Thursday, September 27, 2007

chicken soup and cake

made campbell's select chicken soup and a vanilla cake for s.c. who was feeling sad about not being head drum major. The soup was because she's sick. It's pretty strange. I've always that that it was an Euro-American thing to eat Chicken Soup when you're sick. For asian, we eat like porridge or rice with water because it's really plain. Apparently, chicken soup causes mucus flows to expel and trap bacteria. It also clears up a stuffy nose for a bit and is generally just nutritious. Though, I'm not sure how nutritious canned soup is.

And for Culinary Club, we have the opportunity to go to Bistro 561 and have a tour of the kitchen! Updates on that later as soon as I make reservations for like 20 people.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sautéed Gnocchi with Tomato and Onion

I love gnocchi-- it's hard work, but I love how potatoes are made into a soft, crunchy cake. Although I like mine a little more browned [see picture], gnocchi is the perfect appetizer.

The recipe came from Béa's La Tartine Gourmande food blog. Her Gnocchi dish is expertly made with delicate and artful presentation. I who knows little abou gnocchi was easily burnt and crumbled. I did not have Taragon so I substituted an Italian Herb mixture that you can buy at the grocery store and no cheese. But I assure you, the Tomatoes still had quite a lot of flavor.

I started by using real Roma Tomatoes, but you could always buy canned [and drained] Italian-seasoned Tomatoes.

For the gnocchi:
1 lb Russet Potatoes
1 egg
2 oz all-purpose
1 tbsp chives, chopped

For the Tomatoes:
4 Roma Tomatoes
1 bunch of fresh Tarragon [or Italian Herb Seasoning, if you are already using canned tomatoes, this is not necessary]
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 F and prick the potatoes all over. Bake for one hour or until tender. Cool, scoop out flesh, and pass through a Potato Ricer. Why? You don't want lumps and clumps-- a ricer ensures a consistency in the smoothness of your "mashed" potatoes.

Add flours, chives, egg, and season with salt.

Mix the dough but be sure for it not to be too wet as they will break apart later on and take long to boil. Add flour if necessary. The dough should stick together.

Roll dough [if not rollable, more flour!] into 5 inch rolls about 1-1.5 inches in diameter and wrap it securely in plastic film. Boil for about 10 minutes remove and cool in iced water.

for the tomatoes:
Blanch your tomatoes by cutting crosses on the end and boiling for 10 seconds. Place in ice water immediately. Peel of the skin and dice.

Heat olive oil in a pan and add garlic, onions, and herbs. Season with salt. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it will leave a bitter taste. Cook on medium heat until the mixture is soft and onions are translucent. [5 - 10 minutes]

Add tomatoes and simmer on medium-low heat until the mixture has reduced. Season.

cut your gnocchi into 1 inch rounds. Heat olive oil on a non-stick frying pan and fry until golden brown to your taste.

Garnish each round with a dollop of tomato. Add some Parmesean cheese shavings and decorate with a tarragon sprig. [In my case, it's not tarragon haha].

Sunday, June 17, 2007


For the first time, I've decided to cook some fish-- even though my dad thought that some fishy smell was gonna stay in the house forever. But he thought wrong. :O I got the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis' book, Everyday Pasta. I changed it a little because I don't have a grill so I pan-fried it instead.

Swordfish seasoned with Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil.

Citrus Pesto
1 bunch of fresh basil stemmed [3 cups]
1/2 c. toasted pine nuts
1 clove of garlic
zest and juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 c. parmesan cheese

Boil Pasta [I used angel-hair]. Drain and Reserve 1/2 c. of water. To make the pasta, blend the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon and orange zest and juice, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. While running, slowly add olive oil so that the pesto is smooth. To save time, you could always buy premade pesto sauce and add the citrus ingredients. I did that and shoot, it still tasted phenomenal and hey, it's like Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade.

Grill Swordfish. And serve pasta topped with parmesan. Place a swordfish on top and garnish with some zest.

Yay. :D

oh yeah by the way guys... it's summer...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bloopity Bloop and a Flower!

I finished 7 explications in 2 days. I am waiting in anticipation for the next set!

Spring Break is in under 11 days! Get ready for stuff other than photography!

Anyone have ideas for a [healthy] Dairy-Free Breakfast? I'm lactose intolerant and a student low on time so breakfast is always annoying. :<

I got lost in the feeling of things...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Are We Self-Centered?

My dog killed a rat this weekend. She's really happy-- or more like, she thought she was playing with it. The weekend was a good day for photography.

My friends have actually decided to make a documentary of us for when we graduate. We had wanted to start Senior year but we decided that we should start now so that we wouldn't lose interest by next year. It's pretty fun-- haha. I think the group of six that we usually have have some many great ideas. The problem is that we never follow through with it. I think that's what kids nowadays are all about. Big dreams but there still is reality. Ah, life sucks hard but it's better with friends. Thinking about senior year seriously makes me sad.

Anyways, during Journalism, I read that my generation is the most egotistical generation as of yet. Known as generation Y, this generation boasts the most narcissistic college students...ever. The problems with this self-centered personality is the inability of students to get along with other people and accept failure. When confronted with failure, they often get frustrated easily. It reminds me of my younger brother who is extremely confident and gets exasperated when he cannot do things right. Professor Jean Twenge of the San Diego State University did a test called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory [NPI] and asked questions like "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place," "I think I am a special person" and "I can live my life any way I want to." Many of generation Y scored high on this test for Narcissism.

What is the cause? Many blame the education system, the parents, and of course the media. All over, preschoolers are influenced by higher authority that they are special. The reason behind this has been the idea that it will raise the self-confidence in children. However good self-confidence is, this "confidence-booster" has also done it's job of raising bratty, short-tempered, and dishonest kids.

And the funny thing is is that it's true. Generation Y [my generation] is all about and Myspace, LiveJournal, and even I myself have fallen into the clutches of Blogger. Many children are more rebellious than ever-- and in a bad way, if I might add. Like many freshman college students, they think that they can take care of themselves but when faced with an obstacle, they sit, pout, and throw a tantrum.

Source: LA Times, The Battalion
Photographs: Coco and Dead Rat, Dandelion, Old Wood Pile [Backyard "patio" thing we demolished and had rebuilt because it started to rot] that has started to rot and rust, Garage
All photos belong to Karen-- only dandelion was photoshopped.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Soba Tsuyu

This dish is known as Soba Tsuyu. It can be considered a healthy meal by most people. It's very simple to make. I'm not sure, but it might be an acquired taste for Asian Sauces. Soba is buckwheat noodles. Soba Tsuyu is the easiest dishes to make using Buckwheat Noodles.

-Soba Noodles
-1/2 c. Soy Sauce
-2 cups Dashi Soup [buy the powder kind and just mix with water until you get the saltiness you like]

Boil Soba Noodles [one bundles should be enough for like 3 meals] until soft. Wash with cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside in the refrigerator to cool if necessary.

For the Sauce, mix about a 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 2 cups of dashi soup [you can find the powder mix kind in the asian aisle or an asian theme store], and 3 spoonfuls of mirin [it is a type of rice wine vinegar but whatever rice wine vinegar should be fine]. Mix together over a stove until boiling. Cool in the refrigerator. If you are lazy you can always buy the Soba Noodle Sauce in a Japanese Store.

If you want, cut some scallions and mix it with the sauce-- it's really all up to taste. Serve cold-- it's a cold dish. Mix sauce and Noodles. Decorate with Nori pieces or even Furikake [dried salted vegetable or fish "powder"--more or less "pieces"] with shreded Nori.

Lately, however, I really want to retry making those Chocolate-Cherry Cookies posted by Erielle of Fancy Toast that failed at the Christmas Baking Contest-- I didn't put enough Baking Powder [and we ran out of it] so the delicious cookie dough refused to rise. I had tried using Baking Soda but to no avail. Oh well. Ah~ it was good dough.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Happy Birthday ME and Nancy~

My birthday is coming in 2 days [sorry for the lack of posting, nothing happened...]!

I wait in anticipation for my presents-- but it kind of sucks for my friends who have to buy double the presents because my other friend has the same birthday as me...except we are a year apart. Too bad <3~ style="font-weight: bold;">cheap asian and spending $20 on me, $20 on Nanar, $20 for dinner, $6 for me and Nanar, and $? gratuity... Wow, I feel like a jerk. Seriously.

But I got some really nice stuff, so thanks everyone! I'm really happy!

1. Baggie and Slipper thingies - Nanar
2. Electric [dangerous] Bed Warmer ♥ - Skava, Amanda, Jennifer, Kai
3. Sephora Giftcard and Mirror - Katie
4. Bath and Body Work's Bag with smelly stuff and interchangeable heart necklace - THE BOYS
5. Express Giftcard / [finding me a Date to Winter Formal? ♥] - Military boy, Kyle Kevin
6. Locket Necklace "Karen is so totally awesome" - Stephany
7. Cute Red Skull Shirt - Kat
8. Clock/Picture Frame [that was supposed to be for Xmas] - Anderson
9. Makeup [Double-Eyelid Tape hahaha, wow]

I love material things my friends~

One more year older and one more year put behind us but we're all getting one more year closer to our goal. Driving, Boys, Graduation, whatever-- I know you guys will all be there for me and so, I love you guys~

Hawaii 2008?