in the kitchen

with chen

Tag: olive oil

warm asparagus mushroom salad with green onion pesto


It’s here, in my bowl.

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too interesting to not try: kiwi and orange vinaigrette


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you lose tooth, i bake cake–olive oil cake with coconut & yogurt

Today is a big day of baking: a dense loaf cake and dozens of chocolate charms. It’s all because I’m back to China tomorrow and I have to get all these delivered before I go to SFO.

My plan was to bake some coconut & walnut shortbread for my friend+roommate, Chelsea. She’s got completely different taste with Nina: Nina has sweet tooth and prefers smooth textures, but Chelsea likes nutty and dry things that are not overly sweet.

However, I had to make something not requiring much chewing because Chelsea had her tooth taken off two days ago! But there was no big problem because this cake was a perfect backup plan. I omitted the walnuts because I didn’t want to kill her remaining teeth. I chose extra virgin olive oil instead of butter to obtain nuttiness, flaked coconut for a little texture, and yogurt to make it dense; plus, less than half of the sugar in regular cakes for healthiness.

Hopefully, it was not too bad.

olive oil cake with coconut & yogurt
Makes one 8 inch loaf

1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sugar

1 cup plain yogurt (Do NOT use fat-free one, or it will ruin the cake. Compare to the whole cake, a little fat in a cup yogurt doesn’t hurt anything.)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, separate

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes (If using unsweetened, add 2 tbsp sugar.)

1 small package of raw sugar for sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch loaf pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray.

Separate the eggs and beat the whites until foamy. Set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with flat attachment, beat olive oil and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add yogurt and vanilla to the mixing bowl and continue beating. Add egg yolks to the mixture, one at a time.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together. Lower the mixer speed to medium-low. Slowly add the flour mixture to the mixing bowl in two batches until well combined. Scrape the side of the bowl using a spatula if necessary. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the coconut.

Gently fold the egg whites into the mixture using a silicone spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-50 minutes, or until a wooden stick inserted comes out clean. Keep an eye on it and do not overbake. The top should be light golden. Let it sit in the pan for a couple of minutes and lift it out to cool completely.

Package and deliver.

there’s-no-butter lemon walnut cookies

This is my first post. Why? (Despite of the fact that I’m sincerely into baking)

1. I was struggling on what to post on my blog for several days. I was even thinking of it on the plane from LA to bay area yesterday. To give it an ending, I decide to pick what I make today, the first day of my winter break.

2. A friend coming from LA kindly gives my old printer a ride to home today because I was not able to bring it to the airport, and usually, I like to make my own thank-you gift. The problem is that though I really want to make brownies, there’s no butter in the refrigerator. I have to come up with something without butter.

3. Thanks to my auntie, I find this on a tree in our backyard:

4. Plus, I find this to pair with #3:

Finally, I have these pale yellow cookies making the house smell like a lemon:

lemon walnut cookies
Makes one dozen

3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp light brown sugar

1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

zest from one lemon
1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped (use toasted walnuts for stronger flavor)

raw sugar for sprinkle (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F, and line the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil, lightly greased.

In a stand mixer, cream oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and lower the speed. Then mix in the lemon zest and walnuts. The dough is very sticky.

Use two spoons to drop the cookies on the baking sheet, about 1 tbsp for each. Note that the dough is thinner than regular cookie dough, and this makes it easier to spread out when baked. So leave enough space in between, or it will become a “cookie-sheet.” Sprinkle the top with raw sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the edges turn light brown. Rotate the sheet once. Let them cool completely before serving or packaging.