White Fish on Mashed Fava Beans


This month at Cooking with Herbs, we’re playing with mint. Mint is one of my favorite herbs, though not one I use very frequently. I find mint to only work in some things – it isn’t like oregano or even basil which I use frequently and feel like work in a lot of dishes. When I generally think of mint I think of lamb. I made the intentional decision this time to pick something very different than how I usually use mint – so no lamb! Instead I found a recipe using fish and fava beans.

The mashed fava beans were sort of strange? Or interesting. They tasted good, but I’ve never made anything like it before.



White Fish on Mashed Fava Beans


2 1/2 cups canned fava beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup + 2 tsp mint, chopped
2 tsp lemon peel, grated
3/4 tsp salt
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
6 fillets of white fish of your choice – I used cod
9 tbsp olive oil
all-purpose flour (for dredging)


1. In a boiling pot of water, cook the fava beans for 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside.

2. Mix 2 tsp of mint, 1 tsp lemon peel, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1 pinch red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Arrange fish on a rimmed baking sheet.  Rub the mint mixture over the fish. Set aside.

3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the fava beans. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook over heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. If they begin to get dry, add 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking. Using a potato masher, mash the beans. If they are dry, add 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Dredge fish in flour. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until slightly brown and opaque in the middle, about 4 minutes per side.

5. Stir remaining mint, lemon peel, and 3 tbsp of olive oil in the fava beans.

6. Serve the fish on top of the fava beans.

* serves 6
* Besides Cooking with Herbs, I’m sharing this recipe with Weekend Cooking 

Steamed Buns


The best way to put this, is that this was a huge experiment. It wasn’t exactly successful, but the end result was edible and flavorful.

Maybe I should have taken them out of these silly cupcake wrappers to photograph. Maybe I shouldn’t have snapped the picture quickly before chowing all these buns down. But I won’t live my life with too many maybes. 🙂

This month’s movie for Food ‘n Flix was a movie I watched all the time in college, Kung Fu Panda hosted by girlichef. Why did I watch it a lot? I don’t know. I also watched Happy Feet a lot. My college movie tastes were more along the line of a 5-year old’s.

I shouldn’t have let my boyfriend have a say in the dish, because if it had been entirely up to me I would have made an Asian dish with peaches in it for the Peach Tree of Heavenly Wisdom.


I didn’t do that though. Instead I made steamed buns that lacked the appropriate shape and were shoved into cupcake wrappers. Next time I’m making the calls without input from the peanut gallery.


Steamed Buns

500 gram all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
50 gram sugar
3 gram salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 1/2 lb ground beef (which you probably shouldn’t use like I did, because it’s greasy, use pork or turkey)
1/2 cup spinach, shredded
1 tbsp salt
5 green onions, diced
2 inch ginger, diced
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp ground pepper


1. Combine the yeast with the lukewarm water to activate. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.

2. In the bowl of a bread mixer, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Attach the dough hook. Turn it on and slowly add the activated yeast and the milk. Then slowly add the vegetable oil.

3. Knead with the bread hook for 15 minutes. It should form a smooth, soft, non-sticky ball of dough. Add liquid or flour if the texture of the dough is too sticky or too dry.

4. Cover the bowl with plastic. Place somewhere warm and let the dough rest for an hour. The dough should double in size. Turn on the mixer again, allowing the dough to be kneaded for 5 more minutes.

5. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Mix 1 tbsp of salt with the spinach. Let sit for 20 minutes.

6. After 20 minutes, press any liquid out of the spinach. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the bowl and mix together with your hands. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

7. Once the dough has risen, place it on a floured surface. Divide the dough into four portions and roll each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

8. Cut each log into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Press the ball flat in your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a round flat circle, about 4 inches in diameter.

9. Place 1 tbsp of the filling in each piece. Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed.

10. Place the buns in a steamer on parchment paper (or uh, cupcake wrappers.) Cover and let sit for 45 minutes.

11. Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat and keep the buns covered for 5 minutes before removing from the steamer.

* makes about 24 buns

Caramel Apple Cupcakes


There is no reason for my lack of updates in the last month, except that I frequently suck at blogging. Life gets in the way sometime. And my computer died thanks to my cat and now I’m stuck using Windows 8.1 which makes me want to poke myself in the eyes.

A month ago I lamented about how AlphaBakes was meeting its end. However, luckily for me, there was a change of heart! This month, AlphaBakes and Random Recipes joined together to create a combined challenge of alpha-baking and picking random cookbooks off of my shelf.

So how does this challenge work? We were told to pick a random cookbook off of our shelves, go to the index and look under “A,” and pick one of those recipes to make.

The random number generator chose the book A Baker’s Field Guide to Cupcakes by Dede Wilson. This is a fun cupcake book, filled with seasonal cupcakes. When I made it to the index I was given the option to make these Caramel Apple Cupcakes or the April Fool’s Day “Spaghetti and Meatballs” Cupcakes. Perhaps the latter would have been appropriate, since it is April this month, but I wasn’t really in the mood for decorating cupcakes. Despite the caramel apple variety being in the Thanksgiving section, I opted to go that way!

These cupcakes are almost muffin-y. Perhaps a little sweeter than a standard muffin, but having the fruit in it felt so much more like a muffin to me than a cupcake.

Anyway, I’m glad to be blogging again. There’s more to come in the next few days!

AlphaBakes Logorandom



Caramel Apple Cupcakes

2/3 cup peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
18 Kraft caramels
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, divided
3 cups sugar, divided
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 350. First make the streusel. Melt one stick of butter. Mix it with 2/3 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, 1/2 tsp of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined. Then stir in 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and mix together, allowing it to clump together and form crumbs. Set aside.

2. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and a pinch of salt together in a small bow. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the other stick of butter until creamy. Add 3/4 cups + 2 tbsp sugar, gradually beating until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 tsp of the vanilla extract and the almond extract. Beat in the eggs one at a time and scrape the bowl after each addition. Add the flour mixture in four additions, alternating with the sour cream.

4. Fold the chopped apples into the cupcake batter.

5. Prepare a cupcake tin, allowing for this recipe to make approximately 18 cupcakes. Fill each paper liner one-quarter of the way full with batter. Top with some streusel. Fill with remaining batter and top with remaining streusel.

6. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

7. Melt the caramels in a double boiler on in a microwave. Drizzle the caramel over the top of the cupcakes.

* makes 18 cupcakes
* these cupcakes are also being shared with Mix It Up Monday