Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reasons Why I Should Have Stayed in Bed

And not go to the restaurant.

  1. It was raining.
  2. I was waiting for notification to start work [my work-work, too much work-work].
  3. I had tons of paperwork for the restaurant [gives me anxiety].
  4. And biggest reason, sometime there are people in the world that just like to make you feel bad.
I think this all good reasons for staying home with the covers pulled over my head. But of course, I didn't even think of these reasons till after I went to restaurant. So I ended up working [I can't call it working since I didn't get paid] lunch shift [I tried my best not to do much, just cleaning and organizing--but don't get me started on that issue] and kept a constant eye on my phone just in case I got a notification from work. I did get to see a lot of customers that I hadn't seen in a while. That help brighten up my day.

Can't say I was happy when I got home, tons of stuff to do, paperwork and cleaning mostly but all I felt like was crawling in bed. But I toughed it out and got to work. [I waited around all weekend to get notification from work. what a crock of . . .] Whew! What a weekend. Sorry for the ranting but sometimes you just got to blow off so steam. 

But this weekend, I'm treating myself to a day in the NYC with friend who I haven't seen in a while. Going to get cultured--going to see an art exhibit and a dance performance of another friend's daughter [a solo performance of her own choreography] with eating in between. I haven't been out at night in the city for a while. Pretty excited. 

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a recipe I just tried out. If you like strawberries and sticky buns, this will be up your alley. It is really best eaten the day it was baked. This would be a pretty impressive dish to bring to a brunch. The strawberry was juicy and collected on the bottom. If you don't like that use less strawberries and more jam. The cream cheese icing was  perfectly sweet and creamy for me.  

This was sent to me by a friend to try out. Kind of perfect timing. Had some sweet strawberries that I needed to use up and want to make up some for me and WG. It comes via Here's the link to the recipe:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Vat of Lemon Curd

Well, it is citrus season [I started this post a while ago when it really was citrus season] and I needed to use up some Meyer Lemons that I had, so why not make 1 1/2 recipe of  Ina Garten's Lemon Curd. It so easy and delicious. Who cares that I have already have a pint in my refrigerator. 

I ended up with total 4 1/2 pints and 4 little jars of curd. I used a bottle for the cookies below and keep 1/2 pint for myself for another attempt at the Black Sesame Chiffon Cake and some macrons. And the rest of the curd will be for friends.

I'm going to try and make some lilikoi curd using this recipe. Stay tune.

Both WG and I love cookies with jam in it. Been dying to try out this thumbprint/Sable cookies from Lottie + Doof with some leftover whole wheat flour and walnuts. And I thought the lemon curd would go great as the filling. This recipe gets a thumbs up. It's perfectly sweet and such great texture. I will more of this. Wish I took a picture. They were very picture worthy. Next time.

But what I really want to use the lemon curd for is a Chai Spice cupcake with lemon curd filling and cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It's one of my favorite cupcakes [I really want to make a layered cake with this recipe but the customers just seem to like the red velvet].

Tah dah! Chai Tea cake with lemon curd filling and lemon cinnamon buttercream. I avoided a decorating disaster, buttercream too hard from spending too much time in the refrig to firm up. Took apart once, to level off layer 1, sort of. This is why I don't enjoy decorating cake. Gave up to idea of frosting the top, buttercream just wasn't doing what I wanted it to do. Made a ring of flowers to hold the lemon curd in the center. I went around a couple times, started to like the look--like a pikaki lei.

Pretty good save. But I have bring it in to work one day late. Forgot to put it in the car. Oh well, Happy Belated Birthday! Hope people like it.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Trapped at home . . .

without my car. WG's car is in the shop and he had to take my car. So I'm working from home for the next several days. I guess it is a little bit of a blessing. I'm massively busy at my job-job [you know the one that pays] and no commuting back and forth, 2 1/2 hours a day, does help, I think? . . .

 . . . Day 6 of no car. I could have guess from the statement of a "couple of days" would turn into this. But it's out of my control and what can I do. . .

CATCH UP. With my project, I've been feeling a bit under water with. I'm exhausted from trying to keep up for the last 2 weeks but this past Friday, I had made great progress and no more drowning feeling [it does help when you know come Monday, you get to turn back the part of the project you've been covering for someone]

KNIT. Since I set  my goal of not buying new yarn and to knit my stash away. I made good work of it this weekend. Three project on the burner: another set of bib and burping cloth, fingerless gloves for WG and a cardigan for hmmmm . . .maybe me or a gift. This is attempt 3 with this yarn/cardigan combo and hope the third time is a charm.

Pattern: Lodi Cardigan by Tanis Gray
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease

From the top down, making nice progress

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hawaii 2013

Too busy since I got back. But wanted to share what I did in Hawaii. Lots of fun and eats.  But not so good as a photographer. Here's a recap with a few reviews and photos here and there. I need to post this now or I'll never get it done. 

Where I went
  • Hiking at Tantalus; I posted about this hike here
  • potluck with my girlfriends from high school [a mini 35th class reunion]
The Girls--Oh my, I just realize how white I am!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Got up early to finish up my goodies for the restaurant--raspberry coulis at 7 in morning. I jumped in the shower, packed everything up, dug out the rest of the snow that came overnight then off to the restaurant. Whew! I'm tired just writing what I did this morning.

Here's the plated version of  my Flourless Chocolate Black Sesame Cake for Valentine's Day.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Instead of walking in the snow . . .

I worked a full day (got a lot done--quiet because of the snow) and helped shovel our driveway then made a batch of sweets for the restaurant for valentine. 

Meringue kisses, some dipped in chocolate ganache, some with ganache and sprinkles and a couple just plain. 

Avoided a disaster while pre-heating the oven for my next sweet. I forgot I had the kisses drying out in the oven. Lost one tray. Thank goodness I made extra.

This is what I was pre-heating the oven for. 
Flourless Chocolate Black Sesame Cake. It's a special dessert for tomorrow night.  It has a very light texture because of the almond flour and whipped egg whites. And a slightly nutty taste. Decide to serve it with a drizzle of raspberry sauce and dollop off whipped cream. 

I mad about this black sesame flavor. And everyone who got to taste test it liked it, too. Hope to get picture of a slice all dressed up.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

And I'm not only recipe testing . . .

I've been knitting away. In fact my goal is to knit away as much of my yarn stash this year as I can. I thought I'd try and sell the pieces I don't give away. My yarn stash is mostly made up with yarn I bought on sale with thoughts of make so kind of fun project. Too busy, no time. I decided to get knit short easier projects that I may be able to sell. 

I been making some kind of version of these for a while. I started this while back probably a year ago. Never finished but remember that I had only a little bit more to finish and I needed a secret santa gift and I thought this would be perfect for the person. She travels a bunch for work and this would help her organize all electronic stuff and it's handmade.

Found a chevron pattern I liked . . .
Chevron Pattern: Adapted Opus Spicatum by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Yarn: Stitch Nation Full o' Sheep

added my flat bottom technique then add a lining, zipper and tassel pull. Hope she liked it.
I still have leftover green and teal yarn so I'm making up a hat. I have something started on needles but just saw an idea on pinterest and I may from what I've done so far to make up my idea. Stay tune.

Varigated Yarn
I got this yarn from a secret santa gift. My hints were cooking, knitting and no pink. This is the gift I got: varigated blue, brown and beige 100% wool. I love wool and this wool was nice, but just not my color. I tried it out as a hat for WG but frogged that. didn't like how the color were coming out. I made this cowl out of the same type of wool for my niece last year. The pattern was really easy for me  and it turned our really nice. So with my fingers cross I started this pattern with the hope that the pattern worked with the varigation. 

I think it looks good. Still need to block. And this maybe the first think I sell. 
Pattern: Maryse Cowl by Amy Christoffers
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool

Baby Gifts
I know three people that are having babies in the next couple of months and this is a good way to use up my cotton yarn. I'm been making these burping cloth and bibs. This is the first one I gave as a gift. I really like the combination. Easy, easy pattern and make you feel really good when it's done. 

Pattern: Baby Genius Burp Cloths and Baby Bib O' Love from Mason*Dixon Knitting
Yarn: Red: Lion Cotton; Ecru: Peaches and Creme

I want to knit up some leg warmer with some wool I have. Wish I started it earlier I'm thinking of sending it to my niece. She move to Almost Canada to Wisconsin after graduation. And she's experiencing the a really cold winter. I saw a picture of her in rainbow leg warmers and thought she could use another pair in a more subtle coloration. That's my next project after the burping cloth/ bib 3  and green/teal hat. Wish I could knit faster or stay up later.