Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shrimp With Asparagus and Mushrooms

Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables. I think it's a little bit pricey so I only buy it when it is on sale. I usually sit fry it a lil garlic butter with salt and pepper as a side dish. Today, I made it with shrimp for my family. This is similar to when my mom used to make it for me back home. It's easy yet yummy! The recipe is:
1 lb Asparagus
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 dozen medium peeled and deveined shrimps
1 TBS oil
1 TBS soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic

Asparagus. I beat the asparagus stems with the end of my chef knife to kinda break them so all flavors can go in more.
Asparagus and mushrooms.
Heat oil with Garlic.
Add asparagus first.
Then add shrimp.
Then add Mushrooms. Cook for a few min till everything is done.
Serve with rice!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Amish Friendship Bread and the Endless Variations

Baking Amish Friendship Bread is a fun and yummy thing to start if you like to bake. You can do so many versions of it just by changing the flavor of the pudding you put in. I will warn you that you will be buying a lot more flour, sugar and milk than you ever did before and will be baking every 10 days if you continue. However, you can easily freeze your starter and it'll taste great once you thaw and start back from Day of of the starter cycle. Use this recipe if you want to make the starter or buy online or you may get it from a friend..hence the name Friendship bread :). I got mine from a friend. Once you have the starter bag, follow these easy instructions. and you will get the basic original cinnamon flavor bread...(although it's sweet and taste more like a muffin or loaf cake). Once you get tired of the basic recipe, try the variations. There are a million variations floating around on the Internet or you can use your imagination. Try it!!! I am having so much fun with it. great gift for neighbors or for holidays as well! Below are a few that I've tried and they are really GOOD!!!

Apple Cinnamon.

1 Chopped apple added to the original recipe.

Banana Nut.

Vanilla pudding is omitted from the original recipe.

Banana cream pudding, 2 frozen bananas meshed, half tsp nutmeg, 1/2 Cup chopped walnuts added instead.

Lemon Cranberry.

Add lemon pudding instead of vanilla.

Omit cinnamon, but add 1/2 cup crasins.


Add Chocolate pudding instead of vanilla.

Omit cinnamon, but add 2 TBS coca powder. ( chocolate chips are optional)

Amish Friendship Pancakes

So, most of us know Armish people make good food..very good food that we love. Anyway, I am not sure when and why started this, but I brought home an Armish friendship bread starter and baking every ten day ever since and haven't stopped even though I have had more than enough Armish friendship bread in the last month or so both at home and at work. If you don't know what I am talking about, go ahead and read closer...I'll try to explain the story of THE ARMISH BREAD and how it's not going away! Let's start with the starter. You can make the bread starter with this recipe or buy online or you may get it from a friend..hence the name Friendship bread :). I got mine from a friend. Once you have the starter bag, follow
these easy instructions. Just remember it takes 10 day till the baking day.I will talk about many variations I've tried with this starter, but I will share the recipe for the pancakes in this post because they are absolutly delicious. Also, if you end up with too much starter in hand, this is a good way to get rid of it because the recipe calls for 2 cups of the starter. The recipe I used is below:

Combine in large bowl:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

Combine in smaller bowl:
2 TBS oil
2 cups Amish batter (batter from day 10)
3/4 cup milk
1 egg

Add ingredients of smaller bowl to ingredients of large bowl and mix on medium speed.
Spoon batter onto greased griddle.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Today I made the shortbread cutest cookies that I've been wanting to make for a while. I am not a cookie person..Yeah call me crazy..I just like other deserts and cakes more than cookies. However, I do love chocolate and I do like shortbread cookies better than other cookies. So, I've been searching for a perfect recipe and this website gave me inspiration. if you ever visit that site, there are these cookies called the thong cookies...and they look hilarious. So it would be amusing to check it out if you have a minute. As I mentioned I am not a cookie person and I don't have many cookie cutters or cookie making supplies, so making these involved a little bit of improvising and you will see in the pictures below what I mean. The ingredients for the cookies are:

2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla

I melted some white chocolate chips to make them extra special too :) but it's optional only because the shortbread cookies taste pretty good and chocolaty enough by themselves.

Dry Ingredients. Flour and cocoa.

Wet Ingredients, butter and sugar.

Cream the butter and sugar using a mixer, then add vanilla.

Combie the dry and wet ingredients.

When you get this, stick this dough in the fridge for about 30 min.

I used a wine bottle to roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. No cookie cutter? No problem!!! I just used a knife and free hand some hearts!

Viola! Heart shaped cookies ready to go in the oven, 375 degree for 10 min.

White chocolate chips being melted in a makeship double boiler..(Glass bowl on top of hot water in a sauce pan). I mentioned I improvised today ..I wasn't kidding. :)

Use this melted chocolate and decorate your cookies. (The fun part)

Ready for my Valentine(s)! My daughter is my biggest Valentine and she loved these. :)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pineapple upside down Coconut Flan

I got the idea to make this desert from one of my favorite cocktails, Pina Colada. Pineapple and Coconut goes so well together and being from a tropical country Burma, coconut is a favorite in deserts. I found the original coconut flan recipe here for flan and modified it. This is the modified recipe.

Flan batter:
5 Whole eggs
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can coconut milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, mix the eggs and egg yolks for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the condensed milk, heavy cream, coconut milk, and vanilla extract and mix for 1 more minute.Carefully pour an equal amount of the flan mixture into the ramekins in the roasting pan. Then add hot water to the roasting pan, not to the ramekins, until the water comes half way up the sides of the ramekins. Place the roasting pan in the oven and bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center of the flan comes out clean.Remove from the roasting pan and cool for at least 30 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.To serve, carefully run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, cover with a serving plate, flip it over and gently remove the ramekin.

Caramelize some pineapple tibits with a lil butter and brown sugar. Sprinkle coconut flakes if you like as well.
Spoon some in ramekins.
Pour in flan batter.
Bake in a water bath in oven for 1 hour.
So yummy!

Lobster Bisque

It snowed in Dallas this week. It's so pretty yet so cold. Definitely, soup weather! I am a soup lover to begin with and this weather just make me wanna cook some soup for the family. This week, every grocery store has lobster on sale as valentine Special, so why not make some Lobster Bisque. I used this recipe from food network as my guideline in making this soup. I used Brandy instead of Cognac, added more tomato paste than the original, and didn't measure anything else..just eyeballed, tasted, a pinch here and there and we get a delicious bisque!!!! A little time consuming, but worth it. I served it with crusty bread and it was yummy! Sorry for the lack of detailed pictures for this post for some of the steps but if you want to make this, please refer to the recipe from food network I mentioned above.

Celery, Onions, Leeks, and carrots, Chopped.
Fresh Thyme.
Butter and oil.
Add the vegetables and lobster bodies.
Vegetables are tender, shells are red. Time to remove from heat, add brandy, light it, let it burn. Return to heat.
Sprinkle flour and make Roux. Add broth or water and cream. let simmer on low for 45 min. Strain the solids.
Chopped cooked lobster meat. Add this to bisque that you just strained.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Butter Scotch Fondue

OMG! This is super super easy but soooo yummy. I'm gonna make this again soon. I made this because this week's theme for iheartcookingclubs is A little Romance. Fondue is romantic ...I think it is. My family loved it. If you ever wanna try making this, the recipe is here. It's kind of like caramel but just taste better and smell yummier to me. There aren't very many deserts that are this good and this quick to prepare!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ginger Jalapeno Chicken

I made this dish for a friend of mine who is expecting a baby. She wanted a chicken stir fry with ginger and jalapeno because she thinks ginger helps with nausea. Yes! it does. It did help for me. I don't personally like jalapenos but I made it for her and she enjoyed it. This was another quick dish that turned out good, so I figured I'll share the recipe. I know there are a lot of people, especially here in TX who like jalapenos. Here is the recipe:
2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
4 jalapenos, sliced into rings
2 TBS thinly sliced ginger
2 TBS oil
2 TBS soy sauce
salt to taste

Ginger and jalapenos.
Fry the ginger in oil for 2 min.

Add chicken, then jalapenos and soy sauce. Stir fry till chicken is done for a few min.
Serve with rice.