Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Quick Vegetable Soup

There are days when I crave a good tomato based soup and today's one of those days. Back in my college days, I would satisfy such a craving with canned Campbell's Tomato Soup but of course, those days are long gone and I'd like to think I've evolved into a more adept cook armed with better kitchen equipment beyond a cheap can opener and a microwave.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Eggplant and Sun-dried Tomato Spread

When my brother was visiting a couple of weeks ago, we had gone to a street fair/farmer's market not too far from where I live. I snapped tons of photos with the intent to share them in this post but sadly I lost most of them except for a handful. I'm still not sure how I lost them but one minute they were here and the next minute, they had all disappeared. What a bummer!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Smoky Tomato Salsa

Ah, Memorial Day weekend is here! For many Americans, it's an important public holiday to celebrate because it commemorates the brave souls who lost their lives while in military service for their country. Memorial Day also marks the first day of the summer season, commonly called the "summer kick off" at events. And for some lucky kids across the U.S., it also marks the start of their long summer vacation. (My kids aren't quite so lucky.)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Classic Brownies

Today, I would like to pay tribute to our readers. First of all, thank you for stopping by and checking us out. It gets me really excited that the world is getting smaller through technology. To know I have readers is like having somebody stop by my kitchen window and ask me “What’s cooking?” To which I will always say, “Come in and check it out.”

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Baked Spicy Miso Mayo Salmon

Eating fish for me is like treading on eggshells (as I'd explained in my other salmon post). I'm a picky fish eater and have to choose my fish dishes carefully. I do want to love fish though and be able to eat more varieties of it cooked in different ways. It's just hard for me to venture out of my comfort zone with fish. For now, I'll stick to just cooking salmon. However, I'm going to try new ways of preparing it. Baby steps, I say. Baby steps.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sangria Mushroom Sauce

When we got grillin' last week, I made this simple sangria mushroom and onion sauce to go with the steak. Frankly, the steak needed no backup from any sauce because it was so tender and juicy on its own but there was rice on my plate and if there's rice, I've gotta have sauce and plenty of it!

I wanted a wine sauce but did not have red wine on hand. I did however have sangria which is pretty much a red wine enhanced with citrus flavors. So sangria sauce it was! The end result was a hearty, thick, sweet and savory sauce with a distinct red wine flavor that coated the tender mushrooms and onions. I call this a sauce dish but it could easily double as a side dish if you leave the mushrooms whole or very chunky. Either way, it makes for a delicious vegetarian dish when served over rice, pasta and even mashed potatoes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Banana Jackfruit Pockets

I just love bite size desserts. Everytime I attend functions at a hotel, or go to one of the buffets in Las Vegas, I always gravitate towards the dessert table first. Not only am I attracted to it because of how quaint they look but I think it serves the diner a practical purpose to serve them in small portions. Having them this way allows us to sample more than just one dessert rather than getting full on one regular sized serving. Inspired by Veggie Girl's Chocolate Wontons, I thought I'd create something petite for dessert.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Time for barbecue! BBQ Baby Back Ribs, Corn + Roasted Asparagus

I would describe the weather as being perfect right now. It starts off a little cloudy in the morning and when late morning to noon hits, BAM! The sun comes out to play. Barbecue is something that's synonymous with sunny weather in our household. When sunshine is in abundance and our daylight hours are extended, we get the grill going!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Like probably most kids, I was picky with the type of “adult” food I ate when I was a kid. There were only certain foods I ate, and when I don’t like what’s on our dinner table, my default food was fried egg over rice. At restaurants, particularly Chinese restaurants, my default food was corn soup and fried rice. I liked corn soup because I just love the sweet flavor of corn. And I love fried rice because it is rice and viand all in one. My mom did not have to force me to eat “adult” food as long as I ate my soup and fried rice.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Renaissance Faire Fare

Don't you love it when family or friends visit? For me, it means I get a mini vacation from my kitchen. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy cooking but there are some days -- especially in the summer months -- when I'm relieved to be away from a sweltering kitchen and not have to tend to a stove or a full sink of dirty dishes. I'm enjoying a few kitchen-free days at the moment as my brother's visiting for a week and that has meant lots of meal gatherings with relatives and eating out everyday so far. And it's only been his third day here.

Our highlight of the weekend was the Renaissance Fair which we visited on Sunday. Being a first timer at the fair, I knew only that it would be an event based on the Medieval times and that people who worked at the fair would be dressed in corsets, full skirts, cloaks, feather hats and the like.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shoyu Sesame Salmon (SSS)

A good friend of ours served us this dish a while back during a casual dinner get together. Believe me, I was the last one to get up from the table and I politely asked him if I could finish the remaining salmon. Because I loved it so much I named the recipe after him. But to protect his privacy, I decided to call it SSS, which represents the main ingredients for this recipe. Shoyu is soy sauce in Japanese, Sesame for the oil that is part of this recipe, and of course Salmon. If you want to have a simple Asian meal, you can't go wrong with this. You can complement it with miso soup, steam rice or sushi, and maybe green tea ice cream for dessert. I'm pretty sure I give my friend's recipe justice here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stir Fry Glass Noodle (Sotanghon)

I just love Asian style noodles. Whether it's stir fried, crispy, noodles in soup, chow mein, yakisoba, pancit, or in this case sotanghon, I can eat them anytime, any day. Sotanghon is a Filipino dish whose name originated from the Chinese word "tanghoon," meaning glass noodle. Thanks Veggie Girl for enlightening me on its meaning. I find this to be a very versatile dish, in that you can eat it any time of the day. You can serve it for lunch, dinner, and even for an afternoon affair, which I call an in-betweener, and any leftovers will work as a hearty breakfast the following day. Yes, I've had it for breakfast and I enjoyed it with tea and Sweet Hawaiian dinner rolls. Ah! It's just yummy. I hope you enjoy my take on this dish.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Vegetable Yakisoba

This is my first time to make Yakisoba, and I can't believe how easy it is! After "cooking up a storm," (as Veggie Girl puts it) for the Pacquiao v. Mosley fight, I still had some vegetables left over to last me a few days. Luckily, my cousin who came over that night to watch the fight with us, brought me some pre-cooked yakisoba noodles and a bottle of Yakisoba sauce. Because my cousin owns a restaurant, these pre-cooked noodles came from a big batch that they order straight from the distributor.

Fried Chocolate Marshmallow Wontons

The people I work with are all foodies just like me. We think of every excuse under the sun to throw a potluck party. "What lovely weather we've been having! How about we celebrate with a potluck party?" or "We saved $20 on office supplies last month. Good job, team! Let's reward ourselves with a potluck party!" Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating but we did once jot everyone's birthday down on the giant whiteboard so we could tell when the next potluck party would be happening (not exaggerating).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer Smoothie

It's smoothie time! It's that time of the year again when the weather is just perfect for a homemade smoothie. The first time I ever tried a smoothie was back in the early 90's at L.A. Fitness' smoothie bar. I was a regular at their bar even though it cost almost 3 bucks back then. But I did not care, I was hooked from that point on, and I made it a point to learn how to blend this delicious concoction. Of course they were serving the healthier version than the one I have here, but I love it just the same. Now, I don't have to pay so much for it anymore and I love serving it anytime I have guests or when I simply just crave it.

Shanghai Eggrolls

Here's another popular potluck item I love to bring, provided I have the time to make it. I won't lie, wrapping up the eggrolls take a while, but with practice, it's a walk in the park. I take consolation in that these are usually gone in just a few minutes.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

First of all, I hope all the moms out there had a great Mother's Day! I had a lovely weekend myself starting with a little shindig at Gingham Girl's house. She and her hubby hosted a dinner party on Saturday to watch the Pacquiao v. Mosley boxing match. Even though the fight was greatly disappointing, GG's food was not. That girl cooked up a storm in the form of a mini buffet that fed 12 people, all on her own. Very impressive! I then enjoyed a very lazy Sunday, just how I like it. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Linguini with Mussels

Hello again everyone! It's been a while since I last posted here. I've been busy with work, and with that, it means that I have not had time to cook anything blog worthy. I'm a landscape designer outside of my blog life and I am thankful that I have clients these days. Anyway, I've managed to squeeze in this quick meal. The weather has been in the mid to high 80's the past few days, and when it gets hot I crave a light seafood meal.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Green Enchiladas with Chicken

I'll be honest. I'm not very good at cooking Mexican food. I love to eat it but cooking it is another story. Still, I thought it befitting to tackle a Mexican dish on Cinco De Mayo to, you know, get into the spirit of the holiday. Technically, it doesn't apply to me because I'm not Mexican but that doesn't mean I can't help them rejoice by cooking and stuffing my face with some of their food right? Feliz Cinco de mayo México! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sweet & Savory Homemade Pop Tarts

I had a guest in my kitchen today. It was my cousin, Jetts, who had forwarded me a pop tart recipe from the LA Times about a month ago and said, "Wanna make these?" (or something to that effect). Who can resist homemade pop tarts? Not I! However, one cannot make pop tarts on an empty stomach so we headed out for a quick lunch at a local Mexican restaurant called Tacos Ensenada. Jetts had pulled it up on Yelp and said that the reviews were all positive. The biggest draw for us was that they feature 99 cent fish tacos on Tuesdays which happens to be today! What luck! And to think it's only been a stone's throw away from me all these years.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rustic Fruit Tart

Baking is a such a science. Oh, very much so. I used to watch Good Eats on the Food Network with such fascination because Alton Brown would break down all the ingredients and the processes into scientific explanations. It all makes sense, really. If you think about it, food ingredients are merely scientific components that come together to create a reaction...wonderful, yummy reactions. The key is to do it right and practice makes perfect.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wine & Cheese

Water, juice, and milk --- that's what you"ll find in my fridge. If I have wine, it's because I use it for cooking, or because friends have given it to us. Don't get me wrong, I drink it on occasions and when I make seafood pasta. It's just not something I'd always ask for when I go to a restaurant or a party. Needless to say, my hubby and I are somewhat wine challenged, so forgive me if this post might be too plain for you. But for those who are also challenged like us, I guess this is a good starting point. So, here's a "cheesy" attempt at a classic pairing.


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