Hi, I’m Sam!
I’m a neuroscientist-turned-baker currently living in London, Ontario with my partner, our dog, and far more houseplants than I can keep track of. I’m originally from the Toronto area, where I grew up in a loud, food-loving, Chinese-Jamaican family filled with some amazing cooks. My childhood was punctuated by big meals with my big family, who I grew up working with at the family bakery and restaurant.
My interest in food was a pretty passive one until I developed new allergies as an adult and had to learn (and re-learn, in some cases) how to make everything I wanted to eat. Now I love to try new culinary skills and experiment with different flavours. Making food turned into a comfort, an outlet, and a passion for me, and I hope to share those things with you. My recipes come from whatever I want to eat- whether it’s a childhood craving, a recent inspiration, or a way to use something seasonal from my (excessive) farmers’ market trips.
I used to be a researcher examining feeding behaviours and hunger-related hormones (including stress eating, which I’m still guilty of), and that scientific curiosity generally influences my approach to what I do and how I operate in the kitchen. One of my favourite aspects of food is learning how all the parts work together and why certain techniques get used- if you’re a food nerd like me, check out some of my posts on ingredients and techniques here.
If you have a question about one of my recipes, feel free to reach out (@hungryhungryhippocampus on Instagram or through my contact page) and I’m happy to work it out with you.
Most of my baking recipes are by weight, in grams- it’s a more accurate way to bake than measuring by volume, and minimizes the chance that a recipe won’t turn out as intended because it’s been measured out inconsistently. This is especially true for recipes with a lot of flour in them. There will often be conversions if you don’t have a scale but I’d highly recommend getting one. They’re fairly cheap, versatile, and usually result in fewer dishes to do since you can scale everything from one step directly into the same bowl. The exception to this rule is very small quantities that don’t register well on most scales (like salt, yeast, etc), which I use measuring spoons for.
I don’t tend to have the same feelings about cooking, which is subject to variations in available ingredients and can often be corrected throughout the process, so the measurements for those recipes aren’t always as precise.
I make recipes around my own allergy restrictions- they usually don’t make a difference but I occasionally use ingredients that are less common stand-ins for standard ingredients. They may require a bit of adjusting to be made with the standard ingredients, which I can recommend (but please keep in mind I haven’t tested them).