Friday, February 24, 2012

{close up}

Cambodia | Andrea
El Peñon de Guatapé, Colombia | John C.
Seoul | James
San Francisco | Hana
California | Anabel
...and a cameo from Pax.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

a message from the stick-man

My friend, Setiam, sent this to me. I watched the whole thing, enthralled! Draw your own stick-man here and see what happens.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eggs in a Basket

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And for me, you can't beat an over medium egg and slice of toast. (Unless you're my mother and you cook a Korean feast for breakfast).

I had been meaning to try this whole 'eggs in a basket' thing since watching V for Vendetta (yes, like 5 years ago) and spotting this version on the Paupered Chef, so I finally did this weekend. Now, I don't know if it was because I cooked it on a glorious Saturday or because it's called Eggs in a Basket (and that's just fun), but this tasted SO MUCH BETTER than my usual egg slapped on a piece toast....which now sounds totally boring. Anyways, Eggs in a Basket + squeeze of Trader Joe Ketchup & 3 dots of Siracha = Breakfast Win.

To prepare: Cut a 2 1/2 inch circle into your any kind of thick cut toast.
Heat a non-stick pan with non-cooking spray (or butter). Heat the bread and center pieces, then crack your egg into the center and season with salt and pepper. Once the bread is nice and toasty, gently turn over and cook till the other side is golden brown and egg is cooked to your liking.

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Monday, February 20, 2012


Watching: Finally saw The Artist! The throwback to old Hollywoodland, the expressiveness of the characters, the cheesiness & one liners, the costumes (!)...I laughed, I was in suspense, I was sad; amazing how a silent film can make you feel so much. Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo--these are two of the most likeable smiles ever.

Feeling: My product savvy sister got me a tube of this Badger lip balm. It isn't too waxy or overly perfumed...and it passed her product safety test. Wooo! Thank you, seester. On a sidenote, can one be addicted to chapstick???

Eating: Breakfast of champions...and my new favorite bread! My friend at work introduced me to Udi's Bread after her long search for a tasty gluten free bread...we are in agreement that it has a certain pound cake texture to it. Gluten free or not, it's yummy and worked perfectly for my eggs in a basket.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

chocolate chip banana bread {muffins}

Got some overripe bananas? This recipe is amazingly simple; yet the bread comes out fluffy, light, and perfectly special equipment or fancy ingredients needed. I usually make them into loafs, but these portion controlled muffins made for a great dessert/breakfast treat. 

You'll need:
2 cups flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn baking powder
1 tspn salt
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3-4 very ripe bananas
1 tspn vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 tspn cinnamon
*optional: semi-sweet chocolate chips tossed in a teaspoon of flour; confectioners sugar

1) Place peeled bananas in a small bowl and microwave for about 25-30 seconds. Mash with a fork and set aside to cool.
2) In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3) In a separate large bowl, mix eggs and sugar together. Stir in the bananas, vanilla, oil and cinnamon, then add the flour mixture a third at a time. Mix to combine.
4) Optional: stir in chocolate chips. I forgot where I learned this, but if you toss the choco chips in a little bit of flour, they won't sink to the bottom when baking.
5) For muffins, bake at 325 for 18-22 minutes or until fluffy, and golden brown on top.

If you decide to make banana bread, divide batter into two 9x5 loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes to an hour.

Recipe courtesy of Cathy Lowe via the Food Network

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012


I saw The Grey 2 Fridays ago...and was just recently able to stop thinking about it. That was until 2 nights ago when I had a nightmare where I was being hunted by wolves in South America. (It’s now haunting me in my subconscious). I liked the movie (in hindsight), just be warned: it’ll stick with you...and it's not necessarily what you’d expect. P.S. Liam Neeson, how did you so seamlessly transition into roles where you are constantly kicking ass (wolf, kidnappers or other?)

Eating: Have you guys tried Burrata Cheese? It’s mozzarella, but the inside is filled with mozzarella and cream. It’s delicious. I had bookmarked a recipe for over a year that features burrata as the star ingredient and finally had the chance to make it for some friends this past weekend. Recipe to come!

Feeling/smelling: Coconut oil. I feel like I’ve been hearing/reading a lot about this lately…not so much for it's cooking uses but for hair/skin care. So I decided to give it a try as a nighttime moisturizer for my dry skin. My sister gave me some tips for usage and despite smelling like a tropical dessert (not necessarily a bad thing), I really like it so far.

Currently listening to the Beethoven channel on Pandora. My mom used to play classical music CD's while I was doing homework or studying for a test when I was a kid. (Lots of Beethoven & Mozart then..and of course Manheim Steamroller during the holidays). I hope this helps alleviate my recent scatterbrain.

Monday, February 13, 2012

simple pleasures

These past few days have felt full & busy. Yet despite all the running around and to-do's (that did and didn't get done), the weekend's events all boiled down to simple pleasures that don't cost a thing. 
Celebrating my dad's birthday, (and seeing him watch youtube videos of magicians with childlike awe), being in the kitchen with my mom and aunts (and learning a new Korean recipe or two), late night conversations & laughs with friends, play time with the pup, continuing traditions and starting new ones, fresh rain...ooh, and freshly laundered that. Happy [Mon]day everyone. :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

treehouse bandits

Meet Super Bunny, Giant Cat Bear, and Charlie (and pet broccoli), of the Treehouse Bandits.

They're having a book release party this Saturday, so drop by if you're in the L.A. area:

Saturday, February 11 from 7-10pm
Happy Six
2115 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025

Congrats to the creator, office stomper and everyone's friend, Kevin S.

'For kids and the kids at heart. Never give up on your dreams'. (!)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

more from uncooked

I did some more browsing on the uncooked website and came upon some treasures. Something different and kind of quirky...just in time for Valentine's Day. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

s'more stuffed cookies

I had been eying this recipe from Jenny over at Picky Palate for quite some time. How can you go wrong here, really? S'more? Awesome. Chocolate chip cookie? Yes. S'more...inside a cookie? That's... electric.

My first batch were horrendous looking. They looked like a band of misfit cookies...led by a storm trooper. Second batch looked better, but mine came out much more pillowy than I expected. (Texture reminded me of these cookies). Regardless, they were pretty delicious. And fun to see people's reactions to what they were.

They taste best soon after they are made, but if you're eating them the next day, just heat them up for about 15-20 seconds and enjoy. :)

S'mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
(courtesy of Jenny Flake--Picky Palate)

2 sticks butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups flour
1 tspn baking soda
1 tspn kosher salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips)

1 package of graham crackers
Marshmallows (regular sized cut in half)
3 Hershey chocolate bars broken into individual pieces

Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together. Mix in chocolate chips until well combined.

I really liked this cookie dough. Like I mentioned, the texture and fluffiness of the final cookies is similar to the brownie stuffed cookie I made a while back, but this dough was much easier to work with. I liked that it didn't stick to my hands during assembly which was my biggest qualm about the brookie recipe (must be all that buttaaa).

I ended up making a few "smaller" versions of this cookie by putting a smaller s'more in the middle. They were still HUGE. To assemble s'more cookie:

1)  Roll out spoonfuls of cookie dough into "patties". Press graham cracker into the bottom layer.
2) Layer with marshmallow, chocolate and another graham cracker.
3) Top off with another cookie patty.
4) Close the edges to make your giant monster cookie.

I played around with the assembly quite a bit. I made full size, half size, quarter size; rolled them in crushed graham crackers before baking, mixed in some crushed graham crackers into the dough before rolling out... It's kind of hard to mess these up.

Jenny's directions were to bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes, but my full size cookie took about 20-24. So keep an eye on them, till they are brown around the edges. Let cool and enjoy.

**Update: Tips and Tricks to make these bad boys here

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