the Foodcourt : salt & straw

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unlimited samples is extremely problematic. 

ESPECIALLY when they are handcrafted teeny (beautiful) spoons of delicious ice cream.

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i remember watching a program on viceland and it featured an amazing human making a bone marrow, smoked cherry flavored ice cream. whaaa?! i didn't quite understand why i wanted to try it so much.. i mean i have watched enough iron chef episodes to know not everything tastes good as an ice cream. (i'm talking to you morimoto!) BUT for some reason watching him make and explain this insane flavor of ice cream as well as his process had me completely mesmerized. i was about it! i wanted to go to there, i wanted to say hello and explore all of the beautiful ice cream ASAP

basically ever since then salt & straw was added to my must visit list for portland. 

i have a fantasy foodie list for many cities, its a little fun thing to do and who knows if i'll ever go but if i do then i'll have some places to start with.

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if i walk into an ice cream shop and the first thing i smell are freshly made waffle cones.. i know they mean business. truly, the real deal.

*waffle cone scented heaven*

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that wonderful waffle cone smell does nothing to help narrow things down with the flavor decision. the menu was nutter butters AND it changes seasonally because of course it does.

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okay reminder on that bit about unlimited samples. 

they will literally let you try every single flavor they have if that is what your heart so truly desires. i have MAD food indecision so i was basically that person and tried super hard not to annoy the kind lady who graciously was spooning me sample after sample. i was very appreciative of her, she was my ice cream angel.

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i decided on not deciding and went with a 50/50 split between the sea salt with caramel ribbons and cinnamon snickerdoodle. 

zero regrets.

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portland, i love fkn you. 

xo

rita

Salt&straw


Mama

Bfast

last sunday was mother's day, i'm lucky enough to have a wonderful mama that i got to spend the day with! also beyond grateful to have many amazing mothers in my life. i know "holidays" of any kind can stir up extra feelings, not all of which are warm and fuzzy, this particular mother's day fell on my dad's birthday which made it bittersweet. for me, father's day will be a struggle, it's like having a lump in your throat that won't go away which makes everything a bit harder. on these days, when you feel badly remember to be good to yourself. do things that you love, whether that's going out with a friend for a meal or perhaps staying home with netflix, indulging in postmates and putting on a nice smelling face mask. 

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we ate outside, a table of only women.

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my sister made this kiddo and then this kiddo made whipped cream because i asked berry nicely.

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mama requested mimosas & waffles, so guava mimosas and brown butter buttermilk waffles is what i made.

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bunches of berries, bacon, turkey sausage, beef bulgogi (we are asian? it made an appearance.. i have no actual real reason for it being apart of brunch), cheesy scrambled eggs, and waffles joined us at our table.

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i think i have made uuhh, between 40-50 different waffle recipes and have yet to find my PERFECT one. 

with this waffle recipe i used dry buttermilk for the first time and was very happy with the way they turned out. i usually always buy real buttermilk, use it for A recipe, then the rest usually ends up going to waste and i'm left with a broken heart. i figure finding a way to minimize heartache is always the best approach to most things in life.

christina tosi helped transform the way my brain thinks about dried, powdered and other dehydrated ingredients being used in baked goods. since reading both of her cookbooks i have noticed it has slightly changed how i approach creating or adjusting a recipe i'd like to make and i'm happy for the influence.

life is hard, eat more waffles and hug people that make your heart feel bueno bueno

xo

rita


recipe box : brown butter mochiko cake

Cover

if i'm home on a lazy sunday, this happens most often around 4 or 5pm, more than likely i am in yoga pants and have probably been hanging out with netflix for more than a few hours. deep down i know i should be planning dinner but why lie to myself I have dessert brain and the cake fever can set it in suspiciously fast.

i find myself needing cake like i mean r e a l l y NEED it. 

doesn't have to be a whole dang cake but come on.. we are making a whole cake because that's what we do here. on the general i'm not picky about my sunday cake. i'll settle for a slice of whatever and most definitely a cupcake would do. chocolate buttermilk ? dare i mention red velvet.. that's not still a thing right? (for me it always will be a thing) carrot cake.. yep, that could be good. 

all cakes welcome.

i'll look through my pantry to see what i have to work with.. flours, powders, sugars. peek in the fridge.. sticks of butter? any leftover buttermilk? i hope i have an egg or two. cocoa powder? oh, chocolate chips.. i could melt those. hrm.. ideas.

when i find a box of sweet rice flour tucked away my go-to is this mochiko cake recipe. my mom has been making a version of this cake ever since i was little so to me it tastes like home but this isn't my mama's recipe.

brown butter will be the secret, not so secret weapon.

Ingredients

mochiko- that's a fun word. if you think it might have something to do with mochi you wouldn't be wrong.

this sweet rice flour is used in a multitude of filipino, thai and other asian desserts. a unique squishy texture since sweet rice is a sticky glutinous rice you'll usually find it has a nice chew to it.

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although it is sort of deceiving, sweet (glutinous) rice flour is actually, ahem.. GLUTEN FREE! it really refers to that lovely chewy texture i was talking about.

tricky tricky.

wheat and i still get a long but it's good to have a few recipes to count on for friends and family that are intolerant to the gluten.

let's get started!

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first thing we need to do is brown that butter and give it a chance to cool. grab a small light metal colored pan or pot and brown baby brown over low heat. you'll hear crackles and pops, once you see brown golden flecks and your kitchen smells like heaven you'll know it's ready.

you could also go the christina tosi method and brown butter in the microwave. if you have ever burned your butter on the stove top you should give this method a try. it is almost impossible to burn butter using a microwave so the odds will forever be in your favor.

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let's gather the dry ingredients.

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while the butter is browning, whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and set aside.

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transfer the brown butter into the mixer bowl and let cool.

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pure magic right there. heart eyes so hard!

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sugah sugah.

once the butter has cooled, mix in the sugar. 

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it should still have a coarse yet creamy consistency. warning the smell will be super intoxicating. 

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crack a couple eggs and mix together.

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scrape down the mixing bowl when necessary.

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i like to add the eggs in batches, it incorporates more consistently together this way.

lots of eggs in this cake recipe!

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mix thoroughly.

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don't forget the vanilla extract (splurge on the good stuff to boost the flavor, you won't regret it)

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now to alternate between wet and dry ingredients.

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you want to start with the dry ingredients.

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mix for a short time.

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then slowly add the coconut milk.

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keep working back and forth between the two until you've used up both sets of materials.

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make sure to finish with the dry ingredients.

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prepare your baking dish. i used an old casserole dish that belongs to my mom but you can use a pyrex or just a regular 9x13 cake sheet. seriously though..bouncy cake is around the corner.

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 pour the mochiko cake batter into the prepared baking dish, make sure to get it ALL!

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pop the cake into a preheated 350° oven and set a timer for 60 minutes.

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we'll leave the dirty dishes for the cleaning fairies.

where's that cake?!

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oh, there you are.

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hello beautiful.

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spongy, dense with a slight chew.

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this is such a great lowkey sunday cake. super easy, minimal but with a slightly elevated flavor and texture combination. let's not forget that this is also accidentally gluten free, fear not my gluten intolerant folks.

i hope this cake goes good with your netflix weekend, happy eating!

xox

rita

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brown butter mochiko cake

sweet sticky rice flour cake.


 

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 (16oz) box mochiko sweet rice flour
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 C butter, browned
    • 2 C sugar
    • 5 eggs
    • 1 (13.5oz) can of coconut milk

INSTRUCTIONS

    1. brown the butter, set aside & let cool.
  • dry ingredients - medium bowl

    1. combine mochiko flour, salt, baking powder and set aside.
  • mixer bowl using the paddle attachment

    1. mix the cooled brown butter with sugar until fully incorporated (2-3 minutes)
    2. add the eggs in batches, scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
    3. mix in the vanilla extract.
    4. start incorporating a little of the dry ingredients, next add a little coconut milk, alternate between these two and finish with the dry ingredients.
    5. mix until the streaks of flour are gone.
    6. pour cake batter into a prepared baking dish and bake in a preheated 350° oven for an hour.

crimmus time 2017

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sneaky peaky at my family's christmas eve partay.

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this was our first LARGE gathering we've had in quite sometime.
i was SO happy my brother and his family were able to make it down from oregon this year, my mom was over the moon!

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we all were supposed to wear ugly christmas sweaters but of course my doofus brother shows us up in an ugly christmas yeti two piece suit.

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this is probably the only photo i have of the dessert i made for our party, i was literally packing up the car as the apple pie was still baking. when you work a full time job it can be hard to fit in everything you said you would be bringing to the party BUT i did it!



an instagram slideshow of my shortbread christmas bars! these babies are non negotiable for christmas time.. HAVE to have to have them.

I also made pandan cookies, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, and peanutella cookies too. every christmas party needs a tray of cookies.

oh and lets not forget the pies!

a few silly videos i shared on my instagram story of the pie prepping process. i made a sweet potato, pumpkin and an apple pie. perhaps filming might be something i do more often? video is always something i had distanced myself from, i am definitely one who feels IMMENSELY awkward in most things involving cameras and even more so with video since it captures e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. however it is pretty neat to have to look back on to that is more than just a still frame moment. maybe i'll find my own way.

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if it was up to her, i think there would be way more twerking photos. 

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my love!! having my best friend here this year and more for MANY more to come also makes my heart super duper happy.

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this human she created is the coolest kiddo, i can't believe how FAST she is growing. 

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she is the sweetest.

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we got a bit loud when the white elephant game really got going. 

people were ruthless!! stealing gifts from kids and the elderly, no shame not when a movie poster or a coffee press is on the line. although you could have been extra lucky and ended up with the super sized container of colon cleanser.

not all gifts were created equally but hey now, that was the point.

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me desperately trying to get my brother's attention, what the hell is new?! haha 

"sean take a photo with me NOW pleeeeease"

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it felt weird that my dad wasn't there, our christmas eve party was his favorite, i think it will always feel a little weird.

i'm thankful this year had more laughs, hugs and tears of joy compared to last year when we were all a bit too sad. the grieving process is such a weird one. to all those who celebrated without someone you wished you could have i hope you all got extra hugs and cuddles to make up for it. nothing will ever fix it but hopefully with time and more love.. things will keep continuing to feel better.

xo

rita

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the Foodcourt: tsp. baking company

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hello lover.

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local veteran vegas baker does it again with the tsp. baking company!

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mini cupcakes means..you can have as MANY cupcakes as you'd like because i mean come on.. they are pretty much cake samples.

yes, think of them as samples. you're welcome.

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let's get down to business.

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cheesecake. 

vanilla cake with graham on top with cheesecake frosting.

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pbc.

chocolate cake topped with peanut butter frosting.

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cinnamon french toast.

cinnamon cake topped with maple frosting.

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brownie batter.

chocolate cake with brownie batter frosting.

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party cake.

confetti cake with vanilla bean frosting dipped in rainbow jimmy sprinkles.

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kari's cake has been in my top 3 for almost a decade, i truly get excited each time i get to take these babies home. 

the cake is dense but moist and extremely flavorful without being too crazy sweet, which is exactly the way i like my cake.

i always thought i didn't care that much for buttercream frosting but it turns out i had actually just been eating the wrong kind of buttercream.

here is a tsp original.. wait for it...!

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FAIRY ROLLS! 

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got to have a cinnamon roll too. 

it would be straight up rude not to.. manners are super important.

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basically it is a flaky pastry dough filled with sugar & rainbow sprinkles, then it gets smothered in vanilla bean frosting and even MORE rainbow sprinkles!

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BFFs

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they are magical, eat one or 5.

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 cookie corner.

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an old cozy classic, oatmeal raisin cookie.

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cinnamon sugar cookie has a special spot in my heart since it was probably one of the first cookies i ever tried of kari's and the cinnamon buttercream is DIVINE

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last but very very certainly not least, a lemon cookie.

these are the perfect amount of sour to sweet ratio, when it comes to lemon desserts that is an extremely important factor on how much i will like it. 

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this is just a taste of what the tsp baking company has to offer since i didn't even mention the ice cream.. yes, they also have ice cream because why not?

hopefully i've convinced you to make the trip for a sweet treat because i think i have convinced myself.

i can see the future, be there shortly.

see you there? we can have a cupcake date. 

happy eating!!

xo

rita