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Recipes

Apple Pastry Goodness December 14 2012

Apple and pumpkin sea shell goodness
'Tis the season to be baking! Fa~la~la~la~la...La~la~la~la~

After making pumpkin pastry, my boyfriend thought it would be nice to make one in apple flavor.  We ended up making these pumpkin and apple goodness for a dinner party.  They were such a big hit.  They are also delicious for breakfast!  

Makes 1 load of these (8 pieces of apple pastry goodness)

Ingredients:
2/3 cup whole wheat flour or all purpose flour. (I used wholewheat flour)
1 egg
1/3 jar of apple butter
2 teaspoon butter coconut oil for greasing pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
powdered sugar for garnish

To Make:
Grease pan or molding pan with coconut oil. Preheat oven at 350F.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a different bowl mix egg, butter, pumpkin, buttermilk. Use your bare hand to mix until the wet ingredients. Use pinching motion to break up everything into small pieces and help to warm up the ingredients. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while keeping your hand in pinching motion to mix wet and dry together. When batter is mixed, it should be runny and gooey.

Pour batter in mold and bake for 50-60 mins. When it's done remove it from oven, and wait for a few minutes for pastries to shrink a little.  This makes it easier to remove them from the molding. After removing from molding, let cool on rack.  Gently sift some powdered sugar on top before serving.

If your pastry have a very light, airy and spongy texture, you have achieved this recipe.  Enjoy!


Pumpkin Handheld Pie Cake December 07 2012

sea_shell_pumpkin_pie_cake
'Tis the season to be baking! Fa~la~la~la~la...La~la~la~la~

I was sooo excited that my cast iron molding came! It's one from 1989. It's not that old that you can consider it vintage, but I figured the quality of this is better than new ones. It's one of the John Wright molding I got from a former owner of my molding from Maine! I love that each mold is a completely different sea shell. It's so very beautiful!

After my boyfriend gave it a nice scrub down to get rid of the rust, it was ready to get hot! I decided to make the pumpkin I had left over. When it got done, the crust is a little crispy and inside is like moist like pumpkin pie pudding. Thus I called it a handheld pie cake. Now picture this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream next to it! Yumm!

Makes 1 load of these (8 hand held pies)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup whole wheat flour or all purpose flour. (I used wholewheat flour)
1 egg
1/2 can of pumpkin
1 teaspoon butter
coconut oil for greasing pan
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1/4 teaspoon all spice
4 cardamoms blended into powder
2 big scoops of vanilla bean ice cream or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used ice cream)
2 scoops of 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
powdered sugar for garnish  

To Make:
Grease pan or molding pan with coconut oil. Preheat oven at 350F.

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. In a different bowl mix egg, butter, pumpkin, buttermilk. Use your bare hand to mix until the wet ingredients. Use pinching motion to break up everything into small pieces and help to warm up the ingredients. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while keeping your hand in pinching motion to mix wet and dry together. When batter is mixed, it should be runny and gooey.

Pour batter in mold and bake for 50-60 mins. When it's done remove it from molding and let them cool on rack. If you want to add powder sugar on top, now is the time. Scoop a little bit of powder sugar in sifter and gently sift over each pie cake.


Spiced Sweet Bread November 22 2012

spiced sweet bread
It was one of those nights when I felt like having a piece of cake, but also didn't want anything too sweet. This sweet bread has the texture of a cake, but it feels like soft bread, moist, soft, spongy. It's a little sweet so it can be eaten alone to fight those crazy sweet tooth cravings, or you can cut a slice and add ice cream and whipped cream to make it a real dessert. Spiced Sweet Bread
Indregients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 vitamin C powder
8 cardamoms (deshelled and grinded)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup toasted pecans (chopped)
3 tablespoons milk (optional)
3 tablespoons coconut oil (goes inside cake)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (use for brushing over cake)
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey (goes inside cake)
2 tablespoons honey (use for brushing over cake)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking pan with coconut oil.

Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, honey, coconut oil in center of flour and mix well. After mixing well, dough should still feel very sticky, moist to the point it would stick to your hands if you touched it. Pour dough to form a mound on the baking pan and bake for 25 min. Mix some honey with coconut oil in a small bowl and use it to brush over the entire crust of the cake when 25 min is up. Put cake back in oven after coating it and let it bake for 10 min. Repeat brushing when 10 min is up then let cake back for another 10 min. Total bake time is approx 45-50 min.


Cheese Balls November 17 2012

Cheese ball dinner rolls
Tonight has been a cold, rainy night which made me craved for fresh, toasty breads with grilled cheese on top. After having this thought, I figured that I could combine the two together. Here it is! My very own Cheese Balls! It's so soft and moist inside, and every bite was filled with melted cheese inside. They have a bit of the fluffy texture like biscuits (American biscuits haha). It was a pretty perfect Cheese Ball for this cold evening.

Makes 8 dinner roll size balls. Total bake time 20-22 minutes.

Ingredients:
2 cups of whole wheat or all-purpose flour (I used pastry whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup diced cheese (I used aged cheddar)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 teaspoons of grind pepper
2 teaspoons of sugar
a few thin slices of pickled jalapenos (optional)
3/4 - 1 cup buttermilk (will need to see dough to judge)
olive oil (I used garlic flavored olive oil)

To Make:
• Preheat oven to 350F
• Grease baking pan with olive oil
• Combine all dry ingredients and most of the cheese in a mixing bowl then mix well. Save a small amount of cheese to place on top of bread later.
• Slowly pour buttermilk in and continue to mix until everything turns into sticky, wet dough.
• Use your hands and remove the dough and make a ball. Next, cut the ball in half, then cut the halves in half then another half so you get 8 equal wedge of dough.
• Gently work each wedge dough to shape them into a ball, you will have 8 balls total. No need to knead the dough, just gently shape them.
• Grease each ball with olive oil then place them on the baking sheet.
• Place in oven to bake for 10 mins.
• Get a small bowl of olive oil and brush ready. Open oven and brush a coat of olive oil on top of each ball. Put back in oven and let back another 5mins then brush oil on top again and place a few strips of cheese on top of each ball.
• Put back in oven and let it bake for another 5-7 minutes until cheese melts on top and just start to brown.
• Serve hot as snack or entree!


Homemade Pasta November 03 2012

Homemade Pasta Dish
One day my boyfriend and I were discussing different types of pastas and he said noodles or pastas are basically boiled dough. That being said, tonight I decided to give it a try.  Turns out it was pretty easy to make, and I kept my pasta a bit thick since I prefer it chewy like udon. This plate is 100% wholewheat and it's very filling.  After boiling pasta you can use it however you like, just like any other pastas.

Fresh pasta is so much fun to make, and you can get your kids to participate in the making. After you rolled out the dough, which I will explain how below, you can take any cookie cutters and make the pastas any shapes you like. This is a great way to teach your kids about food and to appreciate the art behind the dinner table.

Tonight I stir fried boiled pasta with green onions and diced mushrooms called pig's ear mushroom due to the shape.  These mushrooms have a nice crunch so they helped adding a different texture in the plate. Serves 2-3 people

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
water
salt
2 table spoons of coconut oil or olive oil (or any oil of your preference)
any spices of your preference (opional)
1 rolling pin or press dough flat by hand flour knife or any knife for cutting dough

To Make:
Pour flour in a mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt, and a few pinches of spice then mix together.  Add a little water and continue to stir.  If the flour is too dry, add more water and continue stiring to get flour sticking together to create dough.  When the dough feels a bit firm, and mixed well, add about 2 table spoons of oil then mix it in dough.

Sprinkle some flour on your work space.  Remove dough from bowl and  knead dough about 1-2 mintues.  If dough feels too wet, sprinkle some flour on top and continue kneading.  After kneading, form dough into a ball shape and roll it out flat to the thickness you like.  I kept mine at approx 1/5 inch thick.  Now use a knife to cut them to desire length and width.

Fill a pot with water and bring to boil.  Now place each pasta you had cut in pot one by one to prevent them from sticking together.  When pasta is cooked, it will float to the top.  Fresh pasta should cook very quickly, but I like to leave it in the pot for an extra 10 min after they float to the top to ensure they are fully cooked.  Take one out to test.

Pour water out and they are ready to serve!  If you want to find out how I made the plate in the photo, read on.

Ingredients for stir fry:
green onions (chopped)
mushrooms (diced)
salt
oil for high heat (I prefer coconut or sunflower)
soy sauce
butternut squash
cumin powder
turmeric powder
garlic powder
onion powder

To Make:
Preheat oven to 375F.  

Peel skin of butternut squash, cut the squash in half the long way then rub the pieces in coconut oil. Place them in a pan and bake until soften.  It usually takes 1hr or a little longer to fully cook it so this would be the first thing to cook before starting to make pasta if you choose to add this to your dish.  Baking will bring the sweetest out of the squash.

After butternut squash is soften, cut them in small pieces when they are cool enough to handle.  Heat pan with some oil on the stove, pour green onions and mushrooms in pan.  Add pasta, a dash of salt, soy sauce to taste, cumin powder, turmeric powder, garlic and onion powder.  Lastly add butternut squash and your dish is ready to serve!


Delicious Blueberry Muffin November 03 2012

Blueberry Muffin
This loaf of muffin is the most moist yummy muffins I've ever had! If you made icing for the top, it would taste like a fantastic cake!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of cane sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup unrefine coconut oil
1 egg
4 table spoons of butter
fresh or frozen blueberries
2 bananas (mashed or chopped up)
shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon vanilla water

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease muffin cups or baking pan with coconut oil.

Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in mixing bowl then stir to mix. Place coconut oil in a measuring cup then add egg, vanilla, butter and fill water the rest of the way to allow everything to make up 1 cup. Use a spoon to stir everything in measuring cup to mix. Now pour the liquid in the flour then mix it well. Fold bananas, shredded coconuts, and blueberries in the dough and pour into muffin cups or baking pan. Place in oven to bake. Bake time is approx 20-25 min if you use muffin cups. Bake time is approx 35-40 min if you use baking pan like I did. Muffin would crack on the top when ready. Poke the muffin with a toothpick to test. When toothpick comes up clean, the muffin is ready!


Cholesterol Spinach Stir Fry September 26 2012

Cholesterol Spinach Vegetable
The purpose of this vegetable is to incorporate it into your diet for a healthy life. This vegetable is used as an herbal dietary supplement to help decrease cholesterol, blood glucose, hypertension, rheumatism, viral ailments, and other illnesses for many generations in Africa and Asia.

Now that you know the benefits of this veggie, I'm sure you'd like to know how to cook with it! My personal favorite is to do a quick stir fry with minced garlic and toasted sesame oil. Mmm....

Ingredients:
As much Cholesterol Spinach as you can eat! You can cook with whole leaves or slice thinnly.
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
high heat oil such as Sunflower oil, or sesame oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

To Make:
Pour a good amount of oil to coat the pan over medium-high heat then wait for about 20 sec for oil to heat up a bit. Add garlic in pan, and stir it for a couple of times to lift the aroma then add Cholesterol Spiniach in. Let it cook for a couple of minutes until leaves are soft. Sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper to taste. That's it! Ready to serve!


Wax Apple Salad September 03 2012

Jambu Salad

Jambu tree is native to south east Asia.  It's common name is jambu, wax apple, or rose apple.  The taste is very mild and sweet if fully ripened.  The texture is crispy, and has the effect of cooling the body.  During my younger years in Vietnam, I ate them year-round, but in U.S., they are only available in the hottest time of the year.  Jambu is just a refreshing fruit on a hot day.

Below is the recipe I used to make this salad, but you can add more green leaves such as romaine lettuce if you like.  Choose a light oil for dressing.  Place amaranth seeds in a dry pan over medium high heat with a lid on.  Keep moving the pan to prevent burning, and pour amaranth in a bowl once they are popped.  You should work with small hand full of amaranth each time so you can get most of them to pop.  They really add texture and nice crunch in the salad.

Wash and cut jambu, celery, walnuts (roasted if preferred), then place them all in a bowl.  Add a small pinch of salt and mix. If salad is not to be served instantly, do a quick soak with jambu in lime or lemon water to prevent them turning brown.  Finally, drizzle sesame oil and honey on top, place rose petals to garnish.  Everything in the photo you see is edible!  Yes, the rose petals are edible too, but you should only use organically grown roses so no pesticides cause harm to your health.  Enjoy, and don't forget to check out my video on my jambu tree!  :)

Salad Recipe
Ingredients:
Jambu (as many as desire)
amaranth (popped on stove)
celery (finely chopped)
walnuts (chopped)
a few Rose petals
honey
sesame oil or olive oil
sea salt