During my finals, my breaks typically involved some kind of baking or cooking, whether it was to feed myself, to clean out my pantry/fridge, or to feed my friends, or a combination of all of these…. I would always find an excuse to bake and/or cook.
My friend asked me why I wouldn’t just take a break to watch a tv episode/movie, & I told him it’s simply because you can’t even share that with people. you can’t talk over it. but food? food is something you can always give, share, & enjoy with people. & have great conversations over. especially during finals. once you make one batch of cookies, you can give it to SEVERAL acquaintences, friends, professors, etc :) everyone gets a little bit of something.
….& oh, I learned that studying off the computer is a terrible idea, because my roommate & I constantly found myself wandering off through so many websites looking for some cooking classes I could enroll in. Even the night before my ballet final performance, I’d slide a batch of green tea cookies into the oven in between each of my run-throughs my petit allegro. (I prob spent more time baking than dancing & studying combined)
It was one of the most intense & tiring nights. but so. worth. it. mixing the green tea powders together, testing out the green tea cookie batter (& consuming too much caffeine through that) + saute-ing up & down & chasse-ing side to side.. well, you can be certain that i was sore for a week after that.
Honestly, culinary arts is something that I am considering. Whether or not I actually pursue baking as a profession or just keep it as a side hobby, I decided to sign up for a cooking class. While I was shopping at Sur La Table (therapeutic during finals), I I noticed that they had an upcoming macaron baking class. The $69 cost was very painful to see….but I could not resist. I’d go back to the class registration every day, in some hope that the fee would magically decrease, but of course, it didn’t. I ended up enrolling in it. I figured that if I learn the secrets to baking these RIGHT, then I’d no longer be a slave to Bottega Louie or ‘Lettes, but could reproduce them myself & for my friends :)
piping out raspberry buttercream onto each hazelnut crust :) i was scared of making misshaped rounds & overfilling the macarons, but they came out almost perfect!
Me + Chef Katherine Torres, a sweet, knowledgable, patient woman & baker. She graduated from the Art Institute & emphasized to me that those bakers who are artistically talented, are more likely to be skillful in baking than those who aren’t creative/artistic. She has not only inspired me, but she encouraged me. We’ll see where it goes from here ;)
p.s: please don’t ask me to make macarons for you. i received lots of help from her & other women. gotta practice them myself now ;)
I picked up my cute little 14 & 18 year old cousins (who I haven’t seen for 13 YEARS…) from school & brought them back to my house to spend the whole afternoon baking. Both are going to Taiwan for their first missions trip this summer & both need to raise about 2k. I was so happy. & I thought: well, why not do a bake sale? Why not catch up & bake together? I hardly get to see either cousin, & well…catching up while baking espresso brownie bites can’t get any sweeter.
I’ve made hundreds of espresso brownie bites (for my lovely sleep deprived studiomates), so I thought making 4 batches with them would be manageable (88 for them to sell their friends at school, 12 for me to feed my third year friends dying in the worst design charette of their lives) I had my 10 lbs of flour (5 lbs left),3 lbs of butter, 3 cans of cocoa powder, 24 oz. of chocolate chips, 1.5 dozens of lg eggs, my huge bottle of homemade vanilla extract, & my huge can of ground hazelnut espresso all ready.
After I picked them up from school, Emma, my 18 year old cousin (who when I last saw was about 5 years old) updated me that she just got accepted to USC’s School of Architecture. “I really… don’t know how I got in…”
I laughed, because I also felt & still feel the same way about getting accepted to USC’s architecture program She really, really wants to come & asked me for financial aid advice & about my experience studying architecture at USC. I suggested her to politely reach out to the financial aid committee & to show how passionate she is about studying it at USC. Our conversation flashbacks me back to me 3 years ago, when I had the same questions as she did: ”What’s dorming like? Where should I live? What about grades? I’m a slow learner… it’s hard isn’t it? …I don’t know…”
& I just told her about how great the learning experience is at USC. The struggles we have to endure through just brings us so much grace. & oh..the goodness of the Shop Cafe & coffee vending machines by the studio…
& then she told me…"I don’t like even like coffee….”
& I laughed….”Oh, you will. Believe me, I didn’t like coffee either, but you will. You like tea? Yeah, you’ll drink even more of it. & you’ll start liking & drinking coffee too.”
& we laughed together as she cracked the eggs in & I beat the eggs into the brownie batter.
It was a long,but lovely day. We baked for about 4 hours together & I dropped my 2 little cousins back to their church. I hugged them goodbye as we honestly don’t know when will be the next time we see each other. But I am so happy to see how they’ve grown. I am so happy to see Emma take good care of her little sister & our overall cousin-cousin relationship. Even though our parents & families have so much animosity against each other (that hinders us from meeting together), we’ve learned to love God & do anything to talk, see, care & pray for each other. I am so fortunate for my cousins. Thank you God.
One of my best friends, a graphic design major at CSULB, was assigned to design & create a cookbook for her studio class. This is the original, & only copy that she has printed & hand-bound with scotch tape.
She asked me if I wanted to collaborate with her. I was honored. While I cooked, baked, & drew, she photographed & designed the layout. Although we had to cram this cookbook within a month, we worked well together. We’ve also agreed to add on more recipes, drawings, & photographs & to complete/publish this cookbook after this semester ends. Thank you everyone, for all of your support & encouragement. I’ll keep you guys updated :)
My lovely architecture friends & old studiomates invited me over for our traditional potluck BBQ. As much as I love baking, I care for everyone’s health (esp the junk food archies)…& I figured I should probably cut back on that & create something more refreshing & healthy (for the sake of my future kids & my studiomates not becoming overweight)
Salads are a great… & flavorful way to eat your vegetables. All the combined ingredients in this salad enhance each other. & they’re not only flavorful, but they also contain a wide variety of nutrients that make this salad delectable & healthy. Most of all, its tanginess & sweetness will refresh & wake you up from sitting throughout your long night (&/or morning)
Some of you are probably wondering why choose Bosc pears (why not Barlett pears?) Well, realistically you could use either type of pear, but Bosc is usually preferred for salads because they’re crunchier when raw. They’re also in season from Sept-April ,whereas Barlett pears are in season from Aug-Feb. You could peel the skin off before slicing them, but I like to wash them well & keep the skin on (because I’m honestly lazy & use the excuse of the skin giving it more fiber)
& if you don’t like blue cheese or almonds, feel free to substitute gorgonzola or walnuts instead. The great thing about this recipe is that it’s so flexible, simple, & elegant.
I added some more adjustments to the recipe after I made it a third time. (third time’s a charm ;) ) The brownies are now more flavorful with added ground, hazelnut espresso (along with more caffeine) Hope you enjoy them!
dannisaurus-rex asked: Hiya ^__^ I noticed in your brownie bites that you have eggs listed twice, as well as salt, flour, and vanilla extract. I was just wondering what the correct recipe was, because I really want to make them :o) Thank you!
Oh my goodness. I am so sorry about that! it’s actually only supposed to be 4 large eggs. I’m correcting the recipe now, thanks for letting me know! Let me know if you run into any problems in making the Epresso Brownie Bites! :) Happy baking!
Are you sleep deprived? Are you pulling an allnighter? Are you hungry & does that cup of coffee not fulfill your appetite? Are you a a girl who’s craving chocolate but that colossal sized brownie at the cafe just won’t do because it’s “too many calories?” Are you willing to take a bite-sized brownie because it’s “fewer calories?” Are you craving a brownie but can’t afford to let the chocolatey crumbles fall & STAIN your clean, white model?
If you said yes to any of these, then this recipe is for you.
but BEWARE- These brownies are loaded with caffeine, much more espresso than your typical espresso brownie. I made the big mistake of first making these brownies at midnight. After testing the batter & eating 3 brownie bites, I was bouncing off the walls… obnoxiously texting my friend, & could not sleep until 3:30 AM. Success in giving energy? I think so.
These espresso brownie bites go great with a nice cup of milk…at any time of the day (or night). with these caffeine loaded brownies, you’re set to draw, study… & because they’re bite sized, you can pop them right into your mouth, while building that clean model of yours all night long.
note: when blending sugar with butter, make sure you start with softened (either almost or completely melted) butter. When blending the butter with the sugar, keep blending it together until it’s well incorporated before you mix it with the other dry ingredients. This way, everything will blend together more evenly and your baked good will come out of the oven with the right texture.
For the couscous: In a pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the couscous and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly browned, about 3 - 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 - 12 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the cooked couscous to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Add the parsley, rosemary, apple, dried cranberries, and almonds.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the couscous and toss to coat evenly.
Serve immediately or refrigerate for 2-3 days and enjoy it cold! :)
To toast the almonds, place the slivered almonds on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 300F for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.
So back from EFCI’s summer retreat, Shannon and I walked into the cafeteria and were craving some soup. We got the last bowls of Italian Wedding Soup. As we both took our first spoonfuls, our eyes lit up and we looked at each other in awe, and at the same moment, thought, and said, “I’m going to make this.”
So finally after all these months, just after I turned in my last studio project of this year, I did some research and decided to make it for GOC’s Christmas party/potluck. I was nervous because I’m a novice in cooking any meat (since I was a pescetarian) and in cooking soup. Anyway, I did my research on Giada’s recipe. A true, straight up Italian whom I can trust, and other various chefs. After some adjustments based on what I could find in my pantry and at my local Fresh and Easy store, this is what I’ve created.
Fortunately, it came out as a hit at the party and even my mom enjoyed it. Now that, is something. Feel free to have some fun and experiment with some adjustments!