Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mongolian Beef

Chinese take-out is one of my ultimate comfort foods. Unfortunately, I have never really ventured out past sweet and sour chicken and lo mein. Also very unfortunate is that I have never had Mongolian Beef before. Sad, I know. So when I saw this recipe at elly says opa! I immediately saved it.

This dish is amazing. It tastes just like take-out but is a lot healthier and cooks up in a matter of minutes. I'm not sure if it really tastes like take-out Mongolian Beef, but I'm ok with that because it's still awesome. I think this recipe will make many repeat appearances in our kitchen.

I didn't change anything from this recipe, but next time I might add more water. My sauce thickened up a lot and didn't really leave any 'sauce' in the end. I also added in a bag of frozen vegetables (asian medley) right at the end and served this over brown rice. Also, it says it serves 2 but we had at least 2 servings left over. This could be because I added vegetables, or I may have used more than 2/3 lb steak. I would love to have a kitchen scale to help me out with issues like this, so maybe I will add that to my Christmas list:)

Mongolian Beef
Serves 2
Adapted from Pink Bites
2/3 lb. flank steak, sliced across the grain
3 Tbsp. corn starch
3 tsp. canola oil, divided
1/2 tsp. grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. (heaping) red pepper flake
s2-3 large scallions, sliced

Pat the steak pieces and make sure they’re dry; then, toss the steak and cornstarch together. Be sure all pieces are fully coated, but shake off excess corn starch.

Mix together the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.

Heat half the oil in a wok or large saute pan at medium-high heat and add the ginger and garlic. Once fragrant (30 seconds or so), add the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl.

Turn the heat up on the wok and add the remaining oil. Add the beef and cook, stirring until just browned. Pour the sauce back in and let it cook with the meat. (This is where I added in some vegetables, already steamed in the microwave.) Let the sauce thicken to your liking, and then add the green onions in just before plating.

Serve with rice. Enjoy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Wow. I don't even know what else to say about these 'cupcakes.' They are like bite-size cinnamon rolls and I can't stop eating them (I've already had two tonight:/) These are a bit time consuming but are so worth the work.

This was actually my very first experience baking with yeast, and it turns out that yeast isn't really that scary. I have pushed aside all recipes that use yeast because I was scared of it. So today, I went out and bought a candy thermometer (to make sure the milk was the right temperature) and decided I have nothing holding me back and I needed to get over my fear of the yeast.

Thank god I did, or I would have missed out on the amazingness of these cupcakes.

One thing I did change about this recipe was the frosting. I'm not really a fan of cream cheese, or frosting made with cream cheese, so I made a glaze instead.

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Source: Beantown Baker, taken from La Fuji Mama

2 1/4 tsp. or 1 packet (1/4 oz./7 g) dry active yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup warm milk (approximately 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbls. milk

Dissolve the yeast and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar in the warm milk in a large bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes until foamy.

Mix in the eggs, butter, salt, and other 1/4 cup of granulated sugar. Add flour and mix until well blended and the dough forms a ball. Put in a bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about one hour).

After the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners (I like to double them up because these cinnamon rolls are so moist), and lightly spray over the top of them with cooking spray.

Roll dough into a 12x22 inch rectangle. Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 24 rolls.

Place each roll in a cupcake liner. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Let rolls cool completely before frosting.



Combine powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm cupcakes.

Egg Bake

I don't have a picture for this because it was just too yummy to wait for a picture. Egg Bake pretty much looks just like it sounds, and for this being my first attempt at it I received many compliments. Even though Andy hates breakfast for dinner I may have to make this again soon since he missed out on it.

Again, this is a recipe from my mom, taken from a church cookbook. Apparently my mom is the queen of egg bakes, and I would guess it is the number one requested dish when people stay at the duck cabin.

Egg Bake
Source: my mom, and some church cookbook

1 lb pork sausage(jimmie dean type)
6 eggs
1 1/2- 2 cups milk
1 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
2 slices bread, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
* I added about 3/4 tsp. black pepper

Brown sausage and drain well. Beat together eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper and bread. Mix well and put in a greased 8x8 glass pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Uncover and bake at 325F for 45-50 minutes.

Double for a 9x13 pan and increase cooking time to about an hour.


Fruit Pizza

Last weekend I hosted a brunch bridal shower for my sister at our house. We settled on a menu of mimosas, egg bake, fruit pizza and cinnamon rolls. It was a lot of work to get everything ready and the house presentable, but it was worth it and I hope she had a special day!

I adapted this recipe a bit from Paula Deen. I omitted the orange and blueberries, and only used chocolate chips for the ending drizzle.

Fruit Pizza

Source: Paula Deen


Pizza Dough:
1 package store bought sugar cookie dough

8 ounces softened cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large peach, sliced
1 large green apple, sliced
1 large orange, sectioned
1/2 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
6 ounces fresh blueberries
6 ounces fresh raspberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted
1/2 cup chocolate syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Flatten cookie dough onto a 6-inch pizza pan. Bake until firm to touch, about 11 to 15 minutes. Cool. In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Spread the baked cookie with the cream cheese mixture and decorate with sliced fruit. In a small bowl, combine melted white chocolate with chocolate syrup. Top the pizza with remaining berries and chocolate mixture. Slice and serve immediately.

Banana Bread

Ah, long time no blog! Things have been so busy lately, I have not even had time to make dinner at night. Andy has gotten pretty good at fending for himself, but now that I am ALL DONE with graduate school classes I will have more time for the kitchen.

I was supposed to have a client today at 1 but she never showed, so I decided to spend the rest of my afternoon baking. We had some banana's calling my name from the freezer so I started with Banana Bread. I wanted to keep some at home and still be able to bring some to work, so I made 3 small loaves instead of one large one.

My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember, and I love it because it's so simple (I loathe banana bread with nuts added.) The cooking time ended up to be about the same for the mini-loaves, and I added mini chocolate chips just for fun.

Banana Bread

source: my mother


3-4 small bananas

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

2 cups flour

Blend all ingredients through baking soda until smooth. Add 2 cups flour, mix by hand. Pour in greased bread pan.

Bake 350 for 45 minutes- 1 hour