Sunday, December 29, 2013

It's a Goldfish New Years Party

 My dear friend, Gail has inspired me to embrace "My Goldfish" as my last best friend of 2013. Yes, 2014 will be a new year and "My Goldfish" may swim away by then. But here they are and so am I so here we go together celebrating the end of 2013. Pepperidge Farms still makes my delicious little friends, and they are so cute and happy looking on the cover of the box. They just seem so friendly themselves. I think I will keep them close to me just a little bit longer.

   It is right to celebrate the 'comings and goings' of time, especially as we get older. So when I think of the changing of the seasons, I think of family and friends who make living special. With a new year approaching "My Goldfish" and I shall remain grateful for our time together as well, as good friends will. ''Thank You !'' to my kind and thoughtful friend for surprising me.

    And also to the Goldfish themselves who only have to remain crunchy and tasty for a little while longer.  HAPPY NEW 2014 YEAR !

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

the tale of a lonely leafsicle

What a resilient leaf ! How can I not be impressed by something that refuses to yield under such difficulties. All his leafsicle buddies left for warmer climates months ago. Why did this one particular leafsicle stay with me at my home through such terribly cold conditions ? I was working from home during our Monday ice storm that brought down power lines for many, many people. I remain warm in my cozy home and stare respectfully at all this liquidy ice. I looked outside into the frozen sight in front of me. All is hunkered underground or in it's hole, like me on this forbidding environment. But not this particular leafsicle. Thomas Edison and the warmth of his invention matters not to my tough guy. Clint Eastwood has nothing on him. The ice and wind lose the battle and the war to my lonely little icy friend. But since it is Christmas, I will name him Samson, for the Lord gives this leaf the strength of a great warrior. I snap this picture and hurry back into my warm home free of these bitter elements.I am glad to be nice and cozy inside. But whenever I venture out , I make sure to tip my hat each time I walk past this lone sentry.
Happy Holidays Samson the Leafsicle. Better you than me. Stay chilly my friend

*:P tongue

Friday, December 6, 2013

Sausage Potato Breakfast Casserole

With extra quiche crumb toppings, I called it the ultimate breakfast casserole. Lets see if the men like them at the Men's Breakfast.

Picture will follow shortly.


Potato ( 2 lbs )
10 ozs shredded cheese - I used cheddar cheese
12 ozs Sausage Links
1/2 lb Turkey Ham
1/2 each Bell Peppers, red and green.
1 medium onion - chooped
10 eggs
3/4 cup milk

Cut up potato in cubes. boil and steam in a dutch oven for 25 mins or till soft.
Cut up sausage and turkey ham (into cubes).
In a big saute pan, cook sausage till slightly brown, add turkey ham and all other veggies and seasonings and sauteed for 15 mins. Mix in potato to cooking pan.

Scoop into 13x9 baking dish. sprinkle cheese all over.
Whisk up eggs and milk, pour over dish.
Chop up into crumbs 2 slices of quiche and spread as another layer of toppings over casserole.
Wrap dish with plastic wrap and refridgerate over night.
Bake at 350degree for 40 mins.

Cool for at least 5 mins and serve.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sweet Potato Brioche Rolls

Today is a good day to bake these bread rolls with a little twists and flavor. My first brioche roll and I am hoping they will turn out decent since I have offered to bring dinner rolls to the Thanksgiving table.

The first 2 rolls are my test rolls. I bake the rest of the batch an hour later. I am well pleased of how the baked rolls come out from the oven, just perfect for the occasion. Happy Thanksgiving!


1/2 warm water
1 tbs yeast
1/2 flour

3 eggs
6 tbs margarine
4 1/2 flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 medium baked sweet potato

1 egg
1 tbs water

In a small bowl, stir together warm water and yeast and let it sit for 3-5 mins till bubbly. Add flour and mix well, let it sit for 1 hour. (will rise slightly)

Mix together eggs and sugar. Add yeast flour mixture to mixing bowl, add in flour. Add in soft margarine, mix well till all are incorporated and kneaded to smooth texture. Transfer dough to clean bowl and cover with towel and let dough sit in draft free warm place for an hour or so. Dough will rise to doubly. Punch down dough and cut dough into 20 evenly divided pieces. Fold each piece into a ball shape. Cut 8  - 1/2 inch slits (see picture above). let bread rolls for 30 mins to an hour.

Heat up oven at 350degree. Whisk up an egg plus 1 tbs water into egg wash. Brush top of bread roll with egg wash. Pinch middle of each roll and poke in a slice of almond. Bake rolls for 18 mins.

enjoy things and life ... always with Gratitude & Thankful Heart

..Dr. John White writes that several years earlier
God had made it possible for him to acquire a lovely home
with many luxuries. His feelings about the house fluctuated dramatically.

When he would begin to compare it with those of his friends,
he would feel proud because he had such a fine house and his joy would evaporate.
His home would actually become a burden.
All he could see were the many hedges and trees to care for and the endless odd jobs to do.

When he reminded himself that it was a gracious gift from God,

White said, “While vanity clouds my eyes and burdens my heart, gratitude clears my vision and lightens my load.”

adapted from Our Daily Bread 11/28/2013

Psalms 95:2
Let us come before Him with Thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gathered Around Bowl

I have wanted to try sewing this for awhile since I first saw that this idea from this site page here . I thought it is neat and cute thing to sew and I have been curiously wanting to try this out myself. And it is, I like to do better in my second try. I have some padding on the base but on the sides. On my next try I will add padding on the sides to give it more support.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bag of Gold Ornament or Pin Cushion

This is my favorite ornament yet and thus this ornament deserves a post all by itself. This design is pure inspiration .. a creative spark from God. I just keep on sewing with 'NO' plan earlier on .. it just happens. I like it. I need to pattern this and copyrights this under Joanne's Trails & Pursuits.

Soft Stuffed VT Football

I have to put together these in matter of days as I need to get them ready by Friday night. Guess what I got them done this morning... yeah! So, don't pick on my tardiness. These folks are die hard Virginia Tech fans, hope they will like them ... at least the little kids will find enjoyment tossing them around :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Russian Apple Cake

They callled it the Apple Thing or in Russian, Apple Sharlotka

I saw this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. This recipe calls for lots of apples and for a DESSERT to be without butter and being not too sweet, it is a WIN WIN situation. And if you want to top a slice of this cake with a scoop or two of ice cream, I say go for it.

Since apple is in season and what could be a better time to try out this recipe. I am using 4 gala apples and 2 1/2 golden delicious apples. I read that using 2 or 3 different variety of apples can enhance the favor of your bake and I agree with that idea., therefore I have 2 different type of apples.

I do not have a springform pan, I just used a regular pan, I was afraid that I may have a hard time removing and transferring the cake out from the pan but it was, shall I called it ... piece of cake.

6 or 7 apples ( I used 6 1/2 apples)
1 cup of flour
1 cup of sugar
3 eggs.

Grease a  9 inch baking pan.
Peel and cut up apples, add apples to pan.

Beat eggs with sugar until well blended.
Fold in flour enough to incorporate the mixture.
Pour dough mixture over to apples.

Heat up oven at 350 degrees, bake cake for 55 to 60 minutes.
Let cake cool down and transfer cake to serving tray, cut into 8 to 12 pieces.
Serve as is or top with ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy1

Like I said, I adapted the recipe from here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Soft Stuffed Ole Miss Football

This is a very simple and fun football I stitched up, it took me 3 or 4 evenings. Though all are hand stitched, I didn't have much time to fuss so I kept it very simple but I still want to make sure it light hearted, hopefully a toddler would enjoy playing and for keep sake.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

2 small quilted table runners

So thankful for my church friend to have given me these fabrics, I am in awe. I selected a few out of the bunch to make these.

I just completed these 2 small quilted table runners. Both designs are almost identical with a few minor differences. This time around, I believe I stepped up a little to a touch bigger quilt than my previously made quilt items. These are 2 small table runners, they are still small quilts, but hopefully these are practical items to my recipients.

Interestingly, I used some of scrap pieces and made a push pin custion , can be an ornament too. Take a peek :)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Push-pin cushion

managed to squeeze a few mins out (here and there) from my hectic schedule to put this together -- fun stuff -- 'push-pin cushion'. Now, I have so many ideas to make little ornaments or pin cushions as Christmas gifts!

Updated and added several more varieties below.

Please check out my other bigger project, 2 small table runners here here.

Here are 3 completed ornaments / pin cushions. 3 down, 15 more to go, my goal is to make 18 ornaments of sort by the week before Christmas. This is going to tough to make the deadline since not only are these tedious (though I am having a lot of fun sewing them). I will be sewing different patterns. As of now, I am done with this designs. I have a few other ideas and my next batch will be some kind of squares or half cubes, checker board pillows to name them.

As of today 11/2/2013, here are what I have accomplished ... should I stop now .... maybe ... nah.. we'll see. I have other projects I need to work on. Ok, ok, I will take a break .... to be continued.. until next time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Artisan Bread

Plain artisan bread. It looks pretty nice, right? and guess who made this, yup I did it.

My first Artisan bread.

3 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cup of lukewarm water
3 1/4 flour.

In a mixer, stir together yeast and lukewarm water, let mixture stands for 5 minutes.
At a slow speed, gradually add in flour and mix into all flour is incorporated, this will take about 5 minutes. Dough will probably be sticky, either transfer dough into a big bowl or leave dough in the mixing bowl. Let dough rise in dry warm area. Dough will rise over double, punch down dough.

Cut dough into half with a knife. Fold dough into a ball shape, using a sharp knife cut/slit 1/4 inch deep cross line on the ball of dough. Set dough aside for 30 minutes.
Heat up oven at 450 degree for 20 mins, placing a pan with an inch of water at bottom rack of oven when you turn on oven.

Once oven is heated up after 20 mins, put dough on middle rack. Bake for 30 minutes and there you have it your Artisan bread.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Banana bread, 2 different versions

These are loaf breads, sprinkled with lots of coconut banana bread.

6 weeks later, as I wanted to bake for office party, I made these banana breads, instead of sprinkling with coconuts, I dripped syrup over the bread top. Taste testers love them. Both versions are winners.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Potato Cranberry Braid

Freshly baked from the oven. Smelling good and tasting good too.
Found this recipe from the Bread Experience blog. Girl, does she know bread. I just found myself a real bread treasures. I modify her recipe (of Pumpkin Cranberry Braid ) with potato and fresh cranberries. She does not use any liquid. I add 1 cup of almond milk and some changes here and there which I noted in my recipe below.


2 1/2 tsp yeast
2 cups flour
1/3 cup  + 3 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
1/3 oil
1 cup almond milk ( you can use water + 2 tbsp milk powder ), luke warm

1 big potato ( cut in small cube, boiled separately till soft and tender, then mash with folk, add 2 to 3 tbsp of milk to soften mixture ).
3 to 4 cup flour
1 cup fresh cranberry (or frozen or 1/3 cup dried cranberries or 1/3 raisins) ... optional.

1. In a electric mixer with a hook ( or manually in a big bowl ), stir up all the items on A. except the milk, then add milk and mix it well.
2. Gradually add more flour from B to the mixer.
3. Add mashed potato to mixture, mix well.
4. Add in cranberry, mix well.
5. Continue to beat on medium speed for a total of 15 mins. (max)
6. Place dough in mixer bowl. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double.
7. Punch dough down. Cut dough into 6 pieces, form each piece into long strips.
8. Braid 3 strips to one loaf, makes 2 loaves. Let rise in a room temp or warm place for about 30 minutes.
9. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Egg Coconut Jam aka Nyonya Kaya

My mom used to make Kaya for us when we were growing up. We loved them with toast. It was a big favorites of school kids back in those days, just like peanut butter and jelly sandwich here in US.

There are many of other uses of Kaya. I can come up with just few here:
Kaya Bao - Kaya filled bread rolls or steam bread rolls
Pulut with Kaya - sticky rice topped with kaya.
Kaya Puffs - kaya filled (instead of cream) puffs

Here is my Bread Rolls filled with Egg Jam.

Actually, I am thinking of using Kaya on Sushi next, well I know this is sweet stuff and not seafood. Hey, I just come up with something new.

I am making Kaya this morning. As I don't have pandan leaves and I will not be make the Kaya with caramelized coloring, I opt to add vanilla extract in place of pandan extract and a drop of food coloring.

Here is my Kaya recipe:
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1 drop of green color
1 tsp vanilla extract

 1.Beat eggs and sugar with electric mixer (which I use) or hand whisk till sugar has dissolved.
 2.Add coconut milk, color, vanilla extract into egg mixture.
 3.Put egg mixture into the double boiler and keep on stirring.
 4.Continue stirring the egg mixture till it has thickened. This process will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.
 5.Remove from double boiler and cool thoroughly.
 6. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bread Rolls of Fun Varieties

Before I lose these pictures with the 'other pile' of things I have on my  to do list, I thought I would post a couple of photos of some home made bread rolls from recipes I recently tried out.

These rolls shown below were filled with lightly sweetened mung beans. We like them with coffee in the morning or hot tea at tea time in the afternoon.

I made these next rolls to go with some hamburgers we grilled on our deck. They paired up really well and complimented the burgers nicely. Sure beats store bought hamburger rolls! I hate those dry, store bought hamburger rolls.They kill your cookouts.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rose Coconut Rolls

When I pulled these rolls from the oven I was so excited as these piping hot sumptous looking rolls look so irresistible. I quickly snapped several pictures. I am so what disappointed with my photography on these batch of cuties. It seems the pictures do not do its justice. These rolls definitely look much better than what the pictures show here. These rolls are a definite welcome and yum yum afternoon treats/snacks with your favorite tea.

Also, I am showing the steps on how to shape the rose rolls.

Adding the recipe.

2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup 2% milk
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp oil
1 beaten egg

1. In the mixer, combine 1 1/4 cups of flour and yeast.
2. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, oil until warm (120 degree), add to flour mixture.
3. Beat mixer on low speed. Add egg. Add in remaining flour gradually.
4. Continue to beat on medium speed for a total of 8 mins.
5. Place dough in mixer bowl. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double.
6. Punch dough down. Shape dough in 20 - 24 balls.
7. Shape each dough into rosettes. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-22 minutes until rolls sound hollow or brown.
9. Hint / note: spray top of each rosettes with butter spray if you want before baking.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

my first Le Creuset cookware

I get to pick among many enticing gifts for my 15 year service with my current company. I have picked the Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron 5-Piece Cookware Set in Cherry color.

I finally have my very first Le Creuset cookware, set includes: 3 1 /2 qt round finch over with lid; 1 1/4qt. iron handle saucepan with lid; 9 inch iron handle skillet. I have always wanted to own a few pieces of Le Creuset but I never wanted or imagine myself paying the kind of money for cookware. Now I am so happy I received these, my very own Le Creuset for my 15th year anniversary with my company. I have proudly sat all the 5 pieces on my stove top for use, display and admiration. How about that?

On a side note, according to the Le Creuset Heritage writeup, each piece of cast iron is hand crafted and made from an individual sand mould, so its is unique. Here is what they look like, aren't they gorgeous? Quality stuff !!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Black Bean Dinner Rolls

My second batch of bread rolls. Instead of plain dinner rolls, I thought I add black bean filling just for kicks. Turns out, these are not much better or worst then the original plain dinner rolls. I am sure I will continue to venture more and new favors, just to keep it interesting... after it is all for fun and good. Stay tuned !

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Rosettes Breakfast Rolls

I am making my first yeast bread. These are called Rosettes, good as breakfast or dinner rolls especially when they are hot out of the oven. Recipe taken from Better Homes and Garden. Since these rolls turned pretty successful, I will be baking more of my own bread for sure... :). I like to try different varieties and possibly some fancy kinds too...will fun.

2 1/4 tsp yeast
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 beaten egg

1. In the mixer, combine 1 1/4 cups of flour and yeast.
2. In a saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter until warm (120 degree) and butter almost melts, add to flour mixture.
3. Beat mixer on low speed. Add egg. Add in remaining flour gradually.
4. Continue to beat on medium speed for a total of 8 mins.
5. Place dough in mixer bowl. Cover, let rise in a warm place until double.
6. Punch dough down. Shape dough in 20 - 24 balls.
7. Shape each dough into rosettes. Let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
8. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-22 minutes until rolls sound hollow or brown.
9. Hint / note: spray top of each rosettes with butter spray if you want before baking.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

California Mandarins AKA Cementines AKA Cuties

I saw these  lovely 'Cuties' at the store today, I couldn't resist so I grabbed a bag. I am pleasantly pleased on how tasty they are. They are a perfect snack for anytime and without the quilt on the heavy loaded calories. I like the hint and slight tang taste with just the right amount of sweetness, I say these mandarins will hit the spot so you won't be craving for more extra junk food! I highly recommend these Cuties as snacks alternatives or pack them into your lunch boxes as well :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

small quilted pillow

Started on a new pillow quilt. A very simple pattern using 3 different color fabric combinations for the main design. 3 strips to form a square. Each square will flip the opposite direction when sew together.

I will have 6 squares of 2 strips form the design pattern. Pick a color of choice from the 3 colors to border the main design. Decide to have a green border on one side and purple border the other side. I am sewing both sides of the pillow case with same pattern, so the same will be sewn for the other side of the pillow case. I will add a binding trim to add emphasis and sparks too!

Here is the finished neck pillow.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cherry Tomato Couscous

I thought I make couscous with cherry tomatoes for dinner tonight. This dish will go well with Ham or anything savory dish. This is a very easy and quick recipe to make as well as healthy and tasty. Couscous is the easiest/simpliest pasta or grain dish to prepare. You just add couscous to hot boiling water, cover pan and remove pan from heat and let it sit/cool for 10 minutes, and couscous is ready to be used with your recipe. Sometimes I  try different variations of ingredients to go with the couscous, depending on what I have available in my pantry and/or refrigerator. Couscous is always Thumbs up in our household dinner table :)

Cherry Tomato Couscous Recipe: (my own recipe from scratch)

2 cups cooked couscous
3/4 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
3/4 cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberry

juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper

Couscous Preparation:
Cook couscous according to package instructions.
In a pan add water and add in dried cranberry.
Bring water with cranberries to boil.
Add couscous, stir. Cover couscous with pan lid and remove from heat.
Let it cool down for 10 minutes.

Combine the couscous, tomatoes, cilantro, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
Squeezes the lemon juice directly into the bowl.
Add salt and pepper. Toss well, taste, and adjust with more of the above until it tastes just right.
Toss in cilantro until it is evenly dispersed.
Serves 4 - 6.

I am submitting this Cherry Tomato Couscous dish to the Little Thumbs Up event hosted by Doreen from  my little favourite DIY and organized by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.