Friday, December 21, 2012

Tang Yuan

I was told today is Guo Tong or  Yuanxiao day. It has been at least 15 years since I last ate this. I remembered making this with my sister and mum. And while preparing this all 3 of us would gathered around the pot of ginger sugar syrup and rolling these little balls and chat, exchanging stories, which was fun. 

When DH Friesland told me about it I wanted to try it too. Then came my daughter looking so interested and wanted to help. I suddenly feel this Tongyuan is such a mother daughter bonding dish. She wanted to know the story of Tongyuan too.

Of course I have to tell her the story of Tang Yuan and why are we making this. She finds it bizarre.

Luckily I had googled and read about it from

Tāngyuán is a Chinese food made from glutinous rice flour. Glutinous rice flour is mixed with a small amount of water to form balls and is then cooked and served in boiling water. Tangyuan can be either small or large, and filled or unfilled. They are traditionally eaten during Yuanxiao.


According to a legend,  in the Han Dynasty, there was a maid of honor who was called Yuanxiao. She missed her parents a lot but she could not leave the palace. Therefore, she wept all the time and even wanted to turn to suicide. A minister knew her story and promised to help her. What Yuanxiao needed to do was to make lots of Tangyuans, which was the best cuisine she could make, in order to worship the god on 15th day of the first month in Chinese calendar. Finally, Yuanxiao did a great job and the emperor was so contented; therefore, Yuanxiao was permitted to meet her parents, Tangyuan was named as Yuanxiao and 15th day of the first month in Chinese calendar was considered to be Yuanxiao Festival.
According to the record of history, Tangyuan has been a popular snack in China since Sung Dynasty.

Traditionally it is supposed to be white or maybe pink. But I want to make it more interesting to entice my kids to eat it. I found out I was not the only one :) who like rainbow colours.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Tree Cupcakes adapted from Martha Stewart


Cook Like a Star Martha Stewart December 2012.

My sis of  asked me if I want to bake like a star? Yeah! Why not? If I know how to.
Bake Like a Star as informed by sis was an idea from Zoe of collaborating with Baby Sumo of Eat your heart out and Riceball of Riceball Eats

I have always like to be Martha. So knowledgeable, elegant and calm, her kitchen and art & craft space  ever so tidy as oppose to mine and  like her I love gardening too. If I ever clicked on to I always ended spending hours there admiring everything from  food, homes, gardens, pets and even weddings ( although I am way over weddings)

So I can't just say no to this chance to pretend I am Martha by joining in the fun baking like Martha. 

Yes, I saw this at Martha Stewart's Facebook and like a stalker I bookmarked this recipe and the step-by-step on how to bake this Christmas cupcakes. It is a good thing.

Luck was really on my side after piping this very first tree , it began to snow! Can't help but place this cupcake to chill the frosting outside on the picnic table.

 This will make a great table centre piece before eating it up.

Click here for Martha's cream cheese frosting

Look I see many stars cooking like a star.


Christmas tree check, snow check, sweets check...I miss my mixpod music here......