Quick heads up: Check back on Saturday for a special holiday gift from me to you…plus a giveaway! .
Have you ever had those innocently addictive pork buns served in Chinese restaurants or for dim sum? Oftentimes, they’re steamed—but I was worried the sticky dough would latch itself onto my metal steamer and ruin everything. So I baked them! .
(If you do choose to steam them, make sure you have a bamboo steamer or a lot of confidence in yourself.) .
This is a bit of an involved process, but the result is so worth it. These lovely little savory, sweet, doughy buns are sure to impress. Stop right there if you want an immediate payoff. You have to marinate the pork for at least 6 to 8 hours (overnight is better), so it’s by no means a quick and easy process. But it’s not hard if you have the patience for it. There are four main steps: 1) marinate the pork, 2) create the pork filling mixture, 3) make the dough, and 4) assemble and bake the buns. .
A little effort goes a long way with these. They freeze and reheat well, so make a big batch and save them for easy lunches. Like a mini Asian-inspired Hot Pocket. Let’s be real, if Hot Pockets weren’t so bad for me, I’d definitely eat them on the regular. But these are way better.
The other weekend, we were picking pumpkins for carving and I noticed a sign for “pie pumpkins.” I’d never heard of this before, but I assumed it meant that they were especially good for pies. I resolved to make a pumpkin pie, fresh from a real pumpkin—no cans involved. So, today, pumpkin in hand, I set out to do just that.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge pumpkin fan. I especially don’t like pumpkin pie. My mom was reminding me the other day of a story that proves this. My birthday is November 29th, which usually just falls a couple of days after Thanksgiving. I went over to a friend’s house around my 10th or 11th birthday and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, they served a pumpkin pie as my “birthday cake.” I tried to pretend to like it, but I found it beyond disgusting and came home horrified, asking “Who would serve pumpkin pie for a birthday?!” I’m still very much of the opinion that birthdays are for cake and cake alone, but after making these mini Pumpkin Pie Bites today, I’m feeling much more warmly towards pumpkin pie.
I was going to make a regular pumpkin pie, but I saw some mini-muffin tins at the store and I decided then and there that mini pies would be much better. I definitely made the right decision. With the mini pies, there’s a greater crust to filling ratio, and you’re guaranteed to get crust in every bite. With some pumpkin pies, you just get a gooey mess of filling and it’s kind of overwhelming. Not only are these mini pies cute, they’re delicious too. The crust is my mom’s recipe, and it’s pretty much the perfect pie crust. The filling is a maple-pumpkin pie, which gives it an extra “oomph” you just don’t get from plain pumpkin pie. Let’s do this! . Continue reading →
So remember my resolution to cook a week’s worth of dinners on the weekend so I’d have no excuse to avoid cooking during the week? Well I totally did it! It’s worked out super well so far. I had a cooking marathon on Sunday and prepared and froze five meals for the week—enough for both dinner and leftover lunches. It was actually really fun (it would probably be less fun if you don’t like cooking, but I enjoyed it). I’m loving having dinner ready when I get home from work. .
Over the next week or two, I’ll be posting the freezer-friendly recipes I used. I’ll also do a post at the end with some more general “how-to”s on freezer-friendly cooking. Please note that the pictures from this series won’t be fantastic, since I was cooking five meals simultaneously and couldn’t be bothered with things like “Cast of Characters” shots. Let’s get down to business! . Continue reading →
I’m a big believer in pizza. In fact, I believe if you do it right, it’s one of the most well-balanced foods you can eat. You’ve got your grains, of course, with the crust (add points for whole wheat). Then, if you add low-fat cheese, you have your dairy, protein, and fat. Pile on the veggies, and you can even squeeze fruit in there if you’re a Hawaiian pizza lover, or if you use tomatoes or real tomato sauce. You can also add lean meat like turkey pepperoni, Canadian bacon, or grilled chicken or their soy varieties for what is essentially a perfectly rounded meal. .
If you do pizza wrong, however, you can end up with ridonkulous calorie, fat, and carb counts. And yes, it’s true, “wrong” pizza can taste oh-so-right. But “right” pizza can taste pretty dang delicious too—you just have to do it well. Read on for the recipe! . Continue reading →