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Monday, May 14, 2012

Coconut Macaroons

After going to Borgata a few weekends ago, we went to eat at the Borgata Buffet. Now if you happen to go, can I recommend one thing you must try before leaving that place? It is their Coconut Macaroons! Now coconut macaroons are always so good but the ones here are just truly amazing (trust me)! Borgata's official website describes their buffet as a place where "dazzling assortment of delicacies awaits, from hearty entrees to tempting desserts that'll send your sweet tooth swooning." I totally agree with the tempting desserts part (mainly the coconut macaroons)!

Apparently, I am not the only one that fantasizes about their macaroons as I came across a review on Yelp and I am quoting, "... the dessert bar was probably the best part...the Macaroon's were the sh*t! Probably my favorite thing in the whole buffet. So if you can stomach (no pun intended) spending $$$ just to get some good ass macaroons then this place is for you!" (again, I am quoting!) :)

So of course I decided to make some myself. I did a quick search for an easy recipe and found one on Foodnetwork.com (see recipe below) but I tweaked it to make mine smaller. What interested me about this recipe was the usage of condensed milk instead of sugar and it actually turned out pretty good! I do have to admit though, they were not as good as the ones from the buffet but they will do for now until I find that secret recipe of theirs! ;)

Awesome, soft, chewy deliciousness! :)

Simple ingredients


Pour the bag of shredded coconut flakes in big bowl.

Add the condensed milk and vanilla extract.

Mix!

Mix two egg whites on high speed mixer so it is white and frothy and can form peaks (can see when you lift mixing beater)

Add the egg whites to the rest of the coconut mixture (don't wait too long as the egg whites will liquify). Fold egg white into coconut mixture.

More parchment paper for second baking pan.


Evenly space them out. They do spread a bit on the bottom due to the condensed milk so do leave some spacing between them. The runny part is actually my favorite!


Makes about 40 macaroons (need two baking pans)

Pop them into the oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. They smell so good my sister can smell it in another room while they were baking in the oven!

Nice and toasty and very chewy! :)


Recipe
Servings - 40 macaroons

14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they become white and frothy and can make peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto baking pans lined with parchment paper (about 1 tsp size each). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

Side Note: To spice it up a notch, you can drizzle chocolate over it or even dip half or the whole macaroon in chocolate (kind of like an Almond Joy)! Yum Yum!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Scrambled Eggs and Tomatoes Stir Fry

Happy Mother's Day!!! Now, before my parents are back from church, let me squeeze in some blogging time as this has been in draft status for awhile. We are planning on taking mother out to an "all you can eat" Japanese restaurant called "River Japanese Cuisine". Now, I need to work up an appetite for a buffet! :)

Now I love simplicity and I love good food, especially if it is easy to make. Eggs and tomatoes is a dish that my mother and grandmother had always made when I was growing up. The scrambled eggs with tomatoes tastes very fresh as there is an abundance of original flavor. This dish is like the American version of spaghetti and pasta sauce (hm...maybe bad analogy, but you know what I am trying to say - basically that it always tastes good but yet so easy to make!) :) Tasty, filling, and definitely a dish that will not take a lot of your time to prepare. Best if eaten over white rice. Enjoy! :)


Beautiful fresh colors

 
 
Scallions - separate end (green part) and head (white part) of scallion

Slice up 3 tomatoes

Use about 6-8 eggs. Scramble and mix eggs.

Add oil, white part of scallions and tomatoes first.

Pour scrambled eggs over and let set for about 3 minutes.

Add the scallions (end, green part). See the egg slowly starting to set.

Using chopsticks, start stirring and mixing.

Recipe
Servings: 4-6

A bundle of scallions
3 tomatoes, sliced
6-8 eggs
1 TBSP fish sauce
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp salt, pepper, sugar

Chop up scallions and separate the head (white part) of the scallions apart from the end (green part). Slice up the tomatoes. For the 6-8 eggs, scramble the eggs in a bowl.

Heat up oil in skillet and add the head (white part) of the scallions. Add the tomatoes and add fish sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook the tomatoes for about 3 minutes (close lid). If there is a lot of liquid after the 3 minutes, scoop it up first (save for later) and then pour the scrambled eggs over the tomatoes. Do not stir for about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the scallion ends (green part) and start stirring. Add the liquid back in and continue stirring.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sloppy Joes Burger

Happy Sunday! The weather has been great lately. My girlfriend and I decided to take a walk at the tracks and we walked about 10 laps (almost 3 miles), which felt great! Maxi also decided to join us in this beautiful weather. After the walk, of course, my body started craving some food and I decided to make something easy. What came to mind was sloppy joes burgers!!! :) What can possibly be easier to make than this?

On a side note, in the Chinese culture, we also have our own version of sloppy joes called the "Rou Jia Mo." It basically means "meat burger." It is a street food that originated from the north of China, specifically from Xi'an in Shaanxi Province and is now popular in all of China. Pork or lamb is usually the meat chosen.

Enjoy my sloppy joes! (They always remind me of elementary school as they used to serve this in the school cafeteria - great memories!) :)

The end result of my simple to make sloppy joes
Maxi enjoying his walk on the tracks as well.
All the ingredients you need. I also added a bit of Sriracha sauce to give it a kick of spiciness (forgot to add it in picture).
A total of about 2 lbs of ground beef
Some garlic and pepper
Any BBQ sauce will do, some pasta sauce, and Worcestershire sauce (if you don't have this, that is fine)
Chopped up garlic and pepper
Sautee the garlic and peppers first
Add in the ground beef
Cook till brown, constantly mixing
Add in the BBQ sauce, pasta sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce
Keep simmering and you will see it thicken
My bites (had to stop myself from finishing it so I can make sure to take a picture! ;)

Recipe
Serving: 8

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper
2 pounds ground beef
8 oz of pasta sauce
8 oz of BBQ sauce
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce, optional
hot sauce, optional
8 hamburger buns

Add some oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add the bell peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the ground beef to the garlic and pepper. Stir and cook about 8 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and is browned. Then add the pasta sauce, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce into the skillet. Continue to stir and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Once done, serve on hamburger bun. Enjoy!