Saturday, August 15, 2020

Spaghetti Secret

Spaghetti is always among the top request dish from my daughters whenever they are home from college. This easy recipe was used to incorporate with whatever ingredients I have in the fridge.  The secret in this recipe is the oatmeal which not only mimic the taste of ground beef but also makes the sauce more creamier to taste.  The optional ingredients are only the suggested choice that will go well with the dish.  They're not only enhancing the flavor of the sauce but also provide various nutrition.  A one in all well-balanced meal is happening in this recipe.


Meatball ingredients:

1 to 2 lbs of ground beef
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp of water


1 (24 oz.) jar Ragu sauce 
1/2 Onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 TBSP sriracha
 1 TBSP Sugar
3 tbsp rolled oatmeal
1 cup sliced or quartered Bella mushrooms or any fresh mushrooms
1 package spaghetti ( I used Barilla brand, as it cooks faster)

Optional ingredients: (chopped)

2 stalks of celery
1 green bell pepper
1 tomato

1. Marinate the ground beef with oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, a tsp of water into a big bowl and mix well with your hands until evenly blended. Form the meat mixture into the shape of 1 inch balls.

2. Turn on high heat, heat the pan first until hot (when you see smoke).  Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil on the pan so the pan is coated with oil.  Heat oil until hot. Place in all the shaped meatballs.  Do not flip the meatballs right away, let them cook about a minute or until a little brown, then flip with a spatula to cook the other sides of the meatballs. Make sure it's brown enough, if not the meatballs will crumble. Scoop up the meatballs and place aside.

3.  Add and cook onions first, then garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add mushrooms and any optional ingredients and stir fry for 2 minutes.  Add in the cooked meatballs with sauce ingredients such as sriracha, sugar, and spaghetti sauce. Stir gently so meatballs do not break apart.  Sprinkle oatmeal and mix well together.  Cover and cook on high heat until boiling, turn the heat down to low or to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to make sure the bottom is not or burned.

4. While spaghetti sauce is cooking, start to prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.

When the spaghetti is done, drain the water and pour them in a covered pot to keep warm (I used my tortilla warmer container). By then, the spaghetti sauce should be done.


1. Sugar is needed whenever a tomato base is used to adjust the acidity in a dish.  Adjust to your preferred taste when the sauce is almost done.

2. Adjust the spiciness of the sauce with sriracha or any chili sauce.

3. The optional ingredients for the meal will taste delicious whether or not you decide to use them.  All ingredients and sauce can be adjusted to your preferred taste.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Pear Custard Pie

This pie has been our favorite dessert in our home for over 20-some years.  It has become my signature pie and most requested dessert during the holidays.  The light and not-too-sweet pie is best to consume while it is still warm.


1   9"Deep dish frozen pie crust
1  can of 15 oz. LITE halves pears in light syrup
2   Eggs
1/3  cup sugar
3/4  cup Heavy whipping Cream
1  TBSP milk
1  TBSP vanilla extract
1  TBSP Flour


Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.

1. Mix eggs with sugar until creamy.
2. Add in cream, milk, and extract, lightly mix well.
3. Add flour into the cream mixture and stir lightly a couple times with a fork until smooth. Do not over mix at this point.
4. Drain and discard juice from canned pears.  Cut pears into slices.
5. Use a fork to pierce some holes thru the pie crust.
6. Arrange sliced pears evenly on the pie crust and pour in the cream mixture
7. Bake at 350 F for 50 - 60 minutes.
8. Insert a wooden stick into a cooked pie. Pie is cooked when the pulled-out-stick is clear.
9.  Let the pie cool down for 20 minutes before slicing to get a clean slice. 


1. Do not over mix flour as it acts as a thickening agent. Over mixing will cause the cream mixture to become liquidy and fail to solidify into the custard.

2.  Bake immediately after pears and cream mixture is in the pie crust. A soggy pie crust bottom will result if you delay baking it right away.

3. A pint of heavy cream can make two pies.

4.  It is easier to transport and avoid spills by placing the pie on a baking sheet or cooling rack to bake in the oven.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crepes at Blossom Bee, Dublin

My daughter and I had been exploring the new city recently and found this little place in the nearby city.  The Blossom Bee is an excellent place for  crepes.  We ordered each of the savory and dessert crepes from the menu.   The crepes were made of wheat flour and the portions were big.  We also ordered an Thai milk tea to go with them.   We were so glad to come to this place because the crepes and tea were great.

Inside this savory crepe, there were smoked salmon,chunky tomatoes ,baby spinach, red onion, capers ,cream cheese with fresh dill and some pesto sauce,  A green salad on the side with a little sesame seed in the honey mustard dressing. 
We chose this sweet dessert crepe with peaches, pineapple, banana.  The fruits were carameled with brown sugar and a little cinnamon.  Sprinkle on top was this really fragranted toasted coconut.  A scoop of vanilla ice cream, whip cream and sour cream with some sliced mangos and banana. 

Both crepes were tasty and flavorful.  After checking out the ingredients, I am sure they are really simple to make at home and wll definitely try to make them soon for the family.  This is why I like to experience food at different restaurants.    We were really full and satisfied wth the  lunch.  This is one place we will definitely come again to try their other crepes from the menu.  .
Blossom Bee
7335 Village Pkwy

Dublin, CA 94568

(925) 999-9250

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Dinner At Home

For years, we have spent our Christmas dinner at friend's or relatives.  This year I decided to have our families and friends gathering at our house.  I do not have much experiences baking a turkey or making meal for a big party.  I was a little nervous but with well planning, the dinner turned out well that night.

This 13 pounds turkey was marinated with sea salt, black pepper and five spices the night before.  I massaged in some butter, soy sauce, sesame oil with some chopped thyme and rosemary an hour before I put the bird into an 350F degree oven.  Aftr three and half hour of baking, the turkey not only was fully cooked but also flavorful.

Stove top stuffing with onion, celery, and carrots.  I should have added more chicken soup to make it more moist.

Green onion baked with fried onion

Stir fry corn with onion

Vegetable Christmas Tree

By unrolling the Pillsbury pie dough, I made this apple pie for the first time, serve with vanilla ice cream. 

Our friend brought this sweet and fresh fruit basket from Edible.  I love the gingerbread man.  It actually was pineapple covered with semi sweet chocolate.

Friend also brought some appetitzers and focaccia.  The spiral ham was from Costco and everyone said it was really good.   Everyone love the way we have our dinner set up as buffet style.  I am happy to find that after all the cooking, I wasn't even tired and everyone really enjoy the party on that evening.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blackhawk Fall Course

Life has been hectic ever since we moved to San Ramon.  The Golf season started in the mid of August.  My little daughter was able to join the school girl golf team and has been busy going to practices and tournaments ever since.  I, of course, was busy taking her to different site of golf courses.  The golf season ended two weeks ago and I finally can relax and start blogging again.

The Blackhawk Fall course in Danville was the one my daughter and their team mates practiced most often at. It was the most beautiful golf course I have ever seen.  It's located inside the country club and it's not open to the public. We were fortunate to be able to get in only because of the team's practices.  The golf course itself is basically surrounding the front or backyard of the beautiful homes there. The scenic drive was just breath taken once we enter the gate of the country club.

Unfotunately, I have mistakenly deleted the folder that contains many of the photos I took in the last few months of the new area I visited.  These are a few pictures I was able to recover from my daughter.  I hope they will be practiced at the same golf course next year so that I can take more pictures to share with you all.

This is the song the coaches picked to include in the golf DVD for the team member.  It represented the team has shared their amazing supports for each other and how close they were to each other during the season.  I am grateful that the friendship from the team member has given my daughter a nice beginning in the new school and that we are all  enjoy living in the new area.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Secret of Making A Tender Pork Loin

I learned this from watching a cooking show yesterday. What prompted me to try and make it immediately was the chef 's simple way of of making a tender pork loin.   I was really excited to see it because it is hard for me to figure out how to cook to get a perfect tender pork loin.  According to the chef, the pan has to be heated on high first, then turn down to medium heat after the pork loin is added.  Then let it cooks for 2 minutes and turn over to the other side for another 2 minutes.  I didn't have pork chops at home so I tested out by slicing the pork loin I have from the refrigerator.  I am happy to say the pork was really tender and delicious.


4 pork loins
4 cloves garlic,minced
Salt and pepper
2 TSP honey


  1. Wash pork loins and pat dry with paper towel.
  2. Heat pan on high, then add oil.
  3. Place pork loin in and turn to medium heat.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top, let them cook for 2 minutes.
  5. Turn pork loin and sprinkle a little sat and pepper, now add minced garlic around the pork.
  6. Cover and cook for another 2 minutes.
  7. Brush honey on top and turn over the pork loin and brush honey on the other side.
  8. When both sides of pork turn golden brown, take them out immediately because honey browns and burns easily.

This only take 5 minutes to make. You can stop here and serve this over rice, with some soup or sauteed veggies.  The following side dishes were part of the meal that the chef made during the show.

Side dish 1 (Serve and eat with pork loin):

Mix bread crumbs with pecorino cheese and minced garlic.

Place on a dried pan and stir on low heat for few minutes until lightly brown.

Side dish 2:

Sauté garlic and add baby spinach for 2 minutes.

Place spinach on plate first, then layer pork loins on top, bread crumbs and spinach on the side for visual effect.


When pork is cooked, the flesh turns white, if you see pink, put them back in the pan,cover and cook in low heat for 1 or 2 minutes until done.

Substitute any fresh cheese you have on hand. I used fresh shredded mozzarella cheese.

Substitute any fresh vegetable you like, carrots, green beans,etc.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

San Ramon, California

It is excited to move to a new city.   San Ramon is predominantly urban and residential.   The houses are mainly built on rolling hills.  I was not used to driving on those roads in the first month but now I quite enjoy the scenery drive everyday when I have to drive down the hills for errands.  The weather here is really warm and dry.  It was still at Farenheit 90 degree at seven o'clock in the evening everyday until two days ago.  We suddenly experience a 20 degree drop due to storm and rain.   The area filled with fresh air after the rain and it is chilly today.

The city of San Ramon is well sorrounded with trails and parks. Every morning I would take different trails to explore our neighborhood.   This one here is my favorite trail to walk on now.

I enjoy the view while walking downhill on this trail

Minute across a major busy street.,  a trail leads to this unexpected beautiful scenery.  All I can hear was just the bird's chirping and the wind blowing.

This is what I came to see every morning.  Breath taking scene without hiking up the hill at all.

There are some beautiful  front porches that I must take pictures of in the adjacent townhouses.  Even though these are small front porches, but the details of the decoration just make you think what does the interior look like behind those doors.

 Love the shelf with the plant on

I like the way the Flower pots were hanging in 3- tieres.

Me-Time: Imagine sitting on this lounge chair with a book for a quiet alone time.

Cute idea: Mickey and his friends keep you company while you relax , that gives you a happy feeling.

There are more porches I like, but couldn't fit too many pictures here.  Overall, San Ramon is so beautiful and I am glad I finally get to  move here.  There will be more later to share with you with the new places I have explored.  Stay tune...