Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy corn muffins

Ok first off, I'm sorry for not posting more often. Its been hectic lately (crazy teachers giving me a butt load of homework/tests). And to make things more beautiful, along with my broken computer, by beloved camera died on me. **Sigh** So its a little difficult getting everything put together. But anyways.. :D
These corn muffins made me happy : ) So my mom got this new silicon muffin umm "pan" thing. It looks really cool, but feels even cooler. Its soft and rubbery and red. So I was all excited about it, and wanted to make something for the morning. Whats better than muffins? Nothing, that's what. So corn muffins it was, but not just any old corn muffins, happy corn muffins : ).

They had a nice brown crisp top, and a moist yummy middle. Excellent.
Happy corn muffins
Quaker cornmeal recipe (modified)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup enriched corn meal
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 egg whites or 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400F. Combine dry flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt (if desired). Stir in milk, oil and egg, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into 12 greased or paper-lined medium muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Icebox Cake

So it all started with the quest to find chocolate wafers. These elusive little chocolate cookies are very hard to find. I gave up and thought that I would never be able to make the legendary icebox cake. So when I was on spring vacation, I was happily shocked to find them in the food lion grocery store. I was so excited that I picked up like six boxes of them(not sure when I would ever get these cookies again) and put them in my moms shopping cart :D But then this week wile doing to weekly shopping, I found that my grocery store sells them too. Oops. Well thats ok, one can never have enough icebox cake! But oh my gosh was this cake good. Not just good, but crazy good. It was just so creamy and chocolaty and addicting. Even my dad (who hates chocolate) loved this cake. Say hello to the power of whipped cream and chocolate wafers! I have to say that It was actually fun making this cake. It was like assembling building blocks. Layer upon layer of goodness.Then you can top it off with some shaved chocolate. You have to let it chill in the fridge over night so that the cookies absorbe some of the whipped cream and get soft.I have never really been a cake lover, but this is the most amazing cake I have ever eaten. I like this cake better than cookies! Well this cake is technically made of cookies, but you get my point : ) My advice- Go make this cake...Now!!
Icebox cake
Magnolia bakery cookbook
3 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (you could use different extracts to get a different flavor)
2 (9-ounce) packages chocolate wafer cookies
Unsweetened cocoa (or chocolate shavings)
In a large bowl, beat cream, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
On a flat serving plate, arrange 7 cookies side by side in a circle, keeping 1 cookie in the center.
Spread with 1/2 cup whipped cream, making a 7-inch circle. Repeat with remaining cookies and cream, making 11 layers of cookies and ending with a layer of cream (there will be a few cookies left over). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, dust top lightly with cocoa powder or chocolate shavings.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ciabatta hates me

I just don't know why this bread hates me so much. Ciabatta was my first bread that I ever made from the bread bible. It turned out a horrible flat failure. Hard and flat, like a rock rather than "slipper". I vowed that with more experience, I would venture to conquer this bread. I failed. Again. But the worst part is that I don't know why. I followed the directions so carefully! Maybe it turned out right, but it just looks so wrong. And its hard. Really hard. I had a lethal weapon after I baked it. Anybody trying to break into my house will get a face full of ciabatta! I had to use a chain saw to cut it open ; ) But it was wierd, it had holes inside, but was wicked flat, and well, dissapointing. The pictures in the bread bible made it seem soft and spongey, the king of breads! Not. It tasted all well and good, as long as you have dental insurance. I had some searous deja vu wile cutting this open. Then I realized that it reminded me of making biscottis.
So what is your worst botch up in the kitchen? : )

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Chinese take-out party!!

I got invited to partake in a Chinese take-out party hosted by Rita of mochachocolatarita! Her blog is totally awesome, and has great recipes. Her posts are also really fun to read! So when she invited me to make chinese food, I was really excited, but had no clue what to make. Having no experience with making chinese food, I just made a stir-fry recipe,but before that marinated chicken in some hoisen sauce, then cooked it before, and added it back in later. What is so great about making your own chinese food, is that you can make it healthy, and flavor it to your tastes! This was the first time that I had used fresh ginger. And wow is it strong stuff! But what really completed this chinese dinner was homemade fortune cookies!!!

Can you say *amazing*? I would have never thought that It were possible!!! And the crazy thing was that they were simple to make, and importantly, they actually tasted like fortune cookies!! What was really cool,was that me and my friend Liz made our own fortunes for the fortune cookies. We even looked up specific ones for each family member. It was really funny.

All in all, this dinner was a huge success! For the fortune cookie recipe, watch this on youtube. Have fun!

Stir fry chinese chicken and veggies
Food network/my brain

4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
1/2 red onion, trimmed and cut into 4 wedges, layers separated trimmed,
1/4 pound Chinese broccoli, stems and leaves separated, each cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 pound Chinese long beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 scallions, trimmed, 5 cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces,
1 thinly sliced and reserved separately
2/3 cup good-quality chicken stock or broth, vegetable broth, or water, heated
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
As much chicken as you want
Hoisan sauce to marinate chicken.

Marinate chicken and set aside. After marinated, cook chicken in wok. Take out and reserve for later.
Heat a large wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the ginger, garlic, and chili flakes and stir-fry just until they are aromatic, about 30 seconds. Scoop out the aromatics and set them aside.
Add the remaining oil to the wok. When it is hot, add the onion pieces and stir-fry until they turn glossy and bright, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the bok choy and the Chinese broccoli stem pieces. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes more.
Add the long beans and the 1-inch scallion pieces. Continue stir-frying until they are bright green and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Add the Napa cabbage and the Chinese broccoli leaves, along with about 1/3 cup of the hot stock and the reserved aromatics. Continue stir-frying until the vegetables are all tender-crisp, about 2 minutes more. Add the remaining stock, soy sauce, and cornstarch mixture and stir-fry until the vegetables all look lightly glazed with sauce, about 1 minute more.
Add chicken back into the wok, and let re-heat.
Transfer the stir-fried vegetables and chicken to a heated serving dish. Garnish with the sliced scallions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Blondies! Plus and award!

Blondies made by a blondie : D These are the most amazing blondies ever. They might even be better brownies! Ahh what did I just say? Is that possible? Yes, yes it is. And the best part is that these are the easiest thing to make. Ever. I don't really know how to describe them. They are like a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form. They are soft and chocolaty and slightly chewy.
I made these blondies again, because I was bored. So when they came out of the oven, I was still at a loss of what to do, because these blondies hardly took any time to make. So with my extra easter candy, I melted down the chocolate, and made chocolate stripes with white and milk chocolate.

Everybody went crazy over these blondies too. My mom went especially nuts because she doesnt want me to make baked goods. Because then she can't help but eat them. And she thinks that she can stop me from baking stuff. Ha! Like thats going to happen.

So if you are ever in a need for some super sweet baked goods, these blondies are totally the way to go. They are so quick to make, and since the recipe is pretty basic, you can jazz it up any way you like! Like nuts? Add them. Espresso powder? Chocolate chunks? Different extracts? Go for it!

Im also super happy because I got the Arte y Pico award from Recipe Girl! Thanks Recipe girl!
Ok so then you select five blogs that you think excell in creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
Im having a serious trouble deciding who to pass this along to, because I think that there are just so many great blogs out there! I guess Il pick. . .

Elle's New England Kitchen

Noble Pig

The Kittalog

Food Stories


Smitten Kitchen

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

Butter an 8×8 pan
Mix melted butter with brown sugar - beat until smooth.
Beat in egg and then vanilla.
Add salt, stir in flour. Mix in any additions.
Pour into prepared pan. Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes, or until set in the middle. Cool on rack before cutting them.

Friday, May 2, 2008


I don't know about the rest of the word, but I can not just sit around and do nothing. It might just kill me. I can't just sit down and relax, I'm just to fidgety. So when I'm bored I break out the trusty bread bible, and look for inspiration, or search random blogs. Or in this case, a recipe that I have never seen before. In fact When I decided to make this, I didn't know what a crumpet was. All I could think of was the phrase "crumpets and tea" So they started like any other bread that I have made, except on the second rise you had to stir in baking soda.Weird. Then you cooked them on a stove top.
It was odd cooking them on the stove top. It sort of reminded me of cooking pancakes except different. The batter was quite thick and super bubbly. It made the kitchen smell heavenly, like a little bakery.
And Oh my gosh were they tasty! They were like an English muffin times a 100. The texture was so light and fluffy with lots of little holes. You can toast them up again if you made them at night like I did. Serve them with jelly of jam or just about anything!


The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum

  • 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbs dry milk
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 plus 2 tbs water divided
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp butter
  1. Mix the batter. In a large mixer bowl beat together the flour, dry milk, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the 3/4 cup of water and, gradually beat on med. for about 5 min. until completely smooth.
  2. Let the batter rise. Scrape the dough into into a container with a one quart rising capacity. With a piece of tape mark on the side where doubled the height would be. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  3. Add the baking soda and water and let dough rise again. In a small bowl mix together the baking soda and remaining 2 tbs of water.Stir into the batter and allow to rise again until almost doubled, about 30 min. The batter will be filled with bubbles.
  4. Preheat the griddle or frying pan. If using an electric griddle, preheat to 275 degrees. If using a skillet,heat over low until a drop of water sizzles when added.
  5. Fry the crumpets. Brush the pan, and the insides of the crumpet rings lightly with melted butter. Set the rings in the pan and use a ladle to spoon, or pour the batter into the rings, filling 2/3 full. The batter will rise to the top during cooking. Cook the crumpets for 10 min on one side, or until they are nicely browned underneath and have lost their dull shine on top. Turn the crumpets and continue to cook until the bottoms are browned.
  6. Cool the crumpets. Remove the crumpets and move to a wire rack. Cool completely. They can be stored over night in a paper bag, or frozen well wrapped for up to 3 months. Thaw before toasting.