March 12, 2011

Mint Chocolate Cookies

There are certain things in food that just go so well together.. Marsala and mushroom, rum and raisin, hazelnut and chocolate.. and of course mint and chocolate. Well, these cookies have the latter two combinations and they taste damn good. Chocolate is an indulgence, and mint just takes you over the cloud. I made these in anticipation of meeting up with a friend that didn't happen until two weeks later. They were wonderful, and great for breakfast with a cup of milk.

March 4, 2011

Chocolate Macarons

Every bakers one time or another go through a macaron craze phase. I did for a whole month in 2009. Since then, I have cut a short break with this decadent French treat. Then few days ago, with some egg-whites, almond flour and sugar, I was back baking macarons... but with confidence this time. I've come a long way as a baker since I started this blog a year ago, and have learned a few tricks about whisking egg-whites to perfection. With the perfect egg-white and some nicely grounded sugar, macaron is a piece of cake.

February 16, 2011

A very Turkish meal: Kabk Mücveri and Yogurt Soup

If there is anything that fascinates me more than Germany, it is Turkey...its people, its religion, its culture,and its intimate connection with Germany. But, what concerns most people here is its food. I can't tell you how much I miss döner kebabs! I've been looking all over the bay area for a place that sells real döner kebabs and so far haven't had much luck. They were everywhere in Italy. There was this one place a block from where I lived in Torino, and I went there almost every other day. I made friends with the two Turkish guys that worked there with my broken Italian. One time they even asked if I had a boyfriend, I said no, and didn't have enough Italian in me to explain further. Good times. Then few weeks back when I went to visit Doug in San Francisco, we went to a Turkish restaurant and I ordered the lamb kebab dish, and a cup of Turkish coffee. I asked the Turkish waiter for a little cream for my coffee, he laughed and said I should never ask such a thing if I was in Turkey. He brought me some though, and taught me how to read fortunes from my coffee. My cup said good luck is coming my way.

February 15, 2011

Apfelstrudel: German Apple Strudel

Uff. I want to say sorry to my apple strudel because my dreadful camera skill is not doing any justice to my baking. I guarantee you this is a lot more appetizing than it appears. And that's not meat in my strudel... So my love for all things Deutschland continues. I'm learning the language as well, piano piano as the Italians would say. I came across this recipe many months ago on tastespotting, and have wanted to try it out for a while. I'm not usually a fan of baked fruits, especially pies..yucks, but I am more forgiving when it comes to apples. Or maybe it was the puff pastry that appealed to me, or the fact that it is German. In any case, I was glad to have made this dessert as it is not too sweet, and very delicious.

Oh, and by the way, Happy Valentine's Day.  I am getting a fantastic present from myself, and I'm constantly checking the UPS tracking... it is supposed to be delivered on the 23rd!

February 14, 2011

Japanese Souffle Cheesecake

I'm not a fan of the usual dense American-style cheescakes, but I really like this Japanese souffle cheesecake. It tastes light and airy with a slight hint of cake. This type of cheesecake is so much more difficult to make than teh regular dense cheesecake. A lot of techniques go into mixing this cake and whisking the white. Very easily it can fail. I made this cake for a get-together a while ago that I couldn't attend because of the lunar new year. It was supposed to be a birthday cake so I couldn't cut it open to see if it turned out alright. Actually to this date, I don't know if it turned out okay since no one that ate the cake really said anything to me. I can only hope from the beautiful exterior, that it was a success.

February 9, 2011

Pierre Hermé 's Croissant

My jeans came today and I couldn't button all buttons no matter how hard I tried. Thanks Zappos for free shipping both ways! I'm going to return the smaller size which I couldn't none of the buttons even came close to button holes, but I want to keep the larger size for a while and pray that my diet works. Zappos gives you a whole year grace period to return an item, and it's all free. I am determined to fit into this pair because I really love it, which means I should stop making things like the above photo. Carb at its best.

Had a new year's potluck last Wednesday with ALA and I love occasions like this where I can pick any recipe I want to make and have people to eat the food. I've made croissants before using the recipe from Bread Bible and they were pretty good. I don't like doing the same recipe again if I was successful already. I like new challenges. I am a fan of Pierre Hermé and so I google searched Hermé and croissant and found this recipe. This is much more complicated than the bread bible recipe, but I do feel the recipe worth the extra effort.

January 8, 2011

Dinner: Stir-fry lamb with ginger, scallion, and onion

First, I'd like to say, I'm very disappointed in my photos. I think the photo quality of my posts just decreases post after post. I partly blame it on the lack of sunlight, and partly on my own lack of skill. I've tried building a mini photo studio before, and sadly my cardboard box studio was accidentally broken by my cousin shortly after. I hope you all still find my food appetizing though!

January 7, 2011

Ginger Milk Custard and Happy 2Ö11

It seems like my writing muse was left behind when the new year came. Actually, that's not really true, I was just overcame by laziness these days. It really takes effort to upload photos (and some editing... ) and to write something to go along with the photos. I applaud those bloggers who update daily. All of my favorite winter holidays have passed, but luckily there is still the lunar new year on Feb 3. In fact, I am particularly excited about this new lunar year because according to my dad, my luck will take a turn for the better. Apparently tiger year is not a good year for rat...

December 30, 2010

Blog 1st year anniversary

Last year on this day, Dec. 29, I started this blog after watching the movie Julie & Julia. I was ambitious, and I wanted to update everyday with my bakings. While that didn't happen, and despite taking several long breaks, I am very proud of what I have done with this blog. One year and over 100 posts on foods, life, and football. I can see from my postings how far I've grown in terms of my culinary ability. Brava!

For now, stay tuned for the recipe for the photo above.

December 28, 2010

Christmas Dinner: Coastal Cheddar Mac & Cheese and Spring Rolls

Belated Merry Christmas to everyone! This year I had a very low key Christmas without a big feast. Quite a contrast to Thanksgiving! I didn't have anything planned, and only decided on what to cook around 6pm the night of! I figure after such a huge Thanksgiving dinner, I wanted to keep it simple and quick. Simple it was, but it certainly wasn't quick! We didn't start eating until almost 9pm!

December 23, 2010

Pan Fried Ravioli

I'm usually not a fan of "semi-homemade" things. I much prefer to start everything from scratch, like using fresh tomatoes as opposed to canned tomatoes. However, sometimes when you are pressed for time, a quick elaboration on an already made food is not a bad idea either. I present you our dinner last night, a little twist from the usual water boiled ravioli.

I really need a lesson on food photographing. I don't like my photos at all.

Recipes I want to try

There are just way too many wonderful recipes out there and I can't possibly try them all. I'm going to make a list of recipes I like and hopefully will get to them all eventually!

December 22, 2010

Earl Grey Sponge Cake

At mom's work Christmas dinner last week, her boss, riding on her buzz, wanted me to bake them a cake. I asked her what she liked, she said, not too sweet and no cream. That about eliminated 90% of all cakes no? Well, I decided to turn to my trusted sponge cake recipe from my aunt. This time around, I modified it a little to reduce the sweetness. And as I slowly transform this blog to gain more popularity with online readers, I will post a step by step instruction.

Today's my grandma's birthday, so this one will serve as her birthday cake as well. In fact, the very last time I did this cake, I made it for her birthday too. How fast did this year pass by!