Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peanut Cookie things (Messed up macarons)

Ah! My first attempt at making macarons was a failure!!! Maybe it was cause I tried to change the recipe without making it first...oops, definitely not gonna do that again...

 So I followed the recipe, all the directions and stuff, except I replaced the almond meal with peanut flour. Big mistake. I guess peanuts aren't the same as almond. Whoops, didn't know that. So basically I made macarons, but they turned in to weird cookie thin things. The cookies themselves weren't that bad, sorta like a crunchy peanut cookie/cracker. It was thin, only about a couple of millimeters, and they were crunchy, like a sweet peanut-y cracker.

Oh, and I also added some milk because the batter was too thick. It seriously looked like peanut butter! But then it became too runny, and when I piped them onto the baking sheet, well they sorta mixed together. You wanna know the funniest thing? Well usually only two of them would mix, and they looked like peanuts when they were done baking!

I kinda let one batch sit in the oven a little longer than the other, and so some are very light, and the other are a little too dark. Okay, yea they're really really dark. They had a more burnt peanut taste!


Weird Peanut Cookies
110 grams peanut flour
200 grams confectioners sugar
100 grams egg whites (from 3 eggs, separated 24 hours in advance)*
50 grams granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Pulse the peanut flour and confectioner’s sugar several times in your food processor until thoroughly mixed.
2. Beat egg whites until fluffy.  Add the sugar and turn the mixer to high, whisking until you have a glossy meringue.
3. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites gently, briskly at first to break up the meringue a bit, until thoroughly mixed.
4. Pipe onto baking sheet
5. Let sit one hour at room temperature.
6. Heat oven to 300. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely and remove from the pan.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

PB and Amaretto Peach Pecan Preserve Bars

Eeek! School is going to start! Oh my gosh, so much to do and so little time! Sorry if the post start to space out a little, I have all my photos and recipes ready, just not enough time to write them all down! But don't worry, I have a lot of recipes!!

yum :)


Did you guys check out the new page I added? I called it my "wishlist". It's everything (at least the stuff I could think of) that I want to make and/need to buy. While I was making the list I realized I never made anything with peanut butter and jelly. Nothing with peanut butter and jelly?! OMG that needed to be fixed right away! Plus, I had a craving for creamy peanut butter and sweet jelly! I made these bars to satisfy my craving!

lookit those pecans and jelly!
chewy, sorta soft peanut butter base
As you can see from the title of this post...I couldn't find any jelly in my house. I know, what is wrong with me?! But, lucky for me, I had a jar of amaretto peach pecan preserves from Fischer and Wieser (Remember the contest?) So instead of PB&J bars, I made PB and Amaretto Peach Pecan Preserve Bars!! Woo hoo! Now that's a mouthful :) And boy, did they satisfy my cravings! They had the perfect balance of peanut butter and preserve. (Side note: I hate it when my sandwich has too much peanut butter or too much jelly/preserve. It needs the perfect amount to be a good sandwich! Don'tcha think?)

studded with pecans... :)
I think the additions of the pecans and the subtraction of the salted peanuts was for the better. The pecans complimented the preserves, and made the peanut butter flavor a lot more stronger in the dough. So basically they were yummy, and they are perfect to take to school as a snack...or eaten at home in one sitting with a big glass of milk.... :)

View from the top!


Peanut Butter and Amaretto Peach Pecan Preserve Bars
Adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Ameretto Peach Pecan Preserves, or other flavor
2/3 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan
2. Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes. 
3. Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Slowly add to butter mixture. Add extract.
4. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly. Spread preserve on top of peanut-butter mixture. Crumble remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with pecans.
5. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about desired size
6. Enjoy!

and the side...

and another side...


    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Blackstrap Gingersnaps..Vegan!!

    Have you seen the book called Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar? Well it's this cookbook filled with tons of vegan cookie recipes! Can you believe that? All vegan! I didn't even know you could make so many vegan cookies! Now I'm not a vegan, but vegan cookies are usually really good. Like really, really good. Okay, maybe not as good as non-vegan cookies. Or maybe they are? hmm....Anyways, I was looking through the book and decided to make gingersnaps. I usually don't like using molasses because it's so hard to open that dang bottle, and measuring molasses is so hard (just like peanut butter...), but for some strange reason I was attracted to this recipe...hmm...Maybe I was craving ginger?

    Aren't you craving some now too? I know you are! So how did these gingersnaps turn out? Well they were slightly crispy on the edges, and chewy in the middle. Plus they had that cracked look! And, I think it's as good as the non-vegan cookies. Shhh, don't tell!! :) How was the flavor you ask? Perfectly gingery and molasses-y!


    Blackstrap Gingersnaps - Printer Friendly Version
    Yield 2 dozen - Adapted from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
    Ingredients: 
    3/4 cup sugar
    1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
    1/2 cup canola oil
    3 tablespoons nondairy milk (I used normal milk...so not technically true vegan...)
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup whole wheat flour
    3/4 cup all purpose flour
    2 teaspoons ground ginger
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
    2. In a bowl mix sugar, molasses, oil, milk, and vanilla extract.
    3. Mix in flours, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt
    4. Place rounded tablespoons 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet
    5. Flatten slightly and bake for 12 minutes
    6. Enjoy!

    Note: Some people have had problems getting the "cracked" look. If your cookies don't have the cracks, don't be alarmed, they still taste good! I'm currently working on the recipe to get the cracked look and I'll keep you guys posted. Sorry about that!

    Click for New Post!

    Doesn't it look so elegant?
    Close up!
    With the glass now...

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    North Shore Swim, Cholo's Mexican Restaurant, and Shave Ice from Matsumotos!

      Ack! I forgot to write a post about this swim I did. So it actually hasn't happened recently. I know, I know, bad me. And I'm sorry about that.
     So back to the swim. It was one of the North Shore Series Swims. Yes, if you actually look them up, there are 4 of them. No, I didn't do all 4 races. I only did one. The 1 mile one. It was rough. Very rough. At times I wasn't moving! Can you believe that?! But I finished, with a time of ____:____. Sorry, it's a secret...actually it's just way too slow to share! My friend did the swim with me (she's on the right) we swam the entire race together, but at the end I got caught in some of the waves...


    So moving on to other things. How about after? Well, after we went to Cholo's. You know, the Mexican Restaurant? What were you thinkin of?

     We ordered many different things. Lots of tacos, burritos, tamales, and other mexican-y food. Oh, and guess what?! We ate shave ice! yum! Cold and refreshing after a race that feels uber duper long! But first the restaurant, it was pretty good. I think actually anything would've tasted pretty good after the race (I was that hungry!). Okay, wait maybe not everything. And my mouth tasted like salt, so I wasn't really tasting the food.

    some kind of fried taco..i forgot the name...
    shrimp taco with rice and beans?
     Shave ice was actually something I could taste. It was sweet, so I guess it over came the salt? Hm...a question to ponder... There are actually two really famous shave ice places at North Shore, and like many competing places, they are right next to each other. I actually don't really care for either (I'd rather go to waiolas), so we just go in whichever line is shorter. This time, Matsumoto's line was shorter.
     I thought the ice was a little too chunky. It wasn't as fine as I like it. Plus, the flavors I got didn't taste...good. Oh, and they also have these shave ice cone holding things so that when your shave ice melts it doesn't go on to your hands and feet!
    the white stuff is condensed milk! yum...

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    Cupmen

    Do you guys eat cup noodle? Have you ever heard of it? I bet you have. It’s those Styrofoam cups filled with dried noodles that you just pour some hot water into, wait 3 minutes, and then eat. I’m not a fan of them, but my brother definitely loves them. Like I bet he would eat it everyday for a year if he could.

    I don't really like them cause I’d much rather eat something else. Not some salt laden, instant noodles made in a Styrofoam cup. But, I would make a cup if I could use this gadget thing I got from my host mother. He’s called Cupmen! He’s this little guy that you put on the lid after pouring in hot water. He's the orange little guy on the cup! Isn't he cute?

    His upper body turns a different color when your noodles are ready. Neat, huh? I think it’s a tad excessive, but you know, you can never have too many gadgets! (I think….)

    Note about where to buy him:
     Oops! Sorry guys I forgot to say where to buy this little guy! My bad..
    My host mother (in Japan) actually ordered him online (to be shipped to her house in Japan), so if you live in Japan they're practically at any store that sells kitchen gadget things. It was 800 yen, when I was Japan. I just looked up how much it would be to buy in the US, and um..well it's a little pricey! It's about 50 dollars...and I even looked on Amazon japan, but it doesn't ship to the US. bummer, yea? My advice is if someone you know, or you are going to Japan, definitely buy a couple of these little guys!  

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    Maui

    The other weekend I went to Maui for a little vacation with my family. (My dad’s old (college?/highschool?) friend was visiting Hawaii with their kids so we met up with them in Maui.)

    Aren't they cute! They decorated those cookies themselves :)
     It was actually a lot of fun! The girls were super nice and cute! One of the highlights was a lavender farm we visited because they were having a little fair. Oh, and this place called Tasaka Guri Guri!

     So first the lavender farm. It took a while to get there (but along the way were some strawberry stands! Yum!) but we eventually got there and found out it was kinda chilly. I guess we should’ve figured out that since it was on a mountain and all, it would be cold, but I guess we weren’t using our brains. Oops. The fair was actually more for little kids, like under 10, but they had some really pretty flours and this cute little gift shops that had these really good lavender cookies. There were also a couple stands selling other foods. Lavender donut anyone?

    Lavender donut
    Lavender cookies
     What else was there? Hm, oh did I mention this weird freaky looking pineapple? It was a mutant pineapple! It had two heads with only one body. It reminded my of the green and purple from dragon tails. I’m not sure why, maybe all the kiddie games put me in a kiddie mood…


    So there were the lavender baked items (scones, jams, lemonade, cookies), the freaky pineapple, crafts, extremely pretty flowers. Um, yea, basically it. But I bought a tin of their dried lavender to I can make my own lavender stuff at home! Yay!

    Lavender lemonade

    This is one of those flowers that only grows above a certain elevation. Cool, huh?


    Another highlight was the guri guri from Tasaka. If you’ve ever had shave ice (snow cone), then imagine an ice cream shave ice. It’s like a creamy shave ice. Not really ice, but not really ice cream. It’s really good! They only had two flavors, but it was really good I could’ve eaten the tub. And that was a big tub.



    The two flavors were strawberry and pineapple. I got the two scoop mix, but didn’t like strawberry (it tasted like medicine) so I got a two scoop of only pineapple. It was delicious! The store itself doesn’t look…umm how should I phrase this…um it doesn’t look all the fancy. There, I said it. But the guri guri is extremely good!!!

    Strawberry guriguri

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Nectarine Tart

    Today’s recipe is for…..a yummy tart! Do you love tarts? Aren’t they delicious? Don’t you wish you could have one right now? If you answered no to any of the questions ask yourself the following one: Have you ever had one????? If you answered no, then you HAVE to go make one. Like right now! I’m serious. Tarts are just that good. Look, see, delicious!



    They may not be the healthiest, or the most simple, but they are pretty darn tasty! Okay, so maybe they actually are kinda simple. Like this recipe. I had a nectarine on hand, wasn’t doing anything, so I decided to make a nectarine tart. I made mini tarts, and you guys all remember my brother, steve, yea?, well he piled whipped cream and ice cream on top before engulfing it. What was weird was he put a huge thing of whipped cream on, first. And a tiny scoop of ice cream, on top. Weird? I think so. But anyways, he said it was really good. I know I didn’t cut the nectarines all pretty and stuff, but if you wanna, definitely go for it!

    as you can see, my nectarines aren't all that pretty....sorry


     see, my brother just piled on the whipped cream. higher and higher it goes, where it stops no one knows!!

    now with a little scoop of ice cream. It looks a little weird, doesn't it? maybe a little unbalanced?

    Nectarine Tart
    Crust:
    4 tablespoon sugar
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1/2 cup butter

    Filling:
    3 tablespoon flour
    4 tablespoon sugar
    2 nectarine

    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
    2. In a bowl crumble the butter into the sugar and flour until small balls form
    3. Press dough into tart pan, poke holes into the bottom using a fork, bake  for 15 minutes or until lightly browned
    4. While the tart shell is cooling cut the nectarine
    5. In a bowl combine the sliced nectarine, flour, and sugar. Pour into baked shell and bake for 10 minutes or until fruit is tender.

    *tastes better with whipped cream and ice cream! or so my brother says...

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Peach Muffins

    Recently I’ve been seeing a lot of peach stuff. I know it’s peach season and all, but it’s been seriously making me want some peach muffins. Like I had a dream I was eating peach muffins. Weird?? Well that’s how much I’ve been craving their peachy goodness! (Yea, it’s probably a tad weird. Okay, maybe more than a tad…) Well anyways, to satisfy my peachy cravings, I made some peach muffins! And boy, were they yummy! Not too sweet, not too salty (why would they ever be salty?!), and they were totally better than the peach muffins from my dreams. (Yea, I’m still wondering if I’m normal…) But here’s my recipe for peach muffins…just in case you have your own peachy dream!

    just look at those perfect peaches!


    Peach Muffins - Printer Friendly
    Ingredients:
    1 cup flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 egg, separated
    2 Tablespoons butter, softened
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 peach, diced

    yumm!!


    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
    2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder
    3. In a separate bowl beat egg white until fluffy
    4. In another bowl mix butter, egg yolk, and brown sugar.
    5. Mix flour mixture into butter mixture. Fold in egg whites
    6. Fold in peach and pour into prepared muffin tins
    7. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean

    muffins! :)



    some flower shaped ones
    just look at that peach fuzz!!!

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    Cranberry + Chocolate Chips = Cookies!!!

    I know, this is just another cranberry chocolate chip cookie. But wait! It's a yummy cranberry chocolate chip cookie! Plus, it was way too hot today to think of something creative. Yes the heat effects my brain. Did I use effect correctly? Is it affect or effect? I can never tell. Maybe that's why I'm not an English person. Wow, I get off topic. So about these cookies. They are chocolate-y, cranberry-y, and yummy to eat while watching t.v. And man, I've been watching a lot of t.v. You know, it being summer and all. Here's the recipe! Now I'm off to go watch some t.v! (Pretty little liars marathon!!)



    Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies - Printer Friendly Version ('cause I know you wanna eat these!)
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 1/2 cup flour
    1 cup oatmeal
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup cranberries
    3/4 cup chocolate chips



    Directions:
    1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
    2. In a bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in egg
    3. Mix in baking soda, flour, cinnamon, and oatmeal
    4. Stir in cranberries and chocolate chips
    5. Drop rounded spoonfuls on a baking sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until browned
    6. Enjoy!