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cryptic post of the day

I didn’t know it was possible for people like this to exist.


But on another note, I found this following conversation pretty hilarious. To preface, it was because I was taking a shower today and Kitler decided to jump in with me. I would have minded less if he hadn’t decided to walk in and out of his litter box afterward, because Ninja’s definitely jumped into the shower with me on multiple occasions, but she didn’t send litter flying everywhere afterward. :'( RIP, clean and sparkly bathroom. You had a good run.

K: I didn’t know cats liked showers.
F: I have really weird cats. Ninja’s done this before too, minus the litter box part.
M: And your roommates!
F: Yes, but I didn’t mind my roommates, because they dry themselves off. :[
M: There’s obviously something about you and showers that indicates community.

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explain them tags

It occurred to me the other today that some of the tags in my posts don’t make too much sense if you’re not me or the people encompassed within that particular group, and while it may not matter to most, I feel like explaining em’ today because I miss the contents of said tags. I think the whole concept of having a name for a group of people came out of sheer laziness/convenience (because who wants to have to name every single person in the group every time they mention it?). In any case, they are invariably tagged in many of my recipe posts because we wholeheartedly believe that food is an event. I swear we do other things than eat, but generally speaking, the only pictoral evidence I ever have of our gatherings is for the food, because hell knows I never seem to take pictures of anything else.

If there’s one thing I have good taste in (I say this only because my first couple picks in dudes were pretty effing questionable), it’s in my friends. <3 You’ll probably notice there are several people who overlap consistently in these groups because we’ve basically been friends for what seems like forever and logic concludes that if you find a good one, you hold onto them. I’m gonna attempt to go somewhat chronologically. This is, in short, the main cast of characters in my life. <3

.CCL4.

Everyone except me, because I’m taking the picture. :P

This consists of my closest elementary school friends (me, Joanne, Jun, Amy). I’ve known Amy and Joanne since fourth grade–Joanne is the first friend I made when I moved to the other side of my hometown. We have been through a shit ton together, and I’m super glad that we’re still awesome friends. :] Her mom has at one point mistaken me for her girlfriend (nope nope). I like to refer to Amy as my “favorite neighbor.” She lives across the street (times two) from me and for the majority of elementary school throughout high school, we’d walk to school together. We don’t really talk all that much anymore, but back in the day, we’d have annual sleepovers with the four of us and where we’d watch stupid movies, play games and be awesome. Amy coined the term for our group name, which is short for “ChenChanLiFongtastic Four,” a conglomeration of our last names. I shortened it to CCL4 because that’s carbon tetrachloride, although technically, it should be CCLF4. CCl4 had a better ring to it though. :O

.whibefariends.

Evidence of our hang-out-itude in high school. This was us at Keat’s house before senior ball. :O

The only two high school friends I consistently hung out with throughout high school (e.g. during lunch, etc.) that I remained in contact with. (I’ve known most of my closest friends since elementary school, but we didn’t necessarily hang out in the same groups in high school. We used to write in notebooks and pass em’ back and forth throughout the week to keep each other updated on our lives and such. Then we split to 3 different UC’s and then to different parts of the state (country, in my case) for a while, so now we keep in touch through facebook and try to make it a pact to hang out at least 1-2 times per year through gathering together to garner new hobbies and make stuff (e.g. last year, I learned to knit and we started making all kinds of stuff). whibefariends is a combination of the first couple letters of each of our first names. Yes, we were trying to be ghetto.

Here’s us with our creations (scarves). :O

.9F.

This is the kind of stupid shit we do together. Yep. The idea arose because we owned matching underwear. We’re awesome, I swear.

Our lonely (hah, “lonely” group of two, so named 9F because that was the apartment we lived in together for two years. This consists of none other than Jun, my college roommate/facebook husband. We lived together for all four years of college and have been married on facebook since July 8th of 2006 (which I believe trumps many actual relationships in length and quality), coupled with a 2-year long engagement. We go out every year for steak or whatever we’re craving for our anniversary lunch or dinner and usually drag along friends to celebrate the joyous occasion. We’ve been friends since we were 11-12. <3

.6F.

At my junior recital! <3

This consisted of the merging of 9F with Nadia and Rey, who lived in 6F. To this day, we still blame Kayleen for wanting to sit with the sushi boats on her birthday back in freshmen year of undergrad because if not for that, it is highly likely that we would have met each other sooner and started living together/making even more awesome memories sooner. But better late than never! We had about a year’s worth of awesome times together and they are the reason why I am hesitant to ever live with anyone else again because the only way to go from there is down. I’ve technically known Nadia since freshmen year of Davis, but didn’t get to know her until around junior year. I officially met Rey in my junior year as well (she is my “dirty mistress” and collectively, we’re known as “Reyrah,” and the four of us hit it off immediately, so we replaced their former roommates the following year. <3 I miss them lots, and basically became Nadia’s weekend roommate from 2010-2011.

.supah speshal awsum.

Us as the Alice in Wonderland cast!

This the blanket term for everyone in Fremont/Davis that we hang out with, and it’s the name we used for mogwee (a group chat application that we all downloaded one day because Florence was working for the company that made it and we were being their free beta testers). It’s butchered English for “super special awesome” [just in case you can’t tell] because we tend to regress (that’s not even the correct term because only one of us is actually a fob) into fob speech when we’re around each other. Right now, it mostly consists of Diana, me, Florence, Joanne, Jun, Kayleen, Steph and Nadia, but can stretch to encompass others (anyone we hang out with back home, basically). The pictures I have don’t have Florence or Steph because I apparently stopped taking pictures of anything other than food/pole dancing after I moved back to Fremont.

I think this picture most aptly describes our friendship.

.coterie.

We’re missing Sylvia because she’s taking the picture! :[ This was on our SF trip.

Although I’ve known Mekala since the 4th grade, we actually didn’t become friends until around freshmen/sophomore year of college (weird how that works, huh? it only took 9 years, haha). I had treble ensemble with Sylvia, but again, we didn’t become friends until sophomore year, and I met Kaitlin at Davis too. We had physiology and/or our creation of Dames & Fellas A Capella together and bonded over that, and after we all graduated and moved back to Fremont (other than Kaitlin :[ ), Mekala and Sylvia became my running/recipe experimentation buddies. We try to all meet up somewhere in the middle of where we all live once a year because we miss each other, and are all freakishly busy/not in the same time zone otherwise, since I’m generally in the eastern time zone, Mekala’s in the middle, and Sylvia/Kaitlin are in CA. This group name is taken from the name of our group texting app (yep, that’s how we keep in touch. that and the ecards Sylvia sends us). :O

Yay! Here we are. :O They came to see my senior recital! <3

.MH gang.

Here’s us with our landlord at our white coat ceremony! :] It’s blurry because this is a picture taken of the picture my landlord gave me (it’s the only one that has all of us!).

MH is short for the road/hill we live on, but this is basically me and my neighbors in WV. Both of them are full of all sorts of awesome and I am beyond lucky to have them as my neighbors, although I’ll have to admit that I’m pretty biased towards Adam in terms of bonus points of awesome because we never see Dustin anymore and because Adam cooks me meals (my parents are likely hanging their heads in shame over this because I seem like a total eternal freeloader, but I swear I try to reciprocate ;_; ), picks up random stuff at the store that he knows I’ll like, functions as my alarm clock/cold-weather-living advisor, as well as my study buddy. We spend inordinate amounts of time together studying, so it’s a really good thing that we get along so well, or shit would go down. All in all, I couldn’t ask for better neighbors. :O I’ve become severely spoiled and am not really sure what I’m gonna do without them after these two years pass by. :[ :[

We have yet to figure out a name for the group I hang out with at med school other than my neighbor (this doesn’t happen so often anymore because I started studying at home/med school happened, but we do still see each other! :O). We keep each other sane and often make food to share with each other. For the ones who can’t cook (e.g. Kosina, despite the fact that her name means “kitchen”), they buy stuff and bring it in so we’re usually all in good moods. I’ll retag when we get hit by a couple bouts of inspiration and figure out something to collectively call ourselves. :O

Black & White Cookies

This recipe claimed to only take about 33-ish minutes. I assume this would have been the case if you happened to own a mixing device and/or icing things happened to be your area of expertise, but no matter. It didn’t end up taking too much longer than that. :O

The dough was kinda cake-like, and settled pretty quickly. The cookies themselves aren’t very sweet, but the icing makes up the difference. >_> (Go figure, with two cups of powdered sugar in there. >_>) The recipe was adapted from a Family Circle magazine.

Black & White Cookies


Ingredients:
(Cookies)
-1 1/4 cups flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
-1 egg
-1/3 cup buttermilk
(Icing)
-2 cups confectioners’ sugar
-3 tbsp + 2 tsp soy milk
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbsp cocoa powder

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 350. Cover 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and set aside.
2) In medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, beat together sugar and butter until smooth and creamy (~1 minute). Beat in egg until well combined. Alternately beat in flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3) Drop 1/4 cupfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 3 inches apart and spreading into large circles, about 4 inches across.
4) Bake at 350 for 13 minutes, or until it passes the toothpick test. Remove cookies to rack to cool.
5) In medium-size bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar, 3 tbsp milk and vanilla until smooth but thick enough to coat cookie. Set aside 1/2 cup icing in small bowl; stir cocoa powder and remaining 2 tsp milk into bowl until smooth. If it refuses to become smooth, feel free to heat it slightly in the microwave.
6) Turn over cookies and spread white icing over one half of each cookie, and chocolate icing over other half. Let stand at room temperature (~1 hour), or if you can’t wait that long, place in refrigerator to speed up the process.

Administer the toothpick test.


These would make cute yin yang cookies. :O

Potato Gnocchi with Garlic Butter

This happened over the summer. Amidst our crusade to find foods that could easily be frozen and stored that could later be reheated without any changes to the taste and such (we call this grad school training), I stumbled across a recipe for gnocchi (allrecipes). :] My fondest gnocchi memories include the crazy carb-loading I did the evening before my half-marathon and the amazing Italian restaurant in Walnut Creek with the best tiramisu in the world. They keep you really, really full. So I decided to embark on this endeavor with Sylvia. (Mekala was apartment-hunting across the country.)

To preface, on our last cooking endeavor, we barely made enough to feed ourselves, let alone our families. So this time, we decided to make sure we’d definitely have enough. After all, it’s gnocchi. What could possibly go wrong?

And…this is how our 7-lb. gnocchi adventure came into being. I kid you not, we quintupled this recipe, and it called for a hell of a lot more flour than the recipe stated, so I adjusted it.

It looked like it’d be fun at the time.

Potato Gnocchi


Ingredients:
-1 lb. Russet potatoes
-1/3 cup flour, may need more or less
-1 medium egg
-salt, to taste
-pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1) Cook potatoes until tender and mash until smooth. Clean potatoes and score 1/8 inch deep around the entire potato. Boil potatoes for 20-30 minutes (depending on size of potato) until paring knife can easily be inserted into the fattest part.
2) Take potatoes out of the boiling water, cool, and when you’re able to handle them, slip the skins off.
3) Whisk and add one medium-sized egg to each bowl of mashed potatoes. Add seasonings and stir until just combined.
4) Add 1/3 cup flour and knead with hands until just combined. If dough is too sticky, add a little flour. (You’ll be able to add more flour when you roll the gnocchi out, so it’s better to incorporate less now, than too much.)
5) Add 1/4 cup of flour at a time, until barely sticky. Generously flour a clean, dry surface and knead the dough a couple times until it has come together in a ball. Cut the dough ball into quarters and roll each quarter into a long rope until it’s the width of your index finger.
6) Using a floured knife, cut the rope into 1 inch sections. Hold a fork, curved side up with one hand and with the thumb of your other hand, gently roll the dough from the top of the curve, to the bottom, keeping your thumb in contact with the dough the whole time.
7) Continue rolling your gnocchi until you’ve gone through the rest of the dough. If you don’t plan to eat your gnocchi right away, place them on a cookie sheet and into the freezer until hard, ~20 minutes. Transfer to freezer bag (can be stored for 4-6 months).




Gnocchi with Garlic Butter


Ingredients:
-fresh or frozen gnocchi
-butter
-minced garlic
-salt, to taste
-pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1) Bring large pot of water to boil. Season with salt and add gnocchi. Cook until gnocchi floats to the top. Gently drain.
2) In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until light brown (~30 seconds). Add gnocchi, salt, pepper, and saute until golden brown. Serve immediately.

We made a tomato sauce to add to the garlic butter, since the garlic butter didn’t have as much taste as we’d hoped. This adventure taught us many, many things (e.g. the fact that this takes effing forever and may not be feasible as a grad school food…but then again, maybe we shouldn’t have made so many).

Mango Lassi

Also part of Culinary Endeavor #1 with my running buddies! Sylvia and I discovered that the Indian market is pretty awesome. :O We got our mango pulp and plain yogurt from there for pretty cheap (even more so when you split it three ways).

This is super refreshing and a hell of a lot cheaper when you make it on your own, in bulk! <3 (So you can share, of course.) I usually have boxes of soy milk from Costco, so that’s generally never a problem. (Although if I’m really going to be in West Virginia, this may be a problem because there is not a single Costco to be found in the state of West Virginia.) Yogurt is $2.50 for a giant vat, and a can of mango pulp (enough for 2 batches) is another $2-3. Ordering one in a restaurant is usually $3 and up. So all in all, win win! :]

Mango Lassi

Ingredients:
-3/4 cup mango pulp
-1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
-3/4 cup soy milk
-ice

Instructions:
1) Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth (around 2 minutes). Order we added the ingredients: mango pulp, yogurt, soy milk, ice
2) Serve chilled. (Optional spice: cardamom)