Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How foodies eat out: my top 5 secrets!

I love food, new food, new restaurants, new wines, and new desserts. Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy my old food favorites, but exploring a new place or entree always excites my palette and foodie adventures.

Eating and dining out can get, well, pricey. How does one-lover-of-food enjoy the many tasteful delights my city offers, yet still maintain a healthy and manageable budget? There are some tricks and trades I love sharing with people:


1) Check out lunch: Lunch, especially at fancy-schamcy restaurants, are less expensive and slightly less portions versus dinner. The lunch option are almost identical to dinner. Why not?

2) Happy hour: Price breaks on booze, small plates, and appetizers? How could you go wrong? But, be sure to set your schedule: either go super early, or super late. Happy hours at popular eateries will get packed up.

3) Go local: Something about a small mom-and-pop shop that makes wholesome, well-tasted food, at a decent price makes my heart melt. Not only is the food delicious and decent portioned, it will not break your bank.

4) Go for apps: Appetizers are a great way to try small bites at a new restaurant. Order 3, 4 or 5 and share your best foodie friend, skip the entree all together. It is one of my favorite ways to eat out!

5) Check out local foodie events: Free food, or small priced, events are a great way to see what the community is eating, savorying, and trending with food. The bonus? You get to meet other local foodies who enjoy food just as much, if not more, than you.

There are many cheap, yet rich and satisfying eats, in your neighborhood and city. Don't be afraid to go out and try something new, divine, and lucious!

Happy cooking,

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

5th year birthday post: 5 cooking and baking milestones you need to have in your LIFE!

Hello foodies, bakers, and cooks!

It has been a fun, food-filled, very sweet, and a pure delight to have my food blog active for 5 beautiful years. I started it as a way to express my love for anything culinary or pastry related to the Seattle/Eastside community. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posting because I enjoy writing them.

In our professional and personal life, we have mini milestones to rejoice our accomplishments, goals, and dreams. There is nothing like a self celebration to make you realize how far you come and progressed.

Culinary and pastry milestones need to be celebrated as well, especailly Kimm-style: a glass of champagne and a giant piece of chocolate cake, or two. (I'm sharing, I promise!)

My top 5 cooking milestones:

1) Your first batch of, pretty darn perfect, chocolate chip cookies.
Baking, versus, cooking is more of a science. You measure, you cream, you carefully portion control your cookie dough onto baking sheets and, TA-DA, out comes delicious circles of sweetness and chunks of semi sweet chocolate. Celebrate by consuming one right out of the oven! Congrats, you've mastered a basic, yet necessary, baking skill.

2) Your first meat roast.
If it is a classically roasted chicken, the Christmas prime rib, or herb roasted pork loin, roasting a large hunk of meat required preparation, patience, and timing. I recommend roasting a small piece of meat, if it is your first time, for a small, quaint dinner. It will be practice for a big celebration, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday you celebrate.

3) Your first omelette.
Eggs are delicious, easy, packed with protein, and pretty easy on the wallet. Mastering the flip, roll, and shape of a perfectly rolled omelette takes practice (but a tasty and healthy one) and timing. Be sure: lightly coat your egg pan with unsalted butter and have your ingredients ready, AKA mise en place.

4) Your first salad dressing.
Easy enough, right? Some vinegar, oil, salt, maybe a pinch of garlic or two, plus some mustard, why not? Seems straight forward. Mixing two unlikable ingredients, like vinegar and oil, is the start of kitchen science, called emulsifying.  Egg yolks and mustard help bond the two unlikely ingredients together, that is why you see them in salad dressings recipes. But what you really need is elbow grease and a whisk: Add all ingredients, except for the oil, in a bowl and vigorously stir while slowly adding the oil.

5) Your first creation of throwing everything together to make something wonderful.
It's been a long day. You're tired and hungry. There are some ingredients in your pantry and fridge. Nothing to make a complete meal, but you wing it. Left over beef from Sunday's dinner? A few veggies that need to used ASAP? Stir fry it all together with some appropriate seasoning and love, and ta-da! You made a meal out of items in your pantry. Even if you do not cook often, it is helpful to have simple, easy items in your fridge or freezer to make a meal.

Thank you readers letting me celebrate 5 years of blogging bliss! Cheers!

Happy cooking,

Friday, August 21, 2015


Hello beautiful readers and foodies,

Being a food lover and working in the food industry, I constantly get asked: what do you eat when you're home? Why? People are always curious what I am cooking up in my personal kitchen (Want to see more? Check out my Instagram, @kimmsweetness. )

From a hectic work schedule to yoga classes to family events and social gatherings, my weekly schedule can be up, down and all around. Naturally, I navigate towards healthy foods that give me energy and power to seize the week, but also taste delicious and fresh.

I make note to do a large grocery shop once every two weeks to refill my pantry and freezer. Then, I pick up fresh produce and meat as needed (2-3 times a week).  I have food on hand so I am not forced to eat out every meal. I make dining out a treat with friends and family, or when a new well-reviewed restaurant pops up!

Here are my top 5 foods I (almost) always have on hand:

1) Eggs: Cheap. Great source of protein. Versatile: Hard boiled, soft boiled, egg salad, poached, scrambled, omelette, frittata, etc. I love them in the morning, soft boiled with sea salt and pepper.

2) Bananas: The ideal fruit alone (hellllo potassium), blended into a smoothie, or served with peanut butter and cacao nibs. I toss a banana in my yoga bag or purse, for a quick pick me up. And just like eggs, bananas will not break your bank.

3) Almonds/Walnuts: Or any nut (peanuts are the cheapest). They fill you up with protein and calories, so you don't have to eat a bunch to get full. Yes, they get pricey, but if you buy them in bulk it makes the total cost less. Always store them in a tightly closed container, in your kitchen cabinet so they will not go stale.

4) Peanut butter: I get Whole Foods 365 Creamy Peanut butter. Why? It is pretty reasonable priced and it is just pureed peanuts and salt. No added oils or sugar. I eat spoonfuls of it at a time. Seriously, spoonfuls...morning, noon, and night.

5) Coconut Water: My absolute favorite is Harmless Harvest Coconut Water because it is slightly heated, thus not high heat pasteurized (which kills most of the natural vitamins and minerals). The taste is raw, fresh, and rich in coconut. Coconut water has been around FOREVER in Asian cuisines and yoga world because it is full of electrolytes (think: trace minerals your body looses on a daily basis due to sweat) to help your body function properly.

Yup, that is it guys. Nothing fancy schmacy or expensive, just real honest food that keeps me powered. Trust me, I enjoy a good steak, piece of chocolate cake, or a glass of chardonnay, and I keep those special treats for special occasions.

Happy baking and cooking,

Saturday, July 18, 2015

SUMMER SWEETS: My top 3 favorite sweet treats to eat in the heat!

Hello beautiful readers,

It's been a long, and warm, summer in Seattle! I am happily adjusting to high (think 80-80 degrees F) heat days and warm evenings with colorful sunsets. Everyone up here is savoring every second of it because, in a couple months, rain and gray will take over the bright turquoise skies.

Cooking in the heat is dreadful. Baking is even worse. Who wants to turn on a hot oven and crank their stove when it is close to one hundred degrees? Forgo the biscuits, cookies, and cobblers, say HELLO to light and refreshing desserts.

Here are my top 3:

1) Grilled fruit: Summer time is prime time for BBQs and outdoor picnics. After the hamburger and hotdogs are happily consumed, throw on some fruit! Peaches, bananas, and pineapple are the three most popular fruit to be grilled. Also, I like to grill citrus (lemon, lime, and orange) and "squeeze" the juice over grilled or roasted seafood for a char-coaled taste.
Grilling fruit is quite simple, following these easy steps:
-Clean the grill with a grill brush. Make sure any excess meat trimmings are clean off. Set the temperature to medium-high heat.
-Oil the grill with either: a brush coated in a flavorless oil (like canola or sunflower) or a oil-spray.
-Cut the fruit to desired size and toss it on! Fruit takes 4-6 minutes each side. The excess sugar will caramelize the fruit fairly quickly. Flip with tongs.
-Eat. Serve with vanilla bean gelato, homemade whipped cream, cream biscuits, or dried fruit scones.

2) Pureed frozen fruit: This is the perfect cooling treat for any vegan, young kids, or health addicts (*waving hands in the air*)! It has the same consistency of ice-cream but with a less caloric intake. My favorite fruits to puree are bananas, berries (all), and mango.
Purring fruit is easy-peasy:
-Cut fruit into small 1-inch cube sizes. Place on a plate.
-Freeze overnight, or a couple hours.
-Puree in a high speed blend or robot coupe on medium speed.
-If there the fruit will not 'blend," add a touch (think 1 tablespoon) almond milk, water, or juice. (Or your favorite beverage of choice)
-Put in bowl and eat! I like to top mine with goji berries, cacao nibs, and raw nuts.

3) Go out! Try a new sweet shop! Seriously, treat yourself to homemade gelato, an ice cream sandwich, or a heaping cup of fro-yo. Having long summer nights is a perfect reason to stay up past your bedtime.

Hello Robin, in Capitol Hill, is my new sweet treat place!

Hello Robin is famous for ice-cream cookie sandwiches.

Happy baking and stay cool!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

My top 3 favorite, and least favorite, baking tools!

Helllllo beautiful readers, bakers, cooks, and foodies,

One of the most common questions I get from people are about tools and gadgets: from pots to spatulas to mixers to measuring devices, tool are necessary in the kitchen to make the food! I cannot imagine making chocolate cookies with my spatula, frying chicken without sturdy tongs, or sifting dry ingredients without large mixing bowl.
I have a collection of my favorite tools that I use on a regular basis and ones I always recommend to cooks, newbie or veteran.

MY TOP 3 favorites:

1) Good od' kitchen knife: Invest in a good, all-purpose chef knife and toss out those cheap and dull ones. The average size of a chef knife are 8 inches or 10 inches long and are made of high carbon stainless steel (thus, it resist rusting and keeps an edge sharp). Feel it in your hand before you make a big purchase. A sharp knife will inspire you to chop more, faster, and quicker.  Be sure to get it professionally sharpened on a regular basis (every 1-2 months) to keep it nice and sharp. My personal favorite are Shun knives.

2) Standing Mixer: Kitchen Aid brand mixers are the most common mixers. Especially for bakers, mixers are essential for creaming butter and sugar, whipping meringue, and making basic bread dough. I have had mine for over 10 years and it still works like new. Not a hardcore baker? Most standing attachments like meat grinder, pasta maker, and cheese grater, which helps with any type of savory cooking you will do!

3) Fine Zesters: Think "fancy-schmacy" graters. Coming a wide variety of "zest sizes," I prefer the very small grater on zesters, Microplane zesters are my favorite.. Why? From citrus zest, to dark chocolate, to hard cheeses, it finely shreds the ingredient into the batter, dough, or dish I am preparing.

MY TOP 3 least favorites:

1) Pastry blenders: They look like a half circle with soft blades. I think they are unnecessary. Why? Your hands do a better and more efficient job at it. The purpose of pastry blenders is to blend dry ingredients with cold butter. Trust me, you get a more efficient size of butter with your hands and not the pastry blender.

2) Flimsy cutting boards: They tear and crack very easy, especially if you are using a strong and sharp knife. You are better off with a good wood cutting board or a thick plastic cutting board (for raw meats). The only time I like using flimsy cutting boards is for decorating large quantities of cookies or other baked goods.

3) Herb choppers: Herb chopper? As long as you have a good old sharp knife, it will do the trick just as fine.

And what is my ultimate favorite tool? My brain! As long as you have a good head on your shoulders, are super organized, and can be self-efficient, you will be cooking and baking like a pro in no time.

Happy cooking and baking,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

What the Seattle Seahawks and baking have in common...

Hello beautiful readers,

Besides food, yoga, and health, I am a HUGE supporter of the Seahawks. From watching them in the Kingdome to Century Link field, I have seen the team grow from the worst team in the NFL to winning the Superbowl in 2014!

On the first chilly day of February, Seattle Seahawks had a chance to win back-to-back Superbowls. (They won it in 2014 against the Denver Broncos) It is rare that a person gets to play a sport for a living, let alone be apart of a team that has a winning season, and get a chance to play in the biggest American sport championship game. Twice.

In the last seconds, Russell Wilson (quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks) had a chance to win the football game, except he threw the ball to the wrong player. A player on the opposite team. A member of the New England Patriots. THAT touchdown would of won the game and given Seattle its second Superbowl win.

Being a fan, it was a hard loss to watch. Hard to see dedicated, strong, and honest players lose one of the most important game in their season.

And, it got me thinking how this Superbowl lose is related to cooking and baking....

You may ask, how are these two, very opposite subjects, similar. THIS is how:

1) Wilson messed up on a simple play he has successfully completed many, many times.
I mess up. I still mess up on simple recipes I have cooked and baked multiple times. The tart crust came out too dark! The pie filling is super thick! The roast is slightly over done! But, how? No matter how successfully I have mastered a dish, I still trip over my own feet and make mistakes. The key? Don't let it bother you, pick yourself back up, and don't lose sleep over it.

2) You question, why did the game come down to this play? What could of Seattle done earlier in the game?
Maybe, Seattle could of scored more plays in the first half. Made a touchdown instead of a field goal. Sacked Brady a couple more times. What if I cut in the butter a bit more in my pate sucree? Would of it be better? Stirred the risotto just a touch longer? Added more lemon to my dressing? That would of made it taste even more delicious.... it is over now. Learn, listen, and look at what you can succeed in the future versus observing your fails in the your past.

3) Seattle could of won back to back Superbowls! Oh no!
A Superbowl win is for any professional football player is quite the achievement. Back to back is even more outstanding. Yet, look what at they achieved: Going to the Superbowl, twice, with a team that the media mocked and called "mediocre," making unbelievable plays and comebacks in the near seconds of the game, and getting to do what they love for a profession.
Even though, I have not been on glossy food magazines covers, written up in Food network's blog, or mix and mingled with some of my favorite chefs, I have succeed in my own way. By achieving what I wanted in my career and life. From USA yoga competitions, to traveling to Florida for a pie competition, creating a "Kimm-chi" cupcake, and starting a food blog, success is in your own term. Look how far you have come.

Congratulations Seahawks on a successful football season! I can't wait to start the journey all over again. Thanks for all the inspiration and making me never give up.

Happy cooking,

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My sweet adventure: Kinesia Pilates, via Classpass!

Hi guys,

A few months ago, I had the great pleasure of teaming up with Class Pass Seattle! What is Class Pass? A membership to all the latest, coolest, and healthiest workout studios. Thus, you sign up through classes, on Class Pass' website, choose a variety of workouts, and live a healthy active lifestyle! This is perfect for the commuter (TONS of studios all over the city and Eastside), traveler (you can sign up to use Class Pass, city to city), or just a person who wants variety in their workouts.

When Class Pass asked me to check out Kinesia Pilates, I jumped at the chance. Located in downtown Pioneer Square, it shares a room with  Saltroom Yoga. I love the big pink salt wall, gorgeous wood floor, and super high ceilings.

Christl, one of the owners and teacher, is approachable, friendly, and life-long pilates practionier. She informed me she "was a dancer most of her life" and instantly clicked with pilates once she started practicing.

I attended the "Mat class" which involved stretching, toning, and core exercises. It felt great with my ache-y legs, tired hands, and back. Another teacher, Gay, said "most do pilates to compliment their life.

Another perk to Kinesia Pilates? I grabbed a tasty lunch at Sprout Salads, right down the street!

If you're in downtown Seattle and want to a great toning workout, check out Kinesia Pilates for your mind, body, and soul.

Happy cooking,