My 4 year old son LOVES to help me bake and loves to help me eat them even more. He definitely takes after me in the sweet tooth department. Oh, and that goofy plate is one that my husband used growing up! My Mother-in-law has kept it all these many, many years! Pretty neat.
Month: February 2013
Ginger Tomato Beef Soup
After getting married, my mother-in-law picked us up from the airport and when we arrived at her house late at night with rumbling tummies, gave us some of this soup for us to eat. I completely fell in love with this soup and she verbally gave me the ‘recipe’. It became THE soup to expect when my husband would return home from a business trip and whenever I would leave him alone at home while I went to visit my family with the kids. (THE soup and lasagna would sustain him for a few days) Poor him. ha.
Add the chicken stock, creamy tomato soup, and all the vegetables and bring to a boil, skimming the foam that rises. Boil until the vegetables are soft then season with salt and black pepper.
Japchae 잡채- Korean Glass Noodles
We woke up excited to have a good friend and her daughter come visit and play with us all day today! It was so nice to hang out and chat while the kids entertained themselves, yes, I really don’t have many friends here. We got a good laugh watching “Pitch Perfect” (my 4th time) while our little girls were taking their afternoon nap and my 4 yr old boy did his ‘quiet time’, more like movie time, with us. We went to the park after their nap and after our movie to run the kids around and use up some of their energy. But before we left, we did the vegetable prep that way we could just throw the ingredients together after we got back So dinner tonight was Korean Japchae and bulgogi with lettuce that you wrap up with rice and a spicy bean paste.
printable recipe (no step-by-step pics)
salt and pepper
*you can omit the beef for a vegetarian version. Just add a little more of the vegetables, like another carrot or two and some more spinach or add zucchini and cook it with the other vegetables.
Turkey Tomato Mabo Tofu (mild)
4. After the vegetables are almost, but not completely, cooked, add the tofu, chicken broth, and tomato soup and bring it to a boil.
5. While you are waiting for it to boil, mix the 1/4 cup water in a small bowl with the 2-3 tablespoons of corn starch and mix.
6. Once it starts boiling, add 2/3 of the cornstarch mixture to the wok and mix. Add more cornstarch to the wok if the sauce seems too runny. We don’t want it to become gelatin, but we don’t want it to be soupy. Add enough cornstarch so it is in between a sauce and soup consistency.
7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
AND you are DONE!
Dish it up over rice and you’ve got yourself a healthy and very tasty meal.
Banana Cream Pie meets Key Lime in a Cake!
I’m definitely blessed to be living in California where we are currently enjoying sunny, fairly warm weather in the high 60’s almost 70’s and it’s the middle of winter. Whereas those living in the east coast will be cursing their California relatives while they blunder about mummified in a twist of coats, scarves and hats. So please forgive me for conjuring up thoughts of fresh, cool bananas and key lime pies. Actually, you can blame my husband for injecting my mind with such criminal thoughts in the middle of winter. He would then turn around and point his finger at me since I was the one who asked him what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday coming up this Superbowl Sunday! He’s turning the big 3-0 and too bad we don’t have the budget presently for a big birthday/Superbowl party for him. Maybe we’ll do one for him next year.
I’m always excited when we have a birthday coming up because I know I have an excuse for those butter-laden hunks of goodness glopped with generous amounts of BUTTERcream. Any other time, I try to be more health conscious by baking with margarine or oil and sneaking in blended chickpeas into my kids’ chocolate chip cookies. None of that in this green beauty!
So if you haven’t already guessed, he said he would like either a banana cream pie, a key lime pie, or a Black Forest Cake. I’ve already made Black Forest cakes for his birthday before (twice, from scratch without any of those yucky maraschino cherries) and I remembered saving a recipe for key lime buttercream and a banana lime cake that I thought he wouldn’t mind if I changed up his request a bit and made it into a cake instead of a pie. Besides, who has pie for a birthday cake??? OK, maybe some people do. But he’s getting the better end of the deal with me including both the banana and the lime (and we can’t forget the cream) into the cake here!
The recipes are from here and here
I changed it up a bit and made it into a cake, instead of cupcakes and instead of the shortening/butter buttercream recipe they used, I just added the lime zest and lime juice to a swiss meringue buttercream recipe instead. I’m not a huge fan of those butter and powdered sugar-type frostings… they taste too sweet and are quite unpalatable for me. I do make them when I don’t feel like whipping a meringue and boiling the sugar syrup, my favorite is the Sprinkles Cupcakes strawberry buttercream recipe revealed by Martha Stewart. I just prefer the taste of Swiss buttercream, but we digress.
Banana-lime cake layered with sliced bananas and whipped cream, frosted on the outside with Key Lime Buttercream frosting, topped with crumbled graham cracker pie-crust, with dollops of more whipped cream and decorated with slices of lime. Can you say YUMMMMMM~
There’s a whole lot of steps to make this cake, so feel free to make the buttercream ahead of time and refrigerate it, then just bring it back to room temperature and beat it on your mixer with a paddle attachment and it’ll be good as new. Bake the cake (you could bake it a day before and refrigerate it), make the graham cracker crumble and whip the cream on the same day you will use it.
Here are the recipes:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 T lime juice
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp lime zest
3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In large bowl, cream butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, lime juice, vanilla, banana and lime zest; mix well. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream; blend thoroughly but do not overmix. Pour into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on rack; remove and cool completely before decorating.
*I used two 8″ cake pans
Key Lime Buttercream with Swiss Meringue base
5 egg whites
1 cup plus 2 TB sugar
pinch of salt
1 lb (4 sticks) butter, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 8 key limes
1 1/2 TB lime juice
*I added 1 drop of green food coloring
- Mix the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl for your stand mixer and set it over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until it’s warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (you shouldn’t feel any sugar grains when you rub it between your fingers)
- Using a whisk attachment, start on low speed and gradually increase to medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Keep mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool, about 10 minutes.
- With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla, lime zest and lime juice. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.
- (Optional) To tint buttercream (or royal icing), reserve some for toning down the color, if necessary. Add gel-paste food color, a drop at a time (or use the toothpick or skewer to add food color a dab at a time) to the remaining buttercream. You can use a single shade of food color or experiment by mixing two or more. Blend after each addition with the mixer (use a paddle attachment) or a flexible spatula, until desired shade is achieved. Avoid adding too much food color too soon, as the hue will intensify with continued stirring; if necessary, you can tone down the shade by mixing in some reserved untinted buttercream.
P.S. When you are whipping the butter into the meringue mixture, don’t panic when it starts to look like cottage cheese! Don’t throw it out either! Just keep mixing for a few mins or more and it’ll come back together. Cover the mixer with a towel so you don’t spray your kitchen (or yourself) with frosting.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Add sugar to the cream and whip with whisk attachment on stand mixer until soft peaks form then whisk by hand (with a whisk, not your hand silly) until you get stiff peaks.
Graham Cracker Crumble
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 T sugar
spread over a baking sheet and bake at 400 F for about 8-10 mins. We are using it as a crumble decoration/topping and not a piecrust so you don’t need to press down.
1-2 bananas (sliced, for cake filling)
thin sliced key limes for decoration (about 4)
Click here for printable recipe (Recipes only, no step-by-step pictures for putting the cake together)
This is a really simple but delicious side dish made with just a few ingredients. The imitation crab meat from the local grocery tastes much better than the dry, frozen ones from the Korean market. I usually buy the leg style since I like to use it to make California rolls, but the flake ones work just fine for this.
I used one package of the crab meat, 4 eggs, 4 green onions, some mushrooms with some salt and pepper. Mix the 4 eggs and add the crab meat (chopped or flaked), chopped green onions and sliced mushrooms (or the tiny mushrooms that don’t need to be sliced). Then add some salt and pepper to it.