Sunday, October 7, 2007

Need to Catch Up!

I just need to defend myself by saying that I have still been making yummy food at home and taking pictures, I just couldn't really find the time to write down the recipes. But I am going to take advantage of this lazy conference weekend to get things done finally! I've been really into making Japanese or Chinese dishes lately, so most of these are related. You should really try making Japanese food at home and see how you feel. I bet you'll feel better. I get in these moods especially when I'm feeling particularly fat or unhealthy. It puts me back to where I want to be pretty fast. And I just feel cleaner inside! (not in a gross way ...) Anyway, that's why a lot of these have similar ingredients. I think the Yaki Udon, the stir fry, and the obento were all within a couple of days of each other. And I didn't feel like buying a ton of different vegetables everyday.

(And Katsu-curry)
serves 2
1 pork chop, sliced into 2 thin pieces
1 C flour
1 C panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
2 eggs
3 C oil

For Curry:
1 package of curry (I recommend "Vermont Curry")

1 C cooked white Japanese rice
  1. Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan on medium-high to 350°F.
  2. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel. Put the flour, panko, and stirred egg in 3 separate shallow bowls.
  3. Dip the first pork chop into the flour and make sure it is completely covered in flour. Pat the excess off or the breading will just fall off. Then dip in egg. Again, get as much excess off as you can, and dip in panko. Cover the whole pork chop in panko and set aside on a wire rack. Repeat with second pork chop.
  4. Follow directions on box to make the curry.
  5. Carefully place the breaded pork chops in the hot oil and cook until golden brown on both sides. Pull out and let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.
  6. Place rice on one half of a bowl or plate. Cut the pork chop into strips width-wise. Pour curry on top and serve while hot.
Baby Bok Choy and Mushroom Stir Fry
serves 2

5 baby bok choy or bok choy jr.
6-7 Chinese mushrooms
1/2 medium onion
3 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
3-4 T Tsuyu (also called "memmi". You can find it in the Asian section with all the different Asian sauces)
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat some oil in a wok on medium-high and add onions and shallots. Cook until tender. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10-15 seconds. Add bok choy and mushrooms. Cook until bok choy stems are tender. You may want to add some water to the wok to steam the bok choy stems. This will help speed up the process.
  2. Add tsuyu and salt and pepper. Serve.
Simple Obento
serves 1
This one's really really simple. I usually make lunch for the next day (at least for Blake) right after dinner. And by then I'm too tired to think of something creative or time consuming, so I'll make one-pot meals like this. But I promise they are TASTY! And you feel so good after eating it:)

1 small handful of soy bean sprouts (can substitute normal bean sprouts)
2 Chinese mushrooms or Shiitake (I like to cut an "x" into the top, just for looks)
2-3 Baby Bok Choy or Bok Choy Jr
1/2 C cooked white Japanese rice
2 C "dashi"*
1 T soy sauce
salt and white pepper to taste
tsuyu to taste (about 2 t)
  1. In a small pot, add dashi and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Add mushrooms and bok choy. Cover and let cook until Bok choy stems are tender. remove and set aside.
  2. In a small frying pan add a little oil and heat to medium-high. Add soy bean sprouts and season with salt and pepper (and a little soy sauce if you like). fry until tender.
  3. Put rice in the bottom of a Japanese bento box or a small tupperware. Add veggies on top in a pretty arrangement. Pour on tsuyu to taste.
*dashi is a Japanese broth made of konbu (type of seaweed) and bonito flakes. You can substitue Chicken broth or vegetable broth if you want, but it will not taste very Japanese. I just use an instant powder that I add to the hot water and it makes the hot broth for me:)

Meatless Breakfast Sandwiches
serves 2
*these are just meatless because we didn't have any breakfast meat on hand ... so you can totally add bacon or ham or something to it. It would probably taste better that way:) AND the white part you see in the picture is the melted mozzarella, not the egg whites!
2 tasty rolls
3 eggs
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese
1/4 C grated mozzarella cheese
2 small tomatoes, sliced
couple sprigs parsley
butter for the rolls
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the rolls in half so they have a top and bottom half. Toast with cut side up. Butter when done.
  2. While bread is toasting, break eggs into a small bowl and take out the white stringy part. Add cheddar cheese and stirr until well blended. Add a little bit of salt and pepper for taste.
  3. put in a small frying pan on medium-low heat and stir constantly until custardy texture. Add mozzarella on top and turn off the heat and put the lid on until the cheese on top is melted.
  4. Put eggs on rolls, then tomatoes, and a little parsley and serve while hot.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Happy Surprise

I've never cooked with shallots before, because I always thought they were to expensive and tasted just like onions and garlic--which I use in everything anyway. But the other day, my sister Lisa and I went to the Chinese market in Sandy (amazing place!) and they had shallots for cheap so I thought I'd try them out. Now, I think, they are one of my favorite ingredients for pasta. Amazing flavor!

Shallot, Eggplant, and Fresh Tomato Pasta

1 Japanese eggplant*, diced
4-5 small tomatoes (I always use campari tomatoes from Costco), quartered
1/2 lb pasta (spaghetti or linguine would be best)
1/2 medium onion, diced small
4 shallots, diced small
3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
about 1/4 C olive oil
1 lime
S&P to taste

*Japanese eggplant is a lot smaller and the the flesh is much creamier and less bitter. And you don't have to peel it. It's very rich and absorbs flavor very well, and I think it's a perfect compliment for this dish.
  1. Cook pasta to al dente, as directed. Drain and put to the side.
  2. Place a deep frying pan on medium heat, put in about 3-4 T of olive oil and heat though. Add onions and shallots, and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and keep cooking until slightly browned. Add eggplant and cook until eggplant is cooked through. The onions, garlic, and shallots should be medium brown (but not burned) at this point.
  3. Toss in the cooked pasta, and stir so all ingredients are well incorporated. Add juice of 1/2 a lime, and add the rest of the olive oil. Heat through.
  4. Take off the heat and add the tomatoes and the juice of the other half of a lime.
  5. Toss and serve.
Because the shallots and eggplant have such rich flavors, I really like the fresh tomatoes and the slight citrus flavor of the lime to compliment the dish. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with the mellow but rich flavors. I was very pleasantly surprised.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Healthy and Fast

Tonight, I decided to make something healthy and fast. And of course delicious. Blake wanted a quesadilla, and I wanted something more substantial, so I made a compromise.

Tortilla Pizza
serves 2 (plus left overs?)
4 tortillas*
1/4 C pizza sauce (I recommend Contadina's)
1 C uncooked spinach
1/2 medium onion, sliced thin
12 shrimp
1 C shredded cheddar cheese
1 C mozzarella cheese, diced small
1-1 inch slice of a large eggplant (so it looks like a big circle), peeled
4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1/4 C olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed

*I always buy the uncooked tortillas at Costco. They are a lot softer and work really well for this recipe. If you can't find uncooked tortillas, just normal large tortillas will work fine.
  1. Cook onions until golden brown, set aside. Cook mushrooms through until tender (In the same frying pan), but not too soft. Set aside. Cook spinach until wilted, set aside. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper, cook briefly on both sides and set aside. Slice eggplant into long rectangular shapes, and brown on both sides. Set aside.
  2. In a seperate frying pan, put in 1/4 C olive oil and garlic. Turn heat to medium-low, and keep an eye on it. Don't let the garlic burn, but let it get soft and cooked through in the oil until the oil is well flavored.
  3. Cook the tortillas on one side only, and don't let it brown. Just cook until it turns a white. Then, take one tortilla, uncooked side down, and place back on pan. put 1/2 C cheddar and put another tortilla on top, uncooked side up. Cook until cheese starts to melt, and set aside on a cookie sheet. Do the same with the other two tortillas.
  4. When the quesadillas are made, brush with garlic-infused oil on the top. Sprinkle on the pizza sauce. Layer on eggplant, mushroom, shrimp, onions, and spinach. sprinkle on top mozarella cheese. Place under broiler for 3-4 minutes, until cheese is melted and browned.
  5. Once out of the oven, toss on the diced tomatoes. Slice and serve while hot. (It will cool down pretty fast, so do put it in the broiler right before you're ready to serve.)

Quick Lunch

We cooked some rice last night that we decided not to eat, so we saved it for today and had a reeeeeally quick and easy lunch. I just threw in vegetables I had in the fridge, so I didn't have anything green in it. So I recommend adding green peppers, diced really small, put in the pan after the onions and carrots, before the mushrooms.

Fried Rice
serves 2 healthy portions
1/2 an onion, diced small
1 small carrot, sliced very thin in short strips
3-4 slices of deli ham, cut into small squares
3-4 button mushrooms, diced small
2 eggs
2 C cooked rice
2 T soy sauce
pinch of salt
1 t sesame oil
oil for the pan

*If you have a wok, that is what I suggest using. If not, the biggest, deepest frying you have would work best.
  1. Put some oil in the wok on high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions and carrots. When the onions look translucent and soft, add the ham and mushrooms. Stir for a few seconds, until the mushrooms look tender, and crack the eggs into a small bowl and stir until ready to be scrambled.
  2. Push the veggies aside in the wok, and pour the eggs in. Stir around until they are still a little milky, but not raw. Combine with other veggies.
  3. Add rice, and break up until there are no more big chunks. Add soy sauce and salt. Keep breaking up rice and mixing with vegetables and add sesame oil. When the sesame oil becomes fragrant and the ingredients are well distributed, turn the heat off and just leave the rice in the wok to let it get a little crunchy. Serve hot.

2 Dinners

Yakitori Don1 chicken breast, cup up into little pieces
1/4 C "yakitori no tare"
1 T soy sauce
1 T mirin
1 T Rice Wine Vinegar
1 t white pepper
1/2 t chili oil

1 T grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped fine
2 T chicken broth
1/2 head of cabbage, sliced as thin as possible on the mandolin slicer
enough Japanese rice for 2 bowls
  1. combine yakitori sauce, soy sauce, mirin, vinegar, white pepper, chili oil, ginger, and garlic in a plastic bag. Add the chicken breast and let marinate for at least 20 minutes. (I prefer about 45 minutes)
  2. After marinating, put the chicken into a lightly oiled frying pan on medium heat and cook through. add about half of the left over marinating liquid, and add chicken broth to thin out a little so it doesn't stick to the pan. Heat through.
  3. in a medium sized bowl, put rice, and then cabbage, and the chicken on top. And you're done!
Carmalized Onion and Roasted Potatoes1/2 medium sized onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, crushed
about 4 T olive oil
3-4 russet potatoes, washed well and diced (skins on)
salt & pepper to taste
1 t Herbes de Provence
  1. Preheat oven to "broil". Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until translucent. Add garlic, and and turn heat to medium low. Keep stirring constantly until onions are a darker brown, but not burnt.
  2. Meanwhile, boil diced potatoes in water with about 1 T salt. Once potatoes are cooked through, transfer to a baking dish. Once the onions and garlic are done, pour all of the contents of the pan (including the oil!) on top of the potatoes. add herbes de provence, salt & pepper, and toss until all contents are evenly distributed.
  3. Put in oven under broiler until potatoes are a little crispy, but before the onions burn, about 5-8 minutes.
  4. Let cool for a few minutes. Serve hot.
I like to serve it with a marinated chicken breast. I used Mrs. Dash "mesquite" 10-minute marinade. But I marinated it all day. It was really good:)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Stuffed Vegetables

Tonight, I decided to try my own take on stuffed vegetables. I basically just threw in a bunch of left overs that I had, so I might do things a little different next time, but it was pretty good for a first attempt. p.s. I actually don't reccommend worrying about the eggplant. I love eggplant, so I do reccommend including it in the mixture, but it wasn't as flavorful as the peppers. So really, you can try it, but it's not as good as the stuffed peppers. It's pretty, though:)

Stuffed Vegetables
1/2 lb ground pork (or beef or chicken or whatever you have)
1/2 c cooked short grain white rice
1/2 grated zucchini
1/2 eggplant
2 green peppers
2 eggs
1 c bread crumbs (I used Japanese bread crumbs)
worsteshire sauce
soy sauce (needs a lot more than you might think)
yakitori sauce
sesame seed oil

  1. Preheat the over to 350.
  2. Cut peppers in half and pull out the pith and seeds. scoop out a hole in the eggplant. take remaining inside of eggplant, chop up really fine, and put in a large mixing bowl. Add zucchini, meat, rice, eggs, bread crumbs, and sauces. Mix well with hands.
  3. Using a spoon, put meat mixture inside the eggplant and peppers. Oil the bottom of a 9x13 pan, and add vegetables with meat side up. add a little bit of water to steam.
  4. Cover with foil and cook for 45-60 minutes in the oven. Once the meat is cooked through, take foil off, turn overn to "broil" and let cook for a few minutes until the tops of the meat is brown. Pull out of the oven, let cool a little, and serve.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Best Banana Bread

I have always loved banana bread, but I've never had the perfect kind. They're always a little too dry or too dense or too crumbly. So, I combined and altered some of the best looking recipes I could find and made the ultimate banana bread recipe.

My Banana Bread
makes 3-9x5 pans of bread
crumb topping:
1/3 c. brown sugar
2T flour
1t cinnamon
1T butter (still cold)
  1. combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon
  2. cut the butter into the mixture until corn meal consistency
  3. sprinkle on bread batter in the bread pan
Bread batter:
cinnamon sugar (to dust the greased pans)
1 C brown sugar
1 C white sugar
3 XL eggs
7 really ripe bananas (mashed)
1 (16 oz) container (I use light) sour cream
1 T vanilla (or as much as you want ... I like a lot)
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
3 t baking soda
4 1/2 C flour
3/4 C butter room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Grease pans, dust with cinnamon sugar.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter & sugar. Mix in eggs, bananas, sour cream, vanilla, & cinnamon.
  3. Slowly mix in salt, baking soda, flour. Pour into pans.
  4. Sprinkle tops with crumb mixture.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean after inserting.
  6. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
*you could also add one box of instant vanilla pudding to the batter to make it extra "vanilla-ey" and moist

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Nancy's Summer Squash

I got a bunch of Summer Squash from Nancy Price from work, so I decided to take advantage of her garden and make a couple vegetable dishes. And I think they turned out really, really well. All we had for dinner was vegetables and we were very satisfied. (well, I can only speak for myself, but Blake kept saying how good it was, and he usually doesn't like vegetables, so I think it's a good thing)

Vegetable Lasagna
3-4 summer squash (zucchini would be great, or yellow squash or whatever you have on hand) sliced thin
1/2 of an eggplant, peeled and sliced thin
1-1/2 C mozzarella or other white, soft cheese, grated
1/4 C Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

for the sauce:
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/2 large onion
4-5 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
salt & pepper
1 t herbs de provence
olive oil

  1. slice squash and eggplant and set aside. Take eggplant and sprinkle with salt, layer in a colander and put a heavy, metal bowl on top. This releases all the bitter juices in the eggplant. Set aside.
  2. To cook the sauce, dice the onions fairly small. In a large sauce pan or skillet with high sides, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender and slightly browned. Add garlic and continue to cook until fragrant and soft. Add tomatoes, and heat through. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. When the flavors are well incorporated, put in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Put about one cup of sauce on the bottom of the dish you will be baking it in (I used a pie pan this time). Place sliced squash on top, layering a little as you go around. Add more sauce to cover vegetables, and top with cheese. Layer eggplant on top (the same way) put sauce and cheese on top again. Add another layer of squash and do the same with the sauce and cheese.
  4. Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour. When everything is cooked through and the sauce and cheese are bubbling, take off the foil, change the oven to "broil" and bake for a few more minutes until cheese is browned and bubbley. Take out of oven, cool a little, and serve.

Roasted Vegetables
2-3 Summer squash, sliced thin
3-4 tomatoes, sliced thin
1/2 of an eggplant, sliced thin
olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs de provence

  1. Coat the dish you're using with olive oil.
  2. Layer vegetable slices in a consistent order. (I did squash, eggplant, tomato, repeated over and over)
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and herbs and drizzle some oilive oil on top.
  4. Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until vegetables look tender. Let cool for a few minutes and serve.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Really Quick Dinner

Vegetable Stir Fry (野菜炒め)12-14 pieces of frozen or fresh shrimp (if frozen, thaw in cold--not warm--water until tender)
1 green pepper, sliced into long, thin strips
1/2 of an eggplant, cut into thin long pieces
1/4 of a cabbage, coarsely cut into similar shapes to other vegetables
carrots, cut into thin long pieces
onions, sliced into long thin strips
4 cloves garlic, crushed, not chopped
canola or vegetable oil for wok/frying pan

soy sauce
hoisin sauce
grated ginger
rice wine vinegar
sesame seed oil
chili oil
white pepper
salt & black pepper
  1. Heat wok/frying pan on high heat and add canola/vegetable oil. Add carrots, onions and cook until slightly tender. Add green peppers, eggplant, and cabbage and cook until cabbage cooks down a bit.
  2. Push the vegetables over to the side a little to make room for the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the wok, making sure they all are touching the hot metal. Cook quickly on both sides until slightly pink.
  3. Add garlic, and continue to fry. In the mean time, mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Add the sauce to the stir fry and toss.
  4. Serve on the side with rice, while still hot.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

What to do with Pork Chops

I always buy pork chops at Costco, but lately I've been a little bored of the same old thing, and we end up with a lot of pork chops in the freezer. So, tonight and I think last Thursday, I made a couple of new Pork dishes that I would like to share. But, these were both experiments, as usual, so they are kind of hard for me to keep track of measurements. Hopefully, though, I remember all the ingredients.

Japanese Pork Chops
serves 2 people
for the marinade:
2 T white and black sesame seeds, ground fine
1/2 C soy sauce
1~2 T fresh grated ginger
5 cloves finely minced garlic
3 T rice wine vinegar
3 T mirin (sweet sake)
2 T sesame seed oil
1 t "shichimi garashi" (Japanese spice--you can get it in almost any asian food section of a grocery store)
juice of one lemon
1/2 C Yakiniku sauce

1 large pork chop, cut in half so to roughly 1 inch thick.

  1. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a small shallow bowl. Add pork chops and stab with a fork a few times. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.
  2. In the mean time, cook rice. (I recommend Japanese short grain rice. It's the only way to go, I think)
  3. After letting the pork sit in the marinade for a while, take them out and let the marinade drain off them as you pull them out. You don't want a lot of excess.
  4. heat a semi-deep frying pan to medium high heat and brown both sides of the chops. Once browned, turn the heat down to medium low and add water or broth and cover.
  5. Once it's cooked through, you can slice it and serve it. I added extra ground sesame seeds and ponzu sauce over the top of it. I like the sesame seeds because of the really deep, rich texture and taste it adds and the ponzu (I bought a specific citrus blend ponzu sauce shown in the background) a nice light tang to it.

Pork Tacos
serves 2 people
for the poaching liquid:
1 t dried cilantro
2 t chili powder (give or take depending on how spicy you want it ... I may have overdone it)
2 t cayenne pepper (same)
2 t crushed red pepper flakes (same)
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
salt & pepper
3~4 T soy sauce (tenderizes the meat and adds great flavor)
2 C water
2 T taco seasoning
juice of 1 lime

1 pork chop
  1. Add all ingredients of poaching liquid in the smallest pot you have and bring to a simmer while stirring
  2. Add pork chop and leave it until completely cooked.
  3. Once cooked through bring pork out of pot and shred. Place back in the concentrated poaching liquid, which now looks like a dark sauce, and let cook until pork absorbs the sauce
  4. Cook tortillas, add cheese to melt, add pork. Take off heat and add tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, and whatever else you add to your tacos.
  5. Roll up and serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Another Quiche

The other night, we had left over ingredients that added up to everything we needed for a quiche, so I decided to try a new kind of quiche. I love all kinds so much, but I've really only tried to make one, so I added caramalized onions and sautéed mushrooms and made them normal muffin pan size instead of mini muffin or pie pan sized. A delicious dinner. So it's the same as my mini quiche recipes with the changes I already mentioned. Just bakes about 5-8 minutes longer. Next time, though, I want to create a lower fat version that doesn't take away from the taste. My next challenge.

Pantry Dinner

Tonight, on my way home I realized we hadn't gone grocery shopping in a long time, so I didn't have much to work with. But I was determined to be creative. So I thought about what I had on hand, and made one of my most successful experiments yet. I used ingredients that I always have in the kitchen: parsley, cilantro, extra virgin olive oil, an onion, pecorino romano cheese, edamame, marinated artichoke hearts, 1 lemon, toasted white sesame seeds, and salt and pepper. Well, and of course, pasta.

Fresh Cilantro & Parsley Pesto
*Remember, these measurements are all approximates ... I had to improvise!*
1 C fresh cilantro, packed
1 C fresh parlsey, packed
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
4-5 marinated artichoke heart sections
1 T toasted, white sesame seeds
1 C thawed edamame, with skins discarded
1/3 C pecorino Romano cheese (suggestion: grate on a microplane grater)
1/4 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/3~1/2 C olive oil
1 lb pasta
  1. Boil pasta in salt water to al dente.
  2. Put parsley, cilantro, onion, garlic & artichoke hearts in food processor and pulse until they turn into a chunky paste, scraping down the sides periodically. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, edamame, cheese, and sesame seeds. Pulse again to get the size down a bit.
  3. Turn food processor to "on" position and pour in oil until smooth and creamy. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  4. When pasta is done, toss with pesto and serve.
*there will be left over pesto. Pesto freezes well, so put in freezer to avoid making it go bad.

Sunday Dinner for Everyone

On Sunday we had my friends Jason, Celeste, and her husband, Ben over for dinner. One of my favorite meals to make when I have a lot of people to feed is Spaghetti and Meatballs. It's cheap to make and makes A LOT of food. And it only takes about 30 minutes total cooking time. Keep in mind that this recipe probably could feed 10 people if you wanted it to, but I make it and freeze it, and eat it as left overs when I don't have time to make dinner on other nights. Really handy. So don't be surprised by the quantities.
Oh also, the picture is of the leftovers I ate the next day. They were still really good!

Spaghetti and Meatballs
2 lb spaghetti (or linguini is really good, too. That's what I used this time)
2-28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 medium sized onions, diced (I like it diced small, but it's up to your personal preference)
5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped roughly
olive oil (to cook the onions and garlic)

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3/4 c. italian bread crumbs
2 L or XL eggs
1 small block of mozarella cheese, cut into small cubes that will fit inside the meatballs
  1. Cook onions in olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic until fragrant and soft.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes and continue stirring.
  3. Mix meat, bread crumbs, and eggs ina seperate bowl with your hands. Make little meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter, make a hole in the middle, add a cube of cheese and seal up.
  4. Drop the meatballs into sauce and let cook for about 15 minutes until cooked through.
  5. In the mean time, boil pasta according to packaging directions, to al dente. Don't overboil!
  6. When the meatballs are cooked through and the pasta is done, take meatballs out of sauceand place in a seperate bowl. Put pasta in sauce and toss until the sauce it thorooughly incorporated on pasta.
  7. place in a large serving bowl, put meatballs on top and serve.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Christina's Bridal Shower

One of my favorite things to do is to feed a lot of people, and come up with new and creative ways to entertain with food. Since one of my dear friends and a huge supporter of my dreams, Christina, decided to happily get married, I threw her a bridal shower on July 7th and worked hard to impress her:) And I forget that my husband Blake, helped out a lot! I can't take full credit for all of it. Blake actually made the salsa and chicken for the taco salads himself.

Mini Quiche
2 refrigerated store-bought pie crusts (to save a LOT of time! And I promise, they are almost as good as home made)
4 ounces or so of bacon (I used turkey bacon)
2/3 C Heavy Cream

1/2 C whole milk
3 L or XL eggs
1/4~1/2 C chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper to taste
2/3 C finely grated Pecorino Romano or Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 C grated Cheddar Cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Roll out pie crusts to about half of it's original thickness. cut pie crusts into small circles, about 2 in. in diameter. Press into mini muffin pans. (TIP: Don't worry about making the edges smooth, I think it looks more rustic when they're a little crinkly, and they're a lot easier to get out once they are cooked)
  3. Cook bacon until crisp. (TIP: My sister taught me to microwave the bacon on a paper plate and paper towel. This way you get all the grease out and you don't have to wash any more pans, and they cook up just great) Break up into little pieces.
  4. Beat cream, milk, eggs together until smooth, but don't over beat. Add parsley, salt & pepper in medium bowl.
  5. Put a little bit of bacon & the 2 cheeses into each little pie crust. Pour in egg mixture. Remember to leave a little space on top, as the mixture will puff up.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool, take out of pans and serve.
Mini Taco Salad5-6 fresh tortillas
tomatoes (the sweetest ones you can find)
1-1/2 limes
4 avocados
1/2 a vidalia onion (if you can't find vidalias, get a normal onion and soak it in water for a little while)
1/2 a rotisserie chicken
taco seasoning
salt to taste

  1. Cut tortillas into small circles, about 2 in. in diameter. Place in mini muffin pans in a similar way to the pie crusts for the quiche. Bake in 350ºF oven for 5-7 minutes until they puff up a little. Take out of oven and let cool. (The puffiness will get down a lot. If it doesn't, you can push it down so it still has a little well for the food)
  2. Dice tomatoes & onion as small as you can and place in a bowl. Chop up cilantro as finely as you can without turning it into a paste. Add to tomatoes and onion. Add the juice of 1 lime and salt. Set aside.
  3. Dice avocados really small and place in a small bowl. Add the juice of 1/2 a lime and salt. set aside.
  4. Shred the rotisserie chicken into little pieces. Place in a pan and cook with taco seasoning as directed.
  5. Place all the topping in the tortilla cups in the following order: Chicken, avocados, salsa.
p.s. For the salsa, you can make the tomato to onion ratio as you like it. But don't omit onions just because you think you don't like them! The flavor and texture is SO important. Just soak them in water for at least half an hour or rinse them for a couple minutes, and the strong, pungent flavor will go down.

The Beginning

My sister suggested starting a "foodie blog" since I love to make food and take pictures of it. And since she is my inspiration and my teacher when it comes to cooking, I thought I'd better do it. So I tribute this whole blog to her. She taught me everything I know. And to my sweet husband who always tries my little experiments and puts up with my mistakes.
I've always been afraid of starting a blog, not confident that people would care to
read a journal I've posted on the internet, but who doesn't like food, right? So why not share my passion for food with everyone else around me. I decided to share my favorite new recipes that I've created or borrowed and altered and post them to share with all of you! So here I go, on my new food journey.