Monday, December 5, 2011
Hello everyone! Below is a quick slideshow from my husband's 30th birthday bash that my bestie and I hosted last month. We got personalized Jones Soda bottles done and my best friend Linda did all the personalized goody bags, snack cups and much more! Visit her etsy store if you have time cause she does EVERYTHING from wedding invitations to fun bachelorette party stuff!!
Here's the link to her etsy shop:
Sunday, December 4, 2011
You will need:
7(14.5 ounces)cans of low sodium chicken broth--makes about 3 quarts
1 pound of cleaned cat fish fillets(you may use chicken)
1/2 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cups chopped fresh pineapple
4 large tomatoes cut into medium sized chunks
about 1 pound of okra
1/2 pound of baha(elephant ear stems)or fuzzy squash
8 ounces of cleaned bean sprouts
a handful of cleaned rice herb patty
a handful of mexican or saw tooth coriander
1/2 tsp of salt
2 T of fish sauce
2 T of sugar
3 T of tamarind
chopped fresh herb patty
sliced fresh chili peppers
Chop up your pineapple and set aside. Wash your tomatoes and okra, chop those up then set aside. Take your elephant ear stems, peel off the skin, and slice them at a diagonal about 1/4-1/2 inch thick and set aside as well.
Bring your chopped pineapple and chicken broth to a rolling boil then add in your fish sauce, salt, and sugar. Give it a stir then add in your cleaned catfish fillets and let them simmer for about 5 minutes. If using chicken, please make sure chicken is cooked through before adding in your veggies.
Next add in your okra and elephant ear stems. Stir and let that cook for 5-7 more minutes. Stir in your tamarind powder then skim off any foam or scum that has floated to the surface. Taste for seasoning and add more fish sauce, salt, sugar, or tamarind powder if needed.
Turn off the stove at this point and add in your cleaned bean sprouts. Stir to combine then top it off with your chopped rice herb patty and mexican coriander. Pour into bowl and serve warm. Top it off with more chopped fresh herb patty and slices of fresh chili peppers! DELICIOUS!
Notes: This makes quite a bit of soup so feel free to cut recipe in half!
Monday, November 28, 2011
For the cutout cookies, you will need:
1 package of sugar cookie mix(I like Betty Crocker's)
1 stick of salted butter(to help cancel out some of the sweetness)
1 T of flour
1/2 tsp of orange extract
For the icing you will need:
3 egg whites
about 3-3 1/2cups of powdered sugar
some water to control consistency
You will also need an assortment of GEL food coloring, some parchment paper, a large cookie sheet, disposable cups/spoons for easy clean up, and disposable piping bags. DON'T FORGET ABOUT THOSE TOOTHPICKS AND COOKIE CUTTERS!! :)
Follow the instructions for the cutout cookies on the packaging(just mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl). Make sure you use salted butter and add the orange extract for a more homemade taste. Once combined, divide dough into two discs and chill in fridge for a few hours(overnight is okay too).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Once chilled take the dough out(one at a time to keep it cold) and place on a WELL floured surface. Take a floured rolling pin and roll it out to at least a 1/4 inch thick. Take your cookie cutter and lightly tap it into your flour before cutting out your shapes. Using a flat spatula, quickly but carefully remove the cutouts and place onto cookie sheet. If you wish, you may decide to remove all the excess dough first before removing the cutouts onto baking sheet...do whichever is faster for you.
Take all the scraps and bring them together to form a ball. Place it on a piece of parchment paper and use your palm to flatten it out. Take your floured cookie cutter and repeat steps. And remember at this point, your dough has softened so it's much easier to remove the excess dough around the shape and then place it onto baking sheet.
Bake until edges have turned slightly browned. Remove from oven allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing and placing on wire rack to cool.
To make the icing beat your egg whites until frothy. Add your powdered sugar about a cup at a time until it reaches desired consistency. Have a little water on hand just in case it gets a little too thick for you.
Divide icing into plastic cups and add whatever food coloring you wish. FYI food coloring darkens as it sits so if you're picky about your colors and are trying to impress, you may want to play around with these a head of time.
Place icing into disposable bags making sure you get all of the air bubbles out. Make a very small cut at the tip of the bag with scissors or you may use a small rounded cake decorating tip for more intricate work. Make sure you twist the top tightly while your icing the cookie and keep applying pressure as you go along!
Okay now, grab a cookie...AND START DECORATING!! But don't forget the most important thing....HAVE FUN!! :)
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
For the broth you will need:
(3) 32 oz boxes of low sodium chicken broth plus 2 more cups of water(3.5 quarts total)
2 T of sugar
1/2 tsp of freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 tsp of salt
3 packets of wonton soup base mix( I use the brand dynasty)
1/8 tsp of white pepper(or more if you like spicy)
1 tsp of sesame oil
For the filling you will need:
1/2 pound of finely chopped shrimp(peeled and deveined)
1/4 of a pound(or 4 oz) of ground pork(give your pork a few quick chops on cutting board before mixing w/ shrimp)
3 T of finely chopped green bartlett pear(or water chestnut/celery if you wish)
1 green onion finely chopped
1 tsp of sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp of white pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
some freshly grated ginger
You will also need:
chopped green onion for garnish
1 to 2 pkg's of wonton wrappers
1 egg lightly beaten
To make the broth:
Bring your chicken broth and water to a boil. Grate in your ginger. Add your salt and sugar. Add in your wonton soup mix. Stir to combine. Turn heat down(or off) and add in your white pepper and sesame oil last. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Don't make the broth too salty. You don't want it to overpower the taste of the wonton.
How to make the filling:
Place all of your ingredients into a mixing bowl and thoroughly mix it with clean hands. Once mixed, cover and let refrigerate for 1 hr to overnight.
How to assemble wontons:
Place 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of filling onto the middle of wonton wrapper. Using a pastry brush, lightly dab on some egg wash on all four sides of wonton wrapper. Fold over to create a triangle. Press the sides down gently and fold using technique shown in my video. Remember to have a damp cloth over filled wontons and wonton wrappers at all times to prevent drying out.
Place filled wontons in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes or until they all float to the surface. I recommend cooking ONE WONTON FIRST to taste for seasoning. Sometimes, I end up adding a touch more salt, sometimes more sugar. Once all cooked, using a slotted spoon, place in colander to drain excess water. Place wontons in pretty serving bowl, ladle on some warm broth, and garnish with chopped green onion.
Notes: You may freeze any leftover filling that you don't use. You may also cut the broth recipe in half.
Don't forget to watch my tutorial on how to make this easy and sinfully delicious wonton soup!!
You will need:
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry(thaw according to directions on package) -this will make 4 apple pastries
1 golden delicious apple thinly sliced or chopped(it's delicious w/ a bosc pear too)
some melted butter
fresh whipped cream(or store bought)
Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
Thinly slice your peeled apple and set aside.
Place your thawed puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Add a small amount of flour onto your puff pastry and rolling pin and gently roll out most of the cracks while slightly expanding the dough. Work quickly cause the longer you work the dough the tougher it may become.
Take a pizza slicer and cut into 4 large equal squares.
Put some melted butter on each square to give the brown sugar something to stick to. Take a fork and gently prick all over the dough.
Sprinkle on some brown sugar and cinnamon.
Place your apple slices in the middle of each square. I do two stacks but you can add more if you please. The more slices you add, the longer it will take to bake. Brush some melted butter on the apple slices and fold over each corner of the puff pastry over the apples and take some more butter to seal.
Place pastries on a piece of parchment paper over a baking sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes.
Place on platter or serving dish and drizzle on some honey while it's hot. Put some freshly whipped cream on each pastry(or store bought) and finish it off with a dusting of powdered sugar. YUMMY!!
Watch my tutorial and see how easy this recipe is!!
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Homemade biscuits and gravy with crumbled up maple/brown sugar sausage links topped with crunchy bits of bacon.
2 cups and 1/4 cup of cake flour
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of shortening
2 T of sugar
3/4 tsp of salt
2 1/2 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1 cup of buttermilk(I sub this for 1 cup of whole milk plus 1 T of vinegar-let it sit for 5 min. to sour)
1/4 cup of melted unsalted butter(to brush the tops of biscuits before/after
For the gravy you will need:
1/3 cup of bacon grease
1/3 cup of all purpose flour
1 1/2- 2 cups of warm whole milk(start off with 1 1/2 then add more to control consistency)
2 T of butter(optional)
2 pinches of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: sausage links/1 pkg of bacon/ shredded cheddar cheese for the toppings!!
Place all your bacon in unheated cast iron skillet on medium-medium high heat. Cook until crispy. Drain on paper towels and reserve the bacon grease for later use.
On medium heat, add some bacon grease into skillet and add in your sausage links. I just hold the links over the pan and squeeze out the sausage to remove it from it's casing. Once browned, remove from heat and drain on paper towels.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening with a fork. Add the buttermilk, adding a little at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.
Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Roll out dough with a rolling pin starting from the middle, moving outwards, creating a circle that should measure out to a 1/2 inch thick. Cut biscuits using a 2 inch biscuit cutter.
Place your biscuits into a well greased cast iron skillet. Brush the tops with melted butter. Bake for 14-15 minutes...or until slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the tops AGAIN with more melted butter.
How to make the Gravy:
Heat the bacon grease in a cast iron skillet. Add some butter(optional). Add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly, add in the milk and bring to a small rolling boil. Reduce the heat to low to let simmer and stir it until it thickens up to desired consistency. If its too thick for you, add more milk...just start with 1 1/2 cups and gradually add more as you go along. Season with 2 pinches of sugar plus salt and pepper to taste.
This dish is sooooo bad for you...that I only allow myself to make it ONCE a YEAR! LOL. How I prepare it in the video is how my husband loves to eat it. Personally, I like to split the biscuits in half as soon as they come out the oven, and then DRENCH it in some honey...okay not some....A LOT OF HONEY, honey!! :)
Watch and see how I make this hearty and most satisfying dish at home!!
Monday, August 15, 2011
This dish was always my favorite growing up in Tacoma. There used to be this restaurant, down the street from me on Portland Ave. called Monorom. They served this delicious little seafood delight that I would order every week. I literally, spent any money that I ever had, eating there! I know that a lot of people would argue with me and say that the dish itself was just OKAY, and you're probably right, but maybe because the way I would completely DRENCH it in two different types of hot sauces, is what made it soooo finger lickin' good!!
Anywho, here is my version of this dish and I hope you guys enjoy it just as much I do. I'm sorry I don't have an exact ingredient listing, but maybe later on, I will try to put one together. In the meantime, just watch the dang video.
Happy watching...and happy eating.
You will need:
chinese broccoli(or broccoli)
bean sprouts(This is optional. I didn't have any at the time but add these when you are frying up the noodles at the end, if using)
extra virgin olive oil
For the marinade for the fresh noodles, you will need:
dark sweet soy sauce
chinese rice wine
*Watch the video to see how I prepare this dish at home!! Thanks for stopping by!! :)
To make the noodles you will need:
2/3 cup of wheat flour
1/2 cup of rice powder
1/3 cup of tapioca starch
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 tsp of salt plus a pinch
1+ 2/3 cup of water
Combine all the ingredients above and mix well, leaving no lumps before steaming.
You will also need:
Some kind of steamer(get creative, if you don't want to purchase one)
A non stick pan(or two)
A pastry brush
Use a wire whisk to blend, making sure there are no lumps. And please remember to give the mixture a quick whisk EACH TIME, before adding to hot, non stick pan in steamer.
*I was able to purchase all of the different types of flour/starch at H Mart(A Korean store). Your best bet is to find a good Asian market for a one stop, shopping trip.
Notes: This batch makes a little more than 1 pound of fresh noodles. Makes about 3-4 servings. If you are doubling the recipe, please make sure to fry your noodles into batches to prevent overcooking. If you like your noodles to be thinner, feel free to steam the mixture using 1/2 cup instead of 2/3 of a cup, for each layer. If using 1/2 cup, your noodles will cook faster, so please keep an eye on them. I recommend, two layers per batch but do more at your own risk. For optimum results, do one layer at a a time, allowing each layer to cool for a few minutes before removing onto cutting board, wipe the non stick pan clean again...and put it back into the steamer to repeat process.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
For the cake:
8 eggs separated plus 2 more egg whites(8 egg yolks plus 10 egg whites total)
*separate eggs when they are cold and then bring them to room temp.*
1 cup plus 2 T. of cake flour
1 cup of caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
3/4 tsp of cream of tartar
2 T of orange juice(no pulp and not from concentrate) plus 3/4 T. of water(basically,this mixture should equal 1/4 of a cup)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil(no substitutions)
2 UNGREASED aluminum layer cake pans OR 1 UNGREASED(2 piece) aluminum tube pan
For the whipped cream frosting and filling
*The following is not the same recipe as you've seen in the video. I've decided to omit the gelatin since so many people had problems with it.
3 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1 T. plus 2 tsp of vanilla extract
2/3 to 1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar(you control how sweet)
So I've been making this cake A LOT lately and would like to share with you guys that I've finally discovered what that whipped cream frosting was that the bakeries use--it's called PASTRY PRIDE!! This is what I use now to fill and frost my cakes with!!
It's non dairy and ready to whip!! No need to add any additional flavorings, like vanilla extract or powdered sugar. There's also another one called "Frosting Pride" which is slightly thicker and sweeter but if you're looking for the "frosting" that tastes like whipped cream, than the Pastry Pride in the red box is the way to go. You can purchase these items at a Smart and Final store, Cash and Carry, and Costco sells them online although I'm unsure if they sell it in store. So, if you can find and purchase the Pastry Pride or Frosting Pride...I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU DO!
For the simple syrup:
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of water
*If you are baking this spongecake in an angel food cake tube pan, follow the same directions as stated in my video, except place batter in your tube pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
First, separate your egg yolks from egg whites while they are cold and bring them to room temp. I know there's some debate on whether or not it's safe to leave them out overnight, but I do anyways. :) Do the same with the orange juice.
Into your chilled mixing bowl, add in your heavy whipping cream. I have a shield that I can attach to my mixture so that it won't splash all over the place, but if your bowl isn't large enough or you don't have a shield, whip up in 2 separate batches. Just before your whipping cream starts to thicken, add in your vanilla extract and powdered sugar. I don't like it too sweet so you can adjust accordingly to your taste. Once done, put in fridge until ready to use.
Pour 1 cup of sugar into food processor and let it run for 30 seconds to create a fine granulated sugar. Set aside.
Take your cake flour and salt and sift over a large piece of parchment paper. Then, lift the parchment paper and pour it back into a sieve fitted over a large mixing bowl and sift again. Continue process 3 more times! Set aside.
Mix your oil/water/vanilla extract and orange juice together in a small bowl or measuring cup. This mixture should come up to just under 1 cup! Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat your egg yolks with the caster sugar until it's pale yellow. Thick ribbon like streaks should be falling off of the beater back into your bowl. Set aside.
Beat your egg whites until foamy. Add in your cream of tartar. Continue beating until soft peaks. Switch to a balloon wire whisk and whisk by hand until stiff peaks.
Take your reserved oil mixture, give it a little stir, and then add it into your EGG YOLKS MIXTURE. Once mixed in, whisk in your flour mixture, a little at a time. Once thats fully incorporated, take a clean wire whisk and CAREFULLY fold in a little bit of your beaten egg whites and continue this with the rest of the egg whites. Work quickly and use as little strokes as possible. It's okay if you see tiny streaks of white. Don't waste too much time on that.
Pour into UNGREASED layer cake pans and bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Once done, remove and invert cakes upside down to cool down on 2 racks fitted over two colanders.
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, boil 1/2 of water with 1/2 of sugar until it reduces to about half. It will start to thicken up slightly and it will change color. Pour mixture into a bowl over an ice bath and stir until thickened like syrup. The longer you leave it on there, the thicker it will get. Once to your liking, remove from ice bath and set in fridge until ready to use.
Chop up some fruit and divide them equally amongst 3 bowls and add in your reserved whipping cream into each bowl. Remember to leave a good amount for frosting the tops and sides of your cake!!
Once your cakes have cooled, take a serrated knife and cut into each one. Take your fruit filling and begin to assemble your cakes, one layer at a time. Frost the tops and sides and decorate with fresh fruit/berries of your choice. Drizzle tops with the simple syrup. Place in fridge until ready to indulge! Happy Eating!!
I would highly recommend that you try the spongecake on it's own first before you attempt this cake. I actually prefer to eat this cake plain, with absolutely no other toppings, whatsoever! I like more cake then whipped cream, so if you wish, you may up the amt. of heavy whipping cream(just remember to adjust the amt. of powdered sugar/vanilla too). Remember, you have to use an ALUMINUM pan/angel food cake tube pan for this recipe. This spongecake contains no baking powder, so the batter needs something to cling on to while it's baking to help give it more height. If you use a non stick pan, your spongecake will not rise as much while baking. Once baking has complete, run a knife around the sides of pan, and also in the center of the pan to remove your cake.
Please watch my tutorial to learn how I make this very popular cake that is sold at most Asian bakeries!!
BEFORE you attempt this cake, I recommend that you watch my video about what kind of pan to use and how to get a good crumb coat.:)
Monday, July 25, 2011
For the filling:
I just noticed that the filling recipe I had here needed to be doubled so if it looks slightly different then how you remembered it, that's because it is! Sorry!!
2 boxes of INSTANT french vanilla pudding(not vanilla buddy, FRENCH VANILLA) mixed with 3 cups of cold whole milk
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 tsp of good vanilla extract
1/2 T to 1 T. of powdered sugar(you may omit the extra powdered sugar altogether, if you'd like)
Things you will need for piping and filling the shells are:
Tip #12(made by Wilton) to pipe the shells onto baking sheet
Tip #22(also made by Wilton) to fill the shells
2 Disposable piping bags(they come in packages of 12, 24, or 100 at Amazon.com,Michael's or some grocery stores)
A large baking sheet
Reynolds parchment paper
Paper towels for easy clean up
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
In a bowl mix 3 cups of cold whole milk with 2 packages of FRENCH vanilla pudding. Beat for 2 minutes. In another bowl(preferably chilled) or using your stand mixer, beat your heavy whipping cream until soft peaks. Add in your powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold your french vanilla pudding in with your whipping cream and refrigerate for later use. It's best to make your filling the night before.
Measure out your 1 cup of flour and set aside. Place cubed shortening ,salt, sugar, and water in pot and bring to a quick rolling boil. Dump in your flour ALL AT ONCE. Turn off heat and continue to stir until dough starts to form a ball. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before next step.
Beat in your eggs one at a time, making sure each one is nicely incorporated before adding in the next. Once all of your eggs are in the dough, continue to beat the dough for a good couple of minutes. When you lift the beater, the dough should stream down nicely(but not too fast) into your bowl, leaving a so called "V" shape at the end of the beater.
Place a piece of parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place a small amount of dough on all four corners of the parchment paper to keep it from sliding around.
Place your dough in a disposable pastry bad fitted with Wilton's #12 tip. Pipe your shells using a circular motion, giving them height as you swirl up. Space your shells at least 1 inch apart from each other.
Bake in your preheated 425 degree oven for 14-15 minutes and then... DROP THE TEMP DOWN TO 350 DEGREES for another 14-15 minutes!! DO NOT OPEN YOUR OVEN DOORS FOR ANY REASON!!!
Once shells are done, remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool before filling.
Take your paring knife and pierce the sides of the shells to allow for easy filling. If you are right handed, pierce the right side of each shell so you don't forget where you have pierced a whole in each one. Take another disposable bag and fit it with Witlon tip #22. Add in your COLD filling into the piping bag and begin to fill each shell. LESS IS MORE!! Have a clean dish towel or paper towels handy just in case it get's messy. Wipe the tip often for a cleaner fill. And try not to lick any filling off of the creme puff or your fingers during this time. It really isn't sanitary if you plan on feeding others. :)
Total baking time: 28-30 minutes.
Please visit my new channel on youtube to learn how I make these delicious mini cream puffs!!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
You will need:
2 pounds of beef shank
1/2 pound of tendon
a couple of carrots cut into large chunks(maybe 1/2 pound to 1 pd)
1 stalk of lemongrass trimmed, bruised, and cut in half
4 cloves of chopped garlic
half of an onion(chopped)
2 tomatoes(I used tomatoes still on the vine)
2 cups of coconut juice/soda(no pulp)
2 T of ketchup
2 cubes of Bo Kho Seasoning
1/2 T of sugar
1 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of fish sauce
8 cups of water
For the red food coloring:
1 T of annatto seeds cooked on very low heat in extra virgin olive oil(you may omit this step and use paprika instead)
Thick Rice Noodles(follow cooking directions according to packaging)
Freshly baked french bread
Notes: This stew tastes great spooned over some thick rice noodles, with rice, or some freshly baked french bread too! The possibilities are endless with this tasty dish. Usually, when my mother in law buys this stew from a Vietnamese deli, they tend to be more on the sweeter side, so if you want, you may omit the sugar at first and then gradually add some in as you go along.
Also you can find bo kho seasoning boxes in most Asian markets. The ones I buy, come in these tiny small packaged boxes that contain 4 cubes of bo kho seasoning. If I had to guess, I would probably say that I used anywhere from 1 1/2 to 2 T of the seasoning.
Okay, so enough reading already...GET YOUR LAZY ASS UP, log off of Facebook, and get crackin' in that kitchen!! :)
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
You will need:
2 pds of Mackerel fillets(skin on)
2 T. of chopped shallot
3 garlic cloves minced
3 cups of rough chopped tomato
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
1/2 cup of young coconut juice or soda(no pulp and NO COCONUT MILK)
1 T. of good oyster sauce
1 tsp of sweet soy sauce
1 T of sugar
2 tsp of fish sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of black pepper(or 2-3 fresh or dried whole chili if you like it spicy)
olive oil for pan
1/2 T of cornstarch plus 1/2 T of water(Don't add this in until the last 10 min. of cooking time)
If you are a fish lover, then you absolutely have to try this dish! This is one of my mother in laws fav fish dish to eat. What makes this one so different from others, is the fact that I let it cook in a tomato sauce that is simmered in a slightly sweet and slightly tangy pineapple and coconut juice concoction. My family loves to eat it along side my fresh and spicy mango salad. It's also good when eaten with Asian pickled mustard greens(which I also have a recipe for if you scroll down). I make this dish more in the summer time then in any other time of the year because of it's simplicity and let's face it, even SUPER MOMS have lazy days too. :)
- Clean your fish fillets by soaking them in some water, vinegar, and salt to help reduce some of the smell that fish gives while cooking. I usually get in there and start rubbing and massaging it like I love it. :) Let the fish sit in the vinegar water for a quick minute, remove, and pat completely dry.
- On medium high heat, add a little oil into your skillet. Add in your chopped shallots and then chopped garlic. Once your garlic starts to slightly brown, throw in your chopped tomatoes. Let the tomatoes cook down for a minute or two then proceed to add the salt, black pepper, sugar, sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, and fish sauce. Stir to combine.
- Add in your pineapple juice and coconut juice, stir, then add in your fish fillets. Continue to cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, and carefully turn the fish a few times to make sure all that yummy sauce gets soaked up by the fish.
- After 15 minutes, turn heat up to medium high heat to quickly reduce some of the sauce. Add in the cornstarch and water mixture and continue to cook until sauce has reduced to your liking. I like more sauce in mine because my kids love it on rice.
- Remove from heat and serve with a side of mango salad. Yum!!!
Mango salad is just perfect for a nice and sunny day like today... but then again, ANYTHING over 50 degrees is NICE here in Washington. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and if you drive down to the Tacoma Waterfront, you can catch a glimpse of women in tight booty shorts, sporting sunglasses with a G logo on them(G for GUESS not GUCCI), pushing their strollers, on a man hunt for perspective baby daddies. Ah, yes, that's when you know...SUMMER HAS ALMOST ARRIVED.
I know some people like to make mango salad the same way that you would make papaya salad, but come on now, if I wanted papaya salad then I would MAKE PAPAYA SALAD, right? This side dish is easy, breezy, and tastes wonderful on a hot day cause it's so fresh and definitely satisfying.
You will need:
Chopped fresh chili to taste( I used 4 of them cause I like it spicy)
Notes: You can find most julienne peelers at some supermarkets and Asian markets. My julienne peeler is stainless steel and is manufactured by Kuhn Rikon which I purchased from Amazon.com.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
You will need:
3 pounds of chicken wings or you may use short ribs instead
1 tsp of black pepper
1 tsp of onion powder
1 and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
2 1/2 T of fish sauce(preferably Three Crabs Brand) http://www.amazon.com/Three-Crabs-Brand-Fish-Sauce/dp/B0000CNU54
3 T of oyster sauce(preferably Koon Chun brand)http://www.amazon.com/Koon-Chun-Hoisin-Sauce-jar/dp/B000EIP6MA
3 T of hoisen sauce
Wash your chicken or beef short ribs and pat COMPLETELY dry before you marinade them. YOU MUST MARINADE OVERNIGHT. If you have the time, you can also keep them for up to 2 days in your fridge before you bake or grill them. Bake chicken@425 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until deep golden brown. If you are baking a lot of chicken at once, you may need to bake them for longer. Also if you like them more charred, you can switch the oven to broil for a few minutes, just make sure that you watch them closely.
If you are using beef short ribs, grill them on medium to medium high heat for a few minutes on each side. You can also grill them in a large frying pan just remember to add a little bit of olive oil before you fry them.
NOTES: Obviously, if you have an Asian market near you, make sure you purchase your fish sauce and oyster sauce there. Some American food chains do carry the preferred items I listed above, but they are suuuuuuper expensive! Also when washing beef short ribs, please be thorough because when butchers are slicing the beef, shards of bone fragment get left on the meat. Nothing ruins your eating experience more then having to spit out tiny pieces of bone while chowing down. Unfortunately, I too, have been guilty of not washing them thoroughly...I'm so ashamed. :(
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Did you guys know that avocados were packed with at least 20 different nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin E...and the list goes on?!! There are 13 vitamins that are essential to the human body and those are: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins((thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). And the best part is...AVOCADOS NATURALLY CONTAIN ALL OF THESE ELEMENTS!!
The recipe that I'm posting here, contains sugar and uses heavy whipping cream but if you're a health nut or are making these for your kids, you can sub the sugar in this recipe for splenda, equal, stevia powder, or whatever you wish. You can also sub the heavy whipping cream and half and half for ALL fat free half and half, and it will still turn out great! But keep in mind that when making ice cream, the higher the fat content, the more creamier your ice cream will be, so skimming on some of the fat will affect the overall texture by just a tad bit. Also the type of ice cream mold matters! I use Orka Ice Pop Molds that I purchased from Amazon for about 15 bucks for a set of 4. They are made of silicone and are the best ice cream molds that I have ever used!!
You will need:
Silicone Ice Pop Molds(I recommend Orka)
6 RIPENED avocados(you may cut recipe in half)
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 cup of half and half
2 tsp of vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 T of MATCHA green tea powder(optional)
The juice from half of a lemon(to prevent browning while chilling)
Step 1: Cut avocados in half, remove the pit, and using a spoon, scoop out the avocado and place in blender.
Step 2: Place all of the other ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth. If you try to taste the mixture now, it will probably be super sweet but don't fret my friend, because it's SUPPOSED TO BE, DUH!! One of the many rules of ice cream making, is that you have to add a little bit more sugar then you normally would because when you freeze it, it will lose some of it's sweetness.
Step3: Take a large ziplock freezer bag and add the avocado mixture into it. Cut about half of an inch off of the corner of the bag and pipe into the ice cream molds. After you've filled them all in, place the tops on, lift the ice cream molds 2-3 inches off of the counter, and drop them back down quickly, giving them a few good wacks on the counter(this step helps get rid of most of the air bubbles and pushes the ice cream further down into the mold). Check to see if you need to add in more of the mixture into the molds after you have wacked the tray a few times.
Step 4: Freeze for at least 6-8 hrs. If you are using your ice cream maker, follow instructions for your own ice cream maker which most will require that you chill the mixture in the fridge first before starting the freezing process. If you chill in fridge first, the tops of the avocado mixture may start to turn a brownish/green shade but that's normal. You can either just scoop that part out or just give it a quick mix with a spatula(it hasn't spoiled and you won't die if you eat it I promise).
I used bittersweet chocolate mixed with a splash of vanilla and some shortening(no substitution)and melted them using the double broiler method. I don't remember how much chocolate I actually used but the general rule is 1/2 T of shortening per ounce of chocolate.
Step 1:Melt chocolate and shortening in a metal or glass bowl fitted over a pot of simmering water. Keep heat on low and make sure that the water DOES NOT TOUCH THE BOTTOM OF YOUR BOWL. Chocolate is very temperamental, so I don't recommend that you go and put a load of laundry in the wash or anything, while you're waiting for it to melt.
Step 2:Stir the chocolate mixture and right before it looks like everything is about to be melted down completely, remove from heat and continue to stir, until mixture is smooth and silky.
Step 3:Once your avocado ice cream pops have been in the freezer for a couple of hours, take a large spoon and quickly coat the ice cream pops, spinning them as you go along trying to make an even coat. You must work quickly here, because the chocolate will begin to harden. Once you are done, place on wax paper and put back into the fridge for 1 hr.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Usually when I'm craving something that I've never made before, I would resort to the internet, research numerous recipes online, and then attempt to recreate them my own way, at home. Let me tell you this much, I could NOT find a recipe on this stuff at all!! It seems like a pretty easy and breezy thing to figure out, but if you don't put the right amount of salt in the mustard greens with the right amount of water, it can definitely result in DISASTER. TRUST ME, I WOULD KNOW! :) It took about half a dozen different times for me to get this right!!
Growing up, we usually ate this as a side dish with baked fish and my parents would slice up some chili peppers,add some sugar,and dare I say it....?? MSG. There, I said it...and you know what??? It was DAMN GOOD TOO. So try this super dee duper, easy recipe, if you like all things sour... and no doubt, this one will surely tickle your pickle in all the right places!! :)
You will need:
2.5 pds of Chinese mustard greens(cleaned and cut into 2-3 inch pieces)
8 cps of water
3 T of salt
2 T of sugar
1 T of vinegar
A container big enough to pickle your mustard greens
A large pot to blanch the greens before pickeling them
Step 1: Bring to a quick rolling boil, 8 cups of water along with the salt and sugar. Stir, making sure that the salt and sugar have fully dissolved. Set this aside and allow to COOL COMPLETELY.
Step 2: Add water into another large pot and bring to a boil while you chop up your greens(this step is for blanching)
Step 3: Cut up the mustard greens into 2-3 inch pieces. Place them in large bowl and clean THOROUGHLY. Mustard greens can carry a lot of dirt so I usually chop them up, place them in water and let them sit for a little bit so that all the dirt can fall into the bottom of the large bowl. Repeat process.
Step 4: Once your pot has come to a boil, turn the heat off. Dump in all of the greens all at once and gently stir to make sure they are all immersed in the water. Remove and drain. They are ready to be removed when they look like this:
Step 5: When they have turned a bright green color, remove from heat and carefully drain under cold water,making sure that all the pieces get hit with some cold water to prevent further cooking.
Step 6: Once the greens have cooled down completely, put them in some kind of container with a tight lid. Pour the cooled salt water mixture into the container. Add in 1 T of vinegar and then line the top with saran wrap before screwing the lid on. It should look like this:
Your pickled greens should be ready when they have turned a dark green color. The water will look slightly cloudy from the salt floating around in it(but that doesn't mean the greens itself will be overly salty). On warmer days, it will only take 1 to 2 days for it to turn sour. On cooler days, it can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days. This particular batch took about 4 days so I would definitely recommend that you put it somewhere out of sight, to keep you from taste checking it so frequently. Once it's sour to your liking, keep it tightly covered and refrigerated. You can eat as a side dish or even make a delicious chicken and mustard green soup using chicken stock as the base. Here's what it looks like fully pickled:
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty sure that all I need to survive is my hair straightener and pho. I can assure you that even in 90 degree weather, you can catch me in my kitchen hovering over my stove cooking up a big pot of pho. Since I married into a Vietnamese family, I figured that it would probably be a good idea to teach myself how to make it. This recipe feeds my family of 5 for 2-3 days depending on how often we eat it. Remember, that you may cut recipe in half or just use it as a reference. I actually used 3 pounds or so of beef bone in this recipe along w/ one whole foster farm chicken. If you think it's weird to make a broth with that mix, you don't have to do it. You can use all beef bones if you'd like, or all chicken. Whatever your preference, I assure you that it will all come out delicious!
You will need:
1 whole 3-4 pd skinned foster farm chicken(cut up chicken into large manageable pieces)or you may use all beef bone/knuckle for this recipe as well
3 pds of beef bone and/or beef knuckle
3 pound pkg of beef bottom round roast(use only if you want cooked beef slices)or you may sub w/oxtail
2 pkgs of beef meatballs
1 4 inch piece of ginger split in half
2 large onions cut in half(DO NO PEEL SKIN)
1 1/2 T. of coriander
1 tsp. whole cloves
2 cardamom pods split
2 cinnamon sticks
1 handful of star anise
2/3 cup of fish sauce
1 1/2 T. salt
3 oz. of palm sugar or 1/4 cp of sugar
1/2 tsp of msg(optional)
3 pkgs of fresh rice noodle
2 cheese cloths for straining broth
12 qt. stainless steel pot and an extra pot to parboil your bones
26 cups of water(or fill up halfway but remember you may cut recipe in half)
1 Stainless steel tea balls or mesh vegetable bags to hold all the spices for easier clean up
Thinly sliced onion(soak onion in ice water for 30 min and drain)
Chopped green onion
You want to roast your onion and ginger in the oven. Bake @ 400 degrees for 30 minutes. If you have an open burner, then you should preferably char the onion and ginger over an open flame, turning occasionally until slightly blackened.
Take a pot big enough for all your meat,(except for bottom round roast)add enough water to cover and bring them to a boil for about 8-10 minutes or so. This step is for cleaning your bones and it will help you to get a clearer broth. While that pot is coming to a boil, get your other 12 qt pot ready and fill it half way(about 26 cps). Unless, you want to wait FOREVER AND A DAY for a big stock pot of water packed with meat and bones to boil, then you can skip this part. Otherwise having two pots going at a time will save you a butt load of pho'cken time(pun intended).
Once chicken and/or beef bone is done parboiling, dump it into a large colander in sink and lightly rinse off bones under cool water.
Since you should have another pot of water almost coming to boil, carefully add the bones/meat into the pot of water. This is also the time where you would add in the bottom round roast. When making this pot of pho, I didn't quite measure how much water I added, just make sure that after you've added all the meat in, that the pot is pretty much filled with water 3/4 way up. Feel free to take some water out if there is too much. Add in the char broiled ginger and onion. Add in fish sauce, palm sugar,salt(and msg if you're opting to use it), cinnamon sticks, and a big handful of star anise.
Put the other spices listed, into 1 stainless steel tea ball or mesh bags and drop them into the the pot. Make sure you remove that chain that comes along with the tea ball.
Now all that's left is leaving it all to simmer on low heat for 3 hrs. You know you've done it right when the pot looks disgusting and greasy.
Skim off fat as you go along trying to only take out what you need. Sometimes, if I feel like I'm taking out too much water along with the fat, then I will add more water to compensate.
After the broth has been simmering for 2 hrs I then taste the broth to see if I need to add any additional seasonings. Remove your beef bottom roast(if using) and allow to rest on cutting board before slicing against the grain. Keep in mind that this recipe uses chicken instead of all beef bone which means less fat, so if you decide to use more beef bone and/or oxtail, your broth will be very greasy at first, so make sure you use your ladle to skim off any fat that rises to the surface and add more water to pot if necessary. Also note, that you want the broth slightly stronger tasting cause once you add the noodles and garnishes it will bring down the flavor a tad bit. I usually make a small bowl for myself to taste check before serving to guests.
Once it's seasoned to your liking and has been simmering for at least 3 hrs, remove all bones and meat and place into colander over a large bowl.
Place two cheese cloths over a mesh strainer fitted on top of a pot and slowly strain the broth until done.
Now that your broth is pretty again and smells FANTASTIC, you can add in the beef meatballs if you opted for them and bring to a slight boil until the balls are cooked through(they will puff up when they are almost ready).
Using a very sharp knife, thinly slice your bottom round roast against the grain. Also don't forget to shred the meat off of the chicken that you had set aside. This is a very crucial step when using beef bone with tons of meat on it and ESPECIALLY OXTAIL! Right before you pour the broth into your bowl, is when you would toss in a couple of pieces of this delicious and tender meat!
You can also use raw, thinly sliced sirloin steak if you wish. To make slicing easier and to ensure thin cuts of meat, put meat in freezer for 30 min. and then slice.
Assembling the bowls: Place blanched rice noodles(or if using dry noodles, follow directions on package)in individual bowls and top with thinly cooked beef slices. If you are adding raw beef slices, the broth must be boiling to cook it through before you ladle the soup into the bowl. If the broth is not quite boiling but VERY HOT, than you can cook the meat by quickly dipping it into the pho broth using the ladle(it should take seconds). Once you've added the broth into the bowl, top with the garnishes of your choice and....VOILA!!!
Notes: The spices used in pho can get pretty pricey if you purchase them at your local Safeway, Fred Meyers or wherever you shop. If you know of a local Asian market or know someone that can get to one, I would highly recommend you go there cause it is waaaaay more inexpensive BELIEVE ME!
Also the type of fish sauce you use matters!! Don't use the ones that come in the plastic bottles...YUCKY! Use the ones that come in the glass bottles instead. There are various brands and most of them are very similar in taste.
Lastly, if you're using all beef bones and oxtails, the longer you simmer the broth the better! But I wouldn't recommend simmering chicken for longer then 3 to 4 hrs cause it will get VERY GELATINOUS after cooled and it will not look too appetizing when you're trying to reheat it. Feel free to add in any fixings to satisfy your taste buds! You can add all kinds of stuff to pho...tripe,shrimp,flank stank(I mean steak):),or even beef tendon. Whatever your palette, pho is always a real crowd pleaser!
I posted this recipe on my blog MONTHS before I started my Youtube channel so it differs slightly than the video. The spices, and the amount of meat I used DID NOT CHANGE, so feel free to use and follow the recipe listed w/ a few minor adjustments as stated in the video! If you want a healthier alternative than follow the written recipe for pho using chicken as the base but if you want a full bodied and tastier pho experience, than follow my video where I use all beef bones/oxtails and let it simmer for up to 8 hrs! ENJOY AND HAPPY EATING!! :)
Monday, March 21, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Aren't these cupcakes just adorable!! Peyton and I made these for St. Patrick's Day for her pre-school class. It's just boxed deviled food cake mix with homemade cream cheese frosting w/ green food coloring and green sprinkles. I have to give props where it's due so thank you Peyton for decorating the cupcakes and making them so pretty baby! :)
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
I think next weekend I'll post up some pics of cupcakes w/ flower fondants on them. That's what I was going to do with the cupcakes I had planned for the bridal shower. I still get really bummed out thinking about how I didn't get a chance to showcase them. :( But since I have all this fondant and tools for it, I might as well make good use of them, right??
Till next time...
Oh I also forgot to mention that I made these cute mini green tea cupcakes that well...didn't make it through all those potholes in the street during transportation. DAMN, YOU WHITECENTER POTHOLES! Here's a picture of what they ended up looking like. If you look closely, I think maybe 1 or 2 actually survived, but the rest are definitely done for. Please, lets have a moment of silence for the cupcakes that never got to see past the styrofoam box...
Monday, February 28, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My, oh, my, have I been in a baking frenzy! My friends and I are hosting a bridal shower in 2 weeks so I've been in the kitchen quite a bit testing out my recipes. This is my first time taking on both green tea powder and these cute mini heart shaped cookies with royal icing. I'm a perfectionist in the kitchen, so granted that anything branded with my name on it has to be 100% pure AWESOMENESS. I think that it's very important when presenting food, that you first appeal to the eyes( meaning presentation) and then obviously, smell, and taste. I'm probably going to get crap from my friend Linda for posting some of these pics since it's supposed to be all G-14 classified, need to know basis information, but I just couldn't help myself!
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
On a much lighter and happier note, my son Landon and daughter Peyton are celebrating their bdays this weekend! I'm so stoked for that! I'm going to be kicking my butt in the kitchen trying to cook ALL the food myself. Did I mention that I need to feed about 18 adults and 6387687643867820 kids. YIKES! Man, the things us moms do... for our mostly loving and sometimes bad ass kids... :)
My adorable fam bam