What’s Cookin’?

May 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Cupcakes, coffee, cauliflower.

The best three Cs.

Happy cookin’,



Review: Happy Garden

May 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day to all those hard working moms out there! I don’t know where I’d be or how I’d have turned out if my mother wasn’t there to teach and nurture me.

For Mother’s Day, my mom wanted to go out to dinner at one of her favorite restaurants called Happy Garden in Oakland. It’s a Chinese restaurant that we’ve been going to for years simply because it’s got amazing food at a reasonable price. You know what that means?

A ton of food.

So we headed out and I decided to bring my camera to document what we ate.

We started off with an order of Yee Fu Wonton soup. It’s almost like your regular wonton soup except for a few things: there aren’t any vegetables in the soup (like bok choy, broccoli, etc.), the broth is more like an egg drop soup with only egg whites, and the wontons are fried to crispy perfection before being dropped into the soup and served immediately.

So. Damn. Good.

The fried flavor adds a delicious layer to the soup and the texture of the still slightly crispy wonton wrapper will make you not want to wonton soup any other way. Next time you go out to your favorite Chinese restaurant, ask to see if they serve Yee Fu Wonton soup because it is a game changer.

Next came the Shrimp in Lobster Sauce.

I’ll admit, I was not a fan of this dish only because I was never a fan of this dish to begin with. It’s one of my dad’s favorites so he thought, “Why not?”. It’s basically sautéed shrimp with onions, bell peppers, boy choy, and egg in a thick brown gravy that I believe is prepared with black beans and shockingly no lobster.

While I didn’t like the dish as a whole, I must say that the sauce on some white rice was pretty tasty.

Next, Salt and Pepper Rock Cod.

Another one of my favorites. It’s rock cod fish that is fried in a really light, yet crispy batter and then tossed with a mixture of cooked pepper, chiles, and garlic. The flavors pair perfectly with the delicateness of the fish which is perfectly cooked.

Right after that came some Sizzling Beef in Black Pepper Sauce.

One of the most entertaining dishes to order, it’s served on a hot sizzling plate when it comes to your table that gradually cools off as you eat. The beef is cut into thick slices and served with onions and green peppers in a spicy brown sauce that is so amazing on rice.

All of these delicious entrees served with perfectly cooked steamed white rice and sweetened hot tea made for an amazing meal. The delicately cut oranges served at the end with fortune cookies were the icing on the cake.

With beer and wine, the bill came to less than $50, so for three  hungry people, that’s pretty great.

I highly encourage anyone to check out Happy Garden if you want some extremely flavorful and affordable Chinese food that will leave you wanting more, even when the buttons on your jeans are practically popping off.

Happy Garden 

4112 MacArthur Blvd
(between 39th Ave & Maybelle Ave)
Oakland, CA 94619

Happy dining,


Shrimp Stock

May 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

One of the first dishes I learned how to cook when I was just starting off cooking was shrimp scampi. As a child, I was not at all a fan of tomato sauce (I uses to be extremely picky), so when my mother or father made me pasta, it was always pasta seasoned with garlic & herbs, and always some kind of meat.

So naturally scampi was something I loved.

I had first had it at a restaurant in Honduras during a vacation when I was 9 years old. The garlic was sweet, the sauce was just right, and the shrimp were cooked perfectly and served over rice. I was officially hooked.

But after looking up recipes online, trying, and ultimately failing to match the flavors that I had tasted at the beach restaurant, I was just flat out confused. The garlic didn’t taste right, the lemon was too sour, the sauce was too thin. Bleh.

Now, 8 years later, I finally figured out what I needed.

Shrimp stock.

Shrimp stock is made by taking the shells of shrimp, sautéing them with onions, garlic, and other flavors, and reducing it with water and white wine until all of the flavors are extracted into a beautiful liquid that can be used in a variety of dishes.

Served over pasta, it’s divine. Here’s the recipe.


  • the shells from about 12 shrimp
  • about 1/3 of an onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs canola oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • whichever herbs you like (optional)
  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a sauce pan. Add onions and cook for about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the shrimp shells and sauté with the onions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. After the shells are pink (about 2 minutes), add the water and white wine. Stir together and sprinkle with herbs.
  5. Cover and cook for about 15-18 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  6. Pour over a colander and into a container, collecting as much liquid as possible.
  7. Serve with pasta, use it in soups, etc. Enjoy.

Happy cooking,


What’s Cookin’?

May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment


Ice cream, pies, bananas foster, homemade white bread, cookies, oh my!

What a healthy diet…

Happy cookin’,


Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Streusel

April 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

What do I do when I don’t have school, am stuck at home with no car, and have nothing to do?

Make apple crisp, of course.

I used this recipe and it lives up to its name: it’s incredibly easy and so, so good.

I used Golden Delicious apples and kind of 3/4’ed the recipe, but not the streusel topping. I used the full recipe for the topping because what’s apple crisp without a @#$!-load of topping? That’s what I thought.

The only difficult part of this recipe wasn’t very difficult at all; the hand-cutting of the butter into the oat/flour/sugar to make the topping. I was just exhausted after a few minutes and almost broke a sweat. This is probably a sign that I should be doing exercise and not sitting around on my bum eating apple crisp all day, but I really don’t care.

Also, I was such a nice daughter and I made individual ones for my mother and I. But since the dishes I used are both different, she’ll probably think I put more in mine. Sike, the portions are even.

Enough of that, check out the recipe and make some apple crisp!

Happy baking,


What’s Cookin’?

April 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

As you can see, I’ve been cooking a lot of health food lately… Corn bread, cookies, granola bars, pasta, smoothies. ;)

Happy eating,


The “Big Bad” Carrot Cake

March 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Oh jeez. This carrot cake has probably brought me more stress in the last week than the college admissions process.

Let me start from the beginning.

My friend Peter’s birthday was last week, but because he was out of the country for a school trip, he didn’t get a chance to celebrate his birthday at home with his family. So his lovely mother decided to throw Peter a surprise party the week after he got back and I asked to make the cake.

I couldn’t find a big enough pan, I had to find out what kind of cake he actually liked, I had my friends taste test the frosting, I had to find something to put the enormous thing in. And it all had to remain a secret from Peter.

Making this cake became such an exhausting process that I’m surprised I even have the energy to write this post.

But I did it. And I am so proud.

I used the Milk Bar cookbook to guide me through this process. I chose the recipe for Carrot Cake from the Carrot Layer Cake mega-recipe* and the recipe for Birthday Cake Frosting from the Birthday Layer Cake mega-recipe.

* mega-recipe: new word I just made up for Momofuku recipes that require a bunch of other recipes in order to create the final product

My pictures for this post aren’t the best because the lighting in my kitchen is terrible at night, but please enjoy.

Now I can say I catered a party. Well, kinda.

Happy baking,


What to Expect for the Next Few Weeks

March 9, 2013 § Leave a comment

Hey guys!

I just got back from an amazing trip to L.A. yesterday and I must say, it was probably the best school trip I have ever been on. The activities, the people, the food. All unbelievable.

However, I do have some bad news.

I did not document my eating in L.A. like I had promised. I was a little distracted enjoying the trip (and forgetting my camera battery the first few days) so I didn’t take any pictures.

But fear not, I have a plan.

I have loads of ideas and things I want to accomplish and I really don’t know what to pick first.

So I’ll let my lovely readers decide for me.

Just click on the link to a survey I made on the lovely Survey Monkey website.


Please, please, please choose an option so I can give you guys what you want.

Happy surveyin’,


What’s Cookin’?

March 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

(Food made by me and other eateries)

Happy cookin’,


What’s Cookin’? Introduction

March 2, 2013 § Leave a comment

Many of you already know I have a Twitter account that goes along with this blog. On it, I rant about my cooking-related shpeals and post pictures of what I’ve been eating lately.

So I figured I’d take inspiration from one of my all time favorite blogs, Taza and Husband, and try something similar to their “Life Lately According to My iPhone Pictures” posts. These two are all over social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Vine and they post all kinds of amazing pictures that may not suffice for an entire blog post. So what they do is, every couple of weeks, put all of these pictures in a “Life Lately” post so that these amazing pictures don’t go to waste.


So because I still want those of you that do not follow my Twitter to see what I’m eating/cooking/baking, I’m going to follow this style from Taza (and Husband) and make posts called “What’s Cookin’?” in the same way.

First “What’s Cookin’?” coming soon…

Happy eating,


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