Since it's the holiday season, I wanted to put up a picture of something festive! Of course, I immediately thought of Masse's.

D's sister, brother-in-law, and nephew all have birthdays around the same time, so when we went to visit, I brought this cake.

Isn't it beautiful? I went up to their counter, bright and early and picked out prettiest one there. I was so excited, I even forgot to ask what kind of cake it was! What a mistake. It was tart, not too sweet, with wonderful textures. The fruits and chocolate were a perfect complement!

I'll have to put up pictures of Jen and Peter's wedding cake. Masse's is so amazing.

Masse's Pastries

1469 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA
(510) 649-1004


wally's cafe

N's previous post really resonates with me. Even now, having graduated, I still cook up shenanigans like that. Yes, we are that cool.

But this post I wanted to highlight a local hole-in-the-wall: Wally's Cafe. I don't think there's any way I could've found this place without yelp. It's that obscure. They're behind this pool hall/club thing, tucked away in an alley. A U-shaped bar stool eating area frames the kitchen where you watch the two chefs make your food. If you're lucky, Wally will be there. With free lentil soup. And free baklava. Need I say more? Well, even if Wally's not there you get free lentil soup and baklava. BAKLAVA! (It's just fun to say.)

This is their chicken pomegranate dish. My fav!

Wally's Cafe
3900 San Pablo Ave
(at Yerba Buena Ave)
Emeryville, CA 94608


leftovers and more!

This is me and m's concoction with my leftover jajang mein from Yuyu Za Zang. We added chicken marinated in soy sauce and sesame oil, mushrooms, and broccoli! We stir fried the chicken, mushroom, and broccoli first and just added the jajang mein at the end to heat up. An entirely new meal! It didn't even taste like jajang mein anymore.

Hmm delicious!

This is what poor college students eat. That's creative juices flowing...


deep fried oc fair

So over the summer I went to the OC fair. At a fair you expect to eat over priced deep fried twinkies, turkey legs, kettle corn, etc. Even though I expected to have some kind of deep fried food...I definitely wasn't prepared for this...


Yes, that is right. Deep fried butter. It's like heart attack on heart attack. And the ironic thing was that the place we got this from was called heart attack cafe. And you wonder why America suffers from obesity and heart problems.

Okay, us crazy folks decided to get their dessert platter since you know, if we're at a fair, we HAVE to eat deep fried foods. So I can tell you what it consisted of:

Yeah, so there was bunuelos, cinnamon chips, chocolate covered oreo, deep fried chocolate covered bacon, and deep fried butter. Oh and of course, it was topped with whipped cream.
I think that was all of it. So the thing about the deep fried butter is that it looks like churro so DON'T BE DECEIVED! My friend took the first bite and all this butter just gushed out. blehhhhh. so gross and unappetizing. I did not try this madness. But I can say that the deep fried chocolate covered bacon was pretty good except you feel like really really gross after.
We did pretty good...we just cut our lives in half. Please just kill me now. Thinking about this, just makes me feel like dying. So I don't suggest you get this...I suppose you can try one thing, but not that whole platter. Oh and if you get this, many people will look at you and take pictures of your food. Yes we are fatties.

OC Fair
88 Fair Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626


rice crispy treats

I can never get the spelling quite right... In any case, this is another part in the bridal shower series. I made the easier dessert ever--rice crispy treats! They're so, so simple, but so satisfying. I used Smitten Kitchen's salted brown butter crispy treats, and oh my goodness, did the salt and browned butter make all the difference.

The most basic rice crispy treats only use rice crispy cereal (I used Trader Joe's new rice cereal!), marshmallows, and butter. Some people even omit the butter, but I wouldn't--especially when you brown it, it gives the treats a wonderful nutty flavor. Even the proportions are up to the cook: if you like yours more gooey, then more marshmallows, more crunchy, then more cereal, more taste, then more butter.

Yes. This is DEFINITELY my kind of "baking."

Lastly, the touch of salt that Deb adds in her recipe really heightens the flavor of the treat. However, if you aren't a fan of sweet savory combinations, omitting the salt is fine.

Pictures of the treats and the whole table spread! Courtesy of N, Connie and Tammy:


time to eat...

So I've decided that I am done with my Taiwan-ness. If you want to see more of my fattyness or experience...moral of the story: go to Taiwan. It's impossible to live vicariously through me because you get absolutely no satisfaction from it.

Onto other things...Jen's bridal shower. Yes as m mentioned, I made fruit tarts.

I used the same exact recipe as last time so you can refer here if you want the recipe. The only difference is that I made mini fruit tarts...its a bridal shower after all, so I used a mini muffin tin to make the crusts. Actually this was SOOOOO time consuming, because first of all, I have two 12 cup mini muffin tins (they're from Jen) and I needed to make at least 30, so yeah...and second of all...my oven was NOT usable! I baked in different places...thanks tammaymay and jwoo. I bought lots of fruits: kiwis, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries. I had trouble figuring out how to cut the kiwis and strawberries to make it pretty...

They're pretty ugly actually...but no matter. It was successful, as was the bridal shower.

Super cute stands for the desserts...maybe m will talk more of this...but it's cute right? (Oh I had a lot of fruit leftover, hence the mound of fruits)

EDIT by m: Sorry guys, just had to post another picture of these amazing tarts. :] Courtesy of Connie!


taiwan madness: japanese eat till you're full

So these places are super popular in Taiwan. It's kinda like a buffet, but instead of going and getting them yourself, they give you a menu and you order what you want. You can keep ordering, but if you don't finish the food that you order, they won't bring you more food.
Pictures are self-explanatory...
Really good fish.

Okay so this is like a chicken roll or something like that...they had a lot of random beef and pork ones...meh, they're alright.

Omgggg. These are super yummy. I really like them. Willie had like 6 of them. Haha

Okay...so I didn't eat these...but I dunno, my cousin seemed to like them.
Duuuuuuuude. The tofu was soooo good. It was just super yummy.
Uhhh yeah, chicken heart? I did not eat that.
There was a lot more...but yeah. So full just looking at the pictures. They also have ice cream and drinks that you get yourself. Super popular in Taiwan and super worth it.

Soto 日本家庭料理


ice cream break...

I couldn't resist inserting this post in the midst of the bridal shower posts, because seriously, who can resist ice cream? For Friday night fellowship activity night, we all trekked over to Fenton's for some good, old-fashioned ice cream.

Now, I do think that Fenton's ice cream isn't the best out there (too much sugar, and sometimes overkill on flavors), but their portions are HUGE (as are their prices, sadly). You go more for the experience, I think; it's loud, crowded, but still retains the charm of an old-fashioned ice cream soda shop.

We shared the Black and Tan. It's toasted almond ice cream with vanilla ice cream, fudge, caramel, whipped cream, and a cherry on top!

Tim had the challenge, where they give you a massive amount of ice cream with all the fixin's on top for you to finish in 15 minutes. Tim did it in 7.

See how happy we are? (No we didn't eat this between the two of us...there were four of us sharing!)

Fenton's Creamery
4226 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611-4749

Pictures courtesy of Tammy.


it's about time...

Okay, so part of the reason for the severe lack of posts, aside from the usual commencement of school, busy work schedules, etc, is that our friends, Jen and Peter are getting married. Really, really soon. It's insane! But so, so fun. We threw a bridal shower for Jen last weekend, and it was so much fun.

I'm going to do this in installments, especially because I didn't make all the food, and I'm sure N wants to add something since she made her famous fruit tarts (!). First off, the drink.

Hege lent us her HUGE jar, and while it was pretty, I didn't realize how ginormous it would be. I had bought only 2 cans of raspberry lemonade frozen concentrate and as I mixed the water into the jar, I was painfully aware that it wouldn't even be enough to fill up to the sprout. I panicked, called Jess and Megan, who bought me two 2-liter bottles of Sierra Mist, and the contents rose to a barely acceptable level. Crisis averted.

Panic aside, the drink was refreshingly delicious. It was a good amount of tart, sweet, and fizz, and the added lemon slices added just a touch of charm. What's more, there's really no need for a recipe; everything can be made to taste.

I also made Smitten Kitchen's Salted Brown Butter Rice Crispy Treats, so that's next up...unless N beats me with her mini fruit tarts!


taiwan madness: most delicious thing you'll ever eat

This was by far my favorite thing to eat in Taiwan. No joke. I would go back again and again just to eat it.

I really really love to eat yam and taro balls. They're just so chewy and qq. MMM just thinking about it is making my mouth water.

So my grandma and cousins took us to this place, 鮮芋仙 and holy moly...I was... yeah. SO GOOD! The store specializes in the taro and yam balls (芋圓 & 地瓜圓). They have tofu pudding (豆花), grass jelly (仙草), and drinks with boba and stuff. All my favorite things in one store.

So I got 芋圓豆花冰. The soup was the sweet syrup, but not really syrup... but it was very yummy.
This one is the 超牌杏仁冰, which is newest specialty with almond tofu (杏仁豆腐, my all time favorite), the yam and taro balls and red bean. The ice was almond flavored too! Super super good and it wasn't because I am in love with almond, but yes. Very yummy.
This one was their special, 鮮芋仙招牌. This was grass jelly (仙草) with grass jelly flavored ice and yam and taro balls topped with 鮮奶油 which is kinda like creamer. Soooo good.
I miss it. I miss this deliciousness. Go, if you go to Taiwan. It's a chain, you'll find it...at least in Taipei and Kaohsiung. It's so good.


taiwan madness: noodle soups

Everytime I go to Taiwan there are a whole lot of delicious noodle soups. Their soup base is so much better than ones that I normally eat here at the states.

At every department store, I guarantee you that there is a Sugakiya and I always have to eat it at least once. It's not the best ramen out there, but it's alright and since its tradition, I eat it.
So this next noodle soup is ... I have forgotten. Haha. The noodles are not your normal noodles but like they're...man I can't even describe it. Maybe m can help me on this. This was yummy, the broth wasn't too heavy and I do love fish balls.
Of course, there's no going to Taiwan and not eating 牛肉麵 (beef noodle soup). Supposedly this was the best place to eat and yes it was delicious. Haha, but they kinda all taste the same...

More ramen. This was super garlic-y and salty. My grandma was so funny and complained that it was too salty and asked for clear soup to make it less salty. I am over it. I am over ramen. Too much in Taiwan, I will die.
The thing about noodle soups in Taiwan is that the soup base is soooooo good and not msg filled. Mm yum.


zachary's pizza

N and I had the most gloriously disgustingly delicious pizza yesterday at Zachary's. Andrew ordered a large deep dish bacon, jalapeno, garlic, onion, and extra cheese.

Enough said.

Zachary's. Behold and fear (and eat).



I feel like noodles. (I even had Noodle Theory last night! But still craving.)


cooking with dog

Okay, so NOT using dog meat in your recipes...but cooking with a dog! Jenn showed me this new youtube show, featuring a poodle and his Japanese owner! The dog's name is Francis and his voice is dubbed with a heavily accented man's voice. The premise of the show is that it's the dog's show and his Japanese owner is his assistant! She speaks sometimes, but only in Japanese that's subbed for the viewer.

Watch! Yes, it's hilarious, but worth watching because the recipes are easy to follow and so delicious! The only hard thing is getting all the ingredients.

In this video, they make a Japanese bento. So cute!


wood tavern

My fine dining escapades, though plentiful during my college years (ironic! I know!), have dwindled to the occasional birthday/anniversary affair. And then, only people you actually care about (I kid. Somewhat).

Wood Tavern has long been on my (and D's) list on dining establishments to visit, so I decided to take D there for his birthday. We went on a Wednesday night with reservations and I am so glad we did, because it was beyond crowded. We were seated right away though, and throughout the whole night, service was impeccable. They bring you two types of bread from La Farine (just next door!) with butter, refill your water the instant you finish halfway.

The decor is warm and inviting, all deep browns of wood and dark greens. Behind the bar is an open kitchen where you can see the chefs making your food! So charming! Noise level is up, as the space isn't exactly huge, and everyone is in somewhat close proximity.

The food didn't disappoint, especially our appetizer. We got the Pig 'N Figs (I know, so cute!). It was amazing. It was beyond amazing. The figs were sweet, the pork belly was tender, and the blue cheese crumble with the sauce...mmm, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

For the entrees, D ordered the Pork Shoulder Confit, while I got a seafood/rock cod stew (I totally forgot what it was called! It was in Spanish or something).

Both were good--D thought mine was better, but I think I would've preferred his actually! So maybe we should've switched. His came with a lovely polenta; the pork was done well, quite tender. Mine was also good; it had a bit of a kick, which was nice. So good to sop up with bread. Mmm.

For dessert we went with their Basil Panna Cotta, which was...interesting to say the least. The fruit on top was too watery; when combined with the creamy panna cotta, it was...not so good. And I'm not too sure about having those basil overtones in something so creamy and light. I think we just chose the wrong dessert--the others looked better.

I think it's definitely worth returning, if only to eat the Pig 'N Figs! And to try their other desserts. Wonderful service, friendly staff, delicious food... you should go!

Wood Tavern
6317 College Avenue
Oakland, CA 94618-1331



N, I am so, so jealous of your trip. I really want a donut now. A mochi donut. Maybe more than one. Probably 5. Or 10.

So, in my jealous rage, I will post about Ici, because I know you love it. Yes, I am shameless. Yes, I also know you will be back here soon and this post will mean nothing! Please, just let me have my moment of insanity.

The Bay Area is notorious for spawning restaurants out of Alice Waters (creator of Chez Panisse), who is often credited for the sustainable, green, organic movement in New American cuisine/restaurants. Now, I don't know much about that--it makes for simple dishes with fresh ingredients, but it also comes with a hefty price tag. Ici is an ice cream shop, created by a pastry chef who worked for Waters, with these same principles. Good ingredients, but you pay for it.

Nevertheless, the ice cream there is (at times) creative and delicious. Their flavors include classics like vanilla and chocolate, but they often experiment with other pairings, such as chicory coffee, earl grey, candied walnut, cilantro-lime (don't ask!)...

I got a scoop of candied Meyer lemon with a scoop of chicory coffee (the strangest pairing, both are delicious on its own, but I wouldn't get them together again) on top of their famous cone with a chocolate bottom. Dan got a caramel something or other with apricot? I totally forgot, but those were interesting too.

The lines are atrocious, always, and the flavors, which change daily, are hit-or-miss, but on a hit day, it's so worth it. They're really nice people--you can try all the flavors you want before making your decision!

Ici Ice Cream
2948 College Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705


taiwan madness: donuts galore!

Yes we are like little piggys (including Willie who isn't in the picture). Taiwan is going crazy with opening up Baskin Robbins, Coldstones, and Dunkin' Donuts. Meh, we've tried it before in the states and it's whatevs and why eat something I can get here? But then...this new donut...or maybe not new, but I've never had it before is this mochi donut...and its freaking delicious. Either Austin or Brian told us to try this and so we saw a Dunkin' Donuts and bought some.
Dang. It's soooo good. Something about the texture of the donut is not really a typical donut, but the qq-ness of it was just amazing. We got the mocha mochi donut, which I thought was the best.
So at first, each of us were just getting one, but they had the deal buy 5 for 100NT so what the heck, let's get 5. We got this lemon green tea one, which was pretty good too surprisingly.
Okay, it may seem like Connie was eating it all...but no. We all ate like 3 bites of each. The next one we got was their corn flake chocolate crunch one. This one was alright.
The other two, Willie got this cinnamon roll thing which was not very good (as he said) and Connie got this heart shaped one filled with chocolate filling which as alright. We regretted soooo badly not getting 5 mochi donuts.

Each day that passed, we kept craving these delicious donuts, so on our last day, right before going to the airport, we got our donuts. This time from Mister Donut which is a Taiwanese store and is like the place to eat donuts. I actually thought the Dunkin' Donuts ones were better, but at least before leaving back home, we got our donuts.

We are happy, donut-filled people.