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