Flower Arrangements


muted colour flowers

 Just wanted to share a few pictures of the flower arrangements I’ve done.

pink and white wedding flower arrangement


yellow and orange flowers




Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Chewy by Alton Brown

The Chewy by Alton Brown
The Chewy by Alton Brown


8 ounces unsalted butter
12 ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces granulated sugar
8 ounces light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 ounce whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over low heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda onto a paper plate. Pour the butter into your stand mixer’s work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the whole egg, the egg yolk, milk and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Reduce the mixer speed and slowly add the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds.

Using the paper plate as a slide, gradually integrate the dry ingredients, stopping a couple of times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Once the flour is worked in, drop the speed to “stir” and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.

Scoop the dough into 1 1/2-ounce portions onto parchment-lined half sheet pans, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 15 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven, slide the parchment with the cookies onto a cooling rack and wait at least 5 minutes before devouring.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-chewy-recipe/index.html

Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Thin by Alton Brown

chewy chocolate chip cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 ounces milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Combine the egg, milk, and vanilla and bring to room temperature in another bowl.

Cream the butter in the mixer’s work bowl, starting on low speed to soften the butter. Add the sugars. Increase the speed, and cream the mixture until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed and add the egg mixture slowly. Increase the speed and mix until well combined.

Slowly add the flour mixture, scraping the sides of the bowl until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for more even browning.

Remove the cookies from the pans immediately. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.

Sources: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/the-thin-recipe/index.html

My Report

This part of my report seems to be about what milk does to chocolate cookies. This recipe calls for 1 less egg and a bit of milk compared to the one that I had above. Milk makes the cookies softer. It seems to open up some pores on the cookies, too. I think these cookies are probably those ones that are described to be cakey cookies. I like crispy cookies more. Now I am certain that for making so-called my perfect c.c.c., I will not be needing milk. To the next batch I go.




Chocolate Chip Cookies by Bobby Flay

thin chocolate chip cookies


2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown muscavado sugar
1/3 cup light brown muscavado sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 (5-ounce) block semisweet chocolate, chopped into chunks (recommended: Callebaut)
1 (5-ounce) block milk chocolate, chopped into chunks (recommended: Callebaut)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon pads.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.

Place the butter in the bowl on an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugars and continue mixing, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes longer. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the vanilla extract, beating until incorporated.

Add half of the flour and mix until just incorporated. Add the remaining flour, again mixing until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the chocolate chunks.

Using a small ice cream scoop, spoon the dough onto a baking sheet, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie and bake on the middle rack until the cookies are lightly golden brown and still soft in the middle, about 11 minutes. Let cookies rest for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to a baking rack with a wide metal spatula. Let the cookies cool on the baking rack for a few minutes before eating. Repeat with remaining dough.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/throwdown-with-bobby-flay/chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/index.html

My Report

The above photo shows how the cookies turned out. I like them a lot. I have to admit that I probably used a bit too much butter when I made those. That much grease dripping out of the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet was quite a sight. At the same time, I am starting to think that a large amount of butter is the secret to making crispy cookies that are very thin.

These cookies are thin, crispy, brown around the edge and very sweet. The recipe does call for quite a bit of sugar, lots of sugar and in 3 different kinds. I suppose the sugar contributes to making the crispiness since that’s how caramel candy is made. Heating up sugar until it browns creates a thickened texture. The same process seems to happen to all the sugar that we include in the dough inside an oven as well. Compared to the recipe above, dark brown sugar makes the cookies look much more sophisticated. Kosher salt gives the cookies a little twist. Flavour of salt is not entirely blended in every bite. In sweetness comes the salty twist every second bite or so. I think kosher salt gives cookies an elegant taste. Of course, the type of chocolate used makes a difference, too. But for that matter, no experiment needed – I like dark chocolate, period.

Crispness cccx3

Appearance cccx3

Sweetness cccx3

My Big, Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies by Tyler Florence

chocolate chip cookies


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 (8-ounce) block dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

Place the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; cream together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the vanilla and eggs. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and continue to mix until a smooth batter forms. Turn off the mixer and fold in the chocolate chunks using the spatula.

To form the cookies, scoop about 1/4 cup of cookie dough into your hands and roll it around into a ball; place them about 3-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets; you should get about 4 cookies on each pan. Press down the tops of the dough slightly and bake until the cookies are light brown, 12 minutes for chewy cookies, or about 15 minutes for crispy cookies.

Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough/cookie sheets.

Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/my-big-fat-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/index.html

My Report

I enjoy those cookies. It is pretty close to what I would consider a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe for me. They are fairly sweet, crispy and not dry. I really don’t ask for more. What surprises me though, is that my taste of C.C.C. seems to change from time to time. After following the other recipe for a couple of times and not having enough people at home to consume the cookies, I seemed to enjoy those cookies a lot just for the fact that they did not taste the same. Like how we can get tired of the same dish no matter how great it is, my conclusion of this perfect-C.C.C.-finding journey is that “the perfect recipe” should actually be “the perfect recipes”.

Crispness cccx3

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Sweetness cccx2

Giving an old lamp shade a BRAND new life

DIY Brande Name Lamp Shade

I found a old lamp shade in the closet. It had a hole on it. I was about to throw it away.

But I gave it a second chance and managed to find a way to give it a BRAND new life. Literally, brand names are now all over this lamp shade.

DIY Lamp Shade

Here’s what you need: a lamp shade(a paper one’s probably better), a pair of scissors, news paper and glue

  1. Cut out letters from news paper.
  2. Think of words that you would like to have on your lamp shade, maybe a theme first. Family? Love? Christmas?Naughty words?
  3. Glue them on until you can’t see your old lamp shade anymore.

lamp shade

Here’s a picture of my finished product.

I’ve tried using fabric to revive an old lamp shade before. I must say that gluing paper on is  a lot easier than manipulating fabric.

Hope you like the idea I just shared. Merry Christmas, everyone! Ho-ho-ho.

Le Salon Jacques Borie

Amazing french desserts at Le Salon Jacques Borie
Amazing french desserts at Le Salon Jacques Borie

Yesterday, we were at Le Salon Jacques Borie located on the 4th floor of Isetan Department Store in Tokyo.

They had a cartful of traditional(at least they looked so to me) French desserts. Some I had seen, some I had never seen and some I felt like I may have tried before but couldn’t remember. My knowledge of French isn’t great. It was a small, fancy-looking cafe. Maybe I would call it a tea room rather than a cafe, but calling it a tea room doesn’t do it justification since the place was not in any way British.

Anyways, I am going to keep this post short. The place was a bit pricy. We chose 3 different kinds of desserts from the cart to share. There were three of us. Each of us got a drink, coffee or tea. It came up to about 7000 yen. Not cheap. But their desserts were insanely good. Part of the reason why they were so good was the reason that there were a lot of fancy dessert items that I’d never seen before. I love food, I love food that’s delicious but I really really love delicious food that I have never seen before.


Found their English Menu online today. I didn’t not know what I ate yesterday. Someone please enlighten me, tell me what they are in French.



Did I ever tell you that I’d never seen so many French products before I got to Tokyo? Food, make-up, clothing, interior items and store exterior. French or French-inspired things are everywhere in Tokyo. Coming from Canada, I thought I would have seen my fair share of French things. But since I  lived in Vancouver,  it probably doesn’t apply. The name, Le Salon Jacques Borie made me assume that it’s a famous French franchise, but it actually wasn’t so. The waiter told us that Chef Jacques Borie is a famous chef in Japan. He is/was (at the age of 60-something, he might have retired) the chef at Shiseido Parlour. Shiseido as in the make-up brand Shiseido? You might ask. Guess what, I don’t know. I am still trying to find out if it is related to Shiseido the make-up company or not.

I was lucky today and got to take a photo with chef Jacques Borie himself.
I was lucky today and got to take a photo with chef Jacques Borie himself.

Located in Isetan Department store in Tokyo. I thought it’d be a great place to go and just have coffee when you get tired of shopping. It turned out to be a lot fancier than I thought. Such impressive desserts though. I would go again when I felt the need to spoil myself.

For expensive but insanely good desserts: http://parlour.shiseido.co.jp/lesalon/index.html

expensive but insanely good desserts at Le Salon