Monday, November 22, 2010

Nectarine Crepes

Oye, I have completely forgotten how much time going to school full-time and working takes. Sure, I still have time to cook and take photos, but to take time out and write about what's important to me seems to have gone out the window. Any free time I have now is dedicated to friends, boyfriend, or family.

Boy, do I look yums.

Today, I learned that yogurt, brown sugar, and fruits used as a garnish is a bad idea. First, yogurt melts underweight and heat and does not maintain it's shape like ice cream. My nice scoop of yogurt melted into a mess when I topped it with a pretty nectarine (fail.) Second, brown sugar dissolves onto of yogurt. It looked cute sprinkled on top of the crepe, but couple minutes later, it melted into a gooey puddle. Seriously...way to ruin a perfect looking crepe.

I'm melting....

Disaster at its finest.

What happened was that I decided to make my middle sister nectarine crepes tonight as a goodbye sweet treat before she left for college the next morning. The nectarines were sauteed with brown sugar and cinnamon until it became syrupy. I made crepes as well. Both components turned out perfect. Since we had thick n' creamy vanilla yogurt in the fridge, I decided to garnish the crepe with it. It looked pretty and it tasted yums. I garnished an extra crepe for photos and left it alone for a couple of minutes to cook another crepe. When I came back to the model, it became a melted ugly mess. Waahhh. So i forced myself to finish eating that one and I made another less perfect crepe. Boo. Oh well. At least I have pretty pictures, right?


Basic Crepe Recipe
Adapted from a recipe I copied from an unknown book years ago

1 egg
dash of salt
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup milk
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 TBSP cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth.
  2. Each pancake is approximately 2 TBSPs of batter. Cook one side until brown, flip, and cook otherside until colored.

Sauteed Nectarines

2.5 TBSP brown sugar
3 small yellow nectarines, sliced
Cinnamon, to taste

Pour brown sugar in pan. When it begins to melt, toss in the nectarines. Stir it occasionally and when the nectarines become tender and sauce has thicken, turn off the heat and add the cinnamon.

  1. Place crepe on plate.
  2. Scoop some nectarines.
  3. Fold crepe edges in so it becomes a roll. (Seam facing down)
  4. Top with a dollop of thick n' creamy yogurt, whip cream, or vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top.
  5. Enjoy~

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Maintaining Friendship and Caramelized Potatoes

One of my close friends from college moved to China about 1.5 years ago; it's been difficult trying to keep in touch. We emailed frequently in the beginning, but it eventually tapered off to an email response every couple days to weeks. I constantly reminded myself to reply to her emails, but something always came up so I told myself that I would do it the next day. Of course, I don't reply the next day and I continued to procrastinate. By the time I finally wrote a response, I had forgotten what I wanted to tell her.

About a month ago, I tried a new method of keeping in touch with her. I started sending her a pic-a-day through my mobile phone to her email. A picture is simple and doesn't require much writing and if i wanted to share some thoughts with her, I could include it in the picture email. I've been enjoying it so far, because it doesn't mentally exhaust me and I can keep up with it. It motivates me to appreciate the little things in life, because I have to find something to show her. It lets her know that I care and miss her and how much I want to spend an afternoon or night with her, chatting and being silly. I can't wait to save up money and fly out there to see her in the future.

P.S. My daily photos were such a hit that I reached my monthly text message quota two weeks ago. Oops.I can start sending her pictures again on Saturday when my plan resets. Whoo~

This recipe was inspired by a Korean banchan I had awhile back with my family. I made it for JSB and she enjoyed it.

Oven Baked Caramelized Potatoes

  • 1 1/2 cups of red potatoes
  • 1 TBSP (or more) canola oil
  • 2 TBSP (or more) sugar
  • sea salt

  1. Wash, peel, and cut potatoes into 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Boil potatoes for 8 to 12 minutes until just barely cooked. (Knife has difficulty going through potato)
  4. Dry potatoes with paper towel and drizzle with olive oil until lightly coated. Line baking sheet with foil/parchment paper. Spread potatoes on sheet with space in between the potatoes.
  5. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. When potatoes are finished, keep them in the oven so they stay hot. Adjust temperature to 300°F.
  7. In a pan, coat bottom of pan with sugar. Add more sugar if you like foods more sweet.
  8. Wait for sugar to melt and caramelize, then add the potatoes.
  9. Toss the potatoes to coat it in the sugar and sprinkle it with sea salt. Serve.

Monday, November 15, 2010

A poem and some photos.

 This past week in my child development class, my professor read us this poem:

Once a little boy went to school.
He was quite a little boy
And it was quite a big school.
But when the little boy
Found that he could go to his room
By walking right in from the door outside
He was happy;
And the school did not seem
Quite so big anymore.

One morning
When the little boy had been in school awhile,
The teacher said:
"Today we are going to make a picture."

"Good!" thought the little boy.
He liked to make all kinds;
Lions and tigers,
Chickens and cows,
Trains and boats;
And he took out his box of crayons
And began to draw.

But the teacher said, "Wait!"
"It is not time to begin!"
And she waited until everyone looked ready.
"Now," said the teacher,
"We are going to make flowers."
"Good!" thought the little boy,
He liked to make beautiful ones
With his pink and orange and blue crayons.
But the teacher said "Wait!"
"And I will show you how."
And it was red, with a green stem.
"There," said the teacher,
"Now you may begin."

The little boy looked at his teacher’s flower
Then he looked at his own flower.
He liked his flower better than the teacher’s
But he did not say this.
He just turned his paper over,
And made a flower like the teacher’s.
It was red, with a green stem.

On another day
When the little boy had opened
The door from the outside all by himself,
The teacher said:
"Today we are going to make something with clay."
"Good!" thought the little boy;
He liked clay.
He could make all kinds of things with clay:
Snakes and snowmen,
Elephants and mice,
Cars and trucks
And he began to pull and pinch
His ball of clay.

But the teacher said, "Wait!"
"It is not time to begin!"
And she waited until everyone looked ready.
"Now," said the teacher,
"We are going to make a dish."
"Good!" thought the little boy,
He liked to make dishes.
And he began to make some
That were all shapes and sizes.

But the teacher said "Wait!"
"And I will show you how."
And she showed everyone how to make
One deep dish.
"There," said the teacher,
"Now you may begin."

The little boy looked at the teacher’s dish;
Then he looked at his own.
He liked his better than the teacher’s
But he did not say this.
He just rolled his clay into a big ball again
And made a dish like the teacher’s.
It was a deep dish.

And pretty soon
The little boy learned to wait,
And to watch
And to make things just like the teacher.
And pretty soon
He didn’t make things of his own anymore.

Then it happened
That the little boy and his family
Moved to another house,
In another city,
And the little boy
Had to go to another school.
This school was even bigger
Than the other one.
And there was no door from the outside
Into his room.
He had to go up some big steps
And walk down a long hall
To get to his room.
And the very first day
He was there,
The teacher said:
"Today we are going to make a picture."
"Good!" thought the little boy.
And he waited for the teacher
To tell what to do.
But the teacher didn’t say anything.
She just walked around the room.

When she came to the little boy
She asked, "Don’t you want to make a picture?"
"Yes," said the lttle boy.
"What are we going to make?"
"I don’t know until you make it," said the teacher.
"How shall I make it?" asked the little boy.
"Why, anyway you like," said the teacher.
"And any color?" asked the little boy.
"Any color," said the teacher.
"If everyone made the same picture,
And used the same colors,
How would I know who made what,
And which was which?"
"I don’t know," said the little boy.

And he began to make a red flower with a green stem.

This poem made me question how much of what I know and do was influenced by someone or something in the past. The scary part is that I don't even notice or realize the influence the objects or people had on me.

A lot of what I do in the kitchen is based on imitations of others and following recipes. I used to be so afraid of messing up and felt that I needed to follow the recipe in order to be good at baking that I rarely experimented in the kitchen. I have gotten over that fear and now have plenty of fun experimenting and "messing" up for the sake of improving and learning, which includes plating. I struggle with plating every time I make something. I have folders filled with pictures that show how much improvement I can use, but compared to my first photo, I'm a rock star now. Whooo!!

First picture I uploaded on my first post of my first food blog.
Cheese toast topped with onions and avocado ice cream
Potatoes sauteed with tomatoes and sausages. Garnished with homemade croutons.
Short ribs with rice and warm garlic butter beet salad.
Oven baked wings with quinoa and vegetables.

JSB's tilapia poached in mushroom stock. Garnished with Chinese chives and bamboo shoots.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Run a Chinese Restaurant. (Homemade Pasta Recipe)

There are two ways that I come up with a post.

1) Inspiration randomly appears throughout my day.
2) I stare at my list of unposted photos and see which one calls out to me.

Today happens to be option #2 and the topic of the day is "my attempt at a nice meal while my parents were out with their friends." The menu was homemade pasta dressed in edamame sauce (it was a thickened up version of the soup) with katsu tilapia and roasted peppers. For dessert, fresh homemade caramel apples.

I hired my sisters to work again at my 'family run Chinese restaurant without pay.' JSB worked on the roasted peppers and she had so much fun playing with the fire. In the beginning, I was frightened by the flying pieces of burning pepper skin that floated up towards the vent. I did not want to explain to my parents why our house burned down while they were gone for a couple of hours. lol.

The alien life form after taking the roasted pepper apart.

I set my other sister, Kay, to work on the pasta. I had her kneading, rolling, and cutting pasta for a good 2 hours. Poor Child; she had to suffer before she was allowed to eat. ^.^

All purpose flour and semolina flour.

Mixing flours with fork.

Cracking egg over pasta.

The well with the egg.


Dough with a smooth and elastic consistency.

Rolling out the pasta. Yes, I don't own a rolling pin.

Pretty pasta, thanks to Kay =)

I had the very important job of making the caramel apples. I was surprised by how easy the task was and how quickly everything came together. The first couple of apples I dipped weren't attractive, but I definitely improved with the last few!

Honey Caramel Apples.
At one point, Grandma stopped by and I invited her to stay and eat with us. As usual, she refused and claimed that we didn't have enough food to feed her. Lies. We had plenty. The truth is that she thinks we are unhygienic cooks and thinks my sisters are incapable of cooking. When she came over, I was in the middle of photographing the apples and pasta and I managed to snap a photo of my Grandma smiling. Best part of the day. =)

Evidence that JSB and I are in dire need of help when it comes to plating. Originally I had a pile of noodles on one side and the slab of fish on the other side of the plate. JSB decided to dress it up with green onion and cherries. It ended up looking like a treasure map. >.>

Find the treasure!

Italian Pasta
From Ciao Chow Linda

  • 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs

  1. Place flour on board and mix with a fork. Form a well. Add eggs in the center and whisk with fork until flour is slowly incorporated into mixture. (Add more flour if it's too sticky)
  2. Knead for 5 minutes until it is smooth.
  3. Allow the dough to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Roll out and cut into desired shape.
  5. Boil for 2-3 minutes in salted water.


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