a day

It’s early morning and it seems that I don’t need much sleep nowadays. I water the plants that need watering. The green on the basil looks nice and healthy. I lift one of the planters up and it smells basil-y. I smile.

basil 04-2020 2

The orchid has a beautiful pink color. A friend told me that I’ll need to cut the stems at some point if I want it to re-grow. Having never had an orchid for longer than a year, I was surprised. And I’m kind of nervous to do it because it might not re-grow back.

I notice the ripe bananas on the kitchen counter. I search online a long time for a new banana recipe to try, until I decide to do the typical banana bread that I see everywhere. Quick, easy and delicious. The last two loaves I made were not great at all, so I was hesitant to make this one. Luckily, I had the idea to take it out ten minutes early and it worked.

banana bread 05-2020

Tastes way better than the past ones.

Most days, when the work of the day has been done and night has come upon us, we’ll snuggle up on the couch and watch re-runs of Community. I love so many of the characters and my absolute favorites are Abed and Troy.

home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 4 | peanut butter cookies

This recipe is called Classic Peanut Butter Cookies from the WordPress blog allybakes.

Peanut Butter Cookies home cookin' challenge 2020 (15)
my version of the peanut butter cookie

It’s the last day of April, why not end this month on a sweet note? I haven’t made cookies in a really long time and when I saw this recipe, I thought it’d be a great one to bake and devour! And, as Allysa mentions, these peanut butter cookies are easy to make, which I agree.

Peanut Butter Cookies home cookin' challenge 2020 (30)

These cookies are buttery, nutty and very addicting. I quite enjoyed it with a cup of warm Earl Grey tea. It’s hard to eat just one! Since I had all the ingredients on hand, I didn’t need to make any modifications. Making these cookies has inspired me to make more cookies in the future!

This recipe is 4 out of 12 new recipes I’ll be trying this year.

To learn more about the home cookin’ challenge of 2020, check out my post about it here.

some home cookin’ XI

Being at home more because of this pandemic has gotten me to cook a lot, as you’ve probably seen already. My family’s been enjoying the new recipes I’m trying. They’re not always wins, but it’s still cool to try something new. I’d say most of these dishes were pretty tasty. I think the potato pancakes came out a bit too salty and the texture was more dense than I imagined. Still glad I tried because now I know.

some home cookin’ parts X, IX and VIII.

Egg tomato and rice
Egg tomato and white rice
homemade mac and cheese shells
homemade mac and cheese with shells pasta
Fried rice with bacon
Fried rice with bacon, green beans, corn, carrots, onions and white rice.
Baked breaded chicken
Baked breaded chicken tenders
Potatoe pancakes
Potato pancakes

blondies with milk chocolate pieces

blondies with milk chocolate pieces

The other night, I made blondies using pieces of milk chocolate bar pieces. They were tasty, but WAY too sweet for me. I actually liked them better the second day, when it tasted more like a cookie.

I think I satiated my sugar craving with that dessert. But, I do love baking, so you’ll probably see some more baked goods in the near future.

home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 3 | berry cheesecake crumble bars

This recipe is called the Berry Cheesecake Crumble Bars from the WordPress blog The Cooking Spoon

Strawberry cheesecake crumble bars (2)
Strawberry cheesecake crumble bars

This is such a fun dessert to make and to eat! We don’t eat cheesecake very often, so this was a nice treat for my family and me. Everyone enjoyed the taste profiles from the sweet creamy cheese filling, salty granola crust/crumble topping and the strawberry mixture.


  • Instead of cashews, I used peanuts for the crumble topping and crust

I look forward to making this again with different frozen fruits; maybe blueberries, perhaps?

This recipe is 3 out of 12 new recipes I’ll be trying this year.

To learn more about the home cookin’ challenge of 2020, check out my post about it here.

home cookin’ challenge of 2020

Given my current trajectory, I’m anticipating I’ll be home cookin’ all throughout 2020, so I thought of an interesting challenge for myself. Each month, I’m going to specifically try one recipe I find on WordPress, so I’ll have cooked up a total of 12 different recipes by the end of December 2020. I’m super excited!

Skillet Orange Chicken
orange chicken and rice

For any food bloggers (or food enthusiasts like me) who are reading, feel free to post a recipe you think I should try and leave a link down below. I’ll definitely check out some of the food bloggers I’m currently following to see if I get inspired.

The recipes I’m specifically looking for are going to be ones I haven’t necessarily tried before, the ingredients aren’t too expensive and aren’t too complicated to make. I’ll post up photographs of my finished creation. I’m excited to bake some desserts, try some new appetizers and discover some great wholesome dinner recipes.

Strawberry cheesecake crumble bars (2)
Strawberry cheesecake crumble bars

Reasons for doing this:

  • It’s a challenge, so it’ll be interesting to see if I actually complete this!
  • I’m always up for learning new things, so I’m sure there are so many recipes out there that I’ll love and would want to use over and over again.
  • This will keep me motivated to do more home cookin’ in case I lose steam next year and get me to document more like I used to.
  • I want to also showcase some cool WordPress food blogs out here and give them some love!

Feel free to join the home cookin’ challenge of 2020 if you think this is something you’d like to do, too. I’d LOVE to follow and see which recipes you end up choosing each month, as well. I guess I’ll stick this on my homepage, so I don’t forget!

home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 1 | small batch chicken macaroni soup
home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 2 | skillet orange chicken
home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 3 | berry cheesecake crumble bars
home cookin’ challenge of 2020 | recipe 4 | peanut butter cookies

lemon bars

My oven’s been kind of out of service, but now it’s back. One of my most favorite desserts to make is lemon bars. They are so very delicious and cute and all around a fun sweet treat after a good helping of some home cookin’. A long time ago, I thought it was a good idea to post up food I’ve made in steps and even had a separate blog about it. It’s now since been deleted, but times like these, I sure wish I had it again. It’s fun looking back on the cool delicious (and not so delicious) recipes I’ve tried. This one is definitely a keeper. Out of all the things you’ve ever made, what’s your absolute favorite and why?

some home cookin’ IX

I’ve been a little sick, so I haven’t made really good dishes lately, but seeing these photographs makes me smile. It’s nice to look through this cooking “diary.” For this post, there were two dishes I never made before and the others are ones that I’ve made some variation of. And for one, I store-bought the dough, so it felt a little like cheating, but it did involve baking and preparation nonetheless. When I was typing out the title, I had to Google the Roman numerals chart. Who knew I’d post this much on home cookin’? I didn’t.

THESE ARE SO EASY.. except for the cutting the potato part. They were tough for sure, but when it’s all done and you’re dipping fries in ketchup.. you’ll be SO HAPPY you did it! It’s really simple and the sweet potatoes are flavorful on their own. It definitely made me rethink ordering these in restaurants, since they’re so easy and cheaper to make at home. I don’t remember the exact seasoning we used, but it consisted of paprika, salt, pepper and probably garlic powder.
Here they are uncooked. They weren’t uniform in shape, but as long as you have them somewhat similar, they should all cook through okay. This was my first time making this!
This was so delicious! Brown rice bowl with egg and tomato stir-fry and cooked spinach. It’s simple, easy and vegetarian!
I was inspired by Cindy’s recipe on her blog Cookies & Chemistry.

This egg and tomato stir-fry recipe can be found on Cindy’s blog Cookies & Chemistry.

Tomato, mozzarella cheese, lettuce toast with basil pesto. MMM!! Refreshing. Can’t go wrong with tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil combo.

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Shrimp mashed potato balls. I had to use up a lot of frozen shrimp before their expiration date and decided to create something different. I’ve never made this before. It was really tasty, but there’s a lot of prep that goes with this. I made the mashed potato from scratch and getting frozen shrimp ready takes a bit of effort since it needed to defrost. This is the kind of food that was hard to just eat one of. Leftovers were glorious! I can’t remember what sauce we used to eat with it. It might’ve even been something simple like ketchup or barbecue sauce.

Lemon cream cheese crescent dessert. Bought a Pillsbury’s dough sheet to make this. We had leftover cream cheese from a work gathering and lemons in the fridge to use… we liked these very much!

some home cookin’ VI

Been cooking a lot more lately. Can you tell this is because of the colder season? (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food dish) I usually cook udon noodles in a soup, but it’s really good in a stir-fry, too. Also, I was afraid of cooking eggplant.. there’s something about it. The eggplant parm came out good though. Maybe I’ll try some other eggplant dish someday.

black bean, corn, tri-color penne pasta with turkey meatballs, shredded cheese and tomato sauce
stir-fried udon noodles with broccoli, fish balls, bok choy, fried tofu pieces, in a sauce with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce, sesame oil
Spicy tri-color penne pasta with marinated sauteed shrimp with green onions and parmesan cheese (looks rather plain but it was super delicious)
eggplant parm, my first time cooking this dish. it’s tasty! There were more eggplant hiding under the sauce.

some home cookin’ V

Yay! Another home cookin’ post. Feel free to check out post one, two, three, and four of this home cooking posting series. As always, I hope you are all well and smiling :) (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food dish)

rice vermicelli noodles, fried tofu, fish balls, bok choy


Fried rice with shrimp and bok choy – scrambled eggs, peas, chopped green onions, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, some hoisin sauce, some soy sauce, some sriracha, boy choy and shrimp
Ricotta pie. My first ever pie. I hope to make many more. This one wasn’t my favorite, but my love liked it. He said it has a subtle sweet taste. This is made with chocolate chips.

lemon & orange bars

This is a sneak peak to the next some home cookin’ post. I checked my archives and I haven’t posted one since August (the post’s here in case you’re interested). Whoa.. too long! I’ll feature this in the next one. I’m slowly getting back to it and it’s fun. I made these lemon bars for a birthday gathering and I like them… so much so, I tried it with freshly squeezed orange juice as opposed to lemon juice. Not as defined in terms of taste & reallllly sweet, but I still love that shortbread cookie crust. It’s simple to make and inspires me to try out other desserts. I went a little overboard with powdered sugar, but it’s fitting with snow this winter! I’m giving some to my family as a little treat!

*not sure why the photograph doesn’t stay when you click on it. sorry for inconvenience!

some home cookin’ IV

hi everyone, i finally got around to posting these food photographs. i hope they inspire you. i haven’t been making a lot of food lately (or i should say “new” food or anything original), unfortunately, due to timing. but maybe that means when i do make something different, it’ll be worth posting :) feel free to check out post one, two, and three of this home cooking posting series. as always, i hope you are all well and smiling :) (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food item)

rice pudding (my first time making it and it was so delicious!)
quesadilla with corn, diced tomatoes, beans, onions, ground turkey


homemade pork, shrimp and green onion wontons, soooooooo good. it is a good amount of work, but worth it. stored uncooked ones in the freezer and was able to save myself some nights of cooking!
kielbasa, yellow & red peppers, green onions, diced tomatoes (not sure why but maybe i needed to use up ingredients in the fridge haha)
classic chocolate chip cookies (can freeze these too so you don’t need to eat it all at once)
egg rolls! i wish i had a pic of inside it. it was very delicious. i’d def make again. froze the extras, too.
tri-color rotini with tomato sauce, turkey meatballs, black beans and corn
broccoli, mac & cheese with meatballs. i like putting a new spin on mac and cheese, adding different ingredients (especially veggies) makes it taste more flavorful.

some home cookin’ III

serving up a new post of different/new dishes i’ve made. i love the creativity that comes from cooking and baking; trying out different spices or ingredients. it’s fun! feel free to check out post one and post two of this home cooking posting series. i’ve made many more dishes since this, so post IV should be interesting. i hope you are all well and smiling :) (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food item)


french toast with strawberry cream cheese filling
cold peanut noodles
sloppy joe’s but with ground turkey placed on mini slider buns
strawberry cream cheese on pumpkin spice swirl toast with scrambled eggs and fruit cup
fried rice with leftover boneless spare ribs
orange yogurt cake
firm tofu with sesame seed oil & seeds, garlic, green onion and soy sauce seasoning & broccoli bowl


boiled potatoes with parsley, green onions and garlic

sweet stuff

wordpress was acting weird all day yesterday, did anyone else have issues? since it’s been getting really warm and i had a lot of oranges on hand, i decided to make Linda’s orange yogurt cake recipe from Fabulous Fare Sisters. very yummy and i really liked the refreshing citrus taste. this is a sneak peak of the next home cookin’ post (..there is a lot of parsley/greens in the next one, too). wishing you a happy day everyone :)


some home cookin’ II

hello there, thought to share some more photographs of some home cooking & baking. here’s the first post if you’d like to check out those photos. haven’t cooked anything different/new lately. hopefully that’ll change in the coming months. my goal is to cook/bake something new and different and showcase them here for memories. i’ll unlikely post dishes i’ve already posted, so each one will only include new dishes i’ve made!

blueberry muffins, best ones i made so far. pretty happy about that
Chinese rice porridge or congee. i made this with ground turkey. so heartwarming, literally and surprisingly reallly deliciously flavorful
a shrimp scampi remix with leftover noodles. we were surprised how yummy it was.
failed attempt at making cinnamon rolls without yeast, okay cookie though
our spin on Vietnamese fresh summer rolls..so simple and packed with delicious flavor, a DIY here if you missed it.
black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, whole wheat pasta and gooey cheese (didn’t need a lot of it, which is good)
bacon lettuce turkey sandwich on toasted Italian bread (I think?)
strawberry banana muffins, check out my poem post for these.