Valentine’s Day 2014

This Valentine’s day wasn’t anything anyone would find super extraordinary by any means. But it was special to me. I dressed Elsa up in a cute little outfit including a tutu. Khanh brought home flowers and an Edible Arrangement. Then Khanh and I had dinner at a spot we’ve never tried before called Hock Farm Craft and Provisions and it was very good! We will definitely be going back. I hope all of you had a wonderful day with the ones you love and have fun for the rest of this President’s day weekend!

 

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Banh Bo Nuong (Vietnamese Honeycomb Cake/Pandan Coconut Tapioca Cake)

I know I haven’t been posting that much. I feel kind of guilty! I always take pictures of my food, post them on Instagram, tell myself I’ll post the recipe, then never get to it! Lemme tell ya, with a young baby to take care of, cooking mostly everything from scratch and keeping my Instagram account active, it’s hard to find the time to sit down and just… write. I’m even starting school up again on Monday. Time is going to seem minimal, but I will try my best to keep up with my posts.

Anyhow, A couple weeks ago my mother-in-law made banh bo from a prepared package of flour she brought back from Vietnam, the results were good. Then last week she made banh bo from a package she bought at an Asian store here I don’t know what she did to it but it was like eating plain old tapioca. She also tried to use the same package to make banh bo nuong, It was interesting, in a bad way. Anyhow, I told her I’d find a recipe and make it. She said I wouldn’t be able to do it because she’s tried many times and can never get it right. That’s something I really dislike, when someone says I’m not able to do something. I always prove them wrong, just like this time… I’ve proved her wrong. I searched and researched about making this snack/dessert and found a really great recipe. Mine didn’t rise as much as it’s supposed to, I think perhaps it needed to be baked a little longer even though after the initial 10 minutes at 350˚ and 30 minutes at 300˚ I added another 15, to make a total of 45 minutes at 300˚ (the oven at my mother-in-law’s is really small and old so that could’ve contributed to the non-rising factor). Mine still came out good, but hopefully yours will come out better!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups Tapioca flour
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) Coconut Milk
  • 1 bag Alsa Brand Single Acting Baking Powder, 11grs (use any brand you prefer but it has to be Single Acting)
  • 6 large Eggs or 7 small Eggs
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pandan Extract (lá dứa) and 1/2 bag Vanilla Sugar or use only Pandan Extract or Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 teaspoons roasted sesame seeds, optional

Directions:

Turn on the oven and preheat to 350′ F. Brush oil on the  baking pan and heat it in the oven on the 2nd lowest rack.
Sift the flour and baking powder together.
In a large bowl, lightly stir the egg and sugar with a whisk or a fork so that no bubbles form. Remember to stir just enough to homogenize the whites and yolks. Over stirring the eggs can cause the cake to be flat. Then stir in flour mixture, coconut milk, pandan or vanilla. Break up any lumps with the back of a spoon. Use a strainer to strain the mixture into another bowl.
Pour the mixture into the hot baking pan that is still in the oven.  You should hear the sizzling sound.  If you like sesame seeds, sprinkle some on top of the mixture. Bake it for about 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 300′ F.  Bake for another 30 minutes or until golden.  If your oven is not convection, bake it for a little bit longer. Insert a toothpick in the center of a cake to test for quick cake doneness. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done.

Turn off oven and let the cake sit in there for a few minutes before taking it out.  Let it cool for a little bit before removing it from the baking pan.

My Babygirl Can Turn Over

My Elsa started turning over a few weeks ago but now she’s doing it so often! I swear it was just yesterday that this little bean was squirming around in my belly; and now, four and half months later she’s rolling around in front of my face. She’s been such a blessing and a true joy in my life. Elsa makes me strive to be a better person. She’s the reason I want to cook and bake more. I truly believe that cooking and eating together as a family keeps them together. Who knows, maybe when she get’s older she’ll learn a two or thing from me and make it a career. 🙂

Baby Pics

I’m an 80’s baby and I grew up with a family that was tech savvy. I learned how to use computers when I was in the 2nd grade! Naturally most of my pictures would be digital. Before this year, I don’t think I’ve printed a real photo in 4 years, with the exception of using my Polaroid camera. Now that I’m a mom I’ve realized that printing your photos is really important. Digital drives crash, get erased or sometimes just lost if it’s on a flash drive. I’ve made it a point to try to print all the important pictures in my life so that my daughter and future kids will have something to look back on. Print those pictures people!