Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kidney Bean Ideas

Got some cans of kidney beans from JM. Too hot to cook chili so need to figure out what else to do with them.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Chocolate Sponge Cake

The cake rises to about double, but deflated to half for me after I flipped it out. The mini oven cooks differently from regular ovens, so next time I'd cook this above the middle shelf and at a slightly higher heat. It still tasted delicious.
  • 1/3 c all purpose flour
  • 1/3 c cornstarch
  • 1/3 c cocoa
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 c sugar, divided
  • 1 t vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  1. Use a 9" round cake pan with high sides or a springform pan. Line bottom with foil or wax paper. Grease bottom and flour sides generously.
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch and cocoa into a medium bowl.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, cream yolks, half the sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer - 5 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, whip whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually and whip until stiff.
  5. Fold dry ingredients and yolk mixture into egg white mixture.
  6. Pour into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 30 min at 180C/350F on middle shelf or until center is firm to the touch.
  8. Separate cake from sides of pan with knife. Invert, right side up, onto cooling rack.
  9. Serve with chocolate mousse or ice cream.

For Comparison
This was the recipe that came with the bend'n'bake silicone cake pan.

Chocolate Sponge
  • 8 whole eggs
  • 250 g caster sugar
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 50 g cocoa powder
  • 1 t baking powder
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/356F.
  2. In an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift together flour, cocoa and baking powder.
  4. Gently fold with a spatula the flour mix into the egg mixture.
  5. Pour mixture into mould. Place into a preheated oven for approx 35-40 min.

Fajitas Chicken

I'd make a few changes for next time, though this turned out quite easy and delicious.
  • 1 t paprika powder
  • 1 t szechuan chili powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t ground cumin (didn't have any so used a bit of thai seasoning)
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 T olive oil (used 4 T grapeseed oil -- too much)
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • fresh lime juice (I used lemon)
  • oil for the pan
  1. In an 8x8 dish (or large ziploc), combine spices, cornstarch, water and oil.
  2. Add chicken and onion. Coat thoroughly.
  3. Refrigerate 15 min-several hours.
  4. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Cook chicken, approximately 6 minutes.
  5. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice.
  6. Serve immediately with tortillas, tomatoes, greens, cheese, etc.
Chicken Fajita Marinade II ****
5/29/10 Prepared this for a Mexican dinner. First batch without the chili and paprika, second with. Prefer it with additional spices.
  • 1/4 c beer
  • 1/3 c fresh lemon juice (or lime)
  • 1 T oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • salt to taste
  • [1 t chili powder]
  • [1/2 t paprika]
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
Place in glass dish or 1 gallon zip lock, and marinate 1-3 hours. Drain before cooking.

Chicken Fajita Marinade III *****
5/29/10 Tried this third marinade - the orange has a strong flavor - which is tasty but not for everyone. The citrus flavor was not there in the leftovers.
  • 4 cl garlic, chopped
  • 2 t gr cumin
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 2 t paprika
  • [1/2 t dried oregano]
  • orange's zest
  • 1 lemon's juice
  • 2 T oil
  • 6 T fresh coriander, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into strips
Marinate at least 15 min.
    Prepare a beef filling instead.
    Great with mango salsa and refried beans.

    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    Pasta Salad

    A good summer dish.
    • 1 lb short pasta (spirals or shells)
    • 3 small, narrow cucumbers (seedless)
    • 1/2 large carrot
    • tomatoes (yellow cherry tomatoes best for color variety, but red will do too)
    • red onion, chopped
    • red bell pepper
    • spiced tofu gan
    • balsamic vinegar
    • olive oil
    • fresh garlic, grated
    • fresh ginger, grated
    • lime juice
    • black pepper
    • cilantro, chopped
    1. Boil the pasta. Drain well. Put in large bowl. Let cool.
    2. In a small jar, combine oil and vinegar in a 1:3 ratio or to taste. Add garlic, ginger, black pepper, lime juice and any other seasoning. Shake well. Pour over pasta and mix.
    3. Score the sides of the cucumbers with a fork. Cut lengthwise in quarters. Slice. (In the picture, the cukes on the left have been scored and to me, look fancier than the plain ones on the right.)
    4. Cut carrot into short matchsticks.
    5. Seed and chop tomatoes.
    6. Chop onion.
    7. Cut capsicum into small pieces.
    8. Cut tofu gan in half. Slice into small pieces.
    9. Add all chopped items to pasta and stir well.
    10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
    • pine nuts
    • olives
    • cheese (grated or feta)

    Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

    It's impossible to find crushed pineapple and last time I tried using fresh it came out way too moist. So I substituted grated apple for the pineapple and it still came out very moist. I don't like a super sweet frosting - I even found this low sugar recipe too sweet - next time I might only use one cup of confectioners sugar and half the amount of butter.
    2/28/16 Made this again and reduced the oil and sugar and it came out great. Adjusted below with original amounts in brackets

    Carrot Cake
    • 3 eggs
    • 3/4 c buttermilk (or regular milk and 1 T lemon juice)
    • 1/2 c oil (or part applesauce) [was 2/3 c]
    • 1.3 c white sugar (or use part brown) [was 1.5]
    • 2 t vanilla
    • 2 t cinnamon
    • 1/4 t salt
    • 2 3/4 c flour [was 2 1/4 c]
    • 2 t soda
    • 2 c shredded carrot
    • 3/4 c coconut
    • 3/4 c walnuts
    • 8 oz crushed pineapple with juice (or grated apple and extra carrot)
    • 1 c raisins
    1. Grease and flour two 9" round cake pans.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine cinnamon, salt, flour and soda.
    3. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil and sugar. Add flour to mixture.
    4. In a large bowl, combine carrots, coconut, nuts, pineapple and raisins. Add to egg-flour mixture and fold in well.
    5. Pour into pans and bake 45 minutes at 180C or until done.
    6. Let rest in pan several minutes. Invert onto serving plates to cool.
    7. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to frost.
    • In the mini oven use a higher rack.
    • If very wet, add more flour.
    • OK to bake in two rounds.
    • 10" springform, 55 min. 8x8 and 12 cupcakes, 30 min.
    • 5/28/2010 Used 2 carrots, 1 apple, 1/2 c butter, ~3 T oil, no nuts. Increase flour to 2 3/4 c. Be sure to let cool in pan for several minutes so it doesn't fall apart!
    • 2/28/2016 Used 3 large carrots shredded in food processor. Made 8" and 9" rounds and layered with cream cheese frosting below (only using 2/3 of the batch).
    Cream Cheese Frosting

    • 2 - 8 oz pkg cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 c butter (or less), softened
    • 1 t vanilla (or more)
    • 1 c confectioner's sugar [was 2 c]
    1. Combine cream cheese and butter until smooth.
    2. Add vanilla.
    3. Sift in sugar to avoid lumps. Mix well.
    4. Refrigerate until firm enough to spread on cake.
    Combining it All Together
    1. Spread 1/3 frosting on bottom layer.
    2. Place other cake layer on top.
    3. Spread remaining frosting on sides and top.
    4. Decorate with walnut pieces or carrot sticks or fresh fruit.
    5. Chill until ready to serve.

    Fresh Mango Salsa

    I made this in the morning, chilled it in two spaghetti sauce jars and had them served up with tostitos for a party. Delicious! This is close to the original recipe, but because mangoes and avocados come in giant sizes, this made a lot more than it would have in the US. So I increased the garlic and red onion to match. Also couldn't find a jalapeno so used a dried chili from the garden, and no limes, so used lemon instead.
    • 1 large mango, diced
    • 1 large avocado, diced
    • 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
    • 1 chili pepper (jalapeno or other), chopped
    • 1/2 c cilantro, chopped
    • 6 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 t salt
    • 2 T lime juice (or lemon)
    • 1/2 c red onion, chopped
    • 3 T olive oil
    1. In a large bowl, combine mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro and garlic.
    2. Add salt, lime juice, red onion and olive oil.
    3. Transfer to jars and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
    4. Serve with chips, on top of baked fish, or in a burrito.
    Use papaya or pineapple instead of mango.
    Add cucumber, red bell pepper, ...
    Add 1 t minced fresh ginger.

    5/29/10 Used ai-wen mangoes, no avocado, and 2 peppers from the roof (Stewart's gift). Next time, be sure to wear gloves when chopping the chili. The peppers tasted quite spicy fresh (had a burning left hand for 8 hours) but did not come through in the salsa after marinating.

    6/12/10 Used ai-wen mangoes and 2 avocados.

    6/26/18 Used several mangoes, several avocados, roma tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 a small purple onion and 1 jalapeno. It was not spicy at all - recommend leaving jalapeno seeds in next time.