Sunday, June 13, 2010
I've been determined to make good use of my ice cream maker, so I've been trying out various recipes and just sort of inventing my own. On one visit to Niederfrank's Ice Cream, they had a thai tea ice cream that I really enjoyed. I decided to try to make my own.
I didn't want to experiment with custard based ice creams yet, so I just stuck with using mainly heavy cream for my base. The ice cream came out pretty good. I was afraid the color would be too light. I had bought thai tea bags, but then I got lazy and decided to use a can of thai tea I had laying around. The can was already premixed with sugar and milk, but the color wasn't a bright orange. However, the brown orange did seem to come out alright even after adding heavy cream, diluting the color even more.
This is a quick, basic recipe. I'm sure there are ways to make it even richer, creamier. But I like how this one tastes.
On another note, there's still time to enter my panda cookies giveaway
which you can read about here.
Thai Tea Ice Cream
1 cup of Thai tea (either canned that already has sugar and milk, or you can make your own by using thai tea bags/leaves and condensed milk)
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1. Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Whisk for about one minute with a hand whisk
2. Pour ingredients into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions.
3. You can serve immediately, or freeze a few hours for a harder ice cream.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I previously went on LA food trips on two occasions around the San Gabriel Valley, Monterey Park, Alhambra, Rowland Heights areas which I started to blog about, but never finished.
So I'm going to wrap up the rest of those food adventures here. First, Kang Kang Food Court.
Kang Kang Food Court
27 E Valley Blvd
Alhambra, CA 91801
After reading about Kang Kang food court from Wandering Chopsticks, I was really excited to try it out. A huge amount of shaved ice and three toppings for about $3. Famous Sheng Jian Bao (Shanghai pan fried dumpling). I was definitely in!
Like the name implies, it's a fast food court setting. You can order fresh made food, or there is also precooked food laid out and you can choose a combination of those. Everything is pretty cheap. Kang Kang Food court was the last stop in our food trip on this date, so we were pretty full. Only shaved ice and the famous sheng jian bao for us.
We got our shaved ice first. I was surprised by the huge amounts of ice and toppings. And I loved that they had glutinous rice balls (chewy balls that are sometimes referred to as mochi) as one of the topping options. I thought I had taken a picture of the toppings, but I can't seem to find the pictures. If there was shaved ice this cheap in SD, I'd be eating it everyday.
Our Sheng Jian Bao took a while to arrive. When they did, they were piping hot. They brought them to our table, along with plates and dipping sauce. The Shen Jian Bao looked so delicious. I could just tell the skin would be nice and crispy.
When you bit into these, the juice squirted out. These remind me of Xiao Long Bao, (pork soup dumplings) because they have a lot of soup in them. Except the skin is much thicker and it's pan fried. My first experience with Shen Jian Bao was at Dean Sin World. I found that the dough was too bready. It was more like a bao (steamed bun), that was pan fried at the bottom. The dough for these were thick, but they were chewy and doughy, which I liked better. So it was much more like a dumpling dough rather than a steamed bun dough. I loved how much soup was in these dumplings. The only bad thing is that the juice squirted up, and it was really hot.
I did think the juice was a bit too salty, as was the meat. If they cut down on the saltiness I would like these even more. But they were still pretty enjoyable.
I could have sworn I took pictures of this place and the sign bragging about their Sheng Jian Bao, but they seemed to have disappeared…Anyway, here is the menu:
A few weeks later, I was craving those shen jian bao again. But we were not planning on going to Alhambra on this road trip. Then I discovered that there is another Kang Kang location in Monterey Park. Perfect!
Kang Kang Food Court
104 N. Garfield Ave.
Monterey Park, CA 91754
It was a bit hard to find . . . because the sign says Shau May Restaurant! I guess Kang Kang bought it or they merged or something. Inside, the menu was Kang Kang. It's interesting because I had been reading posts that Shau May had good SJB, some people thought them better than Kang Kang, but apparently they are now the same place. This location is smaller than the Alhambra one, but offers the same food.
We got the SJB again. I also got a 3 item combo for Little Bro, which ended up being pretty tasty. Again the SJB squirted up, burning me. I don't know how to eat them without the juice squirting up.
I also ordered the meat pancake pie which I had forgotten to order last time. Layers of savory chinese pancake dough and ground meat. Boyfriend loved this.
I was really tempted to get the shaved ice again. It's so cheap! But we were heading over to Rowland Heights for some snowflake shaved ice..so I somehow managed to control myself.
Ay Chung Flour Rice Noodles
140 W Valley Blvd, #208
San Gabriel, CA 91776
One of my favorite Taiwanese street foods is the thin rice noodle soup. It's traditionally made with oysters, but there is also one made with intenstines. I like both of them. I've had a hard time finding a decent bowl of this stuff in the US. Most of it is severely disappointing. Ay Chung is apparently a famous chain in Taiwan that specializes in the rice flour soup. I first heard about a location in SGV from Eileen Likes to Eat. So I decided to check it out.
I sometimes read about restaurants having a sticky feel. This restaurant really had a "sticky" feel. It was set up like a food court. But the benches and tables all felt so sticky that I really didn't want to eat there.
What I did find amazing what the different offerings. So many different noodle soups that I love eating in Taiwan. But I didn't know how they would taste. And the reviewers talked mainly about the the thin noodles with intenstines, so I ended up getting the thin noodles with meat and intestines. I also ordered the stinky tofu.
I thought the noodle soup was alright. It was better than most of the ones I've had, but still quite a bit below the ones I've had in Taiwan. The thin noodles are put in a thick, starchy broth. It's usually a bit spicy.
I was pretty disappointed with the stinky tofu. It wasn't fermented enough so there wasn't enough flavor in the tofu.
Here is the menu:
We also visited some bakeries on our last trip, but I'll have to write about them some other time.
Friday, June 11, 2010
** When I originally made this post, I put these adorable panda cookies on cupcakes that didn't turn out so well. I was unsatisfied with the cupcakes, so I just had to remake the cupcakes. As a result, I've edited this post to include a matcha green tea cupcake recipe I enjoyed and that is suitable for these cute little pandas.
I've been in love with these cute little panda cookies I found at the Sogo bakery chain from the Bay Area. I've searched for them elsewhere, and while I've seen other imitations, these are the cutest I've found. I also looked into trying to make them myself, but according to the employees of Sogo, they use a special machine.
Every time I go visit my parents, I pick up some cookies to take home. For a while now, I've been wanting to make some cupcakes with these cookies as toppers. In my mind, I always imagined matcha flavored because I think of the green bamboo that the pandas are always eating at the zoo.
So this weekend, I made some matcha cupcakes and whipped up some matcha whipped cream frosting. I used the recipe for the chocolate matcha swirl cupcakes, but without the chocolate part. The matcha whipped cream frosting I made came out a bit lighter than I wanted it to, so I put a few drops of green food coloring. But then the green didn't really match the cupcakes anymore. And it came out more like a seafoam green rather than a matcha green.
To make the frosting, I simply added 1 tablespoon of matcha powder and a few drops of green food coloring to the heavy cream and sugar before whipping it. Perhaps next time I'll stick with the original color. Or maybe I'll try a matcha buttercream to get a darker green.
Yields: Approximately 12 cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 whole egg
1 egg white
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup low fat yogurt
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
2.5 tablespoons matcha powder
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin baking pan with cupcake liners.
a whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift
together. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk whole egg with egg white. Set aside.
the butter into pieces and place in an electric mixing bowl. Beat for 1
minute to soften. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of sugar and beat at
high speed for about 3 minutes. Add in egg mixture, beating constantly for about 2 minutes. On low speed, beat in a
third of the flour mixture. On medium-high speed, beat in half of the
yogurt. On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour. On high
speed, beat in the rest of the yogurt and the vanilla. On low speed,
beat in the remaining flour. Add matcha powder to
the yogurt batter in the mixing bowl.
4. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in comes out clean.
I constantly see giveaways on other blogs. I've been thinking of doing one for a while. So on my last trip home, I picked up some extra cookies. I know this is a small giveaway, but it's my first one, and I wanted to do a test run first.
Two lucky readers will get a chance to win a pack of cookies. A cookie pack has about 16 cookies. I'll do my best to ship these in enough padding that they reach the readers without getting crushed by the postal service.
The winners will be selected at random. The first winner will be selected from the comments on this post. Simply leave a comment and make sure to include a valid email address so that I can contact you.
The second winner will be selected from twitter. I joined twitter a few months ago, and really like how it works. I like having access to so many foodies and being able to ask questions and get instant answers. Add me to your twitter account and send me a message to let me know you've added me, and you'll be entered to win. Or, if you have already added me, simply send me a message to let me know you want to be considered in the drawing.
Sorry, international readers. This contest is only open to US readers. Hopefully I've remembered everything. I hope this contest goes well and I hope to hold other giveaways in the future. Deadline to enter is by June 25, 2010.