Shanghai Spice Pumpkin Pie

Classic Pumpkin Pie

Hello Internet. It’s been awhile.

Lately, I’ve had a bit of a blogging identity crisis. I can’t decide whether or not Β I want to keep doing this. Β So while work has been hectic and I’ve been settling into my new routine, I decided to give myself a break. I’m not one to write really deep or compelling content on my blog. I kind of look at it as an online recipe box, kind of a treasure trove to what my life has been like in my time as an expat. I go through periods where I cook all the time, and then lulls where I live off steamed buns and rice.

I think if I ever want to get more serious about blogging, I’ll rebrand, get a new name, a sleek custom design, and start really thinking about how to connect with readers. But for now, pie.

Shanghai Spice Pumpkin Pie


Believe it or not, I made this pie in my trusty toaster oven. I can barely control the temperature (if you can’t tell by the section of burned crust), and I had to check on this baby once every three minutes, but it turned out surprisingly well.

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[Exciting] Announcements!

As you may have noticed, the blog has been on a bit of hiatus.

Things have been happening in my life, keeping me busy, and keeping me out of the kitchen. I started a new job, moved into a new apartment, and most importantly, got married!!Β Shiraz and I decided to make it forever and went to the Civil Affairs Bureau to tie the knot. It was the perfect Β culmination of our many years in China, taking pictures on a stage in front of the Chinese flag and seal of the Communist party.

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Roasted Asparagus + Pesto Grilled Naan Pizza

Roasted Asparagus + Pesto Grilled Naan Pizza

One of my biggest issues with having no full sized oven is the serious lack of homemade pizza. Pizza gets a bad rap for being super unhealthy, and if you’re ordering from Domino’s, the chances are that it is. BUT if you make your own pizza, you can control the amount and quality of the ingredients, and it will be probably be healthier and taste better.

How do you make a homemade pizza in Shanghai where almost every apartment is san oven? You make it in your toaster oven on a piece of homemade (or not) naan. I whipped up this grilled naan pizza with some homemade pesto, a small amount of sharp white cheddar, roasted asparagus, and a healthy amount of olive oil. It’s no small salad, but it’s a far cry from the shrimp, corn & mayo monstrosities that pass for pizzas in China.

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[Shanghai Spice] Easy Grilled Naan

Easy Grilled Naan

Making bread can be intimidating. Making naan when your fiance is a Pakistani is a whole different ball game. Naan is life to this man. Having eggs? You better have naan. Pasta with sauce? Naan. You get the idea.

So what do you do when you have no tandoor (the traditional oven for naan making), and no idea really how to make naan? You Google it.

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South Korea Part 2: Seoul

I’m late again sharing part two of our South Korea trip, but it is worth the wait, trust me. There are going to be so many pictures in this post, so bear with me.

If anyone is considering a trip to South Korea, do it! Seoul was one of the coolest places I’ve ever been. We saw so many beautiful palaces, ate so much spicy kimchi (and fried chicken), and weaved in and out of the tiny alley ways in Seoul’s many markets.

[Shanghai Spice] South Korea Part 2: Seoul

Gyeongbokgung Palace, Seoul, South Korea

We left Jeju Island on Friday and arrived in Seoul early in the afternoon. Luckily for us, our hostel was in a super convenient location, so we just took the metro over from the airport. We stayed in the Bangrang Hostel near the Chungjeongno station on the purple and green metro lines. Continue reading