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Falafel Waffles and Tzatziki

It's Fri-yay! Can't wait until I can spend this whole weekend just eating, watching Korean dramas and lounging in my bed. Since I won't be seeing the bf for a while as he's finished school, we've spent our weekends packed with activities and now that he's left, I have so much ME time! Haha kidding :P I'm just jelly he's going to Korea next week and I don't....sob :'(
I've been on the psych ward for two weeks now, and boy, it's been interesting. I think especially as a small Asian female, who has to talk to old veterans with absolutely no filter, I get SO many inappropriate comments and weird questions thrown at me. But, my patients otherwise have been really nice to talk to and just interesting.

Anyway, I made these healthy faWAFFLES, because I love chickpeas and falafels that don't taste like they've been deep-fried at least 3 times and rock hard. The waffle iron makes they so crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside like they're supposed too! I guess this could work as pancakes too... but I love the many notches to hold the tzatziki.

Falafel Waffles and Tzatziki

makes 6-7 square fawaffles

1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
½ small onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
¼ tsp tumeric
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp fine Black pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg white

Tzatziki sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
½ persian cucumber
½ tsp fresh dill
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
  1. Drain chickpeas well and coarsely chop onion. Add both to food processor with cloves of garlic. Pulse to a coarse mixture
  2. Add oil, salt, all spices, flour and baking powder. Pulse again and push down sides with spatula to make sure it is evenly mixed.
  3. Add in chopped parsley. Pulse few times. Separate egg white and mix with spatula
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat waffle iron and brush surfaces with olive oil
  5. When ready, place about 1/4 cup of falafel mixture. Make sure not to cover the whole surface because it will squash and spread. Cook until golden brown on surface. Repeat for rest of mixture. Place on baking sheet in single layer and bake to crisp up for 8-10mins
  6. Meanwhile, make the tzatziki. Cut cucumber in half and seed with a small spoon. Dice into small pieces
  7. Mix yogurt, garlic, salt, lemon juice and dill. Just before serving, stir in diced cucumber
  8. Serve hot out of the oven with tzatziki, sliced cucumber and tomatoes and a wedge of lemon. Garnish with parsley too!
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Curry Masala Fondue and Garlic Naan

I'm about to start my last rotation next week! Woop di dooh! I just finished my family rotation out in the boonies of Virginia. I'll say that was interesting... There were patients that came in and was like "I fell on an electric fence, woke up and came here - No Big Deal". Another person came in with a leg half open and was like "I filled it with sawdust when I cut it with my chainsaw to stop the bleeding". Like what?!
Since I'm leaning towards the surgery side, I didn't think I was going to enjoy the rotation that much, but I really did in the end. There's something about the long-term patient care aspect, where you could potentially care for your patient from cradle to the grave, that appealed to me. But, I dunnooo.... I still really enjoy cutting and sewing stuff :P
Anyway, I had an Indian friend who left me with all her spices when she moved. SCORE! Seriously, every time I open my pantry door, it smells like India. And then I receive this fondue pot from Swissmar, and I was like yeaaaa Curry fondue! I usually find cheese fondues really heavy with one flavor profile, but adding all the spices really made in multi-dimensional in flavvahhh! It kind of resembled a cheesy chicken tikka masala (but without the chicken). And with some homemade fluffy garlic naan and roasted vegetables, it'll be a party!
Apparently, fondues are making a come back... so it's time to dust up your old pot and put it to use. Or get this heavy duty cast iron one! I love that it's cast iron because it heats the cheese sauce more evenly and not just under the flame. I was able to cook the sauce directly in the pot and then transfer it onto the set. No pouring cheese over myself by accident! The inside is also enamel coated, so you don't have to worry about seasoning it or avoiding acidic foods and it's very easy to clean. It's a classy no fuss multi-purpose pot!

Hope you guys enjoy the recipe! AAaaand, have an awesome weekend full of fun and of course...lots of cheese :)

Curry Masala Fondue

serves 4-6

2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk + 1 cup
3 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup water
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
3 dried red chilies
1 tsp black peppercorn (or 2 tsp black pepper)
1 bay leaf
2 cups cheese (cheddar, parmesan)

Roasted cauliflower and red potatoes

  1. In the fondue pot, melt butter and add garlic and stir until fragrant. Whisk in flour and milk until it becomes a paste. Dilute tomato paste in water and whisk that in too
  2. Add in spices (turmeric, paprika, cumin, chilies, pepper and bay leaf). Whisk occasionally until it becomes somewhat thickened. You could honestly mix in any kind of curry spices together and it will taste good! Thin with the extra cup of milk 
  3. Add in a mix of cheese. I liked cheddar to give it some sharpness. I think adding mozzarella could work just to get the stringiness. I used a mix of cheddar and parmesan (mostly because I can't afford expensive cheese :P)
  4. Now fondue is ready for dipping! I roasted some cauliflower and diced red potatoes drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with simply salt and pepper!

Garlic Naan   makes 9

1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp greek yogurt
1 egg
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3.5 cups flour
4 tsp garlic, minced
ghee for frying
  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water for 10 mins until frothy and bubbly
  2. In your mixer bowl, stir sugar, yogurt, egg, salt, baking soda and flour together. Add yeast mister and knead 10-15 mins until smooth
  3. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for an 1 hour in a warm place until about double it's size
  4. Punch down the dough to release gas (my fave part hehe). Knead in garlic evenly, but don't over knead! Pinch into 9 pieces and roll into balls, cover with wrap or a towel and rest 30 mins
  5. Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. Roll out with a roller and kind of spread it pretty thin with your hands (like shaping pizza). Brush ghee on one side and place that side onto hot cast iron pan. Cover with lid and fry for 1-2 mins. Spreading it real thin allows you to get all those awesome bubbles in your naan!

I developed this recipe for Swissmar; all opinions expressed are my own. They also have a wide range of fondue pots (think meat!) and other cool kitchen stuff :) Thank you for the support!

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Thai Tea Skillet Brownies

I hope you guys had a splendid Easter weekend! My Easter holidays growing up usually involved church and my mum forcing me to play some hymn on the violin. I used to have terrible stage fright, and I still do! But, my mum kept making me do all kinds of things in front of people because "it builds character". Now that I'm an almost adult, I get to wake up late and eat left over Easter dessert/candies for breakfast :P.
It's raining in Richmond today, so I can't imagine what doing a egg hunt would be like in this weather. My roommate and I did some major spring cleaning. Honestly, we only clean when we have prospective renters look at the apartment, so I'm glad some people want to see it tomorrow. We really needed a reason to kick our butts into high cleaning gear!! You don't even want to know some of the things I found under my desk! It's difficult when you have two girls with long black hair shedding all over the place :P
Cleaning is some back breaking work though, so we'll be treating ourselves to some leftover brownies a la mode. The butter here is infused with Thai tea, so it gives it some depth and extra flavor! I'm using the same Revol mini dishes that I used in my last kimchi chili tots post. These are perfect for serving and portion control...otherwise, I'd eat the whole pan! And, because of the gooey nature of these brownies, it's difficult to clean but these "cast iron" dishes are able to go into the dish washer! What a relief, because I have absolutely no strength to even wash dishes :D

Thai Tea Skillet Brownies

makes 3-4 mini skillet brownies

1 stick butter
4-5 tbsp loose thai tea leaves
5 oz unsweetened chocolate chips, melted
2 eggs, room temp
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
sweetened condensed milk
  1. Put Thai tea leaves in a cheesecloth or tea bag. Melt butter in a small saucepan and place tea bags into the butter to let steep for a few minutes (I let it sit for 5-8 mins). Some thai tea leaves have orange food coloring in them, so if your butter turns bright orange, don't be alarmed!
  2. Preheat oven to 350F and butter mini casserole dishes. Once the tea is done steeping, take out the tea bags, add in chocolate chips and the residual heat will melt it. If it isn't quite melted, just put it on low heat for a few seconds and it will melt quickly. Set aside and let cool
  3. In a large bowl, mix together sugar flour, baking powder and salt. In a smaller bowl, lightly beat eggs with the vanilla extract and stir this into the cooled melted chocolate. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just incorporated. Try not to over mix, or you'll get a more cakey brownie!
  4. Bake for 20-25mins, or less if you want your center to be very gooey. And that's okay because we're going to be eating these with spoons anyway!
  5. Serve with a giant scoop of ice cream and drizzle on sweetened condensed milk
I developed this recipe for Revol; all opinions expressed are my own. I love their beautiful and creative kitchen bakeware, serve ware and cooking tools :) Thank you for the support!
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Kimchi Chili Cheese Tots

After completing my surgery rotation, I've been trying to clear out the fridge of all kinds of stuff that have been sitting in there for too long. I have a gallon sized bucket of kimchi, an assortment of all kinds of shredded cheese and a family size pack of tots in the freezer. There's just this appeal to buying bulk and making the most of my costco membership even if I'm only cooking for one! Blame it on my Asian-ness and for my love of coupons. I'm not like the coupon lady you see on TV, but I'm pretty close :P!
Kimchi reaches a point where it's pretty much too sour to eat, but perfect to cook with. Frying the kimchi also helps mellow out the sourness and spicyness, and goes well with heavier items like cheese and sour cream. So, I've made a rendition of my favorite comfort food, chili cheese tots! And added kimchi and more spice with gochugaru (Korean chili powder). It's a lot of flavors, but they really work well together.
I would serve it in a skillet so you can put easily put it back in the oven to make the cheese all bubbly and gooey. I used Revol's mini ramekins that look like they are cast iron pans, but are actually porcelain. I baked the tots in them and put them back under the broiler to melt the cheese. I love the look of cast iron without getting carpal tunnel from lifting them! They're also pretty cute and perfect size for serving appetizers. I can't wait to show you guys my next dessert post using these coming up next week!

Kimchi Chili Cheese Tots

serves 3-4 people

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup kimchi, diced (aged)
1 jalapeño, diced
1 16oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 tsp gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp ketchup
salt and pepper
1 16oz can chick peas
1 bag tots
2 stalks green onions, diced
Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits, cilantro, sour cream
  1. In a medium stockpot over medium high-heat, add some vegetable oil and diced onion. Stir continuously and add garlic, kimchi and jalapeños
  2. Saute until the onion beings to turn translucent and add the can of diced tomatoes. To the chili, add gochugaru, bay leaf and ketchup. Simmer over medium heat until slightly thickened (about 15-20 minutes)
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F and bake frozen tots until hot and crispy on the outside (according to package instructions)
  4. Add chick peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Stir in chopped up cilantro and diced green onions
  5. Ladle a generous helping of chili over the cooked tots and sprinkle with lots of cheese. Place in oven again until cheese is melted and bubbling
  6. Sprinkle any desired toppings like bacon bits, sour cream and garnish with cilantro, jalapeño slices and green onions
I developed this recipe for Revol; all opinions expressed are my own. I love their beautiful and creative kitchen bakeware, serve ware and cooking tools :) Thank you for the support!
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Lemon Curd Creme Puffs with Matcha White Chocolate Ganache

I'm done with my surgery rotation and I finally have time to meddle in the kitchen! Even if I was waking up at 4am and sleeping 4 hours everyday, I'm going to miss the excitement of being in the operating room. Surgery has been hand downs my fav rotation and I got to work with so many amazing people (including an attending who may be reading this...but I only have high praises for him hahaha ;))
I can't believe I spent all of winter in the OR and it's almost spring! Here, I made some cream puffs filled with fluffy lemon curd cream and topped them off with matcha white chocolate ganache and edible flowers. Don't they just look like spring and sunshine?
Don't let the long list of instructions fool you! These are actually very simple to make. You can make the lemon curd cream the night before, so all you need to make are the puffs and matcha ganache the next day. If you have a kitchen aid mixer, making the dough will be a breeze. I have mixed the dough by hand before and I think that's why my right arm is twice the size of my left :P. Hope you guys are enjoying the warmer weather!

Lemon Curd Creme Puffs with Matcha White Chocolate Ganache

makes 20-25 mini creme puffs

Pâte à Choux (made here too!)
1 stick butter, cubed
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs

Whipped Lemon Curd
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1 large lemon and zest
pinch of salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp powdered sugar

Matcha White Chocolate Ganache
1-2 tsp matcha powder
1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I used ghirardelhi)
1/4 cup heavy cream

  • Cream puffs

    1. Preheat oven to 425 and line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat
    2.  In a medium sized pot, put in the butter, milk, water, sugar and salt. Place on medium-high heat and stir frequently. Once it has all melted and starts bubbling on the top, reduce the heat to low
    3. Dump in the flour and stir with a heat proof spatula. It will start coming together and form a giant shiny yellow ball (less than 5 minutes)
    4. Place the dough in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and stir slowly to cool for about 2 minutes. Crack 1 egg at a time and mix on low until it is thoroughly incorporated. Repeat with the other eggs. Now the dough will be smooth, yellow and thick.
    5. Transfer into a pastry bag with a 1/2" tip. Pipe out 1.5" mounds on the prepared tray about 1 inch apart (they don't spread too much). Using a wet fingertip, smooth the top of each mound where you pulled the dough away from the tip so they don't burn in the oven. 
    6. Place in the oven, reduce the temp to 350F after 1 min and bake until puffs are golden brown (~30-35mins). DON'T open door while baking or all the puffs will deflate! Once they come out, take a paring knife and poke a hole in the side to let the steam escape and transfer to a cooling rack.

  • Lemon Curd (made the night before):

    1. In a small pot, whisk egg yolks, sugar, lemon zest and its juice and salt. Heat on medium flame and continuously whisk until thickened slightly. Whisk in cornstarch and keep whisking until it is the consistency of greek yogurt (taste test here and add more sugar if needed). Take off heat and cool for a few minutes. Place saran wrap directly on the lemon curd surface and stick it in the refrigerator
    2. In a clean and cold mixing bowl, whisk heavy cream and powdered sugar on high until stiff peaks form. Whisk in vanilla
    3. Fold the now cold curd with the whipped cream. You don't have to use all the cream if you think it's too much. I put in 3/4 of it I think
    4. Only pipe in the cream when you are about to eat/serve it, otherwise the puffs can get soggy.
  • Matcha Ganache
    • Stir matcha powder, chocolate chips and heavy cream in a small bowl. Microwave in 10 second bursts and stir. Mine was done in 14 ish seconds. I always have trouble with white chocolate seizing on me, so now I have chocolate PTSD and check every 5 seconds
    • Drizzle this over lemon curd cream filled puffs and serve!
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Mango Chai Tiramisu

I'm on my surgery rotation right now, so I don't have much to update you on about my life. Mostly because it's really boring and consists of waking up at the crack of dawn and standing in the OR all day. Although, I'm on cardiothoracic surgery right now and I get to poke and jab at beating hearts. I even shocked one today right in the chest :O! Speaking of's almost V-day! I don't usually do anything, because it's a pain in the butt to eat with other lovey-dovey couples (who should really get a room) and prices at restaurants are ridiculously expensive. I'm planning on spending Vday ordering wings and pizza!!
Anyway, I wanted to put this recipe up since I've been getting questions about the recipe after I posted a photo on instagram. I know it's been months since I said I was going to upload this post, but at least I did it!!

Mango Chai Tiramisu

makes a 8x8" tiramisu cake

20-22 lady finger biscuits
1 tbsp chai spice mix (like this one if you want to DIY)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dry milk powder
1 cup hot water

4 oz mascarpone cheese (about 1 cup)
2 tsps cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla

1.5 cups mango, diced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp meyer lemon jam (or use some lemon juice)
  1. Make sure you have enough biscuits for 2 layers for a 8x8" square pan. Line the biscuits in the pan so they fit tightly on the bottom. Cut any pieces so that it fits to make a flat layer. Set aside the biscuits
  2. In a shallow bowl, mix chai spices, sugar, milk powder and hot water together. Let cool (This will smell ridiculously spicy but it tones down over night)
  3. In a mixing bowl, whip mascarpone cheese, cinnamon, ginger and powdered sugar together until fluffy. Place in a large bowl and then whip up heavy cream until soft peaks form and then whip in vanilla extract. Carefully fold mascarpone mix to the whipped cream until no streaks remain
  4. In a blender, blend cubed mango, sugar and lemon jam together
  5. Assembly: Dunk lady finger biscuits into the chai for about 7 seconds top and bottom. Lay them down like you had previously planned. Once they are in a nice layer, add 1/2 the mascarpone mix and flatten into a neat layer with a offset spatula. Next, spread all the mango over the mascarpone
  6. Dunk lady finger biscuits again to make the second layer. Cover with the rest of the mascarpone. Tent pan with foil while taking care not to touch the surface and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (but best overnight)
  7. Serve chilled with cubed mango and chai spice sprinkled on top!

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