Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Almond Frangipane & Pluot Tart

Pluots are in season where I live! I am not a huge fan of plums or apricots but the marriage of the two in the form of pluots are one of my favorite fruits, particularly the flavor king variety. (*´∀`*)  We normally just enjoy them fresh since the season is pretty short, but as I literally bought about 10 pounds of the fruit at the farmer's market last week, I had a few to spare to try and experiment with baking wise.  That, and I finally got a proper tart pan.  Since I decided to make the tart at the last minute (and wasn't sure if it would turn out well), I didn't take pictures of all the steps and the lighting was just from my kitchen so they aren't the greatest.  But trust me, the tart is amazing!  It's the first time I've been absolutely happy with the results taste wise (I would be happier if I had taken more care with making the tart edges prettier, but eh...oh well).  The crust was buttery and flakey, the pluots with the berry jelly glaze had a nice balance of sweetness with just a touch of tartness, both of which went lovely with the whipped cream and nutty almond frangipane.

I hope to try with other fruits in the future once pluot season is over - perhaps nectarines, apples, or pears with an apricot jam glaze?) and of course you could always use plums like the original recipe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strawberry Macarons

Strawberry season is here again! ヾ(@°▽°@)ノ I was so happy that I bought an entire flat at the farmers' market this past weekend.  AN ENTIRE FLAT.  That's 12 whole baskets.  I had to ask them to hold it for me while I shopped at the other stalls because I couldn't carry it all while walking around the farmers' market.  It's been less than 3 days since the market and we've already consumed more than half of the flat.  (*^^*)

I can't wait to make strawberry pie again this year, but in the meantime, I wanted to practice making macarons using the Italian meringue method so I decided to make these strawberry macarons with strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream.

That said, macarons are a huge pain in the butt.  HUGE.  The ingredients can be pricey, it can take a long time when you are making large batches, there's so many dishes to wash after, and it can all end up being a big flop after all that effort.  BUT when they do come out right, it's a glorious sense of accomplishment for me - like TAKE THAT YOU DAMN COOKIE!! I BEAT YOU!!!!  (Except, no, you lose since you'll get fat from all the sugar... :P)  Anyways, I highly recommend watching some Youtube videos just to see what the texture of the meringue and batter ought to look like and techniques on folding the meringue into the almond meal.  It took me a long time to get a feel for it and I still end up with hollows or no feet frequently.  Ovens can also be tricky so you may have to play around with your temperature and bake times to find what is ideal for your own oven.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup Using Instant Pot

Finally getting around to putting up the recipe for beef noodle soup that I've fallen in love with! :D  Thanks so much to my mother-in-law for introducing this recipe to me and helping me make it the first time and translating the ingredient list!  I LOVE using my Instant pot for this and now I don't have to go out to eat one of my favorite comfort foods! It is awesome for making a large batch at once so that I can freeze into smaller servings later on for a quick meal.  It's also great for serving large groups of friends with out taking too much time away from guests on the night of the dinner since you can make most of it ahead of time. (^_^)v