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Archive for November, 2012

Colorful scalloped potato gratin, with three types of potatoes. And bacon.

Monday morning: No dinner plans. Figure I’ll scrape something together from whatever happens to be in the Fridgg fridge. (Oops, totally didn’t realize I had spelled it like that until I published this post!) If all else fails, it’ll be a bowl of cereal for dinner.

Monday afternoon: Still no dinner plans. Spending the day coding for Fridgg, working on a post for Sushi Day and an episode for my Miso Hungry Podcast that were supposed to go up last night, and trying to do some cleaning around this messy, messy apartment of mine.

Monday evening: Nope, no dinner plans. Then Son asks me to roast one of the purple sweet potatoes we bought at Nijiya Market on Sawtelle in West LA last week, because he’s hungry. Meh. While I do love roasted sweet potatoes, for some reason I just wasn’t in the mood for making one tonight. I procrastinate.

Monday, 8pm: On a whim, I decide I’m going to make a gratin! I had been wanting to make one, and just happened to have all the ingredients (plus, purple sweet potatoes!) I find the recipe for regular potato and sweet potato gratin I had bookmarked last month. I start peeling and slicing potatoes. Because, you know, it’s totally normal to start cooking dinner at 8pm.

Monday, 9pm: The recipe I was using seems good, but dull. I wanted something more. I know when my mom makes scalloped potatoes, she uses cheddar cheese and bacon. So I figure, why the heck not? I start cooking some bacon.

Monday, 10:30pm: The gratin is finally in the oven. Now to do dishes while I wait for it to be done, and check it every five minutes to make sure the cheese and bacon on top isn’t at risk of burning.

Monday, 11:30pm: Oooh, the kitchen smells delicious. The gratin is out of the oven, and off to Son’s home office so he can take photos before I cut into it. Here’s hoping it actually tastes as good as it looks and smells!

Monday, midnight: I finally get to cut into the gratin. My main worry was that the sweet potatoes wouldn’t be cooked through, since they start out harder than the potatoes. Plus, does cheddar cheese work with sweet potatoes? I have no idea. Luckily, it turned out I had no reason to worry. This was the best gratin I’ve ever had. Even Son loved it, and he’s usually not a scalloped potatoes kind of guy at all!

Tuesday, 1am: My little brother saw my post on Instagram about the gratin, and came to my apartment to get a plate of it. We’ve already eaten more than half of the gratin. It was that good. I have a feeling the leftovers won’t last past tomorrow.

Recipe inspired by this scalloped potato gratin from A Thought For Food.


  • 4 lbs potatoes (I used 1 large white sweet potato, 1 large purple sweet potatoes, and enough red potatoes to make up the difference)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pkg bacon
  • 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • salt and pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13″ rectangular baking dish with butter.
  2. Dice the bacon into 1/2″ pieces. Cook in a large frying pan until crispy. Drain.
  3. Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice into 1/8″ slices.
  4. Thinly slice the garlic cloves.
  5. Layer about half the potatoes into the bottom of the baking dish, alternating regular potatoes and sweet potatoes, if using them. Pour 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream over it, season with salt and pepper. Evenly sprinkle the sliced garlic, 4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, and half the bacon over the potatoes.
  6. Repeat with the remainder of the ingredients. Bake for 45 minutes.
  7. Delicious served sprinkled with green onions, paprika, or drizzled with hot sauce (we used Sriracha, but it’s probably delicious with most any type of hot sauce).

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie + Peanut Butter Cup + Cheesecake Layer Bars

Decadent, delicious.

I’ve been a huge fan of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody for quite some time now. She always comes up with the craziest recipes (kind of like what I do on Sushi Day), but as wacky as they may be, they quite often also sound delicious.

I had the opportunity to meet her at IFBC back in 2010, and can attest to the fact that she’s just as awesome (and hilarious) in person as she is on her blog. These days, I also consider myself pretty lucky to be able to call her a friend.

There are a lot of things from her blog that I’ve bookmarked to make in the future, but the only thing I’ve ever gotten around to making was her vanilla nutmeg caramels for my own version of scotch kisses.

But then, every once in a while, there comes a recipe that you see and just have to make RIGHT THAT INSTANT. This is what happened when I saw her recipe for Peanut Butter Cup Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. OMG. (Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she gave Fridgg a shout out in her post, sending TONS of traffic our way – thank you so much, Peabody!)

The bottom layer is a peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips mixed in. Then you top it with full-sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Then a layer of cheesecake. Then top it with more of the peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough, more chocolate chips, and mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

If you don’t think that sounds amazing, there’s something wrong with you. Or you’re allergic to peanuts. But still. It sounds ridiculous, right?

Obviously, I had to make it, and bring it to Son’s office for his coworkers. (They just started serving free lunches there, and one of his former bosses said to me, “I was going to tell you we don’t need you anymore now that we get free food, but this is MUCH better!”) Everyone loved them. They’re totally over-the-top decadent, but if you cut them into small squares, they’re just right.

So head on over to Peabody’s post for the recipe, then come back and let me know what you think!

New Features on Fridgg!

It’s been just over a month since we opened up Fridgg to the public, and we’re really loving all of the beautiful food photos you all are posting every day!

This blog will continue to be a food blog (and even more so than in recent history, since I’ve been cooking and taking pictures of my food a lot more lately!), but now it will also be a place where we can post updates about new features on Fridgg. Even more importantly, the Fridgg blog is a place where you guys can talk directly with us – you can ask questions, give suggestions, and tell us what you think of the new features!

Take a tour of Fridgg!

First of all, we have a brand new snazzy tour page! If you’re still wondering what Fridgg is all about, or want to explain Fridgg to your friends, the tour page is the place to be.

We now send out an email every day (or once a week, depending on your email settings) with that day’s most popular photos, as well as anything new that the people you follow have uploaded that day. If you’re not already signed up for Fridgg, sign up here to get our daily emails of deliciousness. (We promise we’ll only send you the emails you want, and we’ll never give your email address to anyone else without your permission.)

If you use Google Chrome, we now have a Chrome App for Fridgg. Install it, and you’ll have an easy way to get to Fridgg straight from your browser.

Pumpkin Pie Wontons with Maple Whipped Cream

Thanksgiving is a week and a half away in the US, so it’s time to get planning! Check out the Thanksgiving tag on Fridgg for some great ideas for your Thanksgiving feast, and submit your own photos with the Thanksgiving tag so they’ll show up there too.

And lastly, if you haven’t already, you can follow Fridgg on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions for Fridgg? Leave them in the comments, or email me at

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

(For a bigger version of the photo, check it out on the new Fridgg! 😀 )

I love baking, but since it’s just Son and myself at home, a batch of anything is always too much. There’s only so much you can pawn off on family, so most of what I bake ends up going to my physical therapist’s office (they all love me there) and Son’s work (they do too 😉 ).

The only problem with bringing baked goods into Son’s work is that one of his coworkers/friends has recently gone vegan… so she can never eat the butter/egg/dairy-filled baked goods I bring in.

Luckily for her, I love a challenge! I’ve been wanting to make something she can eat for a while, but I didn’t want anything that used weird ingredients like dairy-free margarine, or anything like that. I found this vegan peanut butter cookie recipe on, and although I was a little worried it might not work, I decided to try it.

This last weekend one of his old coworkers had a housewarming party, which was the perfect occasion! The cookies turned out wonderfully – they’re a little more cake-like, and crumblier than non-vegan cookies, but delicious nonetheless. I thought they were reminiscent of the filling of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (which I LOVE), while Son said they reminded them of the Vietnamese mung bean cookies eaten around the Lunar New Year.

Just don’t do what I did with the first batch, and forget to flatten them with a fork (although in my defense, the original recipe left that part out). The cookies come out of the oven in the same shape that they were when they went in… and as you can see, flattening the cooked cookie balls after the fact doesn’t work so well.

(Although one of my twitter followers did have the great idea of using the cookie crumbs for a pie crust… which makes me want to mess up more cookies just so I have an excuse to try that!)

Flatten the cookies BEFORE they go in the oven!


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • extra sugar for flattening

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Roll the dough into 1.5-inch balls, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  4. Dip a fork in sugar and use it to flatten the balls, creating a cross-hatch pattern on each cookie. Dip the fork in sugar again each time you flatten a cookie.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Let cool on the cookie sheet. These are crumblier than non-vegan cookies.
  7. Enjoy!