Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year! Chinese Couplet Cookies Recipe 春聯餅乾

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The biggest and most important festival of all in Chinese and Chinese influenced societies....Spring Festival, or Lunar New Year is on its way! This year the New Year's Eve is on Jan. 30. Even though I am far away from home, I will be celebrating this important holiday with fellow Taiwanese students with a big dinner. I also decided to celebrate and share this wonderful holiday by making some Chinese couplet inspired cookies! Chinese couplets, or chun-lian, or 春聯, are pieces or red paper with lucky words or phrases written on with calligraphy, or nowadays, printed. These are put on doors and hallways or basically just anywhere when Lunar New Year is close, they bring such a festive cheer to the holiday with the bright red color. These are basically sugar cookie shortbread hybrid dyed red, with chocolate piping. Yum.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Catonese Egg Tarts on a Snowy Day+Recipe

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I love potlucks, so when I got invited to one last minute, I knew I couldn't say no. Potluck means I'll get a chance to try a new recipe (a fancier one, too, because you want to impress people), eat great food made by friends, and ask the creator of the great dish how it is made and hopefully add some cooking knowledge and recipes to your pocket. It's also a great chance to find out who is a great cook, or a chance to prove to your friends you are a good cook. As you can see, a potluck involves a lot, so I always start thinking early on as to what I should try and make. But this potluck I only got notified the night before, and I didn't have the chance to go to supermarket, meaning I'll have to create some presentable food using only what I had on hand (*gasp). Since it was a Taiwanese people potluck, I wanted to make something that would remind us all of home, and egg tarts came to my mind. Searching the internet for recipes, and running to the kitchen to see if I had butter (oh my, just enough!), I wanted to bring the egg tarts we have in Taiwanese bakeries to the American living room.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

I am the Midnight Baker

I'm Melissa, I'm the midnight baker. I call myself the midnight baker because in the last semester I would bake cookies and cupcakes in the middle of the night. I'm a full time grad student, first year Masters, also half-time TA, and I've got to say, grad school course work is no joke. That's part of the reason why I bake in the middle of the night; tired of all the readings and essays, sometimes I like to make myself some yummy food. And what what is better for the tired grad student to snack on and enjoy then some nice chocolate chip cookies? Warm and sweet, right from the oven...and with a glass of milk, I can go to bed, or do a bit more of reading and writing. And as I've always said, baking is creating beautiful things that will bring a smile to people's faces. Also cooking, which I like a lot, too; and art.

I'm currently studying in the US, but I'm from Taiwan. I wasn't born in Taiwan, but now being in the States I'm starting to realize how Taiwan is in me, after having lived in Taiwan for 20 years, I don't realize how much Taiwan is a part of me until I am no longer in the country. But that's how things work, it's almost like, you have to loose it to know that you had it...just a little bit though, because I have not lost Taiwan.