The French Macaron – 1

I finally did it. I finally sucked it up and attempted making those picky little sandwich cookies called the macaron. Oh, how I love the little guys but with the hefty price tag ranging from $1.75 to $3 per cookie, I had been wanting to try making them myself for quite a while. My wallet simply can’t support my love for macarons! The only thing that stopped me was how notorious the macaron is for failing (multiple times) for even the most seasoned bakers. However, I guess all it took was a new resolution:

Macaron 1

On my past trip to Asia, we stopped by South Korea and, subsequently, my old home of Daejeon. One of our stops was at an Italian restaurant called Flying Pan, which was one of a chain of restaurants owned by Sungsimdang, the oldest (and most famous) bakery in the city. When I came back, I told myself I would make whatever the month’s drawing was… and February was the macaron.

So, I was a couple of days late, but I still made it! Here are the few faces of my macaron babies (notice the cracked shell in the background, haha):

Macaron Set

This is not quite listed under recipe because I’m still trying it out. I would say this would be my online foray into what would be my cooking (in this case, baking) journal. I want to try out as many macaron recipes as I can until I can find one I am comfortable enough with to call my go-to macaron recipe (is there such thing??). It may take me years, but I will get there one day!  Continue reading

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[RECIPE] Gluten-Free Clementine Cake

I admit it: I love food and I love making it (as if you couldn’t tell). No matter how tired I am, when it comes to prepping for any elaborate menus I decide upon, I would be there to do it. After all, a good portion of the time you put into cooking (and baking but to a lesser extent for the most part) goes into the prep work. I would be the one in the kitchen past midnight on a weeknight prepping for the next day’s dinner. With yoga, I only have roughly an hour to cook from the time I get home until the time I have to leave for 90-minutes of yoga so time is something I do not have.

I regularly browse cooking blogs and I came across a pretty interesting recipe for a citrus-based cake – a clementine cake, to be exact – a while ago and had printed out the recipe. Unfortunately, I don’t have the source readily available because it didn’t print out with the recipe. However, I thought it looked great – it used whole ingredients (literally) and was somewhat on the healthy side. It also had me do something I had never done before: boil fruit of the orange/citrus variety. I almost immediately decided that I would try it out one week for one of the weekly family dinners at my parents’ place and I finally got the chance to do it this weekend (mainly because I finally found some clementines).

As a note, clementine and mandarin oranges are in the same family but there are some differences (another site says that clementines don’t have seeds as they’re sterile but the ones I had contained a grand total of 1-1/2 seeds…). I won’t get into the technicalities, mainly because I am far from qualified to do so, but I may try this recipe again with mandarins (then tangerines) and see if there are any major differences, though I suspect there may not be to my inexperienced tongue. The only main issue is the amount to use. The original recipe’s amount of citrus to use did not match up with the clementines I got so I re-adjusted the recipe, because I didn’t particularly want to cut up a clementine to get exactly what the original recipe required. Plus, their recipe only made enough batter for an 8-inch cake and I only have 9-inch pans. I suppose it all works out in the end, but that is why the quantities under this recipe are a bit more flexible.

Clementine - 2 Continue reading

[RECIPE] Alcohol-free Tiramisu

This marks the first recipe I had to go back and make a second attempt for.

I would like to say that this was pretty authentic, as authenticity goes. I found the recipe from the package of Italian biscotti savoiardi, or lady fingers in layman’s terms. Brand: Alessi. In actuality, I found several recipes but all of them went out the window when I went shopping for the actual ingredients and found it on the side of the cookies. After all, the lady fingers were made in Italy and who would know the recipe more than the Italian company that makes the lady fingers, a major component of tiramisu?

I thought it would be simple and I followed the instructions well. Wrong decision. It was a three-step recipe that was squished into a block rectangle text. Of course not all the details were written! Unfortunately, I found out belatedly.. either that or the recipe’s author assumed all people following the recipe were hardened chefs, of which I most certainly am not.

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[RECIPE] Green Tea Bundt Cake

I love tea. I love desserts. Bundt cake – or, really, any cake – fits under the aforementioned category. Green tea Bundt cake fits under both the aforementioned categories. Hence, when I came across this recipe, I froze – I had to make it. Plus, it was intriguing: the only liquids used were sour cream/Greek yoghurt, eggs, olive oil, and flavoring extracts. I just had to!

The Before!

On another topic that slightly veers off… it always amused me how there’s a cake named after the fact that it’s baked in a ring-shaped pan – a Bundt cake pan. Either way, cake is cake and I guess a cake shaped a certain way a lot more festive! Not to mention amusing to those unfamiliar with it…

Friend A: What’re you eating?
Friend B: A bundt cake.
Friend A: What’s that?
Friend B: A cake shaped like a Christmas wreath.
Friend A: …right.

Either way, I gobbled it up!

Last Bite!


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[PLACE] Guru Burgers and Crepes

I like burgers. I like crepes. However, I never thought I would ever find the two in one place… until now.

I’ll be heading off to Korea soon for my one-month-long escape from the States, but not from work. Nope, I’ll be traveling and working while abroad at the same time. I’m not quite sure how this will actually work out, but I’m willing to give it my best. Before then, however, one of my friends called me up in an effort to catch me before I go off on another adventure. We ended up going to Guru Burgers and Crepes, which took me off guard for half a second. Burgers.. and crepes? What the heck – let’s do it!

I got there before my friend because of my awesome driving skills and unusually cooperative traffic. I was seated by the hostess (they have a hostess stand, as well!) and then relocated myself to somewhere closer to the floor to ceiling wall-windows with another door that leads onto the patio area. I loved the jar they used as a cup and then I perused the menu. The possibilities were endless since you could choose options for almost everything. Sure, I saw the concept before (i.e. Which Wich, Chipotle) but those weren’t sit-down restaurants with waiter service. For example:

Burgers: 13 choices with 3 different sizes (sliders, regular, double) and choice of bun (twist roll, whole wheat, gluten free, bunless)

Sides: 3 different fries and homemade beet chips with your choice of seasoning (salt+pepper, parmesan, sweet+salty, and truffle oil) in 2 different sizes (regular, share)

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[RECIPE] Pumpkin Thumbprint Cookies

On the menu for this weekend’s sweet surprise: pumpkin butter.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I had apple butter before and though it wasn’t bad, I didn’t love it. It was sort of like apple sauce. Would that make this like pumpkin sauce? I didn’t know, but I must find out. So, when I came across a simple recipe for thumbprint cookies that featured this ingredient, I immediately bookmarked it.

A month later….

Pumpkin Butter Thumbprint Cookies
[based on this recipe; makes roughly 40 cookies]

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[RECIPE] Vegan Vanilla Almond Crescent Cookies

It’s been a long while and I feel very much deprived. I haven’t done much cooking or baking since I started working and within recent weeks, I have more responsibilities at work. Even so, it’s Labor Day Weekend and I took some time to finally have a little break and try something new.

There is a very tiny chance that I can ever be vegan (I love milk, cheese, and yoghurt too much to be able to give them up completely) but my sister is somewhat lactose intolerant although it doesn’t stop her half the time, so I do delve into vegan cooking and baking every once in a while. I found this recipe and I thought it sounded just delicious. Then the local Costco sold coconut oil and that set the ball rolling…

Vegan Vanilla Almond Crescent Cookies
(based on this recipe; makes around 40-50 cookies)

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