Happy Birthday Michael!


Dear Michael,
I think a HAPPY BIRTHDAY is in order! Although I’m a little late, I couldn’t miss out on wishing you the best birthday ever, especially since I have Birthday Anxiety Syndrome (to those who don’t know what that means, don’t ask!). Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you are the best brother I could ever have and I love you! Your love, support, and happy attitude is definitely missed over here in Tianjin.

Love, Maddie

Cake Challenge: August

Remembering what a hit January’s cake was, I decided to try it again but this time with a simple chocolate cake accompanied by smooth vanilla buttercream filling.

This particular cake was a surprise Birthday dessert for our good friends, the Gohs. A couple of weeks ago, Mr. Goh emailed my Mom about joining their family for Thai food at an eclectic restaurant in downtown Tianjin to celebrate Mrs. Goh’s Birthday. Of course Mom (the courteous mother she is) felt compelled to bring something along to the dinner. So she replied asking if we could provide the B-day cake for Mrs. Goh.  Mrs. Goh has always been a very encouraging supporter of my baking passion and she herself is a queen of creative scrapbooking so I definitely wanted to bake something special for her. This cake was the result…

our family met them at the restaurant and enjoyed a lovely dinner and (an even lovelier) cake. ~Unfortunately the Gohs arrived at the restaurant before we did and seeing 11 seats at their reserved table, Mrs. Goh soon guessed who would be joining them for dinner.

In the end, I have to say my favorite part of baking cakes are the memories I hold with those I share them with.

<Cake Challenge Series: is a collection of posts which document the cakes I bake each month. More specifically, I have a goal this year to bake at least one (hopefully spectacular) layer cake each month, and photograph/post them here. I hope you enjoy this collection as much as I enjoy baking these delicious desserts!>

Other Cake Challenge Posts:


Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling: find a thorough set of instructions here.

Espresso Drizzle: find recipe in the Cake Challenge: January post.

Click on this post to see recipe for Chocolate Cake (scroll to the bottom).

As of Late…

Thought I would share a bit about what’s happening in my life this week…

– Celebrating Jessie’s “sweet 16th”  Birthday was spactacular  (view the post about it here!)

– Deciding what to do about my habit of watching TV/a movie every night… uh oh

– Just started “stumbling” on Stumble Upon – its an awesome way to discover new blogs like this, this, and this one!

– No school on Friday! I’m planning on spending my day making smoothies, taking walks, and chatting with friends.

– Inspired by this video.

– Can’t stop thinking about our trip home (to America) this summer to visit friends and family! The first thing I want to eat when I get there is Chili’s Buffalo Wings (YUM!)

– Thankful that my relatives send packages full of Easter goodies every year! I love you guys <3

– Random Question: Right now would you rather be on a beach sun bathing or in a mall shopping?

Happy Birthday Jessie!

Did you know that Jessie and Maddie are born exactly one week apart (with 2 years in between)?! The month of April is crazy with Birthday frill, delicious cakes, lovely packaged presents and rainbow colored balloons. We celebrated Jessie’s Birthday on Saturday (although her Birthday is really the 13th of April) and I enjoyed a day (of much needed rest) spending time with my adorable Birthday sisters. Suffice it to say, I satisfied my baking crave by baking every single thing possible within a span of two days.

I fried cake donuts (sweet) while Maddie cooked egg boats (savory) for Jessie Saturday morning. My advice to you, “save donut boxes!” — reuse them when you feel creative enough to make your own sweet-dough desserts!

Guess where we got the ingredients to make this delicious (literally to die for) dessert? My cousins sent them all the way from AMERICA!  Of course they do not sell chex cereal, chocolate chips, OR powdered sugar in a typical Chinese super market so this was an especially delectable (and rare!) treat for Jessie.

Smoothies for an afternoon refreshment (YUM!), nothing more to be said.

Birthday Breakfast | Crepes

Happy Birthday Maddie! This morning I got up early – well, as early as I could pull myself out of bed – to start preparations for Maddie’s Birthday breakfast. We made her favorite, crêpes! These French pancakes are delicious, especially when served with whipped cream, jam, or lemon. I scrambled around, touching up the table settings and decorations, every minute expecting Maddie to wake up and catch us unprepared. I should’ve known that Maddie never wakes up on her own accord, though. In the end the breakfast was delicious. It is suffice to say that I wasn’t able to eat another bite until two in the afternoon!

To my lovely sister: I hope you had an amazing birthday today! You daily make me smile with your cheerful attitude; today I hope that I could give you at least a piece of the surprises and fun that I enjoy when I am with you! It is a blessing to have you as my sister! <3 Jessie