Friday, November 27, 2009

Cream Puff with Chocolate Custard

Almost every potluck we have at work, one of the scientists' wife always make us cream puff! The light but airy exterior and creamy interior brings joy every time I bite into it. Same goes with Beard Papa's cream puff. =)

Cream puff batter puffing up in the oven.

Cooling down.

Cream puff with chocolate custard.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


I felt like doughnut the other night, and it was freezing cold outside, so I decided to make my own. This recipe is so fast and easy, it makes getting and eating a doughnut much pleasurable!

This recipe does not contain yeast, so the texture is a little more bready, which tastes more like a Chinese sweet doughnut than the American kind.

~ makes 24
1 cup granuated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
3 tablespoon melted butter
vegetable oil for frying
some granuated or confectioner's sugar for dusting

1. Sift together sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and flour.
2. Beat eggs thoroughly, then stir into dry ingredients.
3. Add milk and melted butter.
4. Roll about 1/2 inch thick on a floured board and cut with a donut cutter or round cooking cutter. The donut will puff up when fried.
5. Fry several at a time in 375 degree F oil until browned.
6. Drain on a paper towels.
7. Dust with granuated or confectioner's sugar.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Plant Breeding + Grapefruit Orange Jello

Plants breeding takes many trials and experiments. But it
is through these great experiment that the best traits of similar plant species come together; thus giving us such tasty and unqiue fruits and veggies varieties.

Well, I simply don't have that much time at home to cross two of my favorite citruses together especially when I only get a couple hours after work, therefore, I will take a shortcut.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...grapefruit + orange...Orapefruit!

The picture quality of this slice of "Orapefruit" is not very good here, but if you look closely, you can see orange and white grapefruit pulps!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Egg and Ham Sandwich Maki

Just felt like making something cute today. I present you, egg and ham sandwich maki! Maki means rolls in Japanese by the way.
Basic and hearty ingredients: lettuce, egg, canadian bacon, tomato, and very thinly sliced bread (low carb is the way to go in this maki!) Of course, tuna, roast beef, veggie pattys are rollable too!
This roll actually contains a lot of rolls. Ingredients all wrapped up in soy wrappers.

Rolling rolling rolling. I'm going to cut the roll with a bread knife. Bread knifes are those with small ridges. I use bread knifes to cut a lot of things...fruits, bread, sushi, and almost every soft food with it. I love it because it's good with soft or fragile things so the food can retain its shape.

Viola! Oh yeah, they make good bento box snacks.

Mini Meal and Food Are Cute! + Mini Vanilla Cupcakes & Green Tea Cupcake

The other night I made some mini vanilla cupcakes and green tea cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and green tea buttercream frosting. I love mini food figures and models, same for real food of course! They are too cute!

The green of the cupcake so matches the pink cupcake paper haha.

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe (makes 12 mini cupcakes)
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup graduated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold milk

1. preheat oven to 350 degree F, and line cupcake tins with cupcake liners.
2. Beat butter and sugar with mixer until creamy.
3. Add egg and vanilla.
4. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Mix in the dry mixture to the butter one.
6. Stir in milk.
7. Pour batter into liners about 3/4 full.
8. Bake for 18-24 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
9. Cool cupcakes completely and frost them.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream (makes 2 cups)

6 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2 lb confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. Beat butter with mixer on high speed until pale and creamy.
2. Reduce speed to medium. Add sugar a little at a time.
3. Add vanilla and beat until smooth.
4. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before use.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Salad Soy Wrappers

I felt inspired to make a bunch of hors d'oeuvres the other day after thinking about how the holiday is coming soon, and how much I want to host a mini party consists of only cocktails and finger food.

I then started to think beyond my wildest dreams about how I can convert every kind of food into finger food...all I have to do is just shrink them and make them portable and easy to eat!

The first thing that came to my mind about a meal is appetizer and salad. While appetizer is quite easy to make into hors d'oeuvres, salad is the challenging part. I then remember Vietnamese Summer Roll usually consists of lettuce in it, so does Chinese chop suey...which lead me to think of salad in a wrapper!!

Chopping everything as small as possible is the key...this includes the lettuce. In this salad, I used pretty simple and healthy ingredients: romaine lettuce, mozzarella cheese, canadian bacon, tomato and hard boiled egg white.

I would eat it out of a small bowl, but that's not the purpose right now.
Salad in a sesame flavored soy wrapper.

Salad in a spinach flavor soy wrapper.

Finished product sealed with green onion--Salad Soy Wrappers

Weekend Getaway + Mori Sushi

Last weekend, my friends and I went to Southern California for a food trip. (Oh yes, according to that website, gemini's like to eat too!) Anyhow, we went to couple restaurant, almost all of them are quite pricey but so worth it because the food taste so good! These includes Mori Sushi, Royal/T Cafe, Daikokuya Ramen, Mikawaya, Sasabune, Pinkberry, Yakitori Koshiji, Harajuku Crepe, Din Tai Fung, Crumbs Bakery, and Phoenix Dessert.

I took pictures of ALL of the food I ate, but I will only post some here, otherwise I'll be spamming the page. I will definitely post some other ones another time later.

Mori Sushi
11500 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

My friends and I each had the omakase, which is a set menu with appetitizers and sushi that the chef recommended that night. It was about 5 appetitzers and 15 sushi made from fishes imported from places like Santa Barbara as well as Japan, and dessert. It was $150/person with tax and tips, but my gosh, it was so good! Here are some of the memorable dishes:

Mori's homemade silk tofu with a bit of freshly grind fresh wasabi from Japan.

Grilled eggplants (one with yellow miso and one with red miso), marinated shitaki mushroom and monk fish liver salad.

Tempura abalone and tempura jalapenos. I never like abalone, but my gosh, this one was really good. It's not hard or super hard to chew on. The batter was light and doesn't feel oily at all! So for this one, you take a piece of abalone and you lightly touch it on the sea salt before you eat. So good!

Sweet shirmp salad with shiso, ikura and dash of tangerine zest.

Seared Saba and fig salad.

Bluefin tuna nigiri. The best tuna nigiri I ever had so far. I usually don't even like eating tuna unless it's in a spicy sauce!
Uni from Japan (left) and Santa Barbara (right).
Tamago! Simple Japanese egg omelette but hard to make right. Left is the not so tradition kind, and the right one is more tradition one and bit more savory comparatively.

There are more sushi, but yes, I don't want to overload on photos here. Oh yes, I must emphasize that Mori Sushi is the only sushi place I'd been to so far that uses fresh
Japan imported wasabi! They grate it at the spot! I never like wasabi, but oh my gosh, fresh ones is actually spicy yet sweet! I love it!

And the wonderful meal at Mori ended with homemade black sesame ice cream.

A tip for eating at Sushi places is that try to get bar seat. Not only will you able to see how your sushi chef prepare the meal, you can also interact with them.

I am going to end this entry with one of my favorite part of a's not complete without them! Dessert!!!

Mikawaya's mochi-lato, gelato in a mochi! I ordered a chocolate hazelnut one, and omg, I was in mochi heaven! Definitely need to try to make some myself sometime soon.

Harajuku Crepe's green tea crepe with banana, nutella and green tea ice cream. It's a pretty typical crepe but the crepe itself is green tea flavor also! The combination is yummy!

Crumbs' red velvet cupcake. It's definitely a heavier type of cupcake. The cream cheese was overwhelming but the cake itself was light and moist, and I can definitely taste the chocolate.

Phoenix's pudding was definitely innovative. I usually see the mango, coconut and the red bean ones at dim sum restaurant but here, they have black sesame, purple rice, green tea, cappucino, and taro also.

My weekend was super relaxing and satisfying. I can't wait to go back to So Cal!

Yaki Everything Please!

I love Japanese yaki food. Yaki a Japanese cookery in which they grill the item of food they intend to cook, and usually accompany by a layer of sauce.Yakisoba, takoyaki, taiyaki, okonomiyaki, chicken, salmon and beef teriyaki, mushroom yakitori and chicken yakitori are the only yaki food items I ever try, and I cannot imagine how many kind of Japanese yaki food are out there, perhaps everything!

A year ago, my friends and I were in LA and we were disappointed when one of the place we wanted to try, Yakitori Koshiji, was closed for lunch. With a tight schedule, we never were able to go back during that vacation. This year though, I got lucky. I was able to go with my other friends for dinner, and I could not wait. We arrived early and waited outside for it to open. Yup! Since I'm not in Japan for some street yakitori, I'm going to get them in a restaurant in LA instead!

Yakitori Koshiji
123 Onizuka St, #203, Los Angeles, CA

The restaurant was dark, with orangey glow. The grills and kitchen were located in the middle left corner of the restaurant, leaving all other rooms for tables. The kitchen was also open bar style, with stools for the customers who want to eat around the grill. Upon entering, I didn't really notice any kitchen or grease odor, assuming most grill or bbq places have that. Yay! That is a plus because as much as I love food, I hate smelling like grease!

The menu consists of a list of food item such as meats and vegetables. There were also combination dinner with yakitori items. The boys decided to order the combo dinner, whereas the girls order individual items on the menu.

We ordered a bunch of food and the orders were put and mix together in a couple plates, so to share.

Chicken with Green Onion and Meatballs - the chicken was not very tender but tasty, and the meatball tasted very homemade and good.

Marinated Beef and Miso Eggplants - The beef was a bit salty for me, so it is perfect to eat with rice. I am an eggplant fan, so I really enjoy the miso eggplant.

We tried to cover all type of food, from beef to chicken, now onto seafood!

Scallops and Onions - The picture is not really at scale. Even though the scallops look big, they really weren't. It was very tender and juicy though. I could totally taste the scallop.

Chicken Wings and Shrimps - The chicken wings were very tasty. The shrimps were also pretty good. You can never go wrong with grilled chicken wings and shrimps. 

Okay, there is one thing that I always wanted to try, but was never able to find, and that is Yakionigiri. Guess what? They have it! Oh yea, it's a yakitori shop, ha!

Yaki-Onigiri - Okay, when the waiter took this out, it smelled really, really, really good! It was very crispy on the outside, but so crispy that it stuck to your teeth when you chew on it. Like rice on the bottom of a clay pot.

So of all the dishes we tried at Yakitori Koshiji, my favorite has to be the Soboro Gohan Chicken Over Rice. It was not really grilled at all, but it is so, SO flavorful. The chicken and the rice were definitely a good combo. And since the chicken is grounded, it was very easy to eat. I could not stop stealing this bowl of rice from my boyfriend.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Royal /T Cafe

8910 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA
(310) 559-6300

I was fascinated when my friends who came back from a vacation to Japan told me things about maid cafes. Basically they are cafes with waitresses dressed up as maids and they feed you food and mix your tea and add cream to your coffee until you say stop. They treat you as their master or boss. It sounded degrading but fun at the same time.

So one of my friends to whom I went to a Southern California trip with found a cafe that is similar to maid cafe. The cafe is called Royal /T Cafe. Get it? Royalty! Anyhow when we got there, there was a long line outside the cafe. We immediately thought they were lining up to eat, but no, they were lining up for a Hello Kitty exhibit and store that is taking place at the cafe gallery. We went straight into the dinning area, but there was a wait also. But it was okay because we were just looking at the exhibit while we waited. It took an hour until we were seated.

Royal /T Cafe was having their special Hello Kitty menu to go with the exhibit that period of time, so we just ordered from it along with their famous royal milk tea.

Royal Milk Tea - Black tea brewed with rose and soymilk

I love milk tea especially milk tea made with soymilk. Most royal milk tea I tried before are made from powder, and I could usually tell if it is made with powder or not. But this one at Royal T was brewed fresh. Like most soymilk that was brewed with soymilk, it was very light but good. I couldn't taste the rose but it does taste different from regular black milk tea.

Kawaii High Tea Platter - Hello Kitty sugar cookie topper, a mini vanilla cupcake, a mini red velvet cupcake, two mini panini sandwiches, two vegetable maki, a cookie, a brownie bite and fresh berries.

The cookie was very hard, the cupcakes weren't moist, and the maki was tasteless. The only thing I like out of this platter was the sandwich because it actually had taste and the right texture. It was quite disappointing but at least the presentation was very cute.

Hello Kitty Waffle - Four mini Hello Kitty characters shaped Belgium Waffle with fresh berries, whipped cream and maple syrup

Again it was very cute presentation, but tasted very ordinary.

Assorted Cupcakes

I did not buy any of the regular sized cupcakes from Royal T after tasting the ones that came with the platter. I think the mini ones are dried because it is harder to control the moisture of mini cupcakes since they are so small and could only retain so much moisture. So I can't say these bigger ones will be dried either, but they sure look very cute.

The service from Royal /T Cafe was nothing like the Japanese maid cafe that my friends described. The maids at Royal /T act just like regular waitress because this is America! Having waitresses feed you food and pour milk in your coffee and such probably seems too degrading here. So...the maid costumes are just the waitresses' uniforms. They will only bring you your food and pour water for you, they do not feed you, mix your coffee for you, etc etc. So do not order them around when you are there. =]

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Imitation Avocado

I opened the refridgerater earlier today and guess what I found? Green tea ice cream, coffee ice cream and avocado!

There are many misconception that avocado is fattening. About 75% of the avacado's calories comes from fat, but from monosaturated fat, which is good kind of fat that plays a role in lowering cholesterol. It is also rich in potassium, vitamin B and fiber. Ice cream on the other hand is a different story. It contains bad fat but rich in calcium due to its milk and cream content.

I want to eat them all, but I don't feel like slapping them all into a bowl. So I decided to put them a quick, easy and nice way.
Green tea avocado ice cream with coffee ice cream and oreo crumbs.

Combinding green tea ice cream with avacado and putting them back into the avocado skin. Scoop out some of the green tea avocado ice cream. Add the coffee ice cream, and crumble some 100 calories oreo crisps...viola!

Yummy in my tummy.