Tuesday, March 30, 2010

orange chocolate cupcakes

I think these will be my after work project. It'll be my treat for cleaning up the house! You'd think with all the rain that we've been getting would make me more productive at home but it hasn't.

It looks like it should be fairly easy to make these.

1 Box Chocolate Cake Mix
Replace Water with Orange Juice
Replace Oil with Grape Seed Oil
1/2 Orange Zested
Follow box directions with the added and replaced ingredients. For parchment cupcake papers cut 3 1/4” squares and squish down into cupcake pan.

4 Cups Powdered Sugar
8 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
3 Tablespoons Orange Juice (add more juice if needed)
1 Orange Zested
Mix all the ingredients until smooth. Use a round piping tip to pipe the icing. Zest an additional orange for to garnish and sprinkle a little sugar on top.

pictures from design*sponge

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

new obession

Madeleines. All I need is a pan to make them.

Pictures courtesy of thekitchn.com

Sunday, March 21, 2010

cheesey crackers!!

omg, these crackers (puffs?) are SO good. I've been sneaking them none stop since they've been out of the oven. I didn't roll them out as thin as they should have been (it's hard to roll out chilled dough and I got tired) so they are crispy along the edges and slightly chewy in the middle. I used pepper jack cheese since that was all that I had in the house and I would probably use that again. I think next time I will try to roll them out thinner to give it more of a crunch.


Recipe is over at Home Cooking in Montana

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Since it was so nice outside this morning, I decided to take a walk around Greenlake. There also happened to be a high school crew meet going on there! Lots of people/dog watching. I think I pretty much decided that I need to get a labrador in the near future. We saw the cutest black labrador pup! My friend Paula spied a hummingbird along the water. I inched closer to take a picture but it flew away.

(I don't know what crazy setting my camera was on, the sky was NOT this blue today)


After 1 lap around the lake, we ended up walking up to Hiroki's (thanks, Hollin, for the rec!) to get a treat. I ended up getting the orange roll and it was delicious! So much better than the lemon ones I made!

THEN I went to get sushi for lunch. All in all, a GREAT Saturday!

Friday, March 19, 2010

cherry blossoms and a shout out!

Thanks goes to my friend, Jimmy, for tip about taking photos from the art building in the Quad. I've been wanting to go to the Quad and take photos of the cherry blossom at UW but either I get off too late or it has been raining. Finally a sunny day and a free afternoon came around and I managed to get a few shots in. I might head out there again tomorrow morning to get shots without shadows.




Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I have a couple snacks that I can never have in the house. One of them happens to be nutella. I can go through a COSTCO sized jar in about a week. I eat it on toast for breakfast, as a snack with peanut butter and the best (worst health wise) is to dip Trader Joe's peanut butter pretzels in it. I just never get tired of the chocolately goodness. Luckily, my friend Paula got me a couple of the nutella single size packets so now I can enjoy it in the proper amount.

Photo by: Shiner.Clay

hmm, sticky lemon rolls

As I'm typing up this post, my own batch of sticky lemon rolls is sitting on my counter rising. I don't have great luck with yeast so hopefully it turns out somewhat edible. It's always hard baking on a work night. Mostly because I can't put off cleaning the dishes like on the weekend. The picture from The Kitchn will have to do until I bake the rolls off tomorrow.


Wishlist Wednesday

I haven't done one of these in a while. Here's what is on my mind:

1) Love this giant tote. Not that I need another bag! Bag is made by Dirkab on Etsy

2) Branch bobby pin by Woodland Belle

3) These terrariums. I'm not quite sure where they are from, I just bookmarked the image and not the website.

4) Polaroid camera necklace. One of these days, I'll do a post on all the polaroids that I have. Too bad they stopped making film because all of them are still functional!

5) This lovely mini to-do list chalkboard. I always have such lofty goals to become organized and it never happens. Maybe this is my final push?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Last post about PDX

Figures the last thing I have left to post about Portland is about food!!

We went to Random Order Coffee House to get some of their famous pie and chai! They have a huge selection of pie (sweet and savory). I ended up going with Meyer Lemon and it was delicious. Just tart enough to not be overwhelming.

The last find of Portland was a COMPLETE accident. We were driving from Random Order Coffee House on our way back to I-5 to drive north when we came across this sign.
It is a school bus turned GRILL CHEESE RESTAURANT. How amazing is that!!! Not that we were very hungry (especially after pie) but we HAD to get something.
(click to enlarge menu)
The tables on the bus have yearbook photos and each booth has a little box of trivia to keep patrons busy while waiting for food.
The ceiling of the bus has a great mural. I was only able to capture part of it.

There is still so much to explore in Portland and I can't wait to go back again!

good cloudy day project

For Christmas, I made some of my friends monogrammed tote bags via the tutorial on design*sponge (tutorial)

Here is mine (sorry, took the picture at night)
Now I just need to make one for myself!

Friday, March 12, 2010

guess what came in the mail today!

My season tickets for the Sounders!!! Maybe only 1 other person is as excited as I am to get them. So for you non-Seattlites, might as well skip this post ;)
rave green box!

open box

scarf/ticket book


scarf!! The beginning of the season is almost here, I'm so so excited.

Monday, March 8, 2010

I love J.Crew but it apparently doesn't love me :(

I don't know why but I am addicted to J.Crew. When I worked at Anthroplogie, I only brought a cardigan and a dress (after working there for a little under a year). At J.Crew I could find something that I want every time I walk in there. Luckily, I work at Crewcuts now and I don't have anyone to buy for. Money saved! I was going online to browse the online catalog when I noticed that the title says "Access Denied"! Luckily it's not blocked but I do wonder why it says that.
Picture 2

Portland part 2

The best thing about the Ace Hotel is that they have FREE bike rentals. I've never biked on the streets of Seattle but it is super bike friendly in Portland. They have an entire lane (regular sized car lane) for the bicycles so I never have to worry about cars next to me.

I am a huge waffles fan and so far every time I come to Portland, I go to the Waffle Window! I got the 3 B's (basil, bacon and brie) and it was sooo good.

Kate got a sweet waffle that looked equally delicious.

We biked around some more to burn off the calories (plus it was a gorgeous day). Spring is definitely coming to the PNW. Love all the cherry blossoms!

Proof that I went biking. The orange blob near the bottom is the truck bed that we borrowed to take the photo. I think I need a tripod ;)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Portland part 1

So last Saturday (I'm so behind on blogging!) I went down to Portland for a quick weekend getaway trip. I've always heard about the amazing the food carts down there. We decided that since the Korean food cart was the busiest, it would be the one that we would try.
There were so many tasty choices. I got the spicy pork and Kate got the tofu bento. Both were equally good (very spicy!) and very cheap. We didn't even come close to finishing it and could have easily shared it.

We walked around and went shopping before checking in to the Ace Hotel Portland. What a fun hotel! I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the lobby but it has a great lounge area with free wifi, free bike rentals and a Stumptown Coffee attached to it as well a 2 restaurants with great reviews in yelp. Unfortunately, we already had so many places to check out so we didn't even think about eating there.
I don't know how they managed to have 2 full sized beds in the room. It was still very roomy with room for suitcases. I also have to say that the pillows there are amazing. I tracked down the company who makes it and I'm tempted to order them!

chocolate peanut butter cookies

cookies & milk

I first made these cookies way back in 2007 and they are now my go-to cookies whenever I need to bring a treat. They are so easy yet they seem so fancy since there is a peanut butter inner filling. Here is the recipe. (I must make my cookies bigger because I only get 24 cookies)


  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda; set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl beat together butter, the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, and the 1/4 cup peanut butter with an electric mixer until combined. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Beat in as much of the dry ingredients as you can with mixer. Stir in remaining dry ingredients by hand with a wooden spoon. Form chocolate dough into 32 balls about 1-1/4 inches in diameter. Set aside.

3. For peanut butter filling, in a medium mixing bowl combine powdered sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup peanut butter until smooth. Shape mixture into 32 (3/4-inch) balls.

4. On a work surface, slightly flatten a chocolate dough ball and top with a peanut butter ball. Shape the chocolate dough over the peanut butter filling, completely covering the filling. Roll dough into a ball. Repeat with the remaining chocolate dough and peanut butter filling balls. (I flatten the chocolate dough with my palm in my hand. That way it doesn't stick to the counter AND 1 less thing to wipe down)

5. Place balls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

6. Bake cookies in preheated oven for 8 minutes or until they're just set and surface is slightly cracked. Let cookies stand for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks; cool. Makes 32 cookies.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Taiwan pt 2

No one ever believes me when I say that my grandparents owns a piggery and grows all their own vegetables/rice. Seriously, they buy only small amounts of pork, beef, seafood and fruit. Everything else they grow in a special plot with no pesticides. My great grandmother is 60+ years old and still gets up at 5 am everyday to tend to her crops. Even though it rained EVERY since day there. This is what it would look like if the sun is out.
I took this last time I went back. Taiwan's temperature is so mild that crops can grow year round. My parents usually pick enough vegetables to last them 2-3 days.
Here is my mom with a huge bundle of spinach and my dad with 2 heads of cauliflower. He also had 2 pocket full of green beans. There is truly nothing better than vegetables that fresh.
We also have banana trees!