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In college I was known for cooking, a lot. And more specifically, baking. It calmed my nerves, soothed my mind, and, half the time, let me play with dough.

Dumplings ready for their strawberries
Photo by Anna Waigand

This week, a past roommate of mine (who is getting married this weekend and I’m incredibly sad that I can’t be there to be one of her bridesmaids, but I will be thinking about her all week, and everyone needs to think happy thoughts for sunshine and warmth in Charlottesville, VA for this weekend!!) sent me a message that simply said, “btw http://smittenkitchen.com.” We are both avid bakers and cookers, especially in the late-Saturday-night-don’t-go-to-Burger-King-for-drunk-munchies-because-Logan-and-Anna-are-making-butter-drenched-biscuits-for-everyone kind of a way. Cooking is the glue that stuck us together at parties and late nights when our boyfriends were playing Halo in the other room. Knowing that she has a good eye for food porn, I checked the website out. First, I must say that the photography is gorgeous. Second, the recipes look delicious. And third, Smitten Kitchen’s admittedly small kitchen still seems moons larger than ours over here at Seoulful Adventures.

I’m impressed at everything she does in such a small space, don’t get me wrong, but it made me realize just how small our kitchen is. I mean, our kitchen is essentially one-quarter of our entire living space. Plus, we have a pre-teen sized fridge, three simple burners (an upgrade from our previous two!), four cabinets for food and dishes, about two square feet of cooking counter space, and, the biggest blow, no oven.

Strawberries and sugar ready for stewing
Photo by Anna Waigand

So, after searching Smitten Kitchen’s site and eagerly reading what beautiful creations they’ve made in their own teeny cooking space, I found one that I couldn’t resist for my own cramped kitchen: Strawberries and Dumplings. It’s a simple dessert recipe that involves all of my favorites: strawberries, sugar, butter and dough. Mmm, mmm goodness! And it’s entirely all too easy to make, even if you have a kitchen the size of a handicap bathroom stall.

After doing our nightly ballet around our narrow cooking space (Andre prepared some amazing vegetable stock while I was cooking…it tastes like Thanksgiving in a shockingly rich and satisfying way! Mmm!), Andre and I gulped down these little doughy morsels. They’re just what the summer’s plump strawberry stock demands.

Strawberries and dumplings
Photo by Anna Waigand

To make it yourself, check out Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberries and Dumplings Recipe.

Personally, I substituted low-fat milk for whole milk, salted butter for unsalted butter and half-white/half-brown sugar for the white sugar in Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. Don’t follow what I did though. I only made these substitutions because they are what I had on hand. I wouldn’t suggest the first two substitutions, unless you’re on a diet and want to forego the whole milk. There is some loss of flavor, but that’s just the price paid for calorie loss, isn’t it? Do opt to go with the half-and-half sugars–it’s richer and healthier.

Oh also, the recipe says it “serves 6, in theory.” Andre and I downed them all in a mere 30 minutes (at most). I’d say it could serve 6 very self-controlled, already full eaters. For everyone else, it serves 3-4 people, if you serve them as a dessert. It serves 2 people if you serve it as a mid-afternoon/pre-dinner snack (don’t worry, no one is judging here–dessert before dinner is a time honored right denied to the young so that you can enjoy it more when you are all grown up…go on, live a little.)

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