Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Crisps

For me, anything with cinnamon and sugar is pretty addictive. I tested just one pan fried tortilla dough then sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar. Hello!!! Why didn't I think of this before.

These cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps serve a big crowd. I usually make about three, just enough for me and my kids. Since they are pan fried, they taste better eaten right away. But I confess that I ate them at a room temperature several time and... still additive.

These crisps are super fast and super easy. Plus, they are tasty with hot chocolate, hot or ice coffee, lemonade, smoothie... hmmm... you get the idea, right?

Cinnamon Sugar Tortilla Crisps
serves 5-6

1/2 my flour tortilla recipe
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a lot of safflower oil
  1. Make the tortilla dough as directed.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Heat an 8-inch frying pan on a medium low heat.
  4. Add a tablespoon of oil.
  5. Take about a small dough and roll it out thinly.
  6. Gently place the dough on the heated oil.
  7. Pan fry for about a minute per side.
  8. Transfer the tortilla crisp on a plate.
  9. Sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar on both side right away.
  10. Pan fry the rest of the tortilla dough, adding the oil as needed.
  11. Cut them into desired shapes. Enjoy!!!
TIPS: Keep the tortilla crisps warm in a 200F degree oven. When ready to serve, cut them into desired shapes.

STORING: Because these crisps are pan fried, it's best to enjoy them right away. Keep them in an air tight container at a room temperature for 2 days. They won't be crispy but still are pretty tasty.

Allergy Info: These cinnamon sugar tortilla crisps are free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), nuts, and fish.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fruit of the Earth Bread

In honor of Earth Day, which is April 22nd, I present to you the Fruit of the Earth Bread.

I saw this recipe of the same name in the King Arthur's cookbook and decided to bake one using my bao dough recipe. Not much to write about really. It's a fruity and nutty bread that can be served for breakfast or snack.

Super easy to bake. I usually have extra bao dough left to play around with. So if you want to make more, just double or triple the recipe.

Another tip for baking this bread is not to worry too much about measuring out the dried fruits and nuts. Just estimate the amounts. Maybe add more raisins than walnuts. Or vice versa.

Fruit of the Earth Bread
makes 1 6-inch log

10 oz. from my bao dough recipe
1 oz. raisins
0.5 - 1 oz. dried cranberries
1 oz. raw walnuts, roughly chopped
1 large egg yolk
1/2 Tablespoon water
  1. Place a nonstick matt over the baking tray. Set aside.
  2. Make bao dough as directed in my recipe.
  3. Take out about 10 oz. of the dough.
  4. Knead a dough for about 30 seconds.
  5. Roll the dough out into any size or shapes.
  6. Sprinkle the dried fruits and nuts all over the dough.
  7. Bring the dough together and shape into an 6-inch log. NOTE: Remember that this bread will expand after bake, so it'll be about 8-inch log once baked.
  8. Place it on a prepared tray.
  9. Let the dough rises for about 20 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  11. To make the egg wash, whisk together the egg yolk and water. NOTE: See "Allergy Info" for alternative egg-free wash.
  12. Brush the bread with egg wash.
  13. Bake the bread in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  14. Transfer the bread to the wiring rack and let it cool for about 10-15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!!!
STORING: This fruit of the Earth bread can be kept in an air tight container for up to 3 days. It freezes wrapped in a foil then plastic for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: This fruit of the Earth bread is free from or can be made without dairy, corn, legumes (soy), and fish. If you have egg allergy, mix together 1/4 cup of hot water with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Then brush the baking soda water all over the bread instead of using the egg wash. You can also skip this step, but the bread might come out not as golden brown. But still taste good. If you have nuts allergy, substitute the nuts with sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds or omit them all together.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kitchen Tip: spring cleaning a pantry

At least twice a year, I'd go through my pantry and rearrange pantry goodies. Depending on how the pantry is setup, I really have to think of how to utilize each shelf and each corner to the max. I mainly want to keep everything neat and clean and not so much of organizing anything. This is why I usually end up going through my pantry when I get super irritated with "where's this?" or "where's that?"

When I step into my pantry and look up, I can imagine so many more shelves. Guess what? I asked a guy to estimate how much it would cost to put up maybe one more shelf across the pantry. Three hundred bucks. WHAT??? No, thanks. I bought a few stackable baskets from Walmart and have been using them to store my baking supplies, such as cupcake liners. Bags of chips fit in the baskets perfectly. Easy to view too. Oh the basket was only five bucks each. Take that, Mr. Handyman!

The middle shelves are much easier to view. With these shelves, I store mostly foods such as dry pasta or noodles. Nuts do go into mason jars, labeled each jar of the day I open the packages. Nuts are tricky to store because they get so oily and taste kinda "blah" after a month. I definitely make sure I use nuts regularly. Use Sharpie to write the dates as they can be scrub off easily with stainless steel wools. The hanging shelf basket for the napkins that I pack for Brek's lunchbox is also another way to utilize more pantry space.

The bottom shelves of my pantry are really deep... and dark. I can't hardly see things that store in the back of these shelves. I usually store pans or containers that I don't use often. Baskets are a must. I use them to store plastic containers (highly recommend Lock-N-Lock containers), open packages of snacks, and paper or plastic utensils. One of these days, I'll make labels for these baskets.

Now all I have to do each time I decide to spring cleaning my pantry is to group the same items together. I take everything out of each shelf, starting from the top. Wiping down each shelf with damp cloth and then dry cloth before placing everything back where they belong. Before I know it, everything has its home. Most of the time, I'd end up with at least a bag full of garbage of expired foods, half eaten open bags of chips, or just empty boxes.

You know what, it doesn't have to be Spring time to spring cleaning my pantry. To this day, Brek still tells me that he would luv to spring clean my pantry for free. My kids luv to clean. Next time, I'll have to make it a homeschool special event, follow with something sweeter. Hmm... maybe I should make my pantry messy again.... soon.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Homemade Baking Powder

Ok, I confess. I like to buy prepackaged baking powder, the Featherweight Baking Powder. At Whole Foods, one container costs almost six dollars. And every time I bought one, I always had a thought in the back of my mind, "Why don't I just make my own?" Well, it's one of those things that I've been making everything from scratch and if there is a clean prepackaged product, I'd rather buy it.

Last weekend, I was looking to buy another container but none was available. I can't bake without a baking powder.

A long time ago, I made a note on how to make my own baking powder. Searching on line confirmed that a baking powder is basically a mixture of baking soda and cream of tartar. Adding corn starch to keep the mixture fresh. But I decide not to add corn starch or any other starches. Just keep my baking powder in an air tight container, like a mason jar, at a room temperature. I'd make as little as possible so my baking powder stays fresh.

Homemade Baking Powder
makes as much as you like

1 part baking soda
2 parts cream of tartar
  1. Measure out the baking soda and cream of tartar. To be accurate, use a kitchen scale. NOTE: I measure out 0.5 oz. baking soda to 1 oz. cream of tartar.
  2. Shift both ingredients together twice.
  3. Place the baking powder in an air tight container at a room temperature.
STORING: Keep the baking powder in an air tight container at a room temperature for up to 3 months.

Allergy Info: This baking powder is free from or can be made without dairy, eggs, corn, legumes (soy), wheat, nuts, or fish.