Saturday, December 8, 2018

Year End Cakes & Cookies

This is the time of year people really enjoy baked goods. It's the holiday season. Hot drinks and baked goodies go well with the cold temperatures. I have baked my first apple pie and made dozens and dozens of nicely decorated sugar cookies. Two birthday cakes were on my agenda this weekend. And I am happy with the results. Let's see how long they last tomorrow ?

I have been baking much more last and this month then any other months this year why? Because of Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holidays :)

So I will be adding more pictures as I continue to bake and add to this post.

Fall Cookies

Birthday Cakes

Christmas Cookies

Update, here are my last (....maybe!?... ) batch of cookies just in time for Christmas ! I have to admit, I am sort of disappointed with myself how the Christmas cookies turned out, they are not as nice as those I made last year. Do I have to give an excuse?... I have a little cold and I just couldn't get it going and was struggling especially with the elves!...sorry guys!!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Celebration Cake

it has been awhile since I last baked a cake. I am making a simple celebration cake. I want this to be simple pleasant cake. I put together the cake topper just for fun and to give it celebration mood.

Light and moist white sour cream cake with hint of butter. I finished and frosted the cake with butter cream frosting.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Summer Cole Slaw

I call this recipe my 'super simple side'. It goes really well with all summer recipes.

Cabbage is a staple of mine. I always have some in my fridge. If I only have a few veggies available to me,  I just throw some these beautiful ingredients together real fast for a quick side.

White and purple cabbage, granny smith apples, orange peppers and red onions make a sweet, crunchy and colorful slaw that is pleasing to the eyes and tastes just right. A splash of lemon juice, a few tablespoons of mayonnaise with several squirts of ranch dressing. You just give it all a good toss and sprinkle everything with a packet of splenda/equal, salt and pepper for taste, and Voila, Cole slaw ready for any hungry summertime crowd.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Orange Lime Bundt Cake

I just baked another citrus cake same as this one I baked a year ago. This time around I just dressed it up a little fancier and included orange since I have orange available at home.
Glazed cake looks enticing sweet ...oh no, there is more! I couldn't help with the fun of decorating further with sprinkles of grated orange and lime zest and slices of lime on top of cake. lots of fun and it looks pretty too, don't you think? Can't go wrong when cake tastes and looks pretty too.

For the Cake

  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp lemon zest *tightly packed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
For the Glaze
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 325℉. Grease a 10" bund pan.
In a stand mixer cream butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly beat in eggs one at a time, making sure to blend well.
In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda & salt. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture a few spoons at a time alternating with buttermilk. Begin and end with dry ingredients. Stir in lemon juice and zest.
Pour batter into greased bund pan. Bake on middle rack for approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes. Check at 1 hour marker. Cake is done when it pulls away from sides of pan and tester comes out clean.
Once cake is out of oven immediately start glaze. Add glaze ingredients to a small pan and heat over medium low heat, stirring frequently until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Poke holes in the top of cake and pour glaze evenly over the top. Let cake cool completely before removing. Invert onto plate or cake stand and dust with powdered sugar.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Apple Sauce Mini Loaf Cake

I recently made from scratch a tasty apple sauce mini loaf cake. It is a semi healthy alternative that has less sugar in the recipe but lots of sweet apple sauce. It is a very light, moist and sweet bread that is perfect  for our coffee fellowship.

I was excited when I took the cake out of the oven but because of my impatience, I iced the cake before the cake cooled down, the icing melted. Note to self; next time please let the bread cool before trying to ice it :) The melted frosting didn't make for a great look in the photo, but no one seemed to notice or care once they tasted it.


Summer Delights of Fruits, Berries & Vegetables

I am putting together a collection of fruits and vegetables on this page of this year. Thus, I will continuely be adding pictures as it becomes available.

        I just have to throw in this picture of one of my favorite weekend breakfast, hey it is paired
          with juicy grapefruit :D

Light Stir Fry Koay Teow

Here is a modified version of Penang's 'Char Koay Teow'. My fellow Penangites may not see the value in a healthy version of this beloved Asian delicacy, but I didn't make it to compete with the original recipe of my childhood. I made it for the enjoyment of me and my husband who both loved it, so you may like it also. What's wrong with being tasty and healthy ??

I really enjoyed making this dish. A  light stir fry like this is a quick recipe that only takes a few minutes to make.Prepping the vegetables was most of the work. With this recipe, I used lots of broccoli and red, yellow and orange peppers. Looks great doesn't it ?

Ingredients and recipe as follows: (To be added)

        Stir Fry Koay Teow done and ready to serve ... goes well as is or paired nicely with a piece of                grilled meat or seafood

           Plated portion, with a splash of hot sauce, this light dish quarantees to satisfy your palate... maybe even asking for second helpings ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Apple Coffee Cake in Mini Loaves

It has been awhile since I wrote anything in my blog. With such a long hiatus between posts, I am ready to get on with a new and tasty bake !
I have some delicious apples ripe and ready to eat, so I thought this recipe would work well with them. It is quick recipe except for the prep work, so I begin the peeling and chopping of the apples. I have baked these mini loaves before and served them fresh to friends and family, and oh they were gone so fast last time.... definitely a hit. I wonder how long these will last. Here's to fun baking and tasty eating !!!

I also get a little over board with so many pictures ...that's what happens when you went on hiatus for so long ... 3 months ;)

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 cup butter  ( 1/2 stick )
1 cup brown sugar  (or regular sugar)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk ( or buttermilk )
2 peeled and sliced apples for chunkier cake ( or chopped, cake not so chunky )

Preheat oven at 350 degree.

Lined bottom of 3 mini loaf pans with parchment paper.
Measure dry ingredient in a bowl.
Mix together flour, cinnamon, ginger and baking powder to the bowl and set aside.

In mixer, beat butter and sugar.
Add egg to mixer and mix well.
Add vanilla and milk, mix well.

Fold in dry ingredient lightly to mixer so dough is incorporated ( do not over mix ).
( Fold in apples if apples are chopped. This recipe I am using apple slices )

Spoon a big tablespoonful dough on each lined pans.
Line and stand apple slices on each mini pan ( apples will be pretty compact ).
Topped with remaining dough over apple slices.
Baked for 30-35 mins ( check cake, inserting a toothpick on middle of cake and it should comes out clean ).
Let cake cool before removing from pan.
Frost cake with buttercream (or glaze with sugar glaze or serve with jelly ).
Slice each mini loaf into serving size. I have 5 slices on each loaf here.
Serve and enjoy!

            Out from the oven

          Cool down and sliced into serving sizes.

          All neatly arranged ready for some frosting.

             Frost with buttercream ssing a big cupcake tip ... just for fun on design.. not too fancy.

           Here you are ready ... grab a piece or 2.

          Visibly chunks of apple slices in the cake.... yum yum!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ecclesiastes 5,6

Our discussion of chapters 5 and 6 in Ecclesiastes.
The first seven verses of chapter 5 were about how a wise person would approach God; which was with caution and brevity. Don't overstep God or overestimate yourself. One commentator said Solomon was discussing correct Temple protocol, since as King in Jerusalem, he would worship in the Temple.
The rest of both chapters 5 and six were about the vanity of wealth. Solomon begins by talking about corporate injustice, whether cultural or governmental. He saw them as poor vehicles for justice and equality, but an inevitable certainty we must deal with. The teacher tells a few scenarios about wealthy men, both reckless and honorable who found no meaning in their endeavors. It was vanity that led to jealously guarding your possessions without peace or satisfaction. The temporary advantages were not worth the insomnia.
The Teacher asks us why do our efforts lead to undiminished desires ? Why can't we find peace and satisfaction in them ? He ends this lesson by letting us know that we don't understand the nature of our lives or our futures and that we must begin to accept the realities of our limits. In this acceptance of who we are and who we aren't we will begin to see life's real purpose clearer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3


We met this past Thursday January 18th at Joanne and Terry's home as Gail led our discussion of Ecclesiastes chapter 3. After we reviewed the first two chapters Gail began our discussion with the first 8 verses of chapter 3. These verses are both a very famous poem as well as a bridge that evokes the overall theme of timelessness that humankind cannot control. These verses mention 14 positive attributes of life under the sun, and 14 negative attributes of life under the sun. It's mathematical value being 0, an empty sum that symbolizes the meaninglessness the teacher wants us to consider as our possible fate separate from god. Pretty cool , huh ?

 But the teacher is clear. There is a time for everything, and it is all done in God's time. Do we find satisfaction in this fact, or does our lack of control lead us to see futility and vanity in all of living ? Gail brought up Augustine's quote “You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” And an unnamed quote from another sources that says ,"Life is like a jigsaw puzzle that has a piece missing. And that missing piece is God."

 There was also a quote we didn't discuss but I since found it from Blaise Pascal. “What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace?

 This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself” We concluded there was an uncomfortable balance in the message of chapter 3 with a few quirks as well. The comfort of the first 13 verses to the futile cynicism in verses 19 through 22 leaves us searching. The teacher leaves us where we were last week; wondering where our lives will lead us and what control do we have over our fate ? To be continued !

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Ecclesiastes 1&2


 We met this past Thursday January 11th at Joanne and Terry's home as we began our study of the book of Ecclesiastes.

Terry began the study with an overview of the type of literature this book falls under as a way of introduction.

   Ecclesiastes is a form of ancient Hebrew poetry that falls under the  genre called 'near eastern wisdom literature'. This form of wisdom writing was designed to "instruct in righteousness', especially the youth or future leaders of antiquity. We defined righteousness as "the quality of being  justified , or being morally correct. The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Persians used this form of writing as well as the Hebrews.

 Western secular writers love this book. Abraham Lincoln, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy and Ernest Hemingway used it in some of their writings. 20th century American writer Thomas Wolfe called it the "greatest single piece of writing ever known."

  But the addition of this book in the Biblical canon has been controversial because, on it's face, Ecclesiastes appears to be nothing more than a poem about life's utter futility. It does not contain the typical and orthodox Biblical themes of God's redemptive grace revealed in the lives of His chosen people. It cynical fatalism seems to oppose these great themes.

            ( This should be an interesting study, don't you think ?)

 Tradition says King Solomon wrote this book in his old age and it is autobiographical. But many modern critics believe it was written later and is a composite of many kings, not just Solomon himself. But for our purposes, we will follow tradition.

  In the Hebrew canon Ecclesiastes is called Kohelet, which in English is usually translated as "teacher or preacher." So the teacher, in this form of writing, is a "critic" or an "iconoclast" used to attack cultural icons, such as material or worldly success. In Ecclesiastes the teacher sees these worldly activities as Hevel; a Hebrew word meaning smoke or vapor. In English Hevel is normally translated as 'meaningless' or 'vanity.' But it's means something closer to an enigma or a paradox. Such as 'chasing after the wind.' It seems to be there, but you can't actually chase it. Or smoke. It appears to have substance, but try to grab it, and it slips through your fingers. That is what Hevel means. Something real that is elusive or transitory.

 The first chapter is an introduction of the teacher by Solomon and then a poem about time's relentless march that humanity can't stop or control no matter how hard we try. Chapter 2 focuses on life's pleasures as being meaningless because it's temporary nature leads us nowhere. In chapter 2 Kohelet does many things to test life's activities; he buys, sells, proves, undertakes, makes and tests. He doesn't deny or refuse himself anything. He places no limits on himself (being the richest man ever)and finds in all things nothing but Hevel.

 Our discussion was wide ranging and lively as we wrestled with these age old questions that were mysteries to humankind from the beginning, or from our post Eden beginnings. We asked ourselves; Why is important to be morally correct or Why is it important for us to be remembered ? Why do we want control things beyond ourselves ? Why do we ask why ?

( I made that one ) This book takes us to places we rarely choose to go because to confront our mortality is not a comforting prospect. And this book is NOT designed to bring us comfort. It is designed to challenge our thinking about who we are and who God is on a most fundamental level.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Birthday Cakes for 2018

This page is dedicated to all the birthday cakes I will made for 2018. I occasionally bake birthday cakes for my colleagues in the office and I want to capture and post pictures of the birthday cakes I made from time to time so I look back later and say .. oh yes, I made that!

Here is the first one I made for the January's birthday. It is a chocolate cake which I iced with my go to buttercream frosting, it is a simple naked decoration... simple, nice, neat and tasty too.