Monday, March 28, 2011

Second Attempt at Red Velvet Cake: SUCCESS! I

Since it was Spring Break and I didn't really have anything else to do, I decided to attempt Red Velvet Cake again for another church gathering (I didn't want to post the pics I took of my first attempt because it wasn't that great -_-*). This time, I decided to use white cake mix (instead of making everything from scratch) and sour cream (because I was trying to finish it before it spoils and because I found some red velvet recipes that uses sour cream anyways! yay!). A tip for you: buy things you know you will need when they are on sale! I knew I was going to be baking red velvet again, so I bought some cake mix and icing when it was on sale for about $2 each (I forgot where I bought them. lol). Usually, it's about $2.50-2.99 each, so I saved some... lol!


After looking at several recipes online, I found one that I like that was simple enough and I tweaked it a bit (this time my tweaking worked! lol!). So my ingredients are:
-One box Super Moist white cake mix
-1 cup sour cream (yes! It was just enough for me to finish the container!)
-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

I also, and firstly (is this even a word? lol!), followed the ingredients on the cake mix and the directions as well. So I pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees and I used the following:
-3 egg whites (I used the egg yolks to make scrambled eggs for lunch. Ugh! So caloric, but I didn't want it to go to waste!)
-1 1/4 cup of water
-1/3 cup veggie oil

I sprayed the silicon molds with baking spray after pre-heating the oven and then I began my mixing!

I just mixed everything together including the sour cream and the cocoa powder using a whisk. So Sad... I didn't get to use my new electric mixer, but mixing it wasn't so bad.

I did the food coloring last because the only reason why it's Red Velvet is because of the food coloring. I'm not sure why they decided it needed food coloring. Without it, it is fine, and it's just simply chocolate cake. I was pretty bummed though when I first started googling recipes to find that it was just plain chocolate cake colored red. No wonder I liked it so much... lol... I just don't like the idea of adding so much red food coloring. I just kept adding food coloring, which ended up to be the entire bottle (and what was asked for in the recipe that I found online the second time around; the first time around, it looked more chocolate than red velvet)!

I then poured about two cups of each mixture into the top and the bottom each because Beb said that the directions for the mold said it had to be even! And now look how it turned out! The top (which is in the bottom of the picture) is bigger than the top (which is on top of the picture)! It was a totally uneven giant cupcake... :(
Anyways, I baked it in the silicon molds for 25 mins and checked it in between my dish washing (about every few minutes or so) using a BBQ stick which I poked through both molds. If the stick came out with wet batter, it wasn't ready so I added more time until the stick came out clear or with cooked batter (the bottom finished faster than the top so I took it out earlier; I don't know why when they had the same amount of mixture). I then let it cook in the molds until the cupcakes were done.
When they were done cooling, I took them both out of the mold (be careful because the mold can still be pretty hot!). I was then careful about slicing the top of the cupcake (which is in the bottom of the pic) because the top gets shaped like an actual toy top after baking so I needed to slice of the top part of the top so I can put it on top of the bottom part of the giant cupcake (if that makes any sense at all! lol!).

I added the rest of the mixture to my baking sprayed cupcake tin because I though it would be cute to have little cupcakes around the supposedly giant cupcake... lol.... I baked it for 20 minutes and added more time when I the BBQ stick came out wet. I made sure to test several cupcakes.

I had leftover icing from the last time I baked which I left on the counter to get to room temperature before I used it (according to the label) because it was pretty hard.

This is what the cupcakes looked like when it was done. I let it cool a bit in the metal tin and then took them out to cool before I added icing (I tried to add icing to a cupcake that was a bit warm and the icing melted and dripped all over the cupcake!).

I only had enough vanilla icing to cover the giant cupcake and two mini cupcakes and used chocolate on the rest. Apparently, they liked the mini cupcakes more because it was easier to grab, but most liked it overall at the gathering. I thought it tasted pretty good too, and so did my sister since she ate the leftovers twice this weekend! So try it and tell me how it tastes! I'm not exactly sure how the sour cream changed the flavor, so maybe next time, I'll try it without, but I considered this attempt, a SUCCESS!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Honolulu Burger & Co.

I was hungry for some junk food last Thursday or so, so I took Beb to Honolulu Burger & Co. since it was nearby and because I've been seeing a lot of people "check-in" there lately so I've been meaning to try it. I was lucky that I didn't throw away one of my Safeway receipts because I was keeping it because it had a coupon for Honolulu Burger & Co. for "buy one burger, get the second half off". So that's a tip for you! Look behind your Safeway receipts because you can find some coupons like this for other places, such as, Good to Grill and Blazing Steaks.

The place is pretty small and I was going to park at Times across the street from it on Beretania but Beb pointed out it had a small parking near the restaurant. The menu sounded really good, which you can find on their website since I didn't take pics of it. lol! Sorry!

 It sounded pretty organic since the beef was from the Big Island and the ingredients were all local (according to their signs).  We ordered a Mushroom Mushroom Burger, a Bleu Cheese Burger (which is not on the menu on their website; not sure why), and a small order of fries. HOWEVER, if you notice on the left, it doesn't look like a regular burger nor does it have any sign of bleu cheese!  When we got home (we ordered take-out), we saw that the girl who took our order messed it up. We should've checked it! Always remember to check that you got the right food when you order take out! Sucks! She actually gave us the Korean burger which she didn't change when we decided not to get that since there was no actual burger in it. Sucks cheese man! I wanted to go back and change it since we lived a couple of blocks away, but Beb was hungry and just wanted to eat. 

The Mushroom Mushroom Burger was ok. It had a pretty good smokey, mushroom-y flavor, but we thought it was dry (I ordered well done).  They also put sauteed onions on it and it's not even on the description for the burger or I would've told them to skip the onions! You know how I ate onions! Beb thought the Korean burger, which had some kind of Korean BBQ sauce over shredded kalbi and onions. It was pretty flavorful actually, but I wanted burgers, not kalbi. Grrr... As for the fries, even though it was fresh cut fries, they tasted burnt! I love my food burnt a bit especially BBQ and fries (because it makes it crispy), but the fries weren't so good...

So I give them 3 cherries for flavor because I could tell that there was a potential to be a pretty flavorful meal overall (from the taste of the Mushroom Mushroom burger), but it just wasn't that day. I'll give it 4 cherries because I'm giving them a second chance and I will try them again in the future. However, I'm giving them 3 cherries because it was a bit pricey for burgers $7-10 as well as other items on their menu. Lastly, I give them 2 cherries for their customer service because the girl who served us didn't look like she wanted to be there, messed up our order, was a bit rushed and it was like she just wanted to serve us and make us leave or something... One more chance for them, so we'll see.... I'll wait till I get another coupon though! lol! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

YouTube + Beb's Touch = A Great Tempura Recipe (In my opinion)!

I am currently on Spring Break even though I am not a student (love my job!). I am very grateful for the break, but I am too broke to do anything, so I decided, among other things, I should catch up on my blog! Yay! So I decided to make tempura today because I wanted to try out the recipe Beb used got from YouTube which he tweaked with a bit.

My items to be tempura-ed (lol!):
-Green beans (it was a bit expensive for $3.16 a bag, but I was craving green beans. I hate it when I order tempura at a restaurant and I only get two pieces of green beans! lame!)
-Mushrooms (because they were on sale for $1.87 a box!)
-Tiger Shrimp ($2.97 for about 12 pieces; IDK how much of a pound, lol!)
-A Filet of Mahi-Mahi which I cut into smaller pieces ($3.50 for a fillet)
-NOTE: you can use whatever vegetable or type of meat you like; it is really up to you. More traditional items are in the YouTube video mentioned below.

Beb got the batter recipe from here, which includes:
-1 Egg Yolk
-2/5 Cup of Icy Cold Water
-2/5 Cup of Flour
-1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
-1 Teaspoon of Cornstarch (Beb told me to add this; this is one of his tweaks)
-A Dash of Garlic Salt (My tweak)
-A Dash of Black Pepper (My tweak)

The YouTube video said to whisk the egg yolk and then add the other ingredients. You need to make sure that you don't whisk it too much (make sure that it's lumpy), according to the video; IDK why that is but I followed it exactly (because Beb said I need to follow directions better or it'll turn out wrong especially in my baking! Hmpt!). I had to do this batter recipe twice because it wasn't enough for all of my items! I was also too lazy to make the tempura sauce, but I'll do next time because it looks really tasty!

The video said to dust the items, but it didn't say with what so I just did it with regular flour. I guess this is to make sure that the batter doesn't fall off the veggies and seafood while cooking.

After my prepping, I turned on the stove and warmed up the veggie oil. I used old veggie oil that I just have sitting on the stove so it's ready when I want to fry something. I mean it's still good because it's covered, but, I mean, I don't think I need to throw the oil away every time I fry something right? lol! I bet a lot of people do this!

I then added the veggies into the batter and make sure that it's fully coated before dropping it slowly into the hot oil.

Make sure not to overcrowd the pot/pan or the veggies will stick together. I also stirred it sometimes to turn things like the mushroom over and to keep the rest of the veggies from sticking to each other. It cooked pretty fast so be sure to watch it. When it's golden brown, then it's ready.
I had a bit of an accident and created a mini-fire on the electric stove because I overcrowded the pot and the oil started to boil over and fall into the heat! Wahh!! Good thing I remembered that I needed to cut the oxygen supply from the fire, so I put a pan cover over the stove to let the fire die. Unfortunately, Beb didn't know that the pan was over the stove because of the fire, so he burnt himself... Wah... wah... wah... lol! Jk!

Ahhhh! Crispy tempura green beans are sooo yummy... I wish I made the sauce from the video because it would've been good. I want to experiment later though and make like a wasabi/chipotle mayo or cream sauce for this... I love creamy sauces like ranch, even though I know it's sooo bad for you.... :(

This is the shrimp and the mushrooms. The color is a bit off because it's used oil. If I used new oil, then it would look brighter (?). lol! That's the best way to describe it.

And this is the mahi-mahi. The color is sooo off because Beb too it out early before the batter had a chance to turn golden brown. He said it's fine and the fish is cooked... I guess... but I told him to take over the tempura-ing of the mahi because I had to wash dishes and I was getting scared because the oil was boiling over again! I didn't want another fire! Wahhh!

I thought it was a pretty good first try for tempura! I ate it with rice and kewpie mayo mixed with tabasco. However, the sauce was a bit heavy; another reason why I should've made the tempura sauce in the video. Also, I paid about $13 including tax for all of the ingredients, so I thought it was a pretty good deal since it fed me, Beb, and my two roommates, and we STILL have leftovers (way better than the $19 meal that Beb and I got from KFC last night because I was unfortunately craving KFC! lol!). So, see for yourself and be creative by mixing in some of your favorite veggies or meat, and tell me how yours turned out!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 21, 2011

My First "Melt"

Mwahaha! My bf got me an iphone 4 so now my only excuse to not blog is because I am lazy, not because my iphone was acting stupid.  I know! I know! The new iphone is coming, but he figured I was in desperate need of a new phone because mine old one really sucked. Gotta use the Otterbox cover now because I was prone to dropping my phone almost everyday. Hopefully, this will last!

Anyway, my first blog with my new phone is with the Melt Truck which we saw at a Food Truck Rally (didn't take pics because I had to eat and leave quickly! lol!). There was 50+ people in lining and they had lobster bisque! So sad that I didn't get to try it this time around because I have been craving lobster bisque (which I can't find here) since my trip to New York last year.  The second time I wanted to try it, I went on their twitter and checked out their next location, which I thought was right by my place, but it was wrong! It was by my place the week before! Grr... I have yet to master twitter...  I finally got to try it in person out last Friday when they were by Yogurtland (my bf found out that it was going to be by his workplace and ordered the tuna melt and the burger melt thingy which was pretty good and totally unhealthy! But I stopped eating the tuna melt when I noticed there was onions... Eeek!)

This was on today's menu. I shared a Pastrami Melt with my friend J but I also bought a whole Pastrami Melt to share with Beb later that day. My total for my Pastrami Melt and a half was $12. I wanted to get the soup too but it was gone as soon as I got there! My friend tried the tapenade , which she thought was good, while her bf tried the triple melt, which he thought was good, but he didn't realize there wasn't any meat so I gave him some of my pastrami from my sandwich. lol!

I didn't really get to see what they put inside or how they cooked it, but it was pretty crispy!  I tried to look in and I saw the guy putting some mayo and mustard which I could taste in the sandwich, but I couldn't tell if it was for my sandwich or for some other sandwich.  It was sooooo good, but I was glad we shared because I could tell that it was sooo bad for me because it was sooo good and pretty oily. Need to burn it off at the gym now! The mustard complemented the pastrami well and it was crispy, chewy, smokey, buttery, and just plain yummy!

Taste-wise, I give it 4 cherries because it was a pretty dern good sandwich, but it was just a bit oily. I give it 3 cherries for price because the menu is a bit pricey for a couple of sandwiches, but I guess it's because they use some fancy ingredients like gouda cheese too. Imagine, the burger melt, which was basically a burger between two grilled cheese is $11! Ouch... But I do give the Melt Truck 4 cherries for the likelihood that I'm coming back because they're menu is every changing so I'd like to try all that they have to offer. So if you wana go try it, check out their twitter and see where they'll be and what they'll offer. Be fast though! They run out of food quick!

P.S. I love how my pics look from this phone! Doesn't it make you hungry?!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Late Kimchee Fried Rice Recipe

Tsunami warning has been reduced to a tsunami advisory, so since I am home sick and we didn't have work today, I thought I'd catch up on my blogging since I've been neglecting it for so long... so sorry! Anyway, here is one of the recipes that I should have posted a month ago. I thought I'd try and make some kimchee fried rice sinee Beb bought a huge jar of his favorite kimchee because he didn't like the one I bought -_-*

I decided to use the kimchee that I bought to make my fried rice since I could finish my entire container of kimchee in this dish. My ingredients for this dish are:

-A small package of thinly sliced beef (I used sukiyaki beef because it's pretty tender)
-Some kimchee (it really depends on how much you want in your dish)
-Left-over rice (or freshly cooked rice, whichever you prefer)
-3 eggs, scrambled
-Black pepper
-A tablespoon of veggie oil
-Salt (I prefer using garlic salt)
-Some soy sauce
-A dash of sesame oil

I first fried the meat in about half a tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium heat. I added just a pinch of garlic salt and pepper to flavor the meat, and took it out of the pan when it was a bit pink. I didn't want to overcook it because I was going to return it in the ban later.

I then used half a tablespoon of vegetable oil to fry the eggs and the kimchee together. I shouldn't have done that because it made the eggs very wet. It's best to cook the scrambled eggs alone in the pan, breaking it up into pieces while it is cooking, and taking it out of the pan before it is overcooked (when it's just a little wet).

I then added the rice to the egg and kimchee mixture. Here, you can add the meat and, if you didn't already, add the kimchee. Season the dish with some soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper. Mix it all together until the beef isn't pink anymore and the rice starts to turn orange from the kimchee. Make sure to taste it to see if it's in your liking. I know some people add green onions or more kimchee. It is really up to you.

And here is the final product! It tastes pretty good for my first try. Now you try!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone