Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pineapple Bun Take 2

Hey everyone,

Third post in 1 week, pretty good huh? I guess the writer's block has finally lifted and I have some interesting stories to tell you.

Last night Mr C came home from work and told me he felt stressed.  He then proceeded to tell me he wanted to make bread.  I had no objections because a) he can knead all his frustrations/stress into this big dough ball and b) I can eat it afterwards.  If you read my previous post, you may recall that Mr C had previously made pineapple buns for Valentine's day.  This time around he had some minor modifications to make.  Let me just say that they came out GREAT and the house smelled so good.  If you've ever been to a Chinese bakery then you know what smell I'm talking about. The buns came out soft and they were sweet enough for my taste buds.  We ate 2 before heading to bed (to all you health nuts out there, I know, it's terrible to eat before bedtime, but how can you say no to fresh bread?).  If you're interested in the recipe, just let me know and I'll be happy to e-mail it to you. 

Big ball of frustrations
Frustrations all gone!

Strangely enough, during the day I had needle felted a pineapple bun! This made for a great photo op.  Which one is the REAL pineapple bun? lol

Take care,


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Craft post: Pillow

Hey everyone!

I hope everyone is having a great week so far.  Upon moving to the states I discovered a new craft store called Jo-ann's.  Apart from the standard arts & crafts supplies, it sells fabric too (one of my many new addictions).  My favorite part of Jo-ann's are the clearance fabric bins.  These bins usually contain discontinued or remnant fabric pieces.  I always have a great time browsing through the bins hoping to find something useful.  The fabric rolls are really a hit or miss and luckily I've been able to find really beautiful neutral pieces.  Although I love looking at fabric, I have a confession to make.   I don't know how to sew (lol).  Luckily Mr C brought over his mom's sewing machine... my new favorite toy.  Being a lab geek, I decided to be adventurous and just read the sewing machine manual because after all it's just like an SOP right? After some reading and practicing on an old shirt, I set out to sew my first project.  I decided to use my fabric to make a pillow case cover for a used pillow that Mr C no longer wanted. I decided the case needed to fit a pillow folded in half so I had to make the cover a box instead of the typical flat pillow case.  After some measurements and some sewing machine malfunctions, I ended up with the pillow case below! Don't you just love the colors? I'm really digging grey right now.  It's so pretty and I can now understand why people love the color ;)  I used velvet for the front, a dotted grey fabric for the sides and a pop of green for the back.  I think it came out pretty well for my first attempt.  This just proves you can do anything :D  Now I just need to go back to Jo-ann's for some more fabric. 



Monday, February 25, 2013

Food Post

Hey everyone,

Hope everyone is doing well on a Monday.  Hang in there, just a few more days until the weekend.  Anyways, I thought I'd do a food pos today since my food pictures are just building up!

Me and Mr C have been trying hard to explore our roots.  We're exploring our Asian roots by cooking all our favourite dishes.  We've been making our favourite dishes with the help of YouTube and from things we've seen in our childhood.  All the tastes and flavors bring us back home.  I've recently been really into steaming our food.  I steamed some chicken, mushrooms and green onions recently and it was delicious.  I definitely prefer this method instead of pan frying which I find dries the meat out.  I also made some green onion pancakes.  This is so good and easy to make.  I would definitely recommend it.  However to make it taste even better I'd probably use more oil next time. 

Another favourite dish of mine and Mr C is braised beef noodle.  We used to eat this all the time at Asian Legend in Toronto.  Definitely a hearty soup to eat on cold days! Being brave and adventurous, Mr C bought some spices (Star Anise is the star ingredient) at an asian supermarket and we just let it shimmer with some beef chunks, water, carrots and daikon for a few hours.  Try not to add too much water because we found it only dilutes the flavour.  Mr C added fried tofu as well.  The end result was this bowl of soup.  We added some noodles, but you could definitely eat it with rice.  The best part is that is tastes even better as the days goes by and it lasts for almost 1 week! Definitely a budget friendly recipe. 


Having watched this YouTube video ( I became so fascinated with these buns.  I just loved how pretty they came out in the video.  So being curious, I decided to make them one evening.  Mr C's brother was also visiting so I thought it would be a nice dessert.   If you've ever made bread, it's the exact same process.  The hard part came when I realized I didn't have a Chinese steamer.  Not to fear, Mr C helped me fry them up with water and oil.  Unfortunately they didn't look like the video's buns, but they were very delicious.  I think I'll definitely try the recipe again, but make white buns called "man tou" instead.  I also poured some water onto the buns, which is a big NO-NO :P hahaha, they just deflate. 

 If you know me well, then you know I love all cute things.  During an excursion to the Japanese supermarket I came across these little gadgets.  They are little plastic moulds for eggs.  I've been eyeing these for awhile but caved when I saw the rabbit/bear design... lol.  Aren't they super cute? You basically boil an egg, deshell it and then press them into these little containers.  Then you dunk them into cold water.  They come out as a little bunny or bear! It's a fun way to eat an egg, because it just brings a smile to your face. 

I also tried making mochi as well.  It's really easy to do and you just need some rice flour, flavouring and a microwave! I don't have any pictures as it's on Mr C's phone, but I'll definitely post ASAP. 
Take care and stay warm! Hope you enjoyed the food post!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crafts: Needle Felting

Hey everyone,

Just a short post here to show you some more of my woolly animal creations.  I'm so glad a friend mentioned this to me because I'm really loving it (Thanks JessMadeThis!).  It requires a lot of patience and focus.  I can't count how many times I've poked myself with the needle (reminds of me phlebotomy class all over again).

Anyways, I spent the afternoon making these 2 little furry friends.  Say hello to Miss Piggy and her friend Mr Penguin (creative names huh).  The end result for the penguin came out really well.  The piggy I think is a little too red, but it's a special present for someone so I hope they like it!   I also tried my hand at crocheting this week.  You can take a peek at my work in the photo with Miss Piggy.  I used a milk tea colored yarn which I found at the Daiso (I love Daiso!!). 

Not much going on except that it's raining again.. haha, what's new :P Still kind of having writer's block so please bear with me! I'll let my pictures do the talking.

Enjoy and stay warm all my Canadian readers!  Miss you all!



Friday, February 15, 2013

Craft post: Needle felting

Hello everyone,

I've been spending most of my afternoons crafting these days and I just wanted to show you some of my creations.  I feel pretty proud of them, and I hope you enjoy my artistic shots of them.  I'm beginning to become interested in photography too, so who knows what I'll do next.  Most of the heads are of Rilakkuma, which is a San-X character.  I also made a baby cardinal because I miss seeing them (apparently you don't see them in the west coast). 

Any requests on what I should make next?  They are all made out of wool and a needle.  I recently bought some Hamanaka branded Japanese wool and I can't wait to try it out.  :D  I also transformed one of the heads into a keychain for a birthday present!

I recently found out that there's something called wet needle felting, where you add water and detergent and you can "felt" bags and pouches out of wool.  I definitely want to try this out soon.

Take care, <3 Janet

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy (belated) Valentine's Day everyone! I hope everyone had a very lovely time with their loved ones.  Sorry for the lack of updates.  To be honest, I've been having some writer's block recently.  Actually I've been having a couple of life blocks recently, but nothing to worry about!  These things come and go, and eventually life just sorts itself out.

Anyways, I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday (and everyday!).  I was greeted on Valentine's day with the smell of freshly baked pineapple buns and roses.  What a lovely husband right? Mr C woke up early in the morning just to make them for me.  I feel extra special :D   They tasted great! I think he definitely deserves a gold star for his effort. *Thumbs up and a high five*  I made a special heart shaped brownie too.  I found a recipe on, however I found it had more of a cake consistency than a fudge/chewy consistency that we both like.  If anyone has a good brownie recipe, I'd love to try it out! :D  Oh man, we gotta hit the gym from eating all these yummy baked goods.  booo to working out, yay for sweets.  

Next recipe will be Japanese Mochi! Yummy.   We will try to make pretzels and donuts soon... although I did make spring rolls for Chinese New Year, which I'll post about soon :D

On a side note, TGIF right?! :D

Take care,