Saturday, December 26, 2009


Hope everyone had a great Christmas/holidays! instead of putting up our usual christmas tree, paper crafts is the theme. found everything to decorate our construction paper trees lying around the house. now how is that for recession holiday fun!

the fam's all home and since it's a big holiday that means food! so we started off in the early morning making some monkey bread- not too bad, the brown sugar made the biscuits stick to the bundt pan. decreased the sugar and butter to make the "healthier" version. the brown sugar could be decreased even more. plus, some walnuts or something would add a nice touch.

then of course the main part of the christmas meal-simple baked tilapia (salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon, threw in a garlic clove while it baked) then a side of roasted parsley potatoes and butter roasted asparagus and brussel sprouts. first time trying brussel sprouts, not bad drowning in a garlicky butter sauce, however, if u can tell, we sort of forgot to check the vegetables and our green veggies sort of died...
of course there always needs to be's a oreo cheesecake cupcake. it has an oreo at the bottom, then regular cheesecake with oreo crumble on top. the cookie doesn't really soften in the oven, so next time only putting in half the cookie might work out just as well

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Belated Thanksgiving

Now that it's less than 2 weeks until Christmas, I've decided it's high time to talk about the past holiday (ahem, my favorite holiday) Thanksgiving. The usual was made and devoured, although the one that was different and I wanted to talk about my sweet potato pie-Korean style.I got the recipe off of the foodnetwork site and it was really simple. But then, being frazzled shopping at Lotte and cornered by my mother to use the Korean sweet potato (not the American yam/sweet potato, which I've realized no one labels as both!). So instead of an orangey kind of pie, it was more yellow. It looked down right frightening before it was baked, but the resulting flavor tasted like a dense Korean sweet potato with a crust. Yum. Happy eating.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

cold dreary days

been baking but not doing so well on the posting of said baked goods. will get on that. for s2's birthday made a delicious carrot cake with pineapple and walnuts. followed the cream cheese recipe but it was too sweet and not cream cheesy enough. any suggestions?

in other news, it's one week until the best holiday of the year! Thanksgiving!!!! so excited. plus, i'm thinking about trying out bakerella's pumpkin truffles by buying pumpkin cans on sale after turkey day. fun fun

Friday, September 4, 2009

healthy granola bars for the sis

making a fam road trip to cleveland to visit the sister who's studying hard to become the doctor of the family. tried out a straightforward easy to fiddle with granola recipe. this is the cranberry sunflower seed one.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

oreo truffle poo

had some fun tryin out bakerella's oreo truffle recipe. while trying to form the balls i was ending up w/ really creamy poo and didn't realize until the next day that i had read 18 oz of cream cheese instead of 1 8 oz of cream cheese. i was wondering why i couldn't find an 18 oz at the grocery store. but anyway, freezing the little suckers before coating them in white chocolate helped to get them firmed up, but i still need to work on the melting of the candy melts. but the ugly babies were a lot of fun to decorate.

the pretty selection of outer coating- cocoa powder, sprinkles! and nuts

hahha, frozen oreo truffles, plus overly hot melted white chocolate was a very bad combination

tada! misshapen creamy cuties

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fresco Cafe and Bangkok Delight

trying out different food places in hoco before the sister leaves the state.

we made a pit stop to fresco cafe (off of north ridge rd) which opened a month ago. the owners are very friendly and they have breakfast, lunch and lots of drink choices. the tall for the drinks were very large.

bangkok delight was the first choice for thai based on reviews. asian umbrellas decorate the ceiling of the loft esque restaurant. service is great and the food is good. the mango cheesecake was citrusy, very creamy, but also a little confusing on the taste. we shared a green curry (just in case u like spicy food, their "hot" is an asian person's medium) the vegetables were very fresh

happy eating

Thursday, February 12, 2009

snot and germs

today i went to my 2nd preschool. joy oh joy. and no, i did not expect to be thrown into little ppl school and watch all their snot and faces get cleaned w/ the same towel. ugh. and no i do not plan to find love here. (unless u want me to do some serious cradle robbing since that is the only age group i am around)

all the older kids are taking exams right now, so i don't get to work w/ them for awhile. so i just stare at the preschoolers as they babble hindi to me (i don't even know how to say "i don't understand" in hindi to them) although i have this strange urge every time to say "no se" or any other spanish i know

haven't got sick of indian food yet. greasy parathas w/ yummy veggies. potatoes are still just as tasty. although the coordinator says a lot of volunteers get sick in the summer b/c of the combination of the food and heat. joy. limited fruit choices since eating anything that cannot be peeled would prolly equal death but have been eating nice oranges (for 1 kg it's Rs. 35-40)

momos and western cake are apparently a standard combination. really weird. the cake is not so good. interesting pineapple icing w/ funky cake.

they also have "american corn" which is corn in a cup w/ spices, and a lot of popcorn everywhere.

Monday, February 9, 2009

week 2: taj mahal and faridabad

8 hrs sideways in the back of a van to agra and the taj mahal. it's Rs. 750 for foreignors and about Rs. 20 for indians. such a huge difference. the taj mahal is gorgeous, but def got sunstroke from the light. the sun is much stronger. arrived in faridabad (a city about 30 km south of the center of delhi) and was supposed to go to my site, but apparently their not sure when i will go, so i am in limbo at the local coordinator's apartment. there are 2 other american girls there which is nice b/c then it is not quite as lonely. faridabad is much quieter. i went to the girl's orphanage w/ them (ahhh children!) and taught them vowels. so strange to be surrounded by so many children. i think this deters me more from having children:) hope everyone is well

Thursday, February 5, 2009


omg. the two other girls and i are in gurgaon, which is a satellite city 25 km south of the center of delhi. which is quite nice b/c not as much pollution or noise pollution as delhi. i'm quite happy to be going to the countryside soon as delhi is not my cup of tea.

likes and dislikes:
chai, no delhi belly, humayun's tomb (the idea behind the taj mahal), cheaper stuff (four 12.5l bottles of water are about a dollar), learning hindi (i'm back at school!), my new salwar kameez
air pollution, noise pollution, cow manure, waking up so early for some reason, cold showers, the fawning that occurred when we ended up at a ritzy bazaar that our private taxi dropped us off at (at least i might be able to blend in better), going to tourist sites and getting surrounded by the school children asking our names and where we are from (i mean hundreds of them!)

oooh, walked past a group of korean students actually speaking in korean. so interesting.

going into delhi again tomorrow, then more language lessons, taj mahal on sunday and village on monday!

Monday, February 2, 2009


i made it! it's hot...the airport was rather odd, lots of dirt roads and construction. you couldn't pay me to drive in the city. there is one other volunteer doing the program, thank gosh! getting lots of odd looks. but i've mastered "ne" = no. hahah. it's about 76 degrees right now and getting warmer. the view from the apartment room we're staying in overlooks construction where these women carry about 8-10 bricks on top of their head. i keep looking the wrong way crossing the streets. crazy people who drive on the wrong side. unlike london though, they don't tell you which way to look when you cross. oke, take care, until next time!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

lunch something

i've been doing very poorly with the updation. this was her meal a couple days ago...
main: cheese sandwich of some sort

sides: leftover salad from cheesecake factory (which tastes very healthy...), sliced melon and crackers

tomorrow is the last lunch i make! i'll have to make it a good one. but yea, leaving tomorrow for ny then flying out on saturday to india. packing was unbearable, but i managed to fit everything into one big camper's backpack and a smaller backpack. and there's even toilet paper! so my bodily functions notwithstanding, excited for india but also nervous about what i will be living in for 3.5 months

Monday, January 26, 2009

dad's ice cream birthday cake

from the cake doctor. a mix of a chocolate angel food cake box, 3 layers of alternating strawberry and vanilla ice cream and an icing of whipping cream, confectioner's powder and vanilla extract. all in all, a 5 hour process. but the ice cream is light and a big hit for ice cream fans
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Friday, January 23, 2009

lunch 19 and banana muffins

only so many more meals to go
main: tuna salad w/ various vegetable fixings and cheese
sides: pretzels and pb, apple, banana&walnuts

i wanted to make some muffins and the bananas are getting rather ripe. here's a shot of the batter in the cupcake tin (first time not putting in cupcake liners) and the finished product- banana and walnut muffins (once again substituting the shortening with apple sauce, so much healthier) the bananas were not quite ripe enough and the apple flavor still comes through. will have to play around w/ that next time.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

lunch 18

only the phlegm is trying to stay my best friend, other than that, making a nice recovery before i leave:)

main: penne, veggies, veggie crumbles and tomato sauce

sides: apple, banana and walnut, veggies and hummus

in other news, the inauguration was lots of fun to watch. very long, but interesting. i think i am sleeping on the floor in india, so now unfortunately i have to take a sleeping bag. guh. so much for packing an insanely small amount.

lunch 17 and the missing lunch

got sick so i was too tired to take a picture of lunch 16 (but she did get one) here's lunch 17

main: veggie and cheese sandwich w/ some hummus

sides: banana and walnuts (the walnuts help cut down the after taste of banana), apple, pretzels and pb

Friday, January 16, 2009

lunch 15 and apple walnut muffins

wild rice with veggies (broccoli, carrots, onions, leftover channa masala)

apple walnut muffins w/o butter
i made some homemade applesauce again and substituted it in for the butter, and then added more for an apple taste. the walnuts give it a really nice contrast to the fluffyness of the muffin and moistness (this word only works in the context of food) of the cooked apples. delish and super easy to make.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

lunch 14

14 sounds like such a small number, but it feels like forever that i've been making lunches. anyhoo
main: the pierogies again w/ green peppers, onions and sauce (trying to get rid of the jar before it goes bad and then i get yelled at my the mothership...this whole cooking thing ends up me trying to get rid of food that's hanging around in the fridge)
sides: orange, leftover channa masala, and tomatoes

lunch 13

forgot to take a picture of the rest of the lunch, but this is a modified channa masala using whatever ingredients were actually in the house. chickpeas (which i forgot to cook, so they had a crunchy texture that was kind of nice, but didn't soak in the flavor very well), cumin, paprika, lemon juice, some tomatoes, onions, garlic w/ rice

the recipe came out too bland, it would have tasted much nicer in the sauce from the vegetarian chili

lunch 12

boringness ensues

main: ham and cheese sandiwch

sides: broccoli & hummus, apple and banana

like i said, boring...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

lunch 11

back to original posting.

main: vegetarian chili w/ flax seed bread
sides: yogurt and granola, banana, veggies w/ hummus

a close up of the chili i made. really quick and easy w/ the whole 1 pot thing

sauteed onion w/ cumin, oregano and salt, then added the chopped green pepper, garlic and veggie crumbles. after that was the tomatoes, chili powder, pepper, kidney beans, chickpeas and corn, boil then simmer for a good 20-30 minutes so everything can get nice and flavorful.

i think next time i want to try adding some zucchini and trying tofu instead of veggie crumbles (i used boca, which has a rather rubbery texture, although s4 disagrees). the parentals think it tastes indian, prolly from the cumin.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

lunch 10

this picture looks so much nicer than the plastic containers. mebbe i'm gettin lazy already. anyway

main: tofu and veggies stirfried with garlic love (trying to get rid of the last vegetables in the fridge so i can finally buy some new stuff)

can't see the sides but she had an orange and pita w/ cheese...
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Friday, January 9, 2009

lunch 9

main: leftover chicken, spinach, penne, broccoli tossed in olive oil and pepper

sides: spinach wrapes with ham (from heavenly ham, which i'm told is yummy) and havarti, apple and a slice of mimi's birthday cake (thanks!)

it's mommy's bday. made her a card. got the cupcake idea
off of a scrapbooking sticker...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

lunch 8

ugh. the lighting is terrible in the kitchen...

main: penne, sauteed veggies with chicken

sides: broccoli (melted havarti on top, not shown), apple and graham crackers with pb and chocolate chips

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

lunch 7 and vaccine fun

main: broccoli and cheese pierogies (store bought, if only i were that talented) with sauteed green peppers and red onions w/ tomato sauce
sides: homemade apple sauce (w/ fuji, no sugar, just a little bit of lemon juice and cinnamon), banana, and veggies w/ hummus

on a side note, went to passport health and got vaccinated for life. 4 shots (dpt, typhoid, hep a, and polio) plus malaria pills = $610. i guess if i have to put it in perspective, it's better than dying in india. i hate shots. although maybe getting a tattoo also put 4 shots in perspective. not as painful as i remembered, but i wish they had cute band-aids like at the pediatrician. the video u have to watch is pretty amusing, it's one notch above a driver's ed video.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

lunch 6

main: spinach salad w/ ham and egg
sides: pita & hummus, yogurt w/ granola and an unripened banana (her choice, not mine)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

lunch 5

haha new background for the food. main: ham and cheese melt sandwich with veggies (the veggies bought last week are lasting forever)
snacks: veggie slices w/ hummus, apple, and the favorite- pb, choco chips and pretzels

lunch 4

Yum yum. main: spinach salad, havarti, tomatoes, cucumber, carrots and the leftover chicken from yesterday
snacks: hummus and pita, graham crackers, pb & chocolate chips, and an apple