Sweet Red Bean Soup [단팥죽 - Dan Pat Jook]

How can it only be Wednesday! Getting over hump day is like pulling teeth. Also, we are currently learning about the gastrointestinal tract and nothing can be more exciting than learning about bowel movements for 2 months *roll eyes*. This exam next week is going to absolutely awful. I definitely don't have enough hours in the day to study. And I'm now a 2 cups of coffee a day drinker. From zero to TWO cups a D-A-I-Y-E (sorry, Zoolander reference)

How much do you like to hear people whine? Can't stand it myself... lol :P I haven't had time to bake lately, other than more cream puffs (different filling than last time) and yeasted donuts last week. Recipes soon to come! Today, I'm sharing a traditional Korean soup/porridge that is made of red bean. I cannot get enough of red bean. I just love it on everything...shaved ice, in steamed buns, by spoonfuls :)  I will sing you that red bean song all day. I will!!

Sweet Red (Adzuki) Bean Soup - 단팥죽

makes 4-5 servings

100g red bean
10 cups water
5 tbsp sweet glutinous rice powder (I used the Mochiko brand)
5 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
Optional garnish: sunflower seeds, walnuts, roasted chestnuts, mochi balls (pictured above)
  1. Soak red bean for about 5 hours in cold water. Drain water and put in a large pot with the 10 cups of water. Boil for ~1.5 hrs, or until the water level is almost less than 1/2 of what you started with
  2. Roughly mash the red beans with a potato masher. If you like it super smooth, you can also put it in a blender and pulse until smooth
  3. Mix Mochiko powder with 1 cup of water and add to the pot. Add sugar and a pinch of salt. Adjust accordingly to your level of sweetness. I don't like mine too sweet...so add more if you like
  4. Mix and bring to boil again until it starts bubbling on the top (like little explosions since the porridge should be thick)
  5. Garnish with sunflower seeds, mochi balls ~ whatever you fancy

Chocolate Chip & Almond Cookies

Who doesn't love a good cheesy chick flick? Don't deny it! My friends and I just watched "My Sassy Girl", an old Korean romcom last weekend. I think this must have been my 10th time watching it. My bestie and I used to watch this at least twice every year in college :P (that and "Across the Universe", Jim Sturgess you know? *swoon*). This Korean movie was such a hit that they made a Hollywood remake, which is just AWFUL. Can't recreate that Korean charm in American women lol ;)

I was going to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies for the movie night. But, I had ran out of regular chocolate chips so I had to borrow some mini ones from my roommate. And then I thought, let me just substitute sliced almonds too. Turned out to be a wonderful creation!

Chocolate Chip & Almond Cookies

adapted from allrecipes.com
makes 2 dozen

1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda + 1 tsp hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 cups flour

1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup flaked almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg and stir in vanilla
  3. Dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add to the batter. Add salt and mix until combined
  4. Stir in flour just until a dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips and almonds.
  5. Roll into 1 inch balls and place 1" apart on a lined baking tray. Dough will not spread much, so if you want a thinner crispier cookie, flatten it a bit
  6. Bake for 10-15 mins, just until edges are brown (not to a crisp!)

Roasted Garlic Hummus

The few days after any holiday is absolutely the worst. My mind is still on holiday, but my school is not! All I want to do is lie around, eat in bed and watch trashy TV. This weekend is going to be all about catching up and maybe some procrasti-baking :P

I am a super garlic aficionado, minus the bloating and gas (what!? :X). I've tried it in all forms...roasted, fried, deep-fried, raw, boiled, barbecue-d, even fermented (black garlic anyone?). If I ever meet a vampire in an alley, I will be so ready. Unless, it's Edward Cullen...is Twilight still relevant or is that so 2013? Anyway, I had too many garlic bulbs lying around threatening to shoot green stems, so I popped them in the oven and made hummus! This totally satisfies my garlic cravings and makes me extremely kissable :D

Roasted Garlic Hummus

2 heads garlic
2 tbsp tahini
1 can of chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp cold water
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut a little bit of the tops of the garlic bulb and put in foil. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap tightly. Roast for 1 hr
  2. Remove and let it cool until you can touch it
  3. Blend chickpeas in a food processor into a stiff paste (I used an immersion blender)
  4. Add tahini, lemon juice and salt. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and into the processor. You can adjust how garlicky you want it. Blend to mix
  5. Add the ice water and blend until smooth (3-4 mins)
  6. Serve with olive oil and enjoy with pita chips and veggies

Matcha Cream Puffs

Quick post before I go have brunch and walk around gardens and doing lazy things like that. The weather is so nice in Richmond today...but it will be below freezing tomorrow. Yay :(

I never knew cream puffs were so easy to make!! I also made custard filled one during spring break and the custard WAS SO DELICIOUS. Will have to make it again for my peeps here. Maybe after anatomy though. Can't be smelling like cadavers and handing out sweets :x

Matcha Cream Puffs

adapted from Chowhound
makes 20-25 mini cream puffs

pâte à choux
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
4 large eggs, at room temp

green tea cream filling
1 1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup whole milk
1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pastry puff: heat oven to 425F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a medium-large pot, heat butter, milk, water, sugar and salt until the butter has melted and the mix comes to a boil
  • Reduce to low heat, dump in the flour and vigorously stir with a wooden spoon until it forms a large shiny ball (about 5 mins)
  • Take off from heat and let cool for 10 mins. Beat in eggs 1 at a time with a wooden spoon or a kitchen aid (I did it by hand, not sure why though :/). Completely mix in the egg before you crack in the next one. The dough might separate but put in some elbow grease and it will come together. The dough will become quite hard to mix...or I have weak biceps...but should look smooth, sticky, yellow and glossy
  • Transfer dough into a gallon sized ziplock bag, snip a 1/2" hole and pipe 1.5" mounds on the lined baking sheets 2 inches apart. Using wet fingertips, smooth the top of each mound.
  • Place baking sheets in oven, reduce the temp to 350F after 1 min and bake until puffs are golden brown (~40-45mins). DON'T open door while baking or all the puffs will deflate! Let cool completely before filling
  • green tea filling: In a small bowl, whisk instant pudding mix, powdered sugar, matcha powder. In a stand mixer, whip up the cream and milk and vanilla extract until soft peaks form
  • Add the dry mix and whip until desired texture.
  • Assembly: You can snip a small hole and fill in the hollow space with a pastry bag and tip. Or you can be lazy like me and use a sharp paring knife and slice off the tops. Spoon to fill!
  • Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately
If serving hours later, keep puff and filling separately so they don't become soggy. 

Cute Kimchi Fried Rice Bento

Hello from Los Angeles! Now that I'm back home, I feel extremely lazy. It took every ounce of effort to put up this blog post. But, this one is so cute I just had to do it. I made these for the bf before I left Richmond. I think he was studying or something, so I made him lunch. Gosh, best gf ever :P

I'm just soaking up all the sun before I go back to school. It is soo sunny and beautiful in LA. I can walk outside in my t-shirt and shorts and eat strawberries the size of my palm. Le sigh... definitely don't have very long until I'm back to the freezing weather :(

"Octopus" Dogs on Kimchi Fried Rice

makes 10
serves 3-4

Kimchi Fried rice
1 medium carrot, chopped finely
1/4 onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup old kimchi, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup kimchi juice
1-2 tbsp Korean chili paste (gochujang) - depending on spice level or optional
2 tsp sesame seed oil
2 cups cooked cold rice

ball park hotdogs
1 slice American cheese
black sesame seeds

  1. Kimchi fried rice balls: In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Fry garlic until fragrant, add onions, kimchi and carrots. Fry until the kimchi is soft (about 3-5 mins). 
  2. Stir in the chili paste (optional) and then break up the rice into the frying pan. Stir around until the rice is heated through (about 3-5 mins). Add the sesame oil and stir. Set aside and let it cool.
  3. Octopus: Cut 2" long pieces from the ends of the hot dogs, then make 1" deep slits at the cut ends (make a slit pattern like an asterisk*)
  4. In a small pot, bring water to boil. Drop the cut dogs in for about 30secs or until their "legs" curl. Dry on kitchen towels with them standing up.
  5. Using a circle punch, cut out small circles from the cheese to make "eyes". Press a sesame seed into it. Stick eyes onto the octopus dogs using a little mayo
  6. Assemble: to roll the fried rice into balls, get some plastic wrap, drop 3-4 tbsp of rice onto it and wrap and mold a ball with your palms. Repeat until no more rice
  7. Squeeze some mayo and ketchup on the fried rice balls. Take a toothpick and poke through the legs of the octopus dogs. Stick that onto the tops of the fried rice balls and you're done!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

So much free time this weekend, I didn't know what to do besides bake. So I created this monster, although the crazy idea came from the bf. This cheesecake is definitely a eat first and think later cake. It is studded with cookie dough balls and chocolate chips and is so rich and creamy! Wew, I'm either going to go into a food coma or having another slice :/

If you do decide to make the cheesecake, really make sure your springform pan is tightly secured with foil, so water doesn't seep in while baking. I had a little bit of an issue but the cake turned out okay.

Next week is all anatomy lab until spring break. Woo!! I don't mind every pore in my body stinking like formaldehyde, because I am going to go home sooonn!!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
makes a 10" cake

Cookie Dough:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 - 1 cup mix of brown and white sugar
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips

4 tbsp butter, melted
2 cups honey graham crackers, crushed (less than 14 crackers)

4 (8oz) blocks cream cheese, softened to room temp (I used lite cream cheese, plenty rich still)
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream (I used full fat)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

  • Cookie dough: Beat butter and sugar in a mixer, add milk and vanilla. Mix on low the flour, salt and chocolate chips until everything comes together in a lump. You can add more milk if it seems too dry, but if you work the dough with your hands, it should be alright. Roll dough into 3/4" balls and place them on wax paper or plastic wrap covered baking sheet. Place into the freezer for at least 30mins
  • Crust: Wrap the bottom of the pan with a lot of foil to make it waterproof. Lightly grease bottom and sides of a 10" springform pan. Crush crackers with a rolling pin in a ziploc bag, or a food processor. Mix together butter and crumbs. Press into bottom of pan and a little up the sides
  • Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 325F. In a mixer on high speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. So important to use room temp cheese or you'll get cold lumps. Beat in eggs and flour. On medium, beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth
  • Assembly: Pour half the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Fold in frozen cookie dough balls and 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the remaining batter. Pour into pan and smooth out top. Place pan into a bigger pan and fill it up halfway with water (under the foil line though!)
  • Bake cheesecake at 325F for 1 hour (may not look cooked but it's okay!). Turn off oven, crack door open and let the cake sit for another 30 mins. Let it cool completely out of the oven and then chill overnight.
  • Cheesecake is best served cold!

Persimmon Chai Cake

Two weeks until I'm back to sunny palm tree filled Los Angeles. I feel like I do a lot of complaining about the weather in Richmond... what can I say? We're a little stuck-up about the weather. I'm hoping to go to the beach and get some surfing in! Hopefully, I haven't forgotten how to use my muscles. I feel like I have wasted away half my body from sitting in a chair 24/7 :(

Just wanted to post this recipe before our an exam on Friday. I had a lot of chai packets so I wanted to make a tea infused cake. Plus, a lot of dried persimmons lying around. Makes a very moist and subtly cinnamon-y spicy cake. Definitely a success! I also learned saying tea and chai is redundant... I've been schooled!

Persimmon Chai Cake

makes 1 loaf

1stick 2tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 teabags of chai (I used 3 twinings ultra spicy chai)
Scant 1 cup white sugar (like 2 tbsp less than a cup)
1 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz (1 single serving cup) plain Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1.5 cup of dried persimmons, chopped (fresh would work well too)
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a loaf pan with baking paper
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan on medium heat with the teabags in it. Let it sit for about 10 mins
  3. Meanwhile, mix all the dry ingredients (sugar, flour, spices, baking powder & soda) in large mixing bowl
  4. Squeeze the butter out of the teabags. Careful not to rip them though! Add yogurt and beat eggs until blended
  5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed. Fold in the chopped persimmons.
  6. Bake for 1 hr - 1hr 20 min. Top may brown at 1 hr but inside the cake might not be done (test with a knife through the middle). You can cover the top with foil until it's done in the oven

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