Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Breakfast of champions?

DSC_7022Well, Nipponnin Is off in Hawaii helping with the grandkids. Not sure if you noticed any of my sense of jealousy in that bland statement. But it is there. Just a little. So, she gave me a recipe and instructions to make this and post it for all of you, her faithful readers. The wikipedia entry for this makes it sound less delicious than I think it is, but I guess beauty is in the eye (or taste) of the beholder and all… And it did give me permission to eat these for breakfast. It is one of my favorites. Besides, this gave me a good excuse to buy a pan. It needs to rest in the refrigerator for 24 – 48 hours so plan ahead.

Recipe and instructions (Print recipe here)

Equipment needed: Cannele molds

  • 4-1/4 cups of milk
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 extra-large egg yolks
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups unbleached pastry flour
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  1. Bring 2-1/2 cups of the milk and the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the egg, sugar, vanilla and the remaining milk. Whisk in the flour.
  3. In a steady stream add the milk mixture from step 1 – whisking to combine.
  4. Pour the batter through a fine sieve into another bowl.
  5. Cover and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.
  6. Heat oven to 400 F. Spray molds with cooking spray and place in freezer for 20 minutes. Place molds about 1-1/2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
  7. Remove batter from refrigerator and whisk gently. Fill each mold to 1/2 inch from the top. Bake until they slip easily from the mold and are evenly browned, 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours.

The figs loved the hot weather so we had more than we could eat. I made a few bottles of jam. Love it with fresh bread.

Nipponnin will be back in a couple of weeks. She is still posting her #todaystapas on Instagram, so please look her up there to see what she is up to.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fig Framboise Tarte



All of sudden, ‘POW’! The figs (desert king variety) from the tree in our back yard are ripe and ready, thanks to very warm weather…with the weight of loaded figs, some branches are bowing… Long live the King!DSC_6931
Oh yai yai! Why couldn’t they be ready a few at a time?  Given away to friends and neighbors but we still have plenty left…and some of them past prime and getting way too mushy.

I have copies of fig tart/cake recipes from fellow food bloggers and all are fabulous though, I decided to challenge the recipe from an old Today’s Cooking Magazine, just because of the raspberry sauce. Although it’s not difficult, this requires patience…it needs a lot of nap, I mean rest time. .

Ingredients and Instruction for one 9 inch tart pan (Print Recipe Here)

For crust – Or use your favorite recipe for biscuit base. My past recipe is here

  • 35g Viscosity flour (薄力粉)
  • 140g Bread flour (強力粉)
  • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk, mix with salt and milk from below in a small bowlDSC_6936
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 40g milk
  1. Put flours and cubed butter in a large bowl and keep in the freezer for at least 1 hour.
  2. Put #1 mixture in a food processor and run until it looks like cornmeal. Add egg mixture and quickly combine until it just comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for 2-3 hours.DSC_6935DSC_6937

For Almond Cream

  • 90g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 70g granulated sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 90g almond flour
  1. Put butter and sugar in large bowl and whisk well until color gets light and fluffy.
  2. Add beaten egg at little at a time, whisk until smooth.
  3. Add almond flour and combine well. Chill for about 1 hour in refrigerator.DSC_6943

Set biscuit batter in a tart pan – dust with flour on a clean flat surface. roll out the batter to one size larger than pan and fit in the pan (1/4 inch thick?). If the batter gets too soft, put back in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Roll the rolling pin on top of the pan to cut off the excess dough. Prick bottom with fork. Keep in the refrigerator until ready.

Assemble and Bake – Heat oven to 356 F. Slice figs, skin on (you need about 6-8 figs) in wedges. Put almond cream in a piping bag with 1/2 inch round tip (if the cream is too cold, whisk to make smooth first). Pipe out from center of tart (it is not necessary but I smoothed out with a rubber spatula). Arrange fig wedges on top of almond cream, place it on a large cooking sheet to prevent spillage. Put in the oven and bake for about 1 hour. When it’s done, place on cooling rack.

Raspberry sauce – 200g  of frozen raspberries or fresh raspberries and 100g granulated sugar in a food processer, run until pureed. Strain through mesh to remove seeds. Add 1 drop of food coloring to enhance color (optional).  Note: for short cut, I used seedless raspberry jam, thinned with little bit of warm water. Spread the raspberry sauce on top of cooled tart. decorate with skinned, wedged cut figs and mint leaves. Voila!DSC_6965Okey-dokey…What do I do with rest of figs?

From Today’s TAPAS Instgram posts (#todaystapas) – lemon cheese cakes for a friend who is not feeling well…IMG_4770[1]

Stuffed Goya (the recipe featured in Orange Page magazine)….ground chicken, ginger and other seasoning… Uniquely bitter aftertaste I enjoyed.IMG_4795[1]

It’s true! Delicious food makes you happy even for the time being!
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Spicy Clam Noodle Soup



Canadian Clams are on sale at the Japanese/Asian market….$3.99 per pound, $2 less…hmmm….what can I do with it?…this unexpected surprise  is like a curve ball…I’d love to hit it…it doesn’t have to be a home run but something pleasing….DSC_6904

It is quite hot outside, I must take them home safely, so I asked the clerk to pack the clams in  (free) ice…they are always nice about that (did you get it? I made a rhyme, ice, nice…no more rhymes now, I mean it! Anybody want a peanut?…with my love of The Princess Bride, those lines pop up in  my head in an instant). At the produce aisle, I grabbed an inexpensive a bundle of green onions to start working the game plan.

OK actually, I am remembering  the recipe in an old magazine… I think I have a budget friendly, low-calorie, gluten free… winning chance! I mean recipe.

Ingredients and Instruction for 2-4 people (Print Recipe Here)

  • 1 pound (about) of clams, thoroughly cleaned with a stiff brush under running water. Note: I highly recommend soaking the clams in salted water for at least 1 hours to let them spit out sand. Check here for the method. DSC_6872
  • 1 package of rice noodle
  • Ginger root, about the size of an adult thumb, peeled and thinly julienned.
  • 3 Tablespoons sake
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 4 stalks of green onion, cut 1/2 inch of root end and small round cut
  • La-yu oil – depending on your preference, I used 5 drops.
  1. With plenty of hot water, soak the rice noodle to reconstitute; about 5-7 minutes.DSC_6878
  2. While soaking the noodles, boil 6 cups of water in a large pot. Add sake, ginger and cleaned clams. Reduce heat to low and cook until the clams open-up (discard any that do not open).. Scoop and remove the white scum that floats to the top.
  3. Add soy sauce, salt, pepper.
  4. Strain the rice noodle through a colander, shake to remove excess water. Add the noodle to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do the taste test, add more seasoning to adjust if needed. Note: cut noodle in half or thirds with kitchen scissor for easier consumption…I used pre-cut noodle.DSC_6892
  5. Serve noodles in individual bowls, sprinkle sesame oil, la-yu oil then top with green onion . Serve hot or chilled (I like it cold). 

My husband’s colleague makes the best kimchee…it goes well with this dish…고맙습니다 ! (Thank you).DSC_6897

Peaches are in season. I had to make peach cobbler for my Today’s TAPAS post (#todaystapas). I happen to have a mini casserole dish. My husband made amazing kefir ice cream…a little sour, sorbet like texture…so good!…What?…this pic is not focused? (but) You (peach cobbler) are wonderful! Thank you, I’ve worked hard to become so… (again the lines from The Princess Bride). IMG_4649[1]

I taught a pretty 20 year-old piano virtuoso, student at Rice University, French macaron making. In the photo below, Strawberry macarons with dark chocolate ganache filling were délicieux!  IMG_4624[1]

Next lesson, Italian macaron?  Si?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Beef Bulgogi 불고기

Homey Korean Dish


The popular bulgogi dish is super easy – chop, marinate and sauté! My recipe is probably a cutting-corner version…since I do not wish to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen…and it is too hot to go out to eat…actually, I’m anxious to see the next episode of Korean drama…which I’m addicted to. I love ‘romantic/comedy’ genre. My all –time favorite drama is Secret GardenRooftop Prince is really cute too…

Anyway, I just want to say this is 정말 맛있는 (really good), 진짜! (really).

Ingredients and Instruction for 4 servings (Print Recipe Here)

  • 1 pound (about) thinly sliced beef, chopped for easy consumption  Note: I used some a little thicker than sukiyaki beef for texture.
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1-2 stalks of green onion minced
  • 3 cloves of garlics minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of ginger juice (grate ginger root then squeeze the pulp to get juice).
  • 4 Tablespoons sake
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon (less or more) cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 of large onion, 1/2 inch slicedDSC_6843
  • 6-10 stalks of garlic chives cut in 3 inches length.
  • 1 package shimeji mushroom, cut off 1/2 inch of bottom end and separate in small sections  Note: I used seafood  mushroom which looks like large enoki mushroom.DSC_6840
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted white sesame seeds
  1. Combine beef and sugar. This is supposed to tenderize the meat. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix well green onion, garlic, ginger juice, sake, soy sauce, cayenne pepper powder and sesame oil. Add sugared meat and massage to coat, marinate for at least 30 minutes. Add one teaspoon of sugar or honey for intensified sweetness if you like.DSC_6849
  3. Add onion and mushroom to the beef bowl and combine well with your gloved hand. Marinate for an additional 20 minutes.DSC_6852
  4. Heat skillet at low-medium heat. Dump the whole contents of the bowl from #3 in and sauté until meat changes color and the onion is tender. Add garlic chives and continue to sauté until garlic chives are wilted a little. Lastly, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and combine quickly. Serve hot with cooked rice. 맛있게 드세요! (bon appétit).


Following Day….I made Yakisoba with  bulgogi sauce left in the pan. IMG_4603[1]

Chocolate covered strawberries are an Independence Day TAPAS instagram post (#todaystapas).  Cute , right?IMG_4595[1]

Some tapas posts are sensible low-calorie, vegan, gluten free…the bean thread noodle salad (春雨のサラダ) with myoga(Japanese ginger), sweet bell pepper, cucumber, tangy soy –vinaigrette dressing. Loving the bowl!IMG_4556[1]

Crown of the garden….just one so far…compact but nice! The artichoke is finally ready for us to enjoy!DSC_6836

What! July already? June must have made a giant leap away…