Monthly Archives: July 2011

green tea macarons

Macarons are tricky little suckers. This is my fourth time making them and my third time having them come out okay. My second attempt was the best. This attempt was ehh. Some of the macarons only had feet on one side ๐Ÿ˜ฆ They were still super tasty though. I made a green tea white chocolate ganache for the filling. That was pretty tasty too. My only disappoint is that I didn’t let the ganache set overnight so it was semi-runny when I put it on the macarons. They’re pretty tricky to get right BUT I’m the kind of baker that throws ingredients together. I’ve read on several different blogs that macarons require accurate measurements by grams. Most recipes have measures by grams. I however, use cups. I’m way too lazy to convert and I don’t have a scale. They came out pretty decent so I can’t complain! ๐Ÿ™‚ This recipe is the italian way instead of the french. I’ve played with this recipe and it works pretty well. Hope I can help those who are new to making macarons.
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Here’s the recipe..
Green Tea Macarons w/Green Tea White Chocolate Ganache Filling(adapted from honey and soy/macaron.info)
the paste:
1 cup & 3 tablespoons of almond flour (you can buy almonds and ground them yourself)
1 cup & 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
2 tablespoons of green tea powder (please use the good stuff!)
2 egg whites

the meringue:
1 cup & 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 egg whites
a pinch of salt

sugar syrup:
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of water

white chocolate ganache:
12oz white chocolate chips (1 bag)
1 tablespoon of green tea powder
1 cup heavy cream

1. In a small pot, bring sugar and water to boil. The recipe says you have to use a candy thermometer to make sure it’s at the right temperature but I don’t own one. I just brought the mixture to boil and made sure the sugar was dissolved.
2. Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk 2 egg whites with a pinch of salt. Do NOT start whisking without the salt. The salt helps it become a meringue faster (not really sure why, I read it online and it works).
3. When the meringue is foamy (not like a bubble bath but just lots of bubbles, approximately 1-2 minutes) add in 1 cup & 3 tablespoons of sugar one tablespoon at a time until all of it is mixed.
4. Whisk for 2 more minutes. When the meringue becomes bubble bath like pour in the syrup as the meringue is whisking.
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5. Whisk for about 4-6 more minutes. It should take about 8-12 minutes altogether. Meringue should be firm but not over beaten. While it’s whisking, combine almond flour, powdered sugar, and green tea powder in a large bowl.
6. Mix in 2 remaining egg whites and stir until it becomes paste like.
7. After meringue is done, add the paste mixture and stir to combine. Be careful not to break the air in the meringue and don’t over stir it or it’ll crack while it bakes. No more than 50 strokes.
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8. Using a large ziploc bag or pastry bag, attach a coupler and round tip.
9. Put bag in a large glass and fold down the top of the bag to allow the macaron mixture to be poured in.
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10. Pipe small circles onto a silpat pat or parchment paper
11. Let the shells harden for about an hour. Longer is always better because if it’s not long enough, the macaron shell will crack while it’s baking. To check if it’s long enough gently touch the macaron with your finger. If it doesn’t stick then it’s done but if it does then you have to wait a little bit longer.
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12. While the macaron shells are hardening, make the filling.
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13. In a small pot, bring the heavy cream to boil and then take off stove.
14. Add white chocolate and green tea powder to heavy cream and stir vigorously (if you don’t continuously stir the green tea powder isn’t going to mix in with the chocolate/cream very well).
15. Refridgerate the ganache for about 6 hrs or overnight.
16. Preheat oven to 330 degrees
17. Once the macarons shells have hardened, bake macarons at 330 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
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18. Once the ganache is set, use a butter knife and spread some on one cookie.
19. Take a second cookie and make a sandwich twisting clockwise so the filling doesn’t ooze out.
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I hope this was helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚ These are really great. It makes about at least 4 dozen so it works great as gifts.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

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rice krispie treats

I’ve been baking for four hours! Probably longer than that. So today I made some green tea macarons with green tea white chocolate ganache filling. I couldn’t find my ganache recipe so I used one on allrecipes.com but the ganache hasn’t set yet. It’s still caramel like. I will try to put the macarons together for tomorrow’s post. I also made myself some rice krispie treats. I generally don’t eat the prepackaged ones because I find them wayyyy too sweet. The one I make is just right.
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Here’s the recipe..
Rice Krispie Treats (Kelloggs)
1/4 cup butter
4 cups mini marshmallows
6 cups rice krispie cereal

1. In a large pan, melt butter.
2. After butter is melted, add in 4 cups of marshmallows. Be careful with this part because you don’t want the marshmallows to burn but you want them to melt.
3. Stir in 6 cups of rice krispies cereal. I wouldn’t suggest anything less than 6 cups. I’ve tried that and always found than 6 cups is the best. Don’t mess with the Kelloggs recipe ๐Ÿ™‚
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I actually topped mine with green tea white chocolate ganache and wrote the bf’s name in heath bar bits ๐Ÿ™‚ hehe What can I say? I was bored. No, my name is not Daniel, haha.
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Hope you enjoy. Thanks for comin by ๐Ÿ™‚

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

bbq chicken pizza

Hey all, I’m done with finals for summer session 1! FINALLY! ๐Ÿ™‚ I feel so relieved. I’ve been waiting about a week or longer to make this pizza because I found a new recipe for pizza crust. Let me tell you, this baby smells de-li-cious! It’s so amazing ๐Ÿ™‚ This week is going to be pretty exciting. I plan on tackling making green tea macarons with white chocolate ganache tomorrow so hopefully they turn out yummy. I also plan on making some rice krispy treats. I usually don’t like the ones they sell prepackaged because it’s too sweet. The kind I make is just right. Then on Friday I’m getting back to samoas and making the actual cookies themselves. Buena Park Food Fest is on Saturday and my grandma’s birthday lunch is on Sunday. Talk about a busy week! I’m so ready for it. Anyway, back to my pizza. I suggest washing it down with some pomegranate coke (recipe below). It’s great!

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Here’s the recipe..
BBQ Chicken Pizza (this recipe is for 2 pizzas. halve ingredients accordingly)
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese (please cut yourself)
4oz smoked gouda cheese
2 pizza crusts
2 cooked chicken breasts (cut into squares)
your favorite bbq sauce
extra virgin olive oil
cilantro/red onions for garnishing
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1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees
2. Roll pizza crust about 1/2 inch thick. If it’s a homemade pizza crust, PLEASE pay attention to this step. Sometimes people don’t make the crust thin enough so when it’s cooking the crust doesn’t cook all the way.
3. Spread a layer of olive oil on pizza crust. Just a little bit to coat the surface.
4. Spread bbq sauce on pizza crust. Amount depends on your own liking.
5. If you would like to have red onions or cilantro in your pizza (I don’t) then this would be where you’d add them.
6. Add mozzarella cheese
7. Add chicken breast
8. Top off with smoked gouda cheese (it’s an expensive cheese but TRUST ME, you’ll want this in your pizza. it won’t taste the same without it)
9. Bake at 500 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until brown.
10. Top with cilantro and red onions if desired.
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You’ll love this! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s really yummy. You can bake the chicken breast yourself.

Here’s the recipe..
Baked BBQ Chicken (The Pioneer Womans)
2 chicken breast
favorite bbq sauce
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper according to your liking.
3. Cover chicken breast in bbq sauce. I mean it people..drown those babies. You really want a bbq smoky taste ๐Ÿ™‚
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Start at 20 first, you can bake longer if it’s not done but if it’s dry you can’t do much about that.
5. Cut into squares for the pizza.

Hope you enjoy the recipes! Thanks for coming by.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

pomegranate coke

What can I say? I love pomegranates ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have some pomegranate juice in the fridge so I wanted to make a drink. This week is also finals week for summer school which means ordering pizza. I got some coke along with my pizza. I’m not very big on soda so I decided to add some fruit to my drink. I ended up mixing the coke and the pomegranate juice to make pomegranate coke. It’s kind of like cherry coke and vanilla coke. I hate cherries so that’s out for me. I love vanilla but vanilla coke kind of taste funny to me. The pomegranate juice gives it a real strong flavor that doesn’t taste artificial.

Here’s the recipe..
Pomegranate Coke
1 cup coke
1/3-1/2 cup pomegranate juice (depending on your liking of how strong the pomegranate taste is)
ice cubes

1. Fill a tall glass to the brim with ice
2. Pour in coke
3. Pour in pomegranate juice and stir until combine

Hope you enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚ No pictures today. I need to get a memory card for my new camera first. I’m also suppose to be studying but I’m taking a break to write this post. Wish me luck. Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

samoa bars!!

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Samoas are the most popular kind of Girl Scout Cookies. Although I believe they renamed them Caramel de Lites? I have no idea why because everyone still calls them Samoas. Anyway, I’m not a fan of coconut. In fact I hate it. I’ll only eat it if it’s in a samoa, a pina colada, or coconut jello. By itself it taste funny. I love samoas. They’re one of my favorite cookies, the other being chocolate chip cookies. I save up yearly so when Girl Scout cookie season comes along I buy 5-10 boxes and leave them in my freezer. I can finish one box in the span of 2 hours. These little suckers are so delish! ๐Ÿ™‚ I have always wanted to make my own but never had a recipe. I found one on Baking Bites. She’s like the goddess of homemade Girl Scout cookies ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to eat at her house! haha

Here’s the recipe..
Samoa Bars (adapted from Baking Bites)
shortbread cookie:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks butter
1/2 granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

topping:
7oz bag of coconut flakes
16 oz jar of caramel sauce (You can use actual caramels. Just melt them and add a bit of milk and salt)

12oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips to dip in

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl, mix sugar and butter together.
3. Crack a large egg in and mix again. Please use a mixer. Doing this by hand is no bueno people.
4. Add vanilla extract and salt and mix.
5. Slowly mix in the 2 cups of flour.
6. Grease a 9×13 pan and pour batter in. Use a spoon or spatula to spread it evenly.
7. Pour coconut onto a cookie sheet in a single layer.
8. Bake shortbread at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Bake coconut flakes at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (stir every 5 minutes! not optional! no stirring = burnt coconut)
9. While the shortbread is cooling, pour caramel sauce into a separate bowl.
10. Mix in the toasted coconut flakes and stir until combined.
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11. Once the shortbread and coconut are cooled, pour coconut mixture onto shortbread.
12. With a spatula or spoon, spread coconut mixture evenly. Put in fridge for about 15 minutes for caramel to set.
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13. When the caramel is set, cut into squares.
14. In a microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips at 30 second intervals until melted. Be sure to stir after ever 30 seconds.
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15. Dip the bottom of the shortbread bars into the chocolate chip and let rest on wax paper or foil. Wax paper is recommended but I didn’t have any on hand so I used foil.
16. After all the bars are dipped, pour remaining chocolate into a plastic ziploc bag.
17. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and make drizzles on the shortbread bars.
18. Refridgerate before eating! This is the hardest step but the chocolate/caramel must be set for the flavor to blend. It’s a bit messy without being in the fridge.
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ENJOY! ๐Ÿ™‚ These are delicious. Very very satisfying. I’m quite happy with these little suckers. I’ll be making samoa cookies next! Wish me luck!

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!! THERE WILL BE A FOOD TRUCK FEST FOR BUENA PARK HIGH SCHOOL (NEAR FULLERTON) ON JULY 30TH WHICH IS NEXT SATURDAY. IT’S FROM 5-10PM. PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT THEM! THE FOOD FEST IS HELD IN THEIR FOOTBALL STADIUM. THEY’RE ONE OF THE POORER HIGH SCHOOLS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT BUT STILL WANT TO HELP THEN PLEASE LET ME KNOW. I’M COLLECTING TOOTHPASTE, TOOTHBRUSHES, BODY SPRAY, AND DEODORANT FOR THE MEMBERS OF THEIR FOOTBALL TEAM. OUT OF ALL THE PLAYERS, ONLY 2 LIVE WITH BOTH PARENTS. 6 OF THEM LIVE WITH THEIR FOSTER PARENTS AND 12 LIVE FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER. THESE KIDS DESERVE THE HIGH SCHOOL EXPERIENCE JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE.
HERE’S AN ARTICLE IN THE OC REGISTER ABOUT THEIR TEAM. http://www.ocvarsity.com/articles/-22003–.html
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SUPPORT THEM. THIS ARTICLE REALLY HITS CLOSE TO HOME. IF YOU CAN MAKE IT TO THE FOOD FEST, I’LL SEE YOU THERE! ๐Ÿ™‚ THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY!

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

ever heard of egg tarts?

I LOVE egg tarts. When I go dim sum or yum cha (drink tea) with my family I always get them. I guess technically they would be a egg custard tart. Regardless, they’re spankin delicious. After class yesterday I was bored because I had finished all my homework. When I’m bored I do one of two things, sleep or bake. I didn’t want to ruin my sleeping cycle so I decided to bake. I saw this awesome recipe on Baking Bites and I had to try it out. I’d be famous if I knew how to make homemade egg tarts! ๐Ÿ™‚ At least among my family members I’d be famous. Unfortunately, they didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped. I ran out of sugar while making my ultimate brownies (recipe below) so I substituted brown sugar for regular granulated. I’m not sure if that was a good idea. I didn’t have a stand mixer or food processor with me so I tried my best to mix the butter and flour together. In the end, I thought the crust tasted like butter. Not exactly what I was hoping for. I’m sure it’s only because I didn’t mix it well enough ๐Ÿ˜ฆ so bummed! The custard part was fabulous. I love custards, they’re AH-MAZING. I also substituted the regular sugar with brown sugar for the custard part but I don’t think it made much of a difference. The color of the custard is a little darker but the taste was still the same. They didn’t look the way I wanted them to so no pictures here ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I might be getting my hands on a professional camera tomorrow! I’m so stoked. I can finally take some awesome pictures of my food.

Here’s the recipe..
Egg Tarts (adapted from Baking Bites)
for the crust:
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons regular granulated sugar (do NOT substitute)
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of cold butter not room temperature
1 large egg

for the filling:
1/2 cup regular granulated sugar
1 cup milk
4 large egg yolks (I’m a macaron lover and I’ve made them on three separate occasions so I leave the egg whites for my macarons!)

1. In a food processor pulse flour, sugar, and salt together.
2. Cut the stick of butter into pieces and pulse with flour mixture.
3. After the butter is mixed with the flour, it should look like streusel topping. It’s suppose to be a little crumbly. Mix in the egg.
4. Pour dough into a ziploc bag and seal it without air. After it’s sealed, mold the dough into a large ball and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
6. In a medium bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks together.
7. Slowly whisk in milk.
8. Take dough out of fridge and pull dough into 10 even balls.
9. Take each ball of dough and press it into a cupcake pan. Make sure the bottom of the crust is as thick as the sides.
10. After all the crust are made, pour custard mixture into a measuring cup or something that can pour easily.
11. Pour the custard mixture into the crust. Be careful not to pour too much mixture or it will leak through the crust and cause a mess.
11. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

They’re amazing! I hope you take the time to try them out and send me pictures of yours. I would love to see some pictures of them made correctly. Don’t be like me! ๐Ÿ˜› If you’re a custard person, you’ll love this recipe. Sorry for the lack of photos. I promise I’ll take some more. Tomorrow will be interesting! I’ll be attempting to make homemade samoa scones and samoa bars. Both recipes courtesy of Baking Bites. I love her. She’s amazing too. Her blog has homemade recipes for all the Girl Scout Cookies. How cool is that? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for comin by.

Fail Sweetly,
Justina

diced tomato & beef pasta

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I’m extremely bummed. In all my effort not to look like an airhead (sorry) I couldn’t help myself. I was reading Helen Naturally and saw her italian spaghetti recipe. What a perfect meal for dinner right? Yes, if I weren’t such an airhead. I love tomatoes..and broccoli because well..when you put them together they’re Christmas colors and that’s my favorite holiday! ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, all day I was looking forward to making myself a big plate of spaghetti for dinner because it’s one of my all time favorite comfort foods. That was until I actually got to making it and realized that I got the WRONG can of tomatoes! Instead of buying a can of diced tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce, I got two cans of diced tomatoes. Overall, the pasta is still delicious. I’m just so bummed I didn’t get spaghetti! Nothing speaks more love than a plate of oozing red goodness. I pretty much converted a italian spaghetti recipe to something my mom would make! Haha, don’t tell her I said that ๐Ÿ˜€
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Here’s the recipe..
Diced Tomato & Beef Pasta
For the pasta:
1 package thin spaghetti
a pinch of salt
water for boiling

For “sauce”:
1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
3 cloves minced garlic
1 stalk chopped green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg
2 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2-1 tablespoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes

1. Boil spaghetti according to packaged instructions
2. Combine ground beef and ground pork until well mixed.
3. In a separate bowl, beat an egg and add it to the meat mixture.
4. Stir in the egg
5. In a pan, heat olive oil. When it becomes hot enough, add in garlic.
6. When garlic starts to brown add in the meat mixture.
7. When the meat is half way cooked (almost all brown) add in all your spices.
8. When spices are all incorporated, the meat should almost be done or done.
9. Stir in green onions and diced tomatoes.
10. Cook for about 2 minutes.
11. Grab a plate and layer on some spaghetti noodles. Add a large heaping of the sauce and enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Hope you try this! I grew up eating my tomatoes on the sweeter side because both of my parents didn’t like sour food. I love them either way. I’ll eat them in spaghetti, raw, or in this tomato/egg dish that my mom makes. If you’d like a more real tomato taste, just leave out the brown sugar. Some may still call this spaghetti but I don’t. It ain’t spaghetti till it’s oozing and covered with red goodness. Thanks for rolling by! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fail Sweetly,
Justina