Lots of loom knit­ting projects late­ly. I even made myself a garter stitch sweater.

Real­ly hop­ing to write up a pat­tern soon, but I think I have to give it anoth­er try in order to get some process pho­to to explain the col­lar part. It’s quite thick and warm, and real­ly hap­py to have used up much of my blue yarn stash :D

Made a garter stitch hat as well, for my mom. I think I like this look bet­ter than the ewrap stitch ver­sion. And it would look quite nice with a pompom.

Also learned how to make slip­per socks! I watched this YouTube video to under­stand how to make the toes and heels (which are actu­al­ly made the same way), and then read this blog post to learn the top-up method.

They look cozy don’t they? Kind of like the read­ing socks they sell at book­stores these days.

It was Chi­nese New Year a cou­ple of weeks ago, so I made some new year cake to bring to my par­ents’. I fol­lowed the recipe on All About Ami, it was real­ly good, and very, very sim­ple, per­fect for some­one who does­n’t usu­al­ly bake, like me :D

Also on the cook­ing front, my co-work­ers have been rec­om­mend­ing turmer­ic tea for a long time. Mike came across some turmer­ic paste in the gro­cery store, so we gave it a try. I found numer­ous recipes and they’re all very sim­i­lar. I end­ed up just mak­ing this with 1/2 tsp per cup of milk, pinch of black pep­per, pinch of cin­na­mon, pinch of gin­ger pow­der, a few squeezes of hon­ey, and boil­ing all togeth­er. I enjoyed the taste, and hope to reap the health ben­e­fits of it soon!

And if your in the down­town Toron­to neigh­bour­hood tomor­row, it’s the annu­al Warm­ing Toron­to Knit­ting Day, ben­e­fit­ing Street Knit, which brings hand­made mit­tens, hats and scarves to folks who are street-involved. Swing by for some snacks, min­gling and yarn-craft­ing fun! 

Hap­py weekend!


the laziest cheesecake

If Gude­ta­ma were ever made into a cheese­cake, this would be it…

… because I made it in a rice cook­er :D

I lit­er­al­ly just mixed all the ingre­di­ents togeth­er and pressed the “cook” but­ton. Found the recipe from this Japan­ese cook­ing web­site, I chose it because it was the eas­i­est (no sep­a­rat­ing egg whites and egg yokes kind of stuff). I con­vert­ed some mea­sure­ments and sub­sti­tut­ed some ingre­di­ents, and it turned out quite beau­ti­ful­ly if I do say so myself :D so I’m record­ing the mod­i­fi­ca­tions here in case I have to come back to it again, or if any­one is inter­est­ed in try­ing it. Note: I have a 5‑cup rice cook­er; for a small­er rice cook­er, you might have to halve the recipe as sug­gest­ed on the orig­i­nal recipe, so it will cook through.

  1. Warm 200g of cream cheese to room tem­per­a­ture (I eye-balled 1/5 of the 250g brick and cut it off), fluff with fork.
  2. Mix in 2 eggs (beat­en), 1/3 cup sug­ar, and 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  3. Grad­u­al­ly mix in 1/3 cup pan­cake mix (I bought the kind that you have to add milk and egg, not the just add water kind) and 1/3 cup half-and-half cream. Mix very well to elim­i­nate lumps (I used a hand mixer).
  4. Grease inner pot of rice cook­er with margarine/butter. Pour mix­ture into pot. Cook on reg­u­lar rice setting.
  5. When done, test with tooth­pick to see if the cen­tre is still run­ny. If so, cook on same set­ting again. (Tooth­pick will not come out clean, but as long as the inside is not run­ny it should be ok)
  6. Take out inner pot and cov­er with plas­tic wrap, cool to room tem­per­a­ture, then refrig­er­ate for a few hours (I want­ed to min­i­mize the chance of it crum­bling when I flip it out).
  7. Flip the cake out of the pot care­ful­ly with my hand (or a plate that fits inside the pot) press­ing gen­tly on the cake (as demon­strat­ed with pic­tures in the orig­i­nal recipe).


It tast­ed like a cross between Japan­ese cheese cake (light, fluffy, not too sweet) and New York style cheese cake (dense and rich). I sus­pect the dense­ness is due to me cook­ing the cake 3 times. The tooth­pick did­n’t come out com­plete­ly clean the sec­ond time and I thought it had to be, so I think I over­cooked it. Next time I’ll just cook it twice. 

I made it for Mike’s birth­day :D I’ll prob­a­bly make it again for my par­ents, Mike’s par­ents, my co-work­ers, my friends, church potluck… it’s so easy!!

Wish­ing every­one a sweet Sun­day afternoon!


p.s. Gude­ta­ma is a San­rio char­ac­ter in the shape of an egg who is very lazy. It also morphs into dif­fer­ent kinds of egg-based foods. His short ani­me are hilar­i­ous, and a bit bizarre… but fun for a short break in the day :)

happy year of the rooster!

Usu­al­ly I’d be hav­ing a reg­u­lar work day over Lunar New Year, but this year it falls on a Sat­ur­day! So I thought I’d cel­e­brate by try­ing out a rice cook­er turnip cake recipe :D

I remem­ber my Hak­ka grand­moth­er mak­ing lots and lots of turnip cakes in prepa­ra­tion for new year. Turnip cake is also Mike’s favourite at dim sum. So even though I’m not so good with cook­ing, I thought I’d give it a try. And it actu­al­ly turned out quite well, and tast­ed like turnip cake! The recipe I found is all in Chi­nese, but if you can’t read Chi­nese but are inter­est­ed in mak­ing turnip cake with a rice cook­er, here’s what I did :D 

The main ingre­di­ents are: (they can usu­al­ly be pur­chased at Asian gro­cery stores)

400g daikon radish (I don’t have a scale so I don’t know how much I used for sure, but used one aver­age size daikon radish)
80g Chi­nese sausage (I used one)
80g pre­served meat (?) (not sure what it is in Eng­lish, did­n’t use)
3 shi­itake mush­rooms (soaked for a few hours to rehydrate)
1 tbsp dried shrimps (soaked for a few hours to rehy­drate. I prob­a­bly used 3 tbsp, as pic­tured. Did­n’t mea­sure. 1 tbsp of shrimps just seems too few. I like shrimps.)
1 cup of rice flour (I used about 1/4 cup more because it looked like I had more daikon than called for)
1 cup of water (I used about 1/4 cup more, and used the liq­uid cre­at­ed from shred­ding the daikon, as well as the soak­ing water from the mush­rooms, for flavour) 
I also used a small amount of cilantro, chopped

Sea­son­ing for the daikon:
1 tsp chick­en instant stock mix
1/8 tsp sug­ar (did­n’t mea­sure, used a pinch)
1/8 tsp salt (same as above)
a bit of white pepper

Sea­son­ing for mushrooms/shrimps/sausage:
1/8 tsp soy sauce (a few drops)
1/8 tsp sug­ar (a pinch)
1/8 tsp rice wine (did­n’t use, because I don’t have rice wine)

1) Chop mush­rooms into thin strips. Rough­ly chop shrimps.

2) Chop Chi­nese sausage into small bits

3) Mix mush­rooms, shrimps and sausage togeth­er with sea­son­ing (the soy sauce, sug­ar and rice wine)

4) Heat wok (I used a fry­ing pan because I don’t have a wok), quick fry mush­rooms, shrimps and sausage with 1 tbsp of oil. Put in a dish and set aside.

5) Peel and shred daikon. Drain and save the liq­uid in a bowl, add water (I use the water from the mush­room soak, fil­tered with a cof­fee fil­ter) to make 1 cup. In a bowl mix this liq­uid with rice flour. Set aside.

6) Heat wok (I used a large fry­ing pan), quick fry the shred­ded daikon with the daikon sea­son­ing and 1/2 tbsp of oil. Turn down heat and cov­er, cook for a few min­utes until soft. Mix in the mushrooms/shrimps/sausage and cilantro. Turn off heat. Mix in the rice flower mix­ture quickly.

7) Grease rice cook­er, pour mix­ture into rice cook­er. Cook in rice cook­er on white rice setting.

It looked like I had enough to make 2 cakes so I made an extra small one on the steam­ing rack in the rice cook­er, on a greased tin plate. When the rice cook­er fin­ished cook­ing for the first time, the small turnip cake did­n’t look cooked, and I was­n’t sure about the larg­er one in the rice cook­er, so I cooked it again on the “quick steam” set­ting. After that the large one looked done (has a slight translu­cent qual­i­ty), but the top one still looked uncooked (opaque like rice pud­ding), so I steamed it the old school way, until it looked cooked.

Here’s the large one cooked in the rice cook­er. I’m quite proud of how it turned out! :D

The large one is for a fam­i­ly gath­er­ing tomor­row. The small one we cut up, pan fried and ate :)

It’s stick­i­er than it’s sup­posed to, I think I used too much daikon, and did­n’t drain it enough (I think one is sup­posed to press the shred­ded daikon to get all the liq­uid out). But it tast­ed like turnip cake! Which is a Chi­nese New Year mir­a­cle giv­en my culi­nary skills, or our rice cook­er is mag­i­cal :D

May the new year bring you good health, much suc­cess and lots of happiness!

holiday crafting

After mak­ing gifts for months before Christ­mas I final­ly had some time to make the things I want­ed for myself! :D 

I lost my gloves on my first day off for the hol­i­days. It was like the 10th pair I’ve lost. I buy the fleece ones from the dol­lar store and they’re the best — they’re warm and the youth size fits me per­fect­ly. But I guess because they’re so easy to replace, I keep los­ing them! And most of the time I don’t even know how or where! So I thought if I were to knit myself a pair of mit­tens, I’d be more care­ful with them. 

I’ve always want­ed to try the Ancient Stitch Mit­tens by Purl Soho, the stitch pat­tern is just so beau­ti­ful. But the thumb part is knit­ted in the round with DPNs. Not that I haven’t done that before, but I’d much rather knit­ting with 2 nee­dles, and I did­n’t real­ly want to get a new set of short DPNs just for this. So I made up a way to knit them flat.

This isn’t a great pho­to, but you can see that I’ve knit­ted the mit­tens in 3 parts — back, thumb, and palm, then joined them togeth­er. Maybe I’ll write anoth­er post explain­ing how I did that in case oth­ers are inter­est­ed. And yes, I was also vis­it­ing with some old friends dur­ing the hol­i­days :) Mike found his copy of Bun­nic­u­la while going through some old stuff at his parents’. 

I also added cuffs so they’d tuck in bet­ter inside my coat’s sleeve cuffs. I was quite hap­py with the fin­ished mit­tens! But they turned out real­ly huge on me, and I’ve used 6 mm nee­dles instead of the 8 or 9 mm nee­dles that the pat­tern called for. My dad end­ed up tak­ing them because they fit him :D

I was deter­mined to give the pat­tern anoth­er try, this time using a lighter yarn and even small­er nee­dles. I used a skein of hand dyed wool that’s slight­ly heav­ier than the reg­u­lar worsted, and used 5.5 mm nee­dles for the mit­tens and 4.5 mm for the cuffs. And they fit much bet­ter! :D

Here’s a bet­ter pic­ture of them.

Anoth­er project I want­ed to make was the pol­ka dot hat. I used the Lov­ing Hat pat­tern by the Garter Stitch Witch, but knit­ted it flat of course. It is a bit of a has­sle to knit this flat because on the purl side I had to car­ry the white yarn all the way across. Some­times I won­der why I’m so stub­born about knit­ting every­thing flat… but any­way, the fair isle knit­ting made the hat extra thick!

My mom want­ed the same hat, and because this one end­ed up being too big for me, I gave her this hat, and made some mod­i­fi­ca­tions to make a small­er hat for myself, with wider spac­ing between pol­ka dots.

For the new year Mike and I decid­ed to make some soup jars for the pantry, since we so often come home from work in the evening with no idea what to make. We used this recipe from She Uncov­ered

Added a bay leaf because it’s pret­ty :D

More projects to come, keep­ing hands busy and mind hap­py with more knit­ting and cro­chet! :D Have a good week­end everyone!


to health!

I’m bat­tling a cold as I write this. I rarely get sick so this feels par­tic­u­lar­ly sad :’( but maybe this is the body’s way of telling me that it needs to come first sometimes.

Any­way. I was talk­ing with a friend about break­fast habits one day, and I told her that I often can’t stom­ach more than a frozen waf­fle or a piece of but­tered toast in the morn­ing, and end up feel­ing extreme­ly hun­gry by 10am. She shared about her new found excite­ment for overnight oats and gave me some ingre­di­ents to try. I don’t like the tex­ture of oat­meal very much but I thought it was an intrigu­ing idea (soak overnight? No cook­ing? No bak­ing? You can add all kinds of fruit and top­pings? Like a sun­dae?), so I did give it a try.

And it’s the best thing ever! :D

overnight oats

There are a lot of recipes for overnight oats (like this list!). I think it’s some­thing that you can just put what­ev­er you want in it and it would taste pret­ty good. I gen­er­al­ly use 1/3 cup oats (old fash­ion, not quick), 1/3 cup milk, some kind of fruit, and 1 table­spoon of this Qia cere­al mix (it was on sale at the super­mar­ket and has chia seeds, hemp seeds, buck­wheat, almonds and cran­ber­ries in it. I thought it was a more sen­si­ble pur­chase than buy­ing full bags of chia seeds and hemp seeds when I was just try­ing things out). Here are some com­bi­na­tions of ingre­di­ents I’ve tried:

Clock­wise from top left:
Apple, cin­na­mon and honey
*Delux!* Strawberry/peach/mango frozen fruit mix, straw­ber­ry yogurt and vanil­la soy milk
To cel­e­brate Year of the Mon­key — peanut but­ter, banana and honey
Hum­ble blue­ber­ry and honey

Noth­ing fan­cy, but super fill­ing! Now I start feel­ing hun­gry at noon instead of 10am! :D

I don’t have it every day, but have been mak­ing it for both Mike and me espe­cial­ly when we antic­i­pate a busy day ahead. I find it less mushy than oat­meal. Cold oat­meal some­how tastes a lot bet­ter to me than hot oat­meal. And I like hav­ing fruit in it. And it’s so sim­ple to put togeth­er the night before, saves a bunch of time in the morning!

See­ing that it is Chi­nese New Year tomor­row, here’s wish­ing every­one a year of good health and happiness!


hot cocoa, on a stick! :D

Last year I helped a friend make these as wed­ding favours. I thought it’s the most bril­liant thing! And very cute-look­ing with the marsh­mal­low on top. So when Mike and I were think­ing about small gifts that we can make a lot of at once for our cowork­ers, we decid­ed to give this a try again.

We fol­lowed the recipe from Dessert Design Life. There are many hot cocoa on a stick recipes out there, but I chose this one because it’s got some pret­ty good tips about the ingre­di­ents and meth­ods that seem to be help­ful for peo­ple who don’t bake or make desserts much, like me.

It’s actu­al­ly REALLY easy to make. It does­n’t even involve turn­ing the stove on (we melt­ed the choco­late in the microwave, but one could use a dou­ble boiler).

We crushed up some can­dy cane in the Mag­ic Bul­let (sift­ed out the fine powder), and sprin­kled some in the bot­tom of the ice tray before pip­ing in the chocolate.

After the choco­late was melt­ed, we mixed in cocoa pow­der and icing sug­ar, and piped them into an ice tray with a cut-up zip-lock bag. We added a marsh­mal­low on top and put in a stick (bam­boo skew­ers from the dol­lar store).

Here they are, set­ting in the ice tray. (with our fes­tive table cloth in the back­ground :D)

Photo 2015-12-14, 1 19 17 PM

We put them in the fridge for about half an hour, and voilà! We were wor­ried that they might be more dif­fi­cult to de-mold with the can­dy cane bits in the bot­tom, but they popped out like ice.

Photo 2015-12-14, 4 25 48 PM

I brushed a very small amount water on top of the marsh­mal­lows and sprin­kled more can­dy cane bits on top.

Mike made the styl­ish tags :D And we just put them in clear sand­wich bags and tied them up with yarn :)

Photo 2015-12-14, 6 16 37 PM

We made about 50 sticks in a day, and it was a lot of fun :D

After giv­ing them away last week we had just two sticks left over. Which means we can cel­e­brate the begin­ning of win­ter with a cup of hot cocoa togeth­er :D Hap­py win­ter solstice!



Late­ly, I’ve been work­ing on this nice knit­ted lace top (it’s a free Rav­el­ry down­load! :D).

Photo 2015-04-25, 8 49 59 AM

I got this yarn last year to make the Con­ver­gence top. I was using a bit of a heav­ier yarn than called for, so I increased the hook size to 4mm instead of 3.75mm, expect­ing that the entire top will turn out a bit larg­er, which would be fine for me, because I like loose fit­ting tops in the sum­mer, and the mea­sure­ments for size small real­ly looks rather small even for me… but for some rea­sons it turned out nar­row­er than the giv­en mea­sure­ments, and wayyy longer. So I took it apart. And I’m now work­ing on this knit­ted top. I think the lace pan­els go well with the var­ie­gat­ed yarn :) Will def­i­nite­ly show you when I’m done!

Late­ly I have also been enjoy­ing some kon­bu cha in the evening :D

Photo 2015-04-23, 9 39 31 PM

Not to be con­fused with kom­bucha, which is the sweet­ened fer­ment­ed tea. Kon­bu cha is kelp tea. My friend, who is Japan­ese, gift­ed it to me last week when we ran into each oth­er at a work­shop :D It tastes like sea­weed sal­ad in a cup, and to me it tastes more like broth than tea, but I love it! I love kelp. I will have to get more of it at Asian gro­cery stores.

Late­ly I have also been work­ing on a cou­ple of Etsy orders, one of which is the tiny yeti pin. Here he is, all ready for his jour­ney to a good home :D

Photo 2015-04-19, 12 26 18 PM



Hope you are hav­ing a good week!


hagelslag :D

Sprin­kles are one of Mike’s very favourite things.

One day he came across this video about break­fasts from dif­fer­ent parts of the world, and when it got to the part about the Nether­lands, he thought, “I’ve got to get some of that!”

So with a lit­tle research he found out that hagel­slag is sold at Dutch Dreams, our local ice cream shop (and favourite place in the sum­mer :D).

They came in a vari­ety pack with (very cute) small box­es that looked like mini cere­al boxes.


So we got our toasts but­tered and ready. Mike tried the reg­u­lar choco­late one.

milk chocolate

And I tried the fruit vari­ety, vrucht­en­hagel, which I think means “fruit hail”.

fruit hail
It turned out to be a bit sweet­er than I would like, but I do enjoy how, unlike the sprin­kles we get on cup­cakes and such, these melt in the mouth! Com­bined with the but­tery bread it reminds me of the dessert buns (i.e. pineap­ple buns or cus­tard buns) at the Chi­nese bakery.

I think my favourite is the choco­late shav­ings variety.

shaved milk chocolate

Hope your week is filled with small things that make you smile :)




summer parties

tea party 1

Last week­end my friends and I decid­ed to have a tea par­ty. My friends are very good at bak­ing but I can’t bake for beans, so I thought I’d make tea par­ty sand­wich­es. These open-face ones were inspired by a pho­to I saw on Pinterest. 


tea party 3

I thought lin­ing them up on a cook­ie sheet with parch­ment paper on it would look nice. From left: cream cheese/cucumber, cream cheese/smoked salmon, avocado/mayonnaise, cream cheese/cucumber/smoked salmon.


tea party 2

Check out our spread! Cup­cakes, short­bread, mac­arons, berries, oh my! We had an excel­lent after­noon catch­ing up and eat­ing lots of sweets :D I love tea parties.

And this week­end Mike and I went to a wed­ding. I had hoped to wear the cardi­gan from Amy’s cro­chet-along, and it was per­fect for the cool­er tem­per­a­ture in the evening. I even found a nice teal dress to go with it :D

CAL cardigan

Mike lent me one of his tie clips for the front clo­sure (the piece of drift­wood I was using in my pre­vi­ous pho­tos was draw­ing too much atten­tion to itself, I thought). It actu­al­ly worked real­ly well :D

Have an excel­lent Mon­day, everyone!