I have somewhat been on a cookie obsession lately, trying to make any cookie that has chocolate chips in it. Conveniently enough nowadays when there aren’t any cookies left, there is a Batter Bakery “kiosk” across the street. Kiosk is such a strange word to describe a mini bakery bar on the corner of four way intersection…I always associate kiosk as those airline kiosks to check in. So I looked up the word and found out its origins are in Persia during the Ottoman Empire which used to be little garden pavilions separated from structure. How that has evolved today! Anyway, if anyone works near California/Kearny in SF, the Batter Bakery kiosk has happy hour (1/2 off most things) from 4pm-close!!! A bakery that has happy hour?!!! And in SF?!! My excitement about things being half off hasn’t actually led me to go during happy hour, but always before. Needless to say, their cookies are damn delicious – it has a drier, melt in your mouth texture to it, which is very different from how I normally like my cookies – chewy. But they are really good and I would recommend them to anyone! These cookies that I am about to post right now actually captures that dry but soft melt in your mouth texture…I didn’t set out to make it that way but it surprisingly turned out that way! I am by no means a food scientist but I am guessing it’s the peanut butter, nutella, and butter in my cookie that makes it that way. Buttery, but a stable texture. Mmmmmm
Haven’t posted in a long time, more time in between than usual…but I have been busy with work and coming up with inspiration with my lack of a kitchen in SF. I can only bake when I am at home in Lodi, and March was a super busy month, and now we are in April! Happy Easter Sunday ya’ll! I can’t wait to see everyone’s table spreads for Easter. This holiday is usually pretty big at my house due to my sister’s birthday usually being close, if not the same weekend as Easter. We aren’t religious but we like to find any reason to celebrate and eat good food! New things on the horizon for me: GOING GOLFING TOMORROW!!!! I am actually super excited since I have never played a round of golf before, let alone actually golf more than once. The first time I went to the driving range and picked up a club was last weekend so I am an uber noob!!! But I have to say it is actually super silly…apparently sometimes you can have a bad day and you can’t hit a single ball or go more than 50 yards…even experienced people! An accomplishment for me was that I was able to hit the ball in the air, and just enough to go to around 100 yards! Definitely a sport I want to play more often because I feel pretty classy and old soul about it ahhah. If you have never tried golfing, go get some balls at the driving range (about $10-15 for 100 balls) and find a friend with clubs and go make it an outing!!! Continue reading
Oh man, sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time!!! I’ve been busy with work and getting my life in order for the new 2015! I have some ambitious, but achievable, 2015 new year resolutions and they will only be realized if I work hard…at work! Care for some inspiration? I figure that writing it down for you will help myself as well, since these goals are currently living in my brain, but seeing it in print might make achieving these goals better!
1. Become more knowledgeable about the industry that I am in, which means attending conferences, whole heartedly listen to webinars and trainings, and really apply myself.
2. Be more responsive and conversational about topics in the industry – this means piecing together all my thoughts into a cohesive statement, or argument, and being able to respond quickly to different opinions or things being brought up. I read a lot of articles and know a lot about investments, but seriously, not nearly enough to be able to talk to the big shots. Something I am willing and able to do this year!
3. Be more active in the community – I actually developed a volunteer policy at my company, where we encourage each other to service the community at least once a year. Since my company is small, I plan to organize group volunteer events where we can participate together and have fun while doing so! I hope to inspire others to help the less fortunate by any way possible.
4. Be more active socially in this amazing city! People who have seen me recently know that I have been quite the hermit lately, and only going out when begged to – I want to change that! I would like to explore more of this city and discover new things about it, myself, the people, and the culture in it. Also, it is to meet more people who are of like mind – intellectually curious with a vast interest like myself! So excited!
5. Wear sunscreen on my face so I don’t get wrinkles.
6. Buy 2 hats – a baseball cap (or mom hat) I can wear while running errands, and a floppy hat for tea time/picnics in the park.
SO those are my new years resolutions! What are yours? I would love to know what you will be working on this year!
Buttered walnut cookie balls tossed in powdered sugar. Christmas Cookie #1. Enough said.
This Thanksgiving I thought about the word gratitude and really thought about who and what it applies to. This year has been tremendous – great things happened, mixed with a little sour. Overall it was truly a momentous year with several things : me passing the CA Bar exam, starting my career in the unknown, and finally not having to worry about school/job/work/relationships/etc. I feel freeeeee. Something that I haven’t felt in a long time. I mean truly, the bar exam took up 11 months of my life (started thinking about it and preparing for it in January), and in the meantime, graduated law school and started my career. Being this free, I really don’t know what to do with all this free time. I can’t get over not having to worry about something…or actually laugh without the restraint of not knowing if I passed or not, or smile without SOMETHING in the back of my mind. I definitely need to start looking into some new goals for 2015. If I passed the Bar exam, anything is possible.
I have a lot to think about what I am thankful for this year, and most importantly, the people in my life who have helped made it possible. Of course the immediate people in my life comes to mind first, but I realized with the outpouring of support and congratulatory messages about my passing of the Bar, that somehow I have made a mark in someone’s life enough for them to reach out. So I guess the lesson here is, never underestimate the marks you may have made on someone’s life, no matter how small. I am so touched by all this and want to make every effort to show my gratitude in this world: to family, to friends, to acquaintances, to strangers. I want you all to know that your support means so much to me and makes me so thankful we have met.
Pie has been a challenge for me recently. I haven’t been able to get the all butter crust right – by food processor, by hand, by fork, by pastry blender. It is still a work in progress but I needed something for my guests on Thanksgiving! So I made an all oil crust. I first heard about this crust only a week ago…I googled and googled and everyone gave me the same assurance – the crust will be flaky with the perfect crumb, but it just won’t taste like butter. I was intrigued that I have never heard of something like this and was super excited to give it a try. It turned out a success – the best success out of all the pies I have been making recently. I plan to conquer the all butter, butter/shortening type crusts in the next few months. But for now, this is the quickest and easiest route to good pie. Plus I have an abundance of persimmons, which I don’t really like that much, so putting it in sweet flaky pie makes it so much better.
As you may have noticed, I have a new Put a Ring on Annie logo! I had commissioned this new logo from my friend Joyce Lin, who is a fabulous artist. I would love to formally introduce her to you all in my next post. I wanted to do her justice for doing a great job and for putting up with my demands. But first, let me introduce you to Banana Walnut Muffins. Bananas are a favorite amongst so many people when fresh, and when they turn brown, they become this intense flavor-bursting specimen. It really takes over the space you are in with its smells. When baked, it’s comforting and warm. Warm is a good word to describe bananas. I am going to use it from now on. Like I said in my last post about Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins, muffins are an amazing thing – they can be frozen, thawed, and microwaved back to the day it was made. Also, it leaves blackish streaks in your baked muffins which makes it look swirly cool!!! If you haven’t noticed, please notice now – it’s super cool! It can even warm up your hands while you walk to the bus stop. True story – I do this everyday!
Totally unhealthy post this time! Made this pizza awhile ago with homemade pizza dough and waited this long to share it. I figured since pizza is a warm, comforting food, it is perfect for any season. I do have to say that this is a wonderful homemade dough, that captures the dough-chewiness to normal pizza, like Round Table or Little Caesars. I sometimes like a little chew and dough to my pizza – it isn’t always about the NY Style ya know (although I do love it and will post on it later). Pizza dough is very easy to make – only 4 ingredients. I wish I did have a stone oven/stone pan where I can emulate more of the slight crunch on the outside and doughy on the inside texture. But this will do. And I have to say I loved it!
More pumpkin pumpkin pumpkin!!! I made these in an effort to conserve energy in the morning and grabbing and going with my breakfast as a leave the house to board a bus. I learned awhile back that you can freeze muffins and then when you want to eat them, place them in the fridge overnight and it should defrost. Pop them in the microwave and you have got a hot muffin! How fun and convenient!! It’s like when I learned you can do that with bagels – one of my obsessions. More on that obsession some day. These muffins are packed with nutrition – pumpkin, quinoa, spices. It is an easy way to pack quinoa into your routine if you don’t want to cook it all the time. Quinoa is very high in protein so you can eat it to fuel your day! It is basically a seed, and it is fascinatingly related to spinach, beetroots, and tumbleweeds (I actually once had a friend tell me that he thought tumbleweeds were fake things that crossed in Bugs Bunny’s path in the cartoon…I basically choked in laughter.) Anyway, these are perfect fall breakfast foods! Enjoy them today!
This seems like the recipe of the pumpkin season! I’ve seen multiple people make these on their own – I’ve made it twice already! These are uber moist, soft, chocolate chip cookies with a spice. It’s fancy but easy at the same time. I plan to make these several times again this season, so they may be coming to your door in SF! I recently moved to SF and cannot wait to start my new job in the FiDi. Can’t believe I’m using that word. Always went through the area when I was younger to get to Chinatown or other parts of the city and have always looked up towards the sky inside the district. Can’t believe I actually will be working there, and in the building that houses the Montgomery Bart station. Should be a super fun time, and I get to have a kitchen again! Super excited (also dreading it) that I will be cooking daily again!
It’s Pumpkin Time!!! Finally! My favorite food season is upon us! Happy October 1st ya’ll! Trader Joe’s has rolled out their plethora of pumpkin goodies – did you know they have Pumpkin Bagels and Pumpkin Mochis? This world has gone pumpkin crazy! I love how pumpkin has gone to super duper mainstream in the recent years – I mean look at Starbucks – they rolled out their Pumpkin Spice Latte a month or two ago! Everyone is getting creative with pumpkin nowadays, and you should too! There’s definitely more to pumpkin than pumpkin pie – trust me.
These are 4 of my Pumpkin recipes that I enjoyed making last year! I can’t count how many times I have made this pumpkin bread – you know it’s great when even I make it again and again – my go to recipe for pumpkin bread. This year, I hope to post up some Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Pumpkin Pie, and some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies!!! Stay tuned for those in the coming weeks! I LOVE PUMPKIN!