HI Cookery is 11!

Since 2010, we were “cooking our way through the calendar”. Having completed that challenge last year, after a decade, we aim to continue “cooking our way through the countries”, as we like to feature ethnic and eclectic recipes on our blog. We already had a head start posting some ethnic recipes in the last 10 years and have since moved them from under the “Theme Menus” to a new tab of its own above, “A-Z Countries Recipes”. It is our newest culinary journey to try cooking foods from around the world. There are many other blogs that are attempting the same thing (especially during quarantine and as a pandemic project) and we are joining in on the adventure!

We often get asked how we met so many people from around the world and how our global outlook influences what we eat and cook. 

  • Firstly, we grew up in mixed families (Islander is of Asian-Pacific Islander heritage and Highlander is of Scottish, Canadian and English descent). We want our marriage to combine both the best of the East and the West! 
  • Secondly, Highlander’s job moved us around the USA a lot; we lived in many multiculturally diverse cities, giving us the opportunity to attend cultural festivals, shop at ethnic grocery stores and eat at a variety of ethnic restaurants. 
  • Thirdly, we were involved in international student association activities at our universities and have kept in contact with roommates and friends from all over the world. We try to visit them in their countries and enjoy international travel when we can. They have graciously shared recipes and continue to inspire us with their cultural cuisines.
  • Fourthly, Islander’s college courses were in intercultural and international communications and her jobs included tutoring English as a Second Language and doing freelance media work for different ethnic businesses. These connections allow us to interact with many people from all over the globe.
  • Last but not least, we serve in a marriage ministry at our church and, because of our background and experiences, are frequently assigned as mentors to mixed couples. 

HI Cookery reflects all of the above on our eating and cooking experiences. Our life is enriched by the people who have shared their culture and cuisine with us. In turn, we hope to pay it forward through our blog as long as we are able. As always…

Tapadh leat! Mahalo! Thanks!

Highlander and Islander

Bailey’s Irish Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookies

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Our local Walmart FINALLY stocked Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Baking Chips in the store. We thought people were panic-purchasing. But perhaps these new chip additions were just that popular and novel so they sold out fast. Of course, when we saw them on the shelves for the first time (luck of the Irish?!) we had to buy and try them, too, especially for a St. Patrick’s Day dessert.

We baked half a batch of the classic cookie recipe on the back of the package so we could snack on the restso we could make something else the next time (see Notes below). The morsels tasted mostly like chocolate chips with a bit of Bailey’s Irish Cream (without the booze buzz). We also used an Irish butter for a richer recipe. Yes, the cookies were yummy as expected—Bailey’s chips did not make a familiar and favorite treat taste boring!

So splurge on these special baking chips and make Bailey’s Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cookies for a festive Feast Day of St. Patrick.

Recipe

(Adapted from Clabber Girl)

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (½ cup) butter, unsalted, softened (we used Kerrygold Irish butter)
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar, granulated white
  • 2 eggs, large
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 package (1 ½ cups or 12 ounces) Bailey’s baking chips

Directions

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter with brown and white sugar.

Beat in the egg and add the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking powder and salt. Gradually mix this in with the butter mixture.

Fold in the Bailey’s baking chips. Use a small cookie scoop to place dough rounds onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Lightly flour the bottom of a flat glass. Press to flatten the cookie dough. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for about five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight containers. Yield: Approximately 4 dozen cookies.

Notes

  • Clabber Girl company offered two free digital cookbooks so people can try recipes using their Bailey’s baking chips. It is a clever marketing technique. Download them here.
  • We halved the recipe for just the two of us and also shared some cookies with our friends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Search our blog for other St. Patrick’s Day recipes.

Blueberry Pie

March 14: National Pi Day

The global pandemic has definitely changed the way Islander’s Global Cooking Club (GCC) has met for the past year. Members have not been able to socialize/cook/eat together in each other’s homes—and even social distancing did not feel safe enough for us.

So, like other organizations, GCC members used Zoom to meet. Islander was the first to adapt to the new format and hosted a pie-making party. After members agreed on a date and time, Islander sent out an email invitation with “before, during and after” instructions. “Lattice make pie together apart” was the theme. Participants could choose a fresh fruit filling and pie crust recipe, as long as they were not from a can or ready-made dough. Essentially, members challenged themselves to make a lattice-top pie from scratch.

Before the Zoom session, everyone prepared their filling and bottom crust (blind baking it if desired). During the session, participants took turns sharing their choice of fruit filling and then “together apart” rolled out strips to make the lattice, laughing at our own weaving mistakes but encouraging each other to keep trying. Once the pies went in the oven to bake, the session ended. Afterwards, we shared photos or how our pies turned out.

For some, it was the first time ever making a pie, first time ever making a pie from scratch and/or first time ever making a lattice top!

Although only a few members joined in for the first GCC session, the Zoom pie-making party was a success. We are sharing the recipe for the blueberry pie that we made during that session (others made blueberry, apple and rhubarb pies) for National Pi Day.

Recipe

(From Sister Gretchen T.)

For the pie  dough (double crust)

  • 2 ½ cups flour, all-purpose
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, granulated white
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) butter, unsalted, cold and cut up
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold or frozen
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 4+ tablespoons ice water

Directions

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.  Cut in the cold butter. Add the cold or frozen vegetable shortening. Use a pastry cutter or two forks to blend the dough until coarsely mixed and there are pea-size pieces. Beat in the egg. Stir in the vinegar.

Add ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together. Divide in two and shape into balls. Wrap in plastic film and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Remove one dough ball from the refrigerator. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to cover the bottom of a pie plate/dish. Leave some overhang and trim the edges. Refrigerate while making the filling.

For the blueberry pie filling

  • 4-5 cups fresh blueberries
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the blueberries with sugar, corn starch,  cinnamon, lemon zest and juice. Mix well.

Spoon the  blueberry filling in the pie crust and set aside. Roll out the dough for the top crust about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into strips, re-rolling scrap dough as necessary to have enough cut strips. Place strips on top of the filling and “weave” into a lattice design.

Trim the excess edges and use a fork to crimp the sides. Brush the top with egg wash. Place in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes to brown the edges. Remove from the oven and cover the edges with a pie crust shield or foil and return to the oven to bake for another 50 minutes until the filling has thickened and is bubbling. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Serve the pie at room temperature or warmed up.

Notes

  • See the easy recipe for blueberry pie pockets that we made for National Blueberry Pie Day years ago (pre-pandemic). Back then we were not challenged to make from-scratch pies. But the pie pockets still tasted good.

  • Brush egg wash on the bottom of the pie crust before filling to prevent soggy middles (optional).

  • Search our blog for other pie recipes for National Pi Day (3.14) on March 14.