Tuesday, August 23, 2011
As of today, I'm no longer living in Seattle! I'm currently on my way driving cross country, (hopefully) in time for the start of my masters program at the MIT Media Lab.
However, you can follow my adventures in Boston, food related and otherwise, here.
Note to self: never name a blog with your current geographical location.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Okay, this should really be called "stuff face with Kathy and Colin". If you're sensitive to food pornography, please turn away now.
We went to Huong Binh last weekend for what was to me authentic and outrageously tasty Vietnamese food. It happened to be the first time I ate real, proper food in a week. All I remember from the meal, really, is a feeling of supreme contentment. ("All this food! I can eat it all! Everything's so delicious! Oooh duck!")
To illustrate the ridiculous nature of the meal, we started with dessert - glasses of sweet coconut milk full of goodies like jack fruit, tapioca, and agar jelly.
Then the duck arrived.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
So, dear readers, seeing that I'm already twenty-five, I'm going to boost my husband-catching chances by learning how to make things he might like to eat, like these fluffy baked buns you might find in Asian bakeries. Surely I'll be able to lure a host of serious, steady-income potential husbands with my baked goods!
All joking aside, I wanted to learn to make these so I wouldn't have to venture out to the Boston Chinatown in the snow whenever I had red bean bread cravings.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Day 1: Trying to come to terms with the fact that half of your face is numb. Once the gauze situation is under control, protein shake and apple sauce is about all you can handle. Taking pills is a difficult operation.
Day 2: You go to town with the frozen fruit and yogurt you stocked up before the operation. Lacking a blender, you use the food processor. You uncover a talent for making smoothies.
Two smoothies later (strawberry banana and blueberry-banana-peanut butter), you can't stand the sight of smoothies.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
A standard piece of cocktail party trivia I like to tell is that I was raised in the South. I love to tell people I grew up in Texas* and watch their reactions. To be fair, it's not like I lived on a ranch and lassoed cows after school. I lived in a cookie-cutter suburb and hung out at the local Barnes and Nobles when I wasn't at math club practice. Still, I was left with a deep love for cornbread and a tendency to blast country music out of my trusty rusty Honda Accord.
Lately, however, I'm realizing I should extend my Southern upbringing to desserts...
*There's a school of thought that Texas is not part of "the South". I don't want to hear it.
Last Sunday was one of those freak days, where the weather goes up to the 60's and no one knows what to do with the obscene amount of sun. Well, except for those who own boats. They can be found out on the water. The rest of us have to settle for sunny spaces on land. Luckily, my friend Lincoln had a party on the rooftop deck of his condo building. Check out the view!
As if the view that wasn't enough, Lincoln had also smoked twenty pounds of pork shoulder the night before. Endless amounts of pulled pork plus an ample supply of beer and sun meant a good time (and sun burns) for all.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
I'm a firm believer that cakes are for special occasions. And truthfully, the kind of cakes I make really should be reserved for special occasions only, for the health of everyone involved. Last week, I had the opportunity to dust off my cake ring and offset spatula for my friend Maggie's last day at work.
Maggie and I shared an office together as interns. When we both decided to come back the same team after college, we (surprise!) ended up in the office again. Even though we are in different disciplines and look completely different, I can't tell you the number of times I've been called Maggie, even after almost three years!
Last days are work are a funny thing. When someone leaves the company to pursue their own interests, like starting their own company, people celebrate. Taken out of context though, it could seem pretty horrifying. When Maggie went to the cupcake shop on the morning of her last day, the conversation went something like this:
Sales girl: "So what are these cupcakes for?"
Maggie: "It's my last day at work."
Sales girl: "Oh my god I'm so sorry! What are you going to do next?"
Maggie: "I... don't really know yet."
Sales girl: "..."
Sunday, April 24, 2011
No, I haven't gone completely mad. I still love butter and cream, and you won't see recipes for tofu cheesecakes or fat-free brownies any time soon. It just happened that I made some desserts this weekend that might seem healthy at first glance: banana coconut chocolate chip cookies and plain frozen yogurt.
I read about these "healthy" cookies on Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks blog and was immediately seized with a morbid curiosity to make some for myself. This is possibly the strangest cookie recipe I've ever seen.
Here are the things this cookie does NOT contain:
Is this possible? Yes. Does it taste good? You bet.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Last week, I was suddently struck with the desire to make bread. Beautiful, warm, domestic-goddess-style bread, and lots of it. Some people have dreams about wanting lots of babies. I wanted bread. I knew I couldn't possibly handle all this bread-making by myself, so I turned to my friend Kathy.
Kathy's my partner-in-crime when it comes to baking. She's technically my coworker (along with 90,000 other people), but we really bonded over food (I made her wedding cakes last summer). Once in a while, we'd get together and unleash our culinary prowess in furious, multi-hour baking sprees. And Kathy's sugar-loving husband Colin usually ends up with lots of mixing bowls and spatulas to "clean".
Really, we're scary efficient when it comes to churning out baked goods. This time, we whipped up sage garlic bread, blackberry coconut bread, cinnamon bread, and mango tres leches cake in less than three hours.
(At least we had one savory item this time. Last time we made cranberry tart, French apple cake, and Paula Deen's insanely decadent pumpkin pie. My heart still hurts when I think about that one.)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
I recently had the privilege of being a guinea pig for a group of wildly creative and talented gentlemen who go under the name Jet City Gastrophysics.
Their mission? To learn modernist cooking techniques. It isn't easy when one doesn't have a research kitchen and bottomless funding, but sous-vide machines can be built for under $100, and ebay is a great source for lab-grade equipment. (One person's blood sample centrifuge is another's pea butter maker).
They had been preparing for a "Thesis dinner" in April to showcase their newfound knowledge to some very special guests, and a small group of friends and family were invited to attend the trial dinner (it was limited to friends and family, so we'd be too polite to sue in case of food poisoning).
You can read the official writeup on the Seattle Weekly blog, but I've got more, let's say, disturbing, pictures.
The dinner started with a plate of gorgeous home-cured duck breast prosciutto, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and edible flowers. Mr. Eric Rivera has some serious knife skills.
It was an Asian-themed dinner, so chopsticks were the primary utensils. It should be noted that authenticity was not the point of the dinner; the flavors are Asian-inspired, but the food is uniquely Jet City Gastrophysics.