Black olives fried rice & Baked basil eggplant

**Ready to eat in less than 30 mins!**

Black olives fried brown rice

2 T black olives paste (bought from oriental market...usually eaten in plain jook as its salty)
OR 15 black olives (chop it and seasonings will need to be increased)
3 cloves garlic
3 cups cooked long grain brown rice*
2 eggs
1/2 large red onion
3 stems green onions, chopped.
seasonings: pepper, soy sauce, mushroom seasoning, salt
1. Peel onions and garlic and fry in an oiled pan. Add cooked rice.* Remove from pan.
2. Beat egg and add pepper, soy sauce and mushroom seasoning.
3. When the egg is almost cooked, stir in the cooked rice. Add in preserved olives and mix well!

Note: **If over night rice is too dry, add water while cooking.
**Overnight rice cooks better
**I allowed the rice to be a little "burnt" on the pan; just like bibimbup on stonebowl


Baked basil eggplant.

2 large eggplant, bunch of FRESH basil leaves, 4 cloves chopped garlic, 2T sesame oil, 5T vegetable oil, 2t soy sauce, 3t onion powder, 2T spicy eggplant seasoning, pepper, salt, sugar.
1. Slice eggplant 1/4" thick. Place it into a bowl and add in all the ingredients above. Place it on a tray and bake at 500F for 20 minutes to get ~~ fragrant and tasty eggplant
! *_*


Note: the seasoning noted here is the approximate amount used. Be adventurous and substituted with what you have and like when cooking!

*that's why i love chinese cooking...feel so free~ & easy~!*


Griffith observatory & UCR orchestra

It's bed time but the food from spaghetti factory's still digesting and hence, I decided to post up pics on this blog. We went to Griffith observatory and I'm utterly amazed at the story behind this place. It has been there for more than 70 years but recently re-opened its doors after 4 years of renovation. I hope you'll enjoy glimpses of this world famous observatory!! *yawn..zzzz**
griffin observatory
Griffin Ob 2 griffin ob 3
UCR orchestra with Camelia Voin, soprano. Ruth Charloff, conductor... great music! Feels *classy, right Jen? *wink*
concert @ UCR


Lemon glow chiffon cake

This moist, light textured cake contains only 129 mg cholesterol! Cake flour must be used but I accidentally used all-purpose flour instead. *oppss* Hence, it's denser texture from a regular chiffon cake. However, this mistake was good....(why?!) I think this sponge will make a good layer cake like strawberry fresh cream cake. *_*
lemon glow chiffon cake
sifted cake flour, 2 1/4 cup flour
sugar, 1 1/2 cups
baking soda, 1/2 tsp
salt, 1/2 tsp
oil (safflower), 1/2 liquid cup
7 Large eggs, separated, + 3 additional whites
water, 2/3 liquid cup
lemon juice, freshly squeezed, 2 T
grated lemon zest, 1 T
vanilla, 1 T
cream ot tartar, 1 1/4 t
1. preheat oven to 325F
2. Large mixing bowl: combine flour, all but 2 T of the sugar, baking soda, salt and beat 1 min
3. Make a well in the center. Add the oil, egg yolk, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla and beat 1 min or until smooth
4. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Beat in 2 T sugar and beat until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. *IMPORTANT step!*
NOTE: if you'd like more info on how to beat the egg whites right,
click here...its a video i found on Youtube.
5.Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter with a large ballon wire whisk, slotted skimmer, or angel food cake folder until just blended. Do not mix it to flatten the air bubbles! FOLD it in! Or for beginners, use your hands to fold it in. Make sure hands are washed thoroughly before and after though. *wink*
6.Pour into the tube pan ( batter will come to 1 inch from the top). Run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent airsockets.
7. Bake for 55 mins or until cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center.
8. Invert the pan, placing the tube opening over the necl of a soda or wine bottle to suspend it well above the counter. (opt)
9. Cool the cake completely in the pan ( 1 1/2 hrs)
10. Loosen the sides with a long metal spatula and remove the center core of pan. Dislodge the bottom and center core with a metal spatula or thin, sharp knife. ( i have to work on this part because everytime it comes out, I get very excited to try oit...hahaha**)
11. Invert onto greased wire rack and reinvert ontoa serving plate.
Store: 3 days - room temp, 10 days refrigerated, 2 months frozen.

Pandan chiffon cake

I'm a quest for the best chiffon cake recipe and have been trying out several recipes! My criteria would be a cake similar to Bengawan solo cake shop in Singapore. ( wish there was a store here in LA!) If you haven't tried it before, let me describe it a little to you...a light sponge cake...soft...moist...delicate...fluffy in the mouth...
SO, the first pandan chiffon cake was great...all thanks to
Lily's recipe!
pandan chiffon cake- Lily *soft**moist**look at the mini airpocket - testify to its light teture**
Ingredients for this cake, picture above:
( slightly different from Lily....)
150 g : cake flour
0.5 tsp : baking powder
0.25 tsp : salt
8 - : egg yolks
300 ml : coconut milk
2 tbsp : pandan paste ( use 1 tsp because this came out too green!!)
120 g : brown sugar
0.5 tsp : pandan essence
9 - : egg whites
1 tbsp : icing sugar
0.5 tsp : cream of tartar
1/4 cup oil
1.Pre heat the oven to 160c/350 f(convection).
2.Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan and add the brown sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring slowly to disslove the sugar. set aside to cool.
3. Whisk the egg whites lightly and add in the cream of tartar and castor sugar. Continue to whisk until the mixture is stiff. Do not overheat or allow the mixture to become dry. Set aside.
This is an important stage so a lot of patience is required if you do not have a stand mixer. I whipped the egg whites for about a good 8 minutes! Start on 'low' before moving up toe medium speed on the beater.
4. Sieve the cake flour, baking powder and salt.In a bowl, combine the egg yolks, coconut mixture, oil pandan juice and pandan essence.Whisk for about 4 minutes, then add the flour to the egg yolk mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth or for another 2 minutes. Set aside.
5. Gently fold half the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and blend well.Fold in the remaining egg whites and work very lightly with a spatula. Make sure the mixture is well mixed.
6. Place the finished mixture in an ungreased chiffon cake mould. Level and bake in the oven until golden brown (about 45 minutes). Run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent airsockets.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and invert the mould. Allow it to cool for 1 hour.Do not remove the mould while the cake is still hot.When it has cooled, use a long, fine palatte knife to loosen the sides of the cake to remove it from the tin. (** I was excited to try it and hence, removed it from the mould when it was still warm...hehe**)
Now that the cake is done, I emailed Lily to let her know of the results...here's the conclusion of several observations...

1. Pandan paste should be 1 tsp., not 2!

2. brown sugar can be used....gives a more caramelly taste. Since I like it less sweet, reducing the amt of sugar came out fine
3. Oil: I added 1/4 cup oil because most recipes called for it. However, she said that "oil is not needed as 300 ml of coconut milk will be oily enough." I guess the oil contributed to its extra softness.
4.Although it tasted good, the looks were not as good. It might be because of the fact that i did not cooled it completely before removing it from the mould. "if the exterior of cake has a hard crumb, it could be too much oil and overbaked. "
Thanks again, Lily!*smiles*


Weight loss: Basic meal guidelines & 1200 kcal diet

Weight Management is one of our major issues in society today. Usually, dietitians would use a nutritional assessment form to assess the client's needs. Everyone is different and hence, would need personalized help.
Here's my first follow-up plan personalized just for **. **++tons of encouragement** (I thought I'll post it up as readers like you might benefit from it i.e IF it applies to you. )
"Dear ~~*,
Thank you for filling out the form. It has given me a better idea of what you would like to achive. Good news! Your BMI of ?* is within within the normal range. Hence, I would help you achieve your goal ideal body weight.
After assessing your concerns, I feel that it is appropriate to send you two articles that are pertinent to your weight loss success.
1. Basic meal guidlines would give you an idea of portion sizes and snack ideas. It is important to control your appetite and it is possible! Check out the snack ideas when you are hungry.
2. I would suggest the 1200 kcal diet. The article below gives you a good idea of what can be eaten for your breakfast, lunch and dinner. The emphasis is fresh is best & more fruits and vegetables.
cheers to a New YOU!"
* = name or wt unknown to protect client
(Using the Exchange System and Choosing “Healthy” Carbohydrates)

Total choices per day from the food groups:
3 fruit choices

7 oz low-fat/lean protein choices
3 “healthy” bread/starch choices

3 vegetable choices
1 ½ non-fat milk choices

1 ½ cups raw vegetable salad
3 fat choices

BREAKFAST: { the foods in ( -) are suggested items for you}
1 fruit choice (½ fresh grapefruit )
1 starch choice (1 slice sprouted or stone ground bread, toasted)
2 low-fat protein (¼ cup cottage cheese or 1 scrambled egg substitute)
1 fat choice (2 Tbsp light cream cheese (includes fat choice)
1 non-fat milk
1 tsp sugar-free jelly (free food)

2 oz lean protein choices( 2 oz tuna, packed in water, drained)
1 starch choice (½ cup curly pasta)
2 vegetables(½ cup broccoli and ½ cup carrots, lightly steamed)
1 fruit choice (1 small apple)
1 fat choice(2 Tbsp reduced-fat Italian salad dressing )

(make a pasta salad with the tuna, pasta, vegetables and dressing. You may add other vegetables to the salad like green onions, green pepper, celery, etc.)

3 oz lean protein choice
1 starch choice(½ cup boiled new potatoes)
2 vegetable choices (½ cup steamed Italian squash with stewed tomatoes)(1 ¼ cup tossed salad )
1 fruit choice (1 ¼ cup strawberries, sliced)
½ non-fat milk (½ cup plain, non-fat yogurt, sweetened with vanilla and Splenda)
1 fat choice (2 Tbsp reduced-fat salad dressing)

NOTE: If you find you are getting hungry between meals try taking one or two choices from one of your meals and adding a raw vegetable to it for a snack. For example, use one of your protein choices from breakfast and have 1 oz string cheese with 10 baby carrots for a snack. Or make a smoothie with one of your fruit choices and part of your milk choices (½ cup yogurt and ½ cup milk sweetened with vanilla and Splenda). Make sure your meals are no more that 5 hours apart.

If you choose to occasionally have some extra food, like a small dessert, a little guacamole or some extra fat, limit the amount to 100-150 calories. Be careful to note the calorie amount of the food you are eating and to limit the extra calories to only 1-2 times per week.

*If you do not drink milk or eat yogurt be sure to take a calcium supplement (one containing Vitamin D). Replace the milk (100 calories per cup) with fruit, acceptable carbohydrate or your “extra food”.


~Eat three to four regular meals per day.

~Keep your meals no more than 4-5 hours apart. If the time span is longer, plan on having a snack between those meals.
~If desired, include 1-2 snacks per day. Appropriate snacks* must be chosen.
~Keep your meals balanced – include a serving of protein, fruit and/or vegetable, milk product, appropriate starch or whole grain (“healthy carb”), and a little fat.
~Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (combined).
~Purchase lean meat and poultry, low-fat cheese, mayonnaise, margarine, salad dressing and non-fat or 1% milk. Avoid fried foods.
~Be sure to include protein, fiber (plant foods), and fat at each meal. These nutrients will “stay” with you longer and keep you satisfied longer.
~Any non-caloric liquids are allowed. Drink two quarts of water each day.
~Limit sweets (cookies, ice cream, candy, pastries) to 150-200 calorie portions.


Quick Serving Sizing:

~gives you a good idea what one serving is~
Lean protein – size and thickness of the palm of your hand
Starch – size and thickness of the palm of your hand
Vegetable – size of the palm of your hand, slightly mounded
Fruit – size of a tennis ball
Fat– woman’s thumb tip = 1 tsp
(use for oil, butter, margarine, mayo)
Fat man’s thumb tip = ½ Tbsp
(Use 1 Tbsp. for salad dressing, low-fat margarine or mayo)
Non-fat milk or yogurt – 6-8 ounces

*Snack Ideas – choose high quality snacks that contain a fruit, vegetable or “healthy carb” along with some protein. Limit to 150-200 calories. Try these satisfying snacks:
~7-10 almonds with 7-10 baby carrots
~1 oz low-fat cheese with 5-6 low-fat whole grain crackers
~¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese with ½ cup canned pineapple (canned fruit should be canned in juice or light syrup)
~6 oz light yogurt with fruit
~2-3 rye crackers with tuna and small amount of low-fat mayo
~½ sandwich made with whole grain bread, left-over lean meat, or fish and small amount of low-fat mayo
~1 oz string cheese with raw veges
~1 Tbsp natural old-fashioned peanut butter with 1 stalk celery


roasted garlic mashed potato puffs

I made these for vespers and they came out really tasty. *_* This recipe can be modified to suit your preference. For example, you can make pesto mashed potatoes or carrot & leek mashed potatoes or just regular mashed potatoes without baking it. I like it baked because it holds well- like a puff. It's also a nice & easy finger food.

potato puffs
To make garlic mashed potatoes
2 pounds ( 6 medium) russet potatoes, peeled, cut into quarters, and boiled
1/4 cup margarine or butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/ tsp black pepper
1/4-1/3 cup soy milk
10 large peeled cloves garlic
1 tsp garlic powder and onion powder
1 tsp brewers yeast
1 tsp McKay's chicken seasoning

Mix olive oil and garlic on a pan and place it in the oven at 330F for approximately an hour. Or, chip the garlic finely and pan fry it.
Drain potatoes well.Add margarine, salt and pepper.. Using a flat beater, beat for 20 seconds, or until potatoes are broken up. Continue on speed 1, slowly add milk and roasted garlic. Beat until smooth. Cool it before going on to the next step.
Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly spray cookie sheet with vegetable pan spray on line sheet. Fill Cookie master plus or pastry bag with the potato mixture and use star tip to press mixture onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 Min's or until golden brown around the edges.


carrot cupcakes & white chocolate cream cheese frosting

carrot cupcakes

Carrots! They're one of the best vegetables around. It is a true medicinal food rich in provitamin A. Carrots are very useful in diseases of the retina and of the eyes in general, skin disoders, gastritis, excess of gastric acid, colitis, and in the prevention of cancer.
3 substances stand out in the composition of carrots:
1. carotenoids, among the most notable of which is beta carotene, which the body transforms into vitamin A. Carotenoids are essential for the proper functioning of the retina, particularly the night vision or in low light situations. They also help maintain the skin and mucosa in good condition.
2. vegetable fiber: carrots contain about 3%, most of which is in the form of pectin. This helps regulate the transit of stool and soothes the intestinal mucosa.
3. essential oil: this is active against intestinal parasites.
Hmm...apparently carrots were PURPLE before! These sources are from Andy, who told us about it...

These muffins are absolutely moist and delicious! The white chocolate cream cheese compliments the taste and gives it a fine touch. Love it! *smacks*lick lips*
Makes 12 large muffins or 36 mini ones

1 cup all purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 c canola or sunflower oil
1t vanilla extract
1 c sugar
1 1/2 c shredded carrots (8oz)
1/2 c coarsely chopped pecans
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with paper liners
2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon in a medium bowl
3. Place the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar together and whisk on high speed for abt 5 mins. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in carrots and pecans
4. Divide batter amond the cups and bake until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean, 18-20 mins, or 8-10 mins for mini muffins. Cool in pan for 5 mins, then invert the muffins onto a rack to cool completely. Frost with white chocolate cream cheese frosting

::::White chocolate cream cheese buttercream::::
This ivory buttercream is mellow and cramy. It's luscious , slightly tangy flavor is a perfect complement for carrot cake, cheesecake or yellow cake. It pipes wonderfully. White chocolate adds firmness of texture, sweetness, and an undefinable flavor.
white chocolate( Ghiradelli or fine quality), 6 oz
cream cheese, 8 oz ( 1 packet)
unsalted butter, 4 oz
lemon juice, 1 t
1. Break chocolate into squares and place in the top of a doble boiler set over very hot water on low heat. Remove the double boiler from the heat and stir until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir. (chocolate may be melted in a microwave if stirred every 15 sec). Allow to cool
2. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in cooled chocolate until smoothly incorporated. Beat in the butter and lemon juice. Rebeat at room temp to ensure smoothness before frosting.
**Do not overheat the white chocolate and be sure to stir constantly while melting.
**Be sure no moisture gets into the melted chocolate.
**Beat constantly while adding the cooled chocolate to prevent lumping. If lumping occurs, it can be remedied by pressing the buttercream through a fine strainer.
**Buttercream may separtate slightly if room temp is too warm. This can be corrected by setting the bowl in ice water and whisking the mixture. Buttercream becomes spongy on standing. Rebeat to restore smooth creamy texture.
**If using for a wedding cake during summer, decrease butter to 2 oz.
Fondant was used to shaped the carrots.


Weekend foods

I feel blessed when people truly appreciate and enjoy the food I make...its a nice feeling. This is the first time I've received such rave reviews about the congee. *grin*
~breakfast menu~
Congee/ jok:plain and sweet potato
(**secret: add diced shallots or onions, sliced ginger as the rice's cooking. The longer its cooked, the better...and i used sushi rice)
Assorted toppings:
bamboo shoots, sliced omelet, century egg, BBQ tofu, chinese parsley, vegetarian floss, gluten,
Vegan Strawberry pancakes ( made of soy, potato, whole wheat flour)
topped with jewel dressing (strawberry with sago)
Fruits platter
Soy milk

sunday breakfast

In the evening...
Cuisines from around the world!
gathering in lindsay
And sat evening was sushi night!
sushi night


Video! Cake Decorating *_*

Yipeee!!! I've finally compiled the videos and pictures of the Wilton cake decorating class and added music and descriptions to go along with it!
(Thanks, Ryan for telling me how to convert video files from the camera... everything came together after that. *smiles* )
It took me many hours to do this because I experimented with many things but I'm glad its finally up. *elated feeling*
It's a good overview of what you'd expect to learn at the WIlton Cake decoarting class 1,2,3. So, check it out!!! *_^


edited video...


Yam Kueh

Ok, let's get this straight!! What exactly is a yam, sweet potato and taro?
It's called differently in US and Singapore. Friends in the US were asking me how I made the 'yam' cake. But it didn't seemed right because 'yams' are orange in color while the one i made was whit-ish color.
Anyways, here's the deal-- "yams" in the US are the "sweet potatoes" in Singapore and "yams" in Singapore are the "taro" in the US. Got it? lol. I'll be making Yam puffs soon so I'll post up pictures of Yam, taro and sweet potato to prevent terminology confusion. It's important to use the correct ingredients!
I learnt how to make Yam kueh from a cooking class in Singapore and it's absolutely my favorite! 2 methods can be done...the regular steam-and-eat OR steam-pan fry-then eat. For this one, I pan-fried it.

Yam kueh

Ingredients A:
water, 500g
alkaline water, 1/3 tsp
rice flour, 160g
Directions A:
Mix water, alkaline water and rice flour together.
Ingredients B:
Yam (cut into small pieces), 300g
Garlic, 3 tsp
shallots, 1 tsp
mushroom, 100g
Seasoning: salt, pepper, sugar, Shouyu seasoning (or any other that you have)
Directions B:
Heat wok and fry garlic, shallots, mushroom till fragrant. Add in yam and seasonings. Continue frying and add in ingredients A. Mix well. Off the fire immediately. Place it in greased molds. Steam for 15 mins or whnever the top is firm. Cool it for several minutes. Slice...and then pan fry it!
Dipping sauce:
Mix 1/4c braggs (soy sauce) + 2T rice wine + shredded ginger


Sweet malt beverage- Shikhye

I feel that my body is too“hot" and might be coming down with a fever. To “cool” it down, I made sikhye. Sikhye is one of those drinks that I can drink the whole day and not feel sweet-sick or guilty because of drinking “empty calories”.

Jung taught me how to make it last year and I fell in love with it. It’s like a barley drink with a different twist to what I’ve been used too.

Sikhye is a traditional sweet Korean rice beverage, made with barley malt and rice. It was originally made from the rice that stuck to the sides of the cooker after the rest had been scooped out. Sikhye is made by pouring malt water onto cooked rice. The combination is then fermented for at least a day, and then boiled with ginger and jujube. It is served chilled. Shikhye is known to help the digestion of food and blood circulation. It is best after a meal of meat or something particularly greasy as a refreshing dessert. It is also great for people on a diet. This slightly fermented rice nectar should be drunk during the winter. But nowadays it can be found all the year round.
**The key to its flavor is a good quality barley malt which gives it much sweetness. **
Time consuming, yes, but once you become familiar with the recipe, you can make this wonderful drink at your own convenience. Just plan ahead and do it the night before.
Barley malt, dried and pounded barley germ (yotkirum) : (450 g, available in Koreanstores)
Rice : 4 cups, cooked
Sugar to taste
ginger to taste
Pine nuts, for decoration, sprinkle
barley malt
1.Cook rice
2. Add 4 liters of water to the malt and scrub with hands to make powder. Let it sit for several minutes before removing the barley.
Note: Do not stir, remove the top barley carefully.
3. Sieve and discard the remnant and keep still the water for about 30 minutes until clean water is produced.
4. Pour the barley water to rice and leave it in the rice cooker overnight. (This is to allow fermentation to take place)
5. Several grains of rice will float to the top of the water in the electric rice cooker (of warm button)
6. Transfer it to a pot and bring it to a boil for 15 minutes. Add ginger and sugar to taste.
7. Cool, refrigerate and before serving, top with pine nuts.


Green tea truffles

Happy Birthday AJ and Stephanie! We celebrated their birthday @ Cheesecake factory.

HB stef and AJ

Anways, I've been itching to use the powdered green tea that I bought last year. Finally, I got inspired to make

Green tea truffles~!
The type of chocolate you use is important.
I used Ghiradelli 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate and Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate. And that is a bad combination! lol.
Using the semisweet chocolate is better because green tea itself is already bitter. After adding the chocolate to the green tea mixture, i tasted the bitterness and had to add 1/4 cup of fondant icing sugar to counteract it. If I didn't add the bittersweet chocolate, it'd be fine without the fondant sugar. If you want it sweeter and do not have fondant icing, confectionary sugar would be another substitute.
green tea truffles
4 ounces chocolate
1/3 cup heavy cream (make sure there is no gelatin in the cream)
2 TBSP of Matcha (Powdered Japanese Green Tea)
(1/4 cup fondant icing sugar)
Topping: finely chopped almond, rice sprinkles, caramel crunch, etc
Directions in making green tea truffle
Start chopping the chocolate and set aside.
Bring heavy cream to a boil. Make sure your cream is heavy, to keep the cream from scorching. ( i used the double boiler method)
Add the Matcha powder and stir until Matcha is dissolved. The resulting cream will be green. Add in the chocolate. Smooth out any big chunks. Stir (don't beat)with a whisk in concentric circles until smooth.
Let the cream stand at room temperature until thick enough to hold a shape. Shape into balls and place onto a parchment lined tray.
Gently rub each chilled truffle to coat lightly with various topping.
Put tray into the freezer for 15 minutes until they set hard.


Happy New Year!!!

"Wishing everyone a very Happy, Healthy, Successful and Prosperous New Year 2007!!!"
winter mas
Look our for me- Miss Rain. ;p
winter mas 2
Disclaimer: All the recipes posted are for my personal references and/or adapted from mentioned instructors or books. They/I reserve the rights to it. Please remember to cite your sources! Thank you.