alittlek’s space

January 31, 2010, 7:46 pm
Filed under: Food

The same night of our cooking party, Jeff also taught us to make buckeyes. But the better version of buckeye… meaning they’re made of peanut butter and chocolate!

Huge smiley face insert [HERE]

The trick to this one is having a tempering machine. The unfortunate part is that tempering machines are ridiculously expensive! You can easily drop a thousand bucks for the darn thing. You can add wax to the chocolate though, to help solidify it, but the idea of consuming wax kinda weirds me out. I know, I know…I’m sure I consume worse things, but whoever said “ignorance is bliss” was very, very wise.

January 23, 2010, 9:49 pm
Filed under: Food

Mmm….Homemade German pretzels. My friend, Jeff, is a cook-a-holic and when he posted on Facebook a photo of freshly-baked, perfectly-formed, mouth-watering pretzels, I made it pretty clear that I wanted a cooking lesson – and soon! One night, Jeff came through on his promise, and we had a cooking party. Nico was there too (well, come on…who do you think is *really* going to be making the pretzels?) and Julia. And being that she’s full-blown German, accent and everything, it only added to the authenticity ;)

The recipe is fool-proof but the trick is lye – a chemical that, if swallowed, CALL poison control. And it’s recommended to wear goggles and protective clothing while handling it. Seriously, who came up with this? Was a German chemist making pretzels and at the same time experimenting in his basement, and then lo-and-behold accidentally discovered the trick to perfectly browning them? So weird… But so delicious.

Jeff hooked me up with some lye, so Nico and I could start making them ourselves. The same day I got the lye we made pretzels, and they turned out so well! But after posting a photo to Facebook, I got myself in a bit of trouble. Too many requests to bring samples to class! It resulted in some very disappointed classmates the next day. Oops….

I’ll just have to co-host a pretzel-making party with Jeff – and soon!

Lan Su Chinese Gardens
January 10, 2010, 9:20 pm
Filed under: Life

I really love the Lan Su Chinese Gardens in downtown Portland. It’s peaceful, beautiful, and its authenticity brings me back to my Hong Kong roots. This month Lan Su celebrates its ten-year anniversary with ten free days of admission, of which Nico and I took full advantage of! Meander through the gardens, admire the architecture, listen to the nature, look for the fish under the bridge, and drop by the teahouse. It’s a visit bound to enlighten your senses!

Nico’s very first Xmas stocking
January 4, 2010, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Misc.

After completing Stacey and Adam’s stockings, I was on a roll. I focused that energy toward doing one more stocking in time for Christmas. Not to mention behind Nico’s back! Again inspired by other people’s work I found online, this time I did a wise owl on branches. I especially got excited when the leaf-and-branch loop idea came to me. And this time I made sure to take photos of the lining, which turned out really well.