Monday, September 24, 2012

The Cold is BACK!

The season is here, I mean the cold season. It is back. I get sick every year, around spring and fall time, wouldn't miss it. Kiana started her runny nose after going to the park. Then Noah had his, and me with mine. Kiana is all better now, Noah has a couple cough now and then... and I feel as sick as ever. It was the hardest when I had to be home alone with the 2 kids for the 4 days!

I've been trying new recipes for steam buns and dim sum. They turned out great. That, I will have to post later when I am feeling better, as I am still wrapping wontons (with my tissue papers). I still have to work on my steam buns. I made some with Hong Kong Pao flour but they are most expensive and hard to get around here, so I decided to try out the normal flour but it wasn't great. Let me try a couple times and see if it will turn out better, hopefully eventually.

It's actually fun to try out new recipes. The only thing is to have to eat those not so nice ones, if it didn't turn out good because I hate to waste anything. Well, if it is good then I'll have no problem disposing it to anybody. My friend told me my carrot cake was good, it just made my day.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Beyblade collection

Beyblade Cake

Today is the day hubby's coming home. I am waiting very patiently to release my duty to him. Hubby's been away since Tuesday morning, and I am going to crack up anytime soon. I am not sure if I am just too tired or if I am getting sick, I feel sore all over, including my throat. Perhaps it's just me getting older.

My sister-in-law just emailed me this morning and told us they might be coming over tomorrow. So I decided to decorate a cake for my dear nephew who is turning 8 end of the month. I've got a couple orders from my friends and neighbour for a beyblade cake, which I did not even know what it was before. It seems to be the latest craze for any 5-8 years old kid.

So my friend lent me one of the son's beyblade, and let me practice with it. As you can see the one on the left looks a little better, the one on the right is the first attempt, I cut the fondant up, as the one on the left I used my hand to shape them up.. I think I will need more practice for my friends kids. All in all, I don't think it's too bad for my first try, don't you think? Now I just have to get somebody to try if it taste any good.

 I don't like eating too much sweets.... I tried to reduce the sugar yet some people told me it's too sweet. I told them to make the cake themselves, I've already reduced the sugar by half, if I keep reducing too much, it might not come out nice, or maybe they can just make bread. It's just hard to please everyone isn't it?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2 is a lot

Oh my, being with my 2 kids all by myself is surely not an easy task. Hubby's gone for 4 days for work, and as much as I love my kids, I can't stand too much of them. I've decided to take the next cake decorating course, just to get away from the house for a couple hours. Unfortunately the Saturday course's not until November!

It's sure the hardest things to do, getting them ready for school, skating lessons, so and so... I don't know how single parent do it ( I mean those good responsible ones, not the ones who neglect the kids ) Time to go, just a short note today. Hope things gets better!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cream Cheese Cake

I finally finished making this cake today. I used to buy it from my friend, but now that she is not selling anymore I asked her for the recipe. She actually came to my house yesterday to show me how to make it. I am so lucky to have such friend.

It's actually very easy to make. It's so light and fluffy, tasted so good, and you won't have that " oh no, I have to try to lose weight after eating this... or afraid of eating too much of it feeling. It just make you want more.

 All you need is just graham crackers, arrange them as in the pictures, spread mixture of cream cheese and pie filling on top and keep repeating until it's high enough.

 Here's what it looked like after layers of cream cheese and graham crackers.

I cut the sides out from the big piece and made a small one for Noah's teacher, she was delighted to see this. It 's so easy to make and so delicious, I never have to buy a cake anymore! For the top, I just used whipped cream mix with cream cheese and 1/2 cup of sugar.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chairs for sale anyone?

I posted a bunch of pictures on Kijiji and tried to sell the baby stuff away. I just wanted to get rid of them anyway. I've got at least 4 emails asking about the bumbo that I was selling, and it got sold this morning, so fast. I asked for $20 but the lady came with $30.. usually people will bargain for stuff but this is the first time somebody actually trying to give me more. Anyway I returned the $10 for her, and asked her if she wanted more items, I had the highchair for $10 but I told her she could have it for $5, even though she was going to give me the $10.. and gave her a bassinet and another chair for free.... my real intention was just to get rid of stuff but I do not want to post it free because I might get too many calls from strange people.

I am very careful not to give away my add or phone, you'll never know what kinda people might show up right. I still have a lot of baby stuff I need to get rid of, and the toys in my garage. It's too much trouble to have a garage sales, and I don't think we have enough items anyway, don't really want to sell out junks like what other people usually does. 

Well it was a good experience, first time selling things on Kijiji and I made myself a new friend. Turned out she lives nearby and have a son and a baby girl, just like I do. The only difference is I am fortunate enough to have all those hands me down from my sister in law so I do not need to buy anything, we have way too much stuff. I am planning to save up all those money and give it back to her...It's fair to give her back something, because we already used all those items for free~

Kiana's starting to eat more food. She was eating the baby puffs today..and she really likes it. I also made chicken congee for her, and i use the soup to mix it in with blended carrots. She seems to enjoy that. It reminded me of the last time when I was trying different food with Noah...Now he is a big big boy, a picky one too... it's time to experiment with Kiana. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Noah's going to work

Here is the story. Noah pulled a stool and put beside the table, to the middle of his room. I was wondering what or why he was doing that, so I asked. And here's his replies.
Noah : I'm going to work. Have to make more money, just like daddy.
And he was sitting there, pretending he's working.
I wonder where he got the idea from, and what made him thinks that's how daddy work.... it's just funny how/ what the kids can do. 

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

I made these cake this morning after sending Noah to my friend's house. I thought maybe I should give my friend Jessica chocolate cake instead because she likes chocolate. So I made these. It's my first time playing with fondant and making pudding so I don't know how good it will be.

Mike Harris Chocolate Cake Recipe;
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup vege oil
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c cocoa
3/4 c boiling water

In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, vege oil, milk, eggs, vanilla and salt until smooth. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix it in until smooth. Add boiling water, mixture is quite runny.

Pour into greased, floured 10- inch bundt pan or tube pan. As for me I just used my 6 inches pans.
 Bake in preheat 350 oven 30-40 mins. Cool for 10 mins in wire rack, and remove from pan.

Serve as is, dust with icing sugar, topped with favourite icing or drizzled with warm fudge sauce.

Chocolate Icing ( fudge)
2 tbs butter
4 oz semisweet chocolate ( 4 squares)
1/3 c milk or cream
1 1/4 c icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla

in a small saucepan heat butter, chocolate and milk over low heat, stirring often. Remove from heat, add sugar and vanilla, whisk until smooth. Spread over cake while icing is still warm.

For the filling, I just used the packet or pudding.... and marshmallow fondant for the decorations.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Beer Glass Cake

Beer Glass Cake
My friend who helped me watch Noah requested a birthday cake for her hubby. When I asked her what does the hubby likes, she said he likes coconut cake..and beer. So I decided to make this cake for him. I've never bake many cakes before in my life, just started recently so I do not have any recipes. I looked for one in but most of them use the cake mix which I do not like. I finally found this coconut pound cake recipe, and after reading all the reviews, I modified it. It turn out pretty good, I am not a big fan but my in laws really liked them.

Here's the recipe for the coconut cake;

1 cup butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese
2 1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp coconut extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups unsweetened small flakes coconut

1. Preheat oven 325 degree Ferenheit. Beat the butter and cream cheese until very light and fluffy. Mix in sugar, and then all the other ingredients, one by one. 
2. Pour batter into Bundt pan, round pan or spring form pan. If it's thicker it will take a longer time. It took 1 hour 20 mins for my 6 inches 2 layers spring form, and just 40 mins for my 4 inches pans.
3. Test for doneness before removing it from the oven.
4. Always leave it to cool for 10 mins on wire rack before removing them from the pan.

For the filling, I used cream cheese frosting II, and I iced it with buttercream icing.  The top flowing beer, I used marshmallow fondant covering the hard sugar candy you can find the recipe from allrecipe too. I saw somebody's blogging about how she made this beer glass cake and I tried it out but it didn't work for me. You have to heat the candy at a very high heat for a long time for it to get harden, my 1st attempt failed, as it didn't harden at all. I poured them into the pan again to cooked it longer and it did harden but it was harden so quickly and it was so hot that I can't shape it at all. So I used it as a base for my flowing beer. I put coconut flavoring for the candy and it actually tasted pretty good.

This cake is very good with whipped cream and a nice cup of tea. Will I make this cake again? Probably not, unless it is requested, again.

Carrot Cake for my friend, Jessica's birthday on Tuesday. I hope she likes my cake. 

I made the mini cakes for ourselves to enjoy. It's very convenient because there's only 2 1/2 of us, we don't need to cut the whole cake up, and I can just freeze them up, take one out whenever I feel like eating. If you'd notice all the colours of the cakes are the same. It's because I made a mistake of the beer colour, and I do not want to waste the icing, so I used it for the filling and to ice other cakes too.

Stay tune for my next project, a Beyblade Birthday cake.. or a couple.. I have a few requests already... but the birthdays are not until next year so I have time to practice.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Noah's on ICE!

Yes, it was Noah's first skating lesson. I can't believe my big boy is learning to skate, while mommy still can't skate at all yet. Well he did not really skate during his first lesson, it would have been a dream come true if my little boy can just skate beautifully like a pro...

Realistically it didn't happen that way. He just cried his lung out throughout the lesson! It wouldn't be that bad if it wasn't because of that little boy that was in front of him crying out so loudly, and that freaked him out after seeing that other boy cries.

Anyway he didn't miss too much out, as you can see, most of the other kids are just crawling around like babies. Mine is just a lot smaller than the other babies. We'll just have to try again next week, hopefully he won't cry again.... and maybe.. just maybe he can start standing up.. walking... and finally skate!

 Just need one step at a time, so he can play hockey..that's what he has been telling everybody, he wants to play hockey...Mommy's proud of her little boy who is not even 3 years old yet.. perhaps he'll be a NHL player in the future, well he is already NHL.. that's his name.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Used clothes anyone?

Today I did something good, I think. I gave away all Noah's used clothes, and donated the rest to somebody who I do not even know. There's a lot of people out there who doesn't have money to buy baby clothes. So I thought, instead of giving them to Value Village or Goodwill, I might as well give it directly to those who needs them. If they really do not have money, they won't have money to buy it from those used clothing stores anyway, they will still need to pay for it. I hope I did the right thing, gave it to the people who really need it, not just any greedy people who fake it.

Most of all, I am happy to get rid of the stuff, we have too many stuff in the house. As what hubby always said, when you have less things in the house, you'll have  less mess too. I guess he is right. I am very tired of cleaning up after the kids everyday, all the time. I need a vacation!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Banana Layer Cake

My mother in law made this cake for our wedding. It was one of the best cakes I ever had. The middle part is filled with bananas and icing. It tasted so good. It was the only type of cake hubby will eat too ( except now that he likes carrot cakes too ). I made some banana cakes last couple weeks, it freezes well in the freezer, it only takes a couple hours to defrost.

Here's the recipe for the Banana Layer Cake;

1 lb butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups mashed bananas (4)
3 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup 2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla

1. Cream butter and sugar
2. Add eggs one at a time, add bananas and mix thoroughly
3. Mix in dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Add milk and vanilla, mix
4. Pour into 2 greased spring form pans
5. Bake at 350 for 40 mins or until the toothpick come out clean after inserting it in the middle
6. When cool divide each cakes into 2 layers. Spread with cream cheese icing and a layer of sliced bananas
Put layers together and ice

Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

This is a very simple shortbread recipe I've got from my neighbor. I love how it is not too sweet, and it's egg-less too. It is so soft that it melts in your mouth

Here's the recipe;
1 cup butter
1/2 cup Icing sugar
2 cups flour

Just put it in the mixer and bake at 350 until they turn golden brown, about 15-20 mins.

My friend's son turned 4 and his mommy requested for Cars cookies so I made some cars cookies as a gift. I tried to make a cookie bouquet at first but it didn't work as the cookies were too soft and heavy, so I make a cookie basket gift instead.

Icing and Frosting

Cream Cheese Icing Recipe for my Banana Layer Cake
6 oz cream cheese
4 tsp vanilla
3 cup icing sugar
1/2 lb butter

If you prefer less sugar you can try this Cream Cheese Frosting II from allrecipe
2x 8 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

 Buttercream Recipe that I got it from Allrecipe, a little modified
1 cup softened butter
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups icing sugar
2 tbs milk

Icing for my cookies
1 cup icing sugar
2tsp milk
2tsp corn syrup
1/2tsp vanilla or almond extract

Monday, September 10, 2012

Carrot Cake

Carrots were on special this week, I bought a 10 lbs of carrots for $2! What else? I started looking for recipes to make this carrot cake. After looking through a bunch of recipes on, I finally found something I that like and modified it, my version. Turn out to be very nice. Hubby usually doesn't like to eat any other cakes, other than his banana cake, but he likes this one too.. If he said it's really nice.. it must be REALLY NICE!

So I made these cake, and cut them into 4 from the square pans, and also a 2 small springform pans I got from Walmart. I thought this is a better size to give away to my neighbours. I promised to let them try my cake. Noah and I took these cakes to the neighbours, and while we were there, Noah asked for donations for his Skating club, he has to sell raffle tickets at this age.. ghheee... they sure start them early. I do not want to just ask for donation so I thought giving them back something will not be so awkward, and everybody is a winner in this sense.

Anyway here's my recipe, it's simple yet it's so moist;

1 3/4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots, well packed
1/2 cups chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Mix the sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and oil together
3. Beat in the eggs one at a time
4. Stir in the carrots and walnuts
5. Put in a springform pan, or any cake pans.... 1 hour + for the bigger pan, if you divide into 2 pans then about 40 mins +. Just check if from time to time because everybody's oven is a bit different.

Use a satay stick or tooth pick ( if it's long enough ) to insert into the middle of the cake. It should come out clean, then you can take it out.

Put it on the wire rack to cool for 10 mins, remove it from the pan and cool it on the wire rack again until it's not warm anymore

Cut it into 2 and freeze it before icing the cake, that's what I learned from my class. Will share more tips about icing the cake in my next blog.

My Angels

Wow, I couldn't believe it has been 9 months since my last post! I know.. I am slacking here but I have my every reason. I have been busy of course. I'm now a mother of 2, Noah is going to be 3 soon, and Kiana's almost 7 months old. I've been told that we have a millionaire family... or something like that. Everybody seems to be envious of my life. Well, here's my story.

Kiana did not born premature as her brother did. She was actually born on Valentine's Day. What a beautiful day to be born. She did look a little mad when she was a newborn but she is now a very happy baby. It wasn't easy to push her out as she was huge!

 Fortunately Noah gets along very well with his baby sister. That's the big question everybody been asking anyway. He is very helpful and loves to play with her, ALL the time. Just have to watch them because he doesn't know how to be very gentle, yet.

 Everybody keeps telling me how lucky I am and I should make more kids, I've given all the baby clothes away, I know it's early to give them away but I need to make more space and declutter. Kiana is so lucky to receive so many gifts from everybody that I do not need to use any of Noah's clothes.

 I am so glad that I have a beautiful daughter and son now. They do keep my days busy, very busy. I love dressing her up, as you can see in the pictures. It's so much fun. And she is such a happy baby, so content playing by herself. It's such a big difference from my big boy, who still seeks attention all the time now.

Kiana started eating since she was 4 months old. She loves to eat. I think she wants to grow up as fast as possible so she can join her big brother. She loves to put anything in her mouth.
 I'm now into baking cakes. I've took a short 4 days course to learn how decorate the cake. Made this banana cake for her 6 months old. I will share more recipes in the future.

 Kiana loves music.She can pull herself up to sitting position since 2 weeks ago, and started rolling since 3 months old! She is also going to be a model, as what the doctor jokingly said, because she is tall.

 Noah loves playing with his sister. Noah loves doing anything with his sister. He loves sharing his food with his sister too, and I have to watch what he shares. Noah goes to school now, that explain why I am blogging again. He's going 3 times a week this month and more next month. I'm going to have more time to do things that I wanted to do, or just spend more time with my little princess.

I take Kiana to the Early Years Centre or to the park after sending Noah to school. She loves going out so much, we have to enjoy the nice weather before winter comes. Well, that's about what happened for the past 9 months, been busy with my new life, my 2 beautiful angels, and guests that came and visit now and then.

More updates in the future!