Sunday, January 25, 2015
I love and enjoy packing lunches and snacks for my Kids. Not only that it is way more economical compared to ordering lunches from the school; I can also ensure the quality and quantity of each ingredient that goes into the lunch boxes. But let’s be realistic, it could also be challenging when you run out of new ideas of what to pack to keep things excited. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to review this fun book, Everyday Bento!
There are 50 fun and adorable lunches idea that you can follow from the book, with step by step and great tips from the author, Wendy Thorpe Copley. This book really inspires me with great new ideas in making lunch boxes to become more fun. All you need are some cute bento containers, simple bento tools (or cookie cutters that you already have), and simple everyday supermarket ingredients! Packing beautiful lunches has never been so easy!
Ever since I've received this book, I’m pretty sure that my Daughter looked through the pages more often than I do! She enjoys looking at all these amazing bentos and picking her favorite ones that we can make together for her school lunches. It’s great bonding time and fun projects that you and your kids will surely enjoy.
Today is your lucky day! Because I’ll be giving away a copy of Everyday Bento to one lucky uTry.it reader, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.
Here are the details on how to enter.
One lucky uTry.it reader (worldwide) will win a copy of “Everyday Bento”.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you usually pack lunches for your family. If not, do you plan to give it a try? Deadline to enter is February 8th, 2015 by mid-night PST. Winner will be selected through Random.org and announce shortly after the giveaway is closed.
For extra entries, do any or all of the following (leave a separate comment for each extra entry):
1) Add me to your Google+ circle here
2) "Like" uTry.it's Facebook Page, click here.
3) Pin a picture from this post onto Pinterest.
4) Share this giveaway on Facebook (with a link back to this post please)
5) Share this giveaway on Twitter (with a link back to this post please)
That’s all and Good Luck everyone!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of “Everyday Bento” for the purpose of this review and I was not compensated in any way to write this post. All comments and opinions are 100% my own.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
My Kids and I adore Fortune Cookies! They are crisp and unique shaped cookies with a piece of paper, a "fortune", or words of wisdom, tucked inside. Fortune cookies are often served as a dessert or a little sweet treat after meals in Chinese restaurants in the United States. However, you won’t find them in China nor Hong Kong! Isn't it interesting? No matter what, these are some fun cookies to eat, and to make. Today, I’ll show you how to make them, step by step with pictures and a video tutorial!
There are only a few simple ingredients in these cookies. But I guaranteed that you’ll be amazed how good they taste. These are definitely the most delicious Fortune Cookies I've ever eaten, and my Kids totally agreed. They said these are way better than the ones we get at the Chinese restaurants. Of course, that’s because these homemade ones are freshly made with real and quality ingredients!
Part of the fun and excitement of eating Fortune Cookies is the process of cracking one open and find out what fortune you get! The Kids and I had so much fun writing the “Paper Fortunes” together. I wrote some well wishes and blessings mainly used for Chinese New Year as well (this year, CNY falls on February 19th). I’m sure anyone would be pleased to receive some of these Fortune Cookies for the celebration.
Ready to see how to make these adorable cookies? Follow me to the kitchen!
1) Using parchment paper and edible Candy Decorating Pens, prepare 24 “Paper Fortunes”.
2) Preheat oven to 325 degree F. Line a baking sheet with Silpat, or non-stick baking mat. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together sugar and egg whites until sugar dissolved, about one to two minutes.
3) Add kosher salt, vanilla extract, almond extract and heavy cream, whisk until well incorporated.
4) Then, whisk in flour, until just combined. Then, add the melted butter and whisk until batter is smooth and incorporated.
5) Place one heaping teaspoon of batter onto prepared baking sheet. With the back of a spoon, spread batter into a 4-inch circle in an even layer.
6) Alternately, you can use a 4-inch circle template and a spatula to spread the batter. Leave a couple of inches spacing between the batter. I usually make 3 cookies on each baking sheet.
7) Bake until the edges of the cookies are golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Rotate the baking pan half way through baking to ensure even heat distribution.
Remove baking sheet from oven onto a wiring rack and work as quickly as possible. Be careful, the baking sheet and cookies are hot. With a small spatula, I use a silicone one for cookies, lift the cookie from the baking mat. Place a piece of the fortune paper in the center of the cookie. Fold the cookie in half and slightly pinch the edges with your left hand to form a loose semicircle.
8) With your right thumb and middle-finger, gently pull the "corners" of cookie together while using your index finger, pushing the cookie in the middle to form the fortune cookie.
9) The shaping should takes less than 10 seconds. Once the cookie hardens, it's impossible to shape it. That is why I only make 3 cookies per baking sheet. Place the shaped cookie in the muffin pan to hold its shape while cooling. Repeat the shaping process with the rest of the baked cookies. Repeat until the batter is used up. To speed up the process, staggering 2 sheets of cookies by 4 minutes. That gives you enough time to shape the cookies. Store cookies at room temperature in an air tight container for up to one week. Enjoy!
Here’s the video tutorial on how to make these Fortune Cookies. After watching the video, please spend a split second to click 'like' if you find it helpful!
I hope you like today’s post, recipe and video tutorial. If you like my video, don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel. Other than making these Fortune Cookies for Chinese New Year, I think they are super cute if you write the paper fortunes for your Valentine’s, too.
What are your favorite Asian treats? Is there another recipe you would like to see the tutorial in a video? Leave a message in the comment below and let me know. I would love to include more video tutorials and How-To's in the future.
Tools and Props used in this post:
Wilton Candy Decorating Pens (Click here for more information)
Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat (click here for more information)
Calphalon Baking Sheet Pans (Click here for more information)
Ateco Offset Spatula (Click here for more information)
Cookie Spatula (Click here for more information)
Circle Template (Click here for more information)
Muffin Pan (Click here for more information)
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Do you like Banana Muffins? Honestly, I didn’t think of making them, until one day my lovely Son requested some. What happen was that he saw a cartoon and the characters in it were making Banana Muffins! So, he decided he wanted to make some with me as well. How cute! I’m just so glad that my Kids love to join me in the kitchen aa we bake and make treats together. That’s one of my favorite special bonding time for sure.
These Banana Muffins with Crunchy Oat Topping are pretty awesome. They are not overly sweet, so you can taste the banana, the wonderful sweet aroma of vanilla, a hint of cinnamon and the slightly nutty oats on top. Thanks to the mashed up bananas, the insides of these muffins are moist and soft! I personally love adding chopped walnuts in mine. But my Boy insist to leave it out so we didn't add any on this batch. But the version with the walnuts would add a nice crunch and nutty flavors to these tender muffins.
There are only a few steps in preparing these muffins. Best of all, you don’t even need a stand mixer for the recipe. They are so simple and quick to prepare that you can simply make some in the same morning that you crave them for breakfast! They are wonderful and fresh out of the oven! Your whole kitchen would smell great as well.
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try! It’s truly amazing. Special thanks to my Little Boy for requesting these muffins so that I can share my recipe with you. Hope you’re inspired to create something in the kitchen with your kids, or grand-kids. Stay tuned for more fun and easy recipes.
Props used in this post:
Core Bamboo Cutlery Set (Click here for more information)
Pink Chevron Wooden Cutlery Set (Click here for more information)
Wood Slice Serving Board (Click here for more information)
Floral Tea Cup Set (Click here for similar product)
Sunday, January 4, 2015
As much as I love homemade treats, it’s nice to dine out and try new things every once in a while. One of the weekends while we were on the road, we were all super hungry and it was time for afternoon tea. So, I went on one of the restaurant review site to see what’s closed by around where we were at that time. That’s how I discovered Wähfles Desserts and Coffee!
It’s a cute little café that mainly serves waffles, both savory and sweet, plus some specialty drinks, teas, and coffee. The rating of this café was pretty good so we decided to give it a try. This place was clean and organized. Plus, the table setting were not crowded at all. The server and cashier were very friendly and willing to help with our questions and selections as well. First, we tried their Iced Mocha, it was pretty yummy! The chocolate and coffee flavors balanced well and not overly sweet. I guess the key is to use good quality coffee and chocolate!
One of the items that the restaurant review site recommended was the Crème Brulee Waffle (see picture below). Unfortunately, we didn’t like it at all. We couldn't really taste the “brulee” part and the edges were quite burnt and dried. So disappointing!
My Hubby chose the “create your own” option and he ordered a full size serving (see picture below). The waffle was wonderfully crisp while the center was tender. He selected chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, walnuts, and whipped cream. It was an awesome combination and we finished this one in no time!
My Little boy ordered a half size “create your own” waffle. He selected Maple syrup, chocolate chips, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream. We didn’t taste his but according to Little Foodie, it was very delicious as well!
If you’re in the area and craving for coffee or some afternoon treats, this is quite a fun place to visit. I can’t wait to go back and try some of their other specialty drinks and savory waffles, too! I hope you like today’s post. Stay tuned for more fun recipes and restaurant review in the near future.
More information about the restaurant:
Wähfles Desserts and Coffee
5751-B North Pine Ave
Restaurant Review Disclaimer: uTry.it restaurant reviews are solely based on our experience at each restaurant we visit. They were just our opinions. uTry.it and its owner were not compensated in any way to dine at these restaurants nor to write reviews.
Sunday, December 28, 2014
I had been craving for some Meyer Lemon bars for quite some time. Basically, ever since the last Meyer Lemon season, I guess! Seems like my In-Laws knew about my cravings and personally delivered these gorgeous citrus to me as soon as they were ready, picked right from their garden. Scored! So, I made this Meyer Lemon tart with Almond Crust! I know, these are not bars, but tart. But a very gorgeous version of Meyer Lemon 'bars'. Don’t you agree?
No matter what you call it, this is one refreshing and satisfying treat! The crust is crisp, buttery, but actually pretty light. The Meyer Lemon filling is silky smooth, sweet and tart at the same time. It’s almost melt in your mouth kind of texture. I love the special sweet fragrant from the Meyer Lemons. They are not as tart when compared to regular lemons, and they have a sweet floral tone in them. If you haven’t try these before, I encourage you to look for them the next time you’re in the market. They are in season right now.
I made this tart on a heavy rainy day. And guess what? It really brightens up my day because each bite simply tastes like sunshine to me. So, thank you again to my In-Laws for always sharing the goodness with us. I’m such a lucky girl! If you’re looking for a dessert to share with your friends and family this holiday, give this Meyer Lemon Tart with Almond Crust a try! I’m sure you can bring some sunshine and smiles to your loved ones.