Friday, December 21, 2012

Udon Noodle Salad

This is a favorite salad amongst my friends and it's very simple to put together.  Here are the recipes for the salad and for the dressing.  The dressing is really the key to the success of this salad.  I highly recommend sticking with the dressing recipe as is.  The salad recipe can be customized and tweaked much more with different vegetables and meats and even with nuts.

Asian Dressing Recipe
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sause
1/4 cup sesame seed oil
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 teaspoon wasabi paste

Udon Noodle Salad Recipe
mixed salad greens
bell pepper (sliced thinly)
cherry tomatoes
cooked shrimp or prawns (lightly boiled)
cooked udon noodles

I've also posted videos on how to put the dressing and salad together.  Here they are:


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fashion Fairy Tale Cake

I made this Fashion Fairy Tale Cake for my daughter Sophia's 6th Birthday Party.  The party theme was Fashion Fairy Tale.  The guests created their own outfits.  We provided fabrics, glitter, fabric glues and pins, and we had a fashion show at the end.  It was so much fun!  Even the boys participated.  :)

This cake is another version of my Hydrangea cake, except it's all pink of course.  The topping is a super cute jewelry hanger that I found at a store.  It really inspired the color of the cake.
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Princess Cake

I made this Princess Cake for my niece's birthday.  It's another version of my Pink Rose Cake.  It's two layers with green ribbon for accent and a tiara for the topping.  It's quite big.  The top layer was more than enough for the entire party.  But many of the guests asked for a slice to take home, so it didn't go to waste.
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Simple Whipped Cream Icing

I've had many requests for my icing recipe.  I usually use a product called Pastry Pride in my baking, but it's only available in certain stores like Smart & Final and Costco.  So here is another recipe that uses basic ingredients that you should be able to find in any grocery or market.  It's a whipped cream based icing and it's stabilized with gelatin.  So it will hold it's shape very well.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hydrangea Cake

This cake was made for a friend's bridal shower.  It is a dark chocolate cake with chocolate mousse filling.  It's decorated using a 2D tip with different shades of blues and lavenders to mimic hydrangea flowers.

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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Simple and Delicious Brownies

The kids and I made brownies for their Auntie Lisa's Birthday.  This is a simple but delicious Brownie recipe:

Step 1.  Mix these dry ingredients in a bowl
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Step 2.  Crack open 8 eggs into a bowl

Step 3.  Add 4 teaspoon vanilla into the eggs

Step 4. Melt 2 cups butter in a pot

Step 5. Add 4 cups sugar into the melted butter and stir

Step 6. Add the eggs into the butter and sugar mix and stir

Step 7. Add the dry ingredients and stir but do not over mix

Step 8. Pour into a 11x15 baking pan that's been pre-oiled and covered with wax paper

Step 9. Bake in a pre-heated 350F over for 30 to 40 minutes

Step 10.  Let cool, cut, and serve!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rice Crispy Treats for Fourth of July

I made rice crispy treats with my daughters for the fourth of July.  We forgot to add the food coloring to the melted marshmallows, so we had to improvise and add them when we were mixing in the rice crispies.  They still turned out alright and we had fun!

12 oz rice crispy cereal
10 oz marshmallow
1/3 cup butter
blue and red food coloring

1. In medium heat, mMelt the butter in a big pot
2. Add the marshmallow to the butter and stir until all melted, then remove from the stove
3. Add the blue and red food coloring and swirl into the melted marshmallow, but don't overmix
4. Add the rice crispies into the melted marshmallow and stir
5. Line baking pan with plastic wrap and mold the rice crispies into the pan
6. Use more plastic wrap to pat down and mold the rice crispies into the pan
7. Let cool before slicing into squares

Pana Cotta with Berries

I made these Pana Cottas for a prayer that my parents held in their home.  These are simple pana cottas with fresh raspberries and blueberries lightly drizzled with apricot syrup.  The pana cottas are not very sweet and these are best served when chilled.  They are refreshing deserts on warm summer days.  I will have a video on how to make these very soon.
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Monday, June 18, 2012

Cupcake Flower Bouquets

These cupcake bouquets were ordered for a special party.  There are three types of flowers: hydrangeas, roses, and chrysanthemums.  The hydrangea and rose cupcakes are standard French sponge cake.  The chrysanthemum cupcakes are carrot cake.  These bouquets are set on 9 inch diameter foam balls.

My husband and I were up almost all night putting the bouquets together.  The video was shot at night and is definitely not a great production, but we're just happy we were able to finish the bouquets.  They were going to be picked up in the morning.  My husband made special carriers for the bouquets so that they don't tip over during transport.  The carrot cupcakes were especially heavy since they are a lot denser than the French sponge cake.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ocean Beach Cake

I created this pair of cakes for my daughter's 3rd grade end of the year celebration.  All the 3rd grade classes went to a public pool for a field trip.  I thought an ocean beach theme would be appropriate.  There were 3 sets of classes that day, with each class having around 34 students, so I had to make sure there was enough cake.

I made the water by air brushing blue food color, and extra dollops of white icing to mimic ocean foam.  The sand bars are made with chocolate icing covered with brown sugar.  The little ocean animals on the beach are pre-made sugar animals that I bought.  The fish around the sides of the cake are multi-color goldfish crackers with a few more sugar animals.  And the kelp fronds are made from fruit rollups that I cut out and curled.

One cake is dark cholocate and the other is french sponge cake.

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Graduation and Birthday Cake for Paul

I made this cake to celebrate Paul's graduation and birthday.  Paul is my best friend's son who graduated this past May.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but it is a huge cake.  I used Wilton sugar sheets for the lettering, the solid black stripes, and the lace pattern around the sides and top.  I needed to prepare this cake quickly, so the sugar sheets saved me a lot of time.  I'll definitely try them again.

The cake had one layer of carrot cake and one layer of french sponge.
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Dessert Tasting for Khuyen's Wedding

I will be creating the dessert table for my friend Khuyen's wedding.  I invited the bride and groom to be and her bridesmaids to come try out different desserts that could be served.   These are the candidates for the wedding dessert table:

  • Cream Puffs with Green Tea smoothie filling
  • Mini Tarts with Custard and Strawberry
  • Panna Cotta with Raspberries and Blueberries
  • Kahlua and Cream cookies
  • Russian Tea cookies
  • French Cruller with Honey Glaze and Cinnamon Sugar
  • Wedding Cake Sample - 1 layer of French Sponge Cake and 1 layer of Red Velvet with Strawberry and Cream filling
  • Carrot Cake cupcakes
  • Chocolate Truffles - Amaretto, Rum Cherry, and Espresso
  • Fresh Strawberries
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sugar Snap Peas Stir Fry


3 cups sugar snap peas (about 10 oz)
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tall Cake Base

These are the instructions for making the base for a tall cake. This base is to be wrapped using your favorite ribbon, so it has to be as thick as the ribbon that you wish to use. This base will give the illusion that your cake is much taller than it actually is.

Thick Styrofoam (1 in thick)
Plain Cardboard
Poster Board
Wax Paper
Glue Gun
Craft Scalpel

Step 1.  Trace the shape of your cake pan onto thick styrofoam (1x), plain cardboard (2x), and poster board (2x)

Step 2. Cut out the circles with the craft scalpel.

Step 3.  Wrap the poster board circles with wax paper and use tape to secure them.

  Step 4. Use the glue gun to glue layers together as shown in the picture.

Step 5. Cut out a strip of regular white paper to the same thickness as the base then glue it all around the edge of the base.

Step 6. Once you are ready to put your cake together for decoration, wrap the base with your choice of ribbon.

French Sponge Cake

1 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
6 large egg yolks
6 large egg whites
2/3 cup sugar (for egg yolks)
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp sugar (for egg whites)
6 tbsp salted butter (melted)
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Step 1. Sift cake flour and baking powder into a bowl, then set aside.

Step 2. Separate egg whites from egg yolks.

Step 3. Beat egg yolks and 2/3 cup sugar together, when mixture is thick and light yellow color add 2 tsp vanilla extract, continue beating for 2 more minutes.

Step 4. In a separate bowl, mix together 6 tbsp melted salted butter, 2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp oil.

Step 5. Pour butter mixture to the egg yolk mixture and hand mix.

Step 6. Add flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and hand mix.

Step 7. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy.

Step 8. Add 4 tbsp sugar to egg white mixture and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.

Step 9. Gently fold in a quarter of egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then repeat for the rest of the egg whites.

Step 10. Pour batter into 10 inch pan that is oiled and covered in wax paper, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes in 350F until toothpick come out dry.

Step 11. IMPORTANT STEP - To keep the cake from collapsing later, once you remove the cake from the oven, drop the cake pan from a foot high onto a flat surface.

Step 12. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then remove into a cooling rack.  Your cake is now ready to be decorated.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Pastel Roses Wedding Cake

This wedding cake was for my daughter's kindergarten class.  They celebrated the wedding of the Letter Q with the Letter U.  The wedding was a big event for the kindergarteners, the parents, and the teachers.  I made the wedding cake, another parent played the flute, another parent did the videography, and many others contributed to the great event.

This was my first time using this design.  Each layer of the cake sits on a thick base lined with a ribbon matching the color of the layer.  I think it creates a nice separation between the layers and gives the illusion that each layer is very tall.

Here are the instructions on making the cake base.

Here is the recipe for the French Sponge Cake recipe that I used for the cake.

And here is a video on how I decorated the top layer.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

French Cruller Donuts

Donut Recipe

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups flour

  1. Pour water into a pot.
  2. Add the butter and sugar into the water.  Stir the mixture a little to dissolve the sugar but there no need to break up the butter since it will melt.
  3. Put the pot on high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.  You don't need to stir too often, just wait until it comes to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat to medium.
  5. Add the flour into the pot and stir, and stir, and stir.  This is the hard part.  
  6. Keep stirring the mixture until a think film of dough sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Place the dough into the mixer while still hot.
  8. Mix the dough until it cools down.  There will be steam rising from the dough.  When there's almost no more steam, then it's ready for the eggs.
  9. Add an egg into the dough.  Wait until the egg is fully mixed in.
  10. Add the other eggs one at a time, always waiting until the egg is fully mixed in.
  11. After the whole eggs are incorporated into the dough, then add the additional egg whites.  The dough should be softer and smoother now, soft enough to put into a pastry bag.
  12. Prepare a pastry bag with a 1M tip.
  13. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper coated with oil.
  14. Pipe donut circles into the baking sheet.
  15. Cut the parchment paper so that each donut is in it's own square.
  16. Prepare a pot of oil, bring it to 350 degrees then put the heat to medium.
  17. Drop one donut circle into the oil, carefully pulling the parchment paper off.
  18. Cook the donut until golden brown on each side.
  19. Remove the cooked donut and place into a cooling rack.
  20. You can then glaze or sugar the donut with your choice of glaze or sugar.  Two of our favorite recipes are below.

Glaze Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp milk

Cinnamon Sugar Recipe

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar

Spaghetti Squash Asian Salad

In this video, Anh prepares Spaghetti Squash Asian Salad.  It's very light and refreshing.  It's a great salad for spring and summer parties.