Thursday, June 14, 2012

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Weird combination right?

Somehow the creaminess of the avocado and the sharp acidity and sweetness of the grapefruit compliment each other wonderfully :)

I sliced the avocado and set it aside.
Then sliced the ruby grapefruit with out any of the stringy white parts (the name escapes me)

I tossed all of it gently with olive oil, grapefruit juice, salt, pepper, and red chili flakes.

Simply delicious~

Till next time!

Roasted Rack of Lamb with Chimichurri and Pan Fried Potatoes

When I was young, we weren't rich but my parents always took us to eat really good food on our birthdays. We got to go to the expensive restaurants in town and order whatever we wanted. And for four nights out of the year, we ate like royalty.
We were exposed to some amazing French, Italian, Thai, Japanese, and Mexican food that introduced us to new ingredients and flavors that our palettes have now come to love.

I forgot whose birthday it was but I must have been 10-12 and my brother around 8... we went to an Italian restaurant called Star Bene that was one of the best in town. I remember my mom ordered a lamb dish. I had never had lamb and asked her if I could try a bite (that's something else we did, we all shared what we ordered :) )
I swear if I wasn't sitting diagonally from her, I would've eaten her whole plate. When she looked over and saw my face with my eyes glazed over hypnotized over that new flavor, she merely shrugged her shoulders and said "it's okay I guess".
Lamb has that distinct flavor that you really can't  forget about.

So recently I was shopping in Trader Joes and saw that they had a rack of lamb and I thought it would be a great challenged to try and prepare a perfect lamb for the first time.
Seared crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside...mmmmmm....

First I boiled the potatoes in a pan to cook them through.
I heated up another large pan with olive oil and waited until the oil was HOT. Preheated the oven to 400 degrees, seasoned the lamb with salt and pepper then used tongs to sear all the sides. I placed the lamb in a roasting pan with a rack and baked it for 20 minutes.

While the lamb was cooking I put 1 cup of olive oil, half a bunch of parsley, handful of mint, handful of basil, salt, pepper, and 4 cloves of fresh garlic into a blender (if I had a food processor I would have used that) and pulsed it until it was well mixed.

By then the potatoes had boiled off the water and then I added a dash of olive oil to brown them that I think of it, I used a lot of olive oil.

Anyways, it was yummy and Austin liked it too :)

Till next time!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Elote con Queso Fresco

Summer means corn and lots of it! We had a BBQ at the house and a few people brought over corn, and at the end of the night we had 2 bags of corn. Couldn't let it go to waste so we threw them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes and then scraped all the delicious kernels into a bowl.

I added:

2 limes (juiced)
salt to taste
1/2 block of queso fresco
handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 white onion finely diced

Then ya mix it...that's all there is to it!

This is tasty on tacos or as a side salad.


Roasted Chickpeas

OKAY.OKAY...So it's been almost a year since I've posted, and I got a camera which I was excited to use so I can quickly post pictures of food that I've made. BUT, of course it's never that easy. Turns out I lost the piece that goes to the camera so you can plug it directly into the computer, so now I have to have a card reader and blah blah blah...

So yea, I'm back now with a vengeance! I'll be posting some of the stuff I've done recently.

I've missed you.

I had two cans of garbanzo beans in my cabinet just in case I wanted to make hummus...which I never did, so I decided to roast them instead. They were super easy to make and tasted delicious!
Would I make them all the time? No :)

These little roasted beans are great with beer on a hot summer's day, or to accompany a meat and cheese board.

You really can use any spices you like, even make them a sweet snack if you like.
Or you can do what I did and just threw the whole spice cabinet on it. Not literally, but pretty close to that.

Roasted Chickpeas with the spice cabinet:

2 cans of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Olive oil
Garlic Salt
Smoked Paprika
Probably even Herb de Provence

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Throw the rinsed chickpeas on a papertowel and pat dry. Then lay them out on a baking sheet and drizzle the chickpeas with olive oil. Roll them around so that they are well coated then add the spices and roll them around again.

Bake for 40 min. or until they are crispy. Let cool and enjoy!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Spicy Buffalo Wings and Homemade Ranch Dressing

Mmmm...who doesn't love spicy buffalo wings!! And on top of that, homemade ranch dressing?!
To be completely honest, Austin wanted Bleu cheese dressing but I can't stand the smell of blue cheese. So he was sweet enough to compromise for ranch. "But." he exclaimed. "I'm not eating store bought ranch, if we're having ranch, it has to be homemade." swoon* And that is another little moment where my heart melts. I put him in charge of making the best ranch dressing recipe.

So there's a few ways to make buffalo wings. One way is to coat the chicken in flour and bake them so they get nice and crispy and suck up all the sauce, and the other option is to marinate them for 8 hours and then bake them so that the chicken has the flavor infused.
Which option do you think I chose?

I washed and patted the chicken wings and legs dry. Salt and peppered them. Coated them in flour and placed them on a baking sheet and baked them for 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then turned them over and baked them for another 20 minutes.

While the chicken baked in the oven. I made the sauce. NOW. NOBODY TOLD ME HOW MUCH BUTTER GOES INTO BUFFALO WINGS!
Instead of 2 sticks of butter I used one. Jeezus... 2 sticks? Really?

I melted 1 stick of butter, put the heat to low, added about 1/2 cup of Schultz's hot sauce, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, pepper, and a dash of worcestershire sauce. Poured it all into a big bowl and tossed a few wings at a time.

Really yummy, but I would also make sure you have another appetizer or entree planned because I was still hungry after eating them.

Till next time~

Tofu Lettuce Wraps and Pork Gyoza

My mom used to make us something like this once in a while and I would basically have a whole head of lettuce to myself. And I wonder why my brother was always so skinny. The recipe I use is a knock-off the chinese/vietnamese version and instead of tofu you can substitute ground chicken or pork as well.
I wanted to stay on the healthy side and this is one way to get me to eat tofu.

The tofu mixture consisted of:

1 Block extra firm tofu
1/2 diced yellow onion
1 can diced water chestnuts
1 cup of  chopped bean sprouts
1/2 bunch of  diced green onion
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp. sesame seed oil
2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sesame seeds

1. I wash the head of iceberg lettuce really well and leave it to dry. Do this first before you make the tofu mix.

2. I sauteed the onions, garlic and water chestnuts, then added the tofu. Kept it on high heat to burn off as much of the liquid as possible. About 15 minutes. Then I added the sesame seeds, sesame oil, and soy sauce. I think at this point I snuck in some chili flakes too :)
When the tofu is mixed well and the liquid has burned off, turn off the heat and toss in the green onions so they don't lose their color.

3. Throw some gyoza on a pan and fry them until golden brown. Set heat to medium, throw in a 1/4 cup of water and put a lid on it to simmer until all the liquid is burned off.

And enjoy!!! I'm telling you. Easy Peasy~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Bourbon Slow cooked Pulled Pork

The last pulled pork recipe I made I added pineapple to the mix to add some sweetness, but Austin and I didn't enjoy the chunks as much and it was little too sweet.
This time it was delicious.



  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste

I threw all of the ingredients in the slow cooker along with 3 lbs of pork shoulder cut into 2 inch chunks and let it do it's thing for 8 hours.
Threw together some quick slaw and some whole wheat buns and had an amazing dinner out under our avocado tree in the warm afternoon breeze.

Enjoy and until next time~

Color Me Mine Creation~

Nope. Not food. This post is about my epic journey of painting my own ceramic plate.

It started as a walk down 3rd St. Promenade, doing some window shopping in some of my favorite stores (Aldo shoes, Barnes and Nobel, Sur la Table, and Anthropologie). I walked into Anthropologie for some inspiration and came across their beautiful and colorful plates and bowls. A large serving plate stood out...and the voice in my head screamed I WANT IT!!!!! I turned the plate over and saw that it was $70 for  a plate I might use a few times a year. A bit disgruntled, I stalked out of Anthropologie, grunting at the door girl as I walked by, knowing that she gets a discount and headed to the corner bar to grab a drink.

As I walked to the bar, I glance to the other side of the street and see a colorful sign that said "Color Me Mine" and like a bug to an electric light, I made a beeline to the store.
Cute place fit for having a rich kids birthday party, but chill enough to have a date night on friday. It cost $10 for an all day studio fee and the ceramic plate I wanted was only $30! So instead of paying $70, I could save and could have four really good beers on tap, or ten medium lattes with the left over money.~

Long story short it took me three days to finish the stupid plate. $30 in studio fees and $30 for the plate...coming out to a grand total of $60...saving only $10.
But it's my own creation and I love it. What did I learn from this experience? I learned that it takes a really long time to paint plates, I like painting plates, and Anthropologie can kiss my ass/ hire me as a ceramic artist. :)

I'm excited to go back and do it all over again :)

Till next time~

Seared Halibut with Sauteed Greenbeans and Roasted Cherry Tomato Vierge

Hi guys...
Sorry about not posting for a while. Not having a decent camera is killing me!
And also, a lot of the stuff that I've been cooking are with leftovers in my fridge, and aren't exactly post worthy.

I'm debating on whether or not I want to add a recipe to each post or if I should just talk about and describe what they are. Let me know what you think. I could do either.

This is dish I made a while back...probably in August. The picture has been sitting in my phone and I knew I wanted to post it some day.

Kwesi came over to hang with Austi and I fixed a quick lunch for us. Healthy and light to keep us moving the rest of the day.
I sprinkled the halibut with salt and pepper before I seared them on high heat for a few minutes. In a smaller frypan I sauteed the green beans in a little bit of olive oil and soy sauce. And in a bowl I tossed the cherry tomatoes with onions, salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Threw them under the broiler for a few minutes and by the time the tomatoes were nice and roasted, everything else was done :)

I'm telling you, I'm a really lazy cook. If it's quick and it tastes good, I love it.

Things I would do differently next time for this dish?
I would have gotten halibut with the skin on one side and salt the shit out of it and make it nice and crispy :) I also would've added some fresh rosemary or some sort of herb to the roasted tomato vierge.

Till next time~

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ratatouille 3 Ways~

I love the Pixar movie Ratatouille. Why I don't own it yet is beyond me. I was thinking about how Ratatouille (the dish) reminded the bad guy of his childhood and how nostalgic it was for him. Of course, he's french.

But then I realized that ratatouille was nostalgic for me too. My mom made ratatouille in the mornings before work. She put black olives in them. That was my favorite part.

I bought made a batch of it and like always, made way too much.
So for the first night. We had ratatouille on paparradelle with fresh grated parmesean. (sorry no picks)
For the second night we had ratatouille with cheese tortellinis (pretty creative...not).

The last night I made whole wheat ratatouille calzones.

I'm pretty sure Austin and I got our fill of ratatouille for a while, but my mom would be proud. Thanks mom~

till next time.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To my roots

Tonight for dinner I decided to go back to my roots.
I had to call my dad for the recipe, but I knew that he knew it by heart.
I've been skeptical about making authentic Japanese food for Austin because I wasn't sure how he would like it. Turns out he loved it!
Tonights dinner was Asari clam, aspargus and oyster mushroom itame, with a side of ginger pork and brown rice.

Of course you have to have sake and beer. In my dad's ceramic cups :)
Cheers dad, I owe all I know about the love of cooking to you and mom.
Love you.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Snack Time

Today for snack I made a cookie that I have adored for a long time. It's been a while since I've made them and I'm glad I did.
Peanut Butter Hershey Kissed Cookies. Straight from the oven. I love em, the boys love em.
Still trying to figure out why the chocolate bubbles on top... I'd like that not to happen.

Till next time~


Heirloom Tomato with Basil and Feta

Hi guys~
Sorry, it's been a while since I've posted. I've been super busy with work and just haven't made anything noteworthy.
I'm still in the process of getting a camera and hope that I can afford a good one soon :)
This was an appetizer I made a few weeks ago after finding some really great heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market. I just can't imagine cooking an heirloom tomato, it's got so much flavor when it's untouched by heat.
I sliced a large heirloom tomato and dusted it with feta cheese, salt, pepper and julienned fresh basil from the garden.

Simply sublime ~~~

Enjoy the tomatoes while they are in season, my cherry tomatoes just came in and they are delicious right off the vine. They taste nothing like store bought ones.

Till next time.