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Blog

Ginger Milk Pudding

Patricia Reitz

Here's a fun dessert for everyone to try.  It's a unique "pudding" made with 3 simple ingredients - milk, sugar, and freshly squeezed ginger juice.  Just combine them and wait about 15 minutes for the magic to happen.  You'll know it's ready when you can balance a small spoon on the surface.  Kind of a cool party trick to entertain your friends and family.  I hope you'll give it a try.

how to make ginger milk pudding - step by step photos

In order to get the ginger juice out of the ginger, you have to grate it.  You can do this using a ginger grater (shown above), a microplane, or the sides of a box grater.  

It's not necessary to peel the ginger, but you can if you want to.  Try using the edge of a spoon to scrape the thin skin from the ginger root.  A vegetable peeler will work too, but it will remove more than just the skin. 

how to make magic ginger pudding 

If you use a ginger grater, you'll notice some of the juice collects in the dish.

how to make magic ginger pudding

But I find you can get a lot more ginger juice if you place the pulp in a garlic press or squeeze it between layers of cheesecloth.  

how to make ginger milk pudding

Measure 2 teaspoons of the freshly squeezed ginger juice per dessert bowl and set aside for later.

how to make ginger milk pudding - hot to photos

In the meantime, gently heat the milk and sugar together over medium heat until it reaches 165F.   Turn off the heat, but don't pour the milk into the dessert cups yet...

how to make ginger milk pudding

Stir the ginger juice to redistribute the starch granules that have settled to the bottom of the bowls.

ginger milk pudding recipes with how to photos

Immediately pour half of the heated milk and sugar mixture into each bowl and DON'T STIR.  Just let the bowls sit, undisturbed, for about 15 minutes. 

Chinese ginger milk pudding recipe.  Chinese ginger milk curd recipe.  How-to Photos!

After 15 minutes have passed, the pudding should have set and you should be able to balance a small demitasse spoon on the surface.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or chill for several hours for a slightly firmer texture.

Items used to make this recipe:


Ginger Milk Pudding Curd

makes 2 servings

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole milk (milk substitutes won't work)
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh ginger juice (from a 6-inch piece of fresh, mature ginger)

Directions

  1. Peel and grate ginger on a ginger grater, microplane, or the small holes of a box grater.
  2. Squeeze juice from grated ginger by pressing in a garlic press or pinch it between layers of cheesecloth; measure 2 teaspoons of ginger juice into two 4 to 5-ounce dessert cups.
  3. Place milk and sugar in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan and stir to dissolve sugar; heat mixture to 165F.
  4. Immediately remove milk from heat.
  5. Wait - before adding hot milk to ginger juice, stir the ginger juice in each dessert cup to redistribute starch granules have settled to the bottom; immediately pour half the milk mixture into each cup.  DO NOT STIR!!!
  6. Wait at least 15 minutes for pudding to set before trying to balance a demitasse spoon on the surface of the pudding.  

Note

  • For a slightly firmer texture, chill the pudding for several hours after it sets.

Onigiri

Patricia Reitz

Onigiri - ButterYum

Onigiri - ButterYum

One of my daughters is a Japanophile and she loves to introduce us to Japanese foods that are completely unfamiliar to us.  Foods like these onigiri (oh-nee-gee-dee), a rice ball or sorts.  They're kind of a rice sandwich filled with something savory like chicken or tuna salad.  The salty filling pairs so beautifully with the rice and a strip of nori is wrapped around for flavor and color contrast.  They're easy to make in the palm of your hand, but the triangular molds we used are even more fun.  Here's how they're made.

Start with about 3 cups of cooked rice.  I usually cook my rice on the stovetop, but my daughter loves any excuse to pull out the rice cooker. 

how to make onigiri, japanese rice balls - how to photos

Sushi rice is the typical rice used to make onigiri, but any rice that will stick together when compressed will work.  When you're shopping, look for Japanese medium or short grain rice. 

how to make onigiri - recipe with how to photos

As I said, you can form these in the palm of your hands, but using onigiri molds is kind of fun.  This set includes two sizes.

onigiri filling - japanese rice balls, recipe and how to photos

You'll also need a savory filling.  Today we're using this rotisserie chicken salad.  If you're interested in my yummy recipe, here it is.

how to make onigiri, japanese rice balls - recipe and how to photos

You'll also need nori sheets.  They're the same sheets you might use to make sushi. 

DSC_6517.JPG

Cut the sheets into 1-inch wide strips that are 3.5 to 4 inches long.

Alrighty, time to make these adorable onigiri.  Keep a small bowl of water nearby to dip your fingers into.  Sticky rice won't stick to your fingers if they're damp.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Press a tablespoon or two of rice into the bottom half of an onigiri mold, pressing it across the bottom and up the sides, leaving an indentation for the filling.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Add a tablespoon or so of tuna salad or chicken salad.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Cover the filling with more rice.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Fill the mold to the top.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Place the lid on top and press gently to squeeze everything together.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Gently unmold and place formed onigiri on a strip of nori.

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Pull the ends of the nori up to wrap the onigiri.

how to make onigiri (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Ta-da!  That's all there is to it.  Now you're ready to dig in. 

how to make onigiri, o-musubi, nigirimeshi (japanese rice balls) - recipe with how-to photos

Enjoy! 

Items used to make this recipe:


Onigiri

makes 8-12

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked sushi rice (or any rice that sticks together when compressed)
  • 1 cup tuna or chicken salad (try my rotisserie chicken salad recipe here)
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed, cut into 1-inch wide strips, then cut each strip in half to make 2 shorter strips (each should be 1-inch wide by 3.5 to 4 inches long).

Directions

  1. Place a few tablespoons of rice in onigiri mold, pressing across the bottom and sides of mold, but leaving an indentation for the filling.
  2. Place a tablespoon of savory filling like tuna salad or chicken salad in center of rice; cover with more rice until mold is filled.
  3. Place lid on mold and gently press to compress rice; remove lid and carefully unmold by pressing the release tab on the back of the mold.
  4. Place nori strip on table, shiny side down, and place onigiri on strip as shown; pull both ends of nori up on each side of the onigiri and serve immediately.

Cucumber Cups

Patricia Reitz

Cucumber Cups - ButterYum

Cucumber Cups - ButterYum

My daughter recently had the pleasure of throwing a bridal shower for her best friend and these cute little cucumber cups were one of the appetizers served.  They're so easy to make using just a few simple ingredients and they look adorable.  

cucumber appetizer recipe

Peel the cucumbers intermittently leaving a light and dark striped design on the full length of the cucumber and cut into 1-inch coins.

cucumber cup appetizer recipe - with how-to photos

Use a melon ball tool to scoop an indentation in each cucumber coin, being careful not to go through the bottom of the cups.

Mix together the cottage cheese, scallions, fresh dill, and salt and pepper.  Be careful to taste your cottage cheese before adding the salt (some are much saltier than others). 

Fill the cucumber cups with the cottage cheese filling and garnish with a fresh dill frond.  Serve immediately. 

Items used to make this recipe:


Cucumber Cups

makes 20

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (depending on how salty your cottage cheese is)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • fresh dill fronds for garnish

Directions

  1. Wash cucumbers and peel them intermittently, leaving some of the peel behind to make a light and dark green striped pattern down the length of each cucumber.
  2. Slice cucumbers into 1-inch rounds and use a melon baller to carefully hollow out an indentation to hold the filling.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cottage cheese, sliced scallions, chopped fresh dill, salt, and pepper; mixing well (start with less salt, then taste and add more if needed).
  4. Fill each cucumber cup with the cottage cheese filling.
  5. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with fresh dill fronds.

adapted from My Friend's Bakery