Arsicault Bakery and its Life-Changing Almond Croissantfeatured

Life. Changing. Almond. Croissant.

The pictures don’t even come close to doing this beauty justice. Flaky, airy, and tender, with a vanilla bean-speckled almond filling that’s gooey and generous (and not overly sweet). A bit of the filling is spooned on top of the croissant so that it bakes up to form a bonus golden crust, and best of all, the bottom is deeply caramelized so you get that laminated brûléed sugar crunch reminiscent of a kouign amann.

This is the best almond croissant I’ve ever had, and I do not say that lightly. For real, this is the kind of pastry that will haunt your dreams. And it looks like Bon Appetit agrees with me because they just named ArsicaultBakery of the Year.”

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Healthy Lactation Cookiesfeatured

Well…here’s a recipe I never thought I’d be posting here! I didn’t even know lactation cookies were a thing until I became a new mama. Before I lose the attention of the 99.9% of you to whom milk supply health is not a riveting and applicable topic, let me reassure you that this is a delicious recipe with AND without the active lactation supporting ingredient in it, so if you’re just looking for a healthy snacking cookie this is it! Gluten free, dairy free, and with no refined sugar added, it is nothing short of a miracle that these cookies actually taste great! The bulk of the cookie is made from oats, and it is bound together by mashed banana, peanut butter, coconut oil, and a generous handful of dark chocolate chunks.

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In Gratitude of Mom + a Recipe for her Famous Toishan-Style Stir-Fried Vermicelli Glass Noodles (Chow Fun See)featured

Hello, old friends! So…I went dark for awhile, sorry about that! There have been so many times I wanted to tell you about some new dish or recipe or meal I had, but alas, life has been keeping me on my toes with a new business (ad)venture. Oh yes, and last month I had a baby (!!!), there’s that too. She already shares our love for eating, so she’s fitting in quite nicely.

My parents were recently here to help out and spend some QT with their new granddaughter. They were a Godsend – cooking, cleaning, taking the night shift with the baby, and, taking good care of me. My mom taught Hua and me how to make some of her signature dishes, which brings me back here.

As I took notes and wrote down her recipes for these dishes she’s made for me a hundred times, dishes I wish to commit to memory, it reminded me of why I first started Lick My Spoon long ago. I started writing about food and documenting recipes because I wanted to create a space to share with others the joy I derived from things I’ve eaten. I also wanted to create a place to remember. To keep safe these precious recipes.

As I watched my mom make her famous stir-fried vermicelli noodles — an old Lee family recipe her grandmother (my great grandma) taught her — I realized, this is important. I need to document this so I can recreate these flavors of home whenever I want, so I can make it for Hazel one day, and so I can share it with you.

So on this Mother’s Day, my Mom is the person who has pulled me back to this blog. (Thanks, Mom!) No, seriously, thank you Mom, for everything you’ve ever done for me. Motherhood is hard, yo.

Mother-daughter relationships in particular can be complicated. After this past month though, I have an entirely new appreciation for my momma. Her unconditional love, patience, selflessness, and overall super mom-ness. Thanks, Mom, for taking such good care of me. Thank you for feeding us, for vacuuming my apartment, for sitting with me while I pumped and massaging my wrists because they were sore from holding my baby. Thank you for doing all the sewing patch ups and fixes I’ve been piling up for you, for knowing I didn’t mean it when I got snippy, for teaching me how to put a shirt on a newborn (it’s scarier than you’d imagine), and how to bathe a baby (also potentially terrifying). Oh yeah, and thank you for everything else from the past 33 years. I can only hope to be as good a mom as you.

Now, on to the recipe, shall we?

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The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle: Worldwide Culinary Performance Comes to Manresafeatured

On Thursday, July 9th 2015, 37 celebrated chefs from around the globe swapped restaurants for one night in a dining experience dubbed The Grand Gelinaz! Shuffle. In this worldwide musical chairs production, the chefs not only swapped restaurants, they swapped lives, residing in their colleagues’ homes, working with their staff, dining with their friends and families, and feeding their cats.

The Shuffle was sponsored by S. Pellegrino (you’ll notice that many of the participating chefs are also on the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna), and orchestrated by Gelinaz!, a collective made by chefs for chefs, whose mission is to explore the unknown by creating collaborations between chefs, artists, musicians, scientists, thinkers, and producers. As described by co-founder Andrea Petrini, “The line-up for this performance is a family of chefs, who take risk as a starting point, that are neither fearful of creativity, nor driven by ego, but are fueled by a desire to explore.”

Tickets for the event were sold based on what the usual tasting menu price would be at each restaurant (at the three participating Bay Area restaurants – Manresa, Coi, and Atelier Crenn – we’re talking upwards of $270 all in), which diners blindly paid for the chance of experiencing an 8-course menu crafted by the likes of Rene Redzepi, Massimo Bottura, Albert Adria, or Alain Ducasse, just to namedrop a few.

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