Friday, January 16, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes

Apple Cinnamon PancakesK love pancakes. So I made him some with grated apples. This way I can finish up my stash and feed him some more fruit. This is the easiest pancake recipe ever. It's not that fluffy, so it's not Hubby's fave, but it's awesome when I'm too lazy to look for my usual fluffy blueberry pancakes recipe (although if you do replace the blueberries with shredded apple in the blueberry pancakes recipe, it's the best pancakes I've ever had. No joke). ;)

I find that when everything is at room temperature, I don't end up burning the pancakes before they're cooked. And that's always been an issue with me and most pancake recipes. Either that or it'll take forever to cook over a medium low heat. -_-

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
(serves 4)

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1 egg, room temperature & lightly beaten
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • Butter or canola oil for greasing pan

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. 
  2. Pour in milk, egg and mix until combined.
  3. Stir in grated apple. 
  4. Heat up a nonstick pan over medium heat. Lightly coat with butter or canola oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and cook until edges look dry and bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake. Flip and cook the other side. 
  5. Repeat with remaining batter, lightly coating the pan with butter or oil between each pancake. 
  6. Serve with maple syrup and coffee or milk. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Applesauce K loves his applesauce, so I make it. Come to think of it, I tend to make a lot of stuff that the boys loves. Best way to actually ensure they eat their food, right?

This is one of the best ways to get K to have some apples. He doesn't tend to like them much when you slice them up. Picky little boy, eh?

You can totally make this as one of baby's first foods by removing the salt, cinnamon and lemon juice.

(makes ~2 cups)

  • 8 medium apples, cored, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • A splash of water

  1. Toss everything into a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until apple chunks are soft to the touch.
  2. Use a stick blender to purée or transfer to a food processor to purée.
  3. Serve as a side to pork chops, with oatmeal, over pancakes, by itself, as an ingredient for other recipes, etc. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
I swear a secret to a good grilled cheese sandwich is to have the bread lightly toasted first BEFORE you put the cheese in the middle.

I've made a buttload of grilled cheeses in my day, whether it be in the toaster oven, pan, or even the sad microwave. But this is definitely the way I like it most. Of course I use Kraft Singles, cuz it just tastes like my childhood. Hubby can't handle the process stuff so I gotta use real cheddar for his - claims I spoiled him with real food. I suppose it's a good thing, right? :P

This is a simple enough recipe but it's a good reminder. Plus maybe it'll be useful for the kids when they grow up...One can only hope, right? ;)

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
(serves 2)

  • 4 whole wheat bread slices
  • 2 (any) cheese slices
  • 4-6 Tbsps mayonnaise

  1. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Spread mayonnaise on one side of the bread and place the mayo-side down in the pan. Top with a slice of cheese. Spread one side of another slice of bread with mayonnaise and place it non-mayo-side down on top of the cheese.
  2. Once the bottom slice of bread turns golden brown, use a spatula to flip the whole thing over to brown the other side of the sandwich.
  3. Cook until both sides are golden brown. Transfer to a cutting board and slice sandwich in half, diagonally. Repeat with the other sandwich.
  4. Serve with milk or tomato soup, etc.

If you have a big pan, you can do two at a time. I don't have a big enough pan to make two at a time without squishing the sandwiches, so I just use a small 8" pan and make the sandwiches individually. It's not so bad when you only need to make two sandwiches.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Wrapless Lo Mai Gai

Wrapless Lo Mai GaiThis is by far one of my favourite things to eat at dim sums. The only pitfall is that it's really filling so then you can't have as much of the other yummy stuff at dim sums. That being said, I usually don't order it or I'll order it and then not eat it so I can save it to go. Teehee.

You can wrap it in parchment paper (if you don't have the lotus leaves) and then steam it for 15 minutes in a steam basket to make a more traditional Lo Mai Gai. But I didn't care for any of it so I just topped the sticky rice with the filling in this "wrapless" Lo Mai Gai. ;)

Note: If using a pot to cook the rice, then soak rice in water overnight and add enough water so that it's 1 part rice and 1.5 part liquid. Add seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Turn off heat and let stand for 10-15 minutes before stirring/serving.

Wrapless Lo Mai Gai
(serves 4)

  • 3 "cups" uncooked sweet/glutinous rice
  • 4 chicken skinless boneless chicken thighs, cubed
  • 5-7 Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated & sliced/diced, steeping liquid reserved 
  • 2 lap cheong (Chinese sausage), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp five-spice
  • 1 Tbsp ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsps yellow wine/shaoxing wine
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tsps cornstarch, divided
  • 2 Tbsps sesame oil, divided
  • Water

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together five-spice, ginger, garlic, sugar, wine, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil with the chicken thighs. Marinate for 30 minutes on the counter.
  2. Rinse out the rice and add the reserved mushroom steeping liquid and enough water to meet the 3 cups line. Add in a tablespoon of sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook sweet rice in the Instant Pot using the rice option. 
  3. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, toss in the lap cheong slices until they become bright red and the oil comes out. Make a large well in the middle and add the marinated chicken thighs and mushrooms. Cook until chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently.
  4. Meanwhile, make a slurry out of the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch and 1/2 cup of water. Add to the wok or skillet, scraping up any brown bits. Cook until the sauce thickens. Turn off heat.
  5. Scoop rice into 4 bowls and top with skillet mixture, drizzling extra sauce over the rice.
  6. Serve hot with soup and steamed veggies.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

(Matcha) Green Tea Cake

(Matcha) Green Tea Cake
I had wanted to make this for Hubby for his birthday, but never ended up doing it cuz I was too tired from being pregnant at the time. I did end up eventually doing it about a month and half later though. This turned out pretty nicely. K even helped to make it. The kid is turning out to be a pretty good sous chef. ;)

(Matcha) Green Tea Cake
(serves 12-14)

  • 2 cups cake flour (or 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted)
  • 6 tsps (matcha) green tea powder, divided
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola/vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (or 2 Tbsps white vinegar + enough milk to make 1 cup of sour milk [let sit for 5 minutes before mixing into batter])
  • 3 tsps vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 250g (8oz) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsps butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and line the bottom of two 9" round pans with parchment paper. Grease the sides, if not using teflon pans. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, 4 teaspoons of green tea powder, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat sugar, oil, eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract until smooth. Add in half of the sifted flour mixture. Beat on low until just incorporated.
  4. Add in yogurt and beat on low until just incorporated.
  5. Add in remaining flour mixture and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and beat for another second or two until just incorporated.
  6. Divide batter into the pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester (aka dry spaghetti pasta) comes out clean when poked into the center of the cake.
  7. Cool for 1 hour or so until the cake is at room temperature.
  8. Meanwhile, make the frosting by beating cream cheese with butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, icing sugar, milk and the remaining 2 teaspoons of green tea  powder until smooth.
  9. Once the cake layers have cooled to room temperature, use a serrated knife to level/slice off the top rounded layer of the cakes. Spread 1/3 of the frosting on top of one of the layers. Top with the other layer of cake. Frost a thin (crumb) layer of frosting on the surface of the cake with an offset spatula. Wipe clean and spread remaining frosting all over the cake. To make a swirly pattern like in the picture, use the rounded side of a large spoon to press down, twist, then lift up.
  10. Serve with coffee or milk.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Meat & Potatoes Stew

Meat & Potatoes StewThis is Hubby's favourite stew. It's even better the day after, as with most stews and chilis. It's fantastic if you have it with some crusty bread as well. Honestly I can just dip the bread into the stew with the carrots and have Hubby finish everything else. Lol.

Meat & Potatoes Stew
(serves 4-6)

  • 2lb stewing meat or chuck roast cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 1 large onion, julienned
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
  • 2-3 cups beef broth (just enough to cover the beef 3/4 of the way)
  • 2 Tbsps smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tsp cornstarch, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Water

  1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. When heated, add oil. Meanwhile, toss beef with 1/4 cup of cornstarch. 
  2. When oil is heated, shake off any excess cornstarch and sear beef on all sides. Seat in 2 batches so as not to overcrowd. This is going to take a long time but it's well worth it. 
  3. When beef is all seared, add onions, garlic, allspice, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, rosemary, paprika, bay leaves and 1 cup of beef broth. Mix well and scrape off the brown bits from the bottom. Add beef back into the pot and cover with remaining beef broth (enough to just cover the beef 3/4 of the way. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat to the lowest heat and simmer for 2 hours. 
  4. Turn the heat back up to medium high. Addin potatoes and carrots. Add about a cup of water (just enough to ensure potatoes are covered). Bring to a boil, lower heat to lowest setting, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. 
  5. Make a slurry out of the remaining teaspoon of cornstarch and a tablespoon of cold water. Mix into the sauce to thicken up. Heat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Serve with crusty bread. If you want to be extra healthy, add some baby spinach to the bowls before ladling in the stew. The heat from the stew will cook the spinach for extra iron. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef SandwichFunny story. I hadn't had the motivation to cook for a WHILE now and after I made this, Hubby asked if I took a picture yet. After I said no, he asked "then how will you remember how you made this? You have to put this on your blog! :O" And this is how I started blogging again...

This sandwich recipe is super spicy for my sis and I so we put a generous amount of mayonnaise to help temper it. The guys loved it as is so they just had it in the form of meat and bread! We originally toasted the bread with some cheddar cheese (see pic), but we found that it wasn't necessary. Just put more meat with the bread and lots of mayonnaise for those who can't handle the heat.

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Sandwiches 
(serves 4-6) 

  • 2lb chuck roast
  • 1 199g (7oz) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp granulated garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tap pepper
  • 4-6 ciabatta buns, halved
  • Mayonnaise (optional)

  1. Place everything except the beef and bread into the slow cooker. Mix well. 
  2. Place beef into the mixture and turn to coat all over. 
  3. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. When finished cooking, shred beef with two forks and mix with juices. Keep warm until ready to serve. 
  4. To serve, lightly toast ciabatta bread. (Optional) slather a generous amount of mayonnaise on each halves of the bread. Top one half with the shredded beef with peppers and top with second slice of bread. Cut on a bias (easier to eat). Serve with soup and salad.