Tag Archives: cheesecake

A Great Saturday

28 Jun

On Saturday we got up early to go to a sailing lesson at Berkeley Marina with the Cal Sailing Club. It was great! The weather was perfect and the wind was calm. I was supposed to get a turn at the helm but the person before me went too far out into the choppy water (3′ waves) and I got really bad motion sickness. So we ended up sailing back to shore. Next time I’ll make sure to go first. Sailing requires a lot of teamwork and there’s so much to learn in terms of concepts, all the parts of the boat and how to use them (ropes galore!), and balance, which all complicated by terminology! There’s so much to learn! I’ll get pictures next time, because I didn’t want to worry about taking pictures on the first day.

After sailing, we went to the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective in Berkeley. It’s one of the best pizza places I’ve been to and that’s saying a lot since I’m from Brooklyn! They only make 1 pizza flavor a day and you can get a slice, half a pie or a whole pie. With every half or whole pie you get an extra half slice. They have interesting soft drinks for $2, wine, cookies and salad. That’s the whole menu. Luckily there was no line when I went (during lunch it’s not unusual to see at least 20 people in line). Either way they’re fast because they only make 1 flavor of pizza. They post on twitter what they have daily.

half a pie

the menu with the daily offerings

Next door is the Cheeseboard Collective, which sells tons of different cheeses, freshly baked pastries and bread, coffee and other hot drinks, as well as ready made pizza from next door to heat up at home. We picked up a corn and cherry scone and a brioche bun for breakfast the next day along with a big block of manchego for the camping trip this weekend!

cheese list at the cheeseboard collective

just some of the cheeses in the case

We walked around after lunch then went home to rest and get ready for Admob’s Memories Party. Admob got acquired by Google so this was their last company party. It was held at MacAuthor Park Restaurant in Palo Alto. The restaurant was dim so I apologize for the fuzzy pictures. There was free flowing wine and lots of delicious hor douvrs, cheese and veggie platters. The food for the sit down dinner was excellent. No complaints at all. I got the Filet Mignon and Brian got the veggie rice dish. Both had great flavor and the beef was cooked perfectly. We tried both dessert options and the mud pie was surprisingly good. It overshadowed the cheesecake, which was good by itself but not the best we’ve had.

Spinach salad with apple, cranberry, feta cheese and orange dressing

Filet Mignon with cheesy mashed potato and veggies

Grilled vegetables with pesto over rice

Cheesecake with orange glaze and berry sauce

Mud pie - chocolate and coffee ice cream pie with chocolate and caramel sauce and peanuts

The lovely outdoor cocktail area.

Afterwards we went to the after party at Nola’s. There was a cool balcony area upstairs that has an open ceiling. Only issue was that the space was way too small for all of us and the cocktail waiters did a crappy job getting the drink orders. We left after waiting over an hour for our second order of drinks.

Biking to Foster City

6 Jun kite surfers

First off, food I made for Friday lunch were avocado summer rolls. They had avocado, sprouts, Thai basil, rice noodles, red butter lettuce, and pickled carrots.

avocado summer rolls

For Friday dinner, I got to visit Google!! I had some fantastic food and ate lots of snacks. I didn’t take any pictures because everything was new to me and I didn’t want to seem more out of place than I already was with my visitor sticker. We ate at No Name Cafe, which features a seasonal vegetarian menu. Since it was dinner service, they also had meat. The vegetarian theme was Thai food and their curry and coconut rice were amazing. I also had shrimp scampi, stir fry broccoli, green peas in shell, buttered toasts with Manchego cheese and goat cheese brie, cherry chocolate chip cookies, whipped Greek yogurt mousse with honey and blackberries, and some vegan mango smoothie. Everything was yummy and from fresh ingredients.

approximate path, the whole trip was 14 miles!

On Saturday, we went biking. Starting out I was full of energy. We biked through the streets of San Mateo until we reached the start of the Bay Trail where we were able to leave traffic (biking in traffic makes me nervous). The area by the trail head was great for picnic-ing because there were grassy areas, picnic benches and even a man made sand area with shaded spots. There were lots of families out enjoying the sun.

The trail was great! Not crowded but not desolate either and most importantly, not hilly. It’s right by the water so the scenery was nice and there was a great breeze. Although the water was pretty brown when we started out (low tide), it turned a much nicer blue as it got deeper. We could see many wind surfers and kite surfers in the water since it was a super windy spot.

there were probably 3x more in the water than this pic

Our destination goal was Foster City because there was a park there where we were going to have lunch. To our delight, we found a festival in that very park! It was a pretty standard festival/street fair/carnival set up with kiddie rides, booths to shop at, food stands, local community organizations, etc. We got to explore an ambulance, look at all the compartments of a fully stocked fire truck, shop around and finally we found a nice gazebo along the lake away from all the noise to have lunch. Luckily we brought our own food because otherwise we would be tempted to get expensive unhealthy carnival food like funnel cake!

foster city festival

Here’s the food we brought with us. We got it in a supermarket in San Mateo so it was cheap. The spicy tuna sushi was really, really good because it had masago (fish eggs) and scallions in it. We also got spam musubi, a salmon onigiri and a kombu (seaweed) onigiri.

sushi lunch

While lunching we watched a dragon boat team practice rowing. They didn’t have a drummer so the guy was yelling his throat out counting the strokes for them.

We saw a flag that looked like a fail whale so we called it the fail whale boat. Someone should make a fail whale boating company.

When we were biking home, the wind had picked up considerably. It was pushing against us so it was a really difficult bike home. We were really tired and my butt was killing me (crappy bike seat). It was such a relief to make it home. I was sweating so much that I immediately changed into my swim suit and took a dip in the pool. It felt amazing.

For dinner we went over to Anya’s potluck cheesecake party. We made a Korean spinach side dish because had a whole plastic shopping bag full of fresh spinach from the CSA share. Look at how much spinach there was.

After blanching it, squeezing it dry and mixing it with the sauce, we were left with a much smaller volume. We followed Maangchi’s recipe for sigeumchi naumul.

We finished our meal with the strawberry parfait cheesecake that Anya spent hours making. It was amazingly good and put everyone into a food coma.

strawberry parfait cheesecake

Surprise bday party! Tea recipe too.

31 Jan

My really good friends from high school threw a surprise birthday party for Eugene and I since our birthdays are close. My cousin, Wendy, cooked some incredible Korean food. I managed to only get pics of some of the food so there was more but everything was delicious.

jap chae
Jap chae which is glass noodles with mixed veggies and beef.

kalbi
Kalbi – delicious marinated beef short ribs.

kimbap
A whole bunch of kimbap or Korean sushi from the store. There were beef, spicy tuna, california style with spinach and a veggie one.

korean tofu
Carol helped Wendy make this bean paste tofu dish which was really tasty.

cheesecake
Carol bought us a cheesecake with fruit.

We also had a whole bunch of traditional Korean appetizers and I brought a homemade Korean drink that’s sweet and spicy. I first had this drink at Kun Jip in Koreatown and fell in love with it ever since.

Chilled Cinnamon Ginger Tea (Soojong Gwa)
Serves around 8-10.

Ingredients:
1/2 gallon water (divided into 2 pots)
3 sticks cinnamon (about 3-4″ each), rinsed
2-3 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar + more to taste
1/3 cup white sugar + more to taste
pinenuts (optional garnish)

Directions:
1. Boil 1/2 the water (4 cups) divided into two pots.
2. Add the cinnamon sticks to one pot and sliced ginger to the other. Simmer on low for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks and ginger. Combine the two liquids and add sugars. Stir until sugars are dissolved. Taste and add more sugar if necessary.
4. Chill until cold, preferably overnight. Serve cold garnished with pinenuts.

Note: You can boil the cinnamon and ginger in one pot but I’ve read that it’s better to do it in two.

Jello Cheesecake

12 Aug

This is a very simple and yummy dessert that my family likes to make often. It’s lighter than cheesecake and tastes like whatever flavor jello you use. My family was going to visit a friend’s house in New Jersey for dinner so I made a jello cheesecake to bring over. I actually made two, one for my family so that’s why you see a chocolate crust and a regular graham crust. This recipe was shared to me by my cousin in Vancouver but I’ve altered it through the years.

jello cheesecake ingr

Jello Cheesecake
Makes 1 pie.

Ingredients
1 (8oz) box Jello, any flavor
1/2 cup hot water
1 (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup milk (you can use half and half or cream for a richer taste)
1/2 cup sugar
1 pre-made graham cracker crust

Directions
1. Dissolve jello powder in hot water and allow mixture to cool to warm. Mix occasionally to prevent jello from setting and don’t let mixture cool too much or else it will turn into solid jello.
2. Blend softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth and creamy. Add jello mixture and milk and blend until smooth. There should not be any lumps of cheese, if there are lumps that means your cheese was too cold. Try warming it up in the microwave to dissolve lumps.
3. Pour into crust and refrigerate overnight until firm enough to cut.

Enjoy!

My family’s favorite is strawberry with a regular graham crust.
jello cheesecake