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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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.

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