Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Last Minute Visitor

Found out a few days ago that my big brother is coming today to visit form Japan! I wish he told me a few weeks in advance, but nevertheless, I am excited to see him! Right now in Japan, Gold Week is going on. It's a week containing a few public holidays such as the Emperor's birthday, Greenery day, Constitution Memorial day, Children's Day, etc. hence many vacation during this week. I'd like to think that my brother is coming to visit his family because he misses us, but the reality is, he misses the infamous American fast food :P

This morning, after going to yoga, I decided to make French Toast since I had sourdough bread from Le Boudin bakery (pretty rare occasion). I also have a lot of banana to get rid of. So I decided to make French Toast with a banana instead of an egg! Not only was it one of the easiest things I've ever made, it was SCRUMPTIOUS! I gobbled it down in a flash. Surprise. Recently, my good Pentax camera's battery died and I caved in and bought an iPhone 4, the I'm trying out the new iPhone camera (The recipe is below.)

After sitting through 2 hours of lecture, I met up with my brother! My, did he gain weight! I sort of teased him about it (it's called karma. My brother called me fat my entire life. And I was never really fat!). Since it was lunch, we decided to head to downtown and eat at Phillipe's French Dip Sandwich shop. My brother has been dreaming of this place for weeks it seems. I've personally never heard of it, but it's supposedly one of the best sandwich shops in the whole of the US and also the original founder of the French dip sandwich!

Located in the outskirts of Chinatown, I ordered a lamb French dip, while my brother also got a lamb French dip AND a beef with swiss French Dip. The atmosphere reminded me of an old diner, which would make sense since it's been around since the 20's!

The sandwich literally melted in your mouth and the lamb had lots of flavor! I am definitely a fan of the French dip sandwich! For those of you unfamiliar with French dip, as I was until today, the bread used is a French roll dipped in the gravy of the roasts (that is freshly oven-roasted!). It is a must-eat before you die! So if you're in downtown LA, head over to Phillipe's (unless you're vegetarian/vegan), you won't be disappointed!

I remembered that my beloved Urth cafe opened a new coffee shop somewhere in downtown. Looked it up on my new iPhone and discovered that it's only a 6 min drive away. It's a really cute Urth Cafe, but I would have to say a really random location. This Urth attracts the business crowd, I think. Stuffed from eating our sandwich's like crazy, we only ordered coffee: I got the small Honey Vanilla latte and my brother got the Large Italian Cappuccino.

Checked into his room at the Hilton, I watched a rerun of Top Chef as he passed out. Jetlagged. We headed back to my school early (to beat traffic) since I had rehearsals to get through. The last stop for food for the day: Chipotle. Of course, my brother will get better stuff once he's in San Diego tomorrow, but the craving was too strong to hold off! Japan has a lot of good food, but when it comes to Mexican food, it's not the same. I don't think Japanese people really like spicy, and that's the component that seems to be missing (claims my brother, anyway). He got meat burrito of some type and I got a vegetarian bowl. Stuffed. No more food please :P

Although, it was a short visit, I got to catch up with my brother on many things, find out the situation in Japan, and also found out some interesting news which I won't post just yet! It was a fun day and couldn't have asked for more :)

Eggless French Toast

Four slices of sourdough bread
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup of vanilla soy milk (I use Silk's Vanilla flavor)
grease for pan

1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
Agave Nectar
Anything you desire, really

1. Puree banana and soy milk in a blender. Pour into bowl.
2. Grease pan and heat on med-high.
3. Dip slices of bread into banana batter, soak up as much as possible. Bread will crumble easy so I did it two at a time (you can do four at a time if you're gonna cook them all together immediately).
4. Place on hot pan and fry for 3mins, or until browned on each side.
5. Place on plate and serve with strawberries and necar!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mini Pizza

A perfect snack/mini lunch: Whole Wheat English Muffin Pizza. Nothing fancy, but quite fun and easy to make and pleasing to the eyes! It's a no brainer really, but here's the recipe:

1 Whole Wheat English Muffin
2 Tbl of spaghetti sauce (I used Prego's mushrooms, garlic and onions)
2 Tbl of shredded Mozzarella
4 Cherry tomatoes
Dash of Oregano
Dash of Pizza Seasoning

1. Slice English muffin into 2 and toast.
2. Spread a Tbl of sauce and cheese on each slice.
3. Slice tomatoes into halves and place on top of slices.
4. Season with herbs.
5. Microwave for a minute.
Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life Doesn't Go the Way You Plan It: Oatmeal Pancake

Woke up at 6am this morning togo for a run. Yeah, didn't happen. What did happen: oatmeal pancakes! I got this recipe from bicycle Built for Two - A Blog About Food, Healthy Living,… Modified it for myself since I didn't want that much. I lovely start to the day! Enjoy!


1/4 cup oat flour (just process 1/4 cup of old fashion oatmeal in a food processor or blender)
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal (cook 1/4 cup old fashion oatmeal)
1/2 Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tbl sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1 Tbl melted butter/margarine

Makes 2 serving of 4 small pancakes

1. Set large frying pan on stove and turn on high. When pan is heated, turn off heat and remove pan. Allow to completely cool.
2. In bowl, mix dry ingredients (oat flour, wheat flour, sugar, baking powder). In another bowl whisk together cooked oatmeal, egg, milk and butter. After whisking, transfer wet ingredients into bowl of dry ingredients. Mix well.
3. Reheat pan on med-high heat. Pour preferred amount of batter onto pan and let cook. After about 3-4min's, you should see the pancakes start to bubble. Flip and cook for another 3mins.
4. Serve and eat! I drizzled some honey and chopped toasted pecans on my pancakes. Agave nectar, cinnamon, peanut butter, berries, bananas, etc are also pretty yummers :) Bon appetite!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lunch at Damon and Pythias

Back in school (-_-)

But what's the best way of starting another daunting school week? Grabbing lunch with a good friend! As much as I despise the Westwood Bubble, this quaint village does have a good handful of places to eat. For instance: Damon and Pythias Food for the Gods. I fully agree with "Food for the Gods."

I've been here once a year ago and had their Kobe burger with garlic and sweet potato fries. I don't recall any negative feelings, only positive :)

Since my friend wanted to try somewhere new in Westwood, I took him to this little treasure trove. With the help of a very good waiter, we ordered the LA Cheesesteak and the Wild
Strawberries Steak Salad, both their most popular item on the menu. On top of that, we split a 12oz beer and Chocolate mousse cake. Behold the feast:

Most satisfying meal (^^). And it's only lunch time on a Monday.

Monday, April 11, 2011


Recently, I was in Torrance and went to a La Patisserie called Chantilly's. Here at Chantilly's, they serve Goma-Shu, or Black Sesame Cream Puffs, among many other goodies! Food Critic Jonathan Gold actually mention this place and its Goma-Shu on his 99 Things to Eat in LA Before You Die.
It was delish and made me miss Japan so much! I also had a black sesame macaron (I'm a bit
obsessed with kuro-goma/black sesame these days).

Some history about cream puffs.

Inspired, I decided to make my very own Goma-Shu's! I also made white sesame and luckily, they were a success!

Here's the recipe! Enjoy!


Cream Puffs (about 12 shells):
1/2 unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1 Tbl Black Sesame grounds
a pinch of sugar

Cream Puff instruction
1. Preheat oven to 400 F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Boil butter, milk, and water in a sauce pan. Once boiled, lower heat and add flour at once. Mixture should thicken.
3. Once flour is well mixed, remove sauce pan from heat. Add 1 egg and mix. Add second egg and mix. Mixture should be thick and slowly runs and breaks off spoon. Add half of last egg if needed.
4. Pipe onto cookie sheet and bake for 20min. Reduce heat to 350 F and bake for another 20min.
5. Let cool and cut open to fill.

Custard Cream:
3 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup flour
half vanilla bean stick

Custard Instruction
1. In a saucepan, combine milk, a 1/3 of the sugar and vanialla beans and mix over med heat.
2. In another bowl, beat remaining sugar and yolks till white and frothy. Mix in sifted flour.
3. Combine egg mix with mixture in saucepan and cook till thick and lumpy.
4. Remove from heat. Prepare a dish lined with plastic wrap and pour custard into contained and wrap. Put in fridge for about 30min to an hour.

Sesame Ingredients
1.5 cup Heavy Cream
1 Tbl granulated sugar
1 Tbl Black sesame paste
1.5 White sesame paste (I used grounds)

1. Beat cream and sugar till whipped and set aside.
2. Take out custard and place half of it in a bowl. Beat with black sesame paste and pipe into 6 puff shells.
3. Pipe half of whip cream on top. Place shell top on top.
4. Mix remaining whip cream and white sesame paste/ground into remaining custard. Pipe into remaining shells and top off with shell caps.
5. Dust with sesame seeds and powdered sugar if desired.

(Black sesame up front and white sesame in the back)

Monday, April 4, 2011

La Provence Cafe on San Vicente

Went to a new cafe for a change! Still love Urth, but I should really take in all that LA has to offer. La Provence is a French style cafe that is primarily known for their macarons. Definitely had to try this place! They were apparently in Cupcake wars and are considered one of the best cafe's in Beverly Hills.

So one of my partners in crime tagged along and we had tea. We both ordered Rose tea and split two macarons (rose and salted caramel) and a chocolate raspberry mousse.

The rose tea was nice. I liked how I had my own pot, but then again, that's typical at cafes. I just don't drink a lot of tea when I go to cafes, I guess. The mousse was light, not too heavy, with a nice hint of raspberry. The macarons were amazing! The cookies were probably the one of the best I've had! Perfectly crunchy on the outside (but not too crunchy! Phew!) and soft and moist on the inside. The rose flavor was nice and buttery and produced a cool feeling in the mouth like mint would. It's hard to explain, really. The salted caramel was a bit chewy. It was good, but I definitely prefer the rose more! Will definitely make a trip back!

Thai Lunar/Curry Festival

Second time going to Thai Town's New Year's Day Songkran Festival! Actually ate food this time around :P The event is also called Los Angeles Curry Festival, but I did not see any curry at all this time... I'm not sure if the curry comes out/ends at a certain time?

Regardless, it is a very beautiful festival! So much color, food, people-- it is definitely an overload to the senses! Parking is ridiculous, but I guess the gods were somehow pleased with me and allowed me to find a randomly open spot that was literally a walking distance of a minute to the festival! A good start!

So, we start out by walking down the street, scoping out what there is to do. There was a Singha Beer garden full of drunken men watching the kick boxing event right across from them.
Walked past a plethora of beautiful art work such as carved fruit/vegetables, silk flowers and dessert displays. Very intricate works.
Now for the food! Definitely started off well with a nice plate of Mango and Sticky Rice. I have been dying to try this for a well and I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy a simple dish can be! The texture, sweetness, visual were all wonderful! Following this are the BBQ Beef, BBQ
Chicken and Fish Ball Skewers. Yum yum :)
And lastly, I got a "Today's Special" plate that consisted of BBQ Beef, Egg roll, fried rice and stir fry noodles. A.k.a. a plate of happiness. Definitely did some grocery shopping after since the
food at the markets here are so much cheaper than the grocery stores!

Overall, it was a fun event, I just wish there was curry, as the name insinuates. Guess you can't have it all. Happy Thai New Year!

Friday, March 25, 2011

White Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies that need to be guarded...


The fridge was way crowded and there was pumpkin puree that had to be used. Hence, I decided to make these DELICIOUS white chocolate pumpkin cookies I made last October. The batch yielded 27 cookies. I decided to give them out to friends since I love to share such GOODNESS with good people :)

Just after I pulled out the cookies from the oven, my roommate came home and immediately without asking just grabbed a cookie and ate it! "Ok," I thought, I would've offered her some anyway so whatever. I left to meet up with a friend and came back a few hours later. I noticed three cookies I set aside on a separate plate all disappeared (along with the plate actually). "Oh man, " I thought, "Better wrap these babies up!" So I wrapped 13 cookies in one foil and 3 more for myself.

Next day, I took them to class and they were a hit! Not a single one left over and many compliments came haha. All day, I dreamed about the cookies I set aside for myself in the aluminum foil.

After a long day, I come home, I open the foil expecting to find 3 cookies. Lo' and behold, there was only one! My roommates mooched my cookies from me! Out of the 27 cookies I had only two cookies while between my two roommates they had seven! A very sad day for me. But they're popular.


  • Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup solid pack pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 10 ounces white chocolate pieces


1. Preheat oven 300 F. Grease cookie sheet
2. Mix brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla and then stir in pumpkin puree. Combine dry ingredients together and then add to pumpkin mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips.
3. Spoon cookies onto sheet, leaving 2 in of space in between.
4. Bake for about 20 min and then allow to cool.

There you have it folks! Make sure to hide 'em or eat them before others get to them!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pumpkin Saffron Macarons

Having a can of Pumpkin Puree sitting in my cupboard, I decided to make Pumpkin Saffron Macarons. Having not made macarons in awhile, I went through four attempts until my cookies came out just right! The filling was a cinch to make: pumpkin cream cheese. You can probably use the Pumpkin cream cheese that they sell at Trader Joe's. However, since that is seasonal, you can easily make your own.

I've made and had other flavored macarons before. Not a big fan of the pumpkin cream cheese filling (for macarons), but regardless, it still tastes good. If you're a big fan a cheesecake and pumpkin, then this recipe is for you!

Here is the recipe:

Saffron Macaron

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp saffron
5 Tblsp granulated sugar
2/3 cups almond powder
1/3 cup powdered sugar

1) In a food processor combine saffron, almond powder and powder sugar and quickly grind into smooth powder. Set aside.

2) Make sure egg whites are at room temperature (it will help the eggs meringue properly). Beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually add granulated sugar into eggs. Continue beating eggs until thick and and glossy. Don't over do it or else the cookies won't bake properly!

3) Pour half of the powder made in 1) into 2). Using spatula, mix powder with meringue, scooping from bottom. Try to do it in few stirs possible. Add rest of powder in and mix as before. Try not to do more than a total of twenty stirs.

4) Preheat oven to 300F~345F depending on how hot the oven is. I would go for the lower heat just to be safe.

5) On a parchment lined baking tray, pipe circular cookies about a 1.5in in diameter. Space apart 2in. Wrap tray a few times. This will help the cookies get the prized feet! Leave out to harden for about 15~30min. You can test by touching the cookie lightly. If it does not stick to your finger, it has hardened enough.

6) Place in oven and cook for about 8~15 min. Make sure to check on them because you don't want them to over cook!

7) Once done, remove from oven and let cool for 10min. Remove from tray. Cookies should be crunchy on the outside but soft and moist on the inside.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese

2oz Cream Cheese at room temperature
2oz Pumpkin Puree
1/8 Ground Cloves
1/8 Ground Cinnamon

1) Mix all ingredients together into a bowl.

2) Pipe cream cheese between 2 equal sized macaron cookies

There you go! You have successfully made Pumpkin Saffron Macarons! Enjoy!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Got My Henna Did

Headed off to Downtown to LA originally to go shopping at the Fashion District, but got side-tracked by Henna!

Mona, the owner, is the sweetest thing ever! She did an excellent job on both our brow threading and henna work plus provide good company :)

Currently, the dried out henne (took 10min to dry) is flaking off and leaving a nice orange stain. The scent is also very nice. Go to Mona's for decently priced pampering! You'll get your $'s worth!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Brunch at the Royal/T

Came back! This time with my roomie. The Andy Warhol exhibit was still up, but there was a slight adjustment to the layout. Got the Royal Milk Tea again. Food wise, I ordered the Egg Benedict and the roomie ordered the Brioche French Toast. Decent food, but nothing amazing. Don't think I'll be coming back too soon.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Royal-T Cafe/Maid Cafe

Went to my first maid cafe today at the Royal-T Cafe. i wouldn't say it's as legit as the Japanese Maid cafe, but it'll pass.

The industrial, cement floor building contrasts with the very artsy decorations (not to mention the Andy Warhol exhibit!). It is a feast for the eyes!

Ordered the Royal-T High Tea Set: a brew of Royal-T (black tea steeped in soy milk) with assorted canapes and desserts. The Royal-T was amazing! but the sandwiches could've been a tad bit better. I personally thought the bread was a bit stale. The desserts were pretty good, but I'm a sucker for anything sweet :)

Our waitress/maid was very bubbly and fun to talk to! I get the feeling she may be one of their top servers. There are other waitresses there too, who are Japanese, but their English is very limited so they don't make the best "sociable maid":/ In the end, the service was very good.