Archive for the ‘Food’ Category.


Recently, I’ve been making a lot of cupcakes. While I was still looking after my parents’ house, before the barbecue, I made these Red Velvet Cupcakes. It was my second time using one of Amy’s recipes, and this time also didn’t disappoint!

Even the batter looked good. Lots (almost two bottles) of red food coloring!

Red Velvet Cupcake Batter

They came out of the oven looking like this:

Red Velvet Cupcakes just out of the oven

And, here they are, complete with cream cheese frosting:

Red Velvet Cupcakes, Frosted

Then, the following week, I helped Kim make Miniature Strawberry Cupcakes (with strawberry frosting) for her potluck using a recipe from picky cook. They turned out really well. Yum.

Miniature Strawberry Cupcakes

Tonight, I ruined a batch of Original Nestlé® Toll House® Chocolate Chip Cookies by adding just a little bit too much baking soda. They still look edible, though:

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Next up, at Wysz‘s request, Cheeseburger Cupcakes. Get excited, coworkers.

Barbecue Pictures

Last week, my parents were visiting my sister in Chicago, leaving me to house sit their huge home up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Since they have a nice barbecue (charcoal grill) and an amazing view, I decided to have some friends over for a relaxing, carnivorous Saturday. Enjoy the pictures!
Barbecue Chicken
Barbecue Rib Eye Steak
Close-up of the Rib Eye
I should challenge Reid to a cook-off one of these days!

The Perfect Gum

Orbit White Melon Breeze
During my most recent trip to Target, I noticed they stopped stocking the Orbit Melon Breeze gum. Panicked, I searched for it online and found an 8-pack from Amazon. (They didn’t have an image for the product, but now they use mine!) It might be a bit of an exaggeration to call it the perfect gum, but I like how it comes in a nice container (the “Big E Pak”) and the melony flavor is refreshing.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

A few weeks ago, I made Banana Blueberry muffins, inspired by this recipe for Blueberry Pecan Banana muffins. Not as cool as Totoro cream puffs (amazing, right?), but still yummy. Here’s a picture followed by the recipe:

Banana Blueberry Muffin

Banana Blueberry Muffin Recipe | makes 12 — (I did 3x this)


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • muffin baking liners


Preheat oven to 350°F. Line twelve muffin cups with muffin liners. Sprinkle the blueberries with a little of the flour so that they don’t sink to the bottom during baking. Mix the rest of the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Combine mashed bananas, egg, melted butter, milk and vanilla in a smaller bowl. Stir banana mixture into dry ingredients just until blended (do not overmix).

Divide batter among prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full. Bake muffins until tops are pale golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out moist, but with no crumbs, about 30 minutes. Transfer muffins to rack, cool. (They’re really good freshly out of the oven too though)

The Perfect Potsticker


I spent most of the day yesterday trying to make the perfect potsticker. I researched filling recipes in the morning and ended up making my own recipe by combining three of my favorites that I found online. Then, I went to Ranch 99 and got all of my ingredients before coming home and spending a few hours making the filling and wrapping 124 potstickers and 25 wontons. Here’s my recipe for the perfect potsticker(s):


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 3/4 of a pound peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (black) vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cayenne pepper to taste (a few shakes)
  • 4 packs of potsticker wrappers
  • waxed paper (comes in handy for non-stick freezing)


  1. Wash, dry and cut the cabbage and onions.
  2. Peel and chop the garlic and ginger.
  3. Chop the shrimp into smaller pieces.
  4. Mix together pork, shrimp, cabbage, onions, garlic, and ginger.
  5. Add soy sauce, chili oil, sesame oil, vinegar, salt, and cayenne pepper.
  6. Mix again.
  7. Fill wrappers with filling. (They stick better if you moisten the edges with water before pressing them together, and try not to put more than 1.5 teaspoons or so of filling in each.)
  8. Quickly freeze for 30 minutes in a single layer on waxed paper before allowing potstickers to touch.
  9. Store in airtight container in freezer.


  1. Heat cooking oil (I used Canola) in a pan at medium-high heat.
  2. Put single layer of frozen potstickers into pan.
  3. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until bottoms begin to brown.
  4. Add water (thin layer), reduce heat to medium.
  5. Steam for 10 minutes (since we want to cook the meat) with lid, opened very slightly. Stir occasionally. Add water as necessary — if it evaporates before the 10 minutes are up.
  6. Cook uncovered 2-3 minutes for crispy bottoms.
  7. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

If you’re interested, here are the pictures.