Traditional Tomato Sauce Recipe from Naples

Do you all like tomato sauce? I was not a big fun for years and years just because my husband loves it and I kinda have to make it. But This traditional tomato sauce recipe from Naples,  Italy. Yes, it takes some time comparing with using tomato cans, but you will never ever have a chance to grab a can after this recipe.

  1. Chop up Roma Tomatoes. Keep all skin and seeds.
  2. Middle heat until the water is out from tomatoes. Middle heat for 5 to 8 min.20161014_134500
  3. Let it cool down.
  4. When it get cold enough, grind it!
  5. Pour the tomato sauce through a strainer. Use a spatula and carefully strain it. After you clean up the spatula, scoop the bottom of the strainer. These sticky sauce helps the tomato sauce thick. But do not add any tomato skin and seeds!
  6. Pour more olive oil you think you need. I used 8 tomatoes and add T3 Pure Olive oil. And add garlic. Keep the heat middle.
  7. Pour strained tomato sauce. Stir until all the oil gets mixed well in the sauce.20161014_144643
  8. After the oil is well mixed, turn the heat off and add T2 of Parmesan cheese, some salt, and fresh Basil if you have. I use Italian mix herbs from Costco. It still tastes great!!

 

White Peach Compote with Vanilla Ice Cream

Four white peaches were sold in a supermarket at $1 yesterday! I made the compote and kept them in the jar.

With Double Vanilla Ice cream, OMG, delicious! Making compote is not as hard as jam! But this is one of the best way to preserve fruits for cold season…when is it coming, though!

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Rose-shaped Brioche

20151214_175443After Thanksgiving, before Xmas, the price of butter is getting better, $2.99/lb in Kroger. Let’s make buttery bread!

Brioche is one of the most easy French bread compared with bouquets and other hard bread. I was thinking of the best way to enjoy butter in bread. I reached a conclusion, rose-shaped! This would let me enjoy each buttery layers! Enjoy the pictures below:

After the first raise, let the air out and sit for 15 min. 20151214_163753 - Copy

After the 15 min bench time, smash the ball and cur it in half, and chain them. 20151214_163859 - CopyRoll the chain!20151214_163908 - CopyAnd let it sit in the muffin ban, or regular bun whichever you like. 20151214_163759 - CopyAnd bake for 11-13 min! 20151214_163759 - Copy

Christstollen

15-12-02-09-51-45-307_decoAfter Thanksgiving, it is time for Christstollen. I have tried a couple of recipes for the past a few years and this year, I finally thought of visiting German websites to look for the recipe!

The greatest news is the price of butter got nicer as Thanksgiving was closer to. Christstollen uses a lot of butter and sugar, but VERY delicious!

What I learned new about Stollen is adding orange peel. I made them from scratch this year and added them. Please see the instruction below!

 

 

<Ingredient>
All-purpose flour     500g
Milk                              85ml
Dark Ram                   max 60ml
Sugar                            200ml
Salt                                 1/2t

Dried Yeast                   40g
Butter                            80g
Ram raisin                   2cups
Orange peel                 1/2cup
Lemon peel                 1/2cup
Walnut                          if you like
—————————–
Butter                            1stick
Powder sugar               as much as you like

 

<Instruction>
Mix all the powder from the top of the ingredient list well. After all mixed well, add dried yeast. And add butter well.

When the dough becomes easier for you to knead, add raisins, orange peel and lemon peel. This dough will not become smooth or easy to knead compared with other bread.

Let is the first raise. The dough can be at max of 1.5 times bigger than the original. You cannot expect it to be twice bigger since there are a lot of raisins and peel.

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Spread it round and add walnuts if you like and fold it once. Go to the second raise for 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven at 400F and bake it for 45 minutes, after the first 20 minutes, cover the top with aluminum foil.

After the bake, poke the bread with forks and apply melted butter (1stick) again and again. Sift the powder sugar.

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Plain Bagels – Nonbutter Bread

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As mentioned in the precious blog, I will bake non-butter bread until the butter price drops down! In Kroger, it is still $3.99/L. And I checked the heavy cream price there as well…$4.99/1000ml. If my research is correct, you can yield 40% of butter from heavy cream, so simply you will have 400ml butter, which is 384g = 4/5 pound. $4.99×80%=$3.99

So even if I buy heavy cream, there is no difference in buying butter and heavy cream! Or well, maybe if I think of of butter milk, it might be better…. what do you think?

So I baked plain bagels! It is really simple since we do not have to do the second raise.

<Ingredients 8 Bagels>
Bread flour      3 cups and 1/4 cup
Sugar               4t
Salt                  1t
Water               3/4 cups
Dried yeast       1T
Honey               1T

<Directions>
First raise

Shape them as bagels and let them sit for 10 minutes.

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Preheat the oven at 400F

Boil the water, not fully boiled, add honey.
Drop the bagel dough into the water and let it boil each site for 30 seconds.

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Bake them for 15 minutes!

Rye Pain de Campagne – Ryr French Country Bread

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Are you a fun of rye bread? I guess not many people LOVE it, but just a second!  Check the portion of rye in the bread! Dark rye  bread usually have more than 50% rye flour, so if you see a little bit brown rye bread, it should be less than 50% and I probably say 30%. If the bread is more tanned than brown, it will be closer to 50%.

However! Why don’t we bake it to find out your own best portion for your baking journey?! I do not add caraway seed in my bread. There are a couple of reasons, if you are interested, please leave a comment!

And another reason to bake Pain de Campagne is as you see before Thanksgiving, the price of butter is sky high! I am not talking about a fancy, organic butter, just a butter which has some(?) preservatives and not the greatest kind, but not a margarine, it is $4 per pound? OMG!Let’s bake non-butter bread. I am furiously against butter now!! I may need to think of  buying cream and shake it for a couple of hours!

Already, here is the ingredient.

<Ingredient>
All purpose flour  1cup
Rye Flour            1/4cup
Water                  150cc
Brown sugar        1.5T
Salt                      1t
Dried yeast          1t
Raisin or dried cranberry 3/4cup

***** the original Pain de Campagne does not contain any sugar, but I thought it might taste better to add for rye flour and also helps it to raise.

***** the amount of water, please be careful. Watch out how the dough does, sometimes the flour itself already contain much water, it is invisible, so slowly add water and stop when the dough you think has enough or controllable. The true pain de campagne uses a lot of water and dough is really watery and saggy. And I am not goot at dealing with these dough at all. So I tend to use less water and keep the dough still controllable in my hands.

The steps are easy. If you have a bread machine, let it sit there and finish the first raise. You can not expect to make it double size from the original amount since it has rye and raisin. 75 -85% of double size is still good. If you knead by your hands, you do not have to knead, mix all in a bowl and add water and let it sit. It might take longer to the first raise, but check it every 30 min and if you see any raise, smash the air bubbles!

After the first raise, let the gas(air bubble) out and reshape it and move to the second raise. This is 40 min! It does not matter how big it raises. If you keep the second raise more than 1 hour, your bread will smell like yeast. Make sure to start preheating your oven tat 450F, do not forget to heat the pan, too!

After the second raise 40 min, design the bread! I usually cut in cross with a knife. Use your sharp knife like a saw again and again. Spray olive oil in the crack. (Some say this is cheating… but you know it looks better after bake!)

Reduce the heat to 400F and take the preheated pan out and let the dough sit and bake for 15 – 18 min. If you want to, you can add some nuts and other dried fruits! Again, then the raise is not going to be as big as plain!

I did not take pictures while baking this time, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me!

Souzai Bread – Stuffed Buns

What is Souzai Bread? It is well known as Souzai Pan, which is stuffed buns! It is easy to bring it for your lunch instead of making sandwich before work. What you can stuff in it is anything you want. This time I made two buns, one is hum & cheese and other is corn.

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<Ingredient>
Bread flour           2 cups
Water                   3/4 cups
Unsalted Butter    1.5T
Dried Milk             1T
Sugar                   1T
Salt                       1t

-Ham & Cheese
Sliced Onions
Ham
Cheese
Mayonnaise
Mustard (if you like)

-Corn
Sliced Onions
Corn
Mayonnaise
Mustard (if you like)

<Directions>
1. After the first raise, divide the dough into two if you like to make two different kinds of buns and cover them with a cloth for 15 min.
2. Spread the dough to squares, 10″x12″
3. Spread mayonnaise and mustard(if you like) and add your favorite ingredients.
4. Roll the dough! – fun part! Ans cut them into 6 parts. I recommend you to use baking cups, and if you use the paper one, please do not forget to spray oil before you let the dough sit. (See the picture under #6)

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5.Preheat the oven at 400F.
6. Second raise for 30 to 40 min. Before you bake them, add more cheese on top the each bun.

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7. When it is ready, reduce the heat to 360F and bake them for 20 to 25 until the buns become gold-brown.

Potato Croquettes and Storage ideas for Potatoes!

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What is the best way to save money for grocery? Buy in bulk … really? Yes, it is helpful if we can eat all in a limited time! Can we keep eating potatoes forever? This was my biggest question whenever I see 5 pounds of Idaho potato bag at $1.99 in a store.

How can we store potatoes? Simple! Wrap each potato with newspaper and keep it in a plastic bag in a fridge. I keep them for more than 4 weeks so far and every potato is still fresh!

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Another way to store potatoes, make your own frozen food – Croquettes! Again, why do you want to eat frozen food which you already learned many, many, years ago that it has tremendous amount of food additives! We still need some easy food, then why don’t you make them by yourself? After you spend a couple of hours to make the frozen croquettes, all you need to do is fry them or spray oil onto the surface and bake it!

<Ingredients>

Potatoes        4-5

Onion            1

Ground beef  ¼ pounds or as much as you like

Sugar           2T

Soy Sauce   2T

Milk              3T

Salt and pepper

Flour

Egg                1 *beat the egg and add 2T water

Bread Crumbs

<Directions>

  1. Boil potatoes until it gets soft with salt from cold water, and add milk and mash them. You do not have to mash all. After it gets cool down, add salt and pepper, not a lot, just to give some taste.

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  1. Pour a little olive oil into a pan and stir chopped onion until the color changes to brown and add ground beef.
  1. Mix sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl and add it to 2.
  1. After the beef is well cooked, leave it until it gets cool down.

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  1. Mix 1 and 4 and make a ball with your hands.

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  1. Prepare a tray for each flour, beaten egg, and bread crumbs.
  1. Roll them on to flour -> beaten egg -> and bread crumbs, fun time!

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  1. Wrap ach croquettes with plastic sheet and freeze!

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If you like to eat them, you can fry them or as mentioned above, spray olive oil on the surface and bake it! All we want is crunchy surface with golden brown and soft inside. So you do not have to deep fry it since all the ingredients are all cooked.

When you cook the frozen croquettes, again, fry until golden brown and wrap it with kitchen paper and microwave it for 2 to 3 minutes. Or spray the oil and bake it for 15 minutes at 400F.

Handmade Cleaning Spray for Kitchen, bathroom and toilet!

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Why do you pay money for cleaning spray which can kill ants instantly?  I was shocked to see the video. You can find many videos on YouTube if you are interested in.

Well, do we really need that strong and powerful spray to clean your kitchen/bathroom counters, dinning table and toilet? I don’t because I have a cat! It cold be only my clumsy cat. I often see him smelling and licking the floor, and table..he knows he is not allowed to get on the counters and table, he does it anyways, oh well:(

I prefer using vinegar to baking soda to clean counters and table. But the smell is not pleasant, so let’s add some essential oil! Here is my recipe.

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Water                                 2cups
Vinegar                              2T
Citrus Essential Oil            10-20 drops
Mint Essential Oil (Option) 5-10 drops

Citrus essential oil could be anything, lemon, orange, tangerine, lime and so on. Mint essential oil could be pepper mint, mint, spearmint and so on.

Enjoy!

Amish Friendship Bread – Baked!

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As directed I collected all the ingredients and simply mixed them all together in the big bowl. See the pictures above. As mentioned in the previous post, I did not use baking soda since I am not a fan of its unique taste:) So I used baking powder for the substitute, and this is the half amount of the original recipe. (used 2 medium size eggs, though) This mold is as big as a large loaf, but it is easier to bake.

Put it into the oven! (Preheat – 325F)

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The direction says that it would take an hour and longer to bake but mine was 50 min. You can see some caramel color on the edge. I used a stick to check the inside, I know you all are experienced bakers, but just in case if we have new bakers! The stick was not wet at all, good time to turn off the oven now!

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The texture is soft and rich, and it is not too sweet. The color is more caramel than yellow cakes. Taste …. GOOD! It was worth for me to take 10 days to prepare for the this bread!