I had been rather small-minded about crepes growing up, as I held onto the notion that they were simply vehicles for Nutella. That’s the only way I consumed them in Italy. In fact, those childhood Nutella crepes were only marginally better than eating Nutella out of the jar because it was definitely more crepe on Nutella than Nutella on crepe. When served folded into a messy triangle, you see thick layers of dark brown luscious Nutella with barely visible streaks of yellow crepes in between. Somehow though, psychologically it felt better than just directly eating Nutella on its own. Similarly, Italy also has Nutella gelato in the gelaterias, which, of the few times I’ve tried it, is most certainly just Nutella served at a colder temperature. And again, somehow more socially acceptable than just eating straight Nutella with a spoon which Italians would tut at.
I digress, back to the crepes. Fortunately, with age and more exposure to global foods, I learned that these little pancakes are hospitable to all kinds of fillings. Continue reading “Salmon Crepe Cake”
I have now been in Norway for nine days. It’s part of my whole new year new me thing. I decided to do new country, new job just so I could excuse myself from setting proper new year resolutions. With this new life comes: new language, new flat, new furniture, new friends, new gym, new bakeries and cafes. It’s cool, I’m not overwhelmed. My body isn’t reacting negatively with breakouts on my face and eczema flare-ups and stomach bloating. It’s cool. I’m fine.
Continue reading “Gravlax with Fennel Remoulade”
What is your favorite carb?
We had a heated discussion about this at work. First, you need to categorize this properly: we are not talking about good carbs and bad carbs. We are in a safe space where all carbs are good as long as they make you happy.
We are separating carbs into grains (rice, bulgur etc), noodles (inc. pasta), bread (inc. pizza). For the purposes of this exercise we will remove sweets and dishes where the carb has a supporting role, like quiches (thereby removing pastry as a category), and the likes of dumplings. These three categories are understandably very broad. For grains, we will only consider them in their whole form, for if we start thinking about rice flour dishes, then they blur into the other categories.
Continue reading “A killer focaccia”
It’s been liberating to not update this for three months. Blogging can come with so much silly stress. It became another medium to measure myself against. I stressed over the material and I obsessed over readership. It felt like such an easy and quantifiable way of assessing myself. Like my target at work. Like my grades in schools. Like the number on the scale.
I started this eight years ago with nonchalent innocence. It was an exuberant exploration of food, of something I was just beginning to love. I had updated my blog so often because I just didn’t give a sh*t. There were no sh*ts given about the quality of the writing, the photos or the recipes.
Continue reading “Meatballs, Aubergine, Tomatoes & Sage”
I’m a little bit tired.
I have a day job that pays the bills, and a side granola business that’s quite literally the opposite. I’m also trying to maintain this blog. Maintain various relationships. Maintain my physique and work out and feed myself.
Today I really felt this longing for baths. I fantasized the luxury of taking 45 minutes to cleanse myself. I also miss books. I’ve shamefully got three unopened and two half-finished books waiting for me across my apartment – on my bedside table, dining table, coffee table – all to punish myself with guilt wherever I go. See, it’s not that I’m not reading anything, it’s that on top of everything, I also subscribe to three news publications, and I have to get my money’s worth and read them every day. That means it takes me my entire 40 minute commute to my day job to read all three morning briefings.
Continue reading “Parmigiana Wreath”
Chinese New Year always strikes a sharp homesickness in me. Home is Beijing. And despite the vacancy of my childhood home, the lack of close family ties, and the ever-changing skyline, home is still Beijing. I have no desire to reside there or frequent the place on a regular basis, but around the holiday times nostalgic memories crowd out all the problems surrounding pollution, food safety, and the inability to find adequate cheese.
Every year I tame this longing with trips to the Chinese supermarkets, hours perusing Chinese recipes, and listening to Mando Pop (that is Mandarin Pop, and I’d say only the former two activities are worth indulging in).
Continue reading “Chinese Sesame Noodles (麻酱面)”
I had a terrible realization yesterday: I hadn’t written anything beyond emails and text messages and comments on Instagram for two months. I’ve been in between jobs and I’ve neglected this blog. I was about to dedicate this post to filling you in on what’s happened in my life since I last posted in May, but I realized that f*ck all’s happened. I quit my job, I’m doing the cliched Millennial thing of “finding myself”, which for yesterday meant that I spent the afternoon in bed reading a depressing novel set in Japan in the second world war, getting up every 45 minutes to give my baby bread dough a knead. The sourdough turned out quite well, by the way.
Continue reading “Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Dressing”
Orange blossom is the only floral flavor I can tolerate in food and drink. Maybe I’ve had one too many bad experiences with cheap Turkish delights, but anything rose-flavored is just like shoving a soap bar into my mouth. And lavender brings me back to my mother’s closet, which I’m not sure is what I want to recollect when I consume a food product. But I always keep a bottle of orange blossom in my cupboard for adding a special touch to otherwise mundane baked goods, like oat cookies.
Continue reading “Orange Blossom Oat Cookies”
My fondest memories of my mother involve her feeding me, which I guess is normal. I can still visualize my mother cutting pears into segments over a bowl, endearingly slurping them, and passing the bowl to her children. Those were Nashi pears – they’re the crisp, fresh Asian pears that are more akin to apples. I always preferred the buttery, rich william and conference pears as a child, which were a rare and extortionate treat in China back in the days.
Continue reading “Pear and Citrus Cake”
I was told to try mindfulness. That I’d then get a better grasp of my emotions. I said I practice it when I cook. These are some cookies I made awhile back which I was quite proud of. When I cook, I can be in the zone… But it’s been quite difficult to bring myself to cook lately. Maybe I do need a proper mindfulness course.
Continue reading “Miso Chocolate Chip Cookies”