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?

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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.

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black bean, corn, tri-color penne pasta with turkey meatballs, shredded cheese and tomato sauce
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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
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Spicy tri-color penne pasta with marinated sauteed shrimp with green onions and parmesan cheese (looks rather plain but it was super delicious)
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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)

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

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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
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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)

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

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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!
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kielbasa, yellow & red peppers, green onions, diced tomatoes (not sure why but maybe i needed to use up ingredients in the fridge haha)
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classic chocolate chip cookies (can freeze these too so you don’t need to eat it all at once)
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egg rolls! i wish i had a pic of inside it. it was very delicious. i’d def make again. froze the extras, too.
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tri-color rotini with tomato sauce, turkey meatballs, black beans and corn
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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)

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

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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 :)

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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!

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

strawberry banana muffins

stirring the batter
and pouring the strawberries in
making sure to follow the recipe
in the oven they go
smelling the whole kitchen of banana
enjoy with some butter, jam or cream cheese
and tea and relax

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through the delicious food my mom always makes and eager to make whenever we’re together, she taught me that love’s what you do for other people more than what you say. i’m really enjoying cooking at home more and making small treats here and there (especially for those days that never seem to end..) happy april everyone!

renewing the past with mama

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the walnut cookies rolled around in powdered sugar

When I saw my family the other day, it was a day of fulfilling happiness.  I love the time spent together.  Mom and Dad enjoyed the walnut cookies I made the night before, which I am so happy about.  Life’s little accomplishments always feel a little sweeter when my family is there to share it.  I helped with some home improvements Mom needed help with (which she did most of the work, such a strong lady) and in doing so, I found some cool eclectic clothing she had kept from decades ago.

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this is what it looks like with a bite out of it. crumbly, slightly sweetened and extremely addicting!

I’m currently reading Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani, which is a story revolving around the life of a mid-twenties fashionista.  It’s a wonderful story of love, culture in NYC in the 1950s, women, tradition and family.  Needless to say, I’ve been feeling rather inspired by style and fashion because of it, as well.  Lucia mentions how clothes aren’t made the way they used to and after my visit to Ma’s, I completely agree.

After trying on the clothing of the past and feeling the work and texture of the fabric, it made me feel like there’s a kind of beauty of the past that the present just doesn’t have.  I feel like clothes used to be practical and beautiful; affordable and well-made.  I’m not trying to insult today’s style, which has its own beautifulness.  I’m happily highlighting the handiwork and love from before.

By renewing the past, I’m making it part of my present.  When I wore the clothes, it made my mom happy to see that her style of before somehow fits with my style of today.  And not to sound cheesy, but it connects us both in another way, too.  I’ll always think of her when I wear the dresses or scarf; she’s a part of me wherever I go.  As my mother used to make her family clothes and my sister and I sweaters and hats when we were young, clothing is more than whatever label is out there or how much it is.  To me, it also represents who I am and where I am and the work that was put into creating it.  For my mom, she created clothes out of necessity, but also because it was another way to show her love.

cnw