Thursday, September 28, 2017

Red Velvet Brownies

Ice with cream cheese frosting.

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Coconut cream bars

I haven't tried these yet, but they sound good, and bar cookies are always easy.

Buttery Soft Cookie Bars

  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature (226g)
  • 2 oz cream cheese softened (57g)
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar (350g)
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour (285g)
  • 1 /2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut divided (200g)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (113g)
  • 1 oz cream cheese softened (28g)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (500g)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (59ml)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt.  

  • Buttery cookie bars

    1. Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and prepare a 13x9 pan by lining with parchment paper (or lightly grease and flour).  Set aside.
    2. Combine butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer (or use a large bowl and an electric mixer).  Beat together on medium-speed until well creamed (about 1 minute).
    3. Add sugar and gradually increase mixer speed to high, beating until well-combined and fluffy (about 1 minute).  
    4. Add eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, stirring well between each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure ingredients are well-combined.
    5. Stir in vanilla extract and coconut extract.
    6. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
    7. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, stirring on medium-low speed until completely combined.
    8. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake on 350F (177C) for 25 minutes.  Allow cookie bars to cool completely in pan before covering with coconut cream frosting.  -- Do not turn off the oven, you will use it to briefly toast your coconut next.
    9. Coconut Cream Frosting
    10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle 1 cup of coconut evenly over the cookie sheet.  Bake in 350F (177C) oven for 3 minutes, remove, turn with spatula, and return to oven and repeat until coconut is lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes, total).  Allow toasted coconut to cool while you prepare the frosting.  
    11. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.
    12. Gradually, slowly, add powdered sugar, beating until combined.  Add milk and stir, increasing speed to high, and beat until smooth and creamy (about 30 seconds on high)
    13. Sprinkle in salt and add extracts, stir well.  
    14. Spread frosting evenly over cooled cookie bars.  Press 1 1/2 cups untoasted coconut over cookie bars, and then sprinkle toasted coconut overtop.  Cut and serve.  Frosting will set and become more stable as it sits.  
    15. Optional: For an extra decadent treat, drizzle with melted dark chocolate.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Pad Thai

This sounds like an easy version for a family meal.

Ingredients
1-12 ounce package rice noodles
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces
¼ cup peanut oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 green onions, chopped
4 eggs
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
6 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (we used Sriracha)
1½ teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups bean sprouts
¼ cup crushed peanuts
1 green onion, chopped for garnish
1 lime, cut into wedges
shredded carrot and purple cabbage, for garnish
Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain, and set aside.
Directions
Heat peanut oil in a wok or large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken, garlic, and green onions until browned. Remove, and set aside.
Return the wok to the burner and add ¼ cup of peanut oil. Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat. Crack eggs into hot oil, and cook until firm. Stir in chicken, softened noodles, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, sweet chili sauce, red pepper, and cayenne pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Mix while cooking, until noodles are tender. Add bean sprouts and a squirt of lime, and mix for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with crushed peanuts, green onions, and a lime wedge.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tianlu's Easy Mouth-watering Chicken

This is my beautiful daughter-in-law's recipe.

INGREDIENTS
Two pieces of chicken breasts taken off from a rotisserie chicken
Salt: a little, depending on how flavorful the chicken breasts are
Zhenjiang Vinegar: 4 tbsp
Light Soy sauce: 4 tbsp
Sesame oil: 2 tbsp
Spicy oil or spicy sesame oil: 1 tbsp
Numbing pepper oil: 1 tbsp
Ginger: 1 tsp, finely chopped
Garlic: 3 cloves, pressed
Green onion: 1-2 chopped
Cilantro: half a bunch, chopped
Red chili pepper (fresh, dried, or pickled): depending on your taste
Sesame seeds and crushed peanuts: as little or as much as you want

COOKING
Mix chicken with all ingredients, add sesame seeds and peanuts on top. Voila!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Easy asian noodles

Saw this on Pinterest and thought it sounded good. 

  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • ¼ c. vegetable or canola oil
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil
  • 5 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • ½ tsp. Sriracha (more to taste)*
  • ¼ c. peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • ⅓ c. cilantro, chopped
  • ½ c. dry roasted peanuts (I used Planters), chopped and whole
  • ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot water to boil. Add spaghetti and cook till al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, combine the vegetable oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, peanut butter, honey, minced garlic and minced green onion. Whisk vigorously until smooth.
  3. Drain the noodles and return to the same large pot. Add the sauce, red bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, peanuts, crushed red pepper flakes and sesame seeds. Toss until combined, serve and garnish as desired.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Bourbon cherry crisp from WSJ

Bourbon Cherry Crisp
Active Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 4 hours (includes soaking cherrie) Serves: 6
Papa Joe made this using frozen cherries that were defrosted and drained. He says that you should increase the sugar. He was not a big fan of the crumble either. I think it would be better by substituting some  chopped almonds for part of the flour.
For the bourbon cherries
  • ⅔ cup dried cherries
  • ⅔ cup bourbon
For the crumble topping:
  • 1¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 12 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
To assemble:
  • 6 cups pitted cherries
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving
1. Make bourbon cherries: Pour bourbon on dried cherries and let sit at least 4 hours at room temperature.
2. Make crumble topping: Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add butter and use your fingers to massage into flour mixture until consistency resembles a coarse meal. Chill 30 minutes before baking.
3. Assemble and bake crumble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, toss together fresh cherries, bourbon-soaked dried cherries, sugar, orange juice and salt. Pour mixture into a 9-inch square baking pan or deep pie dish. Top with crumble topping. Bake until crumble is golden brown and cherry filling is bubbling, 30-40 minutes.
4. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Lemon brownies

These sound delicious and easy.

Preheat oven to 350
Brownies
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla  

  • Line 9×13 pan with non-stick parchment paper
  • In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and zest together.
  • Add butter, lemon juice, eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed until completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Randomly test after 20 minutes using a toothpick inserted in center comes clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Pour lemon sugar glaze over the lemon brownies.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Cut to serve.
  •  Lemon Glaze 
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest 

  • Add your sugar into a small bowl.
  • Add lemon juice and zest and stir until combined and smooth.
  • Set to the side.