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


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.