Saturday, July 30, 2011

Maggi Masala Noodles

Indian ramen (haha) that cooks in only two minutes.

Jasleen and I got some froyo (Jasleen got a blended coffee drink that ended up just tasting like coffee to her) at TCBY (one of my favorite frozen yogurt places back from when froyo wasn't so popular). I posted about their white chocolate mousse here. Then we looked around at the Indian food and grocery store a few doors down at India Cuisine & Spices ("Indian Fast Food"). I got some mango chutney and these Maggi noodles (and a different kind that I'll blog about later after I try 'em). These noodles below were pretty good. Not too spicy (hot) or spice-y (full of spices)...and fast! They pretty much look just like Japanese ramen (like Top Ramen) with the block of noodles that you cook in boiling water and the little seasoning packet you add to it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Buttery Cinnabon Cake (or Cinnamon Roll Cake)

Michelle F and I started baking about once a week! Two Mondays ago we made this cinnamon roll cake (found the recipe on Lovin' From the Oven,who got it from The Girl Who Ate Everything, who got it from Picky Palate, who got it from her brother-in-law's mom). We used the recipe on Lovin' From the Oven (there have been a few modifications along the way). It's a tiny bit too sweet, but I didn't notice that until the second time I ate it. That's just my opinion. Michelle and I both thought it was delicious, and we'd make it again! Ohh man I love pecans. And butter. And sugar. And cinnamon.

 Cinnamon Roll Cake (recipe found here):

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) real butter, melted
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) real butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (optiona) - Always measure the nuts first then chop them...did not know this. We used already-chopped pecans intended to top a salad because we couldn't find pecans at the store.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Mix together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs & vanilla
  3. Stir in the 1/2 cup melted butter
  4. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan
  5. For the topping, mix 2 sticks of softened butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon & pecans until well combined. Drop evenly over cake batter by spoonfuls & use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake (the fun part!)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min or until toothpick comes out clean from center
  7. For the glaze, mix powdered sugar, milk & vanilla in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth & pour over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fresh Strawberries 'n' Cream Granita

Summer 2011 granita #2! More to come. I'm obsessed. Yes...that is a sake cup above. The granita was made with fresh strawberries, whole milk, and sugar. That's it! So good! How much of each? That's up to you. I didn't measure. I just kept mixing in sugar until I thought it tasted good (you have to be careful when you use fresh strawberry chunks because they can be kinda sour when contrasted with sweetened milk.

I made this granita for Blake and Scott because Blake likes to eat strawberries, milk, and sugar together. Figured freezing the same ingredients would also be good to him. We shall see tonight!

I recently made a coffee granita here. Last summer I made a few fruit-based granitas for my grandparents, and they enjoyed them. What's awesome about any granita is that you can let it melt a little before you serve it, and it'll be both smooth and liquid-y and icy and crunchy! Like shaved ice turning into a milkshake (if you use milk as an ingredient).

The messier, not-so-great pictures of the granita-making process:

Coffee Granita

Granitas are SO awesome...and so simple and easy to make at home.

How do you make them? Mix together the ingredients you want to include, freeze 'em, and then scratch it all with a fork. Sounds weird, but you end up with basically shaved ice, and you don't need any fancy or expensive machines!

Recipe: Mix together strong coffee, whole milk, sugar, and vanilla extract (optional). Freeze in a bowl. Scrape with a fork. Wayy easy. The proportions are up to you.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Twice Baked Potatoes

The Pioneer Woman is one of my favorite food bloggers. Her photography is great too, and I just bought her cookbook (

These potatoes are sooo rich and delicious, but I could not stop thinking about how much butter and fat in general is in them, so next time I'll use less butter and sour cream with lower fat.  See recipe below (original here). I made these for Blake 'cause he and I love potatoes. He also loves bacon and cheese and the rest of the ingredients.

Twice Baked Potatoes (original recipe here):

8 potatoes
2 cubes butter
1 cup sour cream
1 cup bacon bits
1/4 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
1 cup cheddar/jack cheese
Black Pepper (to taste)
milk (if necessary)
2/3 of a green onion (optional)

(1) Wash & then place 8 baking potatoes on a cookie sheet
(2) Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for 1 hour & 15 minutes until cooked (I checked mine at around 1 hour, and they were almost too cooked, so I keep an eye on yours
(3) Slice two sticks of butter into chunks and put them into a large mixing bowl
(4) Add 1 cup of bacon bits (already made or freshly cooked and chopped) to the bowl
(5) Add 1 cup of sour cream
(6) When potatoes are baked, cut them in half lengthwise with a sharp serrated knife and scrape out their insides (hold the potatoes with a dish towel so you don't burn yourself!)
(7) Add the insides to the bowl with the butter, bacon, & sour cream (leave just a little of the insides on the skin)
(8) Put empty skins on a cookie sheet
(9) Smash the potato/butter/bacon/our cream mixture
(10) Add about 1/4 teaspoon of Lawry's Seasoned Salt
(11) Mix in 1 cup of cheese
*Optional: Add 2/3 of a green onion and/or black pepper
(12) Fill the skin shells with the potato mixture
(13) Top each filled shell with more cheese
(14) Put the potatoes in an oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (or you could refrigerate them for up to three days or freeze them in airtight bags, but if you freeze them, leave out the green onion)

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Original Red Velvet Cake Frosting

I had thought that red velvet cake is always supposed to have cream cheese frosting until I read a food blog that led me to The Pioneer Woman's post about the best frosting she's ever had (see blog post here), which is supposedly the frosting that was originally used for red velvet cakes. I'm having trouble finding reliable evidence that the original red velvet cake recipes had the cooked flour frosting, but just search for "original red velvet cake," and all kinds of blog posts will come up. Most of the ones I've seen show that the cake part should be made of vinegar and the frosting originally was not made of cream cheese (disappointing and surprising but interesting!). See Cookie Madness's post here on the original frosting (check here and here too). Auntie Joanne recently told my mom and me that red velvet cakes used to be made of beets instead of food coloring (see here). Well, I tried the flour-based frosting, and it was really good, but I still prefer cream cheese frosting. It could be the best non-cream cheese frosting though!

 The cake:


You want the cake recipe? Go here (it was pretty good but a tiny bit dry...and SO red, but that's just my opinion. Yes, I am aware that red velvet cakes are red; I just get grossed out when my food looks too artificial).

You want the frosting recipe (originally found here)? Here ya go:
  • 5 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Butter
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar (not Powdered Sugar!)
(1) In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk & heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens (it should be very thick, thicker than cake mix--more like a brownie mix)
(2) Remove from heat & let it cool to room temperature. (If in a hurry, place the saucepan over ice in the sink for ~10 minutes until the mixture cools.) It must be completely cool before you use it in the next step
(3) Stir in vanilla
(4) While mixture is cooling, cream the butter & sugar together until light & fluffy (you want to get rid of the sugar graininess)
(5) Add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture & beat it like Michael Jackson. If it looks separated keep beating until it all combines & looks like whipped cream
(6) Spread it on a cooled chocolate cake (or whatever)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Maroo - Fresno, CA

2075 W. Bullard Ave.
Fresno, CA 93711
Website here.

After having the heavenly bread pudding at Cracked Pepper Bistro last night, we headed over to Maroo for our dinner. Yes--we had dessert first! Anway, we had a couple of sake bombs and shared this bulgolgi dinner (to me bulgolgi is like the Korean version of teriyaki--not that Koreans copied the Japanese; it's just how I see it since I've grown up with teriyaki...kinda like how bierocks are like German hamburgers or German calzones). The bulgolgi was delicious, as was everything else (bean sprouts, cucumber sunomono, gyoza, rice, and the onions under the bulgolgi). They did spell "gyoza" incorrectly though ("gyoja"). Gyoza is a Japanese potsticker. Spelling errors on menus drive me nuts. Anyway, yum! I'd go back. That jalapeno dipping sauce was good too! Speaking of bulgolgi, I think the last time I had it (and the first time I tried bulgolgi) was in a sandwich at Espresso Experience in Berkeley.

TO-DIE-FOR Bread Pudding at Cracked Pepper Bistro - Fresno, CA

Cracked Pepper Bistro
389 E. Shaw Ave., #102
Fresno, CA 93710
Website here.

Michelle S. and I ate here last night (7.6.11), but it wasn't our first time eating this sweet, moist, creamy, indulgent piece of HEAVEN. I'd tried it about a year ago with my family following a meal and then promised myself that I'd go back just to share it alone with someone (a waitress said people often visit just for the bread pudding). So then I ranted and raved about it to Michelle, who went with her cousin to try it, and she fell in love as well. Then we tried going with Paul during the day but found that it's only open during dinner hours, so this post is about last night's visit. I hope I don't raise anyone's hopes up too high, but man this is good. It is sweet (of course), so you might want some black coffee to go with it. Anyway, the bread pudding is not on the menu, but they describe it and the other dessert option(s?) out loud. It's made of cream cheese danishes, dinner rolls, croissants, and real whipped cream (that really makes all the difference!). I'm not sure what's in the sauce, but it tasted kinda like caramel.


If you're curious about their dinner food, I had the "Pan Seared Berkshire Pork Chop Sweet potato and sausage hash finished with pomegranate reduction," which was very good, but I honestly can't remember if it was just good or great. To me, that means that it wasn't fantastic. My parents and brother enjoyed their dishes. Here is their menu.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Browning Butter & A Cookie Failure

Lately I've been seeing a lot of recipes involving browned butter: Browned butter muffins, browned butter cookies, etc. I recently tried making browned butter cookies, but they didn't end up tasting very good (at least not to my mom or me), although one friend said they were "amazing." You can try the recipe yourself here. Don't over-mix! I think that was part of my problem. Anyway, here are the pictures from my butter browning process. It's pretty easy! All you do is melt butter and keep heating it until it bubbles and froths and turns brown. Fun!

It really does smell nutty when it turns brown!


See? They ended up being so much flatter and darker than they were supposed to be. See Julie's blog for pictures of her cookies. Mine ended up good but not great...and then later after they had been sitting around in a sealed bag, they were just okay.