Sunday, December 15, 2019

Simple Ribbon-Tie Bench Cushion

My girlfriend recently moved into her new home that has a very nice antique bench. But it needed a cushion of some type. She was looking for ideas because it is a unique size and asked if I could help her. I have not done a bench cushion before so I looked around for some type of template to use, but it didn't give me any ideas that excited her. She really just wanted something simple with a little bit of flair. So this was my idea. I think the ribbon ties hit the mark. What do you think ?

Oh, the ribbon-ties can be flipped to the back, it does not need to be in the front ;)

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Shrimp Chicken Dumplings (Wonton)

 I recently had a fun visit with a hometown girlfriend of mine. She made some wonderful comfort food for us that was quite a feast . Her spread had all the goodies I used to enjoy back home. One of the delicacies she made for us was a recipe for shrimp dumplings. They were really really delicious and I was so happy to find out that she made extras for us to take home. ( Thank you !) She also was generous by giving me the recipe to try at home. And here is the result of her recipe and my efforts.

Thanks Julie !! I hope I made you proud of me :)

Recipe to follow shortly.

Nyonya Kaya ( Egg Jam )

Tis the season for making treats , so I thought I would try to make "nyonya kaya". Making 'kaya' takes time but I also find it therapeutic to make it, especially when I  need to slow down and take my time. It feels good not to be in a rush :)  This recipe will also make a nice holiday treat for friends when gifted in a mason jar.
My 'kaya' didn't turn out as pretty as my mom used to make because I used canned coconut milk instead of freshly squeezed coconut milk. But it still tastes great, almost the same taste as my mom's recipe.
And here it is....

 10 eggs
 2 1/2 cup sugar
 500 g thick coconut milk
 1 tsp vanilla extract
 1/2 cup sugar for caramel

1. Stir eggs, vanilla and sugar with hand whisk till sugar has dissolved.
2. Add coconut milk into egg mixture.
3. In a separate non stick sauce pan, melt and heat 1/2 cup sugar without stirring. Once it melted, stir till it thickens and golden in color.
4. Stir caramel into egg/coconut milk mixture.
5. Heat double boiler in medium heat, pour egg mixture into boiler.
6. Constantly continue stirring the egg mixture together, this will take 75 to 90 mins until mixture till it has thickened and golden in color.
7. Remove from double boiler and cool thoroughly, pour into 3 or 4 glass containers or mason jars. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Char Siu Bau

I am on a roll here so why not keep on going while I am in the mood to bake and make treats ? My sweet girlfriend, Julie made us "char siu bau" recently and she also gave me some "char siu" (homemade roasted pork ). So here I am trying to recreate what she made for us.

I will provide my recipe here below (soon) and pictures of these steamed rolls.


      freshly steamed out of the pot

        these are ready to go into the steamer pot.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Gluten Free Confetti Cake

I have this one colleague that will bring cakes and treats for everybody's birthdays. She is the event organizer on every holiday at work. So for her birthday, I thought I would bake her a little cake.

She follows a gluten free diet, so the cake had to be gluten free too. I am inexperienced in baking without milk or eggs so I had to be creative and trust I could do this. It was a weeknight so I was limited in how much time I had to bake. Yikes ! So I decided to use a boxed gluten free cake mix and use bananas as my egg substitute. It worked out really well. She liked it and so did everyone that she generously shared it with. I was a little nervous because of my lack of experience with gluten free recipes but it all paid off. Plus who doesn't like free cake ! HA HA :)

So, here it is little confetti cake ! Enjoy

Monday, November 11, 2019

back to life again ....on my new Joyous Pursuit with this Coffee Walnut Cake

It has been several months, no wait a minute, it's been one long year since my last post. Why the long break you ask ? Well I forgot to renew my yearly subscription to my previous blog site and thus lost it. To get it back Google wanted more money than I wanted to pay as a  penalty. So I just went on a hiatus for awhile until I decided that I really need to start posting my crafts and baked goodies again.  So I decided on a new domain name and I am alive again.  (Yes ! )

Coffee anyone? As much as we enjoy coffee, (though we drink a lot of decaf now) I wondered why I never thought of making a "coffee" cake ?! So this past weekend I decided to make amends (lol)
 One of my girlfriends posted a delicious looking Coffee and Walnut Cake and I wanted to try to make it for her. I went to the link to get the recipe, but the link required me to register with the website and I am like no I don't think so. I am not ready to do that. So I looked around for another recipe and found a few that I like. I tweaked the recipe in my own 'Joanne way' and came up with a modified recipe that I thought would work. The result was this nicely baked small Coffee Walnut cake that I finished this past Sunday morning. It is almost always really fun to try new recipes :)

Here are the ingredients & instructions: (note to self, the next time, I would cut down the recipe to 2 cups of flour and proportion the other ingredients accordingly for 3 x 6 inch cake)

2 sticks (1 cup) margarine at room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 Large eggs
5 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1 tablespoon boiling water
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup chopped walnuts

2 sticks (1 cup) room temperature butter
1/3 cup shortening
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
4 Teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 tablespoon boiling water
+ Extra walnuts for cake garnish

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F

Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by lining each bottoms with parchment paper, set aside

In a large bowl fitted with a stand mixer or hand mixer cream margarine for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in brown sugar and beat for an additional two minutes. Add in vanilla extract honey syrup until incorporated. Crack in one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.

Dissolve instant coffee granules in boiling water and beat into the dough mixture. In a large bowl measure all dry ingredients (flour + baking powder) and mix well. Add half of this dry mixture into wet sugar mixture. Alternating between milk and dry ingredients until everything is mixed and incorporated, *do not over mix. Remove from beater and gently fold in walnuts. Pour evenly into cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick is removed clean. Let cool for twenty minutes. Ring a knife around sides of cake pans and transfer to cooling racks for an additional thirty minutes until cooled. Trip dome tops if needed.

For the buttercream frosting:
In a large bowl fitted with a stand mixer beat butter, shortening and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. In a small bowl dissolve coffee granules with boiling water. Add coffee granule mixture and milk to butter and half of powdered sugar and beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl and add in the rest of the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy.

My cake assembly, um um..yikes! I have to admit I was a little rough on the edges, literally,  it was early on Sunday morning, with limited time, I had to rush as I had to get ready to leave for church, so the finishing touches were a little sloppy ;)  but that's Ok for how it turned out, .. Enjoy!