Chinese Steamed “Flower Rolls”

I’ve always wanted to (successfully) make steamed buns.  I tried a couple times, but it never turned out the way I want it to, but this was before I started to bake bread.  Now that I have more experience in the bread-making category, I decided to give steamed bread another go.

When coming straight out of the steamer, these were DELICIOUS! However, once cooled, they get kind of tough and chewy, but it’s nothing a little resteaming or microwave-heating won’t fix. 😛
Personally, I like the brown sugar version more than the green onion version (I don’t eat green onions), but I think it also depends on whether you like sweet buns or savory buns. 😛

I need to work on my rolling skills because I can’t roll the dough thin enough to make proper “flower petals”.

Chinese Steamed “Flower Rolls” (adapted from 姨媽‧姑姐‧記事簿)
300g All-Purpose Flour
100g Water (100g Milk)
1 tsp (3.5g) Baking Powder
1 tsp (3.5g) Active Dry Yeast
1/8 Cup Sugar (1/4 Cup (35g) Brown Sugar)
50g Milk
Canola Oil (Condensed Milk)
Green Onions, diced (optional)
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix flour, water, baking powder, yeast, and sugar until clumpy.
2. Gradually add in the milk and mix until a smooth dough forms.
3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm/moist area for 1 hour.
4. Place dough on a flat well-floured surface and roll dough to about 1/4-inch thick.
5. Brush dough with canola oil, and sprinkle with green onions.
6. Make 3 folds creating a 4-layer piece of dough. Cut into 6 equal pieces.
7. Place chopstick on the center of each piece so that the opened layers are visible to the left and right of the chopstick.  Gather the layers on either side, stretch it away from the chopstick, twist, and tuck underneath the rest of the roll. (See video below.)  Place tucked-side down onto a small piece of parchment paper.
8. Place rolls in steamer and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
9. Steam over boiling water for 10 minutes.
Enjoy!! 🙂

Lemon Bars

In April (yeah, I’m “slightly” behind), coworker Chiemi brought in a bunch of giant lemons from her lemon tree and gave me a bunch to make lemon bars.  I’ve never made lemon bars before.  I don’t even think I’ve ever HAD a lemon bar, so I was kind of clueless as to an “ideal” recipe to use.

I searched through a bunch of recipes listed in a google search.  They can range from using 2 Tbsp of lemon juice, to a whole cup of lemon juice, or using only the juice of one lemon to one whole ground up lemon.  I guess it all depends on how lemony you want your bars.

After looking through some recipes and asking some coworkers on what they look for in a lemon bar, I decided to go with the whole cup of lemon juice route.  I settled on Ina Garten’s Lemon Bar recipe.

They were a HIT!! I’m sure the home-grown lemons contribute to the success, but people LOVED the shortbread in this lemon bar!!!
Definitely will make again! ❤

Lemon Bars (adapted from Barefoot Contessa)

For the crust:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
For the fillings:
6 eggs, room temperature
2.5 cups white sugar
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light.
3. Add flour and salt to the butter mixture and mix on low until incorporated.
4. Press dough evenly into a 9×13 baking pan.
5. Bake the crust in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, until very lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack, and keep oven on.
6. While crust is cooling, whisk together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and flour.
7. Run mixture through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps of flour.
8. Stir in the lemon zest into the lemon and eggs mixture.
9. Pour the filling over the crust and bake for 30 minutes, until the filling is set.  Let cool to room temperature.
10. Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.


Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Scones

I no longer remember what I made these for…but it was for work…:P
I’ve been using the same scone recipe for a while…all I do is add different ingredients to it to make different flavors.

I wanted to make something sweet and tart, so I decided to make some white chocolate scones with some sort of tarter flavor added.

These were a hit at work, as with all my other scones (:P). This is definitely my go to recipe for scones, as it makes super moist scones. 🙂

Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Scones (adapted from

1 Cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Baking Soda
4 Cups Flour
1 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Salt
1 Cup Butter
1 Egg
1/2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 tsp Orange Extract
1/2 Cup White Chocolate
1/2 Cup Craisins
1. Combine sour cream and baking soda, and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt.
4. Cut butter into flour mixture until combined.
5. Add sour cream mixture, egg, and the extracts, and mix until combined.
6. Stir in white chocolate chips and craisins.
7. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour, until firm.
8. Remove from bowl and shape into desired shape and bake for 15 minutes (until bottom of the scone is golden-brown).
(Like this)

Steak Omelet with Mushrooms & Peppers

I promised Steven that I’d make him breakfast on Sunday, but I had issues getting up in the morning, we had breakfast for dinner. 🙂

The steak of this recipe is prepared the same way as the last recipe and the steak sandwich recipe. Yup, I use the same steak recipe for (almost) all foods with steak.

Steak Omelet with Mushrooms & Peppers
1 pan-seared steak, sliced (make sure you don’t slice it RIGHT AFTER it’s done cooking, you want it to cool a little to lock in the moisture)
5-6 cloves minced garlic
10 mushrooms, thickly sliced (one mushroom yields 3-5 slices ONLY)
10 small sweet peppers, cut into strips
2 tsp oil
6 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup milk
Some Cheddar (or any kind of) Cheese
1. In the cast iron pan used for the steak, heat garlic in oil until fragrant.
2. Saute mushrooms and sweet peppers until cooked and browned (about 8 minutes?)
3. In a bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined.
4. In a frying pan, heat oil on high for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and pour in 1/2 of the egg mixture. Sprinkle on desired amount of cheese and let it to cook for 1-2 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, slice the steak.
6. Add to the egg 1/2 of the sauteed veggies and let cook for another 1-2 minutes.
7. While the egg is still a little jiggly, add in 1/2 of the sliced eggs, lining them up so that a “path” is created in the center for the fold of the egg.
8. Carefully fold egg in half. Cook 1 minute, then flip and cook for another minute.
9. Sprinkle some more cheese on top and serve! 🙂

Milk Tea (Black Tea) Scones

Steven’s been requesting scones for a couple of weeks now, and I finally made some yesterday. I wanted to give my scones a twist, so I decided to create some Milk Tea Scones. I have to say, although these scones were good and full of tea flavor, it was lacking the Milk Tea essence. The only form of liquid in this recipe is sour cream and an egg, so it was lacking the milk flavor. I must give this recipe some research and modify it. 🙂

Milk/Black Tea Scones – Trial One (Adapted from
Tea leaves from 4 tea bags of Black Tea
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Baking Soda
4 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Butter, cold and cubed
1 Egg
1. Heat sour cream in microwave/double boiler, being careful not to let it curdle. Add tea leaves and let seep for 15 minutes – 1 hour. Add baking soda, set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt.
4. Cut butter into flour mixture until combined.
5. Add sour cream mixture and egg, mix until combined.
6. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes – 1 hour, until firm.
7. Remove from bowl and shape into desired shape (I used 2 inch star cookie cutters) and bake for 18 minutes.
8. Drizzle icing (2 Tbsp Milk & 1 cup Powdered Sugar, Mixed well) on top of scones.

Starry Starry Scones…Again…

I brought all the Starry Starry Scones that I baked on Tuesday to work on Wednesday. Steven wasn’t too happy about it, so I made more last night: Two batches of Vanilla Bean Scones (his favorite), one batch of Chocolate Chip Scones (my favorite), and one batch of Snickerdoodle Scones (my new favorite!).

I made the new addition to this family by adding 2-3 tsps cinnamon to the Vanilla Bean Scones dough, and topping it with cinnamon sugar. The cinnamon sugar is roughly 1 part cinnamon to 3-4 parts sugar. These Snickerdoodle Scones are so awesome!! Next time, I think I’m going to top it was some raw sugar for a CRUNCH!!!

Starry Starry Scones

Been browsing at work lately, and I really want to try making each of the top 20 recipes on the website. One thing that I’ve been wanting to make for a while now is Grandma Johnson’s Scones. The recipe has AWESOME reviews, and is easily customizable to create your own version of the perfect scone. I’ve read that some people split the dough into two and create two different flavors. I decided to go this route, and I went with Chocolate Chip Scones, and Vanilla Bean Scones.
Going to UCD, I would always check the UCDavis Coffee House for their Chocolate Chip Scones. They’re always so moist and delicious. After graduating and moving away from Davis, I don’t really have access to those scones anymore. So when I found out how easily this recipe can be customized, I HAD to make half as Chocolate Chip Scones.
The reason for Vanilla Bean Scones is because Steven & I absolutely LOVE the Petite Vanilla Scones that are at Starbucks. They are soooo yummy!!! However, a tad expensive. So I decided to create my own version at home, and Steven (and some coworkers) think that these are just like the Starbucks ones. 🙂

I basically followed the recipe as is, but I added vanilla bean to the whole dough, chocolate chips into the Chocolate Chip Scone, and a vanilla bean glaze on top of the vanilla bean scone. Also, instead of cutting the dough into wedges, I used a (roughly 2 inch) star cookie cutter and baked for 18 minutes.

Prepare dough based on the recipe. Add 1/2 vanilla bean into dough, mix well. Split dough into two equal sections. Mix desired amount (I mixed in roughly 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup) of semisweet chocolate chips into one section of the dough. Roll/pat down each section of the dough to 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thickness. Cut into wedges or use cookie cutters (roughly 2 inches wide) to cut shapes out. Bake in oven for 18 minutes. Makes around palm-sized scones.

While vanilla scones are baking, prepare the vanilla bean glaze. Sift 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar in mixing bowl. Add 1 Tbsp milk, and the other 1/2 of the vanilla bean. Mix well. Spread over Vanilla Bean Scones when scones are semi-cooled.

Serve with your favorite coffee. 🙂