Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mint Brownies

Very important announcement: I baked a dessert!

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Inspired by the Peppermint Brownies on my friend Jen's blog Fresh from the..., I tackled my fear of baking. Admittedly, I used boxed brownie mix, but baby steps are key here. I also couldn't find peppermint cookies or chocolate chips (wouldn't swirled peppermint chips have been so pretty?), so used mint generic "Oreo"ish cookies instead.

They turned out a bit fudgy, but better than dried out! With this success under my belt, I have a mind to try more desserts. Shocker of the holiday season! Hope you're all staying warm and filling up on carbs and sweets.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dduk Bok Ki

I am so excited right now. I just made dduk bok ki, the Korean rice cake dish that was a favorite of mine as a child and still is to this day. My mom makes it when I go home, but otherwise, I've had to rely on food court stalls and restaurants where the price does not reflect its humble-and very cheap-ingredients. But, no more because I have conquered my fear of making dduk bok ki!


I used this recipe from Maangchi as a guide, but instead of making anchovy stock, I used dashi from a packet. Also, the green onions in my crisper were beyond usable, so I used cabbage instead (another vegetable that's been in my fridge for a good while, but somehow retained the spring in its step). The rice cakes I bought directed me to soak them in cold water 2 hours beforehand, but I could only wait around for about an hour before I needed to eat NOW (and they turned out fine). And needless to say, no measuring spoons were used in this process.

Preparing this dish is rather magical: the rice cakes soften up and get squishy while the spicy sauce slowly, but surely, thickens into something that tastes so surprisingly good, you can't believe you made it yourself. I guess a lot of cooking is this way; you do as the recipe says and somehow, it all miraculously melds together to create something edible (and occasionally, even perfect). Today was a solo test run, but Charles loves this dish, so I'll definitely be making it for him! Give it a try, it's oh so easy.