milk chocolate and chocolate and zucchini

May 31, 2007 at 6:01 am (mirepoix)

what a mouthful.

2 of my present faves:

milk chocolate brownies

This is one of my most favorite recipes. For Christmas, I gave all my family and friends bags of caramel filled chocolates. I went crazy at Spun Sugar in Berkeley and bought chocolate candy molds and 10lbs of dark and milk chocolate. Lemme tell you, candy making is no easy task. Proper tools are essential, like pastry brushes, offset spatulas, squeeze bottles and lots of counter and fridge space. In the process, I exploded a thermometer while trying to get sugar into the hard-ball stage, getting cherry red volatile liquid all over the place (I used the chocolate thermometer instead of candy thermometer).  I learned to temper chocolate, caressing it into the perfect temperature with the help of some advice from Alice Mendrich.

After the candy making bonanza, I was left with a whole stash of milk chocolate obon wafers from Guittard that I found myself dipping into more often than I’d like to admit. Needless to say, when I stumbled upon the last page of the February 2007 Gourmet magazine devoted to milk chocolate, I dove into making a batch of these brownies. since then, I’ve made about 4 batches ( :

1 stick unsalted butter

8 oz. yummy quality milk chocolate, chopped (i like guittard)

3/4 c light brown sugar

1tsp madagascar vanilla powder

2 large eggs

3/4 c ap flour

1 tbs unsweetened dutch cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking powder

do it:

1. butter + flour 9×9 baking pan

2. sift dry ingredients into medium bowl.

3. melt butter and 4 oz. choco. cool to warm temp.

4. stir in brown sugar to melted chocolate mixture. add 1 egg at a time. mix till glossy.

5. stir in half choco mixture into flour mixture. mix. stir remaining choco mixture and combine well.

6. spread into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 22 min. enjoy.


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May 25, 2007 at 6:45 am (mirepoix)

If you were re-routed through West Oakland via West Grand Avenue soon after the collapse of the MacArthur Maze you may have seen posters stating “Welcome Thru West Oakland” and “Enjoy Our 53 Liquor Stores”. This witty street humor took advantage of the heightened traffic along West Grand Ave to point out a critical and humorless problem in West Oakland.

Not only is West Oakland overrun by an inexorbitant amount of liquor stores… the number is growing. A 1998 community food security assessment of West Oakland conducted by the U.C. Cooperative Extension found that, at that time, there were 43 liquor stores scattered across West Oakland (Farfan-Ramirez, 1998). Now, as evidenced by these clever posters targeted at unsuspecting commuters, the number of liquor stores has actually risen in the last 9 years!

It seems odd that, despite all of the attention and noise that this issue has generated in Oakland, the count of liquor stores is still on the rise. What will it take for our city leaders to stop supporting policies that benefit and expand liquor stores and intervene in the crisis of health and the disparity in healthy food access that this growing trend indicates?

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biracial yet nonintegrated cookies

January 26, 2007 at 11:23 pm (mirepoix)

is it black or white?

when i was working at my bakery on the weekend of mlk holiday, i had a conversation i had never thought i’d ever have at a bakery:

said customer: do you sell a lot of these cookies during mlk weekend?

me: i don’t know. maybe? but you know, these cookies are not really all that integrated. (i point to the brown half and white half on separate sides of the cookie.)

said customer: oh yeah, that’s right. well, maybe they should make it more yin and yang.

me: uhh, uh-huh.

i made my first black sans white cookies last night. yum.

brown cookies (adapted from big cookies by elinor klivans)

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c granulated sugar

1/2 c sweet butter, softened to room temperature (1 stick)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp lemon zest

4 eggs

1/3 c buttermilk

1. sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into medium bowl.

2. cream butter and sugar in another bowl till light and fluffy. add vanilla and lemon zest.

3. beat in eggs into butter/sugar mixture.

4. add half flour mixture into egg/butter/sugar mixture and blend till incorporated. add buttermilk to mixture. blend. add remaining flour mixture.

5. drop 1/4 cupfulls of batter on cookie sheet covered by parchment paper. make sure they are spread 2 inches apart for they will spread out while baking. bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees. remove from oven when ready and leave on pan for 5 min. remove and transfer to cooling rack.

chocolate icing

6 oz. chopped semisweet chocolate

1/3 c heavy cream

3 tbs light corn syrup

1/4 c sweet butter (1/2 stick)

1. heat cream, corn syrup and butter in heavy pot. as soon as scalding, turn heat off and add chocolate. stir till melted. cool for 20 min.

2. pour ganache mixture over cookies, covering tops. cool on racks till set.

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social justice to go

September 29, 2006 at 4:01 am (mirepoix)


re-dedicated for m.

no you wont be naming no buildings after me that go down dilapidated… surely.

~erykah badu




scurrying lights fill the city’s night

with dots of illumination

is this a just representation

of our nation?

or merely sublimination

of a city

on the brink of eternal extermination?


city, city

of nations

filipinas, chicanos, blacks

whites all trying to fight

against the dying of the night, asking


sista, can you spare a dime?

im outta gas

im trying to find

my way home

thats all

and no one, no one

hears my call


i dip my hand into by pocket

pennies and a granola bar are all i have




he says, goes back pulls away

and i think inside my head

whats it like to be inside his head

walk a thousand miles in his shoes

against the cold, grey pavement

and play by his life’s rules

he earns a living

telling ghost stories

those which fills his empty shell

so beggin for a dollar

for a picture painted

by words is all he has

while others just go along and pass

him by

for all he does is harass

when all he does is ask


sista, can you spare a dime?


but this time

im all out of dimes

and all i can do is rhyme

for i and he


all we really have are our words to tell our stories.





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September 5, 2006 at 5:06 am (mirepoix)

what david choe ate at a tokyo prison:

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summer’s melting like ice cream

August 31, 2006 at 5:43 am (mirepoix)

berry rainbow + water = yummy shake

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slow food movement

August 24, 2006 at 5:01 am (mirepoix)

another book on the shelf

slow food: philippine culinary traditions

erlinda enriquez panillo, felice prudente sta. maria (editors)

anvil press, 2005.


Living the slow life with food as the focus is as rewarding as it is easy, and it can be done daily by each one of us. Living the slow life can also be done with others, because part of the pleasure of slow food and the Slow Food movement is in sharing, which is why the convivia are so compelling. What could be more fun than sharing a passion for good food and wine with other people who feel the same way? Some convivia have only a dozen or so members, while others may have 60 or more, yet each convivium has its individual character and interests. A convivium can be started by simply calling a few friends who enthuse as much about food as you do, and saying, “I’ve got a great idea.” Once you’ve gotten together, the ideas about what can be done will flow. Invite a local farmer to come and give a talk, or arrange a visit to a farm or orchard. Ask someone’s grandmother to show how she makes hominy grits, orange marmalade, or tamales. The resources in all our communities are endless, especially when we look at all the different backgrounds that make up our wonderfully diverse country. The Slow Food USA National Office will be pleased to help you with your convivium application. Slow Food is also simply about taking the time to slow down and to enjoy life with family and friends. Everyday can be enriched by doing something slow – making pasta from scratch one night, seductively squeezing your own orange juice from the fresh fruit, lingering over a glass of wine and a slice of cheese – even deciding to eat lunch sitting down instead of standing up.

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chew on this

August 24, 2006 at 4:55 am (mirepoix)

“What one puts into the mouth is the end result of a process that starts with the sea, the soil, animal life. In the act of cooking, we make statements about ourselves — and about our understanding of relationships between ingredients; about our perception of taste and appropriateness. In the act of eating, we ingest environment, but we do not stop at that, for we Filipinos make eating the occasion for ritual — and ritual the occasion for eating. We build ceremony around it; we create celebration. To quote Eddy in our book Sarap: “We do not simply ingest our environment. We dance to it, dance with it, sing to it, caress it; we are in awe of it, and respectful towards it. Eating is not just ingestion. Eating is the occasion for the rites and rituals of our lives. Eating is praxis in social amenities. Eating is language that speaks to the nuances of what we are.

Eating is making alive the various and variegated conjugations of our lives.”

– Doreen G. Fernandez, Tikim.

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tikim: essays on philippine food and culture

August 23, 2006 at 5:04 am (mirepoix)

checked out this book at the milpitas library, a book i tried to find at the bookstores in manila but failed miserably to do so. 

tikim: essays on philippine food and culture

by doreen g. fernandez 

anvil press, 1994.

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August 23, 2006 at 5:01 am (mirepoix)

amazing weekend in napa with my friends from san diego. we took a last minute trip to wine country and had a great time at the copia center and st. supery vineyard. bought three bottles of wine from st. supery and a bunch of goodies from dean and deluca.

 gotta get on the details soon…  

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