CHECK OUT MY BOUTIQUE

Hello all,

I am back again. I have been occupied with my boutique that I actually have not have time to post. Well, I figured that I would post today and what’s a better post then to let you guys know what I have been doing. I have been putting out my heart and time for this children boutique that I created. It is called: smboutique | a chic children’s boutique. Here is a little info about us:

Smboutique offers high fashion and unique products for your little ones which reflects the latest trend in pop culture. We provide high fashion products that will not be found at any retail stores. Every item is chosen carefully to offer high quality and style to compliment your child. Our mission is to provide everyone with the most rewarding online shipping experience ever. Whether it is a place to find the perfect gift or even something special for your little ones. Smboutique will always provide you with the most up to date products and best possible service.

For all the mothers out there, check it out! We do have a promotion going on right now, which includes a 20% off entire purchase until June 21, 2013. You can also add me on instagram: shopsmboutique or facebook.com/sweetmelange22 – we will be doing a giveaway on one of our item when we reach 1,000 likes on FB. Stay tuned. I promise I will post more DIYs and recipes soon. Please bare with me. 🙂

collage of clothes

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CITRUS TUNA TARTARE RECIPE

Hello lovelies!

Sorry I have not posted anything up the last several days. I have been so busy with getting the boutique up and also merging my old blog to my new blog in order for it to be linked from the shop. Yeah, I have a lot going on… But I promise I am now back and will do daily updates. I am not sure if you all got my last post regarding my move to: https://sweetmelangeblog.wordpress.com. So for all of my readers, please follow me on the new one because that will be the only way you will get an email when I post.

Anyways, how was everyone Mother’s day? I had a wonderful day spending it with my family. Here are some pictures from last week. Below is a pictures of my kids and on the right side is a picture of Chloe and my parents. Look how young and cute my parents are. I love them!

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Today I will be showing you how to make my all time favorite, tuna tartare. The husband and I both love sushi and we could eat it every day if it wasn’t so expensive. Now once in a while I do enjoy making my own sushi at home. Yes, I loved it so much that I learned how to roll up the sushi and make myself a roll. It’s actually not that hard but very time consuming. Now the Tuna Tartare is definitely easier to make then rolling up some sushi. First you want to make sure you buy fresh tuna. You don’t want to buy it frozen because it can actually make you sick if you consumed it raw. I usually purchase mine at either Central Market or Whole Foods. Make sure you get the Yellow Fin Ahi Tuna. So let’s get started!

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Ingredients

¼ cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)

½ tablespoon water

½ tablespoon sweet rice wine

Dash of crushed red pepper

¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

¼ teaspoon sesame seeds

4 green onions, thinly sliced

1 shallot, diced

½ pound sushi-grade yellow fin ahí tuna, chopped into ¼ to ½ inch cubes

1 can mandarins 1 avocado, chopped into ¼ to ½ inch cubes

Directions

Add soy sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, water, sweet rice wine, red pepper, ginger, sesame seeds, onions, and shallot in a bowl and whisk until combined. Marinate the tuna in the soy mixture for a couple of minutes. Put a cookie cutter on a serving plate and pack with avocado until it’s about ½ inch high. Slowly pull the cookie cutter up a little bit and pack with tuna pieces about ½ inch high. Slowly pull the cookie cutter up a little bit more and pack with mandarin pieces. Slowly remove cookie cutter. Repeat until all tuna is used. Serve with bagel chips, rice chips, or whatever you please.

BASIC MACARON RECIPE

I have always been a big fan of French Macarons. Maybe it’s because I cannot get over how darn cute they are! Perhaps it is the beautiful colors and the crunchy-chewy texture. Before I tempted to make these, I actually did some research and read so many horror stories of how delicate these babies are. After many attempts, I finally master them. I figure out that all it needs is some patience and loving touch.

colorful macarons

Basic Macarons with Almond Buttercream

Ingredients:

Macaron Shells

100 grams (1 1/8 cup) ground almonds

100-110 grams (3 eggs) egg whites, aged 1 day at room temperature

200 grams (1 1/2 cup) powdered sugar

45 grams (4 tablespoons) granulated sugar

Buttercream filling

5 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

80 grams powdered sugar (1/2 cup)

1 tbsp. almond extract

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Directions:

Grind the almonds in a food processor. Sift to get rid of any large pieces. Mix the powdered sugar together with the ground almonds in a food processor. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites with a mixer. As the egg whites start foaming, add the sugar one tablespoon at a time and continue whipping until the mixture is glossy and stiff. You should be able to hold the bowl upside down without the meringue sliding out.

Fold the dry mixture into the meringue using a spatula. Do not over mix! Put your piping bag in a tall glass and fill your piping bag and pipe the macarons onto baking sheets. The shells will flatten, so do not make them too big. About 1 inch is enough. Let them set for 30 minutes to form a dry skin.

Heat the oven to 150 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the middle of the oven. Keep a close eye on them the last couple of minutes as they brown easily. Let the shells cool completely before removing them from the baking sheets.

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Fillings:

Add the powdered sugar to the soft, room temperature butter. Beat the two together until fluffy. Add a tablespoon of almond extract and beat a little more until incorporated. I like to be precise, so I pipe the filling and sandwich the macaron shells together. You are now done!

You can use any type of filling you like, my favorites are buttercreams, but you can use ganaches or jams. Macarons can be eaten right away, but if you cannot devour them all in one section, you can put them carefully in a box with an air tight lid and refrigerate them. Enjoy!

keep calm macarons

VEGETARIAN STUFFED PEPPERS

I have always been a fan of healthy food. So for this week I will be posting my healthy recipes. Especially when summer is right around the corner and I know we are all beach body ready. I was recently at the store and they had bell peppers for $0.49 each. I knew that this will be a great chance to make some meatless stuffed bell peppers. Plus I had a can of beans that I have been eager to use, so why not for this occasion. This stuffed bell peppers recipe is really delicious! It incorporates protein, starch, and veggies all in one package.

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Ingredients:
6-8 green bell peppers
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bag of sweet corn
1 small can of tomatoes
1 can of black beans
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper
1 cup cheddar fat free shredded cheese
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut out stem ends of bell peppers. Discard seeds and membranes. Heat oil in a skillet, then add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, then add rice, beans, and corns. Add all spices and cook until heated through.  Remove from heat and add a can of tomatoes. Place in a casserole dish and fill each with rice mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and add cheese on top and cook for another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUES

I picked up this book several months ago and stumble upon many delicious recipes. The one recipe that stuck to me and definitely was a must to try: Salty Tart by Michelle Gayer. Her recipe for Chewy Chocolate Meringues is delightful. And what makes it even better is that it only needs four ingredients. How easy is that?

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE 2

Chopped bittersweet chocolate and 5 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE 3

1 cup egg whites, 7 eggs and 2 cups of sugar. In a heat proof bowl whisk the two until sugar is completely dissolved. Then using an electric mixer, beat the egg mixture until becomes stiff.

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE

Gently fold together the chopped chocolate over the meringue until incorporated. Then scoop them out using an ice cream scoop. Place it in the oven for about 9 minutes. And…

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE 4

Ta Da! It is that easy. And once you eat them, you definitely cannot stop. They are super addicting!

CHEWY CHOCOLATE MERINGUE 5

It is crunchy on the outside and filled with gooey yumminess in the inside. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 cup egg whites (about 7)

2 cups sugar

5 Tbs. natural cocoa powder

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

4 oz. cocoa nibs

Directions:

Space 2 racks evenly in the middle of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a clean, dry, heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg whites and sugar. Set over but not touching simmering water in a saucepan. Whisk constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg mixture on high speed until stiff and glossy. Sift the cocoa powder over the meringue. Sprinkle with the chocolate and cocoa nibs, then fold together gently with a rubber spatula until combined.

Drop the meringue by heaping tablespoons, spaced slightly apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 9 minutes. Rotate the pans and bake until the cookies are fluffy, full of cracks and spring back when touched, about 9 minutes more. Carefully pick up the parchment sheets and transfer the cookies, still on the parchment, to wire racks to cool. Makes about 2 dozen meringues.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort, by Kim Laidlaw (Weldon Owen, 2011).

KOREAN-AMERICAN FUSION KIMCHI FRIES

Over the last several years, the food truck scene has been really growing, especially in Texas. I want to share with you the first food truck dish I fell in love with: Korean-American fusion Kimchi fries. It is definitely a comfort food with an international twist. The crispy fries topped with melted cheese, the savory taste of Bulgolgi meat, and the tanginess of the fermented Kimchi completes the dish. Please do not worry when I say fermented Kimchi, it is actually very appetizing. You do not have to make it, you can actually purchase the Kimchi at any local Korean store. So here is the recipe to my own twist to the Korean-American fusion Kimchi Fries.

kimchi fries

Ingredients:

1 Bag Frozen Fries

1 Pound of Bulgogi, recipe follows

Caramelized Kimchi

1 Jar of Cheez Whiz

Mixed Lettuce, recipe follows

Spicy Mayo, recipe follows

Bulgogi (Korean-Style BBQ Beef):

1 pound thinly sliced rib eye steak

1 Jar of Bulgogi Marinated Sauce

1 tsp. Sugar

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tbsp. Sesame Oil

Salad:

4 cups chopped romaine lettuce

½ cup thinly sliced green onions

½ cup thinly sliced cilantro

Dressing for the Salad:

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 ½ tsp. lime juice

1 ½ tsp. sesame oil

¼ teaspoon sugar

Spicy Mayo:

½ cup mayonnaise

3 tbsp. Sriracha

1 tbsp. chili oil

Directions:

1. Baked the frozen fries as directed.

2. Make the Bulgogi: in a resealable plastic bag, pour in the Bulgogi Sauce. For me, I prefer to add a little extra seasoning but if the sauce tastes good for you, you can omit the extra seasonings.  Add the rib eye and toss to coat. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight.

3. Drain the meat. In a large skillet, drizzle about a tablespoon of vegetable oil until hot. Add the meat and cook over high heat, turning once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the meat to a plate and keep warm.

4. Prepare the toppings.  In a medium bowl, combine dressing and salad.

5. Heat the Cheez Whiz.

6. Top the French fries with a layer of caramelized Kimchi and Bulgogi meat. Pour some cheese over it. Sprinkle the salad over to taste and then top it off with spicy mayo and extra Sriracha for more spiciness.

Ta Da! Now you got a food truck dish in your very own kitchen. Enjoy!

ROMANTIC CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES

It’s that time of the year again. The month where grocery stores are filled with heart-shaped balloons, flowers, candies, teddy bears and ‘I love you’ cards. But what is Valentine’s without chocolate and strawberries? In my opinion, chocolate is one of the more seductive desserts, so it definitely goes well with the event. This dessert is easy and yet, inexpensive to make. Decorate it with some love, put it in a box, tie it with a bow and you got yourself a comparable ‘Edible Arrangements’.

I learned how to make these yummy desserts several years ago. As newlyweds, I did not know what to get him, since he has everything. So I thought what a better gift than to make something. Plus it was a bonus since he loves chocolate. Now once in a while when he craves for them, I make it. So it doesn’t have to be for this occasion but useful for any day. Add a glass of champagne makes it a perfect touch.

Ingredients:

1 container of strawberries
2 4-oz package of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp. shortening

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the strawberries and pat dry. Then set aside. Chop up the chocolate and place in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp. of shortening. Place over a double boiler and stir until chocolate is melted. Take the bowl off the double boiler and dip the strawberries into the chocolate. Here’s the fun part: decorate it with heart-shaped sprinkles, nuts or drizzle white chocolate over. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy! Here is the final result of my chocolate covered strawberries. Have fun with it and create it any way you like.

strawberries

If you have any yummy desserts you’re making for Valentine’s Day, please share and let me know in the comment section below. Again, thank you for reading.