Almond Pulp Thumbprint Cookies


This is a follow-up post from how to make your own Almond Milk recipe I posted to start the year. My family makes a lot of soy milk (which will be another post someday), but sometimes we like to throw in some fresh almond milk. We live in Lodi so there is an abundance of fresh almonds we usually get (often still in its shell). Almonds eaten this way are the freshest of any almond. Store bought just doesn’t compare. But for those not lucky enough to experience the country life, store bought will work just fine!

After making almond milk, you are left with this pulp. The pulp of course can be dumped as compost for your plants, but this stuff shouldn’t be wasted if you have the time to convert it into something else! Online, there are lots of recipes on how to use up almond pulp. My sister requested it be these Almond Pulp Thumbprint Cookies!

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Linzer Cookies!


These adorable little things are traditional to Austria in the region of Linz. Love that the little circle/shape in the middle are called “eyes.” You can make these with any shape! I was in the holiday mood and had snowflake cut outs, then used a icing tip to cut out the circle in the middle. Tip: Make sure the dough is hard, but not too hard; have lots of flour on hand as the dough is super easy to break! Try them with different kinds of jams for different flavors and colors. I used homemade peach, grape, and orange jams to fill. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas :).



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Candied Orange Peels!


We have organic oranges growing in our backyard and we have an abundance every year. My grandpa was a renowned fruit grower in China, with award winning satsuma tangerines being his most well-known. My dad remembers biting into those satsumas and juice just flowed. Thin skins, tons of juice, and the fruit, the size of an orange. My parents failed at growing the first orange tree, but my grandpa decided to step in to do the pruning in the winter for several years, and saved our second orange tree. Now, the tree produced over 100 pounds of oranges. 100 POUNDS! So every year now, we think about our grandpa and his pruning and it is an ode to his labor. Now that we have so much, we have to look for ways to not waste the fruit. So we have made orange marmalade and now candied orange peels. Takes a ton of sugar, but they end up looking SO PRETTY after. Also, you can give them away as gifts as these things store super well. Or dip them in chocolate.

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Pumpkin Cupcakes w/ Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


October is in full-swing!!! Busy busy October. I never have time in October. In high school and college, it was midterms, school activities in full throttle. Now at work, professionals are mostly back from summer vacation and are gearing up for the last quarter before the new year. Then, my friends mentioned Halloween last night, and I stopped and was like AHH! haven’t thought about it AT ALL. No costume, no plans. Help!

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Pumpkin Snickerdoodles!


Hope everyone is having a fantastic LDW soaking up the sun!!! Although its September, and basically tomorrow is the unofficial start to fall (due to Starbucks Pumpkin Spiced Latte being in stores nationwide), the weather is still warm but I can’t help but get excited about my favorite cooking season of the year!!! FALL!!! I love the pumpkin and the warm spices, and because summer continues on and on, later and later every year, there’s only a short time for pumpkin (before Santa Claus rolls in with peppermint and chocolate). The weather plays a huge factor in what my taste buds want, and when its hot out, there is little room for pumpkin cravings. But I figured that since tomorrow is the start of unofficial fall, and I am heading to Alaska, the cold cold rainy time for the state, I figured I would begin the celebrations in hopes that when I return from my vacation, that it’ll be full on fall in CA!

These pumpkin snickerdoodles are really bomb. They’re chewy and soft, with pumpkin and spices hinted in there. People say snickerdoodles are sugar cookies better cousin and I totally couldn’t agree more! Make these and enjoy them with your first of many pumpkin spice lattes! Or you can pair them with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Ice Cream for sandwiches!


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Summer Fruit Tart!


IT’S BASICALLY SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MY FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR!!!! Have been into WHITE lately – white shorts, white tanks, white shirts, white sheets, white shoes, all white everything! Can’t wait to be a little more tan (yes I still care about my facial skin care) by being outdoors! I hope this summer is the best summer yet (unlike last year when I was studying – had a nose disease that wasn’t curable until late summer! hahah) !! Lots in store like country concerts, wedding, ariana grande, vegas, kevin hart, etc. Someone invite me to a BBQ so I bring over this magnificent fruit tart and/or cream puffs (another post). Anyway happy beginning of SUMMER!!!


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Nutella, Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter Cookie!


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


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Chocolate Chunk, Toffee, and Date Cookies!

IMG_2206 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

Key Lime Pie!!! (+my 2015 resolutions!)


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!


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GIVING THANKS! And a Persimmon, Apple, Cranberry Pie


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.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Below are some of the things I made for Thanksgiving, including my table setting before guests arrived. And I somehow found time to make a pie. IMG_5125IMG_5143


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.

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