Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth!!!

Its my daughter's first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth - Disneyland. We're all excited, especially because its been a while since hubby and I visited. I think its been about 3 years. But its always been a dream of ours to, of course, take our child here. So it was quite an emotional visit for both me and hubby yesterday. And because it is my daughter's visit, we mainly went on the kiddie rides - the carousel, Dumbo, Snow White, its a small world, Pooh Bear rides. I was also excited about the foods I will be enjoying during this trip.

For lunch, we made reservations at the Blue Bayou restaurant. Its the restaurant you see inside the Pirates of the Carribean ride. They serve a cajun/creole menu, which I absolutely love. They don't have much on their lunch menu - Jambalaya, crab cakes, beef short ribs, chicken, and the monte cristo sandwich. But all entrees come with a salad or this delicious chicken gumbo, which I had:


It was so good that hubby is requesting I find a similar recipe so I can start making it too. For our main course, we ordered the Jambalaya, the beef short ribs, and I had the Monte Cristo sandwich

It came with a side of steamed brocollini and white asparagus, on top of scalloped potatoes. It also had a side of a sweet sauce that I couldn't figure out what it was made of, but it really went well with the sandwich. I've seen this dish on TV and have always wanted to try it but haven't found a restaurant to order it from. I was delighted to find out that they had it here at the Blue Bayou restaurant. Hubby and I ordered each a plate and I'm so glad we did. It was awesome and there was so much of it that we had enough to share with the rest of our party and take the rest back to our hotel room.

This morning we had reservations for breakfast at Goofy's Kitchen. A buffet breakfast with Goofy and some of his pals. My daughter was so excited to see some of Disney's characters having breakfast with us. So much so, that she actually had a good meal. I say "good" because breakfast is usually a few bites here and there. But she actually ate a lot of what was on her plate. I don't blame her though. Breakfast was delicious! This was what my first plate looked like:

Complete with Mickey Mouse waffles! I so love this place. My daughter especially loved the waffles. I think I had 2 or 3 more plates after this one. And we managed to take a few photos with some of the disney characters in the restaurant. It was a nice end to our weekend trip to the happiest place on earth.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Sunny's Crunchy Peanut Butter S'mores

We decided to do a semi cook-off at the office to celebrate the Holidays. The only rule was that our co-worker, Stacy, got to pick the recipes off of the Food Network for us to cook. In search of recipes, she found this one for me to make just for her. lol! And of course, I was happy to oblige. Its the holidays, and I usually like to bake cookies or dessert to give out to my neighbors as gifts. So this is somewhat like a trial run anyway.

This "cookie" is super duper rich. If you're a serious (and I mean, SERIOUS) peanut butter lover......serious enough that you'd want to swim in it........then this is for you. This totally beats Reese's peanut butter cup by far. It was pretty good, but like I said, it was very rich. I guess I'll just have to wait for the verdict from Stacy tomorrow. This recipe makes a pretty large batch, so I think you can definitely cut the recipe in half.

2 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 sticks butter (softened)
5 cups powdered sugar
4 cups milk chocolate chips, melted
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1 cup coconut flakes (optional to mix with the graham cracker crumbs)

1) In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, butter, and powdered sugar. Beat in an electric mixer until well incorporated. Scoop the mixture with a teaspoon and form into balls, then press into a coin shape, to about the size of a quarter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2) Once hardened, dip peanut butter coins into melted chocolate, then toss in graham cracker crumbs until coated. Place on a wire rack and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

3) Once the chocolate has hardened, place a dollop of marshmallow fluff on the center of one coin using a pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag with the tip cut off. Place another coin on top of the marshmallow fluff to make a sandwich. Refrigerate for about an hour.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crockpot Korean Short Ribs


Okay, so I think I've almost practically made everything Korean........Korean BBQ short ribs, Korean BBQ-style soup and now Korean short ribs. One of my co-workers brought some braised Korean short ribs to our Thanksgiving potluck and it was a huge hit. So we all asked her how she made it. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to write it down. I do remember, though, that she cooked it on the stove top for a few hours. I decided to try making it on my handy dandy crockpot and found this recipe. I first tried making this recipe with some boneless beef short rib. I came home to a charred crockpot. I guess without the bones on the short ribs, it doesn't make for a moist dish, so it dried out. This time, I bought the short ribs with bone and all. The beef came out so tender and it fell right off the bone. Yummy! I love Korean ribs!

4 to 4 1/4 lbs. beef short ribs
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sesame oil

1) Place beef ribs on the bottom of the crockpot. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the ribs and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tres Leches


Literally translated, Tres Leches means "three milks," which refers to the three kinds of milk used to soak the cake. I first had a taste of this dessert when hubby brought some home from one of his staff at his old job. Its been a while since I've had it. Recently, hubby had mentioned that someone had brought Tres Leches again for their Thanksgiving luncheon, and I have been craving it ever since. So, guess what....I wanted to try to make it myself. I decided to do a cupcake version so I don't end up losing any of the good cream syrup as you would if you cut into a sheet-type cake. Having the cupcake liners helped keep the syrup in. It also helped that I used a foil liner. The cake is very dense, but it becomes almost like custard when you soak it in the syrup.

1 1/2 cups cake flour
a pinch of salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
cream syrup (see recipe below)
whipped cream topping (see recipe below)

1) Preheat oven to 325 deg F. Lightly grease foil muffin cups. Set aside.
2) Combine flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add eggs to sugar mixture one at a time until well combined. Stir in milk. Gently fold wet mixture into dry mixture, a little at a time.
3) Ladle batter into muffin cups (3/4 full). Bake for 40-45 minutes or until it feels firm and toothpick comes out clean.
4) Cool cake to room temperature. Pierce cake with a fork 20-30 times. Cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Cream Syrup
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Whisk together the three milks. Slowly pour liquid over cooled cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Occasionally spoon more milk, or the milk runoff back onto cake.

Whipped topping
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. sugar

Beat whipping cream, vanilla extract and sugar on high until peaks form. Spread on top of each cupcake.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Chillaquiles


Okay, so I've never had Chillaquiles, but its apparently a very popular Mexican breakfast dish. I learned of this dish from, of all places, Facebook. My cousin had posted a video of her hubby making this. It looked really easy and really tasty. And I knew this was something hubby would really like so I wanted to replicate it. I decided to make this for dinner tonight because, frankly, I couldn't think of anything to cook. After the marathon cooking I did for Thanksgiving, I haven't been really motivated to try anything new until now. Anyway, it turned out really good. Hubby really liked it, but he said it seemed like it was missing some kind of meat. I think next time I'll try to add some chorizo or something.

2 Tbsp. oil
Tortilla chips (I used flour tortillas cut into pieces then fried)
4 eggs, scrambled
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)

1) In a large skillet, heat oil. Add tortilla chips and heat through. Move chips to the sides and pour the eggs in the center to cook. Add salsa and scramble together with the eggs and chips until eggs are fully cooked.

2) Stir in onions, cilantro, cheese. Place on a serving platter and top with more onions, cilantro and cheese.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving feast


Every year since getting married, we always have 2 Thanksgiving meals. Thanksgiving lunch is spent at my brother-in-law's for hubby's side of the family. Thanksgiving dinner is spent at our house for my side of the family. It usually takes me the whole morning to prepare everything for our dinner. Mom, dad, and my siblings usually bring dessert, a few side dishes, and sometimes another main dish, while I make the turkey, and a few more side dishes. This year, on the other hand, I've somewhat gotten myself to cook the entire meal. This time, it took me from last night to early this morning to prepare everything - turkey, 2 kinds of potato dishes, vegetable dish, corn dish, and dessert.

Although I was quite stressed while preparing it, it was the fun kind of stress. Nothing beats the satisfaction I get when I see my family enjoy a meal that I've cooked. So the stress was all worth it. I'm thankful for a lot of things - my health, my career, food to eat, a roof over my head, clothes on my back. But I'm most thankful for my loving husband, beautiful daughter, generous parents and siblings. Cooking for them was the least I could do for everything they've done for me all my life. So whenever they make requests for me to cook something, its always my pleasure to do it.

Deep Fried Turkey

I've been deep frying my turkey ever since I got married and decided to cook the turkey for Thanksgiving. I was always afraid of cooking turkey myself for fear of possibly over cooking and and drying it out. So for our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, I decided to deep fry it. I was so new at cooking a turkey that I left the packet of innards inside the cavity of the turkey. I thought I had pulled everything out, but didn't realize there was more to it. lol. Anyway, it still came out so flavorful and so moist. I've never done it any other way. Except that now, I'm more of a pro in cleaning out the turkey. My deep fried turkey has made a lot of non-turkey eaters love eating turkey. I also made this for a potluck at work. My boss bought the turkey and I deep fried it. It was a huge hit. I think this is the reason why I end up having Thanksgiving dinner with my family at my house every year.

18-20 lb. turkey (cleaned and dried)
2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp. store-bought creole seasoning
2 Tbsp. store-bought turkey rub
peanut oil

1) Measure out the amount of peanut oil you need by placing turkey in the deep fryer and pouring water until the turkey is completely submerged. Remove turkey. Mark the water level on the outside of the fryer with duct tape. Pour out water and completely dry the fryer.

2) Pour peanut oil to the previously measured level. Heat oil until it reaches 360-380 deg. F, about 1 hour.

3) Mix water and creole seasoning in a deep bowl. With a turkey syringe, inject mixture into different parts of the turkey. Note: since the breast area tends to dry out quickly, inject more of the seasoning in this area.

4) Rub turkey rub throughout the skin of turkey. Let sit for 1 hour while oil is heating up.

5) Place turkey on the fryer holder, neck down. Gently place turkey in hot oil. Cook turkey for 5-8 minutes per pound, and the internal temperature at the thickest part of the turkey (between thigh and breast) is 160-170 deg. F.

Mashed Potatoes


Mashed potatoes and gravy is a staple in almost all Thanksgiving meals. Its really easy to make. I normally just toss everything together without any measurements, but for the sake of my Thanksgiving menu, I thought I should add it on here.

2-3 lbs. russet potatoes (peeled and quartered)
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp. butter
salt and pepper to taste

1) Boil potatoes for 15-20 minutes until softened. Drain potatoes. Add heavy cream, butter, salt and pepper to hot potatoes. Mash together with a potato masher until desired consistency.

Scalloped Potatoes

This is my brother's special request for Thanksgiving. Every year, he asks for scalloped potatoes. And every year I seem to always make a different version. At the end, he always says, he wants it to be cheesy. Well, this year, I finally took him up on it. I searched for a cheesy scalloped potatoes recipe and it all called for some type of processed cheese. I thought, "why not use my own cheese sauce from my macaroni and cheese recipe?" And my Scalloped Potatoes recipe is born. It was quite a hit with my brother. So much so, that I didn't even get a taste of it because he took the rest of it home.

6 small to medium sized russet potatoes (sliced thinly)
3 Tbsp. butter
2 3/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1) Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Grease a casserole dish.

2) In a medium pan, melt butter. Add flour and whisk for a minute. Slowly add warm milk while whisking rapidly to prevent lumps. Bring to a boil and allow to slightly thicken.

3) Remove from heat. Add salt, nutmeg, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Add cheddar cheese and mix thoroughly.

4) Place 2 layers of sliced potatoes on the bottom of casserole dish. Pour 1 cup of the cheese sauce over potatoes. Place another 2 layers and pour another cup of cheese sauce. Repeat until you have filled your casserole dish to your desired thickness. Sprinkle the top with more shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hour, until bubbly.





Neely's Cornbread Dressing with Apples and Sausages


If its stuffed inside the turkey, its called "stuffing." If its left as a side dish, its called "dressing."

I normally ask my dad to bring the "dressing" to my house for our Thanksgiving dinner. He usually makes the boxed stuffing. But this year, I decided I wanted to make it from scratch. At a potluck from work, one of my staff brought his homemade stuffing which was so good so I asked for the recipe. His recipe had clams and italian seasoning with sourdough bread. But I found this stuffing recipe on the Food Network from the Neely's and also looked so delicious. I decided to try this recipe because I always wanted to try a sausage and cornbread stuffing.

This recipe called for bourbon, which I didn't have. So i substituted with white wine. I also used fresh cornbread, instead of the dry stuffing cornbread. It turned out really well, but everyone was surprised by the sweetness from the cornbread. So next time, I'll try to make it with some kind of sourdough or french bread instead of the cornbread. I just love the flavor of the the other stuff in it.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon freshly minced thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/4 pounds cubed and dried cornbread
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 cups turkey or low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans



1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.


2) Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in 12-inch skillet.

Cook sausage for 5 to 7 minutes until browned. Add onions and celery and saute until softened. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in apples, thyme and sage and saute for another 2 minutes. Add wine. Allow to simmer until wine is almost evaporated; 1 to 2 minutes.


3) In a large bowl, add cornbread stuffing, parsley, chicken stock, eggs and pecans. Mix well. Mix in vegetable mixture to bowl. Combine and stir well together. Add to a large greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes.


Creamed Corn


This dish is one of my favorite side dishes ever. I got the recipe from the Lawry's website. I make it so often, not just for Thanksgiving, that I know it like the back of my hand. You can place this dish in a casserole and top with shredded Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven for a special touch. This dish is so good, that I can't wait long enough to have to bake it. So I just serve it as is.

1 1/2 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 cups frozen corn kernels

1) Melt butter. Add flour and mix until it becomes like dough. Slowly add heavy cream while whisking to remove lumps. Cook until mixture begins to boil and thicken.

2) Add salt, sugar and corn kernels. Continue to boil until corn cooks through.

Green Beans with Roasted Tomatoes

Aside from the normal, mashed potatoes & gravy, dressing and corn side dishes, I wanted to serve some kind of a vegetable dish as well. I didn't want to make the typical soggy green bean casserole that frequent Thanksgiving meals. So I found this recipe on foodnetwork.com from Robin Miller. It came out really well and the colors looked so awesome with my Thanksgiving spread.

1 1/2 lbs. fresh green beans
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

1) Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Grease a cookie sheet and set aside.

2) Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Place mixture on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiramisu


We had our Thanksgiving potluck at work today and I volunteered to cook the turkey that my boss had brought in. I fried it up at my dad's house. I also volunteered to make my famous Tiramisu. I say "famous" because I used to be known for my Tiramisu. I used to make it so often, that I've somewhat already memorized the recipe. Its a good thing I've memorized it, because I couldn't find the written recipe anywhere. Anyway, I haven't made it in a long time (maybe even for a couple of years) and have been dying to make it again. Its such an elegant (yet very easy) dessert that I haven't found the right occasion to make it. And when the subject of our Thanksgiving potluck came, I thought it was perfect timing. Mmmmm, how I've missed my Tiramisu.

My deep fried turkey and Tiramisu were huge hits. Luckily, I made two batches of the Tiramisu. One batch was left at home so I can take a nice picture for this post. This is what the batch I made for work looked like

I'll post my deep fried turkey recipe when I cook it for Thanksgiving.

6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 - 8 oz package Mascarpone cheese
1 - 8 oz package whipped cream
3/4 cup prepared strong coffee (3/4 cup water with 4 tsp. of instant coffee)
2 Tbsp. rum
3 - 3 oz packages of soft lady fingers
cocoa powder for garnish

1) In a double boiler pan, beat egg yolks and sugar on high speed with an electric mixer until mixture turns into a lemon custard color (about 3 minutes).

2) Place the pan over boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.

3) Beat mascarpone cheese into the egg mixture until well incorporated. Fold in whipped cream until well incorporated.

4) Combine prepared coffee and rum. Generously brush lady fingers with the coffee mixture. Layer the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with the soaked lady fingers. Evenly spread the egg mixture over the lady fingers. Place another layer lady fingers and top another layer of egg mixture. Garnish with cocoa powder. Refrigerate before serving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pumpkin Ice Cream


After all the pumpkin recipes I've made, you'd think I'd be sick of pumpkin yet. And its not even Thanksgiving. Well, I'm not sick of it yet. My next entry with the use of my never-ending supply of pumpkin is......ICE CREAM! I heard somewhere about pumpkin ice cream, and I decided to make my own concoction. I looked at a lot of pumpkin ice cream recipes, and I came up with this simple recipe. Its a little too pumpkin-y for my taste, but it was still okay. If I get the urge to make anything else with pumpkin, I may try to re-vamp this recipe.

1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin
2 cups whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1) Combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Pour into ice cream maker. Run the machine according to manufacturer's instructions for 40-50 minutes.

2) Freeze for 8 hours or overnight before serving.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Maybe as good as the taco truck?

During my never-ending pursuit for the Kogi Korean Taco truck, hubby and I discovered Galbi n Kimchi on our way one day to visit my mother-in-law in L.A. Its located in a dive of a strip mall, behind the Paramount studios. There hung a sign that said "Korean Tacos." I wonder if its just as good as the Kogi truck's? Well, it was worth a try, since I haven't been able to try Kogi's. Well, it tastes just as it sounds - Korean BBQ, wrapped in fresh corn tortilla, topped with cabbage, cilantro, and other vegetables that complimented the crunch of the cabbage. I don't know who came up with the idea of combining Korean and Mexican together, but it was pure GENIUS! I thought it sounded weird at first. And out of curiosity, I wanted to try it out, hence the pursuit for the Kogi truck. But since I haven't been able to catch up to the truck, I'm glad we found Galbi n Kimchi to see if it was even worth chasing down the truck. It was quite delicious. We ordered both pork and beef tacos. The pork was little spicy, and the beef was just right. But both were really good.

Today, was the Pacquiao vs. Cotto fight and we decided to go over my parents house to watch it, since they ordered it on pay-per-view. We siblings decided to order our own food to bring to the house. We decided to bring these Korean tacos:

They were quite the hit. And we even had some leftover to take home. I don't know how much longer I'm going to pursue the Kogi truck, but at least I know where I can get my Korean taco fix.

Oh yeah, and Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao won, by the way.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good times.....

The long wait is over. After months of anticipation, our dear friend, Reni, came in to town for a quick visit from Oregon a few days ago. We had planned on taking her to Bistro Ka. Apparently, she took a look at my blog entry when Che and I went to Bistro Ka. So she was quite excited to hear that we were taking her there too. We decided to all meet up at the restaurant tonight, where Che reserved the private room. And when we finally all saw each other, it was all shrieks from the girls. We hadn't gotten together in a long time. Probably not since our friend, Vivian's, wedding. So it was a very happy moment, to say the least.

We ordered my favorite, Yummie Roll. As well as this "Dynamite Roll"


After enjoying plates and plates of sushi for about 2 hours, we all bid our farewell to Reni. She leaves for Oregon again tomorrow. Time really flew tonight. But it was great hanging out with my dear friends and their families. I wish we can do this more often. Maybe one day, we'll get to visit her in Oregon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pumpkin Soup


I've been feeling like I'm coming down with something. And as usual, I wanted to have some soothing soup to help cure me. Well, what's been the theme of my recipes lately? Pumpkin! So of course, I had to dig up my pumpkin soup recipe. I haven't made it since last year, so its perfect timing for it.

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cans chicken broth
1 cup fresh pumpkin puree
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup whipping cream

1) In a large saucepan, melt butter. Sautee onion until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in the broth, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Return to heat and bring to a boil.

2) Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cream and cook for another 2 minutes, or until heated through.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Vietnamese-style Grilled Steak Wraps


I love eating different kinds of Asian dishes. Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese. I love them all. I've attempted to make the Vietnamese Pho before, but decided to leave that up to the pros to do. It came out pretty good, but of course the restaurants do them better. I found this dish in one of my cookbooks and made it a while ago. Since hubby and I are off today, I decided to make this for lunch again today. Its been a while since I've made it, and boy have I missed it. The sweetness of the sauce and the savory of the beef makes it a perfect combination. MMMM!

1 lb. beef top round strips
Grated peel and juice of 2 lemons
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup rice vinegar (or you can use sherry wine)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
6 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
6 romaine lettuce leaves
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup cilantro leaves

1) Combine lemon peel, juice, 2 Tbsp. sugar, sesam oil, 1 tsp. salt and black pepper in a medium bowl. Add beef and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

2) Combine water, vinegar, the remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. salt in a saucepan. Bring to boil. Boil for 5 minutes without stirring until it becomes syrupy. Stir in crushed red pepper. Set aside.

3) Remove beef rom marinade. Discard all liquid. Thread beef onto wooden skewers (soak skewers in hot water for 30 minutes). Grill beef for 3 minutes on each side until cooked through.

4) Grill tortillas. Place lettuce, cooked beef, mint and cilantro on tortillas. Drizzle vinegar sauce. Roll tortillas to enclose filling and serve.

OH!!! ROAST a pumpkin!

......now, why didn't I think of that???

I was talking to my sisters-in-law on Halloween and was complaining to them how difficult it was for me to peel and cut up the whole pumpkin I bought the last time. And they said that they roasted theirs. Why didn't I think of that? duh!

Its Veteran's day today and hubby and I have the day off. So we decided to take our daughter for a walk to the farm around the corner from our house. I wanted to see if they still had pumpkins I can buy so I can stock up for our upcoming Thanksgiving feasts. "All pumpkins 1/2 off!" So I bought 4 pumpkins to roast and puree for later use.

1) Cut the pumpkin cross-wise. Scoop out all the seeds and thread.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Place cut pumpkin, cut side down, on baking sheet and pour 2 cups of water at the bottom of the pan.
Bake uncovered at 375 deg. F for 1-2 hours, or until pumpkin is fork-tender.

2) Peel the skin off the pumpkin and cut into pieces. Use for your favorite pumpkin recipes.


I can't believe how much easier it was to cook a pumpkin. I think the hardest part was cutting the pumpkin in half, which hubby was glad to do for me. I don't know why I didn't think of doing this before. I guess I figured since I boiled all the root vegetables to puree for my daughter's baby food last year, it was natural for me to think to boil the pumpkin too. Well, now I know.....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Green Cilantro Rice


I must confess, I haven't really been posting too many new recipes lately. My parents just got back from their 3 week vacation last week. During that time, I also took a vacation from work to stay home with my daughter while they were away. Because of that, I haven't really had time to experiment on different recipes. I did a few, but not as much as I used to.

Anyway, my aunt gave me some Tamales the other day that she had ordered. I wanted to eat it for lunch today, and I wanted a rice side dish to go with it. But I didn't really feel like making my normal Mexican rice. I remember eating a Cilantro Rice one day when my friend from work and I went out to lunch at a popular Mexican restaurant. I've always wanted to try to make it at home. I found some cilantro in the fridge, so I decided to create my own version. And boy am I glad I tried. It came out so good and when I fed it to my daughter, she cleaned out her plate and asked for seconds! The picture here doesn't do it justice because you can't really see the beautiful color of green it turned out to be. While my daughter was eating up her rice, it gave me an idea to add another ingredient next time, to try to squeeze in some more vegetable in her diet.....spinach. We'll see how that one turns out.

1 Tbsp. oil
1 cup uncooked long grain white rice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
salt to taste
1/4 tsp. cumin
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
1/3 cup pureed cilantro (a bunch of cilantro with a splash of water, then pureed)

1) Heat oil in medium heat. Add rice, onions and garlic. Cook until the rice becomes opaque and begins to slightly turn golden brown. During the cooking, add cumin and salt to taste.

2) Add broth and pureed cilantro. Cook until liquid begins to boil, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium/low and cover, stirring occasionally. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the liquid has dried out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parents' birthday celebration

For my parents' 60th birthday last year, we threw them a huge surprise birthday bash, complete with a live band. This year, we decided to tone it down with a simple dinner out to one of their favorite restaurants - Flemings Steakhouse. Its been pretty difficult to find a place to eat with them lately because my mom is now on a strict diet. But Flemings has a really good menu with a mix of different kind of entrees to choose from. Preferrably, fish for mom. I always order their Chilean Sea Bass, which they prepare in different ways. For some reason, the sea bass is NEVER on their menu and is always a daily special. Luckily, so far, they always have it. Tonight, Mom and I ordered the it. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to photograph my beautiful dish, but it was, as always, delicious. I had a side of their sauteed sweet corn, which I mostly fed to my daughter. And for dessert, I became adventurous, and tried something different other than the Creme Brulee that I always ordered. Hubby and I split this delectable dessert:


YUMMY!!! I think I found my new favorite dessert - Frozen Lemon Gingersnap pie.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The day-after Halloween

I'm all candied out. I've been eating my daughter's candies from trick-or-treating because she obviously can't eat them yet. Today after going to church, my dear brother treated us to some sushi at Bistro Ka. Its the second time I've been to this restaurant, and the second time I've been impressed. The first time we went, my friend Che-Che, treated us and I ordered a bento containing chicken teriyaki, tempura and california rolls. Che Che ordered us a couple of other sushi plates and they were delicious. Today, my brother ordered all kinds of sushi plates, including this Yummie roll


We used to have a favorite sushi restaurant we would eat at, Samsala. Hubby and I would always order their Crispy Crab salmon, which was almost similar to this Yummie Roll. The management there at Samsala changed so often, and the sushi chef's we were accustomed to was no longer there. So we haven't really found the right sushi place to go to until now. I think we'll be going back to Bistro Ka more often to have more of these

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Cake Roll

The next thing I wanted to make out of the pumpkin I bought over the weekend was some kind of a cake or cookie. I'm really not that in to pumpkin pie. I have to eat a really good pumpkin pie to be inspired to make it, and I haven't really been that in to it to even eat it. Anyway, I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and I had all the ingredients, plus I've been dying to try to make a cake roll for the longest time, so I decided to attempt it. When baking it, the smell was so heavenly. And it was quite delicious. The pumpkin was not at all too overpowering, which is what I like. And, again, it was surprisingly easy to make. I was always intimidated to make cake rolls, but it was really easy. This is going to be another potluck item I'm adding to my list.

3 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
confectioners' sugar for dusting

1 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese
Directions

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper.

2) In a large bowl, beat eggs on high for five minutes. Gradually add white sugar and pumpkin. Add flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle walnuts evenly on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

3) Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.

4) To Make Filling: Mix confectioners sugar, vanilla, butter or margarine, and cream cheese together till smooth.

5) Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin seeds


Went to the pumpkin patch/farm around the corner from our house and bought a small pumpkin over the weekend. Last year, when I bought a pumpkin, I pureed it for my daughter's baby food. This year, I have so much planned for this pumpkin. But I almost forgot how hard it was last year to peel and cook a whole pumpkin. When I saw all the seeds, I thought of making a sweet and spicy snack with it. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com and it was quite tasty. My daughter even liked it. The recipe called for ground ginger, but I decided to omit it. This can also be easily cut into half, which is what I did. The seeds in the pumpkin only came out to be about a cup. The rest of the pumpkin will be pureed and I plan on making soup and a dessert with it. I love the fall :)

3 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds, washed and dried
cooking spray
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons white sugar

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons of sugar, the cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and set aside.
Place the pumpkin seeds on the prepared baking sheet, spray them with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt to taste. Bake the seeds in the preheated oven until lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

3) Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and stir in the toasted pumpkin seeds along with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Cook and stir the seeds until the sugar forms a coating on the seeds, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the caramelized seeds into the bowl of sugar-spice mixture, toss to coat, and let cool.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Indian-style chicken burgers

All of my Indian dishes are inspired by my dear friend, Kiran. This one isn't an exception. She brought some chicken burgers to work one day for us try out. It was so tasty and so flavorful that I wanted to try making it at home too, so she gave me the basic recipe for it. I also found a recipe online for a Tandoori chicken burger, so I incorporated both recipes and came up with this one.

1 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken (I used ground turkey)
4 stalks green onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. garam masala
1 Tbsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. red chili flakes (more if you want it spicy)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

1) Heat grill to medium-high. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, green onion, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, garam masala, turmeric, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Set aside and marinate for 10-30 minutes.

2) (Skip this step if you're using ground turkey): Transfer mixture to a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, but not pasty.

3) Form mixture into patties (4 large patties, or 8 medium sized patties). Moisten grill with oil. Cook patties on grill until opaque throughout. Serve on hamburger bun or pita bread, topped with tzatziki or cumin yogurt sauce (recipe below).


Cumin Yogurt sauce
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 tsp. cumin, salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crockpot Chile Verde

I went out to lunch with my entire office one day at a Mexican restaurant. I chose to eat their buffet lunch, while others chose their food from the menu. I ate, what I later found out to be, Chile Verde and I was hooked. I told one of my co-workers that I was going to attempt to make the dish. There were different recipes that I found, but this was the only one that seemed to be popular for fans who liked using their crockpot. So I gave it a shot. This recipe was adapted from allrecipes.com. This recipe was a little bit more like a tomato-based stew. It was pretty good, but not as good as what I had at the restaurant.

3 Tbsp. oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 lbs. cubed pork.
7 ounces green salsa
4 ounces diced jalapeno peppers
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 tsp. cumin

1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add cubed pork, and cook until browned on the outside. Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker. Stir in green salsa, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, salt and cumin.

2) Cover and cook on high for 3 hours. Reduce the setting to low and cook for 4 more hours. Serve with tortillas and Mexican rice.

Mexican Rice

I've had this recipe for a while and I always make it whenever I make a Mexican dish. Its really simple to make.

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

1) Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.

2) Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Monday, October 19, 2009

California Club Pizza

We took our boss out to lunch to California Pizza Kitchen for Boss' day last week. I normally order the Santa Fe Chicken Pizza or mushroom ravioli. I decided to be adventurous and try something different from the menu. So I tried their California Club Pizza and it was really good. It was so simple but had all kinds of different flavors. The saltiness of the bacon, the crunch and creaminess from the salad on top, and the butteriness from the avocado. So I decided to replicate it at home. Hubby took a look at his meal and his eyes bugged out. He was quite impressed.

1 tube of prepared pizza dough (like Pillsbury)
slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 cup cooked bacon bits
1 large tomato, sliced thinly
shredded lettuce, dressed in a mayonnaise dressing (mayonnaise splashed with a little milk)
avocado slices

1) Preheat oven to 425 deg. F. Spread pizza dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Layer slices of the mozzarella cheese on top of dough. Evenly spread cooked chicken over the cheese. Sprinkle bacon bits. Place tomato slices evenly on top. Bake for 15 minutes.

2) Cut pizza in slices. Place salad mixture on top of each slices and top with avocado.





Hot Cocoa



Its starting to get pretty cool down here in sunny SoCal. But it won't last long, because the forecast says temperatures will reach the 90's again by the end of the week. In October!!! Well, I was craving a nice hot chocolate this morning, so I decided to make a batch. I found this recipe a while back. Its very chocolatey, and very yummy. Its a large batch. So I usually drink a cup or two, and place the rest in the fridge and warm up another cup the next day. This batch usually lasts me about a week. Hubby doesn't really drink too much hot chocolate, so I pretty much have this batch all to myself ;)

3/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2/3 tsp. salt
1/3 cup hot water
half a gallon milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

1) In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa and salt. Add hot water and mix well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add milk, and heat to serving temperature, stirring occasionally. Do not boil.

2) Remove from heat. Add vanilla and cinnamon. Whip mixture with a whisk. Serve hot, with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Peanut Butter Maple cookies

I came across this recipe at allrecipes.com when I was trying to get dinner recipe ideas. I thought, I still have maple syrup from Canada at home, so I should try this recipe. If you love peanut butter, you'll love these cookies. You can't really taste the maple syrup, but they're still awesome. Especially with a nice, cold glass of milk.

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips

1) Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

2) In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture and mix until it is well incorporated. Stir in peanut butter chips.
3) Scoop batter by the heaping tablespoonful, about 2 inches apart, on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until they are golden brown. Cool for about 1 minute before removing from the cookie sheet.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara

I have 2 of Rachel Ray's first cookbooks, and the only thing I've been able to make out of it was this dish. I saw her make it once on her Foodnetwork show, 30-Minute meals, and it looked pretty easy and tasty. So I tried to finally make it and I was hooked. I substituted some of the ingredients with items that were easily accessible, like bacon instead of pancetta, grated parmesan instead of Parmigiano Reggiano. And it still tasted really good.

1/4 lb. bacon, chopped
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked according to the package (reserving some of the pasta water to use later)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 eggs
splash of milk
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
black pepper to taste

1) Cook the bacon in a small pan over medium-heat until it begins to brown. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb the oil. Combine eggs, a splash of milk and a few tablespoons of the pasta water and whisk together. Set aside.

2) Heat garlic and olive oil in a large skillet over very low heat. Add red pepper flakes, if you decided to use it. Toss the cooked pasta in the skillet and evenly coat with the oil. Add the bacon pieces. Pour egg mixture evenly over the pasta. Rapidly stir pasta to cook the eggs. Turn off heat. Add cheese, parsley and black pepper to taste. Serve hot, with more parmesan cheese on top.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

My friend Kiran wanted to make Enchiladas for her family the other day and asked me if I had a recipe in my blog. Unfortunately, I didn't yet. So I decided to make it today. Its not really a recipe, because I pretty much just toss everything together. I figured out how to make it and there was really nothing to it, so I didn't feel the need to write up a recipe. So the measurements in this recipe is more of an approximation.
I used flour tortillas, because its what the hubby likes. I think its traditionally made with corn tortillas. Nevertheless, its still yummy and hubby really likes it. I served this with my Mexican rice. This is another great make-ahead meal for the busy working mom that I am.

28 oz can of your favorite enchilada sauce
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1 cup shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend of cheese), more for garnish
6-8 flour tortillas (soft taco size)
sour cream for topping

1) Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Combine 1/3 of the enchilada sauce with the chicken and cheese. Set aside.

2) Pour another 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in a deep dish. Soak each tortilla in the sauce. Take a prepared tortilla and scoop 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the lower side of the tortilla. Roll the tortilla and place in a baking dish, seam side down. Continue with the remaining tortilla and chicken mixture.

3) Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream and more shredded cheese on top.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Zuppa Toscana

I've been sick with a cold and cough for the past few days. So while at the grocery store a few days ago, buying some items to help me heal, I figured to buy ingredients to make all kinds of soups. That day was the worst of my illness, so I needed to buy something quick that I can make for lunch. Boxed Matzo Ball soup. Then I proceeded to the produce section and saw that there was a sale on potatoes - $.69 for a 5 lb. bag of russet potatoes. But what can I do with so much potatoes?!?! Mashed potatoes, chicken croquettes, and, oh yeah, my zuppa toscana!

This recipe is a similar version of the Zuppa Toscana you'd find at Olive Garden. I was able to figure out the recipe. And now, my family always requests me to make it in the winter time, especially around Christmas or New Year's eve. I've been up to cooking for a day or two now, so I thought to make Zuppa Toscana to help me heal even quicker.

4 slices of bacon (regular or turkey bacon)
1 Tbsp. oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 pieces italian sausage (however spicy you prefer. you can also use italian turkey sausage)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small pieces
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2-3 cups kale leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a stock pot, cook bacon until crisp. Set aside bacon. Add oil. Stir in onions and garlic and cook for a few seconds. In the meantime, squeeze the meat out of the casing of the italian sausage. Add the meat into pan, making sure to break up the meat into small pieces. Stir until meat has cooked through.

2) Add chicken broth and potatoes to the pan. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on medium-low for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes have almost cooked through. Add heavy cream and bring back to a boil. Crumble the bacon into the soup. Add kale leaves and cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Blondies

I've never had Blondies before making this. I saw this on a menu at a restaurant once and thought it looked really good. I didn't want to be adventurous that time, so I opted to order another dessert. Then I would watch cooking shows where Blondies were being made, and it made me curious to try to find a recipe to make it. Blondies is a close cousin to the Brownies. The difference is the use of brown sugar and no chocolate. This recipe, though, uses white chocolate chips. I found this recipe at one of those copycat recipe websites. Its a version of Applebee's Blondie and calls for Maple Butter sauce. I still have some maple syrup and maple butter leftover from our trip to Canada a couple of months ago. So I used it to top my blondie. mmmmmm!

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Maple butter sauce
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup butter
3/4 brown sugar

1) Preheat oven to 30 deg. F. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in walnuts and set aside.

2) In a large bowl, combine melted butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well. Add flour mixture, adding a little at a time. Stir in white chocolate chips. Pour mixture in a 9 inch square pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

3) Combine maple syrup and butter. Cook over low heat until butter is melted. Stir in brown sugar and cook until brown sugar dissolves. Pour warm syrup over warm blondie and serve with ice cream.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Breakfast Casserole

This is hubby's favorite breakfast dish. I don't make it often because its such a large batch for 2 people to consume. I made it for breakfast this morning and we were able to eat half of the batch.....the other batch is Sunday morning's breakfast. Hubby won't complain ;)

1/2 tube crescent roll dough
1 cup frozen shredded potato hash
1 cup cooked breakfast sausage (crumbled)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used monterey jack)
1 cup milk
6 eggs
salt to taste

1) Preheat oven to 310 deg. F. Press dough on the bottom of a 9 inch square pan. Top with potato hash, then sausage, and finally cheese.

2) Scramble eggs. Add milk and salt to taste. Pour egg mixture on top of the casserole, making sure the egg mixture is evenly distributed. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the egg is firm. Serve with white gravy on top.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baked Ziti

So its another one of those nights where I had limited time in cooking. Therefore, I had a casserole dish I had assembled last night and popped in the oven for dinner tonight. I still had some bolognese sauce in the freezer left over from the last batch I made a couple of weeks ago, so I tried to figure out how else I can use it in a dish. Hmmm, I haven't made my baked ziti in a while. I used up all my saved bolognese sauce, so I'll be making more this weekend to stock up.

2-3 cups prepared spaghetti sauce (I used my bolognese sauce)
1 lb cooked penne pasta
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup flour
2 1/2 cups warm milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Combine spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta in a large bowl. Pour mixture in a casserole dish and top with mozzarella cheese. Set aside. Pre heat oven to 375 deg F.

2) In a medium pot, melt butter. Add flour and stir for a minute. Slowly pour milk and vigourously whisk mixture to eliminate lumps. Cook until mixture begins to bubble, whisking occasionally. Remove from heat. Add black pepper, salt and nutmed and stir to thoroughly incorporate.

3) Pour sauce over prepared pasta and bake for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicken Francese

I found this recipe in the Foodnetwork archives from Tyler Florence, one of my favorite Foodnetwork chefs. After seeing all the positive reviews, and seeing how simple it was, I wanted to give it a try. I had all the ingredients in stock, and was, again, able to snatch some lemons from my parents. I modified the recipe a bit based on the reviews and it was so delicious. It kind of reminds me of my Chicken Marsala recipe. How it tastes and how its prepared. Except more lemony and had a different wine taste. It was so simple to make. You can serve this with your favorite pasta, mashed potatoes, or any vegetable. I served this with pasta and my daughter and hubby really liked it, so this is one that I'll be making again.

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
All-purpose flour, for dredging
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dry oregano
2 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
4 eggs
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, with rind, cut in thin rounds
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1) Put the chicken breasts side by side on a cutting board and lay a piece of plastic wrap over them. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat meat mallet or heavy skillet, until they are about 1/4-inch thick.

2) Combine flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper to taste, oregano and parmesan cheese. In a wide bowl, beat the eggs with 3 tablespoons of water to make an egg wash. Dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, and then dip them in the egg wash to coat completely, letting the excess drip off.

3) Heat oil in a skillet. Add the cutlets and fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden, turning once. Remove the chicken cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.

4) Toss the lemon slices into the pan and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the wine, broth, lemon juice, and salt to taste and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly. Roll the butter in some flour and add it to the skillet, this will thicken the sauce. Stir to incorporate and dissolve the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer gently for 2 minutes to heat the chicken through. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Szechwan Shrimp

This is the most simplest and yummiest shrimp dish I've ever made. I haven't made this dish in a while, so I thought to make it tonight since hubby's out at school and I needed something quick to whip up. I found this recipe a while ago from allrecipes.com and always make it whenever I need something quick to make for dinner. I always have the ingredients it calls for, so I make it pretty often.

4 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (more if you like it spicy)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 cup sliced green onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 Tbsp. oil

1) Combine water, ketchup, soy sauce, cornstarch, honey, red pepper, and ginger in a bowl. Set aside.

2) Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Stir in green onions and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and toss to coat with oil. Stir in sauce. cook and stir until sauce is bubbly and thickened.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Korean BBQ Short ribs

"I'LL NEVER BUY KOREAN BBQ SAUCE FROM A BOTTLE AGAIN!"

....screams my tastebuds. A couple of posts ago, I made the soup version of this dish and I said that it smelled exactly like the Korean BBQ sauce that I would buy from the store. So I decided to take the flavor of that broth and make it into my newfound homemade Korean BBQ sauce. Mmm-mmm good!

We just got home from a trip to Carlsbad, so we're pretty exhausted, to say the least. But I made this meal in a jiffy, and I didn't even have my bbq grill to cook it. Leave it again to my trusty grill pan to make another delicious meal.

2-3 lbs. boneless short ribs
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Korean red chili paste or sambal oelek (optional), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons dark (toasted) sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts, separated), thinly sliced

1) Rub 1/4 cup of sugar on the meat. Marinate for at least half an hour.

2)Combine 1/4 cup sugar and the remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour over the prepapred meat and marinate for at least 1 hour.

3) Grill meat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until medium to well done. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicken Teriyaki

Stacy, a friend from work, always mentioned that she often makes Chicken Teriyaki for dinner whenever it was her turn to cook dinner. I asked her if she had a recipe that she uses, so that I could try it out. Unfortunately, she said she uses the bottled stuff. So I made it a mission of mine to find a good teriyaki recipe. Lo and behold, I found a really good one from my Hawaiian cookbook. Hubby really liked this one.

1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp. water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thin slice fresh ginger, crushed
3 stalks green onions, chopped
3-4 lbs. chicken pieces (I used drumettes)

1) In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the chicken. Place chicken in a baking pan and pour mixture over it. Marinade in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

2) Preheat oven to 325 deg. F. Turn chicken over and place pan in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the chicken once during the cooking process. Serve with steamed white rice.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Crockpot Korean BBQ-style soup

One of my favorite type of BBQ is Korean BBQ. I especially love the experience of eating at Korean restaurants and cooking my own meats at their tabletop grills. Unfortunately, you leave the restaurant smelling like BBQ. And because of that, my family doesn't like going to Korean restaurants too often. So I try to make Korean BBQ at home on the grill using the bottled BBQ sauce that I buy at the refrigerated cases sold at Korean markets. I came across this recipe and when I tried it out, the sauce smelled exactly like the Korean BBQ I'm used to. And since its a crockpot version, I decided to try it out for dinner tonight. The broth came out a little too sweet, so I would definitely cut the sugar to less than 1/4 cup. I would also double up on the liquids because a lot of it evaporates. Otherwise, this was super delicious and my daughter loved it. She loves any kind of noodles, so she ate a lot of this soup. I'm definitely making this again.

Soup:
2-3 lbs. boneless short ribs, cut into cubes
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons Korean red chili paste or sambal oelek (optional), plus more for serving
2 tablespoons dark (toasted) sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions (white and green parts, separated), thinly sliced

Noodles and Garnishes:
10 to 12 ounces medium-thick rice noodles (I used pad thai noodles)
1 carrot, finely grated
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, torn
2 limes, cut into wedges

1) Place the ribs in the slow cooker. Whisk together the broth, soy, sugar, ginger, chili paste, sesame oil, garlic, and scallion whites. Pour over the ribs. Cover and cook 6-8 hours.

2) About 30 minutes before serving, put the rice noodles in a bowl with boiling water to cover. Soak until tender and pliable, about 10-20 minutes. Skim any fat that may collect on top of the beef broth and discard.

4) Divide the noodles among bowls and ladle the broth over top. Divide the meat evenly among the bowls. Garnish as desired with the carrots, cilantro, lime and the remaining green parts of the scallion and more chili paste, if desired.