Quinoa Fried Rice

For those of you who are not already aware, this is the beginning of Sadie’s season, Sadie’s as in Sadie Hawkins Dance as in ‘girl asks boy’ dance. And as you may or may not be able to tell, I’m not happy.

Usually, when these dances come around, I can most easily avoid them with the simple fact that no boy is going to ask me. Because the fact of the matter is that I’d much rather stay home by myself or go out with friends than have to pay a hundred dollars for an outfit I’m going to wear once, waste two hours doing hair and make-up that will most likely end up smeared and flat by the end of the night, go back to school on a weekend, and do it all with a boy I may not even like. (Pity dates. I’ve seen it happen more than once.) And let’s not even get started on the awkward post-dance syndrome where you and your date won’t be able to make eye contact with each other for a least a couple days.

I’m sure some people have had amazing experiences with school dances. The whole “Prince Charming will sweep you off your feet and take you to senior prom” cliche had to have originated from some truth, I suppose. Maybe I’m just biased because I’ve heard way too many “worst night of my life” stories, but dances just don’t seem that great to me. Personally, I’d rather just have a night in with a couple of friends, movies, and food.

So for the next time you’re feeling like you just need a night in, but fear the food baby and MSG-induced bloating that comes with good Chinese take-out, whip up some of this Quinoa Fried Rice instead! It’ll leave your tummy happy and your body thanking you for not forcing it to process all the bad stuff.

Quinoa Fried Rice:

{approx. 4 servings}

1 cup uncooked quinoa

3 chicken tenderloins, cooked and chopped

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 white onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3  scallions, chopped and divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 eggs, lightly scrambled

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

1. Rinse quinoa a few times in cold water

2. Bring quinoa and water to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, until fluffy and fully cooked. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Fluff with a fork.

3. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil on a frying pan over high heat. Add garlic to the pan. Add carrots, onions, and scallions and cook thoroughly, about two minutes.

4. Add rest of the olive oil and quinoa to the pan. Stir fry until mixed thoroughly, about two minutes.

5. Then add eggs and finish scrambling. Stir-fry until thoroughly incorporated, and then add the chicken.

6. Add the oyster sauce and stir-fry until evenly mixed. Feel free to add more or less oyster sauce to your taste.

Recipe adapted from: http://www.cookingforkeeps.com/2013/03/27/quinoa-fried-rice/

NOTE:

– You may need more olive oil to keep it from burning. Or maybe that’s just because I need a new frying pan.

– If you like spicy, make sure to add Sriracha hot sauce on top when you eat it. It’s a match made in heaven and no other hot sauce complements fried rice in the same way.

– Chicken can easily be omitted be make a vegetarian dish

Kick back, relax, and enjoy!

Blueberry Buttermilk Scone

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Scones are the epitome of fancy baked treats. Every time I eat a scone I feel like I should be in the Queen’s palace with a cup of early gray tea. I’ve always thought that since scones are so fancy, they must be difficult to make. Boy how wrong I was! Scones are one of the easiest but most gratifying desserts a baker can make! Add a couple blueberries, and you get a lovely color and a wonderfully sweet taste. I used fresh blueberries, but you can substitute choco chips, raspberries, cranberries, nuts, or anything else! I cut this recipe in half, making six for my family to share. But after an hour, my parents had already eaten 3!! Scones are best the same day, but they can be kept in an airtight container or refrigerated for later! If they last that long that is! I hope you enjoy this recipe! Feel free to comment or ask questions below 🙂

Ingredients:
4 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
1 cup + 1 T. unsalted butter, very cold
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
2 cups blueberries
Topping
3 T. butter
sugar for sprinkling such as demerara or turbinado (regular granulated is fine, too)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add sugar, salt and lemon zest and stir to combine. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes and scatter the cubes over the dry ingredients. Use a pastry blender or the back of a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. When you are finished, the butter should be dispersed throughout the flour in pea-sized lumps (or bigger… mine always are).
3. Add the buttermilk all at once along with the blueberries and mix gently with a wooden spoon until the dough holds together. If the mixture seems dry, add a little bit more buttermilk.
4. Dust your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. If you’ve made the whole recipe, divide the dough into two even portions. Using your hands, pat each portion into a circular disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. (Or, if you’ve made the whole recipe and want to follow Tartine’s instructions, pat the dough into a rectangle about 18 inches long, 5 inches wide, and 1 1/2 inches thick). Brush the top with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut each disk into 6 wedges (or 12 if you’ve made the rectangle).
5. Transfer the triangles to baking sheet. Bake until the tops of the scones are lightly browned, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

This recipe is from http://www.alexandracooks.com/2011/03/31/buttermilk-scones-—-tartine-has-done-it-again/

Pineapple Layer Cake

I’m not really a dense cake person. I’ve never liked the leftover cakey-ness leftover in your mouth after swallowing a bite, or the fact that one slice absolutely needs to be paired with a glass of milk. Unless you wanted to choke and die, of course. Which is why on my birthday, a cake from an Asian bakery would always be served. From places such as Paris Baguette and 85 Degrees Bakery, the cake is not as dense and the cream was light and fluffy, not thick at all, and it is usually topped with an assortment of sliced fruits, with more fruit in between the layers. The flavors ranged from something reminiscent of yellow cake to taro and mocha, my personal favorite. For those of you who have not been enlightened with a slice, I highly suggest trying it out when you can! The cakes can be a bit on the pricier side, but the taste may just convert you anyways.

My aunt recently found a copycat recipe for this style of cake on some Korean mommy blog, and forwarded it to my mom, who relayed it me. For those of you who believe in doing everything of scratch, you’ll want to stop reading right here because the ingredient list may just give you a heart attack. Or you can always just find from-scratch recipes for the store-bought ingredients. But for those of you who don’t mind, or looking for something to whip up on last minute notice, this is for you!

PINEAPPLE LAYER CAKE

1 box of yellow cake mix (Did you just cringe at this? I did the first time as well. But I know of many recipes that do yellow cake from scratch, so don’t fret food purists!)

9 inch round cake pan

3.5oz vanilla pudding (or one box)

3 ounces of cream cheese, softened

2 8oz tubs of cool whip

1 can of smashed pineapple, drained

Assorted sliced fruit to top (i.e kiwi, strawberry, blackberry)

1. Make the yellow cake according to the package. With one package, you should be able to make two cakes in the pan, which you will use for the layers. Allow these cakes to cool.

2. Make the vanilla pudding according to package. Then blend softened cream cheese and pudding together on low until well incorporated.

3. Cut the rounded top off of one the cakes. This layer will be used as the bottom layer.

4. Spread pudding mixture over the top of the bottom layer of cake. Then spread crushed pineapple over the pudding. Then spread cool whip over the pineapple. Try to keep the top as flat as possible so the top layer of cake  can easily be placed on top.

5. Lay second layer of cake on top of the first. Spread pudding mixture over top layer of cake as well.

6. Frost the whole cake with the remaining cool whip.

7. Chill cake for about one hour. Top with sliced fruit and then serve.

NOTE: You will most likely have leftover pineapple and pudding.

Thanks for all your support and feel free to leave any questions or comments below!

Momofuku Milk Bar Cornflake Cookies

For those of you who are not already aware of this fact, I am a huge foodie. Most girls my age like boys, but I like food. I’m the type that gets excited over blood oranges and starfruit at the farmer’s market, and shed a joyful tear over a perfectly fluffy soufflé. My passion for all things edible is best exemplified by my “Restaurant Hit List”, a list I keep of all the restaurants I want to visit and foods I want to try. The items on my list range from places like hyped cafes like Uurth Café in Los Angeles to dessert shops like Joe’s Italian Ice in Anaheim to hole-in-the-wall splurge restaurants like The Hobbit in Orange. I got inspiration for this from a good friend of mine about a year ago, and the list now has over thirty items and is expanding everyday.

shout out to my amateur styling skill

However, some of the places on my hit list are just too darn far away. For instance, Momofuku Milk Bar in New York (cereal milk and crack pie?! Why wouldn’t I want to go to this place??) So, I was more than ecstatic when my mom forwarded me their Cornflake Cookie recipe, it’ll appease me for the time being until I get to try the real deal. It’s cereal and smore’s and chocolate chip cookie all put together, there’s nothing to dislike about this cookie. So I’ll save you all the seven hundred dollar plane ticket to New York and share this recipe with you!

MOMOFUKU MILK BAR CORNFLAKE COOKIES

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 2/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3 cups Cornflake Crunch (NOTE: I used plain cornflakes because the cornflake crunch was just too sweet for me, but the link to this recipe is below)
    • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips
    • 1 1/4 cups mini marshmallows

1. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes. (See page 27 for notes on this process.)

2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk over mixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

3. Still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and mini chocolate chips just until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 to 45 seconds. Paddle in the mini marshmallows just until incorporated.

4. Using a 2 3/4 oz ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not hold their shape.

5. Heat the oven to 375°F.

6. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. At the 18-minute mark, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Leave them in the oven for an additional minute or so if they aren’t and they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

7. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Original recipe and Cornflake Crunch recipe can be found here

NOTES:

– I chilled the dough, as a whole then shaped the cookies. They still turned out fine.

– I made my cookies about a heaping tablespoon each because I wanted a larger yield, baked them for about 15 minutes.

– The dough gets really dense. I broke the whisk for my handheld mixer. Mix cautiously.

– Try to keep your marshmallows in the center of your cookies because if on the sides or bottom, they will caramelize and make your cookie look burnt. Tastes good, but makes you look like a cruddy baker.

Once again, thank you for visiting and feel free to leave me comments, concerns, questions, life stories, and feedback below!