Monthly Archives: January 2015

Breakfast Burrito

The other day i was invited to a friend’s house for a breakfast . She made us breakfast burrito , which was very yummy . I never had breakfast burrito , but as the name calls , it contains tortilla shell ,with scrambled eggs , potatoes , chorizo and salsa . It was delicious . So this morning i thought i should give it a try , beside my family loves chorizo . It turns out really good , not to mention it’s so easy , barely anything to it . The chorizo gives out all the flavor you need so you don’t even need to add any more seasoning .

I added onion and cilantro into my breakfast burrito , i would make the salsa , but as i went to pick up tomatillo from local grocery store , they ran out of hot peppers , they had nothing left , no serrano , no jalapeno .. so i put the tomatillos back and i didn’t buy a thing for the salsa . We ended up having the burrito with tabasco , good enough for now .

You need :

a package of chorizo

1/2 large onion , chopped finely

4 potatoes , skin on , diced very small

4-5 large eggs , beaten

Tortilla shells

Brown the onion , then add potatoes , cook about 5 minutes , add the chorizo and cook until the potatoes are tender and chorizo is done . Once you see fat on the skillet , you can crank up the heat to high heat to burn all the fat . Then add eggs into the same skillet , keep stirring or else you will end up with omelette . That’s it !! Serve on warm tortilla shells !

breakfast burrito

Lemon Madeleines

I’ve made Madeleines few times before . And i remember the very first time i was skimping on buttering the mold and ended up ruining madeleines . But they all turned out nice as far as i can remember .

Fast forward , the other day i decided to try this recipe from Baking Chez Moi book that my hubby ordered for me around Christmas time . I did mention i wanted this book , i like Doris Greenspan’s cook book , so i figure i might enjoy her french baking book just like the french cook book . The first recipe i tried was the marble cake , it was good but quite heavy and a little on the dry side .

This time my choice landed on Lemon Madeleines , i barely have anything in the fridge so my ingredients were quite limited . Lemon madeleines doesn’t even need many ingredients just butter , flour , sugar , egg , and lemon . Funny thing , you don’t even use the lemon juice , just the zest !

I followed the recipe to the T , lemon madeleines that i made before this , didn’t take this long . Okay the batter didn’t take long to put together BUT .. the waiting period was total of 2 hours !! So after making the batter , i had to chill it for an hour in the fridge , guess you can always try to get the batter ready even a day before if you want to save time . Then i would spoon the batter into the molds and again i had to chill it for another hour in the fridge .

And how long to bake them ? Only 10 minutes in my convectional oven ! LOL .. all of the waiting .. and only 10 minutes baking time , oh and did i mention only produced 12 madeleines ? LOL .. but totally worth it ..

The madeleines was all puffed up i never seen it that huge ! I opened my oven and i was there .. scream in delight .. it is huge !!!!!! My husband laughed and laughed .. for me getting so excited to see my madeleines look so good .

madeleines1

But anyway here is the recipe :

1 lemon

1/3 cup of sugar

90 grams  of all purpose flour

1 tsp. of baking powder

a pinch of salt

1 tbsp. of honey

2 large eggs , room temperature

1 stick of melted butter , warm melted butter

1 tsp. of vanilla

2 tbsp. of whole milk ( i used 1 % since i don’t have whole milk )

1. In a small bowl mix the all purpose flour , baking powder and salt , whisk well , set aside .

2. In a larger bowl , mix the sugar and lemon zest , rub with your fingers until the sugar mix with the zest and becomes moist . At this point , basically the whole kitchen smells like lemon LOL

3. Once you’re ready , beat the sugar and 2 eggs vigorously , or use standing mixer , and about 2-3 minutes it will look very pale and double in size . Then add vanilla and honey , mix well .

4. FOLD in the flour , do not beat with mixer , use spatula or wooden spoon , carefully and gently , then add the warm butter , fold in carefully and add the milk .

5. Chill the batter in the fridge , cover the batter with plastic wrap directly onto the batter , chill an hour . Once you’re ready butter the madeleine mold and flour it , and remove excess flour . Spoon a dollop of the batter into the pan , chill for another hour .

6. Preheat oven to 400 F , throw in a large cookie sheet , once the oven is ready place the madeleine pan on top of the cookie sheet . Bake 10-12 minutes , you might need to bake it longer , my oven is convectional so it’s quicker , and to see if madeleine is ready , touch the puffy part , if it springs back then it’s ready to be taken out . Tap the pan into the counter and carefully remove madeleines immediately . Sprinkle with powdered sugar

madeleines

Spanish Chicken with Chorizo

This was our dinner last night .I think i’ve made them few times already , just forgot to blog about it . Although i don’t know how i forgot .. because this meal is totally awesome . Months back i borrowed a cooking book by Nigella Lawson from the library . She used to have a show on the cooking channel and i used to watch her show .

One of the recipe that attracts me in that book was this spanish chicken with chorizo . Me and my family are a big fan of chorizo . This spanish sausage is full of flavor that would burst out in your mouth and gives so much flavor when you cook it together with chicken . Not only that it has an awesome taste , it is super easy , everyone can cook this and will come our delicious ! Note one thing though , make sure you have the best tasting chorizo because that is where most of the flavor comes from . I adjust a little with the original recipe .

spanish chicken

 

Ingredients :

About 8 chicken thighs , i chose and always choose chicken thighs for braising and long cooking because they have the best taste and won’t dry out like chicken breasts , but it is your choice .

8 small shallots or 4 large shallots , or you can even use red onions if you’d like

2 packages of chorizo , or you can just use 1 , whatever you want

4 medium size of potatoes  , skin on

smoked paprika , kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

So all these are your ingredients , just rub the chicken with olive oil , skin side up , add the chorizo all over , crumble it with your hands , and add potatoes , and onions on top .In fact i was actually thinking maybe i should add brussel sprouts and bury it between the chicken , because an hour at 425 F cooking will totally smush and burn the brussel sprouts LOL . But anyway , throw them in the oven at 425 F and roast them for an hour or so , once in a while use turkey baster to baste the chicken with the juices that comes out .

Project completed !

So , i have finished my first ever knitted sock over the weekend . In total it took me a little bit over a week to finish the socks . Probably closer to 10 days for the pair . I had orders to get done , so for 2 days i focused on making hats and gloves , i had to skip my finishing sock at the time .

Since this was my first experience with knitting sock with the real sock yarn , i have to say , it’s quite different than i am used to , i hardly worked with yarn so thin . There must be hundred thousand little stitches in that sock i completed . It was a little strange having to use super small needle ,it’s like holding a toothpick ! But i def enjoyed the process . It is very time consuming , the only thing i have complain about this hobby is that the amount of time you spent sitting on the couch . But on that 2nd sock i completed , i decided i can knit standing up . I am the type of person who can’t sit too long , i like standing up , i do stand up a lot when i do a lot of kitchen stuff , be it cooking or baking . So , on that half pair i completed , i knitted it mostly standing up while at the same time , teaching and waiting on my son to complete his school works .

This is how the finished sock looks like

sock plain1 sock plain2 sock plain3

 

They’re beautiful aren’t they ? i love how the color turns out too . They fit perfectly , and i had worn them couple times already . I also wash them in the machine , but i didn’t use dryer to dry it , i just lay it flat to dry . Which i think the safest way to dry sock . With so much hard work and time that i put in making these socks , i want to make sure they are well taken care of ! Sometimes we don’t realize the amount you put into making handmade items .

This pair of sock was made using a basic sock pattern that i got from local yarn store . The pattern did help me so much because of the very detail and clear explanation including the amount stitches on which on what needles . So that pattern would def be my go to pattern if i ever want to make a plain vanilla sock again .

All and all , i am pretty happy and very proud of what i did with the sock . I had never thought i would be able to create handmade items like this .

A friend had warned me before i started knitting sock that it can be addictive . And she was right .. once i finished that first pair , the next day i already picked which yarn i wanted to use , and that was back on Monday night . Now , i am half way there .. 🙂

sock vanilla1

sock vanilla2

 

That was a picture that i took yesterday afternoon .. i am working on the instep now . Using the vanilla latte pattern . The pattern somehow confuses me after turning the heel , but i managed . Hopefully it turns out just fine .

Half way completed

I finished my first knitted sock yesterday , it took a total of 5 days , i don’t know how many hours , i don’t know how many stitches . I don’t always knit either because i had things to do such as  working out , homeschooling my son and cooking and cleaning , and all those things . I do most of my knitting at night time , or whenever i get a chance even when i had to stand up waiting for some few things to finish .

So , after working out yesterday morning , while listening to my son reading History out loud and checking his work on vocabulary , as well as him studying his Skeletal System , i was there standing up by the kitchen counter and knitting my sock . Without i know it , it looked pretty darn long and i thought i better try this on . Thank goodness i did , because it was right UNDER the big toe .. even my pinky was covered up . That means , i need to start decreasing and making the toe area .

knit sock process1

That’s how it looks like when i started to decrease to make the toe . I decided to end my sock with 3 bind off needles , instead of what the pattern asks which was a kitchener stitch . I did a kitchener stitch with one of my big thick sock , but i must have done something wrong because there was 1 stitch hanging out lose .. so it was too scary for me to use kitchener stitch again . Now that i learned an easier bind off method . Can’t really say 3 binds off needles is easy actually , the hard part was trying to put the stitch in the back in front of the stitch in front . Just like regular binding off , it’s hard when your yarn is so fine and the needle is so small . I ended up using crochet hook to pull the yarn and it worked better for me . Here is the final result for my first knitted sock .

knit sock finished1

I really do like the way it looks , sock yarn is awesome !! The pattern that i use was a pretty basic sock , and i am already so happy with how it looks . Not only the look , but knitted sock definitely stretchier compared to crochet sock . Now started on my other half pair .. before the second sock syndrome hits me .. hopefully i can complete the other  half within 5 days as well .

Knitting sock is addicting !

So , i think i have an addiction to sock . I crocheted my first pair of sock before christmas last year . And then i crocheted another pair by the end of the year . In the beginning of the year , i thought i’d like to try to tackle this knitted sock that i see a lot online .

I am part of this page , that has some awesome people with creativity . One of them was busy knitting socks , and that’s how i got interested in knitting sock . I am a newbie with knitting since i just learned couple of months ago . So the thought of knitting socks can be a little far fetched . I in fact , was told , by this lady who worked at Joanne . I had a question back then and another lady sent me to this particular lady by the cutting area because she is the one who supposed to know about needle arts .

There i was asking a stupid question actually , a question that i supposed to know anyway . But with how excited i was with the thought of getting started on my knitted sock , i just asked . What size of needle is best for making knitted sock ?

She said it depends on the yarn , the information is at the back of the label and i should be able to see whether it’s size 1 or 2 or even 3 . On my hand was size 3 that time . And i was like duh .. i knew this .. why did i even ask anyway . I crochet and i should know in each label that yarn has , it includes the information if you crochet or if you knit , what size of hook or needle you will need . Why did i even ask ?

But then she continued asking , are you new to knitting ? I said yes , i just started to learn to knit a month ago . My husband added , she’s been crochetting a while , just started to knit , and wants to make sock .

The lady at the cutting area , said ” Oh you just learned , i wouldn’t try to knit a sock if i were you , it’s hard and complicated ”

I did not expect that at all .. her words were so discouraging . And i wasn’t like that , even though i hear a lot of words about how complicated socks are , crochet or knit , nobody really said that directly to me . I was surprised – in a bad way .

So my response was ” well i am going to try it anyway , if it doesn’t work , i can always frog it ( take it apart ) , after all , it’s only yarn ”

I was very dissapointed with how this lady reacted . She works at the craft store , and i expect people would be more encouraging rather than .. oh don’t do it , it’s too hard , you wouldn’t be able to do it . Why couldn’t she just say .. that’s great , it’s a bit complicated but i am sure you can do it .

And i know people can do it , there are so many resources nowadays if you want to learn something , or if you belong to a group , which i do , you can ask for help from these people who are more experienced than you .

So fast forward a week later , i started my first knitted sock . I was pretty successful , though i picked the wrong needle for it . It was a little too big , so i made 3 socks , the first one was a no go because it’s too big , it fits my husband’s foot though . 2nd sock and 3rd sock , eventually became a pair , and it was made from worsted weight yarn . Which is just for a practice , before i am using the real sock yarn . Since that was a success ..

This past weekend , i picked up my sock yarn , which i have a lot .. i have bought so many sock yarn for someone that just crochet yarn few weeks ago . I have plenty to choose

sock yarn

These are my little stash of sock yarn .Sock yarn are pretty and they’re expensive compared to regular worsted weight , not to mention if you get it from Local  Yarn Store , it is def costs more money than regular chain craft store .

So my choice was the sock yarn up front on the left side . I bought this from LYS closed to my home , this particular LYS , has a lot of collection of sock yarn , which i like of course 🙂

That first day i started to knit the sock , it took me forever ! 2 hours and i only got 1 inch of the cuff done . And i was supposed to make 5 inches long cuff . I though .. this might take a month to finish LOL

knit sock1

The next day i finished the cuff , and started to make the heel flap

knit sock2

And the day after , which is going on to 3rd day , i started turning the heel , made the gusset and finally reaching the instep , which is going to take long to finish before going to the toe ..

knit sock3 knit sock4

 

I have to say , sock takes a long time to knit , it’s because the sock yarn is very fine and very thin compared to worsted weight yarn , and plus you have to use small needles too . So it takes a while , and it is def a labor of love !!!

How did i end up addicted to the needles ?

For quite sometime i have been adding crochet as my other things i love to do , cooking and baking are still my passion . I love doing those ! But , about the end of 2013 , i started picking up a crochet hook , and i remember years and years ago when i was pregnant , i learned  basic simple crochet and decided to make a blanket , to which took forever to finish . Never .. ever again will i make blanket as a first project ! LOL .

So , on that October 2013 , i was hooked , i re-learned my stitches online , youtube is a great source if you learn just about anything you want . My first choice of project was a hat , and then i made more hats , made gloves , scarves , eventually i learned to make amigurumis , those are stuffed animals that are made from crochet . I was totally hooked ..

These are some of the stuff i made since 2013 for crochet items

cowl veggies amis infinity scarf tablet sleeve phone case socks

 

And i still have plenty more to share . But anyway , i have never thought i would be able to crochet all these items . Whether it’s accessories , fashion items , or something you can use , such as tablet cover and phone case or even socks !

Then suddenly last year , around the month of November , i had the urge to learn to knit . From what i heard , everyone always tells me , knitting is hard , crochet is easier . And i see how people knit , with 2 needles and i was like , how do you work on that .. 2 hands working at the same time ? That’s just nuts ..

But i was quite determined at the time , and i bought myself straight needles , i was basically blind as far as knitting items , what they’re for . There are so many knitting stuff out there , so i was at hobby lobby to buy my first knitting needles , but there are so many kinds .. i know size matters , but there are straight needles , there are needles that look so dangerous with 2 pointy ends .. there are these 2 needles connected with some sort of tube . I had no idea which for what .. I just picked up the one that looks least dangerous .. LOL .. straight needles . Just like huge version of nail !

Then i sat and watched on youtube how to knit and purl . I picked it up right away , i thought this is quite easy .. let’s choose a project . I chose a scarf , even for crochet , scarf , basic , regular scarf is not hard to make . So scarf was my choice , to my surprised , i finished my first knitted scarf within 5 days , and i loved it ..

knitting project1 knitted scarf

That scarf is about 55 inches length and i felt so excited after finishing it . I thought can’t believed i just knitted ! Imagine with just 2 stitches , knit and purl , you can create so many pretty items . I know scarf is only just the beginning for me .

Then i got sidetracked with holidays around the corner , i had orders i needed to finish , cookies to bake and stuff like that . So orders came first , then after the holiday was over , i decided to go back to learn knitting items .

My next choice landed on socks . Why sock of all other items ?

I crochet socks and i love how it turns out . I love the combination colors of the yarn , and the fact that you can never have too many socks . You however can have too many hats or scarves ! So i thought .. i was told crochet sock wasn’t easy , it was intimidating at first , but i have to say , it’s not as hard as it looks .

So sock it is .. my choice to learn to knit socks . Well .. i ran into some discouraging moment while i was at chain craft store . The lady that was helping me , said ” i wouldn’t knit socks if you just learned knitting , really if i were you i wouldn’t choose that .. ”

I thought those mean words are so discouraging .. the least they could do was ” oh great , it’s a bit complicated , but i am sure you can do it !! ”

I still bought the needles for socks , and researched for an easy pattern for a very beginner sock knitter . My choice landed on Easy Peasy Sock . I was so excited to learn it .. here is how it turned out

knitted socks

So that’s how i am addicted to knit socks now .  I think it’s fun to do , and relaxing and just love how it turns out . Don’t get me wrong , i still like crochet , but for socks , i think knitting would be better choice .

Interesting that i never ever thought that i would be able to create cute pretty items like these . I always thought myself as a person who isn’t creative or into arts . But my both boys at home beg the differ , they say i am artsy and i am crafty as well . LOL

So anyway , if you ever think that you can never learn how to do something , you’re wrong . You can always learn anything you want , as long as you have the time , the patient , and keep practicing . Library can help , but nowadays with how easy internet access , i am sure everyone can just stay home , and google it , or find youtube to teach you how . I didn’t even take classes for crochet or knitting , i could if i want to . Many local yarn store or craft stores give classes for cooking , baking , knitting , and crochet , they’re about $20-$35 per class . But i never took any of them , i just used the internet to teach me how . If i can do it , i think everyone can do it as well !

Oatmeal – Raisin Cookies

After a month long full of sweet last December , to be honest with you , though i baked a lot of them , i hardly had any of them . So , last night suddenly , we had the urge to bake easy simple cookies , my choice landed on oatmeal raisin cookies . I always loved oatmeal raisin cookies . So here is easy simple recipe of oatmeal cookies , you can omit the raisin , it’s your choice  , but to me , it has to have raisins for me to like them !

Ingredients :

10 tbsp. of softened butter

3/4 cup of white sugar ( not heaping )

3/4 cup of light brown sugar ( don’t need to pack it )

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour

2 3/4 cup of roll oats

1 1/2 cup of raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375 F

2. In a mixer , beat the sugar and the butter until combined and smooth . Add eggs , beat until fluffy for a minute or 2 . Then add vanilla , baking soda , pinch of salt and flour . Mix well , then add the roll oats , raisins and pinch of ground cinnamon if you like .

3. In a parchment paper lined sheet , drop the cookie dough by tsp. full , and bake for about 8-10 minutes .