Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberry and Peach Birthday Cake

My latest creation for a special birthday occasion: Strawberry and Peach Cream Chiffon Cake. The light and fluffy cake layers really complemented the strawberries and peach. Perfect for a spring birthday :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Homemade Banana-Pecan Bread

My new SunBeam bread machine has long been awaiting its turn in the kitchen. I was intrigued with a machine that could turn something as intimidating as bread-making to something as easy as singing the ABCs. As I had a craving for sweet bread, I decided try my hand at the Banana-Pecan Bread recipe. First, throw in the liquid ingredients, then the dry ingredients, put it in the machine, press a button and walk away! I had a lot of fun watching the kneading blade go up and down, round and round. It was as if a little person was mixing and kneading my bread for me in the machine :)

As a virgin in the bread-making business and a Type A medical student, I decided to read the instruction booklet inside and out, in English and Spanish, backwards and forwards. Alas, in the midst of excitement, I forgot to put the yeast in the nook I made in the flour. However, it all gets mixed together in the end and my first time product came out beautifully, with the sweet aroma of bananas and the crunchy nuttiness of fresh pecans.

The bread next day was still soft, with a mild chewiness to it that I loved. I spread strawberry jam on mine and that was the best start to an 8am school day ever :)

Do you have any good bread recipes to share? What do you like to put in your bread? Any good suggestions on how to preserve homemade bread?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Break!

I know i've been MIA for a while (blame it on med school!) 

Today marks the end of Behavioral Science and the beginning of Spring! I'll be in Vegas this weekend and LA all of next week.
Go Three Musketeers!!!!! 


Friday, March 5, 2010

Best Chicken Pot Pie

I'm a big fan of all-in-one meals.

As a full time medical student, I am always studying. Whether that is the whole truth or not, we must admit there are never enough hours every day so anytime saved in the kitchen means an extra hour or two of Food Network studying. 

Not only does a hearty Chicken Pot Pie have the starch, the protein, vegetables, dairy we need everyday,  it is also one of those satisfying meals that gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. The bite of crunchy flaky buttery crust over a mouthful of creaminess,  I just couldn't stop going for seconds. 

Can you?

-adapted from various sources on allrecipes

2 pieces of chicken breasts or thighs (if you're a dark meat lover like me), cut into chunks
1 can of pea and carrots
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup of chicken broth
Salt and pepper
Italian seasoning 1 tbsp
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of all purpose flour
1 sheet of frozen puff pustry sheet (Pepperidge), defrost at room temperature
1 frozen deep dish pie crust (Pillsbury)
egg+ 2 tbsp of water

Preheat oven to 400F.
1. Fry onions and garlic over medium-high heat olive oil in the pan.
2. Add chicken.
3. Season with salt, pepper and italian seasoning.
4. When the chicken is almost cooked, add peas, carrots and chicken broth.
5.  Combine milk and flour in a bowl and add to chicken mixture.
6. Adjust taste accordingly with salt and pepper.
7. Place the mixture in the pie crust and overlay the puff pastry over the pie.
8. Cut off excess from edges and crimp with a fork.
9. Brush egg mixture over the top and bake for 25-30 min, until golden brown.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wonton Soup the Taiwanese Way

You guys might not know the distinction but Wontons comes in many different forms. Growing up in HK, my favorite dish to order was Wonton Noodle Soup. The wontons contain shrimp and ground pork wrapped in a thin yellow wrapper and were served with yellow thin noodles in soup. Having been exposed to the Taiwanese cuisine :), I have discovered a whole new way of making Wontons that are equally delicious. The crunch of the celery gives a whole new dimension to eating Wontons. Not only is it a great meal for cold rainy days, you can also save time by whipping a big batch and freezing them for later use.

Recipe (adapted from Jerry's homemade recipe)( makes about 60)
1.5 lb of ground pork (fattier the juicer :P)
2 stalks of chinese celery (finely chopped)
Green scallions 2 stalks (finely chopped)
Ginger, minced
White pepper, 1 tsp
Sesame Oil, 1-2 tbsp
Soy sauce 4 tbsp
1 pack of Wonton Wrapper, square shaped, defrost in room temperature

Dashi- Bonito Fish Stock. Follow directions on packaging.
Celery, finely chopped
Green scallions, chopped
Fried shallots 
Salt and white pepper to taste.

1. Prepare filling ingredients. If you are worried about taste, you can microwave some of the filling until cooked. Adjust taste accordingly.
2. Place a tsp of filling in the center of the the wrapper and fold as you like *.
3. Serve with hot soup. ENJOY!

I can eat about 15 in a row. How many can you eat????

* There are many ways to wrap wontons and there is no "right" way. Different cultures have different ways of wrapping wontons as well.  Here is a good link to different methods of wrapping wontons. I pretty much use something similar to Style 7 (the lazy man's way :P)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Birthday Quesedillas

The older you get, the more practical the birthday gifts become. This year, my friend Renee gave me a snazzy Panini Grill <3. My sister and cousin got me a brand new breadmaker. I can officially open my own Panini Cart with homemade bread outside the hospital (back up plan in case med school doesn't work out?! haha)

Jerry and I have been making quesedillas almost every other day the past week. It takes less than 15 minutes and the product is crunchy and deliciously oozing with cheddar and fresh tomatoes.

Meat of your choice: chicken, beef, portobello mushrooms. Here I used chuck steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Green Peppers (diced)
Tomatoes (diced)
Yellow onion (diced)
Cheddar Cheese
Tortilla Wraps

1. Prepare all your ingredients.
2. Stir fry the steak on a hot frying pan with no oil. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Assemble Tortilla: meat first, then the veggies, cheese comes last.
4. Brush panini grill with oil. Turn on high heat.
5. Heat quesadilla until cheese is oozing and the wrap is crunchy hot.