Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ajisen Ramen at Westfield San Francisco

The Asian in me L-O-V-E-S ramen.  I am not talking about cup-o-noodles or Top Ramen.  I am talking about real ramen.  The real Asian ramen.  The kind that old Japanese men are slaving over a hot stove over. 
That kind of ramen.  There is something about Japanese ramen that just hits the spot.  Something about that creamy broth, thin cut meat, and egg that just excites my heart. 

El Hubby and I love going to Ajisen Ramen at Westfield Mall in San Francisco.  We have been there a couple of times and it has never disappointed.  I know getting ramen from a mall food court sounds weird but trust me Ajisen Ramen is good.  Very good.

This last visit to the city we stopped by for lunch and I ordered the Ajisen Spicy Pork Ramen.  So yummy!  The broth is full of flavor and the noodles cooked just right.  For the price of food the portions are not too bad.  El Hubby usually finishes all of his and whatever I don't eat of mine.  We make a great eating team.  We ordered a appetizer of friend chicken too but it was gobbled up before I could get a picture. 

The place is pretty small so get there early.  If not just write your name down and head over to Sanrio across the way for some shopping to kill time.  Trust me you want to wait for this food.

Ajisen Ramen Noodle
Westfield San Francisco Center, #C-12 865 Market Street
San Francisco, CA94103
Monday - Saturday: 10:00am to 8:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am to 7:00pm

Khloe the pup only has 2 speeds: lazy and excited. 

Remember, the holidays are about giving and being thankful for what you have.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

One of my favorite appetizers to get at a restaurant is spinach artichoke dip.  I know it goes straight to my thighs but oh it is so yummy.  So worth running a extra 2, 3, 4 ... 5 miles on the treadmill.  Okay wait!  Maybe not 5 miles!

So what could possibly be as good?  Spinach artichoke dip in pasta form.  O-M-G!  This is amazing.  I have made this 3 times before I could blog about it.  It is drool worthy and worth all the time it takes to make it. 

Spinach Artichoke Pasta
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

6 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 bags baby spinach
2 can artichoke hearts, drained and halved
2 bottle Alfredo sauce
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese grated
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup seasoned panko breadcrumbs

1.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet.
2.  Add garlic and throw in the spinach.  Stir it around until it's wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove spinach from heat and set aside.
3.  Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high.  Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.
4.  Reduce the heat to low.  Add the 2 bottles of Alfredo sauce.  Add Parmesan, mozzarella, salt and pepper.  Stir to melt and add chicken broth until desired consistency.
5.  Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine.
6.  Gently fold in spinach.
7.  Pour the pasta into a serving dish.  Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.

I made this as a test run before Thanksgiving and then made it for the vegetarians in the family for Thanksgiving.  It was a hit among the vegetarians and carnivores.  More and more of my family is turning vegetarian so gatherings are becoming a little tricky.  

Then for Tzu Chi's gingerbread house building party I made this pasta again and one of the little girls ate 3 plate fulls.  I would call this a successful recipe.  That pioneer woman knows what she is doing.

Khloe the pup is as spoiled as ever.  The holidays are her favorite time of the year because she loves to snuggle and in the cold weather everyone welcomes a good snuggle.  Also, my family tends to give her a lot of seafood during this time of the year.  Just over the weekend I think Khloe the pup had over 6 shrimpies during dinner on Sunday.  Granted they were small.  But still spoiled.

Enjoy the holidays friends!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crab and Brie Stuffed Mushrooms

I love when a recipe turns out well and you end up making it again ... and again!  Successful recipes are always something to celebrate about. 

This crab and brie stuffed mushrooms is one of those recipes.  I hate ordering stuffed mushrooms at restaurants because they usually don't give you enough ... especially when you have more than 2 people.  So making this recipe at home is fantastic.  You can stuff as many mushrooms as you can with the filling and put as much filling as you want.  Costco here we come!

Crab & Brie Stuffed Mushrooms
Adapted from Pink Parsley 

button mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup brie, cubed rind removed
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup lump crab meat

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.  Remove the stems from mushrooms, chop them finely, and set aside
3.  In a medium bowl, toss the mushroom caps with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper.  Arrange in a single layer on a lightly greased baking sheet, open side up.  Set bowl aside to use for the filling.
4.  In a medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions and reserved mushroom stems until softened (about 3-4 minutes).  Remove from heat, stir in the cream cheese and transfer the mixture to the bowl.
5.  Mix in the parmesan cheese, brie, and panko bread crumbs.
6.  Lightly fold in the crab meat.
7.  Season with salt and pepper to taste
8.  Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the mushrooms are browned and the filling is hot and bubbly.

My family gobbled this appetizer up at Thanksgiving.  I ended up making a huge tray of these and they were gone ... FAST!  Make these.  You will not regret it!

Keep the holiday spirit alive!


Thursday, November 29, 2012

S'mores Bars

Oh my gawd!  These are amazing.  Drool worthy.  I am pretty sure this S'mores Bar is better than smore's itself.

So amazing.  It's very rich so a small piece will be very satisfying.  But I won't stop you from washing 3 pieces down with a huge glass of milk.

S'mores Bar
From Wit & Whistle

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Milk chocolate bars
1 1/2 cup marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
2.  In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light.
3.  Beat in egg and vanilla extract.
4.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt.
5.  Add dry mixture to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined.
6.  Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
7.  Place chocolate bars over dough.  2 king size Hershey's bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate if necessary to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.
8.  Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.
9.  Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff.
10.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool completely before cutting bars.

Please try to resist from cutting the bars before it cool.  It is worth the wait. 

Let the baking season begin!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bobby Hundreds from The Hundreds

Wow!  So it's been a very very very long time since I last posted on my blog.  A lot has happen and a lot has not.  But I do promise to blog more.

Today El Hubby and I decided to make a day trip to San Francisco.  Guess who we met?!?  That's right!  Bobby Hundreds from The Hundreds!  The day started out at The Hundreds shop.  It was the first place we stopped at.  El Hubby was hoping to run into Bobby Hundreds since we know from following his blog that he was in town for a collaboration.  We made our purchase at the store with no sign of Bobby Hundreds.  I had noticed on Instagram that Bobby Hundreds had posted that he was at the store.  However, I was too hesitant to ask if Bobby Hundreds was at the store.  We left and continued our shopping day.  El Hubby looked sad.  I felt like I had let down my husband cause I did not ask if Bobby Hundreds was at the store.  So crazy me decided to post a message on Bobby Hundreds Instagram.  Later in the afternoon we headed to Niketown which was our last stop of the day.  When we walked in El Hubby nudged me and said "that's John Hundreds".  I was really starting to feel bad now.  While waiting for El Hubby to shop in his favorite store I decided to sit down and check social media.  To my surprise Bobby Hundreds had replied to my comment on Instagram.  I ran to El Hubby and told him that Bobby Hundreds said to "come back".  So we paid and power walked to The Hundreds.  Guess who was sitting on the bench in front of The Hundred?!?  Bobby Hundreds!

The above picture is El Hubby showing Bobby Hundreds his loot from NikeTown.  Bobby Hundreds is really a cool guy.  I listened while El Hubby chatted with Bobby Hundreds.  It was so nice that Bobby Hundreds took the time to chat with us for awhile.  What an awesome day!


Friday, August 24, 2012

Whole Foods

Time flies by fast.  Life happens and there is nothing we can do to stop time.  August has been a crazy month.  My great aunt from Taiwan is in the states visiting.  My other great aunt passed away.  My brother in law got married.  A very full month.

My new co-worker likes to bring treats for the office.  It's pretty awesome.  Found these frog cookies in the office and couldn't resist so I took a picture.  And ate one of course.

Khloe the pup has been well.  However she might be getting a some cabin fever because it's been so hot in August that we haven't been able to go on many walks or park trips.  Hopefully it will cool down at night soon so we can take her out.

The end of summer is coming soon.  Boy does time fly by. 


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy Veggie Garden

A few weeks ago I  went down South to visit family with my mom.  El Hubby was not worried that I was going without him.  His reason was that I was going with "the vegetarian" and "how much fun" could I get in.  Carnivores can be so harsh.

Well we did have lots of Chinese food while in LA but not all was vegetarian.  But we did have a lot of vegetarian food. 

We ate at a vegetarian restaurant called Happy Veggie Garden.   Chinese people make pretty good vegetarian food.  I think I like Chinese vegetarian food the best because most items are hot and not in the salad category.

We ordered a lot of dishes but the one that stands out for me is the beef noodle soup.  Now if you have had spicy beef noodle soup you know what I am talking about.  No, there was no beef in the dish.  But the flavoring was pretty good that you might THINK it was made from beef.  Pretty amazing if you ask me. I think even El Hubby would approve.

Happy Veggie Garden also has some other amazing dishes like orange chicken.  Instead of fried pieces of chicken it is made from fried button mushroom.  Taste just as good and orange chicken without the chicken!

The food also comes with either rice porridge or buns.  Or you can always choose steamed rice too. 

Happy Veggie Garden
1015 S. Nogales Street, Ste 127
Roland Heights, CA 91748
(616) 810-2298

Khloe the pup really likes El Hubby's stinky fee.  I caught her playing with her pineapple on top of El Hubby's slippers.  Weird. 

Keep eating vegetables!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

McDonald's S'more Pie

The best part of camping is making s'mores by the camp fire.  I remember camping with my family when I was younger and enjoying ghost stories while eating s'mores. 

Now that I am married to a husband that does not camp I have not enjoyed s'mores in a long time.  Unless you count making them in the microwave.  Which I don't count. 

McDonald's came out with a s'mores pie.  Of course I tried it.  Duh!  This thing is pretty good.  However it is very rich in flavor.  Realistically I think I can only eat half.  El Hubby and I shared it.  The s'mores pie is basically chocolate and marshmallow wrapped in a graham cracker pie crust.  For fast food, I say this is pretty good.

I am probably bias but I think Khloe the pup is the cutest.  I am such a proud fur mama and until I have a kid she will continue to be spoiled.  Took a pick of her sleeping away.  It looks like she is smiling in her sleep. 

Keep making and finding good food to eat!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Justin Bieber


I was bored.  So I googled ... JUSTIN BIEBER.  

Keep on believing! 



One of my favorite things to eat is noodles.  The best kind of noodles are either handmade or ramen.  When I heard there was a Japanese restaurant making ramen I knew I had to go.

I got the pork ramen and it was delicious.  The broth had a lot of flavor and the ramen was cooked well.  The pork was very tender.  My only complaint was that my ramen was served with half a egg and I would prefer a whole egg.  Otherwise it was perfect.  The portion is also very big.

S21 is a little place.  I really liked the restaurant because now a days it is hard to find a place with no TV or loud music.  El Hubby and I were able to enjoy a nice dinner and conversation.  The service was a little slow.  It looked like there was only 1 server the night we went but he was very nice and helpful.  The ramen took a while to arrive but it is for sure worth the wait.  El Hubby and I had order some sushi so it all worked out.  Ramen is not served everyday.  Ramen is only served on Tuesday and Wednesday for dinner.  I will for sure being going back to S21.

S21 Sushi & Sake Bar
5754 N. First Street
Fresno, CA 93710
(559) 438-7100

Khloe the pup can have a very serious face when she wants to.  She is usually all smiles but occasionally she will stare you down.  Watch out!

Keep eating good food friends!


Monday, July 16, 2012

McDonald's Dipped Cone

McDonald's keeps coming up with new things.  Some good some not so good. 

The new dipped cone is very good.  McDonald's vanilla soft serve ice cream has always been yummy.  But dipped in chocolate is always better!  Also for $1.29 I am pretty sure no one can beat that price. 

This is how I caught El Hubby and Khloe the pup watching TV together.  These two always amaze me. 

Keep cool friends!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Hash House A Go Go

El Hubby and I have a really good friend that has moved to San Diego.  He was basically our eating buddy.

It took about a year but El Hubby and I finally made it to visit him in San Diego.  The very first place we went to when we arrived in San Diego was eat at Hash House A Go Go.  The portions at this place are huge.  Oh and when I mean huge I am not exaggerating.  I swear El Hubby's plate took up 1/4 our our table.

I had one of the house hashes that had fresh mushroom, artichoke hearts, sundried tomato, and fresh spinach.  This was very yummy.  Oh and they did not skimp on any of the ingredients.  However, I think my favorite part was the biscuit.  It was nice, fluffy, flakey, and melt in your mouth.  Oh and then there was the house jam.  I don't know what it was exactly but it was amazing.  We talked about me stealing the jar in my purse.  Don't worry!  We left the jam on the table.

El Hubby and our friend, Cheng, enjoyed a mimosa at breakfast.  The boys claimed that it's vacation so drinking at 10am in the morning is okay. 

The portions are seriously big here.  I saw a lot of couples share a plate.  However, the only child in me hates sharing so there was no way that was happening.  You definitely get your bang for your buck at this place.  There are a lot of items on the menu to try.

Hash House A Go Go
3628 5th Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
(619) 298-4646

 Khloe the pup is always down to play.  However, El Hubby and I do not always feel the same.  The poor pup lives a hard life. 

Good food is best shared with good friends!


Saturday, July 14, 2012


So El Hubby and I are major dessert people.  Hence my baking obsession. 

One of our favorite sweets is froyo.  A few weeks ago I got to try Pinkberry for the very first time while in San Diego. 

Oh my gawd!  Pinkberry is awesome.  I got the peach yogurt with pineapple and strawberry as my toppings.  I was a little scared at first on how the peach yogurt would taste.  But it was amazing.  By my choice of yogurt and topping you can clearly tell I am a fruity kinda gal. 

I can't believe that I have been missing out for so long.  However, it does make me sad because there is no Pinkberry near my hometown.  But I did go to their website (because it's 2012 and everyone has a website) and found out that Pinkberry is a franchise.

Mental note:  start considering quitting day job and opening a Pinkberry. 

The Pinkberry I visited in San Diego was a cute kiosk looking place.  The line was long and slow but it was worth the wait in the end.  The store was nice and clean.  The employees were nice and happy.  But then who wouldn't be working in a yogurt place.  I am for sure stopping the next time I see a Pinkberry.  

Fashion Valley
7007 Friars Road #915
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 294-4600

Khloe this pup is always a happy dog.  There is really not much that gets this doggie down.  She even loves the vet.  It always makes me laugh when the vet is trying to feel her looking for anything abnormal and Khloe gives her kisses.  El Hubby and I are very luck. 

Life is short.  Eat dessert first!


Friday, July 13, 2012

Salmon and Shrimp Dinner

One of my favorite parts of summer is grilled food.  Partly because it's yummy and partly because I am not the one standing outside in the heat watching the grill.  Thank goodness for El Hubby.

After months of not working out (sadly I am not exaggerating) El Hubby and I have been trying to eat healthier.  This means more lean protein, veggies, and less eating out.  For a little while we were eating out a lot and not at the best place.  Sorry McD's no matter what your commercials say you are no good to my waistline. 

This also means we are trying to be more realistic about our grocery shopping.  Sometimes we would buy all kinds of healthy food to only throw it all away when it went bad because we were eating out because we were too busy to cook the healthy items.  So now we also buy healthy frozen food and some not so healthy for those days. 

Hopefully this healthy eating and smart shopping will help my waistline and wallet. 

Ooops!  Almost forgot to talk about the food pictured above.  This is a dinner of a simple salad, salmon seasoned with pepper cooked in a foil packet with lemon on the grill, and shrimp marinated with garlic and butter grilled. 

Khloe the pup and El Hubby like to get into all kinds of trouble.  For instance, they like to play fetch inside the house.  It's all fun and games until something gets knocked over.  Oh and of course our house is not even that big.  What's a fur mama to do?  

Keep grilling friends!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ribeye Dinner

I believe I have stated that I do not grill.  I can do all the prep work.  I cut, marinade, and clean.  But actually standing in front of the grill?  Nope.  Too scary.  I leave that to El Hubby.  I like to call it team work.  I get everything ready, he grills, we eat dinner.  Bam!

This dinner was nothing fancy.  El Hubby seasoned the ribeye steaks with some salt and fresh ground pepper and then slapped them on the grill.  I whipped up some garlic mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, and of course a salad.  I also roasted some broccoli but it never made it on the plate.  We had a lot of leftovers but that is the intention so that we have food to pack for lunch. 

Khloe the pup always wants to play.  However Khloe the pup's favorite game is keep away.  Which is only fun for her.  She pretends to give you the ball and then snatches it away right before you get it and runs off wagging her tail only to come back and do it all again.  Ah weird little doggie but I guess as long as she burns off energy that is all that matters. 

Keep on cooking friends!


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Grilled Pork Chops

We are now full blown into summer.  With the super hot weather what better way than to grill to keep the house cool.  Grilling also means less pots and pans to wash which is fine by me. 

A simple dinner of rice, veggies, and meat.  I like to mix brown and white rice and cook it with a little olive oil.  the rice comes out amazing.  Uh if I am too lazy to cook inside of course I would use frozen veggies. 

Grilled Pork Chops

4-5 slice of pork
Italian dressing

  1. Marinade pork in Italian dressing (best if over night)
  2.  Pass meat to El Hubby to grill
Muahahaha.  What a awesome dinner.  Okay okay I am guessing you grill the pork for about 7-10 minutes each side at around 375 degree F.  But don't quote me on that.  I solely rely on El Hubby for all my grilling needs.  Who do I look like?  Girl meets girl?  No. 

When Khloe the pup is serious she is serious.  

Keep cooking friends!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Banana Oat Muffins

I think I have posted more banana recipes than anything else in the last 6+ months.  I can't help it.  El Hubby and I always have banana around.  It's a good snack food before and after a workout.  Then if they get too ripe you can't eat them cause they contain to much sugar.  Or can you ...

This banana oat muffin recipe that I am sharing is not too sweet at all.  Perfect for those who do not have a sweet tooth.  Which means 95% of my Asian family and friends.  

Banana Oat Muffins
From Honey & Jam

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. Combine flours, oats, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Beat eggs until light.  Stir in milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and combine thoroughly.  
  5. Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until just combined.  DO NOT OVER MIX OR MUFFINS WILL BE TOUGH.
  6. Spray a mini bundt pan with cooking spray and divide batter into pan.  Bake for about 14-16 minutes.
I brought these as a snack to a Tzu Chi meeting and they were a hit.  For me I thought these need more sugar.  They are definitely a muffin and not a cake.  But less sugar means more healthy.  Plus the oats are great for fiber. 

Khloe the pup is a very loved dog.  Looking at Khloe the pup it is hard to imagine that she came from a shelter and when El Hubby found her there she was just laying in the dirt.  Now she sunbathes on the patio.

Keep on cooking!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Rice Crispy Treats

Tzu Chi has started the summer math tutoring program for July.  This is really a great program for kids.  Every Saturday from 10am to 12pm kids grades K-algebra can come and get math tutoring for free.  I am pretty sure that free is always good. Snacks are also provided.  Since I am no math pro I will be part of the snack making crew.

For the first session I wanted to be extra careful since I did not know if any kids had allergies yet.  So what do I make?!?  Rice crispy treats!  Now I didn't know that there were people who didn't know how to make homemade rice crispy treats.  But I got asked for the recipe so I figured I would share on the blog.

Rice crispy treats really are super simple.  Any kinds of sprinkles or candies can be added.  If you want to get adventurous you can use other cereals instead of rice cereal too.

Rice Crispy Treats

1 box rice crispy cereal (12 oz box)
1 bag mini marshmallow
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup M&Ms

  1. Microwave butter in a large bowl.
  2. Add mini marshmallows into bowl with the melted butter.  Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted.  Stir after each interval.
  3. Add vanilla extract to the marshmallow mixture for extra flavor. 
  4. Spray a very large bowl with cooking spray and fill with cereal.  Add the marshmallow mixture to the cereal and mix.  
  5. Add any sprinkles or candy.
  6. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Press rice crispy cereal mixture into pan.  Let set for about 10 minutes.
  7. Slice and enjoy!
These homemade rice crispy treats were a hit with the kiddies.  But then again who wouldn't love something covered in marshmallow?  El Hubby even considered coming to volunteer to eat some rice crispy treats.  I let him have some for the promise of volunteering next time.  We will see.

Khloe the pup really only has two speeds.  Excited and lazy.  She is very good at both. 

Keep on cooking!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Banana Coconut Muffins topped with Walnuts

My mother in law loves nuts.  I am pretty sure it is all nuts.  Whenever we go to a restaurant she always asks for nuts in her salad.  She also loves coconut.  I am pretty sure whenever she goes to Cold Stone or any self serving ice cream place she always picks coconut as her topping.

So for Mother's Day I wanted to make a muffin that she would enjoy.

Banana Coconut Muffins topped with Walnuts
Adapted from Amandeleine

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1.  Preheat oven to 375F.  Line 12 muffin cups
2.  Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt together.
3.  Cream butter and sugar
4.  Add banana until combined.
5.  Add egg until combined.
6.  Add vanilla extract and coconut
7.  Mix in dry ingredients until just combined.  Do not over mix!
8.  Use a ice cream scooper to scoop batter into lined muffin cups.
9.  Top each muffin with chopped walnuts
10.  Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 23 minutes.

These muffins where nice and moist and full of banana flavor.  The in laws took quite a few home for morning coffee for the rest of the week.  Now we all know I am not a fan of coconut or nuts so I was more than happy to pack these little lovelies in a take out box.

This is Khloe the pup modeling her X-men shirt.  The pup does a natural look back.  Born model. 

Bake on friends!


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Banana Apple Raisin Cranberry Bread

So my banana apple raisin bread has become quite popular in my circle of family and friends. 

Since my mother in law loves dried fruit I decided to make it for Mother's Day Brunch.  Calm down!  Other items were served as well.  You didn't think the bread was the only item I served did you?

Banana, apple, raisin, cranberry bread
Adapted from Anncoo Journal

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon + 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 tablespoons milk 2% fat
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup cranberries, dried
1 Fuji apple, grated
3 large bananas, mashed

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a mini loaf pan
2.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.  Mix well and set aside.
3.  Combine eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract, grated apple, and mashed bananas.  Mix well.
4.  Add in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.  Mix until combined.
5.  Add in raisins and dried cranberries.
6.  Pour into prepared baking pan.  Bake for about 45 minutes.

I am normally not a big fruit fan in my bread but there is something about this bread that is so yummy.  I think it's a good snacking bread.  Does it fall under fruit cake?  I am not quite sure.  Make it and let me know!

So Khloe the pup has a little issue when playing fetch.  Don't get me wrong, she is a awesome fetcher.  The problem is getting her to let go once she brings the ball back.  El Hubby and I have been working with her by giving her a treat to get her to let go of the ball.  It's working.  For now.  But who wouldn't do something for a treat?  If someone held up a mini snickers bar and asked me to "let go" I would do it.  Oh well.

Bake on friends!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

This Mother's Day my family decided to do a late lunch.  My awesome godfather cooked, my mom and grandparents prepared fruit, and I made some sweets.  My family is easy.  We love food.  The only requirement is that it is good.

So since I was already bringing some muffins and bread from brunch to share (more on that later) El Hubby convinced me to make cookies.  He really had to twist my arm on this one.  With it being so hot lately it was hard to want to start up the oven.

But then I remembered that I had bags of Reese's mini peanut butter cups from the after Easter sale at Target.  Oh you know I hit up the candy aisle after the holiday.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Adapted from Mrs. Regueiro's Plate

16 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (2 sticks)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (3.5) package instant chocolate pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 bags Reese mini peanut butter cups unwrapped

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper
2.  Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
3.  Add pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract.
4.  Whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.
5.  Slowly add the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until just incorporated.  DO NOT OVER MIX!
6.  Fold in the mini peanut butter cups
7.  Using a cookies scooper, scoop 2 tablespoons cookie dough on prepared baking sheet.
8.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly brown.  Remove and place on cooling rack.

These cookies were amazing.  Just the right about of chocoate-EE-ness and oh the pieces of peanut butter cut is so yummy.  I will for sure be making these again.  These would be good sandwiching some ice cream.  Oh the possibilities ca be endless.  

The fur baby gave me lots of kisses for Mother's Day and that is all a fur mama could ask for.  That and maybe some snuggle time which I got a lot of too.

The pup spent the morning hanging out with my in laws for Mother's Day brunch and then off we went to have a late lunch with my extended family.  Khloe the pup had a very full day.  By the end of the night she was ready for bed.

Cookies make everything better. 


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Banana Bread

Okay, I am really trying to leave my banana phase.  Especially because we are in spring and there are so many fruits and berries to choose from. So many fruit stands ... strawberries, oranges, blueberries, raspberries, etc.

So of course my mother would drop off brown bananas to me.  Of course I cannot waste food.  Of course I made a banana bread.  Blame my mother. 

Banana Bread

1 stick butter, soften
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 overripe bananas
2 eggs
4 tablespoons sour cream
3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup toffee pieces

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a mini loaf pan (4 mini loaves)
2.  Beat butter and sugar until creamy
3.  Beat in eggs one at a time.
4.  Add the rest of the ingredients until just combined.
5.  Mix in toffee pieces
6.  Pour mixture into prepared mini loaf pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

This bread came out nice and tender.  I personally feel like it was full of banana flavor.  However, it was sweet.  Definitely could pass as dessert.

Hopefully the Tzu Chi math tutoring students and volunteers enjoyed the bread.

Sometimes laziness just takes over and there is nothing we can do.    Of course when you are a pup it seems to happen quite often.  The pup must be tired from guarding the house all day.  Well done!

Keep baking friends!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Sundried Tomatoes

Most of the time when I don't know what to make for dinner I resort to making pasta.

El Hubby:  What's for dinner?
Me:  I don't know.  Pasta?
El Hubby:  I don't really feel like pasta
Me:  Well I don't feel like making dinner.
El Hubby:  Pasta sounds good.

Okay okay this exact conversation did not happen but some sort of it has happened.  I would say "poor husband" but the likelihood of me not feeding his is usually quite small.

Pasta has been on my brain ever since I say my cousin in Taiwan post her Facebook about eating pasta.  Ever since then I have had pasta on the brain.  I wanted something simple to make.  Of course I had not gone to the grocery store in days.  So I went through my stack of "recipes to try" and luckily found this.  And luckily I had all the ingredients.  Oh at least I made it work.

Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Sundried Tomatoes
Adapted from Smells Like Home

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb chicken, boneless, skinless, trimmed, sliced thin
1 onion, small
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 bottle Alfredo sauce
salt and pepper
1 lb broccoli, florets only
12 oz penne pasta

1.  Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Salt and pepper chicken.  Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned but not fully cooked, about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl.
2.  Lower the heat to medium and add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to the skillet.  When the olive oil is shimmering add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the sun dried tomatoes, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3.  Stir in a bottle of Alfredo sauce.  
4.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Add broccoli in 3 minutes before pasta is done.  Drain pasta and broccoli.  Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining. 
5.  Add the chicken to the sauce.  Cook chicken until done, about 2 minutes. 
6.  Add pasta and broccoli to sauce.  Toss to combine.  Stir in pasta water until you get desired consistency in sauce. 
7.  Serve hot!

This pasta came out amazing.  It is for sure going into the recipe binder.  Oh and let me tell you, the leftovers were even better.

I don't know about other pet owners but I talk to my pup.  This is her face when I talk to her.  Most of the time I think she thinks I am crazy.  Which I am.  Crazy in love with my fur baby.

Get ready for spring and fruits and baking with those fruits!