Monday, January 30, 2012

counting cards

Do you guys collect anything? Stamps, keychains, magnets? My friend Jeff has an impressive collection of matches from all over the globe...

I like cards. I like writing them, receiving them, pop outs ones, colorful ones, plain ones, I like 'em all! (except if they have glitter on Anyways, I've become quite the collector without even knowing it. They were scattered all over, on my desk, in my books, in file folders, so I finally gathered them together so I can remember to use them. If you share my affinity, here are some good ones...nerds unite. (!)

The one I have...and a few more thoughts of Edward Monkton

(L) Birthday wishes by Uncooked (p.s.: This made me laugh)/(R) Frog by Paperchase

Embroidered Dino bybelinda

City pop-up cards. I got one as a gift from my friend, Genie. They have a D.C. & S.F. set as well. Available here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

coconut madeleines


Ah Madeleines. I love these, if only for their cute, dainty shape. It is just an added bonus that these are so dang delicious. And although I was never really a huge fan of coconut in the past, I'm finding myself gravitating towards recipes that have it as an ingredient. It's very subtle in this recipe and adds a nice sweetness and texture. (It's also killer in this granola). These taste best right out of the oven, but as Ina advises, can also be enjoyed the next day, dipped in your tea. :)

From Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten
(makes 24 Madeleines)

3 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tspn pure vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup flour
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tspn baking powder
¼ tspn kosher salt
1/3 cup sweetened coconut

1 ½ Tbsp melted butter to grease the pan

Confectioners’ sugar
Zest from one lemon or orange

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter madeleine pan.

Beat eggs, sugar, vanilla until light yellow and fluffy. If you’re using an electric mixer, use the paddle attachment and beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Next, mix in the melted butter.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.

Stir flour mixture into the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula. Lastly, mix in the coconut and citrus zest.

Spoon batter into the pan, making sure not to overfill. Batter should almost fill the shell.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. They're pretty spongey so they should spring back when you press them.

Pop madelines onto a piece of parchment paper to cool. Dust with confectioners' sugar and enjoy.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

watch list.

The movie trailer app on my phone is killing my sleep schedule! Can't

Do you guys recognize the female lead? She was in a Knight's Tale with Heath Ledger; she played Shannyn Sossamon's maiden lady!

One more...the last part cracks me up!

Friday, January 20, 2012

cowboy caviar dip

When it calls for it, my favorite go to potluck dish is my boss' Cowboy Caviar recipe. (I believe this one came from a firehouse cookbook).

3 reasons I like this dip:
1) It's light and flavorful, with no mayo and no cheese.
2) It's quick to make. Minimal chopping and stirring involved.
3) Tastes good.

I think the first time I had it, I nearly ate the whole bowl as my dinner. Winner, winner.


15.5 oz can of Black Eye Peas
15.5 oz can Mexicorn (mix of corn and peppers)
4 large tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion chopped
2 avocados, cubed

To make dressing, combine:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tspn oil
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp hot sauce (I use Tobasco)
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp sugar

Drain and rinse peas and corn. In a large bowl, place peas, corn, tomatoes, onion. Pour dressing into bowl and gently mix to combine ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add avocado before serving and give it another toss.

Serve with chips and enjoy.  
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ddukbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes)


To be able to cook like my mother one day would be a dream. I'll be starting a series here of her recipes; hope you enjoy them as much as I do!


1 package of cooked dduk aka 'rice cakes' - not the Quaker dietary rice snack. The ones you want for this dish can be found in the refrigerator or freezer section of a Korean market. (Or you can buy them fresh at some markets). They have different variations, but the ones traditionally used for this dish basically look like white Nerf Gun darts (why this is the only thing I can think to compare it to right now...I do not know). 

Any combination of veggies. We used: 
1/2 onion 
1/4 red pepper
1/4 green pepper
2 green onions
2 handfuls of mushrooms
*all cut in uniform size-about the same size as the rice cakes. Carrots are are good in here as well.

Fish Cakes, sliced. 

For the sauce, combine: 
1 T cooking wine
4 T Oligodang (which is a natural sweetener/syrup of sorts available at the Korean market--you can also substitute with corn syrup)
1 T soy sauce
4 T Red Pepper Paste
1 1/2 t of garlic
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

("T" here equals one heaping spoonful)

And not shown, but an excellent addition, 1-2 hard boiled eggs.

If you're using refrigerated or frozen dduk, soak in water for a few minutes till they break apart. Bring water to a boil and cook dduk just until they start floating to the top (a few minutes). Strain and set aside.

The rest of this cooking process will take just a few minutes. So beautiful.

Heat pan with oil and quickly saute the vegetables and fish cakes, just about 2-3 minutes. The dduk is already soft in texture, so I prefer the veggies to maintain its texture/crunch, but feel free to cook the veggies longer.

Add dduk and give it just a quick stir to mix in with the veggies. (My mom was very emphatic about doing this quickly; otherwise your you get really mushy dduk). Then immediately add the sauce.
 Mix just long enough to get sauce incorporated. Turn off heat. 

Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and add sliced hard boiled eggs. Enjoy. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

Peter Lindbergh

What a cool project. Some inspiration for your Monday: Julianne Moore by Peter Lindbergh as famous works of art. Check out the rest here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

potato party

My mom first got me into the gardening in 7th grade when she gave me the responsibility of taking care of the cucumber plants in our backyard one season. I watered those babies religiously and watched in awe how they'd turn from flower to fruit (is cucumber a fruit or vegetable?). By the end of the season, I had harvested more than a dozen of these ginormous 12"+ cucumbers. I was amazed.

Years later, my mom is still quite the gardener (and I am still her green apprentice). She planted potato skins in her backyard a while back...and just this past weekend harvested these little bad boys! (still amazed)

If you're interested, here is a more detailed explanation on how to grow your own spuds. Happy planting.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

amaretti cookies


I got this recipe from my current favorite cookbook--David Lebovitz' Ready for Desserts. I like that it has some traditional recipes (biscotti, chocolate chip cookies, pie tarts) but also a sleuth of fancy named yet non-pretentious recipes--all very easy to follow. I've earmarked several of them including passion fruit pound cake, Pineapple + Ruhbarb and Raspberry Cobbler, and Banana Cake with Mocha Frosting and Salted Candied Pecans (say whaaaat!?) The talented Mr. Lebovitz is also incredibly charming in his writing. Each recipe has a story which makes this a really fun cookbook to follow. He is currently living la vie en rose in Paris and blogging his tasty adventures here.

Anyways, back to the cookies. I love them. The ingredients mirror that of a macaron, but these are meant to be a more crispy. I cook them to be a little chewier (see below), but regardless of how you do it, these little things are quite possibly the perfect treat.

1 cup Almond grounds (almond flour)
1 tspn all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 large egg whites (at room temp)
Pinch of salt
6 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tspn almond extract (or vanilla extract if you don't have almond on hand)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees; line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix almond flour, flour, and powdered sugar.
Whip egg whites + salt until frothy; add sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until mixture forms stiff peaks.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients (one third of it at a time) into the egg white mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula. Stir in the almond extract with the last third. 

Fill a freezer bag with the batter (or a pastry bag if you've got one), close and snip one of the bottom corners off (about 1/4"). Pipe batter into 1.5-2 inch diameter cookies, about 3/4 inch apart. I've made these in several different shapes and sizes. If the baking pan is warm or if you let it sit for a few minutes, the tops will smooth over, which will make for a prettier cookie.

These Italian cookies are meant to be crisp, but I prefer to underbake them for more of a macaron texture and chewiness--about 12-14 minutes (rotating halfway between). Remove from heat, and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet before removing with a spatula. (Otherwise they'll stick and break on the sheet).

For crisper cookies, bake for 20 minutes (rotating halfway between) and let dry in the oven for 10 minutes.
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