Sunday, May 25, 2008

Coconut Pecan Squares




I usually use a shortbread cookie recipe as a lemon meringue pie crust, but this time I used it to make these coconut pecan squares instead. They turned out very well, and were much easier to make, because all I had to do was push the crumbled cookie mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 pan to create the crust.

Crust:
2 cups flour
½ cup sugar
¾ cup margarine

Or use a shortbread cookie recipe as the crust

Topping:
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
¼ cup melted margarine
1 ¼ cups coconut flakes
1 ¼ cups coarsely chopped pecans

Crust: Combine all ingredients, mixing until crumbly. Press firmly into 13”x9” greased cake pan. Bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes or until light golden.

Topping: Beat eggs, sugar, corn syrup, and margarine together until blended. Stir in coconut and pecans. Pour evenly over crust. Bake about 30 minutes longer, or until set and golden. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Note: Pecans can be replaced with walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mushroom Salad

This is a mushroom salad that my Dad made as an appetizer. It contains mushrooms, shrimp, cilantro, shallots and a very light dressing. I am not sure what kind of mushrooms they are exactly, but they have a texture that is very similar to wood ear mushrooms.

Friday, May 16, 2008

How To Make Chocolate Covered Strawberries

We didn't know what to have for dessert so I made these homemade chocolate dipped strawberries as a quick and easy dessert for Mother's day. To make easy chocolate covered strawberries, all that is needed is fresh, wash and dried strawberries and some of your favorite chocolate. I prefer dark chocolate over milk chocolate and usually use a quality brand such as Lindt chocolate.

How to make chocolate covered strawberries:

Line a plate or cookie sheet with some parchment paper (depending on how many you would like to make)

Melt some chocolate in a fondue pot or double boiler.

Dip clean and dry strawberries in the chocolate and place each dipped strawberry on the parchment paper lined plate or cookie sheet to dry.

*If the weather is warm and I need to speed up the drying process, I usually put the chocolate covered strawberries in the fridge to dry.
Once the chocolate dipped strawberries are dry, remove them from the parchment paper and serve on a nice plate or gift them placed in paper cupcake liners and a box.

Enjoy!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fried Shrimp in Honey Mayonnaise Sauce

This is a favorite dish my sister made as part of Mother's Day dinner. It is lightly fried battered shrimp, surrounded by steamed broccoli and topped with a honey mayonnaise sauce. It is delicious on its own or accompanied by rice.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vermicelli Noodles with Spring Rolls

Vermicelli noodles mixed with shredded carrots, lettuce, cucumber, cilantro and mint, topped with spring rolls is one of my favorite meals. I usually use a fish sauce recipe for the "dressing", but lately I have been mixing in some sweet chili sauce as well.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Crab Rangoon



Crab rangoon is a good snack or appetizer that I like to make when having friends over. It is a wonton shell with a cream cheese and crab mixture inside. It is deep fried to make it crispy and served with a sweet and sour dip.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quick and Easy Pasta Salad

If you don't have much time or don't have a lot of ingredients on hand, this is an easy pasta salad to make. The cucumber dressing is a little different from others because it is refreshing and makes it unneccessary to add vegetables.

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked pasta (macaroni,penne or fusili are good choices)

3/4 cup of cucumber salad dressing

1 cup frozen vegetables of any kind (optional)

How to:

  1. Cook, drain and cool pasta
  2. Add salad dressing and vegetables
  3. Mix well
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve

Friday, May 9, 2008

Fried Rice with Egg and Sausage

If you are wondering how to cook fried rice, this is a really easy fried rice recipe to follow. This is a basic recipe for Chinese fried rice and you can easily make it into vegetarian fried rice, chicken fried rice, pork fried rice, shrimp fried rice and the list goes on, simply by adding your own choice of vegetables, chicken, pork, shrimp or a combination of everything. I chose to keep it really simple by just making fried rice with egg and a bit of sausage.


Lightly fry some minced onion and garlic in oil. Add chicken, beef, pork, sausage or seafood as well as frozen or fresh vegetables. Cook through.




Add cooked rice.
Add soy sauce, and a dash of sesame oil.
Add an egg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
Serve as part of a meal or on its own.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Egg Rolls (Spring Rolls)

My sister made these egg rolls (spring rolls) as an appetizer for a dinner at her place. They are filled with pork and cabbage. We wrapped them in lettuce and dipped them in sweet chili sauce. They were delicious!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Creamy Salsa Dip

If you are looking for a delicous appetizer that takes only minutes to make, this is the one to choose.

1 cup salsa
1/2 cup sour cream (or 1 cup sour cream, no cream cheese)
1/2 cup cream cheese (or 1 cup cream cheese, no sour cream)

Mix together and serve with chips, bread, pita triangles

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Avocado Milkshake

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado
2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
3/4 cup of milk
1tbsp. sugar
1tbsp. condensed milk (optional)

How to:

Blend all of the ingredients together
Pour into two glasses and serve

Monday, May 5, 2008

Dumplings

I made a large batch of dumplings (a.k.a potstickers) so I could freeze them for a quick snack or meal on days when I don't feel like cooking. I usually serve them with mixed baby greens, drizzled with homemade sesame dressing and use hoisin and hot srirachi sauce to dip them in.

There are two versions of dumpling/potsticker dough that my parents have always used. I prefer the one that contains eggs, but I will post both for those who cannot eat eggs or perhaps do not have eggs on hand.

Dough #1 (with egg):
5 cups flour
1/2 cup oil
2 cups warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg

Dough #2 (without egg):
5 cups flour
1 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. oil
2 cups warm water

For both variations, mix all ingredients together with a mixer using the dough attachment. If mixing by hand, stir all ingredients together and knead dough until it is formed. Leave dough covered for 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to make the filling.

Dumpling/Potsticker Filling:
1 pound ground pork or ground chicken
1 tbsp. pepper
3 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups shredded nappa cabbage
1 tbsp. salt

Mix salt with shredded nappa cabbage. (This will draw the liquid out of the cabbage so that the dumplings are not watery inside) Let the mixture sit while mixing the remaining ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Now, squeeze the liquid out of the cabbage and mix it into the pork mixture.

The dough should be ready to be rolled out now. Roll the dough to 1/8" and cut 3.5" circles out of it. Work with a large handful of dough at a time to make it easier. I also use my kitchen aid sheet pasta attachment (setting #3) instead of rolling it out by hand. This part is your preference.

Place a heaping teaspoonful of pork mixture onto the centre of each circle. Fold the circle in half and press the edges closed. You can use a little water around the edges before closing them to help the dough stick better.

To cook the dumplings, boil them in a pot of water containing 1 tsp. of oil for 10 minutes. Then lightly panfry each side of the dumplings if you like them crispy.

Serve with hoisin sauce, srirachi hot sauce, sweet chili sauce, plum sauce, or another sauce of your choice.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Popcorn

I love popcorn completely covered in butter, but usually don't feel so great after eating a large amount of it. After all, once I get started, I can't stop eating it until I have reached the bottom of the bowl. I haven't had buttered popcorn in a long time, because i have been coating my popcorn in olive oil instead. Tossing popcorn in olive oil and sour cream & chive powder makes the popcorn so tasty and yet I still feel great after eating a lot of it.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Congee Recipe (Rice Porridge)

Congee (rice porridge) is a very popular Asian soup. Although it can be eaten as any meal, it is often eaten for breakfast in different parts of Asia.

It is very easy to make and there are endless variations to it.
1. Bring rice to a boil in any kind of stock or water then simmer for 1 hour. (rice to liquid ratio is 1 part rice to 4 parts liquid) To make the soup thicker or thinner just add more or less water/stock.
2. Add chicken, seafood, pork, or beef (or just minced vegetables for a vegetarian congee)
3. Add some thinly sliced nappa cabbage, chopped green onions, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and a dash of sesame oil.
Once the meat you have added is cooked and the vegetables are soft, your congee is ready.
Scoop the congee into bowls and top with chopped cilantro and garlic chili oil if desired.
The congee pictured above is a seafood & chicken congee containing, rice, water, shrimp, scallops, chicken and thinly sliced nappa cabbage. It is topped with cilantro, green onions and garlic chili oil.
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