture from the new camera on the blog.  It’s a jalapeño sprout, which we hope will add depth to our food  and keep it interesting and spicy.  I’m hoping the camera will do the same thing for the blog.


Take Fountain|Simple Scrambled Eggs and Mac & Cheese

The legendary story is that Johnny Carson asked Bette Davis “the best way an aspiring starlet could get into Hollywood,” to which the actress replied “Take Fountain!”*

It’s a wonderful quote, one that I think of a lot while driving here.  I love it because it speaks to the fact that the question is impossible to answer, and yet Ms. Davis does answer with the simplest and easiest solution.  I also like it because, although you could interpret it as being flip, it  has a sense of “don’t be intimidated.”  Just take the first, simple, easy step and go from there.

Food Photography & The Learning Process

I’ve been thinking a lot about learning.  This morning I got sucked down the internet rabbit hole and wound up at this article, from Derek Sivers’ blog.  It’s about memory and learning, mostly focusing on how fast we forget and what the optimal amount of time is before studying something again for maximum retention.  Fascinating stuff.

But the thing that struck me about the article wasn’t so much that someone had figured out that people have an algorithm for learning; what I thought was interesting was that this understanding flies in the face of how we generally perceive progress. In a great post on Facebook, Derek explores the idea that when practicing something, it’s really when we sound/look/feel our worst/sloppiest/crappiest that we are making the most progress.  If we’re doing it perfectly, we’re not stretching.  No stretching, no learning.

Why does my yogurt always separate?|Tempering yogurt

We’ve been cooking out of a new cookbook from Madhur Jaffrey called Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick & Easy Indian Cooking and having some trouble with the yogurt in the dishes. Jaffrey is a well-known cook and the dishes really are pretty easy and straightforward, so the yogurt going all goofy on us was perplexing – the only thing I could think was that maybe it needed tempering, as do eggs and a few other things when you add them to heat. A bit of Google magic and sure enough, yogurt is a sensitive creature. But as with many high maintenance things, a little pampering and you’re in for a treat. Here are a few tips on cooking with yogurt:

I Aced the OPI!

Ok, “aced” is a strong word, but I got the level I needed to take Spanish in Mexico instead of taking Spanish in a classroom here, which makes me very, very happy.  I am so grateful to my friend and tutor, Michelle Thorson, who patiently guided me from “vamos a la pisina porque Paco y Alfonso ya estan alli” to a level of proficiency high enough to have a 30 minute semi-conversation with a native speaker from Chile, even if I did forget the word for “business” (which makes it exceedingly hard to talk about business school). Of all my accomplishments so far in grad school, this is what I feel is my shining moment…I’m fairly certain it had quite a bit to do with all the ice cream sandwiches and the fresh coffee that Kathy at the Commons made sure I had, hot and fresh (the coffee) and cool and chill (the ice cream) every Tuesday and Friday for the last 6 weeks.

Where I Fit

Before I wanted to be an actress or a writer or a filmmaker, I wanted a pie. My step-mother loves to tell this story, and truth be told, I love to hear her say the words over again because it makes me feel like I’m good at something. Not good at something like my mother is good at knitting or my husband is good at making pictures. But good at something…effortlessly. In that fantasy way that you think of when you think people have a “talent” for something. Natural born runners. Or painters. Or mathematicians. When someone can just do something, we think they have talent…

Uh…hello? Kathlyn? Anybody?

Tbird sunset

Yes, I did fall off the earth. Fell right off and landed in Glendale, AZ where I will spend the next year in hot pursuit of an MBA in Global Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Picking up student life where I left off almost 20 years ago is strange and new enough, but just to liven things up a bit more, I’m living in the dorms. While that does mean invitations to parties where people play things like “tip cup,” it also means that I have no consistent access to a kitchen. My new friend Leona has offered to lend me hers every once in a while and, if I find the time in the madness that is the accelerated MBA program here, I will mosey over there and try to get in a Daring Challenge or two over the year. But the blog is officially on hiatus until I return again to my home and kitchen, where the husband diligently holds down the fort.

What I’ve learned from the husband and cooking


My mother loves this photograph. A lot. She told me today that I should enter it in a photo contest (you may or may not know my mother, but her saying this is a pretty big compliment). The thing about the photo is…it’s great. But I really didn’t do it.


Contemporary Sauce - 1

I could have sworn HP has been around forever, but apparently it’s “contemporary sauce.” I’ll try to get a photo of the “local special meat sausage” tomorrow.