Mini Chicken Pot Pies

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

While I’ve been really into making cakes lately, I could not forget about making something suitable for Pi(e) Day (3/14) in a few days!

I was originally very unsure of what I could make. This time of year is a little bit awkward as there’s not much fruit in season besides citrus. I’ve already made two variations of citrus pies (see here and here) so making a third seemed a bit over-the-top. I did think about making a tart but that didn’t feel like a real pie so I decided to save that idea for later. It wasn’t until my aunt (Hi Auntie Kathy!) sent me an idea for a Stargazy Pie that I realized that I was completely neglecting the realm of savory pies. In fact, this is the first all-savory pie I’ve made on this site. These hand pies were half sweet/savory so I don’t think they really count. While the Stargazy Pie seemed a bit too ambitious at this moment, Chicken Pot Pies are something that I have perfected over many, many iterations, but I had previously never formally written down my recipe.

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Scallion-Ginger Chicken Soup with Fresh Noodles

Scallion-Ginger Chicken Soup with Fresh Noodles

I had a suspicion that when I made fresh pasta/noodles for the first time, I would likely get addicted to the process.

It is incredibly satisfying knowing that all it takes is flour, a liquid like eggs or water, time and a pasta machine to make fresh pasta/noodles from scratch. So here is my encouraging nudge to dust off a pasta machine you may have tucked away in your pantry and bring it out for the sake of trying something new!

I’ve been meaning eyeing the Scallion-Ginger Chicken Soup from Cynthia’s new cookbook, A Common Table, for several months now, and the rainy weather the past few weeks was all I needed to make this comforting soup. I like recipes that are simple, with very few ingredients, but have great flavor, and this soup is that type of recipe. Cynthia’s recipe boils dumplings or pieces of dough in the hot soup. I recommended this recipe to my sister, Kristen, and she said she switched out the dumplings for soup noodles. I knew I would like noodles better, so I decided it was finally time to try using a pasta machine for the first time.

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Citrus Cake with Citrus Curd

Citrus Cake with Citrus Curd

I have to admit that the initial motivation for making this cake was a need to use up some lemon icing that I had too much of, but I still enjoyed the end result!

Last week, I felt inspired to do some weeknight baking when I found myself with too many lemons from a friend and some blueberries that kept attacking me by falling out of the freezer. I was making this Lemon Yogurt Cake with Blueberry Compote when it went in the oven and I realized I had completely forgotten to add the lemons that I had just spent 10 minutes zesting and juicing. It was definitely too late to add them into the batter, so I decided to make a lemon icing to drizzle on top. Little did I know, but it takes a LOT of powdered sugar to make lemon icing from ⅓ cup of lemon juice, so I had a ton left over and had to find something new to do with it.

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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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