Saturday, December 8, 2018

21 Homemade Holiday Gifts for Everyone on your list!

How is your Christmas shopping so far?  Are you almost done?  Besides merchandise that you can purchase, sometimes, homemade ones are just as wonderful.  I personally love homemade gifts.  Here are some easy ones that you can make for someone who has everything!


Homemade Granola

I usually pack these up in mason jars for a nicer presentation.  You can also add a tag and write down the ingredients at the back so the recipients know exactly what are in it.  They make a great homemade gifts and are healthier than cookies for sure!

Click here for the recipe.

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Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread:

This Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread is nothing but delicious and stunning!  It makes a wonderful hostess gift if you're attending any holiday parties.


Click here to watch the YouTube video.

Click here for the recipe.



Cinnamon Pull-Apart Star Bread (Tang Zhong Method 湯種法)   http://uTry.it




Winter Wonderland Shortbread Cookies:

These Winter Wonderland Cookies are buttery and delicious!  If you are hosting a holiday party, make some cookies (without decorations) and frostings.  Let the guests and kiddos decorate the cookies themselves.  These will keep the kiddos entertained and the cookies double duties as take home gifts!  You are very welcome!

Click here for the YouTube Video.

Click here for the recipe.

How to create a 3D Winter Wonderland -  Classic Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing    http://uTry.it





DIY Homemade Lavender and Rose Bath Bombs 


The holiday can be stressful for some people.  These DIY bath bombs will make a wonderful destressing gifts!  Be sure to make some extra for yourself too.  They are easier to make than you think.  Check out my video tutorial below. 



DIY Homemade Lavender and Rose Bath Bombs     http://uTry.it




Homemade Cocoa Mix:

Who doesn't love a cup of hot cocoa in the winter, right?  This is a no-brainer and everyone will love you to pieces if you make these for them!

Click here for the recipe.

Home Made Cocoa Mix and Frozen Hot Chocolate



Candied Pecans:

This is one of the must-make recipe every year.  Pack them in treat bags or mason jars and they are good to go!

Click here for the recipe.

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Chocolate Sablés


These cookies look fancy but super easy to prepare.  Perfect for chocolate lovers.


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Lemon Curd:

This is one of the yummiest curd you'll ever made!  Forget about the store bought ones!

Click here for the recipe.

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Fruity Pork Jerky:

Who knew pork jerky is so easy to make?!  Try these out and I know you'll love them.

Click here for the recipe.

Fruity Pork Jerky 自家製果汁豬肉乾 for Chinese New Year  http://uTry.it




Lemon Scented Thumbprint Cookies:

Remember the lemon curd up there?  Use that to fill these thumbprint cookies too!

Click here for the recipe.

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These snowball cookies has a melt-in-your-mouth kind of texture.  Once you've tried them, you'll make them more often than just the holidays.


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Mendiant with Fleur de Sel:


Look at how festive these are?  Don't think I need to explain any thing here.


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Orange Marmalade:

This orange marmalade is my family's favorite!  I have them in my fridge all year round.

Click here for the recipe.

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This will be the only chocolate chip cookies you'll ever needed.  Well, at least that is true for me.



Check out How to Make the Best Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip/chunk Cookies from scratch.  A must have recipe for everyone, especially around the holidays!!!   http://uTry.it




Another easy gift that is a cinch to make.  I love "spa" type homemade gifts. 



Homemade Lavender Bath Salts



Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti


These biscotti cookies keep well and travel well.  If you're shipping cookies for loved ones, these will be perfect.  Not to mention, they are very festive.  You can swap the apricot with dried cranberries as well.


Apricot and Pistachio Biscotti  http://uTry.it




Bourbon Maple Bacon Jam


This is a gift for the meat lovers.  How doesn't like bacon, right?


Bourbon Maple Bacon Jam





These peppermint meringue cookies are delicious on their own and also wonderful in hot cocoa and coffee!


Peppermint Meringue Christmas Trees



These are one of my favorite holiday cookies to make.  Festive and beautiful!



Classic Shortbread Cookies – Christmas Wreath and Christmas Tree  http://uTry.it



Chocolate Yule Log (Bûche de Noël au chocolat)


Bring this cake to a party and you'll be invited back every year for sure!


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Snowflakes Chocolate Peppermint Bark


These peppermint barks are easy to prepare and super gorgeous.  You'll want to make extras for yourself too.




Check out how to make these festive Snowflakes Chocolate Peppermint Barks with video tutorial.  http://uTry.it


I hope you enjoy my holiday homemade gift idea round up.  If you're looking for a particular recipe that are not listed here, feel free to leave a comment below.  Do you have any homemade gift ideas to share?  Please leave a comment below or link to your recipe.  Thank you for stopping by today!  Until next time....

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Holiday Gift Guide 2018



This week, most of us are probably busy preparing for the Thanksgiving feasts!  Don't forget, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are following right after!  As much as I love retail therapy, I prefer to shop online, especially around this time of the year.  Here are some Holiday Gift Ideas to help you out!  Hope you'll love the items that I selected!


For the Baker:
3D Christmas Cookie Cutter Set


I purchased this 3D cookie cutter set last year and it's super fun to use.  My Daughter and I decorated these cookies together to share with friends and family (see picture below).  Aren't they gorgeous? Click here to see the tutorial and recipe.

How to create a 3D Winter Wonderland -  Classic Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing    http://uTry.it



Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin
Perfect for the OCD baker in your life who wants everything perfect and in precision!  After all, it’s much nicer if your sugar cookies come out in even thickness than lop-sided!  I totally understand the frustration. Click here for product information.






For the Home Cook:
Air Fryer




Last year, the Instant Pot and Sous Vide Precision Cooker might be the super stars in the kitchen!  This year, the Air Fryer is definitely taking over!  After all, many of us are into healthier cooking/diet.  The Air Fryer would be what you need if you're watching the oil in-take in your diet.


For the Star Wars Fans:

My Son is a big Star Wars fan!  These are some fun items that any Star Wars Fans will love!  I personally love the "Chop Sabers" the most!  How creative!  It's a great way to encourage the kids to practice their chopsticks skills as well.

R2-D2 Measuring Cup Set
















For the Cat Lovers:















I hope you like these gift ideas.  Wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration! 





Disclosure: uTry.it is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

New Meanings to Breast Cancer Awareness Month


First of all, sorry for being MIA (missing in action) on this blog for the past few months.  I meant to drop a few lines, in many occasions, to explain the reason.  Somehow it just didn't happen.  Stepping into October, I have no excuse to postpone it any further. If you follow me on other social media, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter, you know that I'm still active (and pretty much alive) and you might have already knew the reason for my lack of new posts here.

Simply put, I was taking some much needed time off to focus on my health.  I still create recipes and videos for my clients.  But taking a break on my own blog was necessary, given the frequency of  all of my doctor visits and treatments.

Why did I choose October to post an update?  That's because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month!  I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer back in March.  I didn't post an update regarding my health issue here for a few reasons.

First of all, I started this website as a family food blog, I wanted to share happy things, such as family time, travel experiences, and fun recipes with you guys.  Who wants to hear me whine about my illness, struggles, and sadness, right (that's what I originally thought)?  So, I didn't think sharing my diagnoses here was appropriate.

Second of all, I am still on this journey, battle, good fight, or whatever you like to call it.  When my journey is still an on going one, there are many uncertainties and I truly not sure where it will take me.  I simply don't know where to begin to explain either.

Lastly, I guess I'm just a private person.  I didn't need the whole world to know my struggles or what I'm going through.  Sometimes, I even think telling my friends and family might add burdens on their shoulders.  Am I the only one who think this way?

So, you might wonder why I wanted to share it now, isn't it?  Honestly, I believe things happened for a reason.  You can look at this illness as being bad luck for me because, come on...cancer sucks, it simply sucks.  No one wants it in their lives, nor their friends and family's.  But if my "misfortune" can somehow spread the message and help someone out there, even just one person?! I think it's well worth it to share my story/journey.


But how can I really help?  What message should I share?  Honestly, before I was diagnosed, Breast Cancer Awareness Month didn't mean much to me.  Sure, I saw this pink little ribbon flying all over the internet for the whole October. I will click on the share button and pass on the little pink ribbon.  I got the message that self check (self breast exam) is important.  I do get my annual check up and mammogram and I thought I did my part. I sure didn't know what other signs to look for.  I didn't think breast cancer could happen to me in the past because none of my close family has it and I didn't considered myself as high risk.  

In October, my focus was way more on looking for costumes for my kids to wear on Halloween, and what treats to share at school with their friends, rather than breast cancer and check for symptoms!  That pink little ribbon didn't really help me much!   





Until recently when I've came across this "Know Your Lemons" picture!  Simply click on the image to enlarge.  Or click here to go to their website for an interactive video for more information.  I think I'm a very visual person.  This picture really helps me to visualize the different signs of breast cancer and what to look for.  I hope it'll help someone out there as well.   

In my case, I first noticed a hard lump on my breast that raised my suspicious since last September.  However, mammogram and ultrasound both shown as negative. The radiologist and doctors told me there's "nothing to worry about"!  Until the lump grew bigger this March and I did more rounds of testings and biopsies to confirm.  After this whole incident, one important lesson that I learned from my breast surgeon was that mammogram and ultrasound are not 100% accurate.  The only way to find out is to get an biopsy of the lump!!!  If I knew this back in September, the cancer might not have spread to my lymph nodes.  I guess sometimes we need to be persistent as a patient!

Did you know, 1 in 8 women would develop breast cancer in their live time?  Simply think of 8 women around you; your mom, daughter, aunt, cousins, close friends, etc; and imagine one of them would get diagnosed, that really hits home!  Ever since I was diagnosed, I realized many around me had gone through similar journey.  It's not an easy battle, but I know that I'm not fighting alone!  I was blessed to have so many friends and family around me who show supports and encouragement.  This illness surely brought us closer together!    

Cancer surely changed my life!  Who knew I would be so grateful for waking up in the morning, breathing, and not feeling pain! Who knew, having a bad hair day is nothing significant compared to having handfuls of hair falling off your head because of your treatment.  I often rush my kids when it's time to take off to school.  Now, I wanted to just hug them a little longer, a little tighter before they take off to school.  Cancer gives me a different perspective in life as well as realizing what really matters.  Now, I try to slow down and try to live in the moment.  

If you pass me by on the street, I might look healthy and normal, just like every other person.  People probably wound't associate me with the word cancer! Walking down the street, I wonder how many people I came crossed are fighting with cancer and struggling with their own battle!?  Cancer taught me to be more patience, to be more kind to others as I don't know what they are going through in their lives.  

I am so thankful that I had a wonderful team of doctors who take care of me.  They taught me to have hope and never give up!  They truly saved my life and I'm grateful for that.

On my journey, my husband truly shown me what our wedding vow "to love and to hold, in sickness and in health" really means! He taught me what is unconditional love, patience, support, with his actions.  I am a fighter and a survivor because he believed in me!  Today, it's our 14th wedding anniversary.  This is my special message to him, "Happy Anniversary, my Love! I look forward to many many more celebrations to come. I love you!"     

Ever since the diagnoses, I tried to eat more healthy and cut down on sugar and carbs.  I promise, I'll share some of my healthy recipes with you next time!  If you're interested to know more about my journey for better health and my cancer treatments, feel to leave me a message below and I'll share with you on future posts.  Otherwise, I would change gear and switch it back to a food blog!  After all, sharing recipes is what I do best! 








Thursday, March 29, 2018

How to Make Pusheen Dango 胖吉貓糰子



Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Dango 糰子.  Dango is a type of Japanese Wagashi 和菓子.  What are Wagashi?  They are traditional Japanese confections that are usually made of mochi and served with tea.  They could be elaborated with designs and fillings or as simple as these sesame dango, which are slightly sweetened but not filled.  Do you like these Pusheen dangos?  Aren’t they the most kawaii treats you’ve seen lately?   If you haven’t seen my Bunny Dango yet, you should click here to check them out and let me know which one you like better.

How to make How to Make Pusheen Dango 胖吉貓糰子     http://uTry.it

My Baby Girls and some of her friends are crazy about Pusheen lately!  I don't blame them!  This chubby little kitten is certainly super adorable!  If you’re not familiar with this cute Japanese Character, you can check out her own website here!

How to make How to Make Pusheen Dango 胖吉貓糰子     http://uTry.it

My version of dango are made with just a few simple ingredients.  I don’t use water to mix the dough but only used the moisture from the silken tofu.  The tofu not only added a hint of flavor to these dango, but also more nutritious.  It keeps the dango dough soft and smooth and quite easy to handle.  To achieve the grey color of Pusheen, I added some black sesame powder to the dango dough.  You can taste the sesame but not too strong.  Just keep in mind that if you add more sesame powder, the end product might turn out even darker.  As you can see, they do darken quite a bit after they’re cooked.  

How to make How to Make Pusheen Dango 胖吉貓糰子     http://uTry.it

To maintain the gorgeous figure of Pusheen, she has to consume quite a bit of yummy food every day!  Apparently, doughnuts are one of her favorites as you can see from the many pictures that she always seems to be holding one wherever she goes!  

How to make How to Make Pusheen Dango 胖吉貓糰子     http://uTry.it

These sesame Pusheen Dangos are delicious as the way they are, but you can also put them on other dessert as an edible decoration.  I made these strawberry pudding dessert cups with Pusheen Dango on top for a good friend’s daughter’s birthday party because Pusheen was the theme! 


How to make How to Make Pusheen Dango 胖吉貓糰子     http://uTry.it

This recipe is quite fun and easy to make and I hope you’ll give it a try soon!  Check out the list below for all the ingredients and special tools that I used for this recipe.  Stay tuned for more fun and yummy recipe soon!


Tools and Ingredients Used:
Edible Color Markers (Click here for more information)
Skimmer Strainer (Click here for more information)

Glutenous Rice Flour (Click here for more information)

Measuring Cups Set (Click here for more information)
Food Decorating Tongs/Tweezers (Click here for more information)
Bamboo Picks (Click here for more information)
Black Sesame Powder (Click here for more information)

Doughnut Shape Cereal (Click here for more information)

White Chocolate chips (Click here for more information)

Red Candy Melt (Click here for more information)
Wilton Rainbow Nonpareils (Click here for more information)
Powdered Sugar (Click here for more information)
Parchment Paper (Click here for more information)




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Friday, February 23, 2018

How to Make Strawberry Pudding with Bunny Dango 士多啤梨布甸 + 兔兔糰子



March 2nd marks the Spring Lantern Festival (元宵節) for 2018.  Lantern Festival is a Chinese festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the Luna Calendar. It’s the Chinese equivalent of Valentine's Day and often celebrate with games of riddles and sweet dumplings, Tang Tuan 湯丸.  Sweet Dumplings symbolized unity of the family.  That’s the reason why it’s often serve in Chinese Festivals, such as this New Year’s Eve, and Mid-Autumn festival.


Strawberry Pudding with Bunny Dango 士多啤梨布甸 + 兔兔糰子   http://uTry.it

However, for this year, instead of the regular Tang Yuen, I will be making these Strawberry Pudding with Bunny Dango 士多啤梨布甸 + 兔兔糰子 for a change.  Not only that these are perfect for the Lantern Festival, they are also wonderful treats for Easter!  So these Bunnies serve double duties this year! 

Strawberry Pudding with Bunny Dango 士多啤梨布甸 + 兔兔糰子   http://uTry.it

Recently, I felt in love with Dango!  They are the Japanese version of the Chinese sweet dumplings (湯丸).  They are often unsweetened and serve with a sweet syrup on top.  Since I’m not going to add any syrup on these bunnies, I added a small amount of powdered sugar in the dango dough for a hint of sweetness.  Also, I added a secret ingredient in these dangos to keep them moist and fluffy.  Check out my video tutorial on YouTube to find out what it is.  You’ll be surprise how easy it is to make this treat as well.  I love dango because they are easier to make (no fillings) when compared to Tang Yuan, but the texture and flavor are very similar! 

Strawberry Pudding with Bunny Dango 士多啤梨布甸 + 兔兔糰子   http://uTry.it

This strawberry budding is slightly sweet and tangy because I used fresh strawberries for the base.  It’s packed with refreshing flavor and the texture is silky smooth!  It pairs really well with the cute bunny dango on top.  If you try out the recipe, be sure to leave a comment below to let me know how it turned out.  Thank you so much for stopping by today and I wish you all a wonderful Chinese Lantern Festival!


Strawberry Pudding with Bunny Dango 士多啤梨布甸 + 兔兔糰子   http://uTry.it



Tools and Ingredients Used:

Edible Color Markers (Clickhere for more information)
Unflavored Gelatin Powder (Clickhere for more information)
Large Measuring Cup (Click here for more information)
Skimmer Strainer 
(Clickhere for more information)
Glutenous Rice Flour 
(Click here for more information)
Measuring Cups Set 
(Clickhere for more information

Organic Vanilla Extract 
(Clickhere for more information)
6 ounces Ramekins 
(Clickhere for more information)

Ninja Blender (Clickhere for more information)

Sieve Set (Click here for more information)





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