October 8, 2011

dineLA: Blue Stove

happy october!! went out for an early birthday dinner with a couple of my friends.  we decided on the Blue Stove located inside Nordstroms in Santa Monica.

first course:
topped with tangy goat cheese and tomato jam.

Ahi Tuna Stack with Ponzu & Crisp Wontons
 Ahi una, Ponzu, scallions, avocado, mango, Napa cabbage, champagne vinaigrette, fried wontons

Shrimp & Asparagus Tempura with Lemon Soy Dipping Sauce
 Butterflied shrimp, asparagus, lemon soy dipping sauce, toasted sesame seeds, scallions

Lump Crab Cakes with Remoulade
 Lump crab cakes, Remoulade sauce, Frisee lettuce, quince vinaigrette

second course: eaten in this order
Lemon scented risotto with seared scallops & French beans
 Scallops, French green beans, parmesan risotto

Braised Pork Shoulder with roasted parsnips & pickled raisins
 Braised pork shoulder, oven roasted parsnips, picked golden raisins, rosemary

Crisp and spicy dark cherry glazed beef
 Boneless braised short ribs, red & yellow bell peppers, Chinese chili peppers, dark cherry glaze, snipped chives

 third course:
Chocolate banana crème Brulee
 Vanilla bean custard, bananas, warm chocolate sauce

Local cheese plate with quince jam & natural honeycomb
 Chef daily selection of two cheese, toasted croutons, quince jam, honeycomb, port wine reduction, rosemary
(bleu cheese and midnight moon cheese)

little close up of the honeycomb

Butterscotch pot de crème
 Butterscotch custard, fine sea salt

beautiful food with beautiful people. 
happy eating!!

September 20, 2011

mini fruit tarts

people buy clothes, i buy kitchen items...
I walked into Williams and Sanoma this past weekend and found myself buying a mini tart pan. It comes with a dough cutter and mold shaper which makes the crust making/baking procedure super easy.

anyways, semi homemade project i guess:
followed the recipe on the box for the crust (not sure if i want to share the recipe...might give you a heart attack)...but on a side note: i'd add maybe 1tbsn more to the recipe.

bought instant jello pudding mix (cheesecake flavor) -mixed with heavy cream and milk. chilled.

fresh fruit.

August 22, 2011

diana and ray - august proposal

proposal story:
we received an email from mr ray asking if we'd help with some simple decorations "streamers and balloons" and to plan something to get diana to the park.

an email was sent to the girls for a "finer things club" meeting. sara asked if we'd help her make decorations and help with a mini photoshoot.  all agreed and some (even diana) went over to help with the last minute prep.

day of the proposal was super fun and exciting.  prepped all the baked goodies and headed to corona.
here is the finished table:

desserts and champagne.   

face masks by handmadebysarakim

green tea macarons

strawberry cupcakes with strawberry buttercream

coconut macaroons

green tea macarons

enjoy my friends!!

congrats to diana and ray ^^ love you guys!

photo credits - hudson lim

August 4, 2011

homemade jam

this past weekend, i baked some macarons with fresh berries in the center.  yesterday, i opened the fridge only to find my left over berries staring at me.  didnt know what to do with them...so thought it'd be nice to make some jam.

i placed the left over berries, and sugar into a pot (1 pound fruit to 1 cup sugar).

in low heat, allow berries and sugar to merry.  i smashed the berries a little. once all the sugar is dissolved, place in high heat and allow for mixture to come to a boil.

liquid will start to evaporate and mixture will start thickening.  place spoon in mixture and take out.  when the jam mixture drops off the spoon in slow thick drops, turn off heat.

please jam mixture in jars and use when ready.


July 17, 2011

coca cola chocolate cupcakes

baked cupcakes for my dear friend Sarah this past weekend.
coca cola chocolate cupcakes.
i topped it off with cola candy.


July 11, 2011

bbq pork loin ribs

had a bbq with the family a couple weeks back.  I wanted to try something different, so we decided on some pork ribs.  

A couple weeks ago, I received a bottle of KC Materpiece BBQ Sauce through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program.  Thought it would be perfect with my ribs so I decided to use it.
Its called "southern style" so what possibly could go wrong right?
This BBQ sauce is pretty flavorful.  Perfect for people who enjoy tart with a mini kick.

Heres what I did.
I placed the rack of ribs in a baking tray.  
dust it lightly with salt and pepper.  
spread 3 tspn of diced garlic (more or less depending on preference).
thinly slice 1 lemon and place slices of lemon on the ribs
pour a thin layer of water into the baking dish, cover with foil, place in a preheated oven (300F) and bake for 2 hours.
drain liquid, brush ribs with bbq sauce, lower heat to 275 cover and bake for 25 mins.
take the foil off, brush with bbq, bake for 15 mins.

one more picture from the bbq:


June 21, 2011

lemon bars

I can honestly say that I LOVE creating dessert bars. From the baking of the desserts, to the strategically packing everything into my car, to the setting of the table; the stress and rush is totally worth it.

This past weekend, I had a dessert bar order (photos to follow ...in another post).  A childhood friend of mine was having a HUGE wedding and wanted a HUGE dessert bar to match.  So much emotions flowed through my body the first hour or so I was there....THEY TOTALLY FORGOT THE DESSERT TABLE...AND THE TABLE CLOTH!!!! -_____- ... seriously, panic mode. I felt a mini break down coming.... I rushed on over to speak with the coordinator (quick cap: i shared with her the situation ...asking for help...and she responded with "what do you want me to do about it!")....SERIOUSLY!?!??!??? (slap her in the face...jk...but she totally deserves one)  but anyways, all in all everything came together in the end. I'm mighty glad it did.  I was able to attend the wedding ceremony and celebrate with the bride and groom.

even with that kinda stress, I still see hope to be in this industry one day (full time).  I'd take this kinda stress any day over a desk job...

10 year goal. still counting down....

on the brighter side, I baked some lemon bars ^^
Its a bit on the denser side.  I think i'll try the same recipe but maybe whip the egg whites and fold the lemon mixture into it to see what it'll do to the texture.
after some trial and errors, i will share the recipe and how each of them came out.

until then, enjoy a lemon bar under the sun ^^

June 3, 2011

seattle, washington part 1

in no particular order, I share with you places we visited while exploring the great Emeral City.

Voulas Offshore Cafe - seen on food networks - diners, drive ins, and dives.
Food is pretty decent and the portions are shareable.
**not very friendly service. AND the food took almost  1 HOUR for it to come out.  definitely not a place that should've been shown on triple D.  so yes my friends, if you would like to sit and wait one hour for your food while everyone around you gets their food, then I highly recommend it.

on to delicious pastries: Pirosky Bakery in Pikes Place, Seattle Wa.
the aroma that fills the streets leads to you this bakery.  lines run out the door but the wait is well worth it.
a hand held meal/pie is perfect for people on the go.  My favorite has to be the beef and onion. Delicious in my mouth.

Pikes Place, Fish Market
crab, tuna, oysters. all fresh, melt in your mouth awesomeness.

Lola, Seattle Wa
awesome place to go for night time happy hour. 
gyros are a must try along with a side of fries and hummus.

Molly Moons, Seattle Wa
A cute little ice cream store that makes all their unique flavors with local ingredients.
Watch the workers as they bust out fresh thin waffle cones regularly throughout the day.

part 2 coming soon

June 1, 2011


my friends and i went on a mini vaca to Seattle, Washington this past weekend.  And I know you're probably thinking " why seattle?" but lets just get past that question.

It was a nice time well spent away from California and I couldn't have asked for a better group of girls to go with.  We explored the wonderful city with our smart phones in hand and I will tell you it was quite a journey.  People here in socal drive everywhere, so walking from place to place, up and down the hilly blocks came as bit a of challenge. **side note: did you know that they only sell liquor in state owned liquor stores?  we found that out the hard way -____-.  anyways that was an interesting first day adventure.

I'm currently in the process of editing my pictures and putting everything together.  But I figured it'd be nice to just give a quick update (without pictures) before all my thoughts disappear into thin air.  The food was good and the city was pretty.  You don't know green until you see GREEN.  My goodness, I dont think I've EVER seen such green leaves, trees, stems, you name it.  Nature is greatly appreciated there.  It was literally a breath of fresh air haha.

quick info about life:
Things seem to be going in a positive route and I really do thank God for that.
1. last day at current work this friday.
2. new job starts next week.
3. 2 weddings to attend.
4. 2 wedding dessert bar orders.
5. mini retreat

I cant wait to see whats in store....

May 24, 2011


a mini preview of Jamie and Alex's wedding.

pictures from one of the photographers: jon kim

May 21, 2011

Girls Night Out

Once at work, someone asked my friend and I, " what does your friendship revolve around?" and we both answered with "FOOD".
I been blessed with friends who enjoy food as much as I do. Who is willing to try out new hot spots and who are patient with my picture takings (of food).  Anyways, a couple of my lady friends and I decided that we would go on a mini adventure around LA.  

With a friend already out in LA, because of work, we decided that the rest of us would take the metro.  it was like a scene out of a movie: last friend arrived at my house at 3:30pm.  we quickly drove over to my parents store to leave the car and walk on over to the metro station (other side of railroad tracks).  realizing the quickest way around was to walk/slide/run down the hill, we all held tightly onto the rails and down to the street we went. ran to the station, purchased out tickets and in we went into the train.(6:49 exactly on the dot)

we then found a Mr. Churro and felt the need to try a churro.
i mean if a place is called MR. CHURRO, it better be good right? umm wrong.  it was just alright.  from what i think, the churro is fried hollow and then they cut it in half and fill the churro with the cream (not sure if its true...just my assumption). the churro was warm and the cream cold.

i'm definitely still a fan of the churros from Taco Station, Riverside CA.

anyways, went over to Little Tokyo to do some exploring.
Came across Mitsuri Cafe where we bought one of these (no idea what they're called).  its like a mochi with red beans inside.  my friends liked the texture (they like the mochi rice cake texture), me on the other hand not so much.  it was just alright.  

we then each ate a mini japanese dumpling
apologies of the blurriness. 

got picked up from our friend and headed towards the Grove/farmers market.

here some ate oysters.  we then all had a plate of Brazillian BBQ. yumm!!

while pondering on which cafe to go to, we dropped by MILK.

I've been meaning to come here for a while now.  I'm glad to say that i've finally been.  
Didnt try what was originally on my list (blue velvet cake) but I'm definitely glad that I tried something else.
We shared these amazing ice cream sandwiches.  If you're a fan of macarons and a fan of ice cream, we then this is a MUST try.  two awesome creations merging to be one. (i wish i was eating one right now).
Anyways, the chewy texture of the macaron shell marries perfectly with the creamy cold ice cream.

i guess i will soon have to try this out for myself.
maybe mini ice cream sandwiches.

a bit too much eating for one evening, but super fun and relaxing.

happy saturday everyone!

May 18, 2011

james and susan's wedding part 2

I received more pictures from the bride today.
Thought that I would share with you.
The pictures came out beautifully and I'm thankful that I'm able to share them with you.

i leave you now with my favorite picture.

happy wednesday everyone!
its a day closer to the weekend!!

photographer: Sarah Chen