Thursday, September 01, 2011

[recipe] Coconut Peanut Chocolate Bar

- 1 1/2 cup Graham cracker cookies, finely crushed
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted 
- 1/4 cup condensed milk

- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup mini chocolate chip
- 1 1/4 cup peanut, chopped
- 1/4 cup condensed milk

- Combine all crust ingredients.
- Pressed into PAM'd 7 x 11 glass pan
- Combine all topping ingredients. Adjust to taste depending on how sweet you want your bars to be.
- Press into the pan also
- Bake 325 F for 25 min
- Let cool and then sprinkle more shredded coconut on top to make it look pretty
- Let cool completely before cutting

- Fine to use roasted and salted peanuts. Pulse in food processor until chopped
- Flaked coconut will probably work fine too - But shreded coconut looks prettier as final decoration
- 1 1/2 cup is about 18 squares of Graham crackers

Sunday, July 31, 2011

[recipe] Mini Chocolate Pies in Graham Cracker Shells

- 10 Graham Cracker, finely crushed
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted/softened

- 1/2 cup Marshmallow creme
- 1/4 cup chocolate, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Servings: Makes about 12 mini pies

- Combine all crust ingredients together, and press into mini-muffin cups with cup liners
- Bake for 8 minutes at 350F
- Some pies may puff up after baking. Press them flat again.
- Combine all filling ingredients together, and spoon into each mini shell
- Bake for 2 minutes at 350F

Serve: Warm or at room temperature
Store: At room temperature

- Can top with crushed peanuts. Shredded coconut will probably work great. 
- Don't top with powdered sugar. Will get absorbed by filling and looks bad.
- Should try adding in some additional Marshmallow creme at the very end to create marbled effect.

- Can combine ingredients in a shallow mixing bowl with just a spoon. Nice little arm workout and that 
- Recipe can be eye-balled, and crust and filling can be adjust to taste
- Regular salted butter works fine in this trial. Key is not to overmelt. If butter melted to clear then re-start with new butter
- Melt butter and chocolate in microwave. Key is to use 10 to 15 seconds at low power and stir in between as ingredients warm up and not overmelt. Total time of course depends on amount and coldness of ingredients.
- Used Honey Graham Cracker in this trial and crushed it using food processor. Very easy.

[recipe] Mini Oreo Balls

- 1 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 6 Oreo cookies, finely crushed

Servings: About 15 half-inch balls.

- Gradually combine cookies into cheese
- Shape into balls
- Freeze for 10 minutes and then roll in coating of your choice

 - Melted chocolate coating is more work, but tastes great
- Powered chocolate coating is very but not as tasty
- Can also coat with melted white chocolate
- Mint Oreo cookies would probably be awesome
- Can decorate with sprinkles, icing, nuts, mint candy pieces, lots of possibilities
- Can make bigger or smaller balls

Serve: Cold or room temperature
Store: In refrigerator

[recipe] Mini Pecan Tarts

- 4 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup flour

- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup pecan, finely crushed

Serving: 24 mini-muffin sized tarts

- Combine crust ingredients: cream cheese and butter first, then sift in the flour
- Once the dough is formed, cover in plastic-wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour
- While dough is chilling, prepare filling by combining all ingredients: Beat egg and vanilla together slightly, and then combine in all sugar, and then add in pecan. Adjust to taste as needed.
- To assemble pies, spray mini-muffin pan with non-stick spray. Divide dough into 24 balls. Press each ball flat into 3-inch circles, and push into each mini-muffin cup (no liner). Then spoon filling into each cup. Filling will expand so fill just below full.
- Bake 25 min at 350F or until golden brown
- Cool on wired rack

Serve: Warm or room temperature
Store: Cold or Room temperature

- Can decorate with powdered sugar, or drizzled melted chocolate
- Probably also great with cool whip or ice cream
- Also works great with graham cracker crust
- Original recipe called for packed brown sugar, but since I ran out I added in granulated cane sugar, and it was just fine
- Add freshly ground nutmeg to the filling for a little extra kick

- To combine ingredients, can just use spoon in mixing bowls
- Salted butter was fine. Took butter from fridge and just slices into thin pieces to make it easy to combine.
- Leave cream cheese at room temperature for 15 min to make it easier to combine.
- To flatten dough, it's fastest to just press dough flat in your palm. No need to form exact circles. 
- I toasted the pecans before I crushed it. Not sure if that helped but certainly didn't hurt.

Monday, April 19, 2010

[outing] Temecula - Day 2

2010.04.17 - Temecula
Who: Day 1 Group + Ray, Linda

- Sitting in the back of the trunk
- Captain Dan
- The infamous glass floor at Monte de Oro
- "Really? I had the halibut and scallops last night?"
- "Really? We talked about going to Dublin in May?"
- 3 bottles of Champagne on the balloon
- Posing with the balloon burner
- "I thought maybe she was pregnant?"
- "I didn't throw up!"
- 85C bakery's mochi egg custard tarts
- Sleeping for 12 hours
Posted by Picasa

[outing] Temecula - Day 1

2010.04.16 - Temecula
Where: Churon Winery, Temecula CA
Who: Alan, Maureen, James, Becca, Us

- Denied a Double Down at KFC
- Free fries at Jack in the Box
- Churon's 2005 Golden Nectar
- Becca: "These tin roof things decapitated an old lady in the last typhoon"
- Fighting with the 4 ladies for taxi
- Waiting forever at South Coast for taxi back
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, April 03, 2010

[outing] First Friday in Venice

2010.04.02 - First Friday Venice
Who: Jessica, Steve, Melissa, Alan, Maureen, Us

- The Otheroom
- India Jones (and the dog who wanted pierre's dinner)
- World Cafe
- Gallery Bar (and the round of patron)
- Hal's Bar and Grill
- Liquor Store (Twice)
- Nom Nom
- Buttermilk
- Grilled Cheese (and the double cheese sandwiche that we were eating for days after)
- Jess's Place
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 01, 2010

[recipe] Pureed Carrot Soup


Fun with blender tonight.

- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 lb baby carrots
- 4 cups chicken stock (a standard-sized box)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon of spices. Some combination of curry, cumin, chili powder would work
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar (or other acids like lemon juice)

-- ---------------------------------
- Sautee all chopped vegetables in oil and butter. About 5 min
- Add chicken stock, milk, spices. Cook for about 20 min or until carrot is tender.
- Blend the veggies and stock in a couple of batches until smooth
- Transfer back to pot and stir in red wine vinegar and more spices to taste
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 21, 2009

[recipe] Enoki mushroom sauteed

Just made this:

- Enoki mushrooms, sauteed with
- Salted butter
- Togarashi
- Hawaiian coarse salt

Friday, November 20, 2009

[trip] Cabo San Lucas

Thursday 11.12
- All nighter before the trip
- Smith's blue popsicle
- VIP lounge!
- Cocktail of the day: Sea of Love
- "Either I'm drunk or this is damn good rib eye"
- "Room service? Yes please bring me a dozen coronas"

Friday 11.13
- Eggs, bacon, sausage, more eggs
- Dirty Banana
- Endless mahi mahi cerviche
- "Another three orders or sashimi flowers please"
- Behold the amazing power of the portable DVD player

Saturday 11.14
- What's Day Glo?
- Fruity Graham = Honeydew, Mint, Rum, Ice, Blended
- Having the nice italian restaurant all to ourselves
- International Dance night: If we go up there we have to do a shot every 10 minutes

Sunday 11.15
- Pirates Night!
- "Honey I just lost my dinner"
- "Halo Seniorita. Please do not leave candles lit in your room. It is a fire hazard"
- "I guess this is yes?" "I guess so!"

Monday 11.16
- "May I offer you moral compensation?"

Monday, October 26, 2009

[trip] New York City

Thursday 10/22
- Argh! Last and only name on the upgrade list!

Friday 10/23
- All day conference calls ...
- Chocolate and Wine bar
- Ippudo
- 3 hours wait? There's better be unicorn coming out of these ramen bowls
- Crazy amazing pork buns
- Sizzling rice
- Happy birthday Waney
- Momofuku Milk bar. Cornflake marshmallow chocolate chip cookies (And pierre thought I was crazy for trying to bake with cornflake)
- "Wait I thought you know you said you know how to play big2"

Saturday 10/24
- Chelsea Market
- Lobster rolls and string quartet
- Highline
- Hogs and Heifers
- "If you want to disappear into the couch, remember to wear this shirt"
- Mandoo Bar. Mini boiled mandoos definitely the way to go
- Mad for Chicken genius cheese ramen
- Hun, do you have my camera?
- Hun, focus! walk!

Sunday 10/26
- Who's not so chirpy today ...
- Argh! Last and only name on the upgrade list! Again!
- Business class ice cream sundae and chocolate chip cookie

Sunday, October 11, 2009

[util] Install Foxit Reader Plugin for Google Chrome Browser

Adobe Reader must have paid a great deal of money to be so in bed with Google Chrome. Fixed that today by manually installing the Foxit Reader plugin into Chrome, so that you can read PDF files inside Chrome tab using Foxit.

1. Chrome Plugins folder -- Go to where your Chrome is installed (you can right click on the chrome shortcut to find out), but typically it's C:\Documents and Settings\[USER]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\ -- Make sure you have a subdirectory called "Plugins". If that's not there, create it.

2. Foxit Reader Plugin --- Make sure you have Foxit Reader 3.1 or higher installed, and also the Plugin installed -- Do this by going to "Help" ... "Check for Updates Now". If you see "Reader" or "Service Module .. Plugin" -- Select those to update.

3. Copy npFoxitReaderPlugin.dll "C:\Program Files\Foxit Software\Foxit Reader\plugins\" to "C:\Documents and Settings\[USER]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\Plugins"

4. From the command prompt, run
regsvr32 "C:\Program Files\Foxit Software\Foxit Reader\plugins\FoxitReaderOCX.ocx"
with admin rights.

5. Re-start Chrome and try to read an online PDF file

6. Uninstall Adobe Reader, and reclaim 200MB+. Your computer will thank you.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

[util] Tab Switching Keyboard Shortcuts

The Acer Netbook doesn't have trackpoint, so these are my new favorite keyword shortcuts to switch between worksheets and tabs:

Excel -- Ctrl+PageDown / Ctrl+PageUp

Web Browser (Internet Explorer / FireFox / Chrome / Opera) -- Ctrl+PageDown / Ctrl+PageUp OR Ctrl+Tab / Ctrl+Shift+Tab

Saturday, September 05, 2009

[code] User Agent / Browser Simulator in Ruby

Totally forgot that I wrote this early last year -- Test / simulate header response, redirect, and other behavior with user agent for various browsers, crawlers, and robots.

require 'httpclient'
require 'uri'
require 'net/smtp'

# Pick your user agent
targetUserAgent = 'Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows+NT 5.1)'
#targetUserAgent = 'Googlebot/2.1+(+'
#targetUserAgent = 'Mozilla/5.0+(compatible;+Yahoo!+Slurp;+'
#targetUserAgent = 'msnbot/1.0+(+'

# Pick your URL
targetURL = ''

  client =, targetUserAgent, "")
  response = client.head(URI.parse(targetURL))
  # Print the entire header message
  print "\n===== HEADER =====\n"
  print response.dump 
  # Print some summary
  print "===== SUMMARY =====\n"
  print "URL = #{targetURL}\n"
  print "UserAgent = #{targetUserAgent}\n"
  print "Response Code = #{response.header.response_status_code} \n"

  print "Failed to connect to the page\n"


Sunday, August 30, 2009

[outing] Bottega Louie and Seven Grand

Where: Bottega Louie and Seven Grand
When: Friday 2009 Sep 28th
Who: Ray, Linda, Lisa, David, Nancy, Leonard, Fannie, us

- Level One vodka over a singular big rock. Alton Brown would be pleased.
- Can you please bring the chairs ...
- You waited for an hour and a half? two free pizzas on the house
- Everyone ate the pizza margherita. All pizza bianco for me.
- Burrata. 'nuff said
- Didn't know pork chop can taste this good
- Portabella mushroom fries!
- "Just one nightcap"
- The wall of Makers Mark

Saturday, August 22, 2009

[web] Twitter

Google Alert now finding references to the "type upside down" page in twitter, like this one:

Google appears to be crawling the RSS feed (, since URL of individual status does not appear on a user's homepage.

Twitter is a growing SEO factor

Monday, July 13, 2009

[code] How to encode URL in Excel

1. (from your worksheet) Tools ... Macros ... Visual Basic Editor
2. (from VB Editor) Insert ... Module
3. (in module window) Paste in the URLEncode function below and save
4. Close VB Editor to return to worksheet, and use URLEncode like any other formulas. For example =URLEncode(B1)

Function URLEncode(ByVal Text As String) As String
Dim i As Integer
Dim acode As Integer
Dim char As String
URLEncode = Text
For i = Len(URLEncode) To 1 Step -1
acode = Asc(Mid$(URLEncode, i, 1))
Select Case acode
Case 48 To 57, 65 To 90, 97 To 122
' don't touch alphanumeric chars
Case 32
' replace space with "+"
Mid$(URLEncode, i, 1) = "+"
Case Else
' replace punctuation chars with "%hex"
URLEncode = Left$(URLEncode, i-1) & "%" & Hex$(acode) & Mid$(URLEncode, i+1)
End Select
End Function