Beach Day at Gloucester

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Food Review, Massachusetts Eats | 0 comments

Hello hungry readers! If you guys are like me, you love the beach, so when my Aunt invited me to join them for a beach day in Gloucester, I was ecstatic to be able to finally pull out my sunglasses and bikini and head on up. After dreaming of the beach all throughout my long MCAT study days during the early part of this summer, I was mega pumped. I decided to bake a simple cheesecake to bring along as a surprise (recipe to come! ;)) And boy, was it the right decision. Who knew cheesecake and the beach go along so well with each other? We all loved it, and it kept well in the cooler. Topped with the strawberries my Aunt had brought along, it was a summer match made in heaven. After attempting and failing to body board in the freezing sea water, I spent the rest of my time leisurely flipping through The New Yorker and eating snacks while drying out. (In hindsight, I should’ve re-applied sunscreen here, as I got the worst burn EVER! Darn it. Sunscreen is important people! Nerd Jasmine would like to emphasize this. Nobody wants skin cancer. ) For lunch, we headed to this awesome place that served only fried seafood. Can’t go wrong with fried food! Here we have fried: clam, shrimp, clam strips, and scallops. Along with onion rings and french fries, it was a glorious fisherman’s plate. The scallops were my absolute favorite- sweet, juicy and tender on the inside, yet remarkably crisp on the outside. Can anyone say “healthy” though or what? Heehee. It was a long long day, but full of fun and good times. It felt wonderful to take a day away from the city and have some good ol’ R&R. Hope you guys enjoyed this short little post, and hopefully there will be more beach-y experiences for me to share soon hohoho!   – Jas :...

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Blueberry Muffins

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Recipe | 4 comments

Hi everyone! I recently made these pretty little muffins for our July 4th BBQ, and they came out moist and delicious. These are so easy to make, and fun to modify. I cut the sugar by 1/3 cup since some of the elders have high blood sugar levels, and the sweetness was still perfect for me. Also added a bit of lime zest since I didn’t have any orange juice on hand. The hint of citrus flavor makes a huge difference I think, but I would still prefer orange juice in the future. Hope you guys can try out this recipe, and definitely let me know how it goes! Also wanted to give you all a heads up that I’m currently in Boston for the summer, so look forward to a lot more posts as well as exciting reviews on yummy eats I find here~will get the Boston series started soon! And here’s a completely unedited picture of the muffins, so you can get a better sense of the coloration and everything. I’m so happy with how the liners coordinate so well with the blueberries, teehee. Now on to the recipe:   Ingredients 375F, 25-30 min. Makes 12 1 stick unsalted butter, soft 3/4 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 2 1/2 cups blueberries 2 cups flour 1/2 cup milk 1/4 tsp cinnamon orange/lemon zest, orange juice Preheat the oven and get the muffin tins ready. Cream butter till smooth, then mix in the sugar and incorporate. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt and mix. In a separate bowl, mash 3/4 of the blueberries with a fork and add into the batter. Then add 1/2 the flour, mix, 1/2 the milk, and alternate until all added in. Fold in the remaining blueberries by hand. In separate bowl, mix 2 tbsp sugar with cinnamon (or just use cinnamon sugar if you have it). Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Sprinkle on the magic touch-cinnamon sugar, and bake. Let cool and enjoy! Delicious warm and fluffy, or even for breakfast the next day.   – Jas :) Photographs taken by Jasmine...

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A Taste of Taiwan: Taiwanese Munchies

Posted by on Jul 11, 2012 in Eating like an Emperor - in Taiwan, Recipe | 2 comments

Hello everyone! Here in Taiwan, I have been faithfully sticking to this blog by eating several snacktime munchies every single day. This is extremely easy to do, as the nightlife in Taiwan is practically completely centered around the yummy food stands that come out. Instead of sitting down and eating a meal, why not enjoy food on a stick, or in a bag? I say YES. Here are some traditional/strange munchies that Taiwan has offered my tummy: We stumbled across this traditional style sweet potato stand that bakes the sweet potatoes in a wooden crate over coals. Extremely huge and piping hot! The insides are a bright yellow and this traditional snack is filling and healthy! I’ve had this so many times, it’s addictive. Taipei Milk King’s freshly made papaya milk is soooo good. They blend huge Taiwanese papayas with milk to produce something that actually tastes like the fruit! None of that artificial syrup stuff. Plus, its HEALTHY. I think I may have talked about stinky tofu before, but this stinky tofu in particular is on another level. There’s this tiny stand/shop in the Gongguan area that is famous for its stinky tofu, and I know why. The tofu is not extremely stinky, more like aromatic. Plus, its steaming hot and has a thin crispy skin and juicy insides that are stuffed full of cucumbers and parsley. Yummmmm. Taiwanese coconuts are small and round compared to the ones we see in U.S. supermarkets. Yet the insides are very sweet, and MAN do they have some refreshing brain juice. I know I talked about takoyaki during my previous visit to Taiwan, but here’s something I’ve never tried until now. Usually, takoyaki are small delicious little fried octopus balls that come 6-8 in a container. Each one is barely a mouthful. But look at the giant takoyaki above!! One takoyaki is bigger than that guy’s fist, believe it or not. Plus, the typical takoyaki contains a snippet of octopus and maybe some onion or whatever if you’re lucky. Here, you get one ball in a soup bowl (THAT big) and inside it’s filled with dozens of octopus pieces, shrimp, broccoli, corn, potato, scallop, etc! It’s a whole nutritional meal in a fried ball! Heaven. Here’s a picture of a pretty good piece of pig blood rice cake covered in peanut powder and parsley. Again, I’ve mentioned this delicious snack before. But guess what? This piece of yummy is probably one and a half times the length of my head! We’re talking about almost a foot of blood rice cake here…plus it’s delightfully chewy and not mushy like some can get. No, that is not pee pee in a cup. It’s actually sugarcane juice with no added flavors! Just pure, liquified sugarcane. I remember eating sugarcane when I was little, and we would have to rip a chunk of the sugarcane, chew it to get the juice, and then spit out the fibers. A very tedious process. Here, they squeezed the sugarcane to a pulp, resulting in fiber/wood free juice. Not too sweet, and very sugarcane-y.  I took a video of the fun process, but unfortunately the file is apparently to big to upload! So much for a 1 minute video…  Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed this post, more will follow :) Yay Taiwan! – Jas                                                                                   Photographs taken by Jasmine Hwang...

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New York Cheesecake

Posted by on Apr 27, 2012 in Recipe | 0 comments

I’ve found that I make cheesecakes, always due to family demand, far too often — usually when guests are expected for a visit, or for big family dinners…and the rare occasion where I make it simply because someone wished it for their birthday. While my dad won’t ever admit it, I like to think that I make the best cheesecakes in the house. I won’t flatter myself in thinking that I can best my uncle Jerome…yet! If you’re ever in the city, drop by his place. Don’t worry, I won’t tell him you’re spying for me.  Anyway, back on topic. It’s not that I’m complaining. Far from it, I love to show off share my sweet delicacies. But after making so many cheesecakes, you start looking for variety. Something that will really wow others when they eat it.  When serving guests, especially those who aren’t from New York (or the States even), there’s nothing like simple New York cheesecake. As a New Yorker, it’s not hard to imagine the picture people have painted of us. Fast-paced, loud, obnoxious, and pushy, we want things how we want it, when we want it (usually now). We have a tendency to take things to another level when it comes to wanting our things to be the biggest, boldest, tallest, shiniest, and most intense in the nation. While this may not hold true for everyone in New York — how often have you traveled elsewhere and received a comment of how surprised they are that you’re from New York since all New Yorkers are rude? — I’d say that at least some of it applies to the majority here. It definitely applies to our cheesecake. Rich, decadent, and usually heaped with a gooey mess of fruit on top, New York cheesecakes are taller than most. Not only that, but it’s firmer and richer. Why? Unlike most cheesecakes, no sour cream is added to lighten the intensity here. Instead, we get a pinch of zesty citrus…simply because it makes it taste better. So now all we have to do is build our little skyscraper of cheesecake heaven. New York Cheesecake Ingredients: Crumb crust 2-3 packets graham crackers, finely ground 1 stick unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup sugar Filling 5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese 1 1/4 cups sugar 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest 5 large eggs 2 large egg yolks 1/2 teaspoon vanilla I use my measuring cup to held me push the crust up the sides. Pop it in the freezer to let it set while you prepare the filling. Preheat oven to 550 °F. [Note: Always check the temperature limit of your chosen baking pan first! If the temperature limit of your baking pan is 475 °F then start there.]  Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl! Otherwise you may end up with unmixed stripes of cream cheese in your batter later on. Pour filling into crust, your springform pan should be completely full. Since this is a very tall cheesecake, you may want to move the layers in your oven down to prevent the cake from getting stuck on the top when it puffs up. Placing it in the middle of a shallow baking pan will prevent any drips (just in case).  Bake for 12 minutes, or until puffed. [Note: Be sure to watch your cake! Some ovens may brown more quickly than others, it it happens too quickly, turn the oven down immediately.] Reduce the temperature to 200 °F and continue baking for about one hour until the cake is mostly firm. The center...

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It’s Avocado Time!

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 in Miscellaneous | 5 comments

Hiyo everyone! Here’s a random post that I just decided to write because of two reasons. 1) I was looking at the avocados on my kitchen table and thinking how much I wanted to eat them (this was a while ago), and 2) How would I eat them if I could? Plus, I just got out from looking at fruit (including avocados) and flowers in  my biology lab.Did you guys know that avocado is the only fruit that is eaten by a carnivore? Interesting….jaguars are the animals that eat them by the way… I find that people either love or hate avocados. I guess it’s a personal thing? In my case, it’s love. Frankly, I can’t understand why some people don’t like them. They’re green, they’re round, they have ginormous in your face seeds, and most importantly, they’re delicious! So, this is what happens when you’re sitting in front of your computer with avocados in front of you. Here’s a few ways I like to eat and use avocados. Go ahead and try them all if you’re bored: eat it plain avocados with salt or pepper sprinkled on top avocados with honey or sugar avocado milk thinly sliced avocado on top of french toast with condensed milk drizzled on top avocado in your ramen! add avocado in your sandwich to spice it up avocado and tuna salad in pita bread guacamole avocado in your sushi and handroll Here’s some tasty sounding options I haven’t personally tried, but definitely will whenever I get the chance: stuffing avocados with rice and vegetables stuffing avocados with crab meat drizzling lemon and lime on top make it into a spicy avocado Mexican salad grill avocados and sprinkle with cheese and tomatoes  avocado icecream DEEP FRIED avocados!! FRIED avocado ICECREAM! (I’m pretty sure this exists somewhere out there) heck, maybe even pour some delicious hot creamy soup into the pit of the avocado and eat it together! Hmm, that’s all I can think of at the moment. Did I miss anything? Oh, and I did try all of the first few so don’t worry, they’re Jasmine approved. Avocados are even good as facial masks and hair masks if you guys aren’t interested in eating them (although I couldn’t imagine how that could be the case). Try some of the options out and tell me how it goes! If you don’t like avocados maybe you’ll change your mind ;) Enjoy! – Jas                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photographs taken from...

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