Sunday, April 14, 2013

Palm Sugar Puffed Rice

Every time I had leftover rice, I never really knew what to do with them. For steamed rice (or sometimes called Jasmin rice), I usually stir-fried them with ham or eggs. But with sticky rice(sometimes called sweet rice), I just threw them out.

My mom recently retired and moved in with me and my family. One day I saw her playing with the leftover sticky rice. She broke them into little clusters then set them out to dry in the sun. She told me to deep fried them. I did. Oh boy, they were delicious.

Then I remember this simple and delicious snack I had when I was a little girl. They were crispy rice with something sweet on top. My mom mentioned coconut milk with something, something, and it darned on me that I had palm sugar in the pantry. I decided to make a thick simple syrup to drizzle over the puffed rice. Wow, what a combo! They tasted great and very addicting. Definitely a movie snack. And a big approval from my mom.

If you don't have any dried cooked rice, try drizzle the syrup over the puffed cereal like Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice. They don't form into small clusters and may not have that fried crispy texture, but they are still pretty delicious. Click here for instruction on how to make puffed rice.

Remember to make only the amount you want to eat as these puffed rice stay crispy for only two to three days.

Palm Sugar Puffed Rice
inspired by my mom's recipe
make 1 cup

24 oz safflower or vegetable oil
1/2 cup dried cooked rice
1/2 cup (4 oz) palm sugar
2 Tablespoons water
  1. In a fry pan or saucepan, heat the oil to 350°F.
  2. Drop a handful of dried cooked rice and deep fried until they puff up, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the clusters.
  3. Transfer them onto a dish towel to drain. Then transfer them to a plate.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt together palm sugar and water until it has the consistency of a thick syrup. Note: For every 1/4 cup of palm sugar, add 1 tablespoon of water. Double or triple this recipe as needed.
  5. Drizzle the syrup over the puffed rice.
  6. Enjoy them right away or store the leftover in the air tight container.

Allergy Info: These palm sugar puffed rice is free from dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, wheat, and fish.

Here's a story about rice. They can be enriched and you betcha if they do, they probably have something corn in it. I buy a big 25 pound bag of rice at the Asian markets. Look for a bag with just a type of rice written on the bag such as Jasmine Rice or Sweet Rice. It should not have the word "enriched" on the bag. If you do buy rice from the American groceries stores like Walmart, be sure to call the company and ask how their rice are processed. Companies are not required to list how they process their products. If you are super sensitive to corn or soy, ask about their packaging as well.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

FINALLY!!! I found a can of peaches with only peach slices in apple juice. Most of the peaches in cans or frozen bags have citric acid to prevent coloring. So it was like searching for a pot of gold... well, you know what I mean.

Anyway, I found a cupcake recipe that uses peaches and thought of making some for Brek's school breakfast. Why not eat cupcakes for breakfast if I can make them myself with finest ingredients, right? 

The whipping cream frosting is optional. If you are sensitive to dairy, the cupcake itself still satisfies your sweet tooth. Most of the time, my kids like to eat their cupcakes without frosting. Less work for me, so I'm not complaining.
Peaches and Cream Cupcakes
adapted from Cupcakes and Muffins: 100 everyday recipes
makes 5 to 6 cupcakes
7 oz canned peach slices (Native Forest)
1/3 cup (1.5 oz ) all-purpose flour (King Arthur)
1 teaspoon baking powder (Featherweight or homemade)
1 to 2 teaspoons grounded flax seeds
1 Tablespoon reserved peach juice
1/4 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
1 large egg (Eggland's Best)
Cream Frosting
1/2 cup (4 oz) heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla granulated sugar (homemade)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 6-cupcake pan with foil or paper liners.
  3. Reserve six peach slices for decoration (optional) and chop the rest.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and grounded flax seeds. Set aside.
  5. In a large bowl, using a hand whisk or a hand mixer, beat together peach juice, coconut oil, sugar, and egg. 
  6. Add the flour mixture and beat until just combine.
  7. Fold the chopped peaches into the batter.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared cupcake liners.
  9. Bake until a tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.
  10. Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. To make the cream frosting, using the hand mixer, whisk the heavy whipping cream and sugar until stiff peaks form.
  12. After the cupcakes are cool completely, frost each cupcake with the cream frosting. If using, place the peach slices on the frosting.
  13. Enjoy or place them in the refrigerator to keep the cream frosting firm.
Allergy Info: My peaches and cream cupcakes are free from or can be made without dairy, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish.

If you are sensitive to chicken eggs, replace it with 4 to 5 quail eggs or omit the grounded flax seeds ask for in the recipe and replace it with one tablespoon of grounded flax seeds mix with 3 tablespoons of warm water.