Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Ham and Cheese Bun

Impress your friends and family by baking this delicious ham and cheese sandwich/bun. Watch their eyes widen when you tell them the bun is made from scratch. Move aside Doughboy, elbow grease is in town. 
Click here for the dough recipe. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Chinese Sweet Bun Dough

For the past two weeks I've been experimenting in the kitchen with this dough recipe. Baking may sound scary to some people, I remembered a couple years ago vowing to never bake (after a couple failed attempts) but now I bake at least once or twice a week! Of course I cannot eat everything I make, so I've been sharing them to friends and family and let me tell you I'm sure they love me more now (jajaj).

This month I'll dedicate it to baking. I'll post a couple recipes using this dough and probably a couple cookie recipes. Hope you are all excited as I am! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Breakfast: Strawberry-Banana Smoothie with Matcha Whip Cream

I made another green tea sponge cake last week and had a lot of leftover green tea whipped cream. I didn't want the whipped cream go to waste so the next morning I made myself a refreshing and filling breakfast; strawberry-banana smoothie with fresh pineapple chunks and topped with green tea whipped cream. Yes this is quite a fattening breakfast so make this occasionally. If you aren't a fan of whipped cream *gasp* you can substitute it with flavored yogurt. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Are you hungry college student who is low on income? Are you sick and tired of the fast food route? Want a meal that keeps you full and satisfied throughout the day? Then CHILI is your answer. 
Still hungry? How about chili over rice, chili casserole, chili dog, chili over mashed potatoes? chili hot pockets? There are endless possibilities! That is if you are lucky enough to have leftovers. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pozole Rojo

Pozole is a traditional Mexican stew that consists of hominy and pork or chicken. There are different variations of pozoles depending on the color of the chilies used for the soup base. Traditional pozole is cooked with trotters so you can feel free to substitute the pork shoulder for pigs feet. According to researchers from National Institute of Anthropology and History and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, the indigenous people from Mesoamerica used human flesh in their pozole. So if you want to make it more traditional... please don't, just stick with pork, chicken, beef, or seafood. 

Luckily this dish remained and cannibalism is illegal in most parts of the world- I'm looking at you Papua New Guinea! Pozole is also a common Mexican remedy for hangovers. So make a batch on the night before you go bar skipping with your friends! "Ain't nobody got time for that?" No, everybody has time for pozole. 

Note: If you are having trouble finding some of the ingredients, you can search online or in the Hispanic/Ethnic food aisle of your local grocery store.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Honey Mustard Chicken

Hello hello, I'm still alive! I just took some time off from blogging and cooking. It's just that the sizzling weather down here makes me feel so fatigued and drained. Question, how hot is it in your city?

So what's for dinner today? Baked honey mustard chicken! You can definitely grill this just that I didn't want the hassle of cleaning afterwards especially when I'm just cooking for one. Anyhow, I feel this recipe taste much more satisfying when accompanied with a nice green salad. Say goodbye to salad dressings and just let the flavors of the chicken marry with the salad as they dance around your mouth. Wow, that sounded slightly creepy. Enjoy!

I admit garnishing dishes is not my forte

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pretzel Burger

I don't remember when was the last time I ordered a burger from a fast food joint. After a burger I always end up feeling miserable and fatigued. Think about it, the food is loaded with preservatives and low quality ingredients then off it goes to the deep fryer. So why not cook at home? Yes, it may be time consuming, but you can always make everything in batches, freeze it, defrost it, and reheat it! This is what I usually do on my lazy/tired days.

Today's recipe is my favorite burger patty and it goes perfectly with the pretzel buns I posted a couple of days ago. The burgers are delicious, juicy, easy to prepare, and with the right amount of seasoning. I'm sure you'll enjoy these as much as I did :).

As mentioned previously, you can make a batch and freeze it. The best way to freeze the seasoned raw patties is by lining them up on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. In between each layer of burgers, put a double layer of waxed paper so that they don't stick. When they are frozen solid, put the patties into ziplock bags and they'll last for about two months in the freezer. 

You can enjoy the cooked patties 1) As is. 2) Hamburgers. 3) Dice it finely and use it as a pizza topping. 3) Crumble the meat and add it to your favorite spaghetti sauce. 4) Mix it with sloppy joe sauce. 5) In a bowl of rice top it with a cooked patty, fried egg, and gravy. Now you got yourself a Loco Moco. Be creative!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Soft Pretzels Buns

These pretzel "buns" are perfect for sandwiches and burgers. Once the buns have cooled off, split the bun in half and fill it with your favorite choice of cheese and meat and bake it once more until the the cheese is melted and the bun is slightly browned. Serve it with your favorite dipping sauce or coleslaw and you've got yourself a mouthwatering heck of a meal.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can simply roll the dough into a rope and cut it into bite size pieces. Boil the dough pieces in your water and baking soda solution and bake them until golden brown. Finally coat the pretzel bites in melted butter (just enough to coat them) and sprinkle it with a sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cake: Green Tea Sponge Cake

After a number of failed attempts in recreating the green tea roll cake I made last year, I decided to give it a rest. I just couldn't get the consistency right! My cakes always ended up with the texture of a corn tortilla. WHY?! No, I haven't given up I'm just taking some time off. 
So rather than going on a rampage I ended up making this. It's quite fool-proof and requires minimal ingredients. Though you do need to do a lot of cleaning afterwards, but the end result is just so rewarding. 

Oh no, I added too much filling!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Breakfast: Rice with Kombu and Egg

My boyfriend introduced me to this delicious seaweed topping. I think it's dried and salted kombu. It is extremely salty so I like to mix it with a bowl of rice and top it with aromatic ingredients. I do not know how this is eaten in Japan, but looking at the picture from the packaging I guess i'm on the right path. 

You might find my rice to be slightly different in color and texture and that is because I like to mix rice with different assorted grains. I add about 1/2 cup glutinous rice, 1 1/2 cups brown rice, 1/2 cargo rice, and 1/2 cup black rice. I've even seen people mix legumes to their rice for a healthier blend. I also like to add a little less water when cooking the rice for a firmer texture. 

Of course you don't have to follow my recipe to a tee. If you aren't comfortable with eating raw egg, you can top your rice with a sunny side up and it will taste equally as good. For leftover rice (sans toppings), it keeps well in the fridge for several days. To re-heat overnight rice, simply microwave the rice in microwave-safe bowl with a moistened paper towel on the side for 1 minute. You can also make extra ahead to serve later.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Breakfast: Chocolate Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Here is another soy-shake recipe I've been enjoying lately. It taste similar to chocolate cake with strawberry jam but in liquid form. Sounds gross huh? No worries, I assure you that you'll love it. This can be served as dessert, breakfast, or as a healthy-treat-alternative. Seriously, ditch those frozen high fructose corn syrup sticks and make yourself this delicious treat!

Oh have I ever mention that I live in Southern California? And when I say Southern California, I literally mean the bottom end of the state. Spending summer time here is excruciating. Right now it is 109°F or 43°C outside, so if my AC were to break down I'd go berserk (if I had the energy) or make myself this awesome shake. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sun-Dried Tomato Crostini

A couple of days ago I bought a delicious loaf of baguette from a small Vietnamese restaurant. Honestly, I just bought the bread to munch on but when I was almost halfway through, I had an epiphany. CROSTINIS!  I hurried to the kitchen and took out all the ingredients I thought would accompany well with this beautiful loaf of baguette. Viola~
I tried recreating this appetizer using baguette I bought from Costco the next day and was truly disappointed. Although the packaging was labeled as "French baguette," its texture and taste resembles of a sourdough bread. SHAME ON YOU COSTCO FOR FALSE ADVERTISEMENT! So please do take time to hunt down real baguette if you want a full sun-dried tomato crostini experience.
On a side note, this sun-dried tomato topping can add a fresh tangy kick to most of  your dishes: toasts, burgers, omelets, stir-fry with brown rice, crackers, sandwiches, bad baguette etc. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you paired the topping with. Thanks for stopping by~

Real Crostini made with real baguette

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Breakfast: Bulgur Pilaf

I love cooking with bulgur. It is healthy, easy to cook, and can be used in variety of ways. The nutty flavor and interesting texture gives a unique experience to any dishes compared to the old boring white rice. This low-glycemic-index food has impressive amounts of manganese, magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins. Because the the grains have already been processed, it doesn't take that much time to cook them. All you have to do is soak the grains in hot water for 30 minutes or as directed in the packaging and add it in your soups, salads, or as a rices substitute. 

Most commonly found in Middle Eastern dishes such as tabbouleh and pilaf, these grains range from fine, medium, and coarse texture. Today I’ll be using coarse bulgur for my pilaf. This dish goes great with meat, as a side dish, or as a light main course. Serve this for your next foodie gathering and it will definitely be a favorite. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cake: Chocolate-Coconut-Coffee Rum Cake

Now that was a mouthful (insert Michael Scott quote here). Initially I had intended to post a 'Coconut Rum with Chocolate Cupcake' recipe I concocted about a week ago, but alas I didn't get the chance to take a photo of it (yup, it was that good). So the day before yesterday I promised Mama Lemon that I'd bake her something similar just slightly less fattening, less sweeter and in the form of a cake. However, on this recipe I adjusted the amount of sugar because seriously, what I made for my mom was 
more like flavored bread.

Now, I'm not a fan of coffee and alcohol, but this cake my friends is pretty darn good. You can't taste the bitterness of the coffee or the burning sensation of the alcohol, but pure subtleness. I topped each slice of cake with homemade whip cream, diced strawberries and toasted coconuts, and I must say each bite was a party in my mouth. If you were wondering how that feels like, give this recipe a try!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Smoky and Spicy Rub

Why go to an expensive restaurant to get a delicious and juicy steak when you can make it in the comfort of your home? Here is a spicy and smoky rub for steaks, chicken, ribs, or any cuts of meat. All you need to do is rub a couple of tablespoon of dry rub per piece of meat. Grill it in a preheated grill for 3-4 minutes on each side (I used a ridged iron skillet) and finally brush the meat with some Worcestershire sauce mixed with tamarind paste and ketchup. Easy huh? Told you so! You can also mix the wet and dry ingredients together to save time but careful because sugar burns easily.

***Remember the steak needs to be at room temperature before they go on the grill, oven, or skillet***

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pizza Dough with Rosemary

How do you guys celebrate Mother's Day? Here in my home I usually cook up something my mom requested (more like baking this time). So this year I asked my mom what she wanted to eat and she simply replied, "Pizza, make me pizza." Right on! 

I used a stand mixer to knead the dough but if you don't have one, I suggest you to knead the dough in a large bowl because the dough is extremely sticky and messy. For the topping, I added button mushrooms, pepperoni, onion, spinach, tomato, pepper jack cheese, green bell pepper, and sun dried tomatoes: basically I chopped and sprinkled on anything I found in the fridge. 

Happy belated Mother's Day to you all beautiful moms out there!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Breakfast: Strawberry Spinach Shake

As previously mentioned, I wanted to start eating healthy and I really am. I've cut out fried food, am eating less sweets, and adding more fruits and vegetables into my diet. I know I also said I'd be posting savory breakfasts, but I just wanted to share this sweet recipe so bad! This is my go-to/on-the-go nutritional breakfast. It isn't too sweet and you can hardly taste the spinach! What?! Spinach you say? Yes, Spinach! This dark leafy green vegetable contains anti-cancer properties, lowers blood pressure, is good for the bones and nervous function, and promotes healthy skin! Talk about super cheap superfoods am I right? So give this baby a try and you'll thank me later (seriously). 

On a side note, I won't be posting any recipes this week due to finals but I'll continue the week after!

I'm not trying to advertise Coca-Cola here (jeje)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sauce: Smoky Tartar Sauce

Here is the recipe for the smoky tartar sauce as promised. It pairs great with meat and vegetables, and is wonderful as a dip. You can just pulse everything in a food processor or mix by hand. Remember to refrigerate sauce for a couple of hours before serving. 
-Keep refrigerated-

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Breakfast: Hearty Ggyeranjjim

This is my second butchered "Korean" recipe, ggyeran jjim also known as steamed egg mixture. I was inspired by the sweet chef Maangchi's Ttukbaegi ggyeranjjim recipe and made some alterations for a "heartier" result. The dish in itself has a very mild and clean flavor with a spongy tofu texture. You can serve this with rice and/or grilled meat or as an appetizer. 

Please check out her website and videos for more authentic Korean recipes. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sauce: Salsa Roja

If you were to search online for a salsa roja recipe, you'd come across hundreds of results. Similar to most sauce recipes you can add, substitute, or even eliminate ingredients to your liking. There just isn't one perfect recipe because (honestly) they all are! Here is my take on a milder  and sweeter sauce that is great for making chile rellenos, huevos ahogados, enchiladas, chilaquiles, or any recipe that asks for salsa roja! I hope you give this recipe a try!

I guess I should have garnished it a little before taking a picture...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Curry Hambagu

Last month I was on a curry frenzy. For two weeks I had nothing but Kimchi curry, pork curry, chicken curry, green curry, and coconut curry. With nothing but curry thoughts running in my head, I was inspired to make this curry flavored hamabu but rather drenching the patties in curry sauce, I decided to infuse curry flavor into the meat. As for the sauce, I made a smokey tartar sauce that really paired well with the meat. If you love hambagu and curry then you are in for a treat!

I'll unveil the tartar recipe next week so stay tuned!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Soup: Spicy Shabu Shabu Soup Base

I accidentally deleted my old posts about two weeks ago and just last week somebody asked me for the 'Spicy Shabu Shabu Broth' recipe. Reading that brought me great joy to my heart because I thought I was the only person who read my blog. So this recipe is dedicated to you fellow awesome stranger!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Breakfast: Tangy Grits

A couple of days ago i saw this interesting recipe on youtube by EntertainingWithBeth (you guys should subscribe to her channel!). In honor of earth day, she shows you how to make a delicious mushroom ragout with creamy polenta. Her video inspired me to create this less exciting dish with a less exciting name, 'Tangy Grits'. 

Basically I used chicken stock to cook my grits, mixed in a slice of american cheese and red pepper flakes while the grits was still hot, and topped it with bits of crispy salami, sun-dried tomato, and cilantro. Because this is a breakfast, I wanted something hearty yet not too oily. If you don't find this filling, you can top it with a poached egg or a sunny side up. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Banana Bread with Cajeta

Imagine a moist banana bread with a crunchy and chewy exterior and an interior that has the perfect balance between sweet and tart. Drooling much? Yes? Well lucky you because today I'll be sharing my easy banana bread recipe! This bread has everything you dream of, a slight tartness from the dried cranberries, a bit of crunchiness from the roasted nuts, and chewiness from the cajeta and honey topping. 

If you are wondering what is cajeta, it's basically a goat's milk caramel that's rich in flavor with a slight silky texture. Cajeta is often sold in glass jars or squeezable plastic bottles located in the Hispanic section of most super market. If you don't like cajeta or can't find any in your local super market then you can easily substitute it with caramel sauce.

You may notice that the bread in the photo is slightly burned around the edges. Do not worry, that's just flavor (excuses excuses). Anyways, thank you for stopping by and I hope you give this recipe a try!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Breakfast: Bibimveggie

This is my take on the traditional Korean bibimbap (but with a lot less rice). I usually make this the night before and let it chill in the fridge before enjoying it the next morning. This is the easiest and most forgiving dish ever. You can substitute or add more vegetables, carbs, and/or protein; be adventurous. I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How to Naturally Control Pests in Your Garden

Honestly, I only have three large pots of herbs so I wouldn't call it a garden but I thought somebody might find this helpful. Also please keep in mind not to drown your herbs with this spray or the leaves will wilt. 

See those little black specks on the clay pot? There were a lot more swarming around.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Giving up for Good.

I love snacks. Especially crunchy, spicy, salty, oil-bursting, acne inducing, and heart-clogging snacks. It really doesn't help when I live right by the Mexican border where papas locas, churros locos, churritos, chicharrones, etc (you know where I'm getting at, right?) are plentiful. I was once an unhealthy snack survivor and now that I've fallen back in the arms of Takis locos, my health and waistline has shifts to it's new form. In tearful honesty I am now a pimply and flabby Chinese girl with 0% sex appeal.

That's my grubby hand going for some Japanese peanuts.

So now that I've shared this with you, I want to make changes. Starting tomorrow I'll be cutting down a lot of fatty fried foods from my diet and savor fresh foods a little more. I'll be blogging and showing recipes to those who have fallen like me, especially to those whose first item on their new year's resolutions list were either to "lose weight, eat healthy, and/or exercise more". However, we are in April so I'll be calling this my trimester resolutions.

To those who don't give a damn about healthy recipes, no worries! I'll put up other sweet and savory recipes  about once a week (if time permits).