Holiday Greetings from Hong Kong

December 19th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Travel

HK skyline

Hello from Hong Kong! If it seems like I was just here…it’s kind of true. I usually make a trip here every other year, but family events mean that I’ll have made two trips here in 2011. I’m certainly not going to complain about twice the opportunities to eat egg custard tarts, xiao long bao, dim sum, and, well, just about everything else. The eating never really stops here.

I’m also making a short jaunt to Vietnam for the next few days, so the posting schedule will unfortunately be delayed. If you want to keep abreast of what I’m doing, I’ll be updating my Twitter and Instagram feeds when I can. And I’ll check in when I return to HK on Christmas, so hopefully they’ll still be a Christmas post on Dessert First this year!

Hope all of your holidays are going well and your kitchens are full of the scents of baking and the sounds of laughter!

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The Dalmatian Coast and Dog Treats

November 8th, 2011 · 15 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

split waterfront clouds

Almost finished with my travelogue from summer – thanks for still tuning in! Our next to last stop on our Mediterranean tour was the town of Split, Croatia. I’ll be honest, in the midst of researching Italy and Greece, Croatia slipped off our plate and we arrived with no idea of what to expect. We discovered an absolutely gorgeous seaside town with fascinating ruins and a cosmopolitan atmosphere. I learned that Croatia’s Dalmatian coast, which frames the eastern edge of the Adriatic sea, has been a desirable vacation spot for centuries, due its sunny weather and picturesque landscapes. We arrived on a particularly stunning day, a perfect postcard of cloud-strewn sky and turquoise waters.


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Pierre Hermé, Macarons, and Me

October 12th, 2011 · 17 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

mint pea macaron tray

Hello! I’m back from a week in sunny Florida, where it didn’t feel like fall at all. But I have a surprise side story: while I was there, I made a quick side trip to New York, and the 6th Star Chefs International Culinary Congress.  I didn’t intend to mix business with pleasure, but there was one reason why I couldn’t pass up this opportunity: Pierre Hermé. Any of you who have read my blog know that he has been one of my biggest pastry heroes and inspired me to go to pastry school. The master himself was at the congress to judge a pastry competition, and to give a pastry demonstration. It is extremely rare for him to make an appearance in the US, so when Bravo North America kindly offered me the chance to sit in on Hermé’s class, there was only one answer: YES!


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Mykonos and Melomakarona

August 30th, 2011 · 12 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

mykonos melomakarona

My second favorite Greek island would have to be Mykonos. This part of our trip was essentially fairytale Greece: sunwashed beaches, gorgeous white houses, unfailingly blue sky. Not to mention the Greeks’ fairly relaxed concept of time…meaning it’s pretty impossible not to feel mellow and lazy after staring at the ocean with lemonade in hand for a couple of hours.

mykonos bay


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Santorini Sublime

August 18th, 2011 · 15 Comments · Cookies, Personal, Recipes, Travel

baklava trio

Hi all! A quick shoutout before I get on with my post – the lovely Deborah of Taste and Tell featured me in her Blogger Spotlight a couple weeks ago. Pop on over to visit her beautiful blog and see my answers to her interview questions!

Now we come to one of my absolute favorite stops on our trip – Santorini. It’s fabled as the quintessential Greek paradise, and justly so, as we discovered. Visiting as a daytripper is not the way to truly enjoy this island: you spend your day shoving around town along with all the other cruise-ship tourists trying to make the most of their brief time on short. We did our best to avoid the crowds, but still concluded that it’s best to come when you have a few days – or more than a few days – to relax into the mellow, unhurried pace of this Aegean idyll. Forgive my indulgence with the photos in this post, but really, there were too many to choose from.


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Naples, Positano, Sorrento, and a Lot of Limoncello

July 27th, 2011 · 17 Comments · Cookies, Ice Cream, Personal, Recipes, Travel


Our last stop in Italy, and probably my favorite, was Naples. We didn’t actually spend any time in Naples, mainly because there were so many places just outside the city we wanted to see – the ancient city of Pompeii, Sorrento, and of course as much of the Amalfi Coast as we could fit in. Sorry Naples pizza, we’ll have to come back for you next time!


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