Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rice Dumplings!!

Since the Dragon Boat Festival will soon be upon us, we decided to attempt making rice dumplings, the traditional food served for this occasion.

It's quite a daunting task - so many things needed to be prepped since there are so many goodies being stuffed into the little packages.  Good thing Alan's taken care of marinating the pork belly and soaking the glutinous rice ahead of time.  We set up a little production line at Alan's place and had loads of fun making these rice dumplings.

Washing and cutting the bamboo leaves
Stuffing with split mung beans, pork belly, shiitake mushroom, yolk of preserved duck egg, and chinese sausage

Figuring out how to tie it all together
Savory sticky rice dumplings
Boiling for over 2 hours for the savory rice dumplings and just a little bit more than an hour for the sweet ones
Sweet sticky rice dumplings - made mini and without fillings
Steaming hot
Success :)
Perfect with a touch of syrup

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Mushroom Melt Salad

Mushroom is one of B's favorite veggies and of mine too, and a little while ago he's made a request for a mushroom salad.  Inspired by the mushroom melt burger, I complemented the mushrooms and salad greens with bacon and cheese - and it turned out so yummy that I've made it again and again!

For this yummy salad, you will need a pint of cremini mushrooms (or white button mushrooms, depending on availability), one heart of romaine, several slices provolone cheese (swiss works well too), an onion and several strips of bacon.  You'll also need a tablespoon or so of Ceasar dressing for that extra bit of zest.

Cook bacon until crispy and let cool.  Use a little of the bacon fat to sauté the mushroom and onion slices until mushrooms are dark and tender and the onions are caramelized.  Wash lettuce and dry using salad spinner, then cut into thin strips.  Toss lettuce with Ceasar dressing and place onto serving plate.  Top with shredded cheese, then quickly top with sautéed mushroom and onion (so the cheese will melt a little). Crumble bacon over salad - et voilà!

Best served warm.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Morning after...

These late-night outings on Tuesdays (and they seem to drag on later and later every week) are going to either get me fired or get me killed on the road one of these days. It's not so much that it's not as much fun as before - it's more like they are having too much fun to realize that it's way past bedtime - and I can no longer pull late-nighters and still function in the morning like I used to, back when I was still in school. Staying out late is also taking a toll on me mentally and physically - I get so grumpy and irritable - and the dark circles under my eyes are getting so bad that none of my concealers worked anymore. I really don't know how much longer I can put up with it - especially since this is supposed to be our stress relief!

On the bright side we had tons of fun last night painting our nils and trying different color combinations - and we finally tried on the Lancome Miss Perfectly Pink nail polish Michelle had picked for me from one of her US shopping trips. It's a Barbie pink that would be perfect for summer - except it's still quite chilly out there today.

The metallic lavender Auntie picked looked great on her too :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

silver shoes

 image source: polyvore.com

Since I am going to be a bridesmaid for B's best friend who is having her wedding in July (too bad he couldn't be a bridesmaid!) I was asked to wear silver shoes with the purple dress to go with the theme colors of purple and silver.  I have nothing of that sort in my wardrobe, however, so I thought it'd be a great idea to start looking.  I haven't decided to go with flats or heels yet - do I weigh comfort over appearance?  After all, the gorgeous bridesmaid dress is a full-length evening gown that might require something with a touch of class and elegance.  It's the perfect excuse to go shopping for new shoes, but it's gonna be difficult to choose among all these adorable offerings!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

fun with cookie press

Instead of the planned LOL-a-thon, I ended up finding a recipe that would use up my inventory of ground almond that I needed to use up. It was a simple spritz cookie recipe with ground almond replacing some of the all-purpose flour and it worked really well with my cookie press after adding some almond milk to moisten the dough. The ones topped with a small piece of maraschino cherry look almost like a cheerful sunflower - I had fun making these and I hope these cookies will bring a smile to whoever's eating them!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Went to my first zumba class in months and it was awesome! There were some high impact moves I couldn't do since my right knee still hurts from that snowboarding injury but otherwise it took no time for me to get back into the groove. I do have to say the one thing I missed the most when we stopped going to the gym was zumba. It may not be hardcore enough to burn inches, as B suggests (he prefers the more rigorous BodyAttack), but I think it's a good start. I worked up a good sweat and my sore legs tell me it's just what I need to slowly get back on track. And the sauna was a treat - I haven't felt so refreshed for awhile. Can't wait to hit the gym for zumba again!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


I LOVE these pocky snacks!! These have a thicker layer of chocolate compared to the regular pocky sticks, making them that much more decadent. Each box only contains 3 bags with only 4 sticks in each, and they are a little bit pricier than the regular ones - yea, you pay more but you get less - makes perfect sense, right? But they are so irresistible!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Brunch Buffet + Thor = Awesome Weekend

In exchange for babysitting my brother (who doesn't really need any babysitting since he's already in grade 9), my parents had decided that we should use the coupon they got to enjoy the Sunday Brunch Buffet at Tucker's Marketplace.  We've been to Tucker's for dinner a few times, mostly for birthdays because the birthday person gets their meal for free; but we've never been there for brunch.  Their brunch buffet is just as impressive as their dinner buffet, and we enjoyed it a lot - except by royal decree (aka mom's order) we were forbidden to order orange juice - she held a grudge for the hefty bill last time and we understood why as we were finishing the meal.  The waitress first greeted us with a pitcher of orange juice in hand but later on I had found out that the orange juice is not included in the buffet price nor were there complimentary refills.  The tiny champagne glasses would have held maybe 4 oz. of OJ and it would have been so easy to down four of those given the saltiness of the food and the promptness they offered refills.  Despite just having water, however, we enjoyed the meal as there was a good variety of breakfast and lunch items, including fresh omelet and pasta cooked to order, as well as butter tarts and chocolate fountains among other scrumptious desserts.

After brunch we shopped for a little bit at Future Shop and headed over to Starbucks for a half-price frappuccino, Sunday being the last day of the promotion and we had some time to kill before the movie started.  The theatre wasn't crowded and we got decent seats even though we arrived just as the lights dimmed.  Thor was an enjoyable movie - although the plot could have used more substance, the sheer hotness of the blond-haired blue-eyed god of thunder with ripped abs totally made up for it.  The witty humor and awesome graphics helped too, except the battle scenes were not quite long enough.  B didn't find the gorgeous Natalie Portman enough to save the film though, but I'd say we all had a good time at the movies.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shiseido Warehouse Sale!!!

Line-up outside of Shiseido Warehouse Sale
Took us just over 3 hours to get in... but totally worth it!

pics of loots coming soon

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I'm a horrible "friend" - I was so quick to offer help but never made good on the promise... it's the worst feeling to realize what an unreliable person I am - I can never make it on time for anything and I can never be less tardy to save my life - if there was ever any girl that would be late for her own wedding that would be me! 

Good thing it turned out to be a beautiful day today - and everything seemed to have gone smoothly.  If I could just shake off this guilty feeling...