Archives for posts with tag: from scratch

Made Tom Yum Goong noodle soup. For those who don’t know, this soup is hot, sour and spicy made with shrimp stock, one of the popular dish you’ll find in Thai menus. I’ve never made it before. Because my sister made it a few days ago, and had leftover ingredients (galangal, kaffir lime leaf), she gave them to me. I happen to have some lemongrass, so I tried making it today (following Pailin’s recipe), and added noodles to make it a full meal.

I can’t tell you if the ones I made are similar to the ones in the restaurants. I haven’t had tom yum goong in a long long time, so don’t remember the exact taste. This one I made had all the flavor I could remember. My critics ate it for the first time and gave it two thumbs up.



It’s been awhile since I baked soft bread rolls. Yesterday, just had time to make dough and left it overnight. IMG_6973Only took 15 minutes to baked these. Loved the fluffiness of the bread. Nothing beats fresh batch of bread rolls right out of the oven for breakfast! I haven’t quite perfected this recipe yet, so I won’t put it down. Once I have this down, I’ll be to share it.IMG_6976

We had some friends over Sunday, and I made a coffee cake roll for dessert. Since I had leftover frosting, I decided to bake my nephew a birthday! Yesterday, I brought a mango (his favorite). After slicing the mango, I realized it wasn’t enough to cover the whole cake. So I covered the top with chocolate sprinkles.

Happy birthday to Mr. T, whose turning 8 tomorrow. He’s the sweetest little guy I know. img_6020


Ah Lo wanted to bake for his classmates this Valentine’s day. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time today because we spent a good chunk of time at Mr. Piggy’s friend’s RE&G party. We started in the morning, took a long break (party and then haircut) before baking. Didn’t start baking until the evening time. This is our first time making lemon bars, so don’t know how it will turn out. Will make another batch if the chef thinks it’s good.  screen-shot-2017-02-13-at-9-56-00-am

UPDATE: the lemon bars didn’t turn out the way I hoped (sad face). So we rushed to Safeway and got some sugar cookies to pass out to his class instead. I realized this is our last year we will be making V-day treats. Since Ah Lo will be going off to middle school next year and I don’t think middle schoolers pass out treats to their classes. Over the years, we made cards, baked, did all kinds of crafts together for V-Day (much better than store bought). I enjoyed spending every minute (with them) making the special treats. These great memories will always hold a place in my heart.

Need some hot soupy meal to warm the bodies – I went for Bun Rieu (Vietnamese Crab and Tomato Noodle Soup) from scratch. Made a big old pot so we will have it for tomorrow night as well! img_4869

‘Tis the season of tomatoes! I’ve been making and storing my own tomato sauce for awhile now. Sure, like anything else, it takes time. However, it gives me peace of mind to know that I use fresh ingredients with no preservatives or no food coloring. Best part, it’s the taste! Because there’s an abundance of supply of tomatoes in the market these days, you really don’t need much. It’s pretty simple to make.


1) buy some fresh organic tomatoes

2) boil a pot of water, and put a slit at the bottom of each tomato

3) boil the tomatoes for 2-3 minutes

4) remove them form pot and let them cool (i’m too anxious and often burn myself).The skin should fall off pretty easily

5) garlic, olive oil, chop and sprinkle some fresh herbs (this time, I used fresh rosemary and thyme), add salt and pepper to the mushy tomatoes. Since my boys are not big fans of eating tomatoes in chunks, i blend it to make a smooth sauce.

6) of course, the easy part is put it in the container and store them in the fridge for future use.  This is a great multi-purpose tomato sauce because it use it for pasta, salad, and even on stir fry!


Dai Bee’s birthday is coming up, so Ah Lo and I got busy the last week to bake him his birthday cakes (2, one for his friends and one for the family). Yesterday (Friday) was the only day we have available. From birthday invitation to activities, he took the lead planning his own party with his friends. The party was very casual, no decorations, no special themes, no party favors, nothing fancy. Just his friends meeting up after school, shoot some hoops at the nearby park, then back home. A simple homemade dinner, a fun movie and a cake, were all it took for a fun party.

This is the first party where it dawn on me I really don’t need all that hoopla. I realized the boys had so much fun, just being around each other, joking around and that’s all that matters. Some of the boys had their guitar from school. So they played some songs to entertain the rest of the group. It was just that simple.

Today, celebrating with his cousins and my side of the family, was also fairly easy going. After dinner, we watched a chinese movie, and then cake.

Cake for his friends (coffee cake roll):


Cake for the bigger crowd (white cake with mango filling):


Ah Lo wanted a birthday party with his friends and family. So we had to split the event in two days. Should have combined it. What was I thinking? While the kids were watching movie (Rush Hour I) yesterday, I spent a lot of time prepping for dinner today. My biggest mistake was trying to do too much. From baking a cake for him to making the entire dinner, it was over my head. I didn’t know what I was thinking, clearly I wasn’t. I just slaved away in the kitchen making pasta with wild mushroom sauce, caesar salad, mango-coconut jelly, and garlic bread! Yes, I made my own garlic bread. It was a big hit, so I didn’t mind the work at all. Since the birthday boy doesn’t care for mushrooms, I had to make something else for the kids – beef tacos. I didn’t take pictures of the food because I wanted to make sure everyone was fed. I had the chance to snap the picture of the cake before the M&M’s started to melt.


Before he went to bed, Ah Lo came over and gave me a big hug and pecked me on the cheeks, thanking me for the parties. “I know it’s a lot of work. I appreciate it.” My heart melted as quickly as the m&m’s on his cake. What work?!

Threw a birthday party for the Girl. This was a crazy week for me. It was a short week and every night there was something to do in the evening. Since we were out of town tomorrow, I had to put on some OT hours to get this party going. I knew for sure I wouldn’t have the time to cook anything because of my busy schedule. The only thing I could do was to bake a cake.

And this is what a birthday cake looks like for a high school junior! It was a big hit!


After making the nian gao (年糕) last year, I bought different molds and couldn’t wait to use it this year!  This was one of the molds I bought and it turned out beautifully. So the tip of making the nian gao is 1-1-1 (sugar-liquid-glutinous flour). Everyone loved it!