Saturday, August 27, 2016

Peanut Butter Cookies




A heated and divisive debate is taking place in the office between peanut butter and nutella. After much internal conflict, I voted for peanut butter because I really, really like peanut butter cookies and peanut butter ice cream sans chocolate. I didn't want to get too invested in the workplace debate, but after so much talk about the respective spreads, I couldn't help but crave peanut butter cookies after work. I also couldn't help but make a big batch and bring the leftovers to the office, which only added fuel to the ongoing poll. 


All debates aside, when baking the above cookies, I was reminded of my very first job at Terri's Chocolate Chippery. A lot of important skills, lessons, and friendships came out of what was supposed to be just an after-school job to get gas money. The older I get, I see so much value in having worked in food service during the high school years. I can go on and on about that! 

But, for the sake of this blog post, the biggest takeaway from my first job at an outlet mall bakery is one that didn't reveal itself until this week, a whole decade after that time period in my life, because I've spent the college years and the years thereafter eating out, not cooking, etc. 

Not sure if the below tips are obvious, but here it goes: 

When making peanut butter cookies this week, I remembered to 1) not use a timer because weather, dry air, moisture in the air, etc are all factors to the outcome of the cookies 2) take the baking sheet out of the oven while they're still slight under cooked 3) don't remove the cookies from the baking sheet immediately, but rather, let the cookies continue cooking on the hot baking sheet  4) after they've continued to cook, now it's OK to remove them to a cooling rack



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Olympic Empanadas



Inspired by the Olympic games, some friends, Dom, and I had a Brazilian-themed dinner party. While I still have a hard time boiling an egg in life (I wish I was joking!), I went ahead and committed to a rather bold (for me) recipe: empanadas! This included making the dough! 

The recipe called for Spanish chorizo, but when Whole Foods didn't have Spanish chorizo and out of sheer laziness to shop around, I thought I could get away with spicy Italian chorizo. Unbeknownst to me, I couldn't be more wrong!

I still enjoyed the whole process from making the dough, cooling the dough, making the filling, cooling the filling, to eating the "fusion" empanadas, but, deep down, I felt something important was missing. I'll have to try and tackle this recipe again one day with Spanish chorizo!

PS: That dish on the right though made by Ilissa is pretty A++.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Handstand




Now that the big 10k is over, I've turned my attention to a new goal: the handstand. It all started when my work gym put up a hand-stand push-up wall  it would be a crime to ignore it! 

Now that I have handstands on the mind, I'm finding so much inspiration. My coworker, Sarah, is able to go into a headstand right by our desk, my former coworker Ashley was able to do a back flip in the office, and there's this post about Amelia from Bon Appetempt's gymnastics journey. The sheer athleticism and grace is so cool!  

Before I get carried away, I resolve to keep my goal simple: do a handstand a couple times a week and try to eventually not need the wall for support. Simple, right?! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

This is Breakfast at 30


Being 30 means I have to be a more mindful of what I eat. One day I had a metabolism, the next I didn't. 

Background story: during my late twenties, I worked as a Physical Therapy Aide (more on that later - still inspired by PT life!) where I walked, stood all day, and exercised with patients all day long. Working in a physically demanding job has its perks - I didn't have to watch what I ate as a long day can sometimes feel like a marathon in itself.

Now I'm 30 and, after a career change, work a normal 9-5 grind job. Desk life coupled with a metabolism fit for a 30 year old makes maintaining my health a bit more challenging. Health is now something that takes work. It's taken a few months to get the health ball rolling, but there's progress to be noted. One marker of progress is having breakfast handled. 

Dom's co-worker eats this yogurt granola combo and, after Dom's suggestion, I'm giving it a try myself. So far, it's working out great! It's easy to prep on Sunday nights and every morning I add in the fresh fruit and granola. 

1/4 cup Greek yogurt with honey 
1/4 cup coconut water
1 tsp of chia seeds
Granola
Fruit



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mount Sutro

Spending some time at the Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve was unlike any city experience I've had yet. Only a short drive up 17th Street from the Mission and, all of a sudden, you're in the woods. It really is an escape — it's dense, it's lush, it's everything! But it was also confusing. Rather than entering the trail from the wooden staircase as outlined on Yelp, we (Ilissa, Dom and I) made our way through an unmaintained area full of poison oak. We laughed at the thought that of all the adventures, we might get poison oak on an urban hike. We also didn't study the map close enough and, after completing our hike through the right most section of the map ("Woodland Canyon"), we let the road that separates one section of the reserve from the next deter us, thinking we must have reached the end. How big can a reserve in the middle of the city be? Apparently, big! If we would have crossed the road, we have found that the trail continues. In the end, we only explored about a third of the reserve. Note to self: when urban hiking, don't let roads trick you into thinking it's the end of the hike. Crossing roads are a part of the urban trek.  

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