Stella, May I know what you think about the new Caramel Popcorn Crunch?

8:38 AM Unknown 0 Comments

 Following last week's Fiddle-Faddle Friday, I thought I could review Cap'n Crunch's newest cereal! I wasn't kidding when I said I am just attracted to new types of cereal. Today I have the Caramel Popcorn Crunch. How could I not take this home to try! I love popcorn (& Popcorn!) and I really like regular Cap'n Crunch. I also really like how they have played up the popcorn imagery with caramel popcorn with the Cap'n and the red stripey box popcorn comes in. However that milk spilling out looks just a little too fake.
One of the things I like most about regular Cap'n Crunch cereal is how long I can keep it in the milk without the cereal getting soggy. And I think they have translated that well with the popcorn version. I should let you know I don't eat cereal in a normal way. I like to have the milk in my bowl first and then add in the cereal a bit at a time. Usually I like to add the cereal so that it just covers the surface of the milk. That way there is enough time to munch on the cereal without the entire bowl getting soggy. With this Caramel Popcorn Crunch cereal, I almost feel like a can wait a little bit before munching down. It's not as "hearty" as regular Crunch, but it will last longer in milk compared to non-Crunch cereals. I was a little disappointed with the shape of the cereal. It is just round balls, which is like the mushroom shape of popcorn. The other shape is a butterfly. It is a pretty (boring) standard shape of cereal. Before we get onto the taste of Caramel Popcorn Crunch, I want to mention that when you first (and every time thereafter) open the bag of cereal, you are immediately besieged with a strong sugary aroma. I would classify it more sugar than caramel. There isn't a caramelizing note when you smell it. However you do taste the caramel. It really is reminiscence of caramel popcorn. Cap'n Crunch cereals are probably the only types of cereals I do not eat dry. They are a too crunchy and I feel like that soak in milk removes some of the outer shell. The same could be said with the Caramel Popcorn Crunch. I also can't have a lot of this cereal. As I have it, my mouth is slowly coated with a sugar corn taste. It is more of a dessert cereal. Caramel Popcorn Crunch is a nice little snack when I'm craving something a little sweet.
Overall, I like the cereal, but I would still choose Cap'n Crunch. I could see myself growing tired of Caramel Popcorn Crunch really quickly, so I will be saving it for special occasions.

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Stella, May I know how to make Kit Kat croissants?

1:08 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Have you ever thought about combing the crispy layers of Kit Kat chocolate bar with the buttery layers of a croissant? It's a trend that started in a Japanese cafe and has been all over the internet. Well let me tell you, after you roll in a bar in the standard Pillsbury Crescent Roll you get a pile of mushy chocolate with not much flaky goodness. (Bake according to the crescent roll directions, just ignore the fact that you have a chocolate bar inside.)
 Break up the KitKat bar and stack 'em. (this is the snack size Kit Kat)
Or leave the bars unbroken and wrap the crescent roll around the bar.
Verdict: It's all not very tasty. The crescent rolls are too much like regular dinner rolls and don't give you any layers. You will still get the layers in the KitKat rolls though.
That got me thinking. Instead of trying to complement the layers, why not try to complement the layers with some crunch... Crunch bars!
So why not all other chocolate bars we have... Starting clockwise from the top left. Kit Kat, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Crunch, and Twix.

Here's the breakdown:
Kit Kat- no crunch, it had like a stale bite in the middle of a dinner roll.
Reese's- pretty peanut buttery taste, but no texture difference.
Crunch- the little crunchy balls stay crunchy! the chocolate was chocolatey!
Twix- the cookie bar stayed crunchy, but almost all the caramel goodness oozed out of the crescent roll.

Overall the winner is definitely the Crunch bars. I didn't expect those crunch balls to stay crunchy, making the texture difference rather delightful. It beats out the Twix because it was easier to eat. I tested all of these at a room temperature. At my first go, I had the Kit Kat bar straight out of the oven, and the crunchy layers was soften by the heat and moisture.  I figure letting it cool and re-harden was the way to go.

Let me know if you try this trend, and if you find another chocolate (or maybe fruity candy?) bar to try.

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Stella, May I know about the some new cereals?

5:47 PM Unknown 0 Comments

I have this slight obsession with cereal. I say only slight because it's not like I want cereal everyday, but sometimes I like to eat it dry. Whenever I get to the cereal aisle, there always seems to be new ones popping up all the time. Can you believe there is an entire aisle dedicated for cereal? For today's Fiddle-Faddle Friday I thought I would share some of the cereals lately.
Trix cereal was never my favorite, but these are mini sized!
Here we have a Lucky Charms: Finding Dory version! How cute are those Nemo and Dory marshmallows? The box is also very pretty! The background is holographic ocean blue.
This Madagascar one is S'mores flavored and is probably the one I want to try the most. It's a S'mores Jungle Party! From the "Enlarged to show texture" picture, it seems like they included chocolate balls (like Cocoa Puffs), mini marshmallows, and graham cracker squares (like Cinnamon Toast Crunch).
This one, like the Madagascar one, is from Moms Brand. Moms has been making generic cereals, like Frosted Mini Spooners and Cinnamon Toasters. They have recently introduced Dreamworks Cereal! I think you will like Kung Fu Panda 3 Po Power Crunch if you have been thinking marshmallow bits have been missing from your chocolaty corn puffs! And how cute are those little pandas!
Pebbles cereal with ice cream flavors! I just don't understand why Bamm-Bamm is on the box. Cocoa Pebbles has Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but this one just didn't include her!
When I first saw this box of cereal, I did not think it was going to be chocolate strawberry flavored.
 Lastly, Cap'n Crunch's  Sprinkled Donut Crunch. I know this isn't new since this one is the only one I've tried. I tried this one last spring, yet it still has the new plastered on the box. This Crunch variety does remind me of a donut. It's like a super crunchy, sweeter cheerio with tiny sprinkles. To be honest it was tasty when you start having it, but it got tiring after awhile.

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Stella, May I know how you make dessert dumplings?

6:05 PM Unknown 0 Comments

So you know what I do with left over chives, but what about the left over dumpling wrappers? For today's Tutorial Tuesday, I am going to show you how to make dessert dumplings! Go and grab some of your favorite sweets and wrap them inside.
First combination I tried was:
Nutella and marshmallows!
Scoop up a dollop of Nutella.
I use marshmallows to get them onto the wrapper. We don't want to waste any of that delicious spread!
After I have enough marshmallows and Nutella, then I wet the edges of the wrapper and wrap it like the savory dumplings. Make sure to not overfill the dumplings. You don't want them exploding in the fryer.
Next combination. Starting with some mini chocolate chips. I used the mini size since that's what I had on hand.
And top with some marshmallows! I think some nuts or graham crackers would add a nice contrasting texture to this combination. Plus if you used the graham crackers with marshmallows and chocolate, then you would get a s'mores dumpling! You could also use fun-sized chocolate bars!
Or maybe some bananas?
Bananas and peanut butter!
Bananas + peanut butter + chocolate!
Once you wrap them up, gently set them into the fryer basket and fry at 350°F for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. All we need to do is cook the wrapper and melt the marshmallows and chocolates.
Perfection!
Look at that golden goodness.
Sprinkle with some powdered sugar and your dessert dumplings are ready!
This is the mini chocolate chips and marshmallows. We cooked this one a little too long and the marshmallows all but disappeared. So remember to just fry until the wrappers are done and take them out.
The banana and peanut butter one.
I don't have a recipe for this tutorial since I just wrapped anything dessert like. A few things to remember:
   – Don't try to stuff more things than the dumpling will allow, it will just fall apart when you fry it.
   – Don't fry them for too long. Marshmallows will just disappear!
   – Do be creative! I would suggest grabbing your favorite things and wrap them inside. (try nuts, cookies, graham crackers, jam, or fresh fruit. Think frozen yogurt toppings.)
   – Do have them immediately!

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Stella, May I know what you have planned for Valentine's Day?

8:01 PM Unknown 0 Comments

Welcome to another installment of Fiddle-Faddle Fridays! For today's post I thought I would share what me and the Mister have planned for this Valentine's Day. As some of you know, last year we were trying to find a hedgehog and failed. That's why we have our fish, Valentine. I would also like to report that Valentine is still as healthy as the day we got him. This year, we don't have such grandeur plans of adding to our little family. It's probably just going to be a quiet night in finishing up Narcos on Netflix or going to see Deadpool.
Even with such uneventful plans, I still wanted to bake Mister something special for the day. We have a little toaster oven so this bake wasn't going to be elaborate, just something simple. I came up with mini strawberry bundt cakes with a chocolate glaze. This recipe is perfect for two mini bundt cake pans or a mini loaf pan. It's also easy to double up if you wanted to make more. I know today isn't a Tutorial Tuesday, but why not have two recipes up this week?
A few weeks ago, we found this little set at Target for $3! It was too good to pass up! Originally $10, this mini baking set comes with two mini bundt pans and three silicone spatulas. (Check the end caps to score clearance deals and always scan it! Sometimes the price is lower than what is on the sticker.)
These are Farberware spatulas.
You will need l-r: flour, sugar, egg, sour cream, baking soda, butter, vanilla extract and salt (not pictured)
First mix together the dry ingredients. Flour, sugar, salt. Since this is for Valentine's Day, I decided to make it extra special by using pink Himalayan salt. This won't make any bit of a difference to the end product, but I know I used it and that's what counts.
In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients. Sour cream, baking soda, vanilla extract and one large egg.
After you've combined the wet ingredients take out about half the mixture. I used the half cup and scooped some out. This step will help keep the mixture light and not over-mixed.
Now add in the butter to the wet ingredients. Whisk it all together!
After the butter is combined, slowly add in half the dry ingredients. When all of the dry ingredients are mixed in, then add back the scooped out wet ingredients. After the remaining wet ingredients are incorporated, then add in the remaining dry ingredients. By alternating the ingredients, the mixture won't get over-mixed as easily. This may seem like unnecessary steps, but I think this results in a better, lighter texture in the end.
Right before I was going to pour the mixture into the pans, I decided to add in some strawberries. In the picture above, I only added about half of the strawberries (about 1 tablespoon chopped). After I folded those berries in, I chopped up some more and added that to the mixture (2 tablespoons total). These are just some frozen strawberries I defrosted and chopped up. In the end the strawberries didn't add much taste or color to the cake. However you can feel the texture of the seeds in the cake.
 Meanwhile, prep the pans. A little shortcut I know is to use the butter wrapper to coat the pans with butter. I however took the butter out of the wrapper while the butter was still cold, so much much butter remains on the wrapper.
 I just used a silicone brush and brushed on the butter.
After the pans are well buttered, coat them in flour.
Then evenly divide the mixture between the two pans.
Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
Because the recipe has quite a lot of sugar in it, it will have a crunchier "skin." If you like that then cool the cakes out of the pans. If you want to keep your cakes soft, then cool the cakes in the pan. After the cakes are cooled, put the cake bake into the pan to slice off the tops. I like to use the cake pan as a level and just set my knife along the edge and cut. You want to create an flat top, so when you flip this cake over, you will have flat bottom!
Ingredients for the chocolate glaze: powdered sugar, vanilla, butter, cocoa powder and milk (not pictured). Mix all the ingredients except for the milk. Slowly add in the milk until desired consistency.
I like it to slowly run off the spatula when I pick it up. When the glaze is ready, Slowly pour it over the cakes. This glaze is like a donut glaze. It will stay "soft" and retain a satiny sheen. If you leave it a day, then the glaze will harden. It wouldn't leave a fingerprint if you touched it. However since you are leaving it a day, your cake will also be a little staler. To write words or decorate the plate I would suggest using a little pipping bag, but since we didn't have one, I just used the tip of the spatula (the one pictured above) and wrote it on the plate. It reminded me of using dip pens since I had to go back and get "ink."
I hope you all have a Happy Valentine's Day (or Galentine's Day)!

Mini Bundt Pound Cakes with Chocolate Glaze serves 2
(2 mini bundt pans, 1 mini loaf pan, or 4 cupcake cups)

  • ½ cup flour 
  • ½ cup sugar 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream 
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 large egg 
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (almond is also a good choice)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature 

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set the racks to the middle position. (If you are using a toaster oven, then set the racks to the bottom position).
Grease and flour pans very well.
Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in small mixing bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together sour cream and baking soda. Add egg and vanilla extract, whisk to combine. Scoop out half of the mixture and set aside. Add the butter, whisk to combine. Add half the flour mixture, whisk to combine. Add back the scooped out sour cream mixture, whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture and whisk to combine.
Pour into prepared pan and bake until browned well and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes for the mini bundt pans. The cake is done when the cake is browned and toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center.
Cool in pan 10 minutes on rack.

Chocolate Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons confectioner's sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 
  • splash of vanilla extract 
  • ½ tablespoon butter 
  • about 2 tablespoons milk

Mix together all ingredients except for the milk. Slowly mix in milk until desired consistency.

When the cakes are cooled, slice off the top. Flip the cakes over and slowly drizzle on the chocolate glaze. Enjoy!

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Stella, May I know what you do with leftover chives?

2:13 PM Unknown 0 Comments

This is a chive scramble! I've added some leftover tofu, but I think it would be just as delicious without it. The chive adds an onion-y flavor and it just looks so pretty.
 What you'll need: butter, salt and pepper, chives (finely chopped), eggs.
*Keeps curious cats away from onions and garlickly ingredients, it's poisonous to them!
 Melt a generous pat of butter in a nonstick pan over a medium low heat.
 While the pan is heating, crack two eggs.
 Whip them up with a whisk! This isn't to the fluffiness of my souffle omelet. Just whisk for a few seconds until it's one color.
 Mix in the chives.
 Pour into pan. Make sure to use a spatula and really scrap all of the chives in.
 Add your extra ingredients, (This is previously browned up tofu). Salt and pepper.
Slowly push around the egg with a spatula and cook until desired doneness. The more you move it, the smaller the scramble.
Serve on some toast!

This would make a great little snack or a quick breakfast. Enjoy!

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