Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pork Floss Bun

"Pork floss buns, pork floss buns, one a penny, two a penny, pork floss bun...."  My kitchen was filled with Hot Cross Buns song but with Pork Floss Buns lyrics when i was making the buns.  ;P

My elder girl asked what were we making when they help to shape the dough into small balls, i told her that we were trying to make some pork floss buns.  She then lead the sister singing and humming this song while shaping the balls.  My kitchen was filled with the joyous noise that they made.  :)   

My first attempt of shaping a ball shape bun with filling was awful, i need to admit that when i got my hand doing it, i was not quite know how.  The result was the filling was not really in the center of a bun and some buns with some twist inside.  Believe that was caused by the way how i wrap it.   :(

Also, i found that the crust was not soft enough, will it due to the type of flour i use?  Perhaps i should try on using bread flour next time to see if there's any difference. 

Mhmm,  still quite some experiments for me to work on... 

Ingredients (make 9 buns):
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 70ml milk, room temperature
  • 2.5 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Mayonnaise & pork floss (for filling & coating)

  1. Dissolve honey in 1/4 cup warm water, add in the yeast and let it stand for 10min or until foaming/bubbling
  2. Combine flour, sugar and yeast in a mixing bowl, stir to combine with the dough hood
  3. Add the egg & milk, knead into a dough in speed 2
  4. Add the butter & salt, continue kneading till the dough is elastic
  5. Transfer to a slightly flour work surface and knead with hand for another 5min
  6. Place in a greased bowl, turning to cover the top and cover with a damp cloth, let it proof for 45min or until double the size
  7. Punch down dough and placed on a lightly flour surface,  roll out and shape into small balls of 60g each.  Let the dough rest for 10mins
  8. Mix the mayonnaise and pork floss in a bowl
  9. Flatten each dough and place 2 tsp of the mayonnaise mixture in the center of the dough and bring the side up to seal and form into a ball, seal the seams and place on a greased baking sheet/tray, with the seams side facing down
  10. Cover the tray with a cloth and let it rise for about an hour or until double the size
  11. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F/180C for 20-25mins
  12. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack completely
  13. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on top of the buns and coat generously with the pork floss

2012 Portland Rose Festival

Ya...a rather delayed post on 2012 Portland Rose Festival held on early June.  Though the event was two months old now, still felt like to share the photos taken during the Grand Floral Parade.  ;P

It was a last minutes decision to attend the Grand Floral Parade and we arrived just on time to see the beginning of the Parade.  There were many people and if it was not our friend who were there early, we might not get a spot on the route to enjoy a nice scene of spring.

I was impressed by the grandest of the parade which lives up to its name: marching bands, flowers, and floats appear in full force! 

'Going-Fur-st Class' from Alaska Airline, what a creative slogan

FreyMeyer, one of our regular visited store

Besides these, there were also many other interesting groups participated and contributed to a unique and rich parade.

The famous Oregon Duck

The lovely clowns

From the Air Museum

The Union Pacific

From Portland Fire Bureau

The Beauties & The Horses

Lady & Llama..

Cute Little Pony

I didn't expect to see so many international team participated in the Parade as well, e.g from Taiwan, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand etc, which was really something different from all the other Parade that i have seen before.

From the Sister Cities

Our home country flag was there too!

The Vietnam Team

Korea Team...

Thailand Team....


Immediately after the end of the Parade, the cleaning activities started - an impressively efficient action.  No wonder the city was uphold clean always.

We also swing by the Waterfront to let the girls witness the Rose Festival Dragon Boat Race. 

The girls ended up played a little guessing game with us by having each of us to predict the winner by choosing a coloured flag.  Round after round, and they were so excited when the coloured flag they chosen was the first to be taken by the respective dragon boat....little girls with their simple game, which kept them pretty entertained for an afternoon.  ;D 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lavender Festival @ Willakenzie Lavendar Farm

Can't help to associate Lavender with romance, probably due to it's purple colour and aromatic smell. 

Visited Willakenzie Lavender Farm during Lavender Festival in mid of July, i was totally immersed in the overwhelming beauty and the aroma of the Lavendar field that the farm has to offer. 

A sign that lead the way..
Lavender festival at the Willakenzie farm

Beautiful rest area facing the Lavender field

Lavender in their peak bloom in the farm

BTW, it was new to me that there were many bees found in the farm, should have expected since it was so aromatic, the bees must have been attracted by the fragrance of the Lavender.  :P

It was a nice weather when we visited the farm, not too hot nor cool, just right for us to have a joyful afternoon picking our Lavender.  I have to tell the girls that if they were nice, the bees will be nice to them as well, only then they dare to go near and go in the farm.  :)

'This? This? This?...which one shd i pick?' 

Sisters working on their pick

We brought home a bundle of Lavender in mixture colours of purple, white and pink which make a nice deco in the house with pleasant scent.  :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Salted Vegetables & Tofu Soup (咸菜豆腐汤)

I always like salted vegetables and tofu soup, a bit of sour & salty taste, serve with, tasty!

I was so excited to find the mustard vegetables when we went to Asian market as i missed this soup so much since we came to State.  Though the mustard vegetables does not taste quite like the salted vegetables, but it did satisfy my crave for the salted vegetables & tafu soup for now.  :)     

  • 1.5L water
  • 200g salted vegetables (cut into pieces) 
  • 100g lean pork meat (sliced)
  • 1/2 package of a medium firm tofu (cut to cube)
  • 4-5 mushrooms (soak in water for 'bout 20min, then cut into pieces)
  • 2 tomatoes (sliced)
  • Salt (to taste - optional)

  1. Bring 1.5L of water to boil in a pot, add the pork meat and salted vegetables
  2. Cook on medium heat for 20mins 
  3. Add the tofu, mushrooms, tomatoes and simmer under medium-low heat for 30-40mins
  4. Serve warm with rice, tasty!

  • Add 1-2 sour plums to complete the taste (i will always add this when i cooked in my hometown, since this is not easily found here, i omitted it this round)
  • The measurement of the ingredients serve as a reference as i normally cook using my judgement and preference on how much to put for each ingredients.  ;P  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Spinach Egg 'Soup'

Called this Spinach Egg Soup as don't know what will be a better name for this dish.  I treated this as a veggie dish instead of a soup dish as i will normally still prepare a pot of savory soup when i have this dish in the menu.  :)

  • Spinach
  • Pork meat (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 or 2 eggs
  • Salt & sugar (to taste)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil (or vegetable cooking oil)
  • Water

  1. Place a wok/stir-fry pan over high heat, add the oil, swirling to coat the sides
  2. Add the garlic and sliced pork meat, cook and stirring until fragrant
  3. Add the spinach and water, continue cooking in medium-low heat
  4. Add the egg and stir till incorporated
  5. Add the sugar and salt, stir well
  6. Transfer to a serving plate and serve 

  • Dried shrimp or Ikan bilis can be added for a richer favor if preferred

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Berries in Season

The only fruit season that i know in the past was durian (king of fruit in M'sia), only now i learnt the different fruit season here in State, e.g. strawberry in season in June; blueberry, raspberry in July; apple in August; pumpkin in Oct etc.  With berries in season in July, we bought the girls to Ducky's Peachy Pick Farm for berry pick experience on 1st weekend of July.

It was a sunny day with 30 degree celsius.  The girls were still had fun under a pretty warm weather, sweating picking their berries.

1) "La...La...La, am going to the strawberry farm to pick my berry...'

    2) "Searching...searching, where is my berry...' 

    3) "I found it!..." 

    4) "My pick....a big one."

    5) "It's sweet & juicy!  Thumbs up!'

    6) "See, who have more?"

    7) "Time to rest & play."

    We brought home 'bout 3 pound of berries...

    Besides strawberry, there're also blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry at home.  Other than eating them raw, i've turned it into a series of berries cupcake, batch after batch.  Can't remember how many batches i bake, felt like a small scale cupcake 'marathon' for me...haha.

    Of course, we can't finish all the cupcakes by ourselves but shared those with friends.  My girls were happily helping to pack it and 'gift it'.  :)

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