Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Spring Rain in My Garden

This year's abundant spring rain brought many plants alive unexpectedly.  A few days of nice warm temperatures helped many plants to sprout and blossom in my garden.
This is YUZU tree.  (Hope it will survive the hot summer sun up here.)
 Wow!.  There are tons of maple seedlings growing.  It's supposed to be a tropical fruits seedlings in this planter.  Not sure what that large leaf plant is.  I should have labeled or recorded what tropical fruits I planted.  It will be a mystery... and of course, if it survive the hot summer up here.  Likely I need to built a tiny hot house over it during summer to help it.
 This is really a surprise.  I bought this Japanese maple tree at one of the Buddhist temple's bazaar last spring.  It was just a twig.  It was actually kind of half dead.  But look.  Thanks to the rain.  It's a beautiful red feather maple. 
 Took some maple seedlings out.
 Very interesting.  I know I planted some kind of tropical fruits' seeds... about three different types.  Not sure what they are.
 Transferred the red feather maple to my pretty pot.  Replanted Pineapple plant also.
Will find out this summer how all these will be doing.  Live or Let Die...

Looking Back - How Funny... My YouTube Postings

How funny this morning that I went back to review the YouTube postings I did a few years back.  What's funny is that since then I have learned quite a bit from my own experiences baking those same items and my methods have changed.  I was laughing to myself - "Really?" "That's a lot of work."   I only look at them as my passage of learning... but certainly as I have posted them to be viewed by the public I have the obligation to remove/replace a few of them.  Not that they are invalid any longer but I have a better easier method(s) - especially when it comes to folding of meringue into the main mixture to make Chiffon Cakes.   I do recall, however, when I was learning to make the Chiffon cake, folding of meringue was a big deal to me.  I've tried folding with balloon whisk, by hands the old fashion way, or spatula; occasionally, the tidbits of meringue were missed and show up as white puff in the cake.  But now, it's a whip.  It's not a good video recording as I did not do audio recording in most of them; but here is the link to take a peak and chuckle.\ 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Polly's Fudgy Brownies

Not sure what happened to this posting while I was enhancing - supposed to to my blog's template format.  This Fudgy Brownie's blog's text comes with highlighted background that I could not get rid of.  So, I am trying it again.
I think this is my very first post for Brownies - Fudgy style.
I came across this recipe while trying to nurse my foot back to normal after the bunion surgery.
Let me warn you - if you have a bad deformed foot/toe(s) caused by bunion - pray that your recovery would be smooth.  Take good care of your feet so you can cook and bake without pain.

Fudgy Brownies
Mix everything by hand with spatula and or spoon
Bainmarie - in a heat proof bowl Melt 6 oz - 1/2 semi bitter Chocolate chips and 1/2 Milk chocolate chips  over a simmering pot of water and add 1 stick of Butter.  Stir to melt with chocolate and butter.  Remove from the pot. Dry the exterior of the bowl.
Slowly mix in 1-1/2 c sugar into chocolate mixture.   The mixture will become grainy.

 Add egg one at a time - 3 eggs;  Stir well at each addition.  The mixture will look smoother.
DRY ingredients:  SHIFT together -
1/4 c cocoa powder.  (Dutch  processed cocoa gives darker color and "Hershey's Natural" gives reddish color.)
 Pinch of Salt
1/2 c + 1 Tbsp Flour
Add to chocolate mixture

Preheat oven to 350'F
Line 8x8 baking with buttered parchment or aluminum.  If aluminum, shift cornstarch in to coat the buttered surface.
Bake in 350'F 30 to 35 min or until the tester comes out a bit with dry solid, but not wet.
Use hot blade knife to slice and wipe blade in between each cut.

 Nice Shiny Crust!  Soft fudgy center.

Tasty Ideas - Brownie ice-cream sandwich:
 If you didn't finish it all, slice them into halves crosswise.
Slice out frozen ice-cream into same shape.  Sandwich it between the brownies.
Wrap them up with foil to freeze or eat it just like that.
Enjoy a frozen brownie ice-cream sandwich.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Polly's Pillows and Homemade Chili

Nothing beats the homemade Chili with this Puffy fried Pillows.  It becomes the primary and chili is its accompaniment.  
Drizzle honey all over and scoop in some chili and just enjoy every bite.  
Ingredients are sooo simple! - Flour, some EVOO, salt to taste, and Water!   Mix. Cover and rest the dough for 10 min.  Divide the dough into fair size.  
On a floured surface - Roll the dough out nice and smooth and evenly. 
TIP:  Roll out the dough piece nice and smooth and evenly and "Bobbing" the dough during frying is the key to help it Puff Up!
No yeast, no baking powder.   Just simple ingredients of flour, oil, and water to mix.
Just watch it puff up in hot frying oil when you bobble it.
Even the ones that's half puffed are just as welcomed by family members.  It's one of our family favorites.