Delicious Lemon Tart

Posted by on Feb 5, 2017 in Around the House, Blog, Desserts, In the Kitchen, Pies/Tarts | 0 comments

I LOVE lemon tarts.  My husband LOOOOOOOVES lemon tarts.  When we were in Paris, we both “discovered” this amazing dessert (Tarts au Citron!) so ever since then, I have been constantly trying new recipes to make awesome tarts at home.

Most of the time, lemon tart is a great dessert in the summer – refreshing, not too sweet, and just the right kick of lemony sourness.  But this time, in February, I had a hankering to make it for a friend’s dinner party.  They are often great at being my guinea pigs for new recipes!

The result?  it is delicious.  Just so smooth and the right amount of lemony-ness.  I just didn’t tell them how much butter went into it! (Ignorance is bliss for many dessert eaters!). Note that the original recipe actually uses Meyer Lemons.  Which is this beautiful sweet kind of lemons.  Well I couldn’t find any, so I used plain old yellow large lemons from the store. It works out just fine!

Lemon Tart

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100 Day Celebration Cake for my baby girl

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Around the House, Baby Chan, Blog, Cakes, Desserts, Family, In the Kitchen | 0 comments

Part 2 of asian tradition: the 100th day celebration for baby!  The day to celebrate and wish for the baby to live 100 years.  (I believe this tradition originates from Korea).  As we did a full moon celebration for Abigail’s full moon, we kept this one low key.  Immediate family for a dinner only.  And since I didn’t make a cake for the full moon celebration, I’m not missing the chance this time!

I wanted to make this cake extra special, so a week or so prior, I started planning little elements I would add to the cake: Sparkly Cake Topper, her name in Royal Icing, and Butterfly fondant accents.

  1. Sparkly Cake Topper

Since I don’t have a very cool machine like a Cricut to do this sort of thing, I did it old school way – by hand/xacto knife.  The Dollar store had a pack of 2 silver glitter cardstock for $1.50.  I took a 1/4 of it to make this.  (save the rest of course).  Printed the design on regular paper first, and then traced it on the cardstock. Carefully slice it out.  And then traced the 2nd copy, but flipped (Mirrored) so that it will fit on the other side.  I chose to make 2 layers as the cardstock wasn’t super sturdy and I didn’t want the sign to wobble.  Hot glue 2 toothpicks on, and then put the 2 layers together…voila:

Sparkly 100 Day Cake Topper

Sparkly 100 Day Cake Topper

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Sugar Cookie Mania

Posted by on Jan 15, 2017 in Around the House, Blog, Cookies, Desserts, In the Kitchen | 0 comments

To be honest, cookie making is not my forte. I made some in the past, and were never satisfied.  Tried my hand at decorating cookies a few years back, but didn’t have the patience (nor read proper instructions/tips to make royal icing properly) and really haven’t tried it again since.

Queue 2016 Christmas.  As I’m on maternity leave, it has completely kicked start my drive for baking (in between baby napping and such).  After weeks of reading online recipes, tips and tricks from cookie experts and royal icing decorating ideas, I was pumped!

Made a basic sugar cookie recipe I found (googled “Easy Sugar Cookies”) and found this one. It tasted terrific! and super easy to make.  I didn’t follow the icing recipe on the site as I didn’t want to put fresh milk in a recipe..didn’t seem…good to keep not refrigerated after?  So back to google and found a recipe that uses Meringue Powder – don’t recall the source..but here is the recipe:

  • 5 T. meringue powder
  • 3/4 C. very warm water
  • 1 t. cream of tartar
  • 2 1/4 pounds powdered sugar (I weigh it—2 lb. 4 oz. or 36 oz.)
  • 2 tsp. almond (or vanilla) extract (oil free/alcohol free)

I added a bit of lemon juice (for flavouring) and gel food colouring.

I chose a few shapes (mittens, snowflake, circles) and got to mixing the colours and decorating!

XmasSugarCookies

Ta da!  Packaged these up as gifts.

DecoratedXmasCookies

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Owning a Samoyed means no privacy

Posted by on Jan 8, 2017 in Around the House, Blog, Ellie our Samoyed, Family | 0 comments

yup. the title says it all. Owning a Samoyed means no privacy.  I actually find it endearing.  Ellie has this ability to turn into a ninja dog and sneak up on you.  Where she usually pads around pretty heavy footed and dog tags tinkering (hence we call her Tinkerbell sometimes), once in awhile, she sure can give you a startle.

Hi! whacha doing?

Hi! whacha doing?

This is a pic I took from the bathtub…while I am taking a bath.  lol. she totally sneaked up on me.

Samoyed_noPrivacy2 Samoyed_noPrivacy

lol. silly girl.

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Baby’s Full Moon Celebration Macaron Favours

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Around the House, Baby Chan, Blog, Cookies, Desserts, Family, In the Kitchen | 0 comments

My baby girl is about to be 1 month – already?! Where does the time go…(rhetorical answer: feedings, changing diapers, admiring, taking photos).

Chinese tradition calls for a “full moon” celebration – basically the baby has now passed the “everything is ok” mark and everyone can come and see the baby and celebrate her birth.  I think in the olden days, they may not even name the baby until after it has pass the full moon.  This celebration can be as small or as large as you want. Some people go all out.  (note, many chinese households now also adopted the 100 days celebration instead to celebrate).

We have 40 people coming for Abigail’s full moon – a mixture of family and In laws’ friends – to be held at a chinese restaurant banquet.  Though I wasn’t exhilarated at the thought of having to “make” something so early into my new mommyhood…I also didn’t want to not contribute to the celebration.  I obliged and allow my husband to “outsource” the cake.  But I wanted to make the favours for the guests.  I decided on macarons for them.  In hindsight, it was a lot of work and time when the baby is only 3 weeks old leading up to the dinner. Definitely not recommended for anyone thinking of doing this for their baby’s party.  but everything worked out, as they often do, so here I am sharing the pictures!

I wanted to do 3-4 macarons in a gift bag of different colours and flavours.  I had to balance finding fillings that has the ability to keep frozen and stored for the week (which most macaron fillings can handle), but also it be ok once they are sitting at the restaurant and not in the fridge.  Here’s what I ended up making (approx 35 each):

  • White Chocolate ganache with pink coloured shell
  • Lemon filling with yellow coloured shell
  • Vanilla buttercream with soft pink coloured shell
  • White Chocolate ganache with purple coloured shell
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House Reno – Doggie Wash Station

Posted by on Sep 27, 2016 in Around the House, Blog, Ellie our Samoyed, Family, New Home Renovation Project, Projects | 0 comments

Ellie is our girl.  Ellie is a fluffy girl.  Ellie is a white fluffy girl.  Ellie is a white fluffy girl with dirty paws especially in the Spring and Fall.  With combination of wipes at every entrance, towels, and bucket washes, we decided that there is a better way.  Also, looking into the future, with a baby on the way, we were not enthused about the dirty paw prints all over the floor where the baby would be crawling around.  So we decided to reno the reno’ed mud room.  4 years ago, when we did the big new house renovations, we did simple renovations in the mudroom.  Basically just added new cabinets and a pantry, with a countertop and a sink. Nothing mind blowing really.  But now as our needs have changed, we made the call to redo this room with a design that will allow us to have a doggie wash station in it.

We debated over the configuration multiple times. But finally figured out the only to fit a doggie wash station was to vertically stack the washer and dryer. There was no other way to fit it.  I was a bit hesitant as it will be pretty tall, and i won’t be able to reach the top of the dials on the dryer! (My husband says he will get me a stool).

So off to Olympia tile again to pick out the shower tiles for our Ellie girl. We wanted to make it eye catching but nothing too out there. We chose a pretty herringbone subway tile, and a dark grey for the shower floor.  Hand held faucet sprout and a ring to tie the leash to.

The always desired Before and After pics:

the "before"

the “before”

vs

the "after"

the “after”

the "after" again

the “after” wide angle

Ellie modeling the new doggie wash station

Ellie modeling the new doggie wash station

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