Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful time of the year! I love Christmas because of numerous reasons. Lights, glitter and christmas-y music...but more than that and the gift-giving acts, it reminds me of the greatest gift God gave to me that no one else has given- Jesus. Above all the clutter and mess of this world, I have found peace, comfort and joy in the One who loves me most. The dawn of Christmas also reminds me of how quickly a year went by and that it's almost the start of another year.

We went to Pasadena to catch glimpses of bright and beautiful Christmas decorations.

And tried to spread some Christmas cheer by singing to kids at the Loma Linda's Children hospital. It's an indescribable feeling when the little faces lit up because of our prayers and singing.

With a few more days to go before Christmas, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! May God's peace, joy, love and happiness be yours! :)

Over the last couple of days, I tried several new restaurants...here are 2 places that is pretty cool... ....
The pictures you see above and below were taken at the Heroes restaurant in Claremont. It's an interesting place because it is legal to throw peanut shells onto the floor after eating them! (It would be a $500 fine if one is caught littering n Singapore- that's why Singapore is called a clean and green country.)

If you want authentic Korean food, here's the place to go.Kobawoo House is located at 698 Vermont Ave #109, LA, CA 9005. Number to call to make reservations is 213-289-7300.

Kimbup, Soon tofu, Bibimbup, Chap chae (hope I spelled them correctly) are staples when it comes to Korean food. However, this place had traditional food not commonly found elsewhere. I love the acorn noodle dish. :)

Since it's Christmas time, I baked several stuff and will post up pictures of the stuff aunty C brought back to Singapore to pass to my family.

Cookies are one of the easiest things to check in.

I used the Martha Stewart's alphabet cookie cutters to make various lettering like JOY, PEACE, LOVE, PAPA, etc...

And then decorated them...i hope that they'll like this surprise. :D

Other shapes and styles...

Not forgetting white chocolate peppermint bark!

The unbroken piece...

Sinfully good fondant fudge...

Last but not least, C and I made Ang Ku Kueh that came out pretty good. (For those who don't know, Ang Ku Kueh is a favourite dessert for the Chinese and Nonya in Singapore. It's a glutinous rice-flour cake with bean-paste or peanut-paste fillings, moulded into a turtle-like shape). Red and green blended into the Christmas season colors.

I will post up more pictures of other stuff that I made for friends later so till then, stay happy and thankful! Happy Holidays! :)


Persimmon bars

Right here in Loma Linda, you'll catch glimpses of persimmon trees if you look hard enough. Since they're in abundance, it'd be nice to make full use of this seasonal fruit.
I usually eat the fresh fruit but aunt Gwen inspired me to make persimmon bars when we were over at her place having kimchi hotpot!

She shared with me her recipe and gave me some persimmons from her own tree to make them. :)
I tried her version and did a little "tweaking" to another batch to see how it'll turn out. I like her recipe a lot but varied it because I wanted a softer spiced version. Topping it with lemon glaze gave it a nice look. :)
All the ( brackets) indicated are the additional things I added.
Aunt Gwen's recipe
1. Canola/grape seed oil, 1 cup
2. Brown sugar, 1 cup
3. Eggs, 2
4. Salt, 1/2 tsp
5. lemon juice, 1 Tbsp
6. Hachiya persimmon pulp*, 2 cups blended
7. (I added an additional 1/3 cup apple sauce for a smoother batter)
8. Pastry flour, 4 cups ( 1 used 2 cups whole wheat and 2 cups white)
9. (1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon 1.2 tsp cloves 1/2 tsp nutmeg)
10. walnuts, coarsely grounded, 2 cups
11. coconut flakes, 1 cup {didn't add this as I didn't have them}
12. raisins, 1 cup
Directions: Mix 1,2,3 well followed by 4,5,6. Sift 8, 9. and add it into the wet mixture. Add the rest of the dry ingredients. Spread onto 2 parchment-lined trays. Bake at 375 for 26 minutes.
(Lemon Glaze: Blend 1 cup unsifted powdered sugar with 2 Tbsp. lemon juice until smooth. )
*Note: Must use Hachiya variety! To make the persimmon puree, the persimmons have to be fully riped, soft and jelly-like. Cut them into half, and use a spoon to scoop out the pulp.
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.