Vegetable Tempura

So I found this book at the library, A Flash in the Pan: 100 Fast and Furious Recipes for Wok and Stir Fry by Shirley Gill and Liz Trigg. I had never had tempura before, but I always heard people ordering it in film or reading about it in books. So I decided to try it out.

“These deep-fried fritters are based on Kaki-age, a Japanese dish that often incorporates fish and shrimp as well as vegetables.”

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 Medium Eggplant
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 1/2 Small Spanish Onion
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 Cup of Ice Water
  • 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • Sea Salt Flakes
  • Lemon Slices
  • Japanese Soy Sauce (Shoyu)

Directions:

  1. Using a potato peeler, pare strips of peel from the zucchini and eggplant to give it a striped effect. *Peeling strips of peel from the zucchini and eggplant will avoid too much tough skin in the finished dish.
  2. Cut the zucchini, eggplant, and carrot into strips about 3-4 inches long and 1/8 inch wide.
  3. Put the eggplant, zucchini, and carrot in a colander and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  4. Let stand for 30 mins, then rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
  5. Drain well.
  6. Thinly slice the onion from top to base, discarding the plump pieces in the middle.
  7. Seperate the layers so that there are lots of fine long strips.
  8. Mix all the vegetables together and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Make the batter immediately before frying: mix the egg and iced water in a bowl-then sift in flour. Mix briefly using a fork or chopsticks. Do not overmix-the batter should remain lumpy. Add the vegetables to the batter and mix to combine.
  10. Fry vegetables in wok or pan.

Thoughts After Reading:

So when I made this, all the mixture came off the vegetables and fell into the pan and burned to the pan. I guess my vegetables were too wet or something.

The ones that did fry tasted good, but the others were okay. If I were to do this again, I would dry them off with a paper towel.

For more recipes, go to Scottish Oatcakes

“The Best” Brownies

My niece wanted to make brownies one day, so I pulled out my copy of Hershey’s Cocoa Cookbook. Last year I was given a hardcover one, which is great, but when I think about this cookbook I always go to the image of the paperback featured above. We used to always make things out of my mom’s old ’70s copy when I was growing up, all battered-stained, and well-loved.

So these brownies do not photograph well, but I have to agree that they are pretty much the “best” brownies you will make.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Vegetable Oil or Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Unsifted All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 Cup of Hershey’s Cocoa
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend oil, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add eggs, beat well with spoon.
  3. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; gradually add to egg mixture until well blended.
  4. Stir in nuts, if adding them.
  5. Spread in greased 9-inch square pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degree F for 20-25 minutes or until brownies begins to pull away from the edges of the pan.
  7. Cool in pan.
  8. Frost if desired; cut into squares.
  9. Makes about 16 brownies.

Thoughts After Reading:

We made these for ourselves and a potluck and they were gone like that! I was lucky enough to get one!

As I said they might photograph gorgeously, but they are fantastic!

For more “bar cookies”, go to Lemon Bars

For more cookies, go to Braided Candy Canes

For more dessert, go to Creamy Sour Cream Lemon Pie

Flag Cake

Thoughts Before Baking:

We reviewed a 4th of July mystery on Tuesday and we have another coming Wednesday, on the actual 4th. I thought the best way to celebrate is with a recipe I made a few years back and really enjoyed. I found it in a magazine and it comes from Betty Crocker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Betty Crocker or Other Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Water
  • 1/3 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Container of Vanilla Frosting
  • 1/3 Cup of Blueberries
  • 1 Pint of Fresh Strawberries, pits removes and sliced in half

Directions:

  1. Cook cake mix according to box directions..
  2. Cool 10 mins and remove cake from pan.
  3. Cool for an hour.
  4. Place cake on try and frost top and sides.
  5. For flag design, arrange blueberries in the upper left corner to create stars.
  6. Arrange strawberries in rows to create stripes.
  7. Serve immediately. (Store covered in fridge)

Thoughts After Baking:

I loved this cake and thought it was absolutely delicious. You should add it to however or whichever way you choose to celebrate the festivities.

For more 4th of July recipes, go to Happy 4th of July Triple Berry Salad

For more Betty Crocker recipes, go to Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more holiday recipes, go to Fajitas

For more cake recipes, go to Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce

For more desserts, go to Chocolate Whoppers

French Onion Soup

Thoughts Before Baking:

So this recipe comes from my sister blog theCatWhoWroteaBlog.wordpress.comNow my big sister blog TheCatWhoWroteaBlog usually does this with all the recipes in one post. I prefer doing one at a time so I won’t be reposting the whole thing.

However if you are interested in all the recipes pulled from the tenth book, The Cat Who Talke to Ghosts, just follow this link.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of Butter or Margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil
  • 1 3/4 Cup of Thinly Sliced Onion
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 3 14.5-oz Cans of Beef Broth
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 4 Thick Slices of French Bread, Toasted
  • 1 Cup of Gruyére Cheese, Softened

Directions:

  1. Heat butter or margarine and oil in saucepan.
  2. Add onion slices and sugar.
  3. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown.
  4. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Put soup into 4 bowls and top with toasted bread. Sprinkle cheese on toast.
  8. Broil until cheese melts. Serves 4.

Thoughts After Reading:

I’m not a big French Onion Soup fan, but everyone in my family loved it. They said it was perfect and just how French Soup should taste.

What do I know?

For more on The Cat Who…Cookbook Recipes, go to Chocolate Whoppers

For more soup recipes, go to Hearty Lasagna Soup

For more recipes, go to Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage & Spinach

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So I have been wanting to make this tortellini soup recipe for quite some time now. I actually have two pinned on pinterest, and chose one of them.

This recipe comes from The Yellow Bliss Road blog.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 pound ground Italian Sausage
  • 1/2 cup diced Onion (about 1/2 medium sized onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced Garlic
  • 1-28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1-32. oz. box of Vegetable Broth (chicken works too)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped Basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 9-ounce package refrigerated tortellini
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Heat vegetable oil and add diced onion.
  3. Saute until onions are soft.
  4. Crumble Italian Sausage and garlic with the onion.
  5. Cook until sausage is no longer pink.
  6. Stir in crushed tomatoes, vegetable (or chicken) broth, basil, salt and pepper.
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover.
  8. Let soup simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  9. Add tortellini and spinach and simmer for about ten minutes, until pasta is tender.
  10. Serve with shredded Parmesan.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I thought this soup was amazing.

Even my boyfriend who can’t stand my “healthy food” loved it.

For more The Yellow Bliss Road Recipes, go to Crostini

For more soup recipes, go to Baked Potato Soup

For more tortellini recpies, go to Broccoli & Tortellini Salad with Pesto

For more pinterest recipes, go to Spinach Pasta Salad

Crazy Cantina Chili

So today is:

As I am part Mexican, this is a holiday I celebrate every year. I haven’t posted anything for this day yet as haven’t made anything that would be perfect for any Cinco de Mayo celebration. But today I have something:

Chili

Thoughts Before Cooking:

So a friend of mine entered me in a chili competition and I was at a loss of what to do. I’ve never really cooked chili, but then I decided to do a recipe from The Star Wars Cookbook:Wookie Cookies and Other Galactic Recipes by Robin Davis.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16-0z Can of Kidney Beans
  • 1 16-oz Can of Black Beans
  • 1 16-oz Can of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1/2  a Large Onion
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chili Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 28-oz Can of Crushed Tomatoes with Juice (I used the Diced Tomatoes with Chiles as I like my food HOT!)
  • 1 Cup of Tomato Juice
  • 1 lb of Ground Beef or Turkey (Optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

Directions for Vegetarian Chili:

  1. Open the cans of beans. Drain off the liquid from the cans in the sink. Rinse and set aside.
  2. Chop the onion and set aside.
  3. Put the oil in a large saucepan and set the pan on medium heat.
  4. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onions and stir with a wooden spoon until tender, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chili powder and cayenne pepper and stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato juice; and stir well.
  7. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Serve Chili with cheese and/or sour cream

Directions for Meat Chili:

  1. Cook meat in a pan on the stove.
  2. Follow the directions above, adding the meat during step 7.

Thoughts After Cooking:

I thought the original recipe was good, but wasn’t as hot as I liked it so I added the chiles. I also included meat as I thought it would be more appealing.

I didn’t win the contest, but I had fun trying.

For more recipes to help with your Cinco de Mayo, go to Best Guacamole Ever! (Plus Make Your Own Tortilla Chips!)

For more from The Star Wars Cookbook, go to Twin Sun Toast

For more holiday posts, go to Yoda Soda

For more soups, go to White Bean and Barley Soup with Tomatoes and Greens

For more vegetarian recipes, go to Two-Cheese Roasted-Veggie Pasta

King Arthur Carrot Cake or Cupcakes

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Thoughts Before Cooking:

I didn’t care for the recipe in Carrot Cake Murder, but I had a super big craving for it.

I shopped around until I found the King Arthur website‘s recipe. Now I love the King Arthur Recipes, I used to have a cookie, bar cookie, brownie, and biscotti cookbook; but I’m unsure where I put it in my latest move.

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When I find it I will finish making the recipes and post the ones I’ve already made.

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups of Vegetable Oil or Safflower Oil
  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ginger
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
  • 3 Cups of Grated Carrots
  • 1.5 Cups of Chopped Pecans or Walnuts (Optional)

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 8-0z package of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 2 Teaspoons of Vanilla or Vanilla Extract
  • 2.5-3.5 Cups of Powdered Sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease two 9″ pans, a 9 x 13 pan, or line your cupcake pans.
  3. Mix together the oil, sugar, salt, eggs, cinnamon, and ginger.
  4. Mix the flour and the baking soda separately, then add it in to the previous mixture.
  5. Add carrots and nuts, mixing until well-blended.
  6. Pour into prepared pans.
  7. Bake the cake 35-40 mins or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  8. Let them cool completely before frosting.
  9. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
  10. Add the salt and vanilla.
  11. Beat in the sugar.
  12. Add milk or cream if frosting is too stiff, if too thin add more sugar.
  13. Frost the cake or cupcakes.

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Thoughts After Baking:

This was fantastic!

fantastic

The cake was perfect, not to sweet but not bland.

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And the frosting was absolutely delicious. And with the two combined it was beyond words!

wow

I kept eating and eating them, I just couldn’t stop.

stopeating

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For more cupcake recipes, go to Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cupcakes

For more cake recipes, go to A is for Applesauce Cake

For more dessert recipes, go to Wookie Cookies

For more recipes, go to Brussels Sprouts, Turkey Sausage, & Pesto Pizza Casserole

Pizza Siciliana

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Thoughts Before Reading:

This recipe comes from an old cookbook from the ’70s, Time Life’s American Cooking: The Melting Pot, and covers all kind of recipes from the different cultures in the USA.

I am Sicilian so when I saw the pizza I had to try it. I decided to not make the pizza dough with the recipe they gave but followed every other facet.

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Unlike the familar round Neopolitan pizza,  Sicilian pizza is a newcomer to the pizza-loving Americans. It’s soft, breadlike crust and rectangular shape actually make it a more practical recipe for the home. The ingredients for the garnish are flexible; you can substitue such items as sliced cooked sausage, black olives or anchovies for the mushrooms and peppers-or add any or all of them to the recipe given here.”

-Time Life, 1971

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough

  • 3 Cups of Lukewarm Water (110 to 115 degrees F)
  • 2 Packages of Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 8-10 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Unsalted Butter, Softened

Directions:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of lukewarm water into a cup and sprinkle with yeast and sugar.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 2-3 mins, then stir.
  3. Place the cup in a warm, draft-free place (such as an unlighted oven) for about 10 mins, or until the yeast bubbles and the mixture doubles in volume.
  4. Place the 8 cups of flour and the salt in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center.
  5. Pour in yeast mixture, the ret of the water, the vegetable oil; and with a large wooden spoon incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet.
  6. Continue to stir until the ingredients are well combined and can be shaped into a ball.
  7. Transfer the ball onto a floured surface and begin to knead; pressing the ball with the heel of your hand, pressing forward and folding back.
  8. Knead until dough is smooth, and an elastic medium-firm; (incorporate the 2 more cups of flour if you need to).
  9. With a pastry brush, coat the bottom and the sides of the dough with butter.
  10. Place dough in a bowl and a warm drat-free place for 1-1.5 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. Punch it down with your fists and replace in the bowl to rise again.
  11. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce.
  12. When dough has completed its rising, punch it down and then cut it in half.
  13. Roll out each half to fit in a jelly-roll pan.
  14. Place the dough on the pans and then stretch it with your fingers so hat it fills the edges and corners.
  15. Drape with a towel and place in warm, draft-free place until dough has risen double.

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Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce:

  • 4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of finely Chopped Onions
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of finely chopped Garlic
  • 3-1lb cans of solid packed Tomatoes and their liquid
  • 1 Tablespoon of Basil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Salt
  • 6 oz can of Tomato Paste

Directions:

  1. In a 10-12 inch heavy skillet heat the olive oil, until a lught haze forms.
  2. Add the onions and garlic, stirring frequently until the onion become translucent.
  3. Stir in tomatoes and their liquid, oregano, sugar, black pepper, salt, and tomato paste.
  4. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for an hour.

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Ingredients:

Pizza Garnish:

  • 1 lb of Mozzarella Cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/2 Cup of finely grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Cup of thinly sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Large Green Bell Peeper; seeded, deribbed, and thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper; seeded, deribbed, and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Cup of thinly chopped Onions
  • Chopped Sausage
  • Sliced Olives
  • 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven tp 500 degrees F.
  2. Divide the sauce in half and coat the top of the dough.
  3. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 mintes, then sprinkle with mozzarella, Parmesan, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, olives,  and sausage.
  4. Dribble the olive oil on top and bake for 10 minutes longer.\Cut pizza into squares and serve at once.

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pizzasciliana

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Thoughts After Baking:

Here is what I thought about this pizza:

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It was amazing! The sauce was the best I have ever had and the only one I will ever make for pizza again. It was just so fantastic!

fantastic

You should definitely try this out for yourself!

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For more Italian recipes, go to Italian Wedding Soup

For more recipes, go to A is for Applesauce Cake