Cran-Orange Cookies

This is my favorite cookie recipe of all time! 

And the recipe calls for:

Oranges

Yup, oranges. This is a fruity cookie!

The cookie is a bit tart, zesty, and just the right amount of sweetness. The tartness balances well with the sugar. If you’re one of those that cannot eat super sweet, decadent desserts, this cookie is perfect for you. I can’t just eat one of these, and I have to stop myself if I’ve had half a dozen. I make them for friends, and they gobble them up!

Recently I made these cookies for my sister’s boyfriend’s family (Hi Luus!). They told me that the cookies were delicious, and I’ve been reminded, more than once, to post the recipe on my blog. So here you go! I dedicate this post to you.

Cookie

Cran-Orange Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature and softened
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups of confectioners sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the over to 375° F.
2. Prepare your orange zest and orange juice. Grate the entire orange so that you have 1 1/2 teaspoons of zest. Then juice the orange so you have 5 tablespoons of orange juice. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl or with your mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together until smooth. Beat in the egg, 1 teaspoon of orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice until well blended.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
5. Mix in cranberries and walnuts until evenly distributed.
6. Drop tablespoons of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown. Then let cookies cool on a rack.
7. Finally the icing – in a small bowl, mix together 1/2 teaspoon or orange zest, 3 tablespoons of orange juice, and confectioners’ sugar until it has a smooth consistency. Drizzle over the tops of cooled cookies. Let it set for 5-10 minutes.

And you’ll get these things!

Baked

Delicious

I present to you, Cran-Orange cookies!

Presenting...
^^^ My younger sister <3

Have you ever had these cookies? Like or love? What other recipes do you enjoy that have fruit involved? Fruit makes sweets healthy right…

Fruity Tutti,
Jay

  

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a hearty comfort food?

Pie

Mine has always and will always be chicken pot pie. Chicken, veggies, cream, and a crunchy, flaky pastry? Yes please! You know how sometimes you crave certain foods based on weather? For me, hot days mean sushi and fresh seafood. For cold, rainy days, I crave noodles, soup, and pot pie. Do you have those cravings too? Pot pie is one of those recipes that warm the soul and honestly leaves you with a happy belly. Most times I cannot have more than just once slice!

I have a cooking tip for those of you reading.

Cook multiple chicken breasts and keep them in the fridge! 

It’s hard to put dinner on the table throughout the work week because when you get home, you’re tired. You want to veg out on the couch, eat something, and go to bed. I get it. I’ve been there! I get it so much that I make food on the weekends and keep everything in the fridge, so that when the weekday comes along and you need to make dinner, it’s basically microwaveable. Chicken breasts is perfect for this!

I typically cook 3 chicken breasts on the weekend because I can make so many different meals – chicken salad, chicken in pasta, chicken stir fry, chicken tenders, and yes, chicken pot pie. So many different options!

This savory pie recipe is one that I often make for cold days, for dinner guests, and for pot lucks. It’s great for 4-6 guests, if you’re able to stop eating after one slice. The most difficult part is the crust, but that’s only because you need time to refrigerate the dough. That’s not even hands-on! Make this simple recipe, and it will not disappoint!

Crust

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Ingredients for crust (makes 2 pie crusts):

  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/2 cup of cold water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup of frozen carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon of celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 2/3 whole milk

Directions for crust:

1. Let’s make the crust first since it needs to be refrigerated. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Then mix the diced butter into the dry mix until it resembles crumbs. Stir in water a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is tacky and can form a ball. Cut dough into two pieces, and wrap each piece in plastic. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
2. Roll out dough to fit your 9 inch pie dish. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the dish and sides. Roll out the second piece of dough, and this piece will go on top of the pie, after the filling is complete.

Directions for the filling:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 ° F.
2. Add water to a saucepan and boil the carrots, peas, and celery for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In the same saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Once combined, stir in broth and milk. Simmer until mixture thickens, and add chicken and veggies.
4. Pour the filling into the bottom pie crust, and cover the filling with the other rolled out crust. Cut away excess dough, and make small slits to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes, crust should be golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes then serve.

Ingredients

Filling
This filling is making me hungry!!!

Served
Filling spilling out ^^^

This makes me miss the cold, rainy, winter days in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, this west coast has been in a drought this whole winter season, but I might just have to make this pie even on a sunny, hot day!

Is this something you can make? What’s your favorite savory pie? Better yet, can you share the recipe?

Happy belly,
Jay

—–
Original crust recipe

  

LA LA Weekend

Sun. Shopping. Food. What more can a girl ask for?

Los Angeles is a dream come true, and I’m so lucky that it’s only a one-hour flight away. MG and I visit LA at least once every 6 months which is more than enough because it’s basically our Vegas. We spend so much money on shopping and food, and when we come back into the Bay Area, it’s kind of a relief.

This past weekend we went to LA for a dear friend’s wedding. We flew out on a beautiful Friday afternoon. Clear skies colored in the perfect blue.

Airport

The airport brings up many memories for me. MG and I dated long distance for almost 4 years. I always say the airport can either be the happiest or the saddest place on earth. Lots of smiles and laughs when vacation begins, or in my case, when MG would visit me or I would visit him, then followed by a lot of tears when it was time for goodbye. Before the other person left, we would get to the airport early, sit down in the baggage claim area, and talk until it was time for one of us to board. We have specific places in the airport that we call our “meeting spots.” My favorite conversations were our “Thank You” notes. We “thanked” each other for silly things that happened throughout our vacation. “Thanks for paying for dinner, dessert, and second dessert. Thank you for almost making me late to my flight. Thank you for warning me before you fart…” I’m glad all that time spent at the airport actually worked out! Now that we’re married, we actually still keep up our Thank You tradition by writing each other notes in a journal.

The sun was blazing so once we got into our hotel, I put on my bikini and immediately went to lay out by the pool. Finally, some vitamin D and a slight tan! Why can’t all Fridays be like this…

Poolside

Our hotel kinda looks like the Tower of Terror right?

Hotel

Fridays should also always have milk tea. For me, that would be honey dew milk tea!

Milk Tea

And my number one thing I must do in LA is go to K-town and get Korean food! Kang Hodong Baekjeong is one of MG’s top 5 favorite restaurants. It’s Korean BBQ in a very traditional and basic way. Some meats are not marinated, and the side dishes are egg, bean sprouts, and cheese with corn. The food is cooked over coal by the server at your table. Be prepared to wait over an hour at this restaurant. MG and I waited an hour for a table for 2 at 10pm. I’ve been told some people wait 3 hours! Worth it? Yes, at least once!

BBQ

Korean BBQ

Meat

Is that an entire prime rib eye? Yup. Get it! So deliciously marbled. We ordered the beef platter for two for only $60. It seems like a lot of food, and it is. Which means it’s the perfect amount of food for me!

Saturday was the day of the wedding. We got dressed up, then went to Chick-Fil-A for a pre-dinner snack. Yum! Truly the best milkshakes you can order at a fast-food restaurant.

Chick-Fil-A

Present
I dream about this image – MG delivering me a HUGE gift (hint)

Polaroid
The bride and groom had us take polaroids to replace our name cards for the reception!

Cake
The best part of any wedding is reconnecting with old friends! And cake.

Such a great trip to LA! Oh yeah, and one more thing that made this trip epic – I learned how to use chopsticks the correct way! I’ve gone 26 years without using it the right way. Now I’m a true Asian!

What’s on your must do list for LA?

What did you do this weekend?
Jay

  

The Crab Mountain Sandwich

Remember that crab roll from Fish in my previous post? It’s seriously the most expensive sandwich I’ve ever had. But totally worth it! Buttery crunchy bread, with loads of crabmeat! All that comes with a hefty price though, but it’s such a perfect lunch for Treat Yo’Self day.

I absolutely love crab. It’s my favorite food of all time. Some people hate cracking and peeling the crab, but I don’t even mind that part. Sometimes I will peel crab for MG to eat, and we joke that it’s the labor of love. The evening that MG asked me to marry him, he had ordered crab for dinner at my apartment in San Francisco. I was having a bad day at work, and he had purchased crab takeout from R&G Lounge to make me feel better. This is my favorite restaurant for crab in the Bay Area. Dinner would have been the perfect way to make my day. But a diamond ring too? I was beyond elated!!!

Yup, crab was part of my engagement story. That’s how much I love this little crustacean (anyone hate this word too? Sounds gross)!

So this crab roll, I can’t eat it frequently cause I would be dirt poor at $25 a sandwich. I can always day dream about it! To satisfy my cravings, I decided to embark on making my own crab roll. Super easy to do, and 6 crab rolls will cost you under $20. Let’s do this!

Finished

Crab Mountain Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients (5 ingredients only!):

  • 16 oz. can of crab meat (You can purchase for $15 at Costco)
  • Loaf of white bread
  • Butter
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper for taste

Directions (3-steps only!):

1. Heat up a pan on medium-high heat. Cut a slice of butter and melt it onto a pan. Toast a piece of bread on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Toast 6 slices of bread and set aside.
2. Add butter to the hot pan. Drain out the water from the can of crab, and add the crab meat into the melted butter to heat up the meat. Add garlic salt and pepper to season.
3. Scoop a large heaping of crab meat onto your toasted bread. Serve with fries or chips, and eat!

Crab Roll Ingredients
Ingredients for deliciousness

Toasted
I could eat toasted bread with butter all day… I wish it didn’t have calories

Done
Crab mountain ^^^

Bite
So simple and so satisfying!

Isn’t this such an easy lunch idea? Plus it’s only $20 to feed 6 people vs. a $25 sandwich at Fish. Hells to the yesss!

Do you like crab? Do you love it as much as meeee? What is your favorite crab recipe?

Crustacean lover (eww),
Jay

  

Day Date in the Bay

My first job out of college was in Sausalito. This city will always be near and dear to my heart. It’s a little city across from San Francisco, north of Golden Gate bridge. Listings for homes in this city are at minimum a million dollars. You can already assume, this place is gorgeous!

Sausalito
Foggy day today. I wouldn’t mind living here!

It’s next to the Bay, and you can directly see the city of SF. Beautiful. If you’re a tourist, you can take a ferry from the city to Sausalito. You can drive across the bridge. Or you can even rent a bike near the bridge, and bike into this city yourself. Honestly, I don’t know why tourists choose the last option because that bike ride has a lot of uphill/downhill routes. It’s vacation, not a work out! Tangent…

All this because MG had a day off from work so we decided to have a lunch date in Sausalito at Fish. Highly recommended if you haven’t been here before. Sustainable seafood, and it’s cash only. And I must warn you, this place is a pricey. Eat here on “Treat Yo’Self” day.

My all time favorite thing to order is the Crab Roll. Lots and lots, upon lots and lots of crab meat on a buttered roll. Deeee-licious. The ceviche is a great choice too. MG doesn’t like ceviche so we never order it. So sad… That’s one thing I wish I could change about him – I wish he enjoyed seafood as much as I did.

You know the “olive theory” from HIMYM? In a perfect relationship, one person loves olives; the other does not. I like crispy fries; MG likes soggy. I like the middle portion of chicken wings; he likes the drummettes. I love the Oreo cream; he loves the cookie part. Yeah, we’re good for each other based on the olive theory… But he doesn’t like seafood as much as much as me so we don’t even order it. I love ceviche. I love squid and octopus dishes. My favorite food is crab. Nope, not MG. WHY!

Anyway, Fish. Absolutely great food.

FISH

Clam Chowder
Clam Chowder

Pasta
Clam linguine (I actually had leftovers, took it home, and added some cream to this pasta). Two lunches in one order!

Crab Roll
Mountain loads of crab. Oh, and those fries are amazing too!

After lunch we went to the city and bought sweets. Our first stop was Kara’s Cupcakes because it’s my all time favorite cupcake shop. Plus, my roommate said she’d never had Kara’s before. WHAAA? We had to go.

Second stop, of course, was Ghirardelli for MG’s all time favorite drink – Sea Salt Caramel Hot Chocolate. Every time we’re in the city, MG has to get this!

Salt Caramel Hot Chocolate

Then we headed home after a full day of food with full bellies.

The perfect day date. The perfect Treat Yo’Self day.

What’s on your agenda for Treat Yo’Self day? Where do you go and what is a must do?

Love,
Jay

  

Yacht Partay!

What did you do this weekend?

Oh me? You know… the norm… just went to a yacht party. That’s all. Boarded in gorgeous Sausalito. Curled my hair. Wore heels (not my running shoes). Typical fancy schmancy stuff. You know me!

Yeah right! My normal weekend is eating a lot. And a fancy weekend means hosting a LAN party. Saturday was a special occasion, our friend’s birthday bash on a yacht. It was fun to get dressed up for a reason and hang out with friends.

You know it will be a glamorous day when you start the day off with homemade brunch!

Homemade brunch
Rib-eye steak eggs benedict with bacon and a hash brown. We used the leftover steak from our Valentine’s dinner. Yum!

I’m taking reservations for brunch at the Lam house. Call me! Just kidding.

Back to the yacht… San Francisco Bay is always such a beautiful sight. Seeing Golden Gate Bridge never gets old, and sailing under it gives the bridge a whole new perspective.

Bridge
Amirite?

GangThe gang – we’re having fun! I promise!

Johnson
GQ – He’s single ladies!

Dan and Jess
My roommate, Jess, and Dan

Jay and MG
Me and my Mingus

MG
Whoa, that guy is handsome  <3 <3 <3

We drove by a scenic spot to look at the Bridge too. This foggy city honestly has my heart.

View

After the yacht party, four of us went to the city to have dinner. We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Limón Rotisserie, which is Peruvian food. The food is delicious, and the the dishes are affordable (~$70 for four of us, that’s under $20 a person). We then headed over to Hayes Valley to shop around and get dessert at Smitten ice cream. Smitten is a made-to-order ice cream shop in a shipping container. The ice cream is your typical gourmet ice cream with a really creamy texture. It’s about the experience and watching them make the ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

Smitten

Saturday was a fantastic day! I take for granted how beautiful San Francisco is, and it’s days like these that remind me I should be ever grateful to be where I am.

Take a moment and count your blessings. What are you grateful for?

Happy Monday!
Jay

  

Happy Love Day!

It’s Valentine’s Day today! I hope you feel loved every day and but specifically more today.

I agree that 2/14 is a Hallmark holiday, consumerism at its finest. But it doesn’t have to be. It can simply be a day to remind you to love the people around you. In my own busy life, I forget to admire and appreciate the people around me. Be honest, does this happen to you too?

Valentine’s Day is just this. It’s just another day to remind myself to show people around me that I love them. People desire love. People want to be admired and acknowledged. Do it today!

One prime example is marriage. MG and I are coming up on 2 years in June (wow that was quick). He works all day, I work on projects, and then when work ends, we sit on the couch and watch TV and/or do personal things on our own tablets, phones, and laptops. Then we head to bed. It’s not like we don’t converse throughout the day, but we don’t have any serious conversations or emotionally invested talks. This is an easy cycle where couples grow apart, so it’s extremely important to have date nights.

I didn’t buy anything for MG, but I made him “date night” letters. I put together 13 envelopes for every month, leading up to next February. Each envelope contains a date night idea for each month. MG will have to open one envelope the beginning of the month, and we’ll set a day to go out.

I decided to make this gift because MG and I always talk about how date night should be built into our relationship, especially when we have kids. Life only gets busier with kids right? Or so I hear. Unfortunately, we haven’t started setting date nights yet, so I hope this gift will be a jumpstart for us.

Writing
These papers were from our wedding!

Gift
All wrapped up and ready for MG! (I used my DIY pom pom to top it off)

And lastly, I made him Valentine’s Day cards.

Meat Valentine

Adorable right? WARNING: this can only be given if you’re in the comfortable phase of your relationship. Don’t misuse this Valentine and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Download the Meat Valentine here

And here’s my favorite one!

Anxious poops

Don’t even… I’m sure you get anxious poops too! If you know me at all, you know this is the PERFECT card. You can use this card too!

Download the Anxious Poops Valentine’s card here

What are your Valentine’s plans? What did you get your loved one this year? How will you be showing your love to people around you?

Now go and tell people you love them. Everyone!
Jay

  

Ooey-Gooey Cookie Recipe

It’s Valentine’s Day this Friday! I’m sure you already have something planned for your snuggle muffin (yep, that’s what I call MG). But do you have something prepared for your friends and coworkers?

Remember in elementary school when you decorated your brown paper bag so that your friends could give you Valentine’s Day cards? I picked out the best ones for your best friends (Don’t lie, you did this too). Maybe even add a piece of candy here and there. Those were the days… when your biggest decision was “which card to give whom?”

For this Valentine’s Day, remember what this day is really about – showing people that you love them. I don’t know what that means to you, maybe it’s a nice dinner to set aside time to catch up apart from your busy lives. That’s definitely the case for MG and I. He’s been really busy with work, so we’ll be going out to dinner on Monday for a date night. It will be time well spent, and I’m looking forward to a special date night out.

Another way to show love is to bring treats to work on Valentine’s Day. It’s such a nice way to give someone something without having to spend too much money. My go-to treat, cookies! Simple recipe, you can make them in bulk so it won’t take a lot of time, and they are easy to carry to work.

Cookies

This chocolate and caramel cookie is one of my favorite recipes! The chewiness of caramel makes for a delicious cookie. Crunchy on the outside, chewy in the middle with bits of chewy caramel, and melty gooey chocolate throughout.

Ooey-Gooey Cookie Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup and 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup of caramel bits (I use Kraft)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the vanilla extract.
  3. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl.
  4. Mix the granulated sugar and brown sugar together. Then blend the butter into the sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Blend the eggs and vanilla into the sugar mixture. Add in the dry ingredients.
  6. Mix in the chocolate chips and caramel bits.
  7. Form dough balls onto a baking sheet. I like to make bite-sized cookies, so I use a 1 teaspoon measuring spoon to help me form the dough balls.
  8. When the oven is ready, put the tray into the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Dough balls
Whenever I have extra dough, I freeze it. You never know when you might have guests so prepped homemade cookies is the perfect sweet!

Displayed
Got this sweet stand as a wedding gift – from the Royal Albert collection at Macy’s 

Cookies
I can easily eat a dozen of these! Though I must’nt

Yum
Ready for Valentine’s Day with my red nails and pink lips!

Do you bring goodies to your friends and colleagues for Valentine’s Day? What will you be bringing this year? What are some other items you like to give?

All my love,
Jay

  

LAN-ing

Remember my last LAN party? It was so much fun, MG and I hosted another one!

LAN

Same gamers. Different game. Most importantly, more food!

I think we all know MG’s task and my task when it comes to these parties. I’m set up. He’s the chef. Yeah right! I can’t even roll up cables correctly. I have no idea how he sets these types of things up, which is why I’m in charge of food. Only true LAN-ers know how important it is to have delicious snacks during game time (now that we’re not in college that is… College would have just been bring your own Mountain Dew and Cheetos). For lunch we had those fancy grilled cheese sandwiches again (we’ll continue to eat this since we bought sliced cheese at Costco!).

Veggies
Surely, with age means more of this!  Veggies > Chips

MuffinsBaked goods ^^^ (Broccoli Rice cups recipe here)

Hot Dog in a Muffin
Nope, not your normal cornbread muffin!

Then for dinner, we had to order Hungry Howies. It’s the best pizza ever! That’s an understatement. 4 pizzas for 8 people… Yup, we overdid it. We had two pizzas left.

This was the ultimate highlight of the night:

Masubi
Homemade spam musubi!!! Musubi!!! See the excitement?

My friend Serena made these for the entire gang. You should go check out her blog (Food-Touring) – Really cool foods from around the globe.

Back to the nerd gathering – If you’re wondering, yes, I game during LAN parties too! This time we ventured to Borderlands 2. It’s an easy to understand, first person shooter game that requires you to complete tasks, which in turn will jump you to the next level. There’s a whole story… blah, blah, blah. Now let’s shoot monsters!

Do you go to LAN parties? What games do you play? What snacks do you have?

Don’t you want to come to my party?
Jay

  

DIY: The Ultimate Wire Holder

On this episode of hoarders…

Do you have a wire hoarder as a significant other as well? After I got married, I moved into my husband’s place. As I started to unpack my crafts, I found bins and bins of wires. Wires galore! TV cables, electronic wires, headphones, chargers, lions, tigers, and bears! I knew I married a techie; I didn’t know I married a wire wholesaler.

Wire hoarder
Organizing the large cables

Wires/ChargersMore cables!

If you have a significant other like mine, then I have the perfect Valentine’s gift idea for you. It’s an easy weekend project. If you’re the wire hoarder, then treat yourself to this organizer.

DIY Project – The Ultimate Wire Holder

Displayed

What you’ll need:

  • About 77 poster tubes 2″ in diameter and 6″ in length or 30″ in length so you can cut your desired length yourself
  • Hot glue
  • Crate (ask someone at the local farmer’s market for a crate)

Line up tubes 7 in a row (or until the row reaches the end of the crate). Line the second row in between the first. See the diagram below:

wire-holder-instructions

Second step, glue the tubes together. I glued the tubes inside the crate as I worked so that I know exactly how many rows I can make. My crate was able to hold 11 rows, 7 in a row.

Once the glue is dry, start organizing your small cables, chargers, headphones, etc.

Cut
I actually bought kraft tubes in 30″ length and we sawed each of the tubes into 6″ inch lengths. This is a lot of work! Next time around, I am simply going to purchase the 6″ tubes.

Stacked
Lined up and glued in the crate

Done
Organized and displayed on MG’s table top

Organized
Reminds me of honeycombs (just a little?)

Organized

MG and I put shoelaces, extra car keys, iPod cases, headlamps, Krazy Glue, basically anything that can fit into the tubes. Or you can put your paws in…

Chubs
“My Box… Muahaha!!!”

Isn’t this a perfect gift for a crazed wire collector? How do you organize your cables and chargers? What are some other ways you’ve seen people organize?

What are you getting for your loved one for Valentine’s Day?
Jay
—–
Buy kraft tubes at Uline here