ring ring ring.... pillow

5.26.2009

Patty and Tim's ring pillow
My good friend, Patty is getting married in just a few short weeks in San Francisco. I really wanted to do something special for her and Tim's wedding. A ring pillow was one of the first things I had in mind but didn't really know where to start. Luckily for me, one of Patty's bridesmaids saved the material left over from hemming her dress, which ended being the roses on the pillows. With the scrap material, I was able to find a satin material to match the same color of the dresses.
Mel and Gary's ring pillow
For our wedding, I wasn't so lucky to have extra scrap material from the bridesmaids dresses. I tried best I can to match the iridescent green but opted for a lighter green and iridescent as well. It ended up working out and compliments the dresses well. I absolutely love it!

hummingbird cupcakes

5.25.2009

Cupcakes are a staple sweet treat for BBQ's, they are small and individualized. For Tak's BBQ, I tried out a new recipe from the Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and put a few of my own tweaks to it. To me this is an-everything-and-the-kitchen-sink kind of cake with bananas, pineapples, coconut milk and almonds. 

hummingbird cupcakes 

ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 cups mashed, very ripe banana 
  • 1/2 cups crushed pineapple 
  • 1/4 cup almonds 
  • 1 recipe cream cheese frosting from my previous post  
directions 
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake liners in baking pan. 
  2. Sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. I
  3. n a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat oil with the sugar until smooth. 
  4. Add the egg and beat until light. Add the vanilla extract. Add the bananas, pineapple, and coconut milk. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients in thirds, beating after each addition until smooth. Stir in almonds. 
  6. Divide the batter into cupcake liners and bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. 
  7. Let cakes cool in pans for a few minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack. When cake has cooled, then ice top of cake with Cream Cheese Icing.

thai me up

5.22.2009

When you live with a group of girls who I love food as much as you, you can't help but develop a special bond together. It was 6 years ago that I lived with Talida, Tonnie and Jana. And til today, we still hold our traditional monthly dinners with the (3rd generation) Roselawn girls. For May, we decided on a Thai-grill theme since the weather was getting warmer. A few years back, my Singaporean coworker suggested a great South Asian recipe website to me. Although it mainly consists of Singaporean recipes, it also has a few authentic Thai recipes. For my Thai-grill contribution, I chose a chicken satay recipe from this site. If you're not a chicken lover, this recipe can also be used with chunks of beef or pork or large prawns. It was so easy and delicious!
 
satay kai (chicken satay)  
ingredients: 
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger about 
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, skinned, boned, and cut into strips 
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder pinch turmeric powder 
  • 8 tablespoons coconut milk 
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar  
directions: 
  1. The chicken is beaten flat, using the flat of the blade of a heavy cleaver.
  2. All the ingredients are combined to form a marinade, and the chicken is marinated overnight.
  3. The pieces of chicken are then threaded on skewers. Grill the skewers on high heat. 
  4. Turn them regularly and brush them liberally with the remaining marinade.
  5. Cooking should take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the heat of your cooker.
nam jim satay (peanut sauce)
ingredients: 
  • 4 ounces of freshly roasted (unsalted) peanuts 
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped 
  • 1 ounce chopped onion 
  • 1-2 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 8 tablespoons coconut milk 
  • 4-6 teaspoons lime juice (to taste)
  • 2-3 teaspoons brown sugar  
directions: 
  1. First grind or crush the peanuts to a fairly fine powder.
  2. Then combine them with the remaining ingredients (except the lime juice), to form a smooth sauce. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it with a little chicken stock.
  3. Now add the lime juice, tasting as you progress to check the balance of flavors is correct.

welcome home

5.18.2009

To welcome my parents back from their trip to Asia, I made a bouquet of tissue paper flowers.

azuki bean muffins

5.15.2009

I love using Azuki bean paste, also known as red bean paste, in all sorts of Asian desserts: mochi, dessert soups, sticky rice, etc. These muffins is the first time I've combined this eastern ingredient to a western baking technique. At first, I was afraid that it would be too sweet, since the paste comes pre-sweetened. Luckily I guesstimated correctly and it turned out great! Just serve it with some coffee or tea. Yum! 

Azuki bean muffins  
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar 
  • 1 cup shortening 
  • 3 eggs 
  • 1 can Azuki bean paste 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 1/4 cups milk 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking powder, and soda. Stir in nuts if desired. Pour batter into two greased 9x5 inch pans.
  3. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

brunch at home

5.14.2009

New York City has a huge brunch culture. With our busy working lives, it allows us get together with friends, relax, and have some good eats. This past weekend, I decided to make a pretty standard brunch fare at home-- pancakes with bacon. I used a buttermilk pancake recipe from bills food with a few substitutions.

whole wheat pancakes
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour 
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour 
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder 
  • a pinch of salt 
  • 2 tablespoon of sugar 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten 
  • 3 cups milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar (the original recipe calls for buttermilk) 
  • 2 1/2 oz unsalted butter, melted unsalted butter, for greasing the pan  
directions
  1. Stir the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a bowl. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter and whisk to combine.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat and brush a little butter over the base. For each pancake, ladle about 1/3 cup of batter into the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn the pancakes over and cook for another minute. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a 200 degree oven while cooking the rest of the pancakes.
  3. Serve with maple syrup and bacon.
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