When life gives you lemon, you make… Lemon cake :)

When life gives you lemon…

You squeeze it, grate it and turn it into Lemon Cake 🙂

A great beginning in May!

Recipe from Joy of Baking

1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
A pinch of salt
4 eggs
2 cups of flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 350°
2. Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy

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3. Add vanilla and salt

4. Beat in 1 egg at a time

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5. Sift flour and baking powder together
6. Mix in flour alternatively with lemon juice

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7. Bake for 8 min in mini muffin tin, or 45-50 min in cake pan
8. Test for doness

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Comfort Food

What’s your comfort food? Mac n Cheese? Eggs? Lasagne? For me it’s Jiaozi – Dumplings.

I remember growing up making dumplings at home. Mom would do all the chopping and mixing, so I don’t really know her recipe.  If you know anything about Chinese cooking, it’s always a bit of this, a bit of that, no one really know the actual measurements.

So here’s my recipe for my favorite dumpling:

1 package of ground turkey

2 brunches of yellow chives

2 packages of enoki mushrooms

10 pieces of woodear

2 packages of shrimp

1. Marinade the meat with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tablespoon of rice wine

2. Wash and cut vegetables into tiny pieces

3. Wash, Peel and devein shrimp

4. Season the shrimp separately with soy sauce, rice wine, pepper and sesame oil

5. Mix Vegetables and meat together, then stir in shrimp

6. Make a few dumplings and cook it for tasting – just to make sure that it’s not utterly bland.  Don’t go crazy with the seasoning because you can always season the broth or sauce that you eat it with

7. Make all the dumplings, freeze them for later 🙂

 

Read this before making:

I know the recipe sounds vague with 1 package of this and a brunch of that. That’s how we shop for food nowadays, so here’s the key:

  1. the ratio of meat to vegetables is about 1 to 3 or 1 to 4  The vegetables are there to separate the meat, if there’s too little veggie, the dumpling will become a big meat ball
  2. Ground chicken, turkey or pork – keyword is ground… beef tends to have stronger aroma and taste, it cooks faster too, I haven’t tried this so let me know how it goes
  3. vegetables: Chives (strong aroma), Yellow Chives, or Napa cabbage (little aroma) – guess something that will not go soggy after freezing and boiling
  4. Woodear and enoki – they gives crunchiness to the dumplings
  5. Sauce – a mixture of soy sauce, chili sauce, sesame oil and a tad of vinegar

20140430-144848.jpgcooking instructions from The Dumpling Man

 

Social Enterprise – @Eastvanroasters

Happy Easter!

Instead of chocolate eggs, this year I’m going to have chocolate 🙂 Handcrafted in Downtown Vancouver – you can go to their store to see the process! Pretty hipstery! Pricing wise is good for value with single origins bar at $7 or sampler (3 for $18). I love the Madagascar – good balance between fruity, sweet and chocolatey. What I find best is that by buying products from East Van Roaster, you are contributing to PHS Community Service Program, helping women residence of the Rainer Hotel 🙂

Check out East Van Roaster

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Volunteering at La Cocina

La Cocina – a food incubator program for women entrepreneurs with low income. They have received a number of orders this year for gift boxes and I was fortunate enough to be making them. I had the opportunity to play Santa’s elves and I felt very rewarding looking at all those boxes stacking up. 100+ boxes ready for shipping after 3hrs 🙂 The best part, I got to try the local goodies, I must say they are extraordinary! Next time I leave sf, no more Ghirardelli, instead TCHO, Saints&olive (Spicy Chocolate Biscotti – delish!!), St Claire’s squares (Shortbread – flakey buttery) and Kika’s Treats ( Caramelized Grahams in Dark Chocolate). But it wouldn’t be complete without Contraband coffee!

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Holiday baking

The aroma of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, caramelized sugar and melted butter filling up the room.

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Gingerbread Cookie from Joy of Baking
1 egg
1/2 c of butter
3 c of flour – I used whole wheat flour and it taste a bit like Mcvities Digestives
Be very generous with the spices – cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and fresh ginger
2/3 c of molasses
1/2 c of sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda

1. Beat sugar and butter til light and fluffy
2. Mix in molasses and egg
3. Stir in dry ingredients until the batter is well combined
4. Refridgerate for couple of hours/ overnight
5. Roll out dough, shape with cookie cutter, bake at 350F for 8-10 min.
6. Check for doneness and Cool on rack