Cookie Time!

its been quite a busy time of year over in our house!

we successfully hosted Thanksgiving (cooking a 20 lb bird and all of the fixings!) and we’re prepping to host Christmas Eve now!

here’s a little peek into what my kitchen looked like this weekend…maybe a real cookie post will come out of this too…

those were linzer tarts in the making

i didn’t try any but the boy said they were good 


Mango Mochi {recipe}

…or MMMango mochi as some would say!


lesson of the day: late night redbull & vodka gives me the motivation to blog…and book excursions in vegas and apparently makes my inner ADD come out!

since moving out and officially being on our OWN (scary, i know!) i’ve been forced to cook.  a lot.  too bad i haven’t been keeping up with the photography as well.

i’ve had my fair share of misses…but this hit was too good and easy to be overlooked!  and it also helped that i had awesome lighting in the kitchen that day!

let me start off by saying i don’t like mango.  but i do love mochi.  confession: at my local froyo place, i often fill my cup with more mochi than froyo!  what you don’t?  well you should try it one day.  really.   ok ok…back on track…red bull and i do not mix well.

and i lied a little bit in the title…maybe i should have called the recipe ‘passion fruit mango mochi’?  because the actual mochi is passion fruit flavor and the filling is mango.  whatever.  my nom nom. my rules. FOCUS!

in a nutshell:

  • we got invited to a luau themed 4th of july bbq.
  • mamma bear always told me that you should never show up empty handed to an event at someone’s house that you are invited to.
  • my OCD (ocd AND add?!  its quite the party over here!!) doesn’t like to stray far from the theme.
  • i had a can of passion fruit juice in my pantry that i was hoarding and frozen mangoes in the freezer (for the boy’s green juices).
  • i like bullet points.
  • a lot.

since we are double booked for the day (lucky us!), i needed something that was quick and simple to make.  mochi came to mind.


since i also have paranoia of my cooking not tasting good (and i like to self diagnose myself based on what i read on the internet…damn you webmd!) i decided to make a test batch yesterday afternoon.

they came out good according to the boy (see above note about the dislike of mango).



Mango Mochi {recipe}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 1 dozen pieces

easy mango mochi recipe

What You'll Need

1 1/4 cup passion fruit juice
1 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
cubed mangoes
cornstarch for dusting

What to Do

  1. add passion fruit juice and rice flour into a microwave safe bowl (i used a pyrex - makes cleanup much easier!)
  2. mix until combined
  3. cover tightly with plastic wrap
  4. microwave for 3 minutes on high
  5. carefully remove plastic wrap and stir - the center should be slightly liquidy and the edges stiffer
  6. cover again with plastic and microwave for another 2 minutes
  7. remove from microwave and stir. you should now have a 'dough'
  8. dust a cutting board with cornstarch and turn the dough out onto the board
  9. wait about 30sec - 1min until the dough is cool enough to handle (your fingertips will thank me)
  10. dust the top of the dough with cornstarch and form into a log
  11. cover loosely with plastic wrap (keep covered to prevent from drying out)
  12. cut off approximately 1.5 inch piece and form into a circle (make sure your hands are well starched so the dough doesn't stick)
  13. place some cubed mango in the center of the dough and pinch closed
  14. ENJOY!


feel free to change up the flavor of the mochi and fillings! the ratio is 1:1 for liquid to rice flour. i have used plain water, coconut milk, coffee, green tea and guava juice to replace the liquid portion of the recipe. if your liquid is not sweet, add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar to the mixture before microwaving. coffee mochi and nutella filling was an absolute hit! if your mango is not fully ripe, feel free to add a tablespoon of sugar to it and let it macerate. and be sure to drain some of the juices before filling the mochi so it won't get soggy!

important note – this is best made the same day that they will be eaten, otherwise the mochi might dry out and start to get hard.


till next time…toodles!



Its been a little while…

Its been a little quiet over here these last few months! Here’s a little peek at what has been keeping us busy!
Retail value on these All Clad pieces was $1,945…but thanks to sales and employee discounts these are going to cost us just about $850! :-) Score!
Can’t wait to take these for a spin!




Week in Photos #10 & #11

Doubling up on my weeks!

Round 2 with another avocado and this time removing the pit was a success!

And that avocado soon met some tomatoes, fresh mozz and balsamic vinegar for another healthy salad for mom!

I finally got my Influenster Love VoxBox!  I was a little worried that my box might have been lost in the mail because others in the area had gotten theirs more than a week before I got mine!  Contents post coming soon!

Took the bikes out for the first time this season!  It was a…uhh…nice…ride?  It was probably the COLDEST day in weeks.  And when I say cold I mean it was 31 degrees when we STOPPED biking according to my phone.  Mind you we were right next to the highway and ocean…with bone chilling winds coming at us from all directions!  But nonetheless we had a good time!  It was nice to get back out!  I also ordered a new helmet and some gear that was on clearance for our future rides!

Look at this adorable manicure set my mom picked up for me!  I doubt the tools are any good…but I’m keeping this at the office for emergencies!  There have been so many times I’ve drawn blood while trying to fix my cuticle or a hangnail!

I found these Green Tea Mochis at the market.  I was so happy because not only was the mochi green tea flavored, but the filling was also!  Usually its red bean or some other strange filling I don’t like.  I ate one and forgot the rest at the boy’s house.  I said I’d pick them up next weekend…and he gave me the look like “yeah right like there will be any left by the time you come back!”

Fear not!  I returned to the market only to find a JACKPOT!  They also had custard filled mochi!  SCORE!   Or so I thought…my brother tried one…and hijacked the package from me after I had one.  Oh well…I don’t need all those sweets anyway!

Pear took me out for my birthday dinner.  We tried to go to The Farm on Adderley in Ditmas Park but when we got there we were told it was going to be about a 45 minute wait!  The host suggested that we walk around and find a bar and then he will call us when a table would be ready.

We ended up walking over to Purple Yam  and were able to get a seat over there with a minimal wait.  After looking over the drink menu, we decided on a guava martini for me and a thai chili martini for Pear.  The boy had a root beer :-)   We watched the bartender make Pear’s drink…he took some thai chili’s and muddled them…then into a shaker with sake and ice!  I tried a little of this drink and it was SPICY!!!

I love the photoscape program I found to edit pictures.  Its 823867286 times simpler than Photoshop and Lightroom!  Although I’m sure the pro’s would argue that the results are no where near as good.  But for my untrained eye, it makes my pictures a little more appealing…and thats what matters, right?!  Here I’m working on the dinner that we had at Morimoto’s to celebrate Pear’s birthday.


Week in Photos #6

Got a new laptop at work….usually they’re hand me downs from the executives who get the real new ones….but I believe this is evidence that i got a brand spanking new one too!  :)

Ordered some limited edition Android toys last week.  They were all sold out from the usual places where we get them from – apparently they sold like hotcakes!  We were able to find them from a vendor in Hong Kong….shipping took just about a week!  (Hello ebay sellers…why do your products take 3+ weeks when I order from you in HK???)   These are special Androids created by Dead Zebra for Chinese New Year!

 I have been wanting a new Crock Pot for a while…and I’ve been stalking various ones on sale.  Target finally put one of the fancier ones on sale for $29.99…SCORE!  Cooked my first meal in it for mom…hopefully she’ll like it!  We’re trying to get her to eat healthier!  The recipe couldn’t be easier!  I made a simple spice rub – paprika, cayenne, white pepper, black pepper, salt, thyme, onion powder and some other misc herbs I had and rubbed the bird inside and out.  layered the bottom of the pot with some potatoes, carrots and celery and stuffed the cavity with some as well.  Set it on low for 8 hours and the result is fall-off-the-bone chicken!  :)
*NOTE…I made this recipe twice so far…I tried cooking it for 6 hours on high the next time and mom said that the chicken was much drier this time so you can’t really switch up the cooking time/heat settings.  Next time I’m sticking with 8 hours on low again!

Attended a fundraiser for a friend who has a family member that is going through some medical issues.  As a thank you the family made and gave out these bracelets.  It says Kapatid – Sibling. Thank you for your support, From the Mayo Family.

FINALLY got a haircut!  I wanted to keep the length…and so I only said 3 inches.  In reality its more like 6 inches he cut off…he cut off the initial 3…and then he kept snipping and snipping when he was shaping it…
It’s only hair…it’ll grow back right? :T

And we can’t get a cut without some color right?  I asked for blue-black this time.  I wanted something darker than usual.  I had a minor panic attack when the girl’s gloves started to take on a hue of purple!!  But it came out good.  I love the color!  And its rare that I love anything with my hair!  I just wish I had time for an oil treatment too because it only LOOKS shiny and healthy…it feels like straw!

Starbucks gold card!  I haven’t really used the card much…since I just go to get the free drinks that I accumulate from dad’s transactions!  


dinner party at pear’s v2.0

It was a Sunday night when I got the text that Perry was planning on handing in his resignation the next day…
Typically we’d go out to our usual safety spot bar89 for dinner/drinks but since Pear didn’t have another job lined up just yet we decided it would be best if we stayed in and cooked a simple dinner over a few bottles of wine.

Fast forward to Friday – I ran to Whole Foods during lunch at work to get the groceries we’d need and sent the boy to the liquor store on his way home from work to pick up some wine for us.The menu that night would be…whatever looked good at Whole Foods and was fast to cook…since we’d all be coming from a long day of work.
The menu ended up being:
Shrimp with a spicy herbed sauce
Cod cakes with salad
Linguine with white clam sauce

Let’s start with the shrimp…and that green sauce.  Oh that green sauce!  Not quite sure what to call this dish.  A few months back Rach invited us over to her place for dinner and her chef friend whipped this up for us…it was so good we all asked him for the recipe and I quickly jotted it down on the brown paper Rach had laid out on the table and snapped a picture with my phone.  No measurements, no proportions…just judging by eye and taste.  I guess that’s how some chefs work!

I knew I wanted to recreate this dish one day because we all couldn’t stop dipping the bread into the ‘green stuff’ as we had dubbed it for the rest of the night. And this time was no different!

The sauce was a breeze to prepare.  Wash the herbs, chop the garlic and chile, throw it all into a container with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon and salt and blend away!

If I had to make some adjustments the next time around, I probably would have used some more salt and lemon and actually go find chiles instead of using jalepeno peppers.  Other than that, we all thought the recreation was on par.

While at Whole Foods the cod cakes looked appetizing so I picked up one for each of us.  I should have gotten some tartar sauce to go with it…they were terribly dry!  Looks can be so deceiving!

For the linguine with white clam sauce I had picked up some semi fresh pasta since it would help us cut down on the cooking time.

The sauce was thrown together mainly from memory.  We sauteed some onion and garlic together in olive oil, placed the fresh clams in the pan to cook – and removed them individually as soon as they opened up.  Add a bottle of clam juice to the pan and reduce to enhance flavors.  We then added a can of chopped and a can of whole baby clams to the mix with their juices and returned the fresh clams to the pan to reheat.  Once everything was heated through, we tossed the pasta in with the sauce and mixed in some chopped parsley right before serving.

After we finished dinner and cleaned up, Pear told me that he had found a new cherry vodka that was decent.  At $20 for the bottle it definitely wasn’t bad…but its no where near as good as my beloved Ultimat black cherry vodka!

Straight from the freezer and poured on the rocks with a squeeze of lime.  I couldn’t think of a better way to end a Friday night!  Sometimes staying in with friends catching is better than going out.

Bonus question…Can you tell the difference between parsley and cilantro??? I couldn’t!


dinner party at pear’s!

So many pictures to sort through…that’s the only explanation I can give as to why my posts are so far between!

Back in February while chatting with Perry, it was concluded that he has been living in his apartment for over a year and has never hosted a real dinner party! The most frequent cooking his stove sees is in the form of instant noodles and dumplings!

It was decided.  President’s day weekend we’d all gather for dinner at Pear’s!  Pear, Amanda, Ben, Rach, the boy and myself.

Since it was still pretty chilly out, it was mandatory that a fire be lit!

Which proved to be a good idea…because Amanda stepped on something wet in the kitchen and ended up using the fireplace as her own personal sock dryer!

While dinner was cooking, Amanda and Ben took advantage of the newest purchase in the apartment: Pear’s 3d tv

And we snacked on some appetizers…I threw together a simple antipasto platter with cheese and some meats…too bad the crackers were mostly crushed and stale!   The wine was from fresh direct’s 20 under $20 wine list.

The menu of the night was parbaked bread from fresh direct, caesar salad, rosemary garlic roasted potatoes, braised short ribs, and snow crab legs.  Our little version of a surf and turf!

I helped prep the potatoes…so from what I remember, this is what went into them:tri colored potatoes, chopped rosemary, garlic, olive oil, and sea salt.  Roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes and then finished with a drizzle of truffle oil! Delish!

The spread:

After dinner Pear entertained us a little with his other new addition to the apartment:

As we weren’t deep enough into a food coma, dessert was still to come!

Homemade flan and green tea cookies from Rach, cookies from Ben and Amanda, Italian pastries from me and the boy.  finished off with some coffee and sparkling wine…A perfect ending to a perfect night!


hotpot and party crashers!

every year the boys do a secret santa exchange and every year ash and I usually try to hang out to kill time waiting for them to finish.

this year we decided to invite some girls along to join us for a hot pot at ash’s place.  for those of you who don’t know what “hot pot” is…just think of it as asian fondue!  you dip a variety of raw meats/veggies/tofu/noodles, etc into a pot of broth to cook it.  finish it off by dipping into your own sauce creation just prior to eating.

the plans were set.  i’d drop the boy off at his secret santa exchange and then head over to ash’s to start our mini feast…wrong!  on saturday morning the boy tells me the guys are relocating their secret santa to ash and steve’s house!  a quick text confirmation with ash proves true.  why? because the boys didn’t make dinner plans/arrangements and decided to crash on ours!  no big deal…except i went grocery shopping for food for 5 girls…not 5 girls plus 10 guys!  after some quick scrambling, the boy and i managed to pick up some more food for our meal that now turned into a feast!  see, when you’re buying for only 5 small appetites, you’re quite limited to the amount of stuff you can actually get…but add 10 boy’s stomachs to that and you can double/triple the variety!

off to the market and $60 later the boy and i shuffled over to steve and ash’s place to start prepping.  now i thought prepping would be quick and easy…there was no cooking involved by me after all since all of the cooking would take place at the table.  BUT…in reality it took about 3 hours to prep all of the food!  washing, chopping, arranging, etc!

the spread was: nappa cabbage, spinach, 3 types of noodles – mung bean, udon, vermicelli, fish tofu, fish balls – both regular and stuffed with tobiko!, enoki mushrooms, firm tofu, fried tofu,  pork dumplings, xo wontons, konyaku bundles, and lots of meat – two types of beef – fatty and regular, chicken and pork.  if i had more time to plan, i probably would have bought less of each item so i could increase the variety even more…manila clams anyone???

after everyone was stuffed to the gills, the boys went to open their gifts.  they drew cards to determine the order and off they went.  some were too excited about opening their gifts to stand long enough to pose for a nice picture with it!

the boy got what he wanted from his wish list – he broke his gaming headset a while back so he got a replacement.

many thanks to our host steve, ash and baby O!  ironically, steve hates hot pot…and thats the reason why ash and i decided to do it that night – because steve was supposed to be out of the house for dinner!