All posts by Jena Gregoire

Crispy Shell Pai Shu Cream Puffs

Time for another 30-minute Japanese cuisine recipe!  Today’s recipe is called Crispy Shell Pai Shu Cream Puffs.


This is what Lifehack has to say about this one:

In Japan, cream puffs are called “shu cream” and each, delicious crispy pastry puff is filed with custard cream. It’s a very popular children’s treat in Japan, and now you can enjoy it anytime you want!

I dont know about you guys, but I’m ready to try this one!

What You’ll Need

Cream Puff Pastry (Choux)

  • 4 oz butter (regular, salted)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 5 eggs
  • pinch salt

Custard Creme

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 cups milk (100% milk, around 3.6% fat)
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 vanilla bean OR Vanilla extract
  • +/- a cup of whipped fresh cream

Pai-Shuu Crust

  • 1 oz butter
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/3 cup flour
    • STEP 1:  Make Custard Cream several hours before or the day before
    • STEP 2:  Prepare Pai-Shuu Crust Dough if desired
    • STEP 3:  When everything’s ready, make the Cream Puff Pastry

 

Instructions

Custard Cream

  1. Using a whisk, Combine flour and sugar.
  2. Add:  4 egg yolks and about 40mL of the milk, whisk until combined.  Add remaining milk and scrape in vanilla pod.
  3. Stir over medium heat, till it thickens (Often scraping the bottom). When it’s thick and bubbles start to blob up, remove from heat.
  4. Stir in 1 oz real butter.
  5. Allow to cool with plastic wrap on surface to prevent a “skin”. Refrigerate until cold.+/- 6. If you like, fold a cup of whipped fresh cream into the cold custard cream.

Pai-Shuu Crust

  1.  Melt Butter in a small saucepan.
  2.  Stir in Sugar, then flour.

Cream Puff Pastry

  1. Place butter, salt and water in a large saucepan over high heat.  When butter is melted and it starts to boil, remove from heat and…
  2. Immediately tip in flour all at once, and beat into a firm dough with wooden spoon.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon before adding the next egg.

  1. Spoon into a Piping bag and Pipe directly downward onto paper-lined tray.  If you like, use chopsticks or fingers to pull pastry upwards on the sides, to make them taller and rough-surfaced.
  2.  Place discs of Pai-Shuu Crust Dough on top.
  3.  Immediately bake in a very hot oven 410-430 degrees F, 25-30min until well puffed and browned then down to 210 degrees F for 40 min or more to dry.
  4.  Allow to cool (the puffs will firm up and become strong) before peeling the baking paper from the bottom of the puffs.

Recipe Courtesy of Shinobu of LittleJapanMama.com.

 

Sunday Reads – Carinian’s Seeker

Vampire Council of Ethics #1

Released February 20, 2007
Amazon  |  Kobo  |  Nook  |  iBooks  |  All Romance Ebooks

1556928She’s his target.and his mate. Aw, hell! Book One in the Vampire Council of Ethics series. Beautiful genius, Carinian Derrickson, wants to live long enough to date a man from the future generations of spacemen, complete with ray guns and starships. She’s not crazy, she’s just afraid of dying young of some dreaded disease, like all the rest of her family. Her research into gene therapy has shown her the way to extend her life is by emulating traits only before seen in fiction. Vampire fiction. Only the beings that shouldn’t exist are very real indeed. Unknown to her, there’s a bad boy vampire in the lab next door with a goal quite the opposite of hers. If he has his way, he’ll bring the Vampire Council of Ethics (V.C.O.E.) to its knees. Jon Bixler is a Seeker for the Council-an assassin and undercover operative in a world of humans. Bix must get close enough to this rogue to find out exactly how he plans to dismantle the Council. And Carinian is just the ticket. But when he meets her, all his vampire common sense flies out the window as his libido leaps off the charts. What’s he going to do now that the woman is in danger and secretly trying to do the impossible? Bix and Carin can’t deny the combustion of love and lust between them. They accept their mating. But can they stay alive long enough to enjoy it? Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, and violence.

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Connected Books:
1556928  3871943  6303676  18101285

Yakisoba Japanese Fried Noodles

Time for another 30-minute Japanese cuisine recipe!  Today’s recipe is Yakisoba Japanese Fried Noodles.

This is what Lifehack has to say about this one:

Yakisoba is Japanese style fried noodles that are very easy to make. You can add almost any ingredient to suite your taste. Popular yakisoba varieties include vegetarian, seafood, or pork.

Let’s give it a shot!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes  |  Cook Time:  20 Minutes  |  Total Time: 30 Minutes

What You’ll Need

  • ½ onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 cabbage leaves
  • 1 cup HORMEL Flame Seared Ham (or your choice of meat and/or seafood), chopped
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pkg Yakisoba Noodles
  • Seasonings included in the yakisoba package
  • Toppings (optional)
  • Shredded Nori (dried seaweed)
  • Kewpie Mayonnaise

Instructions

  1. Cut vegetables and meat.

  2. Heat oil in large pan on medium high heat and cook the protein (meat/seafood)

  3. Add onion, carrots, cabbage and cook until they’re soft. While cooking the vegetables, remove yakisoba noodles from the package and run under hot water to separate the noodles.

  4. Lower the heat to medium and add the black pepper, noodles, and yakisoba sauce. Mix all the ingredients together, making sure not to burn the ingredients in the pan.

  5. Serve on a plate and top noodles with shredded nori and Kewpie Mayonnaise. Serve hot!

Recipe Courtesy of Carmen of GirlPlusFood.com.

Sunday Reads – Silk Road

Seals of Destiny #1

Released November 30, 2013
Amazon  |  Kobo  |  Nook  |  iBooks  |  All Romance Ebooks

silk roadThe Silk Road. In ancient times it was a well-established trade route that began in China. But to Larien, it is the veiled entrance to the underworld where no human belongs.

Jayla Protegenu is as typical as they come. She owns a chain of gyms in the San Francisco Bay Area, enjoys popcorn-and-movie night with her two best friends and writes for her local paper. But that’s where ‘typical’ ends. As a child she learned to summon her guardian angels to keep at bay the things that prowled the night. An ability she’s kept secret all her life…until a Fallen angel answers her call.

Larien is not seeking redemption. He’s looking for the artifact that only Jayla can call power from. The woman has no idea of the extent of her abilities and he’s not about to teach her. However he is man enough to admit that this human has touched him, soul deep. And now that she is his to protect, his to love, when she’s taken Larien will search to the ends of the Earth to find her, from San Francisco all the way to…the Silk Road.

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Sunday Reads – Just Peachy

JUST PEACHY

Just PeachyJust Peachy is a stand-alone novella set in the Twilight Teahouse world.

Available at: Amazon | Nook Apple Kobo

Meet Desreé Shaw–Self-made woman, bona-fide shoe whore, lover of cowboys, kink and karma. Come to Mile High Ranch and Orchards for a visit. She’ll supply the rope.

* * * * *
When Desreé Shaw, a self-made woman, learns she is the new CEO of Shaw Mile High Ranch and Orchards, she heads off to Colorado to take over the family business.

However, upon arrival to her new home, the heiress discovers that there were a few things left out at the reading of her grandparent’s will. Not only is the news unexpected…but so is the man who delivers it.

Warning: This title includes sky-clad moonlight run-ins, shoe whore shenanigans and Colorado kinksters.

Sukiyaki

Time for another 30-minute Japanese cuisine recipe!  Today’s recipe is Sukiyaki, a easy to make one-pot dinner dish.


This is what Lifehack has to say about this one:

Sukiyaki is a type of one-pot dish that is cooked table side in a shallow cast-iron pot. Traditionally, it contains beef, but some parts of Japan use pork. Vegetarians can substitute tofu and big, meaty mushrooms such as matsutakes. Other ingredients like negi (a Japanese leek), konnyaku noodles, and shungiku are added, then everything is quickly cooked in soy sauce, sugar, and mirin.

I think this one is going to be gooooood.

Prep Time: 10 Minutes  |  Cook Time:  20 Minutes  |  Total Time: 30 Minutes

What You’ll Need

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup soup stock
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 pound thinly sliced beef meat
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 ounces yam noodles (shirataki)
  • 1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup soaked, rinsed and sliced shiitakes
  • 1 cube tofu, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 2 leaves Napa cabbage, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Instructions

Mix soy sauce, sugar, stock, and mirin together in a bowl. Arrange meat and vegetables on a large platter. Heat an electric skillet to 375 degrees F.

Add oil to the skillet and heat. Brown meat in the oil, adding sugar slowly. Move the meat to the corner of the skillet when well browned. Add other vegetables, keeping each separate. Add sauce and cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover and turn all ingredients while cooking 2 minutes more. Serve on small plates.

Recipe Courtesy of Tomoko Moriguchi via Bobby Flay of The Food Network.

Sunday Reads – Gathering of the Storms

Gathering of the Storms Volumes I & II

iTunes  |  Nook  |  Amazon

After the Breaking, many flocked from their devastated homelands to the new province of Draema to begin anew. The people who called themselves Gaian chose to walk a different path. Now, love and danger bring them together again.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Click the book cover to preview Vol 1

As Blademaster and First Heir to Draema and its Seven Colonies, Rhia Greysomne wants nothing more than to live her life as she always has-on her own terms. But when she learns that her father, the High Counsel, has summoned a childhood friend from across the border to protect her against an unknown threat, she is more than a bit put out. And worse, a case of mistaken identity finds them facing each other with blades drawn.

Who cares that he’s the one man who sets her blood on fire? So what if he’s the fabled Wind Storm, Protector of the Realm of Gaia? As far as she’s concerned, RuArk Miwatani is the spoiled boy she used to chase with her wooden practice blade after he’d yanked her braids as a child.

RuArk of Clan Miwatani is well aware Rhia doesn’t want his concern, his presence, and least of all, his protection. Sizzling attraction wars with pride and deadly circumstances. Will it bring them together…or drive her away?

Whatever the cost, RuArk is determined to keep his word to Rhia’s father, and the Ancestors who’ve shown him that she is indeed, his. But can he convince her that he has much more to offer than his sword?

There is one truth: Once passion is awakened, it is as potent and lethal as any storm.

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Connected Books:
Gathering of the Storms 1 - Wind And Fire  

The Best Hiking in Hawaii

One of the best things about living in Hawaii is all of the wonderful hidden gems there are to discover, no matter what your interest is.  All across the islands, there is something for everyone.

Looking at Maui from Big Island

Today, we’re going to look at hiking spots in Maui.  If you love nature and breathtaking surroundings, this one is for you.

Ohe‘o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) and Pipiwai Trail

This popular 3.6-mile hiking trail is like something out of an enchanted fairytale. Start at Ohe‘o Gulch, where multiple pools and waterfalls flow, pass a soaring banyan tree, then meander through the rainforest, towering bamboo, ginger fields, and smaller falls, until you find the jaw-dropping, neck-craning 400ft Waimoku Falls. End your storybook hike with a dip in Ohe‘o Gulch… and take turns posing for all the glorious waterfall photos your heart desires.

 

Twin Falls

Sure, this waterfall hike may swell with tourists, but for a good reason. Located near mile marker No. 2 along the Road to Hana, it’s the first trail on the path with waterfalls and a pool. The path is open to the public, well-maintained, and easily accessible — and it’s a super-quick stop for those looking for some instant gratification. The rocks can be slippery, though, so pack covered shoes. After a dip under a pair of waterfalls, hit up the Twin Falls Farm Stand on your way back to the car, and replenish with fresh fruit, fresh-squeezed sugarcane juice, or coconut water straight from the source.

 

Sliding Sands Trail and Halamau‘u Trail

Not for the faint of heart, this extreme 12-mile trail traverses the Haleakala summit, where the air is cooler and thinner, with ever-changing weather. Be prepared for fog and rain, with no shade cover. The hike starts at the Haleakala Visitor Center at 9,740ft and descends to the crater floor. Due to the challenging and strenuous terrain, the trail is quiet, desolate, and empty, but rewards with hauntingly beautiful views of multi-colored sand dunes, craggy cliffs, silverswords, and cinder mounds. Apollo astronauts have trained on this barren field to mimic lunar landings, so take the opportunity to feel a little bit like you’re at space camp. Shorter trips are also an option, but adventurous and advanced trailblazers should attempt this daylong journey, at least once — just be sure to plan well for multiple climates and shifting elements.

 

Waihee Ridge Trail

This moderate, five-mile West Maui hike will lead you nearly 2,600ft above sea level and compensate your efforts with panoramic views of Waihee Valley, Makamaka‘ole Falls, Haleakala, the West Maui Mountains, and the ocean. The trail will take you along a series of switchbacks, transitioning between green forests and sunny ridgelines until you reach Lani-ili summit, where you’ll be greeted with panoramic vistas or a sky full of clouds. For your best chance of clear views, lace up your hiking shoes in the morning — before the mist blocks the horizon. But come fog or shine, the lush views are worth the aerobic exercise.

 

Kapalua Coastal Trail

Stretched between prime coastline and expensive resorts, this easy coastline pathway is more of a nature walk than a hike-hike (you know, in the wilderness), if we’re being totally honest. But the spectacular scenery is worth the short outdoor adventure: start at Kapalua Beach and follow the path to Namalu Bay and Oneloa Bay until you arrive at D.T. Fleming Beach, then get an eyeful of rock cliffs, tide pools, and sea turtles along some of the island’s prettiest beaches. Don’t forget to pause at a grassy, man-made labyrinth, as well as Dragon’s Teeth, a natural rocky formation that was shaped when hot lava pushing towards the ocean was hardened by wind and waves to create jagged-looking “teeth,” that point towards the sky.

 

Lahaina Pali Trail

This 5.5-mile one-way trail from Maalaea to Ukumehame is dry and rugged and zigzaging at about 1,500ft, making the rocky path a bit slow and strenuous. The old horse-and-foot trail was hand-built in 1800s, with rock walls and stone shelters still visible along the way. The path will lead you near the Kaheawa Wind Farm and repay your quad and hamstring workout with views of neighboring Lanai and Kahoolawe, and views of breaching whales during the winter months. Unless you’re planning on doing the full round-trip voyage, hiking this trail may take some planning and a couple of cars. Pro tip: don’t forget the sunscreen.

 

Nakalele Blowhole

Tucked along Honoapiilani Highway along mile marker 38.5 is a short coastal walk leading to a pair of natural wonders. The first, known as the Nakalele Blowhole, connects to an underwater ocean cave, and during high tide, the swell spouts a jet of water high into the air. The second is just next to it: a lava rock wall with a heart-shaped hole punched through by the sea, which will only remain a heart-shaped hole as long as the ocean decides it will — so see it before it’s gone. The trail is short, but you’ll need to scale a rocky cliff-side for the best views. Definitely follow the advice of the hand-painted signs along the trail and stick to walking on dry rocks. Getting too close to the blowhole can be dangerous, as Mother Nature can sometimes be unpredictably strong and violent.

This list is courtesy of Summer Nakaishi of Thrillist.com.