Thursday, July 9, 2009

Honey Cornbread Muffins

After having cornbread muffins on the Fourth, I wanted to make them at home. I found a recipe by the Neelys of the Food Network. I hate their show (way too much PDA and corniness -- Oh! Corniness!! Haha! Get it? Cuz it's about CORNbread? Hmm...), but I LOVE their honey cornbread muffins. It came out perfectly! I used the mini cupcake/muffin mold instead of the cupcake mold that it asked for. So it ended up making 32 mini muffins. It didn't take 15 minutes to bake. It took about 9 to 10 minutes instead. It's so crispy and yummy that I've eaten six so far today and haven't had lunch! Just two cups of coffee!Aren't they cute? I don't know why my muffins puffed up like that though. Don't they look like mushrooms? I expect little elves or fairies to come out of them.

Hubby's Crafty Creation

Hubby made his first Shrinky Dinks charm. I have to admit that it's pretty good. Don't you think? He used colored pencils and a thin Sharpie marker.

A few days ago I noticed that they have ink jet Shrinky Dinks. Maybe Hubby would prefer designing something on computer. :)

Fourth of July

Hubby and I waited all year for the Fourth of July. We started off our day by hiking the Stream Trail at the Redwood Regional Park in Oakland. Then we made sure to stop by the ATM to get cash for the yummy BBQed meats on sticks. Last year, my parents came to visit on the Fourth and we spent our time at Jack London Square before dinner at Yoshi's. As we walked around, we all drooled over the BBQ vendors. We were so good. We didn't eat any of it. We waited for our sushi dinner instead. So this year, we were totally looking forward to having the BBQed meats on sticks. But when we got there, there was no BBQed meat booths! We figured that they had the vendors and fireworks there every year, but I guess not! You don't know how grouchy I was. I was extremely disappointed and already had a headache from getting too much fresh air during our hike.

Anyways, we ended up going to Everett and Jones. We were so pleased when the host seated us in front of a window. But a few minutes later, he asks us to move to a smaller table. Normally, it wouldn't have really bothered me, but man, it ticked me off this time, but I politely moved. Anyways when our platter of BBQ came, I felt better. It had beef brisket, beef ribs, chicken, and beef links with the spicy and tangy sauce poured on everything. The best was the brisket. And the sides were so good. We loved the cole slaw and the cornbread muffins. The potato salad was delicious, too.

But man! I still can't believe they didn't have the BBQ! ARG!!

Here are some photos of our hike. Very beautiful!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Burmese Food Baby

I'm pregnant with a food baby!

After we checked out (and ended up spending money at) the new Berkeley Bowl West, we headed over to Alameda to go eat. We ended up at Burma Superstar. There's always a wait, but not today since we got there before the dinner crowd.

Mango Tango and Lychee Julep. Both very good, but we let it rest a bit to allow the ice to melt to cut the sweetness.Platha with Coconut Chicken Curry. Mmm!Garlic Noodles with Duck. Great texture on this thin noodle, and loved the crunch of the fried garlic pieces.Burmese Style Curry with Shrimp. Reminded us of Singapore Chili Crab, but with curry. It was good, but on the too salty side. Hubby wanted Tiger beer as he ate this. Had this dish with jasmine and coconut jasmine rice.Jackfruit and Banana Fried Rolls with Nutella (and coconut ice cream and mango sorbet)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Shrinky Dinks

Are you Shrinky Dinked out? I'm not!

I'm sad because the last two I made got ruined. I used the toaster oven today. But for some reason the toaster oven was too hot for it. I noticed that the parchment paper was turning brown and I even noticed some smoke. Yikes! So, I learned to stick with my regular oven.Here are the last two that got too hot in the toaster oven. See how they are warped and the ink are smeared?This is the back of the pink butterfly one. I put so much detail in it! All ruined!

Shrinky Dinks Addict

Wee!! I made more Shrinky Dinks pendants. I don't know what I'll do with them yet... Wear them, use as wine class charms, trinkets for presents... I thought of making pendants that say, "Listen to your teacher" or just "Focus" to wear in class. There are times when I'm helping a student one-on-one and the kid would look over at my necklace and sometimes even reach over and touch it. Even my accessories will make them learn!! Hahahaha!! Anyways, I'm so addicted! I need to go buy gloves tomorrow so that I can experiment with Shrinky Dinks rings. I bought the Softies Kit after school ended so I have crafty things to do this summer, but I haven't touched it! It's all Shrinky Dinks until I get bored or it's time to get ready for the next school year. :(

Inspired by Hubby's friend's bee video. Our parakeet. Just a design.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Shrinky Dinks

I bought a book on making Shrinky Dink jewelry today. It was so much fun! I always wanted Shrinky Dinks when I was a kid. I ended up making a little pendant. I made it 3D by drawing the cage on the shiny side, and the bird on a tree branch on the rough side. Looks cool, no?

Here's how it looked before getting shrunk.Here's after it shrank.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

First Days of Summer Break!!

My last day of school was Thursday, June 11th. To celebrate, we went to Katana-ya in SF. We went there for my birthday, too. Ha ha. I ordered the strawberry-milk shaved ice. I always eyed it when others ordered it. It was so yummy. When I went home last summer, my mom and I made shaved ice. I requested that we do that again when I go home this summer.

Katana-ya's shaved ice.Mom's shaved ice.
Ramen, sushi, and shaved ice made a comforting meal after hiking at the Marin Headlands in Sausalito and shopping in the city.
Isn't it beautiful? I just love it there.Neat kelp!This kelp I've seen before. I tried picking it up. It's darn heavy!!This is the beautiful scene we saw when we exited a tunnel to go to SF.

Sleepy Birds

Last weekend Hubby and I went to the city of Walnut Creek to go window shopping at Broadway Plaza. There's a neat decor store that we like going to especially for the antique looking cages with real finches in them. The store's called Filthy Gorgeous. The only thing we've bought there are these really sweet blue birds that are salt and pepper shakers. We just use it to decorate our hallway shelves.

Anyway, one of the cages had a pair of canaries in them. I couldn't help taking photos of the canary resting in its bowl of seeds. So cute!
But look at this green cutie! It's our parakeet, Coqui, lying down on our sofa. Awww!!

Taste of Singapore

Hi R! So, Hubby and I went to Kopitiam as you requested. Extremely friendly owners. The chef (we think) kept telling us to order the laksa when he noticed me pointing out the sign for it to Hubby. But we had ordered already and didn't want to add another dish. Everything was very good. I especially loved the roti prata. It was so crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The chicken rice tasted just like it did in Singapore. I was so happy to see that they put the cucumbers underneath the chicken. It put a big smile on my face as I chewed.

We picked up the copy of the menu to plan for another dinner there (soon, I hope). I heard the chef say that he'll be going back to Singapore for three weeks soon so maybe we'll go when he's back.

A coconut flavored sago dessert with caramel and strawberries.Braised Curry Pork. The curry and the cabbage in it was very good, but unfortunately the pork was tough.Chicken Rice. Mmmm....Roti Prata with curry dipping sauce.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Strawberry Cupcakes

I had the urge to make strawberry cupcakes. Part of it is that it's a good way to procrastinate doing any school work. Heh heh! I used the recipe I found on Martha Stewart's website. I used Sprinkles' strawberry frosting recipe. I split the recipe in half because I didn't have enough powdered sugar, but it make the perfect amount. The fresh strawberry puree in the frosting made this lovely soft pink color with little red freckles of strawberry bits. It's sweet but you can taste the fresh strawberries.

Zuppa Toscana

I love Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. My brother does, too. He would experiment with the copycat recipes once in awhile and he showed me how to make it a long time back now. I still make it anytime it's soup climate. I think I finally got it right this time.

Zuppa Toscana
Serves 2-3 people

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, sliced
2 sliced thick-cut bacon (pepper-rubbed), chopped
1/2 lb. spicy Italian sausage meat
2 qt. low sodium chicken stock
1 chicken stock cube (Maggi)
2 medium potatoes, cubed
2 large leaves of kale, chopped
1 cup heavy cream (optional)

1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high. Add the garlic and onion to sauté.
2. Add the bacon and stir around.
3. Add the sausage and break it up as you cook it.
4. Once it's cooked, add the chicken stock and the cube. Bring to a boil.
5. Add the potatoes, and set the temperature back to medium high to cook the potatoes.
6. Test the potatoes' doneness. When it's done, turn the heat off, and add the kale.
7. When you're ready to eat, you can add the cream as much as you like to your bowl of soup.

Children's Clothespin Dolls

So here are the clothespin dolls my fifth-graders made. They were supposed to fashion it in the time of the US Westward Expansion. So miners, railroad workers, pioneers, frontiersmen, Native Americans, etc. I told them that they are to use any material they have at home because long ago, children made these because they didn't have money to buy dolls. So, my favorite is the one wrapped in snake skin that he found. He made a bow and arrow with toothpicks, bubblegum wrap, and hair rubberband. With all these random items, I knew exactly what he made. You can also see which students have support at home or the amount of effort or creativity they put in.

Here's the snakeskin Native American doll I like.