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Auntie Em’s Steak and Potato Pot Pie

I was browsing on the internet and found this recipe – it’s very tasty. Thought I’d share this with you. Terri (Theresa) Wahl is the chef and owner of Auntie Em’s Kitchen in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. She started her career in an all-girl punk band called The Red Aunts where she played guitar. Terri was constantly inspired by different tastes and cuisines she sampled during her tour across USA, Europe and Japan with her band…and that’s how she started her catering business in 1996, followed by Auntie Em’s Kitchen in 2001. Auntie Em’s is known for its farm-fresh, seasonal comfort food.

Auntie Em’s Ingredients for the Pastry

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3-6 tbsp ice water

For the Pastry

  • Cut up the butter into very small pieces and place in the refrigerator or freezer while you work with the other ingredients.
  • Place the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Add the butter pieces to the dry mix and pulse until mixture forms coarse small crumbs, about 10-15 seconds.
  • Add 3 tbsp ice water to the mixture and pulse until dough comes together and holds together when you pinch the dough between your fingers.
  • Pour the dough out onto a cutting board and shape into a ball without overworking the dough.
  • Divide into two balls and shape each into a flat round disc.
  • Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Auntie Em’s Ingredients for the Steak and Potato Filling

  • 2 lbs already braised beef rib meat pulled off the bone (you can use any cooked stewing beef, but I prefer the ribs because they have the most flavor)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch dice
  • 3 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1 inch dice
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • ¾ cup frozen green peas
  • 5 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ¼ cup cognac or dry red wine
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp water

For the Pie Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

  • Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water. Bring this to a boil.
  • After 10 minutes, add the carrots and cook 5-10 minutes more until both the potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Drain and set the vegetables aside.
  • Melt the butter in a wide sauté pan, add the onions and cook until translucent.
  • Sprinkle in the flour; stir and cook 5 minutes, but do not brown.
  • Slowly add the broth to the onion mixture, whisking until the sauce smoothes out and thickens.
  • Add the cognac or wine, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and cook 5 more minutes.
  • Add the beef, potatoes, carrots and frozen peas to this sauce and mix gently.
  • Pour mixture into a 2-quart casserole, soufflé dish, or large ramekins if you’re making individual pot pies.
  • Roll out the pastry dough into one large circle and place over the dish or cut the pastry to fit the individual ramekins. Press down the pastry over the edges of the dish, folding them as necessary.

Auntie Em’s Kitchen
4616 Eagle Rock Blvd
Los Angeles, California, 90041
323 255 0800

Lesson Learnt

It was Saturday morning when I checked the kitchen and found out that I still have mango puree left. Craving something sweet, I was thinking of making mango cheese cake. Uhhmmm…that will be perfect! One lazy Saturday accompanied with mango cheesecake. So, I rushed to the nearest grocery market and purchased the necessary ingredients for cheesecake. Got home and back to the kitchen.

First, I made the crust out of biscotti. Bang..bang…that might be the sound that came out from the kitchen when I crushing biscotti. Mixed it with melted butter, laid it in the pan and put it in the oven. Oh I just can’t wait till it done. While it’s baking in the oven, I started prepping for the mango filling. Cream cheese, mango puree … then disaster started to happen. I opened the ricotta cheese that I purchased earlier and found some green slimy stuff around the edge. Yuck! It looked disgusting. I looked at the bottom of the plastic container and found out that it had expired 2 weeks ago. Arghhhhhh….I suddenly felt cheated.  There goes my mango cheesecake, but I learnt my lesson here – always check the expiration date!


Uhmm…what can I say about this restaurant? Musha is a recent discovery for me and there’s only one way to describe it: Delish! This place has a great vibe – smoky and busy at the same time, but what draws my attention is their menu. It’s filled with handwritten Japanese characters that makes it looks interesting and adds a personal touch. I’m not a fan of Izakaya, however this place is an exception when you come here with a bunch of friends, ready to enjoy some varieties. Just to be clear, Izakaya is to the Japanese what tapas are to the Spaniards. I’d imagine this place would be crowded, weekdays and weeknights, so reservations are recommended. Simple decor, a long communal table in the middle and a few tables on either side of this little restaurant.

Now, let’s talk about the food. There were 5 of us and we ended up ordering 8 dishes – spicy tuna dip, buta kakuni, Musha’s cheese rissoto,  Musha’s fried chicken, Buta Kimchee. Each small dish was tasty and phenomenal. So many unique flavors and ingredients in each portion that I’m sure will make your taste buds dance. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to try cooking on the hot stone grill, maybe next time. So, If you’re in the mood for sake and Izakaya, then Musha is the place to go.

1725 W Carson St
Torrance, CA 90501
(310) 787-7344


I enjoy reading, especially when it’s all about baking and cooking. I’d say 85% of my bookcase is filled with recipe books. There are so many things to explore and to make. I can’t believe how many years it will take me to try all the dishes from that recipe book. Anyhow, I’m not sure the right word to express my feelings right now. I consider myself lucky that my boss recommended me and my work to a photographer; so I met her today and I almost fell out of my chair when she asked me to design a cook book. Is it a coincidence? Anyhow, the cookbook will be published next year and will include at least 40 chefs. I’m so thrilled yet nervous about this project that I started browsing my recipe collections for some ideas…and I realized, it’s not a bad idea to have tons of cook books in the bookcase after all!


A friend of mine introduced me to this restaurant when I was looking for a nice Japanese place to eat. Located in Brentwood, this place is pretty much a locals-only affair. People who visit here are mostly regulars. Takao is amazing for many reasons. Once you’re in, you’ll be greeted by friendly waitresses and they will give you a hot towel to clean your hands to start with. Unlike other Japanese restaurants, this place is considered small, but creates a nice, calm atmosphere. I was a bit surprised when I read the menu – it’s quite expensive for such small portions, but I understand why it’s such a luxury since the quality of the food here is unparalleled. I tried the sashimi and chicken teriyaki. Both were delicious. The sashimis are extremely fresh and so tender. So if you’re feeling like spending a bit extra, be sure to make a reservation at Takao.

11656 San Vicente Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(310) 207-8636

…and now is my turn

Life happens so fast that all seems like a blur. We all have wonderful day, a memorable one and one that stands out in our minds. For me, that will be birthdays. Pictures, friends and cake (presents might be awesome, too!). Those are the main ingredients of birthday. It is time to celebrate who we are, who we love and those who love back. I didn’t get a chance to celebrate my special day with friends last year, however my bosses and co-workers surprised me with huge chocolate cake and that was a blast. This year, I’d like to treasure my day with something different. I want custom-made birthday cake, but I couldn’t figure out which bakery I should go to. I am a firm believer that birthday cake is important, so it is one of the most important decisions I need to make.

So, while doing my research, I came up with this poll, “Have you ever made your own birthday cake”? and the results:

Yes, I make my birthday cake every year: 13%
I’ve made a birthday cake for myself a couple of times: 37%
Nope, I’ve never made my birthday cake: 12%
No, but I have made a cake for someone else’s birthday: 35%
I don’t bake: 2%

Wow! I was thrilled with the answers. It never came across in my mind to make my own birthday cake. So, I’m in for the challenge. A bit nervous, obviously because I want it special and perfect. Hey, it’s my cake!

FYI, there are lots of missing details such as towel, toe nail, brush that I didn’t make. It was a tiring day yesterday but I really enjoyed making it and calling it my own.