Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dim Sum Dumplings...Mmmmm

I decided to try making dim sum dumplings. Now, I had never eaten a dumpling like that before, but after watching the video I posted much earlier in another post, I was curious. The recipe for dim sum wrappers in Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen and Penny De Los Santos was easy enough to follow, so I whipped up a batch. I ended up with 16 wrappers. For the filling, I used a few things I had on hand and ended up with some delicious dumplings.

Once I made the wrappers, which was really quick using my food processor, I rolled it into a rope and cut pieces of it out. With each piece, I rolled a ball, flattened it a bit with my palm, and stuck it into my tortilla press sandwiched between two sheets of a cut up Ziploc bag. They pressed out beautifully and easily.


Perfect circles every time!

Once the wrapper was pressed, I removed it from the plastic and filled it with a teaspoon of filling. Then, I folded the wrapper in half and pressed the dough together to make a crescent shape.

The seam, once the dumpling is pressed into a crescent.
 Once it was pressed together, I worked on pinching it to create the fanned edge. It made the dumplings look so pretty!

Working on the pleats from right to left.

Ta da!

I lined a cookie sheet with foil, sprayed it with nonstick spray and placed half of the dumplings on it and then in the freezer. The other half were laid out on a plate covered in foil sprayed with nonstick spray until they were fried up. This dough stuck to the plate...which is something I figured out after I transferred the dumpling in the picture above! I added some oil to the pan and fried the dumplings, turning them to each side as they browned on the other. A plate with paper towels laid on top was waiting for me to rest the finished dumplings on. After that, they were ready to be eaten! Mmmm.

I served these with rice and made my first ever egg drop soup!

Oh, and since I had a couple of extra dumplings left over after dinner, I made some bentos up for lunch the next day.

The filling was made with the following ingredients in the taste as you go method of cooking:
Ground beef 1lb
Shredded carrot
Shredded zucchini
Finely chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic
Frozen peas
Frozen corn
Extra virgin olive oil (to saute in)
Sesame seed oil (added to the EVOO)
Worcestershire sauce
Soy sauce

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Homemade Tortillas Made Easy

I bought a tortilla press from, and decided to give handmade tortillas a whirl. I originally got the press to make dim sum, but I figured it would be fun to use it for its intended purpose as well. Surprisingly, there are only two ingredients for making them: masa and warm water!

I followed the recipe on the bag of masa, and made the dough. Then, I divided it into twelve balls. With each ball, I flattened it a bit with my palm. A Ziploc bag, the edges cut off, makes a great non-stick surface (also blissfully food safe) to place your patty, sandwiched on the top and bottom of it. I had an oops moment and forgot to slip the plastic on top of the patty before I pressed the tortilla, and it stuck to the press!

It's helpful to put the patty slightly off-center. The tortilla press works surprisingly well to flatten out your corn tortillas. Once pressed, the tortilla is gently removed and heated on a griddle at 475-500 degrees, 30 seconds on each side, till it reaches the desired finish. I like mine to puff a little, so I flip it one extra time, for an additional 10 seconds. My griddle isn't that hot, so I had to use a nonstick skillet on the stove top, set on high.

I have to say, I have never been a huge fan of the corn tortilla, but wow, these are good! They are completely different than store bought tortillas, and taste like heaven.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A Classic Golightly Moment

My big thing lately is trying some hairstyles from this amazing book called Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells. I must say, she wrote a fantastic book, and it inspires me to try some fun tangents of my own with retro styling. I am still learning, so the process so far has been fairly slow and at times almost more frustrating than it seems to be worth it. Still, I am having fun in the process. Really, the biggest draw for me is that I am hankering for yet another makeover, and I just don't have it in me to make a drastic change such as cutting my hair or choosing a new hair color. This book provides me with lots of new styles to try out, which are temporary. Believe me, temporary is good for me. I get makeover madness about every four months or so, and I hardly ever stick with a new look once I've acheived it. At least I know I'm not the only one who does that!

The Golightly is pictured second from the top.

After searching through the book, I came across the Golightly style . Like many people, I have always admired Holly Golightly's style in Breakfast at Tiffany's, so I figured it would be fun to give her signature hairstyle a try. I recently bought some hot curlers because it's a tool mentioned in the book, so I brought them out and used them for this hairstyle. I burned my fingers. I did it again and again. My verdict: it's totally not worth the trouble. However, it did give my hair the body and slight curl at the ends that I needed to pull this off.

Next, I sectioned off my hair like the books said to, and after about six failed attempts at my small victory rolls, I decided that I needed to alter the part in my hair to pull it off. Success! Really, the victory rolls were the most difficult to pull together, and after that, the whole thing came together beautifully, and scream free. Naturally, I can't reveal all of the steps to complete this style, since I am not a thief, but I can show you how my hair turned out!

It doesn't look exactly the same in the front because I have bangs.

That loop sticking out at the back is just one of the curls pinned down.

The bottom half has a french twist to it. Pretty.