Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mini Pecan Pumpkin Pies

It's a rather tasty and seasonal desert for Thanksgiving. I am going to a after-Thanksgiving party today, and it's perfect to share it with my friends. No need to cut a big pie into slices. No need to worry about the extra calories, since it's so small. I personally think it tastes better than the traditionally pumpkin pie.

For the dough

  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for shaping dough
  • 6 tablespoons butter, ice cold
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons ice cold water
In a food processor, pulse pecans with the sugar, salt, and flour, until the nuts are ground and the ingredients are combined. Add in butter and pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Slowly pour in ice water through the feed tube, pulsing, until the dough comes together. Remove from processor bowl onto clean work surface sprinkled with flour.

Form dough into a ball and divide evenly into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and evenly press into each cup, until the bottom is covered. If the dough is sticky, dip your finger in flour first.

Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until the crusts are very golden. Check periodically to make sure they don't get too brown.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a medium bowl, whisk the egg and yolk with the corn syrup, sugar, pumpkin filling and vanilla. Stir in the chopped pecans.

For the filling:

  • 1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin filling
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped plus 24 halves for garnish
  • Special equipment: 2 (12-cup) mini muffin tins
Remove dough from oven and spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling into each cup. Top each with 1 pretty pecan half. Return the pans to the oven and continue baking, for 12 to 15 minutes more, until the pumpkin filling is set. Allow to cool before removing from the pans.

Chocholate Chip Oatmeal Cookie (Softbake)



So, I made this cookie tonight. It had many ingredients including chocolate chips,oats multigrain, resin, coconut, pecan and was tender,flavorful and yet not too sweet.

It's definitely beats most of the cookies you can find in a grocery store. It's arguably even better than Softbake Chocolate Chip cookie from the Pepperidge Farm. Of course, I thought my cookie was better. Anyway, enough said, the whole wheat touch did not prevent him from raiding half of my cookies right off from the baking sheet.

I got the recipe from the foodnetwork, but made some adjustments.

Dry Ingredients
1) 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
2) 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3) 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4) 1/4 teaspoon salt
5) 2 cups rolled (old-fashioned) oats (from Trader Joe's)
6) 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans (Tip: to have more obvious pecan flavor in each bite, you may want to chop the pecans really coarse)
7) 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
8) 1/2 cup shredded coconuts
9) 1/2 raisins

Wet Ingredients
1) 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2) 1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar (Tip: brown sugar makes cookies softer than regular sugar)
3) 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I did not add this)
4) 2 large eggs
5) 1 tablespoon of milk (Tip: it makes the cookie being software when it's done)
6) 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used grade B from Trader Joe's_
7) 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix the Wet Ingredients
1) In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together until it's blended
2) Beat in the egg until smooth and barely fluffy.
3) With mixer running on medium high, drizzle in the maple syrup, and vanilla until incorporated.

Mix The Wet and Dry Ingredients
1) In a medium bowl, stir the dry ingredients together
2) Then fold the dry ingredients into the web batch

1) Set 2 racks in the middle and upper thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
2) Drop walnut-sized balls of dough onto a nonstick or parchment-lined cookie sheet at 3-inch intervals.
3) With moistened fingers, flatten and round out the cookies a little.
4) Bake for 9 minutes, turning the pan once for even baking. The cookies are done when they are lightly browned on top. Set the cookie sheets on a rack to cool.
Tip: Don't over bake this cook if you want to have a soft-baked cookie. So, watch the cookies during the last 2 min closely.

Delicious Pumpkin Raisin Muffin with Walnut and Raspberry - Healthy and Low Carb

上个周末在PEETS, CHRIS看着柜台里的小点心流口水。我就问他最想要吃什么。他点了一个南瓜玛芬。这个周末,在家看球赛,做一些边看球赛边喝下午茶。明天还可以做早餐。

下面的配方蛮健康的。我把原来FOOD NETWORK的配方做了些修改,减少了一些糖,用了全麦面粉,麦片和LOW CARB的面粉,加了葡萄干, 核桃仁和一些红莓酱。成品香甜滋润,很好吃。CHRIS说比STARBUCK的玛芬还好吃。


Last week, while we were getting some coffee in Peet’s, I noticed that Chris was drooling over the pastry plate. So, I asked asked Chris what pasty he would fancy. He said pumpkin muffin. Oh, well, since I still have a couple of cans of pumpkin left from the Thanksgiving. I made it today, a perfect afternoon snack for a play-off game for Steelers.

In spite of many ingredients this recipes calls for, this is a rather easy and healthy recipe. The mini-pumpkin-muffins turned out moist and delicious. The chopped walnut and raisin enriched the texture, and made each bite more interesting and satisfying.

Marsha;"Chris, compared this one with the Starbuck's muffins, which one you like more?"
Chris:"Actually, believe it or not, yours seems to be better."
Marsha:” Chris, maybe we should wrapped all those little muffins up, otherwise, we would finish them before the game.”
Chris:” Na, not necessary…”
(A few minutes later and with a few more muffins disappeared) Chris:” Marsha, I think you are right. Those are so good, we’d better put them away, otherwise, we won’t have any thing left for tomorrow’s breakfast.”

Ingredients for the Batter
1) 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2) 1/4 cup splenda
3) 3 tbs molasses
4) 1/4 cup canola oil
5) 2 large eggs
6) 1 cup canned pumpkin
7) 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8) 1/2 cup of raspberry source (from Trader Joe's) (optional)
9) 3/4 cup low fat buttermilk or (1/2 yogurt plus 1/2 milk)(Set this aside)

Prepare Batter
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, molasses, oil and 1 egg until combined. Add the other egg and whisk well. Whisk in the pumpkin and vanilla.

Ingredients for the Flour Mixture
1) 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat)
2) 1/2 cup oat bran
3) 1 cup whole-grain flour (I used CarbquiK low carb bake mix)
4) 1 tsp baking soda
5) 1/2 tsp salt
6) 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
7) 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
8) 1/2 tsp ground cloves
9) 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Add Flour Mixture to the Batter
1) In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg.
2) Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined.

Adding Extra Flavor
1) 1/2 cup chopped walnut
2) 1/2 cup raisin

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2) Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

Tip: This is important to make it easier to take out the muffin. Today I coated it with margarine, I had a little problem of taking some of the little muffins out.

3) Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan.
4) Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles.
5) Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean. For mini-muffin pan, I baked 10 min. It worked very well.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.

Red Bean Mochi Cake


我家老妈是个好奇的人,每次教她用厨房里的新工具,她都像小孩玩玩具般高兴。 本来以为她会夸奖我几句,关于我的厨房工具如何先进云云。她反而说,“唉,不知到你在你的这些玩意上有乱花多少钱。”


我觉得这年糕凉了还好吃些。我家老妈是个土人土语的人物。按照她的高论,”这年糕绵揪绵揪的,很好吃。“ 唉,我这么洋气的一个人,怎么会有这么土的一个妈?!

Ingredients for the Flour Mix
1) 1 bag of Sweet rice flour (454g
2) 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/2 sugar; 1/2 splenda)
3) 1/4 cup threaded coconut
4) 1/2 tsp baking powder
5) 1 tsp salt
Tip: Many recipes call for condensed milk. I replaced it with threaded coconut. This way, the rice cake still has the nice coconut flavor but the fat and calorie is much reduced.

Ingredients for the Batter
1) 3 large egg
2) 1/4 cup veggie oil
3) 2 cups milk mix (1/2 cup coconut milk plus 1 1/2 skim milk

1) Mix all the ingredients for the flour together
2) Beat the ingredients for the batter together
3) Spray the baking pan with some cooking oil
4) Add a can of red bean paste into the batter
5) Place a small portion of the batter into each of the mini muffin pan
Tip: I made my own black sesame mix. The red bean mix is available in any Asian market.

1) Preheat the oven at 350F
2) Bake covered for about 60 min (double check just like how you check for cake)
3) Turn to boil. For 2 min till the top is browned
4) It's done when you stick a toothpick into and are able to take it out with nothing on it
Tip: You want to spray some oil on the foil before covering the baking pan with it.

Cool Down the Rice Cake
1) Cool down uncovered for about 15min
2) Cool down it for another 60 min covered; This will keep cake moist.
Tip:The cake tastes great if you microwave it the next day for just 10 seconds.

Chiffon Cake with Walnuts and Resins with Shred Dry Pork On Top

Very excited!!! I mean it's way more exciting to bake an ultra successful Chiffon cake than to push out a smooth release. :) I know if I ever say this in front of my engineers, I am going to get a bunch of rolling eye-balls.

太激动了。 第一次做戚风蛋糕就如此成功。太有成就感了。 可口,细腻,咸甜适中。。。在我的印象中,戚风蛋糕是个高水平的象征。简直不敢相信我这种业余水平的,也能搞定。

我妈边吃蛋糕,边说:“这蛋糕比大华买的还好吃。要是那天你不想做你的工作了,你就改卖蛋糕吧。我觉得你的手艺还可以找碗饭吃。” 承蒙我家老妈抬举我呀!

Ingredients for the Flour Mix
1) 1/2 cup cake flour mix
2) 1 tsp baking powder
3) 1/2 tsp salt
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the above ingredient. Set aside.

Egg Yoke Mix
1) 4 egg Yolk
2) 2 tbs sugar
3) 3 tbs corn oil
4) 1 tsp vanilla extract
5) 2 tbs skim milk
whisk on medium speed for 2 minutes till all the ingredient is combined.

Then, add all the dry ingredient into the Egg Yoke Mix. Whisk till all are combined

Egg White Mix
1) 4 egg whites
2) 1/2 tsp white vinegar
3) 1/4 cup sugar

whisk on high for the egg whites and white vinegar for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale yellow and 'ribbons' when lifted. Then, add sugar. Continue to whisk at high speed for another 2 min.

Tip: The most challenging part of making a chiffon cake is to make sure the cake still maintain a full body after it cools down out from the oven. The fully whisked egg white is the key to avoid a sagging cake body. How do you know the egg white is fully done? Turn over the mixing bowl. If the egg white does not fall or drip from the bowl, that's the sign.

Now, you can add the Egg Whites Mix into the Egg York Mix combined with all the dry ingredients. Fold the Egg Whites Mix in gently.

Tip: Another key here is the action of "fold gentally" not "mix". This will help you get a smooth and light texture of the cake.

Pour everything into a cake pan. Bake for 325F for about 30 min. Need to check before that to avoid an overbaked cake.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Roasted Beets with Enchive Salad

今天请朋友过来吃饭。 于是一个下午都在家折腾吃的。烤了一个玉米面饼子,有做了一个甜菜的色拉。 我家老妈打趣我说,“这那里是请客吃饭?! 请客吃饭应该弄点好吃好喝的。 我的选择简直是强迫性的忆苦思甜。


Beets are often considered as the vegetable of the cold weather. Especially, many years ago in China, when Chinese people did not have as many choices and supplies for food during the winter, beets were a very common choice for the everyday meal especially for the northern part of China. Nowadays, when people have more than enough choicies for food and everything, beets are not that commonly found on a dinner table any more. Guess people had enough in the old days.

Well, I still like the deep burgundy color of beets, and it seems to me a perfect salad choice for the winter.

It's quite easy to make. If you like something simple, colorful and yet delicious. This is a good choice.

1) Toss 2 medium beets with 2 tbs of olive oil on a sheet of baking foil. Fold the baking foil to cover the beets and place it one a baking pan. Roast with 350 degree for about 60 min till it's tender and can be easily poked through with a fork.
2) Let it cool. Peel the beets and slice them (not too thin)
3) Toss up some olive oil, black pepper, Dijon Mustard, and champaign vinegar
4) In a little bowl, mix up the dressing and the beets
5) Place each slice of beets on the plate.

Non Fat Sugar Free Mexican Chocolate Tofu Pudding

Searching for a cure of my sweet tooth. If ever there is any, this Mexican Chocholate Tofu Pudding might be the one. Thinking about making this over the weekend.

1) 3/4 cup splendar
2) 1 box of lite silken tofu (12 oz)
3) 1 cup of non-fat Greek yogurt
4) 4 tbs of sugar-free coco powder
5) 1 tsp vanilla extract
6) 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
7) 1/2 tsp chili powder, or more to simply go nuts :)
(optional) 8 ounces high-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted; and some chocolate shavings for garnish

How to Make It:
Put all ingredients except for chocolate shavings in a blender and purée until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down its sides if necessary. Divide among 4 to 6 ramekins and chill for at least 30 minutes. If you like, garnish with chocolate shavings before serving.

Non-Fat Sugar Free Tofu Brownie Bites

I'm hip to new and different ways of cooking traditional dishes, particularly if the revisions are undetectable to our fat-conditioned palates and acceptable to my recent protain, low-fat diet.

While many people including myself are very skepitical towards anything labeled with "healthy", "vegan", "tofu", this recipe is actually featured in one of the recent Food and Wine pubications.

I make this brownies bites regularly, either for breakfast, and it's delicious when mixed up with non-fat Greek Yogurt, or for afternoon snack...

Vegetable oil spray
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons oat bran
1 box of lite silk tofu (12 oz)
1/2 cup splenda
1/4 cup sugar-free cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup soy slendar chocholate milk
1 tbp vanilla extract


1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray mini-muffin pan with vegetable oil spray. (KOD note: Use mini-muffin liners if you can find them; they give some shape to end result.)
2) In a medium bowl, combine everything together
3) Bake for 15 min
4) Allow brownies to cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.