Wednesday, March 16, 2011

opposite salad.

I love the contrasting tastes of sweet and savory. I tend to add a smidgen of strawberry preserves to my kalamata olives. I like my slightly salted popcorn with almost-too-sweet toffee chunks. Chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorite binge snacks. I dabble chicken in Panera's poppyseed dressing.

So, it's no surprise that I craved the contrasting flavors in my mouth this afternoon. I came home, dropped off my books, washed my hands, and picked the ripest avocado from the bowl. I searched the fridge for something to add to my makeshift avocado salad. I spotted two of my favorite fruits, raspberries and cantaloupe chunks, all washed up and ready to consume. I sliced up the cantaloupe into thin slices and ripped up the raspberries. I tossed the salad with just a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, my favorite dressing.

I was thrilled to find that the creamy avocado was paired so nicely with firm sweet slices of cantaloupe. The neon pink raspberries gave a zing to the salad for the taste buds and the eyes. The salad could easily serve two. I had two servings as my 5 o clock dinner, ignoring my mom's pot of chicken Japanese curry and brown rice, for something lighter. No, I didn't add pictures. Not because I was engrossed with watching Glee on (Although, it was so good! Kurt is adorable, passing out those foam fingers. Finn and Rachel- forever. Finn's smirk- swoon. The glitter slushies were a nice touch.) The dish isn't exactly picture perfect. After you add the balsamic vinegar, the avocado turns a bit too creamy and an olive green. It coats the slices with an army green. Not that pretty... If you want to make this for guests, you might want to skewer avocado chunks, cantaloupe slices, and a raspberry and dip it into balsamic vinegar (like soy sauce for sushi- American style, of course).

Opposite Salad
Serves 2

1 ripe avocado
1/2 cantaloupe (or any other melon), cubed then sliced
1 handful of raspberries (or other berries or even pomegrante seeds!)
4 or 5 splashes of balsamic vinegar

1. Cut open the avocado, take out the pit (take it off with a chef's knife), and slice it up into cubes. Cut around the rim and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place it into a medium sized bowl.
2. Take the sliced cantaloupe and add it to the avocado.
3. Take the raspberries and pull them apart with your fingers. Add to the bowl.
4. Splash balsamic vinegar, serve, and enjoy!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

crispy oatmeal cookies.

I love the feeling when you pull of batch of cookies out and they are successful. That feeling of relief washes over me like a wave. And the smell. That glorious smell fills the air.

One of my successes was with these oatmeal cookies. I made them for Christmas presents. I searched for good cookies far and wide. Finally, I came across some drool worthy pictures by smittenkitchen. I was smitten with that website since last year after Jenny Han blogged about them. My mother and I collaborated on this project. I added, drizzled, and gathered the ingredients. The beating of the eggs and sugar with my mom's favorite hand mixer was a fail for me. I still have to find a way to beat them with a hand mixer without making a mess.


I added my own twist to it. I prefer dark chocolate over white but never any in my oatmeal cookies. (A light drizzle is fine.) I usually add some raisins but we were out of stock. I just simply omitted the white chocolate and dialed down the sugar like always. Enjoy!


Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 3/4 sticks (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your baking sheet.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients, except oats, in a small-medium bowl. (flour, powder, soda, salt)
3. Beat the sugar and butter with a hand or stand mixer. Add egg and vanilla. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides to incorporate everything.
4. Slowly add the the flour mixture. Then the oats.
5. Divide the cookie dough in your portions. Smitten uses 24 portions, which is 2 tablespoons. Roll into a ball and press down slightly. Make sure that they are 2 1/2 inches apart because they will spread out.
6. Bake for around 13 - 16 minutes or until a "deep golden brown".

6 ounces of chopped good quality chocolate
Add with the oats during Step 4.

4-6 ounces of white/milk/dark chocolate.
Microwave for 15-20 seconds. Stir. And repeat in 10 second intervals. It might burn and turn into a brownie like substance! Drizzle after the cookies cool down.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

avocado agony.

I'm sitting at my desk, once again, with my beloved laptop open. A McKay outline is the only window open. Three AP review books (2 AP European History, 1 AP Art History) are open on my desk. My most recent purchase, the Barron's AP Euro, is spread across my sweatpants clad pants. I'm reading about the unification of Italy. It's hard to concentrate though. I just had dinner so there's not growling from my stomach nor do I feel empty.

However, I do want an avocado.

I want nice green and yellow slices to melt in my mouth like butter. A squirt of lemon juice and it can make my day. I prefer guacamole to salsa. Too much salsa can wilt a crispy tortilla chip. The chunks might slide off too easily. Guacamole is perfect.

I wonder what salmon and guacamole would taste like. The other day I had a maki that consisted of raw salmon, avocado, and julienned cucumbers. It's not the proper way to eat makis but I can't resist dipping slices of maki into soy sauced tinged with wasabi. The salmon and avocado are buttery. The cucumbers add a cool crisp. It makes sure that the maki isn't just rice and butter.

Okay, back to Italian unification. I have two tests tomorrow and chamber orchestra tonight. Oh, lucky me.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

arepas with cheese, please.

One of the best parts about traveling is the food. When I went to Beijing last summer, all I remember was the Great Wall, smog, rainy days, and the flavorful food. I still can taste a bit of the sweet and crispy Peking duck with the crisp cucumbers and soft white crepes/tortillas. The smell of fried cubes of river fish with dashes of curry powder and black pepper still linger in my nose. And how can I ever forget the pork and crab soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung? The flavor of the hot, distinctively salty dumplings filled with broth and meaty goodness will never be forgotten. Of course, I've just touched the tip of the iceberg. I've only been to the expensive restaurants in the Gallerias and such- too cowardly to venture into the depths of Beijing cuisine. Regardless, the food was remarkable and it is one of my best food memories yet.

So these are my recreations of my food memories. Whether it be food from Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Las Vegas, or good ol' Manhattan, I'm writing about my favorite foods. Plus, I'm cooking some up. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

I'm in the mood for arepas and queso blanco. Yum, yum. Too bad it's 12:21 AM over here in the suburbs. I'd love a warm slightly corn treat with stretchy, salty cheese.

just an intro.

moist banana muff-cakes.

ciabatta with ham, lettuce, and mustard.

"I'm hungry."
These are the first words I say when I wake up and get home from school.
Food is a secret passion of mine and a big part of my life. These pictures are just a few of my huge collection I call, "food". I like to take photographs of food. This is what drove me to start a food blog. I hope my future readers and I will both benefit from this. "What will you benefit?" you might ask. Ah, I will expand my recipe index, hopefully meet helpful people, make errors, and eat. A lot.

Hasta luego! I'll be back with some recipes. Moist banana muffins that taste like dense cupcakes anyone?