well this is awkward

Somehow I managed to delete a new post…

Bottom line it said how repetitive are my life cycles and how much I should be prepared for whatever is coming yet I’m not.

But I’m back in the kitchen and that´s good.

Right now there is the most fantastic aroma in my house, my mom’s birthday cake cheesecake is in the oven, followed this recipe, just tweaked a little, added some cinnamon and walnuts on the shortbread base and used half cream cheese and half mascarpone cheese just a dab of heavy cream while blending it.

Will post pictures later on…

It was absolutely delicious, the consistency incredible, the crust was a treat by itself, will make this my default cheescake. Loved it

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pizza night

It left an almost unrecoverable scar that pizza lunch my dad attempt when I was not even 10 years old. No one tried it again at home, not even those frozen ones. I guess he used some sort of phyllo dough and somehow ended tasting like… a pie crust… ewwwww…

It was about 3 months ago that I tried it for the first time, the most delicious pizza crust ever. I followed the Quick and Easy Pizza Crust recipe and added oregano and basil. The result is that the pizza tastes like food, I mean, like those you get in Italian restaurants.

There’s definitely no science into making it. I use a tiny electric oven, so that requires a few adjustments to get it right.

After the dough is ready, I transfer it to a pan, bake it for 10 minutes, then add dice tomatoes seasoned with black pepper and kosher salt, 10 minutes  in the oven, then add mozzarella and parmesan cheese, the toppings and back to the oven for 10 minutes, finally more cheese on top and bake it 5 minutes more. The result it’s absolutely delicious.

To prevent the crust get soggy with the toppings, I first cook them for a few minutes on the stove.

It takes me about 1 hour to get dinner ready vs. 30 minutes from any pizza delivery, but probably cost me about half of a purchased one, using only the best ingredients and being 100% free of spit. There!

baking will get me through the drama

I ran over a kitten Monday 😦 I was in a hurry to go to the bank and didn’t notice the kitten next to the tire… my car was in the garage… I felt so bad that spent the whole afternoon baking. My own cat was mad at me so was my mom… it wasn’t my fault though, I mean… why the kitten’s human wasn’t aware of his safety?… oh well.

My mom ran out of carrot cupcakes so I baked a batch, again using the Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake recipe. I tried a new modification on the dinner rolls recipe. And finally tried the Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Banana Pancakes, which I didn’t like at all.

The bread was great. The last time I tried rice flour on the bread it ended up crumbling very easily, this time I used 3 parts of rice flour, 3 parts of all purpose flour and 1 part of whole wheat flour, much better texture, flavor was different but good.

I decided to freeze most of the bread, and toasted some for this amazing dip, only change I made was that instead of walnuts used silvered almonds.

I drove over a kitten today 😦 I was in a hurry to go to the bank and didn’t notice the kitten next to the tire… my car was in the garage… I felt so bad that spent the whole afternoon baking. My own cat was mad at me so was my mom… it wasn’t my fault though, I mean… why the kitten’s human wasn’t aware of his safety?… oh well.

My mom ran out of carrot cupcakes so I baked a batch, again using the Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake recipe. I tried a new modification on the dinner rolls recipe. And finally tried the Whole Wheat, Oatmeal, and Banana Pancakes.

The bread was great. The last time I tried rice flour on the bread it ended up crumbling very easily, this time I

pancake obsession

Wednesday May 26th

I’m a big fan of pancakes… my favorites are chocolate chips pancakes, however I’ve been feeling adventurous and want to try different recipes. For dinner I tried this recipe, except that instead of buttermilk, used sour milk, and twice the butter and sugar that the recipe called for. They were great, probably would have been better with the original amount of butter. They turned out a little to brownish I blame it on the butter excess. They were definitely fluffy and very light. My mom loved them and said that they taste exactly as her mother’s pancakes <<< that was a MAJOR compliment, she was a great cook. ❤

frankensteining bread

In a previous post I told you about my brilliant idea of making rice paper. Since it didn’t work, now I have about 3/4 lbs of rice flour free to use. The texture is very much alike corn flour and that brought this bread to my mind. I followed the same basic recipe but used 2/3 parts of all purpose flour and 1/3 of rice flour and threw some rolled oats to the mixture. Instead making rolls, this time I pour all the batter in a flat bread pan.

The flavor is a little flat, perfect for a sandwich or with cream cheese. Thumbs up, I’ll use the remaining rice flour for this recipe. The only thing I was in a rush to finish and start to prepare dinner so I cut it when still HOT and broke a little.

Planning ahead

Yesterday was a great day! I spent about 4 hours in the kitchen well invested. For a couple of weeks I’ve been trying to figure out where to buy rice paper, or how to substitute it in the spring rolls recipe. People told me to use puff pastry, wonton or gyoza wrappers. I had that on my mind when I went to the supermarket and found out that they don’t carry puff pastry… when I was looking for rolled oats I found rice flour. Awesome, now I could make my own rice paper if I only add INSTANT FAIL. The grain is too small and didn’t have the hydrophilic effect I was looking for. The texture of the dough was very similar to the masa of tortillas… impossible to roll or make thin wrappers. Oh well, what should I do with 1 1/2 cups of this dough? Instead of looking in the internet, I decided to make some sort of surimi-carrot-cabbage pie, not one of my most brilliant recipes, but the filling was ready.

Using

  • 1 cup of surimi
  • 2 cups of cabbage
  • 1/2 cup of carrot
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese

This is what I did, using a mini cupcakes pan:

  1. Grate the surimi, cabbage and carrot
  2. Mix all the grated ingredients with cream cheese
  3. Let stand for 1 hour in the fridge
  4. Fill the mini cupcakes pan with the dough, as in a pie crust
  5. Fill the crust with the surimi mixture
  6. Bake on a preheated oven on 350° for 45 minutes

The result was ok, on the first batch I baked the crust for 15 minutes causing the final product to be too hard to be eaten. For the second batch I didn’t bake the crust first and the “pies” were fine. Not a fan, wouldn’t do them again.

Back again to the spring rolls, from those 3  wrappers, I only know how to make gyoza ones, only made them once and was total hell. The problem was the rolling, it isn’t as easy as it seems… at least not to me, and if I got the puff pastry I’d have to roll it anyway. So this time I used a little bit more boiling water in the flour mixture, the dough was much more elastic, then I proceeded to make very small beads (about the size of a manzanilla olive) and cover them in flour then rolled it, it was no problem. It took me like a fifth of the time that it took me last time.

I was going to make gyozas too, so I only used the traditional (modified of course) gyoza filling for them and the spring rolls. The fact that I don’t have a deep fryer thingy or the slightliest notion on how to deep fry properly only cause my spring rolls to have funky little black particles attached to them (loose filling), but the flavor was delicious and the texture was crunchy enough. Next time I’ll roll the dough a little larger though or use more dough for each wrapper.

I froze some of the spring rolls and gyozas. The gyozas is easy to defrost in the microwave but for the spring rolls I had to heat them in a pan… that restored the crunchiness.

I still want the scone!!!!

Procrastination

That should be my second name. I’m dying to eat a decent scone, but the almost 90° F prevent me from staying in the kitchen for more than 20 minutes in a row. I  know I’ll want pancakes for breakfast tomorrow so I made them already and are in the fridge. I wanted a different recipe and tried this one: Fluffy pancakes. The mistake there was that I ran out of butter and used olive oil instead. Not a fan… I’ll try them later this week with butter, the original recipe calls for shortening, but I don’t buy that… oh well. The texture of the pancakes was awful (they sort of break) and the flavor was ewww… I had to use maple syrup, otherwise I wouldn’t have eat them. I asked the amazing people of AR Exchange for their favorite recipes and they shared!

My mom asked for carrot cake, so I used the Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake recipe and baked 13 cupcakes for her. First of all I only made a third part of the original recipe, also made a few substitutions, my mom doesn’t like pineapple, so I add a little more buttermilk to compensate for the moisture, used almonds instead of walnuts, threw some rolled oats in and doubled the amount of cinnamon.

I bake them in batches of six in an electric mini oven about 30 minutes, but this time, because of the  I forgot about the timer and bake them for 40 minutes, they ended up a little too brown.

I still want the scone :(… maybe tomorrow.

Pancakes late in the morning… makes me lunch too late

My mom asked me to drive her to a morning history class, I’m not big fan or waking up early, specially on weekends, but it’s the mom so you can’t let her down. So once I was awake I wanted my breakfast, what to cook?

Not long time ago a friend borrowed me a tiny cookbook to entertain myself meanwhile she was taking care of her daughter, I think we were going to bake a cake… well I found a recipe of pancakes, here is the recipe with a few adjustments.

Epic pancakes!

now playing: Seeman – Apocalyptica featuring Nina Hagen

I had breakfast about 10:00 am, so at 1:00 pm my parent’s most preferred time for lunch, I was still satisfied. About 3:00 pm I was too hungry to think but wanted something delicious. The first thing in my mind was this amazing rib eye in the freezer and swiss cheese, this in a baguette was my first choice, however there were 2 portions of the meat stuck together, change of plans!

Then I thought about this recipe, a friend of mine shared on facebook. The only change I made was the shallots, I have no clue what they are or where to get them, so decided to use onions instead. MAJOR win. It takes a little time to reduce it but the flavor worth the wait.

This was my lunch:

I was going to bake scones and burger buns in the afternoon… but there is so hot in here that I can’t give up air conditioning… maybe very late in the night…

Today’s dinner

Cooking was always the least favorite activity of my mom, when I was little she baked amazing cakes and cookies but eventually she wouldn’t do it again. I remember eating the same (about) 15 recipes my whole life until I started cooking. And I loved eating at restaurants and getting take outs, until I lost my last job and then I became really picky with the food, most likely I’m not willing to pay for meals that just don’t worth it if I can make amazing dishes for just a fraction of the price or if they have the worst service ever.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be having breakfast at iHop, which still is one of my favorite restaurants, at this point I make better pancakes but remember the egg dilemma? well I never walk away from scrambled eggs. So I’m starting dinner and tomorrow’s lunch about in a few minutes.

I’m awful at Mexican dishes, the ones that my mom passed to me include picadillo and cortadillo, pretty much the same, ground beef or diced beef with potatoes and carrots on tomato sauce, and that’s what I’m making for them, my mom and dad like that kind of stuff, I don’t. I’ll be having tuna maki and for the first time I’ll try to make gyozas, well a version of it because I don’t eat pork, most likely will replace it with some of the ground beef.

All the ingredients for the makis are ready in the fridge, and the extra rice became zucchini rice balls topped with sesame seeds, also in the freezer, waiting to be part of a bento.

The makis will be very simple just some tuna with mayo and soy sauce, carrot, avocado, cucumber and cream cheese, they are merely a side dish for the gyozas.

Today in the supermarket, couldn’t find all the ingredients for the gyozas so I’ll be substituting a few (maybe most of them!!!), here is the original recipe.

Now, this is what I used for the filling:

  • 1 cup grated cabagge
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup ground meat
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onion
  • 2 tbsp grated carrot
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp crushed red chili pepper
  • pinch of salt

After mixing it, put it in the fridge and proceeded to make the gyoza skins, I used chopsticks for mixing!!! I had to wait about an hour before starting rolling the skins. That was hard, I think there is something wrong with the rolling thingy, I don’t know, the recipe yield 20 skins, I ruined 3 :(. The frying cooking process is very interesting, most likely because I’ve never tried a dumpling before.

From the first batch I tried, probably half of them got ruined, and lost the bottoms, so for the next one used a different pan, one with teflon and used a little bit more oil. Big difference. It took me about 2 hours to get them ready but absolutely worth the effort. Another thing, is really important to watch the cooking time otherwise they would stick to the pan. I also believe I made the skins too big, but it was ok though I don’t think that was a problem.

When I tried them noticed that I had definitely forgot about the salt in the beef mixture, so I had to prepare the sauce, the recipe wasn’t near so I made a different one.

I mixed:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp rice vinegar
  • pinch of crushed red chili pepper

Here the final result:

Gyozas were a lot of work, and considering my previous experience with rolling dough, I made half batch, enough for two, so I’ll be freezing half the recipe. Funny thing, without really think about it I saved the best ones for later.

Best gyozas I’ve ever tried so far.


Eggs for breakfast

Among the odd characteristics I have, one that really makes my life difficult is that I can’t cook or fry eggs in a pan, makes me nauseous, but I love scrambled eggs, the only solution I came up with was to bake the eggs, I found the Baked Brunch Omelet recipe and liked except for the bread it was too soggy.  Next time I baked it without the bread and was good.

The main problem about baking eggs is that it takes too long, about 30 minutes to get them ready, so now I’m baking the omelets and then proceed to freeze them.  But the omelet with bread was a little lonely so why not serve it with some hash brown potatoes? Again I have the problem that the ones you get from the store have a fake taste. I looked for a recipe but couldn’t fine one that really got me interested, so I mixed a few and tried my own recipe.

The following recipe makes about 2 servings.

  • 1 medium potato, grated, about 2 cups
  • 2 tbsp chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp chopped bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • PAM

Also I used a small pan and mini cupcake pan.

  1. After grating the potato put it in water for about 20 minutes then drained it and towel dry it
  2. Mix the potato, onions, bell peppers and olive oil
  3. Spray PAM over the pan and pour the mixture in it, keep it on low flame for 10 minutes and then turn it so the other side is also sealed
  4. Remove from the flame, add salt & pepper to taste and let it cool
  5. Spray PAM over the cupcake pan and fill it with the mixture
  6. Bake them in the preheated oven on 425°F for 15 minutes then reduce to 350°F for 30 minutes or until they turn golden brown

The smell has invaded the house… so delicious!

I’m waiting for the rice to cool down an make tuna makis for dinner… I can’t wait for September and eat real fish again.

Here the final result:

Before even being able to eat it, now it’s in my freezer with the other things I cooked today… maybe tomorrow ;).