Making French Macarons

French Macarons

Little sister is a Valentine Day’s baby. For her birthday this year, she asked for the classic Chanel handbag. It’s a few thousand dollars out of my price range, so I decided to get her the next best thing: French macarons—both are from France (sort of), so it’s basically the same, right? (more…)

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Crab Soup in a Slow Cooker

Crab Soup in a Slow Cooker

When it comes to food, my father is a very picky man. He only eats certain foods, doesn’t like leftovers, and prefers his meals presented in an aesthetically pleasing fashion.

So it’s not surprising that I’ve always found cooking for him to be a bit of a challenge. Over the years though, I’ve learned what works, and what doesn’t. Crab-based dishes are usually winners. And this vegetable-heavy crab soup made in a slow cooker is one of them. (more…)

How to Roast Red Peppers

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Last week, I posted a recipe for one of my latest snack obsessions: roasted red pepper hummus. But I didn’t explain how to roast the peppers used in the recipe. For those who are interested, here’s the (incredibly simple) method, which can be done in advance and stored until ready for use. (more…)

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I’ve been on a hummus kick lately. Roasted red pepper hummus to be exact. It’s so easy to whip up, and can be used as a dip for veggies or pita bread, or as a spread to spice up a sandwich. But I think my addiction to this snack is not necessarily its versatility and convenience, but rather its flavor… the smokiness of the roasted peppers along with a kick stemming from an unlikely ingredient: Sriracha! (more…)

Khmer Krom Khor (Cambodian Caramelized Chicken and Egg Stew)

Khmer Krom Khor

My mother is an amazing cook. True, I may be a bit biased, but I’m not the only one who’s lauded her culinary skills and talent for creating mouth-watering dishes day after day for our food-obsessed family.

While she’s capable of preparing a wide range of dishes originating from various countries—Italian pastas, spicy Thai noodles, Chinese barbecue pork and dumplings—it’s her Cambodian and Vietnamese dishes that my sister and I drool over the most. She’s been giving us mini Cambodian/Vietnamese cooking lessons lately, in hopes that our family’s future generation will be afforded the same delicious home-cooked meals that we grew up with.

Last weekend’s lesson was Khmer Krom Khor, a caramelized pork or chicken and egg stew. So good. (more…)

Quinoa with Roasted Corn

Quinoa with Roasted Corn

When it comes to lunch during the workweek, I go through phases. I was on a bagel kick for a while: multigrain with cream cheese or Dijon mustard. After that, it was Whole Foods’ pizzas with fancy combinations like balsamic chicken and caramelized onions. I also had a brief affair with yellowfin tuna sandwiches. And then, there was my CVS phase. To the disgust of my co-workers, I went through a period of consuming sandwiches, wraps and high-sodium subs preserved and packaged in noisy plastic. It was a convenience thing, I told them. And it really was, as CVS is nearly right next door to our building.

But things are different now. No more CVS sandwiches, and fewer pizzas and cream cheese-loaded bagels for me. I’m aiming for healthy, and one of my new lunch favorites is quinoa. (more…)

Whole Wheat Bread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Whole Wheat Bread with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

I wish I could say I’m an expert bread baker, or even a mediocre bread baker. But I can’t because I’m not. My early bread making experiences resulted in hard, inedible baguettes that resembled the fake bread home décor and furniture stores often use as props. Sadness. It was one failed experiment after another, until eventually I just stopped trying. But then I discovered Jim Lahey’s magical no-knead bread recipe. Happiness! (more…)

Super Simple Baked Brown Rice (Plus Variations)

Super Simple Baked Brown Rice

Baking has become my preferred method for cooking brown rice. The recipe is simple, nearly foolproof and can easily be jazzed up before going into the oven. (more…)

Broiled Grapefruit with Cinnamon-Brown Sugar and Ginger

Broiled Grapefruit with Cinnamon-Brown Sugar and Ginger

Broiled grapefruit?? What?! No way!
Oh, but yes. (more…)

Chipotle Panko-Crusted Pan-Fried Crab Cakes

One of the first real meals I recall making for my family was on Mother’s Day. I was in my very early 20s, with only a handful of successful dinners under my belt. And those dinners were of the basic variety: spaghetti and meatballs (made with store-bought sauce and meatballs, of course), salads, rice, and anything fried. But that day, I decided to stretch my skills and take it up a notch. After all, it was Mother’s Day. I made panko-crusted pan-fried crab cakes (still something fried, but a little fancier!), served with a chili-lime dressing. Several years later, this meal is still one of my go-to dinners for the family. (more…)