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Sarah Carter
Seattle native, currently residing in Cambridge, MA
Interests: music, mountains, farmers markets, science, meditation, reading and writing, cooking and eating, jivamukti yoga, taking pretty pictures, good causes
Recent Activity
i love the gray hue... and my next weekend trip will be to portland, OR, for a job interview.
Toggle Commented Nov 19, 2013 on a travel-ready {giveaway}...now closed at Oh Joy!
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At some point during the handful of years I lived in New York City after graduating from college, I apparently missed the memo about the mass exodus to Brooklyn. “The rent is cheaper!” some attested. “It feels more neighborhood-y! You can actually see the sky!!” others argued. Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), “There is GREAT food here.” In the end, and despite my initial skepticism, I realized that my friends were right – about the food, especially. I made the trek from the Upper West Side regularly to hang out and dine with my friends on many memorable occasions. One... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2010 at Sweet Pepper
I couldn't possibly just choose one favorite cake, so I'll name two that I love: any dark, rich (not overly-sweet) chocolate cake with ganache, and coconut cake (preferably with coconut-cream cheese frosting, a la ina garten).
Hillary: thank you so much! I'm glad to be getting back into blogging after taking a few months off, so look for more posts soon! Rachael: it really is a perfect winter dish. Love it!! And we already knew our food philosophies jived, right? ;)
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Umi: thanks so much! is he a meyer lemon fan?? i can pass some other recipes along your way, if you'd like :) Wendy: it's actually a coaster, haha :) but thanks!
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I adore comfort food. Though I have certainly enjoyed the occasional splurge on beautiful, exquisitely detailed, precisely executed and adventurous restaurant experiences (quick note: the omakase menu at Kai, in NYC, was mind-blowing! A gift from a former boss of mine, and it has remained in my thoughts now for YEARS), the truth is that the food memories closest to my heart are neither fancy nor flashy. My mom, a brilliant cook and the initial source of my love for the kitchen, never touched a recipe while I was growing up but provided our family with wondrously delicious meals for... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2010 at Sweet Pepper
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I’m back! Yes, I took an inexcusably long hiatus from this blog, I agree (and so soon after starting it!) What can I say? Life got very, very busy (there will be some major life changes headed my way later this year). This isn’t to say that I stopped making and photographing food over the last few months – if anything, I’ve been partaking in more kitchen adventures than ever before! With the easy accessibility of Twitter, I’ve also been writing about what I’ve been eating, as well as sharing countless thoughts and ideas with an inspiring community of like-minded... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2010 at Sweet Pepper
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After only a few hours of sleep (I spent much of the night tossing and turning), I was woken by the sound of one of our porters, outside my tent, telling me it was time for breakfast (4 A.M.)! I pulled on the layers of clothing I had laid out for myself the previous night and headed over to our meal tent. It was pitch black outside, and freezing cold. Our guides valiantly attempted to get us all to eat a substantial breakfast to help us power through the morning climb, but everyone simply picked nervously at their food, instead.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2009 at First Climb
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Disclaimer: By this point in the trip, I was TIRED. The only camera I brought with my was my (awesome, but large!) dSLR. For the first few days, I actually held it out all day, in addition to shouldering my backpack, which was generally loaded down with 4 Nalgene bottles - so I could capture a large number of shots while hiking. However, as the trail became more challenging, I stuck the camera inside the backpack so I could use my hands freely and also save a little energy... resulting in fewer photos for this part of the trip. I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2009 at First Climb
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Waking up at the Lava Tower and extricating myself from my toasty sleeping bag was truly painful! Our hike for the day involved a net descent of almost 2,000 feet. From the Lava Tower Camp, we could actually see the summit of Kibo, but the direct path to the top from our location was too dangerous, so we had to go out of our way a bit to join up with the more-heavily traveled Marangu route. Our trip for the day involved a steep descent into the Barranco Valley, a scramble up the 750-foot Barranco Wall (see picture below), and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2009 at First Climb
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This strenuous day of hiking took us up to over 15,000 feet, where the expansive landscape was dry, barren, and scattered with rocks and boulders. I was quite focused on the day's physical challenges, so I did not take a huge number of pictures, but below are some scenes from the day: By this point, our group had become rather splintered, and I spent my days hiking with two brothers who were around my age. We reached the Lava Tower in the late afternoon, and were greeted with harsh, freezing cold winds - but also, a spectacular view. The combination... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2009 at First Climb
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I woke up the next morning feeling fantastic - rested and recovered. I slept for around 7 solid hours without interruption, and my headache and nausea from the previous day had subsided, completely. I was thrilled! Our hike for the day was relatively short, with little elevation gain. It was basically a full exploration of the Shira plateau. As we hiked, Kilimanjaro's Kibo peak was to our left, and the Shira cathedral bordered us on our right. The views were stunning, and I was grateful to be feeling fit and well, so I could fully enjoy the incredible sights around... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2009 at First Climb
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Our first night on the trail was reasonably restful and uneventful. We had "spaghetti carbonara" for dinner (which certainly did not include any raw or under-cooked eggs! Everything they fed us was cooked beyond "well" for fear, I suppose, of us getting sick), and everyone went to bed early. One of the best decisions I made for the trip was to sleep wearing earplugs. Many of the camps (including Forest Camp) were rather noisy at night and in the early morning. Despite the earplugs, however, I was woken up by screeching monkeys in the early morning. The morning air was... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2009 at First Climb
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I woke up early after a restless night of little sleep, to the sound of birds outside my hut. I threw off the covers, felt the brisk morning air, and quickly grabbed a fleece and some warm socks. I did a few light stretches in the early light and prepared to head to breakfast. We were scheduled to leave for the Kilimanjaro park entrance later in the morning. As we sat down to eat, everyone seemed a bit anxious about what was in store for us over the coming days. We brought our bags down from the huts to be... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2009 at First Climb
i love salted caramel, too! looking forward to seeing your post :) the consistency of the caramel layer is, well, fairly gooey (for lack of a better way to describe it). it does help to keep the tart in the refrigerator until 5-10 min before serving it so the caramel isn't too soft. the softness is a nice juxtaposition to the fairly dense-chewy chocolate tart dough layer underneath. and yes, the creme fraiche is a *fantastic* addition, in my opinion. adds just the slightest bit of tang to an otherwise straightforward caramel. On Mon, Sep 28, 2009 at 4:37 PM, wrote:
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it was very tasty, indeed! you should definitely make it when you have a chance... though it sounds like you were concocting some fantastically delicious desserts of your own last weekend! ;) On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 6:35 PM, wrote:
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My birthday was last week, and I was excited to have many wonderful friends come over to my place to celebrate with me. I was talked out of making my own birthday cake (which I did last year!), but I really wanted to prepare some tasty nibbles for people to snack on while they were over. I brainstormed for a couple of days and decided to prepare the following: - Homemade crackers, served with a cheese plate and homemade tapenade - Phyllo triangles with apple, pear, thyme, creme fraiche, and bourbon filling - Polenta rounds topped with homemade pesto, mozzarella,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2009 at Sweet Pepper
it IS shiny, indeed! haha. i did feel like the salt actually blended with the flavors of the tart, especially since i used bittersweet chocolate with no added sugar for the ganache. it made all the difference (and the people who helped consume it at the dinner party agreed!) the caramel also had a bit of a savory note (though it was subtle, admittedly...) from the creme fraiche. On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 5:22 PM, wrote:
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I was invited to a friend's dinner party a couple of weeks ago (as a side note, she promised a "homecooked Chinese feast" and seriously delivered!! The food was delicious) and I offered to bring dessert. She requested something involving chocolate - her boyfriend is not a fan of fruit-based sweets. I've mostly been baking fruity tarts and cakes for the last few months, so I had to dig into my pile of "to-do" recipes to find something appropriate. Last time I made dessert for them, it was the super delicious Chocolate Stout Cake. Not wanting to do another chocolate... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2009 at Sweet Pepper
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Our drive ended at the Nadarakwai Camp, a tented lodge on the larger Naradakwai Ranch, a wildlife preserve spanning over 11,000 acres. We collected our belongings from the Land Rovers and walked into a large open hut to check in. I looked up and saw this, which made me happy: The sign reads "Congratulations Barack Obama." Regardless of people's political beliefs, I thought it was pretty amazing to see evidence of interest in U.S. politics thousands of miles from home. The staff were extremely friendly and hospitable, and we arranged to take a guided tour of the grounds later that... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2009 at First Climb
Earlier this summer, I traveled to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world (19,340 feet). This was my first multi-day trekking experience and also my first trip to Africa. First Climb will serve as my space to share the story of my trip, photos, and possibly upcoming plans for another mountaineering adventure this coming spring (2010). Enjoy! Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2009 at First Climb
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After several years of being an avid home cook and devoted reader of food blogs, I've decided to take the plunge and start my own! Sweet Pepper will be my place to share recipes, ideas, and stories related to my interests in food. First, I thought I'd share something simple but deeply satisfying - my go-to recipe for fudgy, crackly-topped brownies. I strongly prefer my brownies to be dense and rich, not cake-like, and this recipe fits the bill perfectly! I'm also a bit of a purist and prefer my brownies without nuts, but feel free to add 1/2 cup... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2009 at Sweet Pepper
I'd love to use Rachel's yogurt to flavor quick breads or simple cakes (a loaf cake with plum honey lavender, for example, sounds really tasty!)
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I'd love to use Rachel's yogurt to flavor quick breads or simple cakes (a loaf cake with plum honey lavender, for example, sounds really tasty!)
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