Category Archives: Friends Recipes and Hacks

Har Gow (Steamed Shrimp Dumplings with Bamboo Shoots)

I came across this recipe the other day in finding a cheaper way to nosh on the addictive Crystal Shrimp Dumplings from China Fun here in the city – the darn things are so delicious that when I eat them piping hot, the filling all falls out for lack of letting them sit and chill.  Waiting is overrated.

This recipe can be found on the lovely blog Rasa Malaysia – she has you make the dough in her recipe, but in the version pictured below I used the pre-made Yasoya Wonton Wrappers (available in most grocery stores where they keep the tofu).  Not 100% identical, but a heck of a lot easier, especially if you can’t get your hands on wheat and tapioca starch.  If you have an aversion to triangle-shaped har gow, use a round cookie cutter to make perfect wrappers of your own.  Fry the extra bits that you cut off and use as crispy noodles in some wonton or hot and sour soup.  Done and done.  Truthfully, though, the star of this recipe is the filling, particularly the luscious quality of the shrimp and bamboo shoots, so don’t go crazy with the wrappers.

Check out the recipe now >>

Nyquil-Induced Trishy Lou Brownies

Say, What’s in These Brownies? Um, Deliciousness…

Nyquil brownies…yeah, I said it.  You look a little sick and also a little skinny, so I thought I would do you a favor.  You’re welcome.

This recipe is actually a hack of the clutch recipe of my best friend Kate’s mom’s brownie recipe, combined with the idea of Nyquil Brownies as featured on Bittersweet Blog.  Let me tell you this, if ever there were two recipes that were meant to be combined, it’s these two.  I stumbled upon the Nyquil Brownie recipe on FoodBuzz and laughed my ass off – they were touted as a way to get rid of unwanted house guests, but for me, they proved a way to get rid of the noxious green swill in my medicine cabinet.  I hate that shit with a passion and yet it still ends up next to the Mucinex every winter.  WTF, Nyquil?  Bittersweet has you whip up a lovely cheesecake topping for boxed brownie mix, and spikes the creamy goodness with a shot of the mint Nyquil.  Genius, I thought, and I immediately tucked the recipe away.

Nyquil Brownie © Spice or Die

Though I’m no baker, I recently fell in love with Pat O’Malley’s super fudgy, failproof brownie recipe.  They taste like gourmet, are easier than box brownies and satisfy an addict’s level of chocolate craving.  I don’t know why I just thought of the song Constant Craving, but if K.D. Lang came over, I’d serve these brownies.  But I digress – these brownies deserved some sort of crowning glory, and I decided what-the-hell, how about Bittersweet’s Nyquil topping.

I liken them to Thin Mints in taste.  The hubby said they remind him of Andes Mints.  I didn’t really get a definitive response from my other buddies munching with me other than “mmmmmmmm”.  Best of all, they didn’t make us sleepy so much as blissfully happy that we thought to put all of the goodness together in a pan.  So I’m sorry if you’re looking for a way to kick people out of your house – this doesn’t seem to work as quickly as I had hoped.  But it does seem to work to make some culinary excellence, so I’m fucking fine with it.

The cream cheese topping was thick for me, so rather than bake in a rectangular pan, I cooked mine in a 9 in. round pan (3 in. tall) just like a cake.  This works REALLY well and looks gorgeous when you cut into it – like a giant chocolate mint cheesecake.  If, however, you’d like to go with traditional brownie squares, use a 13×9 pan and cut the cooking time down a bit to keep the brownies moist – about 10 minutes.

Nyquil-Induced Trishy Lou Brownies

Ingredients
1 package cream cheese softened
1/2 c. of sugar
1 egg
1 shot of green Nyquil (or 1 tbs. of creme de menthe, or 1 tsp of peppermint extract plus 4 drops of green food coloring)

1 stick plus 3 tbs. of butter (11 tbs.)
4 oz. of baking chocolate (4 squares)
1 1/3 c. of flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
2 tsp. of vanilla
1 tsp. of peppermint extract
4 eggs
2 c. of sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Using a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer and a bowl), cream together the sugar, cream cheese and Nyquil (or mint flavor of choice) until smooth.  Add egg and blend until creamy.  Set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, add butter and then the chocolate on top.  Microwave until melted (about 1 1/2 minutes) in 30 second intervals, taking mixture out to stir in between.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar over the melted chocolate.  Stir.  Add the vanilla, peppermint extract and eggs and stir.  Do not overmix.

Pour brownie batter into a buttered (or cooking sprayed) 9 in. round baking pan.  Pour the cream cheese mixture on top and spread evenly to cover the brownie batter.  Bake for 45 minutes until the edges are cooked through and the middle of the brownies are just set.  When cooled, cut into wedges and serve.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

Sesame Street has been brought to you today by Guinness Stout.  Oh my goodness!  Actually, this guest post is brought to you by Jennifer White, self-proclaimed foodie, and soon-to-be culinary school star.  When she’s not inventing majesty, such as this incredibly decadent cupcake recipe, she can be found scouring restaurants, food + wine festivals and hopping around the globe eating well.  She get’s a big virtual hug for this one – it rocked my socks to the point that we didn’t actually eat dinner the night we made these.  Just cupcakes and Patron XO on ice.  Now if that ain’t a party, I don’t know what is.
-Ange

Guinness Chocolate Cupcake © Spice or Die

I thought I would contribute a recipe that is a sort of ritual between myself and some friends in Miami, but also extremely you-can’t-get-enough-of-it tasty. When I lived in South Beach, there was a group of us dedicated to drinking Guinness. The fridge was always packed and the corner store always sold out. Finally, one day I had an epiphany and thought of what else can we do with Guinness to spice things up, and started making these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes. The recipe is not for the lighthearted, but you can be sure that when all those unhealthy things come together, it’s going to be nothing but goodness. So here is my sacred Guinness Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. You should definitely try it out. Although my original group of friends all live in different parts of the world these days, we always manage to make these cupcakes when we get together.

They even look like mini Guinness’ and pair wonderfully with (you guessed it) a nice cold glass of Guinness.

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of fine salt
1 bottle Guinness
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.

In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes on the top rack of the oven and then rotate the pan(s) to the bottom rack. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.

While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make your icing.  In a medium bowl with a hand mixer (or using a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

Note (from AG)

Jenn uses muffin tins, but for easy cleanup, you may want to pick up some of the standing foil muffin cups from the baking aisle and the grocery.  You don’t have to worry about the cupcakes sticking and there aren’t any dishes to clean when you’re done.  Cheers!

Irish Lamb Stew with Rosemary and Sage

Non-Stop Comfort with No Regrets

My good friend Adella, a fellow foodie and recipe crafter, is exacting with her perfection of a dish.  She believes in absolute measurements in the kitchen (“What’s a dash? What’s a pinch”) and as such, she turns out flawless dishes time in and time out.  How could I not love her to pieces?  When I first started Adesina’s Cook-a-long, I immediately knew that I had to hit her up for a recipe.  Adella and I worked next to each other for 2 years, and in those fleeting moments of free time amidst our crazy schedules, she and I would hash about our successes (and occasional flops) in the kitchen.  She, like I, had a collection of “tried and true” go-to recipes that we kept for friends and family – we don’t have cookbook aspirations so much as a need to document the goodness found behind a particular set of ingredients and methods.  When the stars align in the kitchen, the recipe becomes a mini celebration of the success.  Needless to say, Adella has had her fair share of successes, and her collection continues to grow and grow.  Maybe it is time for her to launch a cookbook :) Continue reading Irish Lamb Stew with Rosemary and Sage