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”
When all is grey and dark in the winter, at least there’s beetroot.
I had tried out a weekly vegetable box when I lived in Scotland. Every Friday I was delivered a box of seasonal produce from local farms, and it seemed like such an exciting idea at the time. I was ticking all the ethical boxes and it was going to be organic and healthier and I was going to challenge myself as a cook as my dinners were based on the mystery box! Then reality slapped me in the face: weeks and weeks of root vegetables. Of course, what did my naivety think would grow in the harsh Scottish climate? But at least there was also beetroot, the only color that existed in my Scottish winter.
Continue reading “Winter Blues Beet Salad”
My mother hates wholemeal bread. It reminds her of her childhood in the Cultural Revolution when wholemeal flour was all that they had access to. White flour was only for Chinese New Year. I thought of her as I tweaked the original recipe, substituting rye flour for plain.
Continue reading “Rye Fruit Bread”
Ricotta is disappointingly underrated outside of Italy. People think of it as a filler ingredient, an extra in a dish with big stars. You mix it up with big flavors assuming it is only useful for its texture. Poor ricotta, why don’t more people swoon over you?
Continue reading “Homemade Ricotta”
I always keep a jar of miso in the fridge. When I’m drained from the day, and when I’m unhealthily obsessed with my weight, I conjure up a sad concoction of steamed vegetables and call it dinner. Miso became a lifesaver because when I stirred a generous spoonful of it into my dinner, it suddenly lifted everything – and dinner was less sad. Miso’s a flavor bomb that imparts a savory and rich intensity to anything it touches. It belongs in more places than you’d think: I put it into sauces, sandwiches, soups, and even, yes, desserts.
Continue reading “Chocolate Miso Cookies (aka The Best Chocolate Cookies)”
I know that my first post in January should be something healthier, something involving #detox, #cleanse, and #cleaneating. I know that the first days of January are filled with aspiration and ardor – the pubs empty, the gyms crammed, the office cafeterias packed with determined homemade salads. I know that everyone’s attempting to become a better version of themselves, which generally involves being “healthier”, which usually means weight loss, which often can be detrimental mentally. Because so many of these new year resolutions fail. These unsuccessful resolutions can in turn make you feel like a failure. And when these failures are linked to body image, well, that’s unhealthy.
I wanted to share something comforting with you today, especially if you, too, find January to be the Monday of months.
Continue reading “Pasta with Potatoes”
I try not to be a food snob but when my boyfriend asked if we could have dinner at Ikea I turned up my nose. His eyes sparkled as he recounted the times he ate there with his family, and he spoke of them being together, of him ordering the steak, of all the happy memories.
Endearing, I thought, but no. Dinner at an Ikea cafeteria that’s not out of necessity was an unappealing prospect to me. I was imagining it: the clingfilmed salads; the rows of cold dishes bleakly sitting on metal shelves; the hot food counter featuring dreary trays of beige meatballs. I said no. Upon reflection, however, I realized that I was a b*tch robbing him of his nostalgic cravings.
Continue reading “Lingonberry & Rosemary Crumb Tarts”
I had consecutively experimented with different diets at one point. Not for weight loss purposes but rather to challenge myself as a cook. Adopting a vegan diet taught me to use miso, nutritional yeast and tahini to really boost the flavors of otherwise bland ingredients. My gluten-free diet led me to explore alternative grains. The paleo diet was too expensive for me to sustain as a student for more than a few days. And the raw diet turned me into a horrible human being.
Continue reading “Savory Carrot Cake”
Back when my waistline was independent from my diet, the New York Cheesecake from Starbucks was a regular snack of mine. I remember having that rich, calorific cheesecake in conjunction with a sweet, sugar-laden frappuccino. Talk about the blessed metabolism of the youth. With time, my waistline and my palate have both developed an aversion for those cheesecakes as they are distastefully sweet and heavy. Instead, the more tempting version today would be the Italian cheesecake with ricotta, which is lighter and more delicate.
Continue reading “Ricotta Pie”