Evolution of Dessert: Sake-Poached Asian Pears with Ume and Li Hing Sauce

What was I thinking?!

Sake-Poached Asian Pears with Ume and Li Hing Sauce

sake-poached asian pears with ume and li hing sauce

It all started when one of my friends emailed me the link to the Pear Recipe Challenge at Santana Row. Basically, people enter a recipe using pears, and 5 of them would be chosen to present their recipes before a panel of judges (one of the judges is going to be FoodGal, Carolyn Jung) at the Pear Festival at Santana Row on October 19. The winner would get a cookbook, a restaurant gift card, a shopping spree, and their name in lights, (well, okay, their name on the SR website…close enough). It got me thinking because I recalled seeing this amazing picture of a poached pear in "Working the Plate" by Christopher Styler and wanting to do a poached pear myself.

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Baked Red Bean Buns

If you’ve ever visited an Asian bakery, you’d have noticed that the tables are predominantly covered with bread-y pastries.

Baked Red Bean Buns

baked red bean and char siu bao

Some are savory and others sweet. Most of the fillings are very common to Asians, like red bean paste, lotus paste, and custard for sweet buns or charsiew, curry chicken, pork/meat floss, and sausage for savory buns. I especially enjoy things that have red bean filling in it.

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Rolling Out the Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet Cupcakes: they’re everywhere!

You know how something isn’t in your consciousness at all and then one day, you discover it, and suddenly they seem to be everywhere? That’s how it was for me and Red Velvet cupcakes. The first time I ever heard of red velvet cupcakes was when a friend recently told me about the most amazing red velvet cupcakes she had in Chicago. It still didn’t really register in my mind then because I had not really had any opportunity to try them.

Then on my birthday, my friend Jessica brought me a red velvet cupcake from Sugar Butter Flour (no, not the blogger), a local bakery that she had just discovered and loved. I took one bite of the cupcake… and the next thing I knew, all that was left were crumbs on the table. That cupcake was amazingly good. I started going back to Sugar, Butter, Flour often, just to get my red velvet cupcake fix.

I was hooked on red velvet cupcakes!

Sugar Butter Flour red velvet cupcake

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The Best Cream Scones Recipe Ever

I’ve been trying to recall when I had scones for the first time. For some reason, I don’t recall being very fond of scones while living in Malaysia (which is strange being that we were a British colony at one time and scones should be something I’m familiar with). And when I got to the US, the scones I got at most eateries/bakeries didn’t leave me wanting more—they were always very big, dry and tasted like sawdust in the mouth. I guess I just preferred cakes and cookies then.

Then one day, I read an article in my Fine Cooking magazine on a multi-purpose baking mix and one of the things you could do with it was make scones. I tried it and it was lovely and more cake-like. I made it for several parties and gatherings and it got very good reviews. But this is not the recipe I’m going to share today…that will be another post. Why? Because, believe it or not, I found an EVEN BETTER recipe.

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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