Churros with Cinnamon Sugar

March 13, 2010

I remember my first time eating churros was at Disneyland in California back in 1992 when I was 7 years old. That was a very long time ago. My family and I spent a month travelling in the States. It is funny that I don't remember much about the trip. The only thing I remember is that I ate this 2-feet long crispy, deep fried, dough coated with sweet cinnamon sugar.  At that time, I didn't think I knew what it really was until these past several years. No Mickey Mouse, Peter Pan or Prince Charming...Just churros that is all I remember my first trip to Disneyland...

Making churros is easier than I thought. Things that look like they would be hard to make are not that hard once you try. Churros is definitely one of them. It's a perfect substitution when you have doughnuts craving because you don't need to wait for the dough to rise. No yeast in the recipe.

Soft Pretzels

March 10, 2010

After seeing many soft pretzels postings on TasteSpotting lately, I decided to give it another try.  My skills with yeast have been improved since I discovered a trick to make my bread dough rise. In the past, I always had troubles making my bread dough doubled its size because it is always cold inside the house especially in the winter. The trick that I found is to turn on the oven at the lowest temperature for 5 mins or so and turn the oven off to create a warm cozy little place for our yeast friend. You can do that while you knead the dough. So, by the time you're done with kneading...the oven will be nice and warm (not too hot) for our yeast friend. Now, we have became good friends, and I never have troubles with the dough anymore. After searching for a good soft pretzel recipe, I ended up with this recipe. Most of the comments that people left are positive, so I have a good feeling that I'll end up good, delicious soft pretzels. The final result turned out pretty well.

World Book Day

March 6, 2010

I discovered that yesterday, March 4, was World Book Day through Blipfoto, where I post my 365-days project. Since I'm a food lover, I love to read books that have stories related to food. However, I did really get into it until the beginning of the year. If you're interested to know the books that I have been reading so far, here is my compiling list. The books that I heart the most (so far) are The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones and A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg.

The Last Chinese Chef is a fiction story of widowed American food writer, Maggie McElroy, who finds out that someone in China has filed a paternity claim against her husband's estate after a year of her husband's death. Because of this, she asks her editor for time off to go to China and take care of this matter. However, her editor assigns her a project to profile rising cuilinary star Sam Liang, who is a half-Chinese American Chef living in Beijing. This is how the story of Maggie's charactoer developed . I love this book not only because it has a food-related story, but it also gives you an insight of Chinese's culinary and political history and culture. This book combines the stories of food, history, culture, love, and friendship into one. I think it's a well-written and well-researched fiction. I found that I became engaged in the story, and it was hard to put the book down.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table is a non-fiction book that Molly Wizenberg shares her personal life stories, along with her recipes. It is fascinating to learn about her personal life stories and also the stories behind the recipes that she gives in the book. The book offers a wide range of flavors; sad, happy, funny, name it, with variety of recipes. After I read through her book, I feel the need of trying the recipes that she shares. Molly also has a food blog called Orangette. So, if you're interested, feel free to drop by and check it out. I borrowed this book from a library, so I think I'll need to get my own copy of this. A paperback version is coming out at the end of the month, so I can't wait!

After finished Molly's book yesterday, I'm currently I love, I lost, I made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci. Not much I can say about this book yet since I started last night. However, it is interesting to read and learn about food and culture...from Chinese to French...and now Italian...

Chocolate Almond Lemon Meringue Tart

March 4, 2010

It is interesting how the weather can effect our mood. After I jinxed the weather last week, we got snow for couple days. However, the snow didn't stay that long, pretty much all gone by now. For the past couple days, the weather has been very nice, sunny. The temperature is above the zero. It feels like the day is longer. People are happy and alive. That's a very good sign telling me that Spring is coming soon!  

To celebrate the nice weather and the sign of the spring season, I decided to make these tangy, lip-smacking lemon meringue tarts. Playing around the the tart dough's recipe, I added cocoa powder and ground almond. The sweet nutty tart is well-balance with the tangy flavour of the lemon filling. Enjoy!