Saturday, March 31, 2018

deviled eggs

I normally don't write about savory items on my blog (there are so few that you can see them all here), but since it's Easter I thought it would be the perfect time to share my favorite recipe for deviled eggs! They are the perfect easy snack or appetizer to make for any gathering, including Easter!

For the eggs, you can boil them or steam them like I like to do (in a rice cooker for 12 minutes, with the eggs propped up on a metal trivet!), but be sure to submerge them in an ice bath afterwards for easy peeling. Once all of the eggs are peeled, cut them in half and carefully pull out all of the yolks, and add them to a bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients. Then you can use a fork to smash the yolks with the rest of the ingredients. (I've also seen shows where they whisk the filling in a standing mixer for a smoother consistency!)

Once the filling is well mixed, I like to use a disposable pastry bag and a large star tip to pipe the filling into each egg white cavity, bur you could also just use a small spoon to drop the filling in.

Then top each egg with sliced gherkins (I also added homegrown cilantro instead of pimentos, but you could also do green onions or other herbs), and then sprinkle a bit of paprika over each one, and you're done! Super fast and easy, and the kids even helped me decorate them!

Happy Easter!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

basketball cupcakes

My youngest baby just turned FIVE!!! Where does the time go?!

Every year I make him birthday cupcakes. First there were these meatloaf cupcakes, as well as funfetti cupcakes. Next came Elmo cupcakes, and the next year Cookie Monster cupcakes because he was super into Sesame Street at that time. And now the thing that he is absolutely and completely obsessed with is BASKETBALL. He loves it. Can't get enough of it. We watch almost every Golden State Warriors game on TV. He plays basketball outside in our backyard when the weather is nice. Otherwise, he shoots hoops inside, because we have one of those small plastic basketball hoops that hangs over a door near the kitchen. He knows all the numbers of every Warriors player. He can even commentate while we are watching Warriors games, and does a pretty good job of it! So naturally, this year he asked for basketball cupcakes!

For the batter, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe (which you can find in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), which also works great for cupcakes!

Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I whipped up a batch of cream cheese frosting (you can also find this recipe in my book). I tinted the majority of it with bright orange gel-based food coloring. And then I used a disposable pastry bag fitted with a large round tip, and piped big round mounds of frosting on each cupcake.

Then I tinted the remaining portion with super black gel-based food coloring, and used a small round tip to pipe the details of each basketball.

And then they were done!

I finished decorating them just in time to bring them to his preschool class party, so I loaded them up in my cupcake courier (my favorite way to transport cupcakes!) and brought them to school.

I also made goody bags for him to pass out to his classmates - blue and gold (Warriors colors) paper bags filled with mini bouncy basketballs, basketball-shaped whistles, basketball pencils, basketball chocolate candies, and basketball pillow mints. And all tied with matching ribbon and a handmade DIY basketball favor tag that I (painstakingly) drew with a sharpie and cut out of orange construction paper.

We decided not to have a real party (sadly, he has never had a real birthday party! Poor kid, I guess that's what happens when you're the third kid!) Instead, we bought him the ultimate birthday gift for a kid who loves Warriors basketball. WE TOOK HIM TO A WARRIORS GAME!

Happy Birthday, my Micah! Hope you enjoyed your basketball birthday!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

braided crust custard pie

Pi Day is coming up, so I thought I'd share the pie that I made for Pi Day last year! In case you don't know what Pi Day is, it's celebrated on March 14th around the world because Pi (the Greek letter “π”), which is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, is approximately 3.14159. Thus 3/14!

Anyway, back to my pie! I was craving custard pie, which I remember my mom making a lot when I was a kid, but nowadays the only time I have custard pie is when we're visiting my husband's family in Hawaii. (Liliha Bakery and Kaneohe Bakery both make a delicious custard pie, by the way!) So I decided to make my own.

After checking out several recipes, I decided to go with this one, minus the nutmeg (because the custard pies that my mom used to make didn't have it, and either do the ones in Hawaii!)

For the crust, most custard pie recipes that I found suggested using the frozen store-bought kind, but I decided to go with my my favorite all-butter recipe instead (which you can find in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!). Also, to make it pretty I braided a few strips pie crust and attached it to the rim of my pie using a bit of egg wash.

Then I poured in my filling (which tastes like melted ice cream, by the way). Mmmmm ...

And then I baked it at 400F until the crust was golden brown and the filling was just a bit jiggly.

Just so you know, if you make this pie, your entire house will smell like heaven.

Next time I'll be sure to take the time to skim off the extra bubbles in the filling before baking, just so the top has a smoother finish. But even despite the bubbles, this pie was delicious!

Happy Pi Day!