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Archive for February, 2015

Friday Fridgg Favorites

{photo credit: Jane’s Adventures in Dinner}

a few of my favorite things on Fridgg this week:

good to know! {The Gracious Wife}

perfect cherry hand pies {Savory Experiments}

now this is my kind of taco! {Jane’s Adventures in Dinner}

this duck though {Jane’s Adventures in Dinner}

this chicken sounds fantastic {MM’s Kitchen Bites}

caramel macchiato cupcakes, yes please! {My Recipe Book}

dangerous. {Cooking and Beer}

brussels sprouts + runny eggs + bacon = the best “caesar” salad ever {No Spoon Necessary}

loving all the caramel-coffee cupcakes this week! {Homemade Food Junkie}

who says lemonade is just for summer? {The Kitchen McCabe}

roasted seaweed is one of my favorite snacks {Lara Ngai}

i’m intrigued {All That’s Jas}

sweet potato fries, always {The Endless Meal}

crispy skin, all the way!!! {a_boleyn}

i used to love snacking on taquitos after class in college, and these sound way tastier than the store-bought ones i used to get! {The Chunky Chef}

i love eggplant {MM’s Kitchen Bites}

comfort food {Basilico}

these brownies look like heaven {Turnips2Tangerines}

the classiest candy there is {Jen’s Favorite Cookies}

i want this soup. extra crispy onions, please. {Girl Gone Gourmet}

easy, healthy, super tasty. what more could you want in a breakfast? {What’s Cooking with Jim}

this reminds me of something you’d find in a Japanese bakery. {With a Blast}

Son wants me to make this asap, please {Cooks with Cocktails}

thin mint. dark chocolate. espresso. pot de creme. YES. {Cooking and Beer}

the prettiest styling evar. and that cake sounds delicious, too. {Tikkidio}

i adore butter chicken, especially when i can make it in the slow cooker! {Kitchen Sanctuary}

i kinda have a thing for quail eggs, so this is a must-try {Cooking Glory}

this chickpea salad sounds SO GOOD to me {Love From the Land}

bacon tacos? obviously, yes. {Cooking and Beer}

ninja turtle cake pops!!! {Kuhartnica}

i don’t even normally like black forest cake, but i totally want these crepes {Sweet2Eat Baking}

so much yes {Life Love and Good Food}

my Friday Fridgg Favorites are a very small selection of the photos and recipes on Fridgg that I’ve loved in the past week. this is by no means an all-encompassing list of what’s awesome on Fridgg this week. take a look, and find your favorites!

do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention? let me know in the comments!

Peanut Butter-Filled Brownies

Peanut Butter Brownies

When you’re just having one of those days (months… years?), when the stress is piling up and life has got you down, nothing beats the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.

Historically, the easiest way to get me out of a funk is with a pint of chocolate peanut butter ice cream (with a nice, thick peanut butter swirl, of course!)

But these brownies? Oh yes, they’ll do. They very much do the trick.

Richly chocolatey, with a thick, creamy peanut butter layer. I’ll bring the brownies, and we can commiserate together.

Recipe from Becca of Cookie Jar Treats, found on Fridgg.


  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator while you make the brownie batter.
  3. Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. In a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold to combine.
  4. Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Pour the peanut butter filling over the brownie batter, and spread the peanut butter filling towards the edges.Cover the filling with the remaining brownie batter.
  5. Place pan on the center rack and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out mostly clean with the exception of a few moist crumbs and a bit of peanut butter filling. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan for at least half an hour before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, slice and serve.
  6. Enjoy!

Weekly Wanderings {week 5}

For those of you who celebrate, happy Lunar New Year!

Each year, Son’s dad wants to cook less and less, which means the responsibility has been falling on me more and more.

Which meant the first half of my week completely revolved around preparing the food – from a mad rush to find good recipes for all the new-to-me things I had to make, to somehow managing to entirely avoid the crowds when buying ingredients at 99 Ranch (talk about good luck!), to somehow managing to cook everything in one day while also attending client meetings and getting all my work done (I still don’t know how I managed to get everything cooked on time!)

This year’s menu consisted of stuffed bitter melon (a first for me)…

stuffed bitter melon



… egg tarts (which turned out SO GOOD – recipe coming soon!)…

egg tarts

… as well as boiled pork belly, rice, and a bamboo/pork belly/duck braise that Son’s dad made, that we ate in spring rolls.

And now I’m exhausted. I’m glad we only have to do this once a year!


As my mom and her siblings are cleaning out my grandmother’s house, they’re finding all sorts of random stuff. My mom texted me a few weeks ago to ask if I wanted an exercise ball they had found deep in one of the closets… of course, I said yes.

Although brand-new, you can tell it’s really, really old – when we opened the box, we found an unopened VHS tape accompanying it! I feel like I’ve unearthed some sort of ancient artifact… 😉

found a vhs!


After the craziness of the Lunar New Year, I didn’t have the time or gumption to cook the rest of the week. So we went with one of our usual no-cook meals – meatballs from the freezer, in spring rolls with leftover veggies from Lunar New Year. Super easy, but still delicious!

meatball spring rolls


My favoritest thing about the Lunar New Year is the leftover bánh chưng (a Vietnamese rice cake filled with pork and mung bean) that we get to eat for the rest of the week! I like to eat it topped with coconut palm sugar; we also sometimes have it with a certain type of Vietnamese pickles.

Best ever.

banh chung

I really need to learn how to make it one of these days.


I ended the week by dragging Son to go see Los Angeles Ballet’s production of Sleeping Beauty… because my mom works for them as a costumer! It was really cool getting to see some of her work in action – she’s made plenty of costumes back when I used to dance, but this is the first time she’s actually built an entire tutu from scratch. Go mom! ^_^

LA Ballet's Sleeping Beauty


Links I’ve loved lately:

Ohmygosh if you haven’t seen this, you absolutely must go watch it now.

I wish I were Irvin’s next door neighbor.

If ever I make fortune cookies, it will have to be these.


The best thing I never knew I needed in my life.


Weekly Wanderings posts may include affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

Friday Fridgg Favorites

{photo credit: Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary}

a few of my favorite things on Fridgg this week:

these sound pretty damn delicious {What’s Cooking with Jim}

i’m intrigued {How to Philosophize with Cake}

this is a fun idea {No Spoon Necessary}

i would like these in my life {Cook This Again, Mom!}

i’ll take three of these, please {Cooking and Beer}

this thai grilled corn sounds amazing {Create Mindfully}

these eggplant rolls are so pretty! {Halal Home Cooking}

i fell in love with burrata last summer, so this is definitely happening asap {Family Foodie}

i’m not usually a granola person, but i could totally change that for this coconut macaroon granola {Kitchen Sanctuary}

this butternut squash and bacon mac n’ cheese, please {No Spoon Necessary}

ooooooooh! {Nutmeg Nanny}

egg tarts are my favorite {Lara Ngai}

these macarons are super hot {The Devil Wears Parsley}

pretty pink frosting {Homemade Food Junkie}

this dressing {Healthier Steps}

this salad looks so delicious and refreshing {Kitchen Sanctuary}

love this idea! {Nosh My Way}

i’d give you my heart for these tarts! {Cooks with Cocktails}

i hardly even drink much, but this just feels so classy {Blossom to Stem}

chocolate lava cake for breakfast. omgyes. {Catching Seeds}

crispy brussels sprouts are one of my many weaknesses {The Endless Meal}

need to make these chocolate raspberry tarts for my mother – she’d love them! {Homemade Food Junkie}

i’m not really an omelet person, but i totally could be for this omelet {Lifestyle Food Artistry}

these cookies. so delicate! {Kitchen Sanctuary}

ohmygod this. {Domestically Blissful}

i want a big bowl of this in my tummy now, please {The Chunky Chef}

also, these. gooey caramel is the bestest. {The Chunky Chef}

japanese curry is my ultimate comfort food {Foodie on Board}

this lasagna looks like fun {Joe’s Healthy Meals}

i’m obsessed with the colors in this photo. also, lobster spring rolls WHAT. {No Spoon Necessary}

i have absolutely zero problems with this cake, except for the fact that i don’t have a slice of it in front of me right now {Sugarhero!}

these sliders, to beat out all other sliders {Noshing with the Nolands}

this photo makes me want to go back to london {All That’s Jas}

the chocolatiest chocolate tart {Melanie Makes}

oooey gooey delicious {Cooking and Beer}

this sauce sounds amazing {Catching Seeds}

the cheesiest! {Homemade Hooplah}

the prettiest pistachio cupcakes {Food By Mars}

four words: dulce. de. leche. madelines. {The Spiced Life}

this bundt cake are what dreams are made of {Noshing with the Nolands}

WHAT. {SugarHero!}

chocolate peanut butter everything {Use Real Butter}

like the japanese an pan i grew up eating {From My Lemony Kitchen}

my Friday Fridgg Favorites are a very small selection of the photos and recipes on Fridgg that I’ve loved in the past week. this is by no means an all-encompassing list of what’s awesome on Fridgg this week. take a look, and find your favorites!

do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention? let me know in the comments!

Weekly Wanderings {week 4}

The last week’s been a crazier than usual one, the kind where you’re insanely busy but don’t get a single thing crossed off your to-do list. Blogging fell by the wayside, but in its place came lobsters! Random screaming animals! Tasty cheese! So, you know, I’m not complaining.


For the longest time, Son was NOT a cheese person. He didn’t like it, he didn’t really understand why people loved it so much. So for the past ten years, we haven’t really been a cheese-eating household, and I had to go elsewhere to get my occasional cheese fix.

But recently, seemingly out of nowhere, he suddenly LOVES cheese. He likes to eat the Laughing Cow wedges with bananas (apparently this was a thing he did as a kid), and then I bought a creamy swiss from Good Eggs and he adored that (on slices of French bread) as well.

Then, last week, we were at Whole Foods and he was drawn to the cheese section. He kept going back to the triple-creme bries, because he loved how soft they were. So we got one (and I’m still trying to get over my shock of Son voluntarily buying fancy cheese!)

Oh my goodness, it’s so good. Like butter! We’ve been eating it on these raisin pecan crackers, and we’ve had to severely limit ourselves lest we overdo it because it is so darn delicious.

triple creme brie


As self-employed software engineers, Son and I have a pretty stereotypical programmer schedule. On a normal night, we’re up coding until 3 or 4 in the morning, and then wake up around 11am or noon (unless we have an earlier client meeting).

So it was particularly unpleasant getting woken up at 6am mid-week, by the most horrible, creepy, inhuman screaming right outside our bedroom window.

After quickly determining it was definitely not the sound of one of our neighbors being tortured or the baby next door screeching her head off (which does, of course, happen on a regular basis, as babies tend to do), we got up and peeked outside in the dark to try to figure out what the heck was going on.

Only to find one of our neighbors outside in his pajamas with a flashlight, with a wide-eyed, freaked out look on his face, tiptoeing around trying to figure out what the hell had woken us all up.

Possum in heat? Raccoon torturing a small animal? We may never know… but luckily for the entire neighborhood Mr. Flashlight scared it into silence and it hasn’t been back since.

In comparison, getting woken up by loud gardeners or crying babies is music to my ears!


I know you’re all going to hate me now, but this whole Southern California not having a winter thing is getting just plain ridiculous. It’s the middle of February, and I’m wearing shorts.

Yes, yes, I know I sound like a spoiled California brat. (Who am I kidding, I totally am – I’d never survive a snowy winter!) But seriously, we’re in such a bad drought in California, and we need rain so badly!

How about this – you send cold rainy wishes my way, and I’ll send warm sunny thoughts toward all of you in colder climates. Deal?

so hot!


As my mom and her siblings are cleaning out my late grandmother’s house, they’re finding all sorts of treasures, some of which I’ve inherited. (I am now the proud owner of a grand thimble collection!) My grandmother was an avid knitter and crocheter, so she left a ton of yarn, and quite a few partially- or mostly-finished projects.

So I’ve decided to take up crocheting and knitting. Eventually. Because I definitely need more to do in my life.

But a very (very!) easy first project was to finish off the potholders my grandmother had made. There were about ten that were almost completely finished, just needed to be sewn up the middle to complete them. My mom gave me the task of finishing them (which turned out to be an excellent, mindless thing to do during meetings that didn’t require a ton of my participation), with the agreement that I was allowed to keep whichever ones I wanted. Best deal ever!



All my life, I’ve been an on-again off-again insomniac, so I’m always looking for ways to get to sleep easier. I recently read about the 4-7-8 breathing technique, where you breathe in for four counts, hold your breath for seven counts, and breathe out for eight counts. It’s supposed to be a good way to calm your mind and help you fall asleep quickly.

Friday morning I was going to have to get up quite a bit earlier than I normally do, so Thursday night I decided to try the technique. It seemed to be working well, and I was dropping off to sleep…

… and then, while holding my breath for seven counts, I accidentally let out a little squeak.

I peaked open one eye, to see if Son, who was still up watching TV, had heard, and found him looking down at me with a confused expression.

I totally lost it.

I spent the next ten minutes in tears because I was laughing so hard, which was made even worse by his first comment: “Did you fart?”

Suffice to say, the 4-7-8 breathing technique backfired dramatically.


I spent several days last week at my dad’s house, staying with him while my sister was out of town. We expected her home early Friday evening – just in time to coincide with a fresh seafood delivery that one of my aunts had sent us.

However, early Friday afternoon, we discovered that she had left something behind, and had to go back for another night. So she wouldn’t be getting home Friday night.

… which meant that all of a sudden, I had to figure out how to cook the four live lobsters and five pounds of mussels that had arrived earlier that day.

Have I mentioned that I had never cooked, much less touched, live lobster before? (In fact, the only other time I’ve ever cooked any sort of recently-alive seafood resulted in a rather hilariously terrifying experience.)

I swear the lobsters were mad-dogging me the whole time.

live lobster

I did it!

Mind you, I had to put on the dishwashing gloves before I could even get up the courage to touch one, and was trembling like crazy after I got it in the pot of boiling water, but I did it! And by the fourth one, I was barely even shaking anymore!

cooked lobster

I also made moules frites (mussels and french fries)… with Five Guys french fries. Cooking four live lobsters and a pot full of mussels for the first time was enough for one day. I have my limits. 😉

moules frites

The highlight of the day was when I went to serve my dad the lobster, he took one sniff of the melted butter and asked, “uh… which butter did you use?”

I looked back in the fridge, to find that the butter had an expiration date of May 8th, 2005 – one week before Son and I started dating. Hah! Needless to say, we got rid of that butter and melted some much fresher butter, for a very delicious lobster dinner. 😀


I’m currently reading pretty much everything Brandon Sanderson has ever written. I had been introduced to his writing when he finished off the Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan passed, but had never pursued his other stories. However The Way of Kings was free on Amazon for a while, so it was an obvious foot in the door. Although it started off slow, I ended up devouring The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance… only to discover that they were the only two published books in a much longer epic fantasy series that wasn’t finished yet. -_-

I moved on to the Mistborn Trilogy, and absolutely loved it. Now I’m reading Firefight, the second book in the Reckoners series. This series of his is less epic fantasy and more superhero, which is fun in its own way.


Links I’ve loved lately:

I wish I were the kind of cool cat who could pull off having tea parties, just for a good excuse to make these pretty elderflower and goldenberry friands. Yes, I just said cool cat. Which is a good hint as to why I’m not one.

I love the idea of living in a neighborhood where all the neighbors are friendly and invite each other over for dinner. Like this.

This photo styling! So good. Also, I totally want that cake.

The sucky part about being a female in a male dominated industry. I feel lucky that I’ve always been able to work with men who aren’t assholes, and have been supportive of us female programmers.

I’ve decided my life goal is to learn to knit, so I can KNIT SWEATERS FOR PENGUINS! I’ve found my calling.

This is the best article to read on Valentine’s Day. Got love in your life?

I’ve fallen in love with this travel blog. Every article makes me want to pack up and take a trip somewhere interesting.

I wish we could actually have a winter in LA (see: 80°F+ temperatures, above), just so I could have a good reason to make this hot chocolate. Hot chocolate just doesn’t feel right when it’s hot enough to wear shorts and a tank top…


Weekly Wanderings posts may include affiliate links. All opinions are my own.