Easy Rustic (No-Knead) Bread

rustic no-knead bread

(Original Post Date:  January 31, 2011) Did I ever mention my husband bought me a KitchenAid Stand Mixer as a surprise gift a few years ago?  He thought I would like it, since I bake so much.  His heart was in the right place, but just like I shouldn’t be picking out tech gadgets for [...]

Costa Rican Fried Rice: Gallo Pinto

gallo pinto

(Original Post Date:  January 24, 2011) When I lived in Costa Rica for the summer, many years ago, one thing you could always count on was being served some form of black beans and rice at EVERY meal.  I was staying the La Selva Biological Research Station in the heart of the rain forest, and [...]

Hawaiian Butter Mochi

butter mochi

(Original Post Date:  January 16, 2011) Mochi is probably one of my most favorite things to eat.  I prefer my mochi plain and fried with just a little bit of soy sauce.  Yum!  But when it comes to dessert mochi… I’ve never really been a fan of azuki (red) bean filled mochi.  It’s ok… but [...]

Banh Bo Nuong (Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake)

banh bo nuong

(Original Post Date:  Jan 9, 2011) Who knew that Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake (Banh Bo Nuong) would end up being one of the most difficult cakes I’ve ever tried to make?  My friend gave me a delicious homemade Banh Bo Nuong around Christmas time, and I’ve been trying to duplicate it ever since.  The more I [...]

Blackberry Muffins

blackberry muffins

(Original Post Date:  January 07, 2011) Blackberries are high in phenolic acids – antioxidant compounds that are anti-carcinogenic.  I’m always trying to find ways to incorporate healthy foods into our daily diet.  When blackberries went on sale the other day (two packages for $3), I thought it was time to try these muffins. Use low [...]

Chestnut Rum Torte

Chestnut Torte

(Original Post Date:  December 28, 2010) I was intrigued by these packages of vacuum-packed chestnuts (already peeled and roasted) that I found at the Chinese Market a few weeks ago.  I tend to stay away from chestnuts in coking/baking, since I find them so hard to peel…  So I thought why not give them a [...]

Shrimp Gumbo

shrimp gumbo

(Original Post Date:  December 21, 2010) The weather here in San Diego has been rainy and cold all week long… and like many native Californians, this kind of weather makes me want to curl up in a ball (and not get out of bed), turn the heater on full blast, and eat nothing but soup.  [...]

Mohnkuchen (Austrian Poppy Seed Cake)


(Original Post Date:  December 17, 2010) I love this poppy seed cake.  It is so rich and buttery, and tastes so wonderful when it’s nice and warm – fresh out of the oven.  Serve it with a cup of tea for an afternoon snack, or for dessert. Poppy seeds can be expensive, but I seem [...]

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball soup

(Original Post Date:  December 11, 2010) Once in awhile, I will have a craving for the Matzo Ball Soup from Brent’s Jewish Deli.  Their matzo balls are light and fluffy – and so good!  (Plus, they serve the soup with this wonderful cheese bread and pickles!)  The problem is that I don’t live anywhere near Brent’s [...]

Pandan (Screwpine) Chiffon Cake

pandan chiffon cake

(Original Post Date:  December 06, 2010) I’ve always been a fan of the Vietnamese sweets that incorporate Pandan flavor (Screwpine leaf)… but I’ve never seen a Pandan leaf – so I probably wouldn’t recognize it even it if was right in front of me. Thankfully, my friend Connie had a bottle of Pandan extract that [...]