Monthly Archives: January 2014

raspberry jelly buttons

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These cookies reminded me of the Knotts Berry Farm cookies I used to get after test taking in high school. They’re so delicious!! I made these with raspberry preserves and they were soooo good! I found the recipe on Never The Same Spice Twice. Stephanie’s grandma is amazing. This is her recipe 🙂

Raspberry Jelly Buttons (adapted from Never The Same Spice Twice)
4 sticks unsalted butter
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 egg yolks (my dad asked for the whites so I didn’t use them)
1 cup brown sugar
approx 1/2 cup raspberry preserves

– using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar
– add in eggs one at a time and mix after each addition
– add in flour one cup at a time and mix
– refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes
– preheat oven to 350 degrees
– take dough out of fridge
– roll dough into small golf balls and place on silpat lined cookie sheets
– use your finger (I used a chopstick and my thumb but my thumb made the holes too big) to make a hole in the middle of the golf ball but don’t poke all the way through
– fill holes with raspberry preserve
– bake at 350 for about 20 minutes
– let cool and enjoy! 🙂

I actually made my golf balls too big and ended up with 48 cookies. The original recipe said you can get about 80-100 if you make them small so I guess I’ll try them with boysenberry preserve next time!
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These were the batch where I used my thumb to make the hole. As you can tell, they were wayyyy too big. A chopstick worked perfectly for the second batch 🙂 THESE ARE SO GOOD!!! It’s funny how they remind me of high school and our STAR testing. My high school gives us snacks during STAR testing and they were always those Knotts Berry Farm cookies. To be honest, I think everyone looked forward to those cookies. These are going to be great as gifts for Lunar New Year. I opted for raspberry because it’s red and red is good luck in Chinese culture.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Fran’s Chocolates

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Most Food Network junkies will probably know what Fran’s is but it is one of the best chocolatiers in Washington. They have numerous shops in the Seattle area and these babies are delicious. I saw them on the Best Thing I Ever Ate episode with Bobby Flay. I know Bobby loves the coconut bars because it’s like an upgraded almond joy bar but I HATE almond joys. I’m not really a coconut kinda gal. In fact there is only two desserts I’ll eat with coconut. One of them is tapioca pudding with taro (sai mai lo) and the other is coconut jello. My mom makes both of them. I was browsing their website and saw that they sold boxes of chocolate for Lunar New Year. How awesome is that?! 🙂 It came with a red box and gold satin ribbon (as pictured above).
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What I like about these truffles is that they’re practically bite size BUT they pack quite a punch. The sweetness, saltiness, and chocolate is just right. It’s silky smooth and delicious. I got this box for $30 not including shipping. Now most people will say that’s insane but it was for my mom for CNY so I obliged. My mom loved them. She said she likes the oolong tea truffle and the single whiskey malt truffle. I love the gray smoked salted caramels. There’s saltiness, smoky flavor, and most of all yummy caramel. These were a delicious treat for our feast yesterday!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Fran’s Chocolates

 photo 001_zpsa971570c.png
Most Food Network junkies will probably know what Fran’s is but it is one of the best chocolatiers in Washington. They have numerous shops in the Seattle area and these babies are delicious. I saw them on the Best Thing I Ever Ate episode with Bobby Flay. I know Bobby loves the coconut bars because it’s like an upgraded almond joy bar but I HATE almond joys. I’m not really a coconut kinda gal. In fact there is only two desserts I’ll eat with coconut. One of them is tapioca pudding with taro (sai mai lo) and the other is coconut jello. My mom makes both of them. I was browsing their website and saw that they sold boxes of chocolate for Lunar New Year. How awesome is that?! 🙂 It came with a red box and gold satin ribbon (as pictured above).
 photo 003_zps9e9ed1b2.png
What I like about these truffles is that they’re practically bite size BUT they pack quite a punch. The sweetness, saltiness, and chocolate is just right. It’s silky smooth and delicious. I got this box for $30 not including shipping. Now most people will say that’s insane but it was for my mom for CNY so I obliged. My mom loved them. She said she likes the oolong tea truffle and the single whiskey malt truffle. I love the gray smoked salted caramels. There’s saltiness, smoky flavor, and most of all yummy caramel. These were a delicious treat for our feast yesterday!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

Chinese New Year feast

I LOVE Chinese New Years. My mom decided to have our annual feast early this year. Today also happens to be my birthday. I love that my birthday falls on CNY week because my mama always makes good food. She makes good food regardless but sometimes I have to twist her arm for the dishes that I want. She said she’d make me roast pork (siu yuk) for my birthday and she did!!! It’s one of my favorite take-out dishes and I always order it.
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This is the roast pork before my dad cut into it.
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Tofu! 🙂 This version is actually dried tofu that you have to soak in water and then cook. It’s a bit time consuming but very delicious.
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I’m not a fan of this dish but it makes an appearance every year. This dish has water chestnuts, pork, and some scallions. Water chestnuts taste weird. I never liked them.
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This dish also makes an appearance every year. It’s vermicelli noodles cooked in soy sauce with dried shrimp and green onions.
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This is “faat tai.” Basically it’s like a cupcake but it has to have the four flowers.
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This dish is one of my favorites! I usually never see it unless it’s CNY. It has shiitake mushrooms, veggies, a black vermicelli like ingredient, albalone, dried scallops, and this other ingredient I don’t know the name of. I can say it in Chinese but not in English. I used to refuse to eat the black vermicelli like ingredient just because it reminded me of hair.
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And last but not least, peas and carrots! Gotta have lots of veggies! 🙂

There was also a chicken but I didn’t upload the picture. The chickens that my parents buy at the butcher shop have the head on and everything so I figured it was a little too much for my blog. Thanks for reading!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

matcha green tea almond cookies

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Lunar New Year is next Friday so everyone in the family is getting ready for it. We’ve been cleaning and buying different foods so we can make the annual dinner which is really more like a huge feast. I love Chinese New Year because I get to eat all sorts of goodies AND I get lai xi (red envelopes). I decided to make different types of goodies for CNY this year. Matcha green tea almond cookies were at the top of the list! 🙂

Match Green Tea Almond Cookies (adapted from Rasa Malaysia)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 stick softened butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon green tea powder (I used a Japanese kind that my mom has. High quality would be ideal)
1/3 coarsely chopped raw almonds

– in a small bowl, stir together flour, salt, and green tea powder than set aside
– in a medium bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar until fluffy
– add dry mixture in batches (I did about 1-2 tablespoons at a time) and mix to combine after every addition
– add in chopped almonds in 3 batches and mix to combine
– pour dough onto saran wrap (make sure it’s long enough) and roll dough into a 12-14in. log about 1 1/4 inches in diameter and freeze for 30 mins.
– preheat oven to 325 degrees
– take dough out of freezer and use a sharp knife to cut 1/4 inch pieces (should yield 24 cookies)
– bake for about 15-16 minutes and let cool
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It goes great with a cup of tea! 🙂 My mom was excited to see the almond pieces in my cookies. These are buttery melt in your mouth cookies. It reminds me of shortbread…only better. TRY THESE! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

chicken noodle soup

I’ve been sick for the past week and still am. My sister took pity on me and made me delicious batches of chicken noodle soup. Did I mention how awesome it is having a sister who knows how to make good chicken noodle soup?! 🙂 It’s awesome!
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Chicken Noodle Soup
1lb farfalle pasta, cooked according to package instructions
2 1/2-3 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken from Costco)
2 stalks of celery cut into small pieces
2 stalks of carrots cut into circles
1 cup of corn (optional)
2-3 teaspoons of chicken bouillon (I used chicken pho bouillon)
3 14 oz cans of chicken broth
4-5 14oz cans of water
1/2 teaspoon dill
1-2 teaspoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
red pepper flakes (optional)

– in a large pot, add chicken broth and water
– add celery and carrots and cook until fork tender
– add corn if you’re putting it in
– add dill, parsley, salt, and pepper
– if you’re adding red pepper flakes now would be a good time
– stir soup around and bring to a boil
– once it comes to a boil, add shredded chicken and pasta
– stir to get everything combined and let it cook for about a minute or two so the broth seeps into the noodles

**I noticed that my pasta absorbed a lot of the liquid so if you make this in a big batch and don’t plan on eating all of it than leave out the pasta until you are going to eat it.

It’s a super simple recipe and it reminds me of Progresso chicken noodle soup. Only this taste better! 🙂

Fail Sweetly,
Justina