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Cheesy Scalloped Vegetables

7 Aug

This delicious dish combines a vegetable mix (Potatoes, Onions, Green Peppers, and Carrots) with a delicious, and extra cheesy sauce. My family tends to prefer vegetable dishes while I prefer potatoes. πŸ˜‚ This was a nice medium and was completely gone by the end of the meal. Several people complimented the dish, including my uncles — so it’s a good dish all around!

I’ll make another version later and include a photo — unfortunately, this one was gone before I remembered to grab the picture 🀣

Filling Ingredients

  • 3-4 Large Potatoes or 7-8 Small Potatoes (Peeled or Unpeeled to preference)
    • (Yukon Gold is preferred. but Red Potatoes are acceptable)
  • 4-5 Medium Carrots (Peeled)

Clean the vegetables. Slice thinly so they will cook through.

Put vegetables in a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil on a stovetop on medium heat about 25 – 28 minutes. You should be able to easily stab them through with a fork. Work on the sauce while you wait.

Use a strainer to dump the water and set aside to cool for handling.

Cheesy Sauce

  • 1 Medium Fresh Onion
  • 1 Large Green Pepper
  • 2-3 TBSP of Butter
  • Fresh Garlic or Garlic Power (to taste)
    • My family prefers more garlic so we use 4-5 cloves, but it’s up to you.
  • 1/4 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp of Salt
  • 1 tsp of Ground Black Pepper
  • 16 oz (1 lb) of American Cheese
    • Other cheese varieties are acceptable. But it must melt well and spread (e.g. not mozzarella).
    • Shredded is fine, but not necessary. Just make thin slices.
  • Spices to taste
    • Add 1/2 tsp of other spices as desired (Paprika, Chili Pepper, Thyme, etc)

Peel the Onion and Garlic (if using fresh). Slice Onion, Green Pepper, and Garlic thinly and in small pieces. Cook in a skillet with Butter on Medium Heat until cooked and browned.

Add Flour and stir until vegetables are covered (about 3-4 minutes).

Add Milk and Sour Cream. Cook until boiling on the edges, stirred frequently. Should be thickening.

Add Salt, Pepper, Spices, and American Cheese. Cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and the sauce is creamy. Stir frequently to spread the cheese and avoid clumps.

Combine and Bake

  • 1/4 Cup of Parmesan (Optional — add as a topping)

Set Oven to 400F.

Oil a 9″x13″ baking dish (or spray with oil / Pam). This keeps the vegetables from sticking.

Include a base layer of potatoes and carrots. Cover with sauce.

Repeat until all vegetables are used — make sure it is completely covered with sauce on top.

If desired, spread the Parmesan on top.

Bake 30 Minutes. If your oven usually requires more time, continue cooking until the top is nicely browned. Just remember to check every 3-4 minutes!

Scrumptious Chocolate Cake

2 Aug

Ingredients & Instructions

The Cake

In a large metal bowl sift together the dry ingredients listed below. A fork should work – just lightly blend together , don’t over-stir.

  • 1 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup of Cake Flour
  • 2 Cups of White Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup of Natural Baking Cocoa
  • 2 tsp. of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp of Espresso

In a separate metal bowl, mix together the wet ingredients listed below. Again a fork should work.

  • 1/2 Cup of Buttermilk
  • 3/4 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 tsp. of Vanilla
  • 1 tsp of Table Salt

Slowly add the wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients using a hand mixer. You may need to shift the mixer to a higher setting as you do so — it becomes a little tough. Just blend until well combined, don’t over-mix.

Slowly (using a fork) add in the following ingredient to give the cake moisture and break down any remaining sugar or cocoa lumps.

  • 1/2 Cup of HOT water (I nuked it in the microwave for 1:30 minutes).

Oil three 8″ round metal pans. Put parchment paper on the bottom. Pour the cake into the pans spread equally throughout each.

Bake on 350F for 15 minutes. Turn the pans. Bake another 10 minutes and then test every 2 minutes with a toothpick. When the toothpick comes out clean, the cakes are finished.

Rest the cakes on cooling racks in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife gently around the outside edge to avoid sticking. Put the Cooling Rack over the top of the pan and gently flip. Tap the bottom of the pan lightly to make sure the cake has come out. Remove the parchment paper. Set to cool completely.

The Icing

Start by blending the butter with a hand mixer until creamy (about 3 minutes). Then add the other ingredients until thoroughly mixed (about 2-3 minutes).

  • 2 &1/2 sticks of Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp. of Vanilla
  • 4 Cups of Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. of Whipping Cream
  • 3/4 Cup of Baking Cocoa

This is enough to ice thinly between each cake layer and substantial icing left for a thick coating for the top and sides.

The Ganache

Heat the whipping cream in the microwave (1 minute) and add in chips when it starts to boil. Leave in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over the sides and top of the cake.

(Borrowed from Lindsey’s “The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe“)

  • 7 ounces of Chocolate Chips (flavored chips are a great addition)
  • 1/2 Cup of Whipping Cream
  • Add nuts or sprinkles to flavor

The cake is best served warm!

Ginger Cookies!

14 Jan

Ginger cookies! So chewy and tasty. One of the few cookies I love when not feeling well. Based on a modified old recipe from taste of home.

2 Cups of Flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1.5 tsp of Cinnamon
1 tsp of Ginger
1/2 tsp of Nutmeg
1/2 tsp of Cloves
1/2 tsp of Salt
1/4 cup of Butter
1/2 cup of Oil
1 cup of Sugar
2.5 TBSP of Molasses
1 Egg

Mix dry ingredients first then combine butter in with hands until blended. Add wet ingredients.

Form into balls and roll in sugar.

Cook on cookie sheet until 350F / 177C for 15 min.

Great for an upset stomach 😍

Fried Rice Recipe Attempt!

18 Sep

First efforts at making Fried Rice at home – well, first at making any rice! πŸ˜„ Since I’ve lived in Asia 6 years now, thought I ought to try 🍚 Came out DELICIOUS! It’s seriously as good as any I’ve ever tried before!

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Rice was shockingly easy:
+ Cups of rice (your choice) – I mixed rice types & it came out good βœ…
+2 Cups if Water per Cup of rice
+ Salt (I used a shaker and put about 4 twists)

Get water really boiling (high medium heat) for a few minutes. Throw in rice & salt. Put on lid and leave at same heat for 18 minutes. Don’t take off the lid! Turn off but leave covered until pan is cooled. Refrigerate overnight for #FriedRice

Fried Rice:
+3-4 Cups of Cooked Rice (next day)
+1 Bag of frozen mixed vegetables or mix fresh of (corn, peas, carrots)
+2-3TBSP Oil for frying (Olive, Sesame, Vegetable)
+ 3-4T Soy Sauce (add more to cover as needed – it goes a long way)
+ Fresh Garlic (sliced thinly to taste)

Cook vegetables and garlic first in oil until done, stirring occasionally. Add rice and stir in slowly until rice is thoroughly warmed and mixed in. Add Soy Sauce. Warm a little longer. SERVE! 🍚🍚

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Funnel Cake & Cultural Differences πŸ˜‚

26 Jul

My #Chinese student said #funnelcakes looks like chicken feet πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Distracted #Cooking!

13 Aug

Lol πŸ˜› Decided to make my mom a treat the other day – #NoBake Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies.

To be fair to myself, I was also baking #stuffedpeppers, answering student messages, and finishing a major project for my MSc.

anyway, I was already experimenting a bit. No #butter, so I tried #CoconutOil. No #PeanutButter, so I made my own.

Got to taste them and mom’s like ‘these don’t taste right. . . ‘

Me: ‘Better term – They taste #disgusting 😱

Us: Why πŸ€”

Mom: Did you #cook them to a high enough temperature?πŸ™‚

Me: ❓❓❓ They don’t cook, they’re #nobake.

Mom: πŸ˜³πŸ™„

Me: Wait. . . . ‘checks recipe’ Well *&%$.

Hahahaha! They were supposed to be boiled, and I didn’t cook them at all. No wonder they were #terrible #spititout

#Travel #Foodie! – Canteloupe Cereal

27 Jul

#Canteloupe cereal anyone?!?

Scale of 1 to 5 how delicious does it look? πŸ˜ƒ

Holiday Meatloaf – #Cooking for #Beginners

23 Mar

Made a delicious and pretty #meatloaf from scratch!

2.5 pound Homemade hamburger (we shredded the #beef ourselves cause hamburger isn’t always available in China)
+ 1/2 head of #garlic (never can have too much garlic!)
+3 eggs
+2 Green Peppers
+1 Onion
+3 TBSP Wostershire Sauce
+1 TBSP Liquid Smoke
+1/2 Cup #BBQ sauce
+2TBSP Honey Dijon Mustard
+1/2 Cup Cream
+1.5ish cups #Oatmeal (till it held shape but still wet).
Random salt & pepper
+4 small tomatoes sliced into 4 pieces.

Throw everything except oatmeal & tomatoes into a big bowl. Mix together with a spoon or fork.
Add oatmeal – mix again.

Take a large #castiron skillet and smooth it out. It shouldn’t be more than 2inches thick or it doesn’t cookas fast. Not less than 1inch thick or it dries out.

Cooking = Easy! Cover the skillet with a lid or aluminum foil (keeps it from being dry).
Oven on 425 (190C) and give it 45minutes. Check. If done, you’re good. If not, maybe keep adding 15 minutes then check until it is done.

It was a big hit! πŸ˜ƒ Easy for #beginner cooking

#Pizza (made in #China)

19 Jan

First ever #homemade #pizza!!!! Made from scratch and pretty impressive if I say so myself. #China does not seem to believe in pizza #sauce since none of their pizza have much if any. They have a tendency to just throw #cheese on the dough without. So, tonight (to celebrate end of the #semester), I decided to try at a REAL (Okay, fairly recognizable) pizza-ish pizza! Came out yummy!πŸ•

#Baking in China – Apple Pie!

14 Jan

​Viola! I make a mean #ApplePie if I say so myself. Little more difficult to do in #China; but still. . . . came out delicious!   People at work appreciate it 😜

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