Neapolitan Checkered Cake

Neapolitan Checkered Cake

I’ve always wondered what Neapolitan Ice Cream was named after and on further research, I found out that it relates to culture, food and people from Naples.

Neapolitan ice cream reminds me of my visits with Popo as a child. This was not an ice cream flavor my parents usually had in the freezer, but it was always something I could expect at her house. I loved the three flavors combined together. One could not be without the other and I would always try to scoop out the perfect proportion of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream. She always had Breyers, and the elongated shape of the container was ideal for even scooping. I haven’t eaten this flavor of ice cream since I was a kid but those three flavors have always stuck with me. Whether it was the flavor, colors or company I was eating it with, I can almost taste it if I think about those warm memories.

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Yin Yang Cookies

Yin Yang Cookies

My Hapkido friends and I have a lot of fun devising intriguing treats that complement our martial arts practice.

Once the inspiration of these Yin Yang cookies came about, it was hard to resist creating them. There had to be a way to make this symbol come to life—and here is how you can do it! If you do not have a friend who has access to a 3D printer, yin yang cookie cutters are available on the Internet via a quick Google search. We used cutters that did not include the dots and pressed in the dots on top by ourselves by hand. I imagine this was a less frustrating process than cutting them out individually or having to get the dots out of the cutter each time. It was loads of fun putting the two halves together and adding in the dots of the yin yang symbol. They don’t spread out too much while baking, so you needn’t worry about wonky-looking yin-yang symbols.

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Cornbread Muffins with Bacon and Scallions

Cornbread Muffins with Bacon and Scallions

Lately, I’ve been mesmerized with steam and how it wafts in waves that can change depending on many factors such as temperature or the size and shape of the food item.

Watching steam is one thing but photographing steam and food is tricky. You have to have the right lighting, an object that is fresh from the heat source, and the ability to work quickly. I’ve been fascinated with photographing steam for quite some time some time now, and decided that it will be my food photography theme of this year. Sadly, this means that sweet baked goods that are eaten at room temperature are going to be out of the picture (pun intended!) so I will have to be creative in finding some recipes that make for good food photography steam photos.

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Kitchen Mishaps of 2018

Kitchen Mishaps of 2018

This year’s blind baked pie crust mishap was the complete opposite of last year’s overbaked experience.

Similar to last year, I thought I had almost made it to the end of the year without any major kitchen moments until this pumpkin pie. I hadn’t made one in years and rolled the bottom crust wayyyy too thick so it ended up being a quarter inch of soggy pastry. Luckily, the filling was delicious and I had extra so I was able to make a perfectly baked pumpkin pie. Sometimes to prevent one extreme from happening, I go to the other extreme.

It was still edible and I ate it, of course, but it was a reminder that there is a threshold of how thick a pie crust can be before it won’t be baked through properly.

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Peppermint Bark Cookies

Peppermint Bark Cookies

I’ll keep this one short as I know everyone is in the last-week-before-Christmas craze.

At this point in December, you might find yourself with a box of peppermint bark laying around. Maybe you have already eaten it and maybe it won’t go eaten for another few days.

When I find myself with Halloween and/or holiday candy, I usually can’t help but put it in some sort of baked good. When applicable, of course! Nothing of the gummy variety will ever find itself in any baked good of mine.

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Pecan-Topped Toffee

Pecan-Topped Toffee

I was positive that I had already posted a recipe for this toffee but it turns out I had imagined the whole thing!

I was so certain because this is my absolute favorite sweet treat to make during the holidays. After getting over an initial fear of boiling hot sugar and butter to the hard crack stage, it is actually very, very simple and very, very rewarding.

I have very fond memories of making this toffee around Christmas with Popo over every school break for as long as I can remember. The process was always the same and the taste of it always takes me back to those happy childhood moments. As a result, I have become a toffee snob and will always hold this recipe in the highest regard even though it is literally four simple ingredients.

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Thanksgiving 2018

Thanksgiving 2018

Oof… Is Thanksgiving old news by now?

Very behind on this recap as I decided it was high time to update my portfolio along with working on some other projects.

It is amazing to think that it’s been almost 4 years since I’ve been out of college and to see how my work/style has improved and changed over time.

What hasn’t changed is my love for Thanksgiving and the particular foods that I always bring.

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Za'atar Pumpkin Seeds

Za'atar Pumpkin Seeds

Just popping in briefly with a little recipe for pumpkin seeds.

Since the Camp Fire started it’s been severely smoky with horrible air quality, trapping everyone inside. If it was a rainy week, I wouldn’t mind as rain is one of my favorite things and you can at least go outside to enjoy the rain. But it’s been many days since anyone in the Sacramento Valley/Bay Area has had fresh air, and I am starting to feel the effects of cabin fever. With Hapkido canceled all last week and this week, I’m itching to do something active, breathe deeply and see the sky. Instead, we wait and hope that next week brings better weather and air.

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