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I'm moving my blog to sucheela.blogspot.com. Not that I don't like LivJournal anymore. Blogspot just gives me more things to play with for free without ads....

So my few readers. Please follow me there.... please.. please... please....
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Moved into my new apartment. Got the kitchen to work after:
1. Kitchen light went out and it took Hercules (me) to open the fixture to replace the light bulbs.
2. Oven didn't have thermometer. Got one.
3. No timer for baking. Got one.
4. Oven didn't work! Godammit! Oven didn't work! How would I live in this apartment (or in this world!) without working oven! Aarrrrggggghhhh!!!! Good thing I have friends. Rebecca visited and said it's probably because pilot light went out. Maintenace guy came in to fix it within 5 seconds. I <3 maintenace guys in this building. First they did the impossible of fitting my couch into the damned hallway. And now they fixed the oven! Now I can live!

Anyway - first baking. Need something that I already know will come out good unless I really really really fuck up. Original recipe from Simply Recipes: Blueberry Muffins Recipe. I only use buttermilk instead of yogurt and lime instead of leamon.



Ingredients
1 cup all purpose flour
2 cups wholewheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 sticks butter - room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
Lime zest and juice from 1 lime

2 cups frozen blueberry - thawed

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line muffin pan with liners.
1. Combine all purpose flour, wholewheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
2. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add lime zest and juice.
3. Stir in blueberry.
4. Pile the batter into muffin pan. I have a little bit of the batter left. Maybe next time I'll reduce the flour by half a cup.

Bake for 30 minutes. Make 12 huge muffins.

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Have to move in a couple of days. Need to clean up the refrigerator. Have chicken breast from a couple of days ago, a lot of cooked brown rice, snow pea shoot, cilantro, eggs, buttermilk, heavy cream, butter, etc....

I can use eggs, buttermilk, butter and heavy cream for muffins or cupcakes.

I'll use the vegetables, chicken and rice to make fried rice tonight. Now I have to decide what kind of fried rice I want to make. Something red would be good - contrasting with the green from snow pea shoot. But red curry paste expired. Had to throw it away. So I got panang curry.... (which is basically spicier and more bitter version of red curry)



Ingredients
2 inches ginger - peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped
5 shallots - peeled and sliced
1 bunch cilantro - chopped
1/2 pound snow pea shoot - roughly chopped
1 pound chicken breast - cubed
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
3 tablespoons panang curry paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
fish sauce
1 tablespoon cooking oil

Directions
Heat cooking oil in a wok. Add curry paste, ginger and garlic. Stir until fragrant about 2 minutes. Add chicken, stir until the chicken is cooked. Add rice, then shallots. When everything is well combined (rice is red), add show pea shoot. Stir until the vegetable is a little wilted - don't over cook it. Add sugar and fish sauce to taste. Turn off the heat and sprinkle cilantro.

This fried rice is not bad.... Spicy - fragrant - vegetable is still crunchy. And it's kind of pretty. I'll bring it to work tomorrow.

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These cupcakes are not for children. They are loaded with cafeine. They are a bit bitter (just like coffee) - not too sweet - soft and moist - topped with creamy whipped cream. They are perfect. I love them... mmmmm.... The great thing about it is that they taste like coffee!!!



I used the tried-and-true vanilla cupcake recipe that I've been using for green tea cupcakes and lemongrass cupcakes. Just added 2 tablespoons of instant espresso coffee with vanilla extract.

I also love the idea of tapioca filling - plus I still have half a bag of tapioca pearl left. So I made up espresso filling with
1 1/2 cups soymilk (no regular milk in the house)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup small tapioca pearl
2 tablespoons instant espresso

Boil everything in low heat for about 1/2 hour or until the tapioca becomes clear.

And to make the cupcakes cappiccino like, I frost them with simple whipped cream - just slightly sweetened...
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

Beat the cream and sugar with electric mixer until it forms peak - about 8 to 10 minutes.

To assemble:
After the cupcakes cool, cut cone shape from the top - fill with tapioca filing - recap - and frost.

So simple. So delicious.

I think this is my favorite cupcakes so far (after the green tea...)

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Why so many cupcakes lately? Because cupcakes are IN! Well that and, actually, when I moved to my temporary pad - I put most of my kitchen things in the storage except - my KitchenAid mixer, measuring cups and spoons, spatula, and muffin pan. So can't make cookies or cakes or pies or brownies or shit like that.

Got this idea of lemongrass cupcakes from Cupcake Bakeshop Blog but I'm going to make up my own a bit. I like the idea of filling cupcakes up with tapioca pudding. So I'm going to bake vanilla cupcakes, fill them with lemongrass tapioca pudding and attemp lemongrass creamcheese frosting. In case this doesn't work out, I still have good vanilla cupcakes....



Ingredients
Filling
2 stalks lemongrass
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups plain soymilk
1/4 cup small tapioca pearl

Cupcakes
2 sticks butter - room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Frosting
really soft part of 3 lemongrass stalks - chopped very finely
1/2 cup plain soy milk
3 cups confectioner sugar
1 stick butter - room temperature
1 package creamcheese

Chopped peanuts for decoration

Directions
Filling
Heat all the ingredients in low heat until tapioca becomes clear - about 30 minutes.

Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla extract. Alternately stir in dry ingredients and buttermilk in 3 batches. Drop the batter by tablespoon into prepared muffin pan - 3/4 full. Bake for 22 minutes. Make 28 cupcakes.

Frosting
Heat soy milk and chopped lemongrass in low heat for 20 minutes. Let cool. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer. Add lemongrass soy milk. Add creamcheese. Beat until fluffy.

Assemble the cupcakes
When the cupcakes cool, with a small knife make a cone hole on top of cupcakes. Fill the hole with tapioca filling. Discard the triangle part of the cones and re-cap the cakes. Frost the cakes. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top.



......

The frosting didn't come out that well.. I could hardly smell the lemongrass. The forsting is just like normal creamcheese frosting with weird brownish color. I came up with 2 possibilities why I couldn't bring out lemongrass smell:

1. Maybe soy milk doesn't have enough fat to bring out and retain the smell. According to the movie "Perfume" - they used oil to extract smell from things....

2. Maybe the soft inner part of lemongrass doesn't smell as strong as the outer tougher part.

Anyway - peanut sprinkle saved the cupcakes. They came out just like normal vanilla cupcakes. But with the peanut - they look and taste a little more exotic...

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I tried to bake so many times with green tea with little to no success... But this is it!!! This is THE recipe to keep forever and ever. Do you know why? Because I didn't make this up. I copied it from people who know what they are doing. I copied the recipe from this beautiful Cupcake Bakeshop blog.



Although my cupcakes don't look as pretty as the original, they taste awesome! Creamy - very green tea-y and just sweet enough to keep you eating!!!! I can't stop eating them! Somebody help me.....

I changed the original recipe a little bit because it was too complicated and I didn't have all the ingredients needed:

Ingredients
Grean tea filling
1/4 cup tapioca
1 can coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoon matcha green tea

Vanilla cupcakes
2 sticks butter - room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk

Green tea creamcheese frosting
1 stick butter - room temperature
1 1/2 packages creamcheese
3 cups confectioner sugar
4 teaspoon matcha green tea
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions
1. To make the filling, heat all the ingredients up in medium heat until the tapioca pearls become soft and clear - stir frequently - add water if neccessary - about 30 to 45 minutes.
2. For the cupcake, rreheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan. With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. In an separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the the butter mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir until well combined. Drop by tablespoon into lined muffin pan - about 3/4 full. Bake for 22 minutes. The recipe makes exactly 28 cupcakes. Cool the cupcakes completely.
3. For the frosting, beat everything together until fluffy.
4. Make a cone hole on the top of cupcake and fill with about 1 teaspoonfull of filling. Discard part of the cone and replace the cap. Frost the cake with small teaspoon in circular motion.



These cupcakes were so good - I ate 3 of them (for quality control) during the baking process (which never happened....)

I think these are probably the most perfect cupcakes I have ever baked!!!!!

I'll make them again this weekend. Oh great - I'm not going to be able to lose weight ever!

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Got perfect excuses to bake!
1. Had to try out the new oven in my new Lower East Side residence.
2. Had to figure out this supermarket next door. Had been living here for almost two weeks. This would be an opportunity for me to visit the store and see what they have.
3. Had to bake something for Yue's and Zhou's Valentines Bash Party.

So.... I went crazy and made two recipes.... lemonade cupcakes and ginger candy cupcakes... Well - actually - I intended to make pink lemonade to fit the Valentines theme. It didn't turn out quite well. First of all I couldn't find frozen pink lemonade concentrate. I guess it makes sense. Who would want to buy pink lemonade in the middle of winter. Second, after dropping some food coloring into cake batter - the color came out so scary I gave up wanting to put color into the frosting... So ginger candy cupcakes were there as backup.

(Supposed to be pink) Lemonade Cupcakes



For the cake I doubled the recipe from DaisyCakes' Pink Lemonade Cupcakes. The cake came out a little dense... Maybe it's because I added about 1/2 cup of pomegranade juice trying to make the cakes pink. It didn't work so I just added a splash of red coloring.



And frosting:
3 cups confectioner sugar
2 sticks butter - room temperature
Zest and juice from 2 lemons

Ginger Candy Cupcakes


We could actually see specks of chopped candied ginger on the frosting!

Recipe from 101 Cookbooks's Ginger Cupcakes with Creamchesse Frosting. The only thing I changed was that I didn't have milk in the refrigerator so I replaced it with buttermilk. The cupcakes turned out really good. The chopped crystalized ginger was very subtle and refreshing in the cakes and frosting.

Oh - thanks Esther for helping me bake and decorate the cakes. :) And thanks everybody who ate the cakes!!!!


Cupcake before the frosting.

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With an excuse of having to clean up my refrigerator before moving, I'm on a baking binge again. This time it's lemon cupcakes since I have lemons, buttermilk, a lot of butter, a lot of sugar and creamcheese in my stock. Ji also requested them.

I'm adapting this Lemon Ginger Cake that I made a while ago - leaving out ginger part of the cake. I remember that the frosting was soooooooooo goooooooooooood.



Ingredients
Cake
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder (can't help it - I wasn't gonna put any ginger but maybe the batter needs a little kick)

3/4 stick butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/8 cups buttermilk

Lemon zest and lemon juice from 3 lemons (half for the cake and half for frosting)

Frosting
1 stick butter
1 package creamcheese
2 cups confectiner sugar
And half of the lemon things from above

Direction
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with liners.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and ginger powder. With electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Beat until light and fluffy. Add half lemon zest and juice. Alternately stir in dry ingredients and buttermilk. Stir until well combined.

Scoop the batter into lined muffin pan - fill up about half or 3/4 of the space so that we don't get muffin tops. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes. Cool completely.

Beat all the ingredients for frosting together until creamy. Frost the cake.

Make 16 cupcakes.


Naked cupcakes...

Goddammit. I have to stop this vigorous "quality control" shit. But what do I do? I need to see how the frosting comes out. And then I can't stop quality controlling it..... aaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhhh

Haven't tasted the cake yet. Hopefully it's not too dry. I think I was a little heavy handed with baking soda...

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Although every time that I baked with matcha green tea nothing came out great, I still don't give up. I don't understand. Is there a secret of baking with green tea that I don't know? Maybe I am cursed?

Macadamia nut cookies that I made over the weekend turned out great. So I'm going to try the same recipe but with about 4 teaspoons of the powder matcha green tea (doubling the amount I put the last time.)


...... preparing ....



Cookies before baking. Should have chopped up the nut a little more.... but too late...

...... baking.....



They don't look very pretty. And I think I over baked them a little bit. But I think I got the amount of green tea powder right this time. The cookies smell very much like green tea. They are just not sweet enough, too salty and a little ugly...

Next time - fewer nuts - finer chopped - more sugar - less salt - shorter baking time....

This is interesting. I baked these cookies at the same heat for the same length of time as the macadamia cookies. But these came out way drier and more burnt. Is it because of the darker color?

Now who's gonna eat them? Everybody is on a diet.

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What is Laab? Laab is basically any cooked ground meat (usual pork or chicken or beef) - seasoned with lime, fish sauce and dried red pepper flake. The only other main ingredients are ground roasted rice and shallots. Laab is Northern and North Eastern Thai food. Variations of Laap includes ones with mint leaves, with uncooked beef, with blood, and with other fancy things people can think of.

I'm using low fat ground turkey today because I'm supposed to be on a diet.

Secret of a good Laab is the ground roasted rice. You can't use just any rice because not all kinds of rice are equal. The kind that we use to make Thai sticky rice works and smells the best when roasted. I just heat up a non-stick pan and throw in a handful of raw rice. Wait and stir occationally until it's brown. Then I grind it in my coffee grinder. Traditionally people would use stone mortar and pestle to crush the rice. I don't have them...

Laab is usually eaten with sticky rice and fresh vegetables like cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, string beans, etc. I'm on a diet so I'm going to eat it with brown rice and lettuce...



Ingredients
Cooking oil
1 pound ground turkey
7 shallots - chopped
2 limes
About 2 tablespoon fishsauce
About 2 tablespoon crushed dried red pepper (We use fresh chillis for other kinds of salad, but for the right roasted taste we need dried red pepper in this dish.)
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup ground roasted rice

Directions
Heat up small amount of cooking oil in a pan. Stir in the meat until cooked. In a salad bowl, season the cooked meat with everything else except scallion and cilantro which get sprinkled on top when the dish is ready to be served. It should have the right combination of earthiness from roasted rice and dried pepper and freshness from lime, cilantro and scallion. The dish should taste sour - savory - with a slow burning spiciness.

This dish is so simple.

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sucheela
User: sucheela
Name: sucheela
Website: sucheela.net
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