Tuesday, December 13, 2011
My niece turned 12 last month. Per the birthday girl's request, I made a cookie dough cake for her. My brother showed me a picture of one they found online. The one they showed me had a full layer of cookie dough in the center as filling, which I thought would be way too heavy (in terms of weight and taste). After a few more searches, I saw that it was not that unusual of a cake afterall and there are many variations of them out there. I settled on the idea to make small little cookie dough balls and incorporate that with the frosting in the middle. The yellow cake recipe is from CookWise by Shirley O. Corriher. The cookie dough recipe is the brown butter chocolate chip cookies from The America's Test Kitchen. I left out the eggs and use 1/2 cup less flour (if it's still too thick, add a little milk to get it to the dough consistency.)
My flickr stream shows that there are 100 views on this picture. There must be a lot of people interested in making a cookie dough cake? Maybe this will be the new cake flavor for 2012!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I've seen versions of this on pinterest a few times and thought it would make a great project for T to do. I had T and my niece made them together. This is possibly the easily "cookie" that comes out of my kitchen. Get pretzels (square or circle ones) and line them on a baking sheet. Top each of the pretzel with a Kisses candy (we used cookies and cream here). Put the tray in the oven at about 230F for 4-5 minutes. Finally, push a M&M on each while the Kisses are still soft. That's it! I think we'll do it again and give them out for T's preschool class for the holidays.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
We took a quick weekend trip to Seattle last weekend. This is one of my favorite picture from the trip. It also reminded me to write down this little note.
Miss T designated us to do certain things for her. Chris somehow is the designated person to turn on lights for her when it gets dark in her room. Now, whenever T wants the light to be turn on, she calls out for her "only light" to do the job. =)
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
(Sorry for the blurry picture.)
I've seen kale chips 'recipe' for a while now but have never gotten around to make them. Chris and I already enjoys kale (cooked, not raw though) so while the idea is interesting, there was no reason to try it either. Last week I got a beautiful bunch of kale from my CSA box and I know I've got to eat it today or they'll be wilted by tomorrow. Kale chips seemed like a good idea to snack away a bunch of kale. (I have a little too much food in my fridge right now.) A little time consuming to make with all the trays needed, but not complicated at all. Just clean and dry the leaves really well. Tear them into pieces (no stalk!) Toss with a little olive oil and salt. Place in single layer on baking sheet. Bake at 325F for about 15 minutes. The best part, the 4 years old who eats most vegetables except for green leaves loves them! That is reason enough to make them again.
Monday, November 7, 2011
I signed up for a farmshare CSA program a couple of months ago. I've tried a few different produce delivery service over the years and was never impressed since all the ones that actually delivers to where I live are more like a producer distributor rather than something more local. The quality and the variety of produces were not too impressive either. I kept looking though because I think it would be fun for Miss T to try some new food and save me a trip to the farmer's market every other week. Capay Valley Farmshare seems to be meeting my needs so far. While they don't deliver to my house, they do deliver to where Chris works. I do have to pick it up at his office on my way home, the box would slow him down a bit on his commute home on a bicycle. We got these watermelon radishes a few weeks back and I was surprised to learn that its origin trace back to China. The Chinese name is 心里美, "beauty in the heart". I ended up trying to make pickles with them since I'm not a huge fan of raw radishes. The pickles were okay, but my refrigerator smells like rotten food. (Miss T thought it looked very pretty but has no interest in eating it since she thinks it smells like garbage.) I may just have cook it like a daikon next time instead or something.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Since I kinda forgot that I had a blog for a while, I didn't get to post the finished picture of the backyard. This was back when the work was just done, still looking all nice and neat. If I were to show you a picture of it now, there would be more weeds around. We are in process of trying to hire a gardener to keep up with the maintenance. We are not good at it and there are way too much work to do between the front and back yards.
This is the top part of our backyard. I asked for the landscaper to leave me some space to play with. This was what I started the beginning of the summer. Now I have a lot of weeds, a lemon tree, and a blueberry bush. I think when I finally get that gardner, that person will have to help me out of what to do. I didn't mind having some space to play with, but this is actually way too big. I'm thinking of maybe using half as a flower garden. The other half would be a combination of fruit tree/bush and vegetables/herbs. But, right now, wish me luck in finding a gardener soon!!
Friday, November 4, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Miss T is at the stage where she's asking to do a project or help out with something all the time. For Halloween, I thought it would be fun to make white chocolate covered cookies pops to share with her friends at school. I was buying the cookies for that monster brownie/cookie bar thing anyways. All we needed to do was to melt a couple bags of white chocolate chips and dip the cookies in. T got the job of ensuring all cookies get the correct amount of sprinkles on each. It was definitely a quick and fun project to do.
The only change I'll make next time was to use powder coloring instead of the gel stuff. I tried to color half of the batch to orange and the little gel was changing the consistence of the white chocolate too much. They ended up a light peach instead.
Something to keep in mind for next time. I think we'll make them again for Christmas!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Anybody else addicted to Pinterest? I've been saving clippings on my computer for years but Pinterest made it so much easier. I've been seeing versions of this pinned by so many people that I developed a strong urge to make it. The problem, of course, is that I really don't eat much sweets. Especially not one with a chocolate chip cookie bottom, oreos in the middle and top off with brownie! I finally decided to make it to bring to work on Halloween. You can eat as much sweets as you want on Halloween, right? I used Joe-Joe's from Trader Joe's instead of oreos and made brownie from scratch. I did end up keeping all the edges, I like the crunchy edges and the middle part already filled the tray. It was a hit at work, but definitely plan on serving small pieces as they are very, very rich. Now that I got this recipe out of my system, I'm off to find something else that I just have to make!
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
This was what my yard looked like this morning when I left for work. Overgrown weed. Retaining walls on verge of collapse. I literally never goes out there. The tire swing was probably the best thing it had going for it. Today is also the day landscape work started. The estimated time frame for the job to be done is 2 1/2 weeks. I'll be taking a picture each work day to document the progress and hopefully at the end, we'll have a yard that we won't be embarrassed to show people.
Oh yes, I'm way behind on posts and hopes to catch up on some soon.
(Incidentally the tire swing had to go due to the very ugly tree it was attached to. I need to find some way to incorporate a swing for Miss T now.)
Monday, March 14, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Saturday, January 22, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Every time I have to pick up a jar of pasta sauce at the store I think to myself, I really should make this instead. A slow cooker made the process extremely easy. We used it tonight for dinner with a little cream cheese melted in to make it creamy to go with the egg pasta Chris made. The best part is I have enough for 4 more dinner out of the batch. Just freeze it flat in a quart size zip lock bag and take one out the night before you use it. I made mine vegetarian this time and added TVP (Total Vegetable Protein) for additional protein and also to absorb some of the liquid from the additional vegetables I put in there. Free feel to use ground meat or a combination of meat/TVP instead.
Tomato Pasta Sauce
This makes a large batch. I would use it the night of and then freeze it in quart size bags (about 3 - 3 1/2 cup each). The amount of sugar and salt used will depends on the type/brand of tomatoes used.
- 2 can crushed tomatoes, low sodium, 28 oz each
- 1 can diced tomatoes, low sodium, 14 1/2 oz
- 1 can tomato paste, 6 oz
- 2 carrot, peeled and cut into big chunks
- 1 zucchini, trimmed and cut into chunks
- ½ large onion, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into chunks
- 3 tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried sage
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tbsp. basalmic vinegar
- brown sugar, to taste
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup TVP, leave dry
With a food processor, chopped each vegetables into very small pieces separately. It takes a bit more time, but you will have more uniform pieces if you don't mix all the vegetables together.
Put everything in the slow cooker and cook on slow for 8 hours. Adjust the seasoning with brown sugar, salt and ground black pepper as needed.