Welcome to my blog, where one may find all sorts of random, hopefully amusing tidbits about food & other things.

December 9, 2013

intense pumpkin pie.

I know Thanksgiving passed, but I heard a Christmas song today that referenced pumpkin pie.

"When they pass around the coffee and the puuuummmppkin pie."

So this pie is still relevant. The "intense" part of the name is a reflection of how I like to live life - intensely. Running the Big Chill (5K) in the freezing cold at 9am on a Saturday? Intense. Breaking down 50 boxes and getting a major paper cut on my wrist at work? Intense. Brushing my teeth this morning? Intense.

Whether you agree with me on the above is irrelevant - just know that making this pie is not a simple process. It is totally different from the pumpkin pie recipe I posted 2 years ago. [Wow has it been two years?!] This one involves a cooked filling, ginger, candied yams, and heavy cream. Sounds pretty good to me so far ..

December 2, 2013

thai turkey meatballs.

I'm running a 5K in six days. I thought I'd share how I am preparing for this, as I consider myself an elite athletic guru.

1. Don't run for several weeks. In the meantime, stay up late both because you are hanging with yo buds and because you overcommitted yourself, so you have lots of responsibilities to take care of.

2. Make lots of tasty treats, like german vanilla cake. Also, don't hold back on dem Thanksgiving mashed potatoes and gravy.

3. Randomly force yourself to run one day. Run so much after such a hiatus that you feel very sore (but good sore) the next day.

November 25, 2013

homemade pumpkin puree.

I've had two baby pumpkins forever (only one is shown above .. the other was already chopped). They've been waiting patiently on the counter for about a month, while I've been watching them decline into what was soon to be foul fish-smelling, melting, rotting orange flesh (I hope none of you have ever experienced a severely neglected pumpkin).

Fortunately, recently I was able to come back to the apartment in time to make dinner! A rare occurrence mind you. 

And before I starting sauteeing onions, mushrooms, corn, and alfalfa sprouts with farro and egg, I prepared these pumpkins for a nice toasty visit to the oven.

November 17, 2013

red wine chocolate cake.

I recently bought this wine - it's called Sweet Red and total college budget level (Carlo Rossi anyone?). Wine is definitely growing on me, especially red. I mean no big deal that I can't pair it with food or make any knowledgable comment about it whatsoever, but I'm slowly learning!

So this Sweet Red. I tried it, and was like, yeah it's totally sweet! Then I looked at the label and was like oh yeah. It's totally less than 10% alcohol. So it's sort of like juice. Right?

Ha ha. Kidding. But that's more sugar than I would want in an occasional drink with dinner. So I decided that it must be put into cake. It made perfect sense to me. And apparently to Deb from Smitten Kitchen, too, because that's where I found the recipe for this delicious cake.

November 11, 2013

chocolate chip cookies II.

Oh baking. It's been so long.

This is embarrassing to admit, but from the moment I started beating butter with the sugars for these (albeit normal, but delicious) cookies, I literally became so happy. It was like somebody injected ... I don't know what drug makes you super relaxed (crack pie from momofuku??), but that, directly into my veins and instantly circulated throughout my body.

October 25, 2013

parasite (in foot) cake.

Okay. Give me a chance to explain.

I'm in a Parasite Ecology class/lab. Recently, the class was assigned this creative extra project sort of thing that we could do for a chance to win a large fish to dissect in lab. Large fish = more parasites for my partner and I to isolate!

The result of my attempt? this cake.

I actually initially wanted to write a blogpost on this endeavour to validate the fact that I didn't just find a picture online - that I actually baked, shaped, and created this beauty (if that's what you'd like to call it).

October 18, 2013

pumpkin pie bars.

Let me tell you about a fantastic baked good I recently had. I would say it is the best pumpkin item I've ever had.

Okay. Imagine a homemade yeasted bread. Sort of like really fresh bakery bread. It's not too sweet, which works in this case. Now imagine a ton of crumb pieces the size of ping pong balls (maybe a little smaller, but not by much) embedded on top of the bread. The crumbs are brown sugary, cinnamony, and buttery. What with the crumbs and dusting of powdered sugar, you don't notice the inside until you cut into the loaf. What do you find?

Swirls. Thick, massive indulgent swirls of straight up pumpkin pie, in the bread. Sometimes you get a slice that is more pumpkin pie than bread. You find that good things finally happen to good people.

October 5, 2013

random foodie finds.

The commencement of my final undergraduate year of college has changed me, I think. I have this incessant desire to always be changing things up. This could mean going apple picking (and also eating the freshest, most plush, heavenly cider doughnuts to exist on this earth) on a gorgeous sunny Saturday, whiling away three hours at Brother Jimmy's BBQ with frozen margaritas and nachos on hump day, staying up till 5am unexpectedly, or establishing a weekly routine of getting lunch with the best friend before starting a long week.

I just noticed that most of my best days involve food in some capacity. I don't think I'd have a food blog if I weren't super into it .. right?

Today was another such day. Some of the random foodie finds in this post are from today, others are from early September when I spent too much time in visited a Fairway Market.

October 2, 2013

open-faced garden sandwich.

I'm a fan of the "super healthy meals, indulgent desserts" lifestyle (at least until my metabolism completely breaks down). Lately, actually, I've been pretty on top of cooking almost all my meals or eating salads when I do go to the dining hall. Desserts are at a minimum. And I've exercised three mornings in a row!

But there's always that one day that trips you up. The week leading up to that day could have been long. You might have been stuck in a 3-hr lab killing live fish with scalpels and smashing snails with rusty wrenches before massacring their bodies in search of teeny tiny parasites (and disappointingly not finding any :( ) An odd allergy season may have descended.

On these days, you eat a sandwich like this one. And then you go out to Brother Jimmy's with the girls to share a swamp water and the best pulled chicken nachos you've had in a long time. It's okay. It happens.

August 31, 2013

blueberry roulade.

Classes start September 3, but I did so many new things already this school year - the FINAL year. I stayed up till 4am ... haven't done that since freshman year, probably. I climbed onto the roof of a building at night, and had a great view of the lights and landscape. I will have participated in 5 Dance Marathon events in the past week (RUDM 2014 LET'S GO).

August 24, 2013

mango coconut cream cake.

With school starting soon, lots of things need to get done. I went to the bicycle shop today to get my bike repaired (a tube in the tire needed to be replaced). I packed half my clothes. I hauled my MCAT books up from the basement, although I still haven't made a decision on whether a retake is happening or not.

I also went to the dentist to get my teeth checked before a semester of stress eating and potachos healthy eating. I also learned how to use those little floss picks. I've never flossed before though, and the past few times I have, my gums start bleeding immediately! It sucks! I know it's normal, but I'm so wary of pushing my flosser vertically down between my teeth.

I need to get over it. Just like I finally got over any doubts I had about chiffon cakes with this cake.

August 17, 2013

review: Ava's Cupcakes.

Have you heard of the Cronut craze? People are going nuts after them ... all thanks to Dominique Ansel, who invented and (I believe) trademarked Cronuts. After hearing so much about it, I decided I needed to know what the hubbaloo was about, despite my aversion to donuts.

Hubbaloo reminds me of The Jungle Book ... I'm too young to say "I'm dating myself" by saying that, but I think I am. 

Anyway, cronuts are donuts that have been made with a croissant-esque (laminated) dough. The result is a very flaky fried treat. At Dominique Ansel's bakery, they fill the cronuts with pastry cream. I looked up the closest place to me where they sell these croissant-donuts, and made it a point to visit.

August 15, 2013

lamington bars.

As of late, I've been having difficulty keeping up with blogposts. Everyone is aware of the usual reasons - it's time-consuming, there are many other things going on, school will get busy soon, etc. So instead of proffering a ton of excuses & still continuing to blog extremely minimally, I have decided to find a working medium.

Instead of my usual rambling posts, I'm going to post mainly pictures & recipes. This will keep the the posts shorter, but still allow me to get everything to you.

Speaking of, let's get to these bars.

July 31, 2013

sesame ginger noodles.

Why are people so wary of self-reflecting? I enjoy it .. it's not like I do it every second I get and look forward to it with longing, but if I find myself, say, on a 5.5 hour bus ride, with nothing but my iPod to accompany me, I let my mind wander.

And eventually, after thinking about how excited I am to bake again, speculating on my relationships with people, and still trying to get over the $14,000 on-campus apartments at BU, my mind turns to me. I don't know about everyone else, but I like seeing how much I have changed and the amount of experiences I've gone through for the past couple years. It makes me more appreciative.

July 23, 2013

cream cheese fruit tart.

I always feel a little bad about incorporating fruit into batters and baking them. I would so much rather find ways to include seasonal summer fruit into desserts raw, in their natural form.

This tart was actually eaten on the fourth of July ... aren't I a little late. But it can be delicious even during less patriotic times; it's definitely an everyday, perfect make-ahead tart.

July 6, 2013

one-bowl toaster oven chocolate chip cookies.

Despite the heat, I still keep using the oven. One day when I had a hankering for something sweet, but didn't want to flood the house with waves of heat rolling out from the kitchen, I decided to use the toaster oven.

And lo and behold, one of the blogs I regularly follow had a recipe for toaster oven chocolate chip cookies! It was fate. I also hadn't made chocolate chip cookies in forever, and my brothers always appreciate a break from the random, creative, awesome sometimes unusual things I prefer to bake.

June 28, 2013

carrot cake whoopie pies.

I've been having the weirdest dreams. Usually, they're random, but lately they've been reflecting what goes on during my days ... and I have to say, it kind of worries me.

Two days ago, I was volunteering at a hospice. I chatted for a while with this 100 year old lady who was so so sweet and kept giving me life advice that was pretty applicable (except for the part where I have to marry my [nonexistent] boyfriend, have kids, and stay at home to raise them). I also chatted with and kept company to some people who unfortunately had dementia. That night, I dreamed I was losing my memory and had to be placed in a nursing home .. at age 21. 

Another night, I was reading a novel (House of God) that has to do with the psychological breakdown of a medical intern. I'm pre-med, mind you, and am not looking forward to the lifestyle detailed in the novel. You can imagine the depressing dreams I had that night. 

As a result, I decided I need to start focusing on more positive things, things I know make me happy. I would say carrot cake whoopie pies make me happy.

June 26, 2013

fortune cookies.

These fortune cookies are from forever ago. A time when I was busy applying for a Director position for RUDM 2014. Since I was applying for the Hospitality team, and wanted a somewhat creative presentation, I decided to make fortune cookies.

I feel like they're one of those things people never think to make from scratch. Like pancakes, waffles, and whipped cream. As is expected, the from-scratch version is always better .. INFINITELY better. I can barely have Reddi-wip anymore! I can't remember the last time I made pancakes from a mix .. well okay, I can't remember the last time I had pancakes.

Anyway, so these fortune cookies. I ended up eating a third of the ones I made .. as I was making them. They were that good.

June 2, 2013

magic custard cake.

This blew people away when it first entered the online foodie world. The many variations (nut, chocolate, butterscotch) that immediately followed on foodgawker showed that I was clearly not the only one intrigued by this cake.

As a side note, it's been forever since I last blogged. I had a lot going on for a while .. and now it's summer break ("break") and I have a little more time & a lot more ridiculous thoughts, so it's appropos to gradually re-enter this little blog I guess I've created for myself + whoever else may be interested.

Nothing has really changed .. I did get my interest in baking back! It'd gone away for an alarmingly long while as exams and quick meals of roasted veggies dominated my life.

April 27, 2013

strawberry banana milkshake.

So much pondering going on lately.

Like whether I should buy hot pink lipstick (Persian Melon sounds so enticing). 

Why there are no science classes available next semester.

What to do for my RU Dance Marathon Board of Director presentation.

And about what to bake. I've finally been eating healthy on a more regular basis, which means not a lot of baked goods. As a result, I barely crave them anymore. Which technically is good, but so sad! I feel like I've lost my inspiration for baking. 

Milkshakes aren't baking, but I've been making them a lot recently. They're not your indulgent it's-really-just-melted-ice-cream with sugary fruit syrup drink. They're pretty light. And they're great for reasons more than just how they taste, too.

March 17, 2013

buttermilk waffles (optional: wutella).

Happy St. Patrick's Day! My roommate and I are on spring break, but we're pretending to be Irish for the day.

Green's not really my color, so I'm not such a good faux-Irish, but I do have these awesome waffles to share! My brothers decided they wanted waffles this morning. So I left my bowl of half-cooked oatmeal (the poor little oats sodden in a pool of almond milk) in the microwave, and started scooping out flour and buttermilk.

March 3, 2013

spicy sweet potato quinoa cakes.

Good food is so satisfying. Think about your best memories. Some of them must involve food.

That's how I remember most of my vacations, trips, events and stuff. Arizona I remember for the absolutely fabulous (virgin) pina coladas and from-scratch taquitos served poolside. Krakow is marked by my very first meal in Poland - hollandaise over fish, with rosettes of pommes de terre broiled to a golden crisp. I actually wrote a college essay on this one (and Rutgers liked it enough to take me). I have a memory of a wedding in which I literally remember nothing but the enormous dessert array arranged along the perimeter of the venue.

February 15, 2013

heart cupcakes.


Did you have any delicious treats on Valentine's Day? Chocolate, maybe? I hope it was dark. 60% and above only, please.

I was treated to a lot of Reese's pb cups, Lindt orange chocolate, sugar cookies, and a hilarious valentine's card. I know it's a controversial holiday, but it's nice to see all you have to be thankful for. Your love doesn't only extend to a significant other! Remember your siblings? And the (brave, let's be honest) people who raised you? I'm sure they deserve your appreciation, too.

February 10, 2013

review: Swad portable bhel puri!

I'm a fan of all food. Other than red meat, I will try (and eat) anything. There are two characteristics of food that particularly appeal to me.

One is a cute or interesting name. You could make regular homemade pudding, put it in fancy glasses, call it budino, and I would be sold. If you want to attract my total attention on foodgawker, put "creme," "creamy," or "custard" in the name. Affogato. Kulcha. Frangipane. I love them all, even more so because they just sound so delicious to say. 

I guess that also explains my attraction to foreign desserts. Besides sounding pretty, their cultural background is so intriguing. 

The second aspect of food is size - I love love love mini food. Whoopie pies? Why not make them a little larger than a quarter! Those fudgy two-bite brownies at Shoprite? Beautiful. Individual pot pies in ramekins? So good. 

February 7, 2013

hummingbird cake: birthday edition.

(Pictures coming soon ... actually that's a lie, we finished the cake off yesterday. Oops, sorry!)

My birthday was in January. My roommates made me a cake ... it's tradition, we've talked about this.

First we went out to Jose Tejas for a belated birthday dinner. The wait was pretty long, as they don't take reservations (why), but it was soo worth it. Their food? Very good. I recommend the swordfish tacos veracruz, with fresh mango salsa and grilled avocado. I also recommend at least one margarita, preferably strawberry. Delicious and dangerous if taken on an empty stomach. 

The very fun night ended with us chilling till late, talking and joking around while picking out of this cake, in traditional fashion. 

January 23, 2013

quinoa patties.

These are just the most delicious little things. I'm growing an affinity for quinoa. It's so versatile, and if made in big batches, it can be incorporated into a ton of things. You could make pilaf with quinoa, rice and lentils. You could toss them into soup for texture and protein. Or you could make quinoa cakes, or patties, like I did here.

I didn't follow a recipe, and I don't think you should either. I wanted something really healthy for lunch and figured these would work. They did.

January 17, 2013

single serving, guilt-free molten lava cake.

Have you ever had those mornings where you wake up super early, for seemingly no reason?

You're dreaming and then suddenly, you just drift into awakedness. You don't want to open your eyes for fear of losing your chance of falling back asleep, so you keep your eyes squeezed shut and try to think of the most boring things ever .. like taxes and school.

But eventually, you can't take the suspense anymore, because really, what time is it anyway? Is it acceptably late enough to wake up yet? So you open your eyes.

And it's pitch black darkness. You hear your dad in the shower, and you know your dad wakes up at 5:30am everyday. Damn it.

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