I am always looking for new recipes to spring on my family & friends. I also tend to put my own signature on recipes to make it uniquely mine. Because I can usually discern the ingredients in a dish, I frequently would try to recreate it at home. I believe in using the freshest and most unrefined ingredients possible in my dishes and also that there is no such thing as too much chocolate!!
My favorite things to cook
I love baking & making various desserts. I also like to cook different ethnic specialties especially those that may present a challenge or those that I can't get where I live now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Coming from a big family, food is a very important social event & not just for the holidays. We also socialize around food, i.e. meeting at restaurants, coffee houses, dim sum places, etc...
My cooking triumphs
I was able to recreate a chestnut cake that I had in NYC's Chinatown several years ago. I am also able to use my baking & cooking skills commercially since I do a lot of the baking at our cafe. When I was 16, I shopped for & cooked a traditional Thanksgiving dinner all by myself & have been doing it ever since. Since my parents & cousins were immigrants to this country, this was the first time that they had a homecooked Thanksgiving dinner with turkey & all the trimmings. Of course, we also had our ethnic foods available just in case...
My cooking tragedies
When I was about 13, I tried to make a cheese bread from scratch. I did overwork the dough since I wanted to make it into a beautiful work of art. All the extra kneading made the bread extremely rubbery. It turned out to be a cheese doorstop since it was so hard that we couldn't cut into it.