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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roasted Turkey with Cranberry Apple Sauce

Baked roasted turkey during Thanksgiving. Wondering how to cook a 16 pounds turkey. Search quite a number of recipes from internet, and finally we decided to use our own recipe on how we cook roasted chicken.

Roasted Turkey
What you need:
Turkey marinated with creamy butter ( we used a 16 pounds private selection turkey )
2 lemons ( boiled it with water )
4 potatoes
3 carrots

  1. Thaw the frozen turkey in cold water. Change water every 30 minutes. 16 pounds turkey will take about 8 hours to thaw.
  2. Cut potatoes and carrots into small cube and boil with water. Add in some salt in the hot water. Put aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Clean turkey (discard giblets and organs), and place in a roasting pan.
  4. Apply salt and follow by thyme to the outside of the uncooked turkey. Put the 2 lemons in the cavity.
  5. Add in cooked potatoes and carrots in the pan after 3 hours.
  6. Bake for 4 1/2 hours, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh measures 165 degrees F as recommended by USDA. Remove bird from oven, and allow to stand for about 1/2 hour before carving.
Cranberry Apple Sauce
What you need:
1 packet of 12 oz cranberries
2 red apples ( chopped )
1 orange, juiced
3/4 cup of water
3/4 brown sugar
almond ( chopped )

Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the cranberries, apples, orange juice, cinnamon, almond and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sauce cool.

Serve in a side bowl with roasted turkey.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blackberries Cream Cheese Bread ( natural yeast )

Bought one box of blackberries yesterday and made a jar of blackberry jam this afternoon while the two little girls were taking their nap. As we need to bake some breads today for breakfast, I added in blackberry jam and cream cheese when I rolled the dough.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bacon Mushroom Pizza & Tomatoes Garlic Pizza

After 2 days of holiday and now it is the end of this weekend. Feel like wanted to have pizza again...
We bought a packet of bacon before thanksgiving, but think we will never buy it again. It is so oily even if I do not add in any oil to cook. So, this will be the last few pieces of bacon that we have from the packet. I have to " absorb" the oil before putting on the pizza crust, haha...
The topping is a combination of bacon, mushroom, spinach, tillamook cheese, and some cream cheese with a pinch of sugar.

This is more healthier... Just some baked tomatoes with garlic ( grilled with butter before that ) and tillamook cheese. We ordered this pizza at a Mediterranean restaurant recently, and it taste yummy even just with some simple ingredients.
For the pizza crust, I am using the same recipe as here. The crust tasted like domino's pizza crust, as I just put a thin layer of dough on the baking pan.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. It is traditionally a day for families and friends to get together for a special meal. It is a time for many people to give thanks for what they have.
Early in the morning, ES gave mummy a card for thanksgiving. She did this in school the day before Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving meal often includes a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, gravy, vegetables. Therefore, We decided to bake a roasted turkey with cranberry apple sauce for the gathering with daddy's colleagues. We used the same recipe on how we cooked roasted chicken - 2 lemons, thymes and salt, as the turkey already been marinated with creamy butter.

MS can't wait to taste it, haha....
The turkey is so juicy and yummy after baking for 4 hours, as it was finished during the gathering.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ready, Set, Go....

ES was reading a story book just now. In one of the pages, there is a word " said". When she read out that, MS who sits beside her quickly replied " GO"...
We can't stopped laughing as she thought ES is going to say " Ready, Set ( Said ), Go " as what ES usually said.

We are 2 years old...

  • MS is 13kg, while LS is 12.6kg. MS tends to eat more than LS, sometimes when she had finished her food, she will try to ask from LS. Looks like have to control her intake again...
  • Still wearing diapers during daytime nap and night time. No longer wearing diapers when we travel, but we always put a potty in our car during long journey, just in case. There is once recently, MS tend to be too excited with what she is playing, and forgotten to go to the potty, she pees on the floor :(
  • Have their milk 3 - 4 times per day ( after afternoon nap, before sleep, during midnight, sometimes early in the morning for LS. Sometimes LS tend to wake up very early, as early as 5 am. In order to put back her to sleep, have to give her some milk ).
  • Daily diet consists of bread/ oat with sliced bananas or raisin, fruit juice or fruit for breakfast, porridge or rice before afternoon nap, fruits/ bread/ yogurt/ bean during tea time, and porridge/rice or noodles for dinner. LS become a bit picky about what she is eating lately. For example, she pick out all the purple carbage during today's dinner and does not want to eat it.
  • When ES reads her story book before sleep, they wanted to follow what she is reading.
  • They went for their gymnastic bumblebee class since beginning of this month. They likes it...
  • They know how to wear their shoes.
  • They loves to brush their teeth, they do it 2 times per day.
  • MS will show you a smiling face when you wanted to take her pictures, while LS will remain " cool".
  • They can talk a lot now... Mixture of Mandarin and English. E.g: wait, shoes, jacket, grapes, orange, apple, pear, red, green, yellow, island, plate, fork, spoon, fan ( rice in mandarin )
  • They loves nursey rhymes. Sometimes they can sing along by saying out some words in between when we are singing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tomatoes from our backyard

After almost three weeks, some of the green tomatoes planted by ah ma had turned to red colour...We put it near the heater, the temperature maintain at about 75 F.

Monday, November 21, 2011


The day started with -4 degree celcius when we wake up this morning. Ice formed on the fence...

It was about 5 degree celcius in the afternoon. We decided to go for a walk...

Natural Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast

During last few days, the natural yeast did not rise much after feeding. As the weather is getting colder, and sometimes it is not so ideal for the growth of natural yeast. The ideal temperature for natural yeast to grow is about 32 degree celcius. So, we had to put it near the heater, sometimes above the oven, and near cooking place to provide a higher temperature for it to grow.

As we need to replenish our daily bread, in order not to take chance of not able to make any bread, I back up with water roux method with active dry yeast. However, the natural yeast rise quite well on that day, decided to use it first as I can keep the water roux batter into the fridge for few days.
Bread using natural yeast. Need more time in proofing, almost double the time of using active dry yeast.

Bread using active dry yeast.

Both looked almost the same...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Moist brownies for Thanksgiving's Potluck

ES's school organised potluck before Thanksgiving, which is next Friday. Had baked some moist brownies for her classmates and their families. I used another recipe which need to add in chocolate bars and chocolate chips as what suggested by Daddy.


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
5 ounces semisweet chocolate bar, finely chopped
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
30 almonds ( chopped )

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8x8-inch pan. Line with parchment paper and let it hang over two sides. Butter the parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, combine butter and espresso powder. Heat on low and stir until butter has melted. Add chocolate, and stir constantly until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in both sugars until combined. Let cool slightly.
4. Whisk eggs and vanilla and keep moving the batter around until combined and no longer grainy-looking. Add flour mixture to batter and stir just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Add in almond on top of the batter.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan; smooth top with a greased spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a just a few moist crumbs attached (28 to 30 minutes). Don't over bake! Let cool completely. Cut into pieces and serve or store.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

It is time to replenish some cookies at home, as ES always requested for snack in between meals.

What you need ( for 32 pieces ):
1/2 cup plus 6 tbs butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon grond cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned oat
1 cup raisins

(1) Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed unti creamy. Add eggs and vanilla extract. beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, connamon and salt, mix well. Add oats and raisins, mix well.
Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto baking tray.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes pr until light golden brown.

ES's decoration

Last Sunday, ES drew this and we paste it on the wall near our dining table. She loves drawing and colouring. This can really keep her busy for a few hours.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

After a long drive...

During last end month ( 23 Oct 2011 ), we drove all the way from OR to LA. It was a really long journey, as we left our house at 4pm Saturday and we  reached our destination at almost 9am, Sunday. This is really a great challenge as we need to be in the car for long hours, as we are not traveling alone as like the previous experience, we are with the three kids. Everything worked out well, as they slept after their dinner, and did wake up once for milk during midnight. Our main driver, daddy had did a great job as he drove most of the time.
During our journey, we passed by desert...

mountains and dam...

Mountain with snow-covered peak...

And finally after 17 hours drive, we reached Hollywood, a famous district in Los Angeles, California.

In front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, also known as Mann's Chinese Theatre, is a movie theater at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. It is on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame.
It has been home to many premieres - including the 1977 launch of George Lucas's Star Wars - birthday parties, corporate junkets and three Academy Awards ceremonies. Among the theater's most distinctive features are the concrete blocks set in the forecourt, which bear the signatures, footprints, and handprints of popular motion picture personalities from the 1920s to the present day, including harry potter & etc..

ES with the pirate.

Look, I found Mickey Mouse at the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of HollywoodBoulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of actors, musicians, directors, producers, musical and theatrical groups, fictional characters, and others.

ES with one of her favourite characters, Shrek.

After checked into the hotel, which is just few minutes away from Disneyland, we had a walk at Disney Downtown.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


                                              ES learned this poem from school last week:
Red leaves and yellow leaves
Orang leaves and brown,
Leaves are dancing everywhere,
Happily dancing down.

MSLS went out for a walk in the afternoon. The weather was about 13 degree celcius at about 3pm. Decided to bring them out for a walk as this is one of the few sunny days. After this week, it will be colder, and forecast there will be snow next Friday. They are so happy and keep on saying 好玩 ( fun in Mandarin ).

Walking towards the park.

We saw leaves with different colours, just like the poem.

MSLS stopped by and touched the " happily dancing down" red leaves.

After some walking, we saw some yellow and brown leaves.

Some orange leaves in between...

MS picked up a leave for LS...

Char Siew Pau ( Natural Yeast )

The bottle of natural yeast at home is growing very well. It touched the top of the bottle after 3 days of daily "feeding". Have to make something with it but we still have enough suppply of bread. Thought of trying Char Siew Pau using natural yeast. This is my first attempt of making Char Siew Pau and first attempt of using natural yeast for making steamed bun. I added in carrot so that it does not look so plain ( leftover from our juice this morning ). No time to get a better shot as everybody wanted to try the Char Siew Pau immediately after I took out from the steamer.

The kids really enjoyed it...The most happiest moment is when you see them enjoying the food that you had made...

MS enjoying her char siew pau. She hold it carefully, so that she wouldn't dropped it...

ES took 2 1/2 of this...Char Siew Pau is always her favourite!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fudgey Cocoa Brownie with Haagen Dazs Ice Cream

Thought of having this last few days. While the twins are taking nap, I baked this. It is really easy to make and if you want to make something with short preparation time, this is the one...

What you need:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1.Preheat oven to 180C.
2.In a medium bowl, combine melted butter and cocoa powder. Stir until cocoa powder is dissolved.
3.Add sugar and mix well.
4.Add eggs one at a time, and stir well.
5.Stir in flour, vanilla and salt until just combined.
6.Bake in an 8 inch square pan for approximately 25mins.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sesame buns using natural yeast

This is the natural yeast that I used.

Had been tempted to try making natural yeast quite awhile, but keep on delaying the plan. Just baked some sesame buns using natural yeast today and glad that my first attempt is successful. Came across this interesting article about natural yeast: