Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of You

I’m always late with these.  This writing challenge was for last week but it doesn’t matter. I’m in the mood to write and missing baking (which I will find time to do this weekend…Excited anyone?) I’ve actually been thinking about this for all this time because I have no idea how to describe myself.

So I decided to use the breakdown of one of my favorite recipes for peanut butter gingersnaps.  You can find that recipe HERE! But now, its how to make me…

3/4 cup mix of easy going and down to earth

1/3 cup constant search for positivity

1 tsp indecisiveness

2 tsp Nicholas Tse and Leehom Wang fan, divided

1/2 tsp introversion

1/4 tsp each workout addict and snack monster

2 tbsp hidden inner child

1 cup lightly packed tea lover

1/3 cup light kitty meows

3 tbsp , English, French and Chinese languages, at room temperature

1 big bright smile

2 tbsp extreme music dependency

1 tsp spontaneity and wanderlust

Instructions (not like the actual recipe):

Mix all ingredients together gently and let sit at the foot of a waterfall to bring out the essence of peace and tranquiliity. Do not combine with any chili spices, lactose/dairy and coffee. Avoid stirring at extreme heights. Will become more runny and lack consistency if mixed or exposed with the strong aromas of lilacs.

Be attentive while in oven as will be ready soon.  Serve with care and respect.

*end of recipe*

I have no idea if that made any sense.  Creativity is not a strength I possess, but it sounded a lot more fun but turned out to be so complicated!

Anyways, what ingredients would you add from the things you’d read about me? What ingredients would you use for yourself?

Here is my response to Weekly Writing Challenge: A Pinch of You.  To see other recipes, click HERE!

Roasted Garlic Rosemary Brussels Sprouts and Oven-Baked Ribs

This Saturday was totally efficient for me.  Other than getting lots of chores done, I managed to make a very awesome dinner with one of my most favorite foods ever, Ribs! Plus, I experimented with trying out how to make Brussels Sprouts.  I’ve never made it before and only ate it once before the week before when my best friend made it for the potluck.

Ribs and Brussel Sprouts with Rice :)

Ribs and Brussels Sprouts with Rice 🙂

I have my own ribs marinade.  I don’t really know the portion as I do it by the feeling that I get.

However, this time I did change it up a bit.  The ingredients I used included: Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, Honey, Ground Pepper, Herbes de Provence and a bit of sugar if you find it not sweet enough or just use a little bit more honey.  After you spread it on the ribs, you can add a bit of water in it so that it won’t be too dry in the baking process.  Set the oven to 400F and covered it with aluminum foil and then cooked it for about an hour and 15 minutes.

Ribs!

Ribs!

When there was about 30 minutes left to bake the ribs, I switched on my rice cooker to steam some rice and started prepping the brussels sprouts.  For the brussels sprouts, I got the recipe from Tone it Up when I signed up for the Bikini Series.  Its a pretty simple recipe, although the only part that bothered me was that they didn’t tell us how long to bake it for…so I slightly improvised on that.

They named this recipe: Beauty & The Brussel.  I think its for the nutritious factor of it, I don’t know. Its called Roasted Garlic Rosemary Brussels Sprouts.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Brussels Sprouts

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp pine nuts

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or dried)

Pinch of seasalt

How to make this: 

1) Set oven at 400F. Prepare the baking tray by covering it with tinfoil. Spray a little cooking spray on your tin foil.

2) Cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and then cut it in halves lengthwise.

3) Mix together olive oil, pine nuts, and diced garlic in a bowl.  Toss the brussels sprouts in the bowl.

4) Lay the brussels sprouts in one layer on the tin foil including flakes.  Sprinkle rosemary and salt

Roasted Garlice Rosemary (or Thyme) Brussels Sprouts!

Roasted Garlice Rosemary (or Thyme) Brussels Sprouts!

I ended up baking it for about 30 minutes.  However, the key is to keep flipping them every 8-10 minutes.  I’ve read some recipes that say 5-7 minutes.  It worked out pretty good for me.  I did make one modification to the recipe aside from using more for each ingredient to be in proportion with the amount of brussels sprouts I had.  I ended up substituting rosemary with dried thyme.  I did some research and it says that its a good replacement and thyme itself is a milder spice, I believe.

My first time eating brussels sprouts like this and it was pretty good.  I’ll search up some more recipes for it especially since its supposed to be really nutritious as its filled with vitamins and helps boost immune system and metabolism. That sounds pretty good to me!

I have to say, I was impressed with myself with this meal.  Plus, I didn’t flip out at any part of it.  I may have gotten frustrated just a little, but I was alright.  In between of the first 30 minutes of the ribs baked time, I actually whipped up something else, but I’ll save that for another post 😉

I’m a beginner at making brussels sprouts! Anyone have suggestions of other good ways to make it?

Double Baking: Cherry Coffee Cake & Cinnamon Rolls

This weekend was absolutely awesome.  Yesterday, I had promised to post up the recipe for the dessert I made for the BBQ with friends.  You can read that post HERE.  However, I felt like baking again and I ended up making something I’ve been planning all month, Cinnamon Rolls.

The Cherry Coffee Cake was actually a slight modification of a dessert I posted a few weeks ago called the Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake.

Cherry Coffee Cake fresh out of the oven!

Cherry Coffee Cake fresh out of the oven!

Check it out HERE to get the original recipe.

The modifications I made were the following:

  • 1 cup of Bisquick mix (ran out)
  • no yogurt or grated lemon-zest
  • replace milk with unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • replace fresh blueberries with fresh cherries. Remember to remove pits
  • No streusel topping but sprinkled with brown sugar before putting in the oven

Its straight forward and delicious! The change in fruits made for a refreshing taste.  Some  of my friends ate it with ice cream and found it was a good match. Still a very worthy recipe!

Next up, my first attempt at making CINNAMON ROLLS! There were super successful! 🙂

Cinnamon Rolls! Fresh out of the oven!

Cinnamon Rolls! Fresh out of the oven!

This is a long and time consuming recipe.  Its two times of waiting 30 minutes to wait for the dough and the rolls to rise, but then the actual baking time is only 25 minutes.  However, if you want your house to smell sweet and delicious with cinnamon aromas, this is the perfect choice 🙂

I found the recipe in my Looneyspoons cookbook called Rolls Royce!

Makes 12

Ingredients:

Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

2 1/4 tsp quick-rising yeast

1 tsp salt

1 cup 1% milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp butter, at room temperature

Glaze

2 tbsp light cream cheese, at room temperature

1 tbsp butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Goes great with Maple Soy Ice Cream :)

Goes great with Maple Soy Ice Cream 🙂

How to make it:

1. To make dough, combine both flours, flaxseed, yeast, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well and set aside.

2. Add milk, sugar, butter and vanilla to a small pot.  Heat over medium heat, stirring often, just until milk is warmed, butter is melted and sugar is dissolved.  Do not simmer or boil.  Remove from heat and carefully pour into a large mixing bowl.  Add half of the flour mixture and egg.  Stir using a wooden spoon until well blended.  Add remaining flour mixture and stir until soft ball forms.  Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Add a bit more flour if dough is too sticky.  Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 1 minute.  Place dough in a clean bowl that has been lightly oiled.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes or until double in size.

3. Meanwhile, make the filling.  Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

4. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

5. When dough has risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out dough to a 12×14 inch rectangle. Using a butter knife, spread 2 tbsp butter evenly over dough.  Sprinkle with brown sugar-cinnamon mixture and spread evenly to edges.  Roll up dough jelly-roll style.  This should be 12 inch long.  Using a very sharp knife, slice roll into 12 equal pieces.  Arrange rolls in a single layer in prepared pan.  Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake rolls for 25 minutes, puffed and light golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you prepare the glaze.  Using an electric mixer, beat together all glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Spread evenly over warm rolls.

Close up texture

Close up texture

Of course, I made some modifications and here they are:

  • Omit flaxseed (didn’t have any)
  • Replace 1% milk with unsweetened almond vanilla milk
  • No glaze

Not so many changes but that dough is extra hard to roll into a rectangle.  Mine was slightly lopsided.  That made for two of the rolls to be a bit funky looking. However, I’d say that it was a successful first time trial and I’d definitely try it again.  This recipe was delicious.  I removed the glaze because even without, it was sweet enough.  Plus, the glaze has cream cheese and I can’t eat that.

If you want to make your house into a delicious smelling place (if you like the smell of cinnamon), then this one is a sure fire.  It may be time consuming but its a really fun experience (even when I was cursing the dough for not turning into a rectangle 😉

Happy Monday Morning! Cinnamon rolls anyone?

Chocolate Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

I’m still wondering if I posted something similar before, nonetheless this is a new recipe so it deserves it own posts.

The past weekend, I decided to make Oatmeal Cookies and since it was for my boyfriend’s parents, I added in some Chocolate Chunk on the top of them.  If you’ve been following me for a bit, you know that I can’t eat chocolate.  I can tell you one thing: They were a hit.  The moment my boyfriend’s dad had the plate in this hands, he started munching on the cookies..one after another.  As someone who likes baking, I enjoy seeing the happiness others get from what I make.

P1190569

Makes 20 cookies

2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

Chocolate chunks for topping

1) Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

2) Combine oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix well.

3) In a large bowl, beat brown sugar and butter on low speed of electric mixer until mixture resembles wet sand.  Add applesauce, egg and vanilla and beat again until well blended.  Add oat mixture to sugar mixture.  Using a wooden spoon, stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

4) Drop dough by spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheet.   Use about 2 tbsp dough per cookie and space 2 inches apart.) Flatten cookies to 1/4 inch thickness using fork.  Dip the fork in water to prevent it from sticking to cookies.  Place a few chocolate chunks into the top of the cookie dough.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully remove from cooling rack.

This should turn out to be soft and chewy.  It was originally a recipe for oatmeal raison cookies inspired by Looneyspoons Collection.  If you’d like to do those instead, then instead of chocolate chunks as topping the cookies, you mix it in after the dry ingredients are moistened in Step 3 for 1/3 cup raisins.

What do you think? Are you going to try this one out?

Saturday Dinner: Pork Chops with Sweet Potato Fries!

We don’t usually eat a lot of pork at my place.  Its not as healthy and its more fattening than the normal.  Another thing is that I’ve never actually made any pork chops but my boyfriend has mastered them pretty well.  So there I was on Friday night and trying to figure out what to make for Saturday and my grocery list.  Pork chops are on special so coincidentally there is also the “#1 Readers Fave” being Marla’s Maple Pork in my Looneyspoons cookbook. So voila, the menu for Saturday night was set.  Its nice to eat in on Saturday night and watch a movie (you know its horror because I haven’t gotten around to posting up the Horror Marathon).  For once, there was no parties, no ordering in, no take out, just cooking, eating and relaxing.

Here are Marla’s  Maple Chops:

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

1/2 lbs (680g) pork tenderloin

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

1 tbsp each reduced sodium soy sauce and ketchup

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp grated orange zest

1 1/2 tsp each curry powder and ground coriander

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

1. Trim pork of all visible fat.  Place pork in a large, heavy duty bag, resealable plastic bag.  Whisk together all remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour marinade over pork and seal bag. Turn bag several times to coat pork evenly.  Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.

2. Transfer pork and marinade to a small roasting pan or baking dish.  Roast, uncovered, at 350F for 40 minutes.  Pork should be slightly pink in middle.

3. Let pork stand for 5 minutes before slicing.  Slice thinly.  Drizzle extra sauce over pork and serve immediately.

I changed it a bit.  I bought loin chops instead of a gigantic slab of meat so no slicing afterwards required.  I had all the ingredients pretty much.  I used normal mustard though because Dijon mustard is on the spicy side and my stomach is too sensitive for it.  Also, I marinaded it in the fridge for 1/2 hour.  I never read that before I do it so I don’t budget enough time. One more thing, 45 minutes in the oven for me because we don’t get pink meat, only well done.  Still, it turned out smelling delicious and tasting so good.

So with the pork chops, I made some sweet potato fries.  They were agreed upon last weekend that I’d do something with sweet potatoes.

This was incredibly easy to make.  First, wash the sweet potatoes (you’ll need about 3 medium ones).  Pat them dry before cutting them into wedges about 1/2 inch thick.  Don’t count on my cutting.  its not too sophisticated, but do follow the general idea of it.  Don’t cut into wedges that are too big.  After that, toss about  1 tbsp of olive oil and some seasoning (I use vegetable seasoning) and if your seasoning doesn’t include salt and pepper already then put that in also.  Make sure it evenly coats all the wedges.

Arrange them into a single layer on a baking sheet or tray. I didn’t oil it up because I used aluminum foil under it.  Bake at 450F for 20-25 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking time.

These turned out pretty good also.  Saturday night meal was a great turnout.  It was really delicious.

Do you like pork chops? How about sweet potatoes? Are you going to give these a shot? Have you ever done another recipe similar to it?