Thursday, June 30, 2011

Belgian Waffle


I have always wanted a Belgian waffle maker that rotates and Macy had some really good offer so I got this one for a pretty decent price. Surfed the web and found this wonderful recepi for the waffle.  At first after mixing the batter, I thought it was little runny and wondered how it was going to turn out but this is truly the best waffle recipe, I must say. The waffle are cripy on the outside but really soft and fluffy in the inside.  It stayed soft even after couple of hours.



Source: Allrecipes.com

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup milk
2 egg
1/2 cup oil
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla, optional
1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional

Method

Heat the waffle iron as per direction.
In a bowl, add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar.  In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add milk, oil and vanilla.  Slowly mix in the liquids into the dry ingredients. Stir in the chocolate chip. Do not overmix.
Pour about 1/4 cup or laddle full ( do not fill too much as it will rise up).  Serve with syrup.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did...


It looks thick but really soft as a sponge...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kiwi and Whipped Cream Filled Swiss Roll


Kiwi filled swiss roll ! I know this seems like an odd couple but I had some kiwi's lying around in the basket; looking like they will be thrown away in no time so I crushed them coarsely and added it in the whipped cream. It gave the filling a little crunch, sour and color combined with the sweetness of the whipped cream.

Recipe can be seen here.



Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mostaccioli with Sausage and Zucchini


This dish is truly so light and versatile.  You can make it with beef or sausage.  I preferred the Italian sausage since it has some mild spice added to it.  Ever since I started making my own marinara sauce, I think its super easy, fast and delicious. I also added some shredded basil to give the extra flavor.  With such few ingredients, I think its such a wonderful dish.


Source:  Good Housekeeping - Light and Healthy Cookbook

Ingredients

1 package Ziti Rigate or Mostaccioli pasta
12 ounces sweet Italian-sausage links, casing removed
3 medium zucchini, each cut length-wise in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 can (28 oz) whole plum tomatoes
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Method

In large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs,  Drain; return pasta to saucepot and keep warm.

Meanwhile heat nonstick 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage meat and cook, stirring frequently to break up sausage, until browned about 5 minutes. Transfer sausage to bowl.

Discard all but 1 tbsp sausage drippings from skillet ( in the sausage that I used there was no fat leftover so I added about 1 tbsp of olive oil).  Add zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is golden, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes with their juices; heat to boiling, breaking up the tomatoes with side of spoon.  Return sausage to skillet.  Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes longer.

Add sausage mixture to pasta in saucepot; toss well.  Serve with grated parmesan cheese if you like.


Friday, June 24, 2011

StrawAna Roll

My hubby's friend came over today for dinner and he requested for some Asian meal.  I made some Roti Jala ( a cross between crepes and pancake; its made with flour and coconut milk and uses a special kind of mould.  To go along with it I made some chicken curry.  Dessert was again my favorite....a swiss roll with banana filling.  It was so good especially eaten cold.




This is my daughters idea of using banana in a swiss roll and I am glad she came up with this idea.  


Roti Jala


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Chicken Salad with Blueberries



I came across this recipe as I was browsing around and when I saw that it has blueberries added to it; I was thinking hmmm thats odd but I am so happy that I tried it out.  It has some crunch from the celery and onion, sweetness from the corn and tad bit sour from the blueberries.  The dressing is a combination from sour cream and mayonaise and a hint of lemon juice. This wonderful salad is such a treat on a warm day.  

Source:  Pioneer Woman's Kitchen

Ingredients
  • 2 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • 3 stalks Celery (inner Light Green Stalks), Finely Diced
  • 2 ears Fresh Corn or canned corn ( drained)
  • ¼ whole Medium Red Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1-½ cup Blueberries
  • 3 Tablespoons Fresh Dill, Minced
  • 3 Tablespoons Mayonnaise
  • 3 Tablespoons Sour Cream
  • ¼ cups Half-and-half, optional
  • 1 whole Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar (more To Taste)
  • Salt And Pepper (additional) To Taste
  • ¾ cups Crumbled Feta

Preparation Instructions

Place chicken breasts into large plastic storage bag. Pound with a mallet or rolling pin to flatten to 1/4 inch uniform thickness. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat grill and drizzle chicken with olive oil. Grill chicken on both sides until done, about 7 minutes per side. (Rotate halfway during grilling each side to ensure pretty grill marks.) Remove from pan. Allow to cool.
With a very sharp knife, shave kernels off each corn cob. Combine with the onion and celery. Set aside.
Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, feta, and half-and-half. Stir in sugar, squeeze in lemon juice, and add salt and pepper. Stir, then taste. Add more salt if necessary; do not undersalt!
Slice chicken on the bias to create flat, randomly shaped pieces. Throw into a bowl with celery, onion, and corn. Stir to combine. Pour half the dressing over the ingredients and toss gently. Add more as desired, but don’t overcoat the salad; should be light!
At the end, toss in the blueberries to lightly coat them in the dressing. Serve, then sprinkle individual helpings with feta.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tiramisu Swiss Roll



This is not your usual tiramisu cake.  This time I tried making a swiss roll with mascarpone filling and also flavored with marsala wine.  My hubby loves tiramisu and I thought this would make a perfect dessert. I am happy with how it turned out. This recipe actually does not use oil at all.  I was little skeptical at first when I saw that the yolks are whipped with water but I was glad it turned out great.

Ingredients

4 egg yolk
4 egg white
4 tbsp water
125gm sugar
1/4 tsp salt
75 gm flour
50gm cornstarch
1 tbsp baking powder
4 tsp cocoa powder

Filling

2 tbsp gelatin
6 tbsp water
90gm powdered sugar
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp marsala wine/ amaretto
8 oz mascarpone
7 oz heavy cream

( I halved the recipe for the filling and it was just nice.  Probably the next time I wont be using the gelatin; I am not a big fan of it)

2 tbsp coffee plus 2 tbsp hot water

Method

In a clean bowl, add the egg yolk and water.  Whip in high speed till white and fluffy.
Add sugar and whip again.  Set aside.
In another bowl, whip the egg whites and salt till stiff peaks form.  Add some whites into the yolk mixture and fold slowly, gradually add the rest of the whites into the yolk mixture.  Fold gently till eveything is mixed.  Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.  Fold in slowly with a large spatula.
Bake for about 9 minutes, check with a toothpick.  Switch off the oven and let the cake stand inside the oven for another 1 minute.  Remove and turn over onto a damp kitchen cloth.  ( I know this sound ridiculous.  I have attached a video, and its pretty cool how she does it) Please click here. Roll it carefully and set aside to cool down.

Now to prepare the filling -  In a small saucepan, add the gelatin and water.  Let sit till the gelatin looks spongy.  Warm up slightly in stovetop. Switch off the stove and set aside.
Whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar.  Add the marsala wine and mascarpone cheese.  Add the cooled gelatin and beat well to mix in everything.  

Unroll the cake and brush the coffee on top, do not flood it. Spread  the filling leaving about 1 inch below.  Slowly roll the swiss roll without the kitchen towel tightly.  Use a cling wrap to secure the roll.  Refrigerate the rolls for about 30 minutes.  Garnish with cocoa powder or whipped cream.



A stroll at the Arboretum

Today was so much of fun since it was Father's Day; we went for a stroll to the Arboretum after lunch.  These are some random pictures that I took.  The scenery was really beautiful especially with little streams everywhere. Sometimes we just have to lay back and enjoy the nature and let things take its course.  In my ever hectic lifestyle with kids and daily chores, I really felt so peaceful today. I hope you enjoy looking at these pictures...

Boy with a red coat
















Saturday, June 18, 2011

Strawberry Filled Swiss Roll


After making the lemon curd filling swiss rolls , my kids snacked on it so fast that I was not able to have seconds.  Today I made with the same recipe but different filling.  Tried with some strawberries and again nothing could beat a ever so simple swiss roll.  Move away icing stacked cakes...

The recipe is from here.




Friday, June 17, 2011

Peach Almond Muffins


This wonderful recipe is from the Australian woman's weekly. Actually it says marmalade but since I did not have any, I just used a peach preserve. 



Ingredients

2 cups self raising flour
125 gm butter, chopped
1 cup flaked almonds
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 cup peach preserve/ orange marmalade
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flaked almonds, extra

Method

Grease 12 hole muffin pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir flour into large bowl, rub in butter.  Stir in the nuts, sugar and rind. Then marmalade, eggs and milk.

Spoon mixture into prepared pan, sprinkle with extra nuts.  Bake in moderately hot oven about 20 minutes.




Thursday, June 16, 2011

Snow Peas with Beef


I cook this dish for dinner tonight but this time with flank steak and it was so much tastier, also I marinated the meat for couple of hours with balsamic vinegar and rice wine.  This also helped to tenderize the meat.  Served with jasmine rice, it makes such a wonderful dish.

Ingredients

1 lb Flank steak, sliced thinly across the grain
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
Thumb size ginger, minced
Pepper
Onion leaves 1 stalk
Snow Peas, 1 cup or more depending on how much you need

Method

Marinate the meat with cornstarch, balsamic vinegar, rice wine, soy sauce, minced ginger and pepper for few hours in the refrigerator.

In a very hot pan, drizzle little oil and saute the meat in batches. Let it brown slightly on one side then turn and let brown on the other side, take out and set aside.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dinner Rolls



Yet another new recepi for a wonderful soft cottony fluffy dinner rolls or what ever you call it.  Probably if you brush butter and sprinkle cinnamon sugar..it would be called cinnamon rolls or with garlic , then its a garlic roll.  The rolls still stayed soft after 1 day.  I just microwaved it  for breakfast. Spread a thin layer of nutella and chomped on it.


Ingredients

1 pkt yeast
1 cup warm water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
2 1/2 to 3 cups of all purpose flour
2 tbsp butter, melted to brush on the rolls

Method

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar and set aside in a warm place to do its work...Froth.

In mixer fitted with dough hook, add the lightly beaten egg, salt, melted butter, sugar, 1 cup flour and lastly the frothy yeast mixture.  Let the mixer run and add in 1 more cup of flour.  Stop the mixer, and with a rubber spatula stir all the flour which is on the sides of the bowl.  If the dough is very sticky, add in 1/4 cup of the flour and let the mixer knead for about 7 minutes.  The dough should not be too sticky.  Keep checking and add flour by tablespoons. You might need less or more than 2 1/2 cup of flour.  It depends on the humidity of your place.  Lightly oil a clean bowl and transfer the dough and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Leave it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin tin with Pam Spray. Once the dough rises, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Cut the dough into 12 balls and place them in the lightly oiled muffin pan.  Let rise for another 30 minutes.

Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until rolls are lightly browned.  Immediately remove rolls and brush the melted butter on top. Leave it to cool completely.  Enjoy...

I brushed some rolls with butter and sprinkle with rosemary

You can see how spongy the rolls are


Monday, June 13, 2011

Lemon Curd Filled Swiss Roll


This is my third attempt I think on making swiss roll.  I  have finally figured out a perfect recipe and I have tried it twice and it came out perfect and spongy.  It was also very easy to roll, probably due to the cornstarch used in this.  This is a go to swiss roll recipe...

This time I am filling the swiss roll with lemon curd and whipped cream.  I made the designs by adding little brown color to about 3 tbsp of batter and drawing lines on top of the batter. Then using a toothpick slowly pull down to create a web effect. Hopefully this explains...

Source: Jo's Deli


Ingredients

30 gm cake flour
30 gm cornflour/cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
25 gm vegetable oil
10 gm milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 egg yolk
70 gm sugar

3 egg white
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Filling

3 tbsp lemon curd
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp confectioner sugar

Whip the heavy cream, sugar and lemon curd together and leave it in the refrigerator to use later.

Method

  • Preheat oven at 350 degrees F. Prepare a lined and greased swiss roll pan.
  • Beat half of the sugar in (A) and egg yolks with a hand whisk in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add vanilla essence, corn oil and milk and mix well.
  • Sift cake flour, cornflour and baking powder into mixture in (2) and fold till well combined.
  • In another clean mixing bowl, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the remaining sugar from (2) and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
  • Take 1/3 of egg whites in (4) and fold into the egg yolk mixture in (3). Pour all this combined mixture into the remaining 2/3 of whipped egg whites. Gently fold the egg whites into the combined mixture.
  • Pour and spread mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or till light brown and springy to touch.
  • When cake is done, immediately remove the lining paper and let it cool on wire rack.
  • When the cakes are cool, place the cake on a piece of large lining paper. Trim the edges and cut a few shallow slits at one edge of the cake (to make rolling-up easier).
  • Spread the cake with raspberry jam. Using lining paper as a guide, roll up the cake from the stripped edge. Stand the swiss roll, rolled in the lining paper, for at least 30 minutes to make sure that the swiss roll will not unroll later. Serve.


    NOTE:

    General rule of all chiffon cakes or swiss rolls

    General rule of all chiffon cakes - In Step (5), 1/3 of egg whites are folded first to lighten the egg yolk mixture. Pouring egg yolk mixture at once will deflate air bubbles created in the egg whites. This step also prevents excessive folding, which also deflates the precious air bubbles.
    Do not leave the cake too long after it has completely cool. The cake will become too dry and break during roll up.
    The addition of cornflour is to prevent the cake from breaking up when it is rolled.
    Remove the lining paper as soon as the cake is removed from oven. If not, moisture will be trapped in the cake, results in wet, damp texture.
    All ovens vary and so, cooking temperature is approximate only. Adjust your oven temperature and cooking time so that the cake is not overcooked. An overcooked cake is hard and difficult to roll.
    The purpose of drawing a few strips at one end of the cake is to ease the rolling of the edge.



Friday, June 10, 2011

Fettuccine Alfredo

I have always wanted to make Alfredo sauce but never was able to go through it after seeing all the butter and cream used for this sauce but sometimes in life we just gotta do what we want to for a long time.  Now I am so happy today that I have actually finally made the Alfredo sauce which I have been dreading for a long time.  Now I can sleep peacefully...

I found these fancy nest shaped fettuccine at the grocery store but they never stayed  like a nest after cooking...
Alfredo sauce.  Yummmo with all the extra calories
the end result....a good looking handsome pasta.

Ingredients

  •  1 pound Fettuccine Noodles
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Method

Cook pasta according to package directions.
In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top.
Drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan.
Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.