Tuesday, November 29, 2011

OoShirts and a Giveaway!!

First of all, I would like to thanks ooShirts, a rapidly growing customized apparel company located in Berkeley, California for sponsoring this t-shirt for my giveaway.  They strive to provide the best quality product at the lowest price, and to make sure the ordering process is fun and easy.  And I got to test it myself.  The website is very user friendly and I had no problem finding a t-shirt and make a design on it.  I wanted to upload my logo on the t-shirt at first but it failed to pass the ooShirts graphic artist as my resolution was not high enough.  I received a call from them on the same day and they were helpful as in explaining that for a full color print I needed at least a 150-300dpi resolution.  My logo resolution was only 72 dpi and I couldn't find a replacement, hence I just used the texts and colors provided by their website.  My design got approved on the same day and they sent me the artwork proof two days later before it went into printing.  Overall, the customer service was excellent, I had a problem and they worked with me on the same day until it got resolved.  It said that my t-shirt would be ready on the 23rd and it was shipped on the 23rd.  I received it 5 days later.

If you are looking for a customized apparel company for your office, school, event, family, sport team, marketing, holidays, give ooShirts a try.  They have a user friendly and easy to use website and great customer service to answer all your questions.  If you are a first time user at ooShirts and intend to order 12 or more t-shirts, please use my referrer code: qyuyevh when checkout so that I could get the credit and you would get a slightly expedited shipping.  Thank you and hope you would have the same good ordering experience as me.


Now on to the GIVEAWAY!!  This giveaway is open to all my readers around the world, except family members and relatives.  All you need to do is to leave a comment and tell me what you would love to receive as a Christmas present.  One comment per person please and for an additional entry, like my Facebook page and leave a comment under the giveaway post on my Facebook page that I created just for this.


This is a white unisex t-shirt size Large, front and back as seen on the photos. 100% cotton preshrunk.  I would run this for 2 weeks until December 13th mountain time 11:59pm.  Entry older than this would not be accepted.  I will have one of my daughters to draw the lucky winner on the 14th and winner will be announced on the 15th.  I hope to get it ship out to you asap.  Okay, GOOD LUCK to those who enter! :-)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom (蒸香菇糯米鸡)

I don't know who wouldn't love a bowl of steamed glutinous rice.  I ate this while growing up in Malaysia and now I passing this dish to my daughters.  I hope when they grow up, they will learn how to cook this and pass it down to the next generation as well and let the tradition continue.

Instead of the usual waxed sausages, I substituted it with the waxed pork belly that was given to me.   I was out of dried shrimps so this was without it.  But this dish won't be as flavorful without the dried shrimps.  Best to serve it with chopped scallion, crispy fried shallots and chili padi.

Waxed pork belly courtesy of a Chinese chef who works in our friend's restaurant.  His departure gift as he will be leaving here for good and back to China to be with his daughter.   A bit sad as no more special treat from him.  :(

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stir Fried Lo Mein with Pumpkin (南瓜炒捞面)

As you know, I love stir-fried pumpkin!!   I created a recipe last year and still love it to pieces.  Do check out my stir-fried pumpkin with eggs!  This year, I stir-fried the pumpkin with yellow noodle or lo mein.  Can you spot the pieces of pumpkin on my noodle?  It went so well together too.

Again, I had some yellow noodle left, not enough to feed my hubby, so I cooked it for my girls and me for lunch.  Sorry hub, you had to miss out on this yummy.  :P  This was one colorful dish too, I added in all the colors I could think of.

I would love to share my Lo Mein Pumpkin with Presto Pasta Nights created by Ruth and this week host is Simona of Briciole.  Check out her blog on Friday for the full roundup! 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stir Fried Pumpkin with Dried Anchovies (干尾鱼炒南瓜)

I love stir fried pumpkin but I am also not someone who would cook the same dish over and over.  I need variation!  So I thought instead of dried shrimps and eggs, it should go well with dried anchovies and chili and I was not disappointed.  I still keep the fish sauce with this dish though because to me pairing of pumpkin and fish sauce is a winner.  So, don't go substitute the fish sauce with soy sauce, it might ruin the dish.

Pumpkin has many health benefits, it has anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant, low in calories, high in fiber, high in carotenoid which help protect your vision, improve joint health and protect against lung and prostate cancers.  And don't forget to save your pumpkin seeds and roast it yourself, it's packed with nutrients too.

Tired of pumpkin soup?  Roasted pumpkin?  Give this stir-frying a try!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Healthy Olive Oil Cookies with Sunflower & Sesame Seeds

This is the extension of my healthy cookies attempt.  In 2008, I created a Healthy Cookies which I shared the recipe in 2009.  Today, I make it healthier with extra virgin olive oil and increase the energy of this cookie by adding oats, walnuts, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds (all these are health boosting food).

I grew up from eating cookies as a snack so it will be very hard to ask me to give up on cookies.  Most of the cookies selling at the supermarkets today have trans-fat (partially hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated oil or shortening) listed in their ingredients list.  So, the choices I have were limited unless I pay more for all natural or organic cookies.  Even the cookies selling at Asian markets have trans-fat or shortening, imagine I have to give out the Asian cookies that I grew up eating and loved.  It was heart breaking to take down the cookies that I loved and had to put it back on the shelf when I read the ingredients list.  It happened to me so very often.  I am someone who is very careful about trans-fat because I realized over the years I had been eating trans-fat laden cookies, cakes, donuts, or bakes when I grew up when trans-fat was not listed in the label and people were not aware of it.  But now we know, it is all a choice and it is your choice to decide what you want to put in your body and how you want to raise your kids.  It is hard to avoid trans-fat food all the times but I am trying very hard to. 

So, these days I try to bake cookies and cake as best as I can.  I baked this cookies for my girl's school snack and also my afternoon snack, limit to 2 a day.  As this is a healthy cookies, it's only suitable for those that are eating for their health, love the taste of extra virgin olive oil and whole wheat flour and won't miss the smell of butter in a cookie.  This is not an indulgent cookies that when you sink your teeth in it, you taste butter and extreme sweetness.  This is a crispy cookie that when you bite into it, you would taste olive oil, whole wheat flour and walnut.  This is not a super sweet cookie too.  Of course you can use canola oil for the neutral taste and cheaper alternative, just change the extra virgin olive oil to canola oil.  Seriously, if you are a little health conscious and love to snack on cookies, it's worth a try.  Did I also mention that it's super easy to make and put together?

I am also submitting this recipe to Dr. Oz Healthy Holiday Cookie Challenge.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Korean Spicy Chayote Squash Muchim

While I was slicing the chayote preparing for my Stir-Fried Chicken Breast with Chayote,  I remembered that it can be eaten raw.  So, I took a piece and tried it and immediately fell in love.  It was really good when eaten raw.  Hence, I was figuring out what to make of it and I thought that it would go well with Korean muchim preparation and serve as a banchan/side dish.  I saved half of the chayote for experiment, therefore my recipe only had half chayote.  It turned out delicious as the refreshing and crisp chayote made such a good banchan.  I thought I might be the first one to thought of this as I really thought of this combination while slicing the chayote for another dish.  So later, I did a search on Google and I found out that other actually made this before, as I saw a picture of this dish being served in a Korean restaurant (no recipe though).  What a surprise, as I figure chayote is not common in south Korea and seriously thought that I invented a new Korean recipe, but realized that Korean American would probably know of this.  Please tell me if this is common in Korea?  Or just an adaptation dish for Korean American?

I am sharing my spicy chayote banchan recipe with you and strongly recommend you to try it.  It's going to be my regular banchan now.  Chayote can be bought at Asian and Hispanic supermarkets.  It has become my regular buy at the Asian market now, I just love it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

White Fungus Mung Bean Sweet Dessert Soup (银耳绿豆甜品汤)

White fungus or white wood ear fungus (白木耳) or snow fungus (雪耳) or silver ear fungus (银耳), whatever you called it is a species of fungus that grows on dead tree.  This fungus is white with a gelatinous fruit bodies and said to have medicinal benefits.  In Chinese cuisine, we mostly cook it in sweet soup or herbal savory soup.  You can even stir-fry with it.

I wanted to make split mung bean soup because it was quick and easy as it cooked really fast without  much prior soaking required.  Then, I remembered I made a nagaimo mung bean soup before which made me think what else could I used instead of nagaimo that I had at home.  Which came out to be white fungus.  I thought the crunchy white fungus would go well with my mung bean soup and hence this soup was created.  Got to say, it was good!  What a great way to trick my girls into eating the white fungus.

Oh, I had lots of broken bits of white fungus in my packet and thus that was what I used for this soup.  If your white fungus are in pieces, just take one and soften it in water and then cut it into smaller pieces.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Stir Fried Chicken Breast with Chayote (佛手瓜炒鸡胸肉)

I first read about chayote at Tigerfish's blog in 2009.  Since then, she had been cooking up a few dishes with chayote.  I saw chayote in the Asian market often but I just didn't pick it up because it was unfamiliar to me.  Also, I was afraid that my family would not like it.  Finally, almost 2 years since I last learned about it, I decided to pick it up at my last Asian market's shopping.

Chayote also known as 佛手瓜 (Buddha hand melon) or 合掌瓜 (closed palm melon) in Mandarin and can be eaten raw or cooked.  The fruit has very mild flavor and it has a crisp and crunchy bite to it.  It doesn't have to be peeled, just wash it clean with water, cut into half and scoop out the seeds.  Then, thinly sliced it for salad or just slice it however you want for the dish that you are intended to cook.  Chayote is rich in amino acids and vitamin C and have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties.  It is also very affordable.  It only cost me about 38 cent each.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Steamed Pumpkin Kuih 2 (蒸南瓜糕点)

This makes a delicious breakfast, afternoon snack, dessert, supper or even lunch.  With the abundance of pumpkin this holidays season, why not give this a try?  I used my old recipe here but this time I used fresh pumpkin to make this.  I steamed the cut pumpkin for 30 minutes and then just chopped it into small pieces with my cleaver.  You can squeeze some water out before adding into the rice flour batter for firmer texture.

Since the steamed pumpkin contained more water, the resulted pumpkin kuih is moist and soft unlike the steamed taro kuih even though the methods are the same.  Serve this with crispy fried shallots, chopped scallion and sriracha sauce.

The undress pumpkin kuih

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Halloween 2011

My two princesses!

Got dress and ready to head out

She said this is how I'm going to say trick or treating at the door

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

My Experience with Common Warts and Curcumin

I found an interesting connection or an epiphany recently that I wanted to share with you.  On and off I have been a common warts sufferer for years.  But the most I had was about 1 or 2 warts in one hand and it would disappear after a year or so.  Common warts are small lesions on the skin, usually on the top part of your back fingers or under your fingernails that are caused by HPV, or human papilloma virus.  It is harmless but might leave an unsightly view on your fingers.

In the beginning of this year, I found warts on my fingers again, it started with one, and then it gotten worst and spread to other fingers on my hand.  I had a total of 6 warts on my fingers and 2 more under my fingernails and it looked utterly awful.  I was pretty good at hiding my ugly warts and tough it out until I went to see my OB/GYN (I had this for 4-5 months now), I showed her my hands and of course she recommended the over-the-counter freezing thing to remove it but she said it would be painful.  She said it would never go away.  But I knew it would go away on its own since I had it on and off for years before this.  Just that this time I got it bad, really bad that even I felt disgusted looking at it, it was like another living things attached to my fingers.  Remember during this time, my thyroid hormone was out of whack, I had low metabolism and I believed my immune system was pretty bad as well.  It was still as bad when I went to see my family physician 3 months later, I showed her my warts too and she suggested I try duct tape.  I didn't have duct tape at home at that time and so I didn't bother with it.