Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Daring Cooks Challenge- Potstickers

Oops! I was supposed to post this on the 14th, but I forgot! So here we are! Just a little late!

This was my first attempt at a Daring Cooks Recipe. I was pretty overwhelmed by the sight of it, so waited until just about the last minute before I tried it!
The recipe is from Jen at use real butter. That website has been my motivation to start my own food blog, join the daring kitchen and try all sorts of new recipes! I defintiely think you
should check out her website! She's amazing!!!

Filling Ingredients

Minced Vegetables

Making the Dough

The delicious finished product! MMMMmmm....

Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce
2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

OR

shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork
3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

dough: (double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches - or just halve the filling recipe)
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for worksurface

dipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Make the dough, Method 1: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).

Make the dough, Method 2 (my mom’s instructions): In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Both dough methods: Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side. Keep all unused dough under damp cloth.

To boil: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam: Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry (potstickers): Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.

To freeze: Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.

To serve: Serve dumplings or potstickers hot with your choice of dipping sauce combinations.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!!


This sunday was Mother's day, but since we did the re-model to my parents house for Christmas, they wouldn't let us do any gifts for Mother's day (or father's day, or birthdays....). So instead of doing the normal breakfast in bed for our mom, my siblings and I decided to do a big family breakfast. 


The menu was Cranberry-Orange Scones, Breakfast Kabobs, roasted rosemary potatoes, fresh berries and orange juice. And then to top it all off- The Chocolate Bag! 
The bag is completely chocolate and filled with homemade poundcake, chocolate mousse, and fresh berries. Absolutely delicious!!! 

On a completely different subject- I think my professors are waiting until the last possible second before they post their grades, just to make us have anxiety issues...Add Video

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Daring Kitchen!

I have just joined the world of professional food bloggers by joining the Daring Bakers and the Daring Cooks! That means that twice a month I will be trying out a new recipe and posting the final results on my blog! Keep reading to find out about the most recent things I've made! 

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cookies, Cupcakes and Truffles. Oh my!

 love to cook and bake and so recently I've been toying with the idea of incorporating that into something I can make money doing and possibly turn it into a full time job. So I am doing a lot of experiments with delicious food to see if people might actually want to buy the stuff I make... 

This week I made chocolate orange cupcakes with lemon frosting, yellow cupcakes with chocolate ganache, and berry chocolate chip cupcakes. 
I also experimented with some truffles. I made peanut butter, mocha, and chili powder truffles! 
This weekend I am planning on trying out some iced lemon lavender cookies and possibly some mini-Boston Cream pies! 
If you or anyone you know whats to be a test subject for some of these cookies or cupcakes, let me know! I will sell the experimental batches of cupcakes for $8, and a batch of cookies for $5. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Babies!

So, I have to say, I LOVE having a big family! Everyone is very thoughtfully having babies for me, so I get my baby fix when I need it! Here are some of the cutest kids in the world!!!


Kian looks like he is about to eat Jack Jack!
5 day old Presley in her Easter Dress!
Garrett with his Easter eggs!
Start 'em early, that's what I say!!!!
Little Duffy is one of the happiest chubbiest babies! He's so much fun!!!
Presley and me, the day after she was born
Caleb is too dang cute!!! I just love him to pieces!
Ok, so Ty and Mara aren't babies anymore, but they still deserve a spot because of how cute and perfect they are!!!
And last, but not least, my perfect little Jack Jack! He owns the kissin-est cheeks ever! I can't ever walk past him without kissing him!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

School

School has started once again, but this semester I'm not alone! Tom decided the time was right for him to go back to school so Tuesday was basically his first class since high school!!! I couldn't be prouder of him- it's got to be incredibly hard to go back after all that time. 

He is taking 4 classes this semester:
History- which he loves! For some reason he likes to just sit and read his textbook. Not sure yet what is wrong with him, but hopefully we'll find a cure soon!
Algebra- pretty basic, but is a good review and an easy class to ease him back into school mode.
Intro to Architecture- once again he loves it! 
and CIS- another boring intro class.

I'm only taking 3 classes this semester. My classes are:
Accounting Information Systems
Financial Accounting 2
Operations Management
I'm planning on the semester kicking my butt since all my classes are really work intensive. But hopefully with only 3 classes I'll be able to somewhat survive! 

I have to say though, it's nice to have someone to study with me every night!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tom's Car

In the middle of December during one of the big snow storms, Tom's (relatively) new car was hit. We didn't think it was that much damage, even though he was the only one of the 3 cars involved that couldn't drive away from the accident. As time went on though we found out that since the frame of the car was bent, it was totalled by the impact. He wasn't at fault so we were confident that our insurance company would take care of us, and be able to compensate us fully. 


Unfortunately we found out that we will only be getting about 3/4 the value of our car loan and about half of what we thought the car's value was. When Tom talked to the adjuster and asked about the remaining money in the loan, the adjuster told him he would be able to get the money from the other car's insurance company.  Once our insurance agent came back from the holidays she told us that the this wasn't really the case, that the money we had been originally offered was all we were going to get. We then contacted my aunt Diane (attorney-at-law) who said that we should call them back and try to retract our acceptance of the money. Our agent said that wasn't a problem and she would retract the check first thing in the morning. Then we found out that her manager didn't want to let us retract our (misled) acceptance, so wouldn't let her take the check back.  So after countless calls between Diane, Tom, and our insurance company, we are not only carless, but now owe $3,000 on a car that is no longer in existence, by no fault of ours. Awesome! Thanks All-State! 

We are still trying to work with our insurance company, but at this point doesn't look like there is much else we can do.  We'll keep you updated if anything good happens! Cross your fingers for us!