Mexican Chocolate Pie with Almond Crust

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Yay! Here’s the post that I promised yesterday on Pi(e) Day! Even though I got home a little late yesterday after a day in the lab doing science-ythings such as concentrating proteins and SDS PAGE , I was devoted to coming up with and making a pie! Every year we celebrate Pi(e) Day no matter how busy it is! Inspired by Dr. Andrew Weil‘s True Food Kitchen, one of my favorite San Diego restaurants, I made a Mexican Chocolate Pie with an Almond Crust. At True Food Kitchen, the motto is “Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure.” Their mission is that “every dish served must not only be delicious but must also promote the diner’s well-being.”While the focus is  fresh, nutritive dishes that highlight organic fruits & vegetables, grass-fed meat & wild-caught fish, there is something for everybody whether or not you are a health nut, are a vegan, or eat gluten-free. My in-laws like the restaurant too! You feel content after eating there. Satisfied, but not heavy. I even feel energized enough for a workout. Everything we’ve had is delicious, from the beverages, appetizers, entree to dessert. I’m a big fan of their desserts, especially Dr. Weil’s signature flourless chocolate cakeContinue reading

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Beet Red Velvet Æbleskiver (pancake puffs)

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Happy Belated Valentines Day!

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Yesterday, for our Valentine’s Dinner we had a wonderful 3-course meal, made by my husband and I. He makes a mean steak, especially filet mignon. Sorry, don’t have pictures of the first two courses, but here’s the dessert:  Beet Red Velvet Æbleskiver with cream cheese filling. Continue reading

Ottolenghi-style lamb rib chops and some fun-sized sweet treats

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In my last post, I mentioned that we had lamb for New Year’s Eve as well as desserts. I wasn’t sure about posting about them, but decided to anyway. These are double-cut lamb chops (from a Frenched rack) with a cilantro and honey sauce from Ottolenghi:  The Cookbook. Yotam Ottolenghi is the chef “known for being the champion of vegetables at the same time as eating and loving meat”(to quote wikipedia). With his cookbooks and eponymous restaurants, he is also known as “the man who sexed up vegetables.” I do not yet have Plenty, his cookbook dedicated to vegetables and vegetarian cooking, but will probably soon get it as well as JerusalemSo far, I like the bold, vibrant Middle-Eastern flavors in his recipes. See more of his recipes and food commentary in his Guardian column. Ottolenghi pulled pork recipe? It’s on my cooking to-do list and maybe I’ll report if this recipe is “bringing sexy back” to pulled pork. Continue reading

Birthday Peach Pie

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Turning a year older, to me, is an exciting thing. More things to learn and explore!…and more time to celebrate life. Doesn’t hurt to celebrate a little, right? With a dessert of course! I love what Zen Master Edward Espe Brown writes in The  Tassajara Bread Book about sweet treats,

“A good dessert is a celebration of any occasion. Not that we have to treat ourselves royally every day, but offering dessert with generosity and warmth, we can appreciate the bounty of our lives and celebrate a moment of our aliveness…But I am not also going to scold people for eating a dessert that is really a dessert. Every moment is a gateway to the truth. Which way is in? Which way is out? Are you entering or leaving?…May all beings be healthy, happy, free from suffering. And may desserts celebrate our wondrous nature. Fully.”

Today is my birthday and I’m going to raise my glass, eat a dessert and say “Cheers to the world!” LOL. It’s fun to be a bit kooky, especially on such a day! Despite being a chocolate lover (who always has a chocolate stash!), if there was only one dessert in the world that I would pick, it would be this peach pie made with my dad’s homegrown peaches. Continue reading

Brie-stuffed Burgers and Quenelles

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Happy 5th of July everybody! I hope you all had a ball of an Independence Day yesterday! Good times here at food flavor fascination headquarters too! Did some fun cooking in our soon-to-be vacated apartment. We are in the process of moving closer to my husband’s work. Yesterday he made some great burgers, probably the best burger I have had in a long time. One of his specialties is the cheese-stuffed burger. He has made some with cheddar as well as slider-sized ones in the past. This time it was brie’s turn to be stuffing. It’s one of our favorite cheeses. Sometimes we sneak a small piece to give to the dogs 🙂 Continue reading

Caramel sweet treats on a relaxing and surprise-filled Mother’s Day

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This was a really fun Mother’s Day weekend! Relaxing and yet surprising! We hope you all had a nice Mother’s Day! As for the surprise, on Saturday, my husband, I, and the two dogs Pipi and Nutter drove up to “the Valley” at my husband’s parent’s house. His mom did not know at all that we would be there and she was so surprised and happy that we came up to spend Mother’s Day weekend with her. You should have seen the look on her face when we got in the door! A happy shock! It’s always a great time visiting them. Pipi and now also Nutter love visiting too!

We took her out for dinner at a cafe not far away from their house and had a great time. The only thing that could make it better is if the dogs could come along to the restaurant too, LOL. After dinner and walking with the dogs, I baked some alfajores, a sweet treat of caramel sandwiched in between two British biscuit-like cookies. I baked some at their house and then finished baking more at my parent’s house on Sunday evening. Lots of alfajores! This time it was alfajores–two ways:  whole wheat and a gluten-free variation. Continue reading

A weekend with the dogs and some chocoflan

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How was your Cinco de Mayo weekend? We celebrated with some festive foods such as tacos and I also baked some gluten-free chocoflan. We stayed home most of the weekend because on Saturday we brought home a doggy! We are watching him for the week and if he meshes well with us and our dog Pipi (who has made some appearances in previous posts), then he can stay! He is a 7 year old Pekingese named Nutter. Continue reading

Avocado-Coconut Panna Cotta

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One of my favorite desserts is panna cotta, a creamy gelatin-based dessert originating from Northern Italy in Piedmont (possibly since the Middle-ages). Panna cotta translates to “cooked cream” in Italian. So delicious. If I see it on a dessert menu, I am most often going to order it! Light, yet creamy and rich-tasting. I like it even better than custard. I think it is about time that I tried to make this dessert! But I always like to play around with ingredients. Tweaking things is a fascination of mine. I just can’t help it even if a food experiment sometimes ends up as a mess or something not palatable at all. Luckily, this recent panna cotta experimentation was a success. Panna cotta should be fool-proof. As David Lebovitz says, “Panna cotta is incredibly easy to make, and if it takes you more than five minutes to put it together, you’re doing something wrong.”

There are some great dishes out in the blog world that celebrate spring and all its green-ness and vibrancy, so I thought I would chime in and do something with avocados as they are in season here. Creamy and rich, I thought it would be a nice parallel in panna cotta. So here’s a spring recipe contribution:  avocado-coconut panna cotta. Continue reading