this is becoming a plant-godmother

*My new plant-godchildren (in other words, my roommate's new plant-children. And I am their (fairy) godmother. Yes.
*The small one on the left is an arbre ombrelle (umbrella tree) from Hawaii.
*The large one on the right is a jasmine plant. I cannot wait until it blossoms.


this is more toast

*1: almond butter + cinnamon, goat butter & cinnamon; apple slices
*2: almond butter + banana, avocado + truffle salt


this is cinnamony

*apple, yogurt, almond butter, cinnamon buckwheat granola, almonds, sunflower seeds
*almond milk tea


this is a baked breakfast

*baked pumpkin farro
*farro, water, almond milk, pumpkin puree, egg, walnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, sliced almonds, banana; later topped off with yogurt and almond butter
*This was warm and good, but I decided I like my farro as a savory grain better.


this is resourceful

*The last remaining bits of almond butter in the jar.

*I was just going to spoon out the almond butter and eat it out of the jar as I always do, but at the last minute I decided to pour in some cereal and almond milk, slice up some bananas, and call it a utilitarian snack. It was good decision.


this is his last request

*Dad loves these hash browns I make. They were his last food request before I left.
*potatoes, onions, whole grain pancake mix, egg, himalayan pink sea salt, ground pepper.


this is sitting down together as a family

*Nightly family dinners at home in California. I miss them.

*Mom cooks up a few vegetable or tofu dishes usually. Sometimes a whole fish.

*We have rice everyday. We eat with chopsticks, but I always use a spoon too.

*When we feel like taking it up a notch we buy a whole array of small dishes from the Korean supermarket nearby. It always feels like a feast when these Korean "tapas" are laid out on the table. I love it.

this is another precious year in the span of a lifetime

*Dad's "birthday suit"—stylish, right? A Uniqlo felt blazer and Armani tie (birthday gift from mom).


this is winter greenery

*Green minestrone: kale, chard, celery, zucchini, spinach, green peas, leeks, garlic, onions, cannellini beans, vegetable stock, olive oil

*Best eaten with crusty bread and a poached egg with smoked paprika. You poke the yolk when it's in the soup, and the yolk breaks and all that yellow liquidy goodness spills out into the minestrone and infuses the soup with the most delicious flavor...mmmm...

*(or you go multicultural and drink the minestrone alongside a box of sushi like I did once for lunch)


this is something salty

*This is truly: my daily toast.

*fried egg (topped with smoked paprika and truffle salt) and mashed avocado with lemon juice atop a slice of Beckmann's sourdough toast, the best toast ever.

*I decided to eat something salty for breakfast, finally. I always crave sweets in the morning, which is the reason i can down half a large chocolate bar by noon.

*One of life's simple pleasures: drippy yellow egg yolk.


this is the fall flavor that never fades

*vegan pumpkin banana bread with walnuts
*spread with strawberry jam, taken with coffee = cozy afternoon snack


this is cake for a cuppa

*Coffee cake I made for new years' day brunch.
*This is the recipe i used. except i forgot the walnuts. it still turned out well though.

*Coffee cake is special because it is a treat made for a drink. I like non-alcoholic food-drink pairings (probably because I do not particularly enjoy alcohol). Like green tea + a dense lemon pound cake. Or dark chocolate + a cappuccino. Or (almond) milk + a fudgy, practically flourless brownie (better than milk + cookies). One of my favorite things about Italy was having a couple of crunchy, buttery frollini with a cup of English breakfast tea.

*cute apple coffee cakes in muffin form
*literal coffee cake

this is chunky monkey

*This is Naomi's "Chunky Monkey Granola," as per her request that I make a batch of granola for her before iIgo back to school.

*Still perfecting the recipe, but the main components of this are: oats, sesame seeds, peanut butter, walnuts, almonds, pecans, dried cranberries, and banana chips.


this is vacation breakfast

*peanut butter pancakes with cream, bananas, chocolate chips, and black sesame seeds
*countess grey tea (from fortnum & mason) with almond milk

*I need to start carrying my camera around with me again so that I take pictures of things besides food at home.


this is as french as it gets

*ugly french toast with crunchy almond butter, oil pan-fried banana slices, black sesame seeds, and pumpkin pie spice. not so pretty but oh so yummy.
*I took a photo before spreading the accoutrements on the other slice so you could see how truly ugly my french toast turned out.

*One of my favorite foods is almond butter banana sandwiches. This is a snazzy version of that.


this is the start of a new year


homemade everything

*meats: rack of lamb // bacon // smoked salmon
*eggs: prosciutto and spinach frittata (with sour cream, freshly grated parmesan) // mushroom onion spinach omelette
*breads: whole wheat molasses bread // english muffin white bread // sour cream coffee cake
*sides: bean and tomato salad (cilantro honey lemon vinaigrette) // roasted herbed potatoes (thyme, italian seasoning) // cranberry almond ginger spiced granola (with sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, candied ginger, maple syrup)
*extras: yogurt // bananas // blueberries // assorted chocolates (Florentine Majani chocolates, candy cane kisses)
*condiments: homemade nutella with whole roasted hazelnuts // strawberry jam // chive cream cheese // butter // Tuscan olio nuovo // balsamic vinegar // almond butter // parmesan cheese
*drinks: orange juice // milk // coffee // tea

**i don't have many pictures because i was cooking the entire time

marella - thank you for the sweet compliments. so kind of you.

heather - the key to the bbq broccoli slaw is the mayonnaise and letting it marinate for a good 20 minutes. otherwise the broccoli retains a very raw taste (which I don't like). i am loving the international recipes on your blog. i am so fascinated by foreign cuisine.


this is a Naomi burger

*On the last day of 2010, my sister requested a hamburger.

*The makings of a Naomi burger, 100% homemade, from top to bottom:
(1) sesame hamburger buns (flour, milk, butter, water, sugar, salt, yeast, egg yolk wash)
(2) california avocado
(3) caramelized onions
(4) bbq broccoli & carrot slaw (broccoli, carrot, homemade bbq sauce = ketchup, honey, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, chili powder, paprika, japanese mayonnaise, pepper)
(5) hand-formed beef patty

Note: By the grace of God, I received a midnight delivery a few nights ago with my laptop computer + cameras. So thankful.

Megan - for the chocolate torte base, I followed this cake base recipe (didn't use her mousse though). I didn't use recipes for the nutella mousse or the peppermint creme, but I could try to write them out and send them to you if you'd like!