Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chic for Cheap

Chic for Cheap

Chic for Cheap by Jessica Lee 86 featuring hair flower accessories

All these items are under $50! Fun to put price into the mix, and this would be a cute valentine's day outfit, sigh...

Had a fun weekend (though it was super frigid in Pittsburgh!). Saw the King's Speech (alright, wouldn't watch it again but inspiring nonetheless), went to see the Stephen Petronio Company perform (NYC based, modern dance with some provocative costumes, also very interesting/entertaining), then went to brunch with my cousins who were visiting town!

 Vietnamese food at the Tram's Kitchen, great Vietnamese food in Pittsburgh!

Talk about cheap! We sat in the 5th row, for $13.50 per seat. I love being a student :).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jcrew mash

Jcrew mash
Jcrew mash by Jessica Lee 86 on
Just got this pretty sweater on sale- loved the color, wanted to have some fun pairing it with imaginary things!

mellow mustard

mellow mustard
mellow mustard by Jessica Lee 86 on
2nd set.. having fun with a more autumn style! and a version of my favorite color yellow.

Crazy for Coral

Coral by Jessica Lee 86 on
Just found out about a really neat site- where you can make your own fashion spreads! Here's my first set... let procrastination run amok...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Delicious Nian Gao Recipe

Nian Gao translates to New Years Cake and is a traditional dessert enjoyed by Chinese families around the time of the Lunar New Year. 

It is traditionally made from glutinous rice flour and eaten plain, though they do make redbean version, and versions with brown sugar, essentially you can add what you like to it! Baked Nian Gao is a holiday favorite and for years I was making a really rich, not very perfect, nian gao recipe that called for sticks of butter and always ended up looking more like something that emerged from a swamp with uneven edges that ballooned out of the pan but quickly deflated into a disappointing mess. Don’t get me wrong, it was delicious, but the butter fat separated out making the top kind of golden and flaky with the actual correct nian gao texture lying beneath. My family willingly ate this debacle for years (actually they did enjoy it) but I thought this year would be time to try a completely different recipe in hopes of finding a healthier, more visually appealing version. 

Lo and behold, there is a NIANGAORECIPE.COM. Its an entire website devoted to ONE recipe, with English and Chinese translations, so I thought, must be the most legit recipe out thereI tried it and was really happy with the results! It got golden brown on the top, had a light yet sweet taste with the perfect nian gao consistency- without requiring any butter! Im definitely sticking with this recipe in the future, though I’d love to branch out and try adding things to the nian gao, like redbean, raisins, and nuts.

Our lovely poinsettia + nian gao.

Here’s the recipe (I tweaked the sugar to be 75% than what the website calls for) and my finished product!


  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1.5  cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of oil
  • 1 tsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 lb. of glutinous rice powder (usually found in any Asian grocery store)


1) Crack the eggs into the bowl.
2) Put the remaining of the ingredients into the bowl.
3) Blend the ingredients in the bowl with the electric whisk (I just did it by manual whisk) for 5 mins.
4) Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes.
5) Preheat the oven at 350°F for 2 mins.
6) Oil the cake pan along its bottom and sides.
7) Pour the mixture into the cake pan.
8) With a rubber spatula, evenly distribute the mixture.
9) Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
10) Take out the cake and let it cool for 5 minutes.
11) Use the bread knife and cut into rectangles.
12) Enjoy.

Deliciousness that can only be captured on macro setting. ahha.

Another one of my absolute FAVORITE things to do with nian gao (usually done with hard store-bought nian gao rounds for some reason it doesn’t work as well with soft baked nian gao) is to slice it into quarter inch thick pieces, dip it into a beaten egg with sugar added to it, and fry it in a pan. The nian gao softens to a deliciously chewy and sweet mess but is contained within the structure of the egg batter. I’ve loved waking up to this treat at the start of each Lunar New Year!

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ringing in 2011

2011, can’t believe you’re here! 2010 was a whirlwind of intense learning, getting introduced to life on wards, and also being a bit bolder in other areas of my life :).
Big things I’ve accomplished this year:
1.       Finished my 2nd year of medical school, consolidated all my first 2 years of learning into 7 weeks of intense studying and mental instability by taking Step 1!
2.       Eased into 3rd year clerkships with some great rotations. Completed my Medicine rotation (rite of passage I tell you!) and also my OB/GYNE rotation (was def stressed over doing well in this one).
3.       Become more social/made an effort to see different classmates and get out and enjoy different events! I’ve seen some great dance performances and musical performances this year (though I will have to say my first American opera experience was a miss).
4.       Played host to a flurry of friends who’ve made a special visit/carved out time to see me! It’s been truly wonderful to see old friends and showing off this city! 
CSK makes it to Pitt! We're at Phipps holiday gardens.

Housemates in front of our gorgeous tree! My first live one :).

Looking back at my resolutions last year (I had 5), I’ll have to say I am pretty happy with what I’ve accomplished. In perusing my old resolutions (I have records back to 2007), I tend to return to the same themes year after year, but also mix in some interesting ones every once in awhile. For instance, being green, staying fit and healthy are always a must, but at one point I had resolved to make sure I had a kick ass spring break (oh, the aspirations of a college student). It’s always fun to look back, but I have 10 resolutions this year and I very much look forward to trying to achieve them!

Onwards to 2011!