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Hey, Alicia here with another international recipe. Last year my family picked a country from our heritage every month and made one recipe a week from that country. It was really fun, educational, and delicious. This year we're not doing that same thing, but we still love experimenting with food from other cultures.
That's where bao, steamed Chinese dumplings, come in. My husband works at Pixar, and you may remember that short that played before Incredibles 2 called Bao. Bao (without giving anything away) is about a woman who makes bao and one of them comes to life and she basically treats this cute little dumpling as her son. The director of the short, Domee Shi, shared her mother's recipe for bao with her Pixar colleagues and an illustrated version with Time Magazine.
My husband really wanted to make them because he loves Chinese food. So we did. It's a pretty simple recipe, though it can take a little time preparing the filling. The first time my husband minced everything by hand. The second time he decided to use the food processor and it was perfect. We also don't have ground pork so we used pork sausage. The dough is a very simple 3 ingredient yeast dough. The results were so wonderful. A favorite part was the fresh ginger used in the filling. Don't skip it as it really adds to the flavor. It's so good.
The hardest part of the recipe is folding the dough around the filling. I was not very good at it, so mine had a lot of extra dough at the top. If my bao had come to life, it would have been a completely different short, probably in the horror genre. But they still tasted delicious! My husband got the knack for it though and made some really cute bao.
Another thing is you will need a way to steam the bao, as that's how they cook. we used the basket that came with our rice cooker.
I'm not sharing the recipe directly on our page because it is Domee Shi's but you can find the illustrated version on this page and a video of YouTuber, Emmy Made in Japan, following the recipe and making the dumplings. We found the video especially helpful.
So go forth and enjoy bao. Let us know how you like it!
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You may have read on Tuesday my article about Tomato-Basil Tea Sandwiches using San Marzano tomatoes. Later that very day, Anita brought me a bag full of those glorious tomatoes straight from her garden. This time, I had to use them for what they are famous for and that is a wonderful Italian marinara sauce! I looked at many recipes all over the internet and YouTube. This is the one that I finally settled on, it is a combination of a few that looked simple and delicious. I especially like the way Gianni North Beach used the fresh basil, because I am growing it in my garden. So, my recipe is really a variation of his.
You must start by peeling your tomatoes. The best way to do this is to cut an "x" through the skin at the bottom of the tomato and then putting them in boiling water for about 15 or so seconds. Then you drain and cool them a bit. The skin will peel right off.
Use a deep skillet because at the end of the recipe the pasta and sauce will be all mixed together.
Begin by getting your tomatoes ready by chopping them into quarters and discarding the seeds. San Marzano tomatoes have very few seeds and a lot of flesh, so this part is easy. The seeds don't really bother me in this dish, so I just got rid of the big chunks of them. Also, cut away the hard stem ends.
Now, heat up your skillet with about 3 T. of olive oil in it and put in your chopped garlic to begin flavoring the oil. The taste of the olive oil really comes through in this dish and it is so good!
Now, add the tomatoes to the pan and start stirring them around. You will be surprised at how fast they start to break down. Put in your salt and pepper and mix it in well.
Next, I let the sauce simmer on a medium low heat while I prepared the fettuccine.
When you prepare the fettuccine, be sure to salt the water and cook it until it is al dente, not too soft. When it is ready, drain it. Remove the wilted basil and add the fettuccine to the pan of sauce.
You can add the Parmesan cheese right now or let people put on their own in individual servings. I let each person add their own since Maddy is vegan.
I have a guilty confession to make. I was sure that I had some Parmisano-Reggiano ready to use for this dish when I started cooking it. But, alas it was all gone, so I had to use the green box! Argh! Don't hate me Anita! I can't wait to make it again and try it with the good stuff! But, despite the cheese fiasco, this dish was out of this world good! I was not prepared for how good it tastes. I had to stop myself from eating the entire pan of it.
Of course, you can make this recipe with other types of tomatoes, but if you can get San Marzanos, you will love them. Enjoy!
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I have a confession to make. I had never eaten flan until the beginning of this year. Yes, I know, I live in Phoenix, AZ where you can get some of the best Mexican food there is to be had. I have eaten a lot of Mexican food. I have seen flan and heard that it is so good, but I had never tried it. Let's face it. After you have eaten a huge meal of chimichangas, beans and rice, who has room for a dessert? Well, during the holidays, after Christmas, my son and my son-in-law went out to eat and they brought home flan for me to try. It was creamy and good, but this particular flan seemed a little short on the caramel part to me. Also, I was surprised that what I was eating was basically custard like my mom used to make when I was a kid! Anyway, I decided that I needed to try to make it myself.
The flan was creamy and delicious, but the thing that I missed from when my mom used to make custard was the cinnamon! I have since read recipes for Flan that do include cinnamon or a cinnamon stick in the recipe and I definitely think that I will try that next time because I know that it will be delicious!
I hope you will try it and enjoy it! Especially if you are like me and haven't given it a try yet! You will be glad that you did!
Here are some supplies that you will need:
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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