Friday, April 29, 2011


I'm sure you all know what cake pop is right?  Even Starbucks is getting into the rage!! the problem is, Starbucks version which is obviously is mass produced and not so tasty.   If you have never had one ever, please don't let Starbuck's version be the one!! I'd hate for you to think that's what they taste like.  So if you have never had one before what do you do??  You can make them yourself!! its easy and soooo tasty!! really these are moist sweet bites of heaven!! mmmm they are soooo good. 

I didn't know these things existed until several months ago,  I walked into Target and this book caught my eye.  What are cake pops??

I've never seen such cute things! Very intrigued I purchased this book. read through it, and found out she also have a website!!  I visit her often and get inspiration and motivation.  I do recommend you purchase this book! it is very useful, colorful and just stinking cute!!! Anyway first time I made this cup cake pop for hubby and his office.. they all loved it!! So this year for Easter instead of my famous sugar cookies I made these cute cute chicks!! aren't they the cutest ever?? did I mention how tasty they are??
You use a cake box mix and a tub of frosting to make these things. I do use a food service glove to roll them just because I like to use them and keep the melted candy coating warm by putting the tub of them in a bowl of hot water. (sort of like double boiling but off the stove)  They went quick and they where loved by all! Did I mention they are tasty??

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Thursday everyone! I had a full house today! 13 gals not including me weaving at my house!!  granted some left early, some came later but I got to say it was a full house with lots of laughter, chatting and snacking!  
I'm going to share a basket designed and shared by Nancy at Basketmaster's Weaving. She don't know this but she actually got me weaving again after a long break while I was living in Hawaii and California.  I am soooo glad I stumbled onto her website which got me motivated to start  weaving again.  Thanks Nancy!  anyway this basket is called the Kitchen Counter Basket but I should actually call it Cat Basket.  My cat loves this basket!! I normally use this to store my dry towels for my basket group but my kitty Hammy likes to borrow it while my towels are in the wash.   I like this basket because of the angle which make it perfect to store the towels. FYI: Nancy not only has several instruction on making basket,  she also have a video that you can watch on her website!

Yes Hammy is little too big for this basket but he don't care, he'll make himself sort of fit in.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bistro Style Curry

I made Bistro style curry for dinner the other night and its sooooo gooooood I wanted to share it with you all.  I do hope you will give it a try! I got this recipe from my dear friend who is more like a sister than a friend who currently lives in Japan.   I modified it a little and added a short cut way of making this dish like using unsweetend apple sauce instead of grating the whole apple, short cut is my best friend.

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (I know its not a healthy choice but trust me its better this way!!)
3 onions chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1tsp garlic paste (you can finely mice your garlic if you rather do it that way)

1 can tomatoes petite cut drained
2-1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup apple sauce
3/4cup white wine
1-1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
parsley for garnish

seasoning for the chicken
1tsp salt
couple of shakes of black pepper
3/4 Tbsp curry powder

Butter Rice
3 cups white rice
chicken broth
2Tbsp butter
1 bay leaf

Lets make the butter rice:

If you have a rice cooker, this is very simple recipe.  In a frying pan, melt your butter, add rice and brown the rice. when it starts to turn opaque and brown, remove from heat, put in your rice cooker pot, add enough chicken broth to 3 cup rice marker, plop in a bay leaf and push cook! simple right!!  we normally run out of rice first and my son do love the butter rice so I normally cook double recipe (6 cups)

Now we cook the curry:
1. cut chicken to bite size, add the seasoning and mix it.

2. add 1 Tbsp of butter, and the olive oil and brown the chicken, once brown remove chicken from pan, use a slotted spoon so you can remove just the chicken.

3. add the remaining butter in the pan, once melted, add chopped onion and garlic. cook until tender and no liquid remains in the pan. the onion will start to slightly brown.

4. add the drained tomatoes, curry powder, cook and stir until well mixed.
5. add the wine, cook until liquid reduces by half.
6. add the chicken back to the pan, add apple sauce and chicken broth and reduce again by half.

 7. add heavy cream and simmer until it thickens. you can add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, scoop rice in a shallow bowl, on one side, add curry on the other side, sprinkle with parley.

if you don't have a rice cooker, you can cook it on a stove.  follow the package instruction, except cook the rice first with butter and use chicken broth instead of the water.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hawaiian Chantilly Cake

Hawaiian Chantilly Cake

 2- 8inch chocolate chiffon cake

for the frosting: 
1-1/2 cup evaporated milk
1-1/2 cup white sugar
5 egg yolks, beaten
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in the top portion of a double boiler, or in a bowl placed over a saucepan of boiling water.

Cook over medium heat until thick, about 12 minutes, stirring constantly to keep the eggs from scrambling and the frosting from clumping.
Remove from heat.

Cool, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to spread.
Makes enough to frost a 9- by-13-inch cake or two 8-inch layers.

its best if you chill it for several hours before cutting!!
My cake was uneven so the filling was not in the center but it was still yummy!

Almost forgot the cake recipe! its the same chocolate chiffon cake as the Dobash cake! (Check the Sweets for Friday archive) If you want more chocolaty cake you can use your own chocolate chiffon cake.   Do use a chiffon cake! if not it won't be a real Hawaiian Chantilly cake!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Decorating with Heart

I don't remember if I mentioned about the "heart" decoration on  baskets but I think this is one of the cutest decoration you can put on your basket. If you are a seasoned basket weaver you may know how to do this but for those of you who have not learned to make these here is a tutorial for you.

first you need a basket  that has a 2 or more rounds of 1/2" or wider reed between a 1/4" weaver.  This can be a simple round basket or a waste basket like the one I made here.

wet your no3 reed, wipe it off real good!! or it will bleed!!  put one end in the 1/4" weaver like the picture.  before crimping with a needle nose pliers, move the reed around to decide how big you want your hearts to be.  When you decide, crimp the point of the heart and fold to make a point of the heart.
put the free end through the same space as the other end

Pull it through, one heart made!
try to make all the heart about the same size!

We start again, next available 1/4" space

Pull it through, find the place you want to make a point, crimp.

pull the free end under the loop connecting to the previous heart and back down the 1/4" weaver.

pull through and continue making hearts when you make the last heart, you'll need to cut the No3 reed when you reach the starting end. tuck under it as it is connected  and if you want to use insta-cure glue just to make sure it is there for good feel free to use it. 

isn't it the cutest wastebasket ever??

Monday, April 18, 2011

ban ban ji or bang bang gee, simply we call it chinese chicken salad

Not sure how its spelled but I'm calling it Chinese chicken salad with Japanese flair.  its a Salad with boiled chicken.. simple yet yummy.  The dressing maybe hard to make for some of you who don't have a oriental grocery store but I think lots of normal grocery stores are starting to stock their shelf with some common items.

**basically its a salad so you can use any veggies you can eat raw that you want.**

                                                 What I used:
bib lettuce  also known as butter or Boston ( I like how tender they are)
baby cucumber (I love them because they are cute and not much seeds)
tomatoes (Today I used zima yellow tomato)
green onion           
chicken breast

                                                for the dressing

1-1/2 Tbsp roasted sesame seed grounded
1-1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1-1/2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Miso (White) optional
if you want it spicy you can add Chinese hot bean paste to your taste (tobanjan)

Boil chicken, while its cooking,  Cut your veggies, set aside.

When chicken is done, drain well, cut into bite size cubes, set aside.

Making dressing:

grind the sesame seed.  I use this tiny Japanese Mortar known as suribachi.  Normally they are big but I have this tiny one.  You can also use coffee grinder.  Clean coffee grinder!

ungrounded sesame seed looks like this

When done should look like this

 white miso looks like this. I said the miso was optional because you may not want to buy a whole package just to use a Table spoon for the dressing but if you do have it in your fridge, please use.  I think it adds depth to your flavor.  If you buy it for the dressing, you can use the miso to make miso soup and other delicious Japanese dishes.

Combine all the ingredients until smooth. set aside.

 I used my triangle bowl today.  I lay the lettuce down,  then the cucumber and lay them out then the tomatoes, sprinkle the green onions leaving some for the top garnish, then cold chicken in the middle, sprinkle with green onion and wha la~ pretty right? serve with the dressing on the side.