Tuesday, August 28, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

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I thought I might enlighten you guys with cupcakes this time. I haven't made anything sweet and sugary in a while, but since it was my brother's birthday, I went and made him these S'mores Cupcakes (best sister ever). Somehow, I've fallen into this role of making my brother a birthday cake every year. First it was red velvet, then honey chocolate cake, but this time I went the easier route and made cupcakes. He engulfed these. Seriously. I turned my back and at least 5 were gone :O

I'm also posting this recipe for my friend who's ill but wants to eat these as soon as she can. Talking about ills and chills...
HOT TUB FOLLICULITIS: What's in your hot tub?
Now I know it's summer and a hot bubbling whirlpool is the last place you want to set foot in, but for other reasons, I would think twice before jumping into a vat of bacteria and bugs. Pseudomonas aeruginosa is found to contaminate hot tubs because it's nice and warm, withstands chlorine and live in this layers of slime inside the water system. Blech. Dr. Claire Panosian Dunavan, an infectious diseases specialist at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, say they're also found in hospitals and can cause ignited fevers, pustules, itchy and irritating skin rashes. Luckily, it goes away after a week, but do you really want to walk around red, itchy and angry?

S'mores Cupcakes
Makes baker's dozen

1.5 cups honey graham cracker crumbs (about 10-12 whole crackers)
0.5 cup all purpose flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter + 1/4 cup yogurt (or use whole stick)
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk

Few tbsps Nutella Spread
Mini marshmallows

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line or grease cupcake pan.
  2. Crush graham crackers using a food blender (pulse) or put it in a bag and crush it manually with your hands or a rolling pin like I did. Measure 1.5 cups of that. There will be some left you can use for decoration. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the crumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk softened butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs one by one and then add in the vanilla too. If you're going to use the yogurt add here too.
  4. Add the graham cracker/ flour mix to the wet mix, alternating with the milk. Mix that up gently and divide the batter.
  5. Bake for 20-22 mins. 
  6. Let them cool, spread some nutella and top with left over crumbs and mini marshmallows. You can put it under the broiler/oven for less than a minute to get the toasted marshmallow effect. Or use a kitchen torch if you're handy like that.
Happy Birthday lil bro~

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Green tea & Red Bean Mochi Cake

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Ah! I've been so busy lately I haven't posted as regularly as I do. Definitely trying to juggle too many things and I need at least three clones of me. Boo. So I'll keep this one short with an interesting body fact.

FACT: A person can live without eating for weeks, but will only survive eleven days without sleep.

Well, I guess I should just go hungry and sleep. I'm so sleep deprived. I'm usually a morning person but seriously waking up every morning at the crack of dawn is driving me insane. Thankfully no cranky behavior (guess I can't be my own judge). But imagine people around those who haven't slept crazy moodswings...they'll probably only survive a day or two.

I made this super simple and tasty mochi cake. It isn't very sweet, which is perfect for me and a lot of my aunts and relatives who were eating them. They make lovely gifts when you wrap them up nicely. Koreans love this stuff. I mean, it's mocha and it's got red bean. What's not to love?

Matcha Green Tea & Red Bean Mochi Cake
Makes 2 loaves or 9x13" pan

3 cups glutinous rice flour (I used a mix of 1 cup brown and 1 cup white)
2 tbsp Matcha green tea powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup red bean boiled (or measure from a can of prepared sweetened red bean and cut sugar to taste)
1/4 cup dried dates chopped (or use diced kabocha squash)
1/4 cup walnuts quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Grease pan or 2 loaf tins with oil or butter
  3. Whisk all your dry ingredients in one bowl (rice flour, matcha powder, sugar, baking powder, salt)
  4. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk and oil. Combine dry mix with the wet mix.
  5. Gently fold in the filling ingredients. Feel free to use all red bean, or add raisins. Seriously, whatever you like.
  6. Bake for 40-50 mins or until the sides pull away from the pan.
Glossy with honey and walnuts!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Seasoned Shishito Peppers - Ggwarigochu muchim

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I always love those mini banchans (반찬) that they give in Korean restaurants. Most of the time you get free re-fills so don't be too shy to ask. I fill myself up on those ah ha ha. I've been learning so many recipes from my mother so here's a simple side dish to complement a steaming hot bowl of rice.

A little science for the day and a little justification of why I'm so short haha :)
Why Height Matters
Interestingly, in modern western society, studies have found that shorter women tend to bear more children. On the flip side, average-height men do best, better than short or tall men, in the number of children they father. Researcher Gert Stulp and co. of the University of Groningen in Netherlands pulled data that followed more than 10,000 Wisconsin high-school graduates for around 50 years.

Results show in shorter families, the sisters had more children than their brothers. In average-height families, however, brothers had more children than their sisters. The published article in the journal Biology letters says that sexes are locked in a push-and-pull battle over height. That means: shorter than average woman are more likely to have children and pass on her short genes. Good for her daughter who will bear more children than average, but bad for her son. Can you imagine this pattern continuing over the entire population???

As a whole, the population gets shorter because shorter women are producing more. Too bad for men, this increases the evolutionary pressure but still taller guys reproduce more and push the heigh of the next generation back to average.

They say that height is also correlated with income, attractiveness, education, health and longevity. An apology to short guys who think they'd like to find a short girl... :( I'm sure personality counts!

Seasoned Shishito Peppers - 꽈리고추 무침
phonetics: ggwarigochu muchim
Delicious ban-chan (side dish)
A Japanese variety of the bell pepper - small, finger-sized and thin-walled. Not spicy unless your seasoning is!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Shrimp and Veggie Scramble

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How do you guys like my new and remodeled blog? The banner took me all night, because I'm not very good at photoshop (and my sister is never home). Even my brother had to help me with setting it up! So you guys are going to just have to like it, because I ain't going to be changing it for a while... Need. to. get. off. Internet.

Check Depression levels with How You Use the Internet
Computer science nerds at Missouri University of Science and Technology recently published an article  about a group of students and how their use of the Internet correlated with the depression levels. They explained in the New York Times that 216 undergrads first did a questionnaire to measure how depressed they were and then monitored their internet activity.

Apparently, those with indicated depression from the survey had high levels of sharing files (like movies and music). That sounds like me (NOooo). To add further insult, depressed students also tended to engage in very high e-mail usage, which could indicate high levels of anxiety. Lastly, they also have a habit of switching between applications frequently, like e-mail, chat rooms and games. It's called normal behavior @(%*(#_@($@ <-- denial

The research is being conducted to develop a software app that could be installed into computers and mobile devices and alert you if you show symptoms of depression. That could be your parent monitoring your mood swings during puberty. Sounds like a terrible idea!! What do you prefer? Data privacy or mental health?

Shrimp and Veggie Scramble
Serves 4