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text 2017-12-29 21:01
16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 11 - Dōngzhì Festival

Tasks for Dōngzhì Festival: If you like Chinese food, tell us your favorite dish – otherwise, tell us your favorite dessert.


Alright, I admit I haven't made these in a while (so the pretty pics aren't mine), but the Chinese recipes are from a cookbook I brought from a trip to Hong Kong, and which I used to cook Chinese meals for my friends after my return, and the dessert recipe was a runaway success in our family for years after I'd discovered it in one of the first cookbooks I ever owned.


(Note: metric conversions are rounded to the nearest semi-decimal.  Trust me, they work well enough on that basis.)


Chinese Food

Cha Shiu Buns


Yeast Dough

1 tsp dry yeast

1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 cup (ca. 120 ml) warm water

6-7 oz (ca. 170-195 g) plain flour



10 oz (280 g) yeast dough (see above)

3 oz (ca. 85 g) sugar

1/2 tsp ammonia powder

1/4 tsp alkali water (or just salted water)

1-2 tbsp water

1 tbsp oil

4 oz (ca. 110 g) flour

1 tsp baking powder



6 oz (ca. 170 g) roast pork (= cha shiu)

1 tbsp finely chopped chives or spring onions



1 tsp oil

1 tsp white wine

1/2 cup (ca. 120 ml) stock

1 tsp oyster sauce (optional)

1 tsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

2 tsp cornflour mixed with

    1 tbsp water



Yeast Dough

Dissolve the dry yeast and sugar in warm water and leave for 10 minutes to prove.

Stift the flour on to a table and make a well in the centre to pour in the yeast solution.  Work in the flour to knead into a soft dough.  Place in a greased mixing bowl and cover with a towel.  Leave to prove for 10-12 hours.



Place the yeast dough, sugar, ammonia powder and alkali water in a big bowl.  Add the water and oil to the mix into a thick cream.

Sift the flour and baking powder together on a table and make a well in the centre.  Pour in the yeast cream. Slowly work in the flour and knead into a soft dough.



Dice or shred the cha shiu.



Heat the oil in a hot wok (or frying pan).  Sizzle wine and pour in the stock.   Season to taste and thicken the gravy with the cornflour solution.  Remove wok (pan) from the stove and stir in cha shiu and chopped chives / spring onions to mix well.  Dish and put into refrigerator to chill.


To complete:

Roll the soft dough into a long strip and cut into 24 equal portions.  Flatten each portion into a small round.  Place a tsp of filling in the centre of the round, then draw in the edges and form small pleats to wrap up the filling.  Stick a small squre piece of grease proof paper to the bottom of each bun.

Arrange the buns in a steamer, then steam over high heat for 8 minutes.  Remove and leave to cool.  Steam a second time for 2 minutes, then serve hot.



Lemon Chicken


2 boneless chicken breasts, about 6 oz. (ca. 170 g) each

2 lemons

1 beaten egg

1 cup (ca. 235 ml) cornflour

oil for deep frying

2 parsley sprigs or chunks of broccoli


Chicken Marinade

1 tbsp ginger juice

1 tbsp white wine

1 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp cornflour

1 pinch of pepper



1/2 cup (ca. 120 ml) stock

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp vinegar

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp wine

1 pinch of pepper


Gravy Mix

2 tbsp custard powder

1/2 tsp cornflour

3 tbsp water



Wash and trim the parsley / broccoli and set aside for later use.

Mix all the ingredients of the marinade.

Slice the chicken breasts into large thin pieces, then immerse in the marinade for 30 minutes.

Toss the chicken in the beaten egg, then coat evenly with the cornflour.

Heat the wok (or frying pan) until very hot and pour in the oil to bring to the boil.  Slide in the chicken to deep fry until golden brown.  Drain, cut and dish.

Squeeze out the juice of one lemon and mix with all the seasoning except the wine.

Heat another wok (or frying pan) and bring 2 tbsp of oil to the boil.  Sizzle the wine, then pour in the lemon mixture and season to taste.  Mix the custard powder and cornflour with the water, then stream into the sauce to thicken.  Blend in the last tbsp of oil and mask over the chicken.

Slice the other lemon and arrange on or around the platter with the parsley / broccoli.



Dessert: Sherry Cream


1 lime (or small lemon)

75 g (ca. 2 1/2 oz) icing sugar

125 ml (ca. 4 fl oz) sherry (preferably Amontillado or Oloroso)

300 g (ca 10.5 oz) double cream or crème fraîche (not: sour cream!)

2-3 drops of essence of vanilla or orange

a few slices of orange



Brush clean the lime / lemon in running water, then dry and julienne the peel (cut into thin tiny slices).  Squeeze out the juice of the lime / lemon and blend with the icing sugar until the sugar is dissolved.  Then mix in the sherry.

Whisk double cream / crème fraîche until foamy, then slowly mix in the lime juice and sherry blend, as well as the essence of vanilla / orange.  Fill cream into large serving bowl or small dessert bowls, sprinkle with lime / lemon peel juliennes, and decorate with orange slices.


(Note: This also works with port or madeira, if your taste runs more that way.)


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text 2017-11-25 16:33
Recipes, Recipes, Recipes, Diet and Gluten Free
Smoothie Recipes for Weight Loss : 30 Delicious Detox, Cleanse and Green Smoothie Diet Book - Troy Adashun
Just Dessert Recipes: The Cookbook For Easy Weekday After Dinner Treats To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth - Alisha Abbott,Aston Publisher,Amelia Cooke
Crock Pot: 500 Crock Pot Recipes Cookbook - Emily Addyson
Tasty Chocolate Dessert Recipes: Scrumptious Homemade Chocolate Desserts - Nora Aguro
School Lunches: 21 Delicious Gluten Free Recipes - Carrie Adair
Easy Gluten Free Bread Recipes Cookbook: So Good Your Family Will Never Know The Difference - Mary Aden

Let me start by saying that School Lunches was an interesting assortment of "lunches" but not something I would have sent to school with my kids (when they were in Public School), because they were just not practical. The other thing with this book is that while they would be good for homeschooling lunches, this book is listed as not available (or at least the copy I got for free is not available). 


The other books were quite interesting and I marked quite a few for making with my kids for meals and desserts and for gifting. 


I read these all in one sitting, because my asthma started up strong (lots of drugs) and to top it off I got a sinus and ear infection (more drugs). I am just super tired and the birthday curse hit again. The birthday curse is when we celebrate 5 birthday in 3 days (2 on 22nd, my daughter and a cousin's daughter, my bil, my birthday and another cousin's daughter). 


I do recommend the books. I thoroughly enjoyed the smoothie book and think I will try making a few of those. 



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review 2017-09-19 12:47
Pumpkins and Fall
50 Delicious Pumpkin Dessert Recipes - Recipes For Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin Brownies, Blondies and More! (The Ultimate Pumpkin Desserts Cookbook - The ... Desserts and Pumpkin Recipes Collection 8) - Pamela Kazmierczak

I know that there are many jokes about it being Pumpkin Spice time, but this book is definitely for those who love pumpkin. 


I was marking so many recipes to make with my girls. I will be putting pumpkin on my list for things to buy next shopping trip so we can make them. 



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text 2017-09-04 19:45
Sunday, err Monday, We Soup! And Dessert!

The holiday weekend in the states threw me off, I know waiting one extra day to see what I ate probably killed you all ;)





An auspicious beginning, but stick with me!




See, good thing you stuck with me. Photographing appetizing only the way soup can, lol.




As you can tell, this soup was super easy to make and only took around 20mins. If you remember my shrimp soup from last year, this broth was similar to it. For my money though, I'd make the shrimp one, this was good but, eh. I also have never wanted a spork more in life, the noodles were an adventure to eat with a spoon. I know, I know, I should have had chop sticks on hand but a two year old has more finesse with them than I do.




All great adventures begin with a single step, and butter. 



During one of the wild stimulating conversations I had with the bf, I learned he never has tried rice pudding. Mind blown. This guy loves rice and lives in the midwest! Sacrilegious, I say. 




MOAR BUTTER. You're also looking at my $3 crock pot garage sale grab. I'm very proud of it and how worth it was to make the bf carry it around for an hour before we could make it back to the car. 



Sweet dessert rice and made the house smell good. The three hour wait was lame-o and I couldn't eat much because of the use of 2% milk but it was worth it for the bf to turn to me and sweetly say, "Can you make this with chocolate milk?". 

You win some, you lose some.


Is it finally soup weather in your neck of the woods? Show me your food!

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text 2017-08-06 17:00
Sunday, We Salad! And Dessert!

The weather has been so beautiful where I'm at, it's a little hot but knowing what is just around the corner I'll take as much sun as I can. I think I'm going to make this the last Sunday Salad and go back to Soup in September :)  


Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Chicken




The recipe called for golden balsamic vinegar, Target didn't have it, so I just used the dark I had in the pantry. It probably made the taste stronger, but we loved it so, You're not the boss of me, recipe!



I let these babies soak for 2hrs because I had time and I like things with a stronger taste. Plus, I hate when my bath time gets cut short, so here's to you, chicken!



Well, here's to you until I fry you to death. Mwwwhahahahhahaha!




STRAWBERRIES! I love me some strawberries and avocado. The new peanut butter and jelly, I say!




I like silvered almonds better than sliced, so again, "I do what I want!". Feta cheese, I could sing odes to feta cheese on salads. A must!



Look at those beautiful bowls :)  This salad was so simple but I'm telling you, the taste combos, especially the seasoning on chicken, blended together so awesome. I loved this one and so did the bf. Yummy simplicity. 


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting



If there any thing more fun than flouring a pan?! Probably.




Drink every time the wrapped sweet potato photo bombs!




Or my huge foot.




I haven't made a from scratch cake for a while, I forgot how long they take. They take a long time.



Bf went to the grocery store this time, he didn't get the light sour cream. On the outside, I frown. On the inside, I'm all a tingle. 



You will definitely need three lemons for this, 3 tablespoons of zest is no joke. 

Does anyone else feel kind of weird when you don't need the juice from a lemon, just zest, and leave a massacred, looks like a serial killer went at it, lemon on your counter top? I always do a quick, "Thank you for your noble sacrifice" and toss in trash.



Look at that lemon poppy seed popping cake!



Sometimes, I wish I didn't visually see what goes in my dessert. You get a stick of butter, you get a stick of butter, EVERYONE GETS A STICK OF BUTTER! 

Seriously though, don't add up the butter in this cake.




The frosting calls for a teaspoon of lemon juice. Get out of here with that nonsense I say! I added the whole lemon because lemon desserts are kind of my thing and I want NEED to taste that sweet sweet sour taste. Didn't make the icing too runny either. Bonus. 




The cake was nice and fluffy but the recipe suggests you put leftovers in the fridge. When I had a piece after refrigeration, it made it more sort of hard/dry than I like. If you can eat most of it before refrigerating, I suggest you do. Otherwise, my lemony icing was awesome and the cake part had a nice taste but it wasn't as strong or awe inspiring as I would have liked. A box mix would come kind of close to this and would save you a butt load of time. 


Show me your salads and desserts!









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