Thursday, June 30, 2011

Recipe: Pulled Pork Dumplings

The other day, I made that Root Beer Pulled Pork.  There were a couple of cups leftover, so I decided to make dumplings with it!

You see, I got a new toy...

I got myself a bamboo steamer.  Awesome decision.  This thing is wonderful.  I can't wait to use it again.

Pulled Pork Dumplings

1 1/2 lb leftover pulled pork (mine had onions in it)
1/2 c hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1-2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 package wonton wrappers (you won't use them all)

Pulse the pulled pork in a food processor until ground.

Stir in hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sesame seeds, and sesame oil.

Into each wonton wrapper, put a small scoop of filling.  Wet the edges of the wrapper with water and pinch closed (I liked to make the ends meet diagonally, my brother liked to do a twisty thing.  Whatever floats your boat)

If you have a bamboo steamer, line with parchment if possible (with holes poked in it, or use these liners).  Place about 5-7 dumplings per layer, and steam over a simmering pot of water for about 6-8 minutes.  You can also boil them for about the same amount of time, but be careful to watch them and seal them tightly so they won't fall apart.

Use gyoza dipping sauce, or sweet red chili sauce for dipping. 
Served along with some fried rice, sauteed broccoli slaw

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Recipe: Root Beer Pulled Pork

I got this recipe from Stephanie O'Dea's More Make it Fast, Cook It Slow cookbook (my sister got it for me for Christmas.)  I modified it slightly.

It was yummy... I kind of wanted to reduce the juices in the crockpot and make a thicker sauce out of them.  I did not, because I didn't have time.  The Hubby wants me to make it again, and slather it with bbq sauce upon serving.

He is of the firm belief that everything is better with bbq sauce.

I honestly expected more root beer flavor, and that is why I wanted to reduce the cooking liquid, to try to achieve that.  It was still yummy, but didn't really taste like root beer...
See all those lovely juices?  They might have made a wonderful sauce...
Still, worth making.  Very easy and juicy.

Root Beer Pulled Pork

2 lbs boneless pork loin
2 c rootbeer (I used homemade from my Sodastream)
1 onion (sliced into rings)
~1/2 c ketchup
1 Tbsp Teeny Tiny Spice Co. Perfection Spice Rub (or your favorite spice mix)

Homemade rootbeer!
Combine all ingedients in a crockpot (I wouldn't use less than a 3.5 quart).  Cook on low all day.

When almost ready to serve, remove meat and onions from the crockpot and shred with two forks.  Pour some of the cooking juices onto the shredded meat.

Serve on buns (toasted would be better), with cheese if desired.

Check out some great Pork Loin recipes - brought to you by Reader's Digest Food.

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Giveaway at AllThingsForSale!

Though I haven't ordered from them yet, AllThingsForSale is a great Bento supply site - and they are having an awesome giveaway!  Head on over to enter...

But don't be mad at me if I hope I win...

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Lunch for the Boy: 6.27.11

My brother was watching the kids for me today, and while The Girl could have anything for lunch without worry, it is easier for everyone if I send a carb-counted lunch for the Type 1 Diabetic Boy.

Lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on fresh pain de mie (with sunflower seeds in it.  Mmm) - ~40 g carbs - some strawberries - 7g carbs - a cheese stick - 1 g - and a couple WhoNu cookies - 8 g each.

He ate every lick of lunch, and they all had a wonderful day together.

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Recipe: Strawberries & Cream Scones

The kids are going to be hanging out with my brother and his kids today (Boy's lunch to come), and I wanted to bring my brother some treats to thank him for watching them.

Scones!  Perfect!

I found this recipe on King Arthur Flour, and I followed it pretty closely.  I'll post the changes I made in my recipe below. 

I left off the glaze, but you could use it if you like.  I don't think they really need it.

Strawberries & Cream Scones
(Modified slightly from King Arthur Flour)

1/2 c diced fresh strawberries (2.5 oz by weight - this was 4 strawberries for me)
1/4 c sugar
2 Tbsp half & half or light cream (I used fat free French Vanilla Coffee Mate!)
2 c King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Perfect Pastry Blend
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
6 Tbsp frozen butter
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
a few drops Fiori di Sicilia, optional (I used it)
2/3 c diced fresh strawberries (3.5 oz by weight, 5 strawberries for me)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  In a food processor, combine the 1/2 c of strawberries with sugar and cream (or Coffeemate) until they are smooth.  Remove from the food processor and place in a separate bowl.  Whisk in the egg and extracts.  Set aside.

Place the shredding blade in the food processor.  Shred the frozen butter.  Replace the chopping blade in the food processor.  Add flour and baking powder and pulse until combined.

Pour the strawberry and cream mixture into the food processor while it's running.  Don't over process.

When the dough is just combined, pulse in the additional diced strawberries just until folded in. 

Scoop with a cookie scoop or by tablespoon onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until lightly browned.

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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Recipe: Scandinavian Brown Sugar Cookies

I got this fantastic vintage cookbook from a stash my aunt brought up for a family party we had.  It once belonged to my (100 % Swedish, off the boat) grandmother.  The cookbook was originally published in 1955.  Love it.

I decided to delve into it for my Sunday Kiss the Cook treat.  And they were delicious. 
I love the Viking Ship illustration!

Scandinavian Brown Sugar Cookies

1 c butter, softened
3/4 c brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg yolk
2 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375.  Cream together butter and brown sugar, and then add in egg yolk.  Add the flour, 1/2 c at a time.  Scoop the dough into small balls (I use my cookie scoop) and place about 2" apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Using the back of  a fork, flatten the balls to make a hash mark.  (The original recipe called for adding a pecan or walnut half onto the top of these cookies.  I had neither, so they were plain.  And deliciously so.)

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Let cool on the baking sheets for a couple minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool entirely.

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Recipe: Swedish Strawberry Cake

A Swedish Midsommar tradition, Strawberry Cake is not to be missed.

It's like a more composed strawberry shortcake.  It's delicious.  And, it's beautiful.

Swedish Strawberry Cake

4 eggs
1 2/3 c sugar
3/4 c hot water
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
1 2/3 c all-purpose flour

Filling & Topping:
~2 lbs strawberries
1/4 c sugar
1 8-oz tub cool whip (I used fat free)
1 package cream cheese (I used neufchatel 1/3 fat)
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line a 9" springform pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

Beat together eggs and sugar until fluffy.  Add the hot water to the egg & sugar mixture along with the vanilla.  Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.  Fold into the wet ingredients.
Pour into your prepared pan.  Bake for 35-45 minutes (a skewer inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean). Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, and then remove the sides of the springform pan.  Let cool on a wire rack completely before assembling the cake.

Slice the cake horizontally into three layers using a sharp bread knife.

Slice most of the strawberries into thin slices and sprinkle with sugar.  Allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Arrange strawberry slices between the layers of the cakes.  If possible, let sit for several hours in the refrigerator to give the strawberry juices time to soak into the cake.

For the topping, whip together cool whip and softened cream cheese.  Fold in the confectioner's sugar.

Cover the cake with the cream, and top with additional halved strawberries.  Enjoy!

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Friday, June 24, 2011

Recipe: Marshmallow Fluff Fondant

I've made marshmallow fondant before.  It's pretty easy and reasonably yummy.  Lately, I've totally been lazy and buying Duff's fondant.  It tastes much better than Wilton, and in a pinch, it's so easy to have fondant made!

But today, I needed fondant, and The Girl is sick, so I couldn't go out to Michael's to get it.  I could get someone to watch her for two seconds while I ran across the street to the grocery store, though.

One thing about marshmallow fondant is that you have to melt the marshmallows, add the confectioner's sugar, and then wait for it to cool.  You can't really use it the same day with happy results.  With fluff, no waiting is necessary!  Wonderful.  Here's how to make it.

Marshmallow Fluff Fondant

1 16-oz jar marshmallow fluff
6-8 c powdered sugar
1-2 tsp flavoring extract (if desired - I used lemon)
gel food coloring

(You can knead this by hand entirely, but I like my mixer).  Spray your stand mixer, paddle, and spatula with cooking spray.

Scoop the fluff into the bowl of the stand mixer.  Add coloring and flavoring as desired.  Working a cup or less at a time, beat in the confectioner's sugar and allow to knead.  When the fondant is no longer sticky, remove and wrap in plastic wrap until ready to use.  You may need to knead the final confectioner's sugar in by hand, on a greased surface.  My stand mixer started making unhappy noises in the motor.  Your might be sturdier than mine.
This is in the beginning

It ends up like playdough
You can use this to decorate cakes, cookies, cupcakes, or to make shapes to use on traditionally frosted cakes.  It's like edible play dough, so have fun!

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Recipe: Pantry Lemonade

The Girl is not feeling well today.  Her tummy is feeling poorly.  She asked for lemonade.

No fresh lemons in the house... but a giant bottle of lemon juice.
Sick Girl.  Cat helping her feel better.

So, here's a recipe for Pantry Lemonade.  It's not the fanciest lemonade you'll ever have, but it's yummy and easy and quick in a pinch.

The Girl approves.

Pantry Lemonade

Per 8 oz serving:
1 Tbsp simple syrup*
1 Tbsp lemon juice
~8 Tbsp cold water

Combine ingredients in an 8-oz glass, over ice if desired.  Adjust lemon or sweetness as desired.  Enjoy.

(You could scale this up and make it in a pitcher, if you like)

*Simple Syrup
1 1/2 c water
1 1/3 c sugar

Heat the water and the sugar in a saucepan until sugar is dissolved.  Transfer to a mason jar cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

(I use this simple syrup to sweeten cold drinks - like my iced coffee)

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Recipe: Baked Brown Rice

I used brown basmati rice for this recipe, and homemade chicken broth, but you can modify it however you would like.  Throw in some veggies if you like!

Super easy, delicious, and fool proof (I even messed up on the original directions, and it still worked beautifully).   It does a while longer than standard stove top recipes, but I think it's worth the extra time.

Baked Brown Rice

1 1/2 c brown rice (I used brown basmati)
2 1/3 c broth (chicken, veggie, or beef)
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375.  Spread the rice in a 8" square baking dish.  Stir broth and oil into the rice.

Cover with foil and bake for an hour.
Ready to enjoy!
Remove dish from the oven and uncover.  Fluff with a fork and cover with a clean kitchen towel.  Let sit for an additional 5 minutes (this will moisten it up some)

Remove towel and serve.

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