Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mexican Rice

My friend, Angelica, showed me how to make this a few months ago but I thought I would share the recipe and technique…the technique being the key component. When I was back in college, I failed at making this soo many times but I learned it was because I lacked patience which unfortunately is still a work in progress.

1 cup rice
2 cup fresh chicken broth (you can substitute with a cube of chicken bouillon and 2 c of water)
5 diced Roma Tomatos
½ chopped yellow onions (or red onions)
5 cloves of diced garlic
3 tbsp olive oil

1.       In a pot pour the olive oil and heat it up until it becomes viscous then add the garlic and onions at medium heat. Cook the onions until it becomes translucent.
2.       Add the dry rice into the pot and allow the oil to cook the grains – remember to stir or they will stick to the bottom.
3.       Add the 2 cups of the fresh chicken broth along with the diced tomatoes. Turn up the heat and let the stock start to boil with bubbles.
4.       Place the lid on top and reduce the heat to low

5.       Let the pot sit on low for about 20 min and then it’s done.

The Journey of Stein

I know it’s been forever since I’ve written a post on my crafts. I’ve honestly been too lazy. Sometime between my last entry I learned how to Spanish potato tortilla that you find at tapas bar, turn an ordinary birthday card to something extraordinary, made a few Halloween costumes, and this. I will try to sit still and do some back blogging but there are no promises because I’m too antsy to sit still for that long.

Anyways, back to the entry I’m trying to write. Last week I was thinking about what to make my friend, Collin, for his birthday and all I had was…monkies, his touchiness about his hair, and Stein (an inside joke or bonding word that I still don’t understand its origins) In any case, I thought Stein was my best bet. So I asked a friend what type of image came to his mind when I said “Stein.” For awhile my friend kinda chuckled at the ridiculousness of the question but he proceeded to describe a diamond formed by hands. I took that idea and incorporated the Japanese rising sun because 1) Collin is white washed Japanese and I’m racist like that lol and 2) the rising sun has an importance in terms of graffiti art it would be blasphemy not to include it.

I created the logo at work in between my experiments and paperwork and then scanned it so I could have a digital copy to tweak. I have to say…I could have used a graphic tablet really badly because I spent about 6 hours after to make the image as clean as possible with my mouse.

Lets fast forward a bit….I went to Office Depot to buy iron paper and saw Steve Carrell with his daughter…went to Staples to buy a printer because iron paper is special and cannot be printed on at Kinkos (as explained to me when the dude at the one off Ventura Blvd looked at me with a DUH expression)

I finished the shirts…10 of them. Put 8 in a box with a monkey drawing on top holding a football and gave it to Collin on Monday night – unfortunately, I think I was more excited than he was. Key thing to doing this was to follow the instructions on the back to the T… I thought I could do my own thing and my first shirt was rather unsuccessful.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Brie Basil Tomato Pasta

So needless to say, its been about a month or so since my last entry. I am sorry, I've become consumed lately with other unnecessary dramas, but I'm back on course. My friend, Hitomi, who got it from her bf's mom showed me how to cook this a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it and gave my little twist.

3 tbsp Fresh Basil
1 tbsp Fresh Parsley
4 cloves of Fresh garlic
4 Roma Tomatoes (you can use steak tomatoes but I'm partial to romas)
1/2 Whole Grain Spaghetti
3 Italian sausages
1 wedge slice of brie

1) Boil water in a Pot for the spaghetti noodles as cook until al dente - most people do tricks like adding salt or olive oil to prevent the noddles from sticking but I mesh around with your plain carb palate. Once you have drained the pasta - take the brie and slice off the wax out layer (you should be left with the mushy stuff) and place it in with the hot pasta so the cheese will melt.

2) In another pot heat water until it boils and place the whole tomatoes in for about 5 min - this will slightly stew the tomatoes and make it easier to peel the skins. Once this is done slice the tomatoes into bite size. Then add to the pasta.

3) For the Italian sausages, I like to bake them so they have a crusty outter layer without the extra oil from pan fry cause sausages have soo much fat on their own. I bake them at 325C for about 30 min or until the casing is brown. Slice these up and add this along with the remaining ingredients into the pasta.

There you have some yummy sharp creaminess! <3

Monday, October 3, 2011

Salmon Puff Pastry

If anyone know me, you would know that I LOVE FRENCH CUSINE especially of its strong influence in Vietnamese Culture. I spent a majority of my childhood running from my heritage which I think coincides with growing up in the OC Bubble. In any case, when I went to college I began this journey in search of not only myself but food and culture that is soo closely associated with my roots.

Anyway, I have an on going love affair with puff pastry which can be found at almost any grocery store. I am very fortunate that down here there's Jon's which carries a lot of Mediterranean food and ingredients.

So this is my little fatty recipe or what I refer to as comfort food.

1 pkg French Puff Pastry
1 Salmon Fillet
1 8 oz. Cream Cheese
Garlic Salt

1. Let the puff pastry cool at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before you try to play with it.
2. During the mean time, slice your salmon fillet into 1/2" steaks. Then do the same with the cream cheese. (Note: don't let the cream cheese sit at room temp, return it to the fridge until you're ready to use it)
3. Once the puff pastry is at room temperature, it should be soft (not gooey) yet firm enough for you to cut out square shapes. 
4. Preheat the over to 325C
5. Then you assemble the ingredients like in the picture below and sprinkle the garlic salt on both sides of the fillet (I don't suggest having a lot of sodium in your everyday diet but once in awhile it should be okay) 

6. Then fold the ends onto each other so you get a little bun. Turn them over so the folded ends are hidden at the bottom and you're left with a smooth surface on top.
7. I used a butter knife to create the cross hash pattern.
8. Place individual buns at least 1/4" away from one another.
9. To the oven they go for around 35-45 mins or until the crust is golden brown. (Note: there's a point in the cooking phase where the buns will look as though they melted but don't worry, the butter must all melt before the individual layers of the puff pastry can rise)

Well, I hope you enjoy this! You will notice that I use puff pasty ALL the time. <3

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bustle Tutus!

A couple of weeks ago, my mexican sister and I decided that we needed to dance....and Nocturnal was just around the corner, so we decided that it would be an awesome opportunity to showcase our shuffling skills. :)

In preparation for the rave, I decided to design our costume: a pair of booty undies, corset and a bustle out of tulle. What's a bustle you may ask? Its the added fabric used during the Victorian Period to make it seem like you had a big butt! I decided that a bustle would be a wonderful play on of the Alice in Wonderland theme which dates back to the turn of the 20th Century.

I spent a few nights looking around and found this wonderful video on youtube: CraftoVision - Bustle. I love all her crafts, she used to do threadbanger and I was greatly disappointed when that came to an end.

Anyways, the same instruction are used with tulle with the exception of using trimming on the ends.

This this a picture of our finished project.

 The picture also includes the "Eat Me" cookies that is found in the classic tale. I just used felt, some glue and a ton of glow in the dark puffy paint. Once I find a way to load a pattern, it will be up, but its just a simple heart.

Well, here's me signing of. Tell me how this goes for you. I think its a really easy and inexpensive way to have a 'slutty' Halloween Costume without having to show EVERYTHING. However, I must say our costume was VERY out of character for the both of us, but you know what?!?! Why not? And in case you were wondering...we had a blast...the only foreign substance was my Powerade and one Redbull vodka for my friend.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Watermelon Steaks

Since moving away from home about a year ago, my mom has started this tradition of over supplying me with food to feed an army. I have no idea why she thinks I consume this amount of food. Honestly, if I manage to eat twice a day during the working week - its a good day. I guess I play into the overly concentrated scientist, but I digress.

Last Sunday, my mom decided to give me watermelon. So yesterday I decided to experiment with  the watermelon and found several interesting recipes on but the idea of cheese and watermelon was most intriguing. (My friends and ex agree that I have an expensive mouth cause I like weird yay for future hubby when I'm preggers. lol.)

From the little research I did, I gathered that most of the cheeses tend to be dry. I thought it would be interesting to use a cheese known for its amount of water to create more of a creamier smoothness along with the juices from the watermelon.

So try it out and tell me what you think. Its different so one must be open to trying something new.

Watermelon sliced into giant steak
Mozarella Slices
Fresh mint - these are from my mom's Viet herb garden
Agave Syrup
Plain Breadcrumbs
Basalmic Glaze
Vegetable oil


Cheese sticks:

1. Coat each side of the cheese with a thin layer or Agave Syrup and bread crumbs
2. Place them to chill out in the freezer for a good 20 minutes - don't want them to melt as quickly when you toss them into the pan
3. In a saucepan pour in about 2 tbsp of veggy oil and place the burner on high until the oil becomes viscous and runs fluid like water with ripples along the surface. Reduce the heat a bit (the oil will retain the high temperature and the reduced heat will prevent the cheese steaks from dying in the pan) place the Cheese sticks and lightly toast both sides. You have to be quick or you'll get lumps of goo.

Note: I use agave syrup because it has a light sweetness  which is very different from honey and traditional maple syrup. You might ask why not use eggs whites instead to bread. The reason to NOT use egg whites would be the interference of taste because this dish is rather mild and has very light notes with the exclusion from the bite that comes from the basalmic glaze. 


1. Its kinda self explanatory: just look are the pictures I included
2. Remember to serve while the cheese is still warm.

Enjoy my friends until next time! <3

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Survival of the Poorest! Casserole Time!

I must first note that the one thing I really don't like about casserole dishes is that they're not pretty when plated. Lasagna can look pretty but when they do the flavor from the sauce is lacking.

When I was thinking about my next blog I looked in my fridge and saw a bunch of food that needed to be eaten before I could go crazy at the grocery store again. Since I made spaghetti not too long ago, I thought why not make a dish of everything? So casserole time!

I was hoping to find some history on casseroles ie: the reasoning behind why they were made and continue to be dishes of yum. For me, when I make a casserole dish, it is often left overs and bits of other ingredients that I have left in the pantry. This dish is no different. :D

Canned Tomato sauce
1/2 jar of Alfredo sauce
1/2 bag of Spaghetti Noodle
Provolone cheese
1/2 frozen green peas
6 piece of chicken thighs
Herb mix of oregano and basil
Garlic Salt - its my cheat
Cayenne Peper - love the back of the tongue spice
Ketchup - use this to make it a bit sweeter because often times canned tomatos lack dept in their taste
olive oil or butter - only need a small amount


Chicken preparation:

1. Lightly boil the 6 thigh pieces of chicken on the stove until most of the pink is gone. Around 10 minutes.

Note: I'm kinda phobic of placing large pieces of uncooked meat in a casserole so I do an initial cook. Also, if you're feeling super crafty leave the skin on during the boil and collect the broth for a later use - this is what i'll be using next week.

Noodle preparation:

1. Break the noodles in half and lightly coat them with melted butter or olive oil

Reasoning: This will prevent them from sticking together once you make the dish.

Putting your casserole together:

Preheat Oven at 350
1. First coat the bottom of the casserole dish with 1/4 of the tomato sauce so things don't heat up too    much when its in the oven
2. Along with the sauce add spices : garlic salt, herb mix, cayenne, and a light ketchup drizzle
3. Scatter 1/2 of the frozen peas on top
4. Take four slices of provolone and evenly distribute
5. Next comes the noodles - evenly distribute them across the dish - this will guarantee that they cook evenly
6. Place chicken thighs on top and spoon Alfredo sauce on each piece.
7. Add the remaining peas & tomato sauce and add the salt, herb mix, and cayenne (basically redo the first initial layer)
8. Place into the oven for about an hour so the flavor comes out or until the top layer is bubbling
9. Spread freshly shredded Mozzarella on top and return back into the oven until there's a lightly crispy toast on top. (10-20 minutes)
10. Take the casserole dish out and allow it for cool down (15 minutes)

There you go! Some yumminess made from what you have lying around. Below are some pictures I took along the way.

* Because everyone lives soo far away and or super busy - this lasted me the entire week and then some.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Terrarium - A piece of nature in the big city.

I absolutely love terrariums! Its wonderful to be able to have a mini greenhouse in your very own bedroom. They vary from moss to succulent plants like the ones I chose. I think the beauty is that they are self preserving for the most part only needing water about once a week.

So yesterday, after spending a ubiquitous amount of time on etsy trying to find one that I wanted to order. I realized I had to no patience in waiting for the mail to come in so due to my boredom and child like attention span I set out on a quest to Burbank to make one.

My supplies included:
a) 3 succulent plants - you can find them at your local hardware store for about $2 each
b) 1 sack of pebbles - you can always find them but I coped out and bought some from Ikea for $3
c) 1 glass container with a lid - I found this one at TJMax for $10

* The lid is very important to keep your mini garden on the humid side especially if you live in hot dry weather like the Valley. :/
* Remember to not put in all the pebbles at once, save some for after you place the succulents in because it helps to anchor them down. 
* If you decide to use moss instead they only need to be watered 2-3 weeks and do get some cute ornaments for your moss
*They require sunlight but not direct sunlight

There you have it! Your very own terrarium :D

Song of the moment: Laura Jansen's version of "Use Somebody"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Greetings Everyone!

I made this blog a few months ago but didn't do much with it. First of all, the name lavender and lemonade comes from my love for this lovely drink concoction I make EVERY spring with and without vodka. It is very refreshing. Every spring since my college years in Santa Cruz, I've gone on a hunt for lavender around the city and made a beautiful purple syrup. If you stick around with me till next spring, I'll do just that. :)

Sorry, if that's a long wait, but summer has come to a close and we must keep in tune with the changing of season. There's much more to be accomplished in the fall: crafts, tricks, and tons of food to be made and consume.

So please join me on my life journey. (I have a corresponding blog but it about my strives emotional over the course of a year post my break up with my college sweetheart. I don't really recommend reading it but its there if you find yourself struggling like I do.)

With the love that is capable in this world,

UPDATE: I added a few of my old blog entries they are not very informative but if you have any questions ask away. :)

How to Polish Brass Jewelry

So I think its been close to a year since I've written an entry for this blog. So here you go. This is the easiest thing to do and onl...