Salads around the world

January’s theme will be Salads. This will be a real challenge for me because when I make salads, I think of fresh vegetables at peak seasons — usually during warmer months. Like these…

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Eat around the World: Cookies!

Every year in November and December, I like to occupy the oven to bake cookies all season long. Up until a few days ago, rather than placing the focus on experimenting with different types of cookie recipes, I would try cookies from different bakeries around Los Angeles.

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Be the Healthy Food Hero at any feast!

When it comes to feasts, there’s always going to be rich (read: unhealthy) food. When we’ve done Friendsgiving (Thanksgiving with friends), even with planning on who is going to bring what, there’s always bound to be at least five different desserts on the table.

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Eat around the World: Food you would bring to a feast

Happy November 1st! This time of the year is my favorite time of the year food-wise. It’s a time where I go through a kitchen experiment kick from October to December. I get to experiment with different recipes I’ve been eye-balling all year around. I don’t know why I wait until the end of the year to play in the kitchen. I guess maybe I have a reason to make different dishes at the end of the year — we have Halloween, Thanksgiving with family, Thanksgiving with friends, Thanksgiving at work, tree trimming party at work, White Elephant Party, New Year’s Eve party with friends, etc. Side note: Now because I have a food series on my blog, I think I’ll get to play with food all year around.

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Fruit gummies, candied plantains and seeds

I think my tastes in candy have changed as I got older. I would prefer if the candy is not so sweet. I guess my preference is leaning toward candied nuts, chocolate, licorice, and some gummies. I also prefer dry fruit to a Snickers bar. Yes, some people may debate over this, but I think dried fruit is a candy too. I’ve seen tamarind and dates candi-fied.

But once in a while, I do fall into days where I eat Milky Way bars if I’m craving something sweet in the afternoon. But then I crash about an hour after eating that Milky way. Note to self: keep some dried fruit in my drawer.

Anyways here’s some candies I’ve been picking up this past month.

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Candy around the world (A Virtual trick-or-treat!)

This month’s theme for “Eat Around the World” will be candy. I chose candy because it’s October and I immediately think of trick-or-treating. It’s an annual Halloween tradition in the U.S. where children in costumes go around the neighborhood ringing door-to-door saying “trick-or-treat” asking for treats. Usually treats come in the form of candy. One year I received a toothbrush and another year I receive an apple — those homes quickly became the least popular places to trick-or-treat in the neighborhood.

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Apple Rose Tart

One of my signature dishes is this apple rose tart. I regret to admit I did not take a lot of photos of my finished apple rose tart nor did I track which recipes I’ve tried. I’ve served it as a warm pie fresh out of the oven and as a cold pie with fresh pastry cream as the base and fresh tart apples on top. There was no iteration I did not like.

I made this frequently because it was a dessert dish people always requested; my coworkers wanted this pie for an office gathering and my friends asked about this pie when they came over to my place. I guess there was a reason why I did not take or share photos of the pie. Everyone was asking to make this pie when I wanted to make other pies.

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Apple cake with honey frosting and an oat walnut crumble

Happy Autumn! For the Apple theme for “Eat Around the World“, I made a cake! The occasion was me and my sister’s birthday. Of course it is very like me to make my own cake even if my friends and family have insisted they’ll get me a cake for my birthday.

I got this recipe from Fearless Fresh. My first thought was there’s fruit and oats — is it breakfast? I made a few modifications to this recipe:

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Apples in salad

The last couple of weeks this month have been too hot for baking so I decided to explore some cold dishes using apples. The simplest way is to throw them in salad for that tart crunch.

Brussels sprouts with apples salad

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The Apple cultivar so far…

I’ve taken plenty of photos of apples in many forms from hard ciders to salads. They’re in the media gallery just waiting to be shared. Rather than put all the photos into one post, maybe it’s best to divide it up. For this post, I want to focus on some of the cultivars I’ve tried so far.

I mentioned that whenever apple season rolls around, I like to try all kinds of cultivar. It’s one of my many “quirky” traditions to celebrate the changing of seasons. It’s like how in January people give up alcohol for a month after a bacchanal holiday season. Or how some people’s go to Starbucks to buy a pumpkin spice latte to welcome autumn. My pumpkin spice latte is just eating different apples. I do enjoy the very occasional PSL at Dunkin’ however. Los Angeles not really have seasons so I make mines up. Do you have any “quirky” traditions?

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Apples around the World

Oh dear…this theme might be a little challenging for this *points to self* home cook. The ingredient for September is apples!

There are so many kinds of apples. In fact 7,500 cultivars of apples. I recalled in my last job, I was naming these types of apples to a coworker (jazz, mountain rose, opal, macoun, winesap, jonathan, jonagold, etc.), he thought it was making it up. When it’s apple season, I try to buy and try as many cultivars as I can (as my grocery budget allows). Apples come in all types of colors (inside and outside), tastes, and texture.

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Cold dishes for a hot August (Eat around the World)

As I write this post on the last day of August, the weather finally cooled down. In the beginning of the month, I thought about all the thing I would make with tomatoes like a savory tart, curry, and pasta sauce. But it was way, way, way too hot to make any of those all month long. But it gave me a chance to play with cold dishes. I’ve noticed I’ve been eating less ice cream too. For years every time the weather was so hot, I would end my day with ice cream. I love ice cream, but with a job where I spend most of my day in a desk, I would enjoy this indulgence once in a while. With all these cold dishes I’ve been making, I can reach for something much healthier.

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