Tomato Cheddar Biscuits

food

Some people may find biscuit-making onerous because it takes quite the effort to cut cold butter into the dough, but what if I told you  you can actually make biscuits without butter! Sounds off and improper but these biscuits are scrumptious and a bit different from regular biscuits. They’re kind of like Red Lobster’s Cheddar Bay Biscuits with a slight quiche flavor.

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These biscuits were made extemporaneously so I am pleased with the outcome. My indolence kicked in this morning and rather head to the gym I made these instead. It was an arbitrary decision and I don’t know whether it was a good one or not…..


Tomato Cheddar Biscuits

yield: 6 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 c. cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp. chopped bacon
  • 1/4 c. chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium egg
  • 4 tbsp. frozen spinach (chopped and dried)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cheese, cornstarch, tomatoes, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, oil, Greek yogurt, spinach, and bacon.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and incorporate until evenly combined.
  5. Flour a clean surface with 2 tbsp. flour and roll dough out onto surface. Knead for 1-2 minutes and shape into a rectangle that is about 0.5-1 in. thick.
  6. Cut into 6 squares and transfer to a baking sheet to bake for 12 min at 350 F. Use an egg wash if you would like.

Enjoy fresh out of the oven! The biscuits can last in the freezer up to a week or freeze really well.

 

Green Tea Marble Cake

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My mom enjoys purchasing over-priced baked goods from high-end grocery stores, but I’m often intransigent on this because homemade pastries are just as piquant, possibly even more, and the production cost is often cheaper! I know I’m biased and I’m only saying this because of my baking obsession but hey!! makes sense doesn’t it?

I happened to visit home and my mom complained of the lack of sweets at home to accompany her coffee so I decided to make a mini green tea cake and cut it into bite size pieces for a delicate touch. I created a marble pattern which appears to be convoluted but it really could not be any simpler. A simple knowledge on the technique can elevate your baking game. Whoever first came up with marbling was quite astute I must say.

 

No need for excess rambling, let’s just get into the recipe because I am dying for you all to try it!


Green Tea Marble Cake

yield: 2 loaves (6 x 3.5 in)

Ingredients:

  • 9 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2.5 tbsp green tea powder
  • 3 tbsp. milk powder + 0.2 c. water (or 3 tbsp. milk)
  • 1 c. + 2 tbsp cake flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter for 1 min with an electric mixer. Then add sugar and cream for 4-5 min.
  2. In a small bowl, roughly beat the 3 eggs together.
  3. Into the butter, add the 3 eggs gradually while beating on medium speed.
  4. Gradually sift in the cake flour, salt, and baking powder at once and fold with a spatula until the mixture is homogeneous and no clumps are present.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together green tea powder and milk until a thick gooey paste forms. The paste is an ogre color and does not look pleasant but don’t worry!
  6. Take about 1/4 -1/3 c. of batter and mix with the green tea paste until one solid green color forms.
  7. Preheat the oven to 340 F and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
  8. Take the green tea paste and add it into the batter in 5 dollops. Then fold the batter with the spatula 4 or 5 times until a marble pattern is formed.
  9. Pour into the pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until loaf is slightly browned on top.
  10. Slice the loaf and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

My favorite thing about this cake is that it isn’t too sweet, which is how I actually prefer my desserts to be. I enjoy eating it for breakfast or for a snack since they are bite-sized! Refrigerate in the fridge for up to 1 1/2 weeks or freeze them. This cake freezes extremely well so you can also make it in big batches and save it for later!

Making Bubble Tea for the First Time

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On episode 2 of Test Kitchen, I attempted to make tapioca pearls and milk tea from scratch. I grew up with bubble tea around my life since the drink originated from my family’s country, and in the recent years the drink’s popularity has grown exponentially, along with its price. I used to drive 20 minutes to Chinatown to purchase a cup of bubble tea for $2 and now I find myself paying $4-5! I am ecstatic at the drink’s success in the Western world but also figure if I could make my own drink, I could save some money!

**SPOILER**

 

 

And because this recipe was a success (I got lucky!), I am posting the exact recipe I followed. The recipe is adapted from Kusina Chef.

I had a ton of fun shooting this video and cannot wait to make more food in the future. If you would like me to make something for the very first time, please leave a comment!


Bubble Milk Tea

 

Ingredients:

For pearls:

  • 1 c. tapioca starch + 1 tbsp for dusting
  • 1/4  c. brown sugar
  • 1/3 c. water

For tea:

  • 2 c. brewed black tea (lukewarm)
  • 4 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. milk

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a slight boil and add in the brown sugar until dissolved.
  2. Turn the heat off and add in the tapioca starch. Stir until semi-combined. Dough will be pretty dry at first.
  3. Dump dough onto a clean surface and knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it comes together. You should now have a light brown dough that is pretty tough.
  4. Cut the dough into chunks and roll into a tube shapes until they are 1/2 cm wide.
  5. Cut the dough into small pieces and roll them into pearls. Place a cup of 1 tbsp. tapioca starch and let the starch evenly coat all the pearls.
  6. Allow the pearls to dry for at least 30 min.
  7. Boil a pot of water on high heat and pour the pearls in. Mix immediately to prevent the pearls from sticking together. Boil the pearls on high for 10 min. and then turn the heat down to medium. Let the pearls cook for another 10-15 min.
  8. Once done cooking, immediately remove the pearls and place in an ice bath.
  9. For the tea, stir in sugar until dissolved.
  10. Add the milk in and stir.
  11. In a cup, add the tapioca pearls, milk tea, and some ice. Serve and drink with a spoon or straw. I recommend a spoon since we’re trying to save plastic here! In the video I am using a reusable plastic straw.

Enjoy the drink with some friends and if you would like to see more bubble drink tea flavors, let me know!

 

 

Roasted Bell Pepper Sauce (Vegan)

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I am actually allergic to several foods, including tomatoes. Ugh!! I know!! How do I eat pasta, ketchup, or so many other savory dishes with tomato? Luckily my allergy is mild and I can enjoy tomatoes without too much suffering. The best thing for me is simply to avoid them as much as I can (which is almost impossible). However, I have realized that in this food era where people are making cauliflower lemon bars, chickpea brownies, and other unconventional foods, pasta sauce does not necessarily need to be made from tomatoes. When coming up with ideas, I realized that naturally red-ish vegetables are pretty much limited to carrots and red bell peppers. Some day I’ll experiment a carrot pasta sauce but I experimented with red bell peppers and the result was an absolute hit!

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Extremely creamy, flavorful, and bright with colors. It’s salty with a slight hint of sweetness from the roasted bell pepper. I am in love with this sauce and I have already made it twice since last week. I made a simple pasta dish but will use it in a lasagna recipe in the future. I cannot wait for you all to try this! Because I am not vegan, I tested out a vegan and a non-vegan version and they taste quite similar so I will be posting the vegan version due to a now-high demand for vegan recipes.


Roasted Bell Pepper Sauce

yield: 2 c. sauce

ingredients:

  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c. non-dairy unsweetened milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 475 F. Rub bell peppers with 1 tbsp. olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until the outside is charred.
  2. Remove from oven and let bell peppers cool for 5 min.
  3. In a skillet, put 1 tbsp. olive oil and saute onions for 5 minutes until transparent and lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Remove the skins from the bell peppers. They should come off very easily.
  5. In a food processor, place the bell peppers, garlic, onions, milk, salt, and nutrition yeast. Pulse until the sauce becomes incorporated and is a light red color.
  6. Remove from food processor and serve immediately with pasta OR cook for an additional 5 minutes on the stove top.

This sauce can be consumed straight from the food processor or can be cooked on the stove after. I have tried both and found that both taste great. I did like to cook mine additionally on the stove top to heat it up and slightly cook the garlic.

This sauce is a huge crowdpleaser and will satisfy all your pasta cravings! Impress your vegan friends and make this sauce right now!