Wednesday, June 30, 2010

News and Cake!

I have some great news!! ...I'm going to Japan! Wooo hooo! So I know some people think summer school is super boring and a waste of time, well not me. I'm going to Japan for my summer school. 3 weeks baby! I get to learn, live, and eat in Japan. I'll be traveling to several different cities, and I will even stay with a host family as I go to a Japanese high school! Can you believe it?! I hope they like food. (I know I do!) Okay, so in honor of this great and wonderful news, I made a cake.


This cake was just kinda something I whipped up. I found a can of condensed milk in my pantry (yes, sometimes I just look in my pantry for inspiration) so I used it to make my cake. I thought it would be like dulce de luche, but uhhhh... it wasn't caramel-y. So to get an idea of what this cake was like, imagine the most dense cake (like a pound cake) and double that. Next, imagine the most milky cake, and then double that too. It was like a really dense, milky pound cake. (it wasn't sooooo dense that it was hard! it just felt...uh filling.) My dad absolutely llloooovvvveeeddd the cake. He's almost done eating the entire pan, and by himself too! I thought it was just okay. It was good I guess, but I'm just not a fan of pound cake.

What should I call this cake?? Uhhh not a dulce de luche cake? A super milky pound cake? Milk pound cake? Condensed milk cake? IDK!! Help?! If you have a name for this cake, can you please comment! 'cause I really need a good name for this recipe!

Condensed Milk Pound Cake? - Printer Friendly Version
Ingredients:
1 (14 oz) can condensed milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 3/4 cup flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. Beat condensed milk, egg, and sugar
3. Add in milk and butter
4. Add in flour and baking powder
5. Pour in to a greased 8x8 pan
6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean
7. Enjoy!



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Yum. Peanut butter. I absolutely love peanut butter! Almond butter is pretty good too.  Though, not so much cashew butter. Okay, so yesterday I bought some more peanut butter at the store (yes, I ran out of peanut butter! :O!!! ) And today I made peanut butter cookies! They weren't super sweet, which is good (i think) cause my parents don't really eat a lot of super sweet stuff. Here's the recipe!:

Peanut Butter Cookies - Printer Friendly Version
1/2 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F
2. Beat butter and brown sugar. Add in egg and peanut butter
3. Mix in flour and milk
4. Place rounded tablespoons on a cookie sheet
5. Bake for 13 minutes or until browned


Monday, June 28, 2010

Molasses Ginger Cookies

What should I make today?...that was the question I asked myself this morning. So what did I end up making this morning? Ginger Molasses Cookies. How were they? uhhh...they were kinda strange. They were soft, molasses-y, and a little gingery, but for some reason there was some weird after taste. Or at least that's what I thought. My mom, on the other hand, thought they were great. Something about how it's for a more mature taste. sure.... Man, I ask a lot of questions. Oh wells, well here's the recipe for the "mature" tasting cookies. :p

Molasses Ginger Cookies - Printer Friendly Version
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 teaspoons ginger
2 cups flour

1. Preheat oven to 325˚F
2. Cream butter and sugar. Add in egg and molasses
3. Stir in ginger and flour
4. Place rounded tablespoons of dough on a cookie sheet
5. Bake for 12 minutes or until done



Sunday, June 27, 2010

5 Spice Cookies

This cookies were jam packed with a ton of flavor from the different spices. I haven't really made many cookies with a lot of spices, so I kinda just rummaged through my fridge opening them and smelling them to see which of them would fit a cookie. I absolutely love, love, love, cinnamon. I think it's like the best spice in the world!!! :) hence more cinnamon than the other spices... Also, these cookies can be made in just one bowl! (I'm actually just too lazy to mix the flour with the other spices in a separate bowl) Some recipes say to mix that stuff in a separate bowl, but I never understood why. Maybe to make sure the baking powder and stuff was evenly combined, but I mean like, if you're using a mixer, it's all gonna combine right?

When I took the cookies out of the oven, I guess the oven was too hot or something because they came out more like biscuits than soft cookies. I could just imagine eating these cinnamony spicy biscuity cookies with a nice cup of hot tea. Except I don't drink tea, and uh it's kinda hot to drink tea. But back to the cookies, so the spices actually came through very nicely. I could actually see the spices! I think if I wanted softer cookies, I would've lowered the temperature to 325˚F and kept the same baking time. Enjoy!

5 Spice Cookies - Printer Friendly Version
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
2 teaspoons cardamom
1 1/2 cup flour

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar. Add in egg
3. Mix in the spices and flour.
4. Form and flatten round balls on a cookie sheet
5. Bake for 10 minutes, or until done
6. Enjoy!



Friday, June 25, 2010

Pioneer Saloon


I know, pioneer saloon sounds like a western/american food type of place. But they actually serve local japanese food. Can you believe that? A japanese eatery with a Western name.

So onto the food. It's delicious! And cheap too! The croquette is extremely tasty. Although it's fried, it doesn't taste fried! The curry is pretty good too. There's lots of big chunks of very tender meat and veggies. The musubis are oishii!!! When we picked up the food it was still warm and delicious.

Oh, and there's no parking btw. So it's much easier to call and then pick up. It's faster too!


musubis (ume and salmon)


ikura musubi - it was a plain musubi and i added a ton of ikura


Curry


Croquette

menu


menu

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Surprise! Minty, fluffy, delicious....Mint Marshmallows!

eeek! I forgot to post this yesterday!! my bad... but now i did, so it's all good. Right? Okay, so........last post i promised something fluffy and delicious. At least I think. But anyways, here it is! Fluffy, minty, and oh so delicious mint marshmallows.

Everyone's seen those marshmallows at whole foods, right? They're fluffy, marshmallowy, and super super expensive! Well at least for just 9 pieces (or how ever much they have)! So...I made my own! Plus, I got this recipe book for confections that had a super great recipe for marshmallows.

So how did it go? .....Great! They were actually quite easy to make and super delicious. I always thought they would be super hard, you know, being a candy and all, but they actually weren't. I just made the syrup, melted gelatin, mixed them together...and.......wa lah! marshmallows!

so sorry i forgot to post the recipes, but here it is!:

Mint Marshmallows - Printer Friendly Version
adapted from Chocolates and Confections by Peter Greweling 

Ingredients:
3 envelopes (tbs) Gelatin
1/2 cup Cold water
1 1/2 cup Granulated sugar
3/4 cup Light Corn Syrup
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 cup Water
2 teaspoons Mint Extract
1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch

Directions:
1. In a stainless-steel bowl, combine gelatin and cold water. Oil a 8x8 pan and a rubber spatula.
2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, and water.
3. Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring gently
4. Cover saucepan with a lid and simmer for 4-5 minutes on medium heat
5. Remove lid, and heat on high until 250˚F
6. Remove pan from heat, and pour into a large mixing bowl
7. Leave syrup undisturbed until cools to 210˚F, while cooling melt gelatin over a hot water bath
8. Once cooled, add gelatin to syrup and whip on highest speed for 6 min or until very light
9. Whip in mint extract
10. Pour marshmallow into the oiled pan, spread with spatula
11. Allow marshmallows to cool. (At least 2 hours)
12. Combine confectioners' sugar and cornstarch
13. Cut marshmallows in squares, and roll in cornstarch mixture
14. Store in airtight container.
15. Enjoy :)!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Berry Popsicles

Ah, nothing better than eating a nice cold popsicle while floating in a pool. :) yum! these popsicles are also sooo easy to make. And, I don't have to buy them from the store anymore. yay! sorry this post is so short, but I have a fluffy minty surprise for tomorrow!

Berry Popsicles - Printer Friendly Version
1 container of apple sauce
2 cups berries, if using frozen thaw berries!
1/2 cup juice, any

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour into molds and freeze. When taking them out, run mold under hot water to loosen the popsicles. Enjoy!



Monday, June 21, 2010

Apricot Pecan Bar

I’ve been baking a lot of bars! Chocolate bars, vanilla sugar bars, cranberry bars, tons and tons of bars! Now I made…..Apricot pecan bars! I was too lazy to soften the butter before I made these so I used apricot jelly instead of butter. I know, that’s kind of a weird substitution, but it turned out pretty well. It was sweet, but not too sweet. And, uh, well they were good. Trust me. Plus there’s only 5 ingredients! So easy. Happy summer time!


Apricot Pecan Bars - Printer Friendly Version
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup apricot jelly
1 ½ flour
½ cup praline pecans or normal pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. Cream butter and sugar. Add in jelly
3. Beat in flour and pecans
4. Press into a greased 8x8 pan
5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy father's day!

Sorry, no new recipes today....probably tomorrow though! But I had to make a post to wish all the fathers a very happy happy father's day!!! So, to all those fathers out there: HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! okay, well now i am going to spend time with my dad. :)

p.s. don't forget to vote! sweet and spicy chicken? *wink wink*

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Cranberry Bars

Did you know Costco has been rated the top retailer place to buy everything? I can see why. I like Costco. They have good samples. Plus, I can get a ton of my baking stuff for a really good deal. Like dried cranberries. At the grocery store it’s like 5 dollars for a tiny bag. I can get a humungo bag from Costco for about 6 dollars. That’s only a dollar more! And for a big that’s like 10 times as big. No wonder everyone likes Costco! Oh but back to wait I made. So I made cranberry bars. Yup. Cranberry bars. Enjoy!

Oh, don't forget to vote!! Sweet and spicy chicken, anyone?!? (*wink wink!*)

Cranberry bars - Printer Friendly Version
2 tablespoons coffee
½ cup milk powder
1/3 cup oil
½ cup sugar
1 cup flour
¾ cup dried cranberries

1. Combine coffee, milk powder, oil, and sugar
2. Beat in flour
3. Add in cranberries
4. Press into a greased 8x8 pan
5. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vanilla Sugar Bars

I found some vanilla in my fridge, and I was craving something sweet so….I made vanilla sugar cookies. Wait, I meant bars. I was too lazy to actually make individual cookies. Typical, typical me. Maybe I should’ve named this blog milk n bars. Oh wells. These bars are delicious. Chewy, with a hint of vanilla. Delicious.


Vanilla Sugar Bars
½ cup butter
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 cup flour
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
2. Split vanilla bean lengthwise, place in a ziploc bag with sugar. Rub together to flavor the sugar.
3. Cream butter and sugar. Add in egg
4. Mix in flour.
5. Press dough into a greased 8x8 pan
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until browned

Printer Friendly Version


Thursday, June 17, 2010

OMG!!!

OMG I'm one of the finalist for the Fischer and Wieser Summer Grilling Recipe Contest! I can't believe it. This is so cool! I've never been a finalist for anything! Right now is the voting period so make sure to VOTE!!! All the recipes sound super yummy so choose carefully! (hint hint: I made the Sweet and Spicy Chicken. Just saying. But don't let me sway your decision!! Everything sounds so good!!!)

Oh, I was so excited I forgot to talk about the company. My bad... So Fischer and Wieser is a company that makes delicious jellies, sauces, and much much more! Their sauces are great marinaders (uhh is that a word?) and perfect for a backyard BBQ. They have a wide selection of products; from pasta sauces to pie fillings!! I didn't even know there was such a thing as pie filling! man, am I out of it!

Chocolate Bars

Chocolate Bars
Yay, it’s summer. It’s soooo hot though. Maybe even too hot to turn on the oven….nah. Just kiddin. These chocolate bars are great for a picnic or day at the beach. Plus, like a lot of the stuff I usually make, it’s easy too. I was too lazy to make individual cookies, so I pressed the dough into a pan and …ta dah! A super big square cookie just waiting to be cut into individual squares! And then taken to the beach to be gobbled up :)

Chocolate Bars - Printer Friendly Version
½ cup butter
½ cup hot chocolate powder
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk powder
½ cup sugar
1 ½ cup flour

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
2. Cream butter and hot chocolate
3. Add in egg, milk powder, and sugar
4. Mix in flour. The dough will look crumbly.
5. Press into a greased 8x8 pan
6. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean

Hamburgers!!!

Ah summer, the time for fun and play. What better way to kick of summer than with a BBQ? And, it gives me a chance to make homemade burgers! I’ve never made burgers before, and even if we do eat burgers we always use those store bought ones. You know they say “yellow buns”. Why yellow? I thought they were white!? Well back to my hamburgers. Why are they called HAMburgers? Are they made out of ham? I don't this so…uh I’m getting off track. So I made not only homemade patties, but also homemade buns! It actually wasn’t that hard. I made the dough, stuck it in the oven, made the patty, grilled it, and put it all together. Easy peasy. How did the burgers turn out? Well….they were delicious! The burgers were moist and perfectly grilled (thanks to my little brother - I don’t grill…) . The buns were super yummy! I accidently left them in the oven to keep them warm and so the tops are a little dark, but they still tasted good. So much better than those yellow buns! :)



Burger:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup panko (japanese bread crumbs)
1 egg
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Form patties. (make sure the patties are thinner in the center than the edge!!)

Burger Buns w/ Poppy seeds:
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes 8 4 to 5-inch burger buns
3 tablespoons warm milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3 cups bread flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Poppy seeds, for sprinkling
1. In a glass measuring cup, combine one cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. Meanwhile, beat one egg.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter combine until forms crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, well-floured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, one to two hours,
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange two to three inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap lightly coated in nonstick spray and let buns rise in a warm place for one to two hours.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Brush tops of buns with an egg wash. Top with poppy seeds. Bake for 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

random pictures


Waikiki


Diamond Head Beach


Rainbow

Hawaii

Ten Food Contests That Should Exist

You know how there are so many different food contests? I mean they have like sooo many; from oyster shucking to hot dog eating! I thought of some I think would be pretty cool. Can you think of any contests that should exist?

here's my list :) (they're not in any specific order btw)

1. Watermelon Smashing
Smashing watermelons. So cool. Need I say more?

2. Fastest Raspberry Picking
Raspberries are so delicious, but I mean like really, they take sooo long to pick.

3. Tofu Carving
Wouldn’t that be so weird? It’s almost like ice sculpting, but with big blobs of soy.

4. Cake Stacking
How high can you go? Sounds delicious too, but I wouldn’t want to be the clean up crew.

5. Kashi Original Cereal Eating Contest
Have you ever tried eating a bowl of it without gagging? Fiber twigs, really?

6. Durian Eating Contest
Ugh, just thinking of that stuff makes my stomach churn. And the smell! Yuck.

7. Fastest peeling skin off grapes
I’d volunteer to eat the skinless grapes!

8. Fastest dinner
By dinner, I mean an edible tasty meal.

9. Biggest gingerbread house
Wouldn’t that be so cool if you could live in a house with cookie walls?!?

10. Taste testing different brands of water
Everyone thinks I’m weird, but can’t you just taste the difference between brands of water? It’s totally obvious!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A twist on a classic: Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and crackers. Probably one of my favorite after-school snack. Here I put a spin on the classic. It's an Asian twist on the American cracker and cheese combo. Mozzarella cheese with tobiko or cheddar cheese with tobiko on delicious multi-grain crackers. Yum. Oh, and these are also great as appetizers!

Asian twist on the classic Cheese and Crackers:
10 Crackers
10 slices of cheese (I used mozzarella and cheddar)
1/2 cup tobiko (about 2 teaspoons per cracker)

1. Place sliced cheese on crackers
2. Spoon tobiko onto cheese



Monday, June 14, 2010

Alan Wong's



The other day I went to Alan Wong's for dinner. It's supposedly the best restaurant on Oahu, and well, I think their desserts are pretty awesome. But first, the bread.

Ah, the bread. It was soft, warm, fluffy, and the perfect start to this delicious meal. Next up was the "New Wave" Opihi Shooter. It was served in a tall skinny glass, and was surprisingly tasty. It was a little salty, but somehow the combination of the different flavors worked.



Then came the soup. It was the special of the day, Lobster Bisque. It was okay, I guess. Not great, nothing I'd order again.


Then, the main meal. Mochi Crusted Opakapaka, Steamed Shellfish bowl, Steamed Moi, and Twice Cooked Short Ribs (Soy Braised and Grilled "Kalbi" Style). I was actually disappointed with my meal. I forgot "crusted" meant deep fried...so my fish (mochi crusted opakapaka) was kinda oily. The shellfish bowl broth was amazing. It was Perfect. The lobster in the bowl on the other hand, uh, not so much. We actually had to crack it ourselves. Um...really?I thought we weren't supposed to get our hands dirty at such a nice restaurant. The Moi was just okay. The short ribs? They were so tender and good, well at least according to my brother (I don't eat steak/ribs/those kinds of meats). My brother said these short ribs are one of the best he's ever had. And let me tell you, he's eaten a lot of meat.


steamed shell fish bowl


Moi


Mochi Crusted Opakapaka


Twice Cooked Short ribs, Soy Braised and Grilled "Kalbi" Style. Okay, so I know it looks like blood. But don't worry, it's not that red!


the BEST risotto EVER!!!

But now onto the desserts!


Yum, my favorite part. We had the Kula Strawberries Romanoff, "Lemon Meringue Pie", Chocolate Sampler, and an off the menu ice cream/cake thing. They were delicious. Well at least three of them were. The "lemon Meringue Pie" not so much. The Kula Strawberries Romanoff was light and delicious, while the Chocolate Sampler was rich and caffeine high!! Overall the meal was terrific, the service was wonderful, and I totally hope my parents bring me back here! (And maybe with a nicer camera too. these pictures are terrible - sorry)


Kula "strawberries Romanoff"-Big Island Dairy Goat Cheese Panna Cotta, Kula Strawberry-Hibiscus Soup, Goat Cheese Sorbet, Hawaiian Vanilla Sabayon


"Lemon Meringue Pie" -Not Your Ordinary Lemon Meringue Pie…Blueberry-Yuzu Compote


Chocolate Sampler -Warm Molten Chocolate Cheesecake, Waialua Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate "Crunch" Bars, Chocolate Soup, Michelle's Candy Bar, Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies,