我家的聚宝盆 Our Treasure Pot

I don’t know what has got into me, but just a few days before the Chinese lunar new year, I decided that I should try cook Poon Choi this year. I am never a good cook and I wonder why I could step out of my comfort zone to prepare this challenging one pot dish.

Thanks to the internet and generous sharing by food bloggers, after reading up on how to go about preparing the ingredients, this seemingly complex dish actually isn’t really that difficult to prepare. However, it is a time consuming task to wash, cut and cook each ingredients before they are layered and assembled into the pot. The entire preparing and cooking process took me 3 hours with no help. I think it is not a prerequisite to have excellent culinary skills in order to be able to cook this dish, but rather, one must have a good understanding of each ingredient plus good stamina to be able to stand in the kitchen for a few hours. I believe in order to cook a delicious pot of treasure, one must use the correct type of ingredients (for example, the right type of yam), know the cooking time needed for each ingredients so as to avoid them being over cooked or under cooked. For example, the type of fish maw used, certain type requires much shorter cooking time; the type of dried shiitake mushrooms, certain types are very thick and require long hours of pre-soaking and cooking time. With this prior knowledge one would be able to plan ahead to cater to the preparation time for each separate ingredient.

Since the cooking process is quite a complex task, I listed down the types of ingredients, the steps, which ingredient to start the prep work, etc, read and re-read the instructions a few times so that everything goes into my head before I start the preparation work. I am glad that I have taken the time to do the pre-work as I didn’t encounter any kitchen mishaps and everything went on smoothly.

I didn’t plan to write this post since I am not able to share my recipe especially I was operating on a trial and error mode when I was preparing this dish. I wasn’t sure how my poon choi would turn out as it was my first attempt. However, the photos I took with my mobile phone weren’t too bad so I thought maybe I should share my cooking experience especially to those home cooks like me who are keen but are put off by the idea of making poon choi because it seems difficult. I came up with my own list of ingredients and instructions by gathering recipes from 3 main sources. One from the free Cold Storage Savour magazine (Jan/Feb 2016 issue), the marvelous 7 step instructions from herworldplus and the wonderful step by step tutorials and great tips from Noob Cook. Thanks to Noob Cook for her clear and detailed instructions and kudos to her for providing the auspicious symbolisms of the poon choi ingredients as well. In case you are interested, I learned how to cut the carrot flowers from Just One Cookbook.

The dish turned out delicious and everyone enjoyed the meal. It was really well worth the effort.

golden milk cupcakes with whipped mascarpone cream {gluten free}


I’ve noticed that there’s a certain kind of recipe that appeals to me when I’m feeling particularly devoid of inspiration – those periods when I find it hard to muster up the enthusiasm to do anything other than order a pizza for dinner.

For some reason, it’s normally some form of cake that captures my imagination rather than a brownie or cookie or anything else that I usually like to eat/bake. The cake itself is generally golden brown, laced with vanilla and with a tender crumb. It tends to have a simple ingredient list. I think part of the appeal is the knowledge that I already have everything that I need on hand. It shouldn’t require too much effort or fancy equipment either. Nothing is more likely to discourage me from turning the oven on than the thought of having to wash up multiple bowls or lug my food processor out of the cupboard.



As soon as I saw the golden milk cake that Sara posted a couple of weeks ago, I knew that it was just the recipe that was going to pull me out of my current kitchen funk. It arrived in my inbox on a Friday morning and it was all I could do not to leave the office immediately and head home to make it. I managed to hold out until the end of the day and, that evening, I was rewarded with the most fragrant and delicious cake that I’ve eaten in a long time.

I’ve made a few small tweaks to Sara’s recipe to make it gluten free but other than that, the recipe is pretty much hers. The first time I made it, I used my mini bundt pans but the version I’m sharing here is in cupcake form, topped with a luscious mascarpone cream and a few berries because I’m pretty sure that it’s illegal not to do so at this time of year.

If you don’t know Sara’s blog, you’re also in for a real treat. She does the most fantastic illustrations (I have several of the prints from her ‘Commute‘ series which I adore) plus she recently documented the day she spent eating pizza in her hometown of Lebanon, PA. How can you not love this girl?



golden milk cupcakes with whipped mascarpone cream {gluten free}

Yield: 12 – 18 cupcakes

As soon as Sara posted this recipe, I knew that I had to make it asap. It’s really my perfect kind of cake – rich and butter-y with a dense crumb but still somehow light enough that it’s possible to eat three or four at once. I generally can’t resist eating one as soon as it comes out of the oven; the heady smell is so intoxicating. This type of cake is traditionally known as a hot milk cake but I much prefer Sara’s name for it!


    For the cupcakes:
  • 90g (3/4 cup) rice flour
  • 30g (just under 1/3 cup) ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour (corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 100g (just under 1 cup) unrefined sugar of some description
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 55g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) milk
  • For the frosting:
  • 240ml (1 cup) double cream, at room temperature
  • 225g (1 cup-ish) mascarpone, at room temperature
  • Icing sugar, to taste
  • Berries, for decoration


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F and line a cupcake tin with paper cases. My liners were really small hence I got 18 cupcakes out of the mix but with a more substantial liner, you’ll be closer to 12.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the various flours, ground almonds, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  3. In another bowl – or the bowl of a stand mixer – beat the egg, sugar and vanilla for 5 – 10 minutes until light and frothy. Fold in the dry ingredients and set aside.
  4. In a small pan over a low heat, melt the butter and then add the milk. Bring it up to the boiling point, stirring to make sure that it doesn’t scorch. When the milk is ready, take it off the heat and slowly pour it into you batter, folding it through until combined. You’ll have a fairly think and pourable batter.
  5. Divide the batter between the paper cases and fill each about 3/4 of the way up but no more than that unless you want your cupcakes to end up looking a mess. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden and firm. They’ll rise in the oven but will sink a little as they cool. No worries.
  6. When they’re cool, whisk together the cream and mascarpone until thick. It won’t take long and if you beat it too much, the mixture will curdle due to the relatively high fat content. Add sugar to taste (I find the cupcakes on the sweeter side so prefer to go light in the sugar in the frosting but it’s up to you).
  7. Dollop the frosting on top of the cupcakes and add a few berries for decoration. Job done.


Cupcakes barely adapted from Sara’s golden milk cake



Vegan Popcorn

This vegan popcorn is super easy to make, is relatively nutritious and makes for a healthy snack. It’s also naturally gluten-free.

Popcorn can either be a healthy snack or a butter- and calorie-laden nutritional disaster. It all depends on the oil, the seasonings and the toppings. Today we have a healthy popcorn recipe, which is seasoned with nutritional yeast to add even more benefits.

Popcorn is a widely popular snack – and for good reason! It’s cheap, easy, and nutritious. It’s perfect for movie night, a picnic at the park, a handy happy hour treat, or munchies on the road.

If you haven’t made homemade popcorn, you’re missing out on a fun experience that will have you eating the best popcorn that you’ve ever had. It’s a super snack that can be savory or sweet depending on how you dress it.


  • Refined coconut oil – the smoke point is higher than unrefined, which is why I recommend it
  • Popcorn kernels – just plan kernels with nothing added
  • Nutritional yeast – I used the one from the company Foods Alive. I chose it because it had the best reviews and is non-fortified.
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt

How to pop popcorn on a stovetop:

It’s easy!

  1. Place a large saucepan with a heavy bottom over medium heat.
  2. Pour just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and add two popcorn kernels. Cover the pot with a well-fitting lid, and wait until those two kernels pop. It takes only a couple of minutes.
  3. While you wait, get a large serving bowl ready, and set it near the stove. This way you’ll be prepared to dump a little out if you’ve added too many kernels.
  4. Once those two kernels have popped, turn the heat off, remove the lid and cover the bottom of the saucepan with the remaining kernels. Don’t add so many that you have a double layer because it will be flying everywhere. A nice solid layer is what you want for the perfect big batch.
  5. Cover the pot again with a lid, turn the heat to medium, and shake the pot to give those kernels a little breathing room. They’ll be dancing around in no time.
  6. It’s important to continue to shake the pot, moving it around — back and forth, so the popcorn cooks evenly and thoroughly. If not, you’ll get burned kernels at the bottom of the pan.
  7. Once the kernels start to pop more rapidly, tip the lid a little to let out a little steam.
  8. Continue to shake it throughout the popping process. It will start out slowly and then crescendo like an exploding drum solo. Once you hear that pause near the end, just keep it on the burner with a couple more shakes and shimmies to get those last kernels popped. And you’re done!

By the way, those unpopped kernels at the bottom of the pan, they’re called spinsters. 😂

If the lid rises and popcorn overflows, just dump a little out in the serving bowl and continue with the popping process.

Now it’s time to season the popcorn!

Vegan popcorn toppings:

For this healthy vegan snack, I seasoned the popcorn with nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt. It’s simple and tastes great.

If you’re looking to put on a show, then I have some ideas for you to try.

For any seasoning combination, take any liquid and a spritz bottle, and mist the popcorn. Then sprinkle it with seasonings, toss it to coat it well, and repeat.

  • Nutritional Yeast, also known as nooch, is great on popcorn: it’s cheesy and buttery, it’s vegan and gluten-free, and it makes popcorn sing. If you haven’t yet tried nutritional yeast on your popcorn, I highly recommend it.
  • Keep it southern by using vegan butter, salt, and a little cracked pepper.
  • Instead of salt, try liquid aminos, like Braggs, with nutritional yeast, and garlic powder.
  • Like it spicy? Add a little chili powder, tabasco sauce, or Cajun seasoning to the mix.
  • Like it citrusy? Spritz a little lime juice, and add a little lemon pepper and salt. Or use taco seasoning or smoked paprika with lime juice.
  • Like it aromatic? With olive oil, lightly spritz the popcorn with an oil sprayer and add Italian seasoning. Or go mild with fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley, dill or thyme.
  • Like a sweet drizzle? Add a smidgen of maple syrup over the popcorn, toss and top with a little cinnamon.
  • Or maybe add a little protein by dribbling on a little homemade peanut butter?
  • Popping for a party? Make a popcorn bar with an impressive spread of toppings and seasonings, and let them tweak their own flavor combinations. Just grab a bag, season and shake, then sprinkle on toppings.

However you like your popcorn will always be the best way to serve it! 😉

Is nutritional yeast good for you?

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that comes in thin flakes or dry powder form. It’s a yellow savory seasoning that is rich in vitamins, protein (2 tablespoons contains 9 grams) and fiber. It’s known to taste a bit like parmesan cheese, but it adds so much more than just taste.

It’s a good source of trace minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, manganese, and potassium. You can even find some brands fortified with B-12.

It’s easy to find in bulk sections of your favorite store and sometimes in traditional grocery stores. Of course, you can always find it online.

It’s naturally gluten-free and almost always vegan. Nearly all brands of nutritional yeast are vegan, but always check your labels to make sure.

After trying the nutritional yeast on your popcorn, you’ll soon be adding it to your baked potatoes and pasta dishes, too!

Is popcorn healthy?

Popcorn is a whole grain food that’s filled with nutrients.

It’s a good source of potassium, vitamin B1, B3, and B6. It’s high in iron (even more than spinach), magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese.

It’s low in calories, a good source of plant-based protein, and it’s extremely high in fiber. It also has more antioxidants than some fruits and vegetables.

Is popcorn gluten-free?

Yes, popcorn is naturally gluten-free, and that’s why I like to make my own. If you buy pre-popped popcorn there could be trace amounts of gluten depending on the processing procedures, flavorings or additives.

It’s always best to look at the ingredients of any seasonings you choose, too.

Making your own popcorn is the best way to ensure it’s gluten-free.

Which oil is the best?

You need an oil with a high smoke point because the pot is going to get really hot. Therefore, olive oil is not a good choice. I used refined coconut oil and I think it’s perfect and doesn’t have any coconut taste to it.

Other oils with high smoke points are avocado oil, grapeseed oil and canola oil.

Do I have to use oil?

Yes, if you are cooking popcorn on the stovetop. And if you want the seasoning to stick, you also need to use oil.

But you can make popcorn in a small paper bag in the microwave and not use any oil. Just add the popcorn to the paper bag and fold over the top a couple of times.

Put the bag of kernels in the microwave set on high for about 1.5 to 2.5 minutes. Once the popping has stopped, put the popcorn in a large bowl and season. You don’t want burnt popcorn, so don’t walk away. Listen to the popping kernels, once you hear a slight pause, it’s time to take it out and enjoy!

Another method of popping corn without oil is using an air popper. I don’t have one because honestly, I don’t have any space left in my kitchen for another appliance.

If you use an oil-free method, you’ll need to spray the popcorn with some oil or drizzle some melted refined coconut oil or vegan butter on the popcorn. If you don’t, the seasoning won’t stick.

Can I pop popcorn in an air fryer?

It seems there’s always something new every day to cook in the air fryer, but popping corn isn’t one of them.

Yes, you can pop kernels using an air fryer, but it will take a lot of trial and error. And I don’t recommend it!

It can destroy your air fryer and for that reason, I say, keep it simple and use a proven method.

What to serve with popcorn?

Well, besides an assortment of seasonings and toppings, I can’t think of anything to serve with popcorn other than drinks, so here’s my list.

  • This Herbal Green Tea is a nice refreshing drink for the whole family.
  • If you prefer an adult drink with movie night or happy hour with friends, try this Gin Margarita, it’s light and refreshing.
  • This Honey Sweetened Lemonade isn’t vegan, but it’s a great drink to serve this summer.
  • If you prefer soda, but don’t want the sugar and other junk, here is a great video on how to make Natural Fruit Soda.
  • For all the curious science kids, I found an interesting podcast from But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids that describes how the corn kernels pop!

That’s it! I hope you’ll love this popcorn, and if you decide to make it or any recipe you find here, I sure would love to hear about it. Just snap a pic 📸and tag #texanerin on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter so I can easily find them. Have fun!!

Vegan Popcorn

Vegan Popcorn
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 8 min
  • Ready in: 13 min
  • Yield: 8 cups popped corn



  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (or more, if desired)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • To pop the corn:

  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup popcorn kernels
  • If your seasoning doesn’t stick:

  • 2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil or vegan butter


  1. Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Set aside.
  2. Place a large pot or saucepan (that has a lid) with a heavy bottom over medium heat.
  3. Add the oil to the pan and add two popcorn kernels.
  4. Cover the pot with a well-fitting lid and wait until those two kernels pop. It should take only a couple of minutes.
  5. While you wait, get a large serving bowl ready and set it near the stove.
  6. Once those two kernels have popped, turn the heat off, remove the lid and cover the bottom of the saucepan with the remaining kernels.
  7. Don’t add so many that you have a double layer because it will overflow. A nice solid layer is what you want for the perfect big batch of popcorn.
  8. Allow the kernels to rest about 60 seconds so that your oil doesn’t get too hot before the kernels are ready to pop.
  9. Cover the pot again, turn heat to medium and shake the pot to give those kernels a little breathing room.
  10. It’s important to continue to shake the pot moving it around, back and forth, so you get perfectly even popped popcorn instead of burned kernels at the bottom of the pan.
  11. Once the kernels start to pop rapidly, tip the lid a little to let out a little steam. If the lid rises and popcorn overflows, just dump a little out in the serving bowl and continue the popping process.
  12. Continue to shake it throughout the popping process. The popping will start slowly then build. Once you hear a pause near the end, just keep it on the burner with a couple more shakes to get those last kernels popped and you’re done.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle the seasoning over, put on the lid and give it a good shake. I don’t have issues with the seasoning sticking, but if you do, do the next step:
  14. If your seasoning didn’t stick:

  15. Drizzle the melted fat over the popcorn, put on the lid, and shake vigorously until the popcorn is coated in the fat.
  16. If you want to use the butter for added flavor:

  17. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the melted fat over the popcorn. Give the pot a shake to coat the popcorn in the fat.
  18. Sprinkle on half the seasoning. Give it another shake.
  19. Drizzle on the remaining fat, shake, and then the seasoning and shake.

Recipe by Texanerin Baking | www.texanerin.com

My Favorite Lemon Cake Recipes for Easter Sunday!

My Favorite Lemon Cake Recipes for Easter Sunday!
My Favorite Lemon Cake Recipes for Easter Sunday!

As we’ve discussed, lemon cake recipes are perfect for a holiday table, especially the Easter holiday. I don’t know why. They JUST ARE.

Here are my VERY FAVORITE LEMON CAKE RECIPES that I think should be on your Easter table this Sunday! As a bonus, I’ve also included a few other lemon dessert recipes that I love and that would be perfect for a special occasion.

Don’t worry: these recipes are pretty, but they’re also easy, quick, and absolutely delicious. Lemon lovers in your life are gonna love you!

continue reading

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Makaron chow mein z wołowiną i warzywami

Uwielbiam makarony, co chyba też widać na blogu 😉 Tym razem padło na kluski w stylu azjatyckim, które chodzily za mną od dawna. Ale ale musiałam najpierw znaleźć przepis, który będzie ultra prosty, szybki i z dostępnych składników. I… znalazłam!
Oprócz powyższych zalet, jest po prostu pyszny. Oczywiście wiedziałam, że będzie dobry, to moje smaki, ale nie sądziłam, że aż tak. Jeśli jeszcze Was nie przekonałam, to niech kropką nad i będzie fakt, że pobrudzicie tylko jedną patelnię i deskę do krojenia 😀
Gorąco więc polecam poniższy przepis na makaron chow mein z wołowiną. Smacznego!

Składniki na 2 porcje:
przepis z gazetki Lidla, po moich zmianach
  • 150 g makaronu chow mein
  • 250 g wołowiny (u mnie na gulasz – w miarę chuda i łatwa do krojenia, bo w klatkach)
  • 1 duża marchewka
  • pół papryki
  • 4 szalotki
  • 1 ząbek czosnku
  • 4 łyżki sosu sojowego
  • 50 ml wody
  • olej do smażenia
Sposób przygotowania:
Na patelni rozgrzać 2 łyżki oleju, po czym wrzucić mięso i smażyć aż zbrązowieje (10-15 min). Usmażoną wołowinę przełożyć do miski.
Na tą samą patelnie, w razie potrzeby, wlać odrobinę oleju i podsmaż marchewkę 3-5 min. Następnie dodać paprykę i ponownie podsmażyć kilka minut. Na koniec wsypać szalotkę i raz jeszcze podsmażyć całość aż szalotka się zeszkli. Gotowe warzywa przełożyć z patelni do miski z mięsem.
Na pustą patelnię wlać wodę i sos sojowy oraz dodać czosnek i makaron. Całość wymieszać i mocno podgrzać. Na koniec wsypać wołowinę z warzywami, wymieszać i smażyć wszystko jeszcze 2-3 minuty. Podawać od razu.
* zamiast patelni można użyć woka

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats from the Today Show

I spent another great morning sharing some of my favorite Valentine’s Day treats on the Today Show. It never gets old. This time, we made surprise inside cookies and some insanely decadent yet simple truffles.

You can watch the segment here and enjoy the recipes by following THIS link for the cookies and THIS link for the truffles.

The Creaming Method

Correctly using the creaming method is key to perfect cakes and cookies. So, let’s talk about it and make sure we’re doing it the right way! The creaming method is likely the mixing technique bakers are most familiar using. You’ll most often see this in recipes for cookies and cakes, when you’re directed to beat […]

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