Congratulations to my sister and her new husband on getting married last weekend!!! I spent a good day making her wedding cake and cupcake ensemble. Her wedding cake is a Lemon cake with lemon fillings, covered with a lemon frosting and fondant. The cupcakes, were of two varieties: lemon cupcakes with lemon frosting, and Chocolate coffee cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting. The Main cake was hand decorated and painted as you can see in the picture below into the wee hours of the night:
Photograph courtesy of Ian Cheung
The final product will be displayed once I get a decent picture of it!
In the meantime, I made a yummy Spicy and Sweet BBQ Pork ribs yesterday at a friend's place. You need not marinade the ribs for long as they were only marinated 2 hours before they were actually grilled! Of course, adjust the Chili powder to your spiciness level!
Please ignore the poor picture quality, as this was taken with my phone as well.
Spicy and Sweet BBQ Pork Spareribs:
4 lbs Pork Spareribs
1 cup Brown sugar
2 tbsp Chili powder
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp White pepper, grounded
1. Clean ribs and pat them dry using paper towel. Remove thin membrane on the underside of pork ribs.
2. Mix together sugar and all spices in a bowl.
3. Rub in spices mixture onto ribs. Refrigerate, and marinate for 1 or more hours. The ribs will have liquids coming out of them, so be sure to use a bowl with sides to catch the drippings.
4. Slowly grill ribs over low heat until meat have shrunken from bones, approximately 25-30 minutes. Be careful of the heat as there is a high sugar content in the rub, high heat may burn the ribs without thoroughly cooking the ribs. Baste with liquids collected during marinating state.
So with operation cupcake due this weekend, I will regret that I won't have time to post a picture up this week. But here is a great recipe for the ground pork with shallots and garlic that you buy at Taiwanese bubble tea places also known as "Niu rou" rice or "Lo Yuk" rice in Cantonese.
Figurines for the cake are almost finished with the final design to be drawn on. Pictures will definitely be up later this week!
Taiwanese style Ground Pork with Shallots and Garlic Recipe
1 lb ground pork (recommended fatty pork, but lean pork is good too)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoon fresh shallots, finely diced
3 – 4 whole dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked, and finely diced
2 cups water or beef broth (I even used chicken broth)
1/3 - 1/2 cup soy sauce (less soy sauce if less salty – may use combination of dark and light soy sauce for colour but total 1/3 – 1/2 cups.)
1 tablespoon sugar or rock sugar to taste
¼ cup Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
1 – 2 star anise
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Brown pork in skillet until cooked; drain off oil and set aside.
Add vegetable oil in a pot over medium-high heat.
Saute shallots and garlic for 1 minute.
Add pork stir a few times.
Add water/broth and the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil. Adjust taste.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Uncover and cook for 15 more minutes. Skim oil.
To make the eggs, I soft boiled a few eggs, than removed the shell, and put it in to boil with the pork.
Happy Father's day to my beloved Dad, and also to my husband!
So asparagus is still in season! Now is the best time to get those long stems of green goodness. Asparagus, as we know it at the supermarket, are actually the shoots of the plant as the stalk quickly grows woody making it too hard to eat as it matures. Asparagus is low in calories and sodium, and is a good source of vitamin B6, calcium, and magnesium. Asparagus is also an EXCELLENT source of fiber, protein, vitamins A, C, E, and K, among other vitamins. So why not load up on asparagus, throw them on the grill and get going?
Here is an easy recipe for asparagus, of which we had adopted from a good friend of ours in Ottawa: It's so good, that even Kasey can't resist! He loves those long green stalks (and the cheese of course)!
Photography by Ian Cheung
Dijon Mustard Asparagus:
1 bunch of asparagus, thinner ones usually are easier to chew and less fibrous
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Juice from a fresh lemon
1 tbsp Olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
1. Marinade asparagus with Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and olive oil for 10 minutes (can be prepared overnight, or in advance).
2. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, grill over BBQ for 3 - 4 minutes or until desired tenderness. You may also cook these over the stove under medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes, or until desired tenderness. Save the Dijon mustard marinade as a sauce for the asparagus, no cooking required for the sauce.
3. Sprinkle on cheddar cheese.
Finally, a free weekend!!! Not that I got anything for free this weekend, but my one-and-a-half year old son is in the beautiful city of Vancouver with grandma and his aunts, therefore, FREE weekend!
So, that means: INTO THE KITCHEN I GO! YAI!
There must be something in the raging hormones of the pregnant female body that has been enticing me to want to learn how to make everything now, before my schedule is over taken by two young kids at home. As for the sex of the latest addition, we really haven't a clue and plan on keeping it that way.
As a child and even still, stepping into any Shanghainese restaurants my first order would be their Spicy Beef Noodle Soup. Having grown up in Canada and unable to read or write Chinese (yes, shame on me... and something I still want to pick up), it had never dawned on me that I should learn to make it myself in fears that I would not be able to find the proper ingredients. Well, believe it or not, the push of the raging hormones and having one too many mediocre beef noodle soups, it was TIME.
It's the first day of June, which means... this month is CRUNCH TIME!
With my sister's wedding fast approaching in July, the test kitchen for Operation Cupcake should come in full bloom. The last two cupcakes tested, Peanut Butter Chocolate Twist cupcakes, and Lemon Drop cupcakes were met with success, however based on needs of the guests at the reception, peanut probably wouldn't be a good idea.
So... suggestions for the next cupcake challenge? Chocolate mint? Mocha? Hmm...