Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Rolls!!

Rolls!!

Delicious dinner rolls


I Love Carb.

I love bread, pasta, bread, pasta, bread.....

I attempted some nice rolls before, but this one?? a WIN!

I got the recipe from Laura Vitale 's website. It gives you the ingredients, and you can also see it being made on her youtube video. It always helps me when I SEE it made, you know? My dough turned out MUCH less tacky than her's. I worried that I added an extra cup of flour or something. It turned out fine though :) Just tougher to knead. Yes, I kneaded by hand because my 15 yr old kitchen aid just didn't do the job right.

I also cut the sugar to around 2Tbsp. I didn't want the rolls to be too sweet since I was having it with dinner.

This recipe really makes the most beautiful rolls. When it comes out of the oven, it's the woos and ahhs moment. My family was watching, and as I brushed the tops with melted butter, it took it to the next level by making a nice SHINY coat.

Restaurant quality?
Nah...

When would you get nice fresh-made rolls like this at a restaurant!!??

try it. 

 oops. I didn't think they would rise so much... I should've moved that rack up.






Sunday, December 23, 2012

 Georgetown Cupacake!

I went for the second time the other day as I carried paper bags full of christmas ... stuff.
I was so tired of walking all over the city, and my perfect treat?

Red velvet from Georgetown cupcakes :)

To tell you the truth, I have ONLY had the red velvet.... but I am always tempted. The other flavors looks so good!! OH, but the red velvet.... mmmmm

Don't you hate it when red velvet cakes or cupcakes have frosting that taste NOTHING like cream cheese?? Georgetown MUST do it the right way, because the frosting is DELICIOUS :D

Stop by, and see your order disappear!






Saturday, December 15, 2012

Marshmallows

 Who knew??

Ever since I saw a home made marshmallow snowman at my sister in law's, I wanted to try Marshmallows.

Man, is it a messy... MESSY job.

I absolutely loved it. I do believe my 15 yrs old kitchen aid stand mixer is starting to show it's age though... when I was beating the marshmallow, it would just collect in the middle of the beater and not properly mix.

Stand mixer is something I will definitely need for this. by hand? I can't even imagine how that would be possible. maybe someone can google it ;)

This is heck of a project, but if you enjoy hot coco or smores, you would love it. I mean... just if you have kids!! Do it, because it's so much fun!!


Ingredients

I followed Ina's recipe (no coconuts in this case, of course)

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly. 

Watch this video. I think it helped me a lot. 
I used a smaller pan than 9x13. I think mine would've been 8x8 in volume.


 ready!




 beating....




 beating....




 wet your hands to flatten the top, that was the only way for me



 I toasted one for meeee




 I did use pizza cutter for cutting. just dust the blaze after each cut with sugar/cornstarch mixture. 





Friday, December 14, 2012

Liège waffle

 flowers from my garden.

Belgian waffle.. there are many kinds of waffles made in Belgium, but none are called "Belgian Waffles" :)

These are not your typical breakfast waffles, so don't make them for breakfast!

or do, if you want a sweet, rich, dense treats for breakfast :D

These are deffinately NOT fluffy. It's more like a dense, buttery, sweet, soft cookie-like waffle with crunch outside. I guess the best comparison I can think of is Madeleine. It's like a denser madeleine with caramelized surface.  They also get these big rock sugar (pearl sugar) and they add a nice crunch when you bite into them. NO WORRIES though, if you can't find it. I actually made my last batch without them and they are just as delicious.

Use GOOD BUTTER. That will make all the difference in the world.  Also, the waffle maker I have is an old fashion one with much deeper ridges. I am sure these will come out fine with smaller ridges too! just make sure you wait to take them out until both sides are nice and caramelized. 



Ingredients:
This is my mother's recipe

125g Butter
125g Shortening
3 egg
200g Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2Tbsp Milk
Vanilla extract
250g bread flour

* I have used all purpose flour many times in this recipe and it's totally fine. Bread flour will just make more denser cookie.

**pearl sugar goes in at the end, if you are using it. Just take the same measurement out of the regular sugar and replace it with the pearl sugar.

*** I have also used ALL butter when I dudn't have shortening, and that also works fine. Wow... what a forgiving recipe.

1. Cream your butter and shortening together in a large bowl.
2. add eggs one by one and mix it in well after each addition
3. add the sugar. Don't dump all of it at once, maybe divide into 3-4 times
4. Add in salt, vanilla and milk.
5. Add flour. Same as sugar, put in a 3rd at a time.
6. Brush some butter onto the waffle iron and put a dollop in the middle and press.

with my iron, it takes about a minute and a half per side, but you most likely have a electrical one, so I wouldn't worry about that. DO make sure that they get some nice caramelization  on the surface;)



 So this is what the batter looks like.
Not like a waffle batter, huh? just dollop it with a spoon.



 Yes, these are my better looking ones. I did burn a few. 



 What pearl sugar looks like (with a tooth pick as comparison)



 Take a look at the inside! moist, rich, dense... I keep repeating these words, 
but that's exactly what they are!



 This is my iron. good looking, huh?





 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Momofuku's Cookie.

YES PLEASE.

These are quite possibly the tastiest cookies I have ever made.

All the talks about Milk Bar's treats! I have been once to have the crack pie. After I know what's in these cornflake cookies, I am afraid to know the ingredients in his crack pie...

These are not thick and dough-y cookies. (though I enjoy those too)
These are full of textures and kind of thin. Mostly, I love it because of the salty-sweet aspect. I used one of the better butters in my mother's butter collection, so the butter flavor was just so rich and prominent. The Corn flake crunch that goes in also add some really nice 'crunch' and nutty smell. With Chocolate and Marshmallows?? pfffftttt Please..... what could be better? (oh yeah, and the dough reallyl use very little flour in my opinion, so ... u know, rich.)

I made my own marshmallows, but of course you don't have to. I am confident that store bought mini marshmallows will do just fine :) But if you are interested, this is the recipe I used and I just cut them into tiny little confetti marshmallows:)(without the coconuts of course)

Please give these a try when you are feeling up for a project. your house will smell sooo good! And people will love you for them if u manage to give any away.

I took my recipe from here







 Mixin' the corn flake crunch ingredients together


 one layer on a baking sheet



 nice and golden.  DOn't burn them! i just ate the slightly brown ones



 my dough made into disks



 The marshmallow pulls like cheese



beauties.



Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cornflake Crunch Cookies {recipe}

From the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook by Christina Tosi


Cornflake Crunch

If you can, make a little extra Cornflake Crunch to use as a topping for French Toast.
makes about four cups

INGREDIENTS

5 cups cornflakes
½ cup milk powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 275°.
In a medium bowl, with your hands, crush cornflakes to ¼ of their original size. Add milk powder, sugar, and salt; toss to mix. Add butter; toss to coat. (As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal, creating small clusters.)
On a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan, spread clusters and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.
Cool completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for one week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep with one month.




Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

makes 15 to 20 very large cookies

INGREDIENTS

2 sticks room-temperature unsalted butter
1¼ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups Cornflake Crunch
2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
1¼ cups mini marshmallows

DIRECTIONS

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter and sugars; cream together on medium-high 2-3 minutes. With a spatula, scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg and vanilla and beat 7-8 minutes.

Reduce speed to low; add flour, baking powder and soda, and salt. Mix just until dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step or risk overmixing.) Scrape down sides of bowl.

Still on low speed, paddle in cornflakes and chips until just incorporated, about 30-45 seconds. Paddle in marshmallows.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using a 2-oz. ice cream scoop, portion 1/3 c. dough at a time onto pan. Pat tops of dough domes flat. Wrap pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. (Do not bake room-temperature disks — they will not hold their shape.)

Preheat oven to 375°. On a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan, arrange chilled disks a minimum of 4 inches apart. Bake 18 minutes, until cookies are browned on edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. Leave them in oven for another minute or so if they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.  Boy do they spread... please make sure you have ample space between your disks!

Cool cookies completely on pan before moving them to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.





Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Marmalade

THE BEST MARMALADE!




Marmalade was never my favorite jam. Every morning for breakfast as I was growing up, we had toast, egg, bacon, sauteed vege, fruits, yogurt....  but on my toast, I usually wanted peanut butter or honey and butter, left over pastry cream and sliced strawberries...






Marmalade? No Way! bitter... so bitter.  Why would I want citrus rind??





But today, I want only my marmalade on my toast. Yes, I suppose my taste buds have matured since I was little, but man, home made marmalade IS better than store bought. I followed Ina Garten's "Anna's Marmalade" recipe. It is So easy!





I must admit though, It was not a complete success. The recipe says to add water if it gets too hard. But I didn't know when to know it was too hard. so I boiled it up the temperature, and jarred them.  AFTER giving one jar to a friend, I came home, wanted a snack so I took some left over croissant for my marmalade. Uh oh. It was hard. like.... spreading would've made the toast into paper, because you would have to press pretty hard.





fix-up was so easy! I just added about quarter cup of water (I added about two table spoon at a time to make sure I liked the consistency), and just made it come up to a simmer again and turned the heat off. I ended up with an amazing, spreadable, flavorful, marmalade :)






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

99 restaurant

This is another CT restaurant.





When you go to their website, and from the look of this restaurant, I was afraid that they are cousin of Apple bees or Olive Garden.
But my friends who knows us well, assured me that it will not be as such.





The decor, the staff, the menu... they all look all too familiar like Apple bee's we used to go in high school over a decade ago. I ordered a salad because I had a very large lunch, but my friends all ordered some kind of heavy protein. We also had their signature chicken... 'boneless wings', I believe they called it. 



Wings came out. The plating is of any family chain restaurant. And the taste? hmmm.... Good, but good like how Reese's peanut butter cup is good, or any Chinese take out is 'good'. It was battered, fried, and coated in sweet/tangy mustardy/BBQ-y sauce. Tasty though.

But my surprise was with their meat. The steak my husband had was cooked perfectly and very flavorful. I think I remember steaks at Apple Bee's being tough, over done and chewy.  My friend had a shrimp dish, and the shrimp was nicely seasoned (maybe a little salty) and was cooked very well (not over cooked). My salad was also good. I think I had the southwestern cobb salad, and it was HUGE! I think I chose a wrong dressing for it, but the elements in the salad was great. Grilled asparagus and grilled tomato, good amount of egg and loads of chicken breast that was very moist and tender. Our other friend had their filet tips. In too many occasion, filet tips can be tough and stringy, but 99 offered it very nicely, and cooked perfectly.





Over all, I was very pleasantly surprised bu 99 restaurant. We cannot judge a book by it's cover, huh?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Faddy's



When I go to CT, my husband fish, and I baby sit/play.
And when my husband needs any fishing gear, where does he go? Cabella's in Glastonbury. Of course, I have no interest what so ever in Cabella's, but what's outside the front door of Cabella's???





FADDY'S!!

The bestest donuts I have ever tasted. They have two different kinds: Apple cider, or Raised.
The price have changed a couple of times in the last few months, so I can't remember, but it used to e about a buck each.









I tried to get some good shots of how pillow-y and perfect their raised donuts are, but I failed. Or my iPhone failed me.  I just hope that you get the imagery of the world freshest (they fry it there), fluffiest, tastiest donuts you've ever seen!





Their cider donuts are also delicious. They are coated just in fine sugar. They are always moist, sometimes even warm, right out of the oil.  When my friend was pregnant, I used to use her as an excuse to buy half a dozen and eat at least the half on my won :)
Faddy's is definitely worth going!!!








Saturday, November 10, 2012

Louis Lunch



When I watch TV occasionally, I watch a lot of Food Channel and Cooking Channel. I even just go back and forth the two as one goes to commercial.
There seem to be many shows where they just introduce restaurant all over the county. I am talking about Diners Drive ins and Dive, Best thing I ever ate, Eat Street, etc. So when they talk about any NYC restaurant that is accessible to me, I try to go! Also, when I am on road trips, I first search if there are any restaurant that I may have seen on TV :)







Louis Lunch came up on TV in many occasions. It was the "Best burger I ever ate" of one of the iron chefs, and another show picked them up as sort of the unique burger place. They are known for their purest ways and that is something to look up to. They are also famous for the way they cook the patty. They use a vertical broiler-type mechanism and cook the patties sitting up-right with heat from both side.





So I went.... to see if it was as amazing as they make it seem on TV.

YES. and NO.

I am a SAUCE girl. I love sauces! I love it when burgers have their own "special house sauce" on them. Or I enjoy creative toppings (or just normal toppings like bacon and cheese!)
Louis Lunch is really what they did say on TV. The most basic PURE burger experience. Just two slices of bread, toasted, with a chunk of meat, tomato, onion and their cheese spread.  This was their loaded Burger. NO ketchup, no mustard, no mayo, no anything else. I did, I believe, have ice cream and shakes. I would've loved to have some fries there, but I guess it's not the purist's way. I also disliked that their basic white bread gets paper thin with the weight of the patty and also all soaked from the meat juice.






But let me tell you that the portion of meat they offer on a burger is quite large and is excellent. They cook it to medium rare, and the quality of beef they use is very high. Their "patty" is very large, moist, tender, and beefy. I've got no complaints about their meat! other than that I wanted some seasonings on there.


I will say that I probably won't go back, but not because it the burger was that bad, but because
1. It is in CT (and no, for me it is not worth the drive)
2. no sauce (I like my burger drippy with sauce and the fat of the beef)
3. long wait
4. uncomfortable seating
5. very VERY small variety

BUT!! This is just my opinion. I am sure someone healthier than me and is a beef enthusiast will enjoy Louis Lunch immensely.  If you are in the area, give them a try. It sure is an experience.