Thursday, October 30, 2014

Starting Over

Starting over gets harder and harder as you get older. When we were young we dreamt of things we wanted to do based on what we liked. As we get older, we make our decisions based on more complex factors such as the time commitment and financial rewards. At some points in our lives, we also get use to the routine and become resistant to change.

After two degrees and several careers later, I am back at point A. Trying to figure out what I really want to do with my life and how I can live it meaningfully. I've been searching for jobs and imagining what I might feel when I am actually working in that position but it had only put my life in a standstill. The best way to discover your calling and decide if something is right for you is actually trying it out and not idealizing it.

Even though I have no clue what I wanted to do, I knew that I needed to start somewhere. So after a year of contemplation, I finally took the first step to move forward. The hardest part is always taking the first step. I've always known that I loved food and enjoy baking but I wasn't sure to what capacity I was willing to work in the industry.

Today I went for my first interview for a Bakery. It is a pretty well known specialty bakery in the city. On my way, thoughts flooded through my head and I was so nervous I almost didn't get out of my apartment on time. During the interview, I was glad that my nervous energy turn into excitement and I was able to interact a bit with the interviewer. I guess it went pretty well since she invited me back to observe the day as a baker next week and hopefully, if that goes well then I got the job. When I left the interview, the thoughts flooded my mind again and I realized that I had several important questions that I didn't ask such as dress code and rate of pay. But I have to say, I did a great job today. I took the first step into exploring something new and getting myself back on my feet again.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

DIY: Healthy Energy Bar

Self Magazine, February 2014

1 cup Almond Butter/ Peanut Butter
1 cup Honey
2 cups instant rolled oats
1 cup blueberries
1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 cup flaxseed

Combine peanut butter and honey in a saucepan and stir over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in oats, blueberries, protein powder, coconut flakes, and flaxseed. Pour into a square glass baking dish and freeze for 1 hour. Remove and cut into bars. Store in fridge for up to a week.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ginger Milk Custard

I've been talking to my friend in Hong Kong a lot and have been hearing a lot about the delicious food adventures he has been going on. During his short trip to China he indulged in two bowls of ginger milk custard despite his lactose intolerance and spent better half of the day recovering from it. In case you want to see what he ate that day... here it is...

Hearing about this on a very cold sunny day in New York, I wanted to try some Ginger Milk Custard myself and see what the whole hype is all about. He was kind enough to research, translate, and share this recipe with me.

Ginger Milk Custard Recipe: 
1 bowl of milk
2 - 3 tsp of sugar
2 tsp ginger juice

1. heat up (not boil!) milk in a pot using low heat, add sugar and stir to dissolve, take milk out as soon as steam comes out, make sure it doesn't boil.
2. while heating up ur milk, crush and squeeze those ginger into 2 tsp of juice, pour them into a bowl for later use.
3. use a thermometer to check whether the temperature of the milk has reached 176F (80C) yet, if not, either heat up or cool down until it reaches the goal, as soon as it does, quickly pour the milk into the bowl with the ginger juice DO NOT TOUCH THE BOWL, let it sit for 5-10 mins then enjoy! (It is important that you leave it alone so it can properly solidify)
(Credit to CHI for translating the recipe)

Now I'm going off to try out this recipe... Lets see how it goes...

My first few attempts failed, mainly because I used 2% Milk instead of whole milk. Finally I caved in and bought some whole milk and it came out pretty good. One suggestion is to be very gentle when pouring the milk into the ginger. It is very important that you have a small steady stream to not agitate what is already happening between the milk and the ginger. I still need more practice though since the consistency is still softer than what I hoped for.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hawaiian Sweet Bread

After a long day lounging around my apartment, I finally got myself to get out and buy a small can of crushed pineapples to try out a recipe that I had found online. I got home at 10pm and got right to work, I have to admit that I cut down the time for the bread to rise, and I also made the rolls bigger than what the recipe suggested. What I was hoping to be nice fluffy rolls, turn out to be dense, scone like bricks. I think the problem was that I didn't give the dough enough time to rise and also that I added in the sugar too soon, so the yeast didn't have enough time to feast during the mixing process.
Hawaiian Sweet Rolls
1/3 cup milk (cold is fine, warm would help it rise faster)
1 scant tablespoon instant dry yeast
1/2 cup brown sugar (1/4 cup of LIGHT brown sugar) - Maybe that may have been part of the issue 1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted and slightly cooled - perhaps I should try to just soften the butter instead of melting it
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 oz. can crushed pineapple, NOT drained (about 2/3 cup)
4 cups bread flour (all-purpose would also work)
1 teaspoon salt

For the tops: 1 egg 1/4 cup water A few tablespoons melted butter

Mix together the milk and yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes. Add the oil, butter, sugar, eggs, and pineapple and mix to combine. Add the flour about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add a little more if you need to. It should be sticky, but not gooey. Add the salt. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Cover with a damp cloth (or grease the top) and let rise until doubled (somewhere around 45-60 minutes). Punch the dough down and divide into twelve equal balls. Place in a well buttered 9x13 inch pan and let rise again until doubled (again, 45-60 minutes). Preheat oven to 350ºF. Beat together the egg and water for the top and brush the tops of the risen rolls with the egg wash. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the tops are nicely browned. Brush the top with some melted butter and serve warm. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Loco Tilapio

-Tilapia sea salt n pepper rubbed an seared in garlic butter topped and simmered (covered) with parmesan/romano cheese and garnished with crushed/chopped seasoned mac nuts
-Toasted kale chips
-Butter garlic shiitake and portabella mushrooms.