Posts tagged ‘sweet’

September 16, 2012

Updates plus coconuts

Yes it’s been a long time… finally feeling some urge to blog again. So what have I’ve been up to these couple of months? Short answer : work. Business is doing well, which means busy. My company Ipomoea Films have increased our number of engagement sessions and weddings this year. Thankful for the word of mouth and people liking our work:) We’re attending lots of fun events and then editing, editing, and more editing! Whenever there is a break, I really become a lazy couch potato… One bad news is my Bumbe bike got stolen. I am really sad my personalized bike and birthday gift from Yip is gone:( I’ve been riding it everyday to work for the last 4 years… But the happiest news of all, is my closest friend recently gave birth to her first baby. It’s a boy!

Now that another summer is coming to an end, I’d like to share with you my favorite treat this season, COCONUT!  Coconut water is a great refresher and feel so tropical too! We brought 2 cases of young coconuts to help us manage this crazy heat.

On my moodest day this summer, Yip made this wonderful dessert! It tastes extra creamy when you scoop up the coconut meat with the ice cream.

Vanilla Ice Cream topped with Honey Pecans in a Coconut Shell

April 24, 2012

Marshmallow Fondant

This past weekend we went camping and grilled some chicken and made s’mores. We had a fun time and finished most of the food we packed, yet we came back home with a pretty full bag of marshmallows. Aside from making rice krispies treats, I have used marshmallows to make fondant. I’m not a great cake baker, but decorating with fondant is lots of fun! Following is a recipe for marshmallow fondant. I made this two years ago during my Ace of Cakes phase. Marshmallow fondant has simple ingredients and easy steps, but makes an extremely sticky mess. Results are absolutely cute!

Marshmallow Fondant
(makes about 2 lb fondant)

16 oz (1 lb) bag of mini marshmallows
2 lb bag of powder sugar
1/2 c Crisco vegetable shortening
2-5 tb water
Food coloring or flavored extracts (optional)

Directions:

1. Melt marshmallows in microwave: add 2 tb water to marshmallows, microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Repeat until marshmallows are melted.

2. Grease hands generously. Place shortening in a bowl for easy access when working.  (The next step will get very sticky.)

3. Add 3/4 bag of powder sugar to melted marshmallows and knead.

4. Add rest of powder sugar and continue to knead.

5. If fondant is dry, add 1/2 tb of water at a time.

6. Once the fondant forms into a smooth, elastic ball, it is ready to be rolled and shaped. To store for later used, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in a cool room or in the refrigerator. Knead soft when ready to use again. Add food coloring or flavoring to color fondant.

Alright, start to play!

A chocolate cake with butter cream frosting and marshmallow fondant. I didn’t have any food coloring and couldn’t figure out how to make the Bumbe figure gray. Yip, so brilliantly suggested to use the black sesame powder that we have in our cupboard. So Bumbe is made with sesame and Yun Yun is made with chocolate! Too cute to eat!

April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Bumbe

April 1st is my cat Bumbe’s birthday! It is no joke, although he probably thinks we’re fooling him every year. Bumbe is 7 years old today! And I’d like to share with you 7 interesting facts about my cat.

1. Bumbe has a Chinese name, Juebalbal (珠波波). We call him that at home.
2. We adopted him from the SPCA, due to returning a sick kitten.
3. During his first year, Bumbe had another cat roommate named Tigey. Then mom and dad decided to live together.
4. He is a star in a college newspaper comic strip entitled, Bumbe the Cat.
5. Every night 10 minutes before midnight, Bumbe always remind me it is bedtime and cuddle time.
6. He is toilet trained!
7. Bumbe snores! Loud!

Here are some pictures from his birthday party. Usually we only have one other cat, Yun Yun the guest of honor, at the party. This time we included more kitty guests! Well…make believe ones. Anyways, Happy Birthday Bumbe!

Cute and awkward picture together:) They were extremely tolerant of the whole shenanigan. Perhaps years of posing in outfits for me. Cat party inspired by Oh Happy Day with lots of fun, cute party ideas and hats.

Happy Birthday Bumbe!

Take a look at my cat’s previous birthday looks from my very first post! Yip bought me and Bumbe an elegant lady cake to celebrate:D

March 14, 2012

Citrus kind of Pie

There is a pie eating party at work on March 14, 1:59PM meaning π = 3.141592653… It’s Pi Day! This awesome nerdy holiday, a played on numbers, is simply fun and quirky. Co-workers bring their favorite pies to share and I get to sample a delicious slice of everything. Yum! How will you be celebrating Pi Day? Doing math home work? Or watch a movie/tv episode about π/pies? (I recommend a cute tv show called Pushing Daisies, about a pie maker who can bring the dead to life.)

Pies are one of my favorite desserts. However, pies can be quite labor intensive to make, especially on a weekday. If you are determine to make something special, may I suggest this simple pie-like recipe, great with season fruits and yummy enough for celebrating. A crostata is a different kind of pie, actually like a tart. It is an Italian baked dessert with a buttery pastry filled with jam, cream, or fruit. Right now, blood oranges are in season, so I found a beautiful recipe and gave it a go. This dessert has warm red colors and baked citrus flavors with sweet Italian cream cheese in a casual rustic style. Sounds interesting right?

Pinwheel Blood Orange Crostatas
Recipe adapted from theKitchn
(makes 6-8 individual tart)

Crust
1½ cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tb sugar
1 stick butter (chilled & cubed)
2 tb ice water
1 egg (beaten)
Sprinkle of raw sugar

Fruit & Filling
2 blood orange (slice into wheel shape)
1 orange (slice into wheel shape) – I used grapefruit.
8 oz. (1 tube) mascarpone cheese
2 tb sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
________________________________________

Preparing Fruit & Mascarpone Creme Filling:
1. Slice citrus fruit into wheel shapes and separating segments for triangle shapes.
2. With hand mixer, combine mascarpone cheese, sugar, and vanilla.

Making crust:
3. Mix flour, salt, sugar  and combine flour mixture with butter. You may use a food processor.  I mix it with my hands, squeezing and crumbling the dough until the flour and butter are evenly distributed into each other.
4. Add ice water and mix in with dough.
5. Form dough into ball, refrigerate for 20 min.
6. Divide dough into 6-8 balls.
7. Roll dough balls ~ 1/4″ thick and ~4-6″ diameter. Don’t need to worry about perfect edges. Place discs on parchment paper.

Arrangement & Baking:
8. Spread creme filling in middle of dough disc.
9. Arrange fruits, alternating colors to create a pinwheel.
10. Fold dough edges around covering half the fruit arrangement.
11. Refrigerate crostatas for half an hour.
12. When ready to bake, brush with egg wash and sprinkle on raw sugar.
13. Bake 375 degrees about 30 min. or until golden brown. Cool and top with creme.

 

Special message from sweet ipomoea: First time being Freshly Pressed! Thank you all for the likes, comments, and follows! It is so exciting to hear from people from all over the world! Thank you for your kindness! :D

March 3, 2012

Sweet & Sour Pork

This weekend, we are celebrating National Pig Day. It is my favorite event that my local farmer’s market organizes, where there are many pig theme decors, activities and yep food too! In the spirit, I’ll share this sweet and sour pork recipe, which I learned from my recent trip.

During my trip to Hong Kong, I managed to peek into Yip’s mom’s kitchen to see her secret in master cooking. This recipe was said to be passed from grandma to her and now to me. This is merely based on observation. I had to come up with the measurements as I cooked it myself when I returned home. All the ingredients are the same, but somehow food always taste better when mom cooks. This is not a dish we eat often at home, due to it’s popularity in take out and cumbersome steps. It is sure impressive for guests and colorful too. I feel happy knowing how it is prepared and cooking a tasty dish on my own.

Sweet and Sour Pork
(makes about 4 servings)

1 boneless pork chop (cubed)
1/4 of green and red bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 of onion (chopped)
3/4 cup pineapple (cubed)
1 egg
flour
oil for frying

Sauce
3 tb ketchup
2 tb vinegar (white/rice)
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tb water
1/2 tb cornstarch

Directions:
1. Chop pork chop into 1/2 inch cubes and marinate for 1 hour or overnight with salt, sugar, and cornstarch.

2. Making the sauce:
Add ketchup, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, sugar, and water in a pot, cooking in medium heat. Stir to mix and adjusting the taste to your liking. (Example: needing more sour, add vinegar.) In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and a little water together. Add to your sweet and sour sauce to thicken it. Put sauce aside.

3. Frying pork:
Coat pork with egg wash and then flour to fry in oil. Take crispy pork out when golden brown and drain on paper towels. Put aside to cool. Refry pork to get it more crispy. Drain on paper towels to soak up oil.

4. In a wok, stir fry bell pepper, onion, pineapple. Don’t over cook. Add pork and sauce.

Hopefully, next time I go back to Hong Kong, I will learn more cooking. I know the bf will like that:)

February 14, 2012

Happy ♡ Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. With the holidays and a trip abroad, it’s been a very busy couple of months. Now I’m back with many interesting things to blog about. So for now, here’s a cute photo I set up for my sweetie who is still in Hong Kong. I miss you and waiting for you to come home:)

Macarons are from Ginger Elizabeth in Sacramento. Any chocolate lovers nearby should go there and get some sweet Valentine’s treats. They are so delightful!

August 18, 2011

Chocolate Chip & Cinnamon Breakfast Cake

Here’s a simple and yummy treat! I found this recipe because I wanted to use up the rest of my sour cream and I have all the ingredients at home. I made this cake after work, but when we were done with dinner, we were too full to eat it. So the next morning, here’s our wonderful breakfast! This is a coffee cake and it is intended to be served with coffee or for break time. Coffee cake does not need to contain coffee, and my cake didn’t have any coffee, so I like to be more literal and changed the name at bit. Also instead of chocolate chips, I chopped up a bar of dark chocolate with almonds, used a little less sugar and didn’t sprinkle all the cinnamon-sugar topping. You may add chocolate chips in the filling or nuts or fruits. I think all the variations will taste good!

Chocolate and Cinnamon Breakfast Cake
Recipe adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

2 cup flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping/Filling
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tb brown sugar
1½  tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Cream butter and 3/4 c sugar until fluffy. Add and mix eggs, sour cream, and vanilla.
4. Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.
5. In a small bowl, stir together cinnamon sugar topping/filling ingredients.
6. Pour half of the cake batter onto baking pan. Sprinkle half cinnamon sugar over batter.
7. Spread rest of batter over and sprinkle cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips on top.
8. Bake 350° for 40 min or until golden and center comes clean.
9. Cool and serve with coffee.

I brewed up a pot of French roasted coffee in the morning and had it with my chocolate cinnamon breakfast cake! It was a perfect match:9 The cake is moist and crumbly too. Not too sweet and has Chocolate! Boyfriend approved! Both of us ate this throughout the day. Next time, I want to make a coffee cake with coffee!

Here’s nosy Yun Yun, who never likes to be left out of anything! Sunflowers were picked by my thoughtful boyfriend on his way back home from work:)

August 14, 2011

Art Show + Ice Cream on Top

Last weekend, I went to the Meridian Interns Program (MIP) reunion show’s opening reception at Meridian Gallery. When I was in high school, I worked at this non-profit art gallery, located in downtown San Francisco. For this year’s reunion show, alumni interns were asked to submit their artwork, so I was really happy for the opportunity to display my work.  I submitted a painting, drawing, and a collaborative video with Yip about our business Ipomoea Films. And of course cat inspirations in all three pieces:) I got to see some friends, wonderful art work and even made a little speech! The show will up til August 20th. So check it out, if you’re in the area.

Also on our way back home that day, we stopped by Berkeley and got some ice cream at Ici! Wonderful creamy ice cream with quality ingredients you can taste. They have some creative flavors and hand rolled cones. Their shop is just cute and pretty and I love their logo.

Got the Candied Cacao Nibs! Perfect end to a great day in the city:)

(Yea I’m wearing a sweater because summer in the bay is cold.)

July 7, 2011

Fruit Orchard, Part 2- More fruit picking

Last week, I talked about my favorite fruit to pick, cherries. Well, I’m not done yet because there are so much more fruits at my local u-pickin’ farm, Impossible Acres. They are open for picking all summer long!

Let me explain how it works: when you arrive, there is a front stand where you ask for boxes to put your fruits in. Then you may go ahead and pick any fruits and veggies you like. When you are done having fun, bring your crops back to the front stand and just pay for what you pick! The average price is $2-3 per pound, depending on the type of fruits. There is no admission fee or time limit. It is really a fun activity for family and fruit lovers, without spending a whole lot of money.

Don’t forget to wear a hat and protect yourself from the beaming sun. Even though there are lots of trees, they are not tall enough to provide enough shade.

I love the smell of peaches. White peaches are one of my favorite fruits!

Apricots trees are so pretty!

Look at all the cute name signs!

Berries are delicious!

We meet some friendly animals nearby:)

So many fruits to pick: raspberry, strawberry, and plum.

Late in the summer and fall, there are apples available for picking!

Our colorful fruits and vegetables, hand picked fresh! They are such great inspirations for cooking and baking:)

July 3, 2011

Fruit Orchard, Part 1- Cherry Picking

Sometimes I feel so lucky to be surrounded by farms. Especially this time every year, it is super convenient to pick fresh fruits. Minutes away is a fruit orchard called Impossible Acres, U-Pickin’ farm. They are a family owned farm growing a variety of fruits like cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, raspberries, blackberries. I go every year, ever since I found out there was such a place. It’s like candy theme park for me. I pick some and eat some:P

Two weeks ago, I made it just in time for cherry season. Cherries are my favorite fruit to pick and eat. Of course, not everyone is a fan of cherries, especially if you think about the artificial cherry flavored cough syrup you had when you were a kid. These cherries are absolutely the best! Fresh, sweet, and juicy! A wonderful summer fruit:) This is the last week to pick them, so go get some or pick them:)


A slice of Wendy’s delicious homemade cherry pie! Plus cherry topping vanilla ice cream :9

Happy 4th of July!

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