Monthly Archives: February 2012

Delish Dumplings

Sunday night my sis, J and I had a little dumpling making party.  Growing up our mom cooked for our family every night.  She’s amazing and sadly I didn’t learn that much from her while I lived at home so now we’re trying out her recipes.  We got our mom’s Pork Dumplings recipe and scoured the internet for “the best Chinese dumpling recipes.”  Recipes and more info are below…

If you’re interested you too can have your own little dumpling making party.  After picking a day/night and inviting your closest friends…

1.   Select 5 dumpling recipes.
2.  Create a shopping list.
3.  Go out to the Asian market with your friends – it’s a little adventure.
4.  Bring everything home and start chopping!  That’s what takes the longest.
5.  Make all the fillings first before assembling your dumplings.
6.  Put the wrappers in the center of the table, lay out plates for everyone to put their dumplings on and start filling with your friends.  Everyone can make their own or each of you can make a combo of fillings.
7.  Make sure to keep a moist paper towel on top of your dumplings to keep them from drying out.
8.  When ready drop them in large pots of boiling water.  Watch them and wait for them to float.
9.  Enjoy and eat!

Holly’s Pork Dumplings


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 5 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 3 tbsp Shaohsing cooking wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ c. Bok Choy, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 packet dumpling wrappers

1. Mix together pork, spring onions, ginger, cooking wine, salt, soy sauce, vinegar.

2. Prepare Bok Choy separately by adding salt. Let stand for 10 minutes and squeeze the water out.

3. Mix meat and vegetables together and add cornstarch.

4. Wrap meat in dumpling wrappers. Use water to seal. Place damp paper towels over finished dumplings to keep moist.

5. Place dumplings in boiling water. Boil dumplings for approximately 5 minutes.  When they float, they’re done!

Pork Dumplings from  These were really moist but come in 2nd to my mom’s recipe.

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings from the blog Use Real Butter.  Nice combo of flavors.  She also has some amazing food shots on her blog.

Three Mushroom Dumplings from Helen Pang author of World Foodie Guide.


NYT: Big Pictures for a Big City

This weekend’s New York Times has a great article on Jeff Liao, a photographer who takes urban panoramas.  His photos capture light and details that can’t be captured in a single exposure.  Sometimes he takes “a couple of hundred” frames of scenes like Times Square where only a sliver of pedestrians are in sharp focus, while the backgrounds goes soft.  Check out his photo gallery online in full screen.  They’re pretty amazing.  Some of my favorites are below.

Flatiron Building

Coney Island

Times Square

DIY: Galaxy Nails

I’m loving this new trend of funky nails.  Today I tried the “galaxy nail” manicure.  It’s actually pretty simple.  There are a ton of DIY tutorials out there.  Here are some that I found that were incredibly helpful.  The secret, BTW, is to use sponges to get that “galaxy” effect.

Tutorial via Burgundy Girls

Tutorial via A Cup of Jo

Tutorial via Beautylish


Panera’s Three Cheese Bread

Finally! Panera Bread is in Manhattan. It’s stuck in the North Chelsea/Penn Station neighborhood. Though not an ideal locale, I visited it today and got one of my favorites, a Three Cheese Loaf. I haven’t had one in years and damn was it tasty. It reminds me how I would gain 5 pounds every time we opened a new bakery-cafe 🙂 They have the recipe on their website.

Image from Lefty Photo Blog

Three Cheese Bread

1 cup (8.375 ounces) warm water (95-105° F)
2 teaspoons (0.25 ounces) fresh yeast
1 cup (4.875 ounces) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (5.75 ounces) warm water (95-105° F)
3 tablespoons (2 ounces) honey
4 teaspoons (0.5 ounces) fresh yeast
1/4 cup plus one teaspoon (2 ounces) vegetable shortening
4 3/4 cups (23 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (0.5 ounces) salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) 1/2-inch cubes Romano cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) 1/2-inch cubes Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) 1/2-inch cubes Asiago cheese
starter (recipe follows)

To create the starter, combine the water and yeast in a medium mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve the yeast fully. Add the flour to the bowl and stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Cover with a cloth and ferment the starter at room temperature for 30 minutes.

For the dough, combine the water, honey and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to dissolve the yeast fully. Add the shortening, flour, salt, cheeses and fermented starter. Mix on low speed until the dough is fully developed. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces weighing about 22 ounces each. Set aside any remaining dough and freeze for future use. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball. Place the dough on the counter or in a proofing basket and cover with a warm, damp cloth to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Form the dough into loaves, cover with a warm, damp cloth and proof at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Score the loaves with a sharp knife, spray with water and bake for 30 minutes, or until the crusts are a deep golden brown and the middle of the loaves is 190-200° F.

Remove the bread from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes. If the bread was baked in loaf pans, remove the bread from the pans before cooling.

makes 2 loaves

From The Panera Bread Cookbook: Breadmaking Essentials and Recipes from America’s Favorite Bakery-Cafe by the Panera Bread Team. Recipes by Ward Bradshaw and Joel Cammett. Copyright © 2004 by Panera Bread.

Hair Bows for Girls

These hair bows are adorable for that little girl in your life.  No one else in her class will have the same design.

Choose your favorite Disney princess from ThoseBows. I’m choosing Snow White.

Poppy the octopus from KutieKlipz.

Hot pink ballerina slippers from Kutie Klipz.