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Recipes that include sugar

Vegan Pull-Apart Buns

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Like everyone else during this pandemic, I’ve been baking bread. After months of it, I’m becoming pretty confident in my bread baking and that’s a plus I’ll always take away with me. I’ve been tweaking recipes a lot and thinking about them more which made me realize how robotic I was at times, pre-pandemic. Everything was rush rush rush…on autopilot. I had stopped blogging for a few years and stopped really connecting to the process. I didn’t see that before, but looking back, I do now.

Full-time blogging isn’t in the cards, but when there’s something really worth sharing, I’m going to try to slow down and take the time to share it. I’m happy to share this one. Everyone in this house thinks these pull-apart buns are amazing. I might even say it’s one of Lon’s favorite breads now. They are super soft and fluffy, making them perfect as a dinner roll or to make breakfast sandwiches. My absolute favorite use for this bun though is for a pulled pork slider. (Ironic, given it being a vegan recipe.)

This is also a relatively quick bread recipe. It’s not one where you need to be home all day, making this is a keeper. Eventually we’ll all start leaving the house regularly again, right?!?

Vegan Pull-Apart Buns

~makes 16 small buns

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (table salt if you don’t have)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter + extra for topping
  • 1/2 cup almond flour

Instructions-

  1. Mix 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour with sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine almond milk, water, and vegan butter. Microwave until just warm (110-120 degrees F).
  3. Whisk the almond milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides if necessary.
  4. Add 1/2 cup of flour and beat for another 2 minutes.
  5. Mix the remaining flour and almond flour in with a wooden spoon. When all of the flour/almond flour has been incorporated, knead until it’s a smooth elastic dough, about 7-10 minutes. You can dust your hands and bowl with extra flour if it’s too sticky. Cover with a kitchen towel and rest for 10 minutes.
  6. On a lightly floured cutting board, divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each into a ball and place in a 9×13 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 – 45 minutes
  1. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. When ready, brush some melted vegan butter on the tops and bake until golden and fluffy, about 18 – 20 minutes. (Please excuse the annoying news in the background of the video.)

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Red Cooked Fish

Monday, November 24, 2014

At the risk of making this sound like a joke, Chinese people will “red cook” anything.  The thing is I’m serious. Whether it’s pork, beef, squid, tofu, or eggs, we can red cook it. On a basic level, that means cooking in a mix of soy sauce and a sweetener (sugar, rock candy, or honey). The recipes vary a little depending on what you are cooking. Sometimes you add ginger, garlic, scallions, orange peel, cilantro, chilies, or a combination of those things. While the ingredient list is so similar, many of these Red Cooked dishes come out tasting very different. (Try Red Cooked Pork Belly and Cuttlefish or Red Cooked Tee Pong.)  Right now, let’s talk Red Cooked Fish. It is a classic you’ll find in the home of most Chinese families. It’s also commonly sold at “real” Chinese restaurants. It’s a must know recipe!

Red Cooked Fish on grey

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Squid with Ramps in Black Bean Sauce

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ramps are in season and though they are not traditionally found in Chinese food, they make perfect sense in Chinese food. I think of ramps as sweeter, fatter, less pungent Chinese chives. I would bet you could successfully substitute ramps for any recipe that called for Chinese chives. Next, I want to do some dumplings with ramps!

Last week, I was in a rush to make dinner. I knew I had some fresh squid and ramps in the fridge and wanted to make something with Chinese flavors because Chinese food is definitely Caya’s favorite and she has really missed it while we were in Martha’s Vineyard. This is the dish that somehow made it to the table after two minutes of thought, Squid with Ramps in Black Bean Sauce. Caya and Lon loved it so much that a few days later, I made it again. Caya devoured it and so I made it again…

Squid with Ramps in Black Bean Sauce title pic

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Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

For the last few months, my brain cells were being lost to lack-of-sleep so needless to say, having a newborn around is not one’s most creative time. Luckily, we have thousands of recipes to fall back on. I also look for new recipes to try, ones that take less time to make! Since Remi was born (he’s four-and-a-half months already!), this is the best recipe I’ve tried: Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings! Holy cow, are these delicious. Not surprisingly, it’s from the owner of the famous Thai restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland. I adapted the recipe to suit my tastes and stuck with his super easy three ingredient marinade, just fish sauce, sugar, and garlic. It’s so simple, yet unbelievably good. It’s pure genius!

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings title pic

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Three Cup Tofu

Saturday, June 8, 2013

There’s this pretty well-known Taiwanese dish called Three Cup Chicken. The flavorful dish of dark meat chicken is flavored with sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil with a strong dose of Chinese/Thai Basil.  My mom came up with a vegetarian version, Three Cup Tofu with the same flavor profile and it’s even easier to make. I was planning on posting Three Cup Chicken first, since it’s the original dish. That would have made more sense but alas, my body was just not willing to work with me on this…

Three Cup Tofu 3

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My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

For as long as I’ve been baking, or cooking at all, I’ve been baking chocolate chip cookies. Isn’t it one of the first things kids learn to do in the kitchen? Warm chocolate chip cookies just minutes out of the oven have always been a favorite treat of mine. Even the simple original Nestle recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips hits the spot. That recipe got a lot of use in my college days and even when I moved on to using better chocolate and dark chocolate, I still used that basic recipe for years. Then I started trying tons of different chocolate chip cookie recipes, some fancy, some not, with and without nuts. I enjoyed them all, truly. Yet, I think I’ve found my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, as hard as that is to admit.

My Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie

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Cheesecake Brownies

Saturday, March 16, 2013

As a blogger, I’m often asked to explain, “Why do I blog?” Frequently people assume the goal is to get a cookbook deal.  That’s not why I blog and I’m not working towards a cookbook deal nor have I pitched one to a publisher. However, I have said that should one ever fall in my lap, I would certainly take it. I have said that to so many people over the years and I can still hear my voice saying that. It’s always been more of a joke and I was sure that would never happen.

Here I am in total shock. Last week, I was offered a cookbook deal! By a really lovely editor!! And… I didn’t take it!!!

Cheesecake Brownies with Text

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Celebrate Lantern Festival: Tangyuan and Fermented Sweet Rice Soup Two Ways

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Lunar New Year! I hope you are having lots of dumplings (representing silver & gold ingots) during the next two weeks! We wish all of you an amazing Year of the Black Water Snake.

If you haven’t had enough celebrating, you’re in luck. Lantern Festival (a.k.a. Yuanxiao Festival) occurs on the 15th day of the lunar calendar, which is just around the corner. This year, it will be on February 24, 2013. Here’s a great tutorial I found for making paper lanterns! During the festival, you post riddles on your lanterns. When someone gets the answer right, you award them with a small prize. Make sure to get your ingredients for Tangyuan Soup, a warm dessert soup traditionally eaten during this festival. Here’s two very easy preparations that only take a few minutes to make.

lantern festival

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Taiwanese Ro Gung

Friday, November 30, 2012

This Taiwanese specialty called Ro Gung seems to be a lesser known dish as I couldn’t find anything in my google search. (Does anyone know if this is known by another name?) The gist of this soup is that it’s a cornstarch thickened soup with soft pork and fish paste dumplings… ok blobs. That probably doesn’t sound enticing to those that don’t already know it (though I can hear my Taiwanese peeps cheering). On top of that, it’s not an attractive dish. (That cilantro garnish was my only hope for color.)  What it is, is delicious! Seriously, one of my favorite foods! And for food geeks, it is a flavor profile that is unique to Taiwanese food.

Taiwanese Ro Gung with Title

 

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Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges and Walnuts

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Growing up, my mom always made turkey for Thanksgiving. The stuffing was always a Chinese Sticky Rice (which I asked my mom to bring this year) and the rest of the dishes on the table were also Chinese. Basically, it was a Chinese meal with a Roasted Turkey as centerpiece. I give my mom a lot of credit for trying to provide us with the Thanksgiving experience. We certainly stuffed ourselves silly and we usually had tons of extended family over. All requisites met right? Well, one year I told my mom everyone else had cranberry sauce so from then on she started to buy canned cranberry sauce. It was that stuff that came out of the can in one solid cylinder and was then sliced into rings. While not much of it was ever really eaten, we kept up the American tradition. Then one year my mom got a recipe from somewhere ( at this point she doesn’t remember where she got it) that mixed canned cranberry sauce, canned mandarin oranges, and walnuts, plus a little gelatin to hold it together more. I loved it and never let my mom forget to make that cranberry sauce every year after.

After my brother and I grew up and moved out, my mom stopped hosting Thanksgiving. I’ve been spending it with Lon’s family for the last several years since it’s not a Chinese thing…It’s been a long time since I’ve had to do more than just bring one dish.

Cranberry Sauce with Mandarin Oranges 4

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