Double Chocolate Almond Cookies

I haven’t baked in a long time and I feel that it will be a while for me to bake again next time :) I wanted to thank my coworkers for putting together a baby shower for me so I made these cookies with the help of my husband :) I got the recipe from Ina Garten’s show, and they’re my favorite so far! I love chocolate. I packaged them into little bags.

Indian Curry with Bread (Sangak)

I found a great place to get fresh bread out of the stone oven in Irvine’s persian market called Wholesome choice. I love to go there and the bread normally is baked every 20 minutes. There is always a line of people waiting for the next batch to come out. The bread is the persian bread called sangak (its a flat 2-3 feet long bread) with sesame seeds. When hot, its crunchy, chewy, and so good!

I normally cut it up in smaller rectangle shapes like this:

I made some curry using this recipe and it goes well with the bread!

Homemade Jam

For Christmas this year, I decided to make homemade jam. A friend of ours made one last year for Christmas and I thought it was a pretty unique and thoughtful gift for friends and family. So, I looked on the internet to see how to make home canned jam, this website was very informative and comprehensive.

Supplies needed:

1) I bought this kit for $13 on amazon.com:

2) I bought a box of home canning jars from Ralphs, they’re about $10 for 12. They come in different sizes but I liked the 4oz and 8oz jars- they seem perfect for jam!

3) Instead of buying a canning pot, i used a regular pasta pot with a rack on the bottom of the pot.

I made 2 kinds of jam: Blackberry and pinapple, they are in season around this time of the year.  Also i made them with low sugar, the regular recipes seemed a little too high in sugar content.

Low-Sugar Pinapple Jam Recipe:

  • 4 Cups of finely chopped pinapple
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lemon (sliced)
  • 1 box of sureJell pectin

Low-Sugar Blackberry Jam Recipe:

  • 3 Cups of chopped blackberry
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lime
  • 1 box of of no sugar needed SureJell Pectin

Directions:

  • Cook all ingredients in low heat, except (Pectin) for 15 minutes.
  • Add SureJell Pectin and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Pour hot jam over the sterilized jars and lids
  • Close jars and process in boiling bath as directed here in step 13. (This will seal the jars and allow the jam to be stored up to 12 months, but 6 months recommended)

I made 2 dozens of these!

French Apple Tart

Since its apple season, I made several of these apple tarts to Thanksgiving parties. These are simple to make, only needs Butter, sugar, apples. :)

Blueberry-Lime Cake

I got inspired from this recipe and used lime instead of lemon, but I think either one would be great.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries
Lime Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Grease and flour 9″ by 5″ metal loaf pan.
  3. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. In large bowl, in mixer at low speed, beat margarine and sugar just until blended.
  5. Increase speed to medium; beat about 5 minutes, until light and creamy.
  6. Reduce mixer speed to low; add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until well blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
  7. Alternately beat flour mixture and milk into egg mixture, mixing just until blended.
  8. Gently stir in blueberry.
  9. Spoon batter into loaf pan.
  10. Bake loaf 1 hour 5 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  11. Place sheet of waxed paper until wire rack.
  12. Cool loaf in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from pan and place on rack.
  14. With cake tester or skewer, prick top and sides of warm loaf all over.
  15. Prepare Lemon glaze: In small bowl, mix lemon juice and sugar. With pastry brush. brush top and sides of warm loaf with lemon glaze.
  16. Cool loaf completely on rack.

Applying A Glaze: Besides adding flavour to a cake, tea bread, or tart, a glaze can give a smooth, lustrous finish and seal in its moisture. Glazes can be as simple as melted jam, or a mixture of sugar and liquid. Set the cake over waxed paper to catch drips. For a flavor that permeates, prick the cake all over, then brush glaze over the top and sides of the still-warm cake.

My First Sprinkles Experience…

I went over to the Sprinkles in Newport Beach as I was craving something sweet today. I have had their cupcakes before from a friends house but never went to the store myself for the whole experience, and I wanted to see what the whole hype is about.

The store was small and it was packed inside.  There were seats outside where people enjoyed the cupcakes with coffee.

Then I bought two all time favorite flavors, the Red Velvet and the dark chocolate cupcakes and took it home.

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The cupcakes cost $3.50 each. I would say its a bit on the pricey side, but honestly I have not had a better cupcake elsewhere with this kind of cute packaging and frosting. Its not just the taste, but the whole experience, it just felt more special. I would go back for their cupcakes. It was definitely moist and soft, and the cake wasn’t too sweet, but the frosting for the chocolate cupcake was a bit too much for me, although there was a nice rich chocolate taste in the frosting. I think I liked the red velvet better. Maybe I will make the red velvet next time with their cupcake mix, its $14 and you can make  a dozen of them.

Apo Apo (Taiwanese)

Apo Apo is a new taiwanese restaurant located in Rowland Heights. I tried the traditional minced pork  with pork chop rice and it came with a combination of other side dishes. The pork chop didn’t taste oily and overall I am very satisfied with the food, i think its better than most other places i have tried.

apopo

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