Grillin' With My Dad

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I want to preface this post, while the spotlight is on Original Grill Master Brian, that my mom is the true masked hero behind the development of this recipe. You see, when I was growing up, my mom knew that I always wanted variety. I’m sure I annoyed her when I constantly tried to guess what spices she put into a recipe. She knew that I had, from a very young age, heightened taste buds (for a kid anyways). She was constantly looking for new recipes to keep dinner fresh, since I was always at rehearsal during high school, and couldn’t help out much in the kitchen during the weeknights. She stumbled across the inspiration to this recipe and it quickly became a staple in our home.

My dad on the left and me on the right, holding up a grilled flank steak on a platter.

I'm in LOVE, with Toddy!

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HA! Gotcha, sorry to disappoint, but Toddy is not my boyfriend. I’m such a trickster. Toddy is my Cold Brew System, and possibly the coffee industries best kept secret. It's up there on my list of top kitchen products and it has quite literally changed my life. If you’re a coffee drinker, it will probably change yours too.

The Healthier Peanut Butter Cup

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Alright y’all. If you’re like me, that probably means you’re obsessed with peanut butter and chocolate. If you hate peanut butter and chocolate… I might argue that there’s something wrong with you. No offense, I still love you! Anywho, I know many of us have put on the quaranTEN these past few months and you know what, that’s OKAY! Even when I’m trying to watch my sweets intake, well, I still want chocolate and peanut butter.

 

But did you know that a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup contains maltitol, polydextrose, soy lecithin, artificial flavors, sodium caseinate, mono and diglycerides and mixed tocopherols?!

Sometimes, I'm CHEESY

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So, I’m sure most of you reading this blog post saw my Instagram/Facebook post of me with a charcuterie board the other day. And you probably thought I was joking about becoming Whisps Snacks Cheese Executive Officer (CEO). Well, it’s a REAL thing! I had to apply with a written essay & photo/video material and everything! I didn’t see it as “work” though, I actually had loads of fun doing it. Basically, if selected, I will get trained by a cheese monger, and receive Whisps snacks and other artisan cheeses to try while virtually working with their Cheese Board. It sounded super fun, so we’ll just wait and see what happens!


A picture of me, a smiling brunette, hair down. I am holding a charcuterie board. It is filled with prosciutto, salami, smoked salmon, goat cheese drizzled with honey, brie, craisins, grapes, gounda, merlot cheese, crackers and marcona almonds. In the background is my kitchen, oven, microwave and fridge. You can see kitchen utensils in a cup on the counter.

Click here to view the Instagram post!

Believe it or not, my dad came across the application to apply. My dad weirdly finds things that I’m very interested in and/or things that are trending on the internet. And sure, some of you are saying, “well dUh, Lauren. Your dad’s like a super-techie-computer-wizard, of course he finds stuff on the internet”. And you’re right, BUT usually he’s not looking for stuff for me on the internet, lol. However, since quarantine began, he became quite good at it (unintentionally). You know the Dalgona Coffee (fancy whipped coffee) trend on tiktok? Yeah, my dad found that before me. And while I’m mentioning tiktok, you might as well go follow me there too for video bursts of all your foodie desires (lauren_hugh).

 

ANYWAYS, back to cheese.

 

What is #BlackOutDay2020?

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It’s hard to ignore what is happening in our world today. The Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have raised awareness to major problems in our society. In the past few months, I’ve found myself feeling somewhat helpless. My family has been quarantining somewhat strictly, and so, since I couldn’t physically help in the immediate future (besides donating), I decided to compile a list of Black Owned Food Establishments to Support in Minnesota.

Two hands of a mixed black womxn (wearing three simple silver rings) hold a burger with bacon, lettuce and tomato on a multigrain sesame seed bun. Accompanied by a white background.

Little did I know, my post was about to blow up on Instagram. At least it blew up by my standards. I knew that there had already been lists that went out made by some much larger publications. However, what I found was lacking, was that the lists seemed to primarily focus on Minneapolis and St Paul.  I knew there were WAY more establishments out there, so I made it my mission to compile all of the Black Owned Food Establishments (BOFE) in Minnesota. I researched for several days, but with the damage the riots caused in Minneapolis, I wanted to get my list out to the world, so people could start supporting these businesses ASAP.

 

Welcome!

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Hey blog fam! And welcome. This blog is mostly going to be about food, but first, let me introduce myself! As some of you may know, I’ve been trying to get on this blog train for quite some time. Some of you may also know, that I am notorious for having multiple interests and being spread incredibly thin.

 

I always knew I loved, to bake (and EAT) from a very young age. My mom is mainly Irish and my Dad is Chinese, so there was a lot of great food on both sides of my family growing up. As you can probably guess, I was a chunky kid, but I liked it. We would cook a lot at home and eat at the best restaurants around.

There is floral wallpaper in the background. And the back of a woman in a green sweater, making whipped cream in a mixer. Two young half Chinese girls stand in front (my sister and I). Their heads barely peak above the cake plates that are filled with colorful pastries. Some are topped with whipped cream and berries, others with chocolate ganache. In the foreground sits freshly baked pumpkin and apple pies. The girl on the left, slightly younger smiles. While the older on the right points to the pastries with a face that looks like she's saying, "this is the good stuff".

me on the left, my sister on the right - we both love to eat!

When I was in about 7th grade, I became OBSESSED with cake pops. I watched YouTube videos for hours to teach myself how to make them, eventually discovering that Bakerella was the best teacher and OG cake pop Queen. I decided to start a little at home business making gourmet cupcakes and cake pops called Peace of Cake Bakery and started to save up money for college. I wasn’t even completely sure what I wanted to go to college for. I knew I loved to cook and sing and make art, but I didn’t know exactly how to make that into a conventional career. So, I dabbled with the idea of going to graphic design or culinary school. At one point I even considered not going to college and just starting my own food truck (still a dream, honestly). Eventually I decided on musical theatre.