Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Funny Quote

I'm not sure why but this tickled my funny bone and I like Rachael Ray!

Rachael Ray does to food what Hitler did to Poland,” ...Anthony Bourdain.

New Hawaiian Food Blogs Added to the Side Bar

White flower Lei
Mahalo to Sheri of Kahukahu for sharing these on her blog! Just visiting those blogs made me very hungry.

Ahi and Carbon Monoxide Treatments

CO Ahi
Carbon monoxide treated ahi has a watermelon pink hue

Hawaii ahi
Untreated fresh ahi from Hawaii has a deeper red color

Yesterday Hawaii fishermen were holding signs on Hawaii roadways to bring attention to the danger of poisoned carbon monoxide treated tuna. It is a tradition in Hawaii to eat sashimi on New Year's Eve. Hence the timely warning.

I did not make the connection on why fresh fish would be treated with CO until I remembered reading in a murder mystery that CO gives a nice pink hue on a person's face before it kills them.

Then it dawned on me that this treatment of the fish was used to give the appearance of a nice red/pink color which to the untrained eye would appeal to the freshness of it. In fact, the fish treated in this matter came from other waters like the Philippines and were frozen, not fresh.

Unfortunately, early that day my husband and I had purchased fresh ahi at our local Japanese market. Upon our return home, we were dismayed to find out that the fish in fact had been CO treated.

Needless to say, I returned the fish and was fortunate enough to find Grade 1 quality ahi tuna at the same market, from Hawaiian waters. You can see by the above pictures the difference between the two fish.

To learn more about carbon monoxide treated fish you can read this article from two years ago or this much olderone.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Holiday Eating Tips

HOLIDAY EATING TIPS

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare.. You cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. Have two. =2 It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello?

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. Or if you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Re-read tips; start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner. Remember this motto to live by:


"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"


Have a Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Shared by my friend Layla.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Dinner - Fried Pork Chops

Pork chops
The menu for this evening's dinner is as follows;

- Fried Pork Chops a la Paula Deen

- Garlic mashed potatoes (using no butter and lowfat milk)Cuke salad

- Creamy Cucumber, onion and dill salad. This recipe here is very similar to what I made today. I just added a little lowfat milk and about a tablespoon of sour cream. I would have preferred buttermilk though...

- Homemade applesauce

BTW, thanks to my neighbor Sandi for sharing a variety of lovely fresh herbs with me yesterday. I used the dill she gave me for the salad and parsley for our breakfast scramble eggs with tomatoes and onions.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

12-Year-Old’s a Food Critic in NYC

H/T to Chris of Domestic Vocation

12-Year-Old’s a Food Critic, and the Chef Loves It
That’s why David Fishman, an Upper West Sider who turned 12 last month, decided to take himself out for dinner one night last week. His parents had called him at home to say they were running late, suggesting that he grab some takeout at the usual hummus place.

Hummus, again? David thought he could do better than that.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Okinawan-Style Dinner

Okinawan Style Dinner
I was telling my husband that people from Okinawa are known for their longevity. Their diet is to thank for their gift of long life. My husband requested that I make more meals based on their diet which consists mainly of fish, pork, seaweed, tofu, sweet potatoes.

I was able to buy very fresh vegetables today at Friday's local farmer's market.

The following is the menu and recipe for the meal.

Menu:

Seared Au (Marlin)
Kabocha pumpkin Japanese style
Boiled Okinawan Sweet Potatoes
Steamed White Rice
Watercress Salad

Recipes:

Kabocha Pumpkin:

1 half Kabocha pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
2 Green onions stalks, minced
1 piece of ginger sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup water

Heat saucepan. Add oil. Brown garlic and ginger. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, soy sauce and water. Cook until pumpkin is soft. Add green onions.

Seared Au:

1 lb. fresh au (boneless and so fresh you can eat it as sashimi)
Montreal Steak Seasoning

Heat a cast iron skillet on high. Add two tablespoons oil. Season the Au with the steak seasonings on both sides. Place in hot skillet until the bottom browns. Turn over and sear the other side until brown. Remove immediately. The center should still be raw. However, you may continue cooking the fish until it is thoroughly cooked.

Watercress Salad:

1 bunch watercress, washed, dried and cut into approximately 1 inch pieces
1 half lime or lemon
2 tablespoons oil, or a little less
Salt to taste.

Combine and serve immediately.

The Legionaires of Christ, Steve Ray and Eggplant Parmesan



I'm so glad they shared the secret to making Eggplant Parmesan! Check out the video to see what I am talking about.

From Steve Ray's blog

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chinese Steak and Peppers

I need to go food shopping. I have lots of meat in the freezer but not much veggies. There are some onions, garlic and one pepper and part of a Jalapeno pepper. I was at a loss on what to make for dinner when my dear mom suggested steak and peppers.

Well, the following is a recipe I came up with tonight.

1/2 lb. beef steak, cut in slices across the grain
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large Green Bell Pepper, cut in half, then cut the halves in half and then slice.
1 small Jalapeno pepper, seeded and deveined and thinly sliced
3 Green Onion Stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces

Sauce:
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Ketchup
1 tablespoon corn starch
1/2 cup water
Optional - 1 tsp. good quality cooking extra virgin sesame oil (or substitute peanut oil if you wish)
Blend well and set aside.

Place steak in a bowl and cover with 1/4 cup soy sauce.

Heat on high a wok or large cast iron skillet.

Add two tablespoons peanut oil to the hot skillet. Brown garlic and add the steak. Stir fry on high until meat is no longer red. Add the sauce and stir until sauce thickens. Stir in the remaining vegetables and turn off heat.

Serve immediately with steamed white rice.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Tilapia With Salted Black Beans

Tilapia
Dinner tonight is a Chinese fish dish.

Recipe:

Serves 6

6 Tilapia fillets
2 tbsp. Tausi or Fermented Black Beans
1 large green onion, julienned
3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
2 inch piece of fresh Jalapeno, seeded and deveined, and julienned
1/2 cup corn starch

First, soak the black beans in approximately 1/4 cup water until soft and then drain.

Heat a heavy skillet and add approximately 1/4 cup of oil for frying fish. I used a combination of vegetable, olive and light sesame oil.

Fry fish which has been salted, pepped and coated lightly with cornstarch until golden.

Remove to a platter.

In the oil that is left in the skillet add the remaining ingredients and fry until all the vegetables are lightly brown. You may add a little water, approximately 1/4 cup if you would like a light sauce.

Pour over the fried fish and serve with white rice. I am serving Jasmine rice tonight.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Paella

Paella
Tonight I wanted to make something different with the frozen chicken thighs I had in the freezer. I remembered I hadn't used any of the Saffron I bought in New Jersey, in quite a while. I therefore hoped I had the ingredients to Paella.

I found a very good recipe for chicken paella. It can be found here

I made a few changes to the recipe because I wanted to use what I had at home and not go to the store for any extra ingredients (if I could help it).

- When the recipe calls for "bowl" I believe it refers to "cup" measurement.

- I found that frozen peas work better in this dish and they should be added at the last minute.

- Chicken broth works well in this dish and can be easily subsituted for meat broth (which I take to mean beef broth).

- I skipped the green and red peppers altogether because I simply did not have any. I used a little more garlic and onions instead.

- The recipe forgets to mention when the uncooked rice should be added. (BTW, I used 1 1/2 cups of rice instead of 2 cups and 3 cups of water), After I added the tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes), I added the rice.

I think that is it. My family really enjoyed this meal.

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest
Every year my family sets aside one day in October to celebrate my husband's German side of the family. We had a wonderful celebration the other evening thanks to Barbara's Oktoberfest recipes at Bless us O Lord

Although, I wanted to duplicate all of her recipes for our menu, I wanted to use up what I had in the refrigerator, freezer or cupboards. Our menu therefore was a variation of hers.

Menu:

Pan fried Bratwurst on buns.

German potato salad (my variation was to use green onions instead of white onions. I substituted the green onions because I didn't have any parsley at home and I still wanted something green. I really enjoyed the taste of this potato salad.

Custard Pie. I found the recipe at Barbara's blog. We had more eggs in the refrigerator than we did apples. It came out really well too. I also made a homemade crust.

I skipped the Beer Bread because coincidentally, my friend made the Tastefully Simple recipe one that Barbara refers too and I didn't want to make it just yet.

So, thanks so much Barbara for sharing your menu with us!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Meatless Friday Menu

Dining Table
Tonight's menu was as follows:

Fiery Marinara Sauce and linguine (just add Red Pepper flakes to your favorite marinara sauce. I used Hunt's Roasted Tomatoes and one can of Hunt's tomato sauce.

Salmon Cakes

Fresh tomato slices with lemon vinaigrette

Lemon Bars

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Moist Berry Muffins

For this recipe I used raspberries I froze the other day. You can substitute blueberries (fresh or frozen) if you'd like.

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon strawberry yogurt (you can use raspberry)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 beaten egg
3/4 milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp lemon or lime zest
3/4 cup berries

In a mixing bowl combine the wet ingredients (except for the berries) and mix well. Add the dry ingrdiests and make sure to blend well with the liquid ingredients. But be careful not to over mix. Add berries and gently fold into batter.

Place a muffin papers in your muffin pan. Fill the muffin pans 2/3 of the way full.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 400 degrees or until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

100 Japanese Foods to Try at Least Once

Just Hungry posted the100 Japanese Foods to Try Meme

I've probably tried more than I've marked but I may not recognize the Japanese word of it.

A List of 100 Japanese Foods To Try At Least Once

1. Properly washed and cooked, top quality new harvest white rice (shinmai)
2. Freshly made tofu, as hiyayakko or yudofu
3. Properly made misoshiru and osumashi
4. Properly made homemade nukazuke
5. Very fresh sanma (saury), sizzling hot from the grill, eaten with a drizzle of soy sauce and a mound of grated daikon radish
6. Homemade umeboshi
7. Freshly made, piping hot crispy tempura. I prefer vegetable tempura like shiso leaves, eggplant and sweet potato.
8. A whole grilled wild matsutake
9. Freshly made sobagaki with sobayu
10. Mentaiko from Fukuoka, or tarako
11. Onigiri with the three classic fillings: umeboshi, okaka, shiozake
12. Assorted fresh-as-possible sashimi
13. Saba oshizushi
14. Mugicha
15. Kakifurai
16. Morinaga High-Chew candy, grape flavor
17. Karasumi
18. A pot of oden, preferably with homemade components especially ganmodoki, boiled eggs and daikon radish
19. Ika no shiokara
20. Calpis
21. Ankou nabe
22. Unadon
23. Komochi kombu or kazunoko
24. Yamakake, grated yamaimo with maguro (red tuna) cubes (or just with a raw egg)
25. Properly made gyokuro shincha
26. Milky Candy
27. Wanko soba
28. Omuraisu with demi-glace sauce
29. Handmade katayaki senbei
30. Yohkan (yokan) from Toraya
31. Ishi yakiimo - sweet potatoes cooked in hot stones, available from street vendor carts
32. Natto
33. Fresh seaweed sunomono (can also have some tako in it)
34. Ikura or sujiko
35. Tonkatsu
36. Goma dofu
37. Chawan mushi or tamago dofu - the same dish either piping hot or ice cold
38. Freshly made mochi, with kinako and sugar, grated daikon and soy sauce or natto
39. Gindara no kasuzuke
40. Hoshigaki
41. Inarizushi
42. Chikuzen-ni
43. Surume
44. Yakinasu with grated ginger
45. Tamago kake gohan
46. Kabuki-age
47. Nikujaga
48. Spinach gomaae
49. Fuki no tou
50. Okonomiyaki
51. Yakitori
52. Ohagi
53. Japanese style curry, with rakkyo and fukujinzuke as condiments
54. Kenchinjiru
55. Yakult
56. Kakipea
57. Takoyaki
58. Sakura mochi
59. Buta no kakuni
60. Daigaku imo
61. Kappa Ebisen
62. Chicken tsukune
63. Hakusaizuke
64. Hayashi rice
65. Goya champuruu
66. Dorayaki
67. Ochazuke
68. Sakuma Drops
69. Stewed kiriboshi daikon
70. Takenoko gohan (or in fall, kuri gohan)
71. Cream or potato korokke
72. Fresh yuba
73. Real ramen
74. Monaka
75. Ekiben of all kinds
76. Edamame
77. Chicken karaage
78. Kuzumochi
79. Mitarashi dango
80. Konnyaku no dengaku
81. Yukimi Daifuku
82. Sukiyaki
83. Nama yatsuhashi
84. Panfried hanpen
85. Nozawanazuke or Takanazuke
86. Kiritanpo
87. Amanatto
88. Narazuke
89. Aji no himono
90. Baby Ramen
91. Kobucha
92. Kasutera
93. Tazukuri
94. Karintou
95. Sauce Yakisoba
96. Kamaboko
97. Oyako donburi
98. Atsuyaki tamago
99. Kuri kinton
100. Japanese potato salad

Lamb

Today's Sunday dinner plan was lamb stew with barley. However, I thought it would be a shame to cut up the lovely lamb steaks I had purchased the other day. Instead of the lamb stew, I decided to make marinated lamb steaks with rice pilaf.

Marinade recipe:

a little over 1 lb lamb steaks (enough for 3 or 4 people)
Juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 tsp Hawaiian salt
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 tsp fresh oregano leaves, hand torn
3 large sweet basil leaves, hand torn
3 to 5 garlic cloves, minced.

Process in food processor the above ingredients with the exception of the lamb. Place lamb in a shallow dish and cover entirely with the marinade. Marinate the meat for approximately 3 hours.

When ready, you can either fry, grill or broil the lamb.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lomo Saltado

Today I made Lomo Saltado for dinner. I substituted sirloin for filet mignon for obvious reasons ;-). For seasoning, I used salt, pepper, cumin and Goya's Sazon. I did not use vinegar, Ajinomoto and soy sauce as the chef does in the following video.



Here is a recipe in English

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beef Barley Soup

My husband requested this soup for dinner tonight and I was more than happy to oblige.

Beef Barley Soup Recipe

2 cloves garlic
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 large celery stalks, diced
2 large carrots, diced
8 oz. sliced mushrooms (today I used Shitake)
8 cups beef broth (I used water)
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup beef (today I used a hunk of sirloin I had in the freezer)

Since I was not using beef broth, the beef had to brown well on both sides. Instead of oil, I sprayed the soup pot with cooking spray. Add to the well-browned beef, the onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the water and the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and then lower to medium low heat. The soup needs to cook for at least 3 hours on low. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with homemade white bread and salad.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Omnivore Hundred

I saw this on Just Hungry and couldn't resist:

The Omnivore’s Hundred
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (I’ve marked ones I really love in red)
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at Very Good Taste linking to your results.

So, here I present…
The Just Hungry Omnivore’s Hundred

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding (if this is the same as morcilla (blood sausage) then heck yeah!
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart (especially in front of the MMA)
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle (no but I am dying to try this before I die)
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Saturday, August 16, 2008

...and speaking of "No Reservations"

Movie poster
I watched a delightful movie about food the other evening. It was No Reservations starring Cathedrine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart (recently of Dark Knight fame).

No Reservations Site You can watch the trailer and even download their favorite recipes there.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

WOW Grinds

Tasty Island shared a new site for Hawaii lovers of good food.

Be sure to check out WOW Grinds where you can get the real lowdown on good eating in Hawaii.

Supporting Our Troops and Robert Irvine

Chef Robert

I enjoyed watching Chef Robert Irvine on the TV Food Network's Dinner: Impossible. I know I have seen him somewhere else but the name of the show escapes.

Sunny has a very interesting post on the chef. Please check out Supporting Our Troops and Robert Irvine

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Seafood Fra Diavolo and Pasta

MusselsPicture source here

The other evening we had our annual Family Seafood Extravaganza Dinner. We bought so much mussels (direct from Maine and delectable) that my sister had to freeze the leftovers.

A few nights ago, my brother made his famous marinara sauce. He knows how much I love it and only get to eat it once a year so he made extra for me.

Tonight, we will combine both leftovers to create Fra Diavolo with Mussels over linguine.

I found a good recipe here Unfortunately, I don't think it will be as good as my dear brother's But I am not at liberty of sharing his recipe.

A Summer Indulgence - Bailey's Irish CreamShiver

Bailey's
My parents, brothers and sisters and I are not drinkers. But one thing my mom and I like to indulgence in once in a while is Bailey's Irish Cream over ice and with a touch of milk.

When we saw a commercial for a Bailey's Shiver, we knew we had to try it. We did change the recipe a tad by adding some milk to the recipe. We liked it.

But if you want the original recipe, check out the cute little animated version at the following:
Recipe for Bailey's Shiver

Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Favorite Pie Recipes

This weekend we made a couple of pies. One was a new one for my mom and me. The other was an old family favorite.

First Sandra Lee's Semi-Homemade Skillet Apple Pie. Boy was this tasty. What I did not do is brush on apple juice concentrate or sprinkle with sugar. What my mom suggested was adding a bit of lemon juice and zest. It was terrific this way. We ate it a la mode with homemade chocolate ice cream.

Second Argo Corn Starch's Traditional Lemon Meringue Pie. It was just as good as I remember and I haven't made it in over ten years.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The World of Empanadas

Latin America
I have previously posted about Peruvian Empanadas, otherwise known as meat turnovers. What I may not have mentioned is that although I am partial to Peruvian empanadas because I was born in Peru, my favorite one is the Colombian empanada. It is my humble opinion, that no empanada comes close in taste or texture to that of the fried Colombian empanada.

One of my sisters loved it so much as a teen that she had our friend from Colombia, Alberto teach her how to make them. She only makes them on special occasions because his version is completely from scratch. She recently made them for one of my brothers who came to visit. She made so much filling that my mom still had the filling in the freezer. Today we decided to make Colombian empanadas with my sister's prepared filling sans my sister.

We found a video that explained how to prepare "la masa" (the dough) as well as how to prepare the empanadas themselves.

The video is in Spanish.

I was searching for the recipe of the salsa that is traditionally served with the empanadas Colombianas and in doing so I happened upon a Wikipedia site that covered a large array of different versions of the empanada.

Empanadas

BTW, the sauce consists of finely minced green onions, cilantro, water, hot chili peppers, vinegar, lemon juice and salt. It can be blended in the blender.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Food Meme

I was tagged by Jean of the Good Health Blog

1. What food does your best friend not like?
Well, that would be my DH and he doesn't like chewy foods like tripe or squid or octopus.

2. What is your favorite cookbook?
I have lots of favorites but my all-time reliable source is the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, the one in the binder.

3. Are you more of a sushi person or a lamb person?
Definitely sushi. I don't care much for lamb.

4. Given a choice of something fried and salty or something baked and sweet, what would you choose?
Easy, fried and salty. I know it's not healthy but then again, my blood pressure is good, my cholesterol levels are good, I am thin...why not indulge once in a while ;-)

5. Do you buy whole chickens and boil them and pick the meat off or does that gross you out?
I buy whole chicken because they are more economical than parts but I don't boil the heck out of them. It doesn't gross me out but I have better ways of preparing the chicken.

6. How do you feel about butter, sour cream, cream cheese, and half and half?
Very tasty but must be used with moderation.

7. (Skip this question if you are a vegetarian) If you are a carnivore, would you be willing to hunt or butcher your meat? Or to watch someone do that for you or would you rather not think of it? Or are you grateful for the animal who gave its life to sustain your life?
Given the choices, grateful for the animal who gave its life to sustain mine although, I can easily be a vegetarian.

8. What is the most exotic ingredient or spice in your cupboard?
Cumin or turmeric

I'm adding two questions:

9. What is your favorite vegetable?
artichoke

10. What is your favorite fruit?
mango

I tag:
Angie

Vicki

Barbara

Monday, June 16, 2008

New Puerto Rican Restaurant on Oahu

and it's in Ewa Beach.

Gosh, I love Puerto Rican cuisine. When I lived in NJ most of my best friends were Puerto Rican. I got to eat the best mofongo, sancochado, ensalada de pulpo, arroz con gandules, etc. Of course, come Christmas time, we would get to eat pasteles.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Health Blog

fruit
Be sure to visit Jean's new blog:

The Good Health Blog

Be sure to read the post about the red foods.

Tastes of NJ - Oil Cured Olives, French Bread and Italian Sweet Sausages

oil cured olives Picture source here

There are a few food items I look forward to eating when I visit my family in New Jersey. Oil cured olives are on that list. On their own, they are dry, bitter and have a strong flavor. However, my dear mom prepares them in a way that is delicious when eaten with fresh French bread (another food I look forward too).

My mom fixes these little black jewels with vinegar, finely sliced red onions, finely sliced green pepper and perhaps a pinch of salt. It is a taste that is hard to describe but just heavenly when eaten with fresh French Bread or rolls.

French BreadNow back to the bread. The best French bread IMHO comes from Paterson, New Jersey,namely Giannella's Bakery on 21st Avenue.

You can actually go to their bakery/factory and buy the bread hot from the oven. I believe they charge $1.00 for two small loaves. I have lived in Hawaii for 15 years and I am still waiting to taste a bread that even comes close to their flavor and texture. They call it French Bread in NJ and I guess the equivalent would be a baguette. But if you tried calling the bread by that name, I think you will get a blank stare.

Italian Sweet SausagePicture source here

Today we had the bread for dinner. We ate fried Italian sweet sausages in a sandwich. Nothing fancy, just fried sausages cut into 2 inch pieces pan fried with water until the water evaporated and then it fried in its own fat. Nothing was added to the sandwich either. It was just the sausages and the bread. Pair that with iced tea and you have a dinner to please any member of the family.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Chinese Treat - Gau Gee

gau gee In Hawaii you can get tasty little Asian treats just about anywhere. They are our local fast foods. One local favorite is Chinese gau gee.

My friend Easter was kind enough to share her recipe (which her dear husband actually prepared for their family).

CRISPY GAU GEE
found at Cooks.com

1/2 lb. ground pork
6 med. sized shrimps, cleaned, deveined, and chopped
1/4 c. chopped green onion
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1/2 tsp. sesame seed oil
1/2 tsp. shoyu
8 minced water chestnuts
1 pkg. wonton wrappers
Oil for frying

Combine all ingredients; mix thoroughly. Place 1 teaspoon of filling in the center of wonton wrapper. Fold in half, forming a rectangle. Seal edges with water. Deep fry in hot oil (375 degrees) until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Family That Eats Together Stays Together

Norman Rockwell Saying Grace
Norman Rockwell's Saying Grace


Our favorite cooking padre has some good tips on keeping one's family close through the family meals.

Source: Grace Before Meals Movement
Feeling overworked, over scheduled or overly tired? Take some time out and enjoy a meal with friends or family members. This simple act can help you recharge and reconnect with the people who matter the most to you. Here are a few ways you can incorporate the GBM philosophy into your daily life:

* Eat meals with my family five days per week (or as many as possible).
* Engage the family in conversation while preparing meals.
* Say Grace before each meal.
* Turn off the TV while eating dinner.
* Introduce interesting topics for the family to discuss at mealtime.
* Tell Friends and Family about the Grace Before Meals Movement.
My family and I do try to eat our meals together at dinner time every night. It is a rare evening when we do not eat together. During the week, our son and I eat lunch together. We do watch a sit com like I Love Lucy during that short time. Sometimes he or I will just want to spend the time sharing.

Growing Shitake Mushrooms

Shittake Mushrooms
Picture source here

I don't know about you but the texture and flavor of a fresh shitake is incomparable. I probably won't be able to grow any at home in Hawaii, but I think those of you on the Mainland shouldn't have any difficulty.

Details can be found at Alexandra's blog

Spinach Cheese Pie

Spinach Cheese Pie
I was wondering what I was going to do with the leftover phyllo dough I stored in my parent's freezer. Thanks to Alexandra I found this wonder new blog. On that wonderful new blog, I found what I know will be a very delicious new recipe.

Spinach Pie from Down to Earth

I am wondering if I could substitute swiss chard for the spinach. My sister has lots of that growing in her garden.

Note: Both my parents say this pie made with Swiss chard is delicious. Apparently, it was on the menu when I was baptized as a baby.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

NJ Cravings

The other day I received an email from Hershey offering fresh from the factory Good N Plenties. I haven't them them in ages so of course, I was craving them.

Remember their commercial?



Of course, I went to the store the next day and bought a big box :-)

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad

fresh mozzarella and tomato saladPicture Source here

Yesterday I mentioned my mom and I shopped at Corrado's Family Market and bought fresh mozzarella. Since today is a hot day here in NJ we thought this popular Italian salad would hit the spot. It's a shame it is too early for the home grown Jersey tomatoes. That would have made this salad perfect.

Recipe
2 large fresh ripe tomatoes (preferably home grown Jersey Big Boys) sliced thickly

1/2 lb. or more if you prefer fresh mozzarellasliced same thickness as the tomatoes

3 large sweet Italian basil leaves, sliced thinly

Extra Virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Arrange the tomatoes and cheese alternately on a platter. Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (freshly ground) to taste.

Serve immediately. This recipe serves three as a side salad.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Recipe for Meatless Fridays

priest cookingPicture source here

I don't think Fr. Daren will mind if I share his pasta recipe with you.

Here is the link Rotini with Tuna

Apple Turnovers Using Phyllo Dough

Phyllo DoughPicture source here

My mom and I went to Corrado's today. She stocked up on a cart full of good stuff like all kinds of fruits and veggies (Granny Smith apples, artichokes, eggplants, Italian yellow Squash, romaine lettuce, limes, grapes, shitake mushrooms, white mushrooms, etc.) We also found the oiled cured dried black olives, fresh mozzarella, Panettone and Phyllo dough.

I found an easy recipe for apple turnovers using phyllo dough here.

I did make a couple of changes. I used real melted butter instead of butter flavored Pam and I will be glazing them with an icing instead of the cinnamon sugar sprinkling on top. One, more thing, I didn't use nutmeg.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More on Takoyaki

takoyaki Picture source and also a tutorial can be found here. This is a picture of what the takoyaki we buy looks like. Those delectable balls are covered with mayo, nori and dried bonito flakes.

If you remember, I have mentioned in the past that one of my son's comfort foods from his life in Japan were takoyaki or octopus balls

I also found a blog that has a video and tutorial for making them at home. See Just Hungry

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ragu Bolognese

Wine
Artwork by Jill Agard


Barilla now makes a mini penne pasta. In fact, there is a line of these "piccolini" pasta.

I had a chunk of meat (approximately 1 lb.), and half and half. These ingredients called for a heartier sauce like Ragu Bolognese.

Barilla has its own recipe for this sauce and it can be found here

Mario Batali also has a recipe and that one can be found here

I used my own recipe which I will also share:

1 lb. chuck roast

1 medium onion
1 large carrot
1 large stalk of celery
3 garlic cloves

1 large can of whole tomato or tomato sauce
1/2 cup half and half

Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat a dutch oven, add approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil and brown the beef until it was well browned on both sides.

Process the vegetables using the pulse setting of the food processor.

When the beef is browned, add the minced vegetables and cook until wilted. Add the tomatoes or tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook over low to medium low heat for approximately 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours or until the meat can be shredded. Remove the beef and cool. Then shred.

Add the half and half to the sauce and cook for 10 minutes more. Return the shredded beef to the sauce and it is ready to serve over hot pasta.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pontiff Meals During the U.S. Visit

B16
Lots of news surrounding the meals the Holy Father prepared for him during his recent visits. The following are some of the interesting links:

For the Washington, D.C. Visit:

The Anchoress has Making Lunch for the Pope. The original Washington Post article can be found here

For the New York City visit:

Fr. Z's "These Are My Mother's Flavors" You can find the original article on Lidia bastianich's menu here

Also from Fr. Z is the article Tastings
So with Pope Benedict XVI making his first trip to New York as pope Friday, we wondered what he would be eating and drinking during his visit. Because he is a native of Germany, we immediately thought that New York’s famous Rieslings might find their way onto his table. But the Vatican is in Rome, so maybe he’d be eating and drinking Italian. Then we heard that Vatican insiders like to joke that his favorite wine is lemonade...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Empanadas

empanadaPicture from this source

Yesterday I made homemade empanadas. That means I made the dough as well as the savory filling. When I visit my parents in New Jersey, I am able to buy the dough discs in the freezer section of the local market. However, here in Hawaii, they are not available like that.

I used my favorite dough recipe. I have been using the same recipe for over 10 years. The recipe can be found here. For the following recipe, I prepared half of the recipe for the dough.

The filling is as follows:

1 lb. beef (you can use chicken or ground beef)
1 medium onion minced
3 garlic cloves minced
3 boiled eggs, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp. capers
1/4 cup olives, sliced (either green or black)
1 package Sazón Goya.
1/8 tsp. cumin.
Salt and pepper to taste.
2 tsp. olive oil.

Boil the beef in approximately 3 cups of water, for approximately 2 to 3 hours over low to medium heat until the meat falls apart. Save the broth.

After the meat is ready and cooled, shred all the meat.

In a separate skillet, fry the onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add the Sazón and cumin, and stir until the onions and garlic are well coated and reddish-orange. Add the shredded beef and approximately 1/4 cup of the broth. Cook over medium high heat for approximately 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and your filling is ready to add to the empanada dough discs.

Add approximately 1 large tablespoon of the filling to each disc (depending on the size of your discs). I made medium/large empanandas. Place on cookie sheets covered with parchment paper and bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.

empanada press

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Catholic Cooking Blog

Hello

I am very excited about finding this new cooking blog by some Catholic moms. Catholic Cuisine

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Homemade Pasta

I found this on my other blog. I thought I should post it here for easy reference:

Homemade Pasta

Beef Stew

We usually eat the same thick gravy beef stew. Today, I wanted to try something lighter but still stew. Here's the recipe:

1 lb. chuck roast, cut into big chunks
1 can Progresso whole plum tomatoes with basil
1 envelope Lipton's Golden Onion Soup Mix
4 large potatoes
Optional: 3 large carrots cut into chunks
1/4 cup flour

Coat the beef with flour and brown on all sides. To get a good browning without releasing the meat's juices, heat the dutch oven thoroughly. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Add the beef but do not move. When you place the meat into the pot, make sure it covers the bottom. Brown over medium high heat. Once the bottom is brown then turn over and brown the other side.

Add the remaining ingredients except the potatoes and carrots and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for approximately 2 hours. At that time, add the vegetables. Cook for another 1/2 hour and season to taste.

Serve with rice and salad.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Chicken With Shittake Mushrooms

This recipe is similar to chicken piccata. I used boneless chicken thighs which I pounded down.

For 4 Servings.

4 large thighs, skinned and pounded down thinly.
1 package (8 oz) fresh Shittake mushrooms (rinsed and dried, sliced thinly.
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon capers
Juice from 1 small lemon or lime
1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron and add the oil and butter. When the butter is completely melted down, place your four thighs (which have been lightly coated with the seasoned flour) side by side and brown each side golden brown over medium high heat.

When the chicken is ready, place in a serving dish. In the remaining olive oil butter in pan, add the minced garlic and fry until golden brown. Add the sliced mushrooms saute until mushrooms brown on both sides. Add the lemon juice, saute and add the capers. Season to taste. If the sauce is too sour, add 1/4 cup of water or enough water to taste lemony but not too sour. Return chicken thighs to the sauce.

Serve with white rice and salad. Today I served a simple Manoa lettuce salad with homemade oil and vinegar dressing. The lettuce was from my friend's garden.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Puerto Rican Menu Tonight

habichuela guisado

Today, I was in the mood for Puerto Rican home cooking. Since none of my Puerto Rican friends are close by, I had to make do with the recipes on the internet. Well, I found there is a treasure trove of recipes out there. The only problem I had was choosing which ones to use. The following are the ones I selected for tonight's dinner.

Menu:
Chuletas fritas (fried pork chops)

Haichuelas guisadas (kidney bean stew)

Arroz blanco (white rice)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cream of Potato and Asparagus Soup

We had leftover steamed asparagus handy so I thought I would combine it with potatoes and make a meal we could eat on this Friday during Lent.

Recipe:

1/2 lb. asparagus (cooked or uncooked), sliced into diagonal pieces
2 large potatoes (peeled and sliced)
3 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch green onions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup half-n-half or milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a saucepan and melt your butter or heat your oil. Add the garlic and green onions and sauté for at least 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, potatoes, water and season to taste. Simmer medium-low until the potatoes are cooked. Let the soup cool and then proceed to blend either with the hand held emulsifier or blender. Add the milk and stir.

We are having this soup with homemade pizza rounds.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spaghetti With Asparagus and Bacon

We are trying to eat more simply during Lent. With this in mind, I wanted to make do with what we had in the refrigerator. Well, we had a bunch of fresh asparagus and a new package of sliced bacon.

Recipe:

1 bunch of asparagus (remove though stem part, cut into diagonal pieces, parboil and drain.
5 slices of bacon, fried crispy, drained and cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, minced
A few drops of lemon juice
Red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook and set aside 1 lb. spaghetti, preferably al dente.

Heat a large skillet, add olive oil and fry garlic until brown. Add asparagus toss until well coated with the garlic and oil. Add a few drops of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. Cook for a few minutes until asparagus is cooked but be careful not to overcook. The asparagus should be bright green.
Salt and pepper to taste.

You can add your pasta to the skillet or blend the spaghetti and the sauce in a separate bowl.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Creamed Chicken ala Isidore

Home cookingYesterday, we celebrated a belated Gung Hee Fat Choy by ordering from one of our favorite Chinese restaurants. Today we are in the mood for German style food. Since we traditionally have chicken on Sundays, I thought my DH's dad's family recipe for creamed chicken would hit the spot.

Creamed Chicken

1 whole chicken cut up
1 whole onion sliced thinly
2 cups cream (but we use half-n-half although you can use plain milk if you like. You may have to thicken it though if you use milk).
1 bay leaf
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. Allspice
1 tsp vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste.

In a very large skillet, brown your chicken on both sides in a little oil. If you are using a cast iron skillet, like I did, you will have to heat the skillet first, then add the oil. If you do not, the skin of the chicken will stick to the skillet.

Once all the chicken pieces are browned, drain the oil. Then add the onion and cover in order to steam the onion. This will only take a few minutes. Add the cream or half-n-half, bay leaf, allspice, salt and pepper, and the vinegar. Cover and simmer at medium-low heat until chicken is tender and cooked thoroughly.

Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

I will be serving this with creamy cucumbers.

1 whol cucumber, peeled, sliced in half lengthwise, seeded and then sliced into smaller slices.
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all ingredients and let sit while your chicken cooks.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beef Stroganoff With Buttered Noodles

Tyler Florence Tyler Florence of Food 911 on the TV Food Network prepared a different kind of beef stroganoff that caught my fancy. In his version of the famous Russian dish, he actually lets the beef cook until it falls apart. Since I find that I don't care for chewy pieces of meat when I am eating, I thought this was an excellent idea.

Recipe for Beef Stroganoff over Buttered Noodles

tabboulehI like to combine dishes that aren't traditionally paired together. That is the reason that the salad that will accompany this classic Russian dish will be Tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a Lebanese salad made of bulgar wheat. It is packed full of nutrients and is delicious.

Tabbouleh.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

More on Cinnamon - Diabetes

Also shared by Sue.
American scientists have claimed that a teaspoon of cinnamon a day may help prevent the onset of diabetes.
ARTICLE

Honey and Cinnamon

Shared by my friend Sue.

Source: Honey and Cinnamon
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey

It is found that a mixture of Honey and Cinnamon cures most of the diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world.
Click the above link to read more.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

On the Menu Tonight - Chinese Food

I am currently reading a book about women's health. The book inspired me to cook healthier meals that what I have been doing lately. Because of time constraints on some days, I make something fast but usually not that healthy.

Tonight I prepared Szechuan Eggplant, except I omitted the pork.

Choi Sum and Mushrooms

Note: The recipes provided are very similar to my own recipes.

Shrimp With Green Peppers and Black Bean Sauce

Recipe:

1 lb. shelled and deveined large tiger shrimp
1 tbsp. cornstarch to coat the shrimp
1 large Green Pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks
3 large garlic cloves, minced

Sauce:
1 Tbsp. Fermented black bean (Tau See)
2 Tbsp. Oyster Sauce
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 cup chicken stock

Mix all ingredients for the sauce well.

In a hot wok or large skillet, add approximately 2 tablespoons of oil, preferably peanut oil. Keep the wok or skillet at high heat. Add the green peppers and stir fry for about 1 minute. Remove to a bowl and add the shrimp that has been coated with cornstarch. Brown on each side for about a minute or so and add the garlic. Stir fry until garlic is golden brown, add the peppers again and pour the sauce mix over everything in skillet or wok. Stir fry until sauce thickens, approximately 1 minute or so.

Serve with steamed rice.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Dinner Menu

beef stew
Tonight we are having old-fashioned Beef Stew with rice and homemade chocolate pudding for dessert. Both recipes are from our Better Homes and Garden cookbook.

The beef stew recipe can be found HERE

I used a variation to the vanilla pudding recipe found HERE. I added 1/3 cup cocoa to the sugar and cornstarch and left out the egg. BTW, I used whole milk, not the lactose-free milk that this particular recipe calls for.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Strawberry Sherbet

strawberry
My husband brought home a bottle of Strawberry Daiquiri Mix. He wanted me to make strawberry sherbet from it. I thought it probably was not a good idea so I put it off for almost a week.

Well, a promise is a promise. Today I attempted to make the strawberry sherbet. And, according to both our son and my DH, it is better tasting that the store bought kind.

The following is the recipe:

1 cup of Strawberry Daiquiri Mix
2 scoops (the one that comes with the container) of Country Time Lemonade mix
3 cups milk

Stir above ingredients in a bowl and then pour into the ice cream maker. It will thicken in about 15 minutes to 25 minutes.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chocolate Ice Cream

I made Chocolate ice cream the other night. Boy, was it good! Chocolate is my favorite flavor of ice scream and my favorite brand used to be Haagen Daz. But no more. Now it is homemade ice cream.

It's so simple to make too with the Cuisinart Ice cream maker.

Recipe:

1 cup whole milk (or you can use 2% like I did)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces (1 cup) chocolate chip (semi sweet and real)
2 cups Half -n- Half
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Heat the milk until it is just bubbling around the edges. In a food processor (or blender if you don't have a food processor), pulse the chocolate and sugar together until finely mixed. Add the hot milk at this point and process until smooth and well blended.

Pour into a mixing bowl and chill for about 5 or 10 minutes in the freezer. Add the 2 cups of Half-n-Half along with the vanilla extract. Chill for 30 minutes in freezer.

Pour into the ice cream maker and let it blend for approximately 30 minutes.

When thickened, place in a plastic covered container and freeze until firm for approximately 2 hours or so.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Turkey Noodle Soup

Home Cooking
We had a roast turkey dinner for New Year's Day. Usually, we enjoy the leftovers for a couple of days. Thank goodness, my DH has learned to save the turkey carcass for me!

With the carcass, I made homemade turkey noodle soup for dinner last night. I also served a green salad with romaine, green peppers and black olives and popovers.

Recipe:

1 turkey carcass
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
2 large celery stalks, sliced
6 cups of water.
1 envelope Knorr Chicken bullion for extra flavor
1/2 package of egg noodles (however, I used leftover linguine instead)

Place all ingredients except the noodles in a large soup pot. Let it come to a boil and then lower to medium low for 2 hours or so. If the heat is too high (the soup is boiling) lower to low.

Remove the turkey carcass. Let it cool and then remove the remaining pieces of tukey meat. Put that back into the soup pot. Add the noodles and let it cook another 15 minutes or so.

Adjust salt and pepper to suit your taste.

Popover Recipe

I used the recipe from my Better Homes and Garden cookbook. Here I one you can use RECIPE. However, instead of using the popover pan (which I don't know what it is), I used the cookbook's method of spraying PAM or its equivalent in Pyrex cups and filling them half way. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes. When the popovers are golden brown and puffed very nicely, remove from oven and immediately prick with a fork to release the steam.

Very similar in taste to Yorkshire pudding without the mess or roast beef for that matter.