Thursday, December 16, 2010

California or Bust?

Tomorrow is the Christmas lunch at work and I was contemplating what to bring or to bring anything at all. This really wasn't suppose to be so hard if I could use my car. The car is working but the roads are another issue. We had a big dump of snow today and the roads have yet to be cleared. Waiting patiently but they better have done something by the time I have to work in the afternoon.

Anyways, back to the original problem. There is a limited amount of food in the house so I have to make something with what I have. Savoury dish or sweet dessert? Silly question for me. Of course the latter. Here is my attempt to make chocolate cream cheese brownie bites. The recipe was not all that hard. Pretty easy but not sure about the end product.

As soon as I mixed the cream cheese ingredients, I knew this was not going to come out as it should. It was so runny. I halved the cream cheese recipe cause I knew I was no going to make so much. It came out with gravy consistency but I am sure it should be quite thick like meringue. Oh well. Tried my best.

As you can see, the cream cheese was more like icing to the thick brownie batter.

I'm sure it will be fine but definitely need work in the presentation department.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Little Christmas Cheer

This was a special order for a cocktail party coming up. This first arrangement is actually for the hostess. She was so kind to host the party at her home and I thought she could have a little arrangement cause the other arrangements are to be given away. I wanted to add little ornaments but I ended up just adding ribbon and baby's breath. The baby's breath makes it look like snow. I just love the simplicity of it. Sometimes simple is better.

The following are going to be on the food tables and given away at the end of the night.

I was told there were going to be 2 food tables, one big and one smaller. So I thought a set of "twins" and a matching centre will be nice. They can be placed together or separated and still look nice.

Right twin

Left twin

Centre piece. When I delivered it earlier, it ended up on a stand in the living room. It was a better choice as it was in front of these huge windows and it really show case it's magnificence. It's hard to see in the pictures but I sprayed all the arrangements with this gold glitter. It definitely adds that little glitter and glamor to them.

Shopping Therapy

I couldn't help it. Fabricland sent me a flyer of their current sale. For me not participating would mean I have no means of being creative. And I am sure they don't want that.

I plan to make 2 packs of fat quarters. Can you believe all this was less than $35. I figure if Walmart sells a fat quarter for $2 each, then you have to beat them by finding fabric less then $7. This way, each quarter you cut out will be less then $2 each. I think I am so smart but I really hope my math is correct. So each fabric I found was $6.30/meter or less. Some were even $4 for a meter. Oh how I love a good sale find. I find that is what gives me the endorphins to keep shopping. So how I can't convince my wallet to grow with more sale finds.

I am sure I drove the lady at the store crazy. I would bring her 5-6 bolts of fabric 3 different time and only ask for half a meter each. So much writing for so little fabric. I had to restrain myself as I didn't even go into the other colors. I think the reds, yellows, greens were disappointed that I didn't pick them. I really was going to buy more but I set a limit for myself today. Seriously, if I didn't, I would have a small quilt fabric store in my sewing room.

I love that the big chain fabric store always cut more then you ask. That means I will have some scraps left over for a massive postage stamp quilt that I have been saving for awhile. I have been saving every scrap fabric and cutting it into 1 inch squares so I can create this kaleidoscope of a quilt. We will see how it will turn out as it is so many colors are involved. I will have to show another time.

I will have to get cutting and packaging the fat quarter squares like the companies. And I will have to come up with a catchy name to name my color collection. Then find a pretty ribbon to tie it up.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


For the family of my parent's dear friends. I hope the flowers will express our sympathy for your loss.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quilt Interuppted

This is the joint quilt project that is currently in progress.

This is the drawing of the quilt and it was done using a quilt planning program my partner found on the internet. I was planning to get the program too but cause I have a Macbook, it will cost me $100 USD. Yeah, no way.

My partner and I spend a good hour or two at the fabric store trying to find the best color coordination. I think we found the jackpot. It also made it easier that the recipient's favorite color is blue and yellow. The colors are traditionally country but I think we found a balance to not make it look centuries old.

For some reason, I made so many mistakes try to sew the second row. But I didn't make a mistake on any other rows? Go figure. Unfortunately, the last picture cut out the bottom of the quilt by one row. My cameraman was sleeping. But I assure you that the quilt is symmetrical and uniform all the way through, just like the drawing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hainese/Singapore Chicken Rice

The idea of this famous chicken dish in southeast Asian is simple but I assure you that you won't forget the complexity of the flavours of this dish.

First you chop the green onions, garlic and ginger for the soup/broth. I kind of screwed up but I forgot to chop shallots until it was almost too late. So that is why you won't see the shallots but I assure you that they are just as important as the other ingredients.

When you have all the veggies chopped, it is time to make the magical chicken broth. As if the ginger, garlic, green onions and shallots are not aromatic enough on its own, you have to use half and half of seasame oil and regular oil. See the light toasting of the veggies. Can't you just smell it? I can, since that smell can linger in the kitchen air for a bit.

Next, when you decide that there is enough garlic and ginger smell in your kitchen to ensure hours of candle burning, make the broth. Add the can soup broth and chicken soup powder to your lightly toasted garlic/ginger mix. This is not as au natural or how the cooks in Singapore would do it, but I also don't make restaurant amount of chicken rice. The cooks would have big cylinders of chicken broth that would have over 50 chickens cooking in it. Even if I wanted to do it the original way, there is not enough chicken fat on that one little chicken to match the flavours. So I cheat. There I said it.

Now that the broth is in a rolling boil, torture the poor chicken in the broth.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat more seasame/canola oil till hot and add more green onions and minced garlic. The special ingredient you need to fry with the onions and garlic is pandan leaves. It gives it a woody flavour that is distinct to south Asia cooking. Now that there is not chance of your kitchen ever smelling normal again, fry the 5 cups of washed rice with the new onion/garlic mix.

Meanwhile, your chicken should be done. To keep with the authenticity of this recipe, I will share with you the secret step the cooks in Singapore swear by. Immediately dunk the whole chicken in ice cold water. This step supposedly makes the skin separates from the meat. And I think it also cools the chicken down enough to make it easier to handle for the chopping part.

Leave the chicken in the ice bath and back to the burnt, I mean, toasting rice/garlic/onion mix. Strain the delicious broth and add it to the fried rice. I had to transfer the rice into the rice cooker bowl so I know to add just the right amount of broth.

You are drooling now, aren't you?! We are almost there, I assure you. While the rice is cooking away, go and chop the chicken into bite size. Once you are done chopping, then your rice should be done. It probably won't take the cooks in Singapore that long, but I want to make sure I still have all my fingers for the eating part.

TAA DAA! I saved the best pic for last. That sauce over the chicken is a little concoction we made. It is a mixture of soy sauce, seasame oil and crushed fried garlic. Gum will be served for dessert after. 8)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Purple Haze- DONE!

I was actually finished this jacket a few days ago but I got side tracked by some cooking on demand and a joint quilt project. It was painstaking to sew the edges by hand so it would have an invisible seam but it was worth it. I know my mom would definetly give it a thumbs up if she sees the extra effort. Honestly, she probably would love it either way but I would still get an ear full on how to make it look better. She use to be a seamstress so there is much pressure and expectations.

I will have to show you the pictures of the joint quilt project another time but here is the start of the other jacket. The more I look at the fabric colors, the more I feel they are too harsh. But I am sure it will turn out o.k.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Purple Haze

This is the first of the 2 jackets I will be making. I started with the purple fabric. I don't know why but so far, I have made mistakes every step of the way. Only one was not reversible. Auughhh...wasted fabric! Oh well, I guess it will be thrown in the scrap pile and used for something else later.

This is the inside lining using the complementary fabric. It is really pretty light lavender color with a bit of soft yellow.

The outside is done, so is the inside cotton batting. I just have to sew all three pieces together and we will be done. And...GO!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Secret Christmas Present Project 1 of 3

It was madness at Fabricland this weekend. Mind you, they had a "Madness Sale" for members this weekend but I haven't had to wait in line as long as Christmas sales. I think it was probably about 35-45 minutes in line to pay. Enough of my complaining. Let me show you what I bought.

Patterns were only $1.99. The pattern on the right is for our future dog. I know, that is so cheesy and my mom will probably say it is a waste of money. So please don't tell her. And the dress, why not. It was pretty.

Now to the main thing I going for. Last month I had made myself one of theses jackets (shorter one)to wear around the house. The pattern doesn't call for lining but I made a lining and sandwiched it with quilt batting. Oh so warm. I love the natural cotton quilt batting since it is so breathable and doesn't feel heavy. I love it so much I think I will make 2 of the same jackets for some special ladies in my life.

These fabrics will be for the first jacket. A very Oriental feel.

These fabric will be for the second jacket. More country look but vibrant.

Step 1: pin pattern to fabric and cut.
Step 2: Tomorrow as it is time to go to bed.