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Archive for the ‘Other Baked Goods’ Category

After surprisingly long stretches of the clearest blue skies, the weight of the exasperated San Francisco fog begging to be let out paved way to the first rain.  My jeans are reeking of rain, my hair is matted flat, and my fingers are numbed rigid.  I am alone again under the defense of the umbrella, as I feel that shell of myself wash away.

I feel particularly vulnerable to this time of the year, as I huddle sometimes under the umbrella but definitely in the wool coat.  I am leaving, I am leaving. That is all I can think about at any given time.

I have to come love this place, this city in spite of the buses that run over bike racks (and consequently go out of service) and the strange men who holler at me for dates in Mandarin and Japanese.  When I finally got over the confusion over how to keep pace with the moving city traffic and learned to breathe in the polluted air and be, I am leaving all of this crazy city mess behind for something smaller and confined.  How do I say goodbye?

I lie here on this bed, pining for something more of this experience of being in San Francisco.  I think about how much the city has nurtured my sense of self–that curious person that dares to dream of working for the Big Four and chucks in foreign ingredients like muscovado sugar and almond paste (although obviously not at the same time) regularly now in baking.

Of course, since I ponder in food, I return to my first love in San Francisco, Tartine Bakery, in this kind of countdown to leaving the city.  Specifically, the smell of the cinnamon-orange wonderfulness of its morning buns.

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The thought of walking barefoot in the sand, perusing through the farmers’ markets, and mingling with the hippies suddenly appeals to me.  Perhaps, it’s the sunshine and heat that’s speaking to me because it finally feels like summer here in the South Bay.

It finally feels like California, and I want to celebrate that.  And its food.  I can’t forget about all of those summer fruits and vegetables, especially since a lovely farmers’ market is just around the corner from my work.  Just when I think that an eight-hour workday is tiring, I see all these beautiful produce and dream to myself about all the fancy things I could make with them :)

That reminds me of a certain amazing (and addictive) granola recipe that I have bookmarked for months…

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“Coconut tastes like eating paper!” one friend insisted.  Haha, that probably explains why I have a partly used bag of sweetened coconut flakes that just sits there.

It’s not that I personally don’t like them (I do), but I tend to bake for people that flap their arms furiously at the sight of coconut.  They don’t mind coconut milk or juice, but when it comes down to the coconut itself, the arms start moving.

It’s funny how those same people aren’t bothered when the coconut flakes reappear in coconut custard buns.  Alas, there are exceptions to personal preferences.  Personally, I think the soft, cloud-like texture of these buns mask all the flaky coconut annoyance, so it just taste delicious all-around.  Unfortunately, finding these wonderfully fragrant buns with that ethereal soft texture is pretty hard even in Asian-American communities, which is why I headed into the kitchen to try this recipe.

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I have to confess that I am not sure how people who can eat the same meal for days on end.  Take my brother, for example.  At one point, he ate hot dogs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a month.  He’s a trooper, really, but gosh, I feel sorry for my mother for having one kid who can eat the same meal for days on end and another kid who is about to gouge her eyes out after seeing the dish again for a fifth meal.  How does one cook for people who are so different like that?

However, there’s some exceptions to that rule, and for me, one of those is yogurt with granola.  It’s my go-to breakfast if I am rushing out the door.  Well, especially if I am rushing out the door, which unfortunately is everyday.  I am not really sure why because it is like a drier version of cereal and milk, and I am not fond of cereal and milk at all.  Maybe it reminds me of ice cream and its fixings and the whole idea I can help myself to whatever and however much I want!

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