Quick ‘n Easy Summer Smoothies

I know it’s the end of summer but gosh was it HOT today! It was the perfect day to blend some strawberry banana smoothies. Here’s a quick way to quench your thirst! You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of sliced frozen strawberries (I slice and freeze mine at least a day before or you can pick up a bag in your frozen food section)
  • 2 bananas (sliced in thirds)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup water

Toss everything in a blender and blend away. We get 2 full glasses from this batch. Enjoy!DAWN - WIN_20140831_190135

 

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Chinese Pork Dumplings

If you’re looking for an easy recipe for Chinese Pork dumplings, you’ve come to the right place! The girls had a cultural project at school and wanted to share some good eats from the Chinese culture. We had fun making them and they learned how to make dumplings from scratch. The class loved them. Their classmates were even asking for more later in the week!

Take a look at these beauties!

Chinese Pork Dumpling-beforeChinese Pork Dumpling-after

Here’s the recipe I used from allrecipes.com:

Ingredients
Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped Chinese
chives
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (such as
Sriracha®)
Dumplings:
1 pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons finely chopped Chinese
chives
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
50 dumpling wrappers
1 cup vegetable oil for frying
1 quart water, or more as needed
Directions:
1. Combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon chives, sesame seeds, and chile sauce in a small bowl. Set aside. (This is the dipping sauce)
2. Mix pork, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Place a dumpling wrapper on a lightly floured work surface and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle. Wet the edge with a little water and crimp together forming small pleats to seal the dumpling. Repeat with remaining dumpling wrappers and filling.
3. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place 8 to 10 dumplings in the pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Pour in 1 cup of water, cover and cook until the dumplings are tender and the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Repeat for remaining dumplings. Serve with soy sauce mixture for dipping.

Some helpful tips I discovered using this recipe:

  • It was definitely easier to boil first then fry. Plus, I like that crispy wrapper on the outside. I had two pans side by side so that I could transfer the dumplings to the frying pan after boiling them.
  • The ingredients displayed don’t indicate which are for the dipping sauce and which are for the pork filling. They are actually listed in order; the dipping sauce is first.
  • The dipping sauce was not too spicy, which was perfect for me and the kids. Just add a little more sriracha if you like that extra spice.
  • The recipe actually only made about 40 dumplings and I used less than 1 tablespoon of filling.
  • We used a fork and pressed the edges of the dumpling to seal the meat in and to make it look pretty before frying.
  • I couldn’t find sesame seeds so I excluded this from the dipping sauce and it turned out fine.
  • I used regular vegetable oil instead of sesame oil and it worked great.

That’s it for now, be sure to follow my Good Eats pinterest board!

Thank you to Mish, Vi, and Vi2 for your help 🙂

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Fondant Pumpkins

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In the spirit of Autumn and Halloween, I decided to make these Pumpkin Spice cupcakes. To save time (since I was making 3 batches of cupcakes for the bake sale), I used a 2-ingredient cupcake batter and made a cinnamon cream cheese frosting from scratch. I also handmade small fondant pumpkins with whole cloves for the stem to decorate the cupcakes. These were a real hit at the bake sale!

Pumpkin fondant cupcakes

Cupcake:
Mix pumpkin spice cake mix with a 15-oz can of pumpkin. Don’t add anything else mentioned on the cake mix box. Note that these don’t rise as much as regular cake mix. Bake as directed on the box but be sure to keep an eye on them while baking so they don’t burn and do the toothpick check.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (from the Cake Blog):
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 8 oz cream cheese, softened 4 cups confectioner’s sugar 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp cinnamon

Beat butter and cream cheese on medium speed until combined. Then, gradually add in sugar one cup at a time, add vanilla and cinnamon. Refrigerate to thicken up the icing before piping.

Pumpkin fondant

Fondant Pumpkin Decorations:
I have to give credit to CatchMyParty for inspiring me to create these. I used white Wilton fondant and colored it with red, orange, and brown gels. To create the indentations on the pumpkins, I used Wilton’s fondant cutter but you could definitely use a knife or toothpick.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Black & Gold Graduation Cupcakes

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For my sister’s graduation bbq, I decided to look for a savory bbq cupcake recipe. I found this BBQ Maple Cupcake recipe online and tried it out. The guests loved it!

For decorations, I browsed the internet for some inspiration and decided on a black and gold theme. I made gold fondant stars with sugar sprinkles, black fondant graduation caps with gold tassels, and sprinkled some with gold rice krispy balls I found at Do It With Icing. I also mixed it with some small gold stars I found in the baking section of Michael’s.

I had a lot of fun making these little graduation decorations. To all the 2013 grads out there–Congrats on such a wonderful accomplishment!

Coconut Shrimp w/ Sauteed Peas & Rice


I used a recipe from Food Network’s Rachael Ray for the coconut shrimp and Barefoot Contessa for the sauteed peas. After I got used to coating the shrimp with coconut, it was pretty easy! Enjoy with a side of rice and you have a complete meal. =)
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Chocolate & Pecan Tartlets


Mmmmm…When I got this recipe in my email box, I was anxious to try it. Pecan pie is one of my favorite desserts-it’s a Thanksgiving dinner tradition for my family. One of my fondest childhood memories is picking fallen pecans from the grove of trees in our backyard.

For the first batch, I followed the recipe exactly. But I thought that it would have been better and easier with a few modifications, which I incorporated the second time around. I also used a regular muffin pan to make them larger (second photo). It’s easy to make but it takes time. Love ya mom!
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Peanut Butter-Chocolate Truffles

More truffles! This time I tried a peanut butter and chocolate recipe. I put hazelnuts in the center of the coconut-covered truffles and half a walnut in the center of the walnut-covered ones. I also covered the truffles with crushed chocolate-peppermint candy canes and toffee bits. Happy Holidays everyone!  View Recipe

Rangoon!

Crab cream cheese wontons are one of my favorite appetizers to make! The crab-cream cheese-breaded-onion mix is baked with a crispy wonton wrap and topped with shrimp and shredded cheese. They are delicious and extremely easy to make. Brush the wraps with butter for extra crispiness. You can also use oil or whisked eggs. FOOD FACT: This is one of those foods that ppl think are authentic chinese food, but they were actually created in the U.S. (Like the fortune cookie).

Kids <3 Yummy Soft Banana Cookies

I always bake these cookies with the kids… They love smashing up the bananas. I’ve also tried adding walnuts for a banana-nut cookie alternative. Next time, I’ll try chocolate chips. These cookies are soft, I like to think of them as a cross between a cookie and a muffin. A muffie? At any rate, I think these are the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. And they are probably a healthy alternative for kids.

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