It’s been awhile since I’ve baked anything, but when I saw the vampire cupcakes over at bakingbites.com, I knew I just had to make them! I had been very blah about Halloween up until then. I changed things up slightly with my version. I’m not too big of a fan of cherry, so I found some strawberry pie filling to use instead for the blood. And as much as I like my co-workers, who will be eating them, I didn’t want to spend the time on making my own frosting. So I got some frosting in a can and mixed it up with some whipped cream cheese. Consider my version like a strawberry cheesecake cupcake if you will. I will be definitely making these again!!
If all goes as planned we will be going to China in February for Chinese New Year! I wouldn’t have thought that we’d be going on this trip months ago. We initially were planning to try to get to New Orleans for Mardi Gras which falls right at the same time. It was a tough decision, with none of my siblings coming along. My brother wanted to go, but my mom told him no because my niece is too young for the cold weather and my sisters are unavailable for one reason or another. Then my folks offered to foot the cost of the trip, so how could we say no?
We’ll be going for just short of two weeks. And since just about everyone asks this, no, we’re not visiting relatives. All my relatives that are not in the states are in Vietnam. There are Chinese people NOT in China. *gasp* It’s just a fun, for the hell of it, trip. I’m not quite sure what’s on the agenda yet for the trip, but it would be fun if we were anywhere near where the Olympics stuff is being set up.
It will be an interesting trip. I’m surprised at how gung ho Jason has been at wanting to go. One, it’s going to be cold. He HATES the cold. And it meant being on a long trip with my parents. In China. Not knowing Chinese. I’m not even sure if *I* like the idea of that. Along with my parents and us, it will be some of my father’s friends. So we are the odd ones out. But I know it will be fun regardless and will be a nice growth experience.
Though I’ve been better about updating this a bit more frequent, it’s still sporadic. So when I saw several people I know participating in this, I though why not? NaBloPoMo is National Blog Posting Month where you pledge post every single day. Kind of like NaNoWriMo, but easier…no way could I do that one! So here we go!
Add me if you plan on doing it too!
Someone make this insane wind go away!
Two weekends ago, I finally got a chance to go to Salo Salo Grill in Moreno Valley. Very yum, but best for dining in than take out unless you live super close by. After being stuck in traffic, the food got a bit cold and it also meant no ordering dessert for surely the halo halo would have been a melted mess. On Angela’s recommendation, I got the chicken tocino which was very good. Must try the pork next time. For the veggies, I got the adobong kang kong with lechon. Oooooooh. The water spinach in adobo sauce and garlic reminded me of my mom’s stir fry with black bean sauce. And the lechon was moist and the skin crunchy! To accompany both items was the garlic fried rice…because garlic makes everything better. Since I nixed dessert as take out, I had some calamansi juice instead. Refreshing and made me hunt down some actual calamansi fruit the next day. Those tiny citrus orbs are potent little suckers! Anyhow, it is a shame it is a bit of a drive, otherwise I would try everything on the menu quickly. Would definitely go again.
This past weekend came other food ventures. I spent Saturday driving back to Monterey Park to visit my folks and my friend Kat. Being the good daughter that I am, I drove my mom around a few places to get some errands done. One of the stops, Yum Cha Cafe! Crazy busy dim sum store front. Got some shrimp rice noodles, stuffed tofu, shrimp siu mai, and steamed custard buns. I love my mom. But the food doesn’t stop there. My mom knows her way around a garden and has her own persimmon tree and dragon fruit cactus. When I told her I saw some puny dragon fruit at Stater Brothers $13 a pound !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she bestowed me with two of hers and a bag of persimmons as well. I love love dragon fruit. Not only are they tasty, but they are soooo pretty!!
But wait, there’s more! I always leave with a box full of stuff. My mommy dearest also packed away for me some moon cakes, squash, marinated pork chops, strawberries, xoi (vietnamese sticky rice), shiny new wok, and the best of all….my mom’s stir fried curry crab. To die for and dare I say better than any stir fried crab you can get at a Chinese restaurant. And this is why I’m always missing my mom’s cooking! I am gonna need to spend some time with my mom in the kitchen. I can cook the regular every day food just fine, but would love to learn all the special dishes that I crave. The only things I’ve dared to attempt to recreate on my own without help and with decent success is her chicken curry stew and the braised pork belly and eggs. I fear everything else is out of reach without some help.
I know, food food food. There was some non food things going on as well. For one thing, I nabbed myself a Wii! Wheeee! Bad news is Jason won’t set it up for me until December. Boooo. I may have to snag my small old tv from my parents and hook it up that way.
Watched Good Luck Chuck while out with Kat. It was an okay movie. A teeny bit reminiscent of Wedding Crashers. Lots of naked boobies for the guys out there though. I much preferred my Netflix movie, Safe House with Patrick in your face Stewart! Both funny and serious and he is in very good shape for his age. (Naked Picard butt alert).
I am thinking the site is due for a redesign, but not sure when I can find the time for it. I love my angel up above, but it’s been years. I think I took that photo in 2001?? Deciding at the moment between a completely new look or bringing back an old look and making it wordpress friendly with some improvements. The layout is a little silly, but I could use some extra silly in my life these days. I promise it’s not food.
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 cup red lentils
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
14-oz. can of coconut milk (can use Lite coconut milk)
1 bay leaf
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 Tbs. curry powder, preferably hot
Â½ cup chopped cilantro
1. In medium saucepan, heat 2 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until the onions start to brown, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups water, lentils, carrots, coconut milk, 1 tsp. salt and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender â€“ about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in small skillet, heat remaining 1 Tbs. oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder and cilantro. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add to soup.
3. Remove bay leaf. In food processor or blender, puree soup in batches until velvety smooth. Taste, add a bit more salt if desired. Serve hot.
Makes 4-6 servings.
If you don’t like pureed soups, quinoa and cut up meatballs added to this soup works very well!