Search This Blog


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Nutella Cupcakes

I can't believe it's been over 2 month since I last posted. It's been crazy with the holidays, work and looking to buy our first house.

My coworker Michelle sent me a pic of Nutella Cupcakes recently. I love Nutella and not sure why I never got around to making cupcakes with it. I guess it's just much easier to eat it out of the jar.

My laziness prevented me from being creative this weekend so I just made my trustworthy chocolate cake recipe with a simple Nutella buttercream.

Nutella Buttercream

  • 1 cups (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 2 to 3 tbs milk*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the butter on medium speed with your mixer until it's light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the powdered sugar. Start mixing with low speed and gradually increase to medium speed. Add the Nutella  then vanilla extract and continue to mix at medium speed. Add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the creamy consistency you desire. 

* I normally use half and half or heavy cream but today I used milk since it's all I have on hand. The frosting still tasted great!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes

I've been seeing so many peppermint related dessert posts lately, really makes it hard to not to do the same. For my company's holiday potluck today I brought Peppermint Chocolate Cupcakes.

For the chocolate cake part, I used one of my favorite one bowl recipe. I normally alternate between the Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Cake or Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake. This time I used the Ina Garten recipe but swamped out the regular coffee with decaf.

Below is the frosting recipe I came up with. This is enough frosting for 24 generously frosted cupcakes.

Peppermint Marshmallow buttercream

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) room temperature unsalted butter
  • 4 oz marshmallow fluff
  • 1  tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- shifted
  • 4 tbs milk

Beat the butter on medium speed until it's light in color and fluffy. Add the marshmallow cream, salt, peppermint, vanilla extract, powdered sugar and milk. Beat on high speed for 5 minutes. Add more milk or powdered sugar pending on if the frosting is too thin (more powdered sugar) or too thick (more milk).

Friday, December 13, 2013

Homemade Chashu Pork for Ramen

Last weekend we went to Craft Butchery in Westport and came home with $45 worth of organic pork belly. Since I love the frozen ramen from Daido (Japanese market in White Plains, NY), I thought it would be fun to see if I can make homemade Chashu Pork to go with the ramen.

I came across a great recipe from Serious Eats but instead of baking it in a very low temperature oven, I just cooked the pork belly over the stove on low heat (bring it up to a boil then reduce the heat). I cooked it for almost 3 hours. There is definitely a little adjustment I have to make but overall it tasted pretty good!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 Recap

This year is the first year that I hosted Thanksgiving. The guest list went from 15 people to 29 people 5 days before Thanksgiving so I was scrambling to come up with a better way to cook the turkey since I knew I wouldn't have enough oven space if I have to bake the turkey for 4.5 hours. 

J's family had fried turkeys (using Butterball XL Electric Fryer) in the past so he suggested doing so since it only takes about 50 mins for a 14 lb bird. At Trader Joe's we decided to get 2 turkeys when we saw the natural, brined turkeys were only $1.99/lb. We got a 14 lb and a 15 lb. We decided on two different flavor injections, Cajun and Savory (typical Thanksgiving herbs). Both came out to be very juicy and flavorful. We are definitely frying turkey from now on!

What was on the menu (made by me and my mom):
2 Fried turkeys- Cajun and Savory 
Apple sausage stuffing
Baked sweet potatoes- cinnamon, honey, butter
Baked red potatoes
Mashed red potatoes
Roasted peppers and onion
Roasted zucchini and yellow squash
Garlic bread
spring rolls
Korean BBQ
Coconut Shrimps
Scallops wrapped in bacon
Shrimp, scallops and asparagus stir fried

Following were made by my Aunt Connie:
King crab salad
Shrimp cocktail
Stir fried lobsters
Clams casino

Desserts (mostly made by me):
Chocolate cake with strawberry filling with whipped cream frosting
Twinkies cupcakes
Pumpkin Pie from Julia's Bakery
Italian pastries from Julia's Bakery

Since I was too busy all day, I forgot to take pictures. Most of the below pictures are from my brother Cliff. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Tomorrow is our Pot Luck at work and of course I'm bringing cupcakes. I found these mini Reese's Mini's while shopping for Halloween candy. Thought they would be great as cupcake toppers. This turns into making peanut butter frosting cupcakes. 

For the chocolate cake, I used the Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate cake for the cake part and decided on a peanut butter whipped frosting. The only difference with the cake is that I substituted the hot water with coffee. 

Peanut Butter Whipped Frosting
24-28 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup of room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/marshmallow fluff
  • 5 cups of powdered sugar
  • 3-5 tbs milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the peanut butter, butter and marshmallow fluff in a large bowl until smooth. Add the vanilla in the mixture. Slowly add the powdered sugar and mix on low until well incorporated. Add in the milk one tbs at a time until you get your desired consistency. Beat the whole mixture on medium high until it's light a fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash/Stew

My Aunt Jenny really likes goulash and beef stew. Since she's not familiar with making Western foods, she asked if I can make it for her. I don't really have the patience to wait hours for my food to be cooked so this is the first time I made something like this. I figured it should be pretty similar to a pot roast. I looked through tons of recipes and came up the this recipe. This is not an authentic Hungarian goulash, more like a cross between goulash and regular beef stew. 

Beef Goulash (using a 6 quart pot)

Step 1
  • 2 1/2 lb beef shank, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil or light olive oil
Step 2
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoke paprika
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Step 3 (optional)
  • 2  cups of carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2  cups of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks 
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms 
Step 1:Heat a large skillet then add in 2 tbs of oil. Add beef and onion, cook until meat is slightly brown. 

Step 2: Add all the ingredients from step 2 into the slow cooker. Stir and mix well. Add the browned beef and onion into the pot. 

Step 3: Cook on high for 5 hours (add the carrots,potatoes, mushrooms one hour before it's done). Or if you cook on low, takes 8-10 hours (add the carrots,potatoes, mushrooms 2 hours before it's done). 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

End of Summer Makeup Haul

I used to be really into makeup and skincare products but the older I get the more lazy I am. Plus I realized that buying new products every month is a major waste. I ended up having to constantly throwing out products I barely used. Now I only buy makeup every 6 months or so and keep my skincare products down to the essentials.

This haul all started two weeks ago when I was on the Sephora website and saw the Hello Kitty cosmetics on sale. I could not resist when I saw the Super Fun makeup collection and also the Happy Fun make up collection. I bought them purely for the Hello Kitty shaped compacts. It was just a bonus that they both came with eyeshadow sticks, eyeliner and lip gloss. Then I saw the Sephora makeup palette that  was on sale too so had to get it!

I was running out of refill for my Shiseido InteGrate Micro Slim Eyebrow pencils so I order more from Everything is in Japanese Yen since it is based in Japan. You pay by using Paypal. This is the second time I purchased something from this seller and so far I am very happy with their products and service.

Then today I went to Lord and Taylor looking to use up my $100 gift card. I was contemplating on buying this purple Kate Spade cross body bag but then J said it was ugly and he rather me spend the extra money on a Tory Burch bag. Since I wasn't really that into it I moved over to the beauty counters. I went to the Lacome counter and the sales lady talked me into getting the blush palette and also their new parfum La Vie Est Belle (1.7oz). Since my purchase was WAY over $40 I got the Gift with Purchase which include a red makeup bag, sample size eyeshadow palette, mascara, eyelash booster, eye makeup remover and Renergie Lift moisturizer/serum.