Monday, March 3, 2014

Recipe: Banana Bread Madeleines

cakes cookies banana bread
I have an undying love for madeleines... banana bread.
So what's a girl to do when she has an overripe banana that's hanging out in the kitchen?
Why not make Banana Bread Madeleines?

These little bite size cakes are so easy and quick to make, you might wanna whip some right now. 

Banana Bread Madeleines
makes about 24 

2 Eggs, room temperature
2/3 cups packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup of AP Flour
1 tsp ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup of melted unsalted Butter
1/4 cup of mashed ripe Banana

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease 2 madeleine pans with baking spray (or good ol' fashion butter & flour; tap out any excess.)
Whisk together eggs & brown sugar until mixture is thickened and sugar is dissolve, about 4-5 minutes (use medium speed if using electric mixer); Add Vanilla Extract, mix for 1 minute. Add Melted Butter and mix until combine.
Whisk in Flour, Cinnamon, Salt & Baking Soda until combine. Add Banana and mix until blended in.
Spoon batter into pans, fill each mold about 3/4 full. 
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until you see the classic Madeleine bump. Do a cake test on the bump with toothpick; if it comes out clean, then they are done :)
Immediately turn out the madeleines on to a cooling rack. You may dust with powdered sugar if desire.

I added 1/3 cup of Chocolate Chips to my batter (you can add them during the banana stage)... Banana & Chocolate are like the best combo ever!

cookies banana bread mini-cakes

You can make it Gluten Free by using any All Purpose Gluten Free flour mix in stores. I did once and it came out sooo good. Honestly I think better than regular flour! #truestory

Happy Baking!

Floured face,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Recipe: Chicken Ball Soup

So it's been a loooooooooong time since my last post. I've been busy doing things in my life (like baking school!) that I have kinda abandoned this blog. I have been creating things in the kitchen but for some reason, I just lost that touch of sharing it to others. I will try to get that groove back on, hopefully soon.

Anyways, it's been cold for the past couple of days in SoCal. 
Cold day = Soup day

I made this soup 2 weeks ago when my dad was sick with the flu (relapse #3). Poor thing. When you're sick with the cold/flu, food-wise you think of soup. I had no chicken parts at home, only ground chicken, I thought, "hmm... why not make chicken balls instead?" Hence this soup was created. 

Chicken Ball Soup
serves 6-8

500g - 700g Ground Chicken (I think Turkey is possible too!)
1 egg
2 cloves of Garlic
1-2 small red chilis, deseeded, sliced *optional*
3 green onions/scallions, thinly sliced
7 cups of Chicken Broth
3 - 4 carrots, cleaned and sliced to bite size
1.5 tablespoon of Gluten-Free Kikkoman Soy Sauce (for non-GF, use regular Soy Sauce)
1 tablespoon of Fish Sauce
1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar
a couple of bunches of Bok Choi, cleaned and separated
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a blender/food processor, place ground chicken, egg, garlic, chili (if using), green onion, & a pinch salt & pepper and blend until resembles a paste-like texture. Move in to a bowl and set aside.

In a large pot, heat chicken broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar and carrots to boil. Once boiling, lower heat down to medium heat. 

Using 2 spoons or a cookie scooper, shape/scoop the chicken paste & drop it into the soup. Chicken ball will drown at first and will rise up onto surface. Once all paste is used (approx. 23 chicken balls), let it cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste (if needed). Add Bok Choi and let soup cook for another 4 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Spoon soup in to bowl and serve with rice (if you want because that's what I did!). Add Sriracha then you are done!

This soup is very light and yay, it's Gluten Free. My mother had 4 servings in one day. Seriously. She loved it so much, I had to make it twice in a week. 


dirty apron,

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Food of Travel: Thailand

Looking at all these foods that I've consumed in Thailand makes me miss Thailand badly. From the interesting ice creams to crazy amount of Pad Thais (from street version to fancy restaurants) & Thai Teas, to Singha Beer to traditional curry and soup dishes.

I miss real Pad Thai. Yum.

drool face,

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recipe: Gluten Free Meatballs & Sriracha Pasta Sauce

If you didn't know, I went gluten-free. It's a toughie for me since I LOVE BREAD. Me and bread go hip-to-hip (in real life, you know?)... And I love Pasta. Gosh, Pasta. So good. Your pasta of choice smothered in red sauce. Woo wee. SoCal is being very gloomy today, it finally felt like fall. It rained today. Mum wanted some Spaghetti. So I was like, "Okay. But I need to get my own noodle... Gluten Free one." Good thing Fresh & Easy has some Quinoa Linguine and some Schär Penne. So I bought both. Gotta stock up, you know ;)

gloomy SoCal

Mum made some Spaghetti a couple of weeks ago, but she went the bottle way and regretted it. It was good, but I had to agree it's so much better if you make your own sauce... Which what we did today. I opened up my cook binder and found a recipe that I've always wanted to try. 

Since most frozen meatballs out there have breadcrumbs that aren't GF, I decided to make my own meatballs with GF breadcrumbs. I used Glutino Bread Crumbs. They were like $3.99/bag. 

I'm Asian. I love my hot sauce. And of course most of you would know the infamous Sriracha hot sauce, aka Rooster Sauce aka Cock Sauce (my dirty-minded coworkers call it that. SMH).

I really think that they should make Sriracha a MANDATORY condiments everywhere in the States, since a lot of people are more in love with the Rooster vs Tabasco (I don't like Tabasco). They should make it in little sachets now. For reals. 
So of course, this pasta sauce here has Sriracha sauce. YES YES YES. Mother was enlightened. It added this kick to the sauce. This may not be your traditional Pasta sauce, but it's a killer I say. And as far as Gluten Free, just reading on the ingredients, I don't see anything gluten on it. It's not certified. If you are actually allergic to gluten, then use it at your own risk. I'm doing GF for health reasons. 

GF Meatballs & Sriracha Pasta Sauce
adapted from Martha Stewart

1 lbs ground Beef
1 lbs ground Turkey
1/2 packaged of Frozen Spinach, thawed and paper towel dried
1/3 cup of Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
2 large Eggs
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 1/2 tsp of Salt
1 tsp of Ground Black Pepper

Preheat your broiler on high. You can pan fry the meatballs if you want.
Mix ground beef, ground turkey, spinach, bread crumbs, eggs, oregano, salt & pepper in a large bowl. Get down and dirty with your hands and mix all the ingredients. 
Then with your hands, shape them into 1 inch meatballs. I use my cookie scooper. So much easier. 
Line the meatballs on a cookie sheet, and broil for about 12-14 minutes, rotating the sheet halfway. 

Sriracha Pasta Sauce
2 tsp of Olive Oil
1 small yellow Onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 28oz can of regular diced tomatoes
1 28oz (or 2 14oz) fire-roasted diced tomatoes ***I really recommend this. It enhances your sauce***
2 tbsp of Sun dried Tomatoes with its oil *optional*
1/4 cup of Sriracha
1/4 stick of Butter

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic, and cook until translucent & fragrant, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and Sriracha sauce & bring to a simmer.
Add the cooked meatballs & butter and simmer until sauce thickens. 

1 lbs of long pasta, penne, whatever suits your taste.

Cook your pasta as directed on the package. Once al dente, drain and toss with olive oil.

You can either toss the pasta in the pot once ready and have a Pasta party or assemble separately according to each one's taste. Add cheese of choice, pop that bottle of wine and call it a night. 

If you are wondering why Butter in the sauce, I was with you on that. That's my mother's secret. She said the butter takes the acidic/sour taste from the tomatoes. For me, I don't mind... I love butter :)

Now let me make a plate for myself.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Foods of Travel: Indonesia

This is why I blog. I'm just kidding. Well not really though.

Food. I love Food. I love Ethnic Food. I love Indonesian Food. That's what I was brought up with as a kid, my palate is sooo used to different spices. I'm glad that I have a "cooking" mother that loves to make home-cook meals, so my cravings for Indonesian food isn't that bad... Well it all depends. Mother is too hooked on Facebook (I think all Asian mothers are these days... #smh)

Anyways, I'm in the mood to share these foods I consumed while in Indonesia. I'm seriously hungry just looking at these. *sad*
This is Chicken Satay with some spicy condiments on the side. I love spicy but not that spicy. Mother consumed my condiments. For her it was hell heaven. Spicy heaven, I should say? Classic Indonesian Satay is served with peanut sauce (that little thing on the right side) so I poured that sucker, soaked my chicken with that yummy sauce and ate up all that rice. Yum. This was from my hotel's restaurant, Drops @ Casa Padma Suites, Bali.
chicken satay fried rice eggs
 Still at Drops, for breakfast, I ate some Chicken Fried Rice. It's probably weird for the Western culture to eat rice, let alone fried rice, for breakfast. In Indonesia, that's pretty typical. Most middle and upper class in Indonesia have maids, so it's no surprise if your maid will cook up some hearty meal in the mornin' to fuel you up for the day. Yup, fried rice complete with some Chicken Satay (minus sauce) and a fried egg. Plus a Krupuk udang, a shrimp chip, to top it off. 
kelapa muda fanta bali indo
I grew up drinking Fanta long before the Fanta girls hit America. I'm sorry but Asian Fanta is waaaay better than American Fanta. I had to have the classic Red Fanta. My friend, Jojo, laughed at me because I ordered Fanta. I told him, "Bro... You just don't know, man!" And that, my friend, is a Young Coconut. It actually has jelly in it. It's so refreshing. Yum. This was at Dulang Kafe, Kuta, Bali.
kelapa muda sop buntut bali indo
Then for lunch I had Sop Buntut, aka Oxtail Soup, with rice. Apparently this is what Dulang Kafe is known for. This is a clear-broth based soup that has some carrots and potatoes, with some classic Indo spices such as clove, nutmeg, shallots and garlic. It's usually garnished with fried shallots (those things on top of the rice) and is so good with some hot sauce and a squeeze of lime juice. I sometimes beg Mum to make these when I'm sick. For some reason it just makes me feel better. I guess call it my "chicken soup of the sick Rima".
spicy rice chicken jasmine tea
 Here is what we call Nasi Pedas aka Spicy Rice. Pretty much it's a plate of white rice pilled with spicy stuff. Like, really spicy. Good thing here at Nasi Pedas Ibu Andika in Bali, they have some not-too-spicy food. On my plate, I had some chicken dishes along with tofu and tempeh (fermented soybean) and of course, fried egg :) That bottle above it is the typical "wash my food down" drink, Teh Botol, which literally means Bottled Tea. It's a jasmine tea drink and you will see this EVERYWHERE in Indonesia. I think it should be the national drink. Seriously. Right next to the bottle is the killer hot sauce. Now Robert, my boo, is a pro in hot sauce, so if he was going crazy on how spicy this sauce was, then it's for reals. I took a sniff of it and I sneezed. Whoa. FYI, this whole meal of mine cost less than $5. #win
 Bir Bintang. Oh how I've missed you. Bir Bintang, which means Star Beer, is one of Indonesia's brewed beer. I believe it's under the license of Heineken, so it taste similar to Heineken (and I'm not a fan of dear Heiney). I think Bir Bintang should be the trademark beer for Bali... Since you will see almost EVERY SINGLE TOURIST wearing it's shirt/tank top. And I'm one of them. Haha.
Oh nom. More rice dishes. This one is called Nasi Campur, which means Mixed Rice aka a plate of rice with some fun stuffs surrounding it. This was at Warung Made in Seminyak. There are some veggies, peanutes, Chicken Satay and a side of some curried meat. So good.
Then on the side I ordered Gado-Gado, which is an Indo version of Salad. It's a mixed of boiled veggies along with some fried Tempeh and Tofu topped with some Peanut Sauce. Mum makes a killer gado-gado.
Meanwhile, in Ubud, one of my Mum's friends got us some Nasi Bungkus, which means Wrapped Rice. Traditionally the rice dish is wrapped in banana leaves but mostly now they are wrapped in paper. Usually consists of rice with some side dishes like meat, veggies, tempeh/tofu and a small side of sambal, aka hot sauce. That little green bag on the side is some cooked veggies.
Hanoman Drink
BBQ chicken
some ice drink with fruits

Now these pictures above were our meals for our 2 trips to Bebek Bengil in Ubud. They are very known for their deep fried duck. They are sooo crispy and delicious. Mind you, I am not a big fan of duck. Like who eats duck in SoCal? Unless you go to some Asian town, then you may have duck... But way the chinese restaurants cook duck here, me no like. Too sweet for me. So I was hesitant at first to try them. Helga got them first and I got some BBQ Chicken. And boy I regret getting that chicken. The duck was amazing!!! Hence we went back again, this time with Mum, to get some crispy duck. Seriously, they did not disappoint! The location is pretty big. It doesn't look big from the outside, but once you are in, it's pretty huge. You have to option of lesehan, meaning you sit low on the floor, or the usual chair and table. The vibe is super chill and if you go for the choice of lesehan, you really feel like taking a nap after, like right there and then. Some dudes in front of us did it. Weirdos.
See that row of cups??? Free Tea & Coffee tasting at Bali Pulina! Now see that one cup alone in the bottom? That's the infamous cat poop (ok, civet poop) coffee aka Kopi Luwak. Yes. I had poop as a beverage. If you are not familiar with this type of coffee, please go watch the movie Bucket List. Not only the movie is very very good, but I believe that movie made this coffee famous. 
This little cup of poopy coffee cost about $5. Not too bad for the price, eh? I know here somewhere in Santa Monica sells them for like $20-$30? Correct me if I am wrong.

Now now. You know me I'm a huge animal lover. I felt kinda weird & sad when I walked into the Bali Purina. Yes, I saw all this poor civet cats in cages, being caged & bombarded with bean in front of them to eat. I believe they have 12 cats in their farm. There is a big media outrage on how these poor cats are being mistreated and force feed for the sake of the poopy coffee beans. It is sad how society is so greedy & unethical when it comes to money. I went there just for the sake of "crossing it off my list" and will never again purchase any Kopi Luwak unless I know it's authentically "wild". You can read about it here and sign a PETA petition here.
Can you believe this is AIRPORT FOOD? Why can't America beat that? Hmmm... Fried rice and chicken wings for brunch at Ngurah Rai International Airport. Yum.
This is Nasi Kuning (Yellow Rice) along with its side dishes at Remboelan, Jakarta. It's a pretty fancy Indonesian restaurant. The set up and vibe is pretty nice. 
Of course, whenever there is a Red Velvet, little Rima must try. My friend, Vega, told me that there are only 2 places in Jakarta that has the best Red Velvet Cake. Of course I had to get one and have a little party in my mouth. This is at Union Bar & Bakery in Plaza Senayan. The place was soooooo packed, it was crazy. I guess it was one of the popular places to hang out in Jakarta. Now let's talk about this cake. It was great. The moist was perfect and the frosting was not too sweet, which is my type. It was topped withs some nut crumbles which was interesting, but it did compliment the cake. I killed it though. 
Then I met up with an old high school friend at another branch of Union, this time in Pondok Indah, my childhood mall, and I got this fun drink called Femme Fatale that came with strawberry Macarons. And it really did complimented the drink. It was fabulous. 

See all those plates in front of me? I ate them all. No, I'm just kidding. This was at Garuda Padang Food. If you are a fan of Anthony Bourdain, then you probably know a scene where they were at a Padang Restaurant & his camera man accidentally dropped all of those plates to the ground.

Anyways, this is a pretty traditional Padang restaurant. They will serve you with all of these plates of food and you can eat anything you want. Then they will charge you by the plate. They have everything from curried meat, cow brain (urgh), seafood, chicken to tofu/tempeh. Most of them are spicy, yet that's what makes it special. Yum. Unfortunately there are no Padang restaurant in California. I miss these dishes so bad.
Oh Es Teler 77. I miss you a lot. To the left, that thingy with the sauce is Siomay covered in Peanut sauce. Then that cup of ice is Es Teler aka Drunken Ice (it has condense milk, avocado, jack fruit & young coconut. Yum). Then there's Bakmi with Beef Balls. It's our version of the Vietnamese Pho. But I like Bakmi better ;)
Durian Coffee at O' Coffee Club
Bailey Freeze @ O' Coffee Club
Good ol' cheese burger @ O' Coffee Club.

Sometimes you just miss having a good ol' burger. And I did underestimated the burger jujus in Indonesia, but this burger was good. Or was it because I just miss biting in to a meat in a bun? Oh btw, that Durian Coffee was legit. It was so good. Durian is that stinky fruit that us Asian hate love to eat. That frap had a scoop of pungent Durian ice cream and me & Mum were in Durian-heaven. It was that good. And of course, who doesn't love booze in their drink. My Bailey frap was legit. And of course, they did not card you for this. Oh you underagers can rejoice in Jakarta.
Pandan Cake with a side of Red Wine at Bluegrass Bar, Kuningan
Some fruity wine that was delicious at Bluegrass Bar, Kuningan
From L-R: Deep Fried Singkong (Cassava Roots), Fried Rice with Emping Chips and Teh Tarik (Pulled Tea) at QQ Kopitiam. I had this before I left to the US. Gotta hit up some traditional breakfast before heading back home. 

Seriously, writing up this post made me hungry. 

Let me see what's in my kitchen. Definitely none of these dishes -_-

drool faced,