Saturday, June 22, 2013

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Friday, June 7, 2013

General Tso Chicken

My husband loves General Tso Chicken. This actually is a very easy recipe and way better and cheaper than the ones you can get at your local Chinese restaurants.


 photo GT016_edited-1_zps308793ed.jpg


General Tso Chicken

Ingredients:
Sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch

Chicken strips
Vegetable oil, for frying
Digital thermometer
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 stalks of spring onions, chopped
1 tbsp diced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried pepper flakes
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Directions:
For the sauce
  1.   1. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and cornstarch and set aside.
For the chicken
  1. In a deep large skillet, pour in oil until it is 1/2 inch deep. Stick the tip of a digital thermometer into the oil and heat until 375F degrees. Line some paper plates with paper towels.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the buttermilk into a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Dip each chicken strip into buttermilk first then into the flour mixture.
  3. When the oil is ready, fry a few strips at a time for a few minutes (do not overcrowd the skillet). When they are golden brown on the bottom, flip and fry the other side for a few minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain onto paper towels. Do this to all the chicken strips.
  4. After the chicken are fried, bring out a clean pan, add oil and sauté the spring onions, dried pepper flakes, garlic and ginger until the garlic is golden brown. Add the chicken and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the sauce and mix thoroughly making sure all chicken strip is coated with the sauce. simmer for 2 minutes under low heat. 
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds (optional). Serve with steamed rice.

Enjoy!


April

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Spaghetti a la Carbonara



Spaghetti a la Carbonara
Ingredients:
(serves 2)

1/2 pound spaghetti


1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

3 oz pancetta,cubed or sliced into small strips

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 large eggs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano
1/4 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
3-4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano for toppings

ground black pepper

1/2 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (optional)


Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until when it becomes "al dente".  Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/4 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

3. Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. 

3. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency.
4. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and cheese if desired.









April

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vegetables Tempura



Vegetables Tempura Recipe



Ingredients:


6 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1 cup light beer or amber ale
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 lb. precut vegetables, such as peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli florets from the salad bar or a stir-fry mix
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

Directions:
  1. Heat oil in a wide pot over high heat until it reaches 350° on a deep-fry thermometer. Reduce heat to low. Whisk flour, beer, salt, garlic powder, and cayenne together in a medium bowl. Working in 2 batches and using tongs, drop vegetables into batter and then into oil. Fry until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  2. 2. Mix mayonnaise and mustard together and serve on the side.


April

Monday, May 13, 2013

Twice Baked Potatoes

This recipe is something everyone would enjoy. As you can see in the picture, mine doesn't have green onions in them. That's because my husband doesn't like green onions.:)







Twice Baked Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 Large Baking Potatoes

8 Slices of Bacon

1 Cup Sour Cream

1/2 Cup Milk

4 Tbsps Butter

1/2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Pepper

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided

8 Green Onions, Sliced Divided


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Bake potatoes in preheated oven for 1 hour.

3. Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.

4. When potatoes are done allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; save skins. To the potato flesh add sour cream, milk, butter, salt, pepper, 1/2 cup cheese and 1/2 the green onions. Mix with a hand mixer until well blended and creamy. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins. Top each with remaining cheese, green onions and bacon.

5. Bake for another 15 minutes.


Enjoy!



April

Friday, May 10, 2013

Caprese Salad

I love this salad so much, I can eat an entire bowl by my self.:)
I hope you will like this recipe as much as I do...





Caprese Salad Recipe


Ingredients:

2 cups Balsamic Vinegar

3 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick

12 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thick

 Fresh Basil Leaves Olive Oil, For Drizzling

Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper



Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.
2. When you're ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction, making designs if you want. Store extra balsamic reduction in fridge for a later use.
3. End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve as a lunch, with crusty bread. Or serve alongside a beef main course for dinner.


April

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Caramelized Peach Dessert

It's peach season!!! And I love peaches. At my mother-in-law's garden, her peach tree is full of sweet peaches. I took some and made a dessert. Here's my first peach recipe and there's more to come.^_^







Caramelized Peach Dessert Recipe

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter
8 fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and
sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar


1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 vanilla ice cream

Directions:


1.Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add and then stir the peaches into the butter. Increase the heat to medium-high. Cook and stir until the peaches begin to sizzle in the butter, then stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Continue stirring until the peaches are tender and the sugar has turned into a golden brown glaze, 3 to 5 minutes more.
2.Spoon the peaches into individual bowls. Scoop the ice cream over the peaches, and serve.


Enjoy!



April

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Pan de Coco

I found this recipe online a long time ago. And like every recipes I got, I printed it out and totally forgot the original source. I do not claim every recipe here as my original. But rest assured that the recipes I got here has been cooked and tested by me and passed according to my standards and tastes. They are fairly easy and perfect for a novice cook/baker like me.



Pan de Coco Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

3 cups bread flour
1- 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tbsp 


1/2 tsp salt

1 pouch rapid rise yeast 
3 egg yolks
1/4 cups milk 
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup water
extra flour for kneading
sugar for dredging






Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 1/2 tbsp softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
(Combine all ingredients, set aside.)

Directions:
(yields 12)

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Dissolve yeast in warm water and 1 tbsp sugar. Stir to dissolve and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Set aside. 

3. In a large bowl, combine the milk, 1/4 cup sugar, butter, egg yolks and salt.

4. Blend well then add the yeast mixture. 

5. Add flour to make a moderate stiff dough.

6. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth & elastic. 

7. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let it rise in a warm place for at least an hour.

8. After rising, transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. 

9. Use a dough slicer to divide the dough into 4 equal parts.

10. Roll each part until it forms into a log. Cut each log into equal pieces. (see picture above)

11. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin until it stretches into a round shape. (see picture above)

12. Place about 1 tbsp of filling in the middle of the flattened dough.

13 Gather sides of round, pinch together and twist.

14. Place all the shaped dough (pinched side down) on a lightly greased baking sheet or tray lined with wax paper.

15. Cover the tray with a damp cloth and let it rise for 20-30 minutes.

16. Bake the shaped dough for 20-25 minutes. 

Serve warm. Enjoy!



April

Friday, April 26, 2013

Banana Loaf Bread

I hate throwing out food. In this case, my overripe bananers (how we call bananas at home LOL). I have 4 pieces that I didn't want to go to trash. So, I made this Banana Loaf Bread instead.







Banana Bread

Ingredients:


3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed

1/3 cup melted butter

1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Directions:

Yield: Makes one loaf.
No need for a mixer for this recipe.

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

2.With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

3.Mix in the sugar, egg, raisins (optional) and vanilla. 

4.Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

5.Add the flour last, mix.

6.Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan.

7.Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Enjoy!



April

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Apple Pie

This apple pie recipe is brought to you by my husband's request. Last week, he asked me if I could make him an apple pie for his  colleagues at Scott and White Hospital. And now I finally got a chance to make them. I found this recipe online a long time ago. I printed it out and totally forgot the name of the site where I got it from. So, whoever came up with this easy-peasy-yet-awesome recipe, all credit is for you.





Apple Pie

Ingredients:
Pastry for 2 crusts (recipe below)

8 cups sliced, peeled assorted baking apples - about 3 lbs.  (Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk
Directions:
1. In a large bowl, toss the sliced apples with lemon juice.
2. Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg; add to apples and toss well to coat.
3. Fill pastry lined 9 inch pie pan with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
4. Place second crust on top of pie filling, cut slits in top of crust to vent. Seal the edges of the crust with a fork or by hand.
5. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk and milk. Brush mixture over top crust.
6. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.


























Flaky Pastry Pie Crust Recipe

Makes two 9-inch pie crusts
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice water
Directions:
1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
2. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Stir in the ice water, a Tablespoon at a time, until the crust mixture forms a ball.
4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
5. Sprinkle flour onto rolling surface. Roll dough out, then divide in half. Roll each half to fit a 9-inch pie plate.
 6. Place crust in pie plate, pressing evenly into the bottom and sides.





April

Quick Dinner Idea: Spaghetti With Italian Sausage and Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

I have lots of chores to do the entire day that by dinner time I've ran out of energy already. So, I have a few quick dinner ideas up my sleeves. Something that's so easy to do but yummy at the same time.

This recipe is very easy, it is literally just tossing things together in the pan and Voila! Dinner!






Spaghetti With Italian Sausage


Ingredients: (serves 2)

A handful of Spaghetti pasta
2 cups of Ragu Pasta Sauce Meat (or any pasta sauce of your choice)
2 Italian Sausage
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

Directions:

1. Cook the spaghetti pasta according to the packaging. Drain and set aside.

2. Slice the Italian sausages to bite size and fry them in oil.

4. In a sauce pan put the pasta sauce and add the fried sausages and simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Put the cooked pasta in the serving plate top with sauce and sausage. Garnish with cheese of your choice.




Bacon Wrapped Asparagus
(grilled/oven baked)

Ingredients:


1 1/2 lbs Asparagus spears trimmed to 4-5 inches tips
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Salt
4 slices Bacon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven (if using) to 400 degrees F.

2. Lightly coat asparagus spears with extra-virgin olive oil and season with pepper and salt.

3. Divide the total by four. Gather that number of spears and use the bacon to wrap the bundle and secure the spears together. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

4. To grill, place bundles on the hot grill and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the bacon is crisp and asparagus are tender.

For oven preparation, place bundles on slotted broiler pan and bake for 12 minutes.



Enjoy!


April

Nutella Cookies

My babies and I loves Nutella that's why this cookie recipe was a hit to us. Its gooey on the inside and crispy on the outside. Despite the fact that the Nutella itself is sweet already plus the white and brown sugar in the ingredients, the cookies aren't too sweet. It is just perfect. I hate cookies that are too sweet that's why I alter most ingredients on some cookie recipes.:)


To all fellow Nutella lovers, I hope you will love this recipe as much as we do.




Nutella Cookies

Ingredients:

Makes 2 dozens

½ cup of Unsalted Butter at room temperature
½ cup of Brown Sugar
½ cup of Granulated Sugar
1 cup of Nutella
2 Eggs
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
2 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 tsp of Baking Soda
¼ tsp of Salt
1 Tbsp of Cacao Powder
White Chocolate Chips (optional)



Directions:


1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, line a few baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2) In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda, set aside. 

3) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both kinds of sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and nutella and mix to incorporate well.

4) Add the dry ingredients and mix everything together until your dough comes together. 

5) Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out the cookie dough on your prepared baking sheets a few inches apart.

6) Add the white chocolate chips on the top. (optional)

7) Bake them for about 10 minutes.(they will look very puffy as they bake but they will flatten as they cool)

8) Let them cool completely



Enjoy!



April

Homemade Pizza



This is my first time to make homemade pizza from scratch. It's really fun to make this. I thought it's hard to make the pizza dough but I'm surprised at how easy it was when I did it. Once you get the pizza dough done everything else is just a breeze. I haven't found a good recipe for pizza sauce yet so I used a bottled one. You can put any toppings you like. My kids had some good ol' pepperoni pizza, my husband chose jalapeno and pepperoni on his and I had mushrooms and honey glazed ham on mine.

The kids had so much fun making the pizzas. They helped put the toppings.:) I guess they really hungry already while making it cause they watched the pizza in the oven until it was fully baked.


Pizza Dough Recipe


Ingredients:
Makes 2 14-inch Pizza Crusts
3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus more for rolling (Note: Using bread flour will give you a much crisper crust. If you can't find bread flour, you can substitute it with all-purpose flour which will give you a chewier crust.)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 envelope instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 cups water, 110 degrees F
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons


Directions:



Combine the bread flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. While the mixer is running, add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball. If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.



Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.




Enjoy!



April

Homemade Pretzels

This homemade pretzel recipe is super yummy! And as usual this very easy, perfect for my mediocre baking skill. My babies loves it. We had tried different toppings such as pepperoni, cinnamon sugar and my favorite garlic Parmesan cheese.


Cinnamon Sugar and Garlic Parmesan Cheese Pretzels



Homemade Pretzels


Ingredients:
(Makes 10)

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 1/2 packages)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • To taste, coarse salt
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons butter (melted)

Directions:


1.Sprinkle yeast on lukewarm water in mixing bowl; stir to dissolve. Add sugar, salt and stir to dissolve; add flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. Let rise at least 1/2 hour.

2.While dough is rising, prepare a baking soda water bath with 2 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. Be certain to stir often.

3.After dough has risen, pinch off bits of dough and roll into a long rope (about 1/2 inch or less thick) and shape. Dip pretzel in soda solution and place on greased baking sheet. Allow pretzels to rise again. 

4. Brush with melted butter, add toppings (optional. Note: not for Cinnamon Sugar).

5.Bake in oven at 450 for about 10 minutes or until golden.
Toppings:
After you brush with butter try sprinkling with coarse salt.
or Garlic Parmesan Cheese, mix freshly grated Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.
or Once Baked:
Cinnamon Sugar Pretzels, try melting a stick of butter in a shallow bowl (big enough to fit the entire pretzel) and in another shallow bowl make a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Dip the baked pretzel into the butter, coating both sides generously. Then dip again into the cinnamon mixture.

Enjoy!


April
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