Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Little Bro has been begging me to buy him pluots from the farmer's market for the past few months. I didn't had a chance to go until July 4th weekend. Waiting until the end, I got some great deals on donut peaches, white nectarines and pluots.
Little Bro was pretty excited and ate a few the first few days. And then he stopped eating them. This is very typical of him. In chinese, my parents always use the phrase that loosely translates to "your eyes are too big," meaning you want more than you can handle. So I had all these dying pluots and after getting sick of staring at them rotting away, I decided to make a dessert out of them.
I pulled the older sister card and made everyone eat a big slice. I served it warm, topped with vanilla bean ice cream.
I recalled making a pluot buckle before which I had enjoyed and decided to make it again. Since I had so many pluots, I doubled the recipe. The recipe was more complicated than I remembered. I had thought it would be more easy like a crumble, but it was definitely more like making a cake from scratch, adding fruit, and then adding streusel topping to it.
Because the pluots were so overripe, they basically sunk to the bottom of the batter. Last time I had made this, I remembered the batter and streusel helped make the pluots sweeter. This time, the pluots seem to take on a more sour/bitter taste when eaten with the batter.
I still like the batter, but perhaps it would work better with other fruit like blueberries. I think next time I might try making a crumble instead. Though hopefully I won't have a next time incident involving lots of overripe fruit sitting around.
Pluot Buckle (Recipe adapted from allrecipes)
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups pluots, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, softened
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease one 8×8 inch pan.
Cream together 3/4 cup sugar, shortening, and egg.
In a separate bowl mix together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
Stir into sugar mixture, alternating with milk. Stir in pluots.
Pour into greased 8×8 inch pan.
To make topping: Combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, cinnamon, and
butter. Sprinkle over cake batter.
Bake at 375 degree F (190 degrees C) for 25-30 minutes.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Pho Hiep and Grill
6947 Linda Vista Rd
San Diego, CA 92111
I've been wanting to branch out and try different pho places. Every time I see a review from one of my fellow San Diego bloggers, I'll say to myself that I need to try that place out. Unfortunately, I never write this stuff down. This weekend, we decided to get some pho and I didn't have much time to choose a place.
Lucky for me, Dennis of A Radiused Corner writes really thorough posts on his meals, often discussing several meals in one post. He recently did a post documenting various pho places he tried out. After reading his SD Pho findings post, I decided to check out Pho Hiep and Grill. I was particularly interested in the fact that they have the saw leaf herb in the vegetable platter and the cha gio (egg rolls) are supposed to be bigger than the typical ones served.
After we ordered, we got the vegetable/herb platters: enough for one for every two people.
There was indeed the saw leaf herb, though only a little of it. It was actually hidden and I put them on top for this picture.
We also got a plate of shredded cabbage, something I haven't seen before:
I ordered the rare beef and tripe:
The broth was about average for me. Not too light, but not as rich as some other places. While the small order looked about the same as other places I've visited, I think there might have been less noodles than usual because I had no problem finishing my bowl.
One of the people in my group ordered this spicy vermicelli soup with pork blood:
Baby Bro ordered a number #1, which has everything and is extra large:
You can't really tell how big the bowl is but he said it was pretty filling.
We got two orders of the eggrolls:
The eggrolls indeed were bigger than the ones I've gotten at other places and were fried up quite pretty. But there was something about the filling that I didn't like as much. I think maybe it was too salty.
All in all, it was a decent experience. If I am in the area, I'd go back to this place, but I probably would not make the drive specifically just to eat pho here.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Chocolate and I have a very messy relationship. Literally. No matter what sort of chocolate I'm eating, I will get it everywhere. I could be eating a bite sized piece of chocolate, and I will somehow end up with a chocolate stain on my pants. Case in point: this weekend after baking these chocolate donuts, I managed to get chocolate on the backside of my tshirt, on the stairs and on my bed. Does anyone else have this problem?
BF has been asking me to make him chocolate cake donuts. He wanted ones like the prepackaged ones in the grocery store that come in chocolate, cinnamon and powdered sugar. I wasn't sure how to find the recipe.
I found a recipe for chocolate cake donuts on the back of my Mini
Donut Pan and decided to try that one. The donuts came out tasting like chocolate cake, but I didn't think they tasted like cake donuts. Instead, they just tasted like chocolate cake, shaped into donuts… I also thought that they were a bit dry.
I dipped the donuts in a chocolate ganache, giving them more of a punch. I liked them better with the chocolate ganache, but this is not my favorite recipe. I'll continue trying other cake donut recipes out.
Part of the problem may have been that I used a generic baking cocoa powder that I won't use again because I felt the quality was very inferior, but I don't think it should have made that much of a difference.
Chocolate Cake Donuts (from back of Norpro Mini donut pan)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
3. In separate bowl mix eggs, sugar and vanilla until thick. Combine milk and butter.
4, Alternately combine egg mixture and milk mixture with flour mixture and mix until smooth and soft.
5. Spray pan lightly with cooking oil. Fill with batter 2/3 full. Bake 8 minutes. After cooled, dip in chocolate ganache.
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. Heat heavy cream in a small pot. Be careful to not let it boil
over. Once it begins to boil, remove from the stove.
2. Pour heavy cream into bowl of chopped chocolate. Stir and mix
until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Let ganache cool for a few minutes before drizzling donuts with
glaze or simply dipping the tops of the donuts in chocolate ganache