Friday, December 31, 2010

1st couponing experience in Utah. "LIKE"

I liked couponing in my area when we were in PA. I was just used to the stores, and I had my routine, I was very afaid that I would have a hard time couponing here in Utah.Today, I went to two stores and both were success, I am very happy.

Here is my shopping (saving) trip:
6 cool whip $.24 each
6 philadelphia cream cheese $.49 each
2 Haagen daz ice cream $.54 each
2 planters nuts $.75each
8 athenos hummus FREE
5 trial size Tide FREE
6 coast bar soap FREE
2 olay bodywash FREE
2 olay body lotion FREE
3 vaseline lotion FREE
3 suave shampoo FREE

I paid $6.96 for all these good stuff!! I would have to pay $63.27 without coupons. Yes, Coupon Rocks!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shopping = Spending money?? Not Always!

Yes, I'm a Black Friday shopper! Not the extreme kind would wait in line outside of a store, but I don't mind staying up or waking up earlier for shopping. Since we are moving in a few weeks, I didn't want to have extra stuff to haul, and we don't have money for it either. The shopping I did this year was the kind that would make me money. Do you want to see what I got?

I paid $23.72 for all these stuff which worth $271.52, and I have $75 worth of mail-in rebate which I will get cash in about 6 weeks.  Yes! I'm getting pay shopping!!

I know buying beauty and household products are not as exciting as buying clothes or shoes, but hey, they make me money.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Christmas Workshop

I was asked to share some Chinese holiday traditions at the Christmas Workshop today, it was quite challenging for me with the limited resource here, I also what to share some recipes that my class will be able to make at home and enjoy. The class went very well, here is one of the food I made and everyone loves it. It is so easy to make, you all should try it.

I can't wait to make these for my father-in-law, he loves cashew nut.

Cashew Cookies (腰果酥)

1½ stick Butter (soften)
¾ cup Sugar
2 cup Flour
250g Cashew Nuts
1 egg and 1 egg yolk

Soak cashew nuts in water for 5 mins, then bake in 350F Oven for 10 mins. Let it cool then grind it.
Mix butter and sugar, add egg, then add flour and cashew grind.
Make cookie dough into a long round stick, wrap it in plastic wrap then place in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Cut cookies into 1/2” thick,  Brush on egg wash, place a little piece of cashew on each cookie.
Bake at 375 for 15 min or until it’s golden.

p.s I almost double the amount of sugar from the original recipe, for those of you like little sweet, you may want to adjust to your own taste.

I also had a chance to make this cute Family Home Evening sign for only $7.50, what a deal! I bet it will cost me close to $30 for a sign like this at a store, and I have tons of fun making it. Nothing better than making crafts with whole bunch of lovely ladies and tons and tons of good food. Seriously, our R.S. is the bomb!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Couple months ago, I saw a book at the library about how couponing works and how to cut down grocery bills by75%. I didn't think it would happen to me cuz I was a really good bargain hunter already, I got curious how other mom find bargains, so I took the book home and started reading it.
Wow, it was a eye opener! I didn't know I could get grocery for FREE, and I never thought stores would  basically give away free merchandises. Well, it does require some math skills or a calculator. I just wish that I know the trick earlier, so i didn't have to spend money on things that are free.

Here is the Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition which I got for free, plus I will make couple bucks after the mail-in rebate. Haha! I know, it's cool, isn't it?

If you are interested how it works, you can just simply google "couponing", there are plenty of websites out there to teach you how.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

In love with Photography

After owning a SLR digital camera for seven years, I finally invest the time to try the manual mode and now I'm hooked. I'm not very good at it but I WILL.

Here is some of my favorites from the our recent trip.

 Niagara Falls

Palmyra Temple

Sacred Grove

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Is this bad??? Maybe.....

My name is Carmen, I have an addiction......., Lately, I can't get enough of salads, what would you call this addiction?? "saladholic"
Anyway, here is a recipe which I'm always craving.

Yum Woon Sen (Thai Spicy Glass Noodle Salad)
2 oz cellophane noodles
4 or 5 medium raw prawns, shelled, deveined
1/2 C pork, minced, cooked
Romaine lettuce, washed and drained

  • 3 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, or to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 3 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, or to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 3 Thai bird chilies or 1 serrano chili, or to taste

  • 1 clove garlic, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce

  • hand full of fried shallot (this is my secret ingredient, it will work if you don't have it, but it tastes a lot better)
    few slice of tomatoes and cucumbers (if desired)

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce

  • dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2/3 cup warm water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
    3 tablespoons sugar
    2/3 cup warm water
    1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    5 tablespoons fish sauce
    3 Thai bird chilies or 1 Serrano chili, or to taste (if you don't want like spicy, exclude it)

    Slightly marinade shrimps with salt and pepper for few minutes, then cook them.
    Soak cellophane noodles in hot water until it soften,dip them in cold water to stop cooking, drain well then chill it in the fridge.
    Make the dressing- just combine all the dressing ingredients, fix well then chill it in the fridge.
    Mix cellophane noodles, minced pork, tomatoes, cucumber and shrimp together, arrange the salad on a bed of lettuce.sprinkle fried shallot on top then serve immediately.

    Monday, June 7, 2010

    Chinese Food Rookies

    Last week, I had the privilege to help couple high school kids for their school fair, they asked me to teach them some authentic Chinese dishes. I love teaching people about making Chinese food, especially young people. Being very honestly, I had my doubt when I first met "my apprentices". They didn't know what shallot was, and couple of them are vegetarian who didn't even try most of the dish I made for them. Really, I didn't think they could pull it off.
    When I was helping them yesterday, I got to know them a little better, I'm impressed by their dedication and the decision to do the best they can. At that moment, I knew they will be just fine.
    After going to the fair today, I'm so proud of my apprentices, they really came a long way.
    Here is their final products:

    There are: Potato Chicken, Satay chicken, pot stickers, Chow Fun with Veggie. Everything tastes great, even my kids ate some. (That meant a lot!)

    Good Job David, Katie and Andrea!!! A++++ for you all!

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010

    Our CopyKat recipe - Cedar Roasted Salmon

    Doesn't it look yummy? If you like salmon and a lot of veggies, you would love this recipe. After Jeff tried this dish at Mitchell's fish market, he was determined to make it himself. I found him the recipe from the website, then he tried to make it, now he calls it his dish.
     For those who wants to try out the dish, click Here for the recipe. Let me know how you like it. If cooking is not your thing, you just have to bug Jeff a lot so he will make it for you.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Meal Plan

    For the past couple days, I have been working on a meal plan, hoping that might help us to budget better. I started writing menu which we usually eat at home, and some new recipes I want to try. Here is want I came up with so far.
    • Grilled Steak and Shrimp, Corn Bread, Green Salad
    • Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef),Spicy Pickle Cucumber and Rice
    • Hamburger, Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad, Grilled Veggies (Jeff wants to try some gourmet burger recipes)
    • Wingers' wings, Potato Skins, Blue Cheese Pear Salad
    • Lemon Caper Chicken, Sun Dried Tomato Risotto, Green Salad
    • Cedar Plank Salmon (Jeff's dish)
    • Taco with Cafe Rio Sweet Pork, Garlic Lime Rice
    • Manicotti, Garlic Bread, Green Salad
    • L& L Grilled Chicken, Poke, Stir Fry Veggie and Rice
    • Lasagna, Olive Oil Bread Rubbed with Garlic and Tomato, Oven Roasted Veggies
    • Grilled Chicken, Potato Salad, Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad
    • Honey-Citrus Glazed Cod with Grapefruit-Orange Relish, Grilled Potatoes with Spicy Tomato Mayo (New dish I'm going to try; got the recipe from Bobby Flay's Grill it Cookbook)
    • Pineapple Green Curry, Chicken Satay and Rice
    • Lamb Burgers, Oven Bake Fries, Apple Snicker Salad
    • Creamy Tomato Penne, Garlic Bread, Grilled Asparagus
    • Sweet and Sour Chicken Patties, Stir Fry Veggie, Pot sticker and Rice
    • Artichoke Chicken, Garlic Noodles (new dish), Green Salad
    • Buffalo Wings, Corn Bread, Green Salad
    • Potato Chicken, Cream Cheese Wantons, Stir Fry Veggies and Rice
    • Crane Asada Taco with Spanish Rice, Green Salad
    • BBQ Ribs, Oven Roasted Veggies, Mashed Potatoes
    • Scramble Egg with Shrimp, Char Sui Pork Chop, Stir Fry Veggies and Rice
    • Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables, Mashed Potato
    • Chipotle-Honey Glazed Chicken, Evelyn's Favorite Pasta (New dishes)
    • Chicken Quesadilla, Corn, Green Salad
    • Lettuce Wraps, Asian Roasted Chicken, Stir Fry Veggies and Rice
    • Grilled Steak, Pasta Salad, Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushroom
    • Parmesan Chicken with pasta, Blue Cheese Pear Salad, Toasted Olive Oil Bread
    • Tomato Beef, Eggplant with Garlic Sauce and Rice
    • Shrimp Alfredo, Blueberry Jello Salad, Greed Salad
    • Artichoke Spinach Penne Bake, Garlic Bread, Stir Fry Veggies
    • Mango Chicken Salad, Homemade Rolls
    • Braised Lamb Shank with veggies, Mashed Potato, Strawberry Pretzel Salad
    • Soy Sauce Chicken, Pot stickers, Stir Fry Veggies and Rice
    • Beef Stroganoff, Greed Salad
    • Kulua Pork, Poke, Grilled Veggies, Macaroni Salad
    • Spam Fried Rice, Pot Stickers and Stir Fry Veggies
    • Cream of Broccoli Soup, Homemade Rolls
    • Award Winning Chili (Jeff's recipe which he won 1st place in our ward's chili cook off) with Corn Bread
    • Yum Woon Sen, Pad Ka Prow, Red Curry with Rice (Google it if you want to know what they are)
    I often wonder what people eat for dinner, and once awhile have hard time to figure out what to cook. I hope I will give you (whoever is reading my blog) some new ideas for your meal plan. I usually don't make things that are complicated or expensive, so if you see something you like, I would love to share with you my recipes, so let me know.

    Saturday, April 17, 2010

    Frist Attempt

    When we were living in Utah, Jeff always went to his parents house when we needed strawberry jam. My mother-in-law always has homemade strawberry jam in stock. Now we are 1800 miles away, I have to do things myself.

    I never thought Jam making is such a easy task. From now on, I don't think I can buy jam from the store anymore. I tried a recipe from a blog called our best bites, it turned out pretty good, I just thought it was a little too sweet for me, I'm going to go easy on the sugar next time.

    Everyone should try to make their jam, unless you have a mother or mother-in-law who does it for you. "Homemade is much better!" as my husband always says.

    Monday, April 12, 2010

    Jamba Juice BOGO

    Yeah for Spring Time! Let's have a jamba juice to celebrate the warm weather and all the fun we can have outdoor.

    Here is a buy one get one free printable coupon for Jamba Juice.

    Enjoy your JJ!

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Cherry Blossom 2010

    We have been out there in Pennsylvania for about three months, we have already be to Washington D.C. 3 times already. Jeff and I were debating if we should go to cherry blossom since my sister wasn't in town, but we figured that we most likely won't be this close to D.C., we should just take an advantage of it. So we did, it was great!

    Sunday, March 28, 2010

    For Girls Only!

    When I was a little girl, my mom always kept my hair short and I envied all the girl with long pretty braided hair, I wished I could look like them. Now I have a little girl of mine, I'm trying to learn all different ways to do her hair. Recently I came across a blog about how fun it is doing little girl's hair, I found a few hair-dos that I love, here is one of them.

    Isn't she adorable? I love it. It's not hard to do at all, as long as your little girl would sit good for you and leave her hair alone after you make it all pretty.

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010

    Long Time No Blog!

    I can't believe my last entry was in July 2009! Well, we had a lot of thing going on around that time with the Trip to HK, selling the house, Jeff's school schedule...etc. Now, we are in PA for about two months, things are starting to settle. Let's hope that I will have more time for crafting and blogging.

    Even though I don't have much time for crafts but I can still use my creativity on dinner every night. I made crab cakes and mushroom risotto for my daughter's birthday, she didn't care for it too much (well, she is 2), but everyone else liked it. It was definitely a recipe to keep, it was very good. Here is my latest creation: