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Monday, December 31, 2012

ABC: Panettone Muffins

Happy New Year everyone! I hope 2012 was a good year for you and may 2013 be even better!

For this year, I've decided to join a baking club: ABC. It stands for Avid Baker's Challenge. ABC is ran by my friend Hanaa and it's a group that baked once a month. I knew Hanaa from my time as Heavenly Cake Bakers (HCB), baking through Rose's Heavenly Cakes. After that baking club ended in 2011, Hanaa asked me to join ABC but at that time I wasn't ready. Having baked through a whole book of 95 recipes in 2 years, I wanted a little break from baking and blogging. But I'm ready now and a couple of months ago I asked Hanaa to join ABC for 2013. For 2013, the group voted to bake from the 3 choices that Hanaa presented us: Flour by Joanne Chang, King Arthur Flour website, or Baking Illustrated by America's Test Kitchen. King Arthur Flour won.

For January, we are baking Panettone Muffins. I love pannetone so I was pretty excited about it. However, this recipe does make 12 muffins and having baked a couple other sweet things during this weekend, I thought I would just bake part of the recipe. So I split the recipe by 4. Yes 4! Hanaa and other ex-HCB friends are familiar with my habit with MO, as they've called it. I've had great success in the past making small portions of recipes and with this one as well.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Low-Fat Hummus

I tried to make hummus once before and failed. It might sound weird to hear someone failed making hummus but note that this not a regular hummus but a low fat one. One that requires no tahini.

Tahini is supposed to be good for you. According to Livestrong, the fat in tahini is mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which have been known to lower cholesterol. But at the same time, hubby requested a no-tahini recipe and I thought it would be fun to try.

In my previous attempt, I didn't know what to replace the tahini with so I didn't. I googled hummus recipe and picked one from the internet, omitted the tahini and followed everything exactly. It turned out edible but dry and not very tasty.

This time, I did not plan to make hummus but I soaked way too many dry chickpeas for a vegetable tagine dish. Not wanting to throw the good chickpeas away I decided to make hummus. I was not prepared so I used whatever I could find in our pantry.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lemon Curd

I bought a bag of lemons for my marmalade experiment last weekend. I only used 2 and have 4 lemons left.

In the spirit of canning and jamming, I decided to make lemon curd.

Among the 6 canning books I borrowed from the library is one titled Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon.

This book does not have a lot of jam recipes but it has a lot of other interesting projects. Like making your own crackers and marshmallow. It also has a section for curing meat and fish. We are not eating meat right now but I am really interested in the beef jerky recipe.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Happy Friday and a funny article

I feel like posting today and not having any topic I thought I would just post to wish everyone a happy Friday and happy weekend!

It is going to be cold here this weekend - forecast temperature would be 18 degrees for the high on Sunday. YIKES but I will be spending a lot of time in the kitchen so it will be warm anyway :).

And.... I found funny this article at eatthelove blog a few days ago and thought it is so funny. Irvin wrote a list of "You know you're a food blogger if..." Check it out.

I am definitely guilty of several items on the list. No. 6, 9, 14, 19, and 34. I have come close to doing No. 24 recently - so this one made me laugh!

How about you? If you dare to fess up on which one you've "committed"? Which items make you laugh?

Monday, December 3, 2012

My attempt at making marmalade

I was hoping to do a post today on how I ventured out to make a marmalade and succeeded.

Uhhmm.. not exactly.

As with most of my cooking/baking adventures, it started pretty well.

I borrowed 6 canning/jam making books from the library. Poured over them and decided to make orange marmalade. Orange ginger marmalade is one of my favorite jam but I thought I should just stick to utilizing one-type of ingredient so orange marmalade it is.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mee Goreng

I realize that this is not a very timely post. Asian Noodles after Thanksgiving week sounds so hm.. out of place. I should be posting about what to do with leftover Thanksgiving turkey or something like that. Truthfully, I was going to post this a couple of weeks ago but never got around to it.

But then I thought that this dish is just be perfect for after Thanksgiving. It is light and healthy, and might just be what our body needs after all the over-eating these past few days. I know my body is craving something lighter for sure.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


A short post this time.

From Venice,we stopped by Padua.

Padua claims to be the oldest city in Italy. It is also home to Prato della Valle, the largest square in Europe and according to wikitravel, is probably one of the most beautiful square in the World.

It is hard to argue that you might find a square more beautiful when you see statues like this one.

Each statue has different pose and details.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Transitional German-Style Many Seed Bread

We had our first snow last week.

It was cold.

I am so not ready for the cold and the snow.

Though it does make for pretty pictures...

Sunday, October 28, 2012


From Zugspitze, we continued our vacation to Venice.

I feel that Venice need no introduction but for those of you who are interested, Venice is a city in northeast Italy. It is a group of 118 small islands linked by foot bridges.

Such as this one bridge.

Venice is famous for its architecture and its setting.

There is just something romantic about being surrounded by water.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Zugspitze: Top of Germany

Zugspitze! Zugspitze!!!

I can't pronounce this word but it sure was fun to try on our way there.

Zugspitze, at 2,962 meters (9,718 feet) is the highest mountain in Germany. It is located by the border of Austria and Germany so we had to stop by. It took us about 2 hours to get there from Salzburg.

On the way there, we stopped by for lunch at a cute small town called Grainau in the  Garmisch-Partenkirchen district.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


We spent a couple of weeks in Europe this year for vacation. First stop, Salzburg.

Never been to Austria before, we were plenty excited.

The trip started well with a beautiful sunset over the horizon as our plane ascended into the sky.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Golden Hour

When I started reading up on photography, especially landscape and portrait photography, and I quickly run into a term called the Golden hour.

The Golden hour is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. The sun during this time is lower in the sky, and thefore it produces a softer and more diffused light. This type of light is more flattering.

A lot of professional photographer swears by this and some even go as far as saying that they only shoot during the Golden hour.

I am not a morning person and there is no way I am getting up at dawn before the sunrise, not even with the promise of a good picture or a cup of good coffee. So shooting around sunrise is out of the option.

A few days ago, I came home earlier from work to a nice golden light around the neighborhood. The sky is blue and clear and the weather was perfect.

I quickly changed, grabbed my camera, and went for a walk.

My Golden hour moment only lasted about 1/2 hour before the sun sets, but it was good for practice and experiment.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Devil's Head Lookout

I am catching up on my post, :).

We took some road trips this summer.

One Saturday we went to Devil's Head Lookout.  It is a US Forest Service fire lookout southwest of Denver. To get to the lookout tower, we hiked this beautiful 1.4 miles, 951 feet elevation trail.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Wooden Spoon Adventure: Zucchini Bread

Last week, ECL asked me if I want to come out of retirement to be a part of the travelling spoon.

What is the travelling spoon?

A fellow blogger, Kate of A Merrier World, is celebrating her blog's 5th year anniversary and is sending a wooden spoon on a journey around the world. Sort of like the pants in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, :)).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Wild Animal Sanctuary

We went to the Wild Animal Sanctuary a few months ago.

The Sanctuary is about 40 miles North East Denver. We use the GPS
It is a non-profit organization, who rescue wildlife from across the US, Canada, Mexico, and South America. The animals rescued come from a variety of situations such as illegal pets, zoo surplus, exotic animal auctions, and from facilities closed due to animal abuse.
What's cool about the Sanctuary is, unlike the zoo, the animals are there to stay for the rest of their lives
We walked on the tall elevated catwalks to view the animals.
We saw a lot of tigers, wolves, and bears.
A little pond for the tigers to swim and play.
The tube behind the sitting bear is actually a tunnel, leading to their underground climate-controlled rooms.
The best part of the trip was to see a cute brown bear, who kept coming over to bother the volunteer workers.

Friday, March 30, 2012

FO Friday 11

Project: Avery
Needle: US 9
Yarn: 1.3 (130 grams) of Malabrigo Worsted in Tuareg

Measurement pre blocking: 50 inches x 6 inches
Measurement post blocking: 62 inches x 6 inches

It is very pretty and soft. I love the blueness of it. And the pattern is lovely.

However, I am not completely happy with how this yarn grew post blocking. 12 inches is a lot. It is now too long for my frame. It is way too loose when I wrap it twice around my neck but too tight to do 3 times. Oh well, I will have to make this again in a different yarn.

Please check out Tami Ami's blog for more fabulous FO's.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Carrot and Ginger Soup

Hello hello everyone! Sorry for the long absent. I know blog posting have been really sparse lately - except for the knitting posts :). It's been a busy few weeks and I was not feeling like posting.

But I am back now. And hoping to post more regularly.

Back to today's topic. Soup!!!

We love soups. Even before becoming a vegetarian, I would make soup every week. Now with the new diet, the soup tradition continues. No meat of course. Everything is 100% plant based.

It makes it a bit more challenging definitely but fun! In the past, it was so easy to just use chicken broth or beef broth for that extra flavor and depth. Now I have to improvise.

Heidi Swanson's Carrot Soup Recipe.

I followed Heidi's instruction on the how to, but I used a lot more vegetables. And spices!

I was a bit surprised that Heidi's recipe has no spice. I added basil, parsley, oregano, and thyme. All dried because that's all I have on hand. And freshly ground pepper. Lots of them.

I also added ginger. I thought of the ginger addition a bit late, so it was added along with the carrots. Next time, I would saute the ginger alongside onions and garlic.

Recipe: Carrot Soup

Friday, March 16, 2012

FO Friday 10

Project: Ishbel
Needle: US 5
Yarn: 1 skein of Malabrigo Sock in Boticelli Red

This is my first completed Ishbel and I LOVE it!

It will be a gift for my friend for her birthday this month. I am a bit sad to let it go but it is going to a nice home where it will be loved so that makes me happy.

I used all but 2 grams of yarn.

I love the pattern. The stockinette portion is a bit boring but went by fast. The lace pattern is really fun. I added size 6 Miyuki glass beads in the topaz colorway. The bead color works well with the yarn color and I like how it sparkles.

I made the large stockinette and large lace (A, B, A, B, A, C, D, E). Adding beads on the same placement as lmknits did:
  • For Chart A, B, C: for the right side of chart, place bead in row 1 on the 5th stitch between the YOs of each repeat section. For the left side of chart, place bead in row 1 on the 4th stitch in the repeat section. 
  • For Chart D and E: place bead on the 1st stitch of each repeat section.

Please check out Tami Ami's blog for more fabulous FO's.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday 12

My WIP's from last week are going well. I've finished one sleeve of the Levenwick cardigan, though I haven't bind it off (need to learn I-Cord bind off first). I have 12 inches of body completed on the Plain and Simple Pullover. It feels like it's slowly coming but then again it's only been a week and I have other distractions to attend to.

The 1st distraction is the Different Lines shawl by Veera Valimaki (again!). My friend Ginny told me about a March Madness KAL by Mr.Yarn and I could not resist join. The rule is to make something with Malabrigo Sock yarn. The project has to start and complete in March.

I am making it using 1 skein of Malabrigo Sock in Light of Love colorway and 1 stashed skein of Cascade sock yarn in Purple.

At first I thought I was crazy to want to make this in less than a month, what with all the other things I'm also trying to finish this month. But it's been only 3 days and I've finished the 10th stripe last night.

I have a lot of mal sock left so I'm hoping to go past the 14th stripe. We'll see.

The 2nd distraction to last week's WIP's is the Cladonia shawl, using Madelinetosh Merino Light in Bloomsbury and Grasshopper.

I have no ETA for this shawl though it's so pretty and soft I have a feeling I'll have it done in less than a month. I love the colorway. It is so pretty and perfect for spring.

Please visit Tami Ami's blog for more awesome WIP's.

Friday, March 9, 2012

FO Friday 9

I am very excited to share 2 FO's with you all today.

Project: Celery Cardigan
Needles: US 5, US 4, US 3
Yarn: 2.15 skeins of Malabrigo Sock in Tiziano Red

I've actually finished this cardigan a few weeks ago but it's been sitting on the couch waiting for me to weave and block. I really really don't like weaving in ends so I kept putting it off. In the end, it is not bad and I wished I had finished it sooner. Oh well. I am making up for lost time because I've worn this cardigan several times in the last week.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday 11

I have 2 WIP to share with you today.

The first is the Levenwick cardigan by Gudrun Johnston. This cardigan calls for Brooklyn Tweed yarn, which has really nice colors. But after reading several knitters complaining about having too much plant matter in the yarn, I decided to use the 2nd best option, the Cascade 200 Heathers yarn.

I've used this Cascade yarn a couple of times and it is pretty good. It is also much cheaper than Brooklyn Tweed - a nice plus.