Sunday, February 24, 2008

Post-swimming Breakfast


Eggs (scrambled and fried),
tomato beans,
goat gouda cheese,
pineapples, strawberries, grapes,
buttermilk pancakes, with pineapple-whipped cream (whip it with pineapple jam) and maple syrup,

Celebration dinnner

Miwako and I decided to celebrate my being accepted into grad school with a fancy-style dinner. But we spent so long making it look pretty and taking pretty photos that our tuna-onion pasta was cold by the time we ate it : )


-Tuna-Onion Whole-wheat Spaghetti
-Cheese plate (goat Gouda from quebec, herbed Camembert)
-grapes, strawberries, pineapple, oranges
-freshly-baked baguette
-red wine
-walnut cakes (hodo kwaja)

Baguette Recipe, from here (Although it morphed into a huge loaf in the oven)

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (I thought there was too much salt, I will cut some out next time)

1. Mix yeast, sugar and warm water together. Let sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add in 2 cups flour, mix well.
3. Add in salt, then rest of flour.
4. Knead, 8-15 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
5. Place into oiled bowl, turn over once to coat dough with oil.
6. Let rise, tightly covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
7. Punch down, and shape into a long, slender baguette (I did three foldovers)
8. Preheat oven, with baking stone/cookie sheet in oven, to 400 deg. F, letting loaf rise for 30 mins.
9. Slash the top of the loaf, brush some cool water onto it, and then bake the loaf in the middle of the oven, about 30 minutes, until golden-brown.

Note: Slide a pan with cold water into the oven when you begin baking the loaf - the steam will create a crispy crust.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate-Chip Cookies

This recipe I found at Alpineberry, adapted from Tish Boyle's "The Good Cookie." It was very good!
Of course I am incapable of following recipes completely, I used a microwaved-from-frozen banana instead of a fresh banana (I have about a million frozen bananas in my freezer), and I also used less walnuts - I used about 1/2 a cup instead of a cup. The only reason for this is that I ran out of walnuts! I think it would have been even better with the full amount of walnuts. This cookie had a good amount of sweetness, and I think it could even stand alone without the chocolate.

Sweet Hk-style bread

This bread was really light and fluffy - I basically followed this recipe from Kitchen Unplugged, but substituted 2 whisked eggs for the three egg yolks, and 1% milk for the evaporated milk (mainly because I was too lazy to separate the eggs, or go to the grocery store to buy evaporated milk.) I also used normal all-purpose flour instead of bread flour.

I needed a little more flour than the recipe called for - but that's probably because I was using milk instead of evaporated milk. I would definitely make this again, maybe using a little less sugar.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Orange Honey Yeast Bread

Dough after 2nd proof, prior size = empty toilet paper roll

Determined to make a better yeast bread I tried my third yeast dough recipe. Again don't worry, there is no instant coffee in this one either. The jalapeno montery jack cheese bread was a little dense. I learned a little too late that there is actually a proper way of forming a yeast dough round. I followed the instructions this time with a better outcome. Still not as light and fluffy as regular bread that might be due to the fact that I am not using bread flour and I am still impatient with my proofing times.

Jalapeno Montery Jack Cheese Yeast Bread

Two finger proofing test- pass
Don't worry, no instant coffee in this recipe. Trader Joe's jalapeno montery jack cheese makes up the main ingredient. I was too impatient with the second proof on this bread, I didn't let it rise nearly as much as the first proof. However, compared to the cinnamon rolls this morning it rose a lot more. This time I let the boiling water cool a bit before adding it to the yeast and proofed in a warm oven. I probably killed the yeast in the cinnamon rolls with the boiling water or the sunlight on my living room floor just isn't warm enough. Need to do more experimenting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Oatmeal Coffee Caramel Almond Cookies

Another episode in the coffee saga. This one I did off of memory again. Something not quite right with the consistency. Doesn't seem to bind together like a normal cookie as evidenced by the difficult time I had removing them from the pan. Not enough flour maybe? Or maybe my plastic spatula from the Dollar Store just isn't firm enough? Nonetheless tastes pretty good. Stay tuned for more adventures in the coffee saga.

Cinnamon Raisin Almond Coffee Rolls

Proofing on my living room floor as that is the only part of my apartment that receives sunlight.

Finished baked product.

Since I have that large jar of instant coffee I bought for the biscotti recipe I decided to bake more with instant coffee. I also decided that I needed to use up the quick-rising yeast I bought over a year ago. However it is no longer quick-rising as it expired Oct 2007. Sooooo cinnamon raisin almond coffee rolls seemed to be the perfect thing. Needs the icing sugar glaze on top. Not sweet enough.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Vegetarian Jap Chae...

As a note, it actually IS important how long you marinate the mushrooms for - I left it for way too long, and they sucked up too much flavour, it was crazy! Otherwise, not bad. Although I would have preferred it with beef, but I thought it was too cold to walk all the way to buy some!

For the same reason, I substituted bok choy for spinach, left out green onions entirely, and tried compensating by using a ridiculous amount of mushrooms. Here is the recipe from Lily's Wai Sek Hong, website, which I failed to follow...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chocolate Tootsie Biscotti

Adapted from the Dorie Greenspan recipe Meagan sent me. I did not have any toffee but I had Tootsie rolls. Those things are damn hard to cut into bits, super sticky. Also I was too cheap to buy instant espresso so I bought Safeway brand instant coffee. Still tastes super yummy. What's not to love about butter, sugar, chocolate and Tootsie Rolls = )