Sunday, June 29, 2008

Relax



Three cute reads:
Happy Sunday everyone!

Fluffy coconut cake


Ingredients:

Yellow Cake


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, stirred before measuring
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Cream sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add half of the flour mixture then half of the milk. Add vanilla. Mix until blended; add remaining flour and milk and beat until smooth. The batter will be thick. Spread batter in two greased and floured 8-inch layer cake pans or a 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25 to 35 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched near center.

White Mountain Frosting

2 large egg whites
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar, corn syrup and water in a 1-quart saucepan. Cover and heat to a rolling boil over medium heat. Uncover and cook, without stirring, to 242*F (115*C) on a candy thermometer or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a ball that flattens when removed from water. Cooking time can take between 4 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile using an electric mixer at high speed, beat egg whites in a medium bowl just until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and while beating constantly, very slowly pour hot syrup in a steady, thin stream into the egg whites. Add the vanilla and continue beating at high speed for about 10 minutes until stiff peaks form.

Cover yellow cake with white mountain frosting. Sprinkle and cover with sweetened coconut.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Making good wishes

Words are powerful. They can heal, inspire and bless. May you deeply breathe into the positive, life affirming qualities of these words. Have a great weekend!



Click on picture to enlarge

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tagged: Six unimportant things about me

Oh, this game is fun. Cindy tagged me for Six Unimportant Things about Me blog game and as promised, here it goes:



1. Feed me anything but duck. We had a little duck pond in our backyard back in the 80's and for some reason that made me swore off duck for the rest of my life!



2. I worked as a radio DJ after graduating from college. I am what you would call a "rock jock."



3. My favourite scent is Tea Rose by Perfumer's Workshop. Very heavenly, inspired fragrance!



4. Snowmen make me happy so I collect them-figurines, ornaments etc.



5. My favourite snack is empanada, a deep fried or baked pastry filled with sweet/savoury fillings.


6. My all-time favourite cookie is Chocolate Crinkle.

I enjoyed playing tag so I hope you will too. So I hope my lovely blog friends would like to play along... Rachael of Sweet Nothings, Suzanne @ Create Fun & Mess, and Louise @ Home is Where the Heart Is. Try to tag six people if you can!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Papier

For scrapbook junkies out there, don't miss Yasmine's (A Print a Day) printable cupcake sprinkles paper set download. Yummy colours! And this vintage book plate from Doe-c-Doe is super cute! Check it out!


Secret gardens and Corgi dreams

Bye bye dear Tasha...



I'm saddened to hear the news that Tasha Tudor passed away just recently. The world will be a darker place without the ethereal presence and light of the much loved and celebrated children's book writer, author and illustrator.

She was my favourite illustrator ever since I learned how to open books and look at pictures! Her charming cottage life, Corgi dogs, and other idyllic pursuits all speak of a gentle, old soul.

May the legacy of her work live on forever in our hearts.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quick breads and 101 cookbooks



I love quick breads. There's nothing heartwarming than making your own. I made this banana raisin bread in two variants-plain and chocolate flavoured. The recipe came from Sun Maid Raisins. It's so quick to make and so great as a breakfast toast topped with your favourite marmalade or spread.

Here's the original recipe:

Banana Raisin Loaf

Ingredients:

1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed bananas ( 2 medium size)
3 tbsps milk
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Combine butter, sugar and eggs; beat until well blended. Stir in banana and milk. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to banana mixture. Stir until well blended. Fold in raisins and walnuts. Spoon batter into greased pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.

Other variations: Chocolate- Add 1/2 cup cocoa powder and increase granulated sugar to 1 cup.

Among others, this is my favourite site when I want to get instantly satiated just looking at all those delicious food photos. This on the other hand is my favourite recipe journal where cookbooks are explored one recipe at a time. You may want to sign up for a free newsletter to have those gorgeous recipes delivered to your inbox. And of course, this is the place to be when you're talking about the ultimate foodie site in the galaxy.

Have a happy and relaxing weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Inspired fun




I know, a Hermes bag costs a fortune but really, you can make your own Hermes Kelly Bag! All you need is some scissors and bits of glue. So fun!



And don't forget to visit the stupendously pretty Inspired Ideas Magazine of Inspire & Co. It's full of eye candy features, projects and fun!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Friendship wishes

I created another Black Apple Doll from Emily Martin's pattern found on Martha. This time I made a few modifications like giving the doll a sweet demure open eyed look. My other Black Apple Dolls have been so snoozy and sleepy. Time to wake 'em up!

The other doll pictured is a 6.5 inches Friendship Doll made from Jill Maas doll pattern. It's a beautiful, artsy doll pattern that can be made with materials found around the house. It comes with a special friendship dedication poem too! I think it's a very lovely token to give away to good friends to remind them how special they are.






"Hearts for love
Kisses for wishes
Beads for joys
Flowers for new growth,
Colours for happiness
Gold thread for health
Stitched with friendship and
wrapped with love"

There are still a lot of projects I want to make from this page, like Monique the Country Angel and the Goddess of Love. Will show and tell once I get around to making them. Have a happy week filled with surprises and joys! Think good thoughts because thoughts become things.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Wallpaper goodies




Bored of blah desktop wallpapers? Head over to PixelGirl for unique and utterly gorgeous high quality desktop wallpapers. My favourite desktop wallpaper as of the moment is Deniz Tekkul's Mushroom Culture. :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Oriental cookie recipe

Thank you for all your get well wishes. It's great to be back in the loop! This weekend, I'm sharing my favourite oriental cookie recipe! It's so tasty and it keeps well. Enjoy your weekend!

Jin Mah Bang Sesame Seed Cakes

2 cups flour
1/2 cup fat ( vegetable)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs




Sift flour and baking powder on to pastry board. Make well in center and stir in sugar, 1 egg and strained fat. Work mixture into dough . Knead like bread. Roll dugh into 1/2" round roll cut into 1/2" sections. Roll into bowl and press flat. Beat 1 egg yolk and brush cookie with it. Drop into seame seeds and press them on. Brush with beaten egg white and bake on greased baking sheets for about 15 minute in oven 350 fahrenheit.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sew Tiny



I'm down with a terrible cold. The combination of hot humid weather and demolishing dust bunnies just took its toll on me. Anyway, one wonderful way to spend the day recuperating in bed is to hand stitch some wee sewing projects like this teeny weeny fabric house from Molly Chicken's tutorial. My little cottage is inspired by little house drawings I used to make when I was a little girl- wonky lines and all that. Now I can store grown up treasures in it like bracelets, earrings and stuff.

And I just gotta- make-baby-shoes- even- if- I'm- not- feeling- clucky! Thanks to Heather Bailey's irresistible Bitty Booties tutorial. Martha has a similar baby bootie project but it's too labour intensive for me at the moment.

Have a fun week everybody! Be well.

Some flickr fun



1. christy, 2. Mayan Chocolate Cupcakes (with recipe), 3. Oblation, 4. purple sea snails, 5. Hugh Laurie, 6. strawberry soymilk shake, 7. weekend inspiration, 8. melted goodness!!, 9. Loading up on sugar in time for Christmas, 10. The Earth is God's Canvas., 11. Jonathan Livingston Seagull “I am ready,” he said at last. And Jonathan Livingston Seagull rose with the two star-bright gulls to disappear into a perfect dark sky., 12. 365:1 Robin's Eggs

I found this little game on a lot of blogs but I didn't give it a go until Gina did!
Ok, so you simply answer the following questions:

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

Type in your answer on flickr search. Select image on first page. Cut and paste photo's URL in fd toys mosaic maker.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sunday Funday

First of all, thank you Suzanne for the Arte Y Pico Award! Your kind words mean so much and I am very honoured! I hope to forward the award soon.

And now for some fun stuff...



Check out these gnometastic toadstool mushroom label/notepads from Yasmine of A Print a Day. You can download them for free from her weekend download page. Thanks a bunch Yasmine for sharing your gorgeous art!

Meanwhile I have a delicious Crunchy Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie recipe that is awesome as a breakfast cookie!



Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 granulated, 1/2 brown)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick cooking oatmeal
1/4- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt and combine well. Cream butter and add sugar, egg, vanilla and light corn syrup. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Combine well. Shape 1 tablespoon cookie dough into thin circles. Bake at 350 until done.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blue symphony



This wraps up my vision for Project Blue, Ana Carson's colour themed photography meme.

Blue for me evokes luminescence, overwhelming calmness, strength of the male principle, mirroring of sea and sky, purity, infinity, clarity, healing, lightness and peace.

What is blue for you?

More blue, please



Project Blue. Take 7.
"Blue Swirl"


Project Blue. Take 8.
"Angel Wings"



Project Blue. Take 9.
"Wishing Jewel"


Check out Anna Carson's Blog for more of Project Blue.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Recipe Box Swap

Chef Sara Moulton's Korean Beef recipe is my contribution to Randi's Recipe Box Swap. It's a dish bursting with great Asian flavours--ginger, soy sauce and sesame and is great as a weeknight dinner. I love serving this as a rice bowl topping. So hearty and good!

swap blogpost

Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 scallions, white and 2 inches of the green parts, finely chopped
Additional chopped scallions for garnish
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons hot red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
Vegetable oil for sauteing the beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, scallions, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, and pepper flakes in a bowl. Whisk well to blend. Reserve 1/4 cup and set aside. Pour the rest into a plastic bag with a resealable closure. Add the skirt steak and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator, turning the bag often, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the skirt steak from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. (The drier the beef, the better it will sear.) Working in batches, heat half the oil in a large skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Place in the skillet and reduce the heat to medium-high. Cook until seared on the outside and rare to medium-rare on the inside, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining oil and skirt steak. Cut into very thin slices, holding the knife at an angle and cutting against the grain. Toss with the reserved 1/4 cup sauce in a large bowl until well coated.
Serve with noodles or rice.

Tagged

The lovely Suzanne from Create Fun & Mess invited me to join this tag game and of course I'm thrilled to answer some questions...

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? My BFF.

2. What were you doing at 0800? Making a glass of orange juice.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Face yoga :-P

4. What happened to you in 2006? Started photography as a hobby.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? Let's eat!

6. How many beverages did you have today? Two.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Pink.

8. What was the last thing you paid for? A bag of chips.

9. Where were you last night? At home.

10. What color is your front door? Dark brown.

11. Where do you keep your change? In a coffee can.

12. What’s the weather like today? Beautiful.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Vanilla or Chocolate

14. What excites you? Life!

15. Do you want to cut your hair? I'm not sure, hahaha.

16. Are you over the age of 25? I'm over the calendar.

17. Do you talk a lot? It depends on the conversation topic.

18. Do you watch the O.C.? No.

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Would Steven Tyler count?

20. Do you make up your own words? I'm a wordmeister!

21. Are you a jealous person? No.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Arni.

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Karen.

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Can't recall anymore.

25. What does the last text message you received say?

"When a greeting is sent from a dstance u cnt hear d wishes, u cnt see d smiles, But you can sense d CaRe dat Truly comes frm d HEART...Good evening. God bless! "

26. Do you chew on your straw? Sometimes.

27. Do you have curly hair? Yes, naturally so.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? The neighborhood baking supplies store.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? I try not to notice.

30. What was the last thing you ate? A chewy raisin oatmeal cookie!

31. Will you get married in the future? It's fun being single but if the opportunity presents itself, why not? :P

32. What’s the best movie you've seen in the past 2 weeks? King Solomon's Mines on HBO

33. Is there anyone you like right now? My blog friends!

36. Did you cry today? No.

37. Why did you answer and post this? Because I love Q & A's.

38. Tag 7 people who would do this survey...None yet, but anyone who likes Q&A's can be tagged if they like.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Art of Blue


Project Blue. Take 5.
"Azure "


Project Blue. Take 6.
"Infinity Blue"

Check out Anna Carson's Blog for more of Project Blue.

Pages



An excerpt from The Art of Imperfection: Simple Ways to Make Peace with Yourself:

Perfect moments happen to imperfect people at the most imperfect times.
 On a rainy afternoon, while waiting for the local locksmith to show up to retrieve the ignition key you locked inside your car, you have a bowl of homemade chicken soup  at the counter of a quaint coffee shop.
When impatiently rummaging through papers in search of the receipt for your defective answering machine, you find an old picture of yourself with your best friend at age ten.
As you put down the receiver after a stressful fight with your sister about family matters, you notice how pretty the garden looks in winter.
Don't hold your breath any longer: Perfect moments happen everyday.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Bluer than blue




Project Blue. Take 3.
"Into the sky"




Project Blue. Take 4.
"Blue Beads"

Of blissful naps and Audrey Hepburn

I stitched up these comfy sleeping masks from Burdastyle's free eye mask pattern. I made use of some Chinese red silk I bought last year from Bangkok's Pahurat Textile Market/Little India. I made these using some light batting sandwiched in between the fabrics. These can be filled with buckwheat, lavender, rice or sleeptytime fragrant herbs. It's cheap, it's easy to make and if you're an Audrey Hepburn fan, you can even make your own version of the Holly Golightly sleep mask! How's that for a luxurious nanna nap?

Meanwhile, I also made a Sewing Angel made from itty bitty fabric scraps and ends. I used the Dangerous Women, Reaching for the Stars Pattern from Aisling's Wild Art Dolls page. I reckon I needed a wee sewing angel to protect me from needle stabs and other mishaps (which I get
most of the time).

If you're in the mood for making some art dolls, why not check out this gorgeous site? It has lots of doll making inspiration to whet your creativity and imagination.

True Blue

It's that time again for Anna Carson's photography meme! I'm so happy that this time she has chosen blue as the photography theme . If you're a blue lover, you'd be interested to know that Blue Iris is the Colour of the Year 2008 as chosen by Pantone. Hope you can join this fun colour foray by visiting Anna Carson Photography Blog. Hope to see you in Project Blue!


Project Blue. Take 1.
"Blue Agave"



Project Blue. Take 2.
"Sitting Still"