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Valentine’s day (or Hallmark’s excuse for a holiday according to some of you grouches!) has come and gone but that doesn’t mean Cupid’s arrow hasn’t struck you since. That chubby, flying baby has some serious archery skills– not just on Feb 14 but all year round. If you’ve ever felt your heart race with just a touch, or experienced butterflies in your stomach with just a thought, or imagined that everything looked just a little more beautiful than before, hate to say it, poor sap, but you’ve been struck.

Ah, l'amour! it does have a certain Je ne sais quoi...

So now what do you do? If you haven’t caught the eye of your heart’s desire just yet, perhaps a date underneath the stars, some romantic music and a little dancing, and a night cap with this truly decadent dessert will beat out any potential competition. Hey you ladies, there’s some truth to the old saying that the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And you gents, what girl doesn’t love chocolate? It’s right up there on our list of things we cannot and will not (don’t even ask) live without. Whip up this romantic, heavenly dessert (what the French call pots de creme [pronunciation: Po deh Krehm]) to impress the apple of your eye and before you even have a chance to clear the dishes, they’ll be swooning in no time.

You can thank me later.

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It’s tradition that whenever a friend’s birthday comes along, I always make their favorite dessert for their special day.  For Lis, the chocoholic who vowed to serve only chocolate cake at her future wedding reception despite wishes from vanilla-loving guests, this birthday cake was perfect. This is by far the most favorite chocolate cake among my friends, and it never fails to impress a new mouth. The cake is so satisfyingly moist and chocolately with the addition of freshly brewed coffee and surprisingly has no butter in the batter (although I still had to get you with the ganache). The fruit filling was originally supposed to be raspberry but at $3.50 for a 10oz frozen bag, I opted for frozen strawberries: a fitting second choice at under $2 per 16oz bag (you could really choose any fruit for the filling, but strawberries and raspberries seem to compliment chocolate the most). To satisfy the chocoholic within most of us, it seems only fitting to cover a chocolate cake with ganache, the French’s version of chocolate frosting made with heavy cream. I hope this memorable cake gets the opportunity to make it’s mark at your next celebration.

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Close your eyes and picture this: a cold winter day full of sweet snowflakes one minute and freezing rain the next(which just so happens to be today, not so unusual weather for Missouri) and all you really want to do is whip up something for a satisfying dessert after dinner. Something to warm you up from the inside out.

I know what you’re thinking… Soufflé? In the famous words of my fabulously sarcastic father when confronted with foreign fare (usually green and leafy), “What’s this sh*t?”

the finished product: surprisingly, the banana adds a really moist texture you'd expect from a rich soufflé without all the fat. you have to try it to believe it.

Well, folks it just so happens to be the most delicious, airy, creamiest, richest (shall we go on?), satisfying dessert. Did I mention it’s GOOD for you too? Yeah, you heard me. When you’re one of the million people on a health kick for your New Years resolution, make that one of thousands of Mizzou students hogging up every inch of exercise space at the rec center, you can have your dessert and eat it too. Without the guilt!

Have you joined the soufflé bandwagon yet?

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the idea

I've always been a lover of food: it's capability to comfort the hard days, to encourage imagination and messiness in a world of order, to explore different cultures through cuisine, and to weave the invisible thread that brings people together around the table.

I started this blog for myself.

As a college student, cooking became a way to release the stress of impending finals, to be creative when I felt unoriginal, and to breathe life into my sometimes discouraged self.

Each week I'll post a new dish, masterpiece or fiasco, to keep record of my continuing education in food and life.

the student: a foodie who loves to learn

Kimberly Aumer

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