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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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Power of your Om

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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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Chicken pho

Temperature dropped, I can feel a crisp chill in the air…my Uggs came out so did my appetite for Pho. When we go to vietnamese restaurant, I usually get beef pho with you know, ‘other stuff’ in it. (Tendon, strip, brisket, meatball, eyeball (just kidding)….) but I didn’t want to freak out my husband so I made chicken pho. As much as I love pho in a restaurant, I find them a little too salty for me. It tastes so good at that moment (I love I go way down of the bottom of a bowl) but afterwards, I always get into, what I call, ‘Sodium shock’. -dehydration, regret(I feel that after I eat a big mac), crankiness, not so pleasant taste in my mouth….SO I often make home made pho. And my husband loves, loves it! I like to feed his single friend or friends with girlfriend/wife out of town. So this time again, we called up his friend, Geoff. At the sound of ‘homemade pho’ he ran right over to our place. Pho with extra dose of sriracha…sweat coming down on their faces…oh so cute. (I know I’m weird). I will be making beef pho next week….will post it. 🙂

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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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Homemade pasta night

My chef friend, John Fernadez is an amazing chef who is classically trained in Italy. The other night, we had our friends over at our place for a ‘Pasta night’. We made three different pastas and tiramisu….Seriously I have never had pasta like that in my life. It literally melts in your mouth! Emily (my dear friend & fellow food blogger) and I, Chef John, his friend Niki and Susan(Pastry instructor at my culinary school-my favorite class) working in the kitchen and Susan’s boyfriend, fong and my husband hovering in the background…what an amazing time and food we had!!!

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Eat drink man woman

My friend Emily and I had a lunch today and we were talking to someone at our next table. He told us to watch ‘Eat, drink, man, woman. It sounded good so I searched it on Neflix. And it turned out it was my favorite movie growing up back home….it just didn’t click in my head it as it’s title in English. I watched it again. Aggghhhhh sentimental. I remembered every scene….I myself is a baby girl among three daughters….I miss home, noises of busy streets, smell of street food, my family…..and of course, it’s 10pm and I’m having a serious craving for Chinese food….Great.

‘Mean’ fish taco

Did I say I make ‘mean’ tacos? I mean MEEEAAAANNNN. I do love Lilly’s taco here in Santa Barbara but man.. mine is off the chart good.  heehee …no really.
I moved from San Diego so of course I like my tacos beer battered. Blue moon though. Blue moon! (Just kidding. It just happened to be my favorite beer.) And then there are my two secret sauces-white sauce and pasilla chile sauce…Not so secret anymore now~ Crack open your beer and turn on some reggae. Have a ‘mean’ taco night. And tell me this wasn’t the best fish taco you ever had…..I will come to your house and you can punch my face.

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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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Matcha banana bread

I have been searching for the best banana bread recipe for a long time. I have made a ‘brick’, ‘gooey’,’dry’….at times I had to toss the entire loaf in the trash. Wasted so many bananas, butter….Is there anybody out there feeling this pain? I personally think banana bread is the hardest quick bread to make it good. But after a few melt downs, I finally made the best banana bread ever. It is super moist and flavorful.
I added a teaspoon of matcha green tea. (Don’t get too excited and try to put a lot more. It will taste like pot…in a bad way) Just a teaspoonful of matcha powder adds nice earthiness to the loaf.

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