Hello, world.

In a way, I feel like I’ve dropped off the face of the blogging world.  Sure, I keep up with Twitter but at 160 characters a pop, it’s like eating eating salad when you need something substantial, like a huge honkin’ steak.  Sometimes, I think about topics I want to write about that take more than 160 characters, but it gets swept under the rug as the obligations of work and life take over.

In the meantime, though, I HAVEN’T been un-busy!  In fact, I feel like I’ve accomplished so much lately that’s actually post-worthy, stuff more exciting than my favorite chocolate chips.  Besides tackling a big lab recreate at work and dealing with a bunch of work-related things that are pretty much boring in the scope of this blog (and maybe life too 🙂 ), I’ve also cooked and baked items I once thought impossible.

Case in point, macarons:

Hello macarons.  Can I eat you?

For the past year or so, I’ve been obsessed with macarons.  I eat them at every bakery I find them at.  Sometimes, when I say the name, people think I mean “macaroons.”  I mean, they are pretty similar – both have almond ingredients and egg whites.  And they are also pretty much the same word.  But one makes my heart go hubba hubba and the other leaves me cold (cold I say!) inside.

Reading directions on how to make macarons made me feel like they were an unachievable pinacle of baking-ness.  They required a gazillion steps and EXACT LIKE ZOMG measured ingredients and precise temperatures – just reading the lectures of those who made macarons made me tired.

But one day, two girlfriends and I spent an afternoon together and made them together.  Our results were pretty good for a first attempt.  I can definitely see why people will charge you $2 – 3 per macaron.  Whew, they’re a lot of work, especially if you are not dealing with a commercial kitchen.

In addition to macarons, I’ve also cooked a lemon bar recipe from Thomas Keller, the inspiration of French Laundry.  That had to have been the most complicated lemon bar recipe, ever.  Sometimes, it almost seemed unecessarily complicated, but it did produce a tasty result.

I also made chinese sticky rice and shaped it in the old-Asian-grandma-way, freaky tetrahedral shape and all.  It was a whole afternoon of work, but the results brought my childhood home.

And finally, I made chicken tikka masala for the first time.  For those who make Indian food on a regular basis, this might not seem like any sort of exciting achievement.  But – but – the spices!  And the sauce!  It must be so, so complicated.  MUST BE!  Maybe unluckily for my waistline, it’s not as complicated as I once thought.  🙂

Probably none of these are that exciting or achievement-worthy.  🙂 But looking back at dishes I once thought impossible (to name a few:  Risotto.  Sushi.  Macarons.  Roast chicken.  Pot stickers.) and seeing how I managed to make them makes me feel really happy and accomplished.

So here are a few dishes that I consider still unreachable that I hope one day I can conquer:

Roasted duck, Chinese-style
Peking duck (though this kind of ties in with the above)
My dad’s chicken and pepper dish that I luuuuuuuuurv
A really good roast beef
Steamed / baked pork buns, dim sum style
Lo baak gou, grandma-style (seriously, one of my favorite dim sum dishes.  I’ve made this before, with my grandma, but it was years ago and she did most – okay all – of the work)
Ha cheung

What are yours?