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Archive for November, 2012

When the berries are no longer appealing and sitting in the fridge too long, then it’s a good time to make these muffins. I use blueberries and raspberries here, but you can also use strawberries and/or blackberries.

Mixed Berries Muffins

Mixed Berries Muffins

Mixed Berries Muffins (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– melted and cooled
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries and raspberries combined

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffins pans with cooking spray.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a big bowl. Stir to mix well.
  3. Add eggs to the milk and whisk to blend well.
  4. Make a well in the center of flour mixture, then pour in egg mixture and melted butter. Use a spatula to fold the mixture gently until just combined. Then fold in berries.
  5. Scoop batter into muffin pans. Bake at preheated oven for 25 minutes. Transfer to cool on a rack.
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This is my first time making Taiwanese style beef noodle soup, and I was surprised it came out way better than my expectation. The meat is tender, and full of flavors! The secret is the cut of meat– I used boneless beef short ribs chunks instead of the traditionally used beef briskest or beef shank. Beef briskest is hard to cut (and takes forever to cook until tender); beef shank can still, sometimes, be tough after stewing for long time.

Braised Beef Noodle Soup 五香牛肉麺

Braised Beef Noodle Soup 五香牛肉麺 Recipe (serves 6-8 people)

Ingredients:
2.5 lbs boneless beef short rib chunk– see note below
1/2 tbsp salt

Seasoning for stew:
3 green onions
2 inches ginger– crushed
8 cloves garlic– crushed
1 honey date 蜜枣
3 star anise 八角
1 cinnamon stick 桂皮
1 cardamon 草果
2 dried red peppers
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup cooking wine
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/2 stick rock sugar 冰片糖
7 cups water

2 cans chicken broth
blanched green leafy vegetables– bak choy, yu choy, spinach or green leaf lettuce
cooked noodles

Method:

  1. Put all stew seasoning in a deep pot, cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Continue boiling for another 10 minutes for the flavor to come out.
  2. Meanwhile, trim off excess fat from the beef. Rinse well. Cut the meat to bite size pieces, across the grain of meat. Season with 1/2 tbsp of salt.
  3. After boiling 10 minutes of boiling the stew, add beef to the stew (be sure the liquid covers the meat). Cover, and boil on high heat for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium, cook for about 1 hour. Add more water if the stew dries out too quickly. The beef should be tender at this point.
  4. While the meat is stewing, boil chicken broth in a separate pot. Set aside.
  5. To assemble: place some noodles in a bowl. Arrange some green vegetables and some beef on the top. Scoop over some stew liquid and chicken broth (2 stew liquid : 1 chicken broth). For spicy beef noodles, also add in some chili sauce or chili oil.

Regina’s Note:

  • Boneless beef short rib chunk: this is the meat from beef short rib section but without the bones. It is usually cut into 1– 2 inch stripes and can be found in regular grocery stores. I got mine from Costco. I personally prefer the meat that has marble fat because it’s more tender after cooking, and enhance the flavor.
  • Pickled sour mustard green condiment: this is a typical condiment for Taiwanese beef noodle soup. I skipped it this time because my family doesn’t like it.

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I meant to make tiramisu muffins with mascapone cheese or cream cheese filling, but I ran out of cheese. Also, I might have put a bit too much chocolate and/or too little instant espresso coffee powder because the coffee is not very strong here. The muffins are a little dense to my liking too. Well,  there’s always next time…

Chocolate & Coffee Muffins

Chocolate & Coffee Muffins

Chocolate and Coffee Muffins (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cappuccino chips
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter– melted and cooled
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray.
  2. In a big bowl, sift flour, sugar, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Add in walnuts, chocolate chips and cappuccino chips. Stir to mix well.
  3. Add egg to the milk, whisk to blend well.
  4. Pour egg mixture and melted butter into flour mixture. Use a spatula, gently fold the mixture to just combined (do not over fold).
  5. Spoon batter into muffin pans. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Transfer to cool on a rack.

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