icejohn2: (travel)
Warning: If you are or going to have some food, don't read this post now! Ok, now since you have been warned, you must have seen the picture with this post. After all the delicious cookies pictures, it really takes me a while to decide if I want to post this. Anyway, my parents joined a tour around Christmas time to the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia. They told me the story last week when I talked to them on the phone. Here it goes.

The temple was amazing and the trip was good. And during the trip, their tour bus stopped at a local market spot so they could go to bathroom or have some snacks. Their local tour guide bought 4 pieces of the "snacks" from a local lady who sold the thing in a big bucket in the picture (my dad took the picture). However, nobody would dare to try it so the local tour guide just enjoyed the snacks all by himself. And he also claimed that one piece of the snacks containing lots of "eggs" and really tasted yummy. I think I am going to throw up even when I type this. Do you know what the snack is?
















Spiders! Each one is bigger than your palm! Yike!
icejohn2: (fun)

Finally, we got the first Christmas gift from the vendors. It is a big 60oz glass jar of mixed-nuts. There are walnuts, pecans, almonds, and macadamia, all roasted with salt. Half of the jar has been gone in less 30 minutes!Talking about getting yourself some winter fat!
icejohn2: (cake)
Summer almost reaches the end and the weather just stays cool this year. The hardy Hibiscus in the garden is in the peak now. It is covered by almost 20 big white with pink edges 10" diameter flowers everyday. Each flower is the size of an 8-year old kid (measured with my niece's head. :) )

It is also the peak season of the fresh strawberry. They are in decent price and look so delicious in the store so I have to buy some. I remember that I still have some frozen cranberries in the freezer so I make this strawberry and cranberry pie with oatmeal/brown sugar streusel on the top of the pie. The sour taste of the cranberry counter balances with the sweetness of the sugar and strawberry. Yum! Have several big trips coming up in the next several weeks so I guess it will be a busy September for me. Just wish that the summer can stay here longer. Really don't want the bitter winter comes back too soon.
icejohn2: (fun)
 
Had a great weekend to celebrate the birthdays of my 8-year-old nephew and the twin 6-year-old nieces. Since their birthdays are just one day apart, we celebrate their birthdays together. However, as you know, kids really do not like to share birthday cakes. So I made 3 individual furry aliens cupcakes with their individual favorite colors, blue, yellow, and purple.

In addition, I also made this orange marmalade cake with orange juice, zest, walnuts, and marmalade. It was decorated as the summer sun rings with the kids' favorite colors as well. I also made some of the cupcakes with the same ingredients. They were quite light but had great summer sweet citrus flavors.

Everybody seemed to love them since all the cakes and cakes disappeared so fast that I almost did not get to taste one. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, low 70s (22'C) and breezy. Kids got to play outside with their birthday gifts, the new scooters. I was just amazed how many tricks they could do on that small scooter. It was really a nice weekend.
icejohn2: (fun)
It rained most of the time on this weekend. Sent a flower arrangement to my mom back home for the Mother's Day. It was the first time that I could send the flower from here to overseas. It was a really surprise to her. I am very happy that she loves the flower very much. I also got invited to friends' house for the Mother's Day dinner. This was the cake I made for the dinner. It was a cake that made from scratch. It was a moisture and dense cake that  enriched with butterscotch pudding mix, and butterscotch ice cream topping. In addition, it was topped with a layer of rich caramel glaze and lots of chopped pecans. It has a marble kind of look when you slice it. Everybody loved it! 

Note: As requested by [profile] pinner123, the recipe is here!
icejohn2: (Default)
It is the worst snow storm in the recent 20 years in this region today. Well, I basically just work from home today. Since it is Chinese new year tomorrow (Feb 7, 2008), I start to make some special cakes for the Chinese new year. The first one is "Fa"-cake. It is more like the Chinese version of cupcake. Or we should call it "bowlcake" since the cake mixture is put in the bowl and steamed until it is done. Fa-cake is made of rice flour, brown sugar and baking powder. Steam the mix until they are solid. It is very important to have the beautiful cracks on the top of the cake since it means that the career/finance of the family members will be going up in this coming new year.

Year cake is the other important cake for the Chinese new year. My family always makes the red bean year cake. It is made of red bean, gluten rice flour, sugar and brown sugar. Steam it until it is done. Then let it dry for several days. The smooth look of the cake means that everything will go smoothly in the upcoming year. And the sweet taste of the cake means everything will go well in this coming year.

Once the year cake is dry, we put the sliced year cake in the egg and flour/water mixer to get a layer of the mixture outside. Then, we deep fry the cake until golden brown outside and soft inside. Yum! The snow is till coming down after I finish making the Chinese new year cakes and it will not stop for another 2 hours based on the weather forecast on TV. We have almost 14" so far and all the roads and highway are just a mess. And the gusty 30-45 miles of wind causes the bad drifting. Most of the business are closed and even the city bus has stopped the service. The Milwaukee airport is closed and several hundreds of passengers are stranded there tonight. In addition, the snow storm also hit the south central China recently. It will be a snowy Chinese new year this year for sure.
icejohn2: (myavatar)
I had a wonderful Indonesia buffet tonight. Peanut sauce chicken and nice flaove beef/pork/chicken. Same price as last night's shrimp pasta but 10 times better taste!

The picture below is the not-taste-good shrimp pasta I had last night for dinner.
icejohn2: (myavatar)
I woke up this morning around 3:00am and could barely fall asleep again even though I did take the Melatonin before I went to bed. Guess the jeg lag was still there.I took the train from Eindhoven to Best the first time today and it was actually quite easy. Only 2 stops about 10-minute ride.

Everything went well today and I learned some new things. The dinner choice so far in Eindhoven was alright. Yesterday I went to the Thai restaurant that my boss and I visited last time.I ordered the spicy coconut milk pork. The food was good but somehow they could not process my company credit card so I had to
use my personal credit card again. I just wonder how much transaction fee I
will get charged at the end of this assignment if I keep charging
everything on my personal card. The place was decorated pretty well as you can see from the picture.

Tonight, I went to a restaurant called "Carousel" because there was a carousel in the summer in the front of that place. I ordered a shrimp pasta. It was really not that good since all the shrimps were very tiny and not fresh. They tasted/looked just like the frozen ones you bought in cheap grocery store frozen food section. I will not go back there anytime soon for sure.  Bedtime here. Hope that I can get some decent sleep tonight.

Snow Day

Dec. 29th, 2007 11:42 am
icejohn2: (Xmas)
It snowed again. We really have enough this year. Even though I don't like the traffic problem and shuffling problem due to the snow, I do like the beautiful looks of snow on trees and houses. More pictures are on my Flickr page.

I had a very peaceful Christmas. Spent time with my friend's family and exchanges some gifts. I got an ice cream maker, some more baking wares. Guess everybody likes my baking goodies such as those Christmas cookies.


For Christmas dinner at my friend's place, I made a moister 2-layer chocolate cake. The filling was the chocolate ganache with the whipped cream. The frosting on the side was the butter cream and the top was whipped cream sprinkled with peppermint crushed candy pieces. Decorated with homemade chocolate trees and "Happy Xmas" text.

I did join part of the post-Christmas sales crowd in the mall to pick up some dressing pants and the Christmas ornaments (75% off!) for next year. Overall, it is a relaxed holiday. Now I just have to start to prepare the 3-week long Europe work assignments after the New Year. Happy New Year!
icejohn2: (Xmas)

Merry Christmas! This is my Christmas cookies gift!

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