Entries tagged with “mister”.
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Thu 7 Apr 2011
Posted by Dana under Savory
My daffodils and tulips are just starting to poke up through the dirt! The days are getting longer and warmer, the snow drifts are almost gone and I am so excited to get a green thumb on this summer. This is just the beginning.
In other news: there is a small river running through our back yard. It used to be a small lake, but thanks to Mister’s endeavors the lake has drained out into the lane and we are now left with the Great Backyard River. It’s complete with an (almost) oxbow, and even rapids.
Mister is pretty ambitious, what with the river building and all. People who build rivers in the afternoon build up mighty appetites. Potstickers were just the thing to fill up his empty tummy.
(adapted from the recipe at My Husband Cooks, I’m so sad they don’t post anymore)
6 green onion stalks
3 garlic cloves
2 inch thumb of ginger
16 oz canned water chestnuts
4 Tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds of ground beef, extra lean if possible
~1 1/2 packages of wonton wrappers
a small bowl of warm water
- Cut the tips off of the green onions, the roots and the ragged ends. Mince them up. Then do the same for the ginger and garlic, removing the skin or yucky tips and mincing away. Potstickers require a lot of mincing.
- Mince the water chestnuts as well. You could chop them up less finely, but I’m a fan of the crunch without the chunks in this case.
- Combine all of the above with the ground beef, pepper and the soya sauce. Work it together into an almost meatball like mixture; use your hands and it goes so much more quickly than with a spoon.
- Set out a wonton wrappers (keep the stack under a dish towel so they don’t dry out). Dip your fingers in the water and run them around the edges of the wrapper to moisten them. This is what makes the edges stick.
- Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half diagonally over the filling to form a triangle.
- Press out any of the air bubbles, sealing the wrapper shut along the edges.
- Pinch together small folds into the sealed edges of the wrapper. This will make the edges stay sealed, and will also make your potstickers look vaguely like stegosauruses. I do 5 folds per potsticker, you can choose on your own how many to do. The first ones you do will look kind of funny, but they get better looking as you get more experience pinching; remember that the funny looking ones taste just the same.
- Repeat repeat repeat until you run out of filling.
- Here is where you come to a crossroads: if you are going to freeze your potstickers for later use, place them on cookie sheets, not touching at all or they will stick together, and freeze. Once frozen, you can put the potstickers into a resealable bag or an air tight container with a lid. If you aren’t freezing your potstickers, proceed with the following steps: how to cook them.
- In a large pan over mid-high heat, add a tablespoon or two of vegetable or sesame oil. When the oil gets nice and hot lay down some of the potstickers, being sure not to crowd them.
- When the potstickers have browned on the bottom, pour in a 1/3 cup of water into the pan and quickly cover it with a lid.
- Decrease the heat to mid-low and allow the dumplings to steam for about 3 minutes, or until most of the water is gone.
- Remove the pan from heat and transfer the potstickers to your serving plate. Wipe the pan again and continue with additional batches until you have enough potstickers for your purpose. Store the cooked potstickers in a warm location as you cook other batches.
You can cook frozen potstickers with the same procedure given above, the steaming gets the filling cooked through just fine.
Potstickers are a great thing to have at a party or to bring to a potluck, they aren’t very messy to eat. They’ve also become a standby meal for when there are time constraints between work and evening activities because they take a matter of minutes to go from freezer to table. We’ve become a little bit addicted to these lovely little pockets of savory goodness, moving onto our second batch in a matter of weeks.
Mister the river-digger certainly enjoys them, saying: “They’re very tasty with just the right amount of crunchy.” This coming from a man who says he doesn’t like water chestnuts, ha ha.
Mon 31 Jan 2011
Posted by Dana under Sweet
Mister always wants ice cream cake on his birthday. His wish is understandable, what with the glorious goodness of ice cream cake and all. Still, a January boy’s requests for ice cream cake just make the room feel extra chilly. Luckily, the birthday boy got his wish. I can’t say no to him. Besides, the ice cream maker was beckoning for me to use it again.
The cake was assembled as follows: in a 13 inch spring form pan bake a half recipe of these brownies and allow them to cool completely. Then, make a recipe for the filling of raspberry Eskimo pie, and top the brownie layer with it, evening it to the edges with a spatula and then popping into the freezer. For the third and final layer, I made deeply chocolate ice cream (recipe to follow). When the ice cream is made, spread it evenly over the Eskimo pie layer. Then I gave Mister my color wheel of sprinkles and let him go wild.
With a home made ice cream cake, keep it in the freezer until you’re just about ready to serve it, but give it a few minutes to soften before cutting it so that the sleeve of the spring form pan will come off without cracking the cake and so that cutting slices will be easier.
(Thank you Mister for pouring for the camera!)
Darkly intense home made chocolate ice cream on light and fluffy raspberry Eskimo pie on fudgy brownie, that’s an ice cream cake of grand proportion. I’m not going to give a recipe for the cake per se, the recipes for the bottom two layers have already appeared here, and have been linked to in the above paragraphs. The chocolate ice cream, deeply chocolate ice cream is the new thing. And here is the recipe:
Deeply Chocolate Ice Cream
(with infinitely small adaptations from Trish’s Darker Chocolate Ice Cream)
1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
1/2 Cup water
4 egg yolks
1 Tbsp honey (I used buckwheat honey, because that was what I had in the pantry)
1/2 Cup hot milk
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
1 Cup coffee cream
2 Tbsp Godiva liqueur
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and the first measure of cocoa powder. Gradually mix in the water so that the mixture is not clumpy.
- Place the pan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil, mixing often so that the sugar dissolves and does not burn. Boil the syrup until it is a glossy brown.
- In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks and honey. Temper the egg yolk mixture with the chocolate syrup, and then whisk in the egg yolks. Cook the custard to 170° F.
- In another bowl, or a measuring cup, make a paste of the milk and the second measure of cocoa powder. This is what makes the ice cream so deeply chocolate tasting. Beat the chocolate paste into the custard.
- Finally add the coffee cream and the Godiva liqueur.
- Cover the mixture and chill so that it the flavors develop and it will behave itself in the ice cream maker. When it is chilled completely, follow your ice cream maker’s requirements and make the ice cream.
Parts of me are almost sad that all of the ice cream cake was gone by the next morning, I wish I could have had a bigger piece.
Mister says his second cake was really good; that the contrast of textures and flavors was really nice between the layers of the cake. Also, he liked the intensity of the chocolate flavor in the ice cream.
Wed 26 Jan 2011
Posted by Dana under Sweet
Today is Mister’s birthday!
Someone must love him very much (I wonder who?), because he’s getting two epic birthday cakes. One for his official birthday, today, and one for the birthday party on Saturday. You’ve got to be a pretty special person to warrant two epic birthday cakes! Birthday cake number two will follow this weekend.
As an extra special birthday surprise, we found out that he isn’t getting sent away by the military in the beginning of February anymore! What luck, I’m positively gleeful for that news.
Mister’s Woodgrain Birthday Cake
(recipe slightly adapted from Take a Megabite)
1 Cup granulated sugar
1 Cup milk
1 Cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 Cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 Cup cocoa powder
- In a bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until foamy.
- Slowly add the oil, milk and vanilla, mixing until combined.
- Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the dry mixture slowly to the wet, combining until the batter is free of lumps.
- Pour half of the batter into a large measuring cup (best if it has a pour spout).
- Add the cocoa powder to the remaining batter, mixing until smooth.
- Scrape the chocolate batter into another measuring cup (also good to have a pour spout).
- Grease your cake pan (9 inch round, or other shaped of your choice, yay hearts!).
- Starting with the vanilla batter, pour a small round directly into the middle of the pan. It should be about an inch and a half around, or ~3 Tbsp. Then, pour the same amount of chocolate batter into the center of the vanilla batter. Imagine a bulls-eye, always pour into the middle of the bulls-eye.
- Continue alternating the batters until you run out. As the cake batter is poured, it will force the previous layers outward and upward, creating the woodgrain effect.
- Bake the cake in a 350° oven until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake (~35 minutes).
- Allow to cool and ice.
The cake was very tasty, but I think next time I’ll use a combination of baking powder and baking soda because the texture was a little bit off of my liking. Still, the woodgrain effect was gorgeous and Mister enjoyed his cake and blowing out his candle (we didn’t have any cake candles). I love you Mister!
Mister rates his cake: tasty and cool looking, but a little too crumby.