Thursday, February 25, 2010

Carbs and Meat

Here are the steamed meatballs that I made from the leftover dumpling mixture:All I did was pop them in the rice cooker for 20 min and serve them up with soy sauce.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Humina Humina Hummus!

Made roasted red pepper garlic hummus today. Yum. I had some left over roasted red pepper from the panini and incorporated it into the hummus today. It was so very tasty, I forgot to take a picture, but believe me it looked good. I served it up with honey wheat sandwich thins made by Arnold's that I used scissors to cut up into little wedges.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tommy Toes

I cooked up the ravioli that I made on Saturday and topped it with a fresh tomato sauce. Wow. I used to despise tomatoes and I still do, but this simple tomato "sauce" had my mouth watering for MORE MORE MORE tomatoes.The ravioli cooked very quickly and stuck together because they were made from wonton wrappers and were too big. Lesson learned, make triangular ravioli OR turn them into tortellini. I modified the recipe because this point in my life, I know what I like in my food. Did I mention it was DELICIOUS? This was probably one of the best dishes that I have tried out of that book. It just looked so fresh. I think I am going to try this for all my sauces. Heh...or we can stick to Ragu. But it's so simple! Here's that I used for the tomato "sauce" it will make you one serving:

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 clove garlic, sliced THIN or minced
1 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
1 T dried basil (if you have fresh, even better!)
1 t red pepper
1 t black pepper

1. Add olive oil to pan on medium heat until hot
2. Add everything else and heat for 5 min
3. Smoosh some of the cherry tomatoes
4. Remove from heat
5. Add 3 T of pasta water if you desire more of a sauce consistency
6. Top your pasta and grate TONS of parmesan cheese on to the dish.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

First Panini I Ever Did Make

Use a pan, looked like grilled cheese, tasted divine. Whole wheat bread filled with "grilled" chicken breast, pesto, home roasted red pepper, and mozzarella.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Worst Walmart Buy Ever

Today I was really excited to cook a honey glazed salmon recipe only to be thwarted by REALLY crappy product. Wow. I was extremely dissappointed when I opened up this package to find four vacuum sealed tail fillets. Okay, that wasn't the most disappointing part, the disappointing part was when I went to remove the fillet from its own bag, the fillet split into two! That's right, they packaged two super slim (I'm talking almost sliced smoked salmon thing here) into one bag. UGH! Talk about false advertising. Never going to purchase this product again:Anyway...enough of the ranting. Here's the final dish:Since the fillets were paper thin, obviously the cooking time was cut from 4-5 min per side to 1 min per side and the fat STILL oozed out. Sigh... The sauce was lovely and paired well with the steamed broccoli. Omega 3s and folic acid...

Here's what it was supposed to look like (you can also click on the photo to zoom in for the recipe):

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ring in the Chinese New Year

with pot stickers. I made some pot stickers mostly from scratch today, with a few shortcuts. A couple years ago, my aunt gave me the advice of buying coleslaw mix instead of processing a head of cabbage to save time. Of course nothing beats hand rolled wrappers, but that was for another day and age. See modified recipe below:I blanched the coleslaw mix and SQUEEEEEEZED every last drop of water out (which was very easy with a bath towel and my body weight). I mixed that together with some ground turkey that I purchased. Another shortcut was using "fresh" ginger from a tube:Mmm mixy meat:Here are the raw/frozen pot stickers:
I'll post the cooked ones later on. I also made pearl meatballs with the excess meat to be steamed at a later date:

20 oz ground turkey
1 coleslaw mix
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 T fresh ginger root, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 T soy sauce
1 teaspoon sushi vinegar
1 (12 ounce) package wonton wrappers


1. Boil water and blanch coleslaw mix. Drain and squeeze when cooked through.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the all the ingredients except for the wonton wrappers. Chill in the refrigerator for a couple hours, or overnight.
3. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into each of the wonton wrappers. Fold the wrappers, and seal the edges with a moistened fork.
4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place the pot stickers into the oil seam sides up. Heat 30 seconds to a minute. Pour water into the skillet. Gently boil 7 to 8 minutes, until oil and water begins to sizzle, then add remaining oil. When the bottoms begin to brown, remove pot stickers from heat.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


The days after....I am a big fan of paying less for the same thing, just through the virtue of patience. Yea...I stocked up on all kinds of Valentine's candies (didn't permit Rick to buy them before/during Valentine's day). The clerk that checked me out at CVS couldn't stop chuckling to himself when he saw me drop an armful of candies on the conveyor belt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Giant Pocket-Sized Cookbook

I planned this week's meals out using our new book that Rick picked out.His favorite part? The "NO-DIET" part of it. My favorite part? It's like reading an A.D.D. magazine.

Best V-Day to date...(get it?)

Rick and I did movie and lunch for Valentine's Day today. We made the trek up to Fresno and ate at Limon after some Yelping. The emptiness of the restaurant worried me a little bit (every other restaurant within a one mile radius was packed and had 25 min waits to get seated), but we stayed anyway. The prices were far from astronomical, which was nice. I ordered the Papa a la Huancaina which was priced at $6.50. The description stolen from their menu: Traditional Peruvian Plate, steamed potatoes served with aji amarillo cream cheese sauce with olives and eggs. Here it is:
The cream sauce tasted like a spicy Hollandaise, overall a solid dish. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be piping hot or cold? It was served a little bit above room temperature. Rick ordered the Pollo Latino which was priced at $17.75 and described as: Pan-roasted chicken breast, truffle-infused macaroni and cheese, served with Dijon mustard sauce. Yum. The dish took them 15 minutes to prepare, but it was worth the wait. Well the mac and cheese made it worth the wait. Sooooooo....delicious!! I couldn't stop scraping the mac and cheese off of Rick's plate. The pasta was cooked al dente, the cream sauce was rich, but not overwhelmingly so and had a nice woodsy flavor. The chicken was nicely flavored, the critics at Yelp! were right, the chicken too salty, ONLY if you ate the skin. The meat itself was flavorful and pretty moist as far as white meat goes. MMM...mac and cheese! What does delicious mac and cheese look like?
I left the place stuffed and Rick was hungering for a little DESSERT!

What's best for dessert? ICE CREAM CAKE! We picked one up at Baskin Robbins.Below is the world's most annoying and catchy commercial. I found myself chanting it involuntarily one day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Suuuuper Healthy Pancakes

I woke up around 4AM with one thought in my head. Blueberry pancakes. Fluffy delicious blueberry pancakes. I made myself go back to sleep and woke up again around 6AM with the same thought in my head, so when I finally crawled out of bed at 7AM, I was on a mission. I looked up a whole wheat blueberry pancakes. I used the following recipe and since we have a GIANT container of whey protein, I added some powder to the pancakes. The batter turned out really thick and I had to add an extra milk.The pancakes were dense and chewy. They were so filling that I couldn't eat more than two pancakes.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup whey protein powder
1 egg
1 1/4 cup milk, plus more if necessary
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup blueberries


1. Sift together flour and baking powder, set aside. Beat together the egg, milk, salt and artificial sweetener in a bowl. Stir in flour until just moistened, add blueberries, and stir to incorporate.
2. Preheat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, and spray with cooking spray. Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan for each pancake. Cook until bubbly, about 1 1/2 minutes. Turn, and continue cooking until golden brown.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Hitting More Pavement

than expected. Before we left Vegas, Rick and I stopped in the Rainforest Cafe for breakfast. He ordered a waffle and I ordered the eggs benedict. Both were well executed, but nothing to write home about. Mr. Monkey liked the eggs benedict...or maybe he just liked being back in the jungle.
Since our drive back was a HUGE U around the mountains, a detour to Los Angeles was only going to take two extra hours. We both thought, "ehh, why not?" and headed towards the famed Sprinkles bakery in Beverly Hills. There was a 15 minute line to get into the very understated bakery. We ordered half a dozen mixed cupcakes and I hate to admit...I was a little disappointed with the majority of the cupcakes in the box. The cupcakes were very dense and the icing was waaaay too sweet (perhaps we were tainted from our European bakery experience). Out of our mixture, the vanilla vanilla and the spicy red velvet would be worth eating again only if I already happened to be in the neighborhood for something else. This was the black and white cupcake up close:Since we hadn't eaten lunch and it was already 3:30 PM we thought well since we're in L.A. why not go to world famed dumpling restaurant Ding Tai Fung? I ordered my all time favorite steamed pork dumplings (shao/xiao[I included xiao because Rick fussed about adding China's version of ping ying] long bao), which did not disappoint. OMG, it was sooo good, what a touch of Taiwanese nostalgia. Here they are:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Savory and Delicious Sin City

Rick and I decided to go on a last minute trip to Vegas today! Our adventure started with strolling down the Strip and we entered the Bellagio to get some yummy pastries at Jean Phillippe's place. The main feature of the little cove of a restaurant is the world's largest chocolate fountain. I didn't get a great shot of the chocolate fountain, but if you visit the website, there's a much better photo.I completely forgot the name of the pastry we ordered, but it had brunoised mango atop a coconut cookie tucked in white chocolate mousse encapsulated with a velvety white chocolate shell. It was a Valentine's special. Gorgeous!
We entered the Venetian mall after both of us crossed a river of rainwater and soaked our shoes and socks. We decided to eat at Postrio after a quick cross reference on Yelp!. We devoured the country white bread (perfectly crusty and tender) that was served with a flavorful tapenade. I ordered the mushroom tortollini in cream sauce and he ordered the lasagna. Both were heavenly and the portion size was perfect! The food was so good that we completely forgot about how miserable we were just half an hour earlier. This is what it looked like on the "patio" which was actually indoors:

Friday, February 05, 2010

Southern Cravings

I had a hankering for some good old fashioned BBQ, which is hard to come by. I had passed by Teaila's B-B-Q a couple of times and the fragrant scent of the roasting meat has tempted me many times. I should have kept going today, but I stopped in and ordered the tri-tip BBQ dinner combo. Waaaay to sweet, same with the potato salad. Someone was a little heavy handed with the sugar. Wouldn't recommend it, I may go back, hoping it will be better the next time. Here's the combo, minus the potato roll that I devoured in the car:

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Crunchy and Satisfying

I had some pork chops in the refrigerator that were starting to go bad, so I thought what better time to make a Japanese style dish? Tonkatsu pork! It is so fun to say and more fun to eat. On my journey to figure out how to make this dish, I found the most amusing YouTube channels I've seen in a while, "Cooking with Dog." Here's the video I watched:

I grabbed and modified the Chicken Katsu off of AllRecipes again, which is posted below. Here's the final result with some sauteed spinach and steamed rice:

Tonkatsu Pork


1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
pepper to taste

2 cups vegetable oil, for deep-fat frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
4 pork chops


1. For the sauce, stir together the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and soy sauce, and a pinch of pepper to taste. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
3. Place flour and panko bread crumbs onto separate plates and season with salt and pepper. Place the beaten egg in a medium bowl. Dip scored pork pieces first into flour, then egg, and lastly bread crumbs.
4. Fry breaded pork in preheated oil until golden brown and no longer pink in center, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. Slice pork into 1" strips and top with a drizzle of sauce.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cake Cake Cake

I attempted to make a tiered cake today. I iced the cake with a crumb coating, which was a first for me. Not very pretty, but did the job of keeping the crumbs on the cake.I was able to frost the entire cake without peeling up half the cake, also a first for me. You can see the HUGE offset spatula I used to ice the cake:The experiment turned out alright in that the cake did not collapse on itself. The icing job wasn't pretty. I put the cake on cardboard and stuck sniped drinking straws to help support the cake. Not very pretty, but a start: