I was commended for my form at the end of the class, and encouraged to join again.
For the next seventy minutes, I would remain in the vacant, well-ventilated studio for streaming of my own Well+Good conditioning routine. Again unlike Vega, the Wi-Fi connection was astounding; I could actually load videos!
1) Ginger Molasses Loaf
In the days following my execution of thekitchn's Molasses Loaf (924), I couldn't help but think that there was potential lost along the way. Without realizing, I began to entertain alterations to the recipe: Orange zest for a refreshing zing, real ginger (as opposed to just ground ginger) for a stronger punch, and other methods of improving depth of flavour. The original recipe wasn't bad, but it wasn't to my liking. It was dry, heavily laced with molasses and lacked variety. Halfway through, I'd begin to lose interest in the specimen before me. It never happened before with banana bread and cake slices, so why now?
The more I contemplated these twists, the more I leaned towards enacting them. Before long, I found myself chopping a two-inch knob of ginger into a fine dice. Next came the zesting of a tangerine, the closest thing to an orange within arm's reach.
Dry ingredients varied minimally: I added pumpkin pie spice and a generous pinch of both cinnamon and ginger powder. Nutmeg was omitted, for this wasn't banana bread. Black pepper was also omitted, for this wasn't a gingerbread cookie.
Again, the surface was sprinkled with coarse sugar before being placed in the oven.
The resulting loaf looked nearly identical to the control, albeit with one defining difference: the coarse merely rested on top, glimmering into view. A damper top had been witnessed in the original formula. After allowing the loaf to partially cool, I snuck a slice for good measure. It was phenomenal! The loaf was delicious and aromatic, melding the richness of molasses with the faint spiciness of ginger and invigorating tingle of citrus. No longer was the taste one-dimensional!
Frosting and glazes were kept at bay to prevent interference with the loaf's innate delightfulness. My Ginger Molasses Loaf needed no stealers of spotlight. Ideally, it is enjoyed best in 1 cm-thick slices in the presence of black coffee or a steaming mug of hot tea.
Only later did I realize the intentional inclusion of almonds, for without the added crunch, the cookie is a tad lacking with just chopped white chocolate. I'd also exercise caution towards the quantity of baking powder used, as a heavy sprinkle can result in a crumbly output.
Excess crumble was baked separately, resulting in a clumpy - and, admittedly, hilarious - appearance. Regardless, it tasted phenomenal.
The Mugwort Chiffon may be next up on my list.
Stemming from a failed attempt at breadmaker Pineapple-Guava Jam, I proceeded to blend warmed pineapple and fresh guava chunks with lemon juice and sugar-/gelatin-infused deposit.
Alas, the opaque concoction was too sweet for the faint of heart. Regardless of the amount of lemon juice and water added to the mixture, it was simply too sugary for general consumption.
In comparison to the uptown location, there was a smaller range of products lining the shelves. The interior was comparatively compact, yet noticeably grimier given the district's heavy foot traffic.
Glancing through the item list, a $5.95 charge stood out to me. The concern was brought up towards the staff member who had informed me that day-olds were within the range of three dollars. "She over-charged you." the bespectacled lady declared before speaking to the cashier. Instead of processing the refund on my original method of payment, the cashier blankly counted coins and slid them into my hand, a dime falling onto the counter in the process.
The starter bread was a simple white loaf, yet unfathomably soft and delicious. It maintained warmth in an aluminum foil casing and was served with an olive oil-balsamic dressing that had us incredibly* nostalgic towards Lake House's signature starter. Quite acidic, I'd recommend a light mixing of the emulsion to ensure both olive oil and Balsamic vinegar are obtained in the same bite.
The entrée also included one side dish of choice. Selecting the Italian Style Potatoes and Veggies led to a separately packaged container of carrot, sweet red bell pepper, and broccoli over silky mashed potatoes. Beyond the single unit of grilled bell pepper, there were two pieces of carrot and broccoli each. The former was a tad rigid, yet still slice-able, while the latter was seasoned adequately with notes of herbs and garlic, though refrained from veering into an overbearing palate. Similar appeal would originate from the mashed potatoes: each spoonful was velvety and emitted notes of salted butter and fresh garlic - a drastic difference from the Kirkland Signature Granulated California Garlic.
Stealing the spotlight was the Pasta Marinara. At first glance it was a seemingly straightforward spaghetti, but closer inspection would reveal a lovely, chewy-bouncy texture and every millimetre of each strand coated uniformly with marinara sauce. It was so delicious that my fork went back for second- and even third! - helpings.
The UberEats experience had been a conclusively positive one, paving the way for potential dine-in visits in the future.