Posts filed under ‘food’

Birthday party

From the left: coconut macaroons, pecan blondies (you can see some on the edge, also there’s a peak of rainbow cookies next to the papaya), balsamic portabello mushroom and onion sandwiches, tomato basil mozzarella  sandwiches with a little caramelized onion, and papaya dressed with honey and lemon.

Cupcakes from http://www.dessertclubchikalicious.com/ , black and white (taste like a really upscale devil dog or ho-ho), caramel with caramel frosting and filling, and s’mores with the browned marshmallow top and chocolate filling.

Seafood salad, and pita chips. The hummus, carrots, and olives were out of frame.

Seafood salad

  • 1 lb squid bodies/rings (or scallops)
  • 1 lb shrimp (the smaller kind)
  • 1 large english cucumber
  • 2 lbs tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 4 or 5 lemons juiced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cut up shrimp and squid to bite size. Remove the seeds of the cucumber and cut into a large dice, roughly the same size as the seafood.  Dice the tomatoes and slice the onion thinly. Half then seed the jalapeño, thinly slice or dice finely. Tear up the basil and put everything in a large bowl (except the seafood). Peel and mince the garlic. Heat a large pan/pot with enough olive oil to coat pan, add half the garlic in then all the seafood (throw in a dash of salt). Cook till shrimp changes color and the squid is just done (there will probably be a lot liquid left in the pan which I keep). Pour the seafood (and liquid) into the bowl with everything else. Add in the rest of the garlic, the lemon zest and juice, toss together, then salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours (I made it the night before). Mix it a bit before serving.

Thanks to everyone for coming and making it really fun.

<3 Lina

May 17, 2010 at 1:09 am 3 comments

Nearly instant ramen

Not quite instant ramen, but the best ramen I’ve ever made at home. The noodles are fresh not freeze dried, and the soup packet is liquid. The noodles are colored with vitamin B so the cooking liquid turns very bright yellow, but I prefer that to traditional food coloring. It also comes in pork and miso flavors, none of the soup packets are vegetarian.

The noodles cook in 2 1/2 mins (then drain, the soup cooks separately). It has that nice chewiness that you can’t get from instant and the soup is not overly salty while still very flavorful. I added scallions, egg, and nori  (you can also throw in some leftovers). I hope the store will keep stocking these, I’m going to be hoarding them.

-Lina

May 4, 2010 at 3:50 pm 2 comments

Japanese Kit Kats

Japanese Kit Kats come in a number of flavors and change seasonally. All I manage to find at my local Japanese market were Royal Milk Tea and Milk Coffee. I don’t usually like coffee flavored things but this was still pleasant enough. Far as I can tell they are both coated with the same white chocolate and the filling in the wafers are different (but from photos I’ve seen online, the chocolate coating varies from flavor to flavor). I really liked the milk tea, it’s not a common flavor in American candies.

http://www.jbox.com/SEARCHES/japan_kit_kat/ carries some different flavors.

The servings are small, the packaging, and price are a bit much for so little, but it is tasty and nicely designed.

There are two bags in each box.

-Lina

April 29, 2010 at 5:26 pm Leave a comment

Food for thought…

I know Chinese New Year passed AGES ago, but it struck me recently that not many of us actually know WHY we eat what we eat on CNY.

Are we aware of the significance behind each dish and ingredient?

Do we know the recipes and methods involved with our favourite CNY treats?

If we, the current generation, don’t bother to take an active interest in something as simple as a family recipe (which is really a heritage and cultural heirloom) who is to say that our kids or grandkids will be able to partake of it and enjoy it like we did?

An example in point is my grandma’s braised duck. Everyone loved it and now we are reduced to missing it because no one bothered learning it from her while she was still around. My aunts always agree that some essential, key even, part is missing when attempting to recreate grandma’s braised duck.

Are we all going to eat out on CNY dinner come 2020?

- Sam Png

March 22, 2010 at 7:32 am 1 comment

peanut butter brownies

I saw a few commercials for Reese’s peanut butter cups and it got me craving chocolate and peanut butter.

I kind of eyeballed it with a few things; the chocolate was leftover from 2 open bags I had; the can of condensed milk was also opened and partially used and I just added the peanut butter to my taste in the melting mixture. I always disagree about with people who say baking is an exact science. While certain things like flour and leavening ratios should always be kept in mind, once you made something enough times you should be able to play with it to see what happens. Baking is not so precise that you would be always in danger of messing up.

Peanut butter brownies

  • 10oz chocolate chips
  • 12oz condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter/shortening)
  • 2/3 cup smooth peanut butter (add more for a stronger taste)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 335°F. Melt chocolate, coconut oil(or butter or shortening), condensed milk, and peanut butter thoroughly in (a heatproof)mixing bowl over slow simmering pot of water. Take off heat, mix in eggs and sugar, then dry ingredients. Grease and fill square(8×8″ or 9″x9″?) baking pan, bake for 30-35mins (I was using a heaving glass baking pan) till center just sets.

-Lina

February 27, 2010 at 9:51 pm 5 comments

choco chunk macadamia nut cookies

I have two nephews, cute as can be, who are brothers; Damian & Dominic. One day Grandma asked if they wanted macadamia nut cookies, which sounds like you’re saying macaDamian nut. Dominic then said,”No Grandma…I want macaDominic cookies.” So here is a cookie, just for Dominic. Instead of using the traditional white chocolate with macadamia nuts, I’ve used dark chocolate. I based the recipe off a recipe I found on the brown eyed bakers blog.

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 c. butter melted (make sure it is cooled before using)
  • 1 c. packed dark brown sugar (you can use light, but I thought they tasted much better with the dark)
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 c. dark chocolate chunks

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In one mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt
  • In another bowl, mix together (by hand or using an electric mixer) the dark brown sugar, the granulated sugar, and the melted butter until fluffy
  • Once combined, add the eggs and the vanilla and continue mixing
  • Add flour mixture and mix. Add macadamia nuts and chocolate chunks and mix.
  • Scoop approximately 2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Place on baking sheet. Flatten them slightly
  • Bake time: 12-15 minutes depending on your oven
  • Makes about 20 cookies. =)

At first I was scared, because I thought the dough was too big, but it worked out just fine. ^_^ I’m so used to making mini cookies. They turned out really good though. I was quite pleased, as were my friends and family. My goal is to bake as much as I want and make everyone else tubby while I try to shed all the pounds. heh.

I’ve really baked alot lately. I haven’t been taking pictures, nor have I been blogging about them. Shame on me really, but tax season is not kind to accountants. =(  Til next time!

- chelle

February 16, 2010 at 6:49 am 3 comments

Apple muffins, sweet and tart

These muffins are super tasty; I can’t really explain how good they are. It’s important to use a tart apple to get a proper balance between sweet and tart.

Apple muffins

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large tart apple (cored and diced)
  • 1 tbsp flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream sugar and coconut oil(or butter), add eggs and yogurt, then almond extract and cinnamon. Add in dry ingredients, mix till mostly smooth.  Remove core and dice the apple(peeling optional), then coat the pieces with a tablespoon of flour before adding into batter. Fill evenly into lined muffin tin. Bake for 25-30mins, till top is golden brown.

-L

February 9, 2010 at 6:19 am 5 comments

lovely fudgy brownies

This is my new favorite brownie recipe, I came up with it while trying to use up some cans of condensed milk. It has a shiny crispy skin on top and dark moist center, and can be thrown together rather fast. Melting and mixing can be done in one bowl; so there’s less to clean up.

Fudgy Brownies

  • 12oz chocolate chips
  • 14oz can condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or butter or shortening)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • oil for pan

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt chocolate, coconut oil(or butter or shortening) thoroughly in (a heatproof)mixing bowl over slow simmering pot of water. Take off heat, mix in condensed milk first, then eggs, and vanilla. Add rest of ingredients, mix till smooth (use an electric mixer or do it in a stand mixer bowl to begin with). Pour batter into an oiled 12x16in baking dish, spread evenly. Bake for 20-25mins depending on the material of the baking dish. The top should be dry and shiny, the center dark and moist.

-Lina

February 9, 2010 at 5:47 am Leave a comment

mexican wedding cookies

Mexican wedding cookies (aka ojarascas) are one of my all time favorite cookies. My brother’s friend’s family owns a bakery and they used to give my brother a tin of these every Christmas, which I was very grateful for. They’re so simple, not too sweet, and I love how they crumble and just melt in your mouth. I also enjoy the almond flavor in them. I’ve been told that even though they are called Mexican wedding cookies, they’re usually given during holidays or other special occasions. So, the cookbook my sister got me for Christmas is Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook. Lo and behold, there was a recipe for Mexican wedding cookies. I’ve been wanting to make them since Christmas, but this past Sunday was the first time I had a chance.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. pecan halves
  • 1/4th c. confectioner’s sugar for now
  • 3/4th c. confectioner’s sugar for later
  • 1 c. confectioner’s sugar for rolling
  • 2 c. all purpose four
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 stick unsalted butter @ room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a food processor, combine the pecans and 1/4th confectioner’s sugar. Pulse them until the pecans are finely ground.
  • In another bowl, add the flour and salt. Whisk in the pecan/sugar mixture.
  • In the bowl for your electric mixer (paddle attachment), beat the butter and 3/4th cup confectioner’s sugar on medium/high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and the almond extracts.
  • Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until the dough comes together
  • Roll dough into 3/4″ balls (mine varied from 3/4″ to 1″) and 2 in. apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pan at the half time point. (Mine were perfect as 12 minutes, but it all depends on your oven. If you see cracks/crinkles on top of your cookies, then they’re done)
  • Place cookies on cooling rack and allow to cool completely. In a small bowl, pour the remaining cup of confectioner’s sugar. Once cookies are completely cooled, roll cookies in the sugar.

above: flour, sugar, pecan mixture

(i realized i hadn’t taken a photo of the dough until i was almost out of it)

(see the cracks/crinkles?)

The finished product. This lil container was handed off to my local starbucks where I share all my baked goods with them. The rest were consumed by family and coworkers. I will definitely be baking a lot from this cookbook of mine. I’ve tried two recipes so far and haven’t been disappointed. Next week, SUGAR BUNS!!

– chelle

January 12, 2010 at 4:26 am 3 comments

Coconut cranberry muffins

Coconut is actually healthier than you think. Coconut fat won’t clog your arteries and your body will try to use up coconut oil (for energy) rather than storing it as body fat.

Coconut cranberry muffins

  • 1 can 14oz coconut milk (full fat)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar (to 2/3 cup, if you prefer sweeter)
  • 1 c almond flour (or coconut flour)
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
  • 1 c flaked coconut (or sliced almonds)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together wet ingredients with sugar. Then incorporate the flours, baking powder/soda, and salt. When the mixture is almost smooth, add in the dried cranberries. Scoop batter into lined or greased muffin tin, press in coconut flakes on top. Bake for 30 to 35mins till light golden brown. -Lina

December 19, 2009 at 1:17 am 2 comments

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