Monday, 25 June 2012

Monterey Day 3

I know this is completely unrelated to food, but just wanted to share some nice photos of Monterey!
View of Monterey Bay

Curious seals not far from shore

baby seal!

Saturday, 23 June 2012


I'm currently at Monterey for a month for a marine microbiology course! Excited about everything I'll learn, but also looking forward to fresh seafood! mm clam chowder yum
I already had shrimp pineapple rice from Pacific Thai Restaurant today and the shrimp was not bad..

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Having food in San Francisco during ASM

ASM (American Society of Microbiology)'s general meeting is held this weekend in San Francisco, and it's been lots of fun! Also we've been having good food too!
Last night we went to Fang, a Chinese restaurant along Howard St, and had my first Chinese moriawase meal. Very interesting experience, and yummy too. Dishes that came up were: 1. gyoza with sweet chili sauce, 2. braised pork and leek in chinese bun, 3. chives chinese pancake, 4. fish soup with crab meat (flavorful with a bit of spicy taste, probably from ginger), 5. fried chicken with sweet potato slices drizzled with sweet and lightly sour sauce, 6. peppercorn and black bean sauteed fish slices, 7. sauteed mushrooms and garlic, 8. honey deep-fried pork ribs with marinated bak choy
We also ordered wine (also first time drinking western wine at a chinese restaurant, normally a no-no for me), and the Gewurztraminer was good too.
This afternoon we went to Osha, a Thai restaurant along 3rd St, and it was delicious yet not over-priced too. We had 1. pad thai, 2. crab fried rice, 3. spicy eggplant, 4. larb with lettuce (surprisingly a little spicy), 5. green curry, 6.thai iced tea/coffee. Yum! Much better than what I've had so far in the Bay Area..
660 Howard St
(between Hawthorne St & 3rd St) 
San FranciscoCA 94105
Neighborhood: SOMA
311 3rd St
(between Folsom St & Saint Francis Pl) 
San FranciscoCA 94107
Neighborhood: SOMA

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Update to Scones

Last week I posted the recipe to making scones, and here are my latest photos!

Because I was preparing for a party, I made finger-food and bite-sized sizes, by rolling the dough slightly thinner (around 1/2 inch). I used my heart and small star cookie cutters to make the shapes. Bake time turned out to be the same -- around 12 minutes to fully cook the interior.
Prep time was less than 15 minutes to prepare the dough. I took more time beta-testing and making sure I got the bake time right..

The brown blobs are my feeble attempts at adding chocolate chips as an afterthought..

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Vegetarian week

So my boyfriend and I decided to go (semi)vegetarian for a week as an experiment, and also partly because we've been gorging ourselves on meat for the last few weeks.
Just logging our progress.. and also give a platform to evaluate how healthy this diet really is!
The plan is to not have any poultry or red meat (pork, beef, lamb), and eat veges, eggs and fish, with less carbs too

(brunch at Hong Kong Bistro, Castro St, Mt. View) pineapple bun, toast with condensed milk, sliced fish porridge
(dinner at home) stir-fried broccoli and xiao bao cai with oyster sauce, soba noodles with seaweed, egg omelette with spring onions
(drink snack) home-made honey longan water

(lunch on campus) vegetarian burrito / caprese sandwich
(dinner at home) hummus with pita bread, olive oil-sauteed white mushrooms, raw baby carrots, potato salad, spinach dip

(lunch on campus) mushroom potpie, some noodles and cauliflower / thai tofu with rice
(dinner at Cooking Papa) sliced fish porridge, za-leung (doughfritter riceroll), clay pot vegetable and mushroom in fish broth

(brunch at home) instant Laksa noodles / vegetarian burrito
(snack after work from Whole Foods Market) salmon nigiri
(dinner at Hunan Homes) (complete fluke of diet) chili wonton, sweet and sour fish, Fujian fried rice (note: not going back there again, the food sux)

(lunch on campus) Ike's spiffy tiffy, thanks Angela! (but totally not vegetarian -_-) / vegetarian pizza
(dinner at Sura Sushi) (to continue my violation of the diet) salmon nigiri, inari, Alaska roll, spider roll


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Linzer Sandwich Cookies

D and Z came over to make cookies yesterday and we had lots of fun!
These are sandwich cookies and you can make any shape you like using cookie cutters of two sizes.
Here's the recipe (makes around 12 sandwiches):

16 tablespoons (or 226.8 grams, or 1 cup, or two sticks) of unsalted butter
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sandwich Filling:
Jam or Nutella or whatever filling you like!

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Cut baking/wax paper to fit your baking tray.
2. Beat butter and sugar till fluffy
3. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla, and then flour and salt
4. Shape dough into a big lump. Portion out enough to work with and fill a baking tray. Wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate the rest of the dough.
5. Roll out the dough on baking/wax paper to around 1/8" thickness (around 3-4 mm). Use cookie cutter to cut out shapes (we used heart, bear and star shapes!). To make cookie windows (so that your jam or Nutella peeps through), use a smaller cookie cutter to cut a hole in the middle of the bigger cookie. (see Note 1 below)
6. After preparing the shapes, simply lift the paper and place onto the baking tray. (see Note 2 below) Make sure that the dough is flat and not bent.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies turn golden brown.
8. Leave the cookies to cool, and then sandwich jam or Nutella between the bigger cookie and the window.
9. Ready to eat!

Note 1: It might be a good idea to make the windows in slightly thicker dough, since they are narrow and more fragile after baking.
Note 2: We tried using a Silpat sheet to shape our dough on, but the transfer process onto the baking tray was more difficult, since the dough broke its shape easily. Probably due to lack of skill though. 

Photos from our adventure:

Cutting cookie shapes 

Sunday, 3 June 2012


Thinking of trying this sometime this coming week!

Dry Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of sugar 
1 tablespoon of baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Wet Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
Some melted butter

1. Mix dry ingredients in a big bowl.
2. Add heavy cream, stirring until mixture becomes stiff enough to knead by hand into a smooth ball.  
3. Flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 2/3" and punch ouscones.
4. Dip scones in 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter before arranging on a baking tray and cooking at 425F for 10-12  minutes or when lightly browned.

How to eat scones:
0. Invite a friend (or friends)
1. Lay out tea table with cute tea set and cups of English tea (Earl Grey and English Breakfast are my all-time favourites!)
2. Cut scone in half horizontally.
3. Spread the inside with dollops of clotted cream and jam. 
4. Enjoy! 

I'm still trying to find clotted cream in the supermarket though.... will post photos soon!

Cooking Papa Restaurant (Santa Clara)

Cooking Papa is one of our favourite Hong Kong restaurants in the Bay Area. The food is pretty authentic, and the portions hearty yet affordable. We like their HK milk tea, lemon tea, roast duck, char siew, ricerolls etc. Basically everything we've had so far haven't disappointed yet. Not only are the ricerolls thin enough, they don't scrimp on the ingredients, but also they give you peanut sauce and sweet sauce without having you to ask for it. Believe me, I've gotten weird looks at some other places when I asked for those sauces ( apparently people have not heard of them before..?). Plus, if you order the dough fritter (you tiao) riceroll, the dough fritter is always still hot and crispy.
I also applaud them for getting fishballs right (it's rather difficult to find a place that makes Hong Kong fishballs with the right taste, texture and bounciness), which came with their fish soup noodles. My boyfriend also likes getting their sha-yong (chinese doughnuts), which arrives hot, fluffy and coated with sugar.

Posting photos of our latest trip..
We had the appetizer plate (fried tofu, fried chicken wings, curry fishballs), on-choi with fermented shrimp paste, and honey pepper spareribs. Yummy!

My only problem with the food so far was the MSG in the watercress and fish broth soup, that irritated my tongue when I had it for leftovers the next day. Still delicious though.

On a non-tastebud related note, it never fails to fascinate me that they play video clips of the chef cooking his key dishes. Really plays on human psychology. The food certainly looks appetizing, and they show how generous they are with their portions. Very effective advertisement that acts on your subconsciousness and makes you order more dishes than you intended. Almost everyone orders the sha-yong for dessert. After all, who can resist after watching the same clip 3 times during your main courses??

There are two branches, one in Santa Clara and the original in Foster City. Whenever we have the time, we like going to the Foster City one, it being on the waterfront, with pretty good views of the nice houses across the canal.
2830 Homestead Road
949A Edgewater Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95051
Foster City, CA 94404