Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Favorite Photo Of The Day!!

Look whose picture made it to Photo of The Day with 121 votes??????

Flan2MINE!!! MINE!! MINE!!


It’s probably no big deal to some of you, but it surely is one heck of a deal to me! I did not even know there’s a voting going on until I went to the site to look for recipes for my NYE dinner. Apparently once you submitted a photo, other readers/viewers will have a chance to vote on their favorite photo. The top 4 most “liked”/ voted pictures will be featured on homepage the following day! Thanks to all who voted!

I think the picture will only be there till 11.59pm tonight….Boo! I wished I saw it earlier!!

Well, I’m surely thrilled my picture was featured on the website even though I was clueless about it as I was new to this food recipe website! What a wonderful way to end 2009!

PS: Thanks, hubby for getting me the dslr for X’mas! =)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spanish Flan

Flan is another dessert I really love……..wait what am I talking about? I love desserts…PERIOD! Anyway, I’ve always thought this dessert is a toughie! And it wasn’t until my friend Chris made some a few weeks back that I found out it was super easy to make this. Chris did a good job making that dessert and told me that he used eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk and sugar. So, based on what he told me….I googled for a recipe!

I found a recipe using the ingredients Chris described on I modified the recipe and the method a little after reading a few reviews/suggestions. The changes turned out great. Here’s the modified recipe, the original one can be found HERE. The Spanish Flan is and will be sweet. So, if you’re not a fan of sweet things…you might need to stay away from this dessert or change the proportion of the condensed milk or sugar I guess! =)


  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 (14 Oz) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 (12 Fl Oz) Can Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt sugar until liquidized and golden in color and runny. Carefully pour hot syrup into a 9 inch round warm glass baking dish, turning the dish to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Beat in condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until smooth. Sieve egg mixture and pour it into baking dish. Place baking dish into a baking pan filled some some hot water. You want to make sure the hot water fills about half way up the sides of the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake in preheated oven 60 minutes or until center of flan is set. Let cool completely. To serve, carefully run a knife along the edges of the flan and invert on serving plate when completely cool.

Flan Flan1

June’s Comments: When cooking/melting the sugar, it will first turn very very clumpy before slowly turning into liquid. Don’t let this scare you to think that you’ve done something wrong and throw away the sugar.

To make your baking dish warm, either microwave it for a couple seconds or stick it in the oven when you’re pre-heating it. A warm dish will let you coat the bottom of the dish the caramel easier. Caramel does harden quickly when it cools down, you work quickly when you swivel the caramel around the baking dish. You do want the caramel to harden before you pour in the custard to bake.

Some sugar/caramel will remain the dish which is ok. To clean up, just soak the baking dish in  water and the sugar will dissolve.

I actually made the Spanish Flan in 6 (7 oz) ramekins. I did not use all the melted sugar and saved some to make sugar art. Making simple sugar art was easy (although it took me several tries). Simply drizzle some melted sugar onto the outside of a bowl and let it cool down. You have to make sure that the melted sugar strands are not to thick or thin and make plenty of strands so that they hold together better. Making it too thin or too thick will make the art harder to remove when it’s cooled. Remember to watch those fingers…..the sugar is hot when you drizzle them!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 X’mas Celebration…

How was your X’mas this year?? Did Santa get you what you wanted? Were you on Santa’s lil’ nice list this year? I know I was! =)


This year’s X’mas celebration was a small family event. It was just the us plus my brother and his gf. All of our closer friends were celebrating X’mas in a foreign country…HOW FUN!!

Anyways, we did not do a fancy X’mas eve dinner this year. Hubby and I had a X’mas party to go to, so I did not plan for a fancy home cooked meal on the eve. We had store bought rotisserie chicken and take-out Thai food for dinner after we got back from the X’mas party. That night all 4 of us played the new Super Mario game on the Wii and stayed up till 4am on X’mas day. We ended up opening our presents at 2 - 3am in the morning! =) We had so many presents to open and I really felt like a little kid again! Haha! But now, there’re no longer presents under the tree….=(


On X’mas day, I planned out a 4 course meal dinner for the 4 of us. Appetizer, soup, entree and of course a dessert!! Table setting was simple (and my usual) with a red, black and white theme. Candy canes and also lottery tickets were the “party favors”. But no…no one hit the jackpot for the lottery ticket. =(.


I made some Deviled Eggs for appetizer and a cuppa French Onion Soup each for soup. Grilled Chicken with some Mushroom Marsala sauce (Bottom Left) was for entree. I seasoned and roasted some Yukon Gold Potatoes in some salt and olive oil which turned out super yummy to accompany the chicken. There was also some Garlic Butter Sprouts to got with the entree. =) I made so much food, we barely had room for the grand finale; dessert! Spanish Flan (Bottom right) turned out excellent and nobody of course said no to dessert!! =) I will share this wonderful recipe later!


Now……… to plan my next holiday meal….New Year’s Eve Dinner..which will be another low key celebration….with some bubbly champagne perhaps! =)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Gingerbread Man Cookies

I made Gingerbread Man again! Although, I was a little late this year (baked them on X’mas eve)…’s their “presence” that counts! Haha.. I’ve mentioned last year that I love Gingerbread Man and I would usually get one (or two) when I see them! With my homemade Gingerbread Man cookies, I have almost unlimited supply of them! =)

I made these yummy cookies with the recipe I extracted from The recipe can be found HERE.




  • 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • 3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2/3 Cup Unsulphured Molasses


In a large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and spices. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and molasses and beat until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture beating until incorporated.

Divide the dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper and set aside while you roll out the dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut out the cookies.  With an offset spatula lift the cut out cookies onto the baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 inch apart. If you are hanging the cookies or using as gift tags, make a hole at the top of the cookies with a straw or end of a wooden skewer.

Bake for about 8 - 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. Small ones will take about 8 minutes, larger cookies will take about 12 minutes. They are done when they are firm and the edges are just beginning to brown.

Remove the cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for about 1 minutes. When they are firm enough to move, transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Let the Gingerbread Man cool completely before decorating them with some royal icing!

June’s Comments: I did not have some of the ground spices required in the recipe. I therefore made a slight change to the grounded spices. The cookies still turned out great. Here’s what I used : 2 Tsp Ground Ginger, 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon, and 1 Tsp Pumpkin Spice. After refrigeration, the cookie dough was tough to rolled out, so I left it at room temperature for 5 minutes or so for the cookie dough to soften a little being rolling it out flat. Cookies turned out great!!


What are Gingerbread Man without some sugary sweet white icing on it?? I did not use the frosting recipe for the Gingerbread Man as provided by as I did not have anymore butter at home. I used the royal icing recipe I found on which I have used last year (both the cookies and the icing) to make my Gingerbread Man cookies.

Here’s the Royal Icing recipe extracted from The original recipe can be found HERE.



  • 1 Egg White
  • 1/2 Tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar


The traditional way to make Royal Icing is to beat egg whites and lemon juice together, adding the powdered sugar until the mixture holds stiff peaks. With modern concerns about salmonella from raw eggs, you can either use powdered egg whites or heat the egg whites first to kill any bacteria. With the heating method, mix the egg white and lemon juice with a third of the sugar, heat in a microwave until the mixture's temperature is 160°F. Then remove from microwave, and beat in the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Using the powdered egg whites method, combine 1 Tbsp egg white powder with 2 Tbsp water. Proceed as you would otherwise. (Raw egg white alternatives from the 2006 Joy of Cooking)

If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar until you get the desired consistency. Fill a piping bag with the icing to pipe out into different shapes. (Or use a plastic sandwich bag, with the tip of one corner of the bag cut off.) Keep the icing covered while you work with it or it will dry out.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Fish Bones @ Chelmsford, MA

 FishBonesWhen our friends, Siaw Lay and Alan was in town, we brought them to our favorite seafood restaurant in Chelmsford. Fish Bones offer a selection of fresh and yummy seafood dishes as well as a selection of fresh & raw seafood. Yes, it’s got a little fish market inside! It probably felt weird to some, eating at the fish market….but hey just imagine that’s a whole display of desserts! Haha!

The first time we were there, the place was small, tables were limited and it was quite a wait during dinner time. They have expanded since and offer more seating within the premises. We brought our guests there during lunch on a week day. There weren’t much patrons, hence we were seated immediately. The interior was quite tastefully decorated and the new wing even had a gorgeous (faux?) fireplace.


Here’s what we ordered that day:

1) Seafood Chowder (Bottom Left) @ $3.99/per cup. I ordered this yummy creamy cup of satisfaction which was the soup of the day! I believe the soup was a cream base, filled with chunks of scallops, clams?, fish and shrimp. I would definitely order this the next time I’m there!

2) Clam Chowder (Bottom Right) @ $3.99/per cup. Hubby and Alan ordered this. It was filled with clams and potatoes. I did not like this very much as I think they added a lil’ too much dill (I assume)in the soup. The dill was a bit overpowering.


3) Calamari Basket (Bottom Left) @ $8.99. Point Judith Calamari, deep fried to golden brown served with a side of their spicy Chipotle sauce. This was very good! The calamari were very fresh and lightly coated in the batter, which was fried to a golden perfection. I forgot how the Citpotle sauce tasted, though. Not sure if I even had it. I might have eaten the fried calamari plain.

4) Lobster Roll (Bottom Right) @ $14.99. A toasted roll filled with lobster salad, served with fries and coleslaw. The price was quite decent for a lobster roll plus 2 sides. I’ve seen lobster rolls (no sides, nothing) being priced at $14.99. Alan ordered this dish and commented that it was decent and the lobster meat was chopped a bit too finely. I think he said that wasn’t the best lobster roll he had.


5) Maryland Crab Cake Sandwich (Bottom Left) @ $11.99. Two homemade Maryland style crab cakes served on a freshly made Brioche burger roll with lettuce, tomato, pickles, fries and homemade coleslaw. Siaw Lay ordered this and I forgot what was her comment on it. They surely looked delicious! It was however, one of my first? time seeing a deep fried crab cake. I’ve usually eaten crab cakes, pan fried style only.

6) Luncheon Grill Mix (Bottom Right) @ $10.99. Grilled swordfish tips, tuna tips and two large shrimp served over a bed of rice pilaf with grilled assorted vegetables. Hubby ordere this and he loved it! He cleaned the plate so fast!!!

 FishBones8 FishBones9

7) Sesame Steak Tuna Sandwich (Bottom) @ $9.99. Grilled Sushi Grade #1 yellow fin tuna, marinated in sesame oil and coated in sesame seeds and grilled to temperature, served on a freshly baked brioche burger roll with seaweed salad, lettuce, tomato, pickles, homemade coleslaw and fries. This was mine, mine, MINE!! I ordered the tuna cooked rare, but it came to me almost like medium rare. I was surely disappointed as I prefer my tuna just lightly seared on the outside and very very rare in the inside. The tuna however was surprisingly still very moist and flavorful in the inside  and I still enjoyed it despite the tuna being “overcooked” to me. When the waitress came around and asked how was everyone’s food, I told her about mine. She was nice to apologize and mentioned she could bring us a dessert on the house (which was a nice gesture). She also said to order the tuna steak sandwich, sushi style so that it will be cooked rare to my preference. Tips, noted!


We unfortunately did not have any room left in our tummy…….So, we actually had to pass on the free dessert!! Haha! Service and food were all good!!! And that was why it’s one of our favorite seafood places!

If you’re in town, or if you’re willing to drive to Chelmsford….give Fish Bones a try! Lunch would probably be less busy and you most likely need not wait. There are plenty of parking behind the premises…you would have to drive slower as you approach the address as you might miss the entrance into the parking lots. During the summer, Fish Bones also offer some outdoor seating for those who want to get a bit of sunshine. And if you want to see the chefs busy in action, there are also some bar seats overlooking the kitchen!

Check out Fish Bone’s restaurant HERE and their Fish Market HERE.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!!

Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Merry Christmas!

Don’t forget to thank Santa for your presents! =)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Easy French Onion Soup

It was a snowy Sunday. The New England area was experiencing a snow storm. Hubby and I decided to stay in for the most part of Sunday to chill and work on another wood working project! =) Soup was definitely in my mind. It was a great comfort food on such a beautiful yet cold and gloomy day!

Hubby and I love French Onion Soup, yet this is something we’ve always had only in restaurants. I’ve never attempted to make it myself till that snowy Sunday! After googling for some inspirations and ideas…I got busy! A large bowl French Onion Soup each was the perfect simple lunch for us to keep warm! 

Here’s my recipe for an easy French Onion Soup. I use store bought beef and chicken stock hence saving me a bunch of time and effort in preparing the stock. If you have homemade stock in hand, I bet those would be better!! I also use store bought Texas Garlic Toast. These toast are thicker and would be able to sustain better when I place them in the soup. These toast are also precut and comes in a box of 8 pieces for about $2 from your local grocery store! Garlic toast gives the toast an extra garlicky flavor. You could also use Cheese Toast, or any of your favorite thick cut toasts!!




  • 3-1/2 to 4 Cups Sliced Yellow Onion (About 2 Large Onions)
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme
  • 2 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • 2 Tsp Sugar
  • 4 Cups Beef Stock*
  • 2 Pcs Texas Garlic Toast
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Tsp Chopped Parsley (Optional)
  • Salt & Pepper

*   I use 3 Cups of Beef Stock and 1 Cup of Chicken Stock.                                                             


Preheat oven at 400F and let garlic toast bake until they are toasty, and brown.

Melt 3 tbsp butter in a pot over medium high heat. Once butter has melted, add bay leaves, dried thyme and onion. Cook onion until soft, then add mince garlic. Continue to stir fry onion and garlic until onion start to brown a little. Add sugar and let onion brown a little more/caramelized but not burnt! Once all onion has soften and nicely browned, add beef/chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Let soup simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

Pour hot soup into 2 bowls (oven proof and will fit about 2 cups of soup). Quickly place the toasted garlic toast on top of the soup and then top it with cheese. Cover the toast with cheese and feel free to sprinkle some into the soup.    


Place the bowls onto a pan and into the oven and set it to the broiler (heat coming from top) function. Let cheese melt, become bubbly and slightly brown before removing the bowls from the oven. Sprinkle with some optional parsley and serve immediately keeping in mind, SOUP IS HOT!! Don’t burn our tongue!! =)


June’s Comments: I made the soup as an entree size serving. If you want to make this a smaller appetizer serving, cut the toasted bread into half and prepare 4 small bowls (large enough for at least 1 cup of soup).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tang Yuan (Glutinous Rice Balls)

On every Winter Solstice (Dong Zhi in mandarin) which usually falls on Deember 21 or 22 each year, the Chinese community will gather together and make and eat Tang Yuan (Mandarin) or Tong Yuen (Cantonese) which is glutinous rice balls served in a syrup. The roundness of the glutinous balls symbolizes unity and harmony in a family. Hence, this dish/event is widely celebrated. These days, you don’t need to wait till Dong Zhi to eat these delicious Tang Yuans.

I remember when I was younger, mommy said that I’m a year older after eating the Tang Yuans. Recently, I heard that traditionally, you’re supposed to eat Tang Yuans according to your current age, plus one. So if you’re 10 right now, you’ll have to eat 11 Tang Yuans….hence making you an 11 year old after you finish your bowl of Tang Yuans. I’m 28 turning 29…..that means I would have to eat 29 Tang Yuans…….Imagine if you’re 60, 70, or 80! How on earth would one be able to eat that many Tang Yuans without getting a bad case of indigestion??? Hubby suggested to make big round ones…imagine him  eating 30 big round Tang Yuans. I don’t know if he will choke first, puke first or go right into sugar high!

I like my Tang Yuans in sweet ginger syrup. Some of these sweet versions of Tang Yuan will have a red bean paste filling, black sesame paste filling or just sugar. It’s really a personal preference! You could also make them savory by boiling them in a soup along with vegetables and/or meat.

I will make Tang Yuans during Dong Zhi, not that I like getting “old”, but I love this tong sui. And I’ll make them randomly a couple times a year….whenever I have a Tang Yuan craving!

I usually mix cold water to the glutinous rice flour and serve them in a ginger syrup mixture. This year, my mom suggested that I try mixing the dough with boiling water. It apparently gives the dough a slightly more springy texture to the Tang Yuan instead of a gooey one. She told me to serve it in some brown sugar syrup. I took her advice and made it differently this year. It was definitely better. Hubby even commented that the Tang Yuans are nice to chew. Thanks Mom for the tips. Here’s the Tang Yuan recipe based on Mom’s tips.




Part A (Dough)

  • 1 Cup Glutinous Rice Flour (Plus more if needed)
  • 1/2 Cup + 1 Tbsp Hot Boiling Water (Plus more if needed)
  • Food Coloring Gel (Optional)

Part B (Syrup)

  • 2 Inch Ginger, Cut into 4 slices
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2-3 Pandan Leaves, Knotted
  • 2-1/2 Cup Water


Bring Part B (Syrup) to boil until sugar melted. Set aside and keep warm. You can adjust sweetness of the syrup by adding more or less sugar and or water. It’s personal preference for this!

In a large bowl, add glutinous rice flour and form a well. Gradually pour in hot water into the “well”, while stirring mixture with a wooden spoon. Stir to combine. When the mixture is not as hot ( and you’re hand is comfortable to the temperature) use your hands to knead the dough. Knead dough until it’s no longer sticking to the bowl or your hands (as shown below). For any reason, If you think you need more water or flour, do so gradually.


At this point, you could roll the dough into a log and pinch them to make smaller balls. I like my Tang Yuans slightly colorful and divided my dough into 3. I added some Pandan paste to one dough and Wilton red food coloring gel to another dough. Dap a little coloring at a time. A little goes a long way. Knead them until all colors are incorporated. Because I’ve introduced some liquid to the dough, I needed more glutinous rice flour to bring the texture back to a non-stick texture. Gradually sprinkle a little glutinous rice flour at a time and continue kneading the dough until it’s no longer “non-stick” again.


When you get the colors you want (the colors will turn slightly darker when cooked), roll each color into a log, before pinching of bits to roll them into a ball. Place the balls on a plate lined with some parchment paper.


Bring a pot of water to boil, then drop the Tang Yuans into it. Do not over crowd the pot. The Tang Yuans will float when they are cook. Let them cook another minute or two after they float to make sure everything is cooked through. Strain Tang Yuans and run cold water through.

  TangYuan7 TangYuan8

Drop the cooked Tang Yuans into the pot of syrup. Bring syrup to boil with the Tang Yuans for about 1-2 minutes before serving. This should feed about 2 people.


June’s Comments: If you don’t want plain Tang Yuans, you could fill them them Red Bean Paste or Black Sesame Paste or even roll some Black Sesame Seeds onto the dough. Filling the Tang Yuans and rolling them was tough for me. so, I only made 4 Red Bean filled Tang Yuan. =)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Instant Paella!

I fell in love with Paella when I first had it in Barcelona. For the next few days in Barcelona, we managed to get some of this lovely Spanish cuisine for dinner each day!

Paella is basically short grain rice cooked with meat, vegetables and or seafood. Saffron; the world’s most expensive spice (by weight) is used in cooking this delicious rice dish! When in Rome, I came across this package of instant Paella by FIRMA ITALIA for about Euro 2 (I think) and scooped out one packet to try when I got back to the US.


Hubby was (and has been) asking me when I was going to make the instant Paella I bought from Italy. It’s been more than 2 months since I got it and I finally made them last night. Since we had some yummy Sushi buffet for lunch, I decided to cook something simple at home. Instant Paella it is. It wasn’t that instant or cheap after the stuff I added to it. I guess it’s still cheaper than eating out!! =)

The package said it serves 2. But knowing our eating capabilities, I knew right off that it would not be enough for the 2 of us. On top of Saffron (Yes, I added a pinch of Saffron threads to my Paella)…hence making it expensive!! I added a few cut up squid tubes, large shrimp, frozen vegetables and cooked rice (which I added towards the end).


Instruction on the back (in 6-8 different languages) said to cook the Paella for 15 minutes. That wasn’t enough as my rice was still hard. I also had to add more liquid than instructed as the rice was absorbing the liquid away yet still giving me uncooked rice. Perhaps it’s all due to the extra ingredients I added to the Paella!

The result….it’s not bad for an instant Paella. I was expecting the Paella so be a little more fishy, more “seafoody” (if that’s a word at all!) flavor. Definitely not was flavorful coz this is just the plain Paella I guess? But if you’re craving for some quick fix Paella, this is a decent product to have in the pantry!! =) Next time you see this in the store, grab one to try!


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cinnamon Rolls

After having some yummy Cinnamon Rolls at Strouds during my Kansas City trip, I was yearning to have some here at home! Hubby’s cousin said that their complimentary cinnamon rolls (on top of their award winning pan fried chicken) were to-die-for. Indeed it was!!

So of I go Googling for recipes for an easy Cinnamon Roll recipe. Bread and such is something I stay away from baking coz my last few encounter with yeast wasn’t that successful! Yeast is like my kryptonite, I fear it! I fear the result it will give my baked goods! And usually, my baked goods turned out not as soft as it’s supposed to be. Hence, I tend to stay away from yeast whenever I can!! I stick to recipes using baking powder and baking soda instead!

I found the recipe on Food Network; one of my favorite online source for recipes. The Cinnamon Roll recipe is by Paula Deen and have a 5/5 star review from an average of 200 reviewers.

Even though my cinnamon rolls weren’t super soft, it was still delicious. The rolls did not poof up like it’s supposed to per the instructions. Don’t get me wrong, it still poofed, just not quite double its size during the first and second round of letting the dough rest and rise. I blame it on me and my surroundings perhaps. I’m pretty sure I use the right yeast (and still active one) this time. So, the first fault maybe due to the warm water added to the yeast. It maybe the warm water was not warm enough or too warm. Secondly, it was a rather cold day. Hence, cold kitchen = cold baking condition? Therefore the colder temperature maybe have resulted in the slower proofing/rising of the dough. If I have waited more than the suggested time, perhaps the dough would have risen more! =)

I’m sharing the recipe here since the recipe did after all receive pretty good reviews. And there’s a super high chance of user error that my cinnamon rolls weren’t super soft and fluffy. Well, at the very least, it wasn’t hard as rock!! 




Part A (Dough):

  • 1/4 Oz Package Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Warm Water
  • 1/2 Cup Scalded Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Butter, Melted
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 3-1/2 to 4 Cups All-Purpose Flour

Part B (Filling):

  • 1/2 Cup Butter, plus more for pan
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar, plus more for pan
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 3/4 Cup Raisins, Walnuts, or Pecans, (*Optional)

Part C (Glaze):

  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 3 - 6 Tbsp Hot Water


In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.

Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

June’s Comments : As much as I love cinnamon rolls, I’m not a big fan of the sugary white sticky glaze. Therefore, I skipped the whole glazing thing. The rolls was ok soft….but yummy. It was harder the next day, but it wasn’t something a few minutes in the microwave can’t do to soften it!!!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Sightseeing Rome – October 8, 2009

Here are overdue pictures of my maiden trip to Rome, Italy. This is just some pictures taken the first day we arrived in Rome. After resting a bit and checking out the rest of our Bed & Breakfast in Rome, we were off to our Roman adventure!

Some of these pictures are taken, on our way to find the B&B. First picture (Bottom Left) is what we suspect is the official entrance into Vatican City. Then, we came across the famous and ever popular St. Peter’s Square or Piazza San Pietro in Italian (Bottom Right). If you do not know what this is, check out Dan Brown’s book or movie Angels & Demons! =)

Rome08-1 Rome08-2

And we also passes by St Peter’s Basilica (Bottom Left) which was situated in the St. Peter’s Square, located within Vatican City. This is the biggest Christian church in the world, with the ability to hold 60,000 people inside. We were able to go into the Basilica the next day for a tour.

The following pictures are taken after we checked into the B&B. We walked to the Trastevere which is located south of Vatican City and west bank of the Tiber from the main part of Rome. We were recommended by fellow tourist we met in Florence to look for food in the Trastevere area and so we did!

We walked from our B&B to the Parco Gianicolense (Gianicolense Park) on Monte del Gianicolo. It was a long and tiring walk - up hill! But the view we got once we arrived was rewarding! The view of Rome (Bottom Right)…which was naturally illuminated by the sun (sun set maybe??). This was the first of many scenic views of Rome we were able to enjoy.


Across from the scenic viewing area, stood the Monumento a Garibaldi (Bottom Left) in the middle of Piazzale Giuseppe Garibaldi.

One of many fountains we see in Rome (Bottom Right). This one seem no longer in use, though still pretty!

Rome08-4     Rome08-7 

On the way down from the Gianicolense Park, we saw a gorgeous grand fountain; Fontana dell' Acqua Paola (Bottom) which was built in the 17th century. This fountain was actually steps away from the Spanish Embassy.


After hanging out in Trasvetere and getting some delicious Italian dinner there, we walked back to the B&B……but not before getting lost and wasting precious time to find our way back! =)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Creamy Bacon & Chicken Pasta

I could have been an Italian in my past life! I love pizza and pasta and would never get sick of it. When we went to Italy (& Spain) in October, it was like food heaven for me; pizza, pasta, gelato! The household will eat pasta at least once a week. I always have a box of linguini, or macaroni or spaghetti in my pantry. Whenever I ran out of idea of what to cook, as long as I have a box of pasta…I’m pretty much all set!!

I love bacon in pasta as it gives the sauce a nice smoky flavor. This recipe here is inspired by a pasta I had at Friday’s years ago.




  • 10 Oz Uncooked Pasta (Spaghetti, Fettuccini, Linguine, or etc)
  • 10 Oz Roasted Chicken, Chopped
  • 4 Oz Fresh Mushroom, Sliced
  • 4 Pieces Bacon, Cut into 1/2”
  • 1 Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
  • Parmesan Cheese (*Optional)


Boil pasta in seasoned water (oil + salt) till al-dente. Set that aside.

In a large pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Then add bacon and sauté bacon until it starts to shrivel and brown. At this point add onion and garlic. Continue to sauté until onion started to soften. Add roasted chicken and mushroom and stir fry till mushroom starts to wilt. Pour in chicken stock and heavy cream and continue cooking until sauce thickens slightly.

Once sauce starts to thicken, add cooked pasta. Toss pasta well so that it’s thoroughly coated in the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle some chopped parsley and serve with some grated parmesan cheese! This should serve about 3-4 people.

June’s Notes: Make it slightly healthier by adding about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frozen peas or chopped tomatoes! If you add frozen peas, you could add that in when you pour in the liquid. If you add tomatoes, add that in at the very last; when you sprinkle the parsley!

Related Posts with Thumbnails