Saturday, October 30, 2010

Got a Cheesecake Craving?

The cheesecake craving hit me HARD at the end of last week. All of the ingredients (except for the cream cheese and powdered sugar) are things I almost always have on hand. This recipe was thrown together from my knowledge of baking, and came out PERFECT, literally.

- 1 8oz package cream cheese
- 2-3 tbs plain yogurt
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 pre-made pie crust
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbs flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
optional: your favorite fruit
Tools: electric mixer, cake tin (or cheesecake tin), plastic scraper

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a 9" cake pan and lay out pie dough (or you can use a pre-made graham cracker crust). Bake in oven for 7-10 minutes.
3. On low speed, mix all of your "wet" ingredients: butter, cream cheese, and yogurt. Add vanilla, lemon juice, egg and egg yolks. Continue to mix ingredients until they resemble a pudding-like mixture.
4. Add powdered sugar and flour. Mix well.
5. Next add salt and baking powder. Blend well.
6. Pour into pie crust and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown on top.
7. Let cheesecake cool before cutting (it will sink in a little bit when it cools). I find that a cheesecake always tastes best if I wait 24 hours to eat it...though sometimes I do take it out to eat sooner.

8. When ready to eat, dice up your favorite fruit (I used canned peaches in this instance), and pour over each slice as desired. YUM-YUM!! :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Udon Soup...thanks you, local Asian supermarket..

On a chilly Fall day, nothing warms me up like a delicious bowl of homemade soup. You can keep them simple with a broth or fill them up with something you love. This soup recipe involves traditional Japanese noodles called "udon" (pronounced "Ooooo- dong"). These noodles come soft and prepackaged. I found them grocery shopping at a local Asian supermarket with one of my gfs from Taiwan. She suggested things to add to the soup, including tofu, eggs, or chicken. I tried out the recipe with something called "fish tofu" which gave the soup a light, delicious, seafood flavor. Absolutely おいしい! (pronounced "Oishii"- which means "delicious")

You will need:

- a medium pot, vegetable peeler, measuring cup, large spoon

- 1 package udon noodles
- 1 package chicken boullion (some udon noodles already come with a packet of flavoring which you can use instead)
- one medium carrot
- 1 tbs parsley
- 2 tbs rice wine
- 1/4 pound of fish tofu
- 1 tbs garlic powder
- 1 tsp old bay
- Adobo and pepper to taste
1. STEP ONE: Assemble your ingredients (above) and fish tofu (below).

2. Bring a pot of 1 cup of water to a boil over high heat.
3. Add your fish tofu (below) and udon noodles, and bring to a boil (about 3-4 minutes).
4. Use the vegetable peeler to add pieces of shaved carrot. Add your parsley, garlic powder, old bay, and boullion. Continue to boil for another 1-2 minutes.
5. Add rice wine and stir gently. Add salt (adobo is my salt) and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Allow to cool in pot for at least 5-10 minutes before serving.
6. Pour into a large soup bowl (should make about 3-4 servings).


(pronounced "Tanoshimu"- which means "enjoy!")

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Go-To Greek Pizza (in 11 Easy Steps)

Nothing adds robust flavor to my early week meals quite like homemade pizza. The aroma of herbs, baked dough, and tomato sauce fills up my kitchen with this homemade recipe that causes even the cat and dog to salivate. This was my first attempt at making it "greek" but it came out so fab I will definitely be making it again. The flavors of green olives, spinach, goat cheese, and salami all form a delectable go-to treat for your taste buds.

You will need:

Tools--> spatula, spoon, baking pan, (rolling pin and board are optional if you are good at tossing pizza dough)

- pizza dough (~1$ at your local grocery store)
- flour
- olive oil
- tomato sauce
- green olives
- spinach (fresh or frozen)
- goat cheese crumbles
- mozzarella cheese (you dont have to use this in addition to the goat cheese if you want to go a bit healthier... but you know me.. i loooove my cheese!)
- salami (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees.
2. Coat a deep-baking pan with olive oil.
3. Using a floured surface and rolling pin, roll out your dough so that it fits your cookie sheet.

4. Lay rolled dough onto greased pan and using a spoon spread tomato sauce on the dough. Put in the oven to bake for 7-12 minutes. (I find that if you spread the tomato sauce all the way to the edges it keeps the crust more moist and chewy).

5. While the dough and sauce are baking, prepare your toppings. Dice up your salami into tiny chunks and assemble your toppings.

6. First, put down your layer of cheese.

7. Then put on the toppings that can "brown" easily (i.e. your spinach and garlic powder). Follow with sprinkling the diced salami all over the pizza, and then the goat cheese-crumbles.

8. Top with diced green manzilla olives if desired (you can also use kalamata olives).

9. Your pizza should look roughly like this with all toppings assembled.

10. Set your timer for 10 minutes, and bake at 450 degrees or until the layer of mozzarella cheese is starting to bubble.
(Tip: to make sure your pizza is done, stick a spatula under the pizza crust as close to the middle of the pan as you can, and lift up. If the dough is starting to turn a golden-brown then your pizza should be done.)

11. VOILA! Pizza is done! Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy New Year To Me :)

It all started with tiramisu birthday cake (my dad tried to make the candles in the upper left hand corner look like a "27"...)

Me and my little sis

My b-day margarita...HUGEEEE

me and my grad school pals

Over at the restaurant with some more good friends

chicken chimichanga's... YUM! I love their food it's so authentic!

Fancy, Alpana and I

This guy was really intense about bringing out the cake at the right moment...LOL

They played maracas, tambourines, sang, and my cake was delivered by a Christian Bale look-a-like...mmmmmhhhmmm!

My birthday dinner crew


J$ blowing some bubbles at the bar

Fancy looking for some support

me 'n my longtime homegurl Lindz

OMG I had so much fun for my birthday this year! My dad and sis surprised me with a tiramisu cake from a local Italian passticceria. Then it was out to the burrito bar with my grad-school pals and sis for my gi-normous birthday margarita (so big you can share it with 6 people). Dinner was at Panchos (best authentic Mexican food in town) with my besties J$ and Lindz, my family, and a bunch of my grad-school pals. As we are generally well-behaved grad students and don't get to cut loose a lot during the week, we definitely took it to a whole nother level after dinner. Good times!

Thanks to everyone for making this the best birthday yet!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Amanda, Inga, and I drove down Route 1 to "the island" where her family lobsters (pronounced "lob-stahs"). Her pops brought us 3 lobsters off the boat that morning...and we brought them back up to Amanda's for dinner. Even Inga was introduced to the lobster (youtube link here: ).

I never thought I'd have the guts to make lobster, but I totally did! (scroll down for how to do it yourself)

...the lobster boats in the bay

..Inga hunting for Lobster on the beach.... of the private beaches off the island...

..Amanda introducing Inga to dinner (she was a little scared)...

..poor guys...or gals....



1. Keep your lobster on ice (or in "the crisper" which I learned is the veggie-drawer in your fridge) until your pot is ready.

2. Boil a LARGE pot with about 5-7 inches of water on the bottom. (We got the large pot with wire rack for 20$ at Walmart).

3. De-band your lobster.

4. Place your lobster on wire rack in the pot with boiling water. Cover the pot.

5. Steam for 15-20 minutes until bright red.

6. Melt about 1-2 tbs of butter per lobster, gather a lot of napkins, and BON APETITE!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Birthday, Cupcake!

*Happy Birthday*
to my little devil kitty, Cupcake!!!
A mere 3 years old, adorable, and still full of mischief...MEOW!