Friday, May 14, 2010

Tea - Self Sufficient


We planted one chocolate mint the year before and one pepper mint last year. Finally they are taking off this year. As a matter of fact, they grow too well, almost dominating the whole herbal area. I believe that they will eventually if I don't do anything to suppress them.

Making tea is the best way to consume them. Now I am self-sufficient on mint tea.

Pepper mint:

Chocolate mint:

Fresh mint tea:

2010 Mothers Day

I wanted to post this one on the Mothers Day, but my laziness defeated my diligence.

Audrey made these gifts for Mothers Day at the day care. Miss Jen told my hubby when he picked Audrey up that she spent almost 2 hours painting the box, one coat after another. We all were really surprised how concentrated she could be.




After they got home, Audrey said to me "MaMa, I have a present for you". The moment I saw them, my heart melted, in happiness.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Popovers


I love foods presented on King Arthur Flour website. They have so many easy-to-make yet tasty recipes. This popovers is not an exception.

Ingredients:
  • 4 large eggs, warmed in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes before cracking
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (skim, low-fat, or full-fat), lukewarm
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
Directions:

1. Put the baking rack in the oven to the lower position (I used 2nd position from the bottoem). Preheat the oven at 425F (Trial and error proved 425F works better for me than 450F).

2. Immerse eggs in hot tap water for 10 minutes. Microwave heat the milk to lukewarm.

3. Whisk the eggs, milk and salts till well mixed. (Kitchen Aid works like a charm.)

4. Add the flour to the above mix and mix well, one minute is enough.

5. Pour the melted butter to the mix and blend well. It is a very runny batter.

6. Spray a standard 12X muffin tin thoroughly with Pam.

7. Pour the batter to the muffin tin, filling up to 3/4 full.

8. Bake at 425F for 18 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350F without opening the oven door. Bake for another 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the popovers in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. The ideal color will be dark brown, but not burned.

The texture of this popover reminds me of the Dutch baby pancakes we eat often. Smooth, buttery and eggy.



Friday, April 16, 2010

The First Splash!

Audrey has been waiting for the coming of the rain since I bought her the Hello Kitty rain boots. Today, she finally got it. After we got home, I put her boots on, then out she went!

Completely immersed in the splashing fun:


On the run. I love how this one turned out:

video

Thursday, April 8, 2010

2010 Easter Toddler Fun

The weather was so gorgeous on the Easter day this year that Audrey could wear this fancy Easter dress sent from her Aunt in Chicago. Surprisingly, she even allowed me to do her hair by sitting still for a few minutes. Normally, this would be a struggle. At the age of 2, she knows to be pretty.


Pointing the crocus to me:

Appreciating the beautiful early Spring flowers:

Posing for a picture:

Enjoying the Easter gift bag that our neighbor dropped by at my doorstep:

Studying the Easter bunny horn:

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Beautiful Summer Day






It was sunny, warm and absolutely gorgeous yesterday. Audrey did not miss any chance to play outside. I was in a hurry to cook dinner, but she was whining to go out because she was not hungry, "I don't like anything". In the end, I told her to eat on the back patio. And it proved an excellent one. We sat on the step, enjoying the warm day and having our dinner. She enjoyed her mac and cheese very much, I have to say.

Asparagud Chicken Roll

Wednesday evening, I decided to make a pasta dish with the fresh asparagus, of course, with meat as well. Hubby came up with an idea to roll the chicken around the asparagus. So here comes this nicely represented asparagus chicken pasta dish.

Chicken thigh was flattened using the flat side of the meat tenderizer. Tooth picks were used to secure the rolls. Sauteed in olive oil till the chicken was done.

Cooking in the pan:

Close to be done:

Dinner Severed:

Enjoy:

Monday, March 29, 2010

What are you doing, Mama?

Last Saturday, I bought a smoothies for Audrey in the Mall. She was not very fond of it since she did not drink much before we got home. At the lunch time, she tried to dink again while I was preparing for some lunch. When I came back to the table, I noticed the straw was out of the cup, and the wall behind her seat was dotted very well with brownish smoothies. How can't I be angry? After cleaning the mess, I sat down to eat.

Audrey: What are you doing, MaMa?
MaMa: Eating!
Audrey: You mad at me, too?
MaMa: No, how can I now?

Friday, March 19, 2010

It is Spring Again!

Heavy snow on the ground seemed evaporated over night. The whole week are sunny and warm. Tulips, daffodils, crocuses are coming back to lives. We are also coming out of the house and enjoying the fresh air.

We have hard time putting jackets on Audrey now. She regained the freedom that heavy snow jacket and pants deprived from her all winter long. She was eager to let her little arms get some sunshine on.

Last Tuesday afternoon, she ran around in the yard after coming home from the day care. Barely two weeks ago, who would ever thought we could go out without a snow boots and winter jackets on? But now it is the reality. Enjoy the warm days when we can.




Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blueberry Scones


We picked so many blueberries last summer that we still have a couple of gallon ziploc bags of them in the freezer. I therefore look for proper ways to eat them. One day, I came across this one. Flax seeds, oat meal, non fat yogurt, egg white.... all sound healthy and tasty. Most importantly, this recipe did not disappoint me at all. Everybody loved the scones. My 2 years old daughter ate two in no time!!!! I also baked another batch using black raspberries (also picked in the summer!!!), yummy yummy. My husband and I agreed that they were the best scones that we have ever eaten.

Quinoa with beets and Brussel sprouts


Quinoa is a relatively new food, but very trendy. I have been wanted to cook it for so long, however, I kept forgetting to buy some. Finally last weekend, I bought some in the bulk fruit/grain section in Wegmans and it is organic!

Tonight, I forged this dish in my head by playing colors. I cooked the Quinoa in chicken stock, so I got this yellowish hue. Brussel sprouts were boiled in water then sauted in olive oil with garlic and a little bit mushroom. Beets were from a tin, so I simply rinsed them and added to the veggies. When the Quinoa was done cooking, I added it to the mixed veggies, topped with some toasted pine nuts and ready to serve. (I forgot to add the pine nuts before I remembered to take the picture.) It was very health and pretty tasty.


I will definitely make this dish again, with whatever veggies in hand, and I will add some meat, too. Because my husband thought I forgot the essence of a meal for this dish. :-) Guess I will never become a vegetarian.