Posts made in September, 2015

Dumpling and Noodle Bliss

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

Din Tai Fung


The magic of Din Tai Fung begins when you pick up a tiny red branded pencil scanning and pausing to create a family–style meal of savory dumpling bites, glistening noodles and consistently seasoned bright green vegetables for a tasty Taiwanese feast.  I remember MP mentioned the long lines at the opening of Din Tai Fung in August 2014.  The Asian restaurant began decades ago as a humble family business selling cooking oil; then adding steamed dumplings to chum in customers.

Now internationally, with a simple menu, uber service and hospitality, and a Michelin Star, trendy noodles are dished up at South Coast Plaza in the Sanrio wing.

We escaped the dismal heat and humidity and lucked out before 6’oclock on a weeknight-- a text within 15 minutes; drifting by a space station-like clean room where frenetic dumpling masters rolled and furiously shaped ultra-thin diskettes which flew like floppy birds across the butcher block table.

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Although the Din doesn’t refer to the noise level, I found the clamor and bustling service a heaven-sent call to reverence; and I intend to do a lot more slurping.

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The lines remain long on weekends—

but wait for the text;

sharpen that old-school pencil and dive in!

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Summer Postcards

Posted by on Sep 16, 2015 in New | 2 comments

What have you been cooking this summer?



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 Yes, Octopus Pizza !

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Wednesday Women

Posted by on Sep 14, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 3 comments

Peanut Butter Banana Bread is cooling


 and so is the weather for now…

Mom’s look forward to children beginning school: shaping, sculpting, smoothing, soothing, and prayerful tides of sentiment creep in all at once.  Sigh, and then smile, because Women’s Bible Study will begin day after tomorrow-- my favorite morning of the week.  An amazing breakfast buffet launches too!

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

--Matthew 11:25


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Fourteen Years

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in New | 0 comments

Expect Less

By the age of sixteen, Audrey knew much more than most.  She had already seen the worst mankind had to offer.

Audrey noticed that during the war people were kind and generous.  But once the liberation came, not everyone learned the lesson.  How easily we forget what really matters when it comes down to it.

Audrey knew just what she wanted in life: safety, food, and family.  The rest was just icing on the cake.

--Melissa Hellstern-- in How to be Lovely

Image result for Audrey Hepburn image

“I didn’t expect anything much and because of that

I’m the least bitter woman I know.”

--Audrey Hepburn



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Comfort Cravings

Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Desserts | 1 comment



Late summer beach picnics at a secret Balboa spot and vast sunsets fueled by hot days were few this season.



Various folks to help out; and maybe a pull from our own patio kept us home like Butt Glue.

Comfort cravings take over when I ponder beach food (where everyone eats more).  I geared up to bake an iconic 90’s smallish quiche with an ordinary 9-inch pie pan without the foreboding task of a deep dish deal pastry layout.  Every year about holiday time when homemade pies peak our interest, a perfect pie crust made even more impeccable with a trending, method or ingredient—like vodka emerges. Nope; this crust is truly simple and trustworthy. However, I wrote it on a paper scrap, so I can merely take credit for my remarks.

Single Pie Crust


  • 1 ¼ cup flour (6.25 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cold shortening
  • 3 Tablespoons cold butter
  • 3-4 Tablespoons ice water


  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the shortening and butter into the flour until it resembles small crumbs. Drizzle in the water and mix lightly with a fork until combined. Don’t overmix the dough; you should still see bits of butter and shortening. Shape the dough into a small disk and refrigerate while you prepare a board to roll out the dough. Place the disk between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pen and rolling from the center, shape the disk to fit a 9-inch pie dish. Place the dough over the pie dish and crimp the edges to fit.
  2. Makes on 9- inch single pie crust









Although, a last minute diversion found my almost quiche crust, double wrapped and stashed in the freezer to emerge a couple weeks later as, at least, another old-fashioned 70’s family favorite—

ty & Coco









Remembering Marion Cunningham’s, The Fanny Farmer Cookbook Egg Custard Pie from my first ever treasured recipe book, elicits memories of Ty when our family of three ate a lot of pie.

Knowing, I am a fan of weighing ingredients 1 ¼ cups of flour equals 6.25 ounces. There in a bowl with sugar, salt, cold shortening, and butter-- ice water brings a single crust together without much production.  Roll it out and slide it into a pie dish to use now or refrigerate or freeze for later.

For the custard pie begin here:











Scalding the milk is a secret-- just until a few bubbles appear and the milk begins to steam.









Proceed by whisking the remaining ingredients together before adding the cooled milk.










Pour into the pie crust, and please be generous with the freshly grated nutmeg.

Carrying it to the oven may be the hardest part!


When memories count--bake this smooth and silky pie. ♥ ♥ ♥


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