Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Finally, after 4 classes we have reached the stage of completing the Wilton Rose!
Here's me, posing with my beautiful cake
Thursday, June 28, 2007
There are numerous breadstick recipes on the internet and to find just one is quite hard. I prefer the breadsticks that are on the soft side, because the crunchy ones (to me) take away from the soft "al-dente"-ness of the pasta. So here's my recipe for soft herbed breadsticks.
Soft Herbed Breadsticks (Yields 2 dozen)
- 1 pk regular or quick-acting yeast
- 1 c warm water (105 to115 degree)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 c All-purpose flour
- 2 tsp each dried rosemary (crushed) and dried thyme
- 1 tsp each dried oregano leaves and dried basil
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Egg white
- 2 tb Cold water
- Poppy or sesame seeds (optional)
1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, 2 cups of the flour and the oil. Beat until smooth.
2. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle (dough will be soft).
3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
4. Place dough in greased medium bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until double. (Longer rising gives typical French bread texture.)
5. Grease large cookie sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal. Divide dough into 24 equal parts.
6. Roll and shape each part into rope, about 9 inches long, sprinkling with flour if dough is too sticky. Place on cookie sheet.
7. Mix egg white and 2 tablespoons cold water. Brush over breadsticks. Sprinkle with poppy seed.
8. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake about 20 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and crisp. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Store loosely covered.
My family thought that the breadsticks were very flavorful and went well with the casserole dish. I loved these breadsticks and may have gone overboard with the thyme (after all, it's my favorite herb!)
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Sorry for the crap-tasticness of the photo... I couldn't get a good angle :(
Here's a better pic! This is one of H-mart's chestnut buns... shaped like a chestnut, how ingenious :P
And here's the filling inside the chestnut bun
Couldn't help myself! So I bought a bag... as $2.50 for a bag of approx. 30 pieces of this yummy rice snack, how could I not? I loves this machine, and the operator was just as loveable... He was such a cute man with much enthusiasm for his work. As I snapped this picture...
After wandering through the bakery section, I saw a women carrying a bag of what looked like large, brown frisbees... that couldn't be right??! So I walked towards the direction she was leaving from and found this...
... he exlaimed "I am KOREAN!" It just made my day
You must take a trip down to H-mart, if not to purchase a butt-load of awesome Korean treats then to see this cute Korean man and his Magic Rice Machine!
Actually, the reason I made the curry was to finish up the jalapeno peppers I had left-over from my Reshami Kabob recipe... and I did. The curry recipe I used can be found at Simply Recipes, the only alteration I made was to substitute half of the chicken called for in the recipe with potatoes... my family loves potatoes in curry, and too much chicken can be erm... chicken-y?!
The simple recipe for my sister's pasta was made using a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
Mushroom Chicken Pasta
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Order from either their menu or simply pick a dish you like as it is brought to your table...
Before I get to the food... let's take in the aesthetics of this new dining location, shall we?
Such a cute condiments dish... they even give you a tiny spoon to dish out the sauce. How thoughtful!
The place settings, tea cups and tea pots were all themed beautifully. The rippling effect on all the dishes, and the decision to have everything in white was very elegant.Finally, on to the food... We started with their char siew puff pastry rolls. The flakiness was perfect with the savouriness.
Their beef tripe was very good. The texture was perfect and the sauce was not too over-powering.
We also ordered another type of beef tripe... this one was more marinated, but the sauce was still perfect (not too salty, but very flavourful)
We never go to dim sum without trying the phuong thao... these ones were more spicy than the ones from Neptune. I actually enjoyed these better!
Luxe claypot chicken rice is a must... the portion is quite large and only came around $6.50, not bad considering they give you lots of chicken, veggies and one whole lap cheong!
And for dessert... Mango Pudding. Good, but not as good as my mom's :P
Sure it just looks like a plain old bao, but this was one of my favourite dishes. IT was filled with lotus paste and salted egg yolk... I love anything with salted egg yolk
All-in-all, Luxe's Restaurant was a very enjoyable dining experience. The waiters were friendly and catered to our needs, the host was very knowledgeable and seemed genuinely pleased to greet us. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very inviting and serene. If you do find yourself somewhere in Langley, I recommend Luxe... for dim sum or just for a dinner outing. Two-thumbs up!
Here's the rice flour dough... what a nice orange-y color
Filling the dough with brown sugar and desiccated coconut
These onde-onde just need to be boiled and rolled in desiccated coconut; then they'll be ready for eating *drool*
Monday, June 25, 2007
#1. Chicken Katsu
#2. Various Tempura-Battered Veggies
#3. Tempura & Panko-crusted Shrimp, Cucumber Rolls and Tuna Salad Rolls
1. The chicken katsu recipe can be found on allrecipes.com and is really simple. Being a KFC employee you'd think that I'd be sick of fried chicken... well, I'm not and don't think I ever will be. Even my boss isn't sick of chicken... I don't think it's possible to hate chicken, not when it's soooo goood! The katsu turns out nice and moist, not too greasy (unless you fry it wrong :P) and with just the right saltiness. I also made my own tonkatsu sauce by following this recipe. Eaten on a bed of rice with home-made tonkatsu sauce drizzled on it, this chicken katsu is actually a meal in itself... if I had known I probably wouldn't have made so much stuff for dinner... oh well :P
2. The batter I used to make the tempura was really simple (from chooseveg.com) and it even has a video showing you how to make the tempura. The vegetables I used were: carrots, zucchini (my family's favourite... we always fight over these ones, so I made extra), acorn squash, broccoli, sweet potato and some onions.
3. We just happened to have a sushi roll mat in the house, so I decided to try my hand a making both cucumber rolls and tuna-salad rolls. The cucumber rolls were basically made with sushi rice, nori, mayonnaise and thin cuts of cucumbers. The tuna-salad rolls were made with sushi rice, nori and tuna salad. Sushi making is so fun and simple. My sisters really enjoyed the sushi and my parents loved the shrimp. The panko-crusted ones tasted like popcorn shrimp from DQ (only better :P) and the tempura ones were also very tasty.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Mom: *Gasp* "What! I'm suppose to make you brownies?"
Me: I would be more than happy to bake brownies for you, sis.
Mom: *Looks relieved"
Sister: That's what I thought. I knew Joanna would make me brownies!
Apparently, I'm a bake-aholic... and even my sister knows! I mustn't let this get around, so let's just keep it between me and the internet, o.k.?
The brownie recipe I used was from the nestle website verybestbaking.com. Everytime I bake brownies I use this recipe. I love it because these brownies turn out half-way between fudgy and cakey... and they are delicious. This is a really easy recipe, as it uses cocoa powder and not melted chocolate. So if you're a beginner baker and don't trust yourself with melting chocolate, this brownie recipe is for you! I always have to mix in something with my brownies, and since my sister's allergic to nuts I always reach for either white chocolate or butterscotch chips. I love these chips, because when they bake instead of getting all goey they sort of crystallize and become nut-like... yeah, I'm a huge nut fan :)
The buttercream I used was made using the basic recipe from the Wilton Course book (you can find it on the Wilton Website). Here is a picture tutorial of my step by step cupcake making...
Step 1: Bake the cupcakes and let them cool
Step 2: Frost the cupcakes and...
Step 3: Dip the frosted cupcakes in desiccated coconut
Step 4: Take the iced cupcakes to class & decorate as you wish!
So, in addition to the naan and spicy chicken kabobs I planned to make some chicken pizza's. I made them by taking 3 of the largest naan dough balls (uncooked), rolling them out and placing them on a baking sheet. I baked the bread for 10 minutes at 325F; just enough time for the bread to slighly brown, but not cook through fully. I then took out the semi-cooked bread, slathered on some barbeque sauce and topped the pizza with grilled chicken slices and grated marbeled + gruyere cheese. Pop the pizza's back into the oven until the cheese is all melted and goey... and there you have a quick, Naan-bread Chicken Pizza.
The Three Pizzas... the front two are bbq, and the back one is basil mayo.
I also decided to try out a wacky version of a chicken pizza using the basil mayo (from my basil chicken pita post) instead of barbeque sauce. OMG that pizza turned out so good. It was very moist and basil-y and was the perfect compliment to the naan-bread base.
A close-up of my soon to be famous, Basil-mayo Chicken Pizza
Funny thing... my sisters actually fell in love with the chicken kabobs that I had made and weren't to excited about the pizza! I was so surprised, I guess you never really know what you like until you eat it, eh?
Step 2: Finding the perfect Naan recipe...
After shaping and frying the naan in my well-greased skillet they turned out beautifully.