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Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike in Utah. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Southern Utah is a magical place, filled with beautiful and majestic spots to explore. AJ and I have been there twice, in the summer of 2013 and the summer of 2014, trying to see as much as possible. We feel like we barely scratched the surface. Though there are gorgeous National Parks in Utah, one of my favorite (and easiest) hikes that we went on was the Willis Creek Slot Canyon hike. Nestled in the Grand Staircase-Ecalante National Monument area, the Willis Creek Slot Canyon is one of several slot canyons in the area, some more difficult to navigate than others. Willis Creek did not require canyoneering equipment, nor did we ever have to squeeze between rocks sideways, holding our backpacks in front of us because the rocks were so narrow. But the way the light wrapped around the slot canyon walls still stunned us with their radiance. I hope we make it out there again sometime soon.

Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike in Utah. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike in Utah. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike in Utah. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike in Utah. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

Willis Creek Slot Canyon Hike in Utah. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Call for Recipe Testers!

by Irvin on March 16, 2015 · 9 comments

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Call for Recipe Testers

Hello friends and fellow readers! I’ve casually mentioned that I’m working on a cookbook called Marbled, Swirled and Layered for the past year and the time has come for me to ask if you any of you all would be willing to help me out? I need recipe testers for the cookbook and I would love if you all could try out my recipes to makes sure they work in all kitchens. There’s only so many times I can make a recipe in my kitchen to make sure it works. I want to make sure my recipes are clear and easy to understand for everyone of all skill sets.

I’m looking for people to test at minimum three recipes (though I’m open to you doing more if you want!) and to give me honest feedback. If you are totally persnickety about your food, all the better! I want you to tell me how much you like or dislike the food and how clear or difficult the recipe is for you. Some of my recipes are a bit time consuming, but hopefully none of them are ridiculously difficult. I will need you to actually make the recipe as written, with no substitute which means it might have you tracking down some oddball ingredients that I use or mention (though I do try to also include substitute ingredients that are more common when I do use those weirdo ones as well so that’s OK if you need to use those). All that said, I’m happy to hear your thoughts on what you would have substituted if you were allowed. But I really need you to test the recipe once as it is written first.

I’d also appreciate a picture of the final product (a quick mobile photo works, nothing too fancy) just to make sure the final baked good actually looks somewhat close to what I have done. I don’t want to fill my cookbook with gorgeous but unattainable baked goods if the recipes don’t really turn out that way for people other than myself! The photos are only for my own research, they won’t be used in the book or shown anywhere else.

If you’re willing to test some recipes for me please email me at and let me know your name, where you are located, and what your comfort level is in the kitchen (are you a novice at baking, pretty comfortable with baking, or a total expert and bake all the time). Please also tell me if you have dietary restrictions (if you’re gluten free, no problem I should have supplemental info on how to convert recipes to gluten free, but if you have other dietary restrictions, I can see about having you test recipes that fit within those restrictions).

Please also understand that you can’t share my recipes with anyone until my book is published! I’ll need the feedback pretty soon (a month turn around would be ideal but I have some wiggle room on that) so keep that in mind if you email me. Sorry about that quick turnaround, time just got away from me! Once you email me, expect me to take a week or so to sort through everything and get back to you.

One last thing, I’m afraid I can’t pay anyone for testing my recipes. If that’s a concern I TOTALLY understand! But if you’re willing to help me out, you will have my eternal gratitude for helping me create the best cookbook that I can! You all are the best readers a blogger can ask for and hopefully you all understand.

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Taste of the Nation 2015 - Tickets on Sale Now!

Hey there San Francisco readers! I just wanted to give you all a heads up on the Taste of The Nation fundraising event happening Thursday, March 26, 2015. Taste of the Nation is one of the coolest food events happening here in San Francisco, with beneficiaries including 18 Reasons, Children of Shelters, California Food Policy Advocates and California Association of Food Banks. Last year they were able to raise more than $230,000 and they’ve raised their goal to $250,000 this year! I covered the event last year and it was pretty spectacular, with eats and treats form some of the top San Francisco restaurants. This year sounds like it’s going to be even more spectacular, with bites ranging from a Shiro Maguro Tataki Salad from ICHI Suchi + Ni Bar, Shrimp and Pork filled Cucumbers from M.Y. China to Barbacoa lamb riblets with mole verde from Tacolicious. With over 40 different restaurants serving up bites, I’m totally excited to be going. And as an incentive for my readers, Taste of the Nation is giving 20% off for both VIP and General Admission tickets. Just use the code 2015MEDIACOMP when you buy tickets! For those who can’t make it, I’ll be sharing bites during the event on Instagram using the hashtag #SFTaste as well as posting a follow up photo essay here with highlights of the food! But I hope to see you all there!

[And for all you non-San Francisco folks, don’t worry, I’ll be back next week with a recipe…]

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Japchae Recipe

by Irvin on March 2, 2015 · 5 comments

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Korean Japchae is basically Korean pasta salad made with chewy, naturally gluten free sweet potato noodles. This tasty japchae recipe is super easy to make.

Japchae Recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love/

My partner AJ and I love to visit Los Angeles as often as possible. We have some great friends down there which we adore and try to see at least two or three times a year. But the biggest draw for us (sorry friends) is the food! Japanese ramen, though SF’s ramen scene is finally getting better, Thai food which SF is still lagging behind but catching up and Korean food. Korean food in particular is a love of ours and though I can find some decent Korean food here in SF (I said decent, not stellar) I need to start making it at home more often. One of my favorite dishes to make at home is a Korean Japchae recipe. The equivalent to a Korean pasta salad, japchae is extremely versatile, something you can make with whatever you have in your fridge, almost like fried rice. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Korean Japchae Recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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This is quite possibly the Best Belgian Waffle Recipe, featuring a yeasted batter and the addition of thick cut bacon!

Best Belgian Waffle Recipe, with a yeasted batter and bacon! Recipe and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m quite the maximalist when it comes to food. It’s one of those affections of mine, where every time I make a recipe, I try to figure out how to tinker with it or how to make it just a little more complex. It kind of drives my partner AJ crazy but I can’t help it. I just like to layer on flavors and textures into my food. So when I woke on a Saturday morning with an intense craving for waffles (something that hasn’t happened in awhile in this house), I decided to make the Best Belgian Waffles, a moniker I do not use lightly. (Jump directly to the recipe.)

The Best Belgian Waffles Recipe. Photo and Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

So here’s the thing. You don’t get to call a recipe the Best Belgian Waffles, unless they are really good. I mean drop dead, completely awesome, can’t stop eating them good. I’ve made a lot of Belgian waffle recipes before and it wasn’t until I made this one that I decided these deserve that label. This waffle has everything that a waffle should have. It has a deep flavor courtesy of the yeast in it. It has a crisp crunchy outside thanks to the use of fine ground Semolina flour (otherwise known as Durum flour). And it has bacon in it. Not because it needs it but because I happen to have some homemade cured bacon in the house.

Belgian Waffles Recipe featuring a yeasted batter and bacon! Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. [click to continue…]

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Fried Chicken Skins

February 16, 2015

These deep fried chicken skins served with smoked honey are easy to make and taste every bit as good as they sound and look! I didn’t actually mean for it to be a decadent day of food. But somehow AJ and I ended up getting slow-fast food for all our meals. Slow because the meals […]

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Smoked Honey

February 9, 2015

Sweet and charred flavored smoked honey is easy to make in your home kitchen without a smoker, with this step-by-step instructions recipe! So I’m just going to say it out loud. I’m not a fan of Las Vegas. It’s not one single thing that I don’t like about the city. I don’t specifically have a […]

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Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken aka 鹽酥雞, Yansu Ji or Salted Crispy Chicken

February 2, 2015

This Taiwanese popcorn chicken recipe is a flavorful fried chicken marinated in garlic, ginger, 5-spice and white pepper before being deep fried. “I don’t think I’ve ever had Taiwanese popcorn chicken before, but it sounds fantastic!” said AJ when I told him I was going to make Yansu Ji (literally translated to salted crispy chicken), […]

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Blueberry Muffins Recipe with Blood Orange

January 26, 2015

This homemade blueberry muffins recipe is easy to make and uses a blood orange to give a nice subtle citrus flavor to each bite! It’s been ongoing for the past two weeks but I’ve been craving blueberry muffins like no one’s business. And yes, I know blueberries are completely out of season right now (unless […]

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Spaghetti and Meatballs with Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

January 19, 2015

This easy spaghetti and meatball recipe has an oven roasted tomato sauce that helps concentrate the flavor without a lot of work! It’s January and I feel like I should be doing a cleanse of some sort. Drinking green smoothies, eating a lot of kale and pretending to like breakfast porridge with bee pollen and […]

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Creamed Kale

January 12, 2015

Instead of creamed spinach, try this creamed kale recipe, a classic with slightly more substance but equally perfect as an easy side dish for dinner! “I think I’m going to get a little bit more of that kale. And that something I’ve never said before!” said my sister-in-law as she got up from the table […]

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White Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Sea Salt

January 5, 2015

These white chocolate peppermint cookies have a great depth of flavor from the brown butter while the salt on top keeps them from being too cloyingly sweet! Every year we celebrate the holidays with our annual holiday dessert party right before Christmas and this year I thought I would be crazy trying to throw it […]

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Happy New Year!

January 1, 2015
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Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2014
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The Black and Orange Russian Cocktail [Sponsored Post]

December 22, 2014
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The classic Black Russian gets an update with a touch of citrus orange in the Black and Orange Russian Cocktail! Christmas is almost here, with the New Year just around the corner and I know I’m suppose to be freaking out. I’ve not done my Christmas shopping at all. I’m still cleaning up from our […]

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Pomegranate and Orange Leg of Lamb

December 20, 2014
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My partner AJ totally got excited when I told him I was making a leg of lamb for my last Anolon recipe. It’s been a fun past six weeks creating recipes for an awesome company like Anolon and I have to say that this might be my all time favorite recipe that I’ve created for […]

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Eggnog Cookies

December 15, 2014
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These eggnog cookies are easy to make and have a crispy crunchy sugar coating that makes them a great holiday treat! It seems like a cruel joke but when I went to check to see how much eggnog I had left, I noticed one something. The expiration date was December 24th, the day BEFORE Christmas! […]

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