Monday, December 29, 2008

Apple Pie...My Favorite...

One of my favorite pie's of all time is the infamous Apple Pie. I just love the taste of apples with cinnamon and a nice crunchy crust. I took a pie crust recipe from a different pie found in one of my magazines and used the same pie filling that I always use. The last time I made apple pie the crust was a disaster, I decided to take a different more easier route this time and it worked to my advantage. No mess and oh so delicious. My husband, sister and her hubby gave me the thumbs up on this and in fact we finished it by the next day. :)

Pecan Pie With Oatmeal Crust

So, let me get to the desserts I made for the Holiday, starting with a very easy Maple Pecan Pie.
What makes this pie different from any other? I used Oatmeal for the crust, what a great idea right? I won't take the credit for it though, I grabbed this recipe from Cooking Light. I myself am not a fan of Pecan pie, but find many people are so I made a pie for almost every one in my circle of family and friends to enjoy.

The Holidays were so boring for me this year, I wanted them to just come and go and be done with. Mostly because I didn't get to enjoy them in my own home, it involved me sitting for endless hours and it felt like I just zoomed in and out of my Parents house in a hurry Christmas Eve since we had to go to both my parents and his parents house. I did get to enjoy some Posole, Tamales, Roast Beef and Champorado before rushing out the door of my parents house. One more holiday to go and I can start planning my vacation for next year's Holiday season to avoid them all together. I loved Christmas day because I not only got to cook I got to see my little one get excited over her Christmas toys. My man got me Giada's Kitchen cook book that I really wanted and I can't wait to try out some of those recipes.

Rib Eye Roast

Later in the Evening on Christmas Day, as if the Ham didn't keep us full for majority of the day I tried the Rib Eye Roast recipe that also came in my newsletter from Bon Appetit. Though, I bought Pork meat it too came out really nice. It was the first time ever I got to ignite the pan into flames, ok, so my husband had the honors of doing so because I was too chicken to do it. I pulled him away from the Laker game which he paused and played it back so he didn't miss a minute of it. The sauce was really tasty using cognac and a full bottle of red wine. I let this roast for 6 hours and the meat came out so incredibly tender it just flaked off the bone. I recommend this recipe! I only had this picture of half of the rib roast as I packed the other half of this up for my sister and her man to take home to enjoy.

Bourbon Glazed Ham

For Christmas Day, we are usually eating Christmas Eve leftovers or head over to a Jewish Pizza place as it is the only place open on Christmas day. This year I decided to make the traditional Christmas day meals, starting off with a Bourbon Glazed Ham for brunch with a side of green bean casserole. I was lucky enough to find this recipe from a newsletter I received from Bon Appetit just a couple of days before Christmas. Though in this recipe it calls for Bourbon, I opted with Cognac and it came out superb. With the nice crunch of pecans in the sauce just put this recipe over the top.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Happy late Hanuka... !

Baby caught messing with the tree....
I have ornaments popping up everywhere but the tree!

I have some recipes to post, a couple still in editing that I have posted before this post. Will get them up asap.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Baking..

And so the Christmas Baking begins....

Sugar Cookies
recipe to follow...

Though I enjoy this Holiday very much, I think it's unfortunate how the economy is doing and all the jobs lost this year, I just don't feel enthusiastic about Christmas. I got a ticket a week ago, and it is true what they say about getting a ticket from a cop, bad things are to follow. Cops are like a black cat crossing your path. My husband got into an accident the next day with the other car and it will be in the shop for the rest of this and next month. Christmas can be irritating too, I can't stand it when people tell you what they want for Christmas, I mean I understand if it's something a group of people discuss together but when someone just announces what they want for Christmas and it be something expensive or cash, it freaking irritates me to no end. Unless you're a child why would a freaking Adult tell you what they want for Christmas? It's just so terribly ghetto. When people ask me what I want for Christmas you know how I respond? I say, I don't need anything, I really don't want anything. The offer is gracious but I rather they buy for my daughter as Christmas is for the kids anyways not us grown ups. :) I didn't learn that until I had my daughter, you become less selfish when you have kids of your own. (At least for some of us anyways). Before the baby I was all about the great deals in the mall, what was I going to buy myself. Not anymore, I have too much.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chili Rellenos

My mom's Chili Rellenos with Ranchero Cheese and spicy ground beef..... A nice homemade chicken soup or broth with tomatoes in it would really compliment this dish if it is poured over the chili relleno by a few tablespoons. Not too much you don't want it soagy but a few tablespoons will give it a nice saucy taste.

All you do is buy some Pasilla chiliis, fry them until the skin turns a slightly darker color then remove to cool. Once cooled, removed the skin, slice open a pocket area of the chili remove the seeds and stem insert as much ranchero cheese as you'd like and some spicy ground beef (just stir fry ground beef in cayenne and smoked paprika spice two tables spoons each.) Once that is done roll the Chili in flour, than dip the chili in an egg that has been beaten to a slight peek and fry in olive oil, toss and fry the other side about 3 mins each side. Wa la....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Magazine Monday- Apple salad with walnuts and dried Cherries

For this weeks Magazine Monday event, I have a new favorite salad recipe I found in Bon Appetit September 2008 issue. So quick and fast to prepare, you always need one of these simple recipes for days you just don't have the time to cook. The combination of walnuts, thinly sliced apples and very light and sweet dressing topped off with dried cranberries, though the recipe calls for cherries, I substituted for cranberries and found the flavors very tasty. I love good recipes finds.....just love it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stocking Stuffers- The Baking Books....

I really want to try the cocoa cookies that Retore made, I think those would taste so good sandwiched in that new Dreyer's Limited Edition Peppermint Ice Cream that is out right now.
oh yeah...

If I can find a stocking wide enough, this is my rather large stocking stuffer list.....I suppose I need to hang Santa's Bag over my fireplace... hehe..

Giada's Kitchen- as recommended by Cream Puffs
Field Guide To Cookies- by blogger Dessert First
Italian Desserts by Anthony Parkinson
The Sweet Melissa Baking Book By Melissa Murphy
Tartine By Elizabeth Prueitt
The Essence of Chocolate by Robert Steinberg
The New Best Recipe by Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
Madhur Jaffery's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffery
Sweet Maria's Italian Cookie Tray by Maria Bruscino Sanchez
Biscotti and other low fat cookies by Maria Polushkin

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blueberry Cheese Danish- In the Making

Solvang is the place to go to get the largest variety of danish's served in the smallest town in California. There's no point going there without picking up one. It had me thinking the other day, I am a good 3-4 hour drive away from Solvang and I sat there and questioned myself if I was up to the challenge. I did it, I made my first danish and it was a smashing success, except for the part that it grew in the oven into a rather large version of a danish. Nothing like the picture in my magazine, but nonetheless it tasted really nicely with my iced chai this morning. ;)

Recipe adapted from The Bread Basket

Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding With Espresso Whipped Cream

For this week's Magazine Monday Event, hosted by Retorte, I have a very old recipe I've been saving to try for the Holidays. I finally used it and I highly recommended this bread pudding recipe found in 2005 issue of Food and Wine Magazine.

When I came across this recipe years ago, I new I had to give it a try during one of these Holiday seasons. Who doesn't like Krispy Kreme right? I love bread pudding and what better time to make this than during the colder months. Though this is the first time I ever made bread pudding, I did find this recipe easy to follow but a bit time consuming after each step to complete it. Unfortunately nobody believed me during Thanksgiving dinner when I told them this Bread Pudding was made out of Krispy Kreme donuts. If only they lived in my house to smell the donuts cooking in the oven. What I love about these donuts are the really nice soft texture, even though all bread puddings are of that consistency, this one keeps a really nice firmness as well. The Espresso Cream topping takes the cake, if you love coffee don't skip this step it really is the cherry on top. It was a beautiful finish to an already tasty dessert.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm not cooking this big feast of a dinner as my mom loves to put her all into this holiday. I'm eager to make the desserts though, last year I went with the traditional Maple Pecan Pie, but this year I wanted to try a different path. How often do I get to make a cheesecake? I pulled out Dorie Greenspan's "Baking From My Home To Yours" and decided to go with the Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake recipe. I've been wanting to try this recipe since I bought the book last year but I'm only willing to make such a dessert unless I have a large gathering that can help us eat it up. :) Excuse my slice of cheesecake picture, as I always forget to run the knife under cold water first and this is what you get when you don't do that. :)

I also have a few other desserts up my sleeve...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Coconut Crusted Salmon With Tamarind Barbecue Sauce

I'm always looking for new ways to make Salmon, I came across this recipe and thought the ingredients sounded interesting together. Turmeric with Coconut? Yet this came together nicely, the taste of a rather strong spice as Turmeric with a subtle hint of coconut and panko combination worked out really well. The sauce was sweet as Tamrind is suppose to be but the use of shallots, tomato paste and ground red pepper gives this sauce just the right texture to satisfy my palate. We cleaned our plates with this dish. The recipe was adapted from Cooking Light.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Magazine Monday's- New Mexico's Chili Glazed Chicken with hominy polenta

For this week's Magazine Monday event I wanted to try something out of the new issue of Bon Appetit for December 2008. I wanted something healthy and this New Mexico's Chili Glazed Chicken with Hominy Polenta sounded healthy. I love hominy, it tasted really nice and light with this chicken and the sauce was very sweet and spicy but if you want heat you should add in pepper flakes for that. It only took 30 minutes to make. I love quick and light meals. I really liked the way the dish came out but the next time I make it I will add less honey and more spice, it was more sweet than what I'm use to.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Shrimp Curry

I made this very delicious Shrimp Curry last night. The taste is very similar to Thai cooking but the dish is South Indian food. I was told South Indian food uses lots of coconut milk like Thai cooking does. My husband's family is from Gujarat, the food is not sweet at all but rather spicy they don't use Coconut milk in their cooking. One of the fascinating aspects of India is the variety of languages and different food tastes that come between the North and the South. I prefer South Indian Food only because I love Thai food and there are very many similarities in the sweet and spicy flavors.

Recipe was adapted from Random House

Friday, November 7, 2008

Beer Chili

Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit

I was in need of a beer with dinner tonight so I had to come up with a dish that would go good with beer. What better dish than a chili made with a 12 oz beer added to it. I plan on making this again. I love good recipe finds.

Movies and Food.
Why is it every time I see a movie and the characters are drinking wine I must drink some too. Does anyone else do this? Every time I watched Ocean 11 and it's sequels, Brad Pitt was constantly munching on something it made me hungry for nuts. It's a mental thing, it really is. I wonder how many other people out there get hungry from watching movies? I'm not a popcorn fan, there's something about eating plain butter and salt that grosses me out. It makes no sense why they serve loud food at movie theaters, you can't hear the movie when you have a starving person sitting near you as they scoop and crunch for two hours with maybe breaks in between. Why not ice cream? It's quiet and so much more tasty.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OBama Our Leader....

Obama made a historical moment happen before millions of eyes across the Country yesterday and I'm so proud to be apart of that movement. It's reported that 95% of African American's voted for him, 65% of Hispanics and 60% of young voters. There's hope for change yet... I just remember the gut wrenching emotions that went through me when Bush became President, this time during this election, I am relieved and have nothing but restored hope in this Country again.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Cookies

My little lady bug :)

I carved this pumpkin, not to bad eh.... :)

Recipe adapted from Joy The Baker.

Finding recipes that work out in my favor are always a treat, I'm so glad I came across these pumpkin cookies as I'm not much of a pumpkin fan to begin with but these worked out great. I will be making them again in the near future. I had told my mom all about them, so I think I'll be baking her up a batch soon.

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween, I took my little one out trick or treating for the first time and though she was shy to meet the people at the doors, she took the candy they handed to her without a problem. (She doesn't eat candy but she likes people to give her stuff.) Someone down the street from us had put together a haunted house that stirred up a big attraction, as we got word of it on the street. We took a drive by and a rather large crowd gathered at the residence to take part in it. I love people that get into the Holiday spirit those are my kind of people that I enjoy having company with.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

November 4th Will You Be Voting?

It's really important to vote, I actually never have before in the past because I never felt like I had a good choice of candidates. This is the first time in many years that we have a great man that can lead this country in a positive way. I know I'm ready for Bush to leave the President seat, I've been ready since he set foot in office. Early voting has already taken place. I want to be apart of it don't you? Tomorrow is the deadline to mail in your voter registration forms, you can walk it in to the Secretary's Office thereafter.

Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2008, 7:00AM – 8:00PM

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What's Your Favorites?

My pictures to my recipes are still stuck on my camera so I decided to make a post on my favorites until I can get the pictures uploaded and get myself back into posting recipes. I have some fun Holiday recipes to post....

I made this up out of boredom and fun, I"m keeping myself entertained ;)

What are my favorite places to eat at?
Roy's Hawaiian BBQ
La Provencal
Kings Fish
La Finestra
La Super Rica Taqueria
Sushi Mac
Exotic Thai
Saladang Song
La Cabana
King Taco
Rockin Baja Lobster
Woodlands (south Indian food)

What would I eat every week if it wouldn't make me gain weight?
Gnocchi and Flautas

Dessert of Choice?
Creme Brulee....following very closely behind that are cheesecake and Shrikhand

What will I not eat unless starving and it was my only choice?
Brains, Liver, snails, Cow's Tongue ect.....

Favorite Ice Cream:
Mint Chocolate Chip.....peanut butter cup is a close 2nd

Favorite Fruit:
Mango....strawberries are a close 2nd

Favorite Vegetable:
Zucchini.....spinach is a close 2nd

Favorite Alcoholic drink: Dirty Martini
Favorite beer- Pale Ale
Favorite Wine- Red Bicyclette at the moment (all of them are good)

Most Common drink with my meals?
Water Or Ice Tea

Favorite ethnic food?
Thai or French

What is always kept in stock in my frig?
Milk, Cheese, Vegies, Garlic, Onions, Fruit, Beer, yogurt, Butter, Soy Sauce, Cilantro, Chai Mix

Choice of Fish?

I'm Standing at the check out and feel a sudden sugar rush, what do I pick up?

Am I a freezer junkie or believe in keeping it fresh?
I keep it fresh.

What's in my freezer?
Ice Cream, sugar snaps, Vodka, batteries, strawberries, Okra, Spinach, puff pastry sheets

What do I rarely eat but do like...
I rarely eat Pizza, maybe once a year tops.

To Cook or To bake...
To bake..

Favorite thing to bake...
Cookies and Cheesecake

Restaurants of major disappointment: El Torito, Alcapulco, Outback Steak House, Mimi's Cafe and Crown & Anchor in Thousand Oaks.

You notice how hard it is to have ONE favorite thing without adding in a very close 2nd on all of these....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I grew up on this one. Tostadas for those of you that don't know it is a Mexican dish using a deep fried corn tortilla which can be purchased in the grocery store already done and you add toppings of your choice. There are so many ways to make this using pork, beef, chicken or veggie style. Here's what I do...
I purchase a rotisserie chicken in the deli and shred it, I like to add some more flavor to it by adding 2 TB chili garlic sauce and about 4 TB of BBQ Sauce it gives it a nice sweet and spiciness and bake that up until it gets dark tips on the BBQ Sauce.
Re fry some beans (don't buy store bought, the taste does matter if you make your own)
boil the pinto beans for a couple of hours or until soft than heat some EVO in a pan and add the boiled beans using a spoon that will release the liquid from the boiled beans. Add very little of that liquid. Fry and mash, toss in about 1/4 cup of salsa and cilantro if it is not in your salsa already and you have some tasty re fried beans. After that's done you spread the beans on the Tostada than add some shredded chicken, lettuce, radish, some Cotija cheese and top with salsa. Quick and easy if you already have beans made from another dish and you want to finish off your left over beans the next day.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Apple Pie

So, after watching the return of Pushing Daisies I was itching to make a pie. I went with the classic Apple Pie, using the double crest dough version from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking From My Home To Yours, " and decided to use the apple pie filling from All Recipes since I didn't have any Tapioca that was called for in Dorie's version. Though I thought of this apple pie adventure to be a disaster, with leaky pie crust all over my burning stove, I did use the incorrect pie pan but I knew this going into it. The sappy dough turned into a soup, but I didn't give up there. I decided to just add the apple pie mixture to the dough and see what comes of it. As I let it cook for longer than I was suppose to, and when I pulled it out of the oven I was unsure if this one will survive, I tasted it and was "eh" about it. I considered just tossing it out at one point but through it in the refrigerator anyways. The next day, I really wanted a slice, so I took a peak at it, cut a slice, tossed it in the microwave and gave it a second chance and was so glad that I did. It came out so damn good! The crust was a bit buttery and flaky which turned out really good. I also added the sauce mixture to the apples instead of topping the crust with it as instructed in the recipe but after reading the reviews lots of people did the same thing. It just made sense to do it that way. So, goes to show, even if it looks like a disaster doesn't mean it will taste like one. ;)

Indian Chicken Curry

The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion. -Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction writer (1917-2008)

This recipe is adapted from my mother in law and for so long I just couldn't get it to work out not even half as good as hers. This last time I made it, I can't believe how great it came out, very similar to hers.

Saute a medium size yellow onion in 2 TB Canola or Veg oil, let it turn a golden brown color.
Add in ginger garlic paste 2 TB, allow it to get fragrant and change slightly in color
ADD in 1 diced Jalapeno
Add in 4 TB of Coriander/Cumin Powder mixture
ADD in 1 TB of Chili Powder or more depending on if you like heat.
ADD in 1 TB of Garam Masala
ADD in 1/4 TSP of Mustard powder (do not add more, you can seriously ruin the dish if you do) it is a very strong spice.
1 tsp cumin seeds
Stir fry the spices until it darkens just a tab (don't burn spices)
Add more oil if it looks dry, there should be some moisture in the spices so they don't burn.
Add in one diced tomato
add 1/2 cup of water
Add 2 Diced Potatoes
Let that slow cook and in the mean time you can cut up your chicken pieces, remove all fat. Dark meat is what my mother in law has always used so it is the only thing I use, chicken legs and thighs.
ADD chicken and cover, I let it cook for 1 hour. Toss in some Cilantro about 10 mins before serving.

Makes great left overs, if you have sauce left over when all the chicken has been eaten up, boil a few eggs and add them to the sauce and have that as a meal.

Friday, October 3, 2008

White Bean Turkey Chili

There are two things to aim at in life; first to get what you want, and after that to enjoy it. Only the wisest of mankind achieve the second. -Logan Pearsall Smith, essayist (1865-1946)

Recipe adapted from a very old issue of Cooking Light. If you love southern food this is a must try dish and grab your favorite cornbread recipe I was craving my mom's cornbread with this. I made this recipe as is without any changes and loved it!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Thai Style Halibut With Coconut Curry Sauce

True remorse is never just a regret over consequences; it is a regret over motive. -Mignon McLaughlin, journalist and author (1913-1983)

Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger, this is tasty but I plan to make changes to it for next time. I was expecting a sweet taste for it being Thai style so in that aspect I was disappointed because it didn't taste sweet at all to me. I think the changes I will try next time is to use 1 tsp red curry paste, 1 cup of broth instead of 2, 1 can of coconut milk(regular and not light) instead of 1/4 cup and add in some heavy cream and cornstarch to thicken up the sauce a bit and pepper flakes for a kick. Definitely limes, they do bring out some taste in this recipe.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Another One Bites The Dust.

My husband is becoming infamous for destroying wine glasses. Though the glasses given to you at a wine tasting event are very fragile and cheaply made, I still like to keep them to remind myself that I've already been to that tasting vineyard. I thought this was a good photo shot of the destroyed glass and how it blends in with the background.

Just the other night I had an amazing wine. I recommend it if you are a red wine lover.

Nappa Valley Meritage 2005
with it having:
69% Merlot
29% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Cabernet Franc

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Kung Pao Chicken With broccoli

Here's a dish I make quite often, Kung Pao chicken version with and without Broccoli. I always us broccoli unless I don't have any on hand. Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Sauté Broccoli in 1 TB of Canola Oil and 1 TB of Ginger, add 2 TB of water let it get crisp then remove from pan.
Sauté chicken with some pepper flakes.
Mix together 2 TB Soy Sauce, Hoison Sauce, 1 TB Red Vin, 2 TB Garlic, 1 TB Cornstarch and 1 cup of Broth. Stir in peanuts if you like and add sauce and broccoli to the chicken. It's not that healthy because it is fried, but it's a good way to get your vegies in, especially if you are not a fan of broccoli.

Today my daily walk was interrupted by the men in black. I starred off into the distance noticing 2 men wearing ties, white shirt and black pants and my immediate thought was to turn around and go back the other way. They have already spotted me before I could react. I was cornered and then began the advertisement of God. I don't have any thing against any religion but I do have something against someone trying to impose their beliefs on me. There's limitations with what you can say to a stranger, religion and politics is off the table. Two topics that should be avoided with anyone you don't know.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pear Salad with blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing

My husband is not a salad fan, unless it is a side at dinner and even than he always goes for the soup option. So, when ever he's on a business trip I make salads, mac in cheese and turkey dishes for myself. Some of my favorites that I grew up on. I love fruit in my salad along with crumbled cheese if it be feta, cotija or blue cheese along side some sweet tasting vinaigrette. I had came across this Pear Salad with blue cheese and vinaigrette dressing in Bon Appetit and just had to try it along side a steak. I liked it so much that I can eat this salad as a main meal.

Slice up some pear, crumble some blue cheese, make your own vinaigrette by adding 2 TB of EVO, Sherry Vin, Honey, 1 Shallot and salt and pepper. Don't buy the bottled stuff at the grocery store it's loaded with junk that defeats the purpose of losing weight if that's what you are aiming for.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Strawberry Sunrise Scones- Adapted from Baking Bites

So, I came across my favorite scone recipe yet. This tasty Strawberry Scone using orange yogurt and zest, many thanks to Baking Bites for this one. I was a bit worried when I came to a close of this recipe as the strawberries drew lots of moisture in my dough, but I added a little more flour and got it back to the "scone" consistency and I must say.... these are fabulous!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Texas Beef Brisket Chili

There is so much flavor in this dish and the meat is so tenderized that it literally flakes off in your mouth after the first bite. I found it time consuming to make, this delicious recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. Be prepared for a 4 hour cook and prep time.