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Posts from the ‘Bread & Sweets’ Category

Holding onto my last pumpkin puree of the year

Pumpkin is such a seasonal ingredient. It is almost impossible to find a can of pumpkin puree unless it’s around Thanksgiving time. (Yes, I use a canned ones for making pumpkin bread and am not ashamed of it. :)) Most markets stopped carrying them right after thanksgiving. So when I saw stacks of them at a health food store  (They were talking to me. ‘Last call, sister. Last call’) I bought 6 of them. ‘Cause I knew I won’t be seeing these babies till next year’s Thanksgiving ….so here I am, holding on to my last pumpkin puree of the year…
I posted my pumpkin bread recipe back in October. But I liked this recipe so much I had to share.
October pumpkin bread I posted is ‘cakey ‘deliciousness but this one is more like…..’bready’ deliciousness. Something you want to have for breakfast with a cup of coffee without getting sugar high. It’s now or never, I mean till next year, so go grab that last pumpkin puree of the year~~

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Cardamom-Honey Christmas Cookies

I have been in a cooking slump for last few days. Short rib I made the other night didn’t cook in time for dinner, I burned my husband’s breakfast (I was making ‘Bull’s eye’-toast with egg in the middle), mango I bought was all dried out inside when I cut it, apples I bought were all bruised, kiwis were not ripe…….
So I stepped a way from the kitchen….no more cooking for a few days. Christina, put down your spatula and especially that knife…Take a deep breath and step away from the kitchen.
So my husband hit Mcdoland’s for breakfast on his way to work, we ate out every single night and I barely opened the refrigerator.
Today, I caught a glimpse of my unloved kitchen while I hung out at our backyard with the dogs.
I took a deep breath and bravely walk towards it. I stroke my little innocent stand mixer and oven. They didn’t do anything wrong….ok, I’m going to bake Christmas cookies. Maybe Baby Jesus will give me extra strength that I needed to get out of this cooking slump. Happy Holidays, everyone! 🙂

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Fennel ice cream

Don’t be so vanilla. 🙂 ….  I love good vanilla ice cream especially the ones where you can see those little black dots. But my favorite flavor is Fennel! Fennel ice cream is new vanilla in my kitchen. I made it along with black sesame ice cream (I will post it!) last year’s Holiday party, all my guests loved it. How would I describe the taste?….Hmmm,,,,It does taste like vanilla (There is no vanilla added in the recipe though) but with a bit of an edge. Trust me, it will become your new favorite flavor. Now go  to your significant others, give them a hint, wink wink : add ice cream machine to your Christmas list!  I’ve already picked a few items from Amazon and am going to have my husband just ‘click’ for Christmas. Heehee =}

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Chocolate chip cookies

It is a cold and rainy Sunday, husband went to play ice hockey, turkey stock simmering in the kitchen for Thanksgiving, I made korean rice soup for dinner (I will post it next week!) and am reading my book on the couch….hmmm what else can I make for him since he won’t see me for next few days (I will be living in the kitchen preparing the thanksgiving feast (Is anyone freaking out like me? )? I decided to make him a batch of his favorite chocolate chip cookies! A small happiness you feel when you bite into a fresh baked cookie (or would you rather have a sip of cognac? :)) at the base of the ski mountain. I wanted him to feel that small happiness when he comes home from the hockey. These amazing (crispy outside, soft inside) cookies are from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa, my favorite…although I would like to tweak her hairdo just a little…sorry, Ina-I still love you.

Hope everyone has wonderful Thanksgiving! (If you overeat and feel too uncomfortable, you can’t even sit up…take a shot of apple cider vinegar ( Mix 1 Tablespoon unfiltered apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup cold water and 1 Tablespoon liquid probiotic-sweet one) it will help your digestion and your tummy will feel much better!! or you will be ready to go for a round 2.)
By the way, my husband ate 9 of these cookies when he got home……
Happy Thanksgiving~~~xoxo

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Angel food cake with white chocolate frosting

I had this most amazing angel food cake at a wedding cake shop in La Jolla one time. (It was $10 a piece….yikes) and since then I have been looking for that perfect angel food cake – ‘heavenly’ white and moist, not yellow, dry or rubbery. I have been looking and experimenting…and then I found this recipe in Italian…noooo.
With the help of ‘google translate’ and measure conversion chart, I finally made my perfect angel food cake that was good enough to feed angels. I frosted it with white chocolate cream and drizzled cameral sauce over but you can do whatever you want-just simple whipped cream with strawberries sounds so delightful as well, doesn’t it?

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Chocolate pudding bites

I look at a dessert menu first when I go to a restaurant…anyone else do the same?!? no? yes? What’s the fun of having dinner without dessert, right? yes? no? I hate when I’m excited to see the dessert menu and person you are having dinner with said ‘I’m good without it’. Wawawawaaaaaa~~~~

I made these little chocolate pudding bites at a culinary school as Petite four given out after dinner. And I make these quite often at home. I slowly find my way to the refrigerator, pop one of these in my mouth and make it way back to the living room….like nothing happened…It’s just perfect sweet something after dinner. The mint dark chocolate shaving I used had a little specs of sea salt so it is perfect little sweet  & salty something! If you double the recipe and use half sheet pan, you can have fancy little dessert bites perfect for holiday cocktail parties!. Please do not say no to dessert.

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Pistachio and dried cherry biscotti

Sometimes, I go on a what I call ‘biscotti phase’. I obsessively make 3~4 batches of different kinds a week and give away….I love biscotties – I feel more like a grown up…haha! Something about dipping in coffee, mocha,dessert wine, milk(especially nutella biscotti which I will post soon – it’s my version of oreo and milk :))

This one has pistachio, dried cherry, oat, lemon/orange zest…it’s super flavorful and delicious. Biscotti translate as  ‘twice baked’. It’s baked first as a log then you cut them into slices and goes back in the oven again till dried out and become crispy. Making them is really fun. So next time, try making biscotties instead of regular cookies. Make yourself  a nice cup of coffee, forget the ‘to-do’ list for a moment, turn on that Pandora and have a lovely ‘ME’ time….xoxo

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Bee pollen honey panna cotta

Panna cotta means ‘cooked cream’…not that I speak Italian…:) But I always liked the meaning of it because it’s, yes, that easy! You just cook cream, add a little gelatin and let it chill. That’s it! Once you realize how easy it is to make, you can make all kinds of variety of it. You can add buttermilk, lemon, green tea, your favorite Oolong tea, coffee, hazelnut, mint, sage, saffron, midori sour, kahlua, baileys….you name it. I came up with this recipe for my culinary school graduation menu and ever since that, it became one of my dessert cravings. (I was inspired by my favorite kitchen memoir , Spiced by Dalia Jurgensen. If you haven’t read it yet, read it – You will love it. ) If you don’t like bee pollen….oh well, too bad…hahahahahahaha….I just happened to like bee pollen. It’s earthy and floral at the same time. (See my post about my ‘secret’ cold remedy.) As toppings, I made sweet gingery almonds for crunchiness and blackberry compote(fancy word for dessert syrup/sauce usually made with fruits) for tartness. Hope you all like it as much as I do. xoxo

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Halloween cupcakes for grown ups

Who said only kids can have fun on halloween? Halloween is the only day where we can dare to wear a hooker shoes and strut down the street, right? Why not make these scrumptious chocolate cupcake (coffee in there- so don’t feed these to your kids) with mascarpone frosting (Baileys in there-so don’t feed these to your kids either) and have some grown ups trick or treat?

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Blueberry cupcake with maple brown butter frosting

My dearest friend Megan came up to visit me from San Diego. I love when she comes. We workout, cook, eat, yoga, watch chick flicks on the couch…dye each other’s hair…
And she made these ridiculous cupcakes for me. She got the recipe from a blog called ‘Ming makes cupcakes‘.
What can I say, ‘Ming, I love you. Please keep making cupcakes.’ and thank you for posting.

I recreated what she made and gosh it is so good! Let’s just say what can not taste good with brown butter, right? I always try to modify a recipe but just this one, just this one….I followed the exact recipe. It tastes so divine, I don’t want to mess it up….

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