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Prez Trump Dumps

Congrats to everyone who matched for residency today! I matched into general surgery and now I only have to wait until Friday to know where I'll be going. The end of schooling is so near I can almost taste it haha. For shits and giggles (literally), I made some chocolate covered marshmallows with dried pineapple for his voluptuous hair. Doesn't it look like the real thing (if not much improved)??
I also added some food coloring to make them orange inside for Trump's fake bake. Although, eating them and discovering they're more flesh colored makes it a little morbid :/

President Trump Dumps 

makes 25-35 dumps

- recipe with corn syrup adapted from Alton Brown
- recipe withOUT corn syrup here (just don't add matcha powder)
* I added 1:3 ratio of red:yellow food coloring to achieve orange insides (optional)

Dried Pineapple Toupee - 1 can of whole ring pineapple in juice (only need 4 slices)

Eyes - white and semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. First make the pineapple toupee because this takes the longest. Drain can of pineapple rings and cut into quarters and half the thickness. Lay on silicone baking mat to dry at room temp overnight uncovered. This eliminates using your oven and wasting so much electricity. Next day, stick it in a 170F (or your oven's lowest settings) heated oven and dry for about 2 hours. Using a chopstick, roll and lay the dried pineapple pieces to hang so they curl and dry for another hour
  2. Prepare 2 silicone baking mats or wax paper and lightly grease patches/circles where you will pipe out the marshmallows on. Make 1 recipe of marshmallows and add food coloring if you like. Dump whipped marshmallow into a piping bag with a 1/2" tip. I also used a gallon ziploc bag and sniped a sizable whole for easy cleaning!
  3. Pipe out marshmallow poops onto the mat and dry uncovered overnight or at least 4-5 hours
  4. Melt 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking chips in a bain-marie or double boiler and dip marshmallows. Use a fork to pick it up by the base and tap fork to let excess chocolate drip so you can have a more defined poop shape
  5. Make your next one as you allow the chocolate covering to dry a little bit. Then place white chocolate chips for eyes and use a chopstick to draw pupils with the melted chocolate. Dress with curled pineapple toupee!
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Bacon Okonomiyaki - Savory Japanese Pancakes

I had a sudden craving for okonomiyaki, a savory Japanese pancake filled with cabbage, which I haven't eaten in.... 20+ years!! I used to have Japanese neighbours when I lived in Korea and would always play with the kids. I was maybe only a few years older than them, but sometimes their mum would make me (an 8 year old then) babysit 5 and 6 year old kids. And we all know how well that can turn out... 😈
Babysitting had its perks and I was lucky to have so many home-cooked Japanese meals! The most memorable dish was Okonomiyaki, because of the dancing bonito flakes that are sprinkled on top and the peculiar tangy sauce mixed with kewpie mayonnaise. It was something I had never tried before and the flavor is something I still crave today. I hope you go grocery shopping at an Asian market and try to make this at home!

Bacon Okonomiyaki

makes 2 x 6" pancakes

1/4 cabbage
3 inch leek (white part, or use white part of the green onions)
1/2 onion
6 pieces of bacon, cut into thirds (optional if you vegetarian)

1 heaping cup of Korean jeon flour (or okonomiyaki flour; if using plain AP flour, add 1 tsp each of salt, pepper and baking powder)
2/3 cup water
2 eggs
2 tsp black pepper

tonkatsu/okonomiyaki sauce
kewpie mayo
bonito flakes
dried nori/seaweed sheets (the same nori you use for sushi)

  1. Thinly slice cabbage so it almost looks like it's shaved by a mandolin (finely like really fine coleslaw). Do the same for onions, so you get thin half-moons and for leeks. If you don't have leeks, I would finely chop the white part of green onions. Set aside
  2. In a mixing bowl, add 1 heaping cup (about 1.25 cups) of jeon flour or seasoned flour with addition of salt, pepper and baking powder. Whisk water and 2 eggs. Season with black pepper. Add the veggies into the flour mixture and stir to coat evenly
  3. In a non-stick pan, heat on medium fire 1 tbsp of veggie oil. Place half of batter to pan and flatten to make a pancake. Place cut bacon strips on top and cover frying pan to allow top to steam
  4. Fry for about 3-4 mins or until golden brown. Flip and cover again for 2-3 mins. Repeat for the rest of the batter
  5. Serve immediately onto plate and dress with okonomiyaki sauce and a healthy dose of mayo. Sprinkle bonito flakes and cut nori
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Nutella Stuffed Almond Cookies

Only two more weeks and 3 days until match day! I think I should be more nervous about where I end up, since I've been hearing my friends lose sleep over this. But my mind has been on vacay-mode for more than 4 months, so it is pretty much mush :/
Because I am still going strong with breaking New Year's resolutions to eat healthy, here are some Nutella stuffed Almond cookies!

Nutella Stuffed Almond Cookies

makes 1-2 dozen

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups flour

1/2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup nutella
  1. On a piece of parchment paper or silpat mat, spoon about 12-15 half tablespoons of nutella and put in the freezer
  2. Preheat oven to 325F
  3. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and stir in vanilla
  4. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add to the batter. Add salt and mix until combined
  5. Stir in flour just until a dough forms. Fold in almonds.
  6. Roll into 1-2 inch balls, then flatten and place a frozen nutella ball in the middle. Seal it like you would fill a dumpling, roll back into ball shape and place 1" apart on a lined baking tray. Dough will not spread much, so if you want a thinner crispier cookie, flatten it a bit
  7. Bake for 10-15 mins, just until edges are brown (not to a crisp!)

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Shiba Inu Mitarashi Dango

Yay for three day weekends "as a fourth year", since everyone in medical school probably doesn't have this day off 😁. Even though I've been going out to eat and cooking up a storm, this weekend is also the last weekend to put in our residency spots for the match! Gah! I've probably explained the match system a gazillion time to my friends and family, but NO it isn't like a job offer and NO you can't pick and choose where you end up. Instead, you only get that ONE SPOT that you rank highest (if the hospital ranks you high too) and everyone finds out on the SAME day and SAME time.
It is definitely a strange system and sometimes I do wish it was like applying to college, where you can get "offers". But alas, our fate is pretty much dependent on some algorithm that matches each person to a residency spot so that no spots are left unfilled. So my life is in a limbo, since I have no idea if I want to go to the East or West coast. I'm still living out of boxes and our apartment still looks like a homeless shelter. Although, no excuse because it's been looking like that for the last 4 years haha. Totally not out of laziness... 😌
To keep this weekend nice and lighthearted for me and my roommate, I made a traditional Japanese snack called Dango (chewy rice cake mochi like balls) in the shape of Shiba Inus! How doge is that? Mitarashi is the sweetened soy sauce that is brushed onto the dango, which gives and salty sweet flavor. It is also enjoyed with sweet red bean or kinako!

Shiba Inu Mitarashi Dango

makes 24 dumplings

1 cup rice flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup glutinous rice flour (or mochiko flour)
2 tsps sugar
3/4 cup warm water

Sweet Soy sauce
3 tbsps sugar
2 tbsps honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp corn starch (optional)

bamboo skewers
black sesame seeds for eyes
sushi nori
  1. Mix together the all the dry dango ingredients and then add hot/warm water. Using a spoong, mix until it forms a soft dough and then use your hands to knead together. The dough will feel soft and a bit dry to touch
  2. Divide dough in half again and again until you end up with 8 pieces and divide each into 3 so you end up with 24 pieces in total. Shape using your hands into a dog face and butt
  3. Prepare ice water bath and set aside. Bring large pot of water to boil and add a pinch of salt to water. Gently add dango a few at a time. After a few minutes, the dango will float to the surface and let it boil for another 3-4 minutes before scooping them out with a slotted spoon. Place immediately into ice water to help retain chewiness
  4. Place dango pairs onto the skewers and set on a plate
  5. To make the sauce, combine all soy sauce ingredients (except corn starch) into a small pot and bring to simmer. Keep stirring to not let it burn. If needed add corn starch to thicken
  6. Pour or brush sauce over dango and serve warm
  7. To decorate, use black sesame seeds for eyes. I cut nori into thin strips to make the star butt-hole (pardon my French) and circles for the nose
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Heart Beets, Pesto and Feta Pizza

Happy Valentine's day! I know I've taken almost a year hiatus and... and... and... well... I really have no excuse since I'm now in my fourth year of medical school with absolutely nothing to do. Just straight chilling until match day, when we find out about which hospital we end up 😱! *nerve wracking*
I've been meaning to post at new year's for my new year's resolution :/... and then I was going to post for Lunar new year, which also didn't happen hehe. But, since it's the day of love, you guys can forgive me for being so absent, right? 😜
Here's a super cute pizza with a crust naturally colored with beet juice and topped with heart-beets, basil pesto and feta. It'll get your loved one's heart "beeting" in no time! I enjoyed this with my roommate, since the bf is in a different state :D

Heart Beets, Pesto and Feta Pizza

makes 1 large pan pizza

Pizza dough
1 packet active dry yeast
1 can sliced beets (use 1 cup of juice)
2 tsp sugar
2 cup bread flour
1 tbsp oil (plus more for greasing)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika

Favorite basil and pine nut pesto recipe
Crumbled feta
Sliced beets from can
Green onions
Freshly cracked pepper

  1. Drain 1 cup of beet juice from the can into a bowl. Microwave until warm temperature and dissolve sugar and yeast into it. Set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy
  2. In a mixer, stir bread flour, salt and paprika together. Add the yeast mix and oil. Using the dough hook, mix until a firm and smooth (and pink!) dough forms (takes about 5-10mins). Place in a greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour or double in size. You can also overnight rise in the fridge and then set outside until room temperature before baking. Preheat oven to 500F
  3. Punch down dough and shape into a large circle, rectangle or whatever shape you fancy. I like to use my knuckles to spread the dough thin from center out. If using a baking tray (since I have no pizza stone), lightly oil bottom and sprinkle cornmeal before placing rolled out dough over it
  4. Top with pesto leaving a 1 inch border. Using a heart cookie cutter, cut out hearts from the sliced beets. Top with beets and feta.  Bake for 7-10mins. Once out of the oven, crack black pepper and toss on some diced green onions
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Animal Style Waffles

One of the first things to do when I get to LA is to have an In 'n' Out burger... and eat Korean BBQ. I think I can say yes to both :D Yes, I'm in LA, but I'm going to be chained to my desk studying here :( So this is my last post until next month! Here's an In 'n' out animal style rendition of waffles.
You have a crispy pressed tater tots waffle base, topped with American cheese, caramelized onions and that signature sauce (which is probably just thousand island dressing haha). Aaaaand a poached egg over it of course!

See you guys in a month!!

Animal Style Waffles

makes 1 waffle

12-15 tater tots, defrosted
1/2 small onion
1-2 slices of American cheese
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp mayo
1 egg

  1. Very thinly slice yellow onion into half moons. Heat a small frying pan with a little oil. Toss onions on low heat and let it sit for a while. It takes A LOT of patience for it to become limp and caramelized. Stir occasionally for about 30 minutes (or longer...who's counting?)
  2. Bring to boil some water in a small pot to poach your egg in. Poach it and take it out with a slotted spoon and lay it on a piece of kitchen towel. Set aside
  3. Now, heat up your waffle iron. Line up defrosted tater tots side by side onto the gaps in the iron and press down. It'll take longer than usual...but make sure it's nice and golden brown when you take it out
  4. Top immediately with slices of american cheese so that it can melt on top. Add the caramelized onions and then mix ketchup and mayo together in a small bowl and drizzle that on top
  5. Place the poached egg over it and season with pepper. 
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