Sunday, June 21, 2009

Making Soy Milk is as Easy as Reciting your A, B, Cs

I have a confession. I'm a horrible food blogger. I was so excited about devouring the food we had that I didn't take any pictures!!! ahhhhh!! /tucks tail between legs

Last year, I wanted to go to Alice's summerthing too, because Lifehouse was playing for free!. Sadly, I had work. This year...I am unemployed with plenty of free time. I told JSB about it and we decided to do a picnic. As we were putting our picnic together, we thought we made too much food. Turns out we didn't make enough!

We made:

Pasta salad with salami, onions, and celery.

The Salad. I realize it seems "plain," but that's the way I like mine. Not overly saucy.

Sandwich: sourdough slices with spinach and melted mozzarella cheese.
-also yums! Simple, and easy enough for JSB to make! <3 style="font-weight: bold;">Fruits in separate containers: lychee, apricots, mangos, white nectarines.
-sweet and juicy, but the nectarines turned into a nice shade of brown. =( At least it still tasted delicious.
Lychees and Apricots.

Ginseng with honey jello.
-great idea, poor execution. What went wrong? Needed more knox! It tasted fine, but it was practically melting before our eyes.

It was an awesome day. The sun was out with a minimal amount of breeze, which is super rare in SF. I loved it. I was lounging around on the grass reading a book and listening to the awesome free music. For those that are curious, the bands that played were Parachute, Sugar Ray, Matt Nathanson, and Gavin Rossdale.

The only negative aspect of my day was my sunburned face (forehead, nose, and cheeks). Dammit, time to break out the sunblock like sunblock obsessed JSB! She is practically a vampire when it comes to the sun. She refuses to stand in it. If she has to be in it, she puts on sunblock right away, covers her face with her hands too, and wears a cap.

Oh oh, I was also productive in the morning before I left. I had soaked some soybeans the night before to make soy milk. I recently discovered how to make it a few days ago. The process is extremely simple and cheap to make.

Soy Beans.

Soy Milk
Adapted from Just Hungry and Beauty and the Biscuit

Serving size: Unlimited

  • cheesecloth (or any other type of material that will strain tiny granules)
  • dried soybean
  • water
  • blender
  • a big pot


Important key point: 2.5:1 ratio of (water: soybean). That's it! You can make an endless supply of soymilk now.

  1. Soak dried soybeans overnight in a bowl of water that covers the soybeans by at least 2 inches.
  2. The next day, pour out the water. Put 1 cup of soybean and 2 1/2 cups of water in the blender. Blend until all the big chunks are ground up. Pour into the pot. Repeat until all the soybeans are used up. Remember: 2.5 to 1 ratio (water to soybean).
  3. When all the soybeans are ground up, make sure the soy mixture in the pot is not past the halfway point.
  4. Time to boil. As the soy mixture is heating up, skim off all the foam from the blending process. You have to be observant at this point. Watch closely, because as soon as the soy mixture hits its boiling point, it will foam quickly. The moment you see it happening, turn the heat to the lowest setting or if you're scared, just turn the heat off. Add 1 1/2 cups of water.
  5. When the foam subsides, turn the heat to medium/low so that the soy mixture is at a gentle boil, but not at the point where it will start foaming.
  6. Boil for 20 minutes. Stir often to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning, which will give the soy milk a burnt taste. When the heat is turned on high and the soy milk does not foam when it boils, allow it to continue to boil for 10 more minutes. 
  7. When time is up, take another container, place a strainer on top of it, and the cheesecloth on top. Ladle soy milk on top of cheesecloth. When the cheesecloth is filled with soybean fiber (called okara), pick it up and squeeze to take out the remaining soy milk. Repeat until all the soy milk is filtered!

Yums!! Fresh and delicious soy milk for consumption! You can drink soy milk unsweetened, but I prefer my soy milk sweet so I add sugar.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Creme Puff

Cream Puff.

The scary attempt at cream puffs...

Creme puffs are surprisingly easy to make. The recipe came together perfectly. The only thing I would improve is piping the mixture instead of using a spoon.


I also found out I need to work on tempering chocolate. My chocolate came out horrible.


Next time, I also want to work on a custard filling for the cream puff.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

There's a reason why chefs toss pizza dough...

Mmmm...the finished pizza.

For the past week, I've been dreaming and craving for cheese. Mac n' cheese, grilled cheese sandwich, and even a slab of cheese would make me happy. I decided today to make pizza to satisfy my cheese craving.

Drool once.

Drool again.

JSB and I made pizza dough from scratch and it turned out better than we expected. I decided to play safe and stretch the dough on a surface instead of tossing it.

My huge air pockets on the crust.

JSB preferred the more dangerous route of tossing the pizza. She did a pretty good job and it showed on the pizza.

JSB's perfect pizza crust -- the magic of tossing the pizza crust.
(JSB's picture)

As you can see, my dough crust shows all the air pockets from the yeast, but JSB's was dense, smooth, and perfect. Another lesson I learned was that a pizza stone or pizza baking pan is necessary. The pizza crust turned out wonderful, but the center of the pizza was soggy. Lessons for next time.

Mojitos Can Also be made into Popsicles or Granita

Limes and mint leaves.

Yesterday was JSB's birthday and she wanted mojito pops, which is why I made some for her today. This is a fairly simple recipe and it is easy to adjust to your taste. For example, I prefer my mojitos more sour so I put less sugar in the recipe. Also, I love rum so I increased the rum ratio. I should warn you, if you put too much rum, the mixture will not set.

The muddled ingredients.

Mojito Pops
adapted from Erin Cooks

Serving size: approx. 3.5 cups

1 1/2 cups of white granulated sugar, reserve 2 TBSP
1/2 cup water
1 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup fresh mint
12 limes, juiced
6 tablespoons of dark rum
2 cups club soda

  1. Pour sugar and 1/2 cup of water in small pot over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside in refrigerator to cool.
  2. Put the 2 TBSPs sugar, mint and lemon juice in a cup and muddle. Pour into a large bowl with the lime juice.
  3. Pour sugar syrup in the bowl with the juice. Add the rum as well. Stir. Strain the mint leaves out.
  4. Pour in the club soda and give a quick stir.
  5. Pour mixture into popsicle molds or into a large container to make granita. If making popsicles, leave sufficient room at the top so when the mixture freezes it won't bubble over and make a mess in your freezer. If making granita, wait 2-3 hours then give the semi-frozen mixture a stir until the liquid bits and frozen portions are evenly distributed. Allow to freeze and stir again.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vegas Baaaby!

I took this trip waaay back in March, but I was too busy with school to make a post about it. Before I went, I heard about this patisserie at the Bellagio. I read reviews of the place and the desserts sounded so good that I was drooling with excitement. Once I arrived, I made my way to "Jean-Philippe's Patisserie."

My boyfriend ordered a fruit tart. The fruits were freshed and it was presented beautifully.

Fruit tart.

I ordered the tiramisu-- one of my favorite desserts.


We thought the fruit tart tasted better than the tiramisu. I found the tiramisu overly sweet and lacked the expresso taste that I love. The marshmellows on top was a cute touch though.

First floor of the Bellagio Hotel

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies

Milk and Cookies.

Ah yes, another late night creation. This project occurred approximately between 11:00 PM and 12:30 AM. This is my second attempt making this type of cookie. I made several adjustments to the recipe, and it turned out a lot better. The top of the cookie was crackly and crispy similar to a brownie crust. The inside was even better. It was soft, chewy, and full of chocolaty goodness. I should warn those with a super sweet tooth that these cookies do not taste sugary sweet at all. It is more on the bitter side with a hint of sugar to calm the taste buds.

That's right, high quality chocolate from TJ'S!

Double Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Last Night I had a Dream About You and Feed my World

Serving size: 16 cookies

  • 1 oz. of an unsweetened chocolate bar, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) of butter (I used salted butter. If you are using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of chocolate powder
  • a little less than 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chunks

  1. Melt unsweetened chocolate, a few chunks of the semi-sweet chocolate, butter, and coffee granules in the microwave. Start with 40 seconds and stir the mixture. Continue microwaving in increments of 15 seconds and stir. When the chocolate looks nearly melted, continue stirring and the chocolate will melt completely without burning. Set aside and allow it to cool.
  2. Beat eggs and sugar in another bowl. Stop when the mixture is thick, creamy, and lemon colored.
  3. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs/sugar and combine until blended.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  5. Sift the flour and baking soda over the liquid mixture. Add vanilla, chocolate powder, and salt (if you used unsalted butter). Mix.
  6. Stir in semi-sweet chocolate chunks and stop when all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  7. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the tops are puffed and cracked.

All neatly stacked together.


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