Sunday, January 30, 2011

In the Kitchen

The Chinese New Year is just a few short days away, but being in Italy you cannot even tell. Instead of throwing myself the usual pity party, this year I decided to take matters in my own hand and invite some friends over to celebrate.

They were more than excited to come. Now to plan the menu.

Now I have a very embarrassing confession to make: I don't really know how to cook Chinese food.

How did this happen? Well, back home, mom always did the cooking. Then in California, there was never a need to cook Chinese when anything and everything was available just around the corner.

So I had this one weekend for a quick crash course so our guests don't go hungry. Fried glass noodles, check. Shrimp fried rice, check!

Oh, I should mention that I had to, uh, look up how to cook jasmine rice over the stove. No we don't have a rice cooker and I haven't cooked white rice once in my 2+ years here. I know, embarrassing!

And I made wontons! I was forced to. I tried to find some but there was nothing decent looking at the store in Chinatown. I did pick up the wonton skins from the tiny frozen section.

And it was surprisingly easy with the help of our mini chopper. I did a trial run boiling some up and it was tasty too.

I don't think I'll ever buy them ready-made again.

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Casa del Latte

Italy is still one of those countries where most stores remain closed on Sunday, the rest day, and many close by 7:30pm on other evenings. So it takes some planning to make sure you don't run out of eggs on a Sunday, for example.

But luckily, one thing you won't run out of is milk. Today we finally visited our neighborhood 'house of milk', which dispenses fresh raw milk from a local farm.

You can bring your own bottles or buy a one-time use plastic bottle there for 20 cents. Then put in 1 euro and out pours 1L of creamy frothy milk.

The milk is raw so needs to be boiled before drinking and consumed within 3 days. Some research show that raw milk retains its natural enzymes and some people who are lactose intolerant find that they are able to digest raw milk. Also supposedly some nutrients are destroyed during the pasteurization process so drinking raw can be better for you.

Got milk?

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Friday, January 21, 2011


Grabbed a quick Friday night dinner in Milan tonight, after visiting our friend V at the hospital.

Thick doughy slices fresh from the oven. The menu is short, only margherita slices, 'normale' or 'abbondante'.

You can't go wrong here.

Various locations, Milano

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Thursday, January 20, 2011


What was supposed to be something homemade to thank a coworker...

turned into this huge cupcake project that quickly got out of hand. More cupcakes than I could handle, on a weeknight no less.

A special thanks to S for fashioning out those awesome 'carrots'.

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Sunday, January 9, 2011


Hello world!

Does this work?

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