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Dora the Explorer Banana Cupcakes

Last week was Mishu 4th year old Birthday. Mishu requested Dora and Diego design cake for her Birthday at her Preschool. Actually I bought a Dora the Explorer cake pan but hubby advise me to make cupcakes instead of whole cake coz kids tends to make mess and cupcakes is ideal to serve to kids at school. I quickly return Dora's cake pan to the store and bought a pack of Diego icing and Dora's topper. I decided to mix an overripe banana sitting on kitchen counter with the prepared batter. Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (225gm) all purpose flour


1 1/4 tsp baking powder


1/4 baking soda


3 small or 2 large overripe bananas


8 tbsp butter,softened,or soft margarine


1/2 cup (115 gm) sugar


1/2 tsp vanilla extract


2 eggs,lightly beaten


4 tbsp sour cream



Ingredients For Butter cream Icing :


1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine softened


1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract


4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb)


2 tablespoons milk/water


1 tsp Meringue Powder or white egg *optional*


Various food coloring







Method:


1:Prepare 24 paper baking cases in a muffin pan,or place 24 double double -layer paper cases on a cookies sheet.Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C.


2:Sift together the flour,baking powder and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Peel bananas,put them in a bowl and mash with a fork.


3:Combine butter,sugar and vanilla extract,beat together until light and fluffy.Gradually add eggs,beating well after each addition.Stir in the mashed bananas and sour cream.Add in the flour mixture and fold it well with spatula until just combined.


4:Divide the batter evenly among the paper liners/ paper cases.Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes or until well risen and golden brown.Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before icing.


Method For Buttercream Topping: From Wilton's


1:In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.


For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.

Note:

I used tip #21.










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Stuffed Conchiglie (Jumbo Shell) Chicken with Four Cheese ( Step by Step Method)

Conchiglie or Shell Pasta are the same in term of shape and design but it's comes in different sizes. We can get this pasta in any supermarket. Usually I just get the shell in box instead the one from frozen food section. I know buying TV food (ready to eat) is easy and simple, I don't have to slaves myself in my kitchen for hours but on the other bright side I can choose my own filling. That mean I can add my favourite ingredients and stuffing,right? Actually it's not really hard to make since I used conchiglioni = jumbo shells in box. Here I show my recipe steps by steps how to make this delicious pasta. This pasta dish is ideal to cook for your guests or party. Ingredients:


1 box conchiglioni (jumbo shells )


1 lb boneless chicken breast(cut cube)


1 lbs Mozzarella cheese (cut cube)


1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1 lb Ricotta cheese


4-8 oz (1 box) chopped frozen spinach


5 stripe cooked bacon (chopped)


2 can pasta sauce









Method:


1: Cook the conchiglioni (jumbo shells) in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente.Drain well, set aside.


2:Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C. Prepare 2 large baking dish .


3: Remove water from frozen chopped spinach,combine with cut chicken,cut mozzarella,chopped bacon and ricotta cheese,mix well in a large bowl.


4: Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into each shell and arrange onto the baking dish.Repeat the procedure until finish. Spoon pasta sauce on the top of stuffed shell,then ,top some shredded cheddar cheese on each shell ,then sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top.Cover the baking dish with aluminium foil.


5:Bake for 2o minutes, removed the aluminium foil bake for another 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown.Serve warm.


This pasta dish is really creamy and delicious!! Everybody go for second and third portion!!
Chopped spinach,chopped bacon,cut chicken and cut mozzarella cheese in a large bowl

Cooked Jumbo shell,drain,set aside
Ricotta cheese
combine ricotta cheese with chopped spinach,chopped bacon,cut chicken and cut mozzarella cheese
Mix well
Stuffed each shell with the mixture filling and arrange onto a baking dish
Top each shell with shredded cheddar cheese
Spoon pasta sauce all over the stuffed shell and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese,then cover with aluminium foil. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
Stuffed Conchiglie Chicken with Four Cheese ,is ready to serve!!










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Roasted Orange Chicken Leftover Sandwich

Did you remember I roasted a whole bird of Orange-chicken last week? As usual we can't finish the whole bird for our dinner. So I de-bone the leftover and store it in an airtight container for the next day.Hubby love cold cut ,so I figure I should modified the chicken and make a cold chicken sandwich for him. I guess mostly all American love cold cut,right? It's another easy and simple dinner for hubby. If you have any roast chicken leftover,don't throw away,save the meat for sandwich. Try to make another simple meal or snack for your family. Economy is really bad, so try to save whenever we can if necessary..don't you think so?
Ingredients:


1 cup chopped roast-orange-chicken


2 tbsp mayonnaise


1-2 dash salt


1-2 dash ground black pepper


1 handful of iceberg salad


2 sliced wholewheat bread


2 sliced Swiss cheese








Method:

1:De-bone leftover roasted chicken and chopped the meat. Combine mayonnaise and chopped roasted chicken in a medium bowl with salt and ground pepper,mix well.Check seasoning,set aside.

2: Prepare 2 sliced wholewheat bread with 2 sliced Swiss cheese ,scope the chopped roasted chicken mixture on the bottom of whole wheat bread ,spread some iceberg salad ,then top with Swiss cheese and wholewheat bread on top.Serve this sandwich cold.






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Nian Gao / Steamed Glutinous Rice Cake / Kueh Bakul

This is my first attempt to make Nian Gao at last minutes. Better late than never ,right? Nowdays there are so many types and varieties of nian gao selling in Asian market .Mostly Taiwanese and Mainland China's nian gao are different from the one make by Malaysian. I never bought any other nian gao than Malaysian made. Usually I will buy my nian gao at Malaysian restaurant in NYC.I guess maybe coz I'm a Malaysian ,prefer Malaysia style and it's taste of nian gao. Chinese believed during Chinese New Year the Kitchen God returns to heaven to report on a family's behavior during the previous year. A negative report by the Kitchen God means a family will suffer from bad luck during the year to come. So in order to ensure a favorable report from the Kitchen God, the custom evolved of feeding him Steamed Sticky Rice Cake!
Ingredients:


600 gm sugar


600 ml water


600 gm glutinous rice flour (sifted)









Method:


1: Dissolve 300 gm sugar in a dry pot over low heat till it caramelizes.( Do not stir).add 300 ml of water and mix well.


2: Add the remaining sugar into the mixture,stir constantly till the sugar dissolves.Set aside to cool completely. Prepare large pot or steamer with water for steaming at high heat.


3:Combine glutinous rice flour and the remaining water.Add caramel on glutinous rice flour mixture together in a large bowl to incorporate until smooth.Whisk the mixture if possible.If it's too dry add in extra 50 ml water.Sieve the mixture ,to remove lump and bubble build up.


4: Pour batter into cups to 3/4 full.( Do not fill to the rim as the batter might overflow when steaming)


5:Place aluminium baking dish on a steamer when water has boiled.Steam over high heat for 30 minutes .Then reduce heat to medium and steam for another 30 minutes. Increase time for steaming if making bigger cake.



Yield 5 small aluminium baking dish




Note:

This short cut of nian gao making can save hours of steaming. By caramelizes sugar first intend to give the nian gao a better texture. I understand to make a success nian gao,the nian gao must not spilling when frying as fritters with yam .

Before I try to make my own nian gao,I always thought this sticky cake is really hard to make. Maybe I heard too many old tales when I was young.They said if the girls have measurement time, touching nian gao is a "No,No"!! I didn't sealed nian gao with cloth that why vapors dropped on surface .You can see the the surface of the nian gao is not smooth.
Ready to steam in a stock pot,coz I don't have large steamer.

It's remind to be seen if this nian gao is really success after fried as fritters.If not it's good to eat as it's with grated fresh coconut.I try one right away after steamed and it's really good!!


Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish my beloved readers,friends and family a Happy Ox-picious Chinese New Year ! May this Oxy Year bring more good Fortune,Luck and Prosperous to you and your family!! Xin Nian Kui Le!!



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Roasted Orange Chicken

Fresh Orange is abundant during this time.Our markets are full of all kinds of oranges. Mostly the oranges sell here are from Florida. I guess now must be their harvest season or it's in conjunction with Chinese New Year? I love fruits.So whenever I shop at local market I would get fruits like Fuji apples,cantaloupe,grapes,berries ,oranges,banana and etc . I keep buying and lost track that I still have plenty of oranges sitting on my kitchen counter. So before it's goes bad and dry ,I might as well use it to roast with whole chicken..The chicken is really full of citrus fragrant which is so moist ,tender and juicy.


Ingredients:


1 whole chicken ( about 3-4 lbs)


4 tbsp salt


4 tbsp ground garlic powder


4 tbsp sugar


2 tbsp paprika


2 tbsp ground black pepper


2-3 oranges -cut to 2 piece (prefers Sunkist)







Method:


1: Clean and remove giblets,neck and feathers.Raise and pat dry the whole chicken.Preheat oven to 375 F.Prepare a baking tray with aluminum foil underneath.


2: Mix all the above seasoning in a small bowl.Rub the seasoning mixture all over the whole chicken,stuff all cut oranges into the cavity , then spray some butter or oil all over the skin before wrap with aluminum foil for roasting.


3:Bake for 1 hour ,then remove the foil and brush with oranges juice that flow out on the foil back on the chicken to infuse the flavor into the chicken. Bake for another 30 minutes ,brush the chicken again with orange juice,turn temperature to broil for 15 minutes to brown the skin to golden brown.


4:Remove chicken from oven,let it rest for 10 minutes before crave and serve warm .






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Pineapple Tart

Chinese New Year is around the corner. In fact is just less than a week! I should start baking Chinese New Year cookies by now but my Christmas cookies is still around sitting on my living room table. Well, hubby and Mishu not a fan of cookies. Last year when I was vacation in Malaysia ,I bought quite alot of bakery ingredients and stuffs from the bakery store. I should take this opportunity to use all the paste and flour I brought home before it's goes bad. One of the flour and filling which I bought is Pineapple Tart mixture. It's really easy and simple to make this tart ,no brainier also can do it! It's also my first time making Pineapple Tart and I found the pre-mix flour mixture come out really taste good!!


Ingredients:

1 pack Pineapple Tart flour mixture (400 gm)

2 sticks butter (250 gm) softened

2 eggs

1 pack Pineapple Tart filling (1 lb)

1 egg yolk for brushing
Yield about 4 dozen





Method:



1: Prepare your pineapple jam filling by making pineapple jam balls, each from a heaping teaspoonful, set aside. The side is about the coin size each.Preheat oven to 375 F.



2: Whisk butter until light and creamy,then add in egg one at a time.Add in flour mixture and mix well until mealy crumbs are formed. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky.


3:Lightly flour a clean working surface and roll dough out to about 0.5cm thick.Cut out the tart bottoms with a pineapple tart cutter or round cookie cutter and place onto a baking sheet prepped with parchment paper. Top or roll them with your prepared balls of pineapple jam.

4:Lightly brush the lattices using a pastry brush and the egg wash mixture. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes, depending on the crispy-ness of the tart you desire. Bake longer for a harder, crispier, tart crust or until the pastry is a pale gold.


5:Cool on a wire tray, then store in an airtight container, using a piece of parchment or doily in between layers.




The crust is so buttery soft and good! Wish I bought the flour mixture more from the store!
I used a Pineapple Tart strip rolling pin to make the shape.

Ready for egg yolk brushing

















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Winner of Foodie Blogroll Timberland Pro Series Black Shoes Giveaway Contest!

The Foodie Blog Roll Contests: Winner!
Today I received an email from Foodie Blogroll informing that my blog Beachlover Kitchen is a winner
Foodie Blogroll Contests !! I'm so happy and thrill that my blog was randomly selected as the winner for this week's Foodie Blogroll Timberland Pro Series Black Shoes Giveaway Contest! I will receive a pair of Timberland Pro Black Series shoes .


Thank you very much Foodie Blogroll for awarding me this lovely and wonderful pair of shoes. For those food blogger who didn't join Foodie Blogroll yet,why not check them out and there are many contest and award to give away!


Thank you so much Foodie Blogroll Community and Jenn aka The Leftover Queen & The Foodie Blogroll Team !!
Happy Cooking to everyone!!



Thank you again!

By the way,for those who are interested in eating and cooking,check out my new cooking blog HERE !! Hope this new cooking blog make you guys drooling!!




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Baked Potatoes

Potatoes is relatively cheap here in US.Mostly all American restaurant serve potatoes as side dish with their entree. Potatoes is their staple food,same as rice would be compare to any Asian. I bought a bag of 5 pound Idaho potatoes and been sitting in the basket until dry.Most of the time my potatoes grow seed tuber with sprouts sitting in the basket,ready to grow another potatoes! So I better use it before go to trash again. Hubby love potatoes,any cooking style of potatoes will do for him. Here I make a simple and easy side dish for him with his dinner: Baked Potatoes.


Ingredients:


4-5 potatoes ( scrub ,wash and sliced)


1 tbsp salt


1 tbsp ground black pepper


2 tbsp olive oil






Method:


1:Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare large baking dish or baking sheet with aluminum foil. Scrub and wash potatoes until clean before sliced up,set aside in a large bowl.


2:Drizzling with olive oil and sprinkle with ground black pepper and salt all over potatoes.Lay each potatoes on baking dish or sheet.


3: Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes or until lightly brown.Serve warm with entree.




Note:

You can use a toaster instead of oven if bake in small amount of potatoes. If you like the crunchy texture,bake longer.



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About the Author:

Hi!! My name is Lesley and I'm a simple SAHM(stay at home mom) who currantly live in Long Island,New York with my daughter Mishu and hubby Eliot .I'm Malaysian who live in US and A for many many moon and I'm also a person who love to eat, cook and bake. If you have any suggestions ,questions or comments please feel free to email me at beachlover1917(at)yahoo(dot)com. To know more about my life or my kitchen you can always hop over to my other 2 blog.