Monday, December 27, 2010

Gave myself a present

A day of rest--aside from digging out from the snow, I did nothing but stuff for myself. WG even cooked and served me dinner.

Tomorrow back to the grind. One day of work, a load of laundry, getting the files together, more baking and helping out at the restaurant for the rest of the week.

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The sun has come out

A beautiful morning
and it's a beautiful morning. But I think it will be a killer dig out as the snow is partially up the breezeway door. The 2 snow bumps in the middle of the pictures are our cars.

Right out of the pan

the monkey bread. No icing. And I don't think I'll add it. I think it has enough sugar for my taste. Had it this morning. Pretty tasty gooey messy. 

Monkey bread 1

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I must be dreaming bake goods!

Even my bushes look like cupcakes. Out my front door. Looks green tea cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. YUM! Now that sounds like something I should make. 

My iced cupcake bushes

A bit stir crazy?

You would think I would be taking a rest from baking after all the baking I've been doing (2 loaves of lemon cake, 1 batch of chocolate white chocolate chip cookies and bake mochi yesterday and bread pudding this morning). But I just put in the oven some Monkey Bread. Someone from work told me about this--I loved the name and decided I had to make it. Recipe is a adaptation/cheater version from Martha Stewart. I bought pre-made bread dough and didn't use nuts. I hope it comes okay--I would think it would with all the butter and brown sugar in it. How could it be bad. 

Here's the Monkey Bread pre-oven, after it's rise. I ran out of brown sugar topping but the amount I made, I don't think it will hurt it. This snack will come in handy after our dig out tomorrow. I'll post a pic of the finish version with an review later.

Monkey bread waiting for th oven

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The restaurant got a facebook page

Our wonderful neighbor, Brian put up our facebook page. I'm so happy. I've been so swamped at work that I couldn't even get to that. So thank you, thank you, thank you Brian. You have just made my day. 

I wanted to let all my readers know what a great neighbor and about his restaurant in Jamesburg, NJ. It's called Fiddleheads Restaurant. Please visit his restaurant website to see what going on at his restaurant: or facebook page:!/FiddleheadsJamesburg.

I also wanted to let you know that I'm going to stop posting about the restaurant here and move all of that to It's purely the happenings in PrincessHotFlash. Hope you keep reading.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We're open!

As of 6:00am, 12/9/10, we are officially open. Still working out things. Started a blog for the restaurant to feature new dishes and things that are happening there. Here's the link:

Still have posted anything there. It has a banner. Will try and get to it this weekend. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Restaurant Update

Got new tables and chairs a week before Thanksgiving and we passed one of inspections last Wednesday. 2 more to go. 

New tables and chairs

Recipes testing are starting in full force. 1) Dumplings with fried garlic and sweet soy  2) Roast duck on steam bread with hoisin sauce, cucumbers and scallions.

Dim sum recipe test

Duck recipe test

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Very productive long weekend

Took Friday off to get WG's organized. This was for me, so instead of freaking out because I can't find that piece of paper he gave me 3 weeks ago, now I have somewhat of a system.  

I started off moving things around and just getting rid of more stuff that we don't need. Then putting things in places where WG can find it (without me). Finishing up minor tasks that I don't have time for like changing the toner in the printer. Last I finished up the latest draft of the menu and sat with them to delete and clarify things. Went over to the restaurant and got a pictures of the signs in place (see last post).

Went to the eye doctor. Got a new pair of glasses. Kind of giving up on contacts. This past year hasn't been great for the contacts and I thought I'd be good and save a little money and just go for the glasses. I made my way to the asian store for my supplies for this weekend's recipe testing (cucumber kimchi and maybe some chichi dango). Then another round of corrections to the menu. 

Woke up with a headache. Kind of moving slow. But I really want to try that cucumber kimchi recipe. First to clean the kitchen. That has become my ritual before I start making anything. This time I even tackled my refrigerator. I got rid of old stuff and wipe, wipe, wipe. I can't believe how clean and empty my refrig. looks.  

Now I'm ready for cooking. Chop, chop, chop all the ingredient for the cucumber kimchi. Got the recipe from [no recipe]'s blog. SIDE NOTE: [no recipe] is beautiful blog, the images are great. This is my first recipe I'm trying. I'll let you know what I think. It smell very good when I was making it. The only thing I didn't follow in the recipe is I didn't use kirby cucumbers. Probably would have been better but I had the normal ones and wanted to use it. Here's the link: I thought I had everything for the recipe but no. I had to stop and run out to the asian store to get miso, sesame seeds and honey. Had a good stopping point when all the ingredients were chopped and salted cucumbers were sitting. Here's a picture of the my kimchi before it go into my clean refrig, to sit for a while. Hope it turns out good. 

Oisobagi Kimchi

Right out of the oven is Applesauce Cake. Instead of raisin and currents, I added craisins and chopped prunes. Will put on a cream cheese frosting. 
Fresh out of the oven

I'm hoping to make a chocolate white chocolate chip cookie dough tonight to bake later in the week. Look I already forgot about the chichi dango. Maybe I'll make that to take over for thanksgiving dinner.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Signs are up

We are getting there but not quite open yet.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

My Summer Job

I was driving home one night in this past summer, listening to NPR when the summer jobs segment came on. It got me thinking about my summer jobs. I guess they were pretty typical: fast food place, summer camp, with the exception of pineapple cannery. 

I was a trimmer (big knife) on the last shift (overnight to 6 am). Took the job because it paid well and a group of friends were going to do it. On top of that, I still could work at the fast food place (If I only had that energy again).

A trimmer trimmed of the bits of skin still on the pineapple after it ran through the skinning and coring machine (the ginaca machine, cool name). You would sit at the conveyer belt as the pineapples would roll by. You picked one up by sticking your thumb in the core hole and trim the extra skin off the other end. Then you would flip the pineapple (remember you have a big knife in the other hand) to trim the other end. This flipping part took some time learn and after the first night, I had a terrible rash on my stomach from the pineapple juice because I was using my body to help me catch it. 

After a quick trip to the infirmary, because of nausea and my rash, the old timer suggested that we wear a garbage under our clothes to protect our skin. After a couple week, I could flip and catch those pineapples like a pro. 

I did have few "Lucy" moments. There were 6 of us per side, that meant, you need to pick up 1 of  every 6 pineapples that came down. The smaller the pineapples, the faster they would come. If you couldn't keep up, you would have just grab them and put them on the side. The supervisor would either come by and help you (annoyed, lots of sighing) with your pile or they would stop the line for you to catch up (more annoyed, more people sighing). The ladies from the first shift were always so nice, letting us go a little earlier. I think they did it because they just didn't like they way were doing it. 

A healthy muffin

My sister was sprinkling flax seed meal on her morning bagel. I decide to try it to see how it taste. I had flax seed before but not the meal. It tasted the same a little nutty. I decide to buy it when I got back. There's a recipe for Bran Flax muffins. Just the name alone almost scared me away but as I read the recipe I thought it had promise.

Grated carrots and apples, how bad could it be. The only thing is that it didn't have a whole lot of fat in it. It had 3/4 cup of milk and 2 eggs. I was a little nervous.

Well, 17 muffins later the jury is still out. The taste isn't bad, and it is quite moist but the texture a little strange. It could be the flax meal and oat bran. I still think it need some fat (butter or oil). Here's some pictures, before the oven, done, and inside the muffin. The before and after pics look only slightly different.

17 bran flax muffin waiting for the oven

Muffins all done

Inside of the muffin

Mischief night

struck our house last night. 

Ding dong, my doorbell is ring at 10 last night. WG is passed out, doesn't even move. I start making my way down to the front door, looking to throw something on over my pj.

Ding dong, ding dong, knock, knock, knock.
I'm coming, I'm coming. Who is it? I asked with a little concern.
It's the New Brunswick Police, from the voice behind the door.

Now I'm even more concern and I hurry to open the front door. There he was Mr. Policeman and another person with a bucket.

He tells me that there were kids in the neighborhood egging the houses and cars. And our house was one of them. The young man with him was one of the kids they caught and he was here to clean up some of it. 

The young man wipes my screen door off and makes an utter mess. Then give me a half-ass apology with a smile on his face after the Mr. Policeman asked him to do it. And now there were off to other house to clean up.

Now this all came as quite a whirlwind and much confusion for me to absorb in the moments it happen. After they left, I had screen door with a soapy mess on it. It took 20 minutes to clean up. And I could figure out why it had such an aftershave smell. 

So I woke up this morning thinking I could use this morning to start baking early and testing more recipes. But I forgot to get eggs and I think I need more butter. 

So out the door I went at 10 to find out that I had a flat tire. I have no proof of who or what made the tire flat but I just find it an odd coincidence that the flat tire is where there is crap on my car from those outstanding young people from my neighborhood. And by the way, that stinky aftershave smell, is that awful men's bodywash. I have evidence as they threw the container down near my front door. Here's some picture some pictures of the evidence and my flat tire. 
Evidence #1

My flat tire
So instead of baking, I'm writing my story about mischief night and those outstanding young people in my neighborhood. And by the way, they suck. 

recipe test #1

Fruit and Savory pies

I was having a conversation one day about coffee and bake goods when someone mentioned the pineapple empanadas from that famous coffee place and that they don't make them anymore. The way he describe them, they sounded really good, something I would like to eat. So I did a little research and this first test is a result of that conversation.

I really don't like making pie dough but think this would make a great appetizer or dessert for the restaurant. I made up a pineapple pie, tart apple pie and savory mushroom pie. 

For the pineapple pie, I sauteed the pineapples in butter and brown sugar and add grated lemon zest. I like it but it need something else. Maybe some thyme or mint.

The apple I just added lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Kind of traditional. Maybe a pear version would be better.

And the mushroom pie, both WG and my favorite. Made with chanterelles mushrooms, shallots, thyme, sauteed in butter, with grated manchego cheese. It was delicious. I've been drying to make this. WG said we should add truffle oil.

Above all, the crust was really flaky and buttery. But I'm testing and recipe to see if it will work better. 

Next in my line up for these pies will be another try with the pineapple and mushroom, a new flavor: potato, chorizo and pepper combination. I'm making up the dough today and will bake a batch tomorrow. 

Today's baking: peanut butter cookies, some kind chocolate chip and more zucchini bread. I'm trying to adjust my recipe, I think it is a bit too sweet. Stay tune for more pictures.

Here's some pictures of my fruit pies:

Pineapple and apple fruit pies

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A good cleaning

That's what my kitchen got this morning. I needed to do it. Got rid of junk that we would probably not use and reorganized cabinets and shelves. Now I have space on my counter to do something. If it only could stay that way.

Tonight will be a big baking session to test a could of a ideas for the restaurant. Hope one of my ideas turn out tasty. Pictures to come.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm on a new schedule!

I get an 1/2 hour extra of sleep (if I want), get to exercise in the mornings (if I want), and now I have time to do things that I was too tired to do when I got back from work. 

But the best thing is I'm not sitting in as much traffic as I was trying to get to work by 8:30. And I was leaving close to 6 every night (if not later), that it made sense to change my schedule.

Now I only have inspire myself to get running in the morning. Stay tune.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Got the keys!

We officially got the keys on Friday. Saturday started the major cleaning and it continues on. Power washing and degreaser are our new friends.

Got a couple of pictures. All the furniture is moved around because we are cleaning the kitchen and need to move equipment out. Will post more as we have more progress.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Belated Birthday cake

For my sister and brother-in-law. A chocolate loaf cake. Got the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. Overall, not too bad, could be a bit more moist. Good chocolate taste. Not sure how I would alter, maybe another egg, maybe more butter? Would make again but would adjust a little. Here's shot of the cake.

I forgot to add the link to the recipe:

I should take better food images. But with my iphone and my forgetfulness, I take what I get. Maybe I pick up a little point and shoot soon to get better pics.

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The rest of my short vacation

I spent in Orangevale CA @ my sister's. Did some shopping (candy and yarn), didn't make to auntie k's because of all day headache. But spent my day with Mira the dog (2nd niece) try to chase this headache away. Tomorrow all day travel day--drive to sf airport from Orangevale then a flight to newark. Back to work, bright and early on Thursday for day of way too long meetings. I hope I survive. Here's picture of Mira looking annoy because I'm taking a picture of her.

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Marin Headlands Center for the Arts

The wedding I attended yesterday was at The Marin Headlands Center for the Arts. What a beautiful place, secluded amongst the hills of northern CA, wildlife running around. It was an old military facility and it still has all the fixtures and charm. Wish I had more time to go and explore. Worth a visit.

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Trying to take a picture of myself. . .

With my iPhone, in the middle of the redwood forest. I got 4 different versions of me looking confused and unsure if I got a shot. Note to self, close your mouth next time you try this.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Being an adult

I guess since I'm now 50 years old, I should behave like one. So I've decide that I'd stop pouting (or my exact word--stop being bitter) over a something that's already done and I can't change. Things happen for a reason and I guess there was a good reason for it to happen. 

I truly believe there is no such thing as "lucky" and luck is what we make it. So I better get on with what luck I want to make. I've been feeling that "making" spirit lately and I hope that grabs hold soon and I can start turning one my passions into something bigger. 

Stay tune . . .

2 more days

then off to quick trip to Northern CA. First to a wedding then off to see my sister's new digs and a quick visit with a friend. Hope this will be a restful trip because I sure need it. I think my life will becoming quite busy in the near future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

more food research

I got a little bit of 5 sandwiches for dinner last night.

-Cambodian beef sandwich
-Cambodian pulled pork sandwich
-Cambodian catfish sandwich
-porchetta sandwich
-mozzarella/sundried tomatoes/salsa verde sandwich

All the cambodian sandwiches has creamy chili sauce, pickle shredded carrots, cucumber, and cilantro, with siracha chili sauce on the side on a french bread. Sort of like bahn mi. I liked the beef sandwich the best, good asian style bbq flavor on the beef, cooked perfect with a little pink showing, perfect portion to the bread and condiments. Wished the carrots were more flavorful, maybe more vinegar-y. The chili sauce was the right heat for me and went well with the beef and fish. I didn't like the pulled pork texture, kind of mushy. I think it would have been better as sliced grill pork. The fish was okay but not spectacular.

The other 2 sandwiches were okay. Like the fish sandwich nothing spectacular. The best thing about the sandwich was the bread, chibatta. The pork in the sandwich was tasty and had nice texture (way better than the pulled pork) but that was it. There was no sauce or and veggies in the pork sandwich, just meat. I think it need some other texture (crunch) in there and maybe a little bit of acid-y taste. The mozzarella sandwich the cheese was soft and creamy but the salsa verde had no taste so the sandwich was quite bland.

Here's a picture of the catfish sandwich. Once again forgot to take the picture of sandwiches right away. We ate part of the beef sandwich by time we realize let get some pictures.

Cambodian catfish sandwich

Sunday, September 12, 2010

my making stuff queue

My ever growing making-stuff queue is hopefully getting smaller (if I can only stop buying yarn for new project). I've finished a few things and getting very close to another. And of course, I've started several more. I just wanted to share my queue. (btw: love the word "queue" ever since working with my british art director many years ago. I'm happy I got to use it in my blog.)

Finish project: Tiger team scarf 
It's made of linen/merino wool blend. Got the yarn in Boston on a business trip. Need a project for the long train ride home. It's actually more like a wrap so I think I can wear to the wedding in October. 
Tiger team scarf-- all done

Work in Progress: Crazy Yarn Ball Scarf 
I started this on Saturday. I was looking for something mindless and this fit the bill. The yarn was a gift and all I had to do is knit. It even comes with the tassels for the ends. I started off bigger but I think this will be fun longer. So I ripped out everything I did and made it 6 stitches shorter. Hopefully that was enough to make it as long as I would like it. Feels very warm but not sure what I'm going to do with it. I've notice I've making a lot of scarves lately. It's not as if I needed them. 
Crazy ball of yarn scarf

My yarn stash: Suri Alpaca
This is from my local farmer's market. Making a lace crocheted shawl for a gif with the 1st skein (yes, I bought 2, thinking I was going to make another scarf but changed my mind in the process). I tried to take a picture today of what I was making. Didn't work. Photo to come.
Purple/gray suri

My yarn stash: Sea Cell (seaweed) and Silk Blend
My birthday gift from my sister. I know I'll make a lacy wrap/scarf for myself. I know I just said I have too many scarves but I don't have a seaweed/silk blend one. Plus it has the shiny silk-iness that make it so beautiful and rich. The hard part will be what pattern to make. The other 2 thing in the picture is a retrackable tape measure and stitch markers to help keep track of the pattern--these are really nice. I'm usually cheap and have used paper clip instead.
My birthday gift

That's all the stuff for now. Will post more late. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why all the baking?

The other day WG was out @ one the big box store and came home with 4 dozen eggs and as he was taking it out of the car, it drop out of his hands. The first top layer was cracked, 24 eggs. So I tried to rescue as many as I could. And this is the reason for baking so much. I'm trying use up the eggs. 

This is what I've made so far:
Banana cake--2 loaves
Crack pie--2 pies
French Toast-10 slices of bread (I used my leftover ends)

Tomorrow, I'll use up the last of the eggs making a brown sugar cake (did I mention I have too much brown sugar, too. This what happens when you don't look before you go shopping). It takes 5 eggs. That will be it. 

I'm trying to test stuff I want to make for the restaurant. But this batch was just about making the eggs go away. Somebody will be happy with all the stuff I've made.

Baking up a storm

I've been dying to try the Crack pie recipe that I've been reading so much about. I got the recipe from Momofukufor2.  I finally gather all the ingredients together. Hardest one to find was the milk powder. The supermarket I usually go to had giant crates of it. So I end up finding some at the Asian food market. 

But I started off this morning baking my banana bread/cake first. Lots of banana in my freezer. Made 1 recipe/2 loaves. While they were cooling, someone took a slice out of one of the loaves. I guess he was hungry. 

After a little bit of cleaning up (my mom taught me well), the crack pie began. It is a bit of a process, as you make a oatmeal cookie base that you turn into a crust. Then you make the milky carmel-y filling, that you bake into gooey consistancy. Then chill in the frig. There a lot of waiting for it. 

Here'a pic of my crack pie fresh out of the oven. I just put my pies (it make 2 pies) in the frig. I can't wait to taste it. I have a feeling I'm going to really like it. Now off to have some lunch and maybe back tonight for more baking. Pear Cake? More Banana Cake? or maybe blondies (I found out I have way too much light brown sugar). 

Right out of the oven

Friday, August 27, 2010

WG's food research

One of the benefit of the starting a restaurant is the food research. WG went into the city today to get some Banh Mi to try. He did some research and found where he could get some good ones. So for my lunch today--since I'm working from home (did I mention I'm so happy today--could it be because I didn't have to get up at 5:30 in the morning and drive in for crap traffic), I got a delicious Pork Banh Mi. Yum!

Banh Mi

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Things that I don't want

So nothing wrong with truck, WG decided to install the remote starter in the truck. Something I didn't want.

No wonder all the mystery. I hope this doesn't give me trouble. It's the last thing I want in the truck. Why can't somebody ask me first?

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Waiting for my ride

WG attempts to call me 3x this afternoon. All I hear is "hello?" "hello?"
I finally reach him. And he said, "Can you get home by 6:30?"
"I guess, why?"
"Need to drop the car off."
So I'm thinking something is wrong with his car. Not realizing I had a 4-5 meeting, I make a mad dash out of the office @ 4:50. I hit all kinds of traffic, I pull in to my driveway @ 6:35. He's no where to be found. I pick up my phone to find 2 message--Why doesn't he know I don't pick up the phone while driving. So I called him and to be told to drop the truck off at the Honda dealership.

Now wait, I thought it was his car we dropping off. What is wrong with the truck? To make this very long story shorter, it's a 1/2 hour since I dropped the car off and I'm still waiting and I need to use the bathroom cause I made mad dash here.

Why do I even try!

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Off to almost Canada

I'm back from almost Canada. Went a short road trip with my sister and niece this past weekend. to move the little one (she's the tallest of the bunch) in to the dorm for her second  year. 

Had beautiful weather driving up. Wish we could have stopped and played tourist but had to leave later than I wanted because I had to sit in on a conference call before I left (really sucked). The weather was okay for the next day till we really left the school to go back to the hotel. Then rain, rain, rain. I'm so glad we didn't have to move her in on Sunday we would have been soaked

The little one did a really good job at packing her stuff (not too heavy) and not having too much crap (like me). I survive with 1 little black and blue on my arm. I think my sister survive pretty well, she already had a bad back and wasn't hobbling when we left so I think overall the 2 old ladies survived.

On our free morning before meeting little one's boyfriend we went off to find a yarn store in a town near by. Yea! for the hotel internet (no cell phone) and GPS to make it possible for us to find Fiber Options in Rensselear Falls. Cute shop nice selection of yarn and 1/2 the store is a quilting. Here's a pic of the yarn a bought. Going to turn it into a hat or cowl for me (but I bet it will end up in WG's collection).

Almost Canada yarn

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Wonderful Reunion

This past Sunday, I meet up with 4 girlfriends who I haven't seen in a long time; CJ from Atlanta, GA, TO and LLC from Montclair, NJ and LK from NYC. All originally from Hawaii, CJ and TO came to NYC the same time as I did, 27 years ago, this month. (By the way, I didn't remember the date exact date but TO did, she still has the ticket from when we came up. And I think I have trouble throwing things out)

It was CJ's big birthday and she was in town to celebrate. We decided to have a nice lunch @ Momofuko Ssam Bar. We did family style sharing the special bun, market greens, spicy rice cakes and lamb sausages. Everything was tasty but the special bun was delicious--I even ate the yellow  tomato that was in it. After lunch went over to LK's her fab union square apt and talked, talked, a short hop to City Bakery for sweets (double chocolate cookie for me), then back to LK's apt for even more talking. 

It was such a nice time. Lots of laugh. Next time we shouldn't go so long.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Anniversary PHF!

The day came and went but it was 2 years ago, July 21 that I started this blog. I definitely have gotten better at it as I've double the amount of posting this past year. I guess it does help that I can post  on my iphone and I had a great birthday.

Look forward to postings more about food, making stuff, being hot and the new adventure that WG will be sharing with me. He starting cooking class in August and I'm sure that will come with many new stories and hopefully lots of good meals. 

Thanks for reading my silly stories. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cooking up storm

On one of the hottest days of the year, I'm in the kitchen cooking up a storm, sort of. At least I don't have the oven on. 

I just got the bug and decide to make up a nice light dinner and some tasty snacks. So I made some strawberry mint sorbet with mint from my container garden, boiled some peanut with salt and star anise, tossed up a quick green salad and started up cooking some beets from the farmer's market when WG comes barrelling down from upstairs to tell me we are going out for dinner with a friend. I wasn't sure what the main course was going to be yet so I guess this was a good thing. 

I did take some food shots of the process but don't have any finish product because it not going to be done till tomorrow. This is of the sorbet start to firm up and the cooked peanuts, the star anise is in the middle. If I don't forget I'll take some tomorrow. 

Artichoke Dip

We had our July birthday's at the office the other day. We were trying to do something new to change it up from a bagel breakfast. The theme was sort of picnic-y--watermelon, cookies, strawberry pie and I made Artichoke dip with cheese herb crackers. 

Everyone one at the party really like it. I think they were a bit surprised not expecting it to taste that great. I found the recipe from TasteSpotting, it's a collective of foods from other sites. It really great to look at and browser for some interesting recipes. It took me to's Creamy Artichoke Dip

I kind of fiddle with the recipe because I didn't have cumin so I added chili powder (has cumin in it), added a little bit of a kick. I probably add a little more olive oil and garlic but I think that is a taste and texture thing that is up to you. I also added some chopped parsley to the pureed mixture on top of mixing in chopped parsley after (makes the dip look a beautiful shade of green). I wish I took a picture of the dip but I forgot. I bet this dip would make a great sandwich or wrap spread with some roasted veggies and salad greens. And on top of it, it is pretty low-fat. Here's the recipe. Enjoy!

Creamy Artichoke Dip
This Creamy Artichoke Dip is the perfect choice for those who want a healthy option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor.  Serve this smooth, mild and creamy dip with tortilla chips or breadsticks.
Serves 4
  • 1-12 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
Put the artichokes, garlic, oil, cumin and lemon zest in a food processor.  Add the salt and pepper, and blend to make a smooth puree.  Check the seasoning and stir in the parsley.  Scrape the dip into a bowl and serve.

Friday, July 23, 2010

An Elephant in the House

I mean an Elephant chair. A Thai Elephant Chair to be exact and guess who brought it home.

So the story starts out as I mention to WG that I wanted to move the chair in my office up to the bedroom so I can sit and knit and crochet more comfortably. He said "Why don't you buy a new one?" You can't imagine my excitement. We usually fight about what to get. That's why my furniture in my house looks like we just got out of college--hand-me-downs and garbage picked and a whole lot of mis-matched items. I'm like, Okay! (my mind is racing to figure out where can I look for a great comfortable chair that looks great, too. 

So about a month has gone by. I haven't had the chance to look for a chair. 

Then WG said "I need the truck to pick your elephant chair" 
"My what?" I replied very confused. 
"Your Thai Elephant Chair." WG said with confidence
"What does it look like? Where are you getting it from" I worriedly replied.
"It's Teak. Don't worry you will like it. Someone had put a sign up at Pad Thai." He replied back with no clue that about the images and thoughts that are running in my head. Does this chair look like elephant? Do I have to straddle it to sit on it? And what does it matter that it is teak? 

So I end the conversation with "What if I don't like it?"
Annoyed, he answered, "Then you have to buy your own chair and we can put this somewhere else.

Which is what I thought I was suppose to do. 

Well, the chair is here. And it is not really a chair more like a love seat or day bed. And it was heavier than WG and I can carry. But of course, like everything else that is heavy in our house, I had to help him carry it from the truck. There was a lot of yelling about not to drop the extremely heavy piece of furniture. But finally we got it in the house.

With both of us sweating from wrestling the chair in the front door, I asked "are moving it upstairs now?" 
He looks at me like I have 2 heads and said "No, it's too heavy."

So that's why I have an elephant chair in the middle of my living room (please remember, it was only suppose to be small club chair for the bedroom). We still need to figure out where we should put it with all the other mismatch items there. 

I have to say, it is a pretty nice chair/love seat/day bed. And comfortable, too. Here's a pic of the elephant. The bottom section is where it sit on the elephant's back. By the way, when WG was telling how it is suppose to sit on the elephant's back, he said this chair was too heavy to sit on the elephant. Probably the really elephant chairs were made out of rattan. 

My elephant

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Needing some attention

While I was taking my pictures of my unfinished projects, C-nP was walking in and out of the pictures. I guess she wanted some attention. So she got it. Here's she is sitting on her favorite blanket. Loves the quilting on the blanket. Whenever I bring out in spring, she just rolls around and plays on it. Her sister loved it, too.

my unfinished projects

I'm having a lot of trouble finishing project lately. Maybe too many going on at one time?(These are on top of Baby Ribby's Blanket and another secret baby blanket project.) Keep making mistakes then having to rip the out. But I wanted to share what I've been working on beside cleaning out the crap from my house. 

1. A's new shoes. One is bigger than the other. I have to rip apart one side and try and make it match. This is why I hate making pairs of things. They never match. 
2. Tiger team scarf. Needed a project for my long train ride home from Boston and wanted to treat myself for having to attend week-long meeting stuck in a conf. room when the weather was so beautiful. So I fell in love with the yarn first, it is so beautiful. Kind of gun-metal gray with a little bit blue. 
3. Purple ivy. Bought this yarn last winter when this color was so hot. I hope by the time I'm finished it will still be in fashion to wear it. It's a great looking pattern but not good to work on when tired (which I'm always tired lately), too many mistakes. 
4. A colorful cap. Another baby gift. This is taking a really long time; skinny yarn, small needle. But it is really fun and playful. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Working on a new look

So I decided to update the look of my blog for it's 2nd anniversary. Picked a new template, fiddled with my banner (too lazy to come up with something this weekend, need more time). So for now, here it is.

I do want to do something different but I need to think on this more. Like everybody else birthday, I'm late as always. But you Why wouldn't  I think it would be anything different with my blog. 

ps. I'm hoping for some food pics this weekend. I want to make a Hawaiian sweet--chichi dango. Been craving it since my trip in April. Let's see if the recipe I found stand up to the ones I had in Hawaii. 

Last square

This is the last square for Baby Ribby blanket. I'm on the road to a finish blanket. I laid out all of the 4-squares, made a map, and took pictures of each for reference. Will post the finish product hopefully soon. Have another baby blanket waiting for me to work on.

Last square

The map

The layout

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 2, 2010

Cleaning out crap

UPDATE: 6 boxes of of crap went to Goodwill yesterday. 5 boxes of books and a box of housewares. Still have more to get rid of. I'm on a roll now.

I'm on a break from cleaning out crap from my garage. I just loaded 5 boxes of books (roughly 75 books) and a box of housewares in the car. I still have a lot of stuff.

Here's some pictures of my goings-on.
Oat's books
WG's "Keep" books. I gave him 3 full boxes to look through and this is what he kept.

My pile of books
My pile of books, not bad for someone that has 5 boxes in the car to go to goodwill.

Reference books to give away
And a box of reference books to give away to any takers. 

Now I have to figure out where to put all the things I'm keeping. I don't like it in the garage. Hard to get to. And I have to break down the boxes that don't have anything in it. I wished I could get rid of more stuff. Maybe one more sort, and I'll eliminate even more.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Need to figure out what font to use

As you can tell from past several posts, I can not figure out what font to use. I  know the size but the font keeps changing. You would think a designer could make this decision easily but I can't. And it doesn't help that when I post from my iphone, I don't have a choice. Maybe one day, something will inspire me to choose. But for now, I still can't pick one.

A Creative Idea for Medium Fed Ex Box

My office was freezing for the past 2 days. I need to upgrade the air condition vent deflector. With the help of 2 tall people, here is our creative use of a Medium Fed Ex box. 

We cut a hole in the back of box the size of the vent and used the cutout as shim. Then push the box on to the vent and inserted a the shim. Add a push pin at the top to hold it in place. 

I didn't tape up the box tightly, there is still few small holes for cold air to escape for when my super hero power come on and I don't melt away.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Vinegar in My Wash

I finally tried it, 1/4 cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle. My clothes feels soft and doesn't smell like vinegar. I even bought those dryer balls and now I'm softener and dryer sheet free. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

zucchini take two

I decide to give zucchini another try. Got two place (I meant plants) from the flea market--ten times better looking than last year's plant and much cheaper, a dollar a piece. So far so good, but I could be jinxing myself by posting. Here's a pictures of the plants. I kind planted in a odd area to shield it from the varies various wild life that live in my yard.

Zuchinni take two

I've also have potted herbs and a giant weed that I have to pull out one day. If there was a sport to grow weeds, I would be in competition.

My giant weed

See how beautiful my weed grows!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Salsa recipe

I also made some salsa for the Saturday party and brought extras to work. People asked me for the recipe so here it is. No pictures--sorry. Most of the amounts are rough estimates as I kind do it by eye. Enjoy!


8 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced (you can use any type of tomatoes, the plum tomatoes looked good and cheap)
1 medium onion, diced
juice of 1 lemon or 2-3 limes (watch the seeds)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tsp dried ground chili (more or less depending how hot you like it)
1-2 fresh chilies, minced finely
(you can use whatever fresh chili you like, jalapenos, serrano, thai, add more or less depending how hot you like it)
Salt to taste

The proportion to tomatoes to onions should be 2/3 tomatoes to 1/3 onions. Mix ingredients together. The longer you let it sit, the hotter it gets.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Strawberry Layer Cake

I thought I'd share my strawberry layer cake recipe with pictures. Few people asked for the recipes and what a better what to get more people reading my blog by making them go to it for the recipe. The strawberry cake is an modified version of my banana cake/bread. I had some strawberries that I need to use and I was feeling like baking. After a little bit of research on Internet, I decide that I already had great cake/quick bread recipe that I could alter. So 2 loaves and 1 layered cake later, here's the recipe. It is delicious on it's own but with the cream cheese frosting and fresh strawberries for decoration, it makes a great presentation. Hope you enjoy it. This recipe in now in the rotation of cakes I make.

Strawberry layer cake
cooling cakes

Cream cheese frosting
Cream cheese frosting

Finish cake
Finish product

Strawberry Cake

Bake: 325ยบ
Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

2 loaf pans or 2 9" round cake pans

2 cups of cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream, buttermilk or yogurt (I used vanilla but you can use plain)
1 cup strawberries, slice half and mash the other half (you can use frozen strawberries)
1 tsp vanilla
Additional whole fresh strawberries for decorating, if frosting cake

Sift together dry ingredients, place on the side. Cream together butter and sugar to light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time to butter/sugar mixture. Make sure egg is mixed in well. Then add dry ingredients and sour cream (or buttermilk or yogurt) to butter, sugar and egg mixture, alternating the dry and wet ending with dry. Be careful not to over mix. Mix in your strawberries and vanilla to combined. Pour into loaf pans or cake pans. Bake for 45 min.–1 hour. Cake test should come out clean. Cake should be cool before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
I kind of improvised after reading a few recipes and blogs. Mostly all cream cheese and not too sweet.

2 8oz. package cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Whip cream cheese and butter together until nice and fluffy. Add powder sugar a little at a time (so your kitchen doesn't become one big powder sugar mess) till all is mixed. Add vanilla. Whip until fluffy. I didn't put this in the frig but I think it would have been better if I did to stiffen up slight. You can add more powder sugar if you like your frosting sweeter. This makes just enough frosting for a 2 layer cake.

Putting it together
I slice a few strawberries and put them between the layer on the frosting. I decorated with few whole strawberries on top. Just a simple presentation. I think it worked out well. Cake is slightly pink from the crushed strawberries. I think it serves about 12 + depending on how you slice it.