September 28, 2016

Plum Torte

plum torte

I've had my eye on this classic plum torte recipe, which has been around for years. It was first published in The New York Times in 1983 and is one of the most requested recipe of all time. It's not hard to see why, as it is simple and versatile. Coincidentally, the NYT ran an article on the recipe just before I was going to make it.

purple plums in the sun halved pitted plums

I had my doubts when I first made the batter, as it seemed too thick and insufficient, but it rises beautiful around the plums. The plums become juicy and jammy, both sweet and tart at once.

plums on batter

August 31, 2016

Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes

rice-stuffed tomatoes

It's been a quintessential summer so far where we've been blessed with hot, humid weather. Unfortunately those days are soon coming to an end, as the sun is setting earlier and the cool evenings require a sweater.

hierloom tomatoes

However, summer isn't quite over yet. We've officially hit peak tomato season and all I want to do is consume tomatoes.

flesh scooped out

I've had them raw in salads, bursting with tomato flavour; cooked into ratatouille, where all the summer vegetables shine through; stuffed with rice and baked, concentrating that tomato-ness.

sauteed rice tomato-rice mixture...

July 31, 2016

Happy Summer!

double rainbow in between rain showers

July is the month where I turn another year older and it's a wonderful month to celebrate a birthday. I’m a true summer baby, where nothing makes me happier than being warm in the sun.

The past year has been a significant one: I finally have job security, which comes with the perk of insured benefits. You know you’re getting older when you’re exciting about benefits!

I also took the big step of purchasing my first home. This has been my goal for years and to finally achieve it is satisfying, yet frightening. It has consumed my life for the past three months (hence the lack of substantial posts), but I’m finally settled in and I hope to get back into the groove of things.

June 29, 2016

June 2016

Life is super hectic at the moment! Instead, have some links I've enjoyed in the past month:

ogumotori-goe trail red torii gate
ancient pilgrimage route deep in the woods

- I've been feeling natsukashii (nostalgic) about Japan recently, and then the NYT does an article about the Kumano Kodo, which I have hiked because it's located in my prefecture! My town, Tanabe, even gets a shout out.

- Musical theatre fans, you must watch this Carpool Karaoke video with Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Jane Krakowski and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. I had the same reaction as they did when I heard the first two notes of "Seasons of Love," and their rendition of "One Day More" is ah-mazing.

- On a more sombre note, if you haven't already, please read the powerful letter the Stanford rape victim read aloud to her attacker. The amount of victim blaming that occurs when a female is sexually assaulted is infuriating. I don't know what's more disgusting about this whole case: that the offender's father didn't think his son should be punished for "20 minutes of action," that the offender is blaming alcohol for his actions and that HE will have to live with this for the rest of his life, or that the judge gave him such a light sentence.

- The immigrant history of small-town Chinese-Canadian food. It's all about the families.

- One of the most tragic things I've read recently: the underground race to spread medical knowledge as the Syrian regime erases it.

- I was obsessed with The Baby-Sitters Club as a kid so I enjoyed this ode to the series.

- If you are a West Wing fan, The West Wing Weekly is for you. It's a podcast hosted by Josh Malina, who played Will Bailey on the show, and he gets the best guests. My favourite episodes so far: "1.10 - In Excelsis Deo with Richard Schiff" (Toby was my favourite) and "0.01 - West Wing Reunion, Live from ATX" (featuring Aaron Sorkin and a good chunk of the cast).

May 29, 2016

Spring has sprung!

spring has sprung

What I've been up to: undertaking a massive cleaning purge, relishing the return of spring produce, basking in the spring summer-like weather.