Chocolate Biscotti

  I always thought making biscotti would be complicated just because they were so classy. In my mind, biscotti were in the same category as croissants – a coffee shop delicacy that I could never recreate at home. You can imagine my delight when I found that this wasn’t the case at all! I think…

Sweet ‘n Crunchy Toast

  If you haven’t had some version of sugary toast for breakfast lately, you’re missing out.  Because you know, nothing beats warm toast for breakfast. It gives your taste buds that early-morning buzz. It gives your ego that early-morning boost (because toast + powdered sugar + strawberries is what a real adult professional would do)….

Try This: Baking Powder + Pancake Mix

Sometimes, you need pancake mix. It’s for those mornings when you don’t feel like beating together this many eggs and this much flour, then mixing (but not over mixing!) and then eating pancakes 20 minutes later, after which most have already cooled since you cooked them in separate batches. But the other option, pancake mix, gives…

Vanilla Crème Brioche

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about French cooking is the artistry. It’s all about the quality of ingredients, the slow simmers, the nuances of flavor. In a rushed world that often treats cooking as a chore, French cooking reminds us to pause and savor. And this is the perfect thing to savor – it’s buttery and…

Molten Chocolate Cobbler

Oh my goodness. The bliss you experience with this cobbler is greater than any bliss you have ever experienced. That is no exaggeration.  I’m not lying. I’m still not lying. It’s not opposite day. It’s still not opposite day. But seriously. This piping-hot mess, with its gooey ooey center that slowly oozes a streak of…

Crunchy Chewy Kitchen Sink Cookies

Oh wow.  These turned out way better than I had anticipated, and I couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you!  These cookies ate the perfect balance between crunch and munch: they’re crispy and golden brown on the edges, and melty-gooey in the center. Absolutely stunning, and absolutely killer with a glass of cold milk….

Two-Ingredient Microwave Fudge

Seriously, if this isn’t the simplest fudge you have ever encountered, I don’t know how I can help you.  This one recipe inspired me to think about starting up a new section of this blog, called Kitchen Easy.  Get it? It rhymes and it sounds like Kitchen Cici! Oh come on, don’t be stingy with…

Easy One-Step Pumpkin Cake

It’s perfect timing, really. Now that Thanksgiving and the holidays are over, it’s high time to load up on some of those delicious grocery store sales. You know: the $1 festive cake mix, the 50¢ box of candy canes. This time, though, it was the $1.24 canned pumpkin that caught my eye. And then I wondered…

Quick Caramel Pastries

This is so decadent yet so simple, I’m literally speechless. Which is why I’m literally still talking. But humor me for a second and close your eyes and just imagine. Delicious, golden-brown sweetness. Glorious, warm-and-sticky caramel. It’s like all of your sweet pastry dreams in one fantastic breakfast pastry. Now open your eyes. Ignore the paradoxical nature…

All-Natural Microwave Granola

You read that right. Crunchy granola in less than 5 minutes. No ovens involved. It’s pretty darn healthy too—none of that brown evaporated cane syrup rice juice business. I’ve actually been making it in my dorm room for quite some time, although I’m not entirely sure if my roommate approves of our room consistently smelling like…

All-Natural Snow Cones

For some reason, snow cones (or “sno cones,” if you’re young & wild & free) are perceived as healthy. I have no idea why, as it’s just frozen water drizzled liberally with artificially-flavored corn syrup. It kind of reminds me of soda. But you see, it’s mostly made of water, and water is healthy. Let’s…

Lighter Hummus (without tahini)

I’m all about that olive oil, but I’m not about it enough to pour loads of it casually into my chickpeas. In this kitchen, hazelnuts are not to be distorted into sugary chocolate butter. Cocoa is not to be contorted into a barely-recognizable ganache butter. And chickpeas are not to be maimed into an oily…

Dark Chocolate Nutella Without Oil

Let me brag about this first.  This Nutella has 3.4 g of monounsaturated fat, 1.8g of protein, and 1.6g of fiber in every tablespoon.  It also tastes like a darker cousin of your favorite why-do-I-even-need-toast-I’ll-just-eat-it-out-of-the-can hazelnut spread. It’s like that one time your cousin went to the beach and got ten shades tanner than you did…

Healthier Rocky Road

Today, I wanted to eat mass quantities of crunchy chocolate-covered objects without feeling like an elephant. I think that’s fair. Today was also the day I re-discovered the big box of plain shredded wheat that’s been loitering in the pantry for 5 months. I know it’s healthy and whole grains and fiber and love and…

Easy Mooncakes with Mung Bean Filling

These things are so expensive in Asian supermarkets, you’d think they require hours of intense labor. Not so. Usually, mooncakes are made with somewhat exotic ingredients (golden syrup and lye water) and with even more exotic kitchen tools (namely, a special mooncake press). But look, my kitchen is currently located forty minutes away from the…

Seriously Amazing Blueberry Muffins

If you’re going to save one muffin recipe, let this be it. Okay, that doesn’t quite cover my excitement. Hold on. (OH HEAVEN THESE ARE THE BEST MUFFINS I’VE EVER MADE NOM NOM NOM OH NO I JUST ATE THREE MUFFINS AND NOW I HAVE TO MAKE MORE GAH MUFFINS MUFFINS MUFFINS THEY’RE LIKE FINS…

Laughing Sesame Seed Balls

I think I’m addicted. Addicted to easy, to fried objects, to laughter. In other words, to these sesame balls. The idea of making sesame balls came to me from one of my followers. (Yes, you can give me ideas on things to make. No, I won’t bite your head off. Yes, I promise.) These laughing balls…

Dark Chocolate Tofu Ganache-Mousse

I must be candid with you. Take a seat. Please don’t run away. This is made with tofu. Whew. Glad that’s over with. Here’s the thing: tofu gives this dessert a creamy texture, a texture traditionally achieved through cream and eggs. I didn’t want to go through the laborious process of making real French mousse, so I figured…

No-Oven Honey Roasted Almonds

Have you ever had one of those honey roasted soy nuts? Maybe a more accurate description would be, Have you ever had five handfuls of those honey roasted soy nuts? I have. Multiple times. So I did what I always do when I eat something delicious yet simple: examine the Ingredients list, hoping to get…

Super Savory “Pancakes”

Flaky, savory, salty, and a little crunchy. You must try these. In Chinese, they’re called cong you bing, literally “Scallion oil pancake.” They look like pancakes, but they’re definitely not. Besides, looks don’t mean a thing in my kitchen. I wear ugly t-shirts on a daily basis. They’re a classic Chinese food, a snack flexible…

Asian-Inspired Guacamole

I’ve been eating this stuff for years, and I didn’t know it was guacamole. In our house, we just called it “avocado salad.” In our house, we ate it as a side dish. We ate it straight. On toast. On crackers. On cold spoons. Under the table. Inside the chicken coop. Upside down. Underwater. What.  We…

Asian Sweet Bread & Mung Bean Filling

Have you been to a high-end Chinese bakery before? It goes like this:  An attendant in uniform greets you as you walk in. There is a very subtle sweet smell. Everything is kept behind polished glass, arranged neatly on gleaming smooth shelves. You won’t find a sugar overload here; subtle is key. When they say “No…

Two-Ingredient Chocolate Syrup

Oh. My. Goodness. Throw out your corn syrup. Throw out your heavy whipping cream. Throw out your condensed milk. Forget it all. Today is the day that we found out chocolate syrup is just “chocolate + liquid.” And today, that liquid was good old, regular 2% milk. Here’s the story of how I came across…

A Super-Healthy Butter

Peanuts, chickpeas, almonds, hazelnuts. Those are all healthy things by themselves, but when we make butter out of them, we put in a ton of oils. Yes, oils do have good healthy fats, but let’s be honest — how many of us actually only manage to eat recommended servings of anything with the word “butter” in it?…