Saturday, January 28, 2012

Directions to The Canary Kitchen

Yogi Teabags are more than just tea.

The following is a paraphrased comment from a friend on my Facebook wall:
I keep seeing your posts with all these yummy food dishes, so I googled "Austin + Canary Kitchen" because I really wanted to go there to eat.  Surprisingly there was not one listing for some awesome, out-of-the-way, gem of a cafe.  I am SUCH a dork.
That made me laugh.  Not at her, of course, but with her, because I could totally see myself doing the same thing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stir Fried Noodles: Welcoming the Year of the Dragon

Gluten-Free & Vegan Pancit Bihon
Since my family's visit in December, my culinary state of mind has felt especially connected to my cultural roots.  The amazing time we had  brought back many fond memories of the foods I grew up with.  One of my favorites was pancit (pahn-SIT), the umbrella term for noodle dishes in the Philippines.  While the name pancit is actually derived from pian i sit, a Hokkien term meaning "something cooked fast," the definition for pancit that I learned as a child was "long life."  And thus, it's a time-honored tradition for it to be served on special occasions to represent blessings of not only long life, but good health and prosperity as well.  And as we celebrate the Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Dragon, it's a perfect time to make and enjoy this Filipino dish with Chinese origins.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Gluten-Free, Vegan Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Do you have that one recipe?  You know the one I'm talking about.  The one that people are still talking about months, and even years, after you make it.  The one that's always requested at gatherings and parties.  The one that would happily be accepted as a birthday, graduation, or anniversary present.  The one that causes fights when it comes down to the last piece.  The one

Well, [cue drumroll] ladies and gentlemen, this is mine.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Garlic Fried Rice: It's What's for Breakfast

Filipino Garlic Fried Rice with Fried Egg and Sriracha

The inspiration for this post began about a month ago.  It was a coworker's birthday, and he wanted to celebrate downtown.  Usually, I prefer things to be more "domestic" and intimate when it comes to gatherings, but every once and while, going out on the town isn't so bad. And when it's alongisde people whose company I truly enjoy, then it doesn't really matter if downtown is fun or not: good friends always make it better.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Love My Family

At singing night with friends. They fit right in. :)

"Family visits" can often be the antithesis of happy and harmonious.  And leading up to the very hour that my parents and sister arrived in Austin, I had a lot of mixed emotions.  The days previous had left me feeling run-down and irritable, and though I was happy to take the week off so I could spend more quality time with my family, it was also during one of the busiest times of the year for the restaurant.  I was feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of taking time off and I was scared that perhaps my family would be treated to grumpy, moody Jonathan.  But at the same time, it had been nearly a year since I had last seen them, so I was excited and even giddy with anticipation.

So what ended up happening?  Only one of the best weeks of my life.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ratio Rally! Vegan Sesame Shiso Biscuits

Mini Sesame Shiso Biscuits, Gluten-Free & Vegan

Just a few days into this new year, I am actually feeling compelled to make a resolution for 2012.  To preface that statement, while I use to make resolutions every year, I left the practice by the wayside a few years back.  Whether it was the unrealistic expectations, the lack of baby-steps in between, or probably a mix of both, I felt like the practice was holding me back more than it was propelling me forward.  But this year, I have a resolution that I actually feel good about making.

Be a better baker.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello, 2012: Kale & Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Raw Kale with Black-Eyed Peas & Sweet Potato in a Citrus Vinaigrette

It's finally here: 2012.  It still feels a little strange to say that.  I don't often identify with a year, but 2011 marked a real turning point for me.  I reached so many milestones, personally, professionally, and creatively, and looking back on it all, my heart is filled to the brim with gratitude and awe.  And looking ahead, my eyes, my ears, and my heart, are open to embrace what's in store.