Saturday, February 18, 2012

Vanilla Cake

This weekend I plan on hanging out with friends to celebrate Valentine's Day. I know it is a little late, but this weekend worked better than last weekend and it is never too late for chick flicks, sweet treats, and a bunch of girl talk.

Well for dessert, I was planning on making something extra special and very cute to look at.  In order to make it, i needed vanilla cake.  I think a great vanilla cake recipe should be a staple in every cook's collection of cookbooks and recipes. I am going to share one of my favorite's with you.

I started off with the following ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk

I had already sifted the flour before I meausured it.  I sifted the flour again with the baking powder and salt to better combine the ingredients.
I then creamed together the egg and the sugar on medium high with an handheld electric mixer.

I added the eggs, a little bit at a time. Then I added vanilla and reduced the speed of my mixer to medium. I mixed in the flour mixture in 3 batches wit 2 batches of the milk to ensure that everything was well combined.  I raised the speed to medium high for 10-12 seconds.
Finally, I greased the pan. Depending on where the batter is going into, you will set the timer and the oven temperature accordingly.  It is also important that you preheat the oven for at least 15 minutes to ensure the cake will cook the entire time it is in the oven.

Do you have any more suspicions about what the sweet treat is?  Stay tuned to find out.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Stir Fry

Today is the start of the long weekend. Thank you presidents for giving me nearly 5 days to relax...and then my normal schedule will continue.
Well, tonight for dinner I wanted to make something quick and easy, and delicous, of course.  The first thing that came to mind was chicken stir fry.

First I start out by making the sauce.  For this I used 1/3 cup of warm water, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 4 tablespoons of mango juice (I used Goya, you can also use orange juice but I prefer the taste of mangoes).
Next, I mixed them all together.  You want to mix it until all the brown sugar is disintegrated in  the mixture. You will know it is mixed well when the texture does not feel as gritty.  The warm water aids in combining the ingredients.
I mixed two types of oil to cook the chicken in.  I used 1 tablespoon of canola oil and then 3 tablespoon of sesame oil. I really like the flavor the sesame oil adds to the stir fry.

Then I added the chicken.  I just used plain chicken breasts which I cut it into small pieces, making it easier to cook and eat.
I cooked the chicken until it looked golden brown on medium heat.  That way you know it is cooked all the way through.  This will only take from 5-10 minutes. It should look like this.
After the chicken is cooked, it is time to add the sauce.  I stirred the sauce into the chicken and then let it simmer with the lid on for a few minutes on low heat.  Every so often, I would stir it again.  I actually added a little bit more of the mango juice, probably about a little bit more than a tablespoon.  I also added a pinch of ginger, probably about 1/2 teasponn.  The beauty of a stir fry is that you can taste the sauce in between and add as many flavors as your heart desires.  You really cannot go wrong!

While the chicken is cooking in the sauce, I whisked 4 teaspoons of cornstarch with 4 tablespoons of cold water. 

I let the chicken sit for about 15-20 minutes.  I watched it carefully because I did not want it to cook too long.  This would result in tough, chewy chicken. While still on low heat, I added the corn starch to the mixture to create a thick enough sauce.  It is very important that the corn starch is mixed well with the water to the sauce is not gloppy. 
After I added the cornstarch, I turned off the heat.  During the time the chicken was simmering, I had cooked some brocolli in the microwave.  I added the cooked brocolli in the stir fry.  I put the cover on the skillet and let the sauce absorb in the broccoli.
Now I am ready to serve your dinner! I also made rice, spring rolls, and pot stickers. 

I love this dish.  I think it is great for families becuase everyone will love it.  It is a great dish on a night that you are lazy and do not want to spend so much time in the kitchen.   Here is the full list of ingredients if you are interested in making it:

1/3 cup warm water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4-5 tablespoons of mangoes
4 tablespoons soy sauce (less if you want the mango to be stronger)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken breast
4 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons cold water

Please give me your feedback. I want to know how it turns out for you or what you like to do differntly in a stir fry.


Saturday, February 11, 2012


So today I started this blog.  I have so many fun things I want to cook and I can't wait to share them with you. Unfortunately, I don't have any time to cook something this weekend but I will try to start something as soon as I can.
Valentine's Day is this week, so you should expect a post next weekend with an extra special treat.  I will give you a hint: it has to do with conversation hearts.  I hope your not too stumped!

Talk to you soon,