A few months ago, in the midst of bar exam doldrums, I came across this recipe for banana bread bars with brown butter frosting that looked mindblowing. But, given our extremely sedentary (nearly vegetative) lifestyle at the time, I omitted the frosting and ended up making only the bars, with Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. And they were absolutely fantastic just on their own! No frosting necessary (though the brown butter frosting does sound pretty out-of-control). The cake was pillowy, moist, and banana-y, but not so dense and cloying as a typical banana bread; I was actually surprised by how soft and chewy the texture was. They were so good that even Bowl #2, enemy of sweets, ate at least half the pan. As good as they were, though, at the time I felt it was a little lackluster just to post a couple of squares of banana cake with no frosting, so I figured I’d make them as cupcakes or as a regular loaf later on, and shelved the idea.
I have a problem. It’s now been a week and a day of my visit home to my parents. In that time, I’ve baked three dozen mini matcha shortbread cookies, a dozen almond rosemary shortbread cookies, some topsy-turvy cinnamon rolls (next time I’ll roll you properly, little ones), pumpkin cupcakes, and green tea cupcakes. It’s a little excessive. It’s gotten to the point where, every time I come into the kitchen, my mother cries, “Not again!” and leaves the room muttering about her waistline.
Hi again! This past week, I said a wistful goodbye to paradise and headed back home to visit my own parents, while Bowl #2 stayed in Honolulu for a little while longer to enjoy some alone time with his family. It was the perfect, lazy, relaxing trip (and I already miss Bowl #2’s mom so much!) but it was time to go home. Honolulu, I’ll be seeing ya.
Coming from a Chinese family means that I ate a lot of weird things indiscriminately when I was growing up. But we never really had a lot of anchovies. Actually, up until recently, I really only knew of anchovies as that one American pizza topping that all the fictional characters hated in the books I read as a kid. (Babysitters’ Club, anyone?)
OK, so I know what this looks like. It looks like another summer recipe. (After I already posted a fall recipe, saying that it’s fall.) But it’s a really versatile summer recipe! You can sub apples and make it a fall recipe! Or sub frozen blueberries and make it an anytime recipe. Plus, some people in the world haven’t even had summer yet. And maybe some people live in a magical place where white nectarines are in season all year long. So I’m going to say it’s appropriate, and just run with it.
All right, so I might be breaking some of my blog rules (gentle guidelines?) with this recipe. It’s not technically difficult — if I made it, it’s definitely not — but it’s a bit of a hassle. And it’s not super great for little households, since it’s at its best when first made. But it’s homemade japchae! Homemade japchae. I just couldn’t not. This is one of my favorite noodle dishes, Korean or otherwise. I love anything both savory and sweet, I love chewy and textured noodles (soft noodles are the worst) and I love bulgogi. And this is all of the above. It is heaven. On a green plate. Plus, the recipe for bulgogi that I’ve included is simple and great for little households, so there is that.
Happy Sunday! A few months ago, I was back home visiting my parents and noticed a box of sweet corn muffins sitting on the kitchen table. Oh, that’s interesting, I thought, and next thing I knew there was only one left and incriminating crumbs were all over my face and fingers. (By the way, they were Publix brand — anyone else absolutely positively love Publix and think it’s the best supermarket in the world minus Foodland because of their poke but if they had poke they would be the best? Publix is the best thing about the South.)
Did you just gasp with horror? I realize that this is a highly polarizing statement, but I love kimchi and cheese. I can’t imagine budae jjigae without cheese. I made kimchi chicken quesadillas once and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And this kimchi grilled cheese might be my very favorite grilled cheese sandwich, ever.
Happy Monday! It’s such a foreign idea to me that summer is ending. With the bar exam just a few weeks behind us, it feels like it’s barely begun. Even so, I know I should get my blueberry recipes out of the way now, so here’s the second of the two I made this summer. Last week I posted the first of two blueberry recipes I made this summer, blueberry buckle coffee cake, and today’s recipe is just plain old blueberry muffins.
Just like with chocolate chip cookies, it seems like everyone has their own preference for what the best blueberry muffin should taste like. They can be biscuit-y or cake-y or drier or moister or sweeter or milder; there are variations with yogurt, with streusel topping, with brown butter, with sour cream, with buttermilk and turbinado sugar and everything in between. There have been showdowns. It’s serious business. And overwhelmed by choice, I couldn’t commit to any of them and just went with something simple.
Yay, today I have a recipe to share that I’ve been itching to post! I’ve been trying to stagger my posts for these six weeks since I’m bound to run out of things to say sooner or later, without my own kitchen to make messes in — right now I’m relying on a backlog of recipes that never got posted because I was studying for the bar, and some new recipes that I got from surreptitiously snapping photos of Bowl #2’s mom’s cooking. This is the latter. The recipe is for bibim guksu (비빔국수), or noodles mixed with kimchi. It’s a quick and easy dish that is the absolute perfect summer lunch recipe –tasty, simple, cool and refreshing without being insubstantial. Bowl #2’s mom is the best.