Cherry Frangipane Galette

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I know it’s a little late to be posting about cherries.. “C’mon Cheryl. It’s just about pumpkin season now.” I sort of misplaced my memory card while switching cameras and couldn’t get a hold of the pictures I took when this tart was actually made.

This tart was put together on one of those days where I felt like baking something, but was lazy AF. I didn’t feel like leaving the house to buy anything so I just opened up the refrigerator to see what I had to work with.ย  Half a bag of cherries, a lemon, butter, and a shit load of almonds.

I tend to make any excuse to make a dessert with Dorie Greenspan’s frangipane from her French Pear Tart recipe, cause it’s just that good and so darn easy. I ended up making a dough and the frangipane and by the time I got to the cherries, I already wanted to stick them back into the fridge and leave them there. Well, something came over me and I actually stood there pitting every single cherry then sprinkling some sugar over them. Then wah-lah. The finished product was a rustic cherry galette that not only was easy enough to make by a lazy person, but was crisp on the outside and not too sweet on the inside.

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Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s French Pear Tart

6 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 C. Granulated sugar
3/4 C. Almond flour
2 tsp. All purspose flour
1 tsp. Corn starch
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 egg
2 tsp. Rum

In a food processor, combine butter and sugar until smooth. Add the almond flour, flour, corn starch and salt and pulse until combined. Add egg and run and pulse until well combined.

Remove from food processor into a covered bowl. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Adapted from Food52
1 C. Unsalted butter, cubed
2 Tbsp. Granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. Ice water

2 Tbsp. Melted butter

In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, and salt. Add the cubed pieces of butter and incorporate into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or the back of a knife, until crumbs the size of peas start to form. Slowly add water and mix until the dough becomes one big ball. Cut the dough in half and saran wrap each separately. Put in the refrigerator until ready to use.


Put cherries into a large bowl and add the sugar and lemon zest. Let sit for about 15 minutes.

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Preheat oven to 400F.

When you’re ready to use the dough, prepare your surface with a light dusting of flour. Lay the dough on the flour and roll into a circle until about 1/4 inch thick. The circle doesn’t have to be perfect.

Spoon half the frangipane onto the center of the circle and spread the frangipane into a thin layer, leaving about 2 inches of the dough edge free.

Drain the cherries from the juice and place the cherries on top of the frangipane.

Fold the edges of the dough inward, creating something that looks like a pizza crust.

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Brush on the melted butter onto the crust and sprinkle on the sugar.

Brush melted butter over the “crust” and sprinkle with sugar. Place the galette onto a cookie sheet with parchment paper. If you have a tart pan, place the galette into the tart pan prior to placing it onto the cookie sheet.

Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. When the galette is done baking, let the galette set on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before transferring it onto a cooling rack. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before cutting into it.

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Serve cold or my favorite, warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. YUM!

Chicken Adobo

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Have I mentioned how much I love chicken? I can pull a Bubba from Forest Gump if you were to ask me what my favorite chicken dish is… chicken nuggets, chicken stir-fry, orange chicken, chicken adobo, chicken ice cream.. Ok, I’ve gone too far. And I think I’ve just about told you my age by referencing the movie Forest Gump. Nevermind that. What’s most important is this chicken adobo.

I’ve had many chicken adobos in my lifetime and quickly found out how simple it is to make. I can count the number of ingredients it takes on one hand, if my hand had 6 fingers. All that’s needed is vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorn, and chicken. Now, chicken adobo is slightly sweet and tangy and 100% of the time, the end result is some tender ass chicken. It’s basically chicken that’s been stewed/braised in all of those ingredients listed and in it’s own tasty juices until the chicken is cooked through. Authentic chicken adobo is made with cane vinegar (the brand I’ve seen is Datu Puti) versus white distilled vinegar, but if you don’t have cane vinegar at home, white distilled vinegar is perfectly fine. It’ll just be a little tangier. Chicken adobo is one of those dishes you play with to suit your taste.

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So…not that this recipe is spot on authentic, but I add one ingredient that totally throws the authenticity of this recipe right into the dumpster. ONIONS! Guys… in my household, we LOVE cooked onions that have absorbed all of the flavors the party in the pot can offer. The sweetness from the onions also replaces the sugar a lot of recipes ask for. Trust me, my fellow chicken connoisseurs. Tender braised chicken and onions packed with flavor on top of rice is the fricking best. I must say no more.


Chicken Adobo
Servings: 6

2 Tbsp. oil of your choice
12 chicken drumsticks
1 C. light soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 small bay leaves
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
1 medium sized onion sliced
3/4 C. vinegar

1. In a large heavy duty pan, heat oil of medium high heat.
2. When the oil is heated, brown the chicken drumsticks flipping them every few minutes until all sides are browned.
3. While the chicken is browning, add the soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and black peppercorns in a medium bowl and mix together.
4. When the chicken drumsticks are browned, sprinkle the slices onions inbetween the chicken pieces and let them find their way to the bottom of the pan. Let the onions cook down in the chicken fat and cook until their translucent.
5. Pour the sauce into the pan making sure every piece of chicken is sitting in the sauce.
6. Next, pour the vinegar over everything. MOST IMPORTANT STEP: DON’T mix or stir the chicken in the sauce. After pouring the vinegar in, let the sauce come up to a boil before mixing the contents of the pan. If you mix the sauce it comes to a boil, the dish comes out more sour.
7. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until chicken is cooked and tender.
8. Enjoy over rice.

Oxtail Pho

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Hello there! For the past couple of months, my mind has been focused on work, studying, and no play whatsoever. If we were able to see into each other’s minds, you’d probably see either a tornado or a block of mush, in mine.

I came across Steph’s recipe of oxtail pho onย iamafoodblog. It happened I was reading her post while standing in Costco. I looked over my shoulder and saw about 100 lbs. of oxtail sitting there right before my eyes. How could I not buy a couple of pounds and not make oxtail pho, right??

Steph simmered her soup stock for about 4 hours. ย Keeping in mind I’m completely mentally drained, I just threw everything into a slow cooker. That was probably the best decision I made that day. Slow-cooking the oxtail ensures fall-off-the-bone tender meat and also means stress-free no fuss cooking. I literally slept while the soup cooked. I woke up to a house that had the spicy aroma of pho broth flooding down the hallway. Almost as good as the smell of mom’s baking in the early morning. Right before serving, I heated the oxtail in a pan to create a crust and lightly sprinkled it with salt to create another dimension of flavor. I also tried to keep as much of the meat on the bone as I fully believe that one of the best ways to enjoy oxtail is to suck all of the meat and tendon off from the bone! Hey, no shame here.

This entire process took two days to make and about 10 minutes to eat, but it took very little effort and 98% of the time was waiting. Anyways, keep reading to see what I did. Thanks Steph for posting this awesome recipe!

First and foremost, take out your slow-cooker!

Oxtail Pho

Original recipe here
Servings: About 6 bowls of pho


1 cinnamon stick
1 heaping tsp. of whole coriander
1 heaping tsp. of whole cloves
5 star anise

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2 large onions, cut in half, keep outer skin
3/4″ knob of ginger
medium sized daikon radish, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
3 lbs. oxtail
3 quarts water
2 quarts beef broth
1/4 C. fish sauce

Pho noodles (this time I used fresh flat rice noodles)


thai basil
bean sprouts
green onions, thinly sliced
sliced jalapeรฑos

1. Place halved onions and ginger into a 400 F oven or toaster oven on broil. Toast until the outside of the onions are charred. About 15 minutes.

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2. While the onions and ginger are toasting, trim the fat from the oxtail. Place the trimmed oxtail into a large pot. Fill the pot up with cold water until all of the oxtail is covered about an inch. Place the pot onto the stove and bring the water up to a rolling boil. Boil the oxtail for about 10 minutes to remove all of the impurities. Pour the dirty water out and rinse the oxtail. Transfer the oxtail into the slow cooker. This is key to making a clear broth. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!

3. in a small hot pan, toast the coriander seeds, cloves, and star anise until fragrant. Put the toasted spices and cinnamon stick into the slow cooker. Also add the carrots and daikon radish.

4. Add the 3 quarts of water to the slow cooker. If you can’t fit the beef broth, no worries. You can add this in later.

5. Turn on your slow-cooker to low and slow cook for 10 hours.

6. After 10 hours, separate the onions, daikon, carrots, and oxtail from the stock then strain the broth into a clean large pot. Simmer the stock for at least another hour or until your desired taste. The longer it boils, the richer the stock will become. If you couldnt fit all if the liquid into your slowcooker earlier, this is the time to add it now. Add fish sauce and taste. If you want the srock saltier, add more fish sauce. Discard the onions, carrots and daikon or save for later to eat.

7. Let the stock cool then transfer the pot into the refrigerator. When the broth gets cold, a layer of fat will form on the surface. Remove the fat.

8. When you’re ready to eat, heat the stock until boiling.

9. Heat a frying pan and fry the oxtail meat and lightly sprinkle the meat with salt.

10. To prepare a bowl of pho, add a handful of noodles and a few chunks of meat to a large bowl. Spoon the hot broth over the noodles and oxtail then finish with your choice of garnish.

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Happy slurping!

Chicken & Taro Eggrolls

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It’s been a really long week at both home and work and I’m SO glad I took some time to myself. When I say time to myself, I mean time in the kitchen. I don’t know about you, but my therapy is cooking or baking a completely new recipe I’ve never tried before. You have to concentrate a little more and pay attention to what you’re doing just in case the recipe comes out a success! It would be unfortunate to come up with a winner recipe then forget it.

When I was in school, while everyone went out for drinks after a midterm or final, I’d rush home to take a nap (since I was always pulling all-nighters). I’d roll out of bed when it was dark out then would make a run to the grocery store and would start baking the night away. That was how I relieved my stress. My housemates probably thought I was crazy, but they never complained! That meant there was always some type of snack during our breaks from studying.

I haven’t done anything tedious in the kitchen lately and at first I was sort of regretting thinking about making these egg rolls, but that regret quickly went away. Sitting at the table watching random YouTube videos and rolling a bunch of egg rolls was actually a breath of fresh air. It helped clear my mind and it felt just like those late night baking sessions during my college years.

Anyways, the Farmer’s Market near my work has a stand that sells a bunch of vegetables and other ingredients found in Asian cuisines that may be hard to find even in local Asian supermarkets. For example, they have ube, galangal, and mountain potato. I decided to pick up a couple of small taro and ended up making these chicken and taro egg rolls. They surprisingly came out well! The insides are very moist and soft from the taro and the outside is extremely crispy. Perfect snack for this Superbowl weekend!

Make sure to use the small round type of taro and not the large ones that are of an oblong shape. The small taro are more dense and tight while the large taro are more starchy like. Think of a waxy potato vs. a russet potato. Another tip is to make sure to wrap the egg rolls tightly. Wrapping them loosely allows for the oil to seep into and stay in the egg roll making them become very greasy and soggy!

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1 medium sized taro, grated
1 lb. ground chicken
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 egg, beaten

1 pack spring roll wrappers, defrosted. (I used the square shaped wrappers)
1 egg, slightly beaten

canola oil for frying

1. combine all of the ingredients except for the spring rolls wrappers and the lightly beaten egg. Mix all of the ingredients together until everything is evenly combined. Cover and set into the refrigerator for an hour or up to 1 day.

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2. When you’re ready to wrap your egg rolls, open your defrosted spring roll wrappers and separate each wrapper. Set a damp sheet of paper towel over them to make sure they don’t dry out.

3. a. Place a spring roll wrapper in from of you so that it shapes a diamond.
b. Using a spoon, place a generous tablespoon of the meat and taro mixture onto the bottom third of the diamond and form the meat into a log shape.
c. Fold in the left and right sides of the diamond partially covering the meat the fold the bottom point of the diamond up and continue rolling upwards like a burrito. Make sure to keep the rolling tight!
d. Using your finger, wet the top tip of the diamond with some of the lightly beaten egg and finish rolling upwards sealing the egg roll.

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4. After rolling all of the egg rolls, you can either fry them now or place them in the freezer for later. If freezing, make sure to keep all of the egg rolls in a single layer on some type of baking sheet and partially freeze them before throwing them all into one container. This keeps the egg rolls from freezing into one large egg roll.

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5. When ready to fry, heat a medium sized pot of oil, about 3 inches deep, to 375 F. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, use the chopstick method. Dip a wooden chopstick or wooden spoon into the oil. When bubbles rise from the wood, your oil is hot enough!

6. Fry eggrolls for about 8 minutes or until they’re golden brown. I like mine extra crispy so I keep them in for longer. Don’t overcrowd the pot by putting tons of egg rolls in at once. This will bring the temperature of the oil down and your egg rolls won’t be crisp.
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7. Take the egg rolls out and lay them onto a paper towel to drain the excess oil.


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Red Beans and Rice

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Doesn’t it feel like Thanksgiving 2014 was just a couple months ago? Where has the time gone? Something about the crisp air, decorations on people’s homes, and Fall treats give me fuzzy feelings inside. I try to stay away from the malls since I can’t handle much of the Christmas music. Let’s just say Christmas music makes me cringe (I know, that makes me sound like such a scrooge). I used to work multiple retail jobs throughout my college years and listening to the same Christmas tracks from the beginning of November to the end of January drove me nuts. Anyways, red beans and rice definitely add to the warm fuzzy feelings and I won’t let anything get in the way of those fuzzy feelings! I mean, I practically wait all year for this. It’s a hearty dish and is something I wouldn’t mind having in my bowl while snuggled up in a blanket. A friend was smoking some meats in his new smoker and suggested some red beans and rice when asked what side dish to bring. I’m so glad he suggested red beans and rice because this has become one of the family’s faves!

Leftovers are even better! Enjoy with your most favorite hot sauce.

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Red Beans and Rice

16 oz. dry red beans, soaked overnight
2 strips bacon
1 red bell pepper, small diced
Half an onion, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 smoked turkey sausage, sliced into circles
1 smoked turkey leg
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
5 C. chicken broth

Cooked rice

1. Pour beans into a large bowl and cover with water until all the beans are submerged at least 2 inches. Set aside overnight. When the beans have absorbed most of the water, strain and set aside.

2. In a medium heavy pot, heat bacon on medium high heat and let the bacon grease cover the bottom of the pot.

3. Add the diced bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Stir and sautee for until the onions are translucent.

4. Add the sausage and turkey leg to the vegetables and let the meat heat up. Stir occasionally.

5. When the sausages are browned and warmed through, add the thyme, parsley, bay leaves, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Stir for about a minute.

6. Add the chicken broth and soft red beans.

7. Bring the chicken broth to a boil. When the broth starts to boil, set the heat to low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

8. When the beans are completely soft, use a fork and smash at least half of the beans. The smashed beans will thicken the broth!

9. Continue to simmer for at least another hour.

10. Taste the beans and add more cayenne, pepper, or salt to your taste.

11. While the beans are cooking, cook your rice either in a rice cooker or over the stove in a pot.

13. Serve the beans and rice immediately together.

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Kalbi (Korean Shortribs)

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It’s officially Fall in San Francisco and it’s time to brush the dust off of the Winter coats. Before I shift full swing into the cold weather comfort foods, I figured why not do some BBQ’ing one last time! Actually, I’d still take the grill out for these ribs even if it were snowing.

Mr. V and I were going over to a friend’s place for dinner and didn’t want to go empty handed. I didn’t have much time to spend in the kitchen so something made beforehand and cooked quickly was in demand. I marinated the ribs two nights beforehand to make sure the ribs had maximum flavor and Mr. V helped with the grilling the day of. They came out flavorful, juicy, and finger licking delicious. I sorta wished we made more so that there were more leftovers!

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Adapted heavily from Rasamalaysia
Servings: 6-8

1 small Asian pear
1 small yellow onion
1 C. Light soy sauce
1 C. Citrus soda
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1/4 C. Sesame oil
4 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp. Chili flakes

5 lbs short ribs (cut perpendicularly to the bones)

Sesame seeds
Green onions, sliced

1. Put all MARINADE ingredients into a food processor and blend until there are no chunks from the pear or onion.

2. In a large bowl, cover ribs with water and let sit for a few minutes. Drain the water out. This removes the impurities from the meat.

3. In a large ziplock bag or large dish, lay the ribs flat and pour in the marinade, making sure every rib gets covered. Let the meat marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.

4. Heat a heavy pan over high heat or prepare your BBQ grill. Cook the ribs until the surface gets charred. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

5. Set on a plate and sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.

Serve immediately. Provide lots of napkins. Enjoy!!

Char Siu Flavored Chicken

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For all of my Chinese brothers and sisters out there, you know we consume a whole bunch of char siu (Chinese BBQ pork). It’s one of our staples as a side dish in our household whenever the family gets together and at every celebration, my grandma insists on buying a large chunk of char siu and slicing it up into thin pieces for “the kids”. It’s a food that has become very nostalgic to me, but as I became older, pork was one of the food items I tried to eat less of (yes, including bacon!). Chicken is my most preferred meat, but Chinese BBQ pork is probably my most favorite flavored meat so when I saw this recipe, I KNEW I had to give it a try. What pushed me even harder to make this recipe was that every single ingredient was already in my kitchen. Making something new without running to the grocery store is extremely rare for me!

I’m not a big fan of drumsticks so I opted for chicken thighs and they came out extremely moist and flavorful. Although this doesn’t look anything like char siu, the marinade comes pretty close.

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Char Siu Flavored Chicken
Adapted from Chopstick Chronicles
Serves 2-4

4 chicken thighs, skin and bone in, poked with a fork
1 small yellow onion, small diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
4 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 green onion, sliced

1. Puncture the skin of the chicken thighs a few times with a fork to allow the marinade to reach the meat and place into a large ziplock bag.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the bag and move/shake the meat around to thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together. Make sure all parts of the meat are covered.

3. Put into the refrigerator and marinate for at least 8 hours. I marinated the chicken for 24 hours.

4. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 425 F.

5. Place chicken thighs flat onto a baking dish and add about half a cup of the marinade into the dish.

6. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the chicken juice runs clear when cut with a knife.

7. Optional: If you want the skin to crisp up a little and have a darker color, broil for about 10 minutes.

8. Top with green onions.