food

Savory Oatmeal #1

I've decided to start numbering my savory oatmeals since I go through so many versions, depending on what’s in my fridge. 

  • Brown butter-toasted rolled oats cooked with coconut milk
  • Napa cabbage sautéed with kale, bacon, and garlic
  • Sunny side up eggs
  • Kimchi
  • Togarashi
  • Hot sesame oil (so good. put it on everything.)

Cheeseburgers and Ice Cube Trays

When I asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday, he responded, “Ice cube trays. The big cube ones, for whiskey. Maybe the spherical ones, too.” 

...sure, Dad. You got it. I think it's kind of cool actually, to turn 66 and not really want anything more than ice cube trays. G status. 

When I asked him what he wanted to have for his birthday dinner, if he wanted to go out or stay in, he requested cheeseburgers and hotdogs. I took care of the cheeseburgers (nothing fancy, recipe to follow), Pa & John brought hotdogs (some kind of veal situation with a great snap), baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and we had potato chips, fries, and a Boston creme pie. Dad spilled root beer all over himself (and the floor) and Mom put horseradish sauce on her burger. Pa and John bought him fancy crocs (*sigh) and, knee-deep in a food coma, we watched the Dimitri v. Murray match at the U.S. Open. 

Happy 66th birthday, Daddy. I can only aspire to your level of cool. 

(the ten second concept drawing of Dad and his birthday burgers)

A simple recipe for simple (but delicious) cheeseburgers

Thank you to my sister, aka my reluctant hand model

Ingredients
- ground beef chuck (20% fat)
- salt and pepper
- American cheese or sharp cheddar
- lettuce, tomato, red onion
- Duke's mayonnaise and spicy brown mustard
- potato buns

Directions
- Make burgers: salt & pepper the chuck. Form into balls (you can food scale it up, though we generally just eyed it), flatten into patties, and use your thumb to make an indentation in the center so they cook flat. 
- Cook over grill or med/high heat in a cast iron skillet on stovetop until desired doneness. 
- Assemble: Bun, burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, bun. 
- Make your family pose for photos before they eat. Oh, maybe that's just me.  

Behind the burger scene at Casa de Sananikone

We made sliders too, because the slider buns were too cute not to bring home. 

Jaew bong ribs & cucumber salad

Spare ribs marinated in jaew bong (Lao chili paste of garlic, chilies, galangal, pork skin, fish sauce, and about a hundred more ingredients), cucumber salad (thinly-sliced cucumber, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and chilies), rice that I made with too much water (dear god, please don't tell my mom), and iced Kona coffee from a can. 

I'm not going to write a proper recipe, but I will give you this: 

  1. Ribs were cooked at 350°F - 30 minutes one side, 30 minutes other side. 
  2. UCC Hawaiian Kona coffee with milk, purchased from H Mart.
  3. One of these days I'll write about the tried & true trick of cooking rice by the knuckle method. Apparently I didn't do it right today. I've brought so much dishonor upon my family, despite the rice being mushy and delicious.  

I made too much if anyone wants to come over. That, or I'm set for the next few days. I'm also trying to post more often, in case you're wondering why I may post in rapid-fire succession. 

Gochujang with chef Angel Barreto

I had the great pleasure of photographing a friend of mine, chef Angel Barreto of The Source by Wolfgang Puck (and my friend Brandi's beau), and a few dishes he was trying out for his culinary repertoire. For example: Japanese Curry emulsified with uni, Icelandic cod crusted with black tiger shrimp, English peas, roasted fingerling potatoes and chili oil - he's definitely going somewhere, y'all, and I'm not just saying that because Asian cuisine is near and dear to my heart. In fact, I'm saying it BECAUSE Asian cuisine is near and dear to my heart. The word fusion runs a cold shiver down my spine (get it, get it? cold fusion, low-energy nuclear reactions?) but Angel's food combines spectacular ingredients, modern technique, and my beloved Asian flavor profiles. It was a real pleasure watching him work and I loved spending time with them in the kitchen (she's a trained pastry chef & current manager at Restaurant Eve). Even better, I loved tasting everything after putting down my camera in between dishes. Follow him on instagram. 

Angel Barreto | Full Photo Set

Watercolor Tableware Workshop #2 and Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Photos from my second Watercolor Tableware Workshop at The Lemon Bowl! I had a great time, not that the first workshop wasn't amazing, but I streamlined things a bit, packed a little smarter (and lighter - those plates are heavy!) and was a little more at ease. Like the first time around, everyone's painting skills were mind-blowing - the Lemon Bowl space breeds creativity. Looking forward to my third and final watercolor workshop at the end of the month. Keep an eye out for a picnic class in the spring! I've also attached the recipe for the brown butter chocolate chunk cookies with French grey sea salt as a sweet thank you! 

See the full photo album hereThe Lemon Bowl


Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies with French Grey Sea Salt 

An amazing recipe from one of my favorite blogs - all recipe credit goes to Joy the Baker. I even forgot a couple of key ingredients the second time around (molasses + granulated sugar, though I remembered the sugar eventually) and they were still amazing. My only changes were I used a bittersweet chocolate bar (Scharffen Berger), no pecans, and a French sea salt that my aunt from Torcy brought for me the last time she was in town. Enjoy! 

1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
coarse sea salt, to sprinkle on top
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

- Place half the butter (8 tablespoons) in a medium skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat, swirling it in the pan occasionally. It’ll foam and froth as it cooks, and start to crackle and pop. Once the crackling stops, keep a close eye on the melted butter, continuing to swirl the pan often. The butter will start to smell nutty, and brown bits will form in the bottom. Once the bits are amber brown (about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes or so after the sizzling stops), remove the butter from the burner and immediately pour it into a small bowl, bits and all. This will stop the butter from cooking and burning.  Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.

- Beat the remaining 1/2 cup butter with the brown sugar for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract and molasses. Pour the cooled brown butter into the bowl, along with the granulated sugar. Beat for 2 minutes, until smooth; the mixture will lighten in color and become fluffy.

- Add the egg and egg yolk, and beat for one minute more. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, beating on low speed just until everything is incorporated. Use a spatula to fold in the chocolate chips and pecans and finish incorporating all of the dry flour bits into the dough.

- Scoop the dough onto a piece of parchment paper, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Flatten it slightly into a thick disk, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before you’re ready to begin baking, place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat your oven to 350°F.

- Scoop the dough in 2 tablespoon-sized balls onto the prepared baking sheets. Leave about 2″ between the cookies; they’ll spread as they bake. Sprinkle the cookies with sea salt, to taste — as much or as little as you like. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove them from the oven, and allow them to rest on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before moving them.

- Serve warm; or cool completely, and store airtight at room temperature for several days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.