Three Cups Chicken Pt. 2 (三杯雞)

Hai guys. My name's Kelley. Not sure if you remember me 'cause I haven't posted in frickin' FOREVER! But that doesn't mean I haven't been cooking! I've actually cooked more in the past year than in my entire life combined (probably 'cause I've been living in apartments this year). And my cooking style has definitely developed into a more... chaotic variety. But entropy is supposed to increase, right? (or stay the same, but let's not get into thermodynamics here).

This is a recipe for Three Cups Chicken (again) but with drumsticks this time! Mini drumsticks. That were on sale at my 99 Ranch Market for 69 cents a lb. :D food on sale makes meh happy.

Oh and sorry for the crappeh picture D:

Three Cups Chicken

  • 10 mini drumsticks
  • 6 flat slices ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 4 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tbs rice wine
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • handful of basil leaves (that I take from pho restaurants after eating pho!)
  • salt
  1. Rinse the chicken and rub it with salt (to get all that gunky stuff off!)
  2. Rinse off the chicken thoroughly with water. Pat the chicken pieces dry and set aside.
  3. Heat a clay pot (or wok) on high heat and add the sesame oil. When heated, toss in the garlic and ginger and stir-fry.
  4. Throw in the drumsticks, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce, rice wine, and the sugar. Continue to stir-fry the chicken.
  5. Place a lid on the wok and turn down the heat to low. Let the chicken simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until the chicken is completely cooked (drumsticks are a little harder to cook thoroughly).
  6. Toss in the basil leaves and stir well with the chicken for another 2-3 minutes.


Lu Rou Fan (滷肉飯)

Looking back on the past 5 weeks of pledge quarter, I'll admit it was fun. Hanging out with my pledge siblings, getting Korean BBQ with Peter, Laura, and Steve, and many of the PhiDE events were SO enjoyable… really. But you see, I got a strike yesterday (think 'three strikes and you're out' kind of strike). My perfectionist-self kicked in and now I am rather disgruntled.

So that was my emo rant for the day. On to the food part! 滷肉飯 is an ESSENTIAL part of Taiwanese cuisine. In order to make it true Taiwanese style though, you have to use really fatty ground pork (which I didn't, because I don't like fatty foods…). I think it's really the mushrooms that give it a deeper flavor. If you just use meat, it'll just taste like… meat. Which, if you love meat, I guess is a good thing. But come on… you have to pair tastes! Pairing tastes brings out the flavors of both ingredients. Hence, don't skimp out on the mushrooms!

Lu Rou Fan (滷肉飯)

  • 6 dried black shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 stalks green onions, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tbs rock sugar
  • 1 tsp five spice powder
  • 1/3 cup rice wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2-3 slices ginger
  • 3-4 tsp salt

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in water until they are ready to be chopped, then chop them into tiny cubes. Meanwhile, mince the green onions and garlic, and slice the ginger.
  2. Heat oil on high heat, then add the minced garlic and half of the minced green onions, stir-fry for about 30 seconds.
  3. Toss in the 2-3 slices of ginger, and continue stir-frying for another 30 seconds. Then add in the 1 lb of ground pork, 1 tsp of five spice powder, and the rice wine.
  4. Break up the ground pork into little pieces, and continue stir-frying until most of the pork is browned. Pour on the soy sauce, the water, and sugar.
  5. Let simmer for about 40 minutes, then check to see if it's salty enough. If it's not salty enough, add some salt or more soy sauce, and if it's not sweet enough, add some more sugar.
  6. Add in the remaining half of the green onions and stir around. Simmer for another 10 minutes, then serve with rice! Or noodles, if you want.


Shrimp and Tofu (虾仁豆腐)

I apologize for the… not-so-appetizing picture. I really need to get one of those spiffy big black cameras that give great depth of field… I currently use a digital camera, which isn’t so bad for creating memories on the go, but food blogging definitely requires better pictures than a digital camera can give. I’m so jealous! My friend Jono has a wonderful camera (but then again, he’s crazy about cameras, so he deserves it). He really does take nice pictures though. If you can, you should take a look at his photo album on Picasa! He does some pretty crazy stuff with light sticks and whatnot… I’m not really sure how it works. But it’s still cool. :D

On a different note, it’s another dish featuring tofu! As you know, tofu is by far my favorite thing… ever. That and ribbons. I love ribbons. But you can’t really eat ribbons, so… tofu it is!

And… it’s April already! I can’t believe it. My first year at UCLA is almost over, and I’m super excited for what’s coming up ahead. This past week I’ve been rushing for a pre-medical fraternity called PhiDE, and it’s been really fun. From the BBQ to the bonfire (my first ever!), I fell more and more in love with the actives, my fellow rushees, and the atmosphere in general. I actually just had my interview this morning… I was a little nervous, so I probably didn’t do as well as I could have, but I guess interviewing is just going to be a skill I need to practice. After all… practice makes perfect! Just like cooking. On to the recipe!

Shrimp and Tofu

½ pound shrimp

2 tsp rice wine

1 tbs tapioca starch

3 (12-ounce) cartons of tofu

2 bunch scallions

3-4 thin slices of ginger

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs oil



1. Peel and devein the shrimp, if it’s not already peeled and deveined.

2. Rinse the shrimp in saltwater, then pat dry with a paper towel.

3. Pour the rice wine on the shrimp, mix a little, then add the tapioca starch. Stir until fully incorporated.

4. Let the shrimp sit. Meanwhile, chop up the scallions and slice the ginger.

5. Heat a wok on high heat with the oil. When heated, toss in the scallions and ginger and stir-fry for a minute (爆香*).

6. Throw in the shrimp, and continue stirring until the shrimp are cooked (when they turn orange in color).

7. Meanwhile, cut the blocks of tofu into smaller chunks (but not too small, or else they’ll disintegrate into a blobby mass of tofu, which doesn’t look good… but still tastes good!)

8. Take out the shrimp, and gently place the tofu blocks in. Stir around as gently as possible (so you don’t break up the tofu) until the tofu is well heated. Add in the soy sauce and continue stirring for another minute or so.

9. Add the shrimp back in with the tofu, and stir-fry everything (gently!) for another 2-3 minutes. During this time add in salt and pepper to taste.

10. Serve and eat with rice! (:

*爆香, or "baoxiang" is a phrase that describes stir-frying aromatic vegetables (garlic, onions, scallions, ginger, etc) in oil.



I'm a Girl Scout turned traitor. Yes. I admit it. I joined Girl Scouts in 3rd grade when I moved to California, and stayed with it until my senior year when I earned my Gold Award (my Gold Award project focused on teaching elementary school students how to cook… awesome, right?) One of my favorite events every year was selling those amazingly delicious Girl Scout cookies (and decorating the floats for the Rose Parade). As ridiculously expensive as they were, I would still buy so many boxes of cookies each year. Tagalongs are my favorite… followed by Thin Mints and if I'm in the right mood, Samoas!

But… after trying this recipe from Baking Bites, I must admit that I would rather pay $4 for a box of Samoas than make these again. Not that they weren't delicious. They were amazing. But the time and effort it took to make these cookies were borderline being not worth it to make them by hand. (That and the fact that I actually don't like Samoas that much. Blasphemy!?)

But I must keep in mind exactly why I was making Samoas in the first place. For my dearest Christopher! Samoas are his favorite type of Girl Scout cookies. If he wanted more Samoas, I would make this recipe an infinite number of times. I would go through the endless cookie-cutting of dough, the burning caramel, and the melted chocolate over and over again if it meant making my baby happy. Due to… unfortunate circumstances (and epic failure on my part) however, Chris wasn't able to receive the cookies I made… :( But I hope he'll one day happen upon this post and still know that I love him. Happy (late) Valentine's Day babe!



  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract


  • 4 cups shredded coconut
  • 12 ounces caramels
  • 5 tbs milk
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
To make the cookies:
  1. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer until white, light, and fluffy (about 7 minutes on highest speed). Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Mix in the vanilla. If the dough is too dry, add in a few spoonfuls of milk or water as needed. The dough should be tacky.
  2. Separate the dough into two balls, and refrigerate one. Meanwhile, roll the other ball of dough out to 1/5-inch-thickness. Using a circular or whatever other shape cookie cutter you have, cut out as many shapes as you can (it's like a puzzle!).
  3. Take a boba straw (the thick straw used to drink boba milk tea) and use the flat end to cut out holes from the middle of each shape. Peel the surrounding dough off and throw the extra dough into the fridge. Place the dough shapes onto an oiled baking pan (don't worry if you cram them close together, these cookies don't spread or rise very much).
  4. Take the other half of the dough out of the fridge, and repeat the rolling, cookie-cutting, and boba straw-ing until you've used up all of the dough.
  5. Bake at 350F for 10 – 12 minutes (if the cookies are slightly soft right after you take them out of the oven, they'll harden as they cool).
  6. Let the cookies completely cool before you start topping them.

To make the topping:

  1. Spread the coconut evenly on a lined baking pan and toast for 300F, stirring every 5 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown. Let it cool.
  2. Unwrap the caramels and place with 5 tbs milk in a large microwavable bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir. Continue the 1-minute-stir process until the caramel is completely smooth and melted.
  3. Fold in all of the toasted coconut with a spatula, and then spread the topping on the cooled cookies (this sounds a lot easier than it really is… watch out for the burning caramel!)
  4. Melt the semisweet chocolate chips in the microwave (heating the chocolate chips in 40-second-increments and mixing in between) or in a double boiler (I just use a larger pot over a smaller pot with simmering water).
  5. Use a mini spatula to spread the melted chocolate on the bottom of each cookie, then place on a lined baking pan. When you are done spreading the chocolate, refrigerate the cookies until the chocolate is hardened.
  6. Take remaining melted chocolate (re-melt it if you need to) and place in a piping bag (I just use a Ziploc bag and cut off a corner) to drizzle chocolate on top of the cookies. Place back in the refrigerator until the chocolate on top is hardened as well.


I-Hate-My-Life Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sometimes you just want to smash something. Throw things against the wall. Scream. Peel the skin off of something. Chop things up and throw them into a steaming pot of boiling water. And guess what? This recipe requires all of those. (Except the screaming. And throwing things against the wall. You don't really need to scream to make mashed potatoes. But if you want to, I have no objections. To the screaming, I mean. You might not want to throw things against the wall. Your mom might yell at you.)

I never make the same mashed potatoes twice. I've made mashed potatoes with cream and salt, pepper and garlic, cheese and parsley, or simply milk mashed with potatoes. It doesn't really matter. I never make mashed potatoes with the same consistency, either. It depends how angry I am. Never mind that, though. In the end, mashed potatoes are mashed potatoes right?

I don't think you can get much simpler than boiling potatoes, mashing them, and eating them. Really. It's that simple. It's so simple I never even follow a recipe. It's also weird that I like mashed potatoes, because I normally don't like potatoes. I don't like potato salad. I don't like clam chowder (although I can make killer bread bowls). And I don't like baked potatoes. Oh well. It's one of the world's greatest mysteries. I have several other weird food habits that I will perhaps divulge in other posts, but for now, let's just put a cap on how weird I am and get to the recipe!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • 3-4 russet potatoes, peeled (if you want)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs milk or cream
  • Anger

  1. CHOP the MERCILESSLY PEELED potatoes into ¼ inch thick medallions.
  2. Heat a pot of water, then TOSS the medallions INTO THE BOILING WATER.
  3. Let the medallions boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until you can poke through the middle of a medallion easily with a chopstick (feel free to SCREAM at this point if need be).
  4. Drain, and place the medallions into a large pot or bowl that can withstand multiple poundings.
  5. On a cutting board, SMASH the garlic with the side of your knife and finely mince the garlic.
  6. Take a potato masher, whisk, fork, spoon, hand mixer, or any other object and MASH THE FLOOPERS out of those potatoes. Really. Go crazy. (This step usually takes me about 5-10 minutes depending on how angry I am).
  7. At this point, if you still have lots of pent-up anger, feel free to continue mashing the potatoes even if they're already completely mashed! I like smooshing the mashed potatoes around. It's fun.
  8. Add in the garlic, salt, pepper, and milk and mix around with a spoon. Serve using an ice cream scooper to make it look like ice cream!