In a series of not-so-life-threatening, yet still very important events in this little world of mine--many of which I cannot recount clearly by the way, due to it all happening so quickly--I somehow developed bronchitis and just now managed to get to the end of the tunnel. Yes, the end is here and with hands raised I say, praise the Lord! ....During those times when I'm desperate to get back into the kitchen, I come up with dishes like this kare (curry) pot pie, a layer of familiar flavors hailing from Korean, Japanese, and American cuisine. A savory pie of sorts, really.Read More
Once in a while I give myself permission to sip on sweet drinks that are composed of more than just water, coffee, and milk. Never having been too fond of sweet coffee, I surprisingly find there are two exceptions the menu of which I don't feel the least bit guilty: a medium sized, foamy sea salt iced coffee from 85 Degree Bakery, and Urth Caffe's Spanish latte for whenever I make it up north to Downtown LA.Read More
In case you haven't seen my Instagram updates, I just wanted to drop by and announce that Tabitha Elizabeth Betzen is finally here! The much awaited arrival of our second-born happened to be exactly on her due date (September 4th). I am still awe-stricken that Selah's baby sister is not a dream, but real. Real as the sun and the moon and all the beautiful things God has bestowed on us. You know, pretty things in life that make us feel alive.
I also am awe-stricken by the reality that I endured yet another birthing experience...this time without the epidural. And the truth is, I thought death was knocking at my door but I was not about to give up the fight. It was, indeed, the single most difficult experience followed by the most rewarding and hope-filled prize imaginable. This time around, the story seems to have taken a turn of more unexpected, painful events much unlike my experience with Selah. Everything seemed to transpire in a quickening manner for what seemed like months, but really? It all started with nightly pains and false alarms for about a week and a half leading up to the due date. Fortunately, most of my labor took place before heading out to the hospital and I was able to push for nearly 30 minutes before I got to hold Tabitha in my arms. (Quite different from Selah's birth story) God was with me every step of the way and I am now recovering quite smoothly.
I will be coming back for our regular food and recipe related posts soon enough--hopefully within a week or two. But for now we will be getting the hang of our new routine of dealing with two kids. We don't know what we're doing, but I'm sure we'll learn quite a bit with errors along the way. Thank you for your readership and support, friends! Hope you are doing well and stay blessed.
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." -James 1:17-
There is nothing quite like time itself. Time, in all its indifference, shows no favor or compassion for one's life circumstance. Try as we might we can't undo certain events that we'd rather not have had to experience, nor can we gain a single second by cajoling and catering to it and well, much less by worrying. Am I right? All that to say that the time we've been endowed with is, in essence, what we each have to work with. It expects too much of us it seems; to use it wisely because it won't stop even if the world depended on it--quite literally.
I hope my thoughts can translate on paper (or post) the way I intend them too. As you may be aware I like to be real and honest about my life, so if you're here thinking "just get to the recipe already" and prefer to do without the gushing details, please feel free to scroll down to the bottom. I don't mind!Read More
I don't know if I'd ever label myself as the wanderlust-hipster type individual. First of all, calling myself 'hipster' in any way is awkward in and of itself. And saying that I have an insatiable hunger for wanderlust is possibly a misnomer because you see, I do love cultures and I love immersing myself in different environments more than you could imagine. But the requirements for being a wanderlusting hippie is to dress vintage 24/7 and hop on trains as I Instagram magical light houses in the middle of nowhere. ( I love that girl's work, by the way!) So I won't call myself either of those.
One thing I do know is that if there were ever a "talent" or "gift" related to being able to make myself at home no matter what country or village I'm in, so much so that the only words coming out of my mouth are "I am never going back!!!!", even though I miss family like crazy, then I definitely have that talent. So what's a girl to do when her insatiable cultural appetite has been brutally subdued by the demands of life? In my case, I immediately decide that I'll be joining in the festivities of the OC Night Market--an annual Asian food market slash festival event that's held on the grounds of the famous Orange County Fair.
Fortunately, Emily shares the same passion for food and culture, and in a heartbeat we were off with toddler in tow, who blissfully hung out in her car seat without a care in the world. And then said toddler had a fit because she wanted out of the stroller...the entire time we were there. Hah! But I really should haven known better you guys, so ignorance is not bliss. Or in this case, having an overly positive and hopeful attitude didn't help. Needless to say, words like "thankful" for friends like Emily--who knows nothing but selflessness and possesses an undying love for children from every walk of life--don't even describe my appreciation for the friend & sister she has been to me all these years. She was patient, guys, and as a busy mom who hopes to stay in a restaurant for a mere 30 minutes, that's all I can ask for from a friend.
So with that said, we ate to our heart's content and feasted on the most amazing Okonomiyaki doused in sriracha because hello, sriracha! Some spicy salmon poke that in my opinion needed a bit more flavor, a gloriously strong brew of Vietnamese iced coffee, vanilla ice cream dipped nutella churros, and an apple malasada that burst with flavor upon every bite. We shared dishes but we definitely could have done more damage. Now, this is where a toddler comes in handy. You burn calories running after your sweet, trying toddler, chase the next food booth down the way, and circle around with the stroller while waiting in line to keep your toddler entertained. It's a good diet if you ask me.
The people we encountered were fairly sweet and as always, the best part was seeing different cultures come together in the name of stuffing ourselves. ;) As J.R.R. Tolkien said it best:
Have you been to food festivals? Which ones are awesome in your area?
As much as I'm loving the unexpected showers in LA, there's one tiny dilemma I'm currently dealing with as momma to an almost 2 year old. Rainy days do still prompt me to immerse myself in deep, profound thought as they always did pre-motherhood, but they also feel much much longer now and I do what I can do keep Selah happy within our walls. You can say that I'm completely pooped by the end of the day. But in the best way, of course!
Selah is an adventurous soul and she demands every bit of my attention at this stage. And by attention I mean, she's a busy bee running to and fro throughout the entire house and quite the chatterbox, I have to say. She constantly blurts out the cutest little phrases with the most adorable lisp, like "what deeeeez??" It's definitely not the easiest thing in the world but I cannot have it any other way because it makes those rare snuggles (when she'll actually stay still) that much sweeter! Doing the best I can to keep us entertained on rainy days via fort-making, crawling on all fours and pouncing like a ravenous lion (this momma gets her game face on), and making "Ghetto-Doh" which is really far from resembling actual Play-Doh, I also try to squeeze in some baking. Because what's a rainy day without some homemade treats?!
We both love baking "together" (insert quoting motion with fingers) and since scones are my comfort food and baking is therapy next to yoga-ing for me, I had an insatiable urge to make scones this week. I figure that if we can't go out and jump in puddles just yet, then the next best thing would be to make scones. I decided to go all in with the fats too. Instead of holding back on the cream and butter I followed my gut and fearlessly grated a cold stick o'butta (insert Paula Deen's voice) into the mixing bowl.
So how about that cheddar? First off, it is seriously the best ingredient to pair up with fruit! As I was (excitedly) contemplating on what flavors to use in this recipe I suddenly remembered Cynthia's mini cheddar brown butter apple crumbles. When she first wrote about these beauties, I immediately knew I'd be using them as inspiration for a future recipe of mine and voila. I couldn't have made a better choice.
Don't you worry about the texture or taste from the cheddar, either. It in fact adds a teenzy weenzy bit of tang to the scones, while making the crumb slightly chewy without it being gummy. The taste is equally as good because it helps bring out a sweeter, more robust essence from the berries. I urge you to try these scones because dare I say? They might be almost as good as the ones I tried at Neighborhood Grinds, and that's a very hard task. Enjoy and happy sconing, friends!
Cheddar Blueberry Cream Scones
Makes 5 large scones
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar
7 tbsp cold unsalted butter ***
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10 tbsp cold whipping cream
1 cup fresh blueberries (or dried or candied)
1 whole egg+1 tbsp water for brushing
***Keep the cream and butter as cold as possible. Refrigerate until right before adding them into the bowl.*** Preheat the oven to 400F (204 C degrees).
In a large mixing bowl, stir together both flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Using a veggie box-shaped shredder on the side with the holes that are wide, more suitable for shaving into slices, quickly shave butter into the bowl and then add cheddar. Move swiftly because you want the butter as cold as possible. Use your hands to knead and break apart any huge butter chunks, but do not over knead of it will become tough after baking.
Make a slight well in the middle of the dough and pour in the whipping cream, gently folding the dough with the cream in intervals as you see fit. Once again though, do not over mix. Finally, add blueberries and gently fold them into the dough. On a lightly floured flat surface, flatten out the dough just a bit (I used a rolling pin) to even it out, into about 2 inches tall. With a circular item like a large glass (or cookie cutter), cut out discs and place them on a lined cookie sheet with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg+water mixture and bake for approximately 16-18 minutes.