I’m interviewing Caroline Miller on her blog, Let’s Bake Our Feelings, where she’s baking her way through the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook and has posted an article on making Witch’s Hats. I also have two fun and festive recipes from Lea Leong Ringler that you will want to make for Halloween.
This year I will have the good fortune of being with my family around Chinese New Year, which is celebrated for up to two weeks after the lunar New Year. Naturally, a whole lot of food is involved with this. Traditionally, the big New Year’s dinner has to happen on the eve of the New Year. I will miss this part with my family, but my mother will send me pictures of the family dinner, I’m sure. There will be plentiful dishes of dumplings, rice, noodles, meats, seafood, tofu, and vegetables, making sure to have food left over to signify abundance in the coming year. With a small circle of friends that represent family to me in New York, I have come up with a way to maximize the food, friends, and family.
Regardless of how commercial Christmas gets, I will always love Christmas. Even though I can do without the retail craziness that the holiday season has become, I have always loved spreading Christmas cheer. The religious significance remains important to me today but I have always enjoyed the activities that go along with it: decorating the Christmas tree, getting presents, giving presents, wrapping presents. I would always watch A Charlie Brown Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street, and It's a Wonderful Life. I also consumed more baked goods around Christmas time than any other time of year.
Pumpkin has become synonymous with October. Besides being a term of endearment, pumpkin can morph into a pastry or a pie, sweet or savory entrees, a drink or a dessert. It seems like any eating establishment that wants to stay up to date is offering a pumpkin treat of some sort. Even my local Vietnamese sandwich shop is offering a seasonal Pumpkin Spice café au lait!
Dominique Ansel’s creation of the Cronut has not just New York, but pretty much the whole world, buzzing about this croissant/donut hybrid. Since the Cronut is trademarked, copycats have sprung up all around including the Zonuts, Frissants, Dossants, Cro-Nots, Dough'Ssants. If you haven’t heard of the Cronut, here’s the condensed version of the hype.
Asian desserts are generally less sweet and rich than their American and European counterparts. That means they contain less guilt as well! The recipes call for less sugar, little to no butter, and are often flavored with naturally sweet starches like red and green beans. Summertime treats are also lighter than the average popsicle and ice cream bar.
Soup is considered a comfort food for a reason. It is a great way to combat the cold in winter and a great way to combat a cold. Why is it that when I’m sick, I long for my mother’s chicken soup? Is it a myth that chicken soup helps cure your cold? In 2007, the New York Times cited two studies that showed that chicken soup has more than just a placebo effect and does, in fact, reduce cold symptoms, but it would be better not to discuss the unappetizing details of it here.
December marks the holiday season. It is a time for family get togethers, tree decorations, baked goods, gift exchanges, and evergreen and mistletoe. While my family does partake in all of these things, there is one tradition that we have which is particularly tasty, satisfying, and communal. That tradition is dim sum.