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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Lemon Shortbread with Edible Flowers

Lemon Shortbread with Edible Flowers

Baking with edible flowers is not something I had ever tried before so when Betany from Chloris Floral reached out to me, I jumped at the opportunity to collaborate.

As we were both unfamiliar with this type of baking/floral preparation, it was a fun experience to try something new together. Betany is a floral designer from Sonoma County who uses seasonal, organic, local and sustainably grown flowers in her gorgeous bouquets and floral arrangements. She is also a Julliard-trained professional opera singer, and music is a great inspiration for many of her arrangements. I love music and flowers as well so it was enjoyable to spend time with someone who also shares these interests. Betany supplied the edible flowers while I figured out a tasty shortbread to accompany them.

Read More

Earl Grey Macarons with Lemon Curd

Earl Grey Macarons with Lemon Curd

It’s almost mid-October and I haven’t made anything with pumpkin yet.

I already have made two apple pies (one was a test, the other a burnt mishap) but pumpkin has yet to grace my kitchen this fall. Maybe it’s because with weather in the 80s it still feels like summer, but I’m not quite ready to dive into pumpkin just yet.

So here we are with some non-fall-flavored macarons instead. These cookies are the result of merging two recipes on this blog—Earl Grey Macarons with Chocolate Ganache + Poppy Seed Linzer Cookies.

Read More

Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

Alison Roman’s Salted Butter and Chocolate Chunk Shortbread

When it comes to food trends, fads and things that are "breaking the Internet", I tend to raise my eyebrows and, keep an eye out but not participate until I'm really ready to.

Often times, this is after the hype is over. I didn't try kale until years after it started being a big thing. 

In general, I am not a quick decision maker. I mull, I overthink and convince myself in the opposite direction in as many ways as I can before coming to a final, final, final decision. It took me a while to decide to try these cookies and even longer to write about them.

Read More

Peach Cake with Caramel Frosting

Peach Cake with Caramel Frosting

Like fruits, vegetables, holidays and clothing, I think baked goods also have seasons. 

Bread-baking is definitely a winter and fall season activity. Kneading becomes a way to warm up rather than a vigorous, sweaty exercise, and the temperature is cool enough that the dough won't rise too rapidly, or turn sour and ferment (unless on purpose!). One of the most wonderful things during the colder months is turning on the oven knowing that you’ll soon have a fresh, piping hot loaf of bread. Pair it with a soup or stew and it's the perfect winter's night meal. 

Whereas I will rarely turn on my oven to bake bread in the summer, I will for pies. As you may have noticed around here, summer is for pies and all of the things in the pie family—galettes, cobblers, crisps, pandowdies etc... This does seem counterintuitive because you are turning on your oven and crusts and toppings are in danger of melting during preparation, but this is the season when summer produce is at its peak. What better way to use it up than in a baked full-to-the-brim with the best fruit. I will, of course, bake pies all year round, but tend to make them more in the summer. 

Read More

Dumpling Class with Lisa Lin

Dumpling Class with Lisa Lin

At the end of August, one of my friends invited me to join her at a Dumpling Party with none other than the Queen of Dumplings, Lisa Lin

Lisa has some of the most mesmerizing and beautiful food videos and photos on how to make and fold all sorts of wontons and dumplings. Over the years I've always made wontons the way Popo taught me, and that method is completely different from the methods that Lisa taught.

In person, Lisa is exceptionally patient at explaining the in's and out's of folding dumplings. We started with several simpler ways to fold wontons and then moved on to the standard potsticker fold and the ever more complicated braided pleat. I actually thought the braided pleat was more straightforward than the standard potsticker fold. Somehow learning how to fold potstickers is not something that has been incorporated into my very American Chinese family. Growing up, my parents always bought a bag of Ling Ling Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers from Costco. With it’s slightly spongy texture and onion-y flavor, this was one of the most nostalgic tastes of my childhood. 

Read More