Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Thank you everyone who participated in the Origami Butterflies Book giveaway. Special thanks to Tuttle Publishing for providing the prize. We have selected a winner through Random.org!
The winner is cristina gaspar who said ”I had a class on origami, in the Museum of Japan, but it was about 10 years and we had no materials to take home, so I have no idea how to make origami anymore, I can always go to youtube and learn, but the book looks really great :) Plus, doing origami is really relaxing, I prefer to read instructions than to listen to youtube!” Congratulations, Cristina! I’ll be in contact with you soon.
If you didn't win the giveaway, you can still purchase a copy of the Origami Butterflies here. It’s a wonderful book to own and the techniques from the book are really inspiring. I always look forward to making more origami with my Kids.
Thank you all for reading. Stay tuned for more fun recipes, video tutorials and giveaway soon.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
As some of you might know, I got the privilege to enjoy the fruit from my In-Law’s wonderful garden. They have Meyer Lemons, Kumquats, Figs, Tangerines, Red Dates, Pomegranate, Guava, etc. Okay, I probably missed over 5 or 10 of them! The list simply goes on and on. One of the fruit that my whole family loves are the super sweet oranges that we get to hand-pick whenever we visit. Or better yet, we sometimes get a special delivery from my In-Laws when they visit us. I got a few bagful of these gorgeous oranges a while ago and couldn’t finish them all at once. So, what do we do with them beside sharing some with the neighbors? Of course, turn them into Fresh Orange Jello Slices!
It was around the time when my Baby Girl had a class presentation to do, they called it the Star Student of the week. One of the things that the Star Students share with the class is what they like to do in their spare time. My Little Girl loves cooking with me, and so she helped me make these Orange Jello Slices the day before her presentation and share them with her class. With many allergies and restrictions in today’s classrooms, these Fresh Oranges Jello Slices were perfectly safe and fun to share! After all, there are only 2 ingredients in the recipe! Yup, you read it right. Two ingredients! These oranges were so sweet that I didn't even need to add sugar to sweeten them up at all. The kids at school loved them so much and many went for seconds.
Come watch the video tutorial and see how I made them.
Super fun and easy, isn't it? 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. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. Hm….come to think of it, these Fresh Orange Jello Slices would be perfect to “trick” your friends on April’s Fool Day! But I can guaranteed you, no one will get upset with a tasty and healthy treat like these!
Monday, March 23, 2015
I adore spring. It’s one of my favorite season of the year. I love seeing my newly planted herbs starting to sprout; the longer day light extended till after dinner; the cute (or more often creepy) Easter Bunny at the photo booth in the Mall; and the excitement in my Kids’ eyes when they go for the Easter Egg hunt! It’s a season to play, enjoy and celebrate. So, to celebrate this lovely season, I created these Flower Garden Cookies to share with you.
The base cookies themselves are similar to the texture of sugar cookies, and I flavored them with dried and grounded lavender buds, lemon zests and rose extract. They are packed with the elegant floral aromas with a hint of refreshing citrus. I top the cookies with some white chocolate mixed with Matcha green tea, which acts as “glue" for the bunny as well as mimicking the “meadow in the garden”. Then, I decorated each cookie with a dressed up chocolate bunny, a chocolate egg, lavender buds, a dried tea rose, and some rose tea petals (broken apart from the tea roses). Please see the ingredients list at the bottom of the post for more details and where to buy these ingredients.
I packaged these Flower Garden Cookies individually and shared them with some of my my Baby Girl’s classmates as a way to say thank you for their kindness. The kids loved them and I was so happy that they enjoyed these cookies so much! You can use these gorgeous cookies as party favors, center piece for your spring party, a place card holder (between the bunny and the egg) for your next Easter gathering, or just because. These cookies are great for desserts and afternoon tea. Interested to see how I made them? Here’s the video tutorial with the step by step instructions. Check it out!
Pretty easy, isn't it? I hope you enjoyed 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 and exciting video tutorials published. I added a list of ingredients and tools that I used at the bottom of this post. You can leave me a commend if you have any other questions. I hope you enjoy today’s post and video tutorial. Stay tuned for more fun recipes and giveaway.
Props, ingredients, and tools used in this post:
Lindt Mini Chocolate Bunny (Click here for more information)
Dry Lavender Buds (Click here for more information)
Dry Rose Tea Buds (Click here for more information)
Matcha Green Tea Powder (Click here for more information)
White Chocolate Chips (Click here for more information)
Easter Candy Coated Chocolate Eggs (Click here for more information)
Daisy Flower Sprinkle for Bunny (Click here for more information)
Rainbow Nonpareils (Click here for more information)
Flower Shaped Cookie Cutter (Click here for more information)
Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat (click here for more information)
Calphalon Baking Sheet Pans (Click here for more information)
Oval Shape Wood Board (Click here for more information)
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
My Kids and I love Origami! Origami is the art of paper folding, which is often associated with Japanese culture. We've done many different ones in the past, insects, zoo animals, birds, etc; and loved them all. The folding process really calms me down as we get so focus in creating these amazing paper arts. It was wonderful that I had the chance to review the book Origami Butterflies.
There are many different designs of butterflies that you can create by following the step by step pictorial and instructions in the book. You can also start with their basic method, and then elaborate and create your own designs. Okay, who am I kidding here?! Those who knows me well probably know that I’m not too good in reading directions, at all! I got lost a few time reading it! Luckily, the book comes with 2 instructional DVDs that show you video tutorials, every step of the way, phew! By watching the videos, both of my kids were able to make their own butterflies with minimal supervision and assistance. That was truly amazing and they felt so accomplished when they were able to make their own butterflies!
I got these Origami papers at a local craft store. You can easily find them these day, as well as getting some online (click here for more information). I got some different designs and the double-sided ones are wonderful with these butterflies as well.
The book also have suggestions for you on how to use these gorgeous origami butterflies, such as jewelry, gift wraps, and cards, etc.
My Baby Girl added the Origami butterflies to her school project! They were so beautiful; her teachers and schoolmates were very impressed as well.
The Origami butterfly makes any card a lot more elegant and personal. For sure you won’t find anything as beautiful as this in the card store. Plus, I think handmade crafts always add a touch of caring and love, won’t you agree?
Today is your lucky day! Because I’ll be giving away a copy of Origami Butterflies to one lucky uTry.it reader, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.
Here are the details on how to enter.
One lucky uTry.it reader (open to my worldwide readers) will win a copy of “Origami Butterflies”.
To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you have ever tried your hands on origami before. Or you can simply just say “hi”. Deadline to enter is March 29th, 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 “Origami Butterflies” 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, March 15, 2015
California is in a serious drought lately. Unfortunately, so are my lips! I couldn’t believe I traveled to the desert (Las Vegas) without bringing my lip balm. To add to that, a few nights of staying at the hotel room with constant air conditioning only made things worse. Plus, I simply forgot to stay hydrated with all the busy activities going on. So, when I got home and back to my normal routine, I realized my lips were all cracked up and super dry (see picture below)! No fun at all!
Fortunately, this homemade Brown Sugar Lip Scrub is super easy to make and I already have both ingredients handy in my pantry! Yup, there are only 2 ingredients in this recipe and it works wonder on my super dry lips!
All you need to do is mix equal parts of brown sugar and coconut oil together. I use about 2 tablespoons each. Simply mash them up in a clean bowl with a fork; and you’ve got your lip scrub ready to use! I stored mine in small containers for easy access. You can store the remaining in a cool dry place for future use.
When ready to use, wash and dry your hands. Take a small amount of the Brown Sugar Lip Scrub and gently rub it on your lips. Massage with finger tips for about 30 seconds. Then, you can use a clean cloth or tissue to wipe your lips clean. Hm….and it tastes great too! It’s totally safe if you “accidentally” swallow a little of the scrub. Since my lips were so dry, I used the lip scrub once in the morning and once at night to speed up the process.
This picture below is taken after 2 usages only. Can you see the improvement on my lips already? No more cracked surface! It’s totally amazing to see the results, don’t you agree?!
I’m happy to report that my lips are back to normal now. Since then, I continue to use the lip scrub once or twice a week, just to keep the skin on my lips healthy and shiny.
So, whether you have dry lips or not, this Brown Sugar Lip Scrub is wonderful to have around the house. I don’t know about you, but I do want to keep my lips kissable and beautiful!
One more look at the “Before and After” picture below just to compared. My lips were back to normal after just 2 days using the lip scrub. So amazing!
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
I hosted and attended many parties and gatherings. Many are very memorable, not necessarily in a good way though. I’m far from being a great hostess as I’m still learning and there’s always room for improvement. One important thing that I have learned is to plan ahead. It makes a party a lot more organized and smooth, let alone, more fun for everyone. For example, have you ever been to a party where it didn't have enough utensils (or it didn't provide the proper utensils)? Unless you are only serving finger foods for the whole event (or that you don’t mind your guests eating spaghetti with meat sauce with bare hands); otherwise, better remember to have the utensils well prepared! Today, I want to share with you how to fold these adorable paper napkins that you can put the different utensils inside. These are so easy to make and your guests can simply grab one and go (or stay). Each "package" has everything that they need so they don’t have to search high and low for utensils.
Check out my video tutorial below for the step by step instructions!
Super easy, isn't it. I hope you enjoyed 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. Now, you're all set in preparing utensils for your next party or gathering! I hope you'll give this a try. Thank you again for stopping by. Stay tuned for more fun recipes and tutorials.
Friday, March 6, 2015
I haven’t composed a “Lunch for One” post for a while. Here’s a quick and easy recipe that I know you’re going to love. I totally understand that preparing a balanced meal for just one could be challenging sometimes. Believe me, I face that challenge all the time. But with a little planning ahead, it could be just as easy, fun, and delicious. This Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork) Noodle Soup 叉燒湯麵 is definitely one of my favorite quick lunch to indulge.
Still remember my Soy Marinated Soft Boiled Eggs and Char Siu Recipes? If not, you might want to check them out here and here first. These are two main ingredients that I used in today’s recipe and they could be (and should be) made ahead of time. That would make your lunch preparation much easier. How about having it done in as little as 15 minutes? Now, we’re talking, huh? Let’s take a look at the video tutorial and see how it’s made, shall we?
If you like my video tutorial, please subscribe to my Youtube channel here.
Quick and easy as promised, isn’t it? I like to spice up my noddle soup just a little. So, here’s a sprinkle of my favorite chili powder. If you don’t like it spicy, you can skip this.
Hm…..see how gorgeous it is? I used fresh won ton noodles in this recipe. You can also use egg noodles, ramen noodles, or any kind that you like. Simply follow the cooking instructions on the package because each brand/type of noodle cooks differently. I love fresh noodles because the texture is usually better and it takes much less time to cook.
If you follow me on Facebook, you might remembered that I shared this picture right before Valentine’s Day (see the picture below). I’ve got heart shaped green onions! How neat is that? I say, love is definitely in my noodle soup. Whether you’re cooking just for one or for an army, be sure to eat well and share the love! Stay tuned for more fun and easy recipes and video tutorials!
Sunday, March 1, 2015
I love Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu) 蜜汁叉燒! It’s one of our family’s stables that appears on our dining table at least twice a month, if not more often. When I was still living in Hong Kong, it is one of the most popular last minute “to-go” item to purchase from BBQ restaurants as an additional dish for dinner. Or, if you are a dinner guest at someone’s house for a home cook meal, Char Siu is always a well received hostess gift.
I usually double my Char Siu recipe that I shared here (see full recipe at the bottom of the post). Why? Because the left over is just as amazing when paired with noodles and/or individual buns (those will be in another posts)! So, don’t be afraid to make more. You’re going to love my secret recipe that taste just as good as those that are selling at the BBQ restaurants. I know there are “ready made” bottled Char Siu sauce out there. But they don't taste as authentic as making your own sauce from scratch, at all!
First off, the glorious shiny glaze! It’s achieved by using maltose (a.k.a. malt sugar)! Yes, it’s the thick and sticky maltose that gives the Char Siu that gloss. While it is well known that honey is used in the recipe, its purpose is mainly to add flavor. It really is the maltose that gives the meat that shine and glossy finish. I got the maltose at a local Asian supermarket, or you can check it out here.
Now, onto the gorgeous red hue. The redness is from the Red Bean Curd, which is made from fermented soy beans and red rice! It also gives the Char Siu that distinctive depth of earthy aroma that you can’t get from other ingredients. I have to warn you, bean curd is on the salty side. That’s why you only need one piece for the recipe.
Here’s how it looks inside (see picture below). Some brands also package the bean curds in glass jars. Just make sure it’s the red bean curd, and NOT Chilli bean curd that gives the redness. So, read the list of ingredients before you buy it. I don't think you want spicy Char Siu, right?
Another secret ingredient is the Hoisin Sauce. Think of it as the sweet and savory Chinese BBQ sauce. It gives any dish the umani flavors! So, in between the red bean curd, Hoisin Sauce, chicken bouillon powder and soy sauce, you don’t need to add any salt in this recipe.
One more ingredient that I would like to mention is fresh ginger root! It’s earthy, yet refreshing. It lightens up the whole dish. Just make sure you peel the skin off the ginger root and grate it with the ginger grater. The fibers from the ginger will magically disappeared and left you with the smooth grated fresh ginger that is fine in texture and not chunky at all. You don’t want to bite into big pieces of ginger in your Char Siu. The grater doesn't have to be expensive at all. My Mom got me this grater years ago and it works great. Or you can check out this one here.
Hm…..check out this juicy and succulent piece of Char Siu! It’s ridiculously fragrant and so easy to make. I hope you’ll give this recipe a try and forget about the bottled Char Siu Sauce! This is the real deal and I’m sure your family will love it just as much as my family does!
Props and Ingredients used in this post:
Maltose (Click here for product information)
Red Bean Curd (Click here for similar product information)
Hoisin Sauce (Click here for product information)
Ginger Grater (Click here for similar product information)
Assorted Floral Chopsticks (Click here to see similar product)
Roll Up Window Blinds used as backdrop (Click here to see product information)
Crane Chopsticks Rest (Click here to see product information)
Bamboo Placemats (Click here for more information)