Monthly Archives: February 2013

Mac n Cheese

It wasn’t until high school when I had my first bowl of mac n’cheese. I remember a box of Kraft’s would sit in our family’s pantry but it would only be removed when my brother went camping. So I never wondered if it was any good. If he brought Chef Boyardee ravioli on those trips to the woods, I wouldn’t dare touch the blue box. 

Then one day, I had mac n cheese from the box and thought… meh. I haven’t been missing out on much… until I had homemade mac n’ cheese. That changed the game. Anything that starts with a good cube of butter, is a good sign of comfort food!

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Yogurt

Our household loves eating yogurt. Either with oatmeal, smoothies, nuts and honey, or a swirl of jam- we always have a pint in the fridge. Of course, it’d be great to have a yogurt maker but I’m a believer that any cooking appliance has to have dual feature capability. That is why I had to relinquish our ice cream machine. Me and my silly rules.

The beauty of making your own yogurt is that it’s simple to make. It’s just a matter of stirring and waiting. In fact, most of the work was done by my three year old… in pajamas. Now that says, easy-peasy.

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Potato-stamped Valentines

Since my daughter was born, I have made valentines for her friends or early on, friends of mine with kids. Last year, I made them but I realized that the design was much too complicated for her to really get involved. So this year, I came up with this design where she could get her hands dirty, using a potato stamp. No, this is not a valentine inscribed on a potato. But it’s a great excuse to sacrifice an available spud for a wonderful DIY valentine project.

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Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

This weekend I made some fantabulous chocolate cupcakes. I have never understood the whole cupcake craze because often times, I find them to be tooth-achingly sweet. But after making these on Friday, I found myself wanting to make them again on Saturday. They are that good.

This recipe is adapted from the Cook’s Illustrated recipe. But instead of making a buttercream frosting, I just frosted them with the leftover ganache used for the filling. These cupcakes are for people who can appreciate a cupcake that is moist and taste of good chocolate. Therefore, try to use good quality chocolate chips and cocoa powder.  It normally calls for dutch cocoa powder but I just used Ghiradelli’s natural unsweetened variety and their bittersweet chocolate chips. I despise chopping chocolate so I swap chocolate bars for the chips when possible. And they turned out delicious.  They are a bit more laborious than your typical cupcake recipe so I wouldn’t advise using them for a large birthday party; do not double the recipe to make more. 

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Turkey Bolognese

When auditioning for Food Network’s show, Chopped- mom’s edition, I had a difficult time figuring out which two recipes to share.  One was a bit more fancy smancy type. But figuring out the second one was difficult until I realized that the ultimate go to dinner meal in our household is spaghetti. We can easily have this for dinner once a week. So I modified the traditional meat bolognese into a leaner version that does not skimp on flavor.

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Chinese Daikon Rice Cakes

My grandmother is famous for her turnip cake but of course, I never took the time to learn her recipe. Fortunately my 90 year old grandmother is alive and kicking so let’s hope that I will one day learn her secret! Until then, I have come up with this recipe as my fall back.  This can be an arduous recipe if you don’t have a food processor but if there’s a will, there’s a way! You will also need a large steamer that will fit a cake pan making sure that no sides touch the steamer. Again, if this sounds a bit much, you can always order the dish at dim-sum.  But for me, it is a great reason to make this and welcome the Lunar New Year!

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