Stella May I know how you make wontons?

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! Last week I shared one of me and Mister's favorite warm-you-right-up foods: Red Oil Wontons. Today, as promised I'll show you  how we make the wontons.
 First off start off with a lot of green onions, or scallions. I like to use the entire stalk from whites to green for this. If you find that the white bits are too strong feel free to leave that out.
 Next add in your ground pork. As you can see this is a very fatty mix. Unlike the dumplings we made the ratio for this filling is more meat. With more meat I didn't want it to be too dry so I used a fatty mix.
 Then add in your salt. (Yes, that is a sugar pourer. I really like it as there is a pour function, and two different sprinkle sizes! We got this awhile ago from Walmart.)
 Then in with the white pepper. Regular pepper is find here too, I just has this on hand and already ground.

 With pork heavy dishes my mom has always added in shaoxing cooking wine. It's a type of rice wine. I would just omit it from the recipe if you don't have it on hand.

Mix it all together!
 It's time to wrap now! Again this may all seem very similar to the dumpling tutorial (mix filling and wrap), but there are little differences. I mean you are still mixing the filling and wrapping, but you're mixing different things and you're wrapping differently. One of the biggest differences is that the size of the filling is much smaller. With wontons there is much more of the wrapper you are having. Here I use 1 teaspoon for each wrapper.
 Plop down that filling right in the center.
Dab on a little water on two of the sides.
 Then fold it into a triangle. Then dab on a little more water onto the two outer sides.
 Now just take the two points and cross them right at the bottom of the filling pocket. Pinch tightly!
 See how that creates a little stuffed spoon perfect for your saucy goodness?
This wrapping process is much faster than the dumpling one. Also the wrappers are much thinner than the dumpling wrapper. These are all ready to float and cook in some boiling water! or make extra and freeze them! I like to freeze them on a tray first then transfer the frozen wontons into a more space-saving bag/container. Let me know if you make these!

links: Red Oil Wontons.

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Stella May I ask, are you hand pulling noodles?

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. You may be asking, why and how we decided to make our own hand pulled noodles? Well it all started as we were scrolling through our feeds a this ridiculous man was just pulling noodles. Then Mister decided right then that we need to not only try it but master it. That was late last year and we have been pulling noodles about twice a month. Today I wanted to share one of our earlier trys, and to show you how it's not that difficult.
 What you'll need: cake flour, baking soda, salt, sesame oil, and all purpose flour.
Making the dough is probably the easiest part. Basically all you have to do is measure out all the ingredients.
 I just did it all by scale, so it was all in one bowl and no measuring cups/spoons!
 And then let it whirl in a stand mixer!
 I use a paddle first, then the dough will form into a ball a few minutes in. Then I switch to a dough hook for the rest of the mixing time. It'll be mixing for about 15 minutes. (The very, very first time we made this we mixed the dough all by hand and it took hours. Yes, hours! So would really recommend using an electric mixer. Thankfully we weren't discouraged from that first try and tried again with a electric mixer. It makes it so much easier.)
 Then your dough is ready for pulling!
 Can you spot my napa cabbage rubber bands?
 Ideally you have a big clean surface to work on.
 We are still working on technique here so bear with me. But expect to see another hand pulled noodle recipe and how-to soon! We just need to do a couple more weeks of testing.
We used the basic recipe found here.

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Stella May I know who is General Beauregard Lee?

11:08 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. General Beauregard Lee is Georgia's Official Weather Prognostication. Okay, so maybe not official but he did receive a certificate from University of Georgia (DWP, Doctor of Weather Prognostication). Historically, General Lee has actually predicted the opposite from his more famous brother. You know the one who resides in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and named Phil?
This year's forecast (his forecase in tweet form):
Slightly overcast when, at last, he rose,
To the sky, Beau turned his nose;
Then, looking about, he saw nothing,
and rightly predicted an early spring!
… and the Atlanta Falcons will beat the New England Patriots, 42-21.
— 02/02/2017 @ 7:54a, 46 degrees in Lilburn, GA

You can actually visit General Beauregard Lee at Yellow River Game Ranch. His little mansion is called Weathering Heights. I mean all the great houses are named. So how do you feel about a holiday where we wait around for a groundhog to decide the weather? If General Beauregard emerges on this day and embraces the day, then spring will come early? It's a silly tradition, but I'm still excited every year for what the groundhog will say. How about you? (btw go Falcons!)

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Stella May I know what staple you have to have for your hot pot?

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may. This is the Bull Head Chinese BBQ Sauce (沙茶酱). & this is like the staple sauce that is needed at every hot pot meal I've had. I know that sounds quite extreme, but something about the flavor and the texture just makes the hot pot meal for me. The barbecue sauce (also paste like) has a savory and almost spicy taste.
This special sauce has always come in this silver tin can with a plastic lid. Which, by the way, is probably not very nice to say, but a very bad lid. I always end up with a greasy mess everywhere. I haven't found a way to remedy this, but just to give it a wash after each use then sticking it back in the refrigerator.
Pop off that lid!
 How satisfying is that! Yet every time I do this I fear I will just slice off my fingers. (That's why it is Mister doing this right now.)
 So what's inside this sauce? Ingredients: soy bean oil, brill fish, garlic, spice, shallots, sesame, coconut powder, dried shrimp, chili powder, salt, and flavor enhancers.
Brill fish, not like the krill fish that whales eat. By the way did you know the whale in Finding Nemo is named Tank?
Back to the sauce, I know it's a little daunting to just see this layer of oil. (You can see how this can become a mess.) But you just wait and see what's inside.
Some people just like to dig past the oil and scoop up the goodness underneath. I, however, like to use a big spoon and mix it all in together and then spoon out the sauce. Can you just see how this can get even messier for me? For some reason I just realized about myself is that although this sauce is always ready, I only use it during hot pot meals. I want to try and incorporate it with other meals! Possibly for barbecue? But what I do in hot pot is scoop a big spoonful of this barbeque sauce, add in some soy sauce, vinegar, and green onions and that's it!
Bullhead Barbeque Sauce can be found here

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Stella May I ask how you store yet to be finished puzzles?

9:30 AM Unknown 0 Comments

Of course you may! This is our puzzle mat. Now I didn't know this until recently, but did you know you can safely store away your yet to be finished puzzles by rolling it away? If I had an unfinished puzzle before, I would have probably covered it up or have started on a board so I can tuck it under the bed/sofa when we gave up. Today's Tutorial Tuesday is all about how to make this puzzle mat roll for under $5!
 What you'll need: a roll of foam and a couple of rubber bands. This piece of foam is from Michael's and can make about two puzzle mat rolls. (for 1000 piece puzzles, you can make more for smaller puzzles.) The PVC tube is totally optional and you'll see why later.
This is the label from the foam roll at Michael's. Remember they always have a 40% off coupon that can totally be applied to this!
 Now just simply roll out the foam and cut to size! This is me marking the halfway point between the roll. Can you spot little Popcorn's bedroom? We try placing him right my our bedside for the month!
When thinking about what type of material to use, me and Mister ended up with foam because they sold it in such a size we needed. The puzzle mats that I have seen on the market usually use felt. Felt is nice to hold the puzzle pieces in place and rolls very nicely, but the problem with felt is that it's a little too soft. That's why the other puzzle mats have a core in the middle to stabilize the roll. That's what ultimately made me want to make my own puzzle mat. The core that was used was made of a blow up balloon or cardboard and I thought for the price, I could probably make my own.
What I didn't realize about foam was that it makes for a really nice playing surface! The little cushion provides just enough give to piece together each of the puzzle pieces. I have the border to a 1000 piece puzzle and you can see how there is still a little border around.
 Now since this puzzle was deceivingly hard, it's time to put away the puzzle!
 The first time we tried this we took the pipe and used it guide the foam and roll up the puzzle.
As you roll, you will undoubtedly hear some cracking noises and that's okay! It doesn't mean the puzzle is breaking, it's really just the pieces separating to allow the pieces to be rolled.
Towards the end of the roll you can see that the long edges has pushed out more.
 Then just snap on some rubber bands and your are done! Tip: use different colored rubber bands to distinguish which side it the top!
 Time to unroll!
 And look all the pieces are where I left them! (Between rolling and unrolling the puzzle roll mat, I shook and flipped the mat just to check no pieces came out)
Do you see how much space is used by the pipe?
 This time we tried rolling without the pipe. & while it is a little more challenging to get it going, the foam is stiff enough to hold the pieces up.
 Look how nicely it rolls!
 Then again just rubber band it and you are all set. Now you probably won't be shaking the puzzle mat roll but rest assured that pieces won't be coming out.
And that's it! It's not really a DIY as all I did was make one cut in a foam roll and secure it all with some rubber bands, but the whole thing was just so convenient! I can now just store away a puzzle and know that I won't lose any pieces. Now this puzzle it safely in the closet and ready to come back to whenever.
Where do I get such sturdy, thick rubber bands? Check out yesterday's post. 

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