Thursday, January 13, 2011

Easy teriyaki chicken recipe!

Teriyaki chicken is very taste, healthy and extremely easy to make, especially if you cheat and buy one of those teriyaki sauce bottle at the market . Don't worry, i cheat too! For those of you who want to go the extra steps and make your homemade sauce, the recipe for homemade teriyaki sauce is at the bottom of this blog. It is also very simple. (I'm just too lazy sometimes). Here's what it look like:

Are you ready?

What you need
- 1 small box (8oz.) of mushrooms, feel free to use more if you like mushrooms, clean, quartered
- snow peas, as much as you like, wash, trim the ends
- 1 large chicken breast or thighs, cut in small pieces, about 2"
- Teriyaki sauce (homemade or store bought)
- Some salt, black pepper, garlic powder

 What to do:
 Seasoned chicken with pinch of salt, black pepper and garlic powder

Place chicken in a pan, in high heat and browned chicken on both side. Make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly. If you use chicken breast, make sure to add a little bit of cooking oil before add in the chicken.

Once chicken is browned on both side, remove from pan

In the same pan, in medium heat, add garlic, sautee till slight brown, add mushrooms, covered

Cook mushrooms until almost soft, about 5 minutes, then add in snow peas, cook till desire softness

 Add in the chicken and pour in the sauce, stir. The amount of sauce is up to you. However, make sure to coat everything in the pan with sauce. And don't forget to taste your food.

There you have it. Isn't it look beautiful?

You can serve this over rice or with pasta.

Teriyaki Sauce recipe
(courtesy of Setsuko Yoshizuka)
What you need:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin (sweet rice wine)
    *(soy sauce : mirin = 1:1)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • This is what Mirin bottle look like. You can usually buy this at the Asian or Japanese Market.
 What to do:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir the mixture well. Put it on medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for a couple minutes. Stop the heat and cool the mixture. Store the sauce in a clean bottle in the refrigerator. 

*If you don't have mirin, you can substitute sake and sugar for mirin. The ratio of sake to sugar is 3 to 1. Adjust the amount of sugar, depending on your preference.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

SImple but beautiful rose headband tutorial!!

My blue rose headband

I have an obsession for roses, especially blue ones. It came from watching a very old movie (which i don't remember the title) when i was little. The movie is a fantasy adventure. The main hero is sent by a wizard to find a blue rose to be able to save his love from dying. He goes through many adventures, finds the blue rose, however, looses it on his way home. Thinking his love is going to die, he goes to see her for the last time. But there is a white flower in the vase, when he holds it, it turns blue showing his true love for her. Sappy, i know. But as a kid, after watching that movie, i started to go around, trying to find a blue rose. Never find it, no surprise. Well, if i can't find it, why not make it? So i did. And here it is, step by step of making a ribbon rose so you can make your own color roses. Samples of the roses below:

What you need
Ribbon, matching thread, needle, scissor and a lighter
 One spool of ribbon with the color of your choice. For the smaller roses, such as the one on the headband, i use 3/8" ribbon. This is the smallest ribbon size i would go with. It gets harder to hold on to the rose if the ribbon is too skinny. For the bigger blue rose in the above photo, i use a 1.5" ribbon. I recommend satin ribbon over gross-grained ribbon because i think the satin rose seems to "flow" better and more beautiful.

I use candle to sealed off the ends of the ribbon. It gives me more ease and control over the lighter, and it makes my house smells great!

Hot glue gun for gluing the roses to the headband. Not necessary for just making the roses. 

What to do
 Sealed off the end of the ribbon

 Roll up the end of the ribbon (about 4 to 5 times or until you can't see the end anymore), secure with thread.

 Fold the ribbon back away from you to create a right triangle

 Roll the side up toward the corner of the triangle, make sure to not pull it too tight. You need to keep it a little loose for the rose to form.

 Secure the bottom with thread

Repeat the process, fold the ribbon back away from you

Then roll the rose again toward the corner of the triangle. Notice how i keep the rose a little loose?

Secure the bottom

Repeat the same process until you have the rose at the size that you like, then cut the ribbon off with enough length to fold it back at the bottom.

Sealed off the end

Fold the end over at the bottom of the rose, secure with thread.

And you have a rose!! Don't worry if your rose doesn't look the same. Every rose will comes out a little different. After all, that is what makes it unique!

 Here is what the back looks like

 My rose now join its friends

Now come the headband
You need roses and a headband. You can use as many roses as you want. I use 5 on mine. For the headband, i bought my plastic ones at the 99 cent store. The metal one i bought online. 

 Don't forget your glue gun. Remember to put a piece of scrap paper underneath if you don't want glue on your work area. Set the glue gun on high.

Wait until the glue gun is really hot. The hotter the temperature, the more permanent your glue will be. And try not to burn your hand! Squeeze a drop on the back of the rose

 Stick it on the headband, wherever you like. Repeat the same with the other roses.

And here we go. You have a finished headband

You can also glue your roses on bobby pins, or alligator clips. The alligator clips make great presents if you have little girls.

Some samples of how i use roses in my jewelries

Friday, January 7, 2011

How to crochet a bear beanie tutorial

As i was looking around for a new project for this month, i saw my new beautiful purple snowboarding jacket. I thought to myself, a matching beanie would go great with it. I looked around on youtube for something different, and found this great tutorial on how to crochet a baby bear beanie. It's so adorable that i decided to make one for myself. Yes, i know I'm a grown woman, but my inner kid wants to make snow angels wearing a purple bear beanie. And what inner kid wants, inner kid gets. She's spoiled like that.

My finished bear beanie. I named her Bacon.

I made a little friend for her too. Her name is Evelyn. Her ears are lopsided.
Bacon and Evelyn together
 Well, I'm done bragging. Here are the links to your tutorials. The videos are made by Traceyishh. Before you begin, i have also some tips for you that might make this easier:

1. As this tutorial is for a baby beanie, the size is smaller than what i need. Therefore, i use medium (#4) yarn with a J/10-6.00MM hook instead of the smaller hook.

2. After the magic circle, I make 10 single crochets instead of the 6 that she did.

3. For the ears and muzzle, i keep with the 6 single crochets in the beginning and follow the same pattern in the video, nothing change, only with the bigger hook (J hook).

4. Here is the pattern. It's easier for me to look at it as a whole instead of following the step-by-step in the video.
Magic Circle
Round 1: 10 single-crochets, slip stitch at the end
Round 2: 2-single-crochets in every stitch, slip stitch at the end (0 single crochet in between)
Round 3: 2-single-crochet/ 1-single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (1 single-crochet in between)
Round 4:2-single-crochet/ 1-single-crochet/ 1-single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (2 single-crochet in between)
Round 5: 2/ 1 / 1 / 1 / 2 / 1 / 1 / 1 /follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (3 single-crochet in between)

Can you kind of see the pattern now? It started out with all single crochets in the first round, then double the crochets in each stitch on the second round, then each round after that, you just add one more single crochet in between each 2-single-crochet per stitch, (until round 9 that is)

Round 6: 2/ 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 /  2 / follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (4 single-crochet in between)
Round 7:2/ 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 2 / follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (5 single-crochet in between)
Round 8:2/ 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 2 / follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (6 single-crochet in between)
Round 9:2/ 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1 / 1/ 1/  2 / follow the pattern, slip stitch at the end (7 single-crochet in between)
---> For a bigger head, add more rounds here 
Round 10: 6 single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ 26 single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ single-crochet till the end, slip stitch at the end
Round 11: 10 single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ 28 single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ single-crochet till the end, slip stitch at the end
Round 12:  20 single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ 30 single-crochet/ 2-single-crochet/ single-crochet till the end, slip stitch at the end

Round 13 and after: single-crochet in every stitch, slip stitch at the end of each round.

5. Make sure you measure your head for a perfect fit. For a smaller head (like mine), you can skip round 9 and move on to round 10. For a bigger head, you can continue to add more rounds in between 9 and 10 by adding  8, 9,10,... single crochet in between each 2-single-crochet stitch.

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Beer beef stew with onions, carrots and mushrooms

There is something very comforting about a bowl of stew in the cold winter night. Dip bread in in, pour it over some fine garlic mash potatoes or a bowl of rice if you're Asian like me. Whichever ways you eat it, it is heaven on earth.

Well, i decided i want some heaven last night. So i set out and experience with this delicious beer beef stew. Here's a photo of it. Go ahead and drool. I did for the 5 hours that thing was simmering on the stove.  WARNING: THIS STEW TAKE 5 HOURS FOR SIMMERING.

Are you ready for the recipe?? It only take about 30 minutes for the prepping. Then you can just leave it simmering while you do other things, like playing Super Mario Bros. or spying on people like Facebook. (Just make sure you check and stir the stew once in a while, otherwise, it will feel neglected.)


- 2lbs beef chuck roast ( or "soup cut" beef shanks), cut to small pieces about 3"
- 3 medium carrots, cut in chunk
- 2 small onions, sliced
- 1/2 lbs of button mushrooms
- 3 gloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 bottle of light beer (I used Coors light)
- salt and pepper to taste
- some dry thyme, sage, parsley, garlic powder


Seasoned the beef with garlic powder, black pepper, pinch of salt, thyme, sage, and parsley. Mixed well

Add olive oil to a soup pot, or a dutch over (I used my soup pot since i don't have a dutch oven), heat over high heat, then add the beef in, sear both sides, make sure the beef has a nice brown color.
Remove the meat from the pan and set it on a plate.
In the same pot, toss in garlic and onion in medium heat, stir around until browned (i added butter as well since i like butter, not exactly healthy though...)

Add in the beef, pour in the bottle of beer, some more sage, thyme, parsley, black pepper, some salt (not too much since the liquid will get saltier as it boiled down, you always have chance for more salt later). Bring it to a boil. Then add in the carrots and mushrooms. Lower heat, put on lid and let simmer. About 5 hours. 2 1/2 or 3 hours with a dutch oven, or until meat is tender. 
Tip: poke it with a fork, the beef should be falling apart. 
(Don't forget to check every once in a while. Remember, we've talked about how food doesn't like to feel neglected)

Another tip: If you want more broth, add some water during the simmering process, or some beef broth.

Ta da!! Here's your reward. Pat yourself in the back. Toast up those garlic bread and have a go at it!