Monday, November 28, 2011

If you love Snow Blowers, you're going to love my blog!

Not really - but I'm shamelessly cashing in on my brother, aka  The Blognostifier AKA, The Snow Blower Ad guy's internet fame.

So welcome!  I'm Weh-Ming's sister!  This is my baking blog.  Sometimes I make tasty things and manage to put them up.

I'm also over here! 

xoxo

Friday, September 2, 2011

Love is for Everyone

Know what I love?

Cake.



Wait, no, I mean love!  I love love!

Straight up love.  The Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other Carrie Bradshaw love, the I'm comfortable enough to fart in front of you love, and especially the I know that I'm loved love.  Seriously, it's the best and no one should have to hide who they are because of who they love.

I've grown up in a generation who believes that sexuality doesn't have much bearing on who you are as a person.  Of course there are still wackos and crazies out there but not as many as the generations before me and hopefully there will be fewer in generations to come.  

Five years ago today I stood for my dearest friends, Nick and The Ruggist.  They are quite possible the most charming couple in the world.  Down to earth, generous, kind and always game for a fun time.  (They also enjoy naps, so you know, they are my kind of people.) Their ceremony was sweet, the Minister and congregation gave them both full support and the church ladies put out a fabulous spread.  They also had the best wedding cake I've ever eaten: spongy, moist white cake topped with cream, white chocolate and blueberries.  It was a very, very happy day.


Look at those cute cake toppers!


I love this photo taken after the ceremony.  The boys led the processional of guests from the quaint country church to their house down the road for lunch and drinks.  It was such a nice sight to see all the happy guests with the happy grooms at the front.  

Happy anniversary my darling gentlemen!  I'll never forget your happy day!

Being gay, bisexual, straight or any degree in between doesn't mean you are limited in what you can do, believe, achieve or love.  Be yourself and be kind and help make the world a happy place!

Love,
Su-Li

PS: also, I looked hella cute that day:


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Happy Canadian Long Weekend

It's Natal Day Weekend here in Nova Scotia, (but I still think of it as New Brunswick Day).  There are 80 million people driving towards Moncton for the Arcade Fire/U2 concert and I shall keep my notsowell feelings of general disinterest in the band to myself.  My Facebook feed is slowly starting to fill up with people getting excited about the show and even my own flesh and blood is going.  How could you, brother?  How could you.

Anyway, it's been quiet here because I've been having a lazy summer.  A good summer and a fun what, but oh so lazy.

So here is a July roundup...actually it's also a June one too.

My former boss turned 60 and we were invited to his surprise birthday party.  He's a huge music buff and especially loves The Beatles.  This was his fab cake!  It was really tasty too!




David Myles showed up and played a set as a special birthday gift!  I'm still a little smitten.  He is totally enjoyable and a great musician.  Plus, I mean, fella knows how to work those glasses.

My falafal plate at Tarboosh on Fenwick Street.  Very tasty!

These are adirondack chairs my father in law makes.  I love all the colours that he uses! His liberal use of signage delights us.

The berry poptarts I made from homemade puff pastry.  Presentation really isn't my thing, but these were pretty tasty.  Also, I will never attempt puff pastry again.


A very tasty dinner for cheddar stuffed meatloaf with sriracha, roasted sweet potatoes and green beans with garlic.  Tasty!


Chicken cacciatore.  So easy!  I can't tell you how excited I was when I saw that I only had white rice left in the house.  It was such a treat.


We saw some deer in Bayers Lake!  Run away little deer!

We threw a baby shower at work for my friend and knowing her most favourite thing in the world (other than soontobehere baby) is ice cream. We splurged for this Cold Stone Creamery Strawberry Cake.  Seriously, it was good.  Thank you crack ice cream!


I took this early morning last Saturday on the way to the market around 7:30AM.  I love where we live.

Some friends and I watched the Halifax Pride Parade last weekend.  It was an absolute blast.  Hooray for love! I think I will do an entire post on love, and rainbows.

We went to the Arcade Fire show in Dartmouth on Thursday and it was awesome. Seriously, one the best shows I've been too.  Minus the crowd, minus the bullshit security, minus the packed like sardines ferry ride.  It was the best.  Their sound and energy is like no other.  The billions of fans in Moncton tonight are in for a rocking treat. 

I hope everyone has a great long weekend!


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mini Give Away!

Dear Friends, Readers, Obligated Family Members, RSSers, Spambots,

As you know a few weeks ago Canada Post went on strike and thusly mail delivery stopped. It was inconvenient and I was slightly annoyed. It meant missing magazine subscriptions and waiting longer for my husband’s Amazon order. Mostly we just missed checking the mail - even though all we get are bills and pizza flyers (but I do love looking at menus).

When the strike ended I was quite glad people were going back to work and normal life would resume - mail wise. That day I received a postcard from my boss who is currently on vacation in Europe. While he was in Budapest he sent me a note to say hello and thank me for some things I did to make his travels a little bit smoother. It thrilled me to bits! I was also reminded that the mail delivery is still important. Sure it's very easy to send an email (my preferred method of communication for everything - even from people in the office next to me) but there is something about a personal note, a handwritten note. Something that says Hi! I'm thinking of you! It does wonders.

Who didn't love getting mail as a kid? I knew our mailman was coming because I would hear him whistling as he walked up our street. Sometimes there would be letters from friends I made at summer camp or little pen pals, or from my friend Nick, who always sent me notes on his summer, travels. Then a few years later there were letters from boyfriends (or I-wish-they-were-my boyfriends, rather). There is just something wonderful about a little envelope with your name on it. 

A few months ago Joy the Baker put out the word that she was going to send a letter to anyone who wanted one. She got a million responses. I wanted to send her my address but was too timid. It gave me the idea that maybe you, my darling readers, would like some mail that is not bill related or flyer related.

If that is the case just leave something in the comments (i.e. not your address or SIN number). I'll pick one or two or all and you'll get something from me! It might be a note, a postcard, a recipe, stickers, or a half eaten cookie! (Okay, just cookie crumbs). You can also email me if you'd rather not comment.

And to address the "I'm not sending my address to a random crazy person" aspect: I’ve known me for 29 and a few years and I swear that I am only a little crazy and will only stalk you slightly on Facebook and Twitter. Wait, I wrote the quiet part loud....

The mail is an important service. It delivers a kind of happiness that you just don't get from email/social networks. Let's put it to good use!

Love,
S-L


Monday, July 4, 2011

Cocktail Buns

Happy July 4th to all my American friends! I hope that you are enjoying a lovely long weekend with cook outs, sodas and mac and cheese! (Or BBQ's, pops and Kraft Dinner as we like to say up here, eh.)
Here's what I made yesterday:
This photo is not just a plate of a filling made with coconut, butter, egg yolk, and sugar. (It’s not scrambled eggs either).


And this photo is not just rolls of super soft sweet dough.

No these photos are of hopes, dreams, wishes and prayers of what they will become: Cocktail Buns.

Specifically Chinese coconut buns.

I had a little time over Canada Day weekend and after winning the wrestling match with my hips over whether or not we would allow all-purpose flour back into the pantry I wanted to bake something.

The dough was wonderfully warm and soft after 10 minutes of kneading. It rises for 1 hour and then you divide into 6, stretch out into an oblong shape, fill and then roll into soft doughy pillows.



Okay so they are more like huge sausage rolls. I might need to work on my shaping technique.



They rise again for an hour and are then baked for 15-20 minutes @350 until golden.



Let me start with the smell. In a word, these smell gorgeous. Almost ethereal. If I were a cartoon I would have floated through the apartment and then into the oven for these.



The taste. I didn’t wait until they cooled or even until they sat until warm. I cut into one immediately. It was piping hot. The bread burned my tongue. The filling burned the rest of my mouth. I cared not.

The Verdict

They were tasty and aaaaaaaalmost like what you get in a Chinese bakery. However, the bread was not eggy enough nor was it soft enough. I think the addition of another egg (or two) and more (More! More!) butter would take care of that.

The filling was rather spot on taste wise, but could have used a touch more sweetness and honestly a bit of salt.

The recipe I followed called for six. However I think this would have been better suited for 12 portions. As I said, these are very large rolls. Tasty, but large. I don’t know why they are called cocktail buns when you need a luncheon or dinner sized plate to eat them.

Then I went back and re-read the directions and realized that I confused two recipes up. The one I was thinking of using made 6 and then one I actually made called for 16 (!). So – um – yeah. Directions and attention to detail have never been my forte. You can ask all of my teachers or read all of my report cards.

I’ll have to go back to these at some point and tweak the recipe a little (and to portion it properly). However, for a first time try they lived up to my big expectations.

Cocktail Buns
Dough recipe
Filling recipe

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Congratulations to Adrian and Lissa!

I would like take this opportunity to wish Bacon Gravy contributor Adrian and his very lovely wife, Lissa many congratulations.  They had a baby last Saturday! 

All the best to you guys!  Yay babies!!!!!

Toronto!

Hi Everyone!



Here are some photos/recaps of my mini break trip to Toronto with Melissa aka, Randomsmirk!  (The Mexico recap is still in the works, just still napping in the hammock)



‘Aight.  There was a three-fold purpose to this trip.



  1. The NKOTBSB concert
  2. Shopping
  3. Eating


I’ll start with my beloved Bean Town boys.  I make no bones about my love for them.  It is as 100% true and solid as the first day I listened to Hangin’ Tough in 1989.  While we were standing outside of some tour buses at the Air Canada Centre along with a small group of girls hoping for a glimpse of our imaginary boyfriends I realized there was no other place I would rather be.  Shopping, touring, even eating (!) could wait. 

 

I can’t explain to you how awesome it is to see these guys in concert.  They are as wonderful and entertaining (read: cute) as they were when I first started listening to them.  Plus being so close to the stage was amazing.  I started weeping as soon as we found our seats and saw that we were only 10 feet away from the stage.  Then again when they came on stage, and again during I’ll Be Loving You Forever. When I wasn’t snapping photos, jumping up and down, clapping or cheering I was holding my hands to my chest to try to keep my heart from spilling out all over the place.  That’s cheesy and silly but for a few hours on June 9 it was all I could do mainly because of this man.





And this guy





And this guy





Okay for all these guys.




Love you boys forever!


Shopping



Of course we went to the Eaton Centre! That’s what east coast girls do when they go to Toronto! Plus it was practically beside our hotel.  I was going to pick up these cute Star Wars cookie cutters at Williams Sonoma after the wonderful Star Wars party JustJENN did, but then I remembered that those movies are forever ruined for my husband and not even a cookie would soothe over the atrocities that were done in the first three episodes.  



Instead I picked up this apple pocket pie mold.  I wanted to bring back every single cake pan, cast iron oven, baking mix, kitchen gadget and linen in the store but alas my suitcase and wallet were just too small.

I bought four dresses from H&M my favourite of which is this one. 

We went to Sephora to look at expensive makeup.  Since I don't wear it I mainly go into Sephora to pretend that I know how to make myself look pretty and to cover myself with free sparkles.
 

On the list of our TO to-do list was get ourselves to Ikea.  Some of you might poo poo it but I love Ikea.  Cheap decorative stuff, fun prints and adorable things.  Some of it is a bit wacky though.  Like a 10 x 4 loaf pan.  Come on Sweden, no one needs that.  I got a few lamps and I sincerely hope that "L"s and "G"s are actual types of light bulbs available in Canada.  I also scored well in clearance section and got some nice material





On Saturday morning we walked over to Chinatown and Kensington Market.  This was our favourite shopping experience.  Cheap stuff, crazy good smelling shops mixed with some really foul smelling stores.  A store dedicated to Mexican spices and on the next block on dedicated to dried shrimp (that store was only three walls but the fourth was made of stink)!  I love browsing in Asian markets for all the cool noodles, candies, crackers and frozen food.  What is all that stuff!?   I wanted to stick it all in my already overflowing suitcase.

EATING

As usual I didn't take enough photos of what went into my mouth.  But let me break it down for you.

There were delicious nibblies at the hotel club lounge
There was a tasty falafal pita from one of The Path Food Courts
A yummy breakfast at Shopsys with some of the herbiest hollandaise and most disinterested waitress around.
A great big carton of Lebanese food which I ate for 15 minutes straight and couldn't put a dent in.  For 9 bucks I got two salads, rice, beans, chicken, hummus and pita. 
Melissa helped me discover that the feta and spinach breakfast wraps at Starbucks are really fantastic.  We ate them on our journey to Chinatown while scalding our mouths on hot coffee.

On Friday night, after a full day of shopping, we needed dinner.  We needed it to be tasty but most of all we needed it to be close to the hotel and Little Anthony's Italian Restorante fit the bill.  (that link has music)

I ordered the oxtail ragu with gnocchi and it was a life changing dish.


The meat was rich, full of flavour and altogether out of this world. The pasta like soft pillows that angels use to sleep on.  It was the kind of dish that when you have a mouthful you put your fork down immediately and have a moment.  How could I have gone so long and not tasted this? 

Melissa had the butternut squash ravioli which was just as tasty as my dinner (I know because I also ate some of hers).


The best way to see Chinatown is to eat your way around.  There are tons of noodle shops, dumpling houses and these BBQ places.  Does anyone know what makes those squids orange?  I was too timid to try it. 


However, what I was really seeking out were the bakeries.  The filled buns, the soft breads, the elaborate fruit-topped cakes. Most bakeries use the tray system.  You get a lunch tray and pair of tongs and select all the pastries you want from the display cases.  Then you take your selections up to the counter for wrapping and payment.

I only had eyes for the coconut buns though (or "bums" as all the signs said.  ENGRISH FTW!)


Inside the soft, eggy bread is a rich and sweet coconut filling.  I was so glad that we sat down to enjoy our selections because this knocked me off my feet and back to when I was nine in the bakery my Great Aunt took me too in Taipei. (I may have cried a little).  I am going to learn how to make these - even if it means gaining back a few pounds.  These will be mine!

Other stuff that made our trip great:



Toronto Airport Express:  $36 (if you book online) will buy you a round trip ticket from Pearson airport (Exit C) to many downtown hotels.  The bus is clean, air conditioned and even has free wifi.  Give yourself about an hour each way for traffic and drop-offs, but it’s a good deal if you don’t have pre-arranged transport.




The Sheraton Centre.  Great hotel and booked on HotWire for a good rate.  Plus the very nice check-in guy, Brian upgraded us to Club status for free. This gave us access to the club lounge with free refreshments and breakfast and altogether made us feel special.  (Thank you Brian!)  We were on the 30th floor and had a nice view of City Hall and the skyline.





The hotel is connected underground via The Path to lots of shops, food courts and other buildings, namely the Eaton Centre. It's very easy to get lost down there though - luckily I had Melissa with me as she is the master of maps (to a point).  I would not have been able to find my way around anywhere without her!



After three days of non-stop eating, shopping, walking we were ready to make our way back home.  It was sad to part ways at the airport but we're making plans to do it again next year (New Kids or not)!