Archive for April, 2008

Martha Stewart’s Cookies

Brandy Snaps curled on a whisk handle.

This past week I’ve been too busy to post (photo edit and write) but I was cooking and baking. I had brought ‘Martha Stewart’s Cookies’ as a gift, but after flipping thru it I decided it’s a keeper. The book breaks down into categories of texture and recipes range from super simple to somewhat advance. Forgive me for not writing out the recipes, it’s too much typing for my liking and I secretly fear Martha would disapprove (legally). The book is huge and it’s 34% off on

Brandy snaps don’t contain any brandy, and also doesn’t contain any eggs. Uses golden syrup and can be made completely vegan.
Cat tongues taste like they are far harder to make than actually is. (I skipped the sifting part, don’t tell Martha.)
Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies, with coconut, walnuts and white chocolate. I didn’t use enough white chocolate or walnuts but it still turned out great.

April 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm 11 comments

Lemon ginger madeleines

These are my first batch of full sized madeleines. Even though it’s easier to grease and fill (the full sized pans), I think I prefer the minis; they are cuter, easier to eat, and you get more surface area per batch.

This recipe uses the ‘red bean and green tea madeleines’ base with different flavoring. I had only used 1 teaspoon of fresh grated ginger, and the ginger flavor wasn’t strong enough to stand up to the lemon zest. So I think 1 tablespoon of grated ginger would bring it up to the level of the lemon zest. Maybe I should also employ some dry ginger. But then again I still want the lemon at the forefront and ginger as a secondary note.

Lemon Ginger Madeleines

  • 1/3 cup organic shortening or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond flour/meal
  • 3/4 flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp dry ginger)
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • pinch of salt

Cream together sugar and shortening, then incorporate one egg at a time. Mix till completely blended. Add in almond flour, lemon zest, ginger and mix thoroughly. Then add flour and baking powder, mix briefly till smooth. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease pans with shortening or butter. Try to under fill the molds, and you can get make 2 batches of the full sized pans or about 3 batches of minis. Bake for 18-20min (for full sized pans, 13-15 for minis) when the edges just turn golden brown. Cool for 5min before popping them out.


April 17, 2008 at 11:02 pm 5 comments

Curry and smoked paprika popcorn

Popcorn is always an easy satisfying tabula rasa waiting for you to fill in the blanks, and I have a large spice rack. Not to mention a whole world of sweet popcorn treats to explore.

Here I seasoned half with curry powder and the other half with smoked paprika. It’s separately seasoned (so there are yellow and red kernels) then tossed together with sea salt. You can also heat some butter/ghee (or Earth Balance, olive oil etc.), toast up some cumin seeds, dried chilies, and curry and pour over popcorn for a more intense curry flavor. Next time I want to try garam masala, salt, and sugar.


April 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

Coconut sesame brittle

This might be a bad week for brittles with high humidity all weekend, but I wasn’t confident in making caramels (I need good candy thermometer).  I’ve sealed them up in a zip baggie and placed it inside an airtight container. But I have to open it up to get to them eventually. I first bought golden syrup to make cinder toffee. It’s basically the same process but the proportions are different with added coconut and sesame. Golden syrup is a great alternative to corn syrup (made from sugar), but you can use corn syrup or honey (and maybe maple syrup) as a substitute in this recipe. 

Coconut Sesame Brittle

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup sesame
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda

Heat sugar and syrup in saucepan over medium high heat, stir with a large spoon or heat safe rubber spatula till you feel all the grains of sugar have melted. You’ll start to smell the caramelized soon, then mix in the coconut and sesame. Add baking soda and stir quickly and pour out onto parchment paper. Let cool completely then break apart.


April 11, 2008 at 8:16 pm 4 comments

40 minute simple as anything curry

Ryan’s 40 minute simple as anything curry

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper (adjust accordingly)
  • 1 can (14oz) coconut milk
  • 1-2 medium potatoes, cubed 3/4 in
  • Either 2 chicken thighs, strip-cut or 3/4 lb tofu, lightly fried
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Raisins, chutney, etc.
1. Sautee shallot, garlic, ginger in olive oil for about 10 minutes on low heat
2. Increase heat to med and add meat; brown (about 10 more minutes)
3. Add coconut milk, plus 1/5 the can in water (to rinse out the awesome)
4. Bring to simmer, then add potatoes and spices
5. Simmer until potatoes are soft, add salt to taste
6. Serve with white rice and raisins or chutney

with chicken and spring onion instead of shallot

By Ryan an IT analyst living in Houston who enjoys a good meal, both preparation and consumption. $43,000 away from being a professional chef, he dabbles and learns from reverse engineering popular dishes and drinks. Owns a ridiculously stocked bar. Is currently planning a wedding with fiancée (when you pay for it, you better know where the money is going), enjoys ghost hunting, travel, and spending way too long on the Internets.

April 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm 1 comment

Mad for madeleines, red bean and green tea

With eggs in hand I can finally make the madeleines that I wanted. When I bought the red bean flour I wanted to make red bean pound cake but I preferred to mix red bean paste into the batter for a marbled effect. Later on I was contemplating cookies but still didn’t think the powder form was the way to go. Then I got the madeleine pan and it was perfect. Red bean goes best with green tea, so I divided up the batter half red bean flavor and half green tea. The red bean didn’t get the color I had hoped for, it’s probably best to use smooth red bean paste in the future, or use more red bean flour, or maybe cook it first. Color aside (they were still a pretty pink) they were so good, perfectly fluffy and crispy and light. It makes about three batches of 24 minis (if I had filled it better, they expand a lot). I’m buying more madeleine pans now.

Green Tea / Red Bean Madeleines

  • 1/3 cup organic shortening or butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond flour/meal
  • 3/4 flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp red bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp green tea powder or matcha

batter was fluffy like frosting

Cream together sugar and shortening, then incorporate one egg at a time. Mix till completely blended. Add in almond flour and mix thoroughly. Then add flour and baking powder, mix briefly till smooth. Preheat oven to 350º. Separate half of the batter into a new bowl; add green tea powder to one bowl and red bean flour to the other. With spatula or spoon, fold green tea/red bean into batter. Grease pan, and pray for minimal sticking. Try to under fill the molds (kind of hard with the thick batter), they will expand. Bake for 13-15min (for mini pans) when the edges just turn light brown. Cool for 5min before popping them out.


April 8, 2008 at 3:37 pm 3 comments

Homemade apple sauce

The hubby was ill all this week too, and now finally showing signs of improvement. Earlier in the week he wanted apple sauce, I had some apples in the fridge and figured I’d give it a try. At first I was wondering how long do I have to cook it to get it mushy, then I remembered I had an immersion blender (so it didn’t matter). Then later on I realized that I could’ve just blended the apples raw. But I guess cooking it gave it a smoother texture. The red apple skins made it a pretty rosy color and it was far better than store bought apple sauce. I’m feeling quite worn out this week and can’t think off the top of my head what else to do with apple sauce (pork chops, for the meat-eaters?).

Apple sauce

  • 3 small apples (I had the kid sized organic ones from Whole Foods)
  • 2/3 – 3/4 cup water (enough to submerge but not to cover all the apples)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • squeeze of lemon (1tsp more or less)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • pinch of cloves

Core and dice apples, with skins on (if organic, peel otherwise). Put in pot with water, sugar and spices. Simmer for 10min. Take off heat and use immersion blender to puree or put into blender/food processor. If it’s too thin, put back into pot and simmer till desired consistency and adjust sugar if necessary.

Apple sauce in tarts? I have to try that later.


April 6, 2008 at 1:44 am 1 comment

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