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Are you in the mood for something stuffed?

Do you have a craving for something sweet and flaky?

Are you in love with little stuffed-baked-apple-pie also known as empanadas?

If you’re nodding yes to all of the above then preheat your oven to 375F and let’s start baking.

What you need for the pastry:

1 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 tablespoons iced water
1 teaspoon vinegar

In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt. Then cut in the butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs. Then combine the iced water and vinegar and add in to the flour mixture and mix it all together until it forms a ball. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes or until ready to use.

Then roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into circles with a cookie cutter or you can use the rim of a drinking glass.

Place a small amount of the apple filling in the center of each circle and then moisten the edges with water and then fold it over to form a half circle. Now press the edges together to seal.

Brush the top with egg wash and then give it some cinnamon-sugar love to finish.

Pop that into the preheated oven and let the love bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

For the filling:
2 large granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Mix all of the above ingredients together.

These cute little hand pies are definitely one of my go-to on fast and easy desserts. You can also make these ahead of time and freeze it until you want to eat them.

These apple empanadas are a great alternative to the traditional whole apple pie. Plus its less messy when you want to eat them on the go. Of course they are no rules here. You can plate them up really pretty and serve this up with your favorite ice cream or whipped cream for the full effect!

Ps: I love this hot with vanilla and caramel ice-cream.

Last weekend at the farmer’s markets, I bought a ton of fresh lemons. I was really inspired by all the pretty bright colors of summer and wanted to make something really pretty and bright! Following my previous post on the mango salad, I couldn’t help but make another summer theme dish. I also bought some fresh cod fish fillets and decided on making some crispy fried fish.

I‘ve always love fried fish. Not so much of fried chicken, but a good fried fish is always on my list of current cravings. Now, normally I would love the pairing of crispy fish with chips but somehow this time, I decided on the the saffron-butter rice option instead. I feel that the saffron-butter rice just complements the  fish so well and a couple squirts of fresh lemon juice to finish just makes the flavors pop!

Crispy Lemon Fish

1lb cod fish fillet
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (plus extra for dredging)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup oil for frying
1 whole lemon 

To make the crispy fish:

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over a medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, season the fish with salt and pepper and then coat them in a little all-purpose flour.

Now, in a shallow dish break the eggs and lightly season with salt, pepper, and then add in the fresh thyme leaves. Mix that all together. Dip the flour coated fish into the egg mixture and then coat them with the combine flour mixture of all-purpose and the cornstarch. Shake off excess flour and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cook the fish fillet in the hot oil for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Squeeze the juice of a whole lemon over the hot fried fish.

 

Saffron-Butter Rice
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 pinch saffron threads
salt and pepper
1 whole lemon, juice and rind

Heat the butter and olive oil in a pot over medium heat, then add the rice,saffron, salt and pepper and stir to coat. Then add in the chicken broth and lemon rind. Reduce the heat and cover. Allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork and then squezee the lemon juice over the warm rice.

 

For those of you who have been following me on twitter, I have been posting photos from my blackberry, capturing little moments on my food journey in Malaysia and Singapore. This is my first post after taking such long break from blogging. Thank you for taking the time to check in and for leaving me your thoughtful comments. I have missed checking out all of your wonderful blogs and now that I’m back I need to do some serious catching up. Please bear with me.

I figured after posting three series on rich wedding cakes, I decided that it’s time I prepare something light and refreshing just for you from my little kitchen.

 

I supposed it’s only natural, since it’s that time of the year when pretty, bright and colorful summer clothing dominates the stores and all you can find on the cover of every magazine are those annoying “5 steps” or “how-to’s” on shedding those extra pounds, blah.. blah.. blah!

So, in the spirit of embracing it all in; I’m preparing this light and fresh mango salad. Whether you’re pairing this up with your main course or not, this salad never fail to impress your taste buds. This is an exotic combination of sweet, sour and spicy! All things that are in this season.

 

Ingredients
3 medium mangos – peeled and then cut in cubes or you can grate it. 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoon roasted chopped pistachios
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 red or green birds eye chili, sliced

Place all the above ingredients in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the mango mixture and toss until well blended.

Dressing
1 tablespoon clear honey
Juice and rind of 1 whole fresh lime
1 tablespoon grape seed oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix the dressing in a jar and shake until well blended. Keep the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to use.

 

This is my final post on my wedding cake series. Thank you all so much for your kind support and for taking the time to stop by. You have all been super sweet and amazing.

To keep up with the vintage wedding theme, I made a three tier all white cake covered in fondant. Then I place a string of gold pearls around the top and bottom tier. For the second tier, I fully covered it with vintage gold buttons in various shapes and sizes. This for me adds texture and creates character to the cake.

Just like the previous cake, I wanted to keep things clean and simple. So I decided to scatter just four gum paste flowers on each corner of the cake just to balance them out if you will.  I made two of those flowers in white with a vintage gold button in the middle and then, for the other two I painted the petals in edible gold powder and then place tiny sugar pearls in the middle of it.

 I was pretty happy with how this cake turned out. Originally, I wanted to add about six or seven flowers, but somehow it didn’t seem right. It looked a little too much and a little crowded. Most of the time less is always more.

 

At the end of day, after having lots of conversation with myself and sleepless nights. I am so glad with the end results.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!

I really didn’t mean to tease you all with part one and lead you to think that I was leaving you hanging and waiting for part two. There are no excuses. Really, there is none. And yet, somehow I was working up a good one in my head. But I shall not bore you with what I’ve been doing or how getting a good internet connection can sometimes feel like you’ve won the lottery.

OK, let’s talk about this wedding cake. The theme was vintage classic. So I went with the classic. When I think about vintage, almost immediately if not automatically, my mind wonders off to something lacey and something with pearls. The design of this cake is nothing too elaborate. I wanted to keep it clean and simple and went with a three tier cake in an all-white fondant and then adorn these babies with some gum paste lace design and a pearl border.

I must say that the picture here doesn’t do much justice to the cake. I have myself to blame for that really. The weather was seriously hot and humid that day and between carrying the cake out to the beach (yes, it was a beach wedding) and putting on the finishing touches and  also between  sweating in my spanx, I was so overwhelm with everything that was going on around me, I just wasn’t thinking anymore.

I didn’t use a topper for this cake; I really didn’t see the need for that. I wanted to highlight all that lace and pearls with a bouquet of all-white gum paste peonies. It made sense to do that. The peonies sort of made everything popped! And after spending two whole weeks making those peonies, I am glad it all worked out.

Be sure to come back for part three 🙂 and thank you for stopping by.

For those of you, who have been following me on my humble blog, would already know how much time I have been rambling on about my adventures on baking three wedding cakes. Yes, this is part one of three that I will be featuring on here.

But for this cake, I wanted the leading role to be this cute and chic wedding cake topper. I came across a similar topper like this on etsy, only it was made out of wood. I had some gum paste around the apartment and thought why not? I was going to do a test dummy to see how it would all go down but as I started painting them with food gels, there was no turning back. This is it! I thought. This cake topper will play the lead role. And I was going to write a story around it.

I decided to go with an ultra-chic look. A petite two tier cake with an all-white frosting was all I wanted to do and it was all I could think about. I thought, how cute would it be? Having the cake topper on an all-white cake like that? So I piped the bottom tier with ruffles or rosettes and that sorta added an illusion of volume to the whole look of the cake. And as for the top tier, I wanted to keep it simple and clean by just smoothing the sides with a spatula.

My favorite detail on this cake topper would have to be the side bun on the bride with a large lily to finish her look.

After this, the bride and the groom would use this topper on their first year anniversary cake and as a keep sake to last forever.

Again, thank you for checking in and for stopping by. I truly appreciate your kind comments and feedback. To me, it’s like having my very own support system where we can share our love for all things sweet and savory. Cheers!

Sometimes, when I crave for something sweet and decadent, it is by default I reach out to make my favorite batch of brownie. This is after all a no brainer considering how chocolate has that strong hold on most of us.  

But then, when I think of this honey cornbread I wonder why don’t I make this more often? It is moist, rich and definitely sweet! And it will hit you in all the right places.

Let me just say that the texture of this cornbread is not like a regular quick bread but instead, it’s more dense and moist, just like a cake. So really, it should be called corncake. This is the sweet stuff right here.

 

As you some may have notice, I have been away for a while. I am currently on vacation visiting my family and just having the best time ever. There has been a lot of laughing, hugging, talking, cooking and my oh my there’s been a lot of eating! After packing two pairs of jeans with me, I think I need to go out and get some new ones only this time, a size up!

I’ve also just completed baking and decorated three wedding cakes for the very first time. I have been so stressed worrying about it and had many sleepless nights just thinking about how it would all turn out. I am now happy to report that everything went well according to plan and I couldnt be happier. Right now, I am just getting all my photos together for my next post so be sure to drop by soon.

Thank you again for being patient and for checking in.

Recipe Source: Allrecipes.com