Sometime during college, when I had my first introduction into Korean media, I watched what is now one of my favorite movies.  The movie is called Madeleine, and it is your fairly typical Korean movie/drama storyline about a girl and a boy and how they fall in love.  (Not to be confused with the English movie Madeleine, which is about a little girl.)


It’s pretty cute, and I’ve been meaning to rewatch it one of these days.  I don’t quite recall how madeleines even tied into the main storyline (I don’t think it did), but the male lead in the movie enjoys baking and at one point makes some madeleine cookies.


That movie was the first time I had heard of madeleine cookies, and for some reason I fell in love with them and have maintained a happy, longing relationship ever since.  They are incredibly adorable and surprisingly sophisticated.

My first taste of madeleines was supremely disappointing, however.  I saw them once at a Starbucks soon after I watched the movie and was incredibly excited.  (Note: I don’t actually drink coffee, so I never go to Starbucks; hence, I’d never seen them there before.)  Of course, commercialized food is one thing, but I had not quite learned how to eat the madeleine cookies and had expected a completely different taste/texture.  The one from Starbucks had a kind of funny taste, I thought, and I stopped eating them soon after (mostly because I never saw them again).

I’ll pause at this point to explain what madeleine cookies taste like, if you’ve never had one before.  I would describe them as a dense sponge cake: fluffy but heavy at the same time, moist, and sweet, with a distinctly “egg-y” flavor.  They can also be flavored; the most common ones I’ve seen so far are orange, lemon poppyseed, or chocolate chip.  They can also be served plain or dipped in chocolate, as pictured above.

Despite my slavish love for baking (and making ice cream), I don’t enjoy eating most pastries or desserts much and am as picky with what I do like as I am with most food.  Sometime later on, I learned that the cookies could also be eaten dipped in coffee or tea.  That turned out to be supremely tasty in my opinion and is the only way I eat the cookies now.  You may enjoy them by themselves, if you like that kind of texture.  It all depends on preference, but I hope that if you get a chance to try them, you’ll like them one way or another :)

This year was my first time to try baking them.  I made them for someone as part of a Valentine’s Day package, and I must say I was probably most excited to make these because they’ve always been so special to me.  (I still don’t know why, though…)  They turned out pretty well then, and it was then that I first tasted them dipped in tea.  Although they have a relatively simple ingredient list, I’d say that they are easy but not beginner’s level-easy to make, as the process can be arduous and easy to mess up.  Still, they’re not hard, and they’re worth it!

My second time baking them was this past weekend, as I had a sudden whimsical desire to do so and even brought my madeleine pan home from my apartment just for that purpose.  I made Sunday breakfast for my parents, complete with espresso and jasmine tea for dipping (mom made the tea — but I made the espresso).  We also had some fruit on the side, mainly so that they would remember to eat the lone orange I zested for the madeleines.

I don’t have process pictures, but I’ll make sure to take some the next time I make them.  Meanwhile, here is the recipe I used this past time.  You can get a pan either online (Amazon.com) or from a store that sells a little big more specialized kitchen stuff.  I got my pan from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and I really like it.  It’s easy to clean and doesn’t stick, which is always a concern for anything that is baked with a shape.  Highly recommended.

I’ll leave you with more pictures from this past breakfast (because I like taking pictures of food XD).  The recipe provided makes two pans’ worth of madeleines, so I made one set of plain madeleines and a second with orange zest.  My parents liked the orange one better with tea and the plain ones better with the espresso.  Enjoy!

Oops, they’re kind of hole-y.  I think it might be because I left the batter in the fridge for too long (overnight) — the second batch came out prettier, and I had let the batter sit on the counter for a while.

I love saltines.

And ice chips.

These two, and Gatorade, can remedy any stomach problem.

My daddy is so sweet :)

This weekend, I’m back home.  On Sunday mornings, my parents wake me up for home-made breakfast, sometimes biscuits or French toast or green onion egg pancakes, and we sit together around the little table in our sunlit breakfast room with cups of Jasmine tea.  We used to read newspapers (or ads, or the comics section for me), but we stopped buying those because they got too expensive.  After breakfast, my parents get ready for church, and I usually bum around (like I am now; I usually don’t go to their church, because it’s all in Chinese and talking about kids and marriage, so not only do I not understand most of it, the parts that I do understand won’t be applicable to me for at least another 2 years).  It’s a nice routine whenever I’m at home.

My mom is out of town this weekend, so it’s just me and my dad.  Though it definitely feels like we’re missing a part, it’s still nice to just hang out with daddy.  This morning, he made us some shao bing with pork sung for breakfast.

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My dad usually likes to put mayonnaise in his, and I don’t tend to eat mayonnaise so I always have mine without.  When we were starting to eat, he was inspecting his two shao bing, so I asked him if he was looking for something in particular (they looked the same to me, so I thought he was looking for some special indication of which one to eat first XD).  He told me that he had made one with mayonnaise and one without.  Thinking that we’d run out of mayo or he wanted to be healthier and not eat mayo in both, I asked him why he made one without.  He told me, “In case you want to eat another one.”

My daddy is so sweet ^ ^

He also went out and bought some canned chickpeas yesterday, because I had asked him on one of my typical whimsical cravings if he could make me hummus.  We only had materials for baba ghanoush (made of eggplant), so he actually bought the chickpeas and made me some hummus > <  It looks kind of like this.

And my mom has taken to texting me; I’m actually having a text conversation with her right now XD

I think I’m learning to appreciate my parents more and more as I get older… I think that’s a good thing :3

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:D

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My parents and I took Alli (short for Alligator) — our new black lab, who’s about a year old and 75 pounds of whiny, overly excitable, largely untrained, has-more-energy-than-1,000-Energizer-batteries puppy — to the park to fish and walk around this morning.  Although the sky was lit by the time we got there, I still got some nice pictures of the first sun rays across the cloud-spotted sky :3  It’s so beautiful!  I could even see the edges of the clouds glowing from the backlit sunrise.

We think the park is probably too distracting for the dog, so we didn’t get to train her much (we’re trying to teach her to “stay” and “heel”).  She was pretty good though, just far too excited for me XD  I’ll take my cats, thanks.  Or maybe I’m just not used to dogs >__<

We also caught 2 fish, a crocker and a fairly large catfish, one each by my mom and dad.  It was really windy and apparently late in the season (something about the lake waters being too warm), so I’m surprised we caught anything at all.

So this weekend is Father’s Day, which is why we went out so early.  Part one of “Father’s Day weekend” gift, I suppose?  My dad enjoys fishing, so it’s nice for us to go out bright and early on Saturday morning as a family so he can relax and fish :)  Part two of the “gift” is lunch/dinner, I suppose, though we’re all so lax that we have no idea where to go :P  That’s okay.

Otherwise, my only decent gift tends to baking or making ice cream XD  My mom recently got an ice cream machine, so we’re planning to make some mint ice cream — hopefully it’ll be ready by tomorrow.  I’m also planning to make basil & Parmesan scones for breakfast tomorrow ^w^  I’m a slow baker/ice cream maker, so I hope they turn out well and don’t take the whole day >__<

My parents and I went to a sushi place to have lunch yesterday, just for fun :D

Because of that, I remembered this video that I saw a long time ago.  I like to go back and watch it every once and a while, because it makes me laugh XD  Since it’s so funny and amazing, I wanted to share it with you.  Enjoy :P

Happy π Day!

Today is 3/14, otherwise known as Pi Day (π ≈ 3.14159, rounded off is 3.14).  Because of the English equivalent homonym, this day is often celebrated by the consuming of pie.  So here is a pie for you :D

How much of “pi” do you know?  (I only know up to what I wrote up there, which is not much XD).

π is a mathematical constant, most frequently used for calculations involving circular objects (circles, spheres, etc).  It’s important stuff.

Pie is a type of baked dessert that usually has a dough or graham cracker crust and filling.  Usually the filling is made of some kind of fruit, but you can also have chocolate or other (richer) fillings.  There are also “savory” pies (note that I don’t understand the use of sweet versus savory, because technically those aren’t really in the same category, so I would just say sweet versus salty…) — for instance, pot pies.  Pot pies are probably the only kind of pie that I eat, and they’re very yummy XD  I especially like the Marie Callendar’s frozen ones… because I haven’t really had anything else XP

There is a place in Houston called House of Pies.  I’ve been there once with some friends, and it’s pretty good food — it’s basically a little diner.  My friend told me that they have specials for Pi Day, so if you’re in the area, you should check it out :)

For Pi Day, senpai and I are making some mini strawberry rhubarb pies.  I’ll update with pictures when they’re done.  This will be the second time I’ve ever made pie, so I don’t know how they’ll turn out XD  Rhubarb is kind of hard to find, though > <

Happy Pi Day!

Side Note:  For the romantically inclined, today is also White Day.  See the Valentine’s Day post for more details :3

This past weekend, my friend Tiffy visited from out of town, which was a lot of fun :)  We had lots of needed GIRL TALK XD  And of course, we wandered around an outdoor mall and went shopping.  (Your typical girl date :P )  Somehow, we ended up spending 3 hours at like 2 places > <  But anyways…

We had dinner with some of our friends that she hadn’t seen in a while (actually, I haven’t seen them either D:  Because everybody’s too busy for everybody else… or maybe I’m just too busy QQ).  On the way, Tiffy and I realized we haven’t been to so many places despite having lived here for for a few years.  There was a pretty little strip of land across the river/lake with benches that seemed like it would be a nice place to read, stroll, or watch the sunset :3  We also saw a couple taking wedding pictures on a little dock.  The dinner was at a trailer called The Mighty Cone.  It was basically fried food with some lettuce and sauce wrapped up in a tortilla and put into a paper cone.  The food was really good, though, and we also got some chili-dusted fries.  I can’t eat spicy food well, so it was a little spicy for me, but overall it was delicious and well worth a trip :)

Then we had an impromptu house warming party at one of our friend’s “newly” bought and renovated condo, which was gorgeous.  (He bought it like a year+ ago but just recently finished remodeling it, and most of us hadn’t seen it before.)  He also took us to the top of a nearby parking garage, which overlooked a lot of the city — we could see the lake, the hill(s?), the skyline, and radio towers XD  Apparently, during July 4, you can see a bunch of different fireworks all over the city.  It would be very pretty to see :)

We decided to watch a movie then, and we went back to my place (since my friend doesn’t have a TV) and Tiffy showed us a few things, which I have provided here for your entertainment :3

How Asian Women Age

 

For the movie, we ended up watching this dramatic Japanese movie referred to as an X-Men crossover with Romeo & Juliet.  It was unfortunately dubbed, but that just made it more ridiculous than dramatic XD;;  The movie was called Shinobi: Heart Under Blade, and apparently based on a true story and similar to a manga/anime called Basilisk.  Don’t ask me what it was about though, I was pretty tired so I ended up sleeping through almost all of it.  They said that I didn’t miss anything though >__<;;

All in all, it was a lovely weekend, and so much fun, as it always is with her~ <3