Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer Fruit Cobbler

Summer—It's here to stay until at least October by Sacramento Valley standards.

I am slowly accepting that the 80ºF we got on 4th of July was a miracle and that the 90º-112ºF is here to stay for the next few months. With my black car's AC not working, it's been extra fun, I mean extra training. Today, I went to Costco and was very, very concerned that the butter I got was going to melt by the time I got home (I forgot my freezer bag) but thankfully it survived. I also barely survived and basked in the glory of my apartment's AC before finding energy to get food. One day I'll look back on this and either think I was crazy for not getting my car fixed sooner or pat myself on the back for enduring the Valley heat in a black car with no AC. Thankfully my commute to and from work is only 15 minutes and I have become more experienced in figuring out how the rising sun will affect shadows over the course of a day. It's good photography practice. 

Read More

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

Chocolate Strawberry Cupcakes

I'm continuing my newfound appreciation of cake with some cupcakes!

After making this Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake a few weeks ago, it lead me to think about making a Neapolitan Checkered Cake which lead me to wonder how to make a strawberry flavored cake. Sometimes the paths that lead me to things of inspiration are very, very random. 

To celebrate strawberry season even more, I did some research and stumbled upon Sally's recipe which seemed to encompass all of the baking ideals I hold dear. This means no artificial flavored anything. All of the strawberry flavor comes purely from the fruit itself. The cake batter contains a strawberry puree and the frosting incorporates freeze dried strawberries. 

Read More

Crepes with Fresh Strawberries

Crepes with Fresh Strawberries

In honor of the first farm stand strawberries, I made crepes for probably only the second time in my life. 

I am grateful to live in California where you can get the most beautiful, ruby red, sweet and juicy strawberries from April-October. When I was living in Hawaii, strawberries and stone fruit were the two produce items that I missed the most. But on the other hand, they have mangoes, pineapples and lilikoi. It's hard to have the best of both worlds. 

Crepes are the perfect vehicles for fresh strawberries because they have a delicate flavor and texture that allow the berries to shine. After I graduated high school, I visited France and of course we had to try crepes from a stand. Without a doubt, Nutella and strawberry was the winner. When I tried to make them from scratch several years later, I was traumatized because they never turned out circular. It was always some weird alien shape with a hole or some horns. Little did I know, if I had kept trying, I probably would have liked making them a lot sooner than now especially after one of my friends encouraged me to try making them again.

Read More

Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Checkered Cake

This is the cake of my mint chocolate chip dreams. 

If you are a newcomer around here, mint chocolate chip is one of my favorite flavors and has been since I was a kid. It's always and absolutely mint chocolate chip ice cream, especially if it's the green kind. You might also not know that I'm very, very much a big fan of #teampie. Generally, cakes are for special occasions and I am very picky when it comes to cake texture, frosting, the combination of flavors... so basically everything. Cakes don't show their face around here too much and the last cake I baked was for my birthday in October.

So is this a special occasion? In a way, yes. I had intentions of making this cake to celebrate this blog's 3rd year of existence but then it turned into making a cake for the joy of making a cake and that felt more appropriate. 

Read More

Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

Upside Down Lime(quat) Bars

As I suspected, if you Google "upside down", one of two things shows up.

It is either Jack Johnson's song Upside Down or (and most obviously to me) anything and everything Stranger Things. Although I watched Stranger Things 2 months ago, I'm currently watching Beyond Stranger Things and it is the greatest. I love behind the scenes anything. As someone who is creating constantly, it's interesting to see how others go about their creative methods. What are their stories, their processes, their ups and their downs? 

So, here, I'll walk you through what goes on in my kitchen and how I decide to make the things I make even if they turn out to be a complete and utter mistake like these bars. 

Read More

Weekly Wander #14

Weekly Wander #14

My favorite tree is all green now and the flowers are completely gone but I was able to catch the tail end of the blooms at the beginning of March.

These were taken on a moody Saturday afternoon when the sky couldn't decide whether or not it wanted to rain. Campus was quiet. It was both the weekend and in the period right at the end of midterms where it is almost too early to start studying for finals. I had forgotten my Hapkido bag so I went to retrieve it and on the way back went to visit this tree. 

Read More

The Pink Pie

The Pink Pie

For the past few months, I wondered how a Pomegranate Meringue Pie would look and taste.

Lemon Meringue Pie (or this Yuzu rendition that is on this blog), is my all-time favorite type of pie. After a short period over the holidays of not being happy with meringue pies because of my soggy crust insecurities, I was ready to bake a meringue pie again. I needed a bit of a break after the four I made during the holiday season, and Pi Day (that's March 14th aka 3.14 for all you math fanatics), seemed like the most obvious day to try my greatest food curiosity as of late. The day before, I decided this was the day to figure out all of the questions I ever had about Pomegranate Meringue Pies.

Some of these questions included the following. Would the filling turn brown or pink? Would pomegranate juice be tart enough to counterbalance the sweetness of the meringue as lemon juice does? Would it lack flavor without any citrus zest? How to differentiate this pie from its classic lemon counterpart? 

 

Read More

Butterscotch Blondies

Butterscotch Blondies

Deciding what to bake can be either a ridiculously easy task or one that makes me change my mind a hundred times up until the last minute I am about to bake. 

Or sometimes, I don't even bake at all. Shocker! It happened this past weekend. 

Often times, I am trying to use up something that I already have—some fruit that is reaching its prime, some special ingredient that I used in something else or often something out of my freezer. Instead of baking this past weekend, I made a freezer inventory list. It probably has over 50 items on it which is kind of amazing considering how small my freezer is. But, I was happy about that. It's now the most organized I have seen it in a long time. After several frozen fingers and some cursing, it will hopefully make it easier for me to finish little bits of this and that that I tend to accumulate so I can go forth and make new things!

Speaking of new things, I love it when I already have everything I need to bake. It's basically validation that the recipe was meant to be. When it came to this recipe, it sat on the back burner for quite a lot less time than usual. I stumbled upon it reading Molly Wizenberg's blog, Orangette which I go back to when I can. She has some of the most thought-provoking and beautiful writing. I aspire to write as well as she does. The recipes she shares are often simple but flavorful like these Butterscotch Blondies she shared from The Violet Bakery Cookbook

Read More