Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Snowflake Vanilla Pudding Raspberry Cake

Christmas Snowflake Vanilla Pudding Raspberry CakeMerry Christmas, everybody! It has been a while since I post anything here due to my trip back to Asia to visit my parents. Of course, the weather is quite different between south Asia and here in Wisconsin on northern America. Frost and snow winter has arrived for sure when I come back to here. Since I was short of time, I did not get to make too many cookies. I made this Snowflake cake instead. It is a vanilla cake with vanilla pudding mix in the batter. The frosting is the French vanilla pudding with cool whipped so it is very light and not overly sweet. The filling is the tart raspberry jam.

SnowflakeThe decoration is lots of snowflakes made of white chocolate. It takes a while to make those but definitely worth the efforts. The cake was a hit yesterday in the Christmas gathering. Everybody loves it! Even my picky 9-year-old nieces and 11-year-old nephew ate several pieces! The cake was gone in no time! Happy holidays!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Cakes

cakeThis is a long overdue post and I cannot believe how long it has been since my last one! Is there still anybody reading my blog at all? It was the Thanksgiving weekend last week in US and every family was cooking a big meal for friends and family. Of course, people had to eat a lot in order to go shopping on Black Friday! LOL.

I made two cakes for the Thanksgiving. The first one is a pineapple carrots cake with cream cheese frosting: very moister, tasty and solid. It had one pound of the carrots in it so the whole cake had to weigh about 10 pounds! The second one is a gluten free pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting as well. It has cinnamon, all spice, clove, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Very tasty as well! Of course, I also made an apple pie but I left it in the oven to cool and completely forgot about it! Unfortunately, I did not remember it until 2 days later and it went straight to garbage can. The temperature has been dropped to freezing point and there was even some snow flakes in the air yesterday. The winter is coming....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

More Autumn Colors

autumnI drove all the way to the gym during the lunch time today. When I got out of my car and was ready to grab my gym bag, I found out that I left my gym bag at home! So no gym workout today.

Instead, I walked around work office and took more beautiful autumn colors around work office. So many colors under the sunny sky and warm weather (70'F, that is, 20'C). It is just a beautiful day today!





Friday, September 30, 2011

Autumn Colors

autumnSummer has passed so fast that I feel that I did not even get a chance to enjoy any of it. Part of it is due to my several weeks of work trip down in Florida. However, autumn is my favorite season. All leaves have started to change colors and it is really beautiful. The temperature drops to around 40F degrees (5'C) to 50F degrees (10'C). Autumn is definitely here and it is time to bake some apple desserts! Expect some bakery posts from me soon!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Smoke In The Air By Wildfire From Minnesota

Wildfire smokeDue to the cold front, the smoke of the wildfire in Minnesota gets to blow hundreds of miles down over to SE Wisconsin area. The sunny sky becomes like a cloudy day and you can smell the buring in the air. Of course, I just had to go outside to jog and get my nose and eyes all irritated.

You can see a satelliate picture here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes and Margarita Cheese Cake

ice cream coneTime passes fast! The summer suddenly arrives and it has already almost in the middle of the summer now. I have been a bad blogger here but it is so busy always in the summer since everybody here wants take advantage of the short warm days.

It was the birthday for my nephew and twin nieces on this past weekend. I made these cute cupcakes baked right in the ice cream cones. Topped with either vanilla or chocolate frosting or both! Decorated like the real ice cream! Kids love them!

margaritaFor the 4th of July weekend, I made an interesting cheese cake that features triple-sec, margarita mix, and tequila, condensed milk, cream cheese and whipped cream in the filling. Then it is topped with triple-sec, margarita mix, and tequila frozen gels. I got this recipe from a LJ blogger friend. And it is really great! Cool and tasty, best for the hot summer!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Cakes!

bananaIt has been a long time since I post some baking stuffs here! This past weekend was Memorial Day weekend in US. And it was also the starting of the gardening season for this part of the US. There were so many people crowded in all the garden centers and nurseries to buy plants, trees, and flowers to plant in the yards/gardens that it was not even funny.

chocolateOf course, there were also lots of parties and activities going on since it was a 3-day long weekend. Besides, the weather was finally nice! I had a baking festival going on to prepare cakes for several occasions. Here are the 3 cakes I made, all gluten free! The first one was the mini-banana bundt cakes with lemon glaze. Very moisture!

strawberryThe 2nd one was the sour cream spiced chocolate cake. This is a very nutritious cake that contains 6 eggs and lots of sour cream. It is so moisture and the combinations of coca and ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and salt are just great. The 3rd one is the strawberry cake with the cream cheese frosting. Since it is the strawberry season, I just had to incorporate the fresh strawberry puree both in the cake and the cream cheese frosting. Very yummy and fresh!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Travel Travel More Travel

MontrealCannot believe how long I have not post here. Still around and read posts but just no time to post. Just went to Montreal Canada. Nice city and super friendly French Canadians!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gluten Free Cream Cheese Oats Cranberry Bar

cakeFinally, the spring seems to be on the corner! It is sunny, warm and the temperature is about 50'F (10'C). Most of the snow has gone and the crocus in the garden has started to bloom! Amazing! Well, I decided to make this new recipe, "Cream Cheese Oats Cranberry Bars". It has 4 layers of goodies. The base crust and the topping crumbles have oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg and my special gluten free mix. The 2nd layer is the combination of cream cheese, sweetened condense milk, orange juice, and brown sugar. The 3rd layer is the cooked cranberry with orange juice and zest. The cranberry layer is spooned to drop in cream cheese layer to create marble effects. The final product is just a beautiful and tasty spring dessert!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Long Winter

snowJust when we are ready to welcome spring, it snowed again. This time, it dumped almost 5 inches (13 cm) of heavy wet snow and made a big mess everywhere. Guess winter will be here for a while. The same frozen winter situation for the Wisconsin politics. The teachers union busted policy passed last night in Wisconsin capitol. More messy political fight ahead for lots of people in this state for sure. So it is indeed a bad winter after all.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Lemon Ginger Cake

cakeWhat to do on a sunny but cold winter weekend? Baking! Lemon ginger cake! It has fresh lemon zest, lemon juice, ground ginger, candied ginger, cardamon, and sour cream. Just the right sweetness, moisture and yummy! And it is gluten free!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hawk Came To Visit

hawkIt is already March but there is absolutely no sign of spring at all. As a matter of the fact, several waves of snow storms are on their way to this region in the next several days. Talking about the long depressed winter. Within all the frozen and white ice and snow, a hawk flew to the tree branch outside the office and wandered around for a while. We have a bird feeder around that area so it must be coming to see if it can grab some birds as food. Unfortunately, most of birds had escaped so it just sat there for a long time and left with empty stomach. Wish spring comes soon (actually, not for another 2 months).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sunny Bitterly Cold Winter

IMG_0011It has been bitterly cold recently. It is windchill -25'F (-31'C) ouitside now! And it is only -8'F (-22'C) without wind even though it is so sunny! Come on, let's make it even colder! My, this winter is showing its power!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Rabbit Year!

It is Chinese new year today! This is the year of rabbit. After the blizzard dumping 5 feet (150 cm) of the snow on the ground here yesterday, it is bitterly cold today. The temperature drops to 0'F (-18'C) and windchill gets down to -15'F (-26'C). Like Gorgim told me, we would need lots of bunnies to stay warm!

It says people born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. So hope that 2011 will be a year with taste and no more bad economy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard Chinese New Year Eve

Today is Chinese New Year Even but we are still in the middle of big winter blizzard. The wind is 40 miles per hour (64 km per hour) and snows keeps coming down. We are under "civil danger emergency" in Wisconsin. All major highways, airports, schools and stores are all closed. The snow is already 5 feet (150 cm) high up to my chest outside and the wind and snow are still going.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Red Bean Year Cake (Nian Gao) 年糕

Nian GaoContinued the Bunny year Chinese new year goodies baking marathon, here comes the red bean year cake (Nian Gao) 年糕. This is another traditional popular Chinese New Year dessert.

It is mainly made of glutinous rice so it is actually gluten free. There are many different kinds of flavors of year cake. It can be sweet or savory. I always use my family's recipe to make this sweet brown sugar red bean flavor year cake.

Nian GaoIt is considered good luck to eat year cake during Chinese new year. The word 糕 (Gao) means "cake" is identical in sound to the word, 高 which means "high". Therefore, it is going to raise oneself higher in each coming year by eating year cake. The cake batter is mixed and put it in a big steamer to steam until it is done. Then, the cake will stay in the refrigerator for several days until it is a little bit dry and hard for cutting. We usually either eat it just the way it is (my Mom would definitely disgree about this way!) or dip it in flour/egg batter and deep fry it. It is good either way.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chinese New Year Fa Cake 發糕

It is so cold outside today again! It is only 4'F (-15'C) and windchill -25'F (-32'C) even though it is bright and sunny. Chinese new year is just around the corner (February 3) so it is time to make some Chines new year Fa Cake (Fa Gao 發糕). This year, I decide to make some changes instead of the tradition brown sugar flavor. I ended of making the chocolate and cherry cranberry flavors besides the usual brown sugar. The chocolate ones turns out so good that my local American friends just cannot have enough of them! My personal favorite actually is the cherry cranberry one. The dried cranberry just adds so much texture and different layers to the taste. And the red color is definitely good for Chinese new year. Now it is time to go to make the year cake...

p.s. Forgot to explain what Fa Cake is. It is a dessert usually made in Chinese New Fa means rise and expand in Chinese. It is very important to have the nice cracking on the top of the cake to make it look like a flower. It also means prospering or becoming rich. The bigger the crack is, the more fortunate your family will be in this coming year.

That's the reason why Fa cake is very popular in Chinese new year and is treated as a fortune cake.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Foxes Come To Visit

Happy new year! It has been snowed more this week. Two foxes decided to come to play around outside my office! I have never seen live foxes so close before and it was really cool! They were actually more orange even though people called them "red" foxes! Hope that everybody has a wonderful year 2011!