xmas-pt 5

Last but not least,

Round 5: Scallops, leek risotto.

Yep. And this concludes my Xmas feast for this holiday season. Thanks for reading!

I’ll be home soon, with hopefully lots of pictures and interesting things to share. Happy 6 days into the new year!


xmas-pt 4

Round 4: CHICKEN! Barley, cabbage, turnip, pickled chard.

xmas-pt 3

Round 3:  CARROTS CARROTS CARROTS. Heirloom carrots, puree of carrot tops, buttered carrot sauce, carrot saffron foam,  turnip.

xmas-pt 2

Round 2: Crispy brussel sprout leaves, crimini and oyster mushroom, persimmon, pomegranate seeds, walnut vinaigrette.

(This was my favorite dish. Who would’ve thought persimmon and mushrooms would pair together so well?)

P.S. Have a safe and happy new year everyone!

xmas (eve) dinner!

This will be an ongoing series as I  will be away for 2 weeks and I can set these up to publish slowly while I’m gone…

Christmas Eve dinner was beautiful and I was happy to be a part of this special little dinner party at a friend’s place. It was a wonderful meal and I couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend the holiday.

Round one: Cauliflower soup with caramelized onion, cauliflower florets, and sliced apple. (this is before the flood of soup was poured over)


I made this for a birthday yesterday. It was pretty last minute; I sifted and mixed and brewed and threw it into the toaster oven and wah-lah! It came out quite nice, thank you very much. It was supposed to be a secret recipe…but here it is for the whole world to see.

It’s a super moist and rich chocolate cake, but there’s no butter involved so you can feel semi-healthy indulging in it I suppose. I recommend it for birthdays, special occasions, or for impressing of the friends/family.

I sorta vary the recipe whenever I make it and it always comes out fine, but this is what I did this time around:

  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder ( I use Hershey’s)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I mixed in some sour cream and heavy cream along with the fat free milk we had)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • a little less than 1 cup freshly brewed coffee


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour pans or cupcake pan or whatever you’re using. Oh, I have a tip! I save the paper wrapper that sticks of butter come in. There’s residual butter on them and they’re good for using to spread butter in pans.  Is that weird? It’s a cool tip; I forget who taught me.

2. Sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. In a separate bowl mix egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Slowly combine wet and dry ingredients until mixed.  Stir in coffee (batter will be pretty runny so don’t fret; ’tis normal). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Watch carefully because sometimes I find the edges cook faster than the center (maybe because my pans are cheap or my oven is a bit off or a bit of both) Cool completely and frost with your favorite frosting. I opted for plain whipped cream sweetened with powdered sugar because the cake is quite dense and rich already.

Enjoy with loved ones, and try not to eat it all in one sitting. It is delish.