Shrimp Pad Thai

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Have you ever searched for pad thai recipes only to find that the list of ingredients reads like a novel!? At least that was my experience until I came across this recipe. I love to cook and bake, but I hate having to buy a bunch of ingredients that I’ll most likely never use again. I had mostly all of the things required to make the sauce in my pantry, so this came together fairly quickly and without the guilt of wasting a bunch of specially purchased condiments.

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I’m keeping this post short, but pad thai, at home, do it. It’s worth it.

Happy cooking!

-A

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Matcha Oreos

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Green tea has always been one of my favorite flavors. No matter how inventive and fancy people get with it in the creation of various desserts, it never fails to bring on feelings of nostalgia for me. AND it’s good for you!!! I mean so what if this recipe has a bunch of butter in it. The health benefits of the matcha powder probably evens it out, right?

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Matcha anything intrigues me, but matcha oreos? Come on, I just couldn’t resist! They actually have matcha oreos in Japan, but it’s hard to come by in the states. Every once in a while I’ll see a bag of it floating around at my local Japanese grocery store, but the stock always gets cleaned out pretty quick. I’ve always wanted to try making some variation of the classic sandwich cookie anyway, so when I saw this recipe on Molly Yeh’s site, my weekend project was decided. I just love her blog from the beautiful photography, her cakes, just all of it, really.

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This cookie is a delicate and buttery shortbread that pairs well with the sweet matcha buttercream. To make things easier, I rolled out my dough inside a gallon size ziplock bag and tore it open before cutting out the cookies shapes. It was quite warm on the day I made these, so the ziplock bag method made it a cinch to pop it in and out of the freezer to make cutting the dough easier.

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And if you’re not into the whole matcha thing (*GASP*IMNOTJUDGINGYOU,PROMISE), the chocolate shortbread is delicious on its own. How about dipping them in chocolate??? Mmm… But I guess that’ll have to wait for another post…

Happy baking!

-A

SF’s Sweets Part One: Lemon Meringue Cake

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I got into my head the other day that I should re-create some of San Francisco’s most famous sweets and present the results to you wonderful people via this blawg. I mean, why not, right? I know it’s much easier to just go out and purchase said sweets, but to me, nothing beats the satisfaction of whipping it up myself in my own kitchen. So, in the spirit of being ambitious, I present to you Tartine’s Lemon Meringue Cake!

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This.Cake.Has.So.Much.Going.On. It is composed of lemon chiffon cake layered with a slightly bitter caramel sauce and lemon cream all incased in a cloud-like meringue that is torched to perfection.

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Because this cake has many components, I made what I could ahead of time. The chiffon cake was made first (two days prior to assembly) and was wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen until ready for use. The caramel sauce and lemon cream were made the day prior to the assembly of the cake, and the meringue was made the day of. All of the pre-made components held up nicely and made the project much less stressful and more enjoyable.

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Now, set your inner pyromaniac free and torch away!

Happy baking!

-A

Green Onion Pancakes

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My family and I used to go to this one particular restaurant every weekend for lunch. We had our usual rotation of dishes, but one dish that was sure to be ordered EVERY SINGLE TIME were the green onion pancakes. One can find these at many Chinese restaurants and even in the frozen aisle of your local Asian market, but something about these stuck in your mind. They made memories. Happy ones. Each bite came with a side of crispy, fluffy, and chewy. One time, the restaurant surprised me by putting cilantro in instead of green onions because they had ran out of green onions. I absolutely deteste cilantro and have never forgiven them for playing such a mean trick. I went home and started learning how to make these in fear of them forever replacing the green onions with cilantro!

Here’s the recipe. Make em.

Green Onion Pancakes
Yield: 6 pancakes

1 1/2 C. All purpose flour
1/2 C. + 2 Tbsp. Warm water
1 C. Sliced green onions
salt
Oil – canola or peanut

 

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1. Put flour in a medium sized bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the warm water. Fold the flour into the water just until combined.

2. Pour the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until you get a smooth dough with no visible clumps of flour. Separate into 6 pieces.

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3. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a flat circle. The thinner the better.

 

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4. Sprinkle some green onions onto the surface of the dough then sprinkle a little bit of salt evenly over the green onions. From the side closest to you, roll the dough upwards to the opposite side, into a log.

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5. Now, roll the log into a spiral, like so.

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6. Take your roller and roll this spiral flat, maybe about 2 mm thickness. Some of the green onions will start “exploding” out of the dough, but dont worry. Just put them back into the dough.

7. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

8. Heat a heavy skillet with canola oil, or peanut oil. When the oil is hot, pan fry the green onion pancakes until golden and crispy on both sides.

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-C

Tofu and Shiso Caprese Salad

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Man, it’s been hot in the city… And I hate it. I absolutely hate it. I know It’s nothing when compared to the east coast or down south, but I just cant’t handle the very few humid-hot days that we get here in San Francisco. My productivity level goes WAY down due to the fact that I don’t want to move even an inch in the “sweltering” heat. And of course, in my near sedentary state, turning on the oven to bake is out of the question. That being said, today I bring you a recipe for a… (waitforit)… SALAD! Dun-da-da-daaa!
Wait, WAIT! Come back! I promise this will be worth while.

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I was browsing pinterest for inspiration and came across this unique take on caprese salad. To me, shiso is like the Japanese version of basil. It’s very aromatic and has a very distinct and strong flavor. Although the taste is hard to describe, it pairs perfectly with the bland tofu and the acidity of the dressing and tomatoes. It may be an acquired taste for some, but I hope you give it a try!

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Mmm… The chilled custard-like silken tofu, sweet tomatoes, aromatic shiso leaves and the nutty sesame oil dressing make the “sweltering” hot days bearable. Almost.

Happy salad munching!

-A

Cherry Almond Tart

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Happy weekend!
I can’t believe how fast the summer is passing by, taking cherry season along with it. Before we know it, the produce aisle will no longer house these ruby beauties in abundance. With that in mind, I had been wracking my brain for the last two weeks on what I can make to remember them by before it’s too late! Yes, it’s serious.

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After much brainstorming, I got the idea to just switch things up a bit with one of my all-time favorite recipes. I have been a long-time fan of Dorie Greenspan and her amazing French Pear Tart and decided to substitute the pears for cherries this time around. A little brush of this wonderful cherry jam on the crust before pouring in the filling and you have yourself (at least in my mind) an end to your cherry-recipe-search-woes. Don’t say I never did anything for you ;p.
These cherry preserves though… I can eat it straight out of the jar with a spoon. So good.

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What I did different from the recipe that is linked:

-Like Dorie Greenspan, i prefer a well-done crust so after removing the foil, I baked it 3-5 min longer than called for in the recipe

-After par-baking the crust, I brushed on a couple of tablespoons of the preserves before pouring in the filling

-I used roughly two cups of pitted cherries that I pitted with this handy contraption

-And last, but not least, I sprinkled on some sliced almonds before baking

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Please excuse the sad lighting in the above photo.

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And… Voila! Happy baking!

-A

Coconut Mango Popsicles

Last week, I drove down to Los Angeles, CA to eat my heart out. During my foodscapade, I figured getting some fruit in-between all the unhealthy eating would be a good idea. We waddled over to Grand Central Market and found the largest, ripest, most inexpensive mangoes we’ve ever seen. Let me just tell you, we couldn’t pass them up and bought more than we could eat. No surprise. In the end, I’m glad we bought more than enough because we made use of them when we got home to our handy dandy food processor.  We ended up having a mango party and one of my favorites were these coconut mango popsicles. After all, it was a very nice weekend here in San Francisco.

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After indulging and overdosing on the many delicious chocolate chip cookies this past week (because I know you made those cookies from the previous post, right?), you now probably need something to help shed a few inches from that waistline that magically grew. Trust me, I speak from experience. These coconut mango popsicles will definitely help satisfy those late night cravings for sweets without doing major damage in the weight department.

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These popsicles are so easy to make and are a great make-ahead dessert. If the kids are over, they can drizzle chocolate over them or make hand-dipped popsicles then cover them with sprinkles, crushed nuts, or shaved coconut. I had some thin crispy ginger cookies around and just crushed them up. These are so versatile!
Coconut Mango Popsicles
Yield: 6 popsicles depending on the size of your popsicle mold

1 large ripe mango (separate 1/4 of the mango if you want chunks in your popsicles)
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1- can 14oz. Coconut cream

Optional:
1/2 C. or more semi-sweet chocolate chips – melted

1. Skin your mango and remove the seed in the middle. Discard the seed.

2. In a food processor, puree 3/4 of the mango. If you don’t like chunks of fruit in your popsicle, puree the entire mango. If you do like chunks, cut the last 1/4 of the mango into very small pieces. Set the mango puree and chunks aside.

3. In a small pot, heat sugar and coconut cream over medium high heat. Constantly stir until the sugar has melted. Don’t let the mixture boil.

4. Add the mango puree and chunks.

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5. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds and freeze overnight.

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6. When ready to eat, melt your chocolate chips and drizzle or dip your popsicles.

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Enjoy!!

-C