Sunday, January 31, 2010

countdown has begun

In 12, TWELVE days, I will be boarding a place to go back to Taiwan for the best holiday ever. Chinese New Year is like Thanksgiving with money. I cannot wait.

photo by *dans
I plan on doing nothing but eating delicious bowls of fresh noodles with beef stew and learning how to ride my mom's scooter. One step closer to owning my own vespa!

Photo by Yusheng

Saturday, January 30, 2010

clothing ban

So 1 month down and I still have broken my ban. I've gotten close to buying a few things (there was a great deal on sale items for J.Crew employees) but I got past it. I did buy a few new plates/bowls for food photos! Best of all, I got all this for only $11.50. Love Daiso! Now I just need more place mats to use as background.



No idea what I'm going to use them for yet but I do know that my old kitchenware wasn't cutting it! I'm excited to try out the cupcake wrappers. No need for cupcake tins since these stand up on their own. Buck fifty for 9 wrappers, not too shabby.

mac and cheese!

I made this mac and cheese earlier this week but I never got around to posting it. I know most M&C enthusiasts would say that tomatoes don't belong on top but it's delicious! I personally love tomatoes so it can do no wrong (I also think broccoli would be great in m&c). It's a good recipe but I wouldn't say it's my go-to recipe for mac and cheese. The search continues!
homemade mac and cheese

Recipe by Martha Stewart
  • 6 small tomatoes-cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoon fresh thyme (I only had dried and cut it in half)
  • salt/pepper
  • 5 slices of white bread (I used wheat since it was all I had)
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb macaroni
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar-grated
  • 1/2 cup parmesan-grated
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spread tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper. Bake until tomatoes are soft (about 20 mins)
  • In the food processor, process bread until coarse. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and toast bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook pasta to al dente, drain and run under cold water to stop cooking and transfer into a large bowl
  • Whisk 1/2 cup of stock with flour in a medium bowl and set aside. Melt remaning tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Stir nutmeg, cayenne, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add milk and rest of stock (1 1/2 cups). Whisk in flour mixture. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer and cook for 8 mins. Add cheese and stir until melted.
  • Pour cheese mixture over pasta. Put eight 4 1/2-by-1 1/4-inch ramekins on a baking sheet. Put 2 tomato slices in bottom of each ramekin. Divide macaroni mixture evenly among ramekins. Top each with a tomato slice. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and thyme sprigs. Bake until bubbling and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
homemade mac and cheese

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

wishlist wednesday

Even though technically it's not Wednesday in Seattle, I'm going to post my wishlist anyway. It is seriously getting hard to come up with 5 new things that I want every week. I might end up just doing it once a month. I feel kinda bad about wanting this many new things EVERY week.

1) This AMAZING COOKIE JAR from Anthro. Remember how I said I was going to get the Fuji Instax as a gift to myself for my birthday? I think I am changing my answer to this cookie jar.

2) Elizabeth and James Knuckle Ring. I used to have rings that I wore everyday...until I left them in the school bathroom when I took it off to wash my hands. They weren't there when I came back 30 mins later to look for them. Ever since that day, I've never wore rings again. I may start again if I can find some unique ones that I really like. This one is fairly big but I love it.

3) Martha Stewart Cake Stand...from back in 2004. My only hope is ebay to find them. There is even a pink one!

4) A good sharp knife, mine has gotten so dull :(

5) A cute passport holder

Monday, January 25, 2010

ricotta honey cheesecake

I was going to bring this in to share with some coworkers but I didn't get a chance to taste it. The last thing I want to do is cart a gross tasting cheesecake to work and make people eat it. In reality, it's so tasty that now I don't want to bring it to work (sorry pals, I'll make you another one!). Besides it's not very nice to bring in a cake that has a slice missing.

honey ricotta cheesecake

I halved the recipe and baked it in a 6 inch springform pan and I still baked it for about an hour and 15 mins.

  • 8 oz biscotti (I used graham crackers)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 12 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese at room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (I used lime, it was all I had!)
  • 4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil.

Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the honey and orange zest. Add the eggs and pulse just until blended.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).

Transfer the cake to a rack and cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.

honey ricotta cheesecake

Sunday, January 24, 2010

pea pesto = yummy lunch

It's such an easy recipe and super yummy with a bowl of soup! Recipe is courtesy of Giada from the Food Network (I don't care what people say about her, everything I've to make has turned out great!). I will definitely be making more of this.
pea pesto on baugette

  • 10 oz package frozen peas, defrosted (I microwaved mine for about a minute)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • day old french bread or ciabatta bread
For the pea pesto: Pulse together the peas, garlic, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

For the crostini: Preheat a stovetop griddle or grill pan on medium-high heat ( I toasted it, didn't want to wash another pan!). Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil and grill until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice.

pea pesto on baugette

Saturday, January 23, 2010

my crochet swatch!

I helped out with Crew Cut's roll out last night so I am having a lazy Saturday (even though I went to bed at 3:30 am, I still got up at around 9, I just can't stay in bed all day!). I worked on my crochet project some more. I think I've mastered the single crochet stitch but my edges still can use some work.

new hobby

So far, I don't see any visible mistakes, time to move on to the next stitch! I want to eventually make a circular scarf like the one sold on AE.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

pixie cut

How great did Ginnifer Goodwin look at the Golden Globes? I've always loved pixie haircuts. It seems so nonchalant and chic to me.

Natalie Portman and Shannyn Sossamon pulled it off so well too.

Too bad this type of a cut will NEVER work with my hair. The grass is always greener on the other side right?

wishlist wednesday

1) Hendrix Mini Bag by Matt and Nat
How cute is this clutch/bag! You can wear it 3 different ways, as a clutch, as a messenger style bag (long chain) or just as a regular over the shoulder purse.

2) The Hangover DVD. I took a raincheck stub from Target right when it first came out on DVD and it STILL hasn't been back instock yet. I'm about to give in and order it on Amazon but I would save $8 if I can find it at a local Target.

3) Minnetonka boots. I've always wanted a pair but I don't think they will last a winter in the Seattle rain.

4) Schwinn bike

5) madelein pans!!

Monday, January 18, 2010


After my attempt at homemade samoas, I might go back to supporting girl scouts by buying them in bulk. It definitely isn't an easy cookie to make and cleaning up the caramel/coconut was not fun (not to mention it bubbled over in my microwave so that was a pain to clean up too). I made them smaller than the recipe recommended because I didn't want to punch out holes in the middle. It tasted pretty much the same if that's worth anything. Recipe is from Baking Bites.


1 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
up to 2 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.
Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

3 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
12-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp milk
8 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok)

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.

While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziplock bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle finished cookies with chocolate.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes about 3 1/2-4 dozen cookies.

Friday, January 15, 2010

flickr friday

I hope to one day to make something half as cute as this! I am learning to crochet from a co-worker. I kept losing stitches the first time I tried, went from 20 down to 5. So I redid it and this time (4 rows in) I still have all 20 stitches.

By: -Sunny-

Thursday, January 14, 2010

new bedding

Since bedding at Anthro is out of my reach, which out of the 2 do you like better?



Isn't this one very Orla Kiley'esque?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wishlist Wednesday

It's harder and harder to come up with 5 things that I want. I'm staying away from anything clothing related becase I'm going to try this year to not buy any pieces of clothing. Unless something I own desperately needs replacing, I'm going to shop in my closet. My closet is always a mess and I have a small pile of things that still have tags on them. I truly don't need anything clothing wise.

1) Ork City Print

I saw it in a store in Ballard and it looks nice framed. I need more "art" to hang on my wall.

2) Lowel Ego Light

I keep reading about this light on other food blogs. Just looking at before/after pictures, it seems to make a huge difference.

3) These cute checkered cupcake liners

4) Chuck Season 2

5) Vacation!! This is Bondi Beach in Australia.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

breakfast tart

I never got around to posting what I ended up making on Sunday for breakfast. A super delicious eggy tart with cheese and spring onions. The original recipe had pancetta and I didn't want to run out for just one item so I didn't add it.

There is nothing hard about the recipe, seriously, the most time consuming part is the clean up.


  • Butter, for greasing the pan
  • Flour, for dusting the pan
  • 1 unroll-and-bake refrigerated 9-inch pie crust (recommended: Pillsbury)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Gruyere
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment: 9-inch tart pan with removable base

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 9-inch tart pan.

Unroll the pie crust and arrange it in the prepared pan. Gently press the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim any excess crust from the top of the pan. With the tines of a fork, prick the pastry in several places. Using a pastry brush, coat the crust with the beaten egg white. Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the egg white has set, about 10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool for 10 minutes.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate.

In a medium bowl, combine the beaten eggs, mascarpone cheese, Gruyere, green onions, salt, pepper, and pancetta. Mix until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and bake until the mixture has set and the top is golden, about 18 minutes Cool the tart for 10 to 15 minutes then remove it from the pan to a serving platter.

Cut the tart into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.

Friday, January 8, 2010

zucchini bread!

Since my mom is leaving, she wanted to take some homemade baked goods back home to Taiwan. She wanted something that would be easy to take back and not too sweet. I thought zucchini bread would be a good idea even though it's not really in season. Such an easy recipe and so quick to whip up! Here's the end result:
zucchini bread

I really wish it doesn't get dark so early so I don't have to use flash on my pictures! This is the recipe that I followed.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

flickr friday!

I love love love braids and wish my hair was long enough to pull back using braids!

Photo by: Ultraviolett

and then a photo by me since one of my commenters said it made it to explore!!!
homemade macarons with blackberry buttercream

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

wishlist wednesday 1/6/10

Happy Hump Day!

1) Self Magazine Subscription

2) HP Mini 100 Studio Tord Boontje
I love the pattern on the cover!

3) Bedding from Anthropologie

4) This amazing yellow couch from Anthro

5) I <3 Macarons cookbook

Monday, January 4, 2010


to TV ON DVD. When I was sick earlier this week, it was the only thing that kept me sane. Do you know how hard it is to eat when your nose is all stuffed up? swallow, breathe and next bite. Luckily, I had a new show to keep me company. It took me a couple episodes to get into Big Bang Theory and I might start tuning in this season (or at least pick up the next season on dvd). When I was done with that, I moved on to Gossip Girl (fashion eye candy!) and rewatched the last season of How I Met Your Mother which is hands down my favorite show on air. I can watch that show over and over again and not be tired of it.

Next on my watch list I have Ugly Betty, Pushing Daisies and Kitchen Confidential which I've seen before but it's Bradley Cooper!

crab cakes makes a salad tastier

I hardly ever make salads at home, for some reason it never ends up as tasty as the ones that I can get out in restaurants. My mom's visit in Seattle is nearing the end so I decided to make her one of her favorite things, crab cakes! I saw Ellie Krieger make these on her show and decided to whip up a batch. It really doesn't take long and definitely spiced up the salad.

crab cakes for dinner

*PS: don't you love my Asian dragon plates?! It was the only dish that was clean and had a dip to hold all the salad.