Almond Float Recipe

Almond Float Recipe

I remember my dad taking me to a new Chinese Buffet restaurant in NYC in 1975.  It was a new “thing” back then; it was also the first time I had Almond Float.

I’ve loved this simple refreshing Asian dessert ever since.  Imagine my delight when we moved to Hawaii later that same year and discovered Almond Float was popular and readily available at all the local Chinese restaurants.

Almond Float are cubes of milky almond flavored gelatin that’s usually added to  fresh or canned fruits.  In restaurants it’s usually found floating in a bowl of canned fruit salad with bits of canned lychee mixed in; hence the name Almond Float.  It’s a delightfully mild flavored and very refreshing, specially on hot summer days.

I liked it so much I just had to make it at home.  This didn’t happen until I was married with kids and finally learned how to cook.  It was one of the first things I learned how to make.  I mean seriously it’s just like making Jello, no cooking skill required as long as you know how to boil water.  Back then it became a staple of many birthday parties simply because it was so easy and everyone loved it.   These days I make it in the summer using whatever fresh fruit I have around, trust me it’s delicious with fresh lychee and mango!

You can easily make Almond Float to add to your favorite fruits.  It gives fruit salad a delicious almond flavor!

If you have milk allergies you can substitute the milk with Soy, Almond, or Coconut milk.  You can also use low fat milk if you prefer.

Almond Float

Ingredients:

2 Envelopes Knox Unflavored Gelatin

2 Cups Water

2 Cups Whole Milk

1 Cup Sugar

1 1/2 Tsp. Almond Extract

Directions:

Dissolve unflavored gelatin in 1 cup of water, set aside.

Bring remaining 1 Cup of water to boil.

Reduce heat to medium and stir in milk and sugar.

Stir until sugar dissolves.

Slowly stir in unflavored gelatin mixture.

Stir until gelatin is dissolved and evenly distributed.

Remove from heat and stir in almond extract.

Pour into lightly oiled 9×13 pan and refrigerate until firm.  3-4 hours.

Cut into bite sized cubes and add to a bowl of canned or fresh fruit.

Store in refrigerator  until ready to serve.

Serve cold.

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Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

My husband always talks about how his mother used to pickle green tomatoes when he was growing up in the Middle East.  He said pickled green tomatoes are delicious.

I’m sure they.  It’s also a great way to use the loads of tomatoes we grown in our backyard.  So here’s how we pickle green tomatoes.  First off you’ll want to make sure you pick them while they’re green.  It doesn’t really matter what type of tomato, we use cherry tomatoes as well as the large varieties, just as long as they’re still green and not ripe.

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Pickled Green Tomatoes

Supplies:

Mason Jars with Lids – I use the 64 oz. jars but you can use any size you like

Large Stock Pot – I use my Le Creuset 20 Qt. Stock Pot

Tongs or Jar Lifters

Baking Sheet

Ingredients:

Green Tomatoes – cut cherry tomatoes in half, large tomatoes can be cut in half or quarters

2 Large Jalapeno Peppers cut in half  (optional)

4 Small hot peppers whole (optional)

1 Lemon – quartered

2 Cups White Vinegar

2 Cups Water

1/4 Cup Salt

Procedure:

Wash and dry Green tomatoes and peppers – set aside.

Wash jars and lids with soap and water.

Boil a large pot of water.

Submerge jars and lids in boiling water for 5 minutes.

Remove jars and lids from water and drain.

Place jars upside down on paper towels and let dry.

When jars are dry place them right side up on baking sheet.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place jars in oven for 10 minutes. (Not lids).

Turn off oven but leave jars inside.

Boil water, vinegar, and salt in pot and boil until salt dissolves.  Turn off heat.

Remove jar or jars from oven and arrange tomatoes, peppers, and lemon inside quickly.  Jars and water mixture must both be  hot.

Pour liquid over tomatoes.

Cover with plastic wrap and let cool down.

When they have cooled down put lids on and store in a cool dark place for about 6 weeks for tomatoes to pickle.

Once you’ve opened the jar store in the fridge.  I will keep for about 2 months.

Use them however you use pickles.

 


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Tandoori Salmon

Tandoori Salmon

In an effort to eat less meat, we like to have a few fish alternatives in our arsenal to satisfy our cravings for their meat counterparts. Instead of hitting up Seamless for your tandoori chicken, why not try a salmon stand-in?! This version comes together in very little time, and it packs a ton of flavor. The pickled red onions might seem like a superfluous add-on, but trust us, they’re SO worth it.

 

Made it? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!

YIELDS: 6 SERVINGS

PREP TIME: 0 HOURS 20 MINS

COOK TIME: 0 HOURS 25 MINS

TOTAL TIME: 0 HOURS 45 MINS

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE QUICK PICKLED ONIONS
1 1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. water
3 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
FOR THE SALMON
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Pinch ground cloves
1 1/4 c. plain low-fat yogurt
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, sliced, plus wedges for serving
1 (2 1/4-lb.) skin-on salmon fillet
Cilantro sprigs, for serving

DIRECTIONS

1. Make quick pickled onions: Stir together vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave until hot and sugar and salt dissolve, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in onions and let sit.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, stir garlic, ginger, paprika, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and cloves into yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place lemon slices on bottom of 9”-x-13” baking dish and arrange salmon on top. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Spread yogurt mixture in an even layer over top of salmon.

4. Roast salmon until cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn oven to broil and broil until golden if desired, about 3 minutes.

Serve salmon with cilantro, pickled onions, and lemon wedges.


Tandoori Salmon
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Butter Mochi

Butter Mochi

When I was growing up surrounded by family, mostly all were Filipino, this yummy dessert was called Bibinka.  It’s soft and sticky in the middle with a bit of coconutty crust on top.

When my family moved to Hawaii back in the late 1970’s what we called Bibinka was called Butter Mochi.  They are essentially the same thing and whatever you call it it’s delicious!

I looked up the recipe for both Butter Mochi and Bibinka and they are very similar.  In fact when I make it I often interchange the recipes.  My kids and grandkids love it which ever recipe I use.

Both ingredients use Sweet Rice Flour which can be purchased at an Asian Market.   They also so use coconut milk which again can be  purchased at the Asian Market.

Butter Mochi

Ingredients:

1 Box Mochiko Flour (Sweet rice flour)

2 Eggs, beaten

1/2 Cup melted butter

1 Tsp. Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Vanilla

1 3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Can Coconut milk

1 Can Evaporated Milk

1/2 Cup Water

Directions:

Oil a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Pour into baking pan.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the middle is firm.

Cool and cut into squares.

 

Butter Mochi
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Mango Cream Cheese Cake

Mango Cream Cheese Cake

Mango Cream Cheese Dessert

Mango, the king of fruit as it’s known in many parts of the world, is not high in calories and is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin A, and potassium.  It’s also very delicious!

Now that we are in peak mango season my husband has been bringing home loads of this sweet juicy fruit.  We love them fresh but also love to make them into different desserts.  This year’s bumper crop has allowed me to whip up all the recipes my family loves and create a few new ones.

This Mango Cream Cheese Dessert is a long time family fave!  I got the recipe years ago from a cookbook my aunt gave me.  It’s one of those loosely bound cookbooks the local churches publish every so often to sell in a fund raiser, it contained a compilation of their members’ favorite recipes.  This cookbook was published in 1985.  My cherished copy is in poor condition, missing it’s covers, grease stained, fading, and taped up; it’s moved with me from Hawaii to Texas and back twice!  Old as it is the recipes are still our favorites.

This dessert takes a bit longer to make as it is made in 3 layers and can take all day, you have to wait for the crust too cool and the layers to set.  I tweaked it a bit to make it a bit simpler.  It is definitely worth the effort!  You end up with a refreshing creamy dessert on a cookie crust that is perfect for summer barbecues or any other time!

I make it in a 9″ x 13″ pan, the number of servings will depend on the size you cut it, in my house that means it will barely serve 6.  Whenever I make this it never stays in the fridge for more than a day or two, it’s that good!

If you can’t find fresh mango you can use peaches or your favorite fruit, just change the jello flavor to compliment the fruit.

Mango Cream Cheese Cake

Ingredients:

3/4 butter – softened

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups flour

3 boxes (3 oz. size) lemon jello

4  cups boiling water (divided into 1 cup & 3 cups)

1  8oz. cream cheese – softened

1 cup sugar

1  8oz. container cool whip – thawed

1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup water at room temp.

4 cups sliced mangoes (about 3 medium sized mangoes)

Directions:

Mango Cream Cheese Dessert

Crust:

1.  Mix butter, brown sugar, and flour in large mixing bowl until it is crumbly.

2.  Press into 9″ x 13″ baking pan.  Be sure you get it all the way to the sides and into the corners or the other layers will seep under the crust and you will end up with an upside down mess.  (It will still take great, but will look unappetizing)

3.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool completely before proceeding to the 1st. layer.

Mango Cream Cheese Dessert

1st. Layer:

Before you start this layer dissolve 1 box of lemon jello in 1 cup of boiling water.  Let cool completely to room temperature.  Stir every so often to keep it from hardening.

1.  Beat cream cheese with sugar.  Fold in Cool Whip.

2.  Slowly pour COOLED jello into the cream cheese mixture.

3.  Gently stir the jello/cream cheese mixture.  It will be a bit loose with a few clumps but that’s ok.

4.  Pour into the crust.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 -3 hours.

Mango Cream Cheese Dessert

2nd. Layer:

Before you start the next layer dissolve 2 boxes of jello in 3 cups boiling water; soften unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup water at room temp.; add softened gelatin to jello until dissolved.  Let cool completely to room temperature.  Stir occasionally to keep the bottom from setting.

1.  Arrange sliced mangoes on top of 1st. layer.  It doesn’t have to look neat as the fruit may float when you pour the jello over it.

2.  Pour COOLED jello mixture over mangoes.  BE SURE your jello is completely COOLED before pouring over the mangoes!!  If the jello is hot or warm it will dissolve the cream cheese mixture and you will have a mess on your hands.   Refrigerate until firm, I usually leave it overnight.

Cut into desired size and serve.  Lifting the first piece out of the pan is the hardest part, be sure you cut clean thru to the crust and use a cake server to get under the crust and lift the whole piece out.
My first piece usually falls apart so I use it to “taste” the dessert.  Once you get that first piece out the rest is easy, just remember to cut thru to the crust every time.

This dessert will keep in the fridge for several days, that is if you can refrain from snacking on it.  At my house this dessert rarely lasts more than a day!


Mango Cream Cheese Dessert
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 Squares 1 Hour
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 5 Hours
Servings Prep Time
8 Squares 1 Hour
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 5 Hours
Mango Cream Cheese Dessert
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
8 Squares 1 Hour
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 5 Hours
Servings Prep Time
8 Squares 1 Hour
Cook Time Passive Time
20 Minutes 5 Hours
Ingredients
Servings: Squares
Instructions
Crust
  1. Mix butter, brown sugar, and flour in large mixing bowl until it is crumbly.
    Mango Cream Cheese
  2. Press into 9" x 13" baking pan. Be sure you get it all the way to the sides and into the corners or the other layers will seep under the crust and you will end up with an upside down mess. (It will still take great, but will look unappetizing)
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely before proceeding to the 1st. layer.
    Mango Cream Cheese
1st. Layer
  1. Before you start this layer dissolve 1 box of lemon jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Let cool completely to room temperature. Stir every so often to keep it from hardening.
  2. Beat cream cheese with sugar. Fold in Cool Whip.
    Mango Cream Cheese
  3. Slowly pour COOLED jello into the cream cheese mixture.
    Mango Cream Cheese
  4. Gently stir the jello/cream cheese mixture. It will be a bit loose with a few clumps but that's ok.
  5. Pour into the crust. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 -3 hours.
2nd. Layer
  1. Before you start the next layer dissolve 2 boxes of jello in 3 cups boiling water; soften unflavored gelatin in 1/4 cup water at room temp.; add softened gelatin to jello until dissolved. Let cool completely to room temperature. Stir occasionally to keep the bottom from setting.
  2. Arrange sliced mangoes on top of 1st. layer. It doesn't have to look neat as the fruit may float when you pour the jello over it.
    Mango Cream Cheese
  3. Pour COOLED jello mixture over mangoes. BE SURE your jello is completely COOLED before pouring over the mangoes!! If the jello is hot or warm it will dissolve the cream cheese mixture and you will have a mess on your hands. Refrigerate until firm, I usually leave it overnight.
  4. Cut into desired size and serve. Lifting the first piece out of the pan is the hardest part, be sure you cut clean thru to the crust and use a cake server to get under the crust and lift the whole piece out. My first piece usually falls apart so I use it to "taste" the dessert. Once you get that first piece out the rest is easy, just remember to cut thru to the crust every time.
Recipe Notes

This dessert will keep in the fridge for several days, that is if you can refrain from snacking on it. At my house this dessert rarely lasts more than a day!

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