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My Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

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Happy VD! Indulge ❤

jordanjadedesigns

My collection of red velvet cupcakes with chocolate ganache frosting topped with fresh raspberries , red sugar crystals & red Jelly Beans. Love to gift to family, friends & teachers 😉

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Cupcakes PanRaspberry Red Cupcake-01Boxed Cupcakes4 Cupcakes in a Box

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3-Bean Soup Paired With Homemade Corn Bread

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jordanjadedesigns

When you come home at night & need to come up with something quick to prepare that is not too heavy but still filling & tasty – this 3-bean soup paired with this so moist corn bread is the perfect meal to a cold & snowy night. This is a very healthy soup recipe packed with protein & greens. This is also a perfect meal for my girls when they’re having bad coughs & colds or flu.

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3 – Bean Soup with Homemade Corn Bread

(prep & cook time: approx 20-30 mins)

3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or Canola oil)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 small package white mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 lb. lean ground chicken (can be substituted with lean ground turkey)

1 ½ tbsp good Thai fish sauce

freshly ground black pepper

1 can Rotel Original

1 can Bush’s Navy Bean, drained

1 can…

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3-Bean Soup Paired With Homemade Corn Bread

Standard

When you come home at night & need to come up with something quick to prepare that is not too heavy but still filling & tasty – this 3-bean soup paired with this so moist corn bread is the perfect meal to a cold & snowy night. This is a very healthy soup recipe packed with protein & greens. This is also a perfect meal for my girls when they’re having bad coughs & colds or flu.

DSCN1849

3 – Bean Soup with Homemade Corn Bread

(prep & cook time: approx 20-30 mins)

3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or Canola oil)

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 small package white mushrooms, sliced thinly

1 lb. lean ground chicken (can be substituted with lean ground turkey)

1 ½ tbsp good Thai fish sauce

freshly ground black pepper

1 can Rotel Original

1 can Bush’s Navy Bean, drained

1 can Bush’s Blackeye Peas,drained

1 can Bush’s Red Bean,drained

1 box 32 oz reduced sodium  Swanson chicken broth

1/3 c fresh chopped cilantro

1 bag fresh organic baby spinach

French’s Fried Onions (for toppings)

Serving size: 6- 8

3BeanSoup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Directions:

  1. Heat skillet & add grapeseed oil. Saute chopped garlic until golden brown.
  2. Stir in the chopped onions until caramelized.
  3. Add next the ground chicken & cook it until brown, stirring occasionally – about  10 mins. Cover.
  4. Mix chicken mixture with fish sauce & ground black pepper. Stir for 2 more mins.
  5. Add sliced mushrooms & stir for a minute. Cover.
  6. Add Rotel & stir for a minute.Cover.
  7. Add all 3 drained beans & stir for a minute.
  8. Pour the chicken broth & mix. Cover & simmer for additional 5 mins.
  9. Turn off heat – add chopped cilantro & spinach. Cover for 2 mins.
  10. Stir well the soup before serving to bowls.
  11. Top with French’s fried onions. Serve with freshly-baked corn bread.

        

Homemade Corn Bread

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1 large egg

1 box 425 g Krusteaz Natural Honey Cornbread

2/3 c  Carnation low fat 2% evaporated milk

1/2 c  Daisy sour cream

1/3 c  Agave Nectar (can be substituted with honey)

1/4 c  Canola oil

 

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 395 deg.F
  2. Grease iron skillet with Canola cooking spray
  3. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until fully mixed. Pour mixture to the skillet.
  4. Bake for 25 mins. or until top is light golden brown.
  5. Let it cool for 10 mins. before serving.

 

Meeting David

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Our Florence, Italy Tour (06.11.13)

He was ruddy , a youth handsome to behold and making a splendid appearance. 1 Samuel 16:12

 How can you even start to describe this colossal beauty…

After one & half hours of Italo train ride from Rome to Florence & a quick bus trip from the train station, we arrived at the Galleria dell’ Accademia. Tuesday is the busiest day of the week in the museum and was not the perfect time to visit. At mid-morning, the busy line at the entrance was snaking around the building. Hiring a cheery, yellow- uniformed tour guide  was the fastest way to get in. After a brief introduction from our docent in her badly sounding mike & barely recognizable voice, we had a few stops at the unfinished statues and we arrived and met David.

And there he was. The elephant in the room at the end of the long hallway , perched on a block of stone. Towering in 17 feet. All in white Carrara marble. Gorgeous. Imposing .Unassuming. And gloriously unclothed. Posing in a stance with his brows knotted in deep thought on how to defeat Goliath.

I was in awe staring at this beautiful sight. Just wondering what were Michelangelo’s thoughts when he was carving his masterpiece. Every inch of him was flawlessly smoothed in perfection. Even the veins in his hands were perfectly bulging. The first thing you noticed were his massive right hand and slightly big head.

History reveals that it was intentionally made that way. David’s character in the bible was described as strong & intelligent who outsmarted the humongous Goliath & eventually defeated him.

The best way to admire this masterpiece is to circle it in 360 degrees. So I went around staring intently at it. His best feature for me is his behind. I wish I could stay longer to sketch his fine features like those young people slumped on the floor huddling their sketch pads.

After the two-hour tour of the  Galleria dell’ Accademia , we moved in front of the Palazzo Vecchio to see the Statue of David’s replica where the original statue used to stand. It was also made from the same white marble & the exact replica  of the original.

Choosing to see David than the Uffizi Gallery’s Birth of Venus for our first visit to Florence was a serendipitous find. We will just meet Venus on our next adventure.

 

All photos are from Google.

 

Dolce Vita : Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcakes

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I’ve been obsessed with red velvet cake. So I created this little guilty pleasure version of decadent cupcakes with a twist – added some chocolate chips inside to create a gooey bite. Also I opted to not to frost  it with any overwhelming sugary/greasy icing but just added a small dollop of whipped cream cheese icing just to hold up the heart marshmallow.

Red Velvet Chocolate Cupcake

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Ingredients:

1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet

3 large eggs

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup Canola oil

4 tbsp. Daisy Light Sour Cream

Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips

Betty Crocker Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting

Heart-shaped pink marshmallows

 Directions:

  1. Follow the baking instructions from the cake mix box –  adding the sour cream before blending all the ingredients.
  2. Make 24 regular size cupcakes or 12 large ones.
  3. Drop 5 pieces of chocolate chips on the middle of each cupcakes or 10 pieces of chips for the large ones.
  4. Bake for 350 deg. F for 20 mins.
  5. Let it completely cool (say an hour) before adding a teaspoon of cream cheese on top of each cupcake & add a marshmallow on top of the cream cheese.

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My Yellow Joys

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My Yellow Joys

 There’s something about the color yellow – sunny, cheery…it’s just such a happy color!

I’ve been planting a myriad of colors in our garden since we’ve moved in our new place six years ago

and unconsciously accumulated a variety of yellow-flowering plants.

Spring is always the best time to catch all these beauties & there’s an explosion of yellow flowers in our garden.

My all-time favorite is this yellow-bearded iris which has such a sweet faint scent.

 

Yellow Gerbera daisy- very popular!

Orange Star flower which is thriving nicely on my kitchen window.

Another popular beauty – miniature yellow rose.

Sweet smelling yellow freesia in a pot.

Beach Daisy is creeping in the front yard.