A Weekend At La Chateau de Grace

I had a girls only retreat at La Chateau de Grace. I can’t seem to recall doing anything other than sleeping, playing mah jong and eating. Oh there was so much eating. And later there were dishes. Lots and lots of dishes to wash.

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We don’t skimp on dinner either. Care for a grilled prawn?

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Garden fresh tomatoes and burrata.

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Oh yes. There was lobster.

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Grilled to perfection with the essence of Dana (plus butter and cajun seasoning).

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Homemade. It took a long time.

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Pork buns??? Yes please.

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I think I’m still full from this weekend.

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White Chocolate Peanut Butter Nutella Cookies

After a failed attempt at baking a flourless Nutella cake, I decided to focus my mind on flour based goods instead. I was craving peanut butter and Nutella so I found a recipe online at Erica’s Sweet Tooth that utilized both ingredients. I didn’t have regular pb at home, so I used my fancy white chocolate pb instead. I think I could have used a little more Nutella, but the cookies turned out pretty good anyways.

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Vanilla Condensed Milk Cake

Whenever I mention my love for condensed milk, more often than not, people around me gasp and look at me like I’m crazy. I don’t get it. The stuff is good. Have you ever dipped strawberries in condensed milk? Delicious. Have you ever spread condensed milk over toast? Heaven. Have you had dripped coffee with condensed milk? Caffeine boost and sugar rush. It’s amazing.

Someone, I don’t remember who, recently posted about condensed milk cake. I wanted some. So I searched the internet for a recipe and decided to use the one I found on pizzarossa.

I think I may have kept it in the oven a little too long, but aside from the thin layer on the outside of the cake being a little on the crispier side, it was still moist on the inside and surprisingly not too sweet. I’m tempted to add a little more condensed milk next time.

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Rum Raisin Bread Pudding

Yesterday I baked a Greenlandic Cake aka big round raisin bread inspired by a blog that I read recently. After I pulled it out of the oven and took a few bites, I decided it wasn’t sweet enough. So today I decided to sliced the bread into small cubes to make rum raisin bread pudding, but without the rum because I didn’t want to go buy a new bottle.

1. Cut the bread into small cubes, enough to fill a mixing bowl. My dad and I ate some of the bread, so this was 3/4 of a loaf.

 2. Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup of raisins, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 3 tbsp of butter and 3 cups of milk to a saucepan and simmer until the milk is warm and the butter is all melted.

3. Pour the mixture over the bread and let it sit for 30 minutes.

4. While waiting, you can slice some bananas to fill 24 cupcake liners. Both the bananas and the cupcake pans are optional. I decided that cupcake size bread pudding would be very cute. If you’re just going to bake the bread pudding in a baking pan, add the bananas in when you add the egg mixture (below). Also, you can preheat the oven to 300 degrees at this time.

5. After 30 minutes have passed, whisk 4 eggs together and pour over the bread and milk mixture.

6. Scoop into cupcake liners, all the way to the top. Please wipe off any mixture that gets onto the sides around each cup. Why? Because it will burn and stick to the pan. So unless you want to spend an extra 5 minutes scrubbing the stuff off later, I suggest you just wipe it off before you stick the pan in the oven. Anyhoo, now bake for 50 minutes.

It should look a little brown (like there might be slight crunch to it) on top when you pull the bread pudding out of the oven.

There is no need to wait for the bread pudding to cool down before eating it. I didn’t. If you have any chocolate sugar at home, feel free to sprinkle some on top.  

Mochi Experiment

I don’t know why, but last night I really wanted to try to make 糯米糍, which are glutinous rice balls that are often filled with red bean, peanuts, or black sesame. It was always a challenge to try to figure out the correct measurements from a Chinese recipe because the measurements are different from the cups and tablespoons that I’m used to. So after a bit of googling and youtubing “糯米糍”, I decided to use the measurements below. According to my dad, who is an awesome cook, my 糯米糍 came out pretty well. One gold star for my first attempt.

Mixed the following in a big bowl:

2 cups of glutinous rice flour

1/2 cup of sugar

3/4 cup of coconut milk

3/4 cup of water

Then transfer the mixture into a stainless steel plate (grease with vegetable oil) and steam for 15 minutes.

Then remove  from the plate with a spatula and knead for all of 20 seconds on a flat surface that is covered with saran wrap. You don’t have to wear gloves, but it will be a lot less sticky when working with the dough (batter?).

Next separate the dough into 16 pieces (or 17). Take your spatula (or a big stainless steel spoon) and flatten each piece into a circle about 2 1/2 inch diameter. Then scoop your desirable amount of filling into the center and fold the side in until everything is trapped inside. Toss the 糯米糍 into a bowl of shredded coconut and place in a cupcake wrapper. After you’re done with all 16 (or 17), stick them in the refrigerate for 15 minutes, and then serve. I have no idea how long you can keep these for, perhaps 2 days? I can’t wait till mango season comes around. Mango Mochi!!!

Stuffed Peppers

I was inspired by my coworker’s stuffed pepper lunch today, so I decided to make my own for dinner. I used a simple recipe that I found on Allrecipes.com, but substituted the beef with turkey instead.

Preheat oven to 350 F

An hour later. Should have left it in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Taste pretty good with a bit of tabasco sauce. I think next time I am going to cook the rice filling with chicken broth.