January 26, 2009

How do you celebrate Chinese New Year

without your family? The four years spent at Cornell I still felt surrounded by family because my friends are just a homely bunch. Living and working in the city, you get much less opportunity to play and enjoy the festivities. But, you make do with what you got. So, how exactly did I celebrate?

On Chinese New Year's Eve, Apartment 17B merged with Apartment 13F for a tasting of my tarts. No Chinese food yet.

Hazelnut Pistachio Frangipane with Peaches and Blueberry

Fresh Fruit Tart

Chinese New Year, I was conveniently sent to the Southern District court down on Pearl Street and managed to take a "lunch" break exploring Chinatown at its prime. Oh yes, Mott Street was a shit show of confetti, red firecrackers, and gangster teeny-boppers crowding Fay Da Bakery and Ten Ren. My bad for interrupting their daily hang out. Never been a fan of crowds, but they couldn't deter me today. I scored myself a nice package of roasted duck and bbq pork for dinner tonight. Win.

Oh Mott Street!

I spotted the cutest girl.

She was shy when I stuck my camera in her face.

Red everywhere.

Flaky egg custard from Tai Pan Bakery that I inhaled on the subway. Crumbs covered all corners of my mouth. I looked plain silly.

This is why I love New York subways.

A plate of bbq pork, roasted duck, and turnip cake devoured by roommate and I.

Happy Chinese New Year.

January 5, 2009

Not often do I get a chance...

to cook a meal for my family. Thankfully, this trip to Taiwan has been a generous dose of quality family time. Each time I spend 24 hours traveling to the motherland, I moan about the plane ride and the child crying next to me. But each time my family embraces me, I remember exactly why they're so important to me. With each visit, I begin to appreciate my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and most of all my parents even more. Yes, there are rough times, but the smoothed out kinks make the happy times much warmer and more endearing. There's truly nothing like family.

Like I said before, I am not much of a Chinese cook. I'm ranked lowest of the low compared to my family, so I prepared a simple Italian lunch.

Antipasti: Roasted Bell Pepper Bruschetta
Primi: Heart of Celery Salad
Secondi: Perciatelli a la Carbonara
Dolci: Affogato

Roasted Bell Peppers

4 bell peppers
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp parsley, minced
1 stem scallions, sliced
Salt & Pepper

Roast peppers on an open flame until blackened and blistered. Place peppers in a plastic bag and seal to steam for 20 minutes. Remove exterior skin of peppers and clean out seeds. Mix peppers with garlic, parsley, scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper in a jar or air tight container. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heart of Celery Salad

2 hearts of celery
4 oz onions, sliced
4 oranges, supreme

Remove celery greens until only the yellow stems are left. Chop into bite sized pieces. Toss with sliced onions and orange supremes. Squeeze orange juice over salad and toss with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Pasta Mise en Place.

Perciatelli a la Carbonara
Adapted from Mario Batali



1/2 shot espresso
1 scoop ice cream

Ice cream recipe: http://epicuriouseateries.blogspot.com/2008/09/ive-cooked-number.html

Now I'm heading back to the states.