The Playground

A scattered grid of half-finished pieces, random ideas, and experiments that (mostly) have nothing to do with digital product design. Anything goes, but it's mostly cooking experiments.

After having a matcha latte for the first time years ago in South Korea, I've loved the flavor. So I wanted to try baking with the powder. Turns out it's a pretty expensive ingredient, is subtle, and can be overpowered with other flavors like white chocolate. The cookies came out great—soft and chewy on the inside, crispy on the outside, and relatively uniform in size—but could've done with less chocolate to let the matcha shine.

Spring and summer bring out the citrus, fruity flavors in my cooking. So I gave lemon snowballs a try. They're light, sweet, tangy and smell great. Don't ship well (at all), but when crumbled to hell make a great, crunchy ice cream topping.

Tried out some new flavors and pasta shapes for a Valentine's Day dinner. Tumeric roses were filled with ricotta, thyme  and smoked paprika. The leaves were made from dough blended with puréed peas. Once cooked, the pasta was mixed with lemon, butter and mint, then topped with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts.

Tried out some new flavors and pasta shapes for a Valentine's Day dinner. Tumeric roses were filled with ricotta, thyme  and smoked paprika. The leaves were made from dough blended with puréed peas. Once cooked, the pasta was mixed with lemon, butter and mint, then topped with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts.

Spent a weekend experimenting with new donut flavors to bring to some friends I was visiting. The batter was airy with lemon zest and a slight vanilla flavor. The glazes were made from freeze dried strawberries and fresh blueberries. A couple of animal crackers I bought for my friend's son were crushed and sprinkled on top for some texture.

Cheddar and chive biscuits with a after bake coat of melted butter and sea salt. Goes perfectly with homemade sausage gravy and scrambled eggs.

Using a recipe I found that breaks down the famous NYC Levain cookies, I gave it a go one weekend. For equal proportions and baking time, each monster ball of dough was 200g (almost 1/2 pound) and returned a gooey, warm, chocolate-y ball of yum.

Used some left over and frozen fruits / veggies to try out some new pastas. Turned each of the 3 doughs into kale, yellow pepper and thyme pappardelle, and then dragonfruit and pepper pappardelle. 

Honey butter cornbread made from scratch. Went quite well with my homemade turkey chili on a rainy, cold Sunday afternoon. Wish it was a little bit thicker though; so I'll plan to make a double batch next time.

Haven't made laminated pasta, or wine pasta before so decided to give it a shot. Laminated pasta is made typically using plain dough, cut into 2 large sheet. One sheet has herbs or edible flower petals laid on it, with the second sheet is pressed on top. Then rolled to seal both sheets together, and cut into whatever shape is desired. I used basil and dill, and the smells were incredible. Wine pasta was made with 1 small can of malbec wine, and 1 small can of rosé wine. The silky smoothness when using the wine made the dough incredible to play with.

Blood orange glazed shortbread cookies. Cookie dough was made with rosemary, almond extract, almond slices and blood orange zest. After 2 logs of it were frozen, cut and baked, causing my apartment to smell in-cre-di-ble, a glaze made with blood orange juice was poured over 1/3 to 1/2 of each cookie. They go perfectly with some hot tea.

My grandfather died in 2015, a couple of months before my grandmother. Lately I've been missing him, so I was driven to make some black and white cookies in his memory. He loved them, and always brought some home with bagels on Sundays. The batter had a lemon and light vanilla flavor, with the glaze being chocolate and vanilla. The hardest part was getting a straight line down the middle for the covering. Second hardest part was waiting till the top dried so I could eat them.

After binging all available seasons of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix, I felt obligated to try rhubarb. It's on nearly episode of that series. So I made some vanilla buttermilk donuts to dip in rhubarb glaze, blood orange glaze and blueberry glaze. 10/10 recommend rhubarb

For Lunar New Year 2021 I wanted to try making dumplings from scratch. Also, I had been craving pork dumplings for a while and had missed the amazing ones from Hong Kong years ago. So I experimented with making the dough, filling, pleats and frying of the package for the first time. It took forever, and I almost burned down my kitchen, but it was so very tasty. And I had pleating success!

For Lunar New Year 2021 I wanted to try making dumplings from scratch. Also, I had been craving pork dumplings for a while and had missed the amazing ones from Hong Kong years ago. So I experimented with making the dough, filling, pleats and frying of the package for the first time. It took forever, and I almost burned down my kitchen, but it was so very tasty. And I had pleating success!

Pasta roses with lemon zest, thyme and toasted pistachios! The roses were filled with ravioli and thyme, and turned out to be super easy to make. I also used dark cherries for one set of roses, and blueberries for another set to get some natural coloring and flavoring into the dough.

Since I haven't been able to travel since March 2020 and see new places around the world, I've been trying out making dishes from countries I'd like to visit. This is shish barak, a Lebanese dish filled with lamb meat on a pool of Greek yogurt and topped with chili butter, mint and toasted pine nuts.

Trying out lemon poppyseed donuts that've been baked (yes, baked!) instead of fried. Incredibly tasty cakiness, but a lack of drippy white lemon glaze was disappointing.

Experimented with a new design tool named Spline. It allows for easy and rapid design of 3D elements for the web that can be exported as an interactive URL, video and code for development.

Did a study of the Figma app icon from 2D to 3D in varying depths of the Z-index, layers and lighting treatments.

Click here to play with the icons. Zoom in and out, and click and drag to pan around in 3D.

Festive homemade pasta with a vegetable blend. Green is parsley, red is roasted beetroot. Roll out, cook and then top with roasted walnuts cooked in orange zest and better for an amazing complex crunchy flavor

Making homemade pizza for the first time. Pepperoni and hot honey with a crunchy semolina crust dusting

Making homemade pizza for the first time. Pepperoni and hot honey with a crunchy semolina crust dusting

Version of Iseaeli potato cheese bourekas that failed at the end because the potato exploded out the sides in the oven. Wrapping is phyllo sheets coated in egg wash and topped with everything bagel seasoning. Filling is garlic rosemary mashed potatoes with feta and walnuts. Still ate it of course, and was still super tasty

Beetroot pasta dough made into ravioli. Filling is ricotta with rosemary and a dab of honey. Sauce over top was a butter orange sauce with chopped walnuts.

Beetroot pasta dough made into ravioli. Filling is ricotta with rosemary and a dab of honey. Sauce over top was a butter orange sauce with chopped walnuts.

© 2021 Cassie Matias

© 2021 Cassie Matias

© 2021 Cassie Matias

© 2021 Cassie Matias

© 2021 Cassie Matias

cassiematias@gmail.com

cassiematias@gmail.com

cassiematias@gmail.com

cassiematias@gmail.com