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28 July, 2013

Simple but not Plain!

I love to clash either colors or patterns or everything together. A simple rule of thumb is clashing geometric shapes in monotoned color for an effortless chic look. 

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Simple look is always effortlessly chic. 
J Crew shorts, Agnes' b silk blouse, Charlette olympia heels, Hermes 35cm Kelly, Elfi Altendorfer custom jewelry 

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Another day of monotoned look. 
Jenni Kayne silver embroidery flat, Chanel cardigan, Jill Sander humming bird tee, Chanel 08' Rodeo drive tote. 

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Valentino Red wide leg jeans, Shui Chen New York blouse, Prada 13' baroque sunnglasses, Alexander Wang Abby sandals and lots of arm candies

Enjoy simple summer outfit!
xoxo Rachel 

24 July, 2013

Lazy day cooking: Chicken Makhani ( Indian butter chicken) with peach yogurt

I was exploring my new neighborhood the other day and walked in Draeger's supermarket in Los Altos. I was happy to see a lot of food/product I used to buy them in Whole foods Market are also available in Draeger's and even more. And when I was browsing the Oriental food section, I found this prepackaged Indian butter chicken cooking sauce. Then there my creativity kicks in. As much as I love spices, but since I don't cook Indian food that much, I wouldn't want to bother preparing all the spices needed in the recipe. This prepackaged cooking sauce comes in handy and I can always add some fresh spice to jazz up the taste. And I love butternut squash, it is perfect to cook with this creamy dish. 

One more note is I did my experimental Indian butter chicken with peach yogurt!!!!  There is yogurt in the ingredients if you start from scratch. I thought it won't hurt to add more or alter the recipe to my likeness.

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Sharwood's Butter Chicken cooking sauce 

Trust me, the peach yogurt butter chicken is soooo good and the freshness and fruity taste from peach yogurt makes kids wonder: hum... hum... Mom, what exactly is that whiff of fruit scent lingering in my mouth. :)  

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Here I pour 1 jar of prepackaged butter chicken sauce after I sautee' ginger-garlic, turmeric powder, cayenne, some lemon juice with chicken.

Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken) with peach yogurt

NOTE: The chicken can be pre-marinated in lemon, salt, yogurt, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder for an hour 
  • 1 jar of Sharwood's Butter Chicken cooking sauce ( Now you really don't need rest of the ingredients just throw in chicken to sautee' before add the whole jar in. But sometimes more is more. ^O^) 
  • half of medium butternut squash (cut into cubs) 
  • 1 medium tomatoes (cut into tiny pieces) plus 1 TBSP tomatoes paste
  • half lemon juice ( to marinate your chicken with a bit lemon juice)
  • 1 cup of milk ( half cup of almond milk if you want to avoid dairy) 
  • 3 TBSP cream ( I didn't add it) 
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • some minced fresh ginger 
  • pinch of chili powder/cayenne ( more if you want it more spicy) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 tsp of garam masala or chicken masala 
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
  • salt n' pepper 
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  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Sauté butternut squash until soft n' add diced tomatoes in. Stir in lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste with milk, cream, chili powder, cumin, coriander   powder, turmeric powder and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato/ tomato sauce or paste, and cook for 1 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in peach yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and don't let the water evaporate too much. Check the consistency of the sauce. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set the gravy aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a skillet. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes and add in milk/cream/peach yogurt for another 1 min.. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon chicken masala and chili pepper. 
  3. Add sauce into the chicken and add some water if it is too thick. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.
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You can enjoy Indian butter chicken with 
some naan made on tawa, a simple vegetable pulao, brown rice or even plain rotis. 

Another day of my kind of cooking!
xoxo Rachel 

23 July, 2013

Heart friendly vegetable: Asparagus Dip!

What's better than snacking and munching on raw veggies during summer time??  I know, a yummy warm dip is a perfect alternative to get that essential fibers for your body.  

I had my yoga training in White Lotus Yoga Foundation, and the brilliant chef on site, Beatrix,  almost converted me entirely into vegetarian during the 2 weeks in Santa Barbara. The entire time she had me dig in vegan diet more and more and I must say that she is quite a master in manipulating all the spices in cooking. For me, cooking without spices is just plain, plain and plain and Beatrix cooks with the spices to a whole new level. Not only the vegan food tastes so much better, she blows your mind with millions of varieties of vegan dishes that you never thought of. After almost a month finished training, to my surprise is I never thought I would NOT need that much food nor protein as I thought I would. And that being said I am now either a pescatarian or flexitarian semi-vegetarian as most likely I still need to test to the taste while cooking for my family). But I love the transformation I saw on my body that I become leaner and toner than before. 

This asparagus dip recipe is not entirely vegan as I still add parmesan cheese (Cow) to it but I cut the amount and sub. some of it with goat milk brie and soy cheese.  

The recipe is to the great chef/artist Beatrix who inspired me so much in Vegan cooking!!! 

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This warm dip is creamy, yummy and steamy just out of the oven fresh after baked. Asparagus has a lot of nutritional values, the potassium in it can lower your blood pressure and It's also rich in soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol levels. So next time before you open that bag of fatty chips, try this warm and savory asparagus dip with some crackers instead. 

Here is the recipe:

Asparagus Dip ( with goat cheese) 

  • 3 oz. goat cheese, softened
  • (or use 1 oz. soy cheese mixed with 2 oz. goat cheese or 1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened) 
  • 14 ounces of asparagus
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1TBSP freshly chopped parsley
  • salt n' pepper (or not at all) 
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

First clean the end of the asparagus and chop off half inch. Boil the asparagus in water for 3 minutes.  After three minutes, drain the asparagus and put into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process inside.
Using a food processor put the goat cheese ( or your regular cheese) , garlic and parmesean cheese into the mixer and pulse a few times until everything is mixed.  Add salt and just a hint of pepper. Season to your taste. Then add the asparagus and pulse a few times again. You can have it creamy or chunky as you like. 
Put this mixture into oven save dish; sprinkle some more Parmesan cheese on top.
Microwave on high for 1 minute or until heated through or in the oven for 350F for 12 minutes, ( I would need 15 mins in 350F and 3 mins in 450F to give it a golden, bubbly going in the oven.) or until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the top is browned.
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Bon Appetite!!! 

xoxo Rachel 

22 July, 2013


I noticed I wear flats a lot since the beginning of this year. I had Valentino rockstuds flats, and an addition of Charlotte Olympia libra sign flats this year. Now I am digging in more flats.  One of the reasons is probably now i am keen to practice yoga which emphasizes on good body alignment and posture which made me have stronger self-awarness when selecting my shoes. Another reason is flats are more and more attractive in their designs and versatility. They are so unbelievable fashionable. Nevertheless, heels are still invincible when you want that extra attitude or that extra height. Ha~ 

Here I found a pair which is Silver, love; Embroidery, love; Flat, love; Jenni Kayne, love, love, love!!! ^O^ 

xoxo Rachel 

15 July, 2013

Prada Baroque!

Missed my girl friends so much while I was away for my yoga teacher training. Then I found this painting with glamorous women with powerful attitude the other day while shopping for furniture for our new house.  The colors are so vibrant and the additional touch ups on this printed painting makes each character so vivid and fun.  At the mean time, Prada blue tortoise baroque sunglasses came in time, they both are beyond perfect for the state of my mood right now! 

Both Prada, left Prada 2013, right Prada 2012

Life goes on and on, cherish every moment of it.  
xoxo Rachel 


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