A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Wednesday, June 28

Spinach Rolls & Quick Pickled Daikon & Carrot

We had poke for dinner again last night, except this time I added some tofu into the mix.

We had this with two recipes from one of my Japanese cookbooks... one for rolled spinach, and another for a quick daikon and carrot pickle. Both are dead easy and quick.

For the spinach:

Frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3 tbsp soy sauce
sesame seeds

Mix the soy sauce into the spinach, and let it sit for about 30 mins. Then squeeze the liquid out with your hands or some cheesecloth. Place onto a sushi rolling mat, and roll into a log. Cut into bite size pieces (as you would sushi)

Heat a frying pan, and quickly toast the sesame seeds (until they begin to jump and start to turn golden.

Dip the top of each spinach roll into the sesame seeds, and serve.

For the pickle:

1/2 cup shredded daikon
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 pinch sugar
2 tsp sake

Salt the daikon and carrot and set aside for 30 mins. Squeeze liquid with hands.
Mix in vinegar, sugar and sake and let marinade for 30 mins (or longer). Drain, and serve.


Tuesday, June 27

Acapulco Chicken

Another crummy picture... I'm sorry! I took like 8 and that was seriously the best!

Anyways, Dave and I have decided we need to loose a little weight... especially after my recent adventures in French influenced cooking, and the fact that our home gym is out of service due to reflooring. So for a couple of weeks we're gonna try to steer clear of fat and lots of carbs. I know... so sad.

So I was digging around allrecipes and found this little gem that looked promising, especially since I had just about all the ingredients in stock. =)

I adjusted it a little, added some tomato paste, corn and extra chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.


* 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
* 2 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 tablespoon cumin
* 2 tsp cayenne
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used avocado oil, its better for you)
* 1 chopped green bell pepper
* 1 cup corn
* 1/2 chopped onion
* 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
* 1 large tomato, cut into chunks
* 4 tbsp tomato paste
* 10 drops hot pepper sauce (I used Cholula)


1. Season chicken with 1/2 tablespoon chile powder, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and saute seasoned chicken for 3 to 4 minutes, or until no longer pink. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
2. In same skillet, stir fry bell pepper and onion until soft. Add jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, remaining 1/2 tablespoon chile powder and hot pepper sauce. Cook, stirring, for an additional 3 to 5 minutes; add chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes more.

We had this with some red beans, mashed avocado and a dollop of sour cream.

I imagine this would ROCK rolled up in some warm tortillas... mmmmm =)

Sunday, June 25

Crab and Mushroom Parcels

I made these yesterday for a party, and they were a HUGE hit! I ended up being asked for the recipe, and wondered afterwards if I should have given away how easy they were to make!

1 pack boursin cheese (I used the garlic and herb variety)
1/2 lb lump crab meat, picked through, or 2 cans of lump crab
enough mushrooms to use up all the stuffing, I bought 2 packs - stems removed
1 package phyllo dough

Preheat oven to 400
Combine cheese and crab and stuff generously into mushrooms.
carefully layer six sheets of phyllo, brushing melted butter on every other sheet.
Place mushrooms onto phyllo, and cut so that there is enough around the mushrooms so that you can make a little parcel out of the dough. This all depends on the size of the mushrooms, a couple of mine were so big that I could only get two out of one sheet, but for most of them I could get 4-6 from one sheet. Brush parcels with beaten egg for a golden glaze.
Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.
Eat while hot and crispy.

I reheated mine in the oven of our pary hosts at 250 for about 30 mins to dry out any of the sogginess the phyllo took on during the travel there.

Enjoy! =)

Friday, June 23

Monkfish with a Sauce concoction

I call it a concoction because I followed no recipe and just sort of threw a bunch of stuff in there. And Dave agreed, it came out nice! He all but licked the plate.. okay he didnt literally lick the plate... but he was wiping his finger across it.. close enough ;-) hehe

Someone at work clued me in that the fish market was carrying monkfish.. so I swooped in and bought one of their last bits. There are a few things to this recipe I would do differently if I were to do it again... dredging the fish in flour for one... monkfish has such a subtle flavor, it makes about as much sense to fry a lobster. Also, with the sauce.. I started with butter and olive oil... I think the butter scorched a little, next time I'll add it after the broth.

I also made use of one of the ingredients Shizu sent me.. which I thought lent a nice citrus spicey punch to it.

So on with my recipe..


For the Fish
1 1/5lb chunk of monkfish
olive oil

For the sauce
4 plum tomatos
1 small bunch of chopped parsley
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 stick butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 packet paella spice mixture (paprika, garlic powder, saffron, etc)

Let the fish marinade in the enough olive oil to cling to it, with about 2 tsp yuzu for about 30 mins

Dredge in flour and fry on both sides quickly until it turns light gold, then place the pan into the oven at 400 degrees for aprox 10 mins.

In a deep skillet or pan, melt butter with olive oil and add tomatos, stirring until they soften. Add broth, and paella spices. Cook until the tomatos begin to break apart. Put into a food processor, add parsley, and mix to a smooth sauce, season to taste.

I served this with a mixture of string beans and baby carrots.


I have the coolest penpal EVER.

This is a shot of the uberloot she sent me, that just came in today. My eyes about popped out of my head when I saw the size of the box, I knew she was going to send a couple things, but I had no idea so much! Looks like I have some more shopping to do to return the favor! =) And you all just know how much I loathe food shopping *cough* right! *cough* ;-)

Some of the cooles stuff is in there... I've already made use of some stuff she sent called "yuzugosyou". She said she usually adds it to her miso soup (which I will definitely soon be trying since I've made it a habbit to have miso soup for breakfast) But after taking a little taste of it, I decided to let the monkfish I was making for dinner tonight marinade in it for a bit... oh my god it was to die for... limey spicey is the only words I can put to it!

You'll soon be seeing me making use of all of this, she even sent me her own handwritten recipe for okonomiyaki, along with the majority of the ingredients I would need for it. That is definitely going on my list of dinners for next week!

Thank you Shizu!!!

Tuesday, June 20

Japanese Steamed Chicken and Veg

Dinner last night was another Japanese inspired meal.
It was dead simple to make, and I thought pretty tastey!
I modified it quite a bit from the original I found on open kitchen, which originally only called for chicken thigh and mushroom. I added just about every veg I had in the fridge. I imagine you could omit the chicken and make this one completely vegetarian.


3 chicken thighs cut into small pieces
2 carrots, cut into sticks
5 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 handful of peas
4 pods okra, sliced
6 slices of daikon (I cut them into flowers)
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sake
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp sesame oil


Combine all ingredients into a large bowl, corn starch last, and mix to coat. Place in a steamer, and steam for approx 30-45 mins, stirring frequently, until all chicken is cooked through.

We had this with white rice, and a couple of dipping sauces (not that they were needed!)

Friday, June 16


Dave and I will be in St Augustine until next week... so I won't be around for blogging. So until then, I leave you with some foodie photos I took in Paris from last February, since I never shared them beyond Mine and Dave's album. Enjoy!

Okay, here's the plan, I'll go in and distract them, you snatch the truffles...

Yummm... fruity glaze...

Meaty goodness.

Have you ever seen anything cuter?

One place where we stopped to have lunch.

One heck of an incredible window display. That is lobster, I believe.

Also from the same shop, a plate of fruit and shrimp.


Dinner at Le Dauphin, foie gras... how could I not??

Crepes in front of Notre Dame. Look at that glorious vat of nutella!

Dinner at our hotel, Jolly Lotti. I had rabbit, I still want to get around to trying to recreate this dish, it was so good.

Another mouth-watering window display

And another... it never ended!

Yes, we bought a bottle

It wouldnt be complete without this photo, now would it?

And then I leave you with this one, at Le Dauphin... Dave proposed to me the night before (on the Eiffel Tower!).. it was all especially romantic.

Thursday, June 15

Bento #7

Bento today isnt leftovers! Dave and I actually ate out last night, since it was billiards night, so we went to Tijuana Flats... anyone lucky enough to live near one of these knows how excellent their tacos are. It was our main food of choice of the high rolling college students back in my college days. ;-)

I got home early and decided to go ahead and fix this anyways, since it has been YEARS since I've made it... and its so easy and tastey. I got this recipe from open-kitchen, if youve never visited this site, it is truly excellent. I just wish they hadnt stopped updating the English side. =(


2 chicken thigh cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons soy-sauce
1 tablespoon grated ginger-juice
2 tablespoons Sake
1 tspn salt
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons Katakuriko (potato starch or corn starch)
1 piece of chopped garlic


combine all ingredients, corn starch last, and leave to marinate for 30 minutes (longer if you like, even overnight)

Deep fry until done.. about 3-5 mins.


So here are the contents:
Top tier: rice, furikake, carrot, tomato, kara-age and a little container w/soy sauce
bottom tier: yogurt, mini-banana, kiwi, strawberry, blueberries


Wednesday, June 14

Food Blogging Phases

I just found this and about fell out of my chair laughing. I am positively at phase 6.

1. Discovery
You discover this thing called a “food blog” when one day, while reading a regular glossy flossy magazine, you stumble across an article about food blogs and how they’re exploding all over the blogosphere, which you didn’t even know was so big that it had its own word “blogosphere.” You turn on the Internets in your house and visit Chocolate and Zucchini for the first time. Thirty seven hours later, you’ve read through all of Clotilde’s archives, marveled at Chez Pim’s tasteful adventures, laughed through Becks n Posh, and think you might have developed a mild crush on The Amateur Gourmet. You email the links to your friends but they don’t “get it.” Whatever.

2. Casual Reader
Whenever you’re taking a break, and sometimes during lunch when you’ve politely declined going out with co-workers to one of the same five places within walking distance of your office because they are dorks and everything along Venice and Washington is Thai, you sit at your desk and read the handful of favorite, familiar food blogs. You read the comments, but you don’t comment because you haven’t learned “comment etiquette” yet so you think it would be like barging in on a conversation amongst friends who have known each other for years. (OMG! How silly you were back then, huh?!)

3. Addict v1.0(lurker)
You don’t “work” at work anymore. You roll into work two hours late because the night before, you were up until 3:45 am at home surfing food blogs. All food blogs. After you get the crappy bulk-food store brand coffee from your office’s break, you sit down at your desk, ignore the 147 new messages in your Inbox and go straight to the “bookmarks” folder in your browser, because you haven’t discovered RSS yet. You get annoyed when your boss calls you when you’re in the middle of reading about how Stephanie’s adorable little boy tried to cook.

4. Addict v1.2(active)
You bravely make a comment on someone’s blog, then quickly close the browser because you put something out there and omg, you have no idea if anyone will acknowledge your comment. You nervously go back to the same post 11 times in 10 minutes. When someone comments back, you’re strangely overjoyed and feel like you’ve been “inducted” into the club. Pretty soon, you’re whoring your unsolicited comments out all over the place, you comment-making whore, you! You refer to bloggers by their first names as if you’ve known them for five years and talk about thse BFs (blog friends) to your normal friends. Your real-life friends wonder when you ever flew anywhere to “meet” all these new people you talk about.

5. Entrant
You decide that it’s time to start your own blog. You scurry away to the “break room” at the office with a notebook and pens in different colors, drawing out designs, doing name-storming, trying to figure out how to encapsulate everything you want in your food blog “image” into a two-, maybe three-, word title. Your “Hello, world” post really says “Hello, world” because you’re a geek like that and you’ve treated this whole new blog thing as if it were a product launch for which you’ve done market research, surveys, and strategizing.

6. Blogger
You are now a blogger. You blog like mad, sometimes posting two or three times a day, planning where to eat because it’ll make for good photos. You participate in memes, and in fact, you're brave enough to start your own. You still haven’t told your friends and family about your blog, so they wonder why you’re always taking pictures of food. You tell them you’re still just trying to teach yourself how to use your new camera. When they remind you that you got that camera last summer, you ignore them because the entrees have just arrived.

7. Blog Loner
You ignore all the BFs you made before you started your blog during the Addict/Commenter phase, because now all you do is spend time on your own blog. You fiddle with design. You add buttons and drop-down boxes. You add yourself to directories because seeing spikes in your stats counter gives you a high. You actually write your posts out and edit them, several times (!) before publishing. You have admitted to having a food blog to your friends and family, but they don’t read your blog. Jerks.

8. Stats Depression
Your stats are consistently low and it depresses you. You realize that they are low only because the BFs you've been ignoring are ignoring you back. You go back, visit the old BFs, and develop a strange jealousy because your old BFs have all these other new BFs who leave chummy comments. You read through all the archives to see what you’ve missed, then comment to prove that you aren’t a sucky blog friend.

9. Stats Revival
Your stats go back up because by some crazy mistake, an editor thinks your blog is "worthy." You actually take a shower and go to the market because you don’t hate the world anymore. You make something that will look good for the blog.

10. Therapy
You forget that it’s a food blog and start writing about other weird personal stuff - your tormented "oh-wee-en-tal" childhood in Wonder White middle America, your perfectionist-producing immigrant parents, how you "peaked" in high school, your colorful romantic history, and how losing a job saved your sanity - partly in the hopes that it will bring in the non-food blog readership, but mostly because you're *wahwahwhyme* self-centered. It backfires when readers leave nasty, sarcastic comments about how no one cares about you and your personal issues, and isn’t this a food blog? You ignore those comments and continue to write about every guy in the history of your life that ever caused one ounce of pain.

11. Stats Depression
Your stats are low. (See #8.) You add sitemeter to your site in addition to the three other (free) site statistics tools because you want to make sure you’re getting the right numbers. Every pageview counts.

12. Breakdown
You realize you've forgotten how to blog about food and you go back to your archives and read through how much you gushed over this restaurant and how cute it was when your lemon tart was tossed into the trash because it sucked. You *sigh* with a sad realization. Since you can never regain your innocence, you decide to “quit” your blog. Yeah, “quit,” as if it were a job or something. As if your blog sent you a check every other Friday. Yeah, you quit!

13. Withdrawal
You can’t quit because if you did, then you’d be really bored because you don’t have a job.

14. Re-entry
You go back to your blog, but instead of blogging about food, you blog about food blogging. And every post has to have some snarky comment embedded in the text about a past relationship that has scarred you for life. Stupid, cheating bastard. I hope you and that little hussy are happy!

Yukimi Daifuku

I've just made a discovery. A happy one.
While poking around some bento pages... I saw an item I didnt recognize... "daifuku".
So I did a search, which took me to wikipedia.. read the description... cool enough. But wait.. whats that? Another version filled with ice cream? CLICK!

If you recall, we enjoyed these little tasties at Rangetsu's

EXCELLENT so ice cream mochi has a real name!
Oh how I wish this was in English.... but now that I know what the packaging looks like... I'll know what to watch out for in the Asian market... I am positive Dong-A Asian Superstore in Orlando has them!

Watercress & Pea Soup

Last night, a mess was made of catasrophic proportions. Pea Soup. EVERYWHERE. It was most excellent.

I mean c'mon... how was I supposed to know that virtualy invisable squiggly line on my food processor was supposed to be the liquid limit? It started as a tiny trickle down the side of my food processor, that I thought maybe escaped from the side of the pot while I poured the soup into it.... but then I realized it was coming from the bottom... quickly... all of my broth was vanishing!!! O_O I guess it could be said it was somewhat comedic watching Dave trying to pick up the one ton food processor full of scalding hot soup, complete with loose blade, trying to pour it back into the pot.. while I ran around like a clucking chicken with a towel, trying to mop up the green liquid that was now covering the counter.... at the same time trying to comfort Dave in his discomfort.

Eventually I figured out that there is a reason people say to puree soups in batches.... and the soup turned out just fine.. albeit a little thicker than I'd hoped, but tastey none the less!

And dad, this one is vegetarian friendly =) Just pretend I didnt eat any conch fritters, and that there arent slices of turkey garnishing the soup!

Watercress & Pea Soup


1 large onion chopped
2 tbsp butter
5 cups peas
2 cups veggie broth
1/2 bunch watercress (to your taste, I just added these cause I had too much for salad!)
salt to taste


In a large pot melt butter and saute onion until soft and transluscent, add broth, peas and watercress. Cook over medium heat until peas are soft. Season to taste.

Puree in food processor or blender (IN BATCHES!!!) until smooth.

Garnish with a sprig of watercress.. or in our case, a shred of turkey courtesy mom =)

We had this with a watercress salad, I made the dressing...

Honey Dijon Balsamic Vinagrette
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
fresh ground pepper

Blend ingredients, whisking in oil slowly at the end.

I also fried up some conch fritters from Claytons. Claytons is the fish market I frequent in town. Whenever they get conch in... whatever goes unsold they make fritters from. They are fantastic. So I always get excited when I see conch in stock because I know they will soon be making their fritters. =) mmm.

Tuesday, June 13

This Weeks Menu 6/12-6/22

This week, I've been so bold as to draw up a menu for the next ten days! I figured I bought so much produce over the weekend, I'd better figure out what to do with it all now before it all goes off! I'll link these up with their recipes as I make them =)

Here is what I got during my food shopping spree this weekend:
1 cucumber, 1 daikon, fresh English peas, 1 lb carrots, 1 bunch watercress, 1 bunch scallions, 2 Spanish onions, strawberries, blueberries, lychees, 2 kiwis, mini bananas, 1 mango, 1 lotus root, sushi grade tuna, eggs, 1 tub miso, 1 kamaboko (Japanese fish paste cake), 6 chicken thighs, 1 mackerel, conch fritters. Everything else I already have stocked. My mother was also kind enough to cook a turkey and donate some leftover meat, which I'll be picking up after work. =)

White Rice
Cucumber and Daikon salad
Miso Soup

Poke Onigiri
Leftover simmered veg
berries & yogurt

Fresh Pea Soup
Conch Fritters
Watercress Salad w/ carrot and tomato

Fresh Pea Soup
Conch fritters
Turkey sandwich
Fruit & Yogurt

Tijuana Flats

Rice with Furikake (savory seasoning) & Kamaboko
Fruit & Yogurt

Miso Marinated Cod (cod from the freezer)
Spinach rolls with toasted sesame &sesame sauce
Shredded daikon
Miso Soup

Friday-Sunday we will be in St Augustine, so I didnt need to fix a menu for the weekend. =)

For my own reference, I've made a rough menu for part of next week as well...

Monday 6/19
Boca mochis with cheese
Cucumber & Carrot salad
yogurt and fruit

Steamed Chicken thigh and shitake
Okra salad

Tuesday 6/20
steamed chicken thigh w/ shitake

Tandoori Chicken
Jasmine rice
some curry veg side
mango chutney
onion chutney

Wednesday 6/21
Tandoori chicken
Jasmine Rice
curry veg
home made raita?

Out - pool night

Simmered Mackerel in Miso

I went to the fish market on Saturday, and they had some beautiful mackerel. I'd never cooked with it before, and figured it would be a good learning experience. Was it ever. It was whole for one thing, only just gutted.. the fishmonger was perfectly willing to give it to me as is, guts and all, if I hadnt asked! So I made a complete mess of it trying to cut it into pieces, avoiding any bones being left in the meat. But in the end, it turned out just fine, no bones at all... even though what seemed to be a lot of fish turned out to be a little fish. ;-)

This was really nice and flavorful, the sauce it wields is also delish over rice.


1 mackerel cut into pieces
1 clove ginger
2 tbsp miso

1/2 cup dashi
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce


Bring dashi to a boil over high heat, add salt and ginger. Place fish with skin side up, cover loosely with a lid and simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add mirin and soy sauce, cover and continue cooking 2-3 mins.

In a bowl mix miso with some of the stock to disolve, and pour into the pan with the fish, cook over medium heat for a further 2-3 minutes or until the liquid is reduced. Shake pan while cooking to prevent scorching.

We had this with white rice and some veg (carrot, daikon, lotus, scallion) simmered in a soy sauce concoction.

Monday, June 12

Miso Soup with Okra

I love miso soup. But I've only ever had it out in restaurants, or suffered myself those little instant packages... but never again... now that I know how easy and quick it is to make! Its no wonder the Japanese have miso as a standard breakfast!

I imagine if you want it plain.. or maybe just with some chopped scallion and tofu it could all take less than 5 minutes! But I wanted okra, so it took maybe 10. hehe


4 pods okra
2 slices lotus root
1 chopped scallion
1/4 block firm tofu cut into small cubes
2 cups dashi stock
3 tbsp miso

Rub your okra with salt to remove any fuzzy bits, then boil okra and lotus for 1 minute. Rinse under cold water, and chop your okra so you have some nifty little okra stars.

Bring dashi stock to a boil with scallion, reduce immediately to medium low. In a small bowl combine miso with some of the stock to disolve. Add miso to the stock. Add tofu, lotus and okra. Stir over low for about a minute (do not boil1!!!) and serve.

Enjoy! =)


AKA Steamed Egg Custard

I bought a new Japanese cookbook from Amazon, and received it on Saturday... so by Sunday, I was really itching to use it. I thought the perfect opportunity would be to try to make the egg custard for breakfast... since I always like breakfast to involve eggs. =)

I'd never made a custard before, and I was really happy with how they turned out. I also didnt have a steamer deep enough to hold bowls, so I had to jerry rig my wok, and use my saute pan (which happened to fit perfectly over top of my wok!) as a lid!
But everything worked fine!

So here we go-

1 chicken thigh
2 fresh shitake mushrooms
1/2 tsp light soy sauce
6 shelled ginko nuts
4 slices kamaboko

2 eggs
1.5 cups dashi stock
1 tsp sake
2/3 tsp salt
1 tsp light soy sauce

Marinate for 10 minutes the shitake and chicken in 1/2 tsp soy sauce.
Combine ingredients for custard, do no beat the eggs, lightly stir with chop sticks.
Place in the two bowls the chicken thigh and shitake. Fill bowl 1/4 of the way full with custard then place the bowls on top of a place in a wok for steaming, or if you happen to have a steamer deep enough, do it that way.

Steam custards over high heat (lid sealed) for 1 minute, then reduce the heat (or open the lid a tad) and cook for another 15 mins. Test for doneness by inserting a bamboo chopstick, liquid should be clear.

Add ginko nuts, kamaboko and remaining custard and steam for another 5 minutes.
Garnish with a small leafy green such as mitsuba (Japanese parsely) or watercress.

Friday, June 9

Pixar going for the Foodie Crowd?

It seems that Pixar is planning on tapping into the whole food craze going on. I'm not a huge fan of animated flicks (although, I spent about 10 years of my life wanting to become an animator, even taking it as a major in college!).. but I'll probably go to see this one. An American rat.. living in a restaurant in Paris... trying to find the best food.... sounds a bit familiar.... Bourdain??? o_O

Check the Trailer.

Bangers & Mash

Last night a rare thing happened.

I let Dave in the kitchen.

Dave is a really good cook... the problem is, I usually dont let him anywhere near the kitchen. I've already decided most days what we are having for dinner before lunch time. Poor Dave is just an innocent bystander. But I knew we had a few potatos that needed eating, and I also was aware of the stash of English bangers in the freezer that also needed eating... so I asked Dave if he would like to cook one of my favorites, his Bangers and Mash.

How we happened upon these bangers is a bit of a funny story. There is an Irish pub in town, Meg O'Malleys.. that has fantastic Bangers. While we were eating there one day, and Dave was commenting on how good their bangers are... Dave wondered outloud where they could have found them in these parts. So... I decided to just ask the waitress, who, in turn, went back to the chef.. and believe it or not, he was nice enough to tell us exactly where they get their bangers. The source turned out to be none other than one of my favorite local foodie shops, Petty's Meats. So on we went to Pettys and purchased our own bangers.... unfortunately... we dont find ourselve at Meg O'Malleys much anymore! O_O!!!

Roast the bangers in the oven on a foil covered cookie sheet at 350 until they are crispy and brown. While they roast, make some mashed potatoes, Dave used 3 russets, cut into 8ths boiled in salted water, drained, and mashed with half a stick of butter and plenty of heavy cream. (hey I never said this was diet food) Add salt and pepper to taste. This is always perfectl with peas... and rounded off with BEER. English preferably.

Dave requested that I take a picture of his plate, since he thought his looked MUCH better than mine. I'm American.. what do I know about plating an English meal properly? ;-)

Thursday, June 8

Cinnamon Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies rock. These cookies rock in a very uber sort of way.

Ever since I was little.... okay... maybe "little" isnt a good word for it... as that hasnt changed any.... Lets start again..

Ever since I was a kid, I've been trying to rediscover the cookie that a girls mom up the street made. She called them Snickerdoodles, but they werent the same as your standard soft, fluffy, light Snickerdoodle. These were almost wafer thin... crispy... cinnamony!! Just simply wonderful. I've never found a cookie like them since.

I found this recipe not intending to recreate the above mentioned cookie.. but was trying to make use of the rest of the whole oatmeal and shredded coconut we had laying around in the cabinet taking up space. I found this one on Allrecipes... and followed some of the reviewers comments to add cinnamon. I added lots, and also substituted margarine for shortening cause I didnt have any.. and added LOTS of cinnamon. I like cinnamon, why be stingey? Mind you these arent exactly the same as the cookies I remember from my childhood.. but the flavor and texture is the closest I've ever found.

So here is what my recipe ended up being like... the original is here


* 1/2 cup margarine
* 1 cup packed brown sugar
* 1 cup white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup butter
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 cup flaked coconut
* 2 teaspoon baking powder
* 2 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 cups rolled oats
* 2 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon cream of tartar


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. In a medium mixing bowl cream shortening, butter, sugars & spices. Add eggs and vanilla until blended. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients, withholding the coconut until all other dry ingredients are blended. Add coconut.

4. Combine wet and dry ingredients until moist. Drop on greased cookie sheet on wax paper about 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. I like them a little on the burnt side.

I saved half the dough in the freezer and baked the rest later... they turned out just fine as well. =)

Tuesday, June 6

Teriyaki Salmon with Green Tea Soba Noodles

Dinner last night was pretty simple, and, I think, healthy. When we went to the Asian market a couple weeks ago, I was looking to get some soba noodles, I love the flavor of them, and hadnt had them in years. But I was completely surprised to see green tea soba noodles. I thought the green would look really nice in contrast to some pink salmon, so I bought some. The flavor wasnt very different from regular soba... actually, I thought the flavor was a little more subtle.

I cooked the noodles in a light dashi stock and served them warm with the salmon and steamed brocolli.

For the salmon I marinated it in equal parts light soy, mirin and a chopped scallion overnight, and cooked under the broiler until done.

We had this with a little bowl of freshly steamed and shelled edemame. =)

Bento #3

And of course, leftovers from dinner last night became lunch today!

I'm really enjoying this bento thing =) Gives me something to look forward to halfway through my day besides JUST eating. ;-) And discourages me from forgoing my brought lunch and eating out, which is a bad habit! I think I've also converted Dave into Bentoism... he seems interested, and even said "yes" when I asked him if he'd like me to get him one. MUAHAHAAHA!! Little cute bentos everywhere!

SO... top tier: same as dinner... green tea soba noodles, teriyaki salmon, brocolli, and edemame. Bottom tier: yogurt with fresh pear and berries, sprinkled with sugar.

Monday, June 5

Bento # 2

My second attempt at bento! =D This one was cheating though, since I used leftovers from eating out last night... but my nifty new Totoro bento box arrived over the weekend and I couldnt wait to use it and show it off! =)

Inside is: lamb pasanda, basmati rice, aloo chat, naan bread. And in the little side container is some veggie raita. I love Indian food.

Poor little bento box must be going through some culture shock.... it flies all the way from Japan, to America, to be filled with Indian food.... o_O

Sorry about the blurry pic... best I could get this morning =(

Curry Squash Soup

Every year around Thanksgiving I make a soup similar to this one, but with pumpkin instead, sometimes I'll get extravagant and serve it in little hollowed out pumpkins, but if youre not careful that can get messy =
Dave made a delish stuffed squash for dinner one night last night... Dave is an excellent cook... that is... if he can get me to let in him into the kitchen. ;-) So we had half of a leftover squash. What to do with leftovers like that? Well.. make soup I say!


1 half large squash, pre-roasted and cut into cubes (we used banana squash, butternut would work as well)
1 large sliced onion
1/4 stick butter
gobs of curry powder... 2-3 tbsp maybe? I always eyeball it..
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin
2 cups chicken or vegie stock


Saute onion in butter until it begins to wilt and is a bit transluscent, add curry spices and saute until blended, but do not burn. Add stock and squash and simmer for approx 15 mins.

Add soup to a food processor or blender until smooth.
Beware that the curry will probably stain anything white in your processor.... our once white blade piece is now yellow =)

We had this with a simple shrimp scampi and some olive bread. Mmmmm.

Bento # 1

I have been slacking with the posting seriously this past week!!

This was my first attempt at a Bento style lunch from last Thursday. I've been fascinated with bento for years, but only recently discovered some bento pages in English, so now I've been finding all sorts of inspiration in lunchtime recipes =)

My most proud moment here was successfully making a Japanese rolled omelette... without a proper Japanese omelette pan even, or a sushi mat, I used a paper towel!! haha! =) Following a recipe I have in an old cookbook from the 60s I scored on Ebay about Japanese homestyle cooking, I beat 3 eggs with about a tbsp of soy sauce, a tabsp of dashi/water, and a tsp of sugar. The challenging part of making a Japanese omelette is the whole process of pouring a thin layer rolling it to one side, and pouring another thin layer UNDERNEATH that one rolled up on the side.. then rolling it again.. and repeating til all the egg mixture is gone. The effect is nice neat visable layers once sliced. In the center of the omelette I placed some leftover stir fried shitake and onions. I also made my first onigiri, rice balls filled with umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum), wrapped in nori. In this bento was also some marinated and fried tofu, some enokitake, terriyaki steak and udon noodles. YUM. =)