Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Chinese Sponge Cake 蒸鸡蛋糕 and my spanish project

Hello everyone! I'm so happy right now because I got my school year book today. I'm so excited to look at it.
Anyway, as you know, I made Chinese sponge cake yesterday. I'm so happy because it actually turned out this time. It took 5 tries until it turned out right. I'm so happy.
On top of that, the cake is delicious. My family already devoured it. It's only been a day since I made it too. It tastes a lot better than the bakery cakes and it is healthier. It uses canola oil instead of butter. That, I am happy about. No saturated fat.
Anyway, it can take a while to master making a sponge cake. Don't worry if it doesn't turn out the first time. I'm so happy because now, I can make those Chinese fruit sponge cakes that they make for birthdays. All I have to do is add frosting, cream, and fruit.
Anyway, here's the recipe.

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil (any type is fine)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  1. Mix batter A  with a hand mixer until just mixed. 
  2. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, whisk  the egg whites and cream of tartar (B) for 5 minutes until soft peaks form.
  3. Then, mix batter A with an electric mixer for about 4 to 5 mintues.
  4. Pour batter B into A. Then, mix them together, stirring in only one direction using a rubber spatula. 
  5. Pour into the rice cooker and set it to the cake setting. It should take about 45 minutes. 
  6. Once it's done cooking, open up the rice cooker and take the cake out. 
  7. You can decorate the cake with frosting, fruit and with whatever you want. You can even cut the cake in the middle to add pastry cream.
  8. Enjoy. :)

I hope you guys enjoy the cake. :)

Anyway, now, back to the Spanish movie project.  My group filmed Jaque mate en dos jugadas. I had so much fun filming the movie, even though it took 4 hours to film a 5 to 6 minute movie. Then again, my friend got distracted by Avatar the last airbender and we also ate pizza too.

We also messed up so many times, laughing. It was hard to keep things serious. There was a light saber fight and it took so much effort to not laugh. There was also a scene where I was suppose to drive to this one place. Well, I had to use my friends car, first of all. He said he unlocked the car and all I had to do was pretend to unlock in and then get in. He gave me the keys, and then we filmed and I walked up to the car. But, when I opened the car door, the alarm rang. My friend got really mad at me while the rest of us were laughing our heads off. It was so funny. I said sorry and he said that I shouldn't have pushed any buttons and that I should stay off the roads. It's not my fault. He still blames me.

Here's the video. Comments and suggestions would be nice.

The link is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLlMGk7VF30
I hope you guys enjoy watching it. Some parts are really hilarious. Tell me what you think, especially about my Spanish speaking and my acting.

Anyway, do you guys like acting?
What's your favorite type of cake?

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    My weekend and a cake

    Hello everyone! How are you guys today? It's Memorial Day. Appreciate the bravery and strength veterans had to protect and fight for our country.
    Now, how was your guy's weekend? I know that since it's Memorial Day,  people probably had  BBQs, with burgers (ahem. veggie burgers), salad, pies and all that good stuff. Lol. Macaroni salad, potato salad, all that stuff. Well, instead, I'm making this chinese sponge cake. It's cooking right now as I type this. I'll post the recipe later, when I know if the cake turns out or not.
     Anyway, my weekend was really fun. I went to San Fran, and of course since I went to San Fran, I went to Chinatown. There were a lot more tourists from when the last time I went. Maybe it's because school is letting out. Anyway, there was this one street where a huge group of tourists wanted to take a picture of. They were all standing on the street and this one lady fell off the sidewalk while trying to take the picture.
    There were so many people taking pictures of Chinatown. However, some people were impolite. There was a lady that took a picture of old Chinese women buying some dried fish from one of the stores. As you know, Asians have a way of checking if the food is good or not.  I'm assuming they thought it would be something good to take a picture of. Strange.  Anyway, after my mom bought some stuff she wanted, we went to a chinese bakery, one of my favorite ones.
    There pineapple buns (bolo bao) are amazing. They have no filling though. Their red bean buns are delicious as well. I like them better than the bolo bao. But, if they were to to put red bean paste in their bolo, that would be the best bread ever.
    I'm sad though, since the last time I went, they had these hello kitty cookies:
    But, they didn't have them this time I went. I was hoping to buy some, but oh well. It was too late. The day I went to San Fran, GEM Tang was suppose to be performing, but I didn't know until I saw posters in Chinatown. I was sad since I didn't get any tickets.

    Anyway, I also filmed my Spanish movie with my group. We had so much fun filming it. However, it took 4 hours to film like a 3 to 5 minute movie. Hopefully, we end up getting a good grade, or at least a decent one. Hey. At least I'm graduating soon. I only have 4 more days of high school left and then I'm free. I'm so happy and excited. The senior's last day of school is June 1st while the rest gets out on June 13th.
    Anyway, back to the Spanish project. I talked the most, because of the character I was. So, you guys can judge my Spanish. I will post the video when it's done editing. I'll also talk about it more in another post because the filming process was so hilarious and funny. Let's just say a car alarm went off during filming.
    Anyway, that's the end of my post. The next ones will be about my Chinese sponge cake and my Spanish movie.

    So, how was your guy's weekend?
    Did you do anything fun?

    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Whole Wheat Hummus Rotini

    Hello everyone! Today is Friday. I'm so happy, since it's going to be a 3 day weekend.And, guess what? I only have 4 more days of school. I can't wait.
    Anyway, my vegetarian journey so far has been pretty good, except that it has been hard trying to get my protein in. My friends think that I won't last long being a vegetarian, but I disagree with them. They tried being vegetarian before but they gave in because they didn't consume soy products to get the protein they needed. However, I love soy. So, I'll prove them wrong.
    With that in mind, here is a recipe that I made to fit my vegetarian lifestyle. It's quick, easy and delicious. It's also really healthy. I hope you guys like pasta, because I'll be experimenting with new whole wheat pasta recipes. Here's my first, Whole Wheat Hummus Rotini. It actually tasted pretty good, and the whole recipe is less than 300 calories (and it makes a lot)!  Enjoy.

    • 1 cup dry whole wheat rotini
    • 1/4  cup garlic hummus
    • 2 tsp dried basil leaves
    • broccoli

    1. Boil the water and then cook the rotini according to the directions. It should be around 12 minutes.
    2. Drain the pasta and then place into a bowl. 
    3. Steam the broccoli. Drain and take them out. 
    4. Mix the rotini and the broccoli together. 
    5. Add in the hummus and stir until well coated. 
    6. Season with dried basil leaves. You can mix it in if you want to. 
    7. Enjoy. :)

    I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. :) 

    So, now, let me recap my week. On Tuesday, I went to a school BBQ. It was fun and the teachers recognized the seniors. I got a mug and a certificate. It was fun, hanging out with friends. I ate a veggie burger (without the buns), tons of random salads, and a lot of white chocolate macadamia cookies. I love white chocolate macadamia cookies. They're the best. Same with M&M cookies. The rest of the days, we did some model UN stuff in my world politics class, a group project for AP Literature, a movie project for my AP Spanish 4 class, I baked whole wheat vegan brownies, I made this rotini recipe and I went grocery shopping.
    For the model UN, we're doing the problem of trafficking. It's really quite an interesting subject and is something very important that needs to be fixed. That's all I'll say about that subject.
    For my AP Spanish movie, me and my group have to reenact any story we've read in class. It's going to be quite fun with my friends because I'll be filming with them on Sunday.
    I'm also in my school's journalism class. At least one of my articles have been published in almost all this year's print edition of the paper, except for 2. That's still really good. For the upcoming issue, I wrote about my experience, performing at the 5 de mayo assembly at school. There's going to be a picture of me and Jose Luis. I also wrote another article about bilingual education. I wrote the article in Spanish and English. Unfortunately, it won't be published in the print edition of my school paper, The Prospector. The article is something different from what the paper in general has printed in the past. I was so disappointed when they said it wouldn't make the print edition and that it will only be online. The editor said it was too long to fit the space needed and my journalism teacher said he needed a bilingual teacher to look over the Spanish before publishing or posting it. Oh well, all that work of interviewing, writing, staying up to finish the piece in time, having my Spanish teacher looking over it for any mistakes in the Spanish edition.. for nothing. No one ever looks at the school paper website.
    You already know about the brownies and the rotini. I just wanted to bake some healthy things. The grocery shopping was fun, but I was too afraid to buy vegetarian food because they're quite a bit expensive. One day, I'll be able to. 
    To end this post, I'm just going to say that you can be healthy and still be a vegetarian, as long as you exercise as well. Exercise is very important to improve your cardiovascular health. It'll help prevent disease. With that, what's your favorite exercise? :)

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Odwalla Bar Review: Blueberry Swirl

     大家好!What's up, you guys? How are you? I'm doing fine. So, today, I ate the Odwalla Blueberry Swirl. I'll review it after I tell you guys about my day.
    I was really bored at school today, since it  was Senior ditch day and guess what. I went to school. I was one of a handful of seniors that actually went to school. I know of only 3 seniors besides me that stayed the entire school day. Anyway, it was a boring day. Since almost all of my classes were senior classes, I was really bored and had nothing to do. My teachers didn't even bother to teach today, except in my anatomy and physiology class.
    Anyway, after school, I went to an ice cream shop across from my school and bought some soy mint chocolate chip ice cream. It was delicious. :) I got soy because as you know, I'm trying to eat healthy and I'm a vegetarian (vegan...is something my parents will never let me be). The soy cream was still vegan though. ;)
    Anyway, back to the Blueberry Swirl Odwalla Bar. What I liked about this bar is that the size is fairly decent for the amount of calories it has. I like that it uses mainly healthy ingredients and that it's vegan (for the most part, unless it came in contact with dairy somehow). It was soft and chewy, had the right sweetness and I loved the blueberries that it had. It was quite satisfying. However, I prefer Clif bars over this bar. However, since I bought this for 78 cents at my local grocery store, it's quite a deal. I also didn't like that it was a bit dry, but it's okay. LUNA Bars, LARA bars and Clif bars are the way to go.
    On the other hand, I have a real pet peeve. When people go on twitter, they need to be considerate about what they tweet. There is such a thing called online etiquette and manners.

    What is your guy's favorite type of food bar? 
    What's your most favorite type of food? 

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Vegan Brownies

    Hello everyone! How are you guys today? I'm sorry for not posting for a while. I've been really busy with AP tests and school. The tests were hard but I managed to push through. What's fun is that on Friday, we learned how to dance the salsa en la clase de Español. With all the AP testing done, we don't have much to do in my AP Spanish class. I got an A on the final (and it was all handwritten free response, no multiple choice) and now, we have to make a movie about one of the stories we've read during the year. It'll be fun. My group is going to make a movie about Jaque mate en dos jugadas.
    Also, in my Anatomy and Physiology class,  we're learning about nutrition, since we just studied the digestive system. I've learned some pretty surprising stuff from Mr. Warren, the teacher. I'll post more on what I've learned in my next post.
    Anyway, on other news, I'm pondering on whether I should become vegan or vegetarian. I really want to eat healthier and more natural. Also, it'll help me lose some weight for the summer. However, having Asian parents, who think that meat, white rice, and vegetables are a must, it'll be hard. They don't agree with that kind of eating, unless the person has health problems. I'll eat vegan, or at least vegetarian, as much as I can, but we'll see how my parents will react. The idea came to me yesterday when I read Cassey's post from Blogilates, talking about how a vegan diet can be more beneficial for your health and challenged readers to try a vegan diet for 2 weeks.
    So, with that, I decided to make one of my favorite desserts, brownies. However, not just any brownies. I'm talking about healthier, vegan brownies. After researching more about a vegan diet, I decided to make changes to my current recipes for brownies and make them vegan. They're actually delicious. Enjoy. :)

    • 1   1/4 cups whole wheat  flour
    • 1   cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 2   cups brown sugar
    • 1   cup unsweetened cocoa powdr
    • 2   tsp baking powder
    • 1/2  cup olive oil
    • 1  1/2 cup water (or non dairy milk)
    • 1/2  cup mashed banana
    • 2   tsp vanilla extract
    • chocolate chips (optional)
    1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. 
    2. In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. 
    3. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. 
    4. Mix the dry ingredients INTO the wet ingredients. 
    5. Pour into a pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. It depends on what size pan you use and how you divide it. 
    6. Wait for it to cool before cutting it into squares. Enjoy.

     Enjoy the brownies. :)

    So, how was your weekend? 
    What's your favorite dessert?
    What's your opinion on being vegan or vegetarian?

    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    5 de mayo assembly and Senior Ball

    Hey everyone! I can't believe it. The past couple days have been great. First, it was the 5 de mayo assembly and then Senior Ball.
    I've already talked a little bit about the assembly the last post, but I'll talk about it a little more.  I sang Bella Traicion. The assembly went really well. I was really nervous at first but I pulled through. You should have seen me. I kept wanting to practice so that everything would be perfect. Here's the link to the sound recording of me practicing with Jose Luis, the guitarist, before the assembly.


    He did an amazing job playing guitar. He was quite nervous too, but he did great. :) The first assembly went pretty well and everyone really got into the song. The 2nd assembly was good too, but I didn't get the same feel as I did from the 1st one. But, I guess everything went great because tons of people came up to me and him, complimenting us. People even came up to me the next day at Senior Ball just to compliment me. I'm not bragging, because I feel like I didn't do a good job. I think I'm only an average singer like everyone else, but then again, how many people even have the courage and confidence to sing in front of hundreds of people?

    so, I'm going to let you guys tell me what you think of the performance. Here's the link.


    The whole performance wasn't recorded but most of it was. Also, I think that the practice one before the assembly started sounds better than the actual performance. Here's a pic of me and Jose Luis. It's not a good pic but it will do. This was taken after the assembly was over.

    me and Jose Luis

    Now, about Senior Ball. I almost didn't go to Senior Ball last night. I actually wasn't able to decided whether I should go to the dance or not until the day before the dance. But, I'm glad I did go. I had a great time with my friends. It was fun dancing. I only planned to stay for an hour or so, but I ended up staying there until it ended.
    The music choices were ok, but they weren't great. At least you could dance to the music. One of my friends dances really crazy while one of my other friends doesn't really know how to dance except the disco. Refreshments were only okay. There was candy and water. It was yummy candy though. It was a night to remember though and I'm glad I went. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You're only a senior in high school once. You'll be graduating, so make the most of it.
    Sadly, I am unsure if I can post the group pictures of me with my friends since I need their permission first. I know for a fact that one of them would be unhappy with it. So, I'll just post the same picture of me I have earlier before and me with my AP Psych and Econ teacher, Mr. Griffin.
    Me before going to prom
    me with Mr. Griffin, my AP Psych and Econ teacher. 

    Mr. Griffin  is a pretty awesome guy. He hurt his calf last week though. I hope for a speedy recovery.
    Oh yea...speaking of my AP Pysch teacher,  I have my AP Psych test tomorrow. I'm so nervous.
    studying for AP Psych

    So, how was your guy's weekend?
    How was your 5 de mayo?
    What do you think of my 5 de mayo performance?

    Friday, May 4, 2012

    Cinco de Mayo Assembly

    I can't believe it! I  performed at my school's cinco de mayo assembly! It was so nerve-wrecking. I was really nervous because I'm singing by myself with a guitarist. It was so much different from last year, when I sang in a group with an instrumental.
    This year, I decided to sing Bella Traicion by Belinda. It was nice to sing the song with a guitar instead of an instrumental. The guitarist, Jose Luis, is an awesome guitarist and learned the song pretty quickly. Thank you, Jose Luis. You're such a good friend for playing with me and performing in front of the school.
    Before performing today, we practiced a little bit. I recorded it and it sounded pretty good. Everyone said it sounded good, even him. Maybe they're just being nice, but hey, it's the assembly and you don't want to bring people down before  a huge performance. I asked him if he really wanted to play guitar with me, since I could sing acapella instead if he didn't want to play, and he said he wants to. He likes to play. So, we practiced and practiced. It came out pretty decently.
    We perform twice, since the school is divided in half when there are assemblies. It was a big hit the first assembly. Everyone got into and started clapping along. It was amazing. However, at the 2nd assembly, people didn't clap along except for some of the people in the band. They were nice.
    Overall, it was a great assembly and a lot of people complimented me. It was totally different from last year. It's also totally different from playing cello in an orchestra. For right now, I have a recording of me singing BEFORE the assembly. Once I have the recording of me actually performing, I'll show you guys. My friend recorded it and I have yet to receive it. Hopefully, it will be tomorrow. 

    So, have you guys ever been nervous before a performance?
    What do you do to calm yourself down before performing?

    Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    Healthy Ice Cream Choices

    Hey hey everyone. Sorry that it has been a while since I last posted. A lot has happened the past couple weeks and I've been really busy! I haven't been able to bake much the past weeks. So, I'm just gonna tell you guys about some "healthier" ice cream choices. But, before that, I need to tell you guys about what has happened the past couple weeks.
    Let's start with today. I gave my senior project presentation today, and it was nerve-wrecking. I hate giving presentations because I get nervous easily.  I was the first to go in the group. I think I did  okay.
    I also got to review some healthy ice cream for an article I'm writing in journalism. Yummy ice cream. But, more like soy ice cream, Gelato and frozen greek yogurt. Still really delicious.
    Also, I'm performing at my school's cinco de mayo assembly again! It's this Friday. I'm singing solo this time, and I'm singing Bella Traicion. I love that song. What's so scary is that, I'm going to be the first singing act! I'll be the 2nd act though. Dancing is the first. I'm so nervous. The Spanish teachers chose me to be in the beginning to start out the assembly really strong and it's giving me pressure! Wish me luck.I'm gonna be singing acapella.
    And speaking of luck, I had some bad luck last week. My hard drive stopped working for some reason and I had to get a new one. I lost all my files. :( Remember to back up everything! You never know what may happen.
    Anyway, back to the ice cream reviews.

    Me and another test subject tasted 8 types of healthier ice creams:
    Everything but the………… Ben and Jerry 
      Carmel Cookie Crunch…..…Talenti
    Chocolate Fudge Brownie….Soy Dream 
      Rasberry Fudge Chunk…..…Ben and Jerry: Greek Frozen Yogurt
      Vanilla………………………Adonia: Greek Frozen Yogurt
      Vanilla………………………Dreyer’s Yogurt Blend
    Simply Strawberry…………..Talenti
    Blood Orange………………..Ciao bella Gelato

    We did a blind fold test so we didn’t know which flavors we were eating at the time. Here are the results:

    For the chocolate flavors:

    Everything but the… by Ben and Jerry:
                300 calories per ½ cup serving. 17 g fat, 5 g protein and 28 g sugar.  
                Me:  Tastes really good. It’s creamy and I like the fudge flavor. I like the crunchy nuts it has and I taste something peanut buttery. It’s nice and all of it mixes well together.
                Test subject: It’s mushy, and there’s peanut butter. It’s good but it has a weird taste in the beginning.

    Carmel Cookie Crunch by Talenti (gelato)
    220 calories per ½ cup serving, 10 g fat, 4 g protein and 29 g sugar
    Me:  This is really creamy and delicious. The texture is nice and soft and I like the sweetness. Is that some sort of chocolate I taste? It’s good.
    Test subject: There’s a weird taste to the chocolate but it’s good. It’s crunchy.

    Raspberry Fudge Chunk by Ben and Jerry: Greek Frozen Yogurt

                180 calories per ½ cup serving, 6 g fat, 5 g protein and 22 g sugar

                Me: There’s a chalky texture to this. I like the chocolate chunks in it along with the fruit taste though.
                Test subject: This is horrible. I don’t know how to describe it. It reminds me of a gross type of tea I tried before.

    Chocolate Fudge Brownie by Soy Dream

                170 calories per ½ cup serving, 9 g fat, <1 g protein, and 13 g sugar
    These nutrition facts are the best for the chocolate flavors.. This has the least sugar, fat and calories. But, there isn’t much protein.
                Me: It’s fudgey and chocolaty. I like it. The brownies in it taste good too.
                Test subject: There’s a funky taste to this ice cream. There’s a weird flavor and a plastic smell to it.
    Overall, for the chocolate flavors, the Everything but the… and the Carmel cookie crunch were the best. Our least favorite was the Raspberry Chocolate Chunk.

    For the fruit flavors:

    Blood Orange by Ciao Bella Gelato

                100 calories per ½ cup serving, 0 g fat, 0 g protein and 24 g sugar.
                Me:  I like the orange flavor, but I don’t like the texture. It’s not really creamy. It’s more icy. Maybe it’s because it melted then we refroze it, but maybe it’s suppose to be like that.
                Test subject: There is a snow cone texture. But, it’s nice, soft and creamy once you get past it. It’s good.
    Simply Strawberry by Talenti (gelato)
                200 calories per ½ cup serving, 9 g fat, 4 g protein and 25 g sugar
                Me:  The texture is really good. It’s soft and creamy. There’s a real strawberry taste to it. I actually taste some strawberry bits in it.
    Test subject: Mmmmm. It’s really good. It’s nice, soft and creamy and there’s
     a real fruit flavor.
    Overall, we both liked the Simply Strawberry and the Blood Orange. I personally liked the Strawberry but the test subject like the Blood Orange. However, the Raspberry Chocolate Chunk was our least favorite.
    Last but not least is Vanilla. Who can mess up the classic vanilla ice cream?

    Vanilla by Adonia: Greek Yogurt

                130 calories per ½ cup serving, 0 g fat, 9 g protein and 22 g sugar
                Me: This has a good creamy texture like ice cream should have. It’s a bit chalky and parts though. The vanilla flavor isn’t that noticeable and there’s a weird after taste.
                Test subject: There’s a funky vanilla taste. It’s sour and tart. It’s not that good.

    Vanilla by Dreyer’s Yogurt Blend

                100 calories per ½ cup serving, 3 g fat, 2 g protein and 13 g sugar
                Me:  This is really nice and creamy. There’s a strong vanilla taste but it’s not overpowering. Really good.
                Test subject: This tastes better than the other vanilla. It’s nice and creamy. It also has a real vanilla taste to it.

    Overall, the Dreyer’s Yogurt blend was our favorite for the vanilla. The Adonia Greek Frozen Yogurt wasn’t bad. Regular Vanilla Greek Yogurt tastes much better than its ice cream counterpart.

    With taste, health and cost involved, the classic Vanilla from Dreyer’s is the best. If not, then I would choose the chocolate flavors or Simply Strawberry. The test subject says that it depends on their mood. Blood Orange, Simply Strawberry, and Carmel Cookie Crunch are their top 3. Nutrition-wise, Blood Orange is the healthiest.

    The next time you go off to buy ice cream, make sure to choose the healthier types. Read the nutrition facts to make sure it’s not high in calories, fat and sugar. Looking at the nutrition is not only good for the waistline but also your health. 

    warning: most of these ice creams have a high amount of sugar in them. 

    so, what is your guy's favorite ice cream? 
    do you like to sing? 
    anything interesting happen the past couple weeks?  
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