Gonna try soonest! 🙂

Ashley's Homemade Adventures

I have tried so many recipes for homemade shampoo. I am going to share a little bit of my experiences with you, then let you in on my shampoo recipe. This is probably going to be a pretty long post, but please bear with me… you will learn a lot I promise 🙂 After reading about the chemicals in store-bought shampoo I was determined to find an alternative.

When I first started researching going “poo free” as they call it. I heard about using baking soda and vinegar. I wasn’t quite ready to make that dramatic of a switch, so I started off with Crunchy Betty’s “Sorta Poo”  (I love her blog btw!) Now I absolutely LOVED how this stuff made my hair look and smell. It was heavenly! It is made with castile soap and coconut milk. There were 2 downsides though…. One my hair felt like it had…

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Drunken Sweet Tofu


Healthy yummy tofu cooked without any oil needed.

Very simple to make, yet very tasty like Chinese resto menu, my family said.

Drunken Sweet Tofu


  • 1 cup Kikkoman soya sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 Tbsp angciu (red Chinese cooking wine)
  • 1/2 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 pcs (small) rock sugar
  • 3 dashes of pepper
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled, crushed
  • 9 pcs tofu, sliced in half


  1. Marinate the tofu for for 5 mins.
  2. Cook over low heat for about 20 mins.
  3. Cover with lid to minimize evaporation.
  4. Turn the tofu over gently with spatula.
  5. Wait until the sauce become caramelized.
  6. Serve hot.


Homemade Corned Beef

One of my resolutions for this year is avoiding preservatives and unnecessary additives in our home consumption.

And it brings me to search for homemade version one of our favorite canned food.

Corned Beef.

Searched here, here and here introduced me to several wonderful home cooks and also new vocabularies, like:

brine; brining,

红曲米/ angkak / fermented red yeast rice for red food coloring (no chemical involved)IMG07823-20130117-1237

Finally, I came up with my own version after reading all those resourceful links.

Here’s how I cooked our homemade corned beef.


  • 1/2 kg beef (silverside or leg) – depending on your choice* ( I used leg part for this recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seed, grind
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp red fermented rice ( 红曲米) for coloring, grind
  • 2 Tbsp coriander, grind
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 Tbsp white rice vinegar
  • a dab of unsalted butter


  1. Mix all the ingredients and put in the pressure cooker on low heat for 30 mins.
  2. Turn off the stove afterwards, let it sit on the stove for another 30 mins with the lid still closed.
  3. Sauteed a dab of unsalted butter on a frying pan, put the corned beef also the sauce, and add some sea salt to taste.
  4. Turn the meat upside down for a while until the sauce thicken.
  5. The corned beef is ready to serve.


* silverside meat tend to have meaty texture, otherwise leg part will make chewy, jelly-like corned.

Chrysanthemum Tea


Chrysanthemum Tea is made of dried chrysanthemum flower petals and boiling hot water.

Also known as Anthemis grandiflorum or Anthemis stipulacea.

The dried petals, below:

Dried Chrysanthemum Flower Petals

Here’s what they looked like after simmered in the boiling water.


After soaking in boiling water


The water will get yellowish after a minute or two.

Just brewed it about 5-10 minutes, it will get bitter when soaked for too long.

It has mild fragance. Love how such tiny dried flower petals could have lots of medicinal uses.

You could read several of  the healing properties here , here or here.
My Brewing Pot

For our family, this tea is served best when catching cough or flu.

We sip it while it’s still hot and it relieves the stuffy nose and warm the body.

Sometimes I added some honey or rock sugar if needed.

But most of the time we just had it plain, enjoying the sweet, mild fragrant of its originality.

Wow! Egg shell for lessening the bitterness? Never heard if it. TFS!

Food Through the Pages

“How do you brew klava?”

“You don’t know?”

She smiled. “I can serve it with the best, but I’ve never needed to learn how to brew it.”

“You press coffee through a filter made of eggshells and wood chips with vanilla bean, then reheat it so it almost boils, then you pass it through a cloth to remove any oils brought out by the reheating.”

-Issola, by Steven Brust


Not being an every day coffee drinker, I tend to think Turkish coffee is already superior to the average cup of morning joe. But put through this process, it transcends the bounds of ordinary beverages, and becomes something near ethereal. Each of the different flavors is discernible, from the earthiness of the woodchips to the sweet subtlety of the vanilla bean. The cream thickens the already dense coffee into a silky, decadent drink.

Fun Fact? The eggshells help decrease the bitterness of the coffee. See?…

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