Made a bunch of food!

We’re at that period of being without restaurant excursions that we’re having food cravings, so we’ve been making fancier dishes!

Rice pudding! Better if you use already-cooked rice.
Carbonara with bell peppers. Better if you undercook the pasta a bit, ours started falling apart 🙁
Our patented fried tofu! for use in…
Kimbap (kinda). We didn’t have a lot of the usual kimbap ingredients. We used fried tofu, egg omelet, avocado, bell pepper, and kale with sesame oil and garlic.
Final rolls!
Mapo tofu and mushrooms. We haven’t been able to consistently get our normal kind of rice (haiga, partially-polished medium grain), so we’ve been eating a bunch of different types: basmati, sushi, brown sushi, and arborio.
Macaroni and cheese using my mom’s recipe. This one sadly didn’t end up with enough sauce, so I guess I’ll have to make it again 🙂
Pumpkin cheesecake
Onion pizza! This was from a while ago. The dough for the crust was made at a company cooking class outing 🙂 I cooked the pizza on the stovetop to crisp the bottom and broiled it to finish the top.

Cuatro leches cake

We’ve been expanding our dessert repertoire, and I wanted to use up a box of cake mix we got from the free shelf in our apartment building. J suggested cuatro leches cake! It’s like tres leches cake (cake soaked in a mixture of condensed, evaporated, and whole milk or heavy cream, often topped with dulce de leche), but the cake batter also includes powdered milk. I’m not sure that the powdered milk actually does anything for the cake, seems like it might just be for bragging rights on getting 53 different milk ingredients into the dish.

This isn’t really going to be a recipe so much as a guide, since I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a cake mix. The cake is supposed to be a sponge cake, and there are lots of versions online. We added 1/4 cup milk powder to the boxed mix, and whipped the egg whites and folded them in.

Baked in the 13″ cast iron ’cause we don’t have a cake pan and the brownie pan was being used to make dulce de leche. We don’t have photos of that, but know that it made the microwave sticky inside and out.
Poke a bunch of holes and soak with a mixture of (approximately) 1 can of evaporated milk, 1 cup of whole milk or heavy cream, and as much condensed milk as you want, up to 1 can which will make the cake very sweet. We used barely any condensed milk here, which made it a good level of sweetness in combination with the icing.
Cut up haphazardly, move to a smaller container because you froze half the cake, and top with dulce de leche or whipped cream!

The cake turned out really well, much better than I was expecting! J had described the cake as being soooo sweet that you can only eat about a 1 square inch piece at a time. This version is more like cuatro leches cake lite.

Better bagel batch

We tried making bagels again, same recipe. They turned out a lot prettier. In the shaping step, turning the dough into nice balls is pretty important, and cornmeal is important to prevent sticking.

The texture is not that similar to commercial bagels – ours are a lot fluffier. Malt powder may be the secret to the denseness of regular bagels.

Moroccan tagine

With tempeh.
  • Oil
  • 1 pound chicken or other protein (tempeh, tofu, beef, etc), cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup quartered dried figs (about 2 oz)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green olives
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Marsala or Madeira
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Brown protein in oil. Add all ingredients except for cilantro. Cook for about 10 minutes until protein is cooked through and figs are plump. Turn off pan and stir in cilantro.

The wine can be substituted with other alcohols. We’ve used shaoxing cooking wine out of convenience.

Gamjajorim (Korean potato side dish)

From Maangchi.

  • 2-3 medium potatoes (about 1 lb total)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp corn syrup (or honey or sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds to taste
  1. Cut potatoes into 2 cm cubes. Rinse. Cut onion into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Cook garlic and potato in oil for a few minutes. Add onion. Add water and soy sauce. Simmer until liquid is mostly evaporated and potato is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add more water if needed.
  3. Turn off stove, adding sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Compost pickup options

If you’re not able to go to your normal compost drop-off location, you may be able to get compost picked up! A lot of the services are bicycle-powered and pick up every 1 or 2 weeks. Cost seems to be around $20/5 gallon bucket or $30-50/month.

Here’s a map of US and Canadian compost pickup services.

Finishing the wool slippers

Original post here! I put the slippers around my foot casts (filled with scrap fabric to make them firm) then ran them through the washer and dryer.

Oooo, very nicely shaped.

Overall, they fit better but there’s still a bunch of extra felt around the ankle. As it turns out, positive molds (vs negative molds, i.e. casts) of your feet are bigger than your feet, so these are a bit loose. For actual shoes or other tightly-fitted footwear, I’d want to do some additional shaping via cutting/sewing. The instructions I followed (loosely) for this project were meant to be boots with a tongue and laces – hence where the extra felt was supposed to go.

Fried chicken bao

Bao recipe and spicy fried chicken inspiration – we used our own fried chicken recipe.

Okay, not beautiful but good. We ate the bao with mayo and gochujang.

I presume the dough recipe is good for other bao dishes.

Bay Area adventures with my dad!

My dad visited J and me this past fall in California. Unfortunately, he bowed out of staying with us, and didn’t get to experience that studio life!! But we did a number of other fun activities.

Fixing the sofa with dental floss was just one part of getting ready for the visit.
Indian pizza with my dad and friend A.
Peach Dutch baby (fondly called “the big pancake” in my family) for breakfast, recipe courtesy of my mom. We were too ambitious with the peaches – these are supposed to puff a lot more than this usually… I’ll post the recipe on here sometime and y’all can try it out.
Hangar One, completed in 1933, at the Moffett Field Historical Society Museum. Lots of airplanes, old military uniforms, scale models of stuff, etc. There were a lot of interesting older buildings at the airfield. With more time, it would’ve been fun to walk around. Mysteriously, Carnegie Mellon also has an outpost here.
The underside of the Golden Gate bridge!! As seen from Fort Point.
Fancy dim sum restaurant! This is Koi Palace in Daly City. J heard about it from… somewhere. It’s supposed to be really good. We got there pretty early in the morning and briefly had to wait in line.
Some hiking~
We got rid of some bad lamps at Goodwill and picked up a new-to-us one! It’s made by Stiffel, my dad’s favorite lamp company. Apparently they’re normally quite expensive ($300) – we got this one for $25!
We also saw this cute replacement shade 🙂
Ate at Original Joe’s, a kinda fancy Italian place in SF.

We went to Santa Cruz and saw some old mission buildings. The actual mission was partially destroyed in a mid-1800s earthquake and replaced by another church. A replica was built in 1931. The only original building was used as housing for Native Americans.

Another rag rug

I made a custom-request rag rug for Sibling C! This is going to go beside a bed, so you don’t step on the cold floor in the winter.

Made from 1 sheet, 8 shirts, 3 of those cloth bags sheet sets come in, and about 10 pairs of underwear (the elastic was all stretched out).

This one is also braided, but in a zig-zag instead of a circle.