Thursday, September 18, 2014

Floss In My Apple Pie?

As many of you might know, I love trying new things and recipes. I was surfing the web and found a recipe for apple pie were you didn't have to peel the apples. I thought that sounds a little strange since apple skin is tough. So I followed the recipe, and made a Texas/Cowboy hat craving in the crust. It was so pretty!! The whole purpose for making these pies was to try and show my skills on a recipe I've never tried before. I know I'm just crazy, lol! Why didn't I just stick to something I've already done?? No clue...smh.

 
 
I took these pies to the gathering for our international friends that came to visit from South Africa, Chile, Mexico, and China. I was super excited to meet them. Just the thought of they might eat my pies!! So, I get to the hall and there are a million pies! There was a lot of everything really. We do it really big in Texas! Anyway, I'm telling everyone... try my pies and cake (while looking like this ►).
 
 
 
No one got a chance to try my pies :(. Which I ended up being very thankful about :). I took them back home and tried a piece later that night. That first bite was so tasty and flavorful! But wait... is this floss in my teeth? NO, its apple skin! Tough cut your gums up apple skin!!! Now you know why I was so happy I took these suckas back home. It was like chewing on plastic with long pieces of floss attached. It was a hot mess!
 
Moral of this story... If it sounds a little strange it is!





Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dragon Fruit Taste Test

I have been dying to try the dragon fruit! It sounds and look every exotic and it is. This past Saturday I went to the big Asian market and bought fresh cut dragon fruit, lychees, and many other things. For some odd reason I was scared to taste it by myself. I have a vegan co-worker who is down for trying any kinds of fruit or vegetables.

My first bite I thought...this has the texture of a kiwi and it isn't sweet or sour. It has no taste at all! Maybe, a slight earthly floral taste. Even though it doesn't taste like anything, it is extremely good for you. Check out this website about Dragon Fruit


Friday, September 5, 2014

Lotion Bars

This was my first time making lotion and I loved it! It was time consuming but super fun. I got the recipe from My Frugal Adventures. I got raw beeswax from sunnyvalehoney.com. It was $6!! I was amazed at the smell and sight of the beeswax. I got the coconut and almond oil from the Indian store in Irving, TX. They are cheaper than Whole Foods. I picked up the Essential Oils from Whole Foods. The Shea butter I got from a friend but it is sold in the beauty supply stores in Dallas/Mesquite area. For the full recipe go to My Frugal Adventures She is awesome!!

Pain Relieving Lotion Bar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup Shea butter, cocoa butter or mango butter
  • 1/3 cup beeswax (can add an extra ounce or two if you want a thicker consistency, which leaves less lotion on the skin when used)
  • 50 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • 50 drop Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • How to Make Lotion Bars

    How to Use:

    Store in a cool or dry place. Put on your skin and rub it in!

  • If your getting fresh off the comb beeswax. You have to filter it! I cut the footing off some fish net stockings, lol. It is super hard to cut the beeswax. Run some hot water and put your knife under it, wipe it, and cut. Use some serious elbow grease! Put the pieces into the stocking and pin it to the bowl. You can also cover the bowl with a top from one of you pans, and that will keep the stocking from going under.
    Bees are amazing little creatures. I was so happy to see and hold actual beeswax. They make tasty honey and a base for lotion and candles!
    I took the top off to show the chunks I cut and the fish nets I put them in. It takes a very long time for these pieces to melt. As you see I have a double boiler thing going. I didn't use the whole block either.
    Once the pieces are melting, add all the other products and stir. Pour it into your molds!
    Once in the molds. I headed straight to the deep freezer. Cut the cooling time all the way down!! I left it in there for 15 minutes.
    Isn't this beautiful!!
    I wrapped them in parchment paper and gave them out as gifts!
     
    Tell me what you did differently to make your lotion.










    Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    Strawberry Cake W/Cream Cheese Frosting

    I'm 3 years late on providing this recipe! Better late than never, lol. This recipe is also from the Cake Doctor. One of my favorite recipe books that my second mother gave me. This is a great book if you want to cut corners and save time on cakes.
     
    I've made this strawberry cake with so many different toppings ex. Toasted almonds,  toasted coconuts shreds, pecans, chocolate curls, chocolate chips, toffee bits, and fresh cut strawberries!
     
    Strawberry Cake W/Cream Cheese Frosting
     
  • Vegetable oil spray or shortening for greasing the pans
  • Flour for dusting the pans
  • 1 package (21.6 ounces) Yellow Mix or White Mix
  • 1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin, if desired
  • 1 cup mashed fresh strawberries (2 cups fresh berries)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • 4 large eggs
  •  
    Frosting
     
    2 (8 ounce) packagescream cheese, softened
    1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist or grease three 9-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour. Set the pans aside.
    2. Place the cake mix, gelatin, mashed strawberries, oil, milk, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated, 30 seconds. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the mixture lightens and is smooth, 1½ minutes longer, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Pour the batter into the prepared pans, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula, and place the pans in the oven. If three pans don’t fit on the center rack, place the third layer on the upper rack, watching to not over bake.
    3. Bake the cake until the top springs back when lightly pressed with a finger, 18 to 22 minutes. Remove the layers from the oven, let them cool in the pan 10 minutes, run a knife around the edges, gently shake the layers to loosen the cake, and invert them once, then again, onto wire racks to cool right-side up. Let the layers cool 30 minutes before frosting.
    4. For the frosting, place the cream cheese and butter in a medium-size bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until combined, 30 seconds. Add the strawberries and sugar, a little at a time, beating on low speed, until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the mixer to medium and beat until the frosting is fluffy, 1 minute more.
    5. To assemble the cake, place one layer, right-side up, on a serving plate. Spread the top with ¾ cup frosting. Place a second layer, right-side up, on top of the first and spread with ¾ cup frosting. Place the third layer on top and frost the top and side of the cake with the remaining frosting, working with smooth, clean strokes. To make slicing easier, place the uncovered cake in the refrigerator until the frosting sets, 20 minutes.


    There was a lot of batter left over cause I doubled the recipe. So I made cupcakes!! There were delicious!!! Enjoy this wonderful recipe! More to come!!!

    Tuesday, September 2, 2014

    Beautiful but Dry Chocolate Distaster

    I attempted to make a moist chocolate cake from a recipe I found online. Well, it probably would have been great if I followed the recipe to the 'T' instead of trying to make it my own the first go round. The cake was supposed to be a tasty Chocolate Cookie Butter Cake with Chocolate shards. It's looked beautiful. I mean I worked hard on this cake!








    I was taking pictures left and right because I KNEW that this cake was going to be Delicious! The taste was good but that texture was DRRRRYYY!!! The filling didn't help the cake at all, lol! This was my second dry cake. I'm on a hunt to understand what I am doing to cause a dry chocolate cake. This has never happened before. Now that I think about it.... I usually add pudding mix, extra eggs, or sour cream. I didn't use the recipe for the whipped biscoff. Here is the recipe I didn't follow correctly: Cafe Fernando




    DEVIL’S FOOD CAKE with WHIPPED BISCOFF GANACHE and CHOCOLATE SHARDS
    Yields one 8-inch, two-layer cake; Serves 8-10
    Ingredients
    For the Devil’s Food Cake:
    2/3 cup (150 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for pans

    2/3 cup (50 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder, plus more for pans
    • 2/3 cup boiling water
    • 1/3 cup whole milk, scalded
    • 1+1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1+1/2 cup (300 grams) granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

     

    *Biscoff spread is made from spiced cookies, like gingersnaps. You can substitute peanut or hazelnut butter for the Biscoff spread. If unsweetened, add 1/4 cup of powdered sugar.
    For the Chocolate Shards:
    • 4 ounces (120 grams) bittersweet (70% cacao) chocolate, chopped
    Method
    1. Start by making the chocolate shards. In order for the chocolate shards to stick to the cake easily, the whipped ganache should be at room temperature, so make sure to have them ready by the time you are finished with the ganache.Place the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over hot water and allow to melt, stirring often. Place a 16-inch-long parchment paper on your work surface. Pour the melted chocolate onto the paper and using an offset spatula, spread it in a thin and even layer, about 1/3 of an inch off each edge. Place a second sheet of same-sized parchment paper on top and gently press to release the air bubbles. Starting with one short end, roll the parchment paper tightly into an-inch-wide tube. Place it seam side down on a rimmed baking tray and chill in the refrigerator until set, for at least 2 hours.
    2. Have a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper ready and remove the tube from the refrigerator. Unroll the tube in one quick motion, which creates the chocolate shards. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper, and with the help of a large offset spatula go underneath the pieces, pick them up and transfer them to the lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use. You can make the chocolate shards 3 days in advance.
    3. To make the Devil’s Food Cake, adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter two 8-by-2-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Butter the parchment papers, dust with cocoa powder, tap out excess and set aside.
    4. Sift cocoa powder into a medium bowl, add boiling water and whisk until the cocoa is completely dissolved. Add milk and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool.
    5. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
    6. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 5 more minutes, scraping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat in vanilla.
    7. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the cocoa mixture.
    8. Divide batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through for even baking. Allow to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then take out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
    9. To make the whipped Biscoff ganache, place both chocolates in the top of a double boiler set over hot water and allow to melt, stirring often. Remove from heat and whisk in the Biscoff spread. Add the heavy cream and with the help of an electric mixer, whisk until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat, as the frosting will become grainy.
    10. To compose the cake, remove parchment papers from the bottoms of the cakes. Using a long, serrated knife, remove the top crusts to flatten the surface of the cakes. Place one cake on an 8-inch cardboard round or your serving plate (wide strips of parchment paper placed under the cake will keep the serving plate clean after frosting).
    11. Frost the top with a little more than 1/3 of the ganache. Place the second cake on top and frost the top and the sides with the remaining ganache.
    12. Take the frozen chocolate chards out of the refrigerator and gently stick the shards to the ganache with the help of a tweezer. Use long pieces for the sides and smaller pieces for the top. Place the cake in the refrigerator until the ganache is firmly set, for about an hour, then serve.

    Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    Rainbow/Crayola Party

    I saw the post on Pinterest about the rainbow cakes. Pinterest is EVERYTHING!!! I just love that site. Back to the story... My sister and I decided to have many kids and their parents for a fun party.
     
     I made this delicious super sweet cake.  Rainbow Madness
     Here is the recipe:
     2 boxes white cake mix,
     2 boxes vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz)
    2 c Oil
    1 c Milk or Water
    4 Eggs
    Mix it all together
     
     I used the Cake Doctor recipe for white cake and I recommend you get this book if you like to cut corners. I got the book as a gift and I use it a lot Cake Doctor!
     
    - Food coloring from Michaels or Hobby Lobby
    I bought blue, red, and yellow to make all of the other colors. It was hard to mix purple so you may want to buy that.
    This is the kind you need to use for bold cake color layers
    Homemade frosting from butter not shortening. I used this recipe Add A Pinch

    Even though this cake was super time consuming and hard work. It came out Just beautiful!

    It was very moist, sweet, and colorful!!

    Our candy table.

    My sister went all out on the kid stuff. My nephew (the one with the open mouth) was having fun with his cousin.

    This was extremely hard work. The cake, blowing up the balloons, entertaining, dancing, taking pictures, gifts for the kids....ect. But man it was FUN!!!

    Thursday, August 21, 2014

    I QUIT!


    It’s been a year and six months since my last entry. Boy, I’ll tell you a lot has changed! I was extremely stressed out by my last job. My supervisor was the WORST. The company was very small and the owner didn’t do anything about my problem with her. After being accused of something I didn’t do and my favorite co-worker (who is 58) was told not to talk to me. I had a huge panic attack cause by my anger. (It was some serious workplace bullying) I went to the ladies room to calm down. I decided after that day I would not work for a company who did not have concerns for their employees. On December 31, 2013 at 11:55pm I sent in my resignation via email. This is what happened when I hit send

    This is how I danced that special night!
    #Goodforherandme #Iquit #forgetthempeople #happier   I had typed it up in October of 2013. I didn’t give them a 2 weeks notice! For people you don't leave a notice... They have to be mistreated. I was the best receptionist that company had ever had. OK, I’m not going to go on about this. I felt FABULOUS after I quit. I danced, screamed, laughed, and told my Facebook and Instagram friends I was FREE! It was the best feeling I felt in a while. I had gotten a temp job at a very upscale hospital getting paid way better.
     
    Now I have been living a little bit of my dream! I’ve had a chance to intern in a famous cupcake shop in Dallas. I’ve had many days were I stayed up late and slept late. I’ve been able to throw myself into learning Chinese and volunteering at the Chinese cultural center in Richardson. I’ve made a lot of new Chinese and Taiwanese friends. I’ve gone to Houston to the Taiwanese alumni meeting and was appointed the vice president over their social networks. I also, applied for the Huanyu scholarship program. This gives people who are very serious about learning, Mandarin, a chance to study in Taiwan. Visithttp://www.edutw.org/english/scholarships/to find out more about their scholarships, and like us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/#!/TaiwanAlumniSUS.


    I’m at work now and it is STRESS FREE and I'm loving it! Anyone who stubble's upon this blog remember this.... Do not stay at a job where the employer doesn't care about you or your health. Come up with a plan and act on that plan. If you interested in how I quit, let me know and I will blog about it. I will put my resignation on here as well. I had 3 plans worked out. The first 2 didn't work but 3 did!! I will go into details on my plans and what happened afterwards.

     Resignation Letter⇩


    (Your Name Here)
    (Your Address Here)
    October 8, 2013 ( I had this written up and saved in my email.)
    (HR)
    Customer Service Supervisor
    (Company's Name and Address)
     
    Dear (Name):
    Please consider this as my resignation from my position as your Receptionist, effective immediately.
    Although I have enjoyed working with you and have learned a great deal, I would really like to operate in a wider management sphere, and since you have not been willing to provide this opportunity, I feel that I should seek a position that allows greater freedom to make decisions and to function more independently. As you know, my job has not changed in the five years I have been with you. I feel the need to grow professionally as well as financially.
    I have discussed my management aspirations with several counselors in Dallas, and all stressed that growth in any company is needed.
     
    Thank you for all your help.
     
    Sincerely,
    (Your Name)
    (Current Position Title)

    I've learned from working for that company is you know what you do not want from your next job. Don't be afraid to ask how the co-workers get along in your job interview.
    PEACE! #ducklips #monalisa
     
     
    As you can see I didn't name the company or the terrible people involved. One must remember to always be a lady!