I believe we all have experienced too much excitements concentrated in one time then dry period for the next. There are time hubby & I are bored because of our routine and some other time we get some invitations from friends which forces us pick one and turn down the rest. There are time I have too much free time, and am swamped with work the next day. Sometimes also, we have too much food, and some other time during school year, we could only hope for the best to have good food for dinner. Don't we wish to divide the excitement evenly during the year so we don't get overwhelmed nor lack of great thing?
I knew that I would not have much free time to make baked goods once school started. Since school started last Wednesday, I made these cookies at the beginning of the week. I wanted to reserve the cookies in case we were running out of our daily bread or other "emergency" situation. I don't know how long this cookies will last because the next day I found hubby was looking for a small container to bring some of them to work
Green Tea Cookies Adapted from: Baking From My Home to Yours
Yields: about 50 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp green tea powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Black sesame seeds(optional)
Whisk the flour, green tea powder, and baking powder together.
Working in a mixer with the paddle attachment, if you have one, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until it is smooth. Still beating, add the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the butter is light and pale. Add the egg and the yolk and beat another minute or two. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated.
Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. Shape each half into a chubby sausage about (2-inches diameter) and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 2 hours.
The women of my church wanted to throw a bridal shower for our friend. It started from one or two person came up with the idea, and as usual, everyone offered themselves to bring whatever needed for the party. That loving and caring relationship is one that I treasure so much. Our congregation is small and has soft structure, yet we have whatever the church needs because everyone feels it's one's responsibility to make things happen.
The bride-to-be is a simple girl that loves wild nature. Her job as a park ranger says it all. One day, she brought a snake and some animal models for church's kids weekend. Her session was one highlight of the kids weekend that year. Knowing her and what she likes, it took me a second to decide what flowers I needed to use for the shower. I knew she would prefer wild flower that bloomed at that time to store-brought roses and tulips.
Early Sunday morning, hubby and I walked to a pasture close to our apartment where a patch of wild beautiful bright orange Lily grew. I cut some stems and brought home. On the way to church, I cut some Daisies and Bachelor's Buttons. Then cut some big white Magnolia flowers from the church's yard. From those flowers and some church's glass vases, three arrangements were made for two serving table and a gift table. While working on the arrangements, I couldn't stop praising God for those beautiful wild flowers He has provided. I was reminded of this verse: "Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. Luke 12:27. That verse is so true.
I also had fun of making cake pops for the dessert. Since she likes green, I used green tea powder my sister brought from home for the base.
Green Tea Cake
Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups white sugar
1 Tbs green tea powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pack of cream cheese
1 pack of white chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cover bottom of a 10 inch round cake pans with waxed paper; then lightly grease the side and bottom.
In a large bowl, combine flour, green tea powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until batter is thick and fluffy.
Add the oil and milk in a steady stream. Gradually, add in the dry ingredients just well blended.
Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool layers in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Loosen edges, and remove to racks to cool completely.
After cake is completely cooled, crumble it into a large bowl (I only used 3/4 of the cake and did not include the crust).
Mix thoroughly with cream cheese. Roll mixture into quarter size balls and lay on cookie sheet. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
In the mean time, melt a small part of the chocolate. Follow the direction on the package.
Dip a stick (or multiple sticks at once) in the chocolate mixture then insert to the each cake balls. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to secure the sticks.
Melt the rest of the chocolate in a small bowl.
Insert a cake ball to the chocolate bowl until the ball is completely chocolate-coated. This part is kinda tricky but gets easier after practicing several times.
Sprinkle with pearl sprinkles right away as the chocolate get hardened fast.
Yield: about 35-40
Since hubby'd been complimenting my roti sobek, I decided to make another batch for him. But, the curious side of mine forced me to tweak the recipe a little bit. I substituted portion of the white flour with green tea powder. A day before, I tried different recipe that called for green tea powder. I wasn't successful. The main reason was over-proofed dough. I planned on starting making bread at around 2 o'clock. But, when I flipped through TV channel, Peter Pan was just about to start. I'd kinda known the story of Peter Pan, but never really watched it. So, I watched it while folding laundry. Hubby got home and gave constant warnings, "we are leaving at 7pm, I can't be late". Oh great! we were going to go to a concert. No, I was going to watch a concert, hubby was going to sing at the concert. I hastily finished the bread making, took shower, dried my hair, then we left. I was 10.30ish pm when we got back, and the bread had risen too high, and some deflated after reaching critical point. I baked them anyway, and got disappointed. We got a bag of unsuccessful green tea and mocha bread.
Sunday after church, I decided to make another bread. This time using roti sobek recipe hubby loved so much but with green tea powder. Looking at the green dough, hubby shook his head, "green tea again?". He is not a fan of green tea, or any kind of tea but he has to put up with me. Hehe... Now we have some bags of green tea bread. He isn't super happy, but he will eat them anyway. As for me, I am happy with the bread, but next time I will use less green tea and bake half the recipe if it is for an experiment
This last two weeks have been crazily busy weeks for me. Started with piano jury last two Friday; followed by huge final review for studio project on Tuesday; then two final projects were due yesterday. Fiuuhhh...I had sleep deprivation for weeks, which is not unusual for the end of the semester. Hubby's trying to remind me about the harm of having not enough sleep didn't bug me. I had to finish my works. I woke up with swollen eyes, got to school, and continued working.
Got home after a tiring day yesterday, I couldn't concentrate anymore. I got bored of getting tired. Although I knew I would get more bored after Monday, after my last final this semester. I knew I need a break before studying for History. Knowing that his wife was bored, Hubby was so nice for asking me out for a date. We went to our nice downtown to get ice custard. This evening, I was still on lack of motivation for studying. Looking inside refrigerator, I found old eggs and old low fat plain yogurt that would get bad soon. Ah...I had no choice but to cook them to something great.
Yogurt cake from Foodnetwork one more time became my choice. I made two recipes. For the green one, I substituted 2 Tbs flour for 2 Tbs green tea powder. For the zebra effect, I alternated 1/4 part of the two batters, repeated the technique until all the batter has been used up.
That's my excuse for baking today Now, back to History. The last final for this semester, before I can bake more and more stuffs.
Hubby and I have to drag our feet everytime we have to do grocery shopping. I can't imagine grandma went to traditional market every single day while this grandkid is too lazy to have biweekly shopping. I wish there's tukang sayur in my neighborhood.
We always put off doing grocery until we almost out of cooking ingredient. People say that is a great tip to save money Anyway, we've been running out of cereal and oatmeal. In order to avoid doing grocery shopping in the middle of the week, I had to make cake or bread in replace of breakfast grains we usually have. Bread is impossible for me at this moment, since I just broke my mixer's dough hooks
Green Tea Yogurt Cake
Adapted from foodnetwork
Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup green tea powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cups sugar
3 extra-large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, green tea, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, and vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Week had not ended as fast as the cake. I baked this muffin, upon hubby's request to sustain our life
I'd heard about biscotti a lot, but had no idea what it looked or tasted like. So, while having my favorite ingredients-green tea, I looked for a simple biscotti recipe and had my first biscotti day. I don't know what to say. It has dried cake kue kering texture. I need to get one from bakery to see whether mine is real.
For the nuts that the recipe called, I used trail mix that laid around in my kitchen's cabinet. That trail mix would get thrown away, like many other foods in my house. I guess that's the thing about 'public' space like church. People brought stuffs for potluck then forget what they leave at church' kitchen. Then, no one claims those stuffs and pile up for a long time until someone volunteer to toss them away. Look what that forgotten stuffs did to hubby and I. They became some nice treats to accompany our tea and coffee
Green Tea Biscotti
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks 1 cups white whole wheat
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbs green tea
2 cups mixed nuts, white chocolate chips and seeds (I used flax seed)
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 300F degrees. Grease pan and line with parchment paper.
Mix dry ingredients, set aside. Cream eggs and sugar until well combined. Add the flour mixture and oil to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Mold into a rectangle loaf to an-inch thickness. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven, turn the oven to 425'F. Cut immediately to 1/4-inch thick (will get about 1 1/2 dozen). Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Brush tops with a bit of olive oil and bake for 5 minutes or until the bottoms are golden and toasty. Flip to the other side. Bake for about 3-4 minutes.
This winter had been colder that the usual, hence plant's buds emerge late this year. Usually in this time, Red Bud, Bradford Pear, and Dogwood's flowers are burgeoning like a ringing bell indicating that spring has arrived. But now, trees are still bare with their tiny bity buds, and flowers are still unsure if cold winter has passed so they still conceal 'down there'. I am getting tired of wearing heavy coat and layers. But, this week, my spring break week, temperature goes up shows hint of spring. Wii... Moved by spring spirit in me and my obsession of green tea powder I just got from store, I made steamed cake. Its blooming shape is like blossoming flower. The green color is symbol of new life (ehm...ok... I made this up. I just wanted to put green tea powder ) Hubby shook his head when he knew that I put green tea powder for steamed cake.
Green Tea Steamed Cake
Ingredients for green part: 190 gr all-purpose flour
10 gr green tea powder
175 gr powdered sugar
120 ml sprite
1/4 tsp emulsifier
Mix the whole ingredients until well blended. It may take a while. Keep going until air bubble in the mixture is present. Reduce or add green tea powder and flour, to adjust color (the total of them needs to be 200 gr).
Ingredients for white part: 200 gr all-purpose flour
175 gr powdered sugar
120 ml sprite
1/4 tsp emulsifier
Cocholate paste for chocolate part
Mix all the ingredients except chocolate paste. Divide the batter into two. Drop chocolate paste to one part.
Scoop batter into small moulds lined with paper cases. Arrange in a steamer, steam over high heat for 15-20 minutes
People at church can always guess which one is my cooking. They said mine is different that the others. Looking back to my first year in this country, I feel that now I have more confident in sharing my cooking. Back then I got hurt when not many people tried my food. Now I just do the best to share my love and care through my cooking. On the other hand, I can see my friends are more open in trying something 'new'. I hope my 'difference' paints more colors to people around me.
For today's potluck, I baked green tea layer cake. I used my usual green tea chiffon cake for the base. I used dried adzuki bean that I bought from co-op, then cooked it for an hour. Canned bean is available for practicality, but I think it's too sweet, and who knows what's been added in there.
Green Tea - Adzuki Bean Layer Cake For the bean 1/2 cup adzuki or red bean
1 1/2 cup water
Sugar as desired
Boil water and bean until water is boiling. Simmer covered until beans are soft. Add sugar, continue simmering until water dissolves.
6 egg whites
75 gr sugar
1/4 cream of tartar B
6 egg yolks
55 gr sugar
150 gr all-purpose flour
3 Tbs green tea powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
5 Tbs oil (I used olive)
1/4 tsp salt
8 Tbs water
Preheat oven to 325°.
To prepare cake, line bottoms and sides of four-20x20cm pans with wax paper. Grease the pans to glue the paper, but do not grease inside of the papers.
From B ingredients, mix and sift the dry ones except sugar.
Place A ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Side aside.
In a separate bowl, cream egg yolks with sugar until smooth and pale (make sure sugar dissolves completely), then beat in the oil and water until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture and mix well.
Gently stir one-third of egg white mixture into egg-yolk mixture; gently fold in remaining egg white mixture.
Divide cake batter equally among prepared pans, spreading evenly. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove the cakes from pans and cool on a wire rack. Remove wax paper from cake layers.
For frosting, mixed 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4-1/2 Tbs sugar
Mix 3/4 cream with beans. Set aside the 1/4 part.
To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer, spread one third of bean cream over cake layer. Top with second layer, spread 1/3 part bean cream. Do the same thing with the rest. Spread the plain cream for after the fourth cake layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle the very top with green tea powder.
Reading status of my Facebook friends around Chinese new year made me miss the festivity of CNY in our family as well as at some parts of my city. Grandma would start grocery shopping more than a week before the day, and soon, our house would smell like CNY for days. She liked to cook some type of food days in advance to make them taste better on the new year's day. Watching lion or dragon dance at Chinatown or at one temple would also be in her fixed plan. Grandma and grandpa held off Chinese tradition in their family. No wonder in our family, Chinese new year is the biggest family celebration of the year.
On the way home from disappointing dim sum restaurant, I asked hubby to stop by at one oriental market. Pathetic enough, I was trying to find a hint of Chinese new year. I like to just stroll at that store looking at Asian grubs that remind me of my childhood. Knowing that I needed time to indulge myself, hubby didn't hurry me as he usually does. Instead, he went to a bookstore next door! Without hubby around, of course I got stuffs that's could be labelled as "cute" or "fancy". One of it was green tea powder. Seeing that, my brain immediately made a list of baking I have to make.
Here is the first baking using green tea powder I got. Note the color of the cake. I think I put too much green tea for this chiffon cake.