Archive for August, 2012

August 25, 2012

I love Sin Qua

by tina

also known as “silk squash” (the loofah vegetable!). This has been my favorite summer veggie, my lazy veggie–It’s perfect for the summer because I don’t have to spend a lot of time in my warm kitchen sweating and washing them leafy greens. (I have no air conditioning).

I bought these from my local farmer’s market.


  • 2 sin qua’s
  • 1 large clove garlic (minced)
  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt
  • fish sauce (to taste. optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fried shallots (optional)

When picking out sin qua’s at the market, I tend to avoid the big belly shaped ones.


Peel the outer skin of the sin qua.

Chop the sin qua into semi thick, triangular, pieces.

Place a large pan (that has a cover) on the stove and turn temperature to high. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in. Once the oil is warm, add the minced garlic. Stir for 30 secs and add some salt. Place the chopped sin qua in and stir for about 1 min. Add 1 1/2 cups of water in and place the cover over the pan. Just as the water starts to boil, take the cover off and stir. At this point, you can add the optional fish sauce (about 1 teaspoon) and fried shallots. Feel free to add more salt to taste as well. If the water is running a bit dry, add 1/2 cup more water. Stir again and place the cover back on for about 3 minutes. You’ll know that the sin qua is fully cooked when it looks softer and the color changed to grey-ish.

August 7, 2012

A Cake Pops Kind of July

by tina

July sure flew by and I’m a bit sad that I lost my monthly posting streak that I had going on–it was a personal goal to post at least once every month. But oh wells. It was a busy month with lots of wedding related festivities. I enjoyed making cake pops 3 times in a month. yay :D

Here’s the evidence.

First off, I used this awesome cake pop baking pan

1st round. (first time ever making cake pops!) I followed this cupcake recipe for the batter. I knew the candy coating would contribute a lot to the sweetness of the cake pop, so I cut the sugar of the batter by about a third.

cake pops are hard to dip in the melted candy at first, but then you get the hang of it.  If you’re a cake pop newbie maker like me, I recommend melting the candy over a pot of simmering water rather than microwaving it.  You’ll get a much better consistency this way.  It takes a longer time, but you’ll be much happier, trust me!

Also, I learned that coating the bottom half first, then sticking the popsicle stick in, then letting the bottom half settle/harden first, and then coating the top half is a lot easier than trying to coat the whole thing all at once.

leftover cake batter went to making cupcakes :)

2nd round of cake pops. For a Tiffany’s themed bridal shower. (didn’t use the cake pop pan for 2nd or 3rd round. made it the original way of rolling the cake batter into balls)

3rd round. For a wedding shower.

We placed them in these cute bags

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