Tag Archives: easy

Please Sir, May I Have S’more?

Two days ago, I made homemade graham crackers. They were certainly more crackerish than the last recipe that I had used. Today, I wanted to made an easy and fun twist on s’mores. I looked around on the internet and found a few recipes for a s’more pie. I decided to use these recipes as a starting point for my dessert and off I went. I used my graham crackers and some chocolate animal crackers for a base crust. Then, in the last first minutes of baking, I added some marshmallow and let them melt over it. As the crust was cooling, I made a homemade chocolate pudding and poured it over the base. And voila, S’mores Pudding. This was my first time making a pudding from scratch and it turned out pretty well. There were no clumps or lumps and the flavor was pleasing, so I would say it was a success. Tomorrow, I am having a real s’mores roast, sans chocolate,for me.

~thechildcooks

S’mores Pudding

1 cup crushed graham crackers(crushed chocolate animal crackers mixed in are optional, add to your liking)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 jumbo marshmallows or about 30 minis

1 recipe chocolate pudding

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter in a bowl then press into the bottom of a 9x5x3 loaf pan. Bake for 5 minutes. While the base is baking, tear the jumbo marshmallow into bits slightly smaller than your thumb(if using minis, leave untorn). After 5 minutes take the crust out and sprinkle the marshmallow evenly over the top, bake for 5 more minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool. While the base is cooling, make the chocolate pudding and then pour over the base. refrigerate until set.  

Chocolate Pudding from Betty Crocker

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons corn starch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 cups milk

2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix sugar, cornstarch, salt and cocoa powder in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in milk gradually. cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir some of the mixture into the eggs, then blend into the mixture in the saucepan. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into dishes. Cool slightly and refrigerate.

Graham Crackers from King Arthur

2 cups (8¼ ounces) whole-wheat flour
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
¼ cup (1¾ ounces) vegetable oil
¼ cup (3 ounces) honey
2 to 3 tablespoons (1 to 1½ ounces) milk (approx.)
additional milk for glaze
cinnamon-sugar (optional)

1. In a mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. In a separate bowl, beat egg till light, then add oil, honey and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir into dry ingredients until you have a fairly stiff dough, adding additional milk if necessary. Wrap dough in waxed paper and chill until firm, about 1 hour (or longer, if it’s more convenient).

2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently until it holds together. Roll dough out till it’s about 1/16-inch thick; make sure rolling surface is well-floured, or you’ll have trouble transferring crackers to baking sheet. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

3. Cut dough into 3-inch squares, prick each square several times with a fork, and place on lightly greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with milk, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if you’re so inclined, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crackers are lightly browned. Remove crackers from oven, transfer to a wire cooling rack, and cool completely.

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Steaming My Buns

Steamed buns for the "Bun Mountain",...

Image via Wikipedia

No, I did not go to a sauna. The bun in question are the light, fluffy, awesome and all-around yummy Chinese steamed buns(or Mantou     饅頭). I had seen recipes for them before and thought to myself that there was no way for me to make them and why would I be making them in the first place? I had never had them before and thought that they were only a savory application. That being said, ehrn I went to a local Chinese place I did not take one becuase I thought it would be filled wiht meat. To my surprise, when I went there again today, it was filled with a sweet yellow paste. It was so good and my sister and myself really enjoyed them. So much in fact, that I decided to see if I could make them at home. I remembered the recipes that I had seen and checked some of them out. The first one that I found used a bread machine. That one was out. The next one made eight rolls with 4 cups of flour. That one was out because, well that sounded like a really big roll. The others took types of flour that I had never heard of, let alone had in my pantry. The one I finally found was from allrecipes.com . The reviews on it were all good and the process looked simple enough: made a dough let it rise, add more flour and the remaining ingredients, knead, let rest, knead, shape, let rest and steam. The only problem I had was with the very last instruction-steam. How to steam them without a steamer was my dilemma. I finally ended up constructing one out of a stainless steel bowl and pie-cooling rack with another bowl overturned on top as a lid. The steaming process takes a long time as my bowl is small and you must leave adequate space for the buns to expand. I can fit about 4-5 in at a time and they have to cook for 15-16 minutes. I made 18 bun and am still cooking the second batch; this might take awhile. As I mentioned above, the bun that I saw online were mostly meat filled. The one I had today and the ones I am making are filled with sweets for a more dessertish end product. I filled them with peanut butter, grape jelly, strawberry jelly, cinnamon sugar and a lemon puddingy filling. My dad just tried one of the cinnamon sugar filled buns and said it was really good. Even though he did not have one at the restaurant, he said he was surprised at how close to the restaurant’s buns that they looked. He also commented on the fact that the texture was fluffy and not doughy as he thought they would be. I also made a shamrock green pudding pie for my fathers Sunday School class. Shamrock green because it is close to St. Patrick’s Day and pudding pir becuase kid like pie and monday is Pi day. I just made a simple graham cracker crust and box pudding. I would have liked to make my own pudding or custard filling, but I could not justify using four egg yolks because I know that at my house the whites will not be used. Oh well, maybe next time. I am not sure what else I will make this weekend, but it should be yummy!

~thechildcooks 

Chinese Steamed Buns

From allrecipes.com

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon white sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Mix together yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/4 cup warm water. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Mix in 1/2 cup warm water, flour, salt, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vegetable oil. Knead until dough surface is smooth and elastic. Roll over in a greased bowl, and let stand until triple in size, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Punch down dough, and spread out on a floured board. Sprinkle baking powder evenly on surface, and knead for 5 minutes. Divide dough into 2 parts, and place the piece you are not working with in a covered bowl. Divide each half into 12 parts. Shape each part into a ball with smooth surface up( if you want a filling, roll the ball flat and put about a teaspoon of filling in the gather and pinch to seal). Put each ball on a wax paper square. Let stand covered until double, about 30 minutes.

Bring water to a boil in wok, and reduce heat to medium; the water should still be boiling. Place steam-plate on a small wire rack in the middle of the wok. Transfer as many buns on wax paper as will comfortably fit onto steam-plate leaving 1 to 2 inches between the buns. At least 2 inches space should be left between steam-plate and the wok. Cover wok with lid. Steam buns over boiling water for 15 minutes.

REMOVE LID BEFORE you turn off heat, or else water will drip back onto bun surface and produce yellowish “blisters” on bun surfaces. Continue steaming batches of buns until all are cooked. Enjoy hot or reheated with a steamer.

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Filed under Breads, Sweet, Uncategorized

Plenty of Pierogies

Pierogies. Small, noodle dumplings filled with a mixture of potatoes and cheese. Originating from Eastern Europe, they are common in places like Pittsburg and other areas where people from Europe immigrated. They are very simple to make, and the hardest parts is rolling the dough over and over. Oh yeah, don’t think that just because you want your pierogies now doesn’t mean you get them now. It took me about three hours start to finish, with two of those hours vigorously rolling and filling 50 plus little dumplings. It would probably go faster if I had someone helping me, but that didn’t happen. With help, you could probably be done in about 2 hours. Though, seeing that I didn’t have school today because of the large snowstorms that came through the area, I probably wouldn’t have been doing anything better with my time anyway. Serve the pierogies(I just love typing that word, don’t you just love reading it?)in a broth or with gravy, as the main portion of the meal or as a side. You can freeze any leftovers cooked, or uncooked.  The recipe that I used is from momfukufor2. Remember, if you wish to make pierogies, enlist help and start early.

~thechildcooks

Pierogies from Momofuku from epicurious

Makes approximately 50

Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading

1 cup water

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon salt

Filling:

1 1/2 pound russet (baking) potatoes

6 ounces coarsely Cheddar(for plain pierogies, I left this out)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Other optional spices include garlic powder, onion powder or whatever you think would taste good

Put flour in a large shallow bowl and make a well in center. Add water, egg, oil, and salt to well and carefully beat together with a fork without incorporating flour. Continue stirring with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating flour, until a soft dough forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead, dusting with flour as needed to keep dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (dough will be very soft). Invert a bowl over dough and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain potatoes, then transfer to a bowl along with cheese, salt and pepper and mash with a potato masher or a handheld electric mixer at low-speed until smooth.

When mashed potatoes are cool enough to handle, spoon out a rounded teaspoon and lightly roll into a ball between palms of your hands. Transfer ball to a plate and keep covered with plastic wrap while making 47 (or so)more balls in same manner.

Halve dough and roll out 1 half (keep remaining half under inverted bowl) on lightly floured surface (do not overflour surface or dough will slide instead of stretching) with a lightly floured rolling-pin into a 15-inch round (1/8 inch thick), then cut out 24 rounds with lightly floured cutter. Holding 1 round in palm of your hand, put 1 potato ball in center of round and close your hand to fold round in half, enclosing filling. Pinch edges together to seal completely. (If edges don’t adhere, brush them lightly with water, then seal; do not leave any gaps or pierogi may open during cooking.) Transfer pierogi to a lightly floured kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and cover with another towel. Form more pierogies in same manner.

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil. Add half of pierogies, stirring once or twice to keep them from sticking together, and cook 5 minutes from time pierogies float to surface.If desired, fry in butter or oil until brown.

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Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

I love barbecue sauce! On meat and bread and veggies and I probably would eat it on pasta or rice. Today for dinner we were doing shredded chicken sandwiches and I had a revelation. I saw the idea yesterday on foodgawker and decided to create my simple version of it;pulled chicken sandwiches. I didn’t go through the trouble of roasting my own chicken, making my own sauce or buns though, simplicity is the key here. All together this is a three ingredient meal.

Easy BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

1(four serving) can of white-meat chicken chunks

1 cup of bottled BBQ sauce(your favorite brand)

4 sandwich buns

Heat chicken and BBQ sauce in saucepan with enough water as to not burn it. meanwhile, toast the buns in a toaster oven. After chicken is hot, 5-10 minutes, spoon chicken onto toasted buns and serve. Enjoy! 

~thechildcooks

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