Green Tea and Red Bean Mochi

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in Recipe | 0 comments

Happy Lunar New Year everyone~! I hope everyone made it through Nemo alright. I, personally, was thrilled to wake up and be greeted by 27 inches of snow…and miraculously still have power intact. I think our neighborhood is the most beautiful during the winter, especially when covered by snow. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Lunar New Year, today (2/10/13) is the first day of the first month of the year of the snake…according to the lunar calendar. [insert moment of enlightenment: “Oh, so that’s why it’s called Lunar New Year!”] There are fifteen days dedicated to rest and relaxation and celebrating the new year. Our family only really observes three of those fifteen days. Considering how the United States doesn’t recognize Lunar New Year as a holiday, celebrations here are nowhere as big as they are in Asia — but we make up for what’s missing in the streets in our own homes. Traditionally, the eve (which doesn’t count as one of the fifteen) is spent with family in a big, celebratory, reunion dinner. Besides the good food, most children are more concerned with receiving red envelopes at the end of the night. The first day of the Lunar New Year is a time to honor one’s elders. The second day is when married daughters return to visit their birth parents. Since my grandpa has four children, my dad being the only son, I’m sure you can imagine how this becomes yet another big dinner. On the last day of the new year celebration, also known as the Lantern (yuan xiao “元宵”) Festival, we eat tangyuan — which roughly translates as “round [balls] in soup”. Although there are several legends as to why we eat tangyuan, our family sticks to the reason that it symbolizes the end and beginning of a new year, of how everything has come full circle and begins anew. This brings me to today’s awesomely simple recipe! Tangyuan are very similar to mochi. It’s the soup version of mochi. Mochi is a traditional new years dessert which is basically a sweet rice cake, typically covered in sesame or sugared peanut powder or with filling inside. It’s almost always a big hit with the older folk. I have no idea why, but this particular gooey sweet hits a soft spot in their hearts. Since my grandpa loves all things red bean and is forever requesting some sort of red bean dessert (he’s also perennially asking why I don’t put red bean in my cheesecakes) I decided to make red bean mochi.   But, being who I am, just regular red bean mochi wouldn’t be any fun. I wanted cute mochi…pastel mochi!  Ingredients: Filling: ~ 16 oz adzuki beans 1/2 cup water 1 cup sugar 2 tbsp vegetable oil Cook the adzuki beans until soft and tender, then mash them into a paste.  In a separate pot, add the water and sugar and bring to a boil until the sugar dissolves. Mix the simple syrup and vegetable oil with the mashed red beans. This should give you a very mildly sweet paste. Add more sugar to taste. Mochi Skin: 1 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour 1/4 cup sugar 2/3 cup water 2 drops green food coloring 1/4 tsp matcha green tea cornstarch Note: You must use glutinous rice flour! Other types of flour just won’t work as a substitute. You can find glutinous rice flour at Asian supermarkets. Although this is usually mixed and cooked over the stove, the mixture eventually gets so sticky and hard to stir that it may end up burning on the stove. So instead,...

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Mocha Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted by on Jan 26, 2013 in Recipe | 0 comments

Hello all! To start off: Happy Belated Holidays and Happy New Year and Happy Start of the New Semester!!!! (If you’re in school that is). Although the winter holidays are over, it is still absolutely freezing, with temperatures low enough to make my toes fall off. To heat you guys up, here’s a quick cookie recipe that I recently made. These mocha pecan chocolate chip cookies are absolutely delicious, with a hint of cayenne pepper to emphasize the hot melty chewy yumminess of the chocolate. I would love to pair these cookies with a glass of milk, or even better: hot chocolate! Unfortunately, silly me went and left the whole batch of cookies at home, and now I am stranded far far away from home with no cookies and nothing but me, myself, and my ramen. Thus, I shall live vicariously through you all who make these babies! They are so quick and easy to make, and the bit of coffee will perk you up :) Ingredients (this recipe is adapted from So Hungry I Could Blog) 350 degrees, 10-12 minutes, 1 tbsp balls of dough make around 50 (in my case 53!) cookies 2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup sugar 1 cup light brown sugar 2 eggs, room temperature 2 1/2 cups flour 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons ground espresso 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 3/4 cups crushed pecans Making this cookie couldn’t be easier. Start off by creaming the butter and sugar until beautiful whipped peaks form. Add eggs one at a time and incorporate. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Then add the dry batch to the wet, in parts. The dough should become a wonderful chocolate-y color and the texture should be like fluffy chocolate mousse. Do not be tempted to eat! Finally, using a spatula, fold in the chocolate chips and pecans. Place 1 tbsp balls of dough ~2 inches apart and pop in oven! Let cool, and devour while warm and melty, or eat when cool and chewy. :) Enjoy! – Jas Photographs taken by Jasmine...

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Long Island Winter Farmer’s Market — January 6, 2013

Posted by on Jan 5, 2013 in Miscellaneous | 0 comments

Happy 2013 everyone! Wishing you all experience more good times than you can count with plenty of good food and company. For those of you who follow us on Facebook, you’ll know that we’ve been busy-busy these last two weeks. After spending our Christmas with family, it was off to trek through the snowy cold of Quebec to eat our little hearts out (look forward to those posts!). Now, we’re back in NY and baking up a storm. Our kitchen’s a complete mess but it smells absolutely heavenly. Why? We’ll be at the Long Island Winter Farmer’s Market this Sunday (January 6, 2013) from 10 am to 2 pm selling our goodies for our fundraiser! Come stop by our table this weekend and help contribute to a great cause to start off your new year.  Visit us at the Long Island Winter Farmer’s Market at: 155 Lowndes Ave. Huntington Station, NY 11746 We’ll be selling matcha shortbread cookies, matcha langues de chat, a super simple variation of our tasty savory palmiers, almond biscotti, carrot oatmeal surprise cookies, pecan thumbprint cookies, and chocolate lollipops! Or, if you can’t make it but would like to donate nevertheless, just click on the donate buttons in the sidebar. ~ AJ ~ P.S. I debated writing an actual post along with this little blurb but decided this was too important to be left as a side note to nommable foods. So I shall be leaving you all in suspense as to what sorts of deliciousness we have planned....

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Cookie Swap 2012 (Carrot Oatmeal and Almond Biscotti)

Posted by on Dec 13, 2012 in Recipe | 2 comments

It’s that time of year again, when bells are a-jingling, lights are a-sparklin’, and spirits are spiraling downwards into depression as finals suck the life out of us…I mean, spirits are soaring with holiday cheer while everyone is frantically clogging up the mall to finish last minute shopping. Ahem. Well! There’s no better way to kick the ba-humbug out of you than with some homemade cookies filled with good cheer. Or so I tell myself to ward off the guilt of inhaling sugary carbs with a disapprovingly high calorie count. Yum. Before I manage to bring your spirits down further, as we’ve mentioned in a few posts, we’ve taken part in this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012! [insert cheers and applause here] This year, the cookie swap isn’t just contributing to the food blogger community but it’s also supporting the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer’s cause. OXO will match donations to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for up to $100,000! In fact, OXO was kind enough to send us a nifty little “Good Cookie” spatula. How cute is that? Does Cookies for Kids’ Cancer sound familiar? If you read our previous post, then you’d know that S.S.Munchies is also holding our own fundraiser until the end of January 2013 for Save the Children and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Read our post for more information on the fundraiser and help donate or spread the word! Now, on to what you were actually waiting for…If you liked our cookies last year, we think you’ll love what we made this year — so make sure to try them out before the world ends next week! This year, I made some simple but tasty Almond Biscotti with Mint Chocolate and Jas has some special Carrot Oatmeal Surprise Cookies in store for you. Hey guys, Jas finally making my reappearance today. It’s that time of year again: Cookie Swap! This called for me to drop all my work, roll up em sleeves, and finally get back to baking over this past Thanksgiving break. Mmmm what better way to procrastinate? This year, I definitely wanted to make a healthy, yet scrumptious oatmeal type cookie, as I have been a bit obsessive over oatmeal lately. Hey, as a poor college student what better quick breakfast than instant oatmeal and hot water? (plus rivers of honey and chunky bits of walnuts mmm). Yet, I wasn’t aiming for just any boring old typical oatmeal raisin. After browsing through recipes, I decided nothing fit into what I felt like making, and ended up doing a science experiment of sorts and winging it. The end result of my Carrot Oatmeal Surprise Cookies ended up beautifully mouthwatering with the perfect balance of salty, sweet, chewy, and crunchy. Yay for mad scientist Jas in the kitchen! Here’s the delectable (and super healthy) recipe below. Keep in mind that everything is free for variation of your own desires, as I pretty much eyeballed everything. (I have measuring lines in my eyeballs that tell me to stop pouring when it reaches the “delicious” level). Oh, and the carrots give the cookies such a lovely golden orange splash of color, definitely perfect for a gift cookie! Carrot Oatmeal Surprise Cookies (makes 36 small cookies) Ingredients 1 stick unsalted butter, softened 2/3 cup brown sugar 1 egg (preferably room temperature) ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract ½ cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt (sea salt works nicely) 1 ½ cup of oats (any kind is fine, I just used instant) 2/3 cup nut of choice (I used...

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Rice Pudding

Posted by on Nov 26, 2012 in Recipe | 4 comments

Every year, right around Turkey Day (and that other day where children scream in delight or anguish as they viciously rip apart wrapping paper), there’s usually a cooking frenzy going on in the kitchen the day before and the day of right up to the last second before we finally sit down (or collapse) and dig in for dinner (like ravenous wolves). This year wasn’t any different and once it was time for dessert (y’know, the most important part of a meal?) I was once again accosted reminded that I need to stop being a lazy ass neglecting our wonderful blog in favor of school work and share some regularly demanded recipes.  And so I shall. Why? Because despite my selfishly wanting to hoard the recipe to myself and continue stringing you all along with my delicious desserts as I secretly brainwash you all into mindless followers to prepare an army of meat shields for the zombie apocaplyse…ahem, Jas has convinced me that sharing this information will be for the betterment of humankind. Yes, now all households (who read our tiny blog) may sit down and enjoy a delicious bowl of…rice pudding. Mmm, rice pudding. That weird pudding that’s not quite pudding, shunned by all other smooth and velvety puddings due to its lumpy appearance. Fortunately, bread pudding is its best friend.  Anywho, rice pudding’s a great comfort food and is mild in taste if you’re not a fan of overly sweet pudding. It’s easy to make, and if you follow this recipe, you’ll feel like you haven’t done any actual cooking at all. Ingredients: 7 cups water 1 cup rice 1 cinnamon stick (4-inches) 1 12 oz can evaporated milk 1 14 oz can condensed milk 2 cups whole milk Cook the rice in the water with the cinnamon stick. This will infuse the rice with cinnamon flavor. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until the rice is tender. Strain the rice. Throw out the starchy liquid and cinnamon stick. If you have leftover rice, you can simply skip the previous two steps and use leftover rice. (It won’t have cinnamon undertones but will be just as good.) Stir in the milk, evaporated milk, and condensed milk. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture boils. Stir frequently! Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened. Serve chilled! See what I mean about feeling like you haven’t cooked anything? I like to top it off with some homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon powder. Makes me feel like I actually made it…even if I did. Does that make any sense? Enjoy~! ~ AJ ~ Photographs taken and provided by AnnMarie...

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