My 7 Links

Even with my sporadic updates and posts recently (shame on me), I have been graciously tagged and asked to participate in the “My 7 Links” Project by Jessica from Jessica’s Dinner Party! As a fairly inexperienced blogger, photographer, and self-taught baker and cook, you can only imagine the thrill I felt to open an e-mail from a long-time schoolmate and fellow food blogger (whom I’m an avid follower of) inviting me to join in on the fun of reminiscing about my previously archived achievements and connecting with other food bloggers elsewhere. To see a different example of what “My 7 Links” Project is all about, check out Jessica’s 7 Links post which highlights not only her skillful photography, but also her most beautiful works and posts.

The categories are as follows:

1. Most Beautiful
2. Most Popular
3. Most Controversial
4. Most Helpful
5. Most Surprisingly Successful
6. Most Neglected
7. Post I Am Most Proud Of

and here are my corresponding links:
1. Most Beautiful: Shaved Summer Squash Salad

Perhaps not the most spectacular dish nor photo at first sight. However, I found myself struck by the beauty involved in making such a simple yet refreshing salad. The soft, pastel-colored squash shavings curved and folded over one another so effortlessly and elegantly that I couldn’t help but to stare in awe. I find the simplest, untamed beauty most remarkable.

2. Most Popular: Kimchi Quesadilla with Sesame-Gochu Jang Sour Cream

This is fusion food in its simplest and finest form. Who would’ve thought to combine butter-sautéed kimchi with melted cheese within a toasty tortilla blanket? Roy Choi of L.A.’s Kogi Truck phenomenon did. And thanks to him, it inspired me to replicate this irresistible dish with my own pizzazz. It’s one that I regularly get recipe requests for, and rightfully so!

3. Most Controversial: Salt

Since the food scene in Hawaii can seem a little humdrum at times, anything new that deviates from the usual good eats attracts enormous buzz and attention. Salt Kitchen & Tasting Bar was no exception with its tapas-style menu and industrial-chic interior. Unfortunately, despite my rants and raves, I’ve had friends beg to differ. Nevertheless, I urge you to try it for yourself!

4. Most Helpful: Spicy Daikon Pancakes

As a current resident of Hawaii and an aspiring epicure of sorts, taking a trip to some of the local farms (thanks to my restaurant PR/Marketing job) was the one of most informative and enlightening “field trips” I have ever participated in. Beyond learning about food sustainability and security, I received fresh produce enabling me to make these spicy daikon pancakes, literally from farm to table!

5. Most Surprisingly Successful: Short Ribs Burguignon

Absolutely petrified at first to take on the challenge, I tackled this recipe fearlessly. To my amazement, it was a complete and total success (minus perhaps the minor mistake of using regular bacon in lieu of applewood-smoked bacon, which would impart a slightly sweeter and richer flavor). The meat was silkier than just fork-tender, surrounded by a delicious slough of complex flavors.

6. Most Neglected: Chocolate Cake Pops

Amidst the whole celebrity and seemingly universal cake pop craze, I was under the impression that these would transfix more readers and followers.  Perhaps the tedious recipe repelled everyone. Though pretty to look at and almost too pretty to eat, I have to admit I may avoid making these in the future for the very same reason!

7. Post I Am Most Proud Of: The Beginning – A Fresh Start

This post marked the very beginning (and end of an endless series of procrastination). It was a personal rite of passage, a landmark, a stepping stone – whatever you want to call it. It is what it is and it amazes me how much I’ve grown as a photographer, writer, baker and cook. It also serves as a crucial reminder of how improvement has no ends, there is always room for more.

Now… to tag 5 other blogs! Here goes:

Jessica at Jessica’s Dinner Party

Joe at Simply to Taste

Monica at Dear Tokyo; Love Ai

Julie at Is This My Drink

Hannah at BitterSweet

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