Steamed Buns Fluffy Dough

The following recipe was used for my Steam Buns cooking class. You can read about my class and get other links to recipes HERE.

Steamed Buns Fluffy Dough

1.5 cups of all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 cup cold water

In a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt & baking powder until fully combined.
Slowly add the remaining ingredients and allow the dough hook to bring the dough together.
Allow the dough hook to knead the dough for 1-3 minutes until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
In a large bowl, sprayed with cooking spray (to prevent sticking), place the dough and cover with a damp cloth.
Allow dough to sit for 1 hour before using.

Mini Cheese Quiche Bites

I prepared the following recipe for my Book/Movie club. You can read about my event and view other links to recipes I made for it HERE.

I’ll admit I cheated for this next one by not making a pie crust from scratch. But the end result was great! Here’s how I made my Mini Cheese Quiche Bites:

1 ready roll out pie crust dough
3 eggs
4 tablespoons whole milk
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 400.
Spray the wells of a mini muffin pan.
Fill each well with a piece of pie dough rolled into the size of a small walnut.
Using your fingers of a tart shaper, line each well with the pie dough to create mini pie crusts.
In a bowl, preferably with a spout, whisk eggs, salt, pepper and milk.
Pour a little egg mixture into each mini pie crust
Carefully sprinkle the cheese into each well.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, until each quiche puffs up and is lightly browned.
Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley if desired.

Lemon Bars

The following recipe was shared during my Chef Spotlight Dinner highlighting recipes of Chef Wolfgang Puck. You can view other recipes and pictures of the event HERE.

Lemon Bars
shared at the event by Joelen
Original recipe found here
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Lemon Custard
8 eggs
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lemon zest
Confectioner’s sugar, for decorating

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

2. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. With the machine running, add the butter and continue to process until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Transfer the mixture to a buttered 12-by-18-inch baking pan. With your fingers, press it in to form an even layer of crust.

3. Bake the crust until light golden in color, 15 to 18 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the lemon custard topping. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugar, flour, and salt and stir until well blended. Finally, stir in the lemon juice, milk, and lemon zest.

5. Pour the lemon mixture over the prebaked crust, return the pan to the oven, and continue to bake until the custard has set, 20 minutes more. Remove the pan from the oven, let it cool to room temperature, and then chill, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

6. Before serving, use a sharp knife to cut down through the topping and crust to make 3 dozen bars. Carefully pry them from the pan and dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Dinner was a bust… as in not cooking what I had planned. My hubby picked me up from work and we ended up going to one of our fave Asian restaurants for dinner, Joy Yee’s. If you live in Chicago, you know Joy Yee’s pretty well… and if you live in Chicago and don’t, you better find a way to Joy Yee’s soon!

But I do have a recipe to share… for Key Lime Pie ice cream! I’ve been on a key lime kick lately and I was due for another creamy concoction from my ice cream maker. I initially wanted to use a recipe calling for egg yolks that require no cooking/tempering. Instead, I used this recipe, adapted from My Recipes.Here’s my adaption of Key Lime Pie Ice Cream:

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup bottled Key lime juice
1/2 cup whipping cream
Dash of salt
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
Key lime wedges (optional)

Combine first 5 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Pour mixture into freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Stir 1/3 cup graham crackers into ice cream. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container, and cover and freeze for 1 hour or until firm. Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon graham crackers. Garnish with lime wedges, if desired. **I’m also submitting this to the Got Milk? blogging event, hosted by Linda of Make Life Sweeter. She’s accepting recipes using milk, so if you have one, share it!**

Mango & Lychee Sitting in a Tree

One of my favorite flavors of boba tea (aka bubble teas, flavored drinks with large tapioca pearls) is mango lychee. Since I’ve been having fun concocting ice cream flavors, I figured boba flavors would work just as well in ice cream form.

To make my mango lychee ice cream, I used a common base of heavy cream and whole milk. Using the light syrup that the lychees were packed in added the subtle sweetness and a touch of mango extract added a hint of color and enhanced the flavor of the mango I used.

I’m also submitting this recipe to Meeta’s Mango Mania blogging event! Be sure to check out the round up later this month on her site that will be full of recipes using mango, one of my favorite fruits.

Mango Lychee Ice Cream:

1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 can lychee fruit, drained w/syrup reserved
1 1/2 cup mango, cubed
3 drops mango extract (about 1/8 teaspoon)

In a blender, process syrup and mango until pureed.
On low, add lychee fruit and pulse – do not over process.
In a bowl, whisk milk and sugar until sugar is dissolved.
Add fruit puree mixture and cream.
Combine until fully incorporated.
Stir in extract until color is unified.
Place in ice cream maker and process per manufacturers directions.
Freeze mixture in freezer-proof containers for 2 hours to “ripen”.

Beat the Heat!

Now that I’m settling back into the daily routine, I spent the day playing with my ice cream maker and using some new popscicle molds I purchased over the weekend. Just my luck though… the weather cooled off this week in Chicago, but at least I have some great frozen treats to enjoy!

Mixed Berry Ice Cream

1 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry mix)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar

In a small bowl, combine the frozen mixed berries and 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Stir gently and allow the fruit to macerate in the juices for 2 hours at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

In a medium mixing bowl (preferably with a spout), whisk the milk and remaining sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream plus any accumulated juices from the berries.

Turn your ice cream machine on and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl. Process the mixture per your ice cream machine’s directions. During the last 5 minutes of processing your ice cream, add the macerated berries.

Enjoy the ice cream when finished processing or transfer ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for 1-2 hours to “ripen.”

I’m also submitting this recipe to the Key Ingredient Cook’s Kitchen contest for their berry recipes!

Vanilla Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla paste (or extract)
1-2 tablespoons mint chocolate liquor
1 cup chocolate chips (or mini chips)

In a medium mixing bowl (preferably with a spout), whisk the milk and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla paste and liquor. Turn your ice cream machine on and pour the mixture into the freezer bowl. Process the mixture per your ice cream machine’s directions. During the last 5 minutes of processing your ice cream, add the chocolate chips.

Enjoy the ice cream when finished processing or transfer ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for 1-2 hours to “ripen.”

Mango Strawberry Fruit Pops

1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1/2 cup peach nectar

In a blender, process the frozen mango chunks and peach nectar until you reach a smoothie consistency and mango is no processed through. Add strawberries and process on low, just enough to incorporate it into the mixture. Pour the mixture into popscicle molds and freeze until set, 1-3 hours.

Sweet & Savory Memories: Avocadoes

Most people will associate avocadoes with savory dishes such as guacamoles or mixed into various salsas. However growing up, I always have thought of avocadoes as a fruit used for sweet shakes and desserts. Maybe this comes from Filipino background and how my parents have used it.

I have fond memories of my mom picking up some avocadoes during the summer months, scooping out the creamy green flesh into a bowl and adding evaporated milk with a tablespoon of sugar. This was such a treat for me! The creamy sweet avocado was so rich and simply prepared this way. As I got older, I was exposed to guacamole and I was hesitant about it at first. I never thought of using avocadoes as a savory ingredient!

So this post is in honor of my sweet memories of avocado. I’ve updated my mom’s preparation of avocadoes by making an avocado shake. It’s not all that unusual as I’ve seen avocado shakes on a few menus, especially at boba tea shops. Here’s my recipe for an Avocado Vanilla Shake:

1 medium ripe Haas avocado
1/2 – 3/4 cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons raw sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)
1 – 1 1/2 cup ice cubes

Add ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
If its too thin, add more ice.
If its too thick, add more milk.

Garlic & Chive Mashed Potatoes

The following recipe was made and shared at my Chef Spotlight dinner, highlighting Julia Child. You can read and view links to the other recipes HERE.

Yumi’s Garlic & Chive Mashed Potatoes
recipe from Julia
30 cloves of garlic
4 TB butter
2 TB flour
1 c boiling milk
1/4 tsp salt
pinch white pepper

Drop garlic into boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Drain and peel. Melt
butter in small heavy-bottom saucepan and cook garlic slowly in butter,
covered, for about 20 minutes until soft but not browned. Add flour and stir
over low heat for 2 minute. Off heat stir in milk, salt, and pepper. Return
to heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring. Press through a sieve or puree in
a food processor. Set aside.

2-1/2 lbs baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
4TB softened butter
White pepper
2-4 TB whipping cream
4TB minced parsley or chives

Boil or microwave potatoes until soft then drain and put through a potato
ricer or food mill. Return to pan and stir over low heat for a few minutes
to evaporate some of the excess moisture. As soon as the puree begins to
form a film on the bottom of the pan remove from heat and beat in the butter
1 TB at a time. Add salt and pepper to taste. Beat in the garlic sauce and
enough cream to reach the desired consistency. Beat in the minced parsley
and serve.

Starting the Day a Mile High!

A favorite breakfast of my husband’s is a denver omelette. In fact, everytime we go out to breakfast or brunch, that is what he tends to order. So fortunately for him, I had all the makings for his favorite omelette. However, instead of whipping them up as I usually do, I wanted to try out a recipe for a Denver Omelette from one of my America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.

Taken from the 2004 Companion cookbook, Inside America’s Test Kitchen:

What we wanted: A hearty American omelet with properly cooked vegetables and tender eggs.
What we learned: Dice the pepper and onion so they cook quickly and don’t poke through the eggs. Add the diced ham steak, garlic, parsley, and hot sauce to liven the vegetable filling. Add milk
or cream to keep the eggs moist as they cook and make sure to use a nonstick pan set over medium high heat.

I followed the recipe exactly and it came out perfectly with a bit more flavor. The addition of the Tabasco sauce really made it stand out. Louis, my husband, thought this variation of the Denver omelette was great and I would definitely make this again. Here’s the recipe for Denver Omelette
Inside America’s Test Kitchen 2004
pages 256-259

Prepare the filling (recipe follows) and then begin making the omelet. The filling recipe makes enough for two omelets and can be doubled. You can make one omelet after another in the same pan, although you may need to reduce the heat. For the best results, serve all omelets on warmed plates.

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cream or milk
salt & ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1. Beat the eggs, cream or milk, and salt & pepper to taste with a fork in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.

2. Heat the butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides and the butter just begins to turn color, pour in the eggs. Cook until the edges begin to set, about 2 to 3 seconds, then, with a rubber spatula, stir in a circular motion until slightly thickened, about 10 seconds. Use the spatula to pull the cooked edges in to the center, then tilt the pan to one side so that the uncooked egg runs to the edge of the pan. Repeat until the omelet is just set but still moist on the surface, 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Sprinkle the cheese evenly across the surface of the omelet and allow to partially melt, 15 to 20 seconds. With the handle of the pan facing you,. spoon the filling over the left side of the omelet. Slide the omelet onto a warmed plate, filled-side fist, and with a slight twist of the wrist, invert the pan so that the other side of the omelet folds over the filling. Serve immediately.

Filling for Denver Omelet
A ham steak is our top choice for this recipe, although canned ham and sliced deli ham will work. (If using sliced deli ham, add it with the garlic, parsley, and hot sauce). If you can find them, Cook’s brand ham steaks are our favorite.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded & diced
1/2 medium green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded & diced
1 small onion, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 ounces ham steak, diced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (Tabasco)

Heat the butter in a medium non stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, add the peppers, onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the ham and cook until the peppers begin to brown lightly, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, and hot sauce and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a small bowl and cover to keep warm.

White Cupcakes w/Raspberry White Chocolate Frosting

This recipe was featured in my Springtime Cupcake swap event, which you can read about HERE.

Susan’s White Cupcakes
w/Raspberry White Chocolate Frosting:

2 2/3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 large egg whites at room temp
1 cup + 2 tablespookns whole milk at room temp
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp, cut into tablespoons
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup soft unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raspberries, pureed & strained
4 ounces white chocolate finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. Whisk together egg whites and milk in a small bowl; set aside.

Beat butter using flat beater attachment until soft and creamy (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar gradually and beat until very light and fluffy(about 3 minutes). Scrape down the bowl once ot twice and then beat in vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in 4 additions, alternatively with the egg white/milk mixture. Begin and end with flour mixture. Beat until smooth on low-medium speed after each addition.

Fill cupcake holders. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool

For Frosting:

Beat butter until flurry. Add sugar. Once blended add raspberries. Mix. Add 2 ounces of white chocolate. Spread on cupcakes. Garnish with 2 ounces of remaining chocolate.