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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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Blood Orange Chai Mochi Cakes

It's Mother's day soon, so I thought I might put up this post as an idea for what to make for that special lady in your life! I saw that blood oranges are still being sold at supermarkets, but no idea if we're kind of done with the citrus season :P I made these a while ago so I do apologize!
My mum and I absolutely love mochi and it's chewy texture, so I wanted to make some mini cakes and add some flair to it. The chai pairs really well with the oranges and when the blood orange slices dry in the oven, it looks so pretty!
I'm keeping this short because I actually have to study... But, I hope you spend a lovely day with your mum. Love you mum! Also just found out that she reads my blog soo.... ;)

I used a tea strainer from Dreamfarm, which works like a dream to steep chai loose leaf tea in the milk!

Blood Orange Chai Mochi Cakes

makes 8 mochi cupcakes

1.5 cups sugar
1.5 cups glutinous rice flour
1.5 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chai spice (mix of cinnamon, ginger powder, anise, pepper)
1 cup whole milk (coconut milk will work too)
3 tbsps loose chai leaves (or 3-4 chai tea bags)
3 tbsp butter, room temp
2 medium eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 blood orange
2 blood oranges, sliced
demerara sugar

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan and add tea bags. Once it starts to ripple/simmer but not bubble, take off heat and let tea bags steep for 10 mins. Take out tea bags and cut butter into little chunks. Add this to the flavored milk and stir until it melts. Heat a little if necessary to melt. Set aside to cool
  2. Preheat oven to 350 and grease muffin pan. You can use liners but the mochi sticks to it a lot.
  3. In a large bowl, mix sugar, glutinous rice flour, baking powder, salt and chai spices
  4. Once butter/milk is cool, whisk in eggs, vanilla and zest. Pour this into dry mix and stir together until no lumps remain
  5. Pour batter 3/4 up prepared muffin pan and add thinly sliced blood oranges on top. Sprinkle demerara or raw sugar on top generously
  6. Bake for 40-45 mins or until mochi is cooked through. Leave to cool completely in the pan 

I developed this recipe for Dreamfarm; all opinions expressed are my own. I love their cute and innovative kitchen tools and especially their clever names :) Thank you for the support!
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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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