Steamed Buns

Steamed buns — pillows of deliciousness that can be sweet or savoury, stuffed or plain. The same dough recipe can be used to make a bao or stuffed bun and lends itself to many different fillings. These are also great make-ahead items! They can be done in a large batch and frozen, then pulled out a few at a time and re-steamed (or microwaved) as needed.

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Crème brûlée

How can something so simple be so good? The answer is a thin layer of caramelized sugar on top of a perfectly cooked custard. A student of mine wanted to make this at home for his family, so we started testing some recipes. I usually get a few students a year wanting to do this, but often enough – either from using a random recipe from the internet or not having the know-how to reduce our chances of error – we don’t get good results. Crème brûlée is so simple, and if done correctly it will be super tasty. That didn’t happen the first (few) time(s) though, lol.

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5 Second Banana Muffins for Baby (or whoever)

I started making a version of these muffins around the time baby started doing more snacking, and we’re still making them almost a year later. That’s saying a lot: baby is still finding them tasty, and I’m still finding the time to make them! Originally, it was just a way to use up his leftover baby cereal – which we had way too much of! 6 tubs of oat cereal had seemed reasonable at the time, but I hadn’t really thought about how little of the stuff they would actually eat! As I found out, not that much! Anyway, what is a mom to do with 5-1/2 tubs of leftover oat cereal? Turns out…make banana muffins!

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It’s Noir or Never!

At the end of this past growing season, we were blessed with (among other things) a harvest of garlic, apples and chestnuts from Katsumi Farms, (Megan’s parents homestead). With minimal fridge space and an eagerness to learn more about preserving and fermenting stuff, Megan and I decided to try turn them black before they turned bad. Let’s start! To make black chestnuts, black garlic and black apples, we vacuum sealed them in bags and placed them in a dehydrator at 60°C/140°F for 4 weeks, 6 weeks and 8 weeks, respectively.

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Shio Koji

Shio Koji. Lately, I have been putting that $H!T on everything. Ever since I finished the Koji Alchemy book, which I highly recommend, I have been trying to get my hands dirty with koji. No deep dive here yet, just small baby steps. It started with just seasoning with a bottle that you can just buy and use it right away like any type of seasoning. I would use it as a marinade or as a finishing when sautéeing vegetables, (Nicholas loves it). Everything came out pretty tasty so far, and I’ve found there’s less of a chance of over-seasoning as long as it’s used sparingly. Note that shio koji has both sweetness and saltiness, and the commercial ones tend to be a little bit on the saltier side.

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