After all the drama of the last few months, I’m happy to report that April was somewhat more “chill.” No natural disasters, no car fires, less internet abuse, and more. I also received my second shot of the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine a few days ago. Thankfully, I didn’t experience any major side effects beyond a sore arm and some chills the next day. I did also feel sluggish and lethargic, but it wasn’t too debilitating—instead, it almost felt like being jetlagged? I was able to do an intense HIIT workout only 2 days later.
And in any case, I’ll take any side effects any day if it allows me the freedom to return to “normal”. Because I’m not gonna lie—these last few weeks have really tested my resolve! In the last year, I’ve been pretty good about living within the pandemic’s restrictions. I can still only count the number of times I’ve seen friends IRL (yes, even outdoors) on just one hand. I haven’t stepped foot inside a restaurant, a mall, a gym, a plane, and whatever else since early 2020 (or, in some cases, 2019!).
The only reason I haven’t lost my sanity is because I keep to a strict schedule of developing recipes for this blog and working out at home. Although both has kept me fairly busy, I’ve definitely started to lose motivation. I’ve seen some articles describe the behavior as “languishing”; others have likened it to “pandemic senioritis.” I can especially see it with my workouts: I’ve started slacking on my daily routine. Instead, I find excuses to procrastinate the work for as long as possible, and spend a lot of time daydreaming and counting down the days until I can go to a physical gym again (I know, I’m a psychopath who actually enjoys going to the gym, lol).
But oh well. I have another nine days or so until I can count myself as “fully vaccinated.” What’s another nine days of languishing? I’m cutting myself some slack—and I hope you do, too! Tell me: have you been vaccinated yet? If so, how are you handling these final days?
In Case You Missed It: New Recipes on Hummingbird High
And in case you missed it, I published and updated a handful of new recipes on both Hummingbird High and other websites in the past month. Here’s a round-up of everything new:
- Small Batch Slutty Brownies (Wait…. I was supposed to rename this to Small Batch Triple Threat Brownies, wasn’t I?! Oops!)
- Lemon Pudding Cake (This is a recipe exclusive to Patreon supporters; learn more below!)
- Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Small Batch Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Support Me On Patreon
Developing and updating these recipes requires financial resources from ads on my website and paid partnerships with brands. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, many brands have limited their advertising budgets and cancelled sponsorship opportunities. So if you are able to financially support my work, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. You can learn more about why I decided to start a Patreon in this far too emotional and confessional essay (lol).
However, the TL/DR is this: in addition to enabling me to keep developing more customized recipes suited to your needs, Patreon supporters help shape future recipes on Hummingbird High. Patreon supporters get access to exclusive recipes and Instagram Story tutorials like Small Batch Blueberry Scones, Very Small Batch Yellow Sheet Cake, Small Batch Cinnamon Rolls, and more.
Food For Thought
This past month, I also spent a LOT of time thinking and reading about food beyond the baking recipes you see on this blog. Here are the ideas and issues that resonated with me:
- “Your Diet Is Cooking The Planet — But Two Simple Changes Can Help.” in The Atlantic. This month, the city of Portland issued a temporary burn ban prohibiting camp fires, fire pits, and more because the weather conditions were extremely dry, windy, and ripe for forest fires… in APRIL, months before “fire season.” Climate change is real and scary. I truly believe we all need to be doing whatever we can to help mitigate it! And this article talks about how wasting less food and eating less meat can go a long way.
- “The Planet on the Plate: Why Epicurious Left Beef Behind” and “Every Question You Have About Cattle, Climate, and Why Epicurious Is Done With Beef.” in Epicurious. On a related note, Epicurious, one of Bon Appetit Magazine’s sister sites and a trusted source or recipes on the internet, recently declared that they were officially done developing and publishing beef recipes. Why? They hope encourage sustainable, environmentally-friendly cooking. Although the move is not without criticism, I think it’s an admirable effort to be more mindful about our changing world.
- “Keeping Love Close. What Does Love Look Like In A Time of Hate? Asian and Asian-American Photographers Respond.” in The New York Times. This article isn’t food-related, but it’s absolutely worth checking out anyway. Because last month, I wrote about how the rise in anti-Asian crimes were affecting me, an Asian-American immigrant. This New York Times story continues that with words and photos from Asian and Asian-American folks around the country.
- “Boba Shortage Could Stretch Into Summer, Leave Businesses In A Bind.” in NPR.org. By now, I’m sure many of you are aware of the Great Boba Shortage of 2021. Unfortunately, in addition to limiting access to one of my favorite treats, the shortage is disproportionately impacting Asian and Asian American small business owners. Everything is awesome.
- “Internet Goes in on White-Owned Company That Claimed to Invent Whipped Coffee.” in Eater. Speaking of delicious drinks, did anybody see this scandal in which a white woman claimed to have invented dalgona coffee? I personally hate internet pile-ons (it’s easy to forget that a real, live human with thoughts and feelings is behind all the hate), but it’s still worth noting because of the resulting conversation regarding cultural appropriation, white people benefitting off BIPOC labor, and more.
Recipes and Resources To Save
And here are the recipes and cooking-related resources I saved these last few weeks:
- “Putting The Chips Back In Chocolate Chip Cookies.” in Taste Cooking. Okay, okay, this article is technically from last month, but yours truly is quoted in it! You know how I’m always advising you guys to skip chocolate chips in cookie recipes and use chopped chocolate and/or baking discs and wafers instead? This article validates my VERY GOOD (ehem) points, but also talks about the growing backlash against my advice, encouraging folks to use chips. LOL—what do you guys think? Where do y’all land?!
- Rosana’s Chocoflan Impossible Cake has me all hot and bothered. Look at it—it’s beautiful!
- “Wait, Are Eggs Dairy?” in Food52. Confused about whether or not eggs count as dairy? This article breaks it down. But TL/DR: no, eggs are not dairy. They’re their own thing!
Finally, On A Lighthearted Note
- Oh no! My friend Molly’s popcorn salad recently went viral in a bad way (more here, too). But don’t worry! Several outlets, including one of my favorite food writers (Bettina Makalintal at Vice Magazine) come to Molly’s defense (see: Salon, The Takeout, TODAY, The Washington Post). Popcorn salad is a real thing and apparently very good! Have you guys tried it?
Okay, whew! That’s all for now, folks. I hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Please let me know how you’re doing in the comments below, and feel free to share the ideas and issues that are floating around in your heads, too.
NEVER miss a recipe
NO TIME TO BAKE?!
Over the past several years of running Hummingbird High, I kept a crucial aspect of my life hidden from my readers: I had a full-time, extremely demanding job in the tech world. In my debut cookbook, Weeknight Baking, I finally reveal the secrets to baking delicious desserts on a tight schedule.