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My aunt sent my mother a recipe for Sour Cream Coffee Cake, which was adapted from a recipe she found printed on a package of King Arthur Flour.

I decided to make two sour cream coffee cakes- one for my family and one for my friends for New Year’s Eve so I doubled the ingredients.

This recipe is for 1 cake (9 inch pan). Serving size is 12. The only thing I did differently was whisk the batter on my own without an electric mixer and use a regular aluminum 9 inch pan rather than a springform pan. It came out great nevertheless.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 1/2 cup for topping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Make the topping: In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and walnuts; set aside.
  2. Make the cake: Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, sugar, and eggs until smooth. Add the flour mixture alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle with half of the topping. Repeat with the remaining batter and topping.
  5. Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, then remove sides of pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve topping side up.

I cannot believe that I turned 24 this past weekend. Where did all these years ago?

John took me out to eat at Mantra, an Indian restaurant located in Paramus, New Jersey. Food was great!! We started off with the shrimp appetizer and samosas (fried pastry shell which consists of various fillings such as potatoes, onions, peas, meat, etc). John ordered the spicy lamb (the most spicy dish on the menu) while I ordered the tandoori mixed grill (chicken, lamb, sausage, and shrimp). Tandoori is definitely a taste that I am not used to. Very exotic to me!

Then John surprised me with a small cake with assorted fruits, from Tous Les Jours, a Korean bakery. They tasted exactly the same as Chinese birthday cakes- very spongy with soft frosting. What’s great about these cakes is that the frosting is not as sweet as American cakes. It’s very fluffy like whipped cream. Thanks John! ­čÖé

The next day, my parents wanted to take me out to eat for my birthday. So we decided to go to Dai Wah Yummy City, located in Brooklyn. We ordered: mixed vegetables with chicken, lobster, sizzling chicken, bok choy, and fried fish with string beans. This is also a great Chinese restaurant. And their lobster wasn’t scrawny at all.

Got to eat lots and felt extremely gluttonous over the weekend. ­čÖé

 

Mantra Restaurant
275 New Jersey 4
Paramus, NJ 07652
(201) 342-8868

Dai Wah Yummy City
7218 18th Avenue NY
11204-5632
(718) 837-8818

Every now and then, my mother makes this really delicious and soft steamed cake (but in this case, cupcakes). It is very similar to the sponge cake and consists of very basic ingredients such as sugar, flour, and eggs. You would also need an electric mixer. You can find the recipe here. Even though it looks plain, it tastes sweet and it would be unnecessary to add anything.

I had these rice cakes my mom bought from the Korean supermarket. Various rice cakes all made from different whole ingredients such as rice, different green herbs, pumpkin, pine nuts, black sesame seeds, brown rice, peanuts, etc. I can not really go into specifics here because I do not know myself. Bear with me and enjoy these pictures.

After trying out a slice of almond cake from Ikea the other day, I figured that if I bought a regular box from Ikea and eat it at home it would taste exactly the same. Boy was I wrong! It was extremely dry although you have the option of heating it up. The cake in the box was enough to serve 4 people.

I highly recommend eating a slice from Ikea’s restaurant rather than purchasing it from a box. It looks exactly the same but the taste is rather bland and not as creamy as I thought it would be.

1 Beard St
(between Halleck St & Otsego St)
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Cindy and I were walking around Soho and came across this little cart called cupcake lovers with a┬áconspicuous┬áman standing inside selling mini cupcakes. Located on broadway (but don’t know for how long) we decided to try four of the flavors. Although I really wanted to try the nutella mint, unfortunately they ran out of all of these (must be the best!).

The four flavors you see starting from the top left corner going counter-clockwise are strawberry, mint chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet. Cute little things but the taste was nothing special.  Personally for me, the plain jane vanilla was the best.