Pears Poached in Agua de Jamaica

It’s pear season, and also almost time for Halloween. I’ve been thinking of poaching pears in agua de jamaica for a while, and I based my poaching liquid off my favorite recipe for the drink in Adrianna’s The Year of Cozy. Sadly, my local market was out of oranges (which Adrianna uses in her recipe), so I used grapefruit. Grapefruit turned out to be a fantastic choice for the poaching liquid, as its acidity compliments that of the hibiscus. I actually ended up drinking the leftover straining liquid with water and it was great… Anyways, here’s the recipe.

Ingredients

Serves two + 1 drink

  • 1/2 C Dried Hibiscus Flowers
  • 1 T Vanilla Extract
  • 2 T + 2 t Sugar
  • 1 1/2 C Water
  • 1/2 C Ruby Grapefruit Juice
  • 2 Peeled Pears
  • Ice Cream to Serve

Instructions

  1. Mix together all the ingredients except the pears and ice cream. Bring them to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Put the peeled pears in and simmer for 25 minutes, flipping every 5 minutes.
  3. Let the pears cool in the liquid (at this point I ran to 7-Eleven for ice cream).
  4. You can drink the liquid after straining (I did this after adding water) or boil it down into a syrup for serving.
  5. Serve the poached pears with ice cream and enjoy!
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Sage & Squash Scones

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It’s autumn and squashes are everywhere. I love pumpkin scones and decided to make my own. But instead of going the pumpkin-spice route, I used my favorite ravioli flavor squash/pumpkin and sage. I don’t like canned pumpkin much, so I steamed and mashed some acorn squash (my favorite of the squashes), though you could use any mashed squash or pumpkin. I had them for a breakfast with two classmates while we watched Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

Ingredients (Makes 8)

  • 2 C Flour
  • 2 T Brown Sugar
  • 5 T Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 T Baking Powder
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 6 T Cold Cubed Butter
  • ½ C Mashed Acorn Squash (or Similar)
  • 3 T Heavy Cream
  • 1 Heaping T Coarsely Chopped Sage
  • 1 T Vanilla
  • 1 Egg

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C.
  2. Mix the chopped sage and heavy cream in a microwavable mug. Microwave until hot, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Then strain.
  3. Whisk together the flour, sugars, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.
  4. Use your hands to squeeze the butter into the flour until combined in a mixture where the butter pieces are no bigger than peas.
  5. In another bowl mix the squash, infused cream, vanilla, and egg until fully combined.
  6. Combine the contents of the two bowls until you get a smooth dough.
  7. Use the dough to make a circle that is 7 inches (17.75 cm) across or half an inch (1.25 cm) high. Cut this into eight triangles.
  8. Place the triangles on a parchment paper on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes until browned.
  9. After you take them out of the oven, cool them on a rack.
  10. Enjoy with good whipped honey (I used vanilla-bourbon flavored) and salted butter.

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Vegan Baked Mango-Coconut Donuts (or Mini Cake)

Some of my friends from my new hall in college are vegan so I decided to make a cool baked good for them. Before moving into my dorm I also purchased a bunch of cool extracts like mango, lychee, and ube to experiment with. Using the mini donut pan I got for my birthday last year, I made these fun treats.

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Makes 12 Normal Baked Donuts or 12 Mini Donuts + 5 ½” (14 cm) Cake

Ingredients

Donuts

  • 1¾ C Flour
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 ½ t Baking Powder
  • ¾ t Salt
  • ¼ C Bland Apple Sauce
  • ½ C Coconut Milk
  • 1 ½ t White Vinegar
  • ¼ C Vegetable oil
  • 1 t Mango Extract
  • ¼ C Water

Glaze

  • 3 C Powdered Sugar
  • 2 T Agave Syrup
  • 4-5 T Coconut Milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Mix together the coconut milk and white vinegar together in a large bowl.
  3. Mix together all the dry ingredients for the donuts in one bowl.
  4. Mix the apple sauce, oil, extract and water with the coconut milk-vinegar mixture.
  5. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  6. Spoon the batter into your greased pans of choice.
  7. If making the normal donut pan cook for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If using the mini donut pan bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If making it in a 5 ½” (14 cm) cook for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. After you remove the donuts/cake from the pan, let them cool and start to prepare the glaze.
  9. Whisk all the ingredients together for the glaze.
  10. Dip the cooled donuts in the glaze to coat them and pour the rest over the mini cake if you decided to make it.
  11. Decorate if you see fit and enjoy!

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Ovo Rocks Rock Cake

While I visited my family in Switzerland, I also put time into my goal of trying all of the Ovomaltine products and during this process I picked up some Ovo Rocks. I also learned that my cousin’s wife also shares my Ovomaltine obsession and is nicknamed Ovo-martine.

Any-how, since I’ve already made Ovomaltine-scones, I decided to make rock cakes. I based my basic portion of flour to sugar to liquid to etc., off of Ruby Tandoh’s rock cakes. As a quick side note, I adore Ruby Tandoh’s books and writing style and am eagerly awaiting the third book Eat Up that she teased on twitter.

The recipes makes four, but you could double it for eight rock cakes. If you don’t have access to Ovo Rocks and European-style Ovomaltine, use Maltesers and cocoa powder.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 C (50g) Dried Cherries
  • 1 T European Formula Ovomaltine (or Cocoa Powder)
  • 1 T Milk Powder
  • 1 1/2 t Sugar
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • ½ C + 2 Heaping T (75g) All-Purpose Flour
  • ¼ C + 3 T + 1 t (50g) Rye flour
  • 1 3/4 t Baking Powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ C Unpacked (63g) Brown Sugar
  • 5 T Unsalted Butter
  • A Little Over ½ a C (50 g) Ovo Rocks (Or Chopped Maltesers/Malt Balls)
  • 1 Large Egg Yolk
  • 2 T Brown Sugar for Sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C.
  2. In a small bowl mix the milk powder, ovomaltine, sugar, vanilla, and dried cherries. Add enough hot water to cover them.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flours, first part of the brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Now mix in the butter in with your hands until the pieces of butter are no larger than peas. Now mix in the ovo rocks.
  4. Drain the cherries and save the liquid.
  5. Gently mix the yolk into the flour mixture until it forms a sticky dough that can be made into a ball that sticks to your hands, add some of the reserved liquid if needed (I needed 3 T of it).
  6. Break the dough into eight four even pieces, placing them on a prepared baking tray, and sprinkle with the reserved brown sugar.
  7. Put them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until nicely browned.

Gooseberry Salsa

I’m visiting my cousins in Switzerland and they suggested we make Mexican food (probably since I come from California, or just because Mexican food is delicious). We decided to make tacos de carne asada (using the meat marinade from this book), but we needed a decent salsa to top it. My usual go to salsa verde, was not accessible using the ingredients from Coop or Migros. We decided to use the cousin of the tomatillo, the gooseberry, to make the salsa instead. I put together the ingredients and had my younger cousin blend them. The tacos were delicious and we had mangos with chamoy for dessert.

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Ingredients

  • 9 Gooseberries (Topped and Tailed)
  • 2 Small Onions (Sliced in Half)
  • ½ to 1 Bulb of Garlic (Sliced in Half)
  • 4 Hot Red Chilis (Any Kind Works Really*) with the stems removed
  • Bunch of Cilantro Chopped (About 1 C)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Vegetable Stock

*I just asked my cousin which chili was hottest while we were shopping so I don’t remember the name, any would work though as long as it is hot

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°
  2. On a greased or parchment paper covered tray lay out the gooseberries, onions, garlic and chilis.
  3. Drizzle them with olive oil and some salt and pepper.
  4. Cook them for 10-15 minutes until they start to look charred.
  5. Remove the garlic paper and then blend them with the cilantro, adding the stock as needed, to form your desired consistency.
  6. Enjoy with chips or on tacos.

 

Israeli Couscous Savior Salad

Last night I was making dinner for guests and thought I could save time by using a food processor on the potatoes. That was stupid and they became gluey, which is gross. I would be ashamed to serve them and decided I needed to make another starch, and fast. This salad includes all my favorite parts of grain salads I’ve tried in the past and is dead easy to put together.

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Serves four as a side.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 C Dried Israeli Couscous
  • 1 3/4 C Boiling Water
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1/4 C Chopped Sweet Onion
  • 1 t Sumac
  • 3 T Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 C Sultanas
  • 1/4 C  Crumbled Bulgarian Feta (or any other Feta, theirs is just my current favorite)
  • 1/4 C Toasted Pine Nuts
  • 1/4 C Minced Parsley

Instructions

  1. Put the couscous and oil in a sauce pan and brown them. Then add the boiling water and simmer until cooked for about 12 minutes.
  2. While it is cooking, mix together the onion, sumac and red wine vinegar in a small bowl. If the red wine vinegar doesn’t completely cover the onions add water to make it do so. Let this sit.
  3. Fluff the couscous when it is done cooking. Drain the onions and mix them in. Mix the rest of the ingredients in.
  4. It’s best served hot.

Bee and Puppycat Food

I am a HUUUGE fan of Bee and Puppycat! So much so that I themed the birthday where I became an adult after it.

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Instead of a cake, I made Puppycat Sufganiyot based off of the donut from the cover art of the first episode. I made the actual sufganiyot by taking My Name is Yeh’s dough and filling it with A Brown Table’s blueberry chocolate jam to achieve that midnight sky look. I decorated it with strawberries, chocolate, a leaf and sour cream frosting.

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For my main dish I served the “perfect sandwich” from the comic books using this bread, herby goat cheese, lox, spinach, hardboiled eggs (I didn’t fry them because I wanted to serve finger sandwiches), and avocado.

The teas shown in the right picture came from Emma Mctea’s Bee and Puppycat blends, all of which are excellent.

Unrelated to my birthday party, I also decided to use the lamb curry from Japanese Soul Cooking to recreate the above screen capture.

 

Spilled Milk Tea Roulade

I have made a series of tea blends with Adagio. I was making a cake roll and I thought the Spilled Milk Tea I had made would go well with what I was doing, so I went along with that feeling and made this cake roll. Its based off this recipe.

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Ingredients

Cake

  • 4 Eggs, separated
  • ¾ C Sugar
  • 1 T My Spilled Milk Tea (finely ground)
  • 2 t Vanilla
  • 1 t Almond Extract
  • ¾ C Cake Flour
  • ¾ t Baking Powder
  • ¼ t Salt

Filling

  • ½ C Almond Butter
  • ¼ C Cream Cheese
  • ½ C Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ C Heavy Cream
  • 2 T Chocolate Syrup
  • ⅓ C of Chopped Chocolate Caramels

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
  2. Mix together the egg whites until fluffy.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and tea in another bowl.
  4. In yet another separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, almond extract, and vanilla.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients with egg-yolk mixture. After this has been combined mix in the egg whites.
  6. Pour the batter into a 15 in x 10 in/ 38 cm x 25 cm inch pan that has wax-paper lining.
  7. Cook this in the oven for ten minutes.
  8. While it is cooking mix together all the ingredients (except the chocolate caramels) for the filling with an electric mixture until it looks ugly and stays that way one the electric mixer is done.
  9. When the cake is done, drop it onto a tea towel smeared with powdered sugar, roll the cake using the towel and let set for ten minutes.
  10. Once the time is up, spread the filling on the cake and dapple it with the chopped chocolate caramels. Roll it back up and enjoy.

Chive Corn Cakes

I really like corn and have been craving corn cakes lately. Last year I made these with my Grandmamam, but I wanted to try something new this time. I like mixing miso with corn so I decided to base the rest of what I did around that. I also really like chives so I made them the main flavor.

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 1/3 C of Roughly Chopped Chives
  • 2/3 C Flour
  • ⅓ C Masa Harina
  • 1 t Baking Powder
  • 2 Dried Kashmiri Chilis
  • 1 t Brown sugar
  • 1 Beaten Egg
  • 3 T Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 C Milk
  • 1 T White Miso
  • 2 T Butter
  • Oil for Cooking

Instructions

  1. Add the corn and chives to a food processor and turn it on. After they have been combined, add the flours, baking powder, chilis, and brown sugar. After this has all been combined in the food processor, set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, and then add the miso and mix it together a litte.
  3. In another bowl, mix the egg, yogurt, milk, and miso-butter.
  4. Add the we ingredients to the food processor and combine.
  5. Cook like you would pancakes and then enjoy!

Borage Lemonade

I really do love eating flowers. So when I saw a dried packet of unknown flowers in the spices section of the supermarket I bought it first and asked questions later. When I got home, most of the recipes I found online for borage required fresh flowers/plant parts, so they were out. However I also found that its supposed to taste like cucumber. My copy of The Lemonade Cookbook (my favorite source of salads) has cucumber lemonade, so I checked what they paired it with- mint. So I made a borage-mint simple syrup and mixed it with lemon juice and water.

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Ingredients

Serves 6

For Borage-Mint Simple Syrup

1/2 C Water

1/2 C Sugar

3 T Dried Borage Flowers

1 T Dried Mint

For the Rest of the Lemonade

3 C Water

1/2 C Lemon Juice

Instructions

  1. Mix together all of the simple syrup ingredients in a saucepan. Let simmer for 5 minutes until sugar is all dissolved. Let it cool for 10 minutes, and then strain out the flowers and mint.
  2. Mix it with the rest of the lemonade ingredients and enjoy.