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. 

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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. 

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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? 

 

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Weekly Wander #13

Weekly Wander #13

Happy Daylight Savings!

This is the first Daylight Savings in a long time that has felt the most natural to me. Usually I am scrunching at the change even though it is relatively minor compared to everything else in life. Maybe it's because I'm usually not ready for it. Or that this time I didn't even realize it was happening until two days ago. I thought it was next week. Or maybe because California had its first glimpse of spring at the beginning of February so it is less of a shock now. For whatever reason, I am embracing the extra daylight in the evenings as if it has been here all along.

 

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Winding Down 2017...

Winding Down 2017...

With all of the holiday craziness and travel, here are some photos from my December adventures both near and far. I was super excited to take my new lens along. After taking too long trying to 1) decide to get it and 2) figuring out used lens logistics, I am pleased with the results and quality of my (hopefully) final choice for a while now. 

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Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2017

This is the third year I've blogged about my Thanksgiving and my family undoubtedly knows the routine now. 

The running joke was to make "everything pretty" because they knew I would be taking pictures. It made me think about food photography as a whole and stylized shots vs. lifestyle shots and the need to capture a certain aesthetic because it has to look good. I do care about how things look in terms of having a visual eye to highlight the best parts of what I am trying to capture but I don't want to do it at the expense of people feeling uncomfortable or self conscious. And sometimes, I am just plain immersed in what I am doing that I forget.

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SF Photography & Food Styling Workshop

SF Photography & Food Styling Workshop

Food photography and food styling are both things that I have generally figured out by myself so when I heard about a workshop being offered in San Francisco, I immediately jumped on it.

I do both professionally and personally so it's easy to get in a certain routine. I also really, really enjoy being in the comfort of my own home. In fact, I am reveling in the fact that I don't have to be anywhere right now. This all dwindled down to the thought that I should get out of my introvert comfort zone for a weekend and try something completely different.

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Weekly Wander #12

On the last decently cool weekend of the Central Valley for a long while, I took a half bike ride and half walk to look at the corn field that I pass every day to and from work. 

Last year, this field was full of sunflowers but it makes sense that they rotate every year. It seems like these corn stalks just exploded! It wasn't too long ago that they were tiny seedlings so it's been pretty cool to watch them grow taller and taller. Even a few days later, they are still growing and producing corn. 

Even if it's not this corn, watching these stalks grow reminded me how much I am looking forward to getting my hands on some summer corn! The best deal is going to the farmer's market about 5 minutes before they close and getting ears and ears for super cheap. I'm thinking another corn chowder will be in the making soon. 

Although I came out for the corn, I got an even more amazing surprise with the dragonflies flying around! They were pretty hard to stalk because they fly around really fast and are easily startled but I was happy with these shots. There was another white and black variety but they were more elusive than these ones that stood still just long enough for me to be able to photograph.

The clouds were also amazing that day. And even more cool/surprising was the thunderstorm that happened the next day. It's pretty unusual for it to thunderstorm here in June so it was a pretty awesome treat to briefly return to spring/fall. 

Now to gear up for the week of 100ºF+...