Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sesame Leaves


I just want to show off my husband's 'green thumb'/aquaponics skills. He grew these sesame leaves. So I made some more leaf sandwiches to serve with the peanut butter noodles.

That's all.

FAB Peanut Butter noodles

The best summer dinners, in my opinion, are those you can make ahead, include fresh veggies and are adequately filling, this dish meets the criteria and is worth the small bit of effort required. I discovered this recipe at this hip little blogspot  (courtesy of Pinterest) and hope you'll give it a go!


Prepare 8 oz. of noodles, udon, egg, wheat spaghetti/linguine anything really, although udon or soba are recommended.

In a food processor mix together: 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter, 1/2 cup Warm Water, 1/4 cup Soy Sauce, 1 Tbsp. minced Ginger, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1 Tbsp. Honey and a dash of Rice Vinegar.

Use a gloved hand to mix the noodles with sauce and your choice of fresh veg - I went with cucumber, red bell and tomato and was more than satisfied. Sprinkle some black and/or white sesame seeds on top and you've got the perfect summer snack or light dinner!

Egg Salad


Seriously, why do I forget how delicious something as simple as egg salad is?

Hard boiled eggs (6-8)...which by the way, I SUCK at making (that's right, hard-boiled eggs get me EVERY time!)

Mayonnaise (1/2 cup ish?)

Mustard Powder (or real mustard if you're so lucky :p)

Fresh chopped cilantro

Salt and Pepper

Toasted Bread

Into thy belly, and enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Hummingbird Cake


My friend Jen makes some lovely birthday cakes considering the size of her toaster oven and the difficulty of finding various baking ingredients. However, when it was time to celebrate her birthday we couldn't have her making her own cake, for shame. So, I bucked up and accepted the challenge. I'd considered making her a cake with every fruit and vegetable available at my local mart as she alluded to the fact that she would like such a thing, however she also offered a bit of more focused direction and ended up with this Hummingbird Cake as seen on Ezra Pound Cake.


This makes enough for 3 layers - or two layers and some cupcakes, so it's a HUGE bit of batter, don't be scared.

Preheat oven to 350 F and grease your round cake pans. Combine 3 cups Flour, 2 cups of Sugar, 1 tsp. Baking Soda, 1tsp. Cinnamon and 1 tsp. Salt. Add 3 eggs, 1 1/2 c. Vegetable oil (I used combination of canola, olive and butter because I was low on all of them...), 1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla. Stir in 8 oz. un-drained crushed Pineapple, 1 c. chopped Pecans (optional) and 2 c. Mashed Bananas. Pour into greased pans and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Top with Cream Cheese Frosting or try out the Yogurt Frosting:

3 c. Powdered Sugar, 1/4 c. Butter (soft), 1 tsp. Vanilla and 6 oz. of Plain Yogurt - blended until smooth. Spread on the cake and top with slivered almonds or crushed pecans.

Thai Bruschetta + Rice Salad Remake (and so much more)


Using leftover marinade/dressing from these Thai Veggies I chopped up some new veggies, sliced up a baguette (actually, the ladies at Paris Baguette sliced up the baguette...) Anyway, with marinated, rough chopped veg and baguette slices, I had myself a TON of Thai like Bruschetta which I served up alongside some chicken Pad Thai.

However, leftovers were an issue, so I reached back into the memories of my semester in Spain, threw the veggies in with some day old rice, added some salt and a dash or two of rice vinegar and viola - rice salad was ours! (It's actually quite phenomenal...just so you know).

And, although there are no pictures, we had some leftover rice salad that needed a 'new life' so into Kimchi Bokkeumbap it went ^.^

Impressive right? All from this marinade and a pile of veggies:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or orange juice if lime juice is hard to come by)

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or cayenne, or whatever)
Put it in a jar, shake it up, dress the veggies, let set a little bit and enjoy the heck out of this dish! You could probably also use the dressing as a marinade or in a pasta salad and have equally great results ^.^

Oh, and should I mention that I used the leftover Kimchi Bokuembap to make Quesadillas? Yep, you read that correctly, some fried rice + cheese + tortialla and a whole new twist on the same old meal...I must say, it's a bit impressive, no?

Brownie Milkshake


Don't ask me how these things happen...why there would be two left over brownies sitting in our fridge for a little longer than necessary. Have no fear, there is always a way to use food items that are on their last leg! In this case, just throw two old (or not so old brownies) into a blender with some milk and ice cream and within minutes, you'll be downing a most supreme milkshake. Your welcome ^.^

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pork and Lentil Stew - Remake


Leftover Pork and Lentil stew + Pasta + Cheese = a whole new Easy Pasta Bake

Peanut Butter and Oreo Crumb Cookies


Take your favorite peanut butter cookie recipe, add 1 cup of Peanut Butter Oreo crumbs. Bake as per directions, enjoy with a glass of milk and/or good friends!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Butter Beer!


There is absolutely no reason one should avoid trying out this fabulous beverage! Even while living in South Korea where Cream Soda does not exist, we took action, made our own cream soda and I would do it again, and again, and again...because this. was. phenomenal.

Thanks to Pinterest, I came across this recipe which supported my own creation of Butterbeer.


In a saucepan melt together 1 cup of Brown Sugar and 2 Tbsp. of Water (if you have a candy thermometer it should be at 240 F -- otherwise, bring it to a boil and hope for the best). Stir in 6 Tbsp. of Butter, 1/2 tsp. Salt, 1/2 tsp. Cider Vinegar,  and 1/4 c. Heavy Cream, let set and reach room temperature...or not. In a bowl or tall measuring cup mix 1/2 c. Heavy Cream and 2 Tbsp. of the Brown Sugar mixture until not quite whipped cream. Split the rest of the Brown Sugar mixture between 4 glasses (or however many servings worth you desire - we did 10 small cups), fill with a bit of cream soda (nearly to the top) and spoon some whip topping onto the top before sitting down to watch Harry Potter #7 pt. 1 in anticipation for pt. 2! You'll definitely come back for more!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slow-cooker Pork and Lentil Soup


Monsoon season = LOTS of Rain (obviously)

Even though it's not particularly cold during Monsoon Season, the rain makes me crave soups and stews. And, when we opt for inviting friends over pre-Harry Potter, crock-pot soups are the best answer to ensure all mouths are adequately fed.

Using a recipe for Hamburger Lentil Soup from my handy-dandy Fix-It and Forget It Cookbook, I threw this together in a jiffy and came home to some fabulous smelling and tasting Pork and Lentil Soup.


Brown 1lb. of ground or finely chopped Pork and 1 chopped onion in a skillet, drain off the fat. In slow cooker, combine Beef, Onions, 3 Carrots diced, 1 cup of mushrooms diced, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, 1 cup of marinara sauce, 4 cups (or more) of water/broth, 2 cups dry lentils, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and cook on low for 8-10 hours (high 4-6 hours). During the last hour or 30 minutes chop up some pumpkin kid or summer squash and throw into the mix. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy with good company and a glass of ButterBeer prior to watching Harry Potter (#7 pt. 2 - to be exact) for a screaming good time!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bacon, Mushroom and Onion Calzones


My most recent batch of Basic Bread from Jamie Oliver was used to make two loaves of Baguettes for the Lemon-Thyme spread and then a few days later to make these calzones. (Regarding the bread recipe, I split it into fours, baked two fourths as bread, used one fourth for these calzones and froze the other fourth! Huu-zah!)

Anyway, these were simple and absolutely delicious!


Saute in a touch olive oil a clove of garlic, 4-6 slices of bacon, one or two handfuls of chopped mushrooms and a small chopped onion. Roll out a bit of Basic Bread dough. Spoon in some marinara sauce of choice, top with sauteed mixture and mozzarella cheese, fold dough into a semi-circle/moon shape, brush with olive oil and make a few slits for steam to escape. Bake 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees (200 Celsius) and enjoy in the company of the most fabulous man you can snag ;)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Creamy Fig French Toast Sandwich


Breakfast doesn't get much simpler with a touch of gourmet than this:

One piece of bread spread with Cream Cheese
One piece of bread spread with choice of preserve (I used Fig)
Dipped in egg whisked with milk and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Set in hot, oiled frying pan, cooked til done on two sides.
Smothered with honey.

Lemon Thyme Spread and Home-made Bread

Pinterest is the place for inspiration. I recently 'pinned' a Thyme-Lemon Bruchetta from the Kitchn that lead to this spread that we fantastic on a couple loaves of home-made bread.

It's also super easy! Too one container of cream cheese add the zest of 1 lemon, a dash of pepper, salt and Thyme. Let the flavors meld and spread onto crackers or bread and enjoy with pasta and friends.

Pumpkin Kid and Almond Alfredo Noodles


I thought I was grabbing a cucumber. Turns out it's a Pumpkin Kid (direct translation from Korean to English). It's essentially a summer squash, although I don't know the specifics. Either way, it served it's purpose well in this relatively low-prep dish.


Prepare spaghetti noodle or other noodle of choice. Dice one Pumpkin Kid, Onion and mince 2 cloves of Garlic, saute in olive oil until tender. Place frying pan ingredients into a food processor, add a handful of almonds and pulse. Add a touch of moisture with some heavy cream and pulse again until reaching desired consistency. Move back into pan, heat up the mixture and add more heavy cream and mozzarella (or other cheese) until reaching perfect noodle clinging consistency. Add noodles, mix and serve alongside home-made bread if you so choose ^.^

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peanut Butter Microwave Cake


Remember the ease and deliciousness of the Nutella Mug Cake which was also discovered on Pinterest, these Peanut Butter Microwave Cakes were just the thing after dining with the hubs.

The lovely thing(s) about these microwave treats is how quickly they come together and how simple the ingredient list is. The dangerous thing about these treats is how quicly they come together and how easy they make calorie consumption ^.^


In a small bowl, whisk together one egg,  1 Tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 2 Tbsp peanut butter and 1 heaping Tbsp. of flour. Pour batter into a greased ramekin. Microwave for 30 seconds.
While the cake is microwaving, stir together 1 tsp. milk and 1 Tbsp. powdered sugar, adding more powdered sugar if necessary to thicken frosting. Remove cake from ramekin (or don’t), pour frosting over top. Devour!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saving a Crepe


I wanted to eat a crepe...

I had put it in a Ziploc and caused it to crack...a lot.

I wanted to eat a crepe.

So, the solution. Throw it on a skillet. Whisk an egg, pour over, let it fill in the cracks, cook a bit, flip, cook through - stuff it and eat it.

Viola. Saved the Crepe. Enjoyed a solo-dinner.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Easy Pasta Bake - Perfect for Friends


I swear, my cooking style is becoming marked by increasingly simple dishes ... must be the pocket-sized kitchen teamed with the demands of a Master's Degree and Lesson Planning for cute Korean children. Alas, I don't really mind. The foods still delicious. More or less made from scratch, always made in my kitchen and does a fine job of nourishing the body, taste buds and soul - what more could a girl ask for?

There's nothing particularly brilliant or inspiring about this dish. You make pasta. You saute mushrooms and onions. You pour in some sauce (may a quarter cup of pre-made sauce plus 4 peeled and chopped fresh/roasted tomatoes). You mix it all together. You toss in some cheese. You scoop the whole mess into a pan. You top with additional cheese. You bake until cheese is melty and golden.

Then you eat it.

You enjoy it.

You share it with a friend
who kindly cared for you dog
so you could go play at Everland.

That's how this recipe works.

End things sweetly with Browned-Butter Brownies
and you enter a food heaven.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thai Veggie Salad

Here's the need some veggies. Your favorites. And then you need to make this Thai style dressing. Throw them together and chow down. That's all.

I used mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes and green onions for my veg.

The dressing? Easy.

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (or orange juice if lime juice is hard to come by)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or cayenne, or whatever)

Put it in a jar, shake it up, dress the veggies, let set a little bit and enjoy the heck out of this dish! You could probably also use the dressing as a marinade or in a pasta salad and have equally great results ^.^

Original recipe and gorgeous photos can be found here by Andrea Meyers

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Choco-Coco Bars


Simple, delicious and looking like a Korean pork-cutlet (tonkatsu), these bars are a lovely way to end a Thai inspired meal with dear friends at ones favorite coffee shop...or just a lovely snack for any time of day, in any location.


Crush 3 cups of a cookie (I used 'Diget' - an almost graham cracker like cookie with chocolate covering one side). To the 2 cups of cookie crumbs add 3/4 cup of melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Once butter is incorporated, spread mixture onto a pan (I lined mine with parchment paper..., but it's not too necessary--you also may need more than one pan if you're using a toaster sized oven) bake for about 10 minutes to firm up. Let the crust cool slightly before spreading/pouring a healthy amount of sweetened condensed milk on top. You want a healthy layer of the milk before adding a cup or so of choco-chips (or chopped chocolate bars) and topping with coconut. Once this is all compiled, slip the pan back into the oven for 15-20 minutes until the coconut is toasty and the smells in your home are fabulous! Enjoy with good friends and cup of coffee if you so desire.

Orignial recipe can be found here.
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