Sunday, December 23, 2012


After I got back from Italy, it was my younger cousin's 10th birthday.  She requested lavender cake pops and cupcakes so that was what she got.  I made vanilla cupcakes with lavender cream cheese frosting.  The cake pops were red velvet even though it's hard to tell by just looking at it.  She was very pleased with the outcome as was I.   We used Wilton's cupcake holder and individually wrapped each cake pop with a champagne colored ribbon.  

Her birthday pancakes  were the pigs below....

Friday, November 9, 2012

Italy and Istanbul

A few weeks ago I attended one of the most beautiful weddings that I have ever been to in Italy and it was just perfect.  I know that people say that often, but I genuinely believe that this wedding was just perfect as well as the days leading up to it....
Turkish Delights!

Chocolate Croissant


Creme Filled

Hands down the best pizza!



Amalfi Coast

Breath Taking Views and Delicious Food

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Baby Shower

A dear friend of mine is soon to be a Daddy, so my friends and I decided to throw him a baby shower.  The food was delicious!  I took on the task of desserts.
Hand Dipped Oreo Pops

Red Velvet Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting & Star shaped sugar cookies

Mini Eclairs 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday Morning Breakfast

So I got creative this past Saturday just because I was sick of making the same ol' same ol'.  However, knowing that the kids preferred eating pancakes on Saturday mornings I decided to change it up a bit.  Instead of my typical round pancakes, Hello Kitty waffles or belgian waffles, I decided to personalize each pancake.  I poured the batter into a squeeze bottle and wrote out each of their names and the kids loved it!

Homemade puff pastry filled with cinnamon and sugar

In addition to writing their name in pancake batter; I also made my own puff pastry dough.  Yup puff pastry.  For years I have failed over and over again, but out of the blue I decided to give it a try and voila puff pastry.  Yes, it was labor intensive and took an  entire day, but it was worth it.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Magic Lemons

I found Magic Lemons.  What are Magic Lemons?

Magic Lemon

Well you see, on the outside it may look like your everyday meyer lemon, however, when you cut it open you will find somethig very special =)  You just never know what you're gonna get!

Orange and Strawberry Flavored Lemon Wedges

Pretty cool huh?  It made my day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dunk Em!

Almond Biscotti, Madeleine and Coffee

Last night I just HAD to bake and the reason is because I got a new mini madeleine pan.  It is the cutest pan ever. Since I have been baking lots of madeleine cookies/cake I decided to also make almond biscotti.  I have been making biscotti for the past several years, but I am not a fan compared to my sister.  I like to eat biscotti like a cookie, while she likes to dunk it in her coffee and I think that a lot of people prefer it that way.  I enjoy making biscotti because of the aroma of the almond and the way it perfumes the house.  Hopefully, someone out there will make an attempt at making biscotti =)

Preheat oven at 325 Degrees Fahrenheit and line 1 baking sheet with parchment paper
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tsp almond extract
6 tbs butter, melted
1 cup chopped toasted almonds

1. Sift all the dry ingredients except the almonds in a large bowl and create a well in the center.
2. In the well add the wet ingredients then mix with a wooden spoon.
3. Add toasted almonds.
4. The dough will be sticky, but wet your hands a little and form a log and bake it on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a Silpat for 35 minutes.
5. Remove the log from the oven and lower the temperature to 300 degrees.  Allow the log to cool for about 10-15 minutes, then slice diagonally.
6. Place the baking sheet with sliced cookies back into the oven for another 20 minutes or until dry and enjoy!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Look what I got..

Passion Fruit Flower

PASSION FRUIT!  It sounds so fancy and let me tell you the aroma is amazing and the flowers are beautiful and the fruit itself is super cute.  I can't wait until the fruit ripens, then we can mix it with some water, sugar and ice to quench our thirst = )
Passion Fruit

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Summer Goodies

Look what I got today in Old Town!

Barnes and Nobles
Sur La Table 


Well not really....more like quadridog.  My octopi only have 4 legs each.  At one point in my life I enjoyed making bento lunches.  One day I stumbled a upon a website,, and thought that it was the most creative website ever (still is)!  I was inspired to pack bento lunches myself, however, I usually don't eat a proper lunch because I'm always on the run.  Wait, that just sounds wrong, let me try it again..I am usually on the move at work (much better).  Like many things I find on the internet it was just a trend.  It lasted for about 2 years and I bought lots of lots materials and supplies to pack, decorate, cut,  and store cute bento lunches but once the trend was over everything was placed in a storage container.  So recently on a whim I decided to make quadridogs because me nephew wanted to eat hot dogs so I figured why not?  Also, my sister mentioned that she would be interested in packing cute bento lunches for niece when she gets a little older =)  Maybe by then I'll be super excited to help out.  But in the meantime I'm gonna stick to baking.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Madaleine Cookies

Lemon Madaleine

Madeleine cookies come from France and is a spongy, buttery, citrusy cake.  I call it a cookie, but it tastes like a cake to me, who knows.  This is the third batch that I've made in two days.  I didn't take any pictures of the first batch because it got stuck to the pan and did not have the perfect clam shape so they were a bit on the ugly side, but we ate it all because it tasted so good.  So I knew better today to oil up all the molds really well and by doing so removing the cakes from the mold today was a breeze.  The only reason I made so many batches was because the kids at home continuously asked for more.

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour sifted
1/4 tsp baking power
4 tbs melted butter
zest of one lemon
*Updated, Mini Madeleines made on 7/10/12

Preheat oven at 350 degrees and oil the madeleine mold with vegetable oil, I would not use cooking spray or the flour method because that's what I did the day before and it would not release!
1. Beat eggs, vanilla and sugar until it becomes a pale yellow color.
2. Combine the flour and baking powder then gradually fold it into the egg mixture, 1/3 at a time.
3. Once combined, fold in the melted butter and lemon zest.
4. Carefully spoon in about 1 1/2 tbs of the batter into each mold.  Bake for about 13 minutes.
5. Remove from over and allow the cookies/cakes to cool on a cooling rack before eating.
Once cooled you can:
  • Dust with powered sugar
  • Dunk it into coffee
  • Dip it in melted dark chocolate
  • Serve it with tea
Or instead of:
lemon zest, use orange zest
vanilla extract, use almond and add bits of toasted almonds!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Today I went to my local Albertson's just to browse, but while I was walking around with me niece something caught my eye....strawberries and not just any kind of strawberries, RIDICULOUSLY HUGE strawberries.
  By itself it does not look big, but next to a decent sized cherry it is humongous!  I should have taken a picture of it in my palm to compare but too late i ate it =)
Okay I just wanted to share ^_~

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Pork Carnitas w/diced onions and chopped cilantro

At work when there is a party we will usually hire a taco man who will show up for about 3 hours serving some DELICIOUS: carne asada, carnitas, and chicken tacos.  The tacos are so yummy *drool.  So like everything else I have tried and loved or find that's too expensive to pay for I make an attempt to replicate it.  This time I decided that I wanted to make carnitas.  Carnitas is like a mexican version of a pulled pork.  After spending 2 days searching on the internet for a good carnita recipe that I liked I decided to make an attempt.  I tried following the directions I found online, but the only problem when it came down to making it was that after reading so many recipes I took a little from here and a little from there.  So therefore, I usually remember the list of ingredients and add as much as I see necessary.
4 pound of pork butt, which is really a pigs shoulder, trim the fat
3 tbs seasoned salt
2 tbs dried cumin
1 tbs black pepper
1 1/2 cup of chicken stock
5 cloves of minced garlic
1 brown onion diced
2 tbs vegetable oil
2 6oz cans of salsa verde

1. Wash and trim the excess fat off the pork then cut into cubes.
2. Season the pork for the seasoned salt, cumin, black pepper and brown in a skillet.
3. Remove the pork and place it in a crockpot.
4. Add the chicken stock, garlic, onion and salsa verde in the skillet along with all the burnt bits.
5. Pour all the sauce from the skillet in into the crockpot and set it on high for 3 hours.
6. After 3 hours remove the pork from the crockpot and by this point you should be able to easily shred the pork chunks with 2 forks.
7. Place the shredded pork into a casserole dish and pour about 2 1/2 cups of the sauce from the crockpot into the casserole dish.
8. Place the dish under the broiler for about 25 minutes or until the sauce has been absorbed.  If the meat starts to brown too fast then mix it a little.  I like the brown crispy parts so I left it a little longer.

I decided to serve the tacos on warm corn tortillas topped with fresh diced white onions and fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon.  I would have used lime, but I only have a lemon tree ^_^

The carnitas turned out to be a big hit with my family.  I think everyone gobbled down a minimum of 3 tacos each!  Some are way more than that.  We were even thinking about hiring a taco man for my niece's birthday party, but I think that I can handle it now =)

On a Hot Summer Day

On hot summer days there is nothing more refreshing than a cup of ice cold lemonade.  The kids were first introduced to slush like lemonade when we went to Disneyland and we use to go every summer because my younger cousin loved and was a bit on the obsessive side of anything Disney.  Mickey, Minnie, Daisy, Donald, Goofy, you name it she either had it or wanted it.  Since we went during the summer the weather would be ridiculously hot at times and the best way to quench our thirst was to buy lemonade, but it wasn't cheap so of course I made it a goal to replicate its flavor and texture.  So here you go my version of a slush lemonade.

(I always adjust the amount of lemon and sugar just because there are days I prefer my lemonade more sour and the kids prefer it more sweet)
2 lemons, freshly juiced
2 cups of crushed ice
3 tbs of sugar, more or less 
1 1/2 cup of cold water

Combine all the ingredients a blender or magic bullet and ta da you have slush like lemonade! So refreshing, cold and it'll definitely quench your thirst  =) 

I will post a soju recipe for the adults out there *wink wink

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday Mornings

I can definitely say that there is a definite routine to my Saturday mornings, kinda like the way we wake up Monday through Friday for work.  On any given Saturday you can find the kitchen.  I will usually wake up, wash my face, brush my teeth then spend the next hour making breakfast.  Growing up in an Asian household our parents would normally make porridge (you all know what I'm talking about) to eat with maybe eggs, preserved vegetables or something salty.  Anyhow, my nieces and nephew aren't too keen on eating porridge.  So I usually make breakfast before they get up.  The spread usually goes a little like this: bacon or sausage, hash brown, eggs of some sort and waffles or pancakes.  I'm not sure if I actually enjoy making breakfast or I enjoy the fact that my family appreciates it.  I went out on a limb this weekend and made belgian waffles and a quiche.  Surprisingly it came out pretty good.
Belgian Waffle

Monday, May 28, 2012


So I'm steering away from sweets in this post but I think that you'll like it (crossing fingers).  So for Memorial Day my family had a small barbecue.  We made galbi (korean short ribs), potato salad, thai chicken satay with peanut sauce, garden salad and japchae.  Some of you are probably thinking, "what the heck is japchae"?  Japchae is a Korean noodle dish.  The noodle looks like glass noodles, but it is actually a sweet potato starch noodle prepared with lots of vegetables.  I recently learned how to make this, so like everything else I am new to I make it a lot.  Luckily the family loves it!

1 carrot, cut up to match sticks
1 small onion, sliced
1 package of button mushrooms, sliced
2 green scallions cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch spinach, blanched
1 package of potato starch noodles
1 tbs roasted sesame seeds
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs sugar
1 tbs sesame oil
Dash of fresh ground black pepper
(Give or take, just season it the way you like)

1. Stir fry the carrots and onions in a little sesame oil and a dash of salt.
2. Do the same with the mushroom and scallion, then spinach, garlic and sesame seeds.
3. Boil the noodles in a pot of water for exactly 8 minutes and no more, just 8 minutes.
5. Put all the ingredients for the sauce together in a separate pot, cook until sugar is dissolved.
4. Rinse the noodles in cold water then and drain.
5. Mix the vegetables, noodles and sauce all together over the stove until heated through,  then enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Macaron Recipe

Piped Macarons
I think the key to successful macarons is to prep everything ahead of time.  I usually have a mental check off list and it goes a little something like this:

Preheat the over to 310 degrees.  Measure out all my ingredients:
3/4 cup almond meal
2 large egg whites, aged
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup fine sugar

Prepare my piping bag.  Line my 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Have my food gel ready at hand.  Make sure that all my bowls and mixer are free of any oil residue, trust me this is necessary ( boil your beaters in water if you have to).  Separate my egg whites the night before.

1. Sift almond meal and powdered sugar.
2. Beat egg whites until stiff while gradually adding fine sugar.
3. Gently fold the mixture into the egg whites 1/3 at a time.  Add any color food gel at this point.  I usually use Americolor or Wilton.  
*Do not mix, beat, stir or whatever else that does not mean fold because they will not have feet.
4. Fill the piping bags with the mixture, it'll seem a little thick but it's okay.
5. Try to pipe dollar coin size circles as identical as possible.
6. Bake for 16 minutes give or take a minute or two.
(I usually don't wait for a "skin" to form and it still turns out good.)

Once the shells are done, you should be able to slide it right off the parchment paper easily.  Allow the shells to cool then it's time to pair them up add a filling of your choice.  Fill it with pretty much anything you want.  Caramel, preserves, nutella, ganache, cream cheese, custard, buttercream, anything I tell you.  So get creative!  Oh yeah store them in an air tight container for 2 days in the fridge before you eat them or give them away because then you'll get the right texture.  Crunchy and chewy all in one bite...If it doesn't turn out the way you want it to please don't give up because once you get it right, it'll all seem so easy, easy I tell you.  Let me know how it goes!  Good Luck ^_^

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Macarons Galore

French macarons, not macaroons.  Not the cookies with coconut shavings, but the ones with the filling.  When I first discovered that people  were willing to pay $2 for a cookie the size of an Oreo I was like huh?  What made this cookie so special?  I could see that aesthetically it was beautiful and such an adorable treat to have, but I continued to question what made this cookie so special still?  So one day while I was at Santa Monica, I saw a place that sold macarons so I HAD to try one.  I ended up buying a dozen just because they were so pretty and I wanted one in every color and flavor they had to offer.  So like any other treats or dessert that I have tried I had to look up the recipe and make it.  I think like bread I failed the first dozen times or so, but hating to waste egg whites and especially almond meal I gave up...for awhile.  After much research and reading all the blogs that offered tips and recipes I made another attempt and tada I had feet!  Anyone who has made macarons knows what I am talking about when I said that I had feet.  Long story short from that point on I was able to make macarons with feet every single time =) I eventually learned to make caramel to fill my macarons.  I have filled them with:

  • Caramel
  • Salted Caramel
  • Raspberry Preserves
  • Green Tea Ganache
  • Chocolate Ganache

I now know why it is so expensive and truth be told it is because of the almond meal.  I have resorted to even blanching my own almonds,  manually removing the skin and then grinding it; even then it is still kinda expensive.  However, even with that said there is no stopping me from making them.  Now I just gotta find someone to eat them! 

Until next time!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cake Pops!

My very first attempt at editing pictures =)
I still have a long way to go and lots to learn.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Secretary's Day, oops that 's not pc so let's try that again: Administrative Professional's Day. 
These were the treats I made for the 2 secretaries at work.  They are definitely hard working ladies, so I wanted to show them my appreciation.  I usually will swing by Starbucks and buy a gift card and a mug, but after a while it gets kinda boring to receive/give the same gift every single year so I decided to get creative knowing that the ladies have sweet teeth (haha that just looks & sounds funny trying to make it plural, I don't even know if it's correct).

I do not own anything fancy to hold my cake pops in place, so I usually take a cereal box and stab holes in them.  It's not pretty, but hey it's free, nothing beats free.  When the cake pops dried I tied a ribbon to each them that matched the ribbons I used to decorate my white cake box.

They were able to spell their names out with the sugar cookies.  One left her name out on her desk for display for the entire day and the other ate most of it by the end of the day.  

I packaged everything pretty nicely completed with beautiful ribbons and tags, but as a rookie a mistake I made was I did not take any pictures!  

After a Long Day

 After a long day at work the best way to wind down is to bake because I find it very relaxing. I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels that way, although my sisters would beg to differ. Throughout the entire day I kept on asking myself what I would bake when I get home.  A chiffon cake?  Bread again? Cupcakes?  Pound Cake? Cake pops? Heck if I had the time and I would have done it all.  So what did I end up baking? Drumroll please.....cake pops AND chocolate cupcakes.  Like I said, I tend to get carried away.  

I started off with making red velvet cake pops.  I'm not a red velvet fan myself, but I know that it is the flavor of choice for many.  I used my Bella Cucina cake pop maker.  I enjoy using this handy appliance because I find mixing cake and frosting is way too sweet for my liking; plus the benefit of using this appliance gives me perfect balls that look uniform.  I dipped my pops in melted white chocolate and decorated with a variety of Easter sprinkles that I bought from Target (my favorite store and anyone who knows me will confirm this as a fact).  Which I will share the ingredients at a later time.  Then off to cupcakes.

Once I finished my cake pops I started on my cream cheese frosting for the chocolate cupcakes.  I used the following recipe for my frosting:

4 ounce cream cheese
5 tbs unsalted butter room temperature (or your frosting will be lumpy)
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs cream

Using a hand mixer I combined all the ingredients until smooth.  I stored the icing in the refrigerator to stiffen while I baked my chocolate cupcakes.  I used the following recipe for my moist chocolate cupcakes:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Cream sugar and butter together until fluffy then add egg and vanilla.
2. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking soda together in a mixing bowl.  In a separate bowl combine the liquid ingredients.
3. Slowly add the 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter.  Alternate between the dry and wet ingredients.  
4. Fill the baking cups 2/3 full and bake for about 22 minutes.
5. Frost when cooled and *decorate.

*I decorated with a flower made earlier during the week from leftover royal icing and stored in an air tight container.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Dinner Rolls

So when I learn something new I have a bad habit of making it over and over again.  I'm not too sure why that is the case.  It could be because I:

1. want to perfect it, 
2. am excited that I learned something new or, 
3. want to make sure that I truly know how to make it versus getting lucky that time around.

I will usually make it to the point where my family members are nauseated merely by looking at it or will simply refuse to eat it...not because it tastes bad...or at least that's what I tell myself.  Anyhow, with that said, I made bread again but this time in the form of dinner rolls.  The dinner rolls came out SUPER SOFT kinda like the ones you find at the asian bakeries.  
*All my pictures are unedited and it's not because I think I'm a badass, truth be told I just don't know how...yet or ever.

The recipe I used:
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp active yeast (dissolved in 1/4 cup of warm water + 1tsp sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs oil
3 cups bread flour
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bread maker and set it on dough mode.  
2. Once dough has risen in the dough maker, divided the dough in 12 equal balls and place on    
    baking sheet.
3. Allow double in size and at this time preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
4. Bake the rolls for about 20-25 minutes.

Before baking I brushed my dough with different flavors to see which I would like.  I used condensed milk on 4 rolls, butter on 4 rolls, butter and sugar on 4 rolls and I left the last 4 plain.  My niece preferred the sugar one, but hey she's only 2 1/2 years old!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Honey Oat Bread

Wahooo!!! Finally I am able to make bread.  I am quite embarrass to admit how many times I have failed at baking bread.  It seems easy enough: a little flour, water, an egg, a dash of salt, a dash of sugar, sounds easy right?  Nope, because then comes the dreaded yeast.  Yeast is something that I will never understand.  It has such a temper.  Too hot it dies. Too cold it's a dud.  Too old it will refuse to rise.  Just like Goldilocks it has to be just right.  Well fast forward maybe  a dozen or two loaves later, I have finally baked my first loaf of bread that actually looks and more importantly TASTES like bread and not just any bread, Honey Oat.