Friday, August 10, 2012


Back in March, my friend Erica asked me to help make some Pinkalicious sugar cookies for her daughter, Reese's birthday. Pinkalicious is a book about a girl who ate a bunch of pink dessert especially pink cupcakes and thus, turned pink. I never read the story before but it looked adorably pretty! I also never made frosted sugar cookies in my life, how hard can it be? I said yes and then experiment a bit.

Oh boy, it took me hours to make just six cookies. But I already said yes, and I never say no to a challenge (well depends on what), so I got off work and started baking!!

I bought a set of three Wilton cookie cutters that has a cupcake shaped one. I want the cookies to be thin but not so thin that it breaks easily.

Bake until the edge is golden brown, and let it cool completely. Then time to frost!!

Cookie icing can be made with powder sugar and egg whites or meringe powder. I decided to use meringe powder since these are for little kids. I don't want to risk using egg whites even though the risk is quite low.

The hardest part about decorating cookies is waiting. I cannot apply the next layer until the first layer is dry, otherwise the second color will fuse with the first.

Hours after hours, layers after layers, they're ready and done!! The icing color dry lighter.

I also made a crown for Reese. I hope she liked it.

Iced sugar cookies are hard work! Nevertheless, I'm really glad I had a chance to make it though, and definitely appreciate those who hand -make their own too.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mussels in Spicy Broth

I love mussels and would always order it if the restaurant offers it. I bought some really nice sustainable clams and mussels from I Love Blue Sea back in September, and was super excited to try making this delicious shellfish myself.

I was also very nervous cooking them because I never cook mussels before. I did some research on how to clean them and found a really nice and super easy recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis. She also used clams and shrimps, which I did not include this time.

How I Clean Mussels:
1. The night or several hours before: In a bowl, place mussels with salt water (~1/4 cups salt to 2 cups water).
2. Then sprinkle generous amount of cornmeal on top of the mussels.
3. Cover in foil, and place in refrigerator.
4. The next day or several hours later: Pour the dirty water away (there should be lots of dirt and debris).
5. Pull the beard off the side of the mussels toward the hinge of the shell.
6. With a brush, clean the shell of mussels in running water.
7. Mussels are then ready to use!

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 24 mussels (about 1 1/2 pounds total), debearded
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves

  • Direction:

    1. Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, bay leaf, and crushed red pepper. Saute until the garlic is tender, about 1 minute.

    2. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the flavors blend, about 5 minutes.

    3. Stir in the mussels. Cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes longer.
    Using a tongs, transfer the opened shellfish to serving bowls (discard any shellfish that do not open).

    4.  Serve with the warm bread.

    Bon Appetit!

    Wednesday, August 1, 2012

    I'm Back!

    It's been quite a long while since I last updated. A lot of eating had happened between then and now. I have a bunch of food adventures that took places nearby as well as somewhere on my vacations that I have yet to share.

    I'm back, and I'm ready to blog again! Stay tunes!!

    Sunday, March 11, 2012

    Semi-Homemade: Chinese Style BBQ Chicken

    Have you ever had Chinese BBQ pork aka Char Siu? It's sweet and savory, and if you get it from really good poultry shop, it will be super flavorful! If don't buy it from the right Chinese poultry shop though, it can be too fat or so lean that it's rough. Well tonight, I'd decided to make Chinese style BBQ chicken instead. I decided to use drumstick because it's so tender and so juicy...and well, it was also on sale!

    I got this recipe from my mom. She used to make it with chicken wings whenever she knows she's short for time to make dinner. The recipe is super simple. The aroma that the BBQ sauce released was insanely good. I was salivating while waiting for it to bake.

    12 drumsticks
    1 cup of Chinese BBQ sauce/ Char Siu Sauce
    2 tbsp honey
    1 tbsp warm water

    1. Marinade the drumsticks a day or a few hours ahead by mixing the chicken with the Chinese BBQ sauce.
    2. Cover and refridgerate until ready to bake.
    3. Preheat oven to 375F.
    4. Wrap a baking sheet with foil and place the drumsticks on it.

    5. In a bowl with a brush, mix the honey and water together.
    6. After baking the drumsticks for 40 minutes, pull it out and brush them with honey water mixture.

    7. Bake for another 5 minutes until skin is crisp.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012


    2214 BroadwayOakland, CA
    (510) 444-7586

    Came here for a party of 4 on a Friday night. It was dim, busy and noisy. The restaurant has a open kitchen, thus the night was filled with smell of grease.
    My friends and I started with the charred carrot veloute, it was creamy and the taste was unique. The soup was very sweet though, totally not expecting it. We also had the plum charcuterie. It was assorted meat platter with really tasty meat and pickled carrots. I highly recommend the beet boudin noir. It was crispy and so, so flavorful!

    Plum Charcuterie
    For entree, I had the sturgeon in place of the halibut, and it was pretty good. It was cooked to a crispy outter and soft inner perfection, with a side of housemade buttermilk tartare-liked sauce. I had a bite of the pork belly, and it was pretty rough and salty, and was not tender at all.

    Columbia River Sturgeon
    For dessert, we had the fruit parfait and it was very unique and delicoius. Instead of it being like yogurt topped with fruits, it was presented like a sliced cake.
    The meal was pretty good overall. But service was a little terrible. Our waiter didn't really come and check on us, and didn't really fill our water. Another waitress had to fill it while he was busy chatting with other people. Also, it took forever to get our check and change.  I don't know if I'll go back.