Bake (and eat) at your own risk

Yeah, this title might totally be the way R would describe some of my past baking (and cooking) “experiments”. Remember that cake-in-a-jar that I baked back in October 2010? Well, immediately after making them, I sent them off to my sister and BIL who are currently serving in A-stan. All except for one lonely jar. I stuck this one away at the bottom of my fruit basket with all intentions of “opening” it about 3 weeks after I baked it. (Three weeks is about the time that it takes for a package to arrive over to my sister.) Well, about three weeks later, I did indeed hear from her that the pineapple cake-in-a-jar was delish and she then requested zucchini bread-in-a-jar, which you can read all about here. Needless to say, I forgot about the cake-in-a-jar that I had saved to try later. One month passed. Then two months. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been eyeing the jar on my baker’s rack and every time I see it, I decide that I’m going to open it…and then I get distracted and forget about it. I think part of me was (subconsciously) afraid it wasn’t good anymore and I would get some sort of stomach bug from it. And that’s coming from the girl with the iron stomach. Well, I saw an “encouragement” from my friend A (see her blog here) to “write” blog entries so she would have something to read tonight, so A, this post is for you.

Here’s what the cake-in-a-jar looked like after 3 months. No obvious mold. Good.

When I opened it, I did hear the seal “POP”. And it didn’t look dried out and still smelled delicious. It came out of the jar pretty easily. Only a little part of it was left behind in the jar. Continue reading

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If they sell donut holes, where do all the bagel holes go?

For those of you following my adventures in the kitchen through this blog, you know that I love trying to make things from scratch, like fruit leather, Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long tang bao), or green tea  and birthday cake ice cream. Many of you probably are wondering why in the world would you make yogurt from scratch [or insert food], when you can buy them for 0.40 [insert insanely cheap price] at the store? Here are some of the reasons I’m up for the challenge of  DIY food:

1) Sometimes things really do taste better homemade.

2) Sometimes things really are cheaper homemade.

3) It’s “greener”. It reduces packaging waste and doesn’t contribute (much) to my carbon footprint.

4) I can control what goes into what I make. I don’t need to add preservatives, unecessary colorings or flavor enhancers.

5) It’s fun to know “where your food comes from.”

6) It makes me feel more “domesticated”. ( :

Making food from scratch doesn’t always make sense. Some recipes take way too long to prepare and only taste slightly better than store-bought like my Taiwanese pineapple cakes. But nonetheless it’s fun.

So, I wanted to share with you my attempt at homemade bagels. Continue reading

Vitamix does fruit roll-ups

On their website, Vitamix boasts that this amazing “blender” can tackle 52 amazing food feats. Well, I’m proud to say I’ve discovered food feat #53.

Before Christmas break, I stuck some apples in the fridge…and forgot about them…until yesterday. Now, when it comes to apples, I’m pretty snobby. I really like a crisp, crunchy apple. I do not do mealy apples. I’ve recently discovered honeycrisp apples (or as R likes to call them: “honeycripsy” apples) and if any of you have ever ate one, you know exactly what a delicious apple should taste like. Sorry Gala and Fuji but I’ve found a new love. But, I deter. Back to the old, mushy apples in the fridge. Yesterday, I pulled them out of the fridge just to see how “bad” they really were. Secretly, I was hoping that they were rotten and I could just toss them. But suprisingly, they “looked” decent. Well, I knew they weren’t good enough for this “apple snob” to eat directly. So, I remembered that I had been wanting to try to make fruit leather from scratch. Do you remember eating Fruit Roll-Ups as a kid? I thought this would be the perfect way to use up my “old” fruit.

Here’s what I did:

Continue reading

update: Thirty before 30

I fully intended to update you on the progress of my TB30 list the day after my 30th birthday (which was about 2 months ago). Better late than never, huh?

Although I wasn’t able to finish everything on my list, it was still loads of fun trying to.

Here’s a repost of my TB30 list with some added commentary from yours truly. Continue reading

I searched the world…

When it comes to gifts, my husband, R is the hardest person to buy for. He either doesn’t need it, already has it, or it costs a million dollars. (Literally. Think 50-foot yacht.) I’m sure many of you wives can relate. Well, I learned some years ago, that the best gifts are the ones that are personalized. And when I say personalized, I don’t mean buy something from Things Remembered and engrave his name on it. If any of you know us, R loves flying stunt kits. (Our first date was to St. George Island for kite flying.) So, this was my gift to him a couple of years ago. It’s a picture mosaic made up of our pictures. This picture doesn’t do it justice. Up close, you can see that all of the little pictures are pictures of us. (That’s R with his parachute kite on the beach at Tyndall AFB.)

Continue reading