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Archive for October, 2015

Triple Chocolate Flourless Brownie-Bottom Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

Death by chocolate… very appropriate for Halloween, don’t you think?

I made this a few years ago, when my grandmother had to go gluten-free so we planned an entire gluten-free Thanksgiving for her. This cheesecake is rich, decadent, and oh so chocolatey… and completely flourless! Highly recommended for all the chocolate-lovers in your life.

Triple Chocolate Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

Recipe originally found on Fridgg, but sadly the original link to the recipe no longer works.


For the brownie bottom:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
For the cheesecake:
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottom of a pie tin with a bit of coconut oil.
  2. Combine the first 5 brownie ingredients in a large bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Combine 3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips with 3/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Melt the chocolate chips by microwaving on low and stirring every 20 seconds until the chocolate is melted. Make sure not to overcook the chocolate chips!
  4. Pour the melted chocolate into the existing brownie batter stirring the batter as your pour. Once incorporated, pour the brownie batter into the prepared pie dish and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F.
  5. After 15 minutes, remove the pie plate from the oven and set aside to cool while you make the cheesecake part. The brownies will be very underdone at this point, but that’s ok. Reduce the oven heat to 325°F.
  6. Combine the 1/3 cup of milk chocolate chips and the 1/3 cup of semisweet chocolate chips and melt them in the oven using the technique described above.
  7. Once chocolate is melted, combine the mascarpone, ricotta, egg, egg yolk, vanilla, cocoa powder, honey and melted chocolate in a large bowl and beat with a hand held mixer until smooth.
  8. Pour the cheesecake filling onto the partially baked brownie bottom. Bake in a 325°F oven for 40-50 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake springs back when touched.
  9. Let cool, and enjoy!

Weekly Wanderings {week 35}

Happy birthday, to meeee!

This year, Son took me to North Italia, at the recently-opened The Pointe in El Segundo.

STEAMED PEI MUSSELS – white wine, butter & garlic, fresh herbs, spicy salumi (so delicious)

Steamed mussels



BACON & EGG PIZZA – italian bacon, farm egg, potato, garlic confit, basil (really freaking good)

Bacon and egg pizza

SQUID INK MAFALDINE – white shrimp, calamari, acqua pazza, mint, fennel pollen, calabrian chili

Squid ink pasta

BOMBOLINI (italian donuts) with meyer lemon curd, vanilla mascarpone


My mom gave me the sweetest gift – a photo of me with my grandmother (who passed away a year ago), in a frame she found at grandma’s house.

Me and grandma


Links I’ve loved lately:

A lovely essay on becoming a writer.

I so badly want to start/join a cookbook club. Who’s in?


Things I want to eat:

An excellent-sounding brussels sprouts recipe.

If it’s made with spaghetti squash, then that means this spaghetti squash carbonara is good for you, right?

Everything about this pasta bake sounds amazing.

I love kabocha, I love caramelized onions… which means I really need to make this galette.

These key lime pie thumbprint cookies sound so yum.

I really like the idea of these eggs in squash rings for breakfast.


Weekly Wanderings {week 34}

Heart beet. <3

Heart beet


Links I’ve loved lately:

This is fantastic, and I kind of want one.


Things I want to eat:

Butternut squash bacon biscuits. I mean, obviously.

Definitely want some of this sesame chicken.

Intruigued – miso in apple pie? I want to try.

All the black sesame things, always. And so perfect for Halloween!

I keep bookmarking recipes for Hokkaido milk bread, but I still haven’t made it yet. Time for that to change!

Basil ice cream… sounds odd, but tasty. I bet I’d enjoy it.

This kimchi udon stir fry looks amazing.

And oh man, I could happily eat this Taiwanese beef noodle soup every day!

I always adore sesame balls.

Doesn’t this braised beef ragu look amazing?

Been obsessed with soft pretzels since our trip to Germany last year.

I love brussels sprouts, so this thai braised brussels sprouts sounds like something I need to make.

Caramelized onion and roasted garlic pasta… oooohhhh my goodness yes.

Fries + aioli always.

Still haven’t made chili. Still bookmarking allll the chili recipes.

I’ve fallen in love with these mung bean sprouts every time we go to a Korean restaurant. Yeah, I definitely need to learn to make them at home.

Sticky. Toffee. Pancakes. omg.

This scallion beef stir fry sounds excellent.

Son adores panna cotta, so I bet he’d love this soy milk panna cotta.

Lotus mooncakes are my favorite.

This char siu looks insanely good.

Gingerbread + smoothie = healthy breakfast? I’m not complaining!


Slow Cooker Vietnamese Chicken and Bok Choy

Vietnamese slow cooker chicken and bok choy

I’ve got a persistent cough, the kind where you always get an itch in your throat at exactly the wrong time (such as, right at the moment when someone asks you a question in the middle of a conference call), and leaves you sounding like a chain smoker.

Son’s getting over an ear infection, which, as he put in an uncharacteristically poetic manner earlier tonight, “I feel like there’s a tiny hummingbird in my ear, making love to my eardrum.”

I’ve spent the last week staying up working until 4am every night, trying to meet crazy deadlines. (The glamorous life of a freelancer!)

The dishes are piling up, and there are boxes and boxes of miscellaneous kitchenware all over my living room floor, because they’re cleaning out grandma’s house and I couldn’t bear to let them just get rid of it all.

This is real life.

Which means, well, there couldn’t possibly be a better time to break out the slow cooker. What a lifesaver it is. Just toss the ingredients in a pot, turn it on, and don’t think about it again until it’s time to eat. It doesn’t get better than this.

I originally wrote the above back in May (yes, it takes me five months to finish a blog post), and liked it so much I decided to post it anyways. It’s finally cooling off in LA right now, after a summer and fall filled with heat waves, so it feels like slow cooker season again. I’ve already made this again this season just a couple of weeks ago, and I’m already craving it again. It’s that sort of hearty, comfort food-delicious sort of meal that fills you, warms you, and makes you feel good about yourself because it manages to be pretty healthy, too.

Slow cooker Vietnamese chicken and bok choy

Recipe adapted from Yankee Kitchen Ninja. We like to make lots and have leftovers all week, and the bok choy is our favorite part so we make quite a bit extra. However if you have a smaller slow cooker or just want enough for a meal, you can refer to the original recipe.


  • 10 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup shoyu
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced (I usually add more because we really love garlic)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • lots of bok choy (I usually go with 5lbs or so; other greens can also be used)

Cooking Directions

  1. Put everything except the bok choy in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours.
  2. Wash the bok choy, discard the last inch of the base. When the chicken is finished cooking, carefully transfer it to another bowl. Place the bok choy in the slow cooker, stirring to make sure it is coated with the sauce. Replace the lid, and cook on high for another half hour or so, until the bok choy is wilted and soft.
  3. Serve over white or brown rice. Enjoy!

Weekly Wanderings {week 33} {Bay Area edition}

Business trip! We spent the week in Palo Alto and San Francisco, meeting with clients.

We were starving when we got to Palo Alto, so we stopped at the hotel restaurant for a bite to eat. We figured the veggie panini ought to be a good, healthy option. It was tasty for sure, but oh so greasy!

Veggie panini and fries

Sandwich at the office.

Working lunch

Tacos! Our client took us to Nola for dinner the first night. They got an order of Churrasco Steak Tacos to share. Very delicious.

mini marinated steak tacos, smashed avocado, pickled red onions, house-made chimichurri


If there’s jambalaya on the menu, Son’s pretty much guaranteed to order it.

andouille sausage, tasso ham, chicken, shrimp, seared scallops, scallion rice, cajun spices, roasted tomatoes, crushed garlic, holy trinity, finished with a spicy sauce


I got Mr. T’s Famous Skirt Steak. It was definitely our favorite dish of the night.

teriyaki marinated skirt steak, hand-smashed garlic potatoes, grilled asparagus, crispy cornmeal onion strings


The second night we were on our own for dinner, so Son looked up nearby restaurants. We ended up walking to Pho Avenue.

Ca ri ga, bun bo hue from Pho Avenue



We started with an order of their spring roll sampler. Every single type was delicious.

Egg rolls

I ordered the ca ri ga with banh mi (chicken curry with bread). To say it was life-changing would not be an overstatement. The curry was fantastic, and the bread… well, I’d go back for the bread alone!

Ca ri ga

Son got the bun bo hue. I hear it was pretty tasty.

Bun bo hue

It was too legit to quit.

Bun bo hue blood cubes

Seriously, though, if it wouldn’t have been totally unprofessional we might have considered skipping the San Francisco part of the trip just to be able to eat at Pho Avenue again. It was that good.

We licked our plates clean!

Pretty designs at the hotel.


A coworker was kind enough to drive us up to San Francisco after the Palo Alto portion of our trip was done. We stopped at Curry Up Now in San Mateo on our way.

The mango lassi was some goooood stuff.

Mango lassi from Curry Up Now

And those “sexy fries” with lamb were totally Son’s jam.

We also got a Tikka Masala Burrito, although I didn’t get a good picture of it. Tasty!

Sexy fries with lamb from Curry Up Now

On our way out, we stopped by a dessert shop a couple of doors down called Bambu, which primarily sold Vietnamese-style che dessert drinks. Very delicious, and perfect for the looooong stop-and-go drive into San Francisco.

Me with a che dessert drink from Bambu

Our hotel in San Francisco was in the Financial District, which was right next to Chinatown. So of course we wandered in that direction for dinner, after we checked in.

And… we ended up at a Vietnamese restaurant. Who here’s suprised?

I went for the beef stew this time. It was quite chilly that night, so this was the perfect comfort food.

Hu tieu bo kho

Obviously, Son got bun bo hue. Again.

Son with his bun bo hue

The next morning, we had a day off from client meetings, so it was back to Chinatown for some takeout dim sum that we brought back to our hotel. (Hence the bare feet.)

It wasn’t bad, but we were a little disappointed that it wasn’t nearly as good as our go-to place in LA.

Dim sum

After pigging out on dim sum and getting some work done in our hotel room, we met my aunt for lunch.

She took us to a nearby vegetarian Chinese restaurant called Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant. None of us are vegetarian, but it was so good, we’d happily eat there on a regular basis!

Vegan Chinese food

We got:

Preserved Mustard Greens, Fried Rice Cake 雪菜炒年糕

Rice cakes with mustard greens

Coconut Sauce w/ Taro, Soy Chicken & Pumpkin椰汁香芋、南瓜 、芝麻雞

Kabocha and taro in coconut milk

Bean Curd Rolls w/ vegetable (stuffed w/Cabbage, Mushroom) 法海蒲團

Veggie tofu wraps

Tempura-fried kabocha squash

Tempura kabocha

Stir Fried Mixed Green Vegetables (Yau Choy, Shanghai Bok Choy & Broccoli) 清炒雜青菜

Bok choy and vegan chicken

Vegan squid

Vegan squid

… and a couple of other things I didn’t get photos of.

Everything was so good. We totally pigged out. Eight dishes, for three people. There were definitely leftovers, although maybe not as much as there should have been. 😉

After that it was back to the hotel to work a bit more, and then it was time to wander again to find some dinner.

We headed to the Ferry Building first, and because we’re adults and can do whatever we want, had dessert before dinner. 😀

Black sesame ice cream, and oolong tea ice cream, from Humphrey Slocombe. So good.

Black sesame and oolong tea ice creams

Looking for dinner. We found a very San Francisco sunset instead.

San Francisco

Although we got a little lost on the way (all those tall buildings really mess with GPS!), we finally found the place we were headed for dinner. Hello, Ramen Bar SF!

Of course, we had to try the Deviled Ramen Eggs – spicy miso, pork chashu, fried ramen, nori. We wouldn’t get it again, but we don’t regret trying it once.

Ramen deviled eggs

Son loves soft-shell crab, but this Tempura soft-shell crab with spicy kewpie mayo was sadly a bit soggy.

Tempura soft shell crab

Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen – shoyu tare, pork belly, benishoga, cabbage, soy-cured egg.

Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen

Hokkaido Ramen – spicy yasai miso tare, corn, garlic butter, pork belly, soy-cured egg. This was easily our favorite dish of the meal! Although we weren’t entirely wowed by the other dishes, we would go back again, just for this bowl of ramen.

Hokkaido Ramen

At our client meeting the next day, we got a taste (heh) of one of the many food delivery services available in San Francisco. Just saying, we wouldn’t mind if Bento Now delivered to us in LA too…

Bento box

And of course, can’t forget dessert. They also got cookies delivered, from another food delivery service.

Chocolate chip cookie

On our way out, before heading back to the airport, we stopped by SOMA Eats. Son got the Slow-Roasted Lamb Sandwich (house-roasted lamb shouldert with date almond relish and arugula on toasted ciabatta), and I got the BLT & Zataar Egg Sandwich (the classic with shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomato, bacon and avocado topped with a zaatar-spiced fried egg on thick-sliced white bread). Holy cow, those were some darn good sandwiches.


Au revoir, San Francisco, until next time!


Links I’ve loved lately:


I always adore watching Misty Copeland dance.

An important story.


Things I want to eat:

This is my kind of pizza.

I could happily eat these miso squash spring rolls every day.

These s’mores petit fours are so much fun.

Cannoli pound cake. *swoon*

Love the crust on these radish dumplings.

I adore everything about this ravioli dish.

Pimento cheese mac n’ cheese… yes, please!