Monday, April 7, 2014

General Tso’s Chicken

This weekend I made General Tso’s Chicken for the first time.

It’s a popular Chinese American dish, consisting of crispy fried chicken cubes coated in a salty, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy sauce. I surprised Mr. K with it and he loved it. He really enjoys these types of dishes and has been pretty excited that I’ve been making them for him now.

I remember the first time I saw General Tso’s chicken on a menu. My first thought was: What the heck is General Tso’s Chicken? The origins of the dish are murky. It was served in America as a Hunan dish but apparently if you visit Hunan, the dish is nowhere to be found.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Exciting Announcement and New Kitchen

I mentioned last month on my Five Year Blogiversary post that I had quite a few things happening including some exciting news and purchasing my first house. Well, I’m ready to share my news and some house photos.

Over the last few months I’ve been busy with a big project. I had a hard time not talking about it, and while it wasn’t a secret, I just wanted to wait until I had more concrete things to share.

So are you ready for the news?

…..

…..

I wrote a book! I was going to start off with some clues about it starting with a “b” and that it is four letters, but then I realized everyone was probably going to guess baby, which is not the right answer. Anyhow, I have a book coming out!

And it’s a book on mug cakes! Writing a book has always been a lifelong dream, so I am very excited.

The book contains 100 mug cake recipes. And it’s not just a regurgitation of recipes on the blog. I went back to the drawing board. There are about 10 mug cake recipes that I had already created that I kept. The other ones are all either brand new creations or complete re-workings of previous ones I made.

The book is already listed for pre-order on Amazon. I actually stumbled upon it yesterday without knowing it existed and was giddy all day. Then today, I got an email from my editor with the book cover!

I didn’t do any of the photos for the book– I just concentrated on creating and writing and let the professionals handle the photography, so this is the first preview I’ve seen of the photos as well.

I worked really hard on this project. I had about 2 months to create 100 recipes. It wasn’t a lot of time, especially since I was also trying to consistently update this blog, move to my new house, work, and do all the other life-related things. Every recipe went through rigorous testing, averaging about five variations each before I decided on the best version. That’s over 500 hundred mug cakes I had to try out. By the end, I was feeling a little sick (though that didn’t last long).

Over the next few months, I’ll try to share more details and previews as they become available. But for now I just wanted to share my news. And for those who have enjoyed my mug cake creations over the years, I hope you’ll consider ordering a copy when it is released or even pre-ordering now. I know it’s still a few months away from release and you can always buy it later, but pre-orders do help the book move up the rankings and generate some buzz.

Okay, now onto the next big thing in my life: my first house!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Pie Hole

The Pie Hole is a popular pie and coffee cafe in Los Angeles, offering both sweet and savory pies.

During my last trip to LA, I stopped by their newest Pasadena store. I’d been curious for a while after hearing some really good things about their pies.

Earl Grey