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Rice and Beans

Rice and Beans is a popular staple food for many Latin American and Caribbean .One day Eliot brought home a set of rice and bean home from Harlem,NYC.He told me how much he paid for the bean and rice and I was terrified coz it's quite expensive.So I told him I can cook the same food at home provided I can get hold of the authentic recipe.Eliot said he will get a recipe and ingredients from his Puetro Rico's co-worker.So the next day he told me the co-worker recipe which is quite simple and easy.Honestly cooking a simple meal like Bean and Rice at home is really cost effective and simple,not to said it's nutritious too.

2 can of small red bean,removed liquid
5-6 cloves garlic,peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Sofrito
1 lb pork,diced small
1 liter chicken broth
1 tbsp chicken bullion powder
2 tbsp oil
1 cup water
salt to taste

1 pack/box yellow rice,cook according to the instruction on the back of the box

1:Heat stock pot or deep skillet with oil at medium high heat.Add in garlic,fry for 30 second or light brown
2:Add in pork and sofrito ,stir for 1 minutes,add in beans ,chicken broth,chicken bouillon powder and salt
3:Cook beans for 15 minutes or until it's break down.If necessary add in some water to make it's more gravy ,not dry.Check the seasoning before removed from heat
4:Serve warm with yellow rice.

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Chocolate Bundt Cake

I baked this Chocolate Bundt Cake on my Birthday 2 weeks ago.Since I bought The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and would love to try out one of their famous chocolate recipe.I like chocolate cake but never bake any chocolate cake before until now because dealing with melt chocolate is not something that I look forward. I adapted Chocolate Amaretto Bundt Cake from the cookbook but omit Amaretto since I don't have any of the liquor at home.At first I thought I'm going to replace Amaretto with Triple Sec or Rum or Vodka which I have in my pantry but after deep thinking I think I better not. The result is this cake is unbelievably moist and chocolaty cake!

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter,softened,2 sticks
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs,at room temperature
6 oz semisweet chocolate
1 cup milk,(I used 1 % milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Makes one 10 inch cake

To Melt Chocolate:
Place in a double boiler over simmering water on low heat for approximately 5-10 minutes.Stir occasionally until completely smooth and no pieces of chocolate remain.Remove from heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes.

1:Preheat oven to 350 F.Grease and lightly flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.In a medium size bowl,sift together the flour and the baking soda,set aside.
2:In a large bowl,on the medium speed of an electric mixer,cream the butter and the sugars until fluffy ,about 3 minutes.Add the eggs one at a time,mixing well after each addition.
3:Add the chocolate,mixing until well incorporated.Add the dry ingredients in thirds alternating with the milk and the extract,beating after each addition until smooth.
4:Add the liqueur and mix well.Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes our clean.
5:Let cake cool in pan for 20 minutes.Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
6:If you have excess melted chocolate available,when cake cool completely,pour warm melted chocolate on the cake slowly and thoroughly as the topping.

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Macaroni Cheese and Baked Cajun Chicken

Macaroni Cheese is an all American favourite snack or meal. It's easy,delicious and simple to cook in no time.Hubby and Mishu both are macaroni cheese lover.They don't mind eating macaroni cheese everyday.Usually I will just get the Kraft's prepacked and made a quick pasta for them but this time I want to try to make macaroni cheese from scratch since I bought some Cheddar cheese on sale.This macaroni cheese is also suitable pairing with baked cheesy chicken for our family dinner.

I box or pack macaroni pasta
4 cups shredder Cheddar cheese
3 cups whole milk,plus extra
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

2 pieces whole boneless chicken
2 tbsp Cajun spices
1 tsp seasalt
2 tbsp olive oil
4 slices Cheddar cheese
1:Trim chicken extra fats way ,use metal mallet to tenderlizer the chicken meat before season with Cajun spices,olive oil and seasalt for 30 minutes or longer.
2:Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large stock pot of boiling salted water,accordingly to the package instruction,until tender or al dente.Drain before spread pasta into a baking dish.
3:Preheat oven to 375 F,add milk and cheese into cooked macaroni,mix well.Cover the top with aluminum foil before baked for 20-30 minutes.Remove the aluminum foil,sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and bake uncover for another 5-10 minutes.
4:Line aluminum foil on a baking tray,brush with some oil before lay season chicken on to it.Bake chicken for 25 minutes or until lightly brown on top or cooked.Spread 2 slices Cheddar cheese on the chicken top.
5:Serve Cajun chicken and macaroni cheese warm as dinner or snack.

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Simple Cream Scones

This is my first time baking scones.I always wonder what is the different between scones and biscuit ( American called biscuit). Honestly I'm not a fan of scones or biscuit coz I tried some before which it's has dry and flaky texture.When I was blog hopping at dailydelicious ,I saw she make her simple-cream-scones which I love to try out.I always admire her skill and presentation of her baking not to said it's recipe suit to my taste. This scones is really a thumb up for us!! it's really simple to whip up the dough in minutes .This creamy scones is really moist ,creamy and deliciously good!! Highly recommended!!

Adapted Simple Cream Scones from dailydelicious :Hop over to see the step by step!

2 cups (10 ounces)all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces and chilled
½ cup (2½ ounces) currants (optional)
1 cup heavy cream
Yield 8 pieces
1: Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450° F (230°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor to combine, about 3 pulses. Scatter the butter evenly over the top and continue to pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with a few slightly larger butter lumps, about 12 more pulses. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the currants (if using). Stir in the cream with a rubber spatula until the dough begins to form, about 30 seconds.(I didn't use food processor as well,just use the old fashion way,cut and knead with hands)
3. Turn the dough and any floury bits out onto a floured counter and knead until it forms a rough, slightly sticky ball, 5 to 10 seconds. Following the photos, press the dough into a 9-inch cake pan. Un-mold the dough and cut into 8 wedges.
4. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the scone tops are lightly golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Garlicky Creamy Beef Tongue

Have you ever eat beef tongue in your life? Some people may be squeamish about eating beef tongue because of its appearance. Others may consider it only a food for low-income populations. Some fear it will be tough or rough in texture. In fact, many fine cooks consider beef tongue to be a delicacy.Hubby requested me to look for beef tongue. He had tried Spanish cooking beef tongue and keep praising beef tongue it's a fantastic great dish!! I looked high and low for beef tongue but not many store carry beef tongue.At last I found beef tongue at Asian store at the frozen section!! Beef tongue is a byproducts of cow and it's high in protein, low in sodium, and contains no sugar or carbohydrates, making it an ideal food for people on low-carb, low-glycemic, or high protein diets. As an added benefit, it is also high in vitamin B-12, which boosts the production of red blood cells. Hubby was amazed with the softness of beef tongue I cooked.He said the beef tongue's texture is tender and softer than Fillet Mignon!!

1 average size tongue,about 3 pounds(thawed,previously frozen)
2 medium size onion,peeled and cut into 1/2
4-5 cloves garlic
1 cup cream/ while milk
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp ground black pepper powder
2 tbsp beef bouillon powder
salt to taste

1:Wash tongue and place in a large pot of water to cover. (I used pressure cooker to cut down the boiling time).Simmer with onion and 2 tbsp salt until no longer pink, about 50 minutes per pound of tongue. I boiled in pressure cooker for 35 -40 minutes.

2:Remove from water and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel skin from tongue and trim gristle.

3:Heat large skillet with oil and garlic at medium heat until lightly brown,add in milk ,seasoning and whole beef tongue for 3-5 minutes.Removed tongue from heat and cut into 1/4 inch slices.

4:Serve with bread ,tako or rice.

Pre-boiled beef tongue

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Fried Breaded Almond Shrimp

Shrimp or Prawn are versatile ingredients and commanly used in many culture cuisine.I'm a seafood lover,shrimp is one of my favourite dishes.While shrimp may be small, they are huge in their appeal as these deliciously clean and crisp tasting crustaceans can be served hot or cold and are the most popular seafood in the United States, next to canned tuna.Shrimp is an excellent source of protein and selenium. It is also a very good source of vitamin D, vitamin B12 and a good source of iron, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, zinc, copper and magnesium. Preparing shrimp for consumption usually involves removing the head, shell, tail, and "sand vein". To make life easier,I bought headless shrimp instead of head on shrimp,but not pre-cooked shrimp!! Fortunately, we able to enjoy fresh and frozen shrimp throughout the year. This fried breaded shrimp recipe is simple and easy too cook,yet delicious and succulent!!

1 lb large headless and shell on shrimp (16/20 or 21/25 size),shelled and deveined
1 tbsp fine seasalt
1 tsp ground garlic powder
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 cup panko(Japanese bread crumb)+1/4 cup sliced almond
1 egg +4 tbsp milk,beaten
enough oil for deep frying

Dipping Sauce:
2-3 tbsp Orange Marmalade sauce
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp honey
*mix above ingredients well*

1:Clean ,devein and shelled shrimp .Toss clean shrimp with seasalt and ground garlic powder for 10 minutes,set aside.
2:Prepare 2 clean plates or container,one for flour and another for panko(bread crumb)+ almond.
3:Heat fryer or deep pot with oil at medium heat.Coat seasoning shrimp in flour,then dip into egg mixture before coated with panko and almond sliced. Repeat the same procedure until shrimp finish.
4:Fry breaded shrimp until lightly golden brown.Don't over crowded shrimp in fryer. Remove cooked shrimp to a paper towel to absorbed the excess oil .
5:Serve warm breaded shrimp immediately with orange Marmalade sauce.

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The Magnolia Bakery:Hummingbird Cupcakes

Yesterday was Halloween celebration .As usual Mishu has Treat & Trick in our neighbourhood after her weekend class.I know it's abit late to post this Halloween cuppies now. I was busy running around here and there for the last couple of days.Better late then never,right?
At last I decided to buy "The Magnolia Bakery Cookbook " from a discount bookstore instead of borrowing from the local library. I read some reviews online,they gave compliments to the cupcake but not the arrogant and rude attitude from the bakery.A person limit to buy 6-12 cupcakes only not to said you have to stand waiting in line for 45 minutes !! Since I don't live in the city,I would love to try out one of their cake from my new bought book..I choose the Hummingbird Cake but instead of whole cake as it's in the cookbook,I make cuppies .I also used 1/2 of the recipe coz the whole recipe is too much for cupcake.This wonderful cake,filled with banana,pineapple and pecans is really a delectable dessert.

3 cups all purpose flour( I used cake flour)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs,at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups mashed ,very ripe banana
1 eight-oz can crushed pineapple,in unsweetened juice,drained about 1 cup
1/2 cup chopped pecan
Yield 1 two-layer 9 inch cake(I used 1/2 of the recipe for cupcake ,yield 12-15 cupcakes) Method:
1:Preheat oven to 325 F.Prepare cupcake liner in muffin pan or grease and lightly flour two 9 x 2 inch round cake pans.
2:In a large bowl,sift together the flour,the cinnamon,the baking soda and the salt.Set aside.
3:In a large bowl or mixer,beat the oil with the sugar at medium speed until smooth,about 3 minutes.Add the eggs one at a time and beat until light,about 1 or 2 minutes.Add the vanilla extract.Add the bananas and the pineapple.Add the dry ingredients in the thirds,beating after each addition until smooth.
3:Stir in the pecans.Divided the batter between the cupcake liner or prepared pans and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.( If you use cupcake,bake for 30-35 minutes only)
4:Let cakes cool in pans for 10 minutes or remove cupcake from the pan and cool on wire rack.
5:When cake cool down completely ,ice between the layers,then ice top and sides of cake with cream cheese frosting .Garnish with pecan or other sprinkle as desired.

we love the cream cheese icing on the cake coz it's not super sweet!!

I bake these cupcakes for 55 minutes and it's turn up dry and burn at the bottom.So if you bake cupcake,you can reduce the time 10 minutes lesser.

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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.