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Witch Finger Cookies (Scary Halloween Food) Recipe

This recipe gives “finger food” a whole new meaning. My 1st-grader sister-in-law is going to participate in the Halloween parade at her school, and I thought it would be fun to bring some scary treats to share with her classmates. After deliberating with the munchkin, we decided to make finger-shaped cookies.

To start, I made the first batch of cookie dough with a few drops of pandan extract to give the cookies a green color. My munchkin helped me out shaping the fingers but we realized they were shaped way too big as they expanded after baking. I exclaimed: "Those are Shrek's fingers!" to which my little one responded: "Why would you chop off Shrek’s fingers?!?!". After calming her down, we settled on calling them “witch” fingers. I made the second batch much smaller with less pandan to make it more realistically like a witch's skin (I'm just guessing since I've personally never met one). The fingernails are made of candied blanched almonds and the fingers are dipped in fruit preserves to imitate blood.

The finger cookies look very realistic, so I don't know if they're appropriate for 6-year-olds. I’ll tell you tomorrow what the reaction was.

Witch Finger Cookies Recipe with Picture


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Green Tea Cake Roll Recipe  Recipe

Green Tea Cake Roll Recipe

09.10.10 by Jackie

Cake rolls, as the name implies, are cakes that are spread with jelly or buttercream and then rolled into logs. The French name is roulade. For this recipe, I decided to use matcha green tea because of its very delicate flavor. It also gives the cake (called génoise in French) a beautiful jade green color. I filled and covered the cake with vanilla butter-cream and kept the flavors appropriately Zen in their simplicity.

Matcha green tea is fairly expensive and has a very short shelf life, so once the box is unsealed, consume it fast. Enjoy it as is with hot water or flavor your favorite desserts with the green tea powder. I had a little less than one tablespoon left in the tin. I think I had made pretty good use of it with desserts such as Vietnamese agar agar desserts, tea lattés, crème brulées and ice cream.

Green Tea Cake Recipe with Picture


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Chocolate Pistachio Cream Pie (Easy Dessert Recipe) Recipe

I love the combination of pistachio and chocolate. These mini pies are made with a filling of pistachio pudding nestled in a chocolate-flavored graham cracker crust. To accentuate the chocolate flavor, I added a thin layer of Nutella in between.

For the pistachio cream, I made a hassle-free pudding using pistachio-flavored Jell-O instant pie filling. I've made pistachio pudding in the past using corn starch, half and half and pâte de pistache but the pistachio flavor doesn't come as well. So why go through the headache when the Jell-O product tastes better?

You could top the mini pies with meringue or whipped cream but I thought it wasn't necessary, so I decorated them with crushed pistachios. Voilà!


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Vietnamese Vegetables with Ginger (Rau Muong Xao Gung) Recipe

Vietnamese cuisine boasts many dishes that highlight fresh ingredients in a healthy manner. Rau muống xào với gừng (Vietnamese pea tendrils sautéed in ginger) is an excellent example of this.  The dish is incredibly simple; the pea tendrils are blanched and then flavored with ginger and a little turmeric for color. I made it recently for my uncle who was visiting us and is a practicing Buddhist, which is why the recipe does not call for onions, shallots or garlic. Don’t worry though; the dish is only light on calories, not flavor.

As a child, our typical Vietnamese family meals were composed of individual bowls of rice, meat, seafood or tofu, a bowl of canh (a clear broth soup), a vegetable side dish and a dipping sauce. I always looked forward to a bowl of rau muống, served with a soy sauce and ginger dipping sauce called mắm gừng. If you have trouble getting your family to eat their greens, give this dish a try. It worked on me!


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Pandan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Recipe

Pandan cookies always intrigue the guests who come to our house. The green color from the pandan paste makes the cookies very original, and after the first bite, our guests are amazed at how great they taste. Daddy's friend, who lives in Minnesota, loved them so much that I decided to send a basket of two dozen cookies to him as a care package.

When I was a child, Maman would use pandan leaves to flavor steamed jasmine rice. It's also used in many Vietnamese desserts, such a rau câu. That inspired me to try using pandan in Western dessert recipes.

I often fuse the ingredients of one cooking tradition with the recipes of another. It’s a great way to create new dishes. In fact, the very first recipe posted on PhamFatale.com was for pandan cookies. In that recipe, I used pistachios and white chocolate chips. Both are great, but I think the cocoa in semi-sweet chocolate pairs especially well with pandan. Changing ingredients and coming up with new dishes is a big part of the culinary journey I've been sharing with you for a year and a half. After all, that's what cooking is all about. The history of cooking is really the history of the migration of people from one place to another. As they traveled, they adopted and adapted the local cuisine, creating many of the classic dishes we enjoy today. I hope you enjoy my small contribution to this tradition.


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