Our friends Adri and Tedd invited us to their new house for dinner, and to make it easy on the chef, I made dessert. In one of the recent Food and Wine magazines, I saw an amazing cake that had 7 layers with chocolate buttercream filling, and a beautiful caramelized meringue frosting. Every time I see some crazy dessert, I always get an itch to make it. This time I can dedicate my full attention to it, instead if having a whole dinner to cook like I usually do.

The Dobos torte is a famous Hungarian dessert which originated as a 5 layer cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, and thin caramel layer between each layer. This is one of those “Wow!” desserts that taste amazing as well. the cake is time consuming, but it can be made ahead of time and definitely worth the effort. Read the rest of this entry »


People have fond memories of friends and families, trips they’ve taken, places they’ve been, I do the same with food. Every place I’ve been, I recall reservable food items I’ve had there. I think food memory adds an extra dimension of remembrance about a place or event. My first memory of Dolsot Bibimbap, a Korean dish consisting of rice mixed with seasoned vegetables, egg, and beef over a hot stone pot, was in Dallas. Read the rest of this entry »


Holiday season is here, and while a lot of people give into total indulge around this time, for me I try to eat healthy as much as I can so I don’t feel bad about eating at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the holiday parties.

We were helping some friends do Holiday photos and decided to cook dinner at the house afterwards. I made chicken satay and a grilled shrimp and apple salad, both easy on the calories. To finish off dinner, I prepared a honeyed yogurt tart with fresh blueberries and a ginger and graham cracker crust.

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I love making pizza from scratch. The smell of freshly baked dough always make me salivate in anticipation of the finished product, and I always end up eating the first slice too fast and burn the top of my mouth. Read the rest of this entry »


A dish is like a play, each ingredient has a role, and the special attention taken to the ingredients are like clothes and makeup for the players. In a good dish, all the ingredients play off each other in such a way that they enhances each others flavors, but not lose themselves in the crowd.

In this salad, grilled eggplants are tossed with cognac poached pears, along with walnuts and slivers of pecorino cheese, in a garlic and herb vinaigrette, dotted with honey. Sweet, sharp, smoky, salty, there are so many possible permutations of flavor in this salad. Sometimes too many ingredients can make a dish confusing, but in this case it was perfect. Read the rest of this entry »


I love having friends over for dinner, but it’s hard to get everyone together on the same schedule as what is convenient for us. Sometimes friends can only come over during the week as our weekends can be incredibly busy, so I’m always on the lookout for fast and delicious recipes I can treat my friends to. Read the rest of this entry »


Most of the time when I cook, I like sticking to the recipe. It’s only recently that I’ve been feeling more comfortable playing around with an established recipe to fit to my own taste. Growing up in China, one of the things I LOVED was grilled lamb skewers from street vendors. Thinly cuts of undesirable pieces of lamb is threaded on long metal skewers, dusted with a fiery hot chili pepper and curry powder, most likely to hide the taste of old/ half spoiled meat, and grilled on a long hibachi style grill over hot coals… I always had a hard time convincing my mom to buy me some since she always thought they were unsanitary but boy did I love those skewers. Food is always better with a bit of excitement, and in this case it’s the thrill of the possibility of upset stomach, kind of like Russian roulette but with spoiled lamb meat. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s been a hectic month with work ramping up, planning my wedding, and furnishing our newly bought house. I’ve been cooking on a regular basis, but just have not had the time to update my blog.

On top of everything, I decided to help my friend Adri, who got married last weekend, with her wedding cake. To say I helped her with no hidden motive is not true, as I wanted to do a practice cake for my wedding. Although our cakes will be very different in flavor, I think I benefitted a lot from this experience in terms of learning about time management, material readiness, and having more confidence to build my own wedding cake. I also am very thankful to have a friend who trusted me enough to let me handle a big part of her day!

20121020-105407.jpg Read the rest of this entry »


In my effort to eat healthy during the week, I’ve exhausted myself eating Asian dishes. Mexican dishes have a bad reputation of being greasy and unhealthy, but through a quick search through food and wines 30 day healthy meal menu, I found a delicious sounding chicken taco that was also very low in calories. Read the rest of this entry »


Continuing my efforts to eat healthier for my big day, I followed another recipe from Food and Wine’s 30 day healthy eating menus. Today I picked a soba noodle dish served with grilled shrimp and cilantro. This dish packed in little bits of fried garlic and shallots for punches of flavor, and crushed peanuts for texture, it’s almost unbelievable how simple it is to make, and how delicious and healthy it is.

Soba is the Japanese word for buckwheat, also synonymous with the thin noodles made out of buckwheat flour. Buckwheat is naturally gluten free, Read the rest of this entry »