The first time I had shakshuka was at a lovely cafe, Tatte, in Boston. I saw a couple next to me being served a wonderful, still-bubbling pot of tomato sauce, and what looked like eggs scattered throughout. I immediately ordered the same thing, and I had my own bubbling pot, and since then, I’ve made shakshuka a staple at home. Read more »
One of the magical moments of hosting workshops is waking up early, so that I can make breakfast and coffee before attendees begin to stir. I throw on some clothes and tip toe through to the kitchen, and usually my team is up and about too, with the same intentions. I quietly maneuver through the Paradise Farmhouse, a beautiful mid-century style house located right on a bird sanctuary. Before I reach the kitchen, Krissy of Cottage Farm, my co-host and partner, beckons me over to a sitting room facing the back, overlooking the ocean on a clear day. It wasn’t a clear day. There was mist settling comfortably over the trees, and the sun was just begin to let its rays through, so that the mist looked like it was glowing. Yards from the house, a family of deer grazed, looking at us from time to time, but content to do their thing. I’m very much a city girl, so sights of deer and the such enchant me. The deer brought on a sense of calm, and from then on I was filled with a calm and optimism about this New England food photography workshop (because no matter how many workshops I host, I always get a bout of nerves prior :)).
A huge thanks to the amazing team that brought this together: my co-host Krissy of Cottage Farm, our genius chef Sarah of My Summer St Kitchen, who also has a book coming out you won’t want to miss, and our seriously amazing assistant Jenn of Jenn Bakos Photography, who anticipated our every need and was basically a ninja. You can check out Krissy’s recap post here, as well as the recipe for her delicious shakshuka!
Hello friends. It’s been a heavy week for a lot of us, but I’ve found strength in community, in the actions of strong women and men, in hope and unity that leads me to cautiously believe in a brighter future. This week I’ll be retreating to the depths of Big Sur with a group of lovely ladies and talk about what we can do while healing with food and camaraderie. Next week, a rather amazing group of bloggers and me will share our thoughts and how much we cherish the immigration values that America has always stood for.
I’ve found healing in creating food, and as always, food has, more than ever, become an outlet where I can express all my feelings. This past weekend I chose not to use my stand mixer to make bread, and instead just kneaded into it, the old fashioned way. My arms screamed afterward but I felt satisfied.
Even though I now live in the beautiful New England and am fully appreciative of New England’s local cuisine, a part of me will always love crab over lobster. I grew up in California eating Dungeness crab, and to this day, I love the slightly sweet, distinctive flavor of crab over lobster. I will enjoy lobster of course, but my heart beats faster when I see fresh crab. I’ve blogged about some more traditional foods my mom has made for us (such as Shanghai shaomai, zongzi, chive boxes), but more recently my mom came up with this delightful concoction, inspired by a dish she had at dim sum previously. It’s literally the simplest dish ever – just crab cooked with sticky rice, so that the flavor of crab is really all you need for the dish. It’s not a healthy dish – sticky rice, crab, no vegetables? But it’s delicious and perfect to serve a crowd with something unique but easy to prepare. Read more »
Hi friends! Did you have a lovely holiday? I unplugged a bit during the holidays and spent some quality time with my parents in California, and it was a pretty nice way to rest and recuperate after the holiday craze. This is my first post of 2017, and part of me still cannot believe it’s already mid-late January, and I’ll be heading to my first workshop of 2017 this weekend! Where did time go?! All my not-so-carefully laid plans of travel posts (I owe this blog Scotland + Iceland.. eek!), 2016 reflection post will still come, but maybe not so chronologically.
Alright, who has had one of these beauties before? Not this matcha version – the delightful egg custard tart with specks of black on the shiny surface surrounded by a super flaky crust? I’ve eaten these pretty much non-stop since I was a child. The Portuguese egg tart is another Asian bakery treat I absolutely could not resist, and this extends to current adult-life, too. Read that statement again – yup, Portuguese tart, Asian bakery. Portuguese egg tarts are indeed found in its namesake country, although I’d never had the treat myself, but apparently it is speckled with cinnamon and is encased in this beautiful puff pastry crust. The type of egg tart I’m talking about somehow made its way to Macao, which formed its own adaptation of Portuguese-style egg tart, and then it migrated to Hong Kong and became wildly popular, to the point that even the Asian bakeries in the US have these egg tarts as a standard offering (something I am grateful for). Read more »
Hello, friends! As we round up 2016, I thought I’d share a warm, delicious drink to ring in the New Year. It’s been a crazy year of ups and downs, and I promise, a sort-of-reflection post will be coming soon as I muse about the past, present, and future of this blog. I never had mulled wine until this October at the Montreal workshop, where we finished our last evening together with rounds of mulled wine. The warm, spiced drink captivated me and I knew this was something that I would make for the holidays. I was gifted two giant (grapefruit-sized) pomegranates, and slowly this combination of spices and pomegranate came to mind. To combat the tart-sweet of the pomegranate and obligatory citrus, I infused a classic combination of spices – Chinese five spice: fennel seeds, cloves, sichuan peppercorn, star anise, and Chinese cinnamon (cassia bark). OK. I admit, I was out of cassia bark, so I just used cinnamon sticks, and I liked the warmth that brought, but feel free to use whichever you have on hand.
Are you sick of the giveaways yet? I think I went a little overboard, but all of these giveaways I truly love, use, and wholeheartedly recommend. If I could, I would give everyone a set of these. Anyway, with the last post of 2016 I have a last giveaway from Staub, a cast iron company I have used since the early days of this blog. On my stovetop I always have a Staub piece, whether it be a skillet, rice cooker, dutch oven, or this essential french oven I’m giving away.