July 24, 2012

Mini Lattice Pies...

I'm like a fat kid eating cake when it comes to pie...
or chocolate, ice cream, brownies, .... anyways,
Remember the Mini apple pie?

Well, this is the same but blueberry and apple lattice.
Purchase a box  (I usually get 2... 1 for extra---
and you can always freeze the rest for another time)
of already made pie crust. Roll it flat and take a jar lid or something round
to do a cut on that will fit your muffin pan. After spraying the muffin tin, you can
fill your pie with pre-cooked strawberry or blueberry, even black berry, apple etc...

To pre-cook the berries or diced up apple--
all you have to do is add a little spoonful of butter or you can just use
about 3-4 TBSP of water (if you don't want the extra butter) and simmer your fruit 
on a saute pan for about 15-20 minutes until it breaks down.

You can add a full top of the pie like my previous mini apple pie
or make little strips to make it a lattice.
Apple pies are often known to have the lattice top.
Lattice is a type of pattern (if you didn't already know that)  
Similar to my friend's new fence which is a lattice fence.

It's quite simple and not as overwhelming like a large pie might be.
It's also great for portion control and great to easily share or have as presentable desserts. 

Bake in the oven on about 350 degrees until the crust gets to be a golden brown color.
You also want to place your muffin tin in the center of your oven on the middle rack
as well for even distribution of heat but, these are little so the bottom of the pies 
shouldn't really get soggy like a large pie might get.  Just think middle when baking 
this mini pie from muffin tins.  Muffin tins are the ultimate double-duty times a hundred. 
It really is endless what you can use a muffin tin for!

July 7, 2012

Nengmyun (Cold Buckwheat Soup)

Nengmyun is a cold Korean noodle soup.
Now, it might be slightly weird sounding when I say cold soup
especially a cold noodle soup but this broth literally gets ice in it.

Nengmyun is especially good to eat on a hot summer day.
It's not too difficult to make as well.

The noodles are often made of buckwheat but can be found in potato and
arrow root these days as well as seaweed and even green tea flavor.
They are very wire-like and extremely stiff before cooking.

Once you boil them they will get waaay more pliable and soft.
They are very chewy but that's the fun and number 1 characteristic of Nengmyun. 
The long and chewiness of the noodles. Traditionally,
the noodles were eaten long and not cut to symbolize good health and long life.
These days people often cut the noodles with kitchen food scissors. 
(Please don't use the scissors in your garage!)

After boiling the noodles, you can taste a noodle or 2 and once they are soft, they are done.
Nengmyun noodles are often wrapped around your hand to make bunches that stay as
clever bunches because of the starch. 

The broth is a beef broth.  You can get any kind of beef chuck
and typically because chuck has a little more fat in it 
so the juices of the beef really make this broth tasty.
I like to add a drizzle of soy sauce and sesame oil. (about 1 TBSP)


Once the broth has been vigorously boiling for a minimum of 30+ minutes ---
You can take that beef chuck and slice it into long strips or flat pieces 
and drizzle a little soy sauce, and some hot pepper flake/powder. 
You can add some chives or scallions also if you'd like.
As far as the broth, take it off the stove, put it into a large bowl and 
add a dozen ice cubes to chill it.

You also want some type of pickled veggie. Typically, a pickled cucumber and 
radish go into Nengmyun. They are usually separate but I decided to julienne the 
2 and combine them. I used a mandoline for the cucumber and radish.  
I then added a drizzle of rice vinegar and more hot pepper flakes and a sprinkle 
of salt and a teaspoon of sugar)

Closeup it even looks better. Doesn't it? Hello... anyone there?

Nengmyun is also always topped with a hard boiled egg.

Add your mound of noodles, top with the cucumber/radish, add the beef, 
hard boiled egg and then ladle in your chilled broth. 
This chilled noodle dish is quite refreshing on a hot summer day
but it's actually really good all year round. 
ENJOY your Nengmyun with chopsticks!

July 4, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Croissants

Did you know that strawberries help lower sugar?
Strawberries also help our immune systems grow stronger,
it aids in the kidney and urinary tracts and they also work as
anti-inflammatory agents as well.

Hmm, what else might be interesting about the strawberry?
WELL, the strawberry is the only fruit to have the seeds on the outside
and an average strawberry is known to have about 200 seeds.
They are also the first fruit to ripen EVERY. SINGLE. Spring.

Strawberries are grown in every single state of the USA but California
grows the most... so many that they say if you lay them berry to berry
it would wrap around the earth 15 times...
I always wonder who estimates these silly facts.

Even though there are soooooooooo many ways to enjoy the favorite berry--
here's another quick way to enjoy strawberries.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Croissants

Take a handful of strawberries, wash them, cut them up and.... throw them into a sauce pan on
medium heat and let them sweeten up and breakdown a little bit from the heat of the pan.

After about 15 minutes on the stove- it will start to have a jam consistency.
Turn the stove off and after 5 minutes of cooling down in a bowl, add a dollup
of cream cheese. Take out some already made crescent rolls that you can easily
purchase from the refrigerator section of the supermarket and ----

fill, roll and lay them on a tray/sheet/pan. I like to use the non stick foil because there
is no washing or scrubbing required afterwards. You simply take the croissants off 
and throw away the foil.

 After about 20-25 minutes on 325-350 degrees ----------- they will come out golden brown.

These would probably be best for a brunch on....... a yacht, in a sundress with a huge,
wide-brimmed hat and a spritzer.... I mean 
they are good as a snack anytime or place!