Friday, July 30, 2010

A dry spell

 I only wish I can be as consistent about posting as Carey, but between starting work this week and a 3 hour a day commute, it's hard to make anything more than cereal, salad, and sandwiches. But I hope to do some serious recipe searching this weekend for easy but delicious and filling brown bag lunch ideas. So stay tuned!

In the mean time, I came across this incredible video of a compilation of the Iron Chef America Chairman unveiling the secret ingredient. If you watch the show, you'll definitely appreciate it. But it's entertaining even if you don't.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Baba ghanoush

I got some beautiful eggplants last weekend at the farmer's market. Unlike the big dark purple ones, these are a lighter shade of purple and much smaller. According to my mom, they're supposed to be more tender and flavorful than the bigger ones. But frankly I have no idea what variety I ended up getting. Also, I didn't know this, but China is by far the biggest eggplant producer in the world, growing more than twice what India, the second largest producer, grows.

Anyway, it didn't matter what the eggplants I got looked like, because they eventually ended up looking like this:

And then like this:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate cake

Growing up in China, I thought birthday cakes were pretty magical stuff. Like, on par with the mooncakes that we ate during the mid-autumn festivals or the garlic pickled in vinegar that would turn blue just in time for Chinese new year. On my birthdays, my granddad would pick me up early from school (and make me feel sooooo special because no one else got to leave school early that day) and take me to the state-run bakery and pick up my birthday cake. Sometimes, those standoffish middle-aged baker ladies would make it on the spot in front of a glass window through which I could watch the entire cake making process, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. She would put this simple yellow cake on a turnstile and proceed to cover it with a thick layer of frosting and flowers. At such a young age, I just couldn't comprehend how a tube of frosting can turn into flowers and other shapes -- it must be magic. Which is why I think people who make their own wedding cakes or that guy on ace of cakes are pretty much the most talented people ever.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010