Archive for October, 2011

October 28, 2011

Purrfect Costumes for Cats

Halloween is starting to become one of my favorite holidays. When I was growing up, my family would turned OFF the lights on Halloween, no dressing up and no trick-or-treating. Since going off to college, I started to include Halloweeny culture in my life. Honestly Halloween specials on tv are the best and hilarious! Black cats are so cool and come on…FREE candies, especially chocolate! I love pumpkins too! The main thing that really got me into celebrating Halloween is how crafty and creative everyone gets with their costumes.

I have to admit, I am an extremely last minute person when it comes to dressing up for Halloween. Usually, it’s sort of whatever in the closet/play it safe kind of costume. But I do make up for the lack of scary spirit with awesome cat costumes. That is Halloween costume for my cats! Can’t get cuter than dress-up pets:D

Here is a collection of homemade costumes :

Little Red Riding Hood Kitten

Cat with Wings

Bumbe as the White Rabbit, Yun Yun as Alice

Alice in the Wonderland- Cat Version

Pumpkin Hats

This year I thought of the perfect costumes for my cats. It is still in process, I will manage to get it done and carved a jack ‘o’ lantern too by Oct 31st. Come back to see what Bumbe and Yun Yun are dressed as!

October 11, 2011

Potsticker Recipe

Homemade potstickers are the best! Yip and I make them a lot at home and they are great with guests and parties. Back in college, my friends and I would have “wrapping” parties to wrap wontons and potstickers. It’s so interesting to see how different families have different styles of wrapping. We all bring our skills to the table to enjoy cooking and eating together. Making potstickers is not difficult, just a little time consuming if you’re wrapping them by yourself. (That’s why you have helpers!) I’ve never really have a standard recipe to go by because savory cooking is not quite as exact as baking recipes. You can basically mix the meat filling with any variety of vegetable or seafood. Some combinations I’ve added are mushroom, cabbage, chives, shrimp, and even pumpkin! They can be boiled, steamed, pan-fried (potstickers), and freezed. Recently, I made some delicious potstickers and remembered to jot down my ingredients. So I’d like share with you my homemade recipe:)

Pork Potstickers

1 package of potsticker wrappers

1 lb ground pork (I like to ground my own pork)

1 bundle spinach

1 small-sized carrot (julienne)

2 springs green onion (diced)

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 tb fresh ginger (minced and mashed)

1 tb corn starch

1 egg

splash of rice wine

salt & white pepper

_______________________________

Filling:

1. Prepare ingredients: julienne carrots (thin and small), diced green onions, mince garlic, mince and mash fresh ginger. Place fresh ingredients in a large bowl with the ground pork.

2. Cook spinach until welted. Squeeze out the juice with a strainer and spoon, cheese cloth, or your hands. Chop cooked spinach into small pieces and add to the bowl.

3. Add seasoning to the bowl of ingredients: cornstarch, salt, pepper, egg and rice wine.

4. Mix everything together.

Wrapping Potstickers:

5. Fill a small bowl with some water. This will act as “glue” to seal your wrapper.

6. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling onto the center of the wrapper. Use your finger to brush water all around the edges of the wrapper.

7. Bring opposite sides together at one point and pinch in the middle. Pleating only the upper half of the dumpling, make about three pleats on one side going in the direction toward the center. Then repeat with the opposite side, so that the pleats on each sides are pointing towards the middle. You’ll get a nice crescent shape and a flat bottom.  (Stroll down for pictures.) If this is too complicated, you can just sealed the edges tightly.

8. Place your dumpling on a floured surfaced and continue to wrap more.

9. Before you wrap too many, it is a good idea to taste to see whether your filling is seasoned to your liking. Boil a small pot of water and cook a couple of dumplings. Let them cook in boiling water for a few minutes or until they float up. Taste test if you need more salt. If the flavor is good or got the approval of your taste tester, go ahead and finish wrapping your potstickers.

Cooking potstickers:

10. On a non-stick pan, arrange potstickers flat-side down and fill with water just covering the bottom of potstickers.

11. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, turn on high heat and cover with lid.

12. When the water starts to simmer, turn to low heat to steam potstickers.

13. Let the water evaporate and fried til golden brown.

14. Serve with dipping sauce like soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Enjoy!

Ta-da! Homemade Potstickers!

October 5, 2011

Bumbe Bike

Fall is here, which means school is now in session and all the students are back in town. Summer has always been pleasant in ways that there is no waiting in long lines at the coffee house, no solicitors asking you to join their clubs, and no bike traffic. Yep bike traffic! Especially during the beginning of the school year, everyone decides to ride their bikes. Whether it’s incoming freshmen or students who moved to their very first apartment, everyone decides to give bike riding a chance. It is all about biking on campus!

Living in a bicycling town has turned me into a bike lover. It is my #1 choice of transportation. I love bikes! So let me introduce you all to my very special ride the Green Bumbe Bike:)

Vintage single-speed, Univega mixte-style, with custom paint and accessories

A few years ago, Yip bid on this bike at the bike auction. We took the broken orphan bike home and stashed it in the back patio for a while. Then 2 years ago near my birthday, Yip bought me a bike tool kit:D Seriously, I’ve never been so excited to get a box of tools before, because this meant that he was going use it to fix up the bike. And I get to design my dream bike! We took the whole bike apart and did a complete restoration. My role was to choose the color and Yip rebuilt everything else. We repainted it a leafy green and I named it “Bumbe” (after my cat of course). That’s the story about my Bumbe bike and I’ve been riding it everyday since! It is very special to me because it’s our sweet little project. I just love my bike! Thank you Yip for a wonderful birthday gift!

Recently, I made a few upgrades to my bike and it is better than ever! New brown saddle to replace the original cracked and torn one. Aren’t bike parts so beautiful? Old and new!

The original black finger bike grips were surprisingly still in good shape, but I went ahead and changed them to cork grips to match my new brown saddle. I followed other reviewers’ advice and shellac the cork grips to give them a nice amber color and  protection. Also I got a nice shiny bell for added flare:)

On the first day of fall, I started riding Bumbe 2.0 along with all the freshman and their new bikes. A few enhancement makes my old Bumbe bike feels like new again. I’m such a happy biker!

Here’s a list of the new bike accessories I purchased through Amazon:
Selle Royal Ondina Brown Saddle – Very comfortable and happy with vintage look
Crane Suzu Lever Strike Brass Bell – Beautiful bell, but extremely loud
Dimension Cork Grips, Tan – Needs a few adjustment and then it is great, slightly loose fitting
Zinsser Bulls Eye Shellac, Amber – Awesome, dries quick and great color

Update: Bumbe bike was stolen on July 19, 2012 :(

 

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