i recently discovered a food blog called the woks of life, and fell in love! i want to make everything, everything. all of the yummy dim sum things. things i might previously have imagined to be impossible, but the recipes are refreshingly manageable.

too late for the lunar new year, unfortunately.

i decided the bbq pork buns (cha siu bao) would be first. i started with the recipe for chinese bbq pork (cha siu), which is so tasty we've just been snacking on the leftovers in the fridge non-stop.

the bread dough was something amazing. i used to make bread now and then, and then i lost the touch somehow and made bricks for a while until i gave up. then i discovered the new york times no-knead bread that everyone went crazy for a few years back, and had success with that, and started tiptoe-ing into the world of yeast again, mainly with our weekly pizza nights.

but this dough is something else, you start by making "tangzhong," which is something like a roux, and adding that to the flour along with the other wet ingredients. it also required 15+ minutes of kneading - making me realize just how out of shape i am! apparently getting zero exercise can interfere with baking, who knew.

the really tricky bit is forming the buns so that no filling escapes.

i pulled four points to the centre and sealed the edges...

... and then folded them in to the middle to make the buns nice and round.

will have to work on my technique - i did end up with a number of leaks, sadly!

but they still looked gorgeous and tasted amazing.

that said i do have a bit of an upset tummy today after three buns for dinner... and two for breakfast... and one for lunch...


long time no post!

can't believe it has been two months! whoops. time flies. there have been xmas dinners and pastries and ice cream cakes and a ninja pinata.

but what's got me finally around to posting again is the most arduous project i think i've ever done. i started it in 2010. i continued working in 2011 and 2012. i left it alone for months or years. but finally - the spring dreams dress is done!

the lacework is frost flowers - there are a few repeats at the hem, one at the sleeves, and a sort of triangular insert at the keyhole neckline. the i-cord bind-off keyhole tie neckline is kind of my favourite i think - feminine but still polished-looking. i did an i-cord drawstring belt thingy too, to try to discourage sagging and dragging. hope it works!

this was my inspiration - a dress pattern from the 1930s. kind of wish i'd made the sleeves a little poofier - but i was afraid they'd be too poofy!