Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pineapple Upside down Cake

We had another cooking/Play date the other day. This time we tried pineapple upside down cake. I know about this cake but I never thought about making it. But one of my mom friend wanted to try so we decided to give it a try!

This is how it came out.

Isn't it beautiful? It came out better than I thought. It was not too difficult and also tasted great. I think this will be a great cake when we have some guest.

First, we made caramel and put pineapple and cherry.

Then we added cake batter and bake.

You flip it over and that's how you get upside down.

I think the most difficult part is to flip the cake. I was too scared to flip it so I asked my friend to do it. She did an excellent job.

We used recipe from this website called "Joy of Baking". I have used this website before and she has so many great recipes. For this recipe, she also had a video which helped us a lot.

I am so happy that we tried this cake. If my friend didn't suggest this, I had never tried this cake. This is the great thing about cooking with your friends, you try something new and you learn a lot.

I tend to make something similar all the time so it is great for me to try something different.

By the way, my mom friends gave me early birthday gift at one of the play date since I will be in Japan on my birthday. It was very nice of them to think of my birthday and get me gifts. They are very considerate and kind people. I am very happy that I met them.

More cooking/play date to come!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Venezuelan Empanadas Playdate

So we made Chilean Empanadas the other day and this time we decided to try Venezuelan Empanadas.

One of the moms got recipe from her family. Last time, we used flour and we baked the empanadas in the oven. This time, we used corn meal and fried these empanadas.

This is how it came out!!

Don't they look good? It came out great and it tasted good!

For fillings, we used ground turkey, bell peppers and onions.

First, we made fillings.

While the filling cool down, we made the dough.

Mix corn flour and lukewarm water until desired consistency.

When it is good consistency, you make balls like this.

Then, you roll the dough out with your fingers. If you have a plastic sheet underneath, it is very useful for rolling. Add the filling in the middle.

Bring the plastic sheet over and put the edge together.

Then, using a small bowl, cut the edge to make empanada shape.

This is how it should look.
 Then, fry in a vegetable oil until crispy.

It is quite a process but when you make something with your hands, somehow it gives me a great accomplished feeling. I would love to make this again but it might be a bit difficult to make it by myself especially when I have my baby around.

I love learning how to make new dish from friends! Look at this picture below. Do you see the one which is enormous? That was the one I made in the very beginning. It was a monster empanada. I gave this one to my husband. He loved it :-)

We used hot sauce and it was quite good. I should have made some cilantro sauce but I forgot. Oh well, next time.

Everybody was very happy with the result and since we made a lot, everyone brought some home to their husbands :-)

Well, it was so much fun to cook and play with them. I love cooking playdate!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Sushi Play Date

The other day, I had Chilean Empanada play date with my mom friends and this time we had sushi play date with same member!

Since it is Sushi this time, I was the teacher :-)

This is how they came out.

Since it is not too easy to get sushi grade fresh fish around here, we used ingredients such as avocado, smoked salmon, cucumber, canned tuna, imitation crabs, eggs and so on.

Everybody enjoyed making sushi and I was very happy also. I think tuna salad roll was everybody's favorite.

It is not easy to watch 4 babies and cook at the same time but we also have 4 moms so some of them cooked while others watched the kids.

We rolled and ate and repeat that many times and by the time we finished rolling all the sushi, we were so full. We had lots of leftovers so everyone brought back some for their husbands.

One of them had a tool called sushi master so we used that also to make some heart shaped sushi. Aren't they cute??

This play date was actually a few weeks ago. Since then, we already had two other cooking/play date!
The next one is Venezuelan Empanada and then we made pineapple upside cake on different day. Those photos are coming up next!

I love cooking/play date! I am so happy that I found some friends whom I can enjoy cooking with!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Valentine's Day Dinner 2012

Well, It has been a while already since Valentine's day but I would like to share with you guys what we had for this year's Valentine's dinner.

Since we have a baby and he goes to bed around 8:00pm every night. It is quite difficult for us to eat out at night. So the year's Valentine's day, I made a special dinner for two.

The dinner part went quite well but the dessert was not so much of a success. Well, it tasted good.

For dinner, I made Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apricot glaze.

Pork Tenderloin is something I always wanted to try but never really had so I thought it will be a perfect dish to make. I found this recipe on All Recipe web site. Here is the recipe from All Recipe web site.

It tasted really really good. I thought roasting pork tenderloin will be a lot of work but it was not too difficult so I know I will be making this again! This recipe is spicy and sweet. You rub pork with dried spices before and then glaze with apricot glaze and roast.

Well, actually, in the recipe, they grill the pork and then glaze. But I didn't want to grill so I just add half of the glaze and roasted in the oven. Also, the recipe called 1 table spoon of cilantro but my husband and I love cilantro so I added like one cup of cilantro. It was great!

This is how it looked before putting in the oven. Well, this picture has only a little bit of glaze but I added a lot more before putting it in the oven.

Then, this was how it looked after roasting.

For side dish, I made green chili rice and boiled broccoli.
Here is the green chili rice.

Broccoli is just boiled.

Pork tenderloin is little bit pricy but it normally has plenty in one package so we can have at least two meals out of this one packet.

Well, so for the dessert, I made chocolate dipped strawberries. This is something I made last Valentine's Day and my husband loved it so I decided to make it again this year. This year, I decided to have a prettier decoration on it but that was a mistake....

This is how it came out.

Well, it looks OK from far away but if you look at them closely. You can see that those drizzled chocolate decoration is not really a drizzle but more like dollops.

Oh well, I tried. My husband liked them anyway.

I also bought nice flower for the table.

My son was so curious about this flower. He wanted to touch it so I let him touch. In the beginning, he was touching them very gently but after a while, he started to tear them apart and start eating them so I had to take them away from him. It is amazing to see how he develop. He is very curious about different touch. And now, he is walking all by himself! I feel like he is not a baby anymore. It is great that he is growing up but at the same time it is little bit sad that he is growing up so fast. I am really enjoying every moment with him right now. Ever day, there is something new and he brings lots of joy to our life. He is a miracle!