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Cooks We Love: Lyndsay Sung

We first fell for Lyndsay’s blog Coco Cake Land largely due to her beautiful photography and innovative, creative cake recipes. We keep coming back thanks to the helpful how-to and DIY posts as well as a good dose of summer party inspiration. Lyndsay is a Vancouver-based self-taught baker, blogger, freelance writer and photographer and if homemade ice cream cake, milk tea donuts, or fantastical desserts—you’re going to wish you’d discovered her sooner. She’s the dessert maven we aspire to be.

Where you call home: Vancouver, BC

Blogging since: 2008

What’s your earliest cooking memory? Watching the women in our family (mom, aunties, grandmothers) bustle about and prepare dishes for family gatherings. I didn’t understand or appreciate the immense amount of work putting such parties together entailed until throwing my own parties as an adult! Now I stand back and appreciate everything that is prepared, anywhere. It's kind of like becoming a mother—you don't realize just how hard your own mom worked in creating the person you've become until you become a mom yourself.

How would you characterize or describe your cooking style today? Casual with a large vegetarian component as my husband is vegetarian!

What’s your favorite thing to cook at home? Why? Does baking cookies count? It’s my ultimate favorite. Relaxing, anticipatory, satisfying to pull together with ease andnothing like biting into a still-hot melty and salty sweet chocolate chip cookie. I want one, or seven, right now.

What are three things you have in the pantry at all times? Flour, sugar, pasta (for the kid!)

What’s your “There’s Nothing in the Fridge Dinner”? The one thing you often whip up with very few ingredients or, perhaps, very little inspiration? Brown rice, baked yam wedges with bottled miso gravy and quick sautéed tofu in whatever Asian sauce I have in the fridge… usually teriyaki or tamari. A comfort food favourite for me is fluffy white rice with loose-yolked fried eggs and oyster sauce.

What are some of your kitchen goalsskills you want to improve on or recipes you want to try or master? I’ve never made a holiday turkey! My husband is vegetarian and my mom continues to make the holiday bird. I’ve read all about it for years and watched her do it. I love reading Julia Child’s recipes, and I visualize myself making all of the steps…haha!

How has becoming a mother changed your experience as a home cook? Of course you have to think of nutrition and coming up with dishes I hope my son likes, although he’s not very picky and eats most things, and I’m so glad. Sometimes I think it’s made my cooking more boring because it can be so exhausting to come up with three meals a day so I make a lot of pasta for him (which is his favorite). No more spending hours experimenting. So funny how having your own time is taken for granted before kids!

What are some of your favorite cookbooks and / or food blogs? I love reading the Momofuku cookbook. It's hilarious and well written. It tells a great story. My favorite part of most of my cookbooks are the introduction. Right now some other favorite books are the Four and Twenty Blackbirds pie book—I love the freely styled photography and how the light changes throughout a how-to, it feels natural and right. I love The Mast Brothers Chocolate Cookbook for its rich, beautiful, dark photography—so visually and tonally reflective of the taste of their bitterly delicious chocolate bars! I love the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook too for the mix of classic techniques and Christina Tosi's love for trashy candy and sugary cereals. My favourite food blogs mix good photography with a dash of realism and do-able recipes and/or wacky interesting flavours, and I can really only tolerate ones that have good writing. Current faves include My Name Is Yeh, I Am A Food Blog and Joy The Baker. For outrageously gorgeous food styling and photography I love my friend Linda's blog Call Me Cupcake.

Besides other cookbooks or food blogs, where do you draw inspiration for your cooking? Old cooking magazines, vintage baking books, pictures on Instagram!

Where else can we find you? I freelance contribute to several blogs including Poppytalk, Handmade Charlotte and Craftsy!

UP NEXT IN THE SERIES: Nicole Spiridakis

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