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Spicy Tomato Soup

You know those days when you think your day at work is going to be extremely short and you don't pack lunch or bring that many snacks...and suddenly you're there until way past dinner time. Today was just one of those days!! And, hypoglycemia people, makes you act like a crazy person. It's actually one of the most common cause of altered mental status in the ED, so we're required to check blood glucose levels on every altered patient that comes in.  I started from hungry this afternoon, which quickly escalated to hangry, and then to almost borderline crazy.
That really got me wishing I had packed some hot soup in my bag before I left home! I also started using the stairs more, so I can get more steps on my fitbit. I'm in a "who-climbs-more-steps" challenge with my friend, and I am seriously losing super badly. And, he keeps sending me those taunts via the fitbit app (Rude >:O haha)! This soup is super easy to make and the spice warms up your belly in no time! Serve it with toasty grilled cheese, and you will be one less of a hangry lady person.

Spicy Tomato Soup

adapted from
serves 3-4

1 jalapeño, coarsely diced (seeds included for spiciness)
1 thai bird's eye chili, diced (or substitute with another jalapeño)
1 medium white onion, coarsely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 can chicken or veggie broth
28 oz diced tomato (Italian)
1-2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream
  1. In a sizable pot, heat up 1 tbsp olive oil and saute onions, chili peppers and garlic until onions are somewhat translucent (about 3-5mins)
  2. Drain 1/2 of the diced tomato liquid and then add it to the pot. Add chicken broth. Let that simmer for 35-45mins. Add cumin and Salt and pepper to taste
  3. Use an immersion blender or work in batches in a blender, blend all until smooth
  4. Let simmer for another 5-10mins. Taste and season again if needed
  5. Serve with sour cream and grilled cheese of course!

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Bulgogi Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I'm currently on-call for Neurology and it's pretty quiet right now, so I'm taking a little bit of time to write a post before I hit the sack (look at this dedication :P). Actually, I think another patient is coming in... so I guess I'm not going to sleep :'(

I'll have to be quick! This is a super duper easy recipe. Mostly, because it doesn't take much to dress up potatoes. Just some butter and you're good to go. Here, I just added bulgogi, kimchi and cheese!
I'm kinda obsessed with that 3 combo ingredient, because they just go so well together. I made a pizza out of them not too long ago as well! The bulgogi lends some sweetness, the kimchi cuts the greasy cheesiness and then topped off with some cooling sour-cream. It's an even quicker meal if you microwave your spuds. Got to go now! I have so many thanksgiving recipes lined up, but I just wish I had time to post them!!!

Bulgogi Stuffed Baked Potatoes

makes 4 servings

1/2 pound marinated bulgogi
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced into half moons
4 large russet potatoes
4 pats of salted butter
1-2 cup cheddar jack, shredded
Toppings: sour cream, chopped kimchi, roasted sesame seeds, chopped green onions
salt & pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Scrub potatoes and poke holes all over it with a fork. Bake for 1.5 hrs
  2. Saute thinly sliced onions until semi translucent. Add marinated bulgogi and saute until fully cooked
  3. Once potatoes are able to be pierced easily, carefully split them and add a pat of salted butter
  4. Set broiler on high. Add cooked bulgogi and onion in between and cover generously with cheese
  5. Once cheese is melted, throw on all kinds of toppings. 
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Matcha Portuguese Egg Tarts

Woo, I'm done with internal med. Medicine was a tough two months. I feel like I need 4 holidays before I start school again :P. I did feel pretty fatigued and didn't have time to do anything, but study and go to work. I survived on purple sweet potatoes and granola bars. Seriously, every meal had so much fiber and I hardly drank any water since we had long rounds... can you imagine how my belly felt??!! I did get really burned out (and constipated :\), so it has taken a bit of time to starting blogging again. But in hindsight, I guess I did enjoy medicine. I think that's how I feel about just anything... like baking a 5 layer cake, riding rollercoasters, spending time with my brother haha...
Now I'm on neurology! I'm actually just writing up this post after brain cutting lab. The knives literally looked like cake knives and I thought, wow, I'm making cake brain layers! And then I remembered I owned a blog and should probably update it :/
Growing up in Hong Kong, I ate unlimited egg and Portuguese egg tarts.  Macau is about an hour away and I would eat these tarts all day long. Also, because I couldn't gamble, so all I did was eat :P. I gussied up these tarts with some matcha custard instead and the combination of flaky crust and silky smooth custard is to die for. 
Matcha Portuguese Egg Tarts
adapted from bbcgoodfood
makes 12 tarts

2 Egg yolks
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
½ Cup Sugar
1½ Teaspoon Matcha powder
1½ Cup Half and half
1 Puff pastry sheet
  1. Whisk egg yolks/egg, sugar, flour, matcha in small pot
  2. Gradually whisk in half and half and vanilla extract until smooth. Put on medium heat and whisk until it it is very warm but not hot (not thick)
  3. Preheat oven to 400F. Thaw 1 sheet of frozen pastry dough for 20mins. Cut in half and stack on top of each other. Should be 12cm in width
  4. Lightly flour surface. Roll up tightly. If it cracks, leave to thaw more
  5. Use a ruler and indent dough every 1cm and you should have 12 slices
  6. Flour surface again and a rolling pin. Roll dough to about 10cm circles
  7. Press into greased muffin tin. Pour runny custard into it (I strained the custard to get rid of lumps and to make it super smooth). Bake for 12-15mins or until pastry is golden and some burnt sugar spots appear
  8. Cool in pan and transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or cold. Can keep in fridge for few days.
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Mammo S'mores

I'm almost done with internal med!  I just wanted to do a quick post because I don't really have much time, but I had to post this for October. As you know October is breast cancer awareness month and since I've been learning and meeting so many patients who are survivors during my radiation oncology elective, I really wanted to make something that kind of represented my time there. This was also my final project for my elective course... 
Who would have thought med school would actually have me bake and make metaphors out of patient care. So cool!
I'm so thankful for all the patients I met on my rotation. Sometimes it was difficult seeing what they had to go through, but sometimes it was so exhilarating to talk to the most positive patients I have ever met. These ladies were true survivors. I really don't do any justice by writing so little about my experience, but I will elaborate on it later. For the mean time... please enjoy the mammograms. (Also, if you are 40+, please consider getting one if you haven't already :P)
Mammo S'mores
makes 30 assembled s'mores
adapted from kitchenfrau

Booby Marshmallows
1 cup water (divided)
2 packages gelatin (about 4.5 tsps)
2 cups white sugar
1.5 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
red food coloring
powdered sugar
corn starch
  1. Prepare a 9x13" pan by lightly greasing with butter and powdered sugar. Tap out excess powdered sugar from pan.
  2. Stir 1/2 cup of water with gelatin and allow to bloom (it should be like a clump of jelly fish :/)
  3. Meanwhile heat sugar and the other 1/2 cup of water in a small pot until dissolved. Add the gelatin into the pot and bring to boil while stirring. Once bubbling, take off heat, add salt and stir (make sure sides are scraped down as well). Cool to room temp
  4. Once cool, add vanilla and pour into a stand mixer (the cooled mix will look translucent and yellowy). Beat on high for 6 mins, the coagulated stuff will magically turn white and fluffy! Stop and add red food coloring until you see a pink tinge (like a tiny squeeze from the tube) and beat for 2-3 mins more
  5. Dump into prepared pan. I mean dump, because the mixture will be sticky and difficult to handle. Smooth out layer as even as you can. Let cool and dry overnight
  6. Cut into desired shape: I cut it into squares and then cut out the curved "boobs" part with a stiff curvy piece of plastic. Always wipe your knife or plastic when slicing so it doesn't stick too badly. Toss marshmallows into powdered sugar or corn starch (or a mix of both). Allow to dry on a rack for a few hours
Graham crackers
Recipe here!
- I used nutella as my (chocolate layer), but a ganache dark chocolate layer would put this over the top!
- For the 'nips', I mixed a little bit of powdered sugar with red food coloring and water. Then I dotted them with a chopstick.
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Lotus Seed and Salted egg yolk cookie sandwich

Happy Mid Autumn Festival! This is the time to light up lanterns and stuff your face with mooncakes. When I was young, my dad used to buy me all kinds of pretty lanterns that we would light up and hike up a hill to see the full moon. He also bought me ones that sang, but I bet he regretted that because I would play it all night until the song started to get out of tune and was really painful to the ears :D
My sister and I were also pyromaniacs back in the days and would line up waxy red candles on a mooncake tin lid and make a bonfire. Things were so simple back then haha. What I really miss the most is eating mooncakes though. Friends and relatives would gift traditional mooncakes and I loved opening them up to see the intricate design on top and then to cut it open to reveal the golden yolk in the center. I could eat a whole one and it would sit like a brick in my stomach all day (you should weigh one of these, they are so heavy!)
Anyway, I decided to create something mooncake-like and made some mooncake cookie sandwiches. It took me a month to make these, because I made my own salted eggs which took about a month of endless waiting (recipe below). The cookies are studded with salted yolks throughout and are so buttery and crumbly. They are sooo good on their own, that my bf kept eating them and I didn't have many left to sandwich >:( . I'm excited to eat these and watch the full moon today!
Lotus Seed and Salted Egg Yolk Cookie Sandwich
makes 15-20 cookie sandwiches

2 cups flour
4 tsps cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp dried milk powder
3/4 cup salted butter, room temp
1/3 cup white sugar
2-3 tbsps maple syrup
3 salted egg yolks, cooked* (how I made the salted eggs below)

egg wash
black and white sesame seeds (optional)
sweetened lotus seed paste
  1. Place salted eggs in pot and cover with water and put on high heat. When it starts boiling, start the timer to let it boil for 4.5 minutes. Once time is up, take it off the heat and dunk in ice cold water.
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch, baking powder and soda and milk powder in a large bowl and set aside. Beat softened butter with sugar until light, stir in maple syrup. Stir dry mix to wet ingredients gently, until it comes together into one lump of dough. (if the dough doesn't come together, add a little bit of vegetable oil)
  3. Spoon out cooked egg yolks (some white is fine), and crumble coarsely with a fork. Fold into cookie dough. Make sure you have some chunks scattered throughout, because it is absolutely divine to taste the salted yolk here and there in the buttery cookie.
  4. I used mooncake molds to get the cool flower pattern on top. But if you don't have one, then roll out dough to 1/4" thick. Cut out to any shape you want. Place on lined baking trays and chill them for 30minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Beat 1 egg to make the egg wash. Brush liberally on top of cookie cut outs. Sprinkle on black and white sesame seeds if desired.
  6. Bake for 18-22mins or until nicely golden on top. Let it cool at least 10 minutes on the tray before moving because they are pretty fragile out of the oven.
  7. You can definitely make your own lotus seed paste or buy a can of it in your local Chinese supermarket. Pipe some onto the cooled cookies and sandwich them. 
*I actually made my own salted eggs using extra-large chicken eggs, instead of the traditional duck egg. You just need a ratio of 1:4 salt to water ratio (so 1 cup salt for 4 cups of water), and place your eggs into the mix. I also placed a ziploc filled with water on the top, so the eggs wouldn't float in the salty water. I then put a lid on it and stored it in on top of my fridge for a month. The yolks when cooked came out really nicely bright orange/red and salty :D

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Matcha Pocky Sticks

I'm back with another matcha recipe! I know...NOT another one! If I'm doing too many, lemme know :P. I can't promise you that'll stop me, but I'll consider it ;) I was going to post this on November 11, because that's Korea's Pepero day (11/11). Pepero (빼빼로) is the Korean name for the Japanese Pocky. It's kind of like Valentine's day, but you buy your crush or significant other pepero. I don't really know the reason why, but you just do it because pepero is freaking addictive to snack on.
I just thought that straight stick pocky is kind of boring, so why not make all kinds of pocky shapes and sizes? With a homemade squeezable dough, you can make glasses, hearts, stars and everything else. These are so much more fun to gift (or to eat by yourself :D).
Matcha Pocky Sticks
adapted from food52
makes about 50 sticks and shapes

4 tbsps unsalted butter, at room temp
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp water
1.5 cup white chocolate chips (or 9 oz)
toppings: black sesame seeds, shredded coconut, sprinkles (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffly. Stir in egg and vanilla on medium. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir, then add water until a smooth dough forms (you may need to add more water if too stiff). Dough should feel malleable, otherwise it will be extremely difficult to pipe
  2. Transfer dough into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4" tip. Pipe onto parchment paper into straight lines, hearts, glasses...whatever you like!
  3. Bake for 18-20mins or until golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool and harden for 5 minutes before transferring onto a rack to cool completely
  4. Melt white chocolate in a water bath. I have really bad experiences with microwaving white chocolate...real chocolate seems fine but white just doesn't work for me! Just place the chocolate chips in a small tall bowl into small pot with constant warm/hot water. Once it melts, whisk in matcha powder
  5. Dip and spread your shaped cookie sticks into the melted chocolate. Scrape off gently any excess chocolate and lay on silicon mats or baking paper. Decorate with toppings.
  6. Let chocolate harden or transfer to the fridge to quicken the process

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