Monday, March 30, 2015

Shakshouka!


I know, I know.. So I'm quite behind on my posts.. but in good news, March has been a fairly ambitious month of cooking! It's mainly ambitious because it's cooking with ingredients on hand- meaning kind of making stuff up, but with existing online recipes. Did I make any sense? lol...

Anyway, the above photo is a dish I made on a Sunday morning. I was doing my morning routine (fartin' around on instagram) and saw this on someone's instagram and right then and there I decided that I was going to make this, Shakshouka! So what the heck is this beautiful creation? Well.. according to Wikipedia, Shakshouka is an Arabic dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions along with other spices.

My version of Shakshouka was different because I actually used a cheat! So my mom gave me this giant jar of organic gourmet fancy pants tomato sauce. This sauce tasted different than your typical Prego, Ragu sauce and etc.. it tasted like fresh tomatoes that was seasoned lightly with herbs. So instead of making Shakshouka from scratch with the different spices (cumin, sweet paprika, cayenne.. since I only had one of two spices) I just used this tomato sauce as the base since it was already seasoned. With that said, you can probably do this with a can of diced tomatoes with herbs. And because I didn't have any peppers laying around, I just dashed this with maybe a teaspoon of chili powder.

This was incredibly easy to make and although I don't know what authentic Shakshouka taste like.. I did really enjoy the taste of mines and would definitely make this again.

Ingredients:
1 Can of diced tomatoes w/ herbs
2 Cloves of minced garlic
1/2 Diced onion (yellow or white)
3 Eggs
Chili pepper
Cilantro
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

Directions: Drizzle olive oil in a pan at a medium-high heat and then throw in the minced garlic, diced onions, and add a teaspoon of chili powder. Mix until onions are transparent and soft. Add in your can of diced tomatoes w/ herbs, bring it to a simmer and then crack your eggs in! Let it cook for a few minutes and then place your pan under your broiler (couples minutes until the top looks fairly cooked). If you don't have a broiler, you can set your heat on low-medium and cover the pan so that the steam can cook the eggs.

Once the eggs have been cooked to over-easy, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and cilantro. Voila! Ready to serve! Serve this with toasted bread- I prefer French bread, but you can use any kind you like or whatever you have on hand. Oh! And this was enough for two people!

Cheers!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Sweet Potato Empanadas.


I love empanadas! Little dough filled with goodness! I've been wanting to make empanadas for quite some time, but I always assumed you needed a food processor.. ya know, for the pulsing. But when you think about it.. the Spaniards didn't have food processors back in the day! Anyway, I Googled for the dough recipe and went ahead on making my trial empanadas. I was only really concerned about making the dough right, I didn't really care what the filling was lol.

The ingredients for the dough were stuff I already had laying around. All you need are the following.. all purpose flour, salt, egg, chilled butter, and chilled water. I would give you the measurements, but I actually didn't measure anything.. kind of just winged it since this was only a trial. I gotta say.. it was quite a mess mixing the ingredients with my hands, but it worked! I just made enough to make six mini empanadas.

As for the filling.. since I was already in the process of making sweet potato mash for dinner, I put some aside and added cinnamon and  honey. Therefore these empanadas ended up being dessert. I had MVamos try it first since he is my guinea pig and it turned out pretty good. They were almost like a turnover since I sprinkled some granulated sugar.


They weren't perfect looking to begin with, but the end result was great!  I am very pleased on the dough and will probably make a ton of these now with a bunch of other fillings! Empanada party!

Weeeee!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Paninis!


MVamos and I love paninis because they just take sandwiches to a whole new level! I was in a huge panini kick in November because MVamos' birthday gift to me was an awesome panini press! I'll admit, it has been awhile since I've made paninis, but that's only because I got very lazy cleaning it.. it's a bit of a hassle. 

Anyway, I decided to have a picnic on Monday for MVamos because he did such an amazing job on Saturday's dinner- I thought I'd make paninis!

Ingredients:
French bread
Turkey deli slices
Salami
Basil pesto
4 Cheese Italian blend 
Spinach
Olive oil
Balsamic glaze (homemade, I'm fancy! lol)

Balsamic glaze: All you need is a good pan, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. Depending on how sweet you want this, it's really up to you on the amount. I believe I did one cup of balsamic vinegar and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Cook this on medium heat and let it reduce. To tell when it's done, take a spoon and dip it into the glaze and pick it up- if it coats the spoon nicely, then it's done! Store it in a container, but beware once it cools down- the glaze does harden. You can easily fix this by throwing it in the microwave for a few seconds whenever you decide to use it.

Assemble all ingredients, drizzle olive oil on the bread and then place it in the panini press! I usually have it on low heat for a few minutes so it can melt the cheese and then turn it up to high heat to get it crispy. Lastly, drizzle your balsamic glaze on top of the sandwich and viola! Fancy pants panini! Enjoy!

Cheers!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Post Run Smoothie Bowl.



This morning I ran Torrey Pines as I had planned a few weeks ago. I'm currently training for the La Jolla Half again and aiming for a new PR. I ran 7 miles last Saturday with no problem but today was incredibly bad haha. Perhaps it was the combination of lady time (haha) ending and that it's really hot and dry out today.. but nonetheless it was disappointing.

Anyway! I wanted to treat myself to something delicious and I decided to not spend $5 bucks at Jamba Juice or Robeks.. instead I made myself a smoothie bowl from the stuff I already had at home. Typically I make a green "smoothie" and it's usually not thick as a traditional smoothie because I put a good amount of juice and water... but I've been browsing through Instagram looking at lovely smoothie bowls.. so I thought why not!

My smoothie bowl turned out great! It was quite delicious aside from the taste of the protein powder.. because typically I don't take protein powder. Anywho... I threw everything in my Nutribullet, shook it around so it blended everything and viola! A fancy schmancy smoothie bowl.

Ingredients:
Couple of frozen strawberries
Handful of frozen blueberries
Splash of almond milk
2 Tablespoons of vanilla yogurt
2 Tablespoons of grounded flaxseeds
2 Tablespoons of vanilla protein powder

Once ingredients are blended, pour it out in a bowl and top it off with nuts, fruits, whatever you like. I topped mines off with flaxseeds and slivered almonds. Be sure that your fruits are frozen so you can get that nice texture!


Cheers!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

French Onion Soup!


This post is a bit long overdue... but anyway... for Christmas, MVamos bought me a set of 3 Denby mini casserole dishes. They're so cute! I've always wanted to make French onion soup especially with a lovely presentation. French onion soup is incredibly easy to make- it's simple but very rich in flavor.. so I don't recommend eating this too often.. not for a person who looking to go on a diet.. hehe..

Ingredients:
2 Yellow onions (you can use all kinds)
3 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 Beef bouillon cube (or a can of beef broth- if you want to avoid MSG)
3 Cups of water
Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole wheat French baguette (you don;t have to use whole wheat)

Directions: Slice the onions and throw them in a pot with the butter on medium heat. Cook them until they are fairly caramelized. Once that's ready, throw in the beef bouillon and mix it with the onions. Pinch of salt, a dash of pepper and dump in the 3 cups of water. Turn up to high heat, let it boil and then bring it down to a simmer at a low-medium heat until it has reduce or thickens a bit.

Ladle the onion soup in your tiny casserole dish and place a slice of the baguette on top and then a nice helping of Gruyere cheese. Place it under your oven broiler (if you have one) for a few minutes or until your cheese completely melts with hints of lightly brown color. If you don't have a broiler, then just put it in the oven (maybe 400 degrees) until the cheese melts.

Take it out of the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes (because it's incredibly hot) and then.. bon apetit!


Cheers!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Bone Marrow!


The first time I had bone marrow was in my early 20's and it was at a restaurant called JRDN. It was a small piece of marrow- it actually came with my order of mac and cheese.. fancy, right? lol.. Anyway, the bone marrow was good! I don't eat it much.. actually, I rarely eat bone marrow because they're typically expensive at restaurants and not a lot of places serve them... but anytime I go to the grocery store (Asian market) I look for inexpensive bone marrow, but I never seem to find it. I'm sure you're going to say 'go to a butcher shop', but I don't want to because they're so expensive! Anyway.. today we went to our biweekly grocery run and I found some nice looking marrow at Food4Less. Nice! I was excited to make these because they're so easy to make!

I first blanched the bone marrows in hot water and a tad bit of salt. I then placed the marrows into a glass baking pan and drizzled olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped garlic, and a little bit of rosemary from our rosemary plant. Placed them in the oven (450 degrees) for 20 minutes and viola! Roasted bone marrow! We ate these with toasted French bread. I think they turned out fantastic especially for the price!

Cheers!