5.28.2007

memorial day weekend~

Memorial day weekend= memorable weekend! ^____^

for Brian's belated birthday ( @ the last minute)

Guess how he blew out his birthday candle?? lol @ Seoul Restaurant & Tofu House,
10560 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92505
It was Loma Linda University Medical and Dental School graduation!
Congratulations Dr Reed, John, Hannah, Johnathon and Curtis!!
You made it! :D
Of course there'll always be plenty of delish food at all celebration parties...At Reed's request, I made this especially for her: Tofutti cream cheese cake ...This weekend saw a major influx of ideas and suggestions on how I can start a business from the stuff I bake. Thanks guys for your advices and volunteering to be my PR, taste-tester, etc. lol ;)
Look at Michelle's wide smile: she was fascinated with the desserts. :D
Oh, aunt Windy's berry tarts are absolutely delicious! Finally in the evening, we were @ Curtis's party and it was an awesome surprise~ aunt Fonny and Serena were there! What we did on Memorial day, which is today...
eat, eat,eat,
exercise by walking around Victoria Gardens
and had a massage!
I highly recommend the Art of Reflexology place because it is good and cheap. It cost only $15 for an hour of foot massage + free 10 minutes shoulder massage!! Such a bargain :D
It's located at 18429 E Colima Rd, Rowland Heights, CA 91748 Pacific Plaza, 2nd floor. Number: (626) 810-7909
Have a great week, guys! :D

5.23.2007

Guess what I made?

A garlic carrot cake...
with white chocolate cream cheese frosting

for Andy, the garlic king! lol....^____^

(He likes everything garlicky; even garlic ice cream! If you haven't tried it, try blending fresh garlic in melted ice cream before re-freezing it.)

Some garlic quotes:

"One study showed that eating garlic may help lower blood pressure". Time Magazine, 6 January 1992.

"Since garlic hath powers to save from death, bear with it though it makes unsavory breath" Robert of Normandy, 1100 AD

Don't know if i'll make a garlic cake again but here's the Ultimate carrot cake recipe that I modified from Betty Crocker's cake mix: (omit the garlic to make a regular carrot box cake)

~~~
1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist carrot cake mix
1/2, cup orange juice or water
1/2 cup garlic infused vegetable oil ( I placed garlic cloves in grapeseed oil overnight)
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 jumbo eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
4 Tsp finely chopped garlic

Frosting:
Follow directions from this recipe: white chocolate cream cheese frosting

20 cloves of garlic, baked in the oven for 20 minutes in an oiled tin

ready whipped cream

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease and flour a 8"x3" tin. In large bowl, beat cake mix, orange juice, oil, pineapple, vanilla and eggs on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Stir in chopped nuts, and minced garlic. Pour into pan.

2. Bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove rounds from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.

3. Make the white chocolate cream cheese frosting.

4. Place 1 cake layer, rounded side down, on serving plate. Spread the mashed garlic followed by about 1/4 cup of frosting. Squeeze out whipped cream from can ( the ones you use for ice cream). Place other layer, rounded side up, on top. Frost side and top of cake with remaining frosting or frost top of cake. Decorate! Store in refrigerator.

5.22.2007

Bread making tips

If you have never made breads before, you're missing out on many life lessons breads will teach you- or so I found out. Years ago, a guy friend quoted EG WHITE's writings saying that the first thing a girl should learn to master in culinary skills is bread making. Stunned, I shrugged my shoulders and smiled.
I have never baked my own breads because they require a lot of work and techniques. However, I decided to conquer the breads world by going to a professional class to learn bread making. And I have to say that making bread is deeply satisfying. There's the tactile thrill of putting your hands into whisper-weight flour, the invigorating exercise of kneading a mixture until it's smooth, and the enjoyable charge that comes with punching down a pillow of dough! However, I think an investment of a stand mixer with a hook is highly advisable~ to save excessive hand-work. *grin*
Here are some tips and lessons that I learnt~
1. Don't try to rush rising times: Flavor develops during the fermentation process, so slower and longer is always the best way to proceed. In fact, for the Pain de Menage (country bread), bakers would add a tiny bit of 3-month old refrigerated dough to new doughs to add flavor!
~~Sometimes we try to rush through life without processing our feelings or enjoying the moment. Good things come to those who wait. ^___^
2. It is important to let the dough rest, covered, before shaping bagels. This gives it a change to relax and makes shaping easier.
~~Rest and Relax, it makes life and stress easier to handle!

3. Creating steam in the oven will give bread a crisp crust. The humidity will keep the crust from setting and thus prevent the bread from expanding too quickly. To do this in a home oven, place water or ice cubes in a pan on the bottom rack.
~~The friends and environment we choose play an important role in our life. It might be negligible but it makes a difference. Birds of a feather flock together.
4. Never add all of the flour in a recipe to the dough until you're sure it is needed. It is usually better for the dough to be slightly wet and sticky, which encourages fermentation better than if the dough were too dry. Furthermore, the amount of flour and water varies according to the day's temperature humidity. If it is humid, decrease the amount of water.
~~Things happen and life changes but we have to adapt and make the best of the situation. Whatever life gives us, handle it with flexibility and adaptability.

5. Checking the internal temperature of bread is a foolproof way to tell if it is fully baked. Insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of the loaf and the internal temperature should be 190 to 200 degrees. OR, you can tap it and when you hear a hollow sound, the bread is done. A bread which looks cooked might not actually have a hollow sound or internal temperature of 190-200F.

~~Even though we look alright on the outside, we might not actually be really "cooked" or doing well. Be true to yourself and God. Only U are accountable to yourself and God.
6. Working with yeast: it is a hard worker. it feasts on sugar, water and oxygen; rapidly multiplies; and, given time, triggers the chemical reaction that transforms flour and other ingredients into a lush cushion of dough. In doing so, yeast also adds texture, structure, and flavor. It is what elevates flour and water to such gratifying sustenance. So get to know yeast, its properties and reactions. One cake compressed fresh yeast (.6ounces) equals (1/4 ounce or 2 tsp active dry or instant yeast).
~~Be familiar with what you're working with~ and never look down on the small things. It matters.
7. Salt kills yeast when in direct contact, so when adding salt to dough, do so as the bulk of the flour is added, then immediately mix well to disperse. Never add salt to a starter, even small amounts.
~~OH, it emphasizes the point that tiny actions and words sometimes do matter! We might not realize it but whatever we do have ripple effects and consequences.
8. Did you know that the Type of water affects the bread product? Do you know why New York is famous for their pizzas? Their dough is special because of the water used to make them. (It has been rumoured that xx LA pizza store has the best pizza because they import water from NY.) The chef-instructor recounted an experiment she did years ago. She made breads from the water sent from 4 states in the US. The results were strikingly different, showing that the minerals in the water content affect how the final product comes out.
~~ Each of us are different. Although we might look similar outwardly ( just like water in CA and NY), our composition varies and we are special in God's eyes.

~~
SO, Forget the low-carb craze and eat the oldest food known to mankind- breads! It is good for you~ eat more whole grains and do everything in moderation!
~~
Some of the menu items included:
  • Pretzels using "easy white bread"
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Pita Bread
  • Na an Bread + tons of garlic +cilantro = absolute delicious
  • Focaccia Bread using fresh rosemary + thyme herb
  • Baguettes using Pain de Menage (country bread) recipe
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ALL WHITE PARTY~~~~~~~~~






Darl, as promised in the earlier post, I wore the blouse that you sent
~ it was just what I needed for the all white party. :)
~~~~~~"GIRL'S NIGHT OUT" ~~~~~~
*salsa dance/exercise*good food

5.17.2007

Tofutti Cream cheese cake

Presenting Aunt Yoly's recipe that I've been wanting to try for eons::: fruity vegan cream cheese cake that's simply irresistible!

Berries seem to be in season ~ they are reasonably priced and sold everywhere. Guess I'll be making more berries recipes. Actually I love eating all kinds of fruits~ anytime~ anywhere! One small bite into any succulent fruit produces pleasure and refreshment. Sweet to the taste, not only does fruit nourish you, it cleanses your system. It is good for you! Perhaps that is why you can never eat too much...(unless you're a diabetic)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-contorl..." Galantions 5:22
The same is true with the fruit of the Spirit. No one will get enough of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-contorl. Be liberal with your servings and dish it out to your friends and families. They will ripen in fertile ground where only good things can grow. It is hard to exercise it with our own sinful human nature but with God, it is possible! :)

Ingredients

A: 6c ground graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup melted margarine

B: 1, 6oz pack strawberry jello (may use agar agar/em es gel or lime flavor), 2 cup water, 1 cup pureed/blended strawberry/fruit

C: 2, 8oz pack tofu cream cheese (I like Tofutti Brand. Get trans-fatty acid free brand) , 1 cup sugar (may decrease to 1/2 cup), 1, 12 oz pack non dairy whipped cream

D: slices of fruit

Directions:

1. Mix melted margarine with graham cracker crumbs and press tightly with the base of measuring cup or palm of hand on 11'x13' baking pan. ( if you want to get the above look, use two round 8' spring form pans.)

2.Boil jello with water until melted, or add hot water into the powder mixture until it melts. Let cool and pour in blended fruit. Optional: you add also add in some of the liquid mixture into the blender to allow easy blending of strawberries.

3. Cream tofu cream cheese and sugar. Pour jello mixture in and stir well. Fold in whipped cream. Pour over graham cracker crust and refrigerate till hardened. Preferably overnight.

4. Decorate as desired- with fruits on top and serve!

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**edit:**

5.14.2007

all the happies~ RD + happi birthday

"AAAHHHhhhahhh!!!" was all I said to mummy when she picked up the phone. Still dazzled and elated from the written words, "Congratulations, you have passed the Registration Exam..." I was trying to come to terms with my Registered Dietitian status now: C Zhuang, RD. All the years of studying, 800 clinical hours at the various hospital, sleepless nights were paid off in a 3 hr exam that determined if I qualify to have an official dietitian title. Phew~ I made it.:) I wonder how I would feel if it were otherwise.
oo lala

Actually, deep down in my heart, I knew that it'd be alright although there were natural doubts of failure. It was not because of tthe confidence I had in my ability or hardwork. Far from it. It was the fact that God reminded me that He has a work for me to do. Remember the last post about my sore throat/fever? Well, I did not elaborate on HOW I got sick. I made myself sick with the stuff I did. The night before I fell sick, I slept at 5 AM (in the morning) because I couldn't sleep from the mocha frap drink I had earlier in the day. It was loaded with caffeine that my body wasn't used to. Later that day, I ate chips and snacks without drinking much water to bring forth an itchy dry throat. I ate whatever I wanted without remembering that "..your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own..." 1 Corinthians 6:19. How can I be qualified to be a real dietitian in God's eyes? I don't think God wants me to treat my body this way -I needed a change. During this resting period, it gave me an opportunity to reflect and make positive changes. I thank God for that and the way He has and will be leading. If I did not fall sick and had passed the exam, it'd be by-my-own-might. However, with the sick intervention, God has reminded me that everything belongs to Him. Nothing good can come out of me by my own strength. Hence, one week ago, I felt that God has something more in stored for me and would definitely (100%) see me through. He did. :)

viva foreever


Those of you who are still studying or experiencing life's stresses, I just want to say that when you give your burdens to God, He will carry it and see you through. Nothing is too hard for Him. He wants the BEST for you in His time. If He had brought you this far, He will finish what He started. Pray and Pray!

Read the law of success for more motivation. I printed it out and stuck it at the back of my folder to remind me that I CAN do it~ it's all in the state of mind.

baskin robbins

Oh, I thank God for awesome friends and families who were praying for me all this week! Thanks for your text msgs, phone calls...I really felt your prayers. Today was a crazy day with so many things happening but I made it through. ~Praise God!
On to more happies~~~

happy birthday

It was my birthday on May 8!!!
Life seems to be spinning and never stopping~ can't believe another year has passed!!! Guess what I got from these awesome friends?
!!GPS!!
They know that I'm a direction-less gal when it comes to driving on roads. It got me to the testing center in LA> LA roads are crazy and confusing... Now that I have it, I wonder how I lived without it before. ;p

PICT0195

I love this birthday card that came along with it!! Han said, " I think you're an upside-down pineapple-carrot-german chocolate cake personality -with pecans!" Hmm..I think so too. haha ;p

birthday card
Isn't this cuddly blue teddy bear cute!? But on closer look, it has the words, " it's a boy" on it. I nearly "fainted" when i saw it. Ok, to be precise, I was laughing when i got it. lol Got the hint- you want me to have a bf. *wink*
Hmm, I'll use the nails when ------ I get married? Just joking....lol. Never tried these before.


YAWN..I'm getting tired....it's been a long day BUT i just can't wait to blog it tomorrow. Ohh, I'm thinking of baking something to thank my professors tomorrow....
~~
Last but not least, I got a surprise mail from Singapore today! Seems like it arrived just in time as a present for my hard work.
Thanks DARL for these thoughtful stuff your sent. The sakura cell phone pouch fits my phone perfectly! I'll model the shirt for you one day......:D Sisters forever~
sweet dreams and good night. :)

love, Cherry Z, RD *wink*
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.