Building Cooking Confidence


Chinese Tea Egg Recipe for Chinese New Year!

Posted by on Jan 29th, 2014 in Appetizers & Snacks, Chinese | 1 comment

Chinese New Year starts this Friday!  Chinese holidays always make me wish that I was a kid again, at home with my family.  When I feel like that, not even alcohol can make me feel better.  Only food can.

Chinese Tea Eggs

So I decided to try making Chinese tea eggs.  We used to eat Chinese tea eggs all the time growing up.  Now, not so much.  I don’t even see it very often in Chinese cafes or delis up here in the Bay Area.  Maybe my tea egg radar is a little off, guiding me to the wrong places.


Healthy(ish) Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by on Jan 20th, 2014 in Desserts, Recipes | 1 comment

The love affair with pumpkin + oatmeal continues.  I found a recipe on Simply Recipes for pumpkin oatmeal cookies, but since I’m still trying to counteract some holiday over-indulgence, I wanted to see if I could lighten them up a bit.


Pumpkin oatmeal cookies


Pumpkin Oatmeal Smoothie

Posted by on Jan 5th, 2014 in Appetizers & Snacks, Breakfast, Holiday, Recipes | 1 comment

I had made a big batch of pumpkin puree but now what was I supposed to do with all of it?  How about a pumpkin oatmeal smoothie??  I’ve never had pumpkin and oatmeal together, but it just seems to make sense to pair them, doesn’t it?

Pumpkin Smoothie

Easy Pumpkin Puree

Posted by on Dec 29th, 2013 in Holiday | 0 comments

We bought a pumpkin to decorate for the holidays and now that the holidays are over, my frugal immigrant side can’t imagine throwing a perfectly good pumpkin away. So wasteful!

Pumpkin puree

I read a lot about how decorative pumpkins don’t make for good puree, since they’re bred for their looks and not their flavor. Well, flavor can always be amped up with a pinch of this and a dash of that. I experimented with a couple of spices and the result was very holiday-y.


Easy Strawberry Santas

Posted by on Dec 14th, 2013 in Desserts, Holiday | 0 comments

Now that the holidays are upon us, I’m not-so-secretly excited by the thought of eating holiday party food (cheese balls!  peppermint bark!  anything and everything fried!  who can resist?!) but I know I need to not go too crazy if I want to feel like a normal person come January.  These Strawberry Santas are going to be the secret weapon in my arsenal.

Strawberry Santas


Truffled Cauliflower Bacon Soup

Posted by on Dec 1st, 2013 in Soups | 1 comment

Now that the cold weather’s set in (yes, 60 degrees is cold, especially for an LA girl) I’ve been constantly craving soup.  And now that the Thanksgiving eat-a-thon is over, I need something that’s satisfying but won’t trigger flashbacks of turkey-stuffing-pumpkin pie guilt.

Truffled Cauliflower Bacon Soup


Oakland Food Tour

Posted by on Nov 21st, 2013 in Restaurants & Travel | 1 comment

My friend Preethi, from The Eager Traveler, and I were hosted by Localite Tours this past weekend for a foodie walking tour of Oakland.  I’ve always wanted to do a food walking tour, so I was super excited.
But before we got started, we made a detour.


First Cake Bakery


Walking to the food tour, we passed by a total dive Chinese bakery called First Cake Bakery.  We decided to get our stomachs ready for the food tour with a warm up snack.  OMG.  The best bbq pork buns.  Ever!  Seriously.  The bun came straight out of the oven and it was incredibly light and fluffy – I’ve honestly never had a bbq pork bun like this.  I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too busy stuffing my face.  And the bun was only $1.  Score!

Midwestern Eats

Posted by on Oct 24th, 2013 in Restaurants & Travel | 0 comments

I’ve been traveling so much that I haven’t had time to cook.  Last week I was in the Midwest, a little bummed about being on the road for a long stretch.  But I was perked up by the idea of trying some new places!  Some of my adventures:



I was psyched that right across the street from my hotel in Chicago were three Rick Bayless restaurants!  Work commitments kept me from eating at the sit down restaurants, but I made sure to mosey on down to Xoco, his counter service restaurant, to try out a torta and churro.

Xoco Torta

I ordered the Peptio torta, which was braised beef shortribs, jack cheese, black beans, caramelized onions and pickled jalapenos, served with a green tomatillo sauce.  The bread was really good, all rustic-y goodness with crispy outside and chewy inside.  The rest of the sandwich didn’t live up to the bread though – the shortribs were a little dry and too salty.  For years I’ve been searching for a torta that would live up to the tortas we ate when we lived in Mexico City – I had hopes this could be the one, but not quite. (more…)

Seattle Food Highlights, Part 2

Posted by on Oct 6th, 2013 in Restaurants & Travel | 0 comments

We visited Seattle a few weekends ago and true to form, spent the weekend stuffing our faces with food.  Lucky for us, Seattle has a great food culture, so the calories we ate weren’t wasted.  We had some really good fair food at the Washington State Fair, but also found lots of other yummy things that weekend.

Dahlia Lounge Donuts

We had dinner one night at Dahlia Lounge, which serves Northwestern cuisine.  Almost everything we tried there was solid, but by far the best dish of the night was the handmade doughnuts we had for dessert.  They were fresh out of the fryer and really soft and fluffy.  The donuts were coated on the outside with cinnamon and sugar, and served with a delicious vanilla mascarpone and some blueberry preserves.  Amazing. (more…)

Chinese Lion’s Head Meatballs

Posted by on Sep 29th, 2013 in Chinese, Entrees, Recipes | 1 comment

Finished Lions Head Casserole 2

Last week was the Mid Autumn Festival, the Chinese holiday for celebrating the fall harvest via moon gazing and eating mooncake.  The holiday was totally off my radar until I saw a Facebook picture of mooncake posted by my cousin on Thursday!  I scrambled to buy mooncake that weekend but it was too late – all the good stuff was already gone.  Sniff.  (more…)

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes