Archive | December, 2012

2012 in review

30 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy Hour: Garlic Cheesy Bread

22 Dec

This bread is almost sinful. Full of carbs, butter, and out right not healthy for you. But goodness gracious, it is yummy. Between three people, we tore this bread up. You might have to detox with one of my salads I have posted after eating this. But, don’t worry. While you’re eating it, you won’t give a damn. It’s worth the morning run and the salad for lunch that you’ll have to do tomorrow. It’s the holidays; be indulgent. I think this bread will warm up any table if guests you may have this time of year.

Ingredient List:
– A loaf of bread
– Lots and lots of butter, melted (one stick)
– 1-2 tbsp olive oil
– Cilantro, chopped
– 3 garlic cloves, minced
– Mozzarella cheese
– Salt and pepper

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Directions:
1. Buy a loaf of bread and criss cross cut it (this is where you are going to pour all the goodness of this bread).

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2. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, olive oil, chopped cilantro, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Then POUR this all over your bread. Oh goodness. You’re starting to be able to tell why this is good right? Anything with this much butter and garlic has got to be good. But wait, it’s going to get better…

3. Top with the shredded cheese. There it is. Butter, garlic, and melted cheese…..Sprinkle with a little more cilantro.

4. Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and pop in your 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes.

5. Pull apart the little sections and enjoy……you’ll make up for it tomorrow!

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The Boyfriend Rates It: 4

Bread was crispy and herb-y, but the the butter could have been more evenly distributed throughout the loaf. It didn’t soak all the way through to the entire loaf. Maybe someone can give us a tip for that.

Asian-style Baked Salmon

21 Dec

Sometimes I like to eat healthy. This salmon, served with a cucumber salad, is one of those meals. Yet for all the health benefits of salmon, which makes it a popular detox dinner dish, it is also simply and delicious. You can’t beat a piece of well-cooked salmon.

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Ingredients List:
– 1 1b salmon, cut into 4 pieces
– 1 tbsp shoyu
– 1 tbsp sesame oil
– 1 tbsp rice vinegar
– 1/2 tbsp honey
– Dash of onion salt
– Dash of garlic salt

Toppings:
– Sliced green onion
– Sesame seeds

Cucumber salad:
– One cucumber, thinly sliced
– Mizkan sesame salad dressing
– Dash of shoyu

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1. Mix together the shoyu, seseme oil, rice vinegar, and honey in a bowl — about 1 tbsp of each. Then add a dash of onion salt and garlic salt. Taste the mixture and adjust any of the seasonings as necessary.

2. With each wedge of salmon, cut a few slices into the meat. Pour the marinade over the salmon, ensuring that it pours into the cuts you just made — this will get the flavor of the marinade throughout the whole fish.

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3. Bake in your 350 oven for about 15 minutes, until the meat is flaky and easily breaks apart with your fork — but don’t overcook the salmon!

4. Serve with a cucumber salad. I like to thinly slice my cucumber and use the sesame-ginger dressing. This is the ONLY dressing I will buy at the market – I always make them at home. But my mom eats cucumber salads with this dressing all the time and it’s just a flavor I can’t recreate closely enough to make at home. I also add a little dash of shoyu to add a bit more salt. Delicious.

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The Boyfriend Rates It:4.5

This is a simple but amazingly delicious dish. The salmon is light and tasteful. And the marinade is just right. To me, this dish paired with the cumber salad is what I imagine an authentic Asian seafood dish to taste like.

Mushroom, Onion, and Chicken Pizza

18 Dec

This recipe is definitely a step up from Pizza Hut. And don’t get me wrong, I love a greasy, cheesy pepperoni pizza every now and then. But this is a pizza of its own style — one of those fancy pizzas with a garlic cream sauce, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. I got the recipe from Budget Bytes. As that blog author writes, it is a meal of love. If you home make the pizza dough the same day, prepare for a long night/next day of waiting. This recipe will take forever. Luckily for me, I had a batch of pizza dough leftover in my freezer. When I make things like that (things that are time consuming), I tend to make double batches so that I can also have a back up in the freezer. Whenever I make the double batch, I hate myself. Yet, when I use the freezer batch, I hug myself for being so clever.

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Ingredient List:
– Pizza dough

Toppings
– Mushrooms (the more, the merrier in my world)
– 2 onions
– Shredded chicken
– Mozzarella cheese
– Cilantro

Garlic cream sauce
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 cup whole milk
– 1 tbsp butter
– Half package (about 4 oz) cream cheese
– Salt & Pepper

Ingredients:

1. Caramelize your onions. I slice 2 onions and cook them in my dutch oven with olive oil, butter, salt, and pepper. This takes roughly half an hour. As it cooks, add water so that the onions don’t stick to the bottom of your pan. Once the onions are almost done, add either a dash of balsamic vinegar or red wine to deglaze your pan and add that touch of sweetness. I always mean to add red wine, but then I end up drinking it instead. Whoops.

2. For the chicken, take a few tenderloins and boil them with salt, onion, and garlic. When cooked, shred.

3. In a large skillet, cook your mushrooms with some minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

4. Now, the garlic cream sauce. I followed the directions on the blog I got this recipe from pretty carefully. I added a few extra cloves of garlic, because I simply can’t resist, and it was a rather garlic-y sauce. I liked it. In a different pan from the mushrooms, take about 1 tbsp butter and cook it with a few cloves of minced garlic. When the butter melts, add the cream cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Whisk together until smooth.

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5. Once your onions, mushrooms, chicken, and garlic cream sauce are done, it’s time to assemble your pizza! Spread your dough out into the shape you want. I made mine this mis-shaped rectangle so I could use a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil to cook it. Spread the garlic cream sauce all over. Spread a generous portion of mozzarella cheese all over. Top with chicken, onions, and mushrooms. Sprinkle cilantro over the top.

6. Bake. If you are using store bought dough, bake according to package instructions. Since I had made this dough at home, I just set my oven to 350 and baked for about 10-15 minutes until the cheese was melted.

7. Serve up your swanky, gourmet pizza! Enjoy with a glass of wine and a side salad of kale, orange, and avocado.

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The Boyfriend Rates It: 4.6
I was not in the kitchen at all for the prep of this meal but it seemed so simple to me, yet it was soo delicious. The sweetness of the caramelized onions balanced out well with the earthiness of the mushrooms. And, as a Mexico-gene (fix if its spelled wrong babe) I love anything topped with fresh cilantro.

Extra Note:
One, my boyfriend is super cute. He left that note for me like I would edit it out but it makes me smile, so I decided to leave it. And two, it would actually be Mexicojin. A person from Mexico. Since boyfriend always calls the Spanish work for Japanese,”Japones” (which was an improvement from when he called me “china” – which I am not), I started calling him this.

Happy Hour: Stuffed Mushrooms

17 Dec

Stuffed mushrooms are easily one of my favorite appetizers to make. These are quick, cheesy, and oh.so.delicious. They are great for happy hour snacks or potlucks. I recently had stuffed mushrooms at a fondue restaurant and it made me crave these little delectable bites.

Ingredient List:
– Mushrooms, stem out
– Mushrooms stems, minced
– Onion, minced
– Garlic, minced
– Cream cheese
– Blend of cheese (I used monterey jack and mozzarella)
– Cilantro, chopped
– Dash of red pepper flakes
– Dash of salt and pepper
– Dash of onion salt
– Dash of garlic salt
– Panko

1. Clean your mushrooms. Pull out the stems and set aside.

2. Mix the cream cheese, mozzarella cilantro, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt. How much you use of all these ingredients depends on how much you are making so just taste and season as you go.

3. Chop up the stems of the mushrooms and quickly cook with a little olive oil, the minced garlic, and the minced onion. When it is done, combine it with your cheese mixture.

4. Using a small spoon, fill each of the mushrooms with the stuffing mixture.

5. Line a cooking sheet with aluminium foil and place your mushrooms on them. Sprinkle each mushroom with panko bread crumbs for a bit of crunch and texture.

6. Bake at 350 until the cheese is bubbly – about 10 minutes.

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The Boyfriend Rates It:5
These are easily one of my favorite happy hour bites at home. They taste soo much better that ones I get at a bar or restaurant, probably because the gf doesn’t use any kind of filler like they do at those places. They are little bites of mushroom heaven. Earthy, creamy, and just the right amount of crunch from the panko.