Archive for April, 2012

April 25, 2012

Fresh Catch: Catfish

by tina

Since the weather has gotten warmer and nicer, my friends and I decided to go fishing.  It was my first time and I was definitely excited.  The lake that we went to was stocked with crappies, sunfish, catfish, bass etc.  We started in the afternoon and there were no catches until sunset… not until the last 30 minutes we were there. We eventually caught 3 catfishes–one caught right after the other. It probably would’ve been a sad trip if we didn’t end up catching anything.

I caught one–my first catch, ever. :D

Afterwards, we randomly asked an Asian restaurant to clean the fishes for us.

Then I cooked my catfish… was quite scared of taking it out of the bag for some reason. Probably because it has fangs and whiskers and I was the one who killed it. :\

I cut the pieces in cross sections and peeled the fish skin off.

I stir-fried a few garlic cloves, ginger chunks, and green onion chunks. Added a little salt. Then, after placing the fish in, I added a soy sauce/sugar combination as the sauce and thickened it with corn starch.

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April 18, 2012

Mini Green Tea Cupcakes

by tina

Before making these, I was spending way too much of my time trying to perfect the Japanese fluffy cheesecake… I tried making it 3 times, and all 3 times I was unable to acheive the fluffiness. Not sure why it’s so hard. Maybe it’s the whole cake flour that I used, but anyway, since I have a lot of this cake flour left, I found a few recipes that would make good use of it. Including this one! :)

Recipe adapted from Food Mayhem and I also looked at this one from Avocado – Pesto.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour (I used organic whole cake flour)
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder (I used SerendipiTea’s matcha culinary grade, organic green tea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon white sugar (I cut back on a little bit of the sugar)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used Trader Joe’s alcohol free)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used Clover’s natural sour cream)

For Frosting

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons matcha powder
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Place muffin liners in muffin tin.

In a bowl, sift together flour, matcha powder, baking soda, and salt. Then mix with spatula.

In the stand mixer’s mixing bowl, beat together sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract at low speed (level 1/2).

At low speed (level 1), add half of the dry mixture stirring just until incorporated.

Then add half the sour cream, stirring at low speed (level 1).

Add the rest of the dry mixture, stirring at low speed (level 1).

Then add the rest of the sour cream, stirring at low speed (level 1) until incorporated.

Fill mini muffin liners 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Mine took 11 minutes. (I went a little over the 2/3 fill line, judging by the way mine turned out compared to Food Mayhem’s). Leave in muffin tin for 10 minutes and then remove.

*For some reason my cupcake pictures turned out a little lighter than they really are.*

Cool completely before frosting.

For Frosting:

Sift together confectioners sugar, and matcha powder in a bowl. Then mix with spatula.

In the stand mixer’s mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, vanilla extract, and butter for 4-5 minutes on low speed (level 2).

Lower the speed to 1 and slowly add the dry mixture.  Then increase the speed to medium (level 3/4) and beat for another 4-5 minutes.

Frost using a piping bag.

This was my first time frosting with a piping bag. The consistency of the frosting is actually quite thick and it was hard to do the swirls, so I resorted to simply just frosting at the center. The frosting is a bit sweet for me, so just a little bit of sweetness at the center was actually the perfect amount for my liking.  I love the aromatic smell and the tea taste is also just right–My new fave cupcake!

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