Thursday, December 26, 2013

Citrusy Biscotti with Dried Cranberries, Chocolate Chips and Coconut

This recipe is adapted from my previous Tropical Biscotti Recipe. It is so delicious and I wonder why I only make biscotti during the Christmas holidays.   It is not difficult to make at all, you only need a hand whisk and then a spatula before using your hand to knead the dough.  The only troublesome part is you have to double or triple bake it.  I bake mine three times because I like it brown on all sides.

I already perfected this recipe the last time, even I go back to my old recipe to make biscotti, so you can rest ensure that it will turn out good, not hard rock that you couldn't even bite into it.  It is so good that you can eat it just like that or dip it in your coffee.  I received compliments on my biscotti every time I give it away.

Wishing all of you a very Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!!  It is a long holidays break for the kids, I guess I should start on a new Korean drama marathon.  *wink*

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Dongzhi Festival !!

Dongzi Festival falls on the first day of winter.  Chinese celebrate it by eating "Tang Yuan" or glutinous rice balls.  By eating the tang yuan, you are also a year older or wiser.  *wink*  They also cook an elaborate meal to celebrate it with family members. 

These tang yuan were shaped by both my girls.  It is great that now they are able to help me in the kitchen and doing some house chores.  My eldest is interested in learning how to cook now, thus far, she can make her own ramen noodle with eggs and fried eggs.  I will slowly teach her more, it's my way of imparting my cooking knowledge to the next generation.  So that they will know what to do when they are in college.

Last but not least, HAPPY DONGZHI FESTIVAL to all who celebrated and also Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all my readers and family!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crunchy Pumpkin Spiced Cookies

I finally succeeded in making a better, crispier and crunchy pumpkin cookies than my previous attempt.  Since I don't use canola oil now, I have to find a substitute for it.  I can't use peanut oil because I mostly make this as gift besides our own consumption.  You know, have to be careful about peanut allergy these days.  I don't want to use my extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil because they are expensive.  So, I left with butter, butter is what our grandma used in the old days anyway before cheaper oil replaced it in baking.  Anyway, today we know that butter is a good fat and it would not raise your cholesterol level by eating it in moderation.  So, I am not afraid of butter anymore and have been using it to substitute my older recipes that called for canola oil.  As for my Chinese New Year cookie recipes, I will either use peanut oil or butter as the substitute.

This is so crunchy and delicious!  You just have to make it to believe it!  Now I learned the trick, I have to shape it thin and bake it until it's slightly brown to make it crunchy.  As you can see above, I make it for teachers at school and I hope they like this little crunchy pumpkin spiced cookie!  :-)

If you make this, please do feedback to me ya! 

Friday, December 13, 2013

All Natural Red Hue Pickled Ginger Slices

I discovered a way of making the all natural red hue pickled ginger slices so I want to share it with you all.  I actually thought of this while writing a draft post for the raspberry vinegar that I made.  What a coincidence that I was put off by the store-bought version when I realized that they actually used artificial red colorings to make it red.  As my readers probably know, I am trying to feed my family with healthy food choices and cutting down or eliminate artificial food colorings and flavorings are one of it.  I am 100% concurred with the saying that if you are going to feed yourself anyway, why don't feed your body with all natural and nutrients rich superfood?  Why feed your body with more chemicals and toxic (we already have enough of that via air, water, environment, etc), and burden your body to work extra hard to get rid of it?  If your body is overworked all the times everyday, what would happen?  Think about it!

Monday, December 09, 2013

Blackberry Preserves

I love making berries preserves.  Whenever berries are on sales, I would buy a lot (my bad habit) and since we couldn't taste the berries first, it is like playing with luck, sometimes we would get sweet berries and sometimes we would end out with sour berries.  Luckily these days whenever I end out with lots of sour berries, I know I can make jam/preserves with it.  When blackberries were on sales, I bought a lot again because normally blackberries were sweet, unlike raspberries most of the times were sour.  So, imagine my dismay when it turned out to be sour, so sour that none of us want to eat it.  Hence, I made some refrigerator preserves with it, even without realizing it, I have been making my own jam/preserves throughout the summer (blueberries, raspberries and now blackberries).  I also have some blueberries freeze up to make some preserves during the winter.  Another winter jam that I like best is cuties clementines!  I am waiting for cuties to go on sales.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Baked Butter Tilapia Fillets

Baked fish seem like the easiest way to prepare fish for me these days.  It is basically fuss free and ready in 10 minutes.  Since we like the flavor of butter and some crispiness on the fish, I used the dried chopped onion on the fish, it provides the crispiness to the fish fillets.  Also added some dried celery flakes, I guess extra celery flakes and onion won't hurt as those two are pretty much superfood.  Just season lightly with natural sea salt or Himalayan rock salt for the natural minerals.  Just pair it with steamed broccoli and carrot (if you don't eat carb or rice) and Viola and there you have it!