Oh Sweet Day!

Steamed Mussels in Coconut Curry Broth

August 20, 2014 by Fanny | 1 Comment

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I don’t normally post a lot of savory dishes. Not that we only eat sweets. NO. God No! We eat a lot of rice, pasta, meat, seafood, salad… Just when it comes to dinner time, it’s always chaotic because collecting my kids to the dinner table is one hell of a task. Not to mention grabbing my camera and taking pictures.

My kids don’t eat mussels. And sometimes you just don’t want to make too many dishes to please different people around the dinner table. You will make one big dish so everyone will dig in. No hassle. But I had a severe crave for mussels the other day, and I was in good mood. So I decided to make this for adults and mac-and-cheese for the kids. Everyone happy!

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I can’t fully express my love for these mussels. I could eat this over and over again and DRINK the broth. The flavour is insane. Have a crowd to serve? Just double or triple the recipe. Put 20 minutes TOP for this dish. And everyone loves you!

Ingredients (serves 4):

3 pounds mussels
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon red curry paste
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
 

Directions:

Clean and scrub the mussels. Remove the beards. Discard any open ones.

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat, sautee garlic and onion until fragrant. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and cook for another 2 minutes until tomatoes are softened.

Add curry paste, stir until it’s well distributed.

Add coconut milk and broth, continue cooking until the mixture is smooth and starts simmering.

Toss in mussels. Cover the pan and steam the mussels until they open, about 3 to 5 minutes. Shake the pan occasionally to help them cook.

Check the mussels. Discard those unopened ones. Arrange the mussels on a serving plate. Garnish with parsley. Serve with toasted French bread.

To Maya – I prefer wrestling with you

August 18, 2014 by Fanny | 4 Comments

Dear Maya,

I won’t lie. I’ve never enjoyed cooking with kids. Or you and your brother specifically. I know cooking with kids is supposed to be fun and “relationship building” and blah blah blah and YOU AS A MOM SHOULD TOTALLY DO IT!

But the problem is your lack of ability to listen and follow instructions. And you constantly smell, lick, smear and EAT whatever on the kitchen counter in the process of cooking.

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I think I prefer wrestling with you. Less yelling. Less bloodshed.

Love,
Mommy

Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Muffin with Walnut Streusel

August 15, 2014 by Fanny | 15 Comments

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I can’t tell if it’s the crunchy streusel, or the creamy cream cheese filling, or the moist cakey muffin that makes these muffins so addictive.

I had one for breakfast and one for afternoon snack yesterday.

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I opened a can of puree pumpkin a few days ago for these pumpkin spice macarons. I just couldn’t resist to use the rest right away. And that’s how I came up with these muffins, which are totally insane, considered how flavourful, crunchy, moist and full of spice they are! And the cream cheese surprise in the middle is simply divine.

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Ingredients (12 regular size cupcakes):

Muffin
2 cups all-purposed flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup walnut, chopped
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin tin or line with muffin liners.

In a small bowl, mix together with a spoon the cream cheese mixture ingredients until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare the topping, combine all the streusel ingredients until crumbly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, spice and salt.

In another bowl, lightly beat the pumpkin, eggs, oil and vanilla.

Pour the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Mix with a spatula until moistened.

Evenly divide half of the batter among the muffin cups. Place 1 to 2 teaspoons of the cream cheese filling in the center of each cup, pressing it gently into the batter. Fill with the remaining batter.

Sprinkle around 1 tablespoon of the walnut streusel on top of each muffin.

Bake until risen and browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan.

Pumpkin Spice Macaron

August 14, 2014 by Fanny | 8 Comments

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One of my clients called to order a gluten-free dessert for his aunt who is crazy about pumpkins. When it comes to pumpkins, the most logical dessert would probably be pumpkin pie or cake. And they can easily be converted into gluten-free baked goods. However, it’s not fall yet, it doesn’t seem right to have pumpkin pie during summer!

So I suggested to make him these pumpkin spice macarons. The cookie shells are infused with a couple different spices, and they are absolutely interchangeable. I used ground cinnamon, turmeric and all-spice, but ground ginger, clove, nutmeg are all welcome. The filling is simply a mixture of cream cheese and pumpkin puree. No sugar! And the combination of this slightly less sweet filling and the very sweet cookie shell was fantastic. The notoriously sweetness was gone as the cream cheese filling balanced out the flavour. If you are looking for a solution to make your macarons less sweet, try to use cream cheese filling. It works great with all sorts of flavors.

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Ingredients (around 20 sandwich cookies):

Macaron Shells
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground all-spice
2 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
a drop of orange food coloring paste
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
1/4 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree 
 

Directions:

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Put a master template under the parchment paper or draw about 12 1 1/2-inch circles in rows on the paper, about 1 inch apart.

Process powdered sugar, almond flour and all the spices in a food processor until finely ground. Sift the mixture through a sieve. If there are more than 2 tablespoons of large chunks left in the sieve, grind them and sift again. Set the mixture aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the speed to high and beat until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.

Sift the almond flour mixture over the egg whites. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the almond flour mixture into the egg whites until the ingredients are just combined. Add food coloring to tint the batter. Continue to fold the mixture until it has loosened and falls in a ribbon from the spatula.

Fit a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch round tip and fill the bag with the batter. Using the template as a guide, pipe circles onto the parchment papers.

Tap the bottom of each sheet on the work surface to release trapped air bubbles. Let the cookies stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. This allows the cookies to develop their crusts.

Preheat oven to 300F. Bake the macarons for 10 to 12 minutes, until set but not browned.

Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the macarons to cool completely on the pans. Once cooled, gently lift half of the cookies from the parchment paper and turn them upside down.

To prepare filling, combine cream cheese and pumpkin puree, and mix thoroughly.

Spoon or pipe a teaspoon of filling onto each of the upside-down cookies. Top with the remaining cookies.

Double Chocolate Ice Cream Cake

August 12, 2014 by Fanny | 6 Comments

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I know. I know. We just can’t get enough home made ice cream. Never enough. Simply because it’s too good to resist. I found home made ice cream really the best. And the fact that you can improvise whatever flavour you want is just unbeatable.

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This cake with chocolate ice cream and Oreo crumbs is nothing new, because everyone knows that chocolate and Oreo together will never go wrong. But all I want to talk about is this double chocolate ice cream. The stellar combination of cocoa powder, espresso powder and dark chocolate creates the tremendous amount of depth and richness to this ice cream. Indulge yourself with this because this ice cream is pure indulgence.

Ingredients (one 8-inch cake):

Oreo Crust
2 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Double Chocolate Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon espresso powder
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large egg yolks
100 gram dark chocolate
Topping
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chocolate sprinkles
 

Directions:

To prepare the Oreo base, place Oreo crumbs and melted butter in a bowl and mix to blend. Reserve 1/2 cup, and firmly press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Place crust in the freezer to chill.

To prepare the ice cream, in a medium saucepan, combine milk, heavy cream, 1/4 cup sugar, salt, espresso powder and cocoa powder. Bring mixture to simmer, stir until sugar, espresso and cocoa powder are dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk egg yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in half of the warm cream mixture, mix until blended. Stir yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add chocolate and stir until completely melted and mixture is smooth.

Strain custard into another medium bowl. Let cool over a bowl of ice water, or chill in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.

Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Spread the soften ice cream over the firm Oreo crust. Place the pan in freezer to firm up, at least 30 minutes. Transfer the rest of the ice cream to a container and place in freezer.

Remove cake from the freezer. Sprinkle the reserved Oreo mixture on top. Place pan back in freezer to chill for 10 minutes.

Let the other half of the ice cream soften in room temperature for 10 minutes, and spread it over the chilled Oreo layer. Place pan back in freezer to chill.

To prepare topping, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping back with a big star tip. Pipe a decorative border on the top edge of the cake. Garnish with chocolate sprinkles.

Store in the freezer. Before serving, place a hot towel around the outside of the springform for 30 seconds to release the ring of the springform ring.

To Ethan and Maya – Higher! Higher!

August 11, 2014 by Fanny | 0 comments

Dear Ethan and Maya,

We spent our day at the park on Saturday. Besides the unlimited rounds of What time is it Mr Wolf? and hide-and-seek, you attached to this swing screaming Higher! Higher! pretty much THE WHOLE TIME.

Except nothing is higher for you.

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Love,
Mommy

Walnut Shortbread Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Sandwich

August 7, 2014 by Fanny | 10 Comments

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I have no idea how to describe these ice cream sandwiches. The first bite of it just makes you totally speechless. Buttery, nutty, caremely, crunchy, sweet, chilly, rich, decadent… Just so many words come out from your head that you will have a hard time picking the perfect one for these treats!

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Now let’s talk about the dulce de leche ice cream. The ice cream base is a relatively simple one because it doesn’t require custard, meaning no egg yolks! You can easily whip up the base, make it into ice cream and eat it by spoonful, which you will absolutely already die for it. However I figured that such decadent ice cream could definitely go with something even more sinful. Like buttery shortbread and nutty walnuts. Can you handle the imagination of these three ingredients combined?

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Ingredients (about 15 sandwich cookies):

Walnut Shortbread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dulce De Leche Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cup dulce de leche
Others
1 cup chopped walnuts
 

Directions:

To prepare cookie dough, sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Mix in walnuts. Set aside.

Cream butter and powdered sugar in a bowl of a standing mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla.

Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated.

Gather dough and form a dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to chill.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch rounds using a floured cookie cutter. Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned.

Remove from oven and let the cookies cool a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare ice cream, combine milk, heavy cream, salt and dulce de leche in a medium sauce pan. Bring mixture to simmer, until dulce de leche is dissolved. Remove from heat.

Strain the mixture into another medium bowl. Let cool over a bowl of ice water, or chill in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.

Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to a 9 x 13-inch baking pan, level the top, cover and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.

To assemble the sandwiches, remove ice cream from the freezer, use a cookie cutter to cut out a disc of ice cream and place it on top of one cookie. Place another cookie on top of the ice cream. Lightly press to adhere the sandwich.

Roll or sprinkle the sides with chopped walnuts.

Serve immediately. Or wrap each sandwich with plastic wrap and place them in the freezer.

Summer Fruit Chiffon Cake

August 4, 2014 by Fanny | 12 Comments

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This is such an easy-get-together cake. Perfect for a summer backyard party with a big group of friends. Most importantly, it’s really easy to put together. Not a baker? No problem. The thing is you don’t even need a cake pan to bake this cake. I bet you do have a glass casserole dish, don’t you?

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The beauty of this cake, besides its simplicity, is its versatility. The base could be this chiffon cake, butter pound cakesponge cake or even buttermilk cake. Then cover it with a layer of pillowy whipped cream. And then the fruits , which you are required to go really wild. Berries, stone fruits, cherries… Just make it as colourful and cheerful as you can, because the moment you serve the cake, you will automatically look this colourful and cheerful too. And everybody will love you.

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Ingredients (one 9×13-inch cake):

Chiffon Cake
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Topping
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons powder sugar
1/2 cup fresh strawberry halves
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh nectarine slices
 

Directions:

To prepare the cake. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a bowl of a standing mixer with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Add 2 tablespoon sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form. Scrape the meringue in another bowl. Set aside.

In the same bowl, mix flour mixture, egg yolks, oil, vanilla and the remaining sugar until smooth. About 3 minutes.

Fold in half of the meringue into the batter. Then fold in the rest of the meringue into the batter until just incorporated. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Use a spatula to level the top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for about 10 minutes before inverting on rack. Let cool completely before frosting.

Beat the heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over the cooled cake, then top with the fruits.

Refrigerate until serving. If desired, sprinkle powdered sugar on top of the fruits before serving.

To Ethan – Five more minutes

July 31, 2014 by Fanny | 0 comments

Dear Ethan,

The other day we spent the whole afternoon at the backyard, when it’s time to go back inside the house, shower and go to bed, I yelled at both you and your sister, “SHOWER TIME!” indicating that we’d be engaging that dreaded routine. WHY CAN’T YOU JUST DO WHAT I SAY WITHOUT HAVING ME TO REPEAT IT 600 TIMES?

You bellowed, “Just five more minutes!”

We didn’t really have five more minutes, but FINE! Five more minutes. Only because of that face.

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Love,
Mommy

Categories: Son

16 Back-to-School Recipes

July 30, 2014 by Fanny | 4 Comments

Check out 16 Back-to-School Recipes

by Oh Sweet Day! at Foodie.com


My older child is a notoriously picky eater. He doesn’t really like chocolate or ketchup for god’s sake! He’s so picky that if he’s given a choice between a potato chip or jump off a running car, well, if it’s not the right kind of potato chip, and if it’s not being put inside a right bowl, we might as well all die.

He spent his last school year at kindergarten. And I couldn’t stress enough how frustrated it had been with his eating habit. I’ve started to lose count of how many times I opened his lunch box only to see his food sitting exactly the way it was that morning I arranged it, and I looked like I was going to pass out.

What I’ve been doing is to keep coming up with new stuff that my kid will enjoy eating at school. I sincerely hope that these recipes will help if your kids are as difficult as mine. Cheers.

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Appetizer/Salad

Honey Beer Bread

No Knead Bread Roll

Thyme Garlic Hasselback Potato

Thai Noodle Salad

Main

Chicken Tagine with Yellow Rice

Ham, Cheese, Spinach and Caramalized Onion Quiche

Lasagna Bolognese

Mini Frittata

Soba Noodle with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Sticky Lemon, Thyme and Honey Chicken Drumsticks

Dessert

Cocoa Hazelnut Shortbread with Nutella

Dried Cranberry Shortbread Cookie

Mini Baked Donuts

Mini Cherry Shortbread Pie

My Beloved Chocolate Chip Cookie

Rice Krispies Treat Cupcakes

This post is brought to you by Foodie.com.

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