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December 5, 2013 / Food Follower

Salmon served with a Few Twists


I absolutely love salmon and cook it all the time when I home. My favorite way to prepare salmon is to grill it with a honey and soy sauce glaze. The salmon tastes great every time. My friend came over to help me with this delicious dinner. She introduced me to kale chips which were very tasty besides being healthy too. (I forgot to take a picture of the kale chips, probably because I was too busy munching on them).

I was inspired by a beet salad I ate at Johnny’s Tavern in Amherst, MA which came with candied pecans and wanted to make my own version of this yummy salad. I splashed a little pomegranate vinegar on some chopped beets and added diced scallions and pecans which I candied in maple syrup.

My friend and I also made parsnip purée with sautéed shiitake mushrooms. I know this combo sounds bizarre (strange ideas pop in my head), but I really enjoyed the purée. All in all, a healthy and delicious dinner.

December 3, 2013 / Food Follower

Lady (yu)M!

I introduced my mom to Lady M last week. Though a bit pricy, Lady M is one of my favorite cake places (cakerie?) in NYC. Their cakes are great quality, and I love all of the flavors I’ve tried there thus far.

This time, I ordered the chestnut mille crêpes, a 20-layer crêpe cake with chestnut cream filling. I don’t like cream very much, but this chestnut cream was outrageously awesome – light, airy, and sweet but not too sweet. My mom ate a Mont Blanc which is chestnut purée on top of cream. I tried it, and really loved the intense chestnut flavor. Can you tell that my mom and I both like chestnuts? Guess the chestnut didn’t fall far from the tree…




Another chestnut cake and a pretty-looking checkered cake

December 2, 2013 / Food Follower

Chocolate Pie


As promised, here is my recipe for my Thanksgiving chocolate pie. I am mighty thankful that this pie turned out well considering I did not follow a recipe. The chocolate pie is decadent and the filling is a little dense, but I actually liked the texture. The pie crust is special because it has cocoa powder and brown sugar in it.

Pie Crust

1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (and a little extra for rolling)
8 tbsp (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 5 tbsp ice-cold water
1/8 cup cocoa powder
1/8 cup brown sugar

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate
5 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk


Pie Crust

You have to make the pie dough at least 2 hours ahead of time because you need to chill the pie dough in the fridge before you roll it.

1) Cut the chilled butter into 1/2 inch cubes.

2) In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse to mix, and then add butter. Pulse some more, roughly 8 times until the butter in the mixture is pea-sized. Add 1 tablespoon of the ice-cold water at a time, and continue to pulse until the mixture starts to hold together. If you pinch the mixture, it should hold together. If not, continue adding water.

3) Take the dough out of the food processor and place it on a cutting board (or another flat surface). Shape the dough into a ball (Make sure not to over-knead the dough).

4) Flatten the dough into a disc, sprinkle a little flour on the top and bottom of the disc, place the disc in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

5) Take the dough out of the refrigerator, and let it sit for 10 minutes at room temperature. Sprinkle the cocoa powder and brown sugar on a flat surface and roll the ball of dough in the cocoa powder and sugar mixture. I kneaded my dough a little to incorporate the cocoa and sugar, but I didn’t worry about distributing them evenly. The dough still came out delicious and had a nice swirl pattern.

6) Sprinkle flour on the same surface and roll out the dough into a circle with a 12 inch circumference. Carefully fold the dough in half and place into a 9 inch pie dish. Using a fork, pierce holes in the pie dough.

7) Bake the pie dough in a 350 degree oven for roughly 10 minutes.


1) In a saucepan, melt the chocolate with milk and stir often to avoid the mixture from burning. You can also use a double boiler to avoid adding milk to the chocolate.

2) In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they become soft peaks. Add the sugar to the eggs and mix until the whites form stiff peaks.

3) Fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten the chocolate mixture and then fold in the remaining whites.

4) Add the filling to the pie crust which has baked for 10 minutes.

5) Place pie in the 350 degree oven and bake for roughly 30 minutes.
WARNING: temperature may vary based on your oven, so keep an eye on your pie while it is baking.

6) I like to check my pie after it has baked for 15 minutes. I stick a toothpick in the center of the pie. When the toothpick comes out clean, the pie is ready.


November 29, 2013 / Food Follower

Thanksgiving Pies

Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday of the year because it is centered around family and of course, food. I decided to make four pies this year breaking my record of three pies last year. I made my usual apple and blueberry pie and decided to make two new pies – cran-raspberry and chocolate pie. My favorite pie you ask? That’s a tough one because I really liked all of them, but if I had to choose one I have to go with blueberry.

I really love cranberry sauce because I love tart things and decided to incorporate cranberries in my dessert this year. I added raspberries for sweetness and spiced up (or I really should say herbed up) my pie with a little chopped fresh rosemary. Seriously, the rosemary adds a nice kick. I winged the chocolate pie, adding cocoa powder and brown sugar to the pie dough and whipping up some egg whites and incorporating some melted dark chocolate. I will provide a recipe later.

Apple pie

Chocolate pie

Blueberry pie

Cranberry pie

My sampler plate of pies

The main course – turkey with gravy, mashed sweet potatoes (with a marshmallow on top), baguette, red cabbage with chestnuts, and stuffing!

November 26, 2013 / Food Follower


Bowls. Yes, they are very useful for eating soup and ice cream, but I also really like using them for other food like stews. And since it has been frigid these past few days, I have been using my bowls a lot. I even drank a hot mocha from a bowl.

Boeuf bourguignon over rice

Butternut squash soup with seedy rosemary croutons. Tip: add a splash of pomegranate vinegar to butternut squash for a little zing. The vinegar really brightens up the soup!

Hot mocha with foam and cinnamon on top

Happy Novembowls and happy almost Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2013 / Food Follower

Grandma Knows Best

This past Sunday, I visited my grandma in Westchester. She served me and my parents a delicious lunch proving that grandma DOES know best. Just reminiscing about this meal is getting me pumped for Thanksgiving which we are having at my grandma’s pad (is it weird to call my grandma’s place a pad?)

Bruschetta with sliced scallions

Warm vichyssoise (leek and potato soup)

Half a cornish hen with sautéed zucchini and onions and broccoli

Mixed salad – boston lettuce, frisee salad, and radicchio to name a few

November 14, 2013 / Food Follower

Sandwich and Brunch Continued

I went through some of my recent food photos and realized that most of them are either of sandwiches or some brunch item or the intersection of the two. I have great pattern recognition, at least when it comes to food. So here are some things I’ve eaten this fall season.

Turkey sandwich on sour dough with roasted fennel, spinach, sliced tomatoes, and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Gelbwurst (a German sausage made with pork and veal) sandwich on baguette with sliced tomatoes, cucumber salad, and mustard. Cucumbers would also work well here. I like the sweetness of the cucumbers when you add a little vinegar and sugar to them (let them sit in the vinegar for 10 minutes or so). Even though you are technically pickling the cucumbers when you add vinegar, they are NOT pickles in my eyes.

Omelette from Esselon. Need I say more?

Open face turkey sandwich with cheddar, arugula, and sliced apples from 30 Boltwood.

November 14, 2013 / Food Follower

Jacob’s Pickles – Great Comfort Brunch Food

I asked my brother for a good brunch place on the Upper West Side, and he told me to go to Jacob’s Pickles. Upon hearing the name of the restaurant, I was concerned because I really don’t like pickles. But my brother told me the other food there is awesome, so I decided to take his word. (Also, the pickles are apparently amazing as well, but I cannot be a judge in that area).

Before going to Jacob’s Pickles, I never associated comfort food with brunch. I was a little confused trying to wrap my head around brunch that did not involve pancakes, waffles, or eggs as the star ingredient. Comfort brunch food – what does that even mean? Well, in a nutshell – it means fried chicken, bacon, eggs, grits, and bacon. I mean biscuits. I am definitely getting a little too excited right now as I recall my delicious meal.

My friend and I both ordered the chicken bacon egg and cheese. It is exactly what it sounds like. A breakfast sandwich comprised of tasty fried chicken, perfectly crunchy bacon, and a fried egg which was nice and runny when I pierced my fork through the yoke. But here’s the twist – the “bread” was two flakey biscuits. Absolute perfection. My bfast sandwich came with a big bowl of cheesy, creamy grits. My dish was fantastic. I will definitely return to Jacob’s Pickles!


Look at the crumbs on the plate. What a perfect indicator of the flakiness of the biscuits!


Good morning sunshine! What an amazing way to be greeted in the morning.

October 13, 2013 / Food Follower

Fall Break: from Pomegranates to Pumpkins

I am now on fall break and am back home for a few days. Being away from campus has given me the time to reflect on the start of my senior year in college. And what I’ve reflected on most is that senior year is a year of many lasts. It’s my last year living in a dorm surrounded by people my age. It’s my last year taking classes (unless I decide to go to grad school). It’s my last year with few obligations. But enough of being a debby-downer – senior year is also a year of many firsts. It’s my first year where I fully appreciate my education and the classes I am taking (though I wish this realization came sooner, better late then never). It’s my first year of my making an effort to not rush through dinner and actually sit down at the table with friends and talk for a while. (I still eat really fast, but I now stay in the cafeteria for much longer). And I am also going to run my first 10K race in a couple of weeks!

This weekend, cooking for me has felt very therapeutic. I just feel like I am in my element when I am in the kitchen. I always tell my friends that when I have my own place, my kitchen will be furnished before my living room. So here are a few highlights of what I’ve made in the past couple of days.

Branzino with a raspberry balsamic glaze, corn with pomegranate and dill, and roasted broccoli with parmesan cheese and toasted almonds


Baby spinach salad with roasted fennel, granny smith apples, almonds, and pomegranate vinaigrette

Warm pumpkin bread pudding with chocolate chips

Recipes to come!

August 25, 2013 / Food Follower

More Maine Eats

So I did eat other food besides lobster while I was in Maine. Here are some of my eats:

Salad with blackberry vinaigrette and chèvre (restaurant in Cape Aurundel Inn, Kennebunkport). The restaurant had a lovely view of the water. The salad was really delicious, and I was pleasantly surprised how well the blackberry paired with the cheese.

Swordfish paillard with crusted pine nuts, vegetables, and pesto (restaurant in Cape Aurundel Inn). The swordfish was the moistest I’ve ever had. Our server told us that the chef pan fries the swordfish on one side with the pine nut crust, flips the fish over, and then cooks the other side (which is not coated) in the oven. I think breading the fish on only side was genius – the fish stayed light and had a great ratio of bread crumbs and pine nuts to fish. (Can you tell I love math?) I will admit that the vegetables weren’t my favorite since they were pickled, and I didn’t like the taste of brine with my fish.

Pint of fried scallops which I shared with my friend (Clam Shack, Kennebunkport). These scallops were large and had a flavorful batter.

Mocha chip and maple walnut ice cream (Goose Rocks Dairy & Ice Cream, Kennebunkport). Goose Rocks was a few minutes away from the town of Kennebunkport by car but was definitely worth the drive. The server doled out a very generous serving of delicious ice cream.

Beet salad with feta and dates (Old Vines Wine Bar and Tapas, Kennebunkport). The beets were yellow but tasted like the red wines I am used to. I really enjoyed this salad.

Braised short ribs with cheesy polenta. (Old Vines Wine Bar and Tapas, Kennebunkport). The meat was very tender, and the polenta soaked up the tasty sauce from the ribs.

BLT with fried green tomatoes and a side of mac and cheese (Hot Suppa, Portland). This was great comfort food.


Seared tuna with jicama, mashed potatoes, and mixed greens. (Cafe This Way, Bar Harbor). My tuna was perfectly seared, and our table was next to a shelf of books. I appreciated the vibe of this cafe.

Popover with strawberry jam and butter and a blueberry iced tea (Jordan Pond House, Acadia National Park). Both my popover and iced tea were tasty, but I don’t recommend the normal food here. My friend ordered a lobster stew which was disappointing.

There is definitely a lot of awesome food in Maine!