Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cafe Spice Cookbook Review and Giveaway

Cafe Spice Cookbook Review and Giveaway

I adore Indian cuisine and I am so excited to have the opportunity to review the Café Spice Cookbook.  The author of the book, Chef Hari Nayak, is on a mission to spread the enjoyment of Indian cuisine to everyone he meets.  The Café Spice Cookbook is a wonderful book that is perfect for today’s health-conscious home cooks to prepare light and fresh version of classic Indian dishes, most of which are naturally vegetarian and gluten free recipes.

Cafe Spice Cookbook Review and Giveaway

There are 84 quick and easy Indian recipes to choose from.  I also love the fact that most of the recipes are ready in 30 minutes.  Chef Nayak covered recipes on Chutneys and Accompaniments, Vegetables and Cheese, Fish and Seafood, Poultry and Meat, Breads, Rice and Grains, to Desserts and Drinks.  For sure, you’re going to find something that you would like to prepare and learn more about in this wonderful book.  There are many recipes from the book that I can’t wait to try, such as Dried Bombay Beef, Spiced Crab Cakes, Coconut Rice and Mango Lassi.

Cafe Spice Cookbook Review and Giveaway

This Café Spice Cookbook will also walk you through some simple techniques such as browning, deep-frying, roasting and grinding of spices, which are all essentials to the success of Indian cooking.   He also explain some helpful tips and tools he used in the recipe, along with a detail list of Indian Ingredients.  I am surprised that I already have most of the spices and ingredients in my pantry.  I guess the Chinese cuisine and Indian cuisine do share some similarity in the spices we use.

Cafe Spice Cookbook Review and Giveaway

Interested to own a copy of Café Spice Cookbook and start making these healthy and flavorful dishes?  You’re in luck today.  I am giving away one Café Spice Cookbook to a lucky reader, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.

Here are the details on how to enter.

One lucky reader (open to my worldwide readers) will win a copy of “Café Spice Cookbook ”.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what is your favorite Indian dish.  Deadline to enter is May 31st, 2015 by mid-night PST.  Winner will be selected through 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"'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!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Homemade Strawberry Pocky 自家製草莓百力滋 with Video Tutorial

Check out how to make these Homemade Strawberry Pocky 自家製草莓百力滋

Do you love Pocky?  I am a big fan since I was little and I’ve tried many of their available flavors.  Pocky is a Japanese snack. It’s a slightly sweet pretzel/biscuit stick covered with different chocolate or flavoring coatings.  The most popular ones are chocolate, strawberry, and matcha, etc.    As you can see from the picture below, which I took from the supermarket shelves.  This market always have these three basic flavors available. 

Glico Pocky

You might wonder why I made my own when they already have the packaged ones available, right?  As you can see from the packages, the strawberry and matcha Pocky are made with artificial flavorings (and colorings, since there’s no REAL ingredient in them).  That’s enough reason for me to make my own!  Plus, they are actually quite fun to make.  My kids had a blast in the kitchen as we dip away….    

Check out how to make these Homemade Strawberry Pocky 自家製草莓百力滋

For these Homemade Strawberry Pocky, I used freeze dried strawberries along with melted white chocolate to create the coating.  The freeze dried strawberries give these pocky a lovely hue of pink and a wonderful tartness that contrast wonderfully with the sweetness from the white chocolate.

Check out how to make these Homemade Strawberry Pocky 自家製草莓百力滋

Click on the video below to see how I (I should say we) made them!

I hope you enjoyed watching my video tutorial.  If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to my Youtube channel here.  You’ll be the first to know when I have new video tutorials published.

Check out how to make these Homemade Strawberry Pocky 自家製草莓百力滋

As you can see, I sprinkled some of the pocky with extra freeze dried strawberries powder before the chocolate dried.  The extra sprinkle on top simply added some extra tartness and deepened the flavors even further.  You can also sprinkle toasted white sesame seeds, or decorative sprinkles to make them more festive.  But I love these just the way they are.  I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and I’m sure you’re going to love them!

Check out how to make these Homemade Strawberry Pocky 自家製草莓百力滋

Stay tuned for more fun and yummy recipes and giveaways in the near future. 

P.S. If you haven’t done so, there’s still time to enter the $100 Visa Gift Card giveaway on my blog.  Click here to enter on the giveaway post.  Good Luck!

Friday, May 8, 2015

How to Make Sandwich Bread (TangZhong Method)--白方包 (湯種法) with Video Tutorial

Check out my step-by-step video tutial on How to Make Sandwich Bread (TangZhong Method)--白方包 (湯種法)

The very first time that I shared my Sandwich Bread using the TangZhong Method (白方包湯種法) was when I first started blogging, you can see the post here.  Many years have gone by and there are also a few changes that I’ve made toward making this bread (wow, can’t believe I’ve been blogging and sharing my recipes for almost 5 years!)  The biggest change from the previous recipe is that the loaf pan size was too small for my family these days, as their consumption of sandwich bread grows.  

Check out my step-by-step video tutial on How to Make Sandwich Bread (TangZhong Method)--白方包 (湯種法)

I know many of you have tried the previous recipe and loved this bread.  I can’t praise TangZhong Method (湯種法) enough as it yields the softest bread that you’ll ever feel.  Best of all, the softness lasts for a few days.  Yet, it’s all natural without using any weird ingredient that you cannot pronounce.  The secret is all in the method of how to make it.  I've shared a few videos in the past on how to shape different buns (see links at the bottom of this post) with fillings inside, using this basic bread dough.  Yet, I have not shared the process of making the dough.  Many of you emailed and messaged me to request a video tutorial with the step-by-steps on how to make this bread from start to finish.   So here we go....your wish is granted!

Check out my step-by-step video tutial on How to Make Sandwich Bread (TangZhong Method)--白方包 (湯種法)

Ready to learn how to make this amazing sandwich bread?  Watch the video tutorial below.

I hope you enjoyed watching my video tutorial.  If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to my Youtube channel here.  You’ll be the first to know when I have new video tutorials published.

One thing I want to emphasize is that bread making is quite time consuming.  You have to set aside at least 3 1/2 hours from start to end.  However, all of the steps are easy to follow and there are many idling time.  You can work on other things while you wait, such as surfing the web, watching your favorite TV show, or answering emails, etc.  There’s just no short cut when it comes to bread making.  But, I can guaranteed that you and your family will fall in love with this bread once you’ve tried it.  You can definitely taste the love in this bread.  It's so soft and pillow-y that you want to snuggle it and take a nap!

Check out my step-by-step video tutial on How to Make Sandwich Bread (TangZhong Method)--白方包 (湯種法)

If you have a recipe or certain dish that you would love to learn how to make, feel free to leave a message below to let me know.  I will try my best to make more wishes come true!

Tools used in this post:

1 1/2 Pound Pullman Sandwich Loaf Pan
(Click here for more information)
Calphalon Baking Sheet Pans (Click here for more information)
Wood Print Photography Backdrop (Click here to see similar product)
KitchenAid Stand Mixer (Click here for more information)
Organic All-Purpose Flour (Click here for more information)
Active Dry Yeast (Click here for more information)

Click here for the Orange Marmalade Recipe
Click here for the Meyer Lemon Curd Recipe
Clicke here for Prosciutto di Parma with Smoke Gouda Crescent video
Click here for Hong Kong Bakery-Style Sausage Bun (腸仔包)
Click here for Pastrami and Muenster Cheese Blossom Buns

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Summer Cocktails Giveaway Winner Announcement

Prosecco-Blueberry-Lemon Pops and a Giveaway!

Thank you everyone who participated in the Summer Cocktails Recipe Book giveaway.  Special thanks to Quirk Book for providing the prize.  We have selected a winner through!


The winner is Lok Man Fan who said,
“So refreshing! I agree we really need this as our temperatures are going up so fast! My favorite cocktail is pina colada!”
Congratulations, Lok Man Fan!  I’ll be in contact with you soon.

If you didn’t win the giveaway, you can still purchase a copy of the Summer Cocktails here.  It’s a must have for summer parties.  Your guests will be impressed if you prepare these wonderful cocktails and appetizers for them.

I still have another giveaway open on the Blog.  Check out this post here on how enter for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Thank you all for reading.  Stay tuned for more fun recipes and giveaway soon.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

A New Addition to My Morning Routine & $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!

Before I became a full time Mom and blogger, I had a job in the H.R. department of a major telecom company. My schedule was routine, pretty much Monday-Friday, 9 to 5. Each day, I got up, worked, had lunch, worked some more, got off work, headed home to cook dinner, rest, chat with friends, sleep, and repeat.

After getting married and having kids, everything changed. My schedule evolved around them, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! No one had ever warned me that a full-time Mom doesn't get any days-off! What a big surprise!

My typical week as a full-time Mom would involve taking the kids to play dates, birthday parties, recreational classes, parks, and library. While at home, I also need to take care of the laundry, cleaning up their messes, and to prepare meals throughout the day! For whatever time I have left, I also need to work on my recipes and blog posts. Most of these activities are without a set schedule.

Out of all the fun and craziness being a full time Mom, I came to realize one important lesson! Which is, I need to take better care of myself before I can take good care of my family. While it is challenging to keep a balanced lifestyle and diet under such irregular schedules, there’s one habit that I have always kept for many years… which is to put my vitamins and supplements containers right next to my coffee beans! Since I must grind and brew my coffee every morning, this strategic storage location allows me to always remember to take my dietary supplements while preparing for my coffee.

A New Addition to My Morning Routine & $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!
Recently, I have added another supplement to my morning routine. It is the vitafusion™ Extra Strength Biotin. Biotin is an essential water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fatty acids, and amino acids. Biotin also plays a key role in the health of skin, hair and nails.* I decided to give this a try!

For those who knows me, you probably know that I can’t swallow pills, no matter how tiny they are. Luckily, vitafusion™ makes their great-tasting vitamins in gummy. This also allows me to pop two gummy into my mouth, while grinding the coffee beans, without the need to pour myself another glass of water!

A New Addition to My Morning Routine & $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway!
For those who always read the Supplement Facts label, vitafusion™ products are gluten-free, and made with natural fruit flavors and colors derived from fruits, vegetables and plants. They contain no high fructose corn syrup, and no synthetic (FD&C) dyes.

I feel great adding the vitafusion™ Extra Strength Biotin to my morning routine and I cannot wait to see how things go in a few months. The vitafusion™ gummy vitamins are available at club, drug and grocery stores nationwide including: Costco, Walmart, Target and Walgreens. More information can be found at

To enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, simply leave a comment below and tell me your tricks on how to remind yourself to take your supplements every day.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

I received free product and payment for this sponsored post. All opinions are 100% mine.
Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 4/30/2015 – 6/30/2015
Be sure to visit vitafusion’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!