Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Almond Jello

  • 2 T gelatin
  • 2/3 c cold water
  • 1 1/3 c boiling water
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 1/3 c milk
  • 2 t almond extract
  1. Place gelatin in 8x8 dish. Pour cold water in and let gelatin soften (about 5 min).
  2. Add sugar and boiling water. Stir constantly until gelatin and sugar are dissolved.
  3. Add cold milk and almond extract. Stir.
  4. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Coconut Jello - use coconut milk
  • Use less liquid for a firmer jello, dice up into cubes and serve with fresh fruit
  • Use scalded milk in place of boiling water

Monday, July 28, 2008

Golden Egg Bread

I used the 2 lb/medium crust setting and it worked out wonderfully. I had to add a little more flour (due to the humid summer environment here). Try using this bread as is, for french toast, or sandwiches.

4/27/09 Made this again today. Still as good as before. Should be making it more often it's so simple and tasty.
  • 3/4 c water
  • 3 T sugar
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 3.5 c bread flour
  • 2 1/4 t active dry yeast
  1. In bread machine pan, place all ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer.
  2. Select basic bread setting. Choose medium crust and 2 lb loaf size.
  3. Check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 T of water or flour if needed.
  4. Remove from pan (after about 3.5 hours) to cool.
6/2/15 Using the new bread machine (a Sunbeam) to make this. Hoping it turns out as good in Toronto as it did in Taipei. Used olive oil.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Caramelized Onion Focaccia

This is just the size for my mini-oven. It came out delicious and didn't need the extra salt I had added just before popping it in the oven. Pictures aren't as good as how it tasted!

Dough Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 T olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 c bread flour
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1.5 t yeast
Topping Ingredients
  • 3 T margarine or butter
  • 1 med onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 T grated parmesan cheese
  1. Place dough ingredients in breach machine according to order recommended by manufacturer.
  2. Run the dough cycle (1h20).
  3. Grease a cookie sheet. Pat the dough into a 10x12 rectangular shape or a 12-inch circle. Cover and let rise in a warm place 30-60 minutes or until almost doubled. Prepare the Onion Topping.
  4. Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Cook onions and garlic in butter 15-20 min, stirring occasionally, until onions are brown and caramelized. Remove from heat.
  5. Heat oven to 400°F/200°C. Make deep depressions in dough at 1-inch intervals with your finger. Spread onion topping over dough. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 15-25 min until edge is golden brown.
  6. Remove from sheet to cool. Serve warm.
  • Topping choices: course salt, fresh ground pepper, fresh minced garlic, pesto, fresh sage, potatoes and rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, etc
  • Pat the dough into the greased pan. Push thinly sliced onions into the dough. Cover with damp cloth and let rise 1 hour. Make depressions 1" apart and fill with chopped fresh rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake. Jan 2009 - yummy.
1/16/10 Made to eat with carrot and potato soup - excellent combination!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mango Bread

I started making banana bread, but realized I didn't have any bananas to use. I merged the banana recipe with several mango ones I found online. This bread turned out incredibly moist. However, I wasn't that happy with the mango flavor - it didn't seem to come out. Perhaps next time increase to two cups of mango?
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 c butter, softened-melted
  • 1.5 c mango
  • 2 eggs
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  2. Add the softened butter, mashed mango and eggs.
  3. Pour into 9x5 loaf pan. Let sit 20 minutes.
  4. Bake at 180C/350F for 50-60 min.
- use a mango variety that isn't stringy/fibery.

- try this recipe next time:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cold Sesame Noodles

To make this a gluten-free dish, be sure to check the ingredients of your buckwheat noodle package. Some varieties do add gluten products. If it's pure buckwheat, you're good to go. Also use wheat-free soy sauce and tofu. Also make sure that you have a strong Chinese sesame oil - it should be dark and very fragrant. This dish is great in the summer when you want something cool and refreshing. It is also a colorful dish with the variety of vegetables.
2/16/15 Made this as a warm dish with spinach, carrots, smoked tofu, shitake mushrooms and the sauce. Served with cold sliced cucumbers dipped in soy sauce on the side. Delicious!

Serves 4
  • 16 oz (2 packages) buckwheat noodles (usually wheat free, but check ingredient list)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/3 cucumber, cut into thin strips
  • 1 or 2 green onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • chopped ginger
  • sesame oil (dark kind)
  • soy sauce/tamari (wheat-free)
  • 1 T sugar
  • spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • smoked tofu (or baked tofu if you can find one made with wheat-free soy sauce), sliced into fat strips
  • cilantro
  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Do not overcook. Rinse immediately with cold water until noodles are cold. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with some sesame oil.
  2. If you have plain tofu, heat it with some garlic, soy/tamari, salt and pepper to add flavor. Otherwise, just heat up the tofu in a skillet.
  3. Optionally, you can cook the red pepper. Remove to bowl.
  4. Heat the spinach in pan until wilted. Chop.
  5. Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil, chopped ginger and garlic over low heat. Remove from heat and add sugar and 2 T soy. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour over noodles.
  6. Combine tofu and other vegetables in bowl. Toss to mix.
  7. Garnish with cilantro.
  • Add rice wine vinegar to the sauce
  • Use meat instead of tofu (shrimp, beef, etc).
  • Carrots also make a good addition, for health and color.
  • You can substitute peas for the spinach.

Gateau Alexandre

Happy birthday to my little nephew who just turned 2. This cake was created in his honor by Jeanne Oh. I made it a year ago for his first birthday as a test. I was around when my sister made it the first time this year, and I have to say I think a single layer works better. Warning: this is a very time consuming cake to make.

Three components:
1. pastry cream (for gateau)
2. baked cherries (for garnish)
3. gateau

Pastry Cream
1 c (242 g) whole milk
1 vanilla bean (or 1 t vanilla extract--bean is better)
1/4 c (50 g) sugar
1/6 c (20 g) cornstarch, sifted
3 large egg yolks
1 T (14 g) unsalted butter, room temp

1. Prepare cooling pan by lining shallow baking pan (or bowl) with plastic wrap. Set aside.
2. Add milk to saucepan and scrape seeds from the vanilla bean (cut bean lengthwise). Bring milk to a boil and remove from heat. (When the milk violently bubbles over like a volcano, it's boiled)
3. While the milk is boiling, whisk sugar and cornstarch in small bowl. Add yolks to sugar mixture and whisk until the mixture turns pale yellow and is thick and smooth (very important because you don't want clumpy pastry cream). Gradually pour half of the hot milk into the yolk
mixture and whisk to combine. Return the yolk & milk mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil for 30 more seconds, then remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter until completely
4. Scrape the pastry cream into the cooling pan, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap directly against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Cool at room temp. (Note, you can refrigerate (keeps for 3 days) but make sure that you whisk the mixture smooth before use).

Baked Cherries (for garnish)
2.2 lbs (1 kg) fresh cherries, pitted
100 g sugar

1. Mix cherries in sugar. Bake in covered dish at 475 F or (250 C) for 15-20 minutes, stirring from time to time.
2. Allow cherries to cool (approximately 4 hours).

3/4 c (90 g) slivered almonds, food processed finely ground (about 45
1/3 c (30 g) slivered almonds (for garnish)
1 1/3 c (193 g) all purpose flour
1 t (5 g) baking powder
4 large eggs
1 c (200 g) sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
14 T (200 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 T (14 g) orange juice or dark rum
Pastry Cream at room temp (above)
3/4 lb (341 g) sour or black cherries, pitted

1. Sift flour and baking powder over ground almonds. Gently whisk until combined and set aside.
2. Place 3 eggs and sugar in large bowl. Scrape vanilla seeds from bean and add to sugar mixture. Whisk the eggs until thickened and pale. Whisk in the melted (and cooled) butter . Whisk in the dry ingredients and orange juice. Let the batter stand for atleast 20 minutes
3. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans or one 10 or 11 inch round cake pan. Dust the pans with flour, tapping excess.
4. Whisk the pastry cream smooth and fill a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch plain tip with the pastry cream (you can also make a makeshift pastry bag by using a ziploc bag and cutting the corner off).
5. Scrape 3/4 of the cake batter into each cake pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Pipe the pastry cream over the batter in each pan, beginning 1/4 inch from the edge of the pan and piping in a loose spiral towards the center, leaving about 1 inch between the coils.
6. Arrange the cherries over the pastry cream, dividing them evenly between the two cakes. Scrape the remaining cake batter over the cherries, dividing it evenly, and smooth it into an even layer, covering the cherries as much as possible.
7. Lightly beat the remaining egg and lightly brush the tops of the cakes with this egg wash.
8. Bake the cake(s) for 30-35 minutes (for 8 inch) and about 45 minutes (for larger), until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the cake(s) in the pans for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes and cool completely. Reinvert the cakes to serve.

1. Cake on dish
2. Arrange baked cherries on top of cake
3. sprinkle slivered almonds on top.

NOTE: I think this cake would taste fantastic with a taste of chocolate, but I am uncertain if babies can have chocolate. When Hugh gets older and develops his own taste, you can alter the pastry cream to a chocolate one by adding about 4 ounces (154 g) of melted dark chocolate. Alternatively, you can prepare a chocolate sauce on the side:

Chocolate Sauce
5 oz (142 g) Sugar
8 oz (240 ml) Water
2.25 oz (64 g) light corn syrup
2 oz (56 g) cocoa powder, sifted
8 oz (227 g) bittersweet chocolate, melted

1. Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Remove from heat
2. Place the cocoa powder in a bowl and add enough of the hot sugar syrup to make a paste, stirring until smooth. Gradually add the remaining syrup and mix until fully incorporated.
3. Add the melted chocolate and blend until fully incorporated
4. Optional: Strain the sauce through a fine meshed sieve
5. Serve warm or chilled (warm is better, I think!)

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh can be made with cous-cous or bulghur wheat. However, for a gluten-free dish, quinoa (pronounced key-nwah, not chin-o-uh) is the way to go. Most time is spent chopping and chilling. This is a refreshing summer dish that can serve as a lunch or appetizer. 5/29/10 If you can't find quinoa, then millet is another gluten free option.

2 c water
1 c quinoa
3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c lemon juice
3 green onion stalks, minced
1/4 c fresh mint, minced
1 T cilantro, minced
3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cucumber, finely chopped
(missing: 1/4 c pine nuts, 1/2 c parsley)
*1/4 t paprika
*1/4 t cayenne
  1. Rinse quinoa well first so it won't be bitter. Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes, until water is absorbed and kernels are soft.
  2. Combine oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Mix with quinoa.
  3. Add greens and veggies. Mix well. Chill.
  4. Serve with bread or over mixed greens.
  • As mentioned above, use cous cous or bulghur wheat for the base.
  • 5/29/10 Used millet instead of quinoa, cherry tomatoes instead of roma.
    In large pan, toast millet on high heat. Stir constantly for 3-4 minutes until fragrant and millet starts to pop. If heat is too high remove to cool. Add boiling water, cover and simmer until water is absorbed (15-25 min). Let stand 5 minutes with cover on. Immediately fluff with fork. [If not toasting, then rinse well first.]
  • 6/10/12 Used 1 box couscous cooked with mixture of boiled water combined with lemon zest, parsley stems, pinch cayenne, olive oil and salt. Add ins were regular tomatoes, english cucumber, toasted pine nuts, lemon juice, and minced parsley.
  • 6/9/13 Used 1 box of couscous cooked with 2+ c water, lemon zest, coriander stems, 1/4 t cayenne, olive oil. Add ins were cherry tomatoes, cucumber, salted sunflower seeds, lemon juice, coriander, cayenne, paprika, garlic, salt. ****

Fresh Mozzarella Dish

I love fresh mozzarella. Along with tomatoes and basil and seasoning, you just can't go wrong no matter how you eat it - plain or on a cracker.

Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Fresh ground black pepper
Olive oil


A winter favorite.
  • 9 lasagna sheets (boiled or use the no-precook kind)
  • meat sauce (choice of meat: turkey, beef, pork, chicken; seasoned with garlic, onions, Italian seasoning, crushed red peppers or Tabasco)
  • ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • leafy greens, chopped (I prefer spinach, but anything will do)
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • zucchini, sliced
  • Parmesan
  • mozzarella
  1. Prepare meat sauce.
  2. Mix ricotta, egg, parmesan and leafy greens.
  3. Layer meat on bottom of 9x13 baking dish.
  4. Layer 3 noodles. Top with ricotta mixture. Add sliced vegetables. Sprinkle mozzarella.
  5. Repeat layers: meat, noodles, cheese, veggies, more cheese.
  6. Top with last 3 noodles and top with remaining ingredients.
  7. Top with lots of mozzarella and a sprinkling of parmesan.
  8. Bake according to package instructions. Usually once the mozzarella is melted and slightly browned it is ready. If there is a lot of liquid, it should be visibly bubbling. If preparing ahead of time, you can refrigerate after the previous step. Baking time will increase.
  • If using a 9x9 dish, use the smaller lasagna sheets. Put up to 4 layers of noodles in (pictures have 3).
  • If using no-boil sheets, be sure there is plenty of liquid for the pasta to soak up (from the sauce, raw veggies, etc).

Tapioca Pudding

My favorite for tapioca is Kat's recipe. She is quite right about the love/hate relationship. I hated tapioca the first time I had it when I was a kid. Some time in the last few years I've grown to love jelly balls - in all its forms - especially bubble tea. I had a hankering to make and eat some tapioca, so tried her recipe out. It was quite easy and tasty.
  • 1/3 c tapioca
  • ¾ c water
  • ¼ c milk (that's all we had left)
  • 2 c soy milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ t almond extract
  • cinnamon
  • 4 spice mix (I didn't feel like grating the whole nutmeg, so used this powder instead)
  • raisins (next time I'd reduce the sugar, as the raisins add a sweetness of their own)
  • 1/3 Granny Smith apple, chopped (good for texture)
  • ~1/4 c grated coconut (I didn't put much of this in and didn't taste it - could leave it out)
  1. Soak tapioca in water for 30 minutes in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add milk, salt, and egg yolks and whisk to blend.
  3. Over medium heat, continue to stir the mixture until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat all the way down and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until tapioca softens. (For this step I didn't read her directions that carefully - I actually just let it cook for 10 minutes total, before coming to a boil - the variety of tapioca I got actually cooks in 7 - there was another box of Japanese kind that took 15 min.)
  4. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until they are foamy, add the sugar gradually and beat until soft peaks form.
  5. Fold in about ¾ cup of the hot tapioca mixture to the egg whites to temper them and then fold the egg whites back into the tapioca in the saucepan. Whisk over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  6. Add raisins, coconut, and apple pieces.
  7. Cool for about 10 minutes and then add the extract and spices. Serve warm or chilled.
The possibilities are endless. Kat gives a lot of suggestions in her blog entry.

JiaoZi - Chinese Dumplings

Dumpling making parties are fun and tasty. The mixture is made to taste based on ingredients you prefer and have available. Omit the meat to make vegetarian style. Anything goes with jiaozi - my friend Kevin once made a mango jiao zi because he couldn't eat the pork filling we made.
  • 2 pkg wrappers (Shanghai style, not Hong Kong)
  • 1 lb lean ground pork
  • 2-3 zucchini (cabbage can be substituted) [balance]
  • Chinese mushrooms, soaked and chopped [flavor]
  • shrimp (uncooked, peeled, deveined, chopped, salted)
  • thin rice noodles (softened and chopped)
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • pepper
  • ground ginger
  • minced spinach
  • garlic
  • chives [flavor]
  • water chestnuts [texture]
  • tofu, firm
  1. Grate zucchini, add salt to sweat and drain excess liquid.
  2. Add seasonings to pork and mix well.
  3. Combine pork, zucchini, mushrooms and mian. Season.
  4. Wrap mixture in wrapper with one or two pieces of shrimp.
  5. Boil in water until floating and thoroughly cooked - approximately 4 minutes when fresh. Otherwise, freeze immediately. Frozen dumplings take approximately 7 minutes to cook.
11/6/11 Had a lot of home ground pork leftover from making sausages (ran out of intestine casings), so used the extra meat to make jiaozi. Local store only carries wonton wrappers (square shape, not circle), so used those instead. Pork, zucchini, sesame oil, soy sauce, ground ginger, water chestnuts/shrimp, chinese mushrooms. 3 batches with various ratios of veg to meat. All delicious!

Cinnamon Buns

Lots of people like a glazed bun, but I find the extra sugar makes it too sweet. The filling is to taste - I put a healthy dose of cinnamon, a sprinkling of sugar, and lots of raisins. If my consumers aren't against walnuts I put them in. I think they're better with but some people are allergic or just aren't a fan.

  • 2 1/4 t yeast
  • scant 4 c flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c butter, melted
  • 1/4 c water
  • 3/4 c milk
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • optional: pinch of cloves (to enhance cinnamon), nutmeg (to complement), cardamom (for different flavor)
  • brown sugar
  • raisins
  • optional: chopped walnuts
  1. Place dough ingredients in bread machine and set to dough cycle.
    Note: The following steps take up to 2 hours, depending on your rising time.
  2. Punch dough down. Flatten/roll out to rectangular shape. 12"x20" or 16"x21" would do.
  3. Spread melted butter on surface followed by the rest of the ingredients. A healthy spread of raisins will do.
  4. Start rolling the dough (from the long side). Be sure to roll tightly so as not to have any air pockets.
  5. Cut the log into 9-12 pieces (depending on the size of your baking dish).
  6. Place in greased pan. Cover and let rise in warm, moist environment until nearly doubled (30 min - 1 hour).
  7. Bake at 180C/350F for 20-25 min or until golden brown.
  8. Serve warm for breakfast or cooled down for a snack!
  • Place buns inside a greased muffin tin. Make sure no air pockets are at the bottom.

Ricotta Bread

This makes an excellent bread just for eating, but also great sandwich bread. It has a nice, dense texture.

2 t yeast
3 c bread flour
4 T sugar
1 t salt
1-2 t dried Italian herbs
8 t melted butter
2 eggs
6 T milk
10-12 oz ricotta (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c)

Place items in bread machine in order listed and set it to go. 2 lb (large) loaf, medium crust.


The Dough
I researched different pizza dough recipes and combined them to make the perfect one for my taste. It makes a medium sized crust that's a bit crisp on the outside, soft in the middle, without being too chewy or too crunchy.

  • 1-1.5 c very warm water
  • 1 T milk
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 3-4 c flour
  • pepper, parmesan, oregano (optional, for taste)
  1. Combine the water and milk and dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle yeast over the mixture and stir gently until it dissolves (about 1 min). Let stand until a thin layer of foam covers the surface (about 5 min).
  2. Add the olive oil, salt and any optional ingredients. Gradually add flour, mixing with a wooden spoon, until a soft ball forms. Knead until smooth (about 10 min). Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, moist place until doubled (1-1.5 hours).
  3. Punch down the dough. Shape into a ball. Divide in half. Let rest for a couple minutes.
  4. Shape each piece, handling minimally. Place on 2 lightly oiled cookie shoots. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Pre-bake in a 450 degree oven for 3 minutes. This step is optional but ensures the dough will be thoroughly cooked and rises it a bit before you layer on the ingredients.
  6. Add toppings of choice. (see below for more information)
  7. Bake at 450 degrees until cheese and crust are golden brown (about 15-25 minutes).
Topping HintsIf you're making pizza at home, take the chance to go wild. Add things you normally couldn't order and see if they go well together. Making pizza at home isn't just about having something to eat - it's about experimenting and having fun. The amount of ingredients you need depends on your taste. Always order extra sauce? Then pour it on. Love cheese? Add an extra handful or two.

  • pizza sauce, tomato sauce, pesto
  • Shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, feta
  • Sliced mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, onions, spinach, broccoli, roasted garlic, eggplant
  • Sliced tomatoes, pineapple
  • Pepperoni, sausage, cooked ground beef, ham, chicken, smoked salmon
  • Pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder
Ordering the ingredientsThe items on top tend to dry out, items in the sauce and under the cheese will become moist. I advise having onions below (otherwise they'll burn) and putting moister items on top. I also like to de-seed the tomatoes...otherwise you can easily burn the root of your mouth biting into a piping hot one.
Dessert Pizza Toppings
Also consider making a sweet pizza for dessert instead. Remember - anything goes!

  • Apples, pears, bananas, raisins
  • Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Cream cheese

  • If you have extra dough, pat it down and turn it into focaccia bread. Top with a combination of onions, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, etc.

Herb Pizza Crust

March 2016. Based on 300 Best Canadian Bread Machine Recipes. Makes 2 smaller 12" pizzas. Bake at 400F for 10-12 minutes.
  • 1 c water
  • 2 T milk
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2.75 c flour
  • 1 t basil
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1.25 t yeast

Bread Machine Baguettes

The original recipe called for splitting the dough into 2 pieces. However, the mini oven I'm using doesn't have that much room, so I split it into thirds, making 2 baguettes tonight and saving one piece in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch. This bread is best eaten fresh, as there aren't any preservatives and you want a crisp crust and a chewy inside.

1 pkg active dry yeast (2.25 t)
3.5 c bread flour
1 t salt
1.25 c warm water
  1. Place ingredients in bread machine according to manufacturers directions. Start dough cycle.
  2. Remove dough with floured hands and cut in thirds on floured surface.
  3. Take each piece of dough and roll to make a loaf about 12 inches long in the shape of a baguette. Taper ends.
  4. Place on greased baking sheet and cover with a towel.
  5. Let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 450°F/230°C. Place pan of water on bottom rack (This ensures a nice crust).
  7. Make diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart down each baguette.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Cool. Eat immediately - plain or filled!