Category Archives: misc

Sugar Cookies + Icing

Source for cookies

1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

1. Cream the butter and sugar together
2. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt
3. Add flour and baking powder

Fridge for an hour (or overnight!) then roll out on a floured surface and cut. Bake at 400F for 6-8 minutes. (For me the magic number was 8-9 minutes). Makes 90-100 irregularly shaped heart cookies (aka, a lot).

Source for icing

1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp buttermilk
2 tsp light corn syrup
a splash of vanilla

Mix! If too thick, add a few drops of water.

At least two batches are needed to frost all of the cookies above.

Yeasted Cornmeal Waffles (BSK-style)

Makes 10 or more waffles

2.25 tsp yeast (or 1 pack)
3/4 cup warm water
3 eggs
3 cups whole milk
1 cup cornmeal (1/4th should be coarse/polenta for added texture)
2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 tbsp
1 tbsp glutinous rice flour (makes the waffles hold their crisp a little better)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted + extra for greasing the waffle iron
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Stir together yeast and water
2. Whisk together eggs and milk. Then add the yeast+milk mixture
3. Mix in dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, flour, glutinous rice flour)
4. Whisk in melted butter
5. Cover bowl, refrigerate overnight

6. Right before cooking, mix in the baking soda (1/2 tsp)
7. Butter the waffle iron, and cook on medium. (In my waffle iron, I found four minutes at heat setting 3 was perfect)
8. Pre warm the oven, and use that to keep the waffles crispy (they soggify pretty quickly)

Great Basic Chocolate Cake

Adapted from:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 tbsp instant coffee (for extra darkness and flavor!)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare pans (grease & parchment the bottom) — either two 9″ rounds or one 9×13 pyrex (will be a thick cake)

Whisk the cocoa powder, instant coffee and 1 1/2 cups boiling water in a medium bowl until smooth; set aside. Add the eggs, veggie oil, sour cream and vanilla to the stand mixer bowl, mix until smooth. Add in chocolate mixture. Mix in the dry ingredients (sifted together) until combined into a thin batter.

Bake until a tester comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes. Cool slightly, then move to a cooling rack.

Photo A Day: Week 3 Recap

1/15, iPhone:

1/16, Nikon:

1/17, Nikon:

1/18, Nikon:

1/19, Olympus:


1/20, iPhone:

1/21, Olympus:

Oakland Women’s March

5/7 non-iPhone pictures
3/7 used my new light box (yay new toys!)
5/7 were taken at home (i should go out more)

Photo A Day: Week 2 Recap

1/8: iphone

1/9: olympus

1/10: olympus

1/11: iphone

1/12: iphone

1/13: iphone

1/14: olympus

Summary: 3/7 non-iPhone pictures (The Olympus is conveniently small and has a very fun and fast prime (f1.7), but the Nikon certainly has superior image quality)

Photo A Day: Week 1 Recap

I started the week lazily — with an iPhone picture. I had tried to take some pictures of these pens with my DSLR, but the iPhone one was the best of the bunch.

A tokidoki unicorn sitting on my patio table. DSLR + prime lens.

A shot from dinner at Kusakabe. I tried using my DSLR here too, but the iPhone seems to outperform in dim light. Oh how technology has changed.

My newest pen arrived on the 3rd, and there’s a picture of it with my Starbucks planner — they match! Taken with my iPhone.

A photo of my team at lunch at Mourad. Turns out when you’ve set yourself a photo challenge, you bring your camera places.

I wasn’t ambitious enough to set myself goals around drawing or calligraphy, but I do still enjoy trying to do both. Taken with my iPhone.

Moogle inspecting the pool. I’m not sure why he does this… but it’s cute and he looks silly, like a monster may jump out to get him at any moment. DSLR + prime.

Summary: 3/7 – DSLR photos

Hello 2017!

Well, I’m a day late on my yearly recap (a yearly tradition as of last year). But, I haven’t updated in months, so a day late is better than never.

To start with, I read much less than last year. I ended up reading just a little over half as much as I did last year…

  1. The Name of the Wind
  2. The Help
  3. Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
  4. A Darker Shade of Magic
  5. A Gathering of Shadows
  6. China Rich Girlfriend
  7. Between The World and Me
  8. Buddha Standard Time
  9. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
  10. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  11. The Better Angels of Our Nature
  12. After I do
  13. Authority
  14. The Buddha In the Attic
  15. Finding Audrey
  16. On Immunity: An Innoculation
  17. Good to Great
  18. Annihilation
  19. Yes Please
  20. Eat, Pray, Love
  21. The Book of Unknown Americans
  22. The Moor’s Account
  23. Challenger Deep
  24. Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time
  25. Everything I Never Told You
  26. I Don’t Know How She Does It
  27. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
  28. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

But, I did start another blog, but this time with friends — Hand Over That Pen. I really went down the rabbit hole of fountain pens last year, and my “collection” went from about three pens to 15. It’s been quite the adventure (and I’ve met a lot of great people along the way).

I keep forgetting I did this — but it was all-consuming for a few weeks. I renovated

This was my kitchen before: (from the open house pictures)

And now it’s this:

And, lastly, the places I visited: (also a lighter year)

  • Singapore, where I stayed with Tatsie
  • Oklahoma City, OK to Las Vegas, NVon a road trip with Jonny
  • Kona and Honolulu, HI with family
  • Manila, Philippines for Thanksgiving
  • Boston, MA & NYC for work

I’ve set myself some goals for the year (as usual), but also am challenging myself to take a photo every day. I’ll be doing weekly recaps here, and more regular posting on my instagram account, @hellokloh.

Katherine’s 365 Day Photo Challenge Rules:

  • Post photos somewhere at least once a week
  • At least 1/3rd of the photos must not be taken with a smartphone
  • Over the year, take at least ten photos in these categories: macro, wide angle, people, Moogle, black & white and daily life.
  • Stick to the Dogwood 52 week challenge once a week (this is probably the hardest… we’ll see)

The Collection! And a Carrier

  I spent an hour and a half today cutting up a beer box and glueing it back together to make these pen trays. 

The picture above shows my entire collection at this point. The cheaper pens get to bang around together at the bottom of the carrier. 

   Three trays, that hold five pens each. And they stack! 

Red fleece case holds my current EDCs. 

  Then the trays fit into the carrier with some room on the side for a couple vials of ink and some papertowel. Good to be prepared!

   And the carrier itself — black snakeskin, made by hand in the Philippines. The purse was designed by my dad in his past career as a handbag designer. It’s at least twenty years old… But likely older. 

Caddillac Ranch

There’s more spraypaint than car — but, everyone visits with a can of their own.  I’m surprised the cars are still standing!

It was super windy and (because I made the mistake of wearing a dress) I could feel my legs being pelted with cow-scented sand and dirt. I took a longggg shower when we got to our AirBnB in Santa Fe a few hours later. 

Pelikan Nib in an Esterbrook LJ

Not that I have an extra nib, but I was curious — my Pelikan 140 nib fits into my Esterbrook LJ with no problems, ink seems to flow well. This also includes screwing on the cap. However, the converse doesn’t work — Estie nibs don’t fit the Pelikan barrel. 

The Pelikan 400NN nib is larger, and the difference is enough that I’m wary of trying to close a cap over it.