Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fluffy Pancakes

I made these pancakes inspired by the ones I had at Chapter One: the modern local's apple pancakes from their brunch menu: very light, fluffy pancakes made with some beaten egg whites topped with apple relish. YUM! My version didn't turn out as light as their's but it was still fluffy and delicious. Make these for your next sunday brunch!

Fluffy Pancakes!
Fluffy Pancakes

  • 2 C. Flour
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 3/4 C. milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/4 C. of melted butter 
  • vegetable oil
In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg yolks, vanilla extract, butter, and sugar. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the batter.

Heat a little bit of vegetable oil onto a large skillet over medium heat. Scoop the batter using 1/4 measuring cup onto the heated skillet. When the batter starts forming bubbles and the edges are dry, flip it to cook the other side.

Serve with butter and syrup

I added some chocolate chips to some of my pancakes :-)

Try my oatmeal pancakes if you want heartier pancakes!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Amy: 0 vs Crochet: 1

I know how to knit, so I thought learning how to crochet would be easy, but I was wrong. I tried to learn on a youtube video tutorial, which kinda helped, but it wasn't enough for me to fully understand it.  So instead, I got myself a crochet guidebook. After many hours of practicing, I managed to learn how to do several different crochet stitches.

RIP to this pile of yarn.
Using the skills I learned, I decided to crochet a blanket using a pattern from Attic24: Neat Ripple Pattern. The blog explains the pattern very well with step by step photos, but not all the details a rookie wouldn't know. So being a rookie myself, I suffered a lot...I don't have the basics, so I kept messing up and having to start over and over and over. After some research and trial and error, I've learned my lesson:

  • Check your work very often as you go (be paranoid of messing up). 
  • It is wise to use a crochet needle that is a size bigger than the suggested size for the first few rows (or the first color), so it doesn't get too tight and start curling.
After all that and a lot of cussing, this is how far I got and I'm damn proud of it:

I love the colors!

I still have long ways to go. Wish me luck on the rest of it. I will post my progress.

Hello Kitties
...Some day I want to be able to crochet dolls like these...

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Love Cornbread!

Sweet and savory cornbread, my favorite! I love it so much I can eat it anytime of the day. My perfect cornbread has to be moist, but still crumbly with great cornmeal texture. I found a great recipe that makes you not want to buy the boxed mix or the ready-made varieties anymore!


from Allrecipes.com
  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 2/3 C. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 C. buttermilk or *curdled milk (see below)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 C. cornmeal
  • 1 C. flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9 inch cake pan.

Melt butter in a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Add eggs one at a time and add buttermilk. I never have buttermilk on hand and I don't like to buy a carton when I'm only using a little bit for one recipe. Instead I use buttermilk substitute which is: *1 T of vinegar + 1 C. milk and wait for the milk to curdle without mixing it.

In another bowl, mix cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda. Combing dry to wet ingredients and pour the batter into the pan.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cake test comes out clean.

Enjoy and happy baking!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tutorial: How to Make a Button Ring

Button Rings are  so easy to make and super cute to wear!

Bling Bling

This one is my favorite!

You will need...

I'm using pink and green buttons!
  • Assorted buttons (different shapes, sizes, and colors)
  • Rhinestones
  • 10 mm ring blanks
  • E6000 glue
  • Hot glue gun
Ring Blanks

Stack and hot glue your buttons together, creating a 3D look. Unleash your creativity here. Play with the colors, sizes, and textures of the buttons.

Use E6000 to glue the buttons to the ring blank. Put your ring upside down to allow the glue to set for 10 minutes.

Use E6000 to glue the rhinestones to cover the button holes. I used Swarovski rhinestones, crystal AB, size 20. Let the glue cure for 24 hours before you wear it. I used a container of uncooked rice to keep my rings right side up during the curing process.

If you don't want to make these into rings, you can turn them into earrings, hair clips and magnets!

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Egg in a Basket

This has become one of my favorite breakfast foods to make. Thanks to Sunday Baker's Egg in a Basket; It's different from the traditional version, and I love it!

Egg in a Basket
Egg in a Basket (derived from Sunday Baker)
  • 1 T. of butter, melted
  • 2 T. of maple syrup or honey
  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 medium eggs
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine and mix the butter,maple syrup or honey, and a pinch of salt.

Melted Maple Butter
Cut out the bread slices in circles using a large circular cookie cutter or a large mouthed cup. I actually used my knife to cut around the cup.

Spread the maple butter mixture on the top side of the bread circles and put them in a muffin pan, forming a basket. Crack an egg into the bread basket and season with salt and pepper. 

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the egg is set and the edges are golden brown.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering cream, milk, and sugar, mixing with gelatin. The finished product has a texture similar to custard; very soft and silky, but much easier to make. You can use ramekins or your favorite moulds.

Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce

Panna Cotta with Blueberry Sauce (makes 5 (4oz) ramekins)

For the Panna Cotta:
  • 1 (.25 oz) envelope of unflavored gelatin
  • 2 T of cold water
  • 3 C. of half & half or heavy cream
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
For the Blueberry Sauce:
  • 1 C. of blueberries
  • 2 T. of sugar
  • 1 T. of lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest.
  • 1/4 tsp of cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
In a medium bowl, combine gelatin and water. Set aside to allow the gelatin to bloom.

Heat sugar and half & half in a saucepan over medium heat until simmer. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pour the cream mixture into the bowl with the gelatin and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the mixture into the ramekins and let them cool in room temperature. Once they're cool, cover them with saran wrap and put them in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight.

I love to eat right out of the ramekin.
looks cute in a teacup.

For the blueberry sauce, combine and stir blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, pinch of salt and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly and slightly thickened. Cook for additional 2 minutes. Stir in the vanilla once you have taken the sauce off the heat. Transfer it to a small bowl, cover and chill in the fridge before you serve with your panna cotta.

If you want to get the panna cotta out of your ramekins or your moulds onto a serving plate, here is a great trick:

Dip the bottom of the ramekin in hot water for 5 to 10 seconds. Invert over a serving plate, place your thumbs over the ramekin and hold the plate with you fingers. Give a little shake to loosen and remove the ramekin carefully.



Monday, September 5, 2011

Feels Like I won the Lottery

This holiday weekend, I went back home to take care of my school stuff, and I came home to a BIG box of treasure!!

I'm rich, I'm rich!!
A box full of dollhouse miniatures! Apparently, my mom's friend used to work with miniatures to make shadow boxes and now since she doesn't need them anymore, she wanted to get rid of them all. And now they're all mine, ALL MINE!! MuAhahaha!

As I was looking through and sorting out the treasure, I was amazed how much stuff there was! It was so much, I had to make an inventory.

I'm thinking about selling some of them, since I have a lot of the same items, or do some give aways or something. I dunno, but I'm totally excited!

Oh yes, and while I was home, I got to play with this guy right here:

Hi, I'm Shiro!

Banana Crumb Muffins

My boy friend had 3 over-ripened bananas, so I decided to make this!

Banana Crumb Muffins

Banana Crumb Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

Crumb topping:

  • 2 T white sugar
  • 3 T lightly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 C. flour
  • 1/4 C. butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 C. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 C. white sugar
  • 1/3 C. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
Preheat oven to 375 F. Line your muffin pan with muffin liners.

The crumb topping.
For the crumb topping, combine white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and flour. Stir in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs are the size of a pea. Set aside.

Mashed bananas.
The batter.

For the muffin, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, mix together sugar, mashed bananas, melted butter, vanilla extract and egg. Combine the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just to combine. Do not over mix.

Pour batter into the muffin liners using your 1/4 measuring cup and sprinkle the top of the muffins with the crumb topping. Bake 18-20 min.

MMMmmm! Enjoy and Happy Baking!!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Favorite Cupcakes

With red sprinkles

I LOVE cupcakes!  They are perfectly portioned and they look so cute with the swirled frosting and sprinkles. Every time I see a cupcake shop, I have to stop by.  Even if I'm not buying any, just looking at them makes me happy. 

My favorite flavor is the red velvet! The cream cheese frosting and the light chocolate cake make them outstanding. Here is a recipe that I use from the Cupcake Doctor by Anne Bryn.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes 2 dozens

For the cake:
  • 1 box of German chocolate cake mix 
  • 1 (3.4 oz) vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 C. oil
  • 1 C. sour cream 
  • 1/2 C. of water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 bottle (1oz) of red food coloring
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 2 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 C. butter
  • 2 C. of confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F and line the cupcake pan with liners.

In a bowl, combine cake mix, oil, water, sour cream, eggs, vanilla extract, pudding mix, and red food coloring. Blend for 1-2 minutes, then scrape the sides of the bowl down and blend for another 2 minutes. Using a 1/4  measuring cup, fill the cupcake liners with the cake batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let it sit in the pan for 1-2 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack.

In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Then add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time while blending. Frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool. 

My love knows how much I love red velvet cupcakes. These are the cupcakes he got me in the past! Both delivered to my work. I love him so much.

Red velvet cupcakes from Cinderella Bakery he got me "just because"
Cupcakes from Sprinkles for our Anniversary!

Next time, I will make these cupcakes from scratch. Meanwhile, try this recipe! Enjoy and happy baking!