First off I would like to thank everyone for your support. Your encouragement and kind words became the fuel that powered me to decide upon entering the contest. So what are the results? I entered six classes and won ribbons in all six. That translates to four second places, one third place and one honorable mention. No first place…but for a first timer entering a contest with arrangements put together in a hurry (6 in about 3 hours), second place is pretty good… at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Lol! Anyways, thanks for all of your support and encouragement everybody couldn’t have done it without you. Cheers!

Class 1860: Design of Chrysanthemum; 2nd place

Class 1863: Design of Mixed Flowers Valued Under $30; 2nd place


Class 1864: Design of Mixed Flowers Valued Over $30.00; 2nd place


Class 1868: Novelty Design Using a Container other than a Vase or Basket; honorable mention


Class 1871: Fresh Wedding Bouquet; 2nd place


Class 1874: Corsage; 3rd place


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My dearest friends and visitors…….I need your honest opinion. I'm getting cold feet. I’m pondering if I should or should not enter a floral design contest coming up really soon. I don’t consider myself to be a competitive person and…I just don’t think I have what it takes (I’ll be competing with professionals). To everyone who have seen my work…and “know” me what do you think? Should I or should I not? Do you think I can do it? I’m seriously considering not entering… The contest is this Tuesday... should I?
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Ingredients:
-1 recipe basic agar agar jelly
-1 tsp pomelo/mali flower flavoring
-5 pandan leaves
-1 can jackfruit with toddy palm seed
-phổ tai (dried seaweed)

What to Do:
Open and drain the fruit. Rinse and soak seaweed in water to hydrated; cut into thin strips. Boil pandan leaves with agar agar and water (follow recipe for basic agar agar jelly). Arrange the fruits and seaweed into mini tart moulds, add pomelo flower flavoring to agar agar and ladle the liquid into the moulds over the fruits and seaweed. Allow to set and serve cold.

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Imagine a cross between sticky rice and brown rice, this is what the texture of black sticky rice is like. It's chewy but is not mussy fully of body in every bite.

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cup black sticky rice
-1/2 cup mung beans (peeled and split)
-1/2 cup sugar
-grated coconut (as much as you like)
-4 tbs sesame seeds
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tbs sugar

What to Do:
Rinse rice and soak in water overnight. Do the same with the mung beans. Next morning, cook rice in a rice cooker as you would cook normal rice. While rice is cooking, steam the mung beans (or boil) until tender. Mash the beans and add sugar, stir fry over medium heat until thickened. Toast the sesame seeds and mix with salt and 1 tbs sugar. Serve rice as a snack with the mung bean paste, grated coconut and toasted sesame seeds.

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East meets West...in this dish I married the american porkchop with chinese sour plum to give it a tangy twist. The addition of ginger gives it a kick at every corner.

Ingredients:
-4 pork chops (approx 1 1/2 lbs)
-3 chinese sour plums (xí muội aka preserved plums)
-1 thumb size piece of ginger
-2 tbs sugar (more or less depending on plums)
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 clove garlic
-pinch 5 spice powder
-1/3 cup cooking wine or orange juice

What to Do:
Mince ginger, plum and garlic mix with sugar, salt, pepper and 5 spice. Rub seasonings on the chops and rest for at least 1/2 hour. Pan fry the chops until golden and remove onto a serving plate. Deglaze the frying pan with a little wine and reduce to make ginger plum sauce. Drizzle the sauce on the chops before serving. Serve with steamed veggies.

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Ingredients:
-1/2 lb fresh tender greenbeans
-1 tsp oil
-2 tsp soy sauce
-1 thai chili
-3 tbs mince lemongrass
-sugar and salt to taste
-toasted sesame seeds

What to Do:
Heat oil in a pan, add soy sauce, lemongrass and mince chili, add beans and about 3 tbs water. Stir fry over high heat until water evaporates, add sugar and salt to taste. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Note:
Can replace beans with fried tofu to make spicy leamongrass tofu.

***Because my vegetarian dishes are prepared with “Buddhist Laws” in mind; besides not using meats and animal products, I do not use garlic, onions, leeks, chives, or any type of alcohol. However, if your main goal is to just avoid meats, feel free to add the any of the ingredients mentioned above to spice up you dishes.***

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There are two ways to make this dish, Vietnamese style and authentic Thai style.

Ingredients:
-1 can longan
-1 can jackfruit with toddy palm seed
-1 jar of coconut jelly (nata de coco)
-1/4 cup phổ tai (dried seaweed, optional)
-1/2 cup corn (if making Thai style)
-1 tsp pomelo/mali flower flavor (if making Thai style)
-1 tsp powdered agar agar
-1 cup water or pandan juice
-pandan flavoring (if using water)
-fresh milk or cream

What to Do:
Boil together agar agar with water and pandan flavoring or pandan juice. Pour mixture into a shallow pan and allow to set before cutting into small pieces. Nuke corn in the microwave for 3 mins and cool. Rinse and soak seaweed in water, cut into thin strips. Open longan, jackfruit and toddy palmseed, can coconut jelly cans and drain 1/2 the water in each can. Finally, mix everything together and add milk or cream to taste, serve cold.

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Ingredients:
-1/2 head cauliflower
-1 carrot
-2 pieces gluten or fried tofu
-1 apple
-salt and sugar to taste

What to Do:
Cut cauliflower and carrots into bite size pieces. Boil together apple and carrots to make broth for about 15 mins. Remove apples and add cauliflower and sliced gluten or tofu boil until cauliflower is tender add salt and sugar to taste.

***Because my vegetarian dishes are prepared with “Buddhist Laws” in mind; besides not using meats and animal products, I do not use garlic, onions, leeks, chives, or any type of alcohol. However, if your main goal is to just avoid meats, feel free to add the any of the ingredients mentioned above to spice up you dishes.***



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Ingredients:
-1lb dried raw peanuts
-water
-1/2 cup sugar
-3 tbs salt

What to Do:
Wash peanuts and soak in water overnight. Next morning rinse the peanuts and boil with salt until tender (about 1/2 - 1 hour). Once tender, add the sugar and simmer for another 15-20 mins.

Note:
Only add sugar when the peanuts are tender.

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