Chocolate Chip Cookies

Choco chips! Choco choco choco! Chocolate chip cookies! I think freshly baked chocolate chip cookies are one of my greatest weaknesses. When the fragrant chocolate aroma wafts around the house I go crazy! And then I tend to eat one too many cookies for my own good…not good. Even my dogs come around to see what I’m baking–but of course dogs can’t eat any! (These cookies are all mine!) Well, not really all mine…to prevent myself from overeating these delicious golden cookies, I send some to my neighbors and friends.

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Fish Shaped Bread

These cute fish shaped breads are literally called “fish bread” in Korea and “baked sea bream” in Japan. But they’re not actually made from fish, they’re just shaped like them. And inside these little fishy pockets are various fillings like sweet red bean paste or cinnamon and brown sugar. Sometimes they’re filled with chocolate, nutella, and cheese…the possibilities are endless with this little fish.

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Apple Pie on a Rainy Day

I’ve been having cravings for apple pie lately. Just the thought of a warm buttery crust with delicious sweet apple filling makes me feel happy inside. And since this morning was quite chilly with a little bit of rain, I forced myself to go to the market and get myself some fresh Granny Smith apples. They smelled great…and since I bought too many, I might save some for caramel apples later.

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The apple pie recipe I used is from allrecipes.com called “Apple Pie by Grandma Ople.” The pie came out a little bit too sweet for my family’s liking and so I decided to cut down on the sugar. Other than that, the pie was perfect! We almost ate the whole pie in one day!

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Apple Pie

yield: 8 servings

Double Crust Pastry Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
6 tablespoons cold water

Directions:

1. In a bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until dough is crumbly. Add the cold water and mix until a ball is formed. Divide dough so that one half is bigger than the other.
2. Roll out the larger ball and transfer into a 9″ pie pan. Roll out the second ball and cut long vertical pieces to form the lattice cover.
3. Set in fridge while preparing the apple pie filling.

Filling Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and sliced)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in saucepan and stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, cinnamon, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
2. Fill lined pastry pan with sliced apples. Pour sugar mixture over the top and cover with lattice pastry crust.
3. Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.

“Proper Table Setting” Greeting Card

Knowing how to “properly” set a dining table is useful information to know. Sometimes when I’m helping to host a party, I find myself unable to set the dining table! I forget where to put the forks, spoons and knives even though I constantly try to teach myself such lovely etiquette. Then I got an idea to make a greeting card that shows how to properly set a table. I was hoping that it would teach the receiver of the card how to set a dining table too.

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Korean Chicken Porridge

Warm foods are the best on a cold autumn day. Usually porridge is eaten when people are sick or feeling ill. But I prefer eating Korean style chicken porridge for any situation. I love Korean chicken porridge; it’s absolutely delicious with simple and hearty ingredients. There is garlic in the soup, but fortunately it does not smell strongly of garlic.

Korean Chicken Porridge:

Ingredients:

2 lb chicken, with bones and skin
16 garlic cloves
6 cups water
2 cups sweet rice
1-1/4 tsp sea salt
10 black pepper corns
green onions for garnish

Directions:

1. Rinse and soak the sweet rice in a bowl of water for at least 3 hours.
2. In a large pot boil chicken, 10 garlic cloves and pepper corns in 6 cups of water for 2 hours.
3. Remove cooked chicken pieces from the pot and strain out garlic cloves and pepper corns. Remove any excess skin or fat from the broth. Shred the chicken meat into thin pieces.
4. Add the pre-soaked sweet rice, shredded chicken meat, 6 garlic cloves and sea salt into the broth and boil on high heat for 20 minutes. Constantly stir the porridge to prevent it from burning.
5. Serve and garnish with thinly sliced green onions.

Korean Pancake (Hoddeok)

I remember when I was a little kid, my mom used to make us the most delicious Korean pancakes (hoddeok). I’ve never actually been to Korea myself, but my mom said that she used to always eat hoddeok after school on a chilly day. I can imagine how delicious that would have been, eating the piping hot pancakes with the sweet, nutty filling inside. Hoddeok tastes almost like a sticky bun because it’s filled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and pine nuts. It’s a Korean favorite for the fall and winter season and delightfully sweet for any day.

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Cinnamon Frosted Carrot Cupcakes

I’m not too keen on carrots, but I do love carrot cake. I decided to adapt a recipe called “Carrot Cake III” from allrecipes.com and turn them into cupcakes. Since my family members don’t enjoy overly sweetened cakes, I used 1/4 cup less sugar than asked for and it still came out pretty sweet.

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I also frosted the cupcakes with a delicious “Cinnamon Coffee Frosting” from allrecipes.com. The cinnamon in the frosting really brings out the delicious fall spices within the cupcakes while the coffee deepens the aroma and overall flavor. Just for fun, I decorated them with homemade gingerbread men, shredded coconuts and toffee brittle.

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Carrot Cupcakes
yield: about 18 small cupcakes

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Set up cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in grated carrots. Pour into each cupcake mold.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cool entirely before frosting.

 

Cinnamon Coffee Frosting:

Ingredients:
1 tsp ground coffee
2 tbsp hot milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 pinch salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

Directions:
1. Stir the ground coffee into the hot milk and set aside.
2. Beat the butter in a medium bowl until smooth. Blend in cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract.
3. Remove ground coffee from the milk by straining.
4. Alternately beat in the confectioner’s sugar and the milk into the butter mixture.

 

 

Skeleton Gingerbread Men

Halloween is coming in about three weeks. I can hardly wait since it’s one of my favorite events of the year. I love the chilly weather, pumpkin flavored treats, and all the delicious candy. Of course dressing up in something spooky and running around the neighborhood was something I used to do, but now I prefer to let the neighborhood kiddies have all that fun for me.

 

One way I make up for not trick-or-treating is to bake some spooky treats. Today I found a recipe on allrecipes.com called “Eileen’s Spicy Gingerbread Men” and I decided to turn them into skeleton gingerbread men. Ginger cookies and skeletons are perfect for the month of October afterall.

 

Skeleton Gingerbread Men:
yield: 30 cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and egg yolk. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; blend into the wet mixture until smooth. Cover and chill for at least one hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 340 degrees F (175 degrees). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 2 inches apart on parchment paper.
3. Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks. Decorate with royal icing.

Royal Icing:

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 egg white, beaten

Directions:
1. In a bowl, sift together confectioner’s sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in the egg white for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.
2. Quickly dollop the icing into piping bag. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can put it in a zip-loc bag and cut a tiny opening off the edge.