Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sock-It-To-Me Cake

Why it has this name, I don't know. I found it on the side of a Duncan Hines cake mix box.

Streusel Filling:
  • 2 Tbsp cake mix (Butter Golden mix)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream (I didn't have any so I used 1 cup vanilla yogurt)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Remaining box of cake mix
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
Grease a bundt pan and preheat oven to 375. To make streusel, combine 2 Tbsp cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Mix in pecans and set aside. To make cake, mix the rest of the cake mix, eggs, sour cream, oil, water, and sugar in a bowl. Pour 2/3 of the cake batter into the bundt pan, sprinkle the streusel filling all around, then spoon in the last 1/3 of batter over it so the streusel layer is covered up. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes (mine took only 45 minutes). Cool cake, mix ingredients for glaze, drizzle over cake.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Apple Pear Crumble

  • 2 cups flour, heaped
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup oil
  • Milk (enough so oil + milk equals one full cup)
  • 48 Nilla wafers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened (I used neufchatel)
  • 6-7 apples, peeled and thinly sliced (I used Granny Smith)
  • 3-4 pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Heat oven to 375. Mix ingredients for pie crust until soft, spread out into bottom of baking dish. Mix wafer crumbs, brown sugar, and butter, set off to the side. Spread cream cheese on the pie crust layer, then sprinkle half of the wafer crumb mixture on top. Mix sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and mix with the fruit slices. Toss slices until coated. Make the coated fruit slices the next layer on the pie. Top with the remaining wafer crumb mixture. Bake 35 minutes until the fruit is soft and lightly browned.

The original recipes for the crust and crumble are here and here.

*I didn't use the unbaked refrigerated/frozen pie crusts because they're made with lard. If anyone knows of pork-free frozen pie crusts, let me know.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dump Butterscotch Pudding Pie

.....This was actually supposed to be this recipe here. I layered everything and then realized I forgot to bake the crust before layering everything else on top. So, I just decided to mix everything together and dump it into a ready made graham cracker crust and it ended up being a hit, haha.
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 package cream cheese (or neufchatel)
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 small carton cool whip topping (8 oz. size)
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 packages pudding (I used 1 butterscotch, 1 French vanilla)
  • Ready made graham cracker crust
.....mix everything in a bowl and pour into a graham cracker crust, refrigerate, eat. If you have success with the real recipe, let me know. If you're going to make the dump recipe I did, then you can probably go without the butter and flour, since those two were originally to make the crust.

Corny Bean Salad and Soup

Super easy.
  • 6 cans of beans (I used red kidney, white kidney, chickpeas, and black beans)
  • 2 cups of corn, cooked
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 12 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp spicy mustard
  • Salt and pepper
Mix beans, corn, bell pepper, and red onion in the serving dish. To make the dressing: mix olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl. Slowly add the the dressing to the salad and mix. I didn't use all of the dressing, but add enough to suit your own taste. Original recipe is here.

Use the leftovers to make a soup. For about 2/3 of the above recipe...
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 3/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cajun spice
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (or to your liking)
  • 1/2 tsp Frank's red hot sauce (or to your liking)
Add all of it to a pot and simmer until the broth becomes thick with the spices and beans.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Oriental Chicken

  • 1 lb boneless chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mustard oil
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed with water)
  • 1 tsp chili paste
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 4-6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • Frozen stir fry vegetables (amount to your liking)
Combine 1 Tbsp vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp mustard oil, 1 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed in water). Use this as a marinade for chicken. Keep in fridge for 30 minutes to an hour. Combine 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp vinegar, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp cornstarch (mixed in water), chili paste, and brown sugar. Add in the chopped green onions, garlic powder. Start heating this sauce on low heat. Mix in vegetables to cook. While sauce is cooking, cook marinated chicken, then add chicken to the sauce. Let sauce simmer until it gets thick. I took this recipe from a recipe for what was originally Kung Pao Chicken.

Bengali Chicken Curry

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken, cut in small pieces
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tsp red chili paste
Fry the green bell peppers with garlic in oil for a few minutes. Add chicken with salt and cook for 5+ minutes. Add the tomato puree and then lower the heat. Add chili paste and pepper. Simmer until chicken is fully cooked. The original recipe is here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Alu Mattar (Potato and Pea Curry)

  • 5-6 small potatoes
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 6 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp salt (to tast)
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cups peas
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
Boil potatoes until soft. Cool, peel, cut into cubes. While potatoes are being prepared: In oil, cook cumin, garlic, ginger, and onions for about 10 minutes. Add salt, chili powder, turmeric, and tomatoes. Cook about 10 minutes. Add peas and water, reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Add potatoes and cook a few more minutes. Original recipe is here.

Eggplant Curry

Without peeling the eggplant.

With the eggplants peeled.
  • 2 eggplants
  • 4 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon salt
Bake whole eggplants for 25 minutes at 450 degrees. Let cool, peel, cut into pieces. Fry onion and cumin powder in oil until onions are soft. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, tomatoes and cook. Add yogurt. Add eggplant pieces and chopped pepper. Add salt to taste. Cook for 10-15 minutes on high heat while covered. Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes on low heat. Original recipe is here.

Note: The dish looks a lot prettier if you don't peel the eggplants after baking them.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Chili Chicken

I got this recipe from here.
  • 2 pounds boneless chicken, cubed
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 medium onions
  • 4+ Tbsp red chili powder
  • 2+ Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • Oil
  • Garlic powder
Marinate chicken with chili powder and soy sauce for 1 hour. Dice bell pepper and onion into big chunks, sautee in a bit of oil. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp garlic powder over chicken, then sautee in a bit of oil. Add bell pepper and onion mixture to chicken, add tomato sauce, sautee until sauce is a thick and all chicken is well coated.

Warning: Super duper spicy.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies turn out gigantic and fat and soft. They're less sweet than you'd think a chocolate chip cookie should be, but tastes great with ice cream. If you want them without the ice cream, I would say increase sugar to 1/2 or 1 cup instead.

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips
I mixed everything together in one bowl. Preheat oven to 375. Round into 1 inch sized balls and bake for 16 minutes. Original recipe used I Can't Believe It's Not Butter sticks.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Strawberry Cookies

Yummers. These turned out super soft, perhaps I should have used butter instead of the vegetable oil sticks to make the cookies hold a bit stronger (like the original recipe said to do), but they turned out good anyways.
  • 1 cup 70% vegetable oil sticks (2 sticks)
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, cut in quarters
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Mix wet ingredients. Mix dry ingredients, but save chocolate chips and strawberries for later. Combine the two mixes. Carefully fold in chocolate chips and strawberries so you don't break/crush the berries. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

General Tso's Chicken

This turned out really good. The original recipe I used is here, but I modified it a lot into my own version below:
  • 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
For the cornstarch mixture:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • About 3-4 Tbsp water (or teensy bit more if needed)
For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1-2 cups of scallions/green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tsp of Franks Red Hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
Mix together all ingredients for the cornstarch mixture (the water is there in case mixture is thick, so add a few Tbsp until its just enough to stir it). Mix all chicken pieces into the cornstarch mixture. Deep fry all coated chicken pieces in hot oil and drain on napkin on plate. Mix together all sauce ingredients and cook over medium heat in a big pot - it should be a thick sauce. Add all fried chicken pieces to the sauce and stir until completely coated. Serve with yummy, greasy fried rice.

To make chicken crispier, make cornstarch mix as little watery as possible.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Truffles

Absolutely delicious recipe. It ends up being about 100 calories each, but beware: you could very well sit there and eat the whole batch. My only alteration to the recipe was that I used those 60% vegetable oil sticks instead of pure butter.

  • 2 cups rolled old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3-4 tablespoons peanut butter (I used crunchy, but creamy is also fine)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
Combine oats, sugar, cocoa and mix. Mix in water, vanilla, butter (I melted it first), and finally peanut butter. Roll the dough into balls about 1 inch thick. Roll it in powdered sugar to coat as much as you like. Chill in the fridge at least half an hour.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Adi's Famous Pizza



Ta da! The recipe is here. I think I would have baked mine an extra 5-10 minutes because my dough came out really soft.

For two doughs:
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
Dissolve the yeast with 1/2 cup water, stir salt into rest of water and pour into dissolved yeast. Add flour and oil. Stir. Turn dough onto floured surface and need until very dough-y. Add a bit of flour when needed, probably need to knead 10-15 m inutes. Oil a clean bowl and put dough back inside, turn to coat all of the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. Set oven to 450 degrees. Split dough in half, roll out to make a pie crust, put whatever toppings you like, bake for 15-20 minutes.

Mini Oreo Cheesecake

I used this recipe, but with the following changes: used neufchatel instead of cream cheese and didn't make a chocolate drizzle topping.

For 1 dozen:
  • 12 oreos (plus more for crumbling)
  • 2 packages cream cheese (or neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
Set oven to 325. Line muffin pan with cupcake wrappers. Split cookies in half, try to keep the cream on one side. Put it in the bottom of the cupcake wrapper, cream side up. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add in eggs and mix. Crumble as many oreos as you'd like (start with about a dozen), then mix in. Spoon the mixture into each of the cupcake liners. Bake for 25 minutes.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sweet Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
Combine all dry ingredients. Then add wet ingredients and mix. Pour batter into a buttered/greased baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for ~23 minutes.

This turned out pretty good, but I think I prefer cornbread sweeter. Next time I will probably try this with 1+ cups sugar instead.

Recipe from AllRecipes.

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Before baking.

After baking.

  • 2 lb. boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut into small pieces
  • 2-3 tsp. cumin
  • 3 chili peppers, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cups salsa
  • 1 package neufchatel cheese
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1-2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Cook chicken in tiny bit of oil for several minutes. Add cumin and cook for few minutes. Add peppers and cook for few minutes. Add salsa and neufchatel cheese, cook until all the cheese is melted. Mix in the black beans and tomatoes. Separate chicken mix, tortillas, and cheese into thirds. Layer chicken, tortilla, cheese (make 3 layers). Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Recipe modified from this one at Kraftfoods.

Can also try this with beef instead of chicken.

7 Layer (9 Layer?) Taco Dip

  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 package cream cheese or neufchatel
  • 1 small container sour cream
  • 1 jar salsa
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 small can sliced black olives, drained
  • 2+ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Mix the taco seasoning and refried beans - spread this layer onto the dish. Mix cream cheese and sour cream - spread this layer onto the dish. Add salsa layer. Add tomatoes, bell peppers, scallions, lettuce, olives, and cheese. If you want you can heat the beans+seasoning mix before adding the remaining layers. Serve with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins crackers. Recipe from AllRecipes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Apple Cupcakes

This recipe is kinda cheating, but it's yummy. Mix the batter for a regular yellow cake using any box cake mix. Set the cake batter aside.
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Bring the above 3 ingredients to boil on the stove. They'll melt together...I only boiled long enough so that I could get the tasty mix, but still have chunks of apples to bite into. If you want, you can keep cooking the apples until it turns into a smooth creamy applesauce. Add this mixture to the cake batter and bake! I baked them an extra 5 minutes than suggested on the box. Top with a cinnamon-vanilla or cinnamon-cream cheese frosting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yasai Cha Han

  • 3/4 cup cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 14 button mushrooms, quartered (or can of sliced mushrooms)
  • 3/4 inch cubes of firm tofu
  • handful of corn
  • handful of peas
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • Chili paste (optional)
Add oil to hot frying pan or wok if you have one. Add mushrooms and sautee for few minutes. Add tofu and continue stir-frying for several minutes or until tofu is brown on all sides. Add corn, peas, and scallions. Stir fry until cooked through. Add rice, salt, soy sauce, and stir fry. Scramble the eggs and add to the stir fry mix.

I prefer this dip a bit spicy so I added a bit of Sriracha chili paste. You can also try using shichimi (a.k.a seven-spice pepper that can be found in oriental grocery stores).

Serve with miso soup.

Courtesy of the Wagamama Cookbook.


  • 4 cups masoor daal/lentils
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • Green peppers, chopped
Soak daal for several hours. Blend with a little bit of water until it has a batter like consistency (not too runny). Slice up onions and mix with blended daal. Add all spices. Add green peppers depending on how spicy you like them (I use a lot of pepper). Mix. Heat oil in a frying pan about a centimeter deep. Drop spoonfuls of piyaju mixture and fry on both sides until brown. Serve plain or with chutney.

Piyaju in image are at top.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Triple Vegetable Dip

I've made this recipe COUNTLESS times. It's always a favorite at the party and is completely wiped out of the bowl. Thank you, Kraft Foods!

Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups grated parmesan cheese (I use 2 cups because I really like parmesan)
  • 1 can asparagus spears, chopped
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed (10 oz. size)
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 1 container chive and onion cream cheese (8 oz. size)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
I use fat free cream cheese and mayo. Mix 1 1/2 cups paremesan cheese with all the remaining ingredients, place mixture into baking dish. Top with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk with lemon juice (1 Tbsp lemon juice, rest of one cup filled with skim milk)
  • 1.5 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp red food color
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
Mix all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients together. Combine dry and wet mixes. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with cream cheese frosting (I used the Betty Crocker whipped kind).

Modified from this recipe.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Baked Chicken and Pasta

  • 2 cups uncooked rotini
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • Dried herbs to taste
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1+ cup Italian style bread crumbs
Boil rotini until cooked. Add can of tomato sauce. Add in pinch of dried oregano, basil, parsley, and black pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 400 deg. Cut chicken breasts into strips, dip in bowl of bread crumbs, and place in baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until fully cooked. Arrange chicken strips on top of pasta.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coconut Shrimp Curry

  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp Shan Bombay Biryani mix
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (14 oz) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
Sautee onion until golden brown. Add green chili, ginger powder, Shan mix, turmeric and sautee 2 more minutes. Add water, coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, sugar, and lower heat to simmer. Simmer until sauce is thickened and stir occasionally. Add shrimp and simmer until shrimp is fully cooked.

This was modified from this recipe.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tomato and Spinach Rotini

I tried this recipe today, turned out good.

My changes:
1. No meat.
2. Sauteed a few onions and mushrooms, then added the spinach and tomatoes to it.
3. Added half a can of pasta sauce because 1 can of tomatoes leaves the pasta still too dry. Either add pasta sauce or double the amount of canned tomatoes.
  • 2 cups rotini
  • 1 package spinach (7 cups)
  • 1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 small can mushrooms
  • 1/2 can pasta sauce
Cook pasta. Cook spinach with tomatoes, onion, mushrooms. Add cheeses. Mix sauce with drained pasta.

Cajun Veggies

Okay, I made this recipe up myself and it turned out not too shabby.

  • 1 potato, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped or sliced long
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cajun spice
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
Put a teaspoon of oil in a hot pan and start pan frying the chopped potatoes. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the green beans (be sure to cut off the ends of the beans). Cook 3-4 minutes, then add carrots, onion, and bell peppers. Cook for 3-4 minutes, add a bit of oil or small sliver of butter as needed so that the potatoes don't start burning and sticking to the pan. Add the black pepper, cajun spice, mix. Then add the can of cream of mushroom soup, reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes (check to make sure potatoes are cooked through). Yum.

*Edit: Turned out a hit with my friends, BUT it is spicy with all that cajun spice and black pepper. Make note of that if you're entertaining non-spicy-food-eating friends.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blueberry Muffins

I've obviously bought a stock of blueberries recently. =) These turned out great, too. The only difference I tried was that I actually melted the butter that I used for the crumb topping. So instead of crumbs, it turned out to be a gooey cinnamon-y paste that I slathered on top of each muffin for baking -- it turned out like a cinnamon streusel topping. (Baked for 22 minutes).

Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies


Freezing the blueberries before use definitely helped a LOT. It kept them from being squished when being mixed in.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta

I made this recipe last night for my friends. 6 of us ate it and we still had a lot leftover. Pretty quick and easy to make. However, 12 minutes at 425 degrees was not enough for the shrimp to get cooked through. I left it in about 30 minutes.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Herb Dip

This is one of Ina Garten's recipes. Use all fat-free items to make it healthier. Mix and serve.
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 4 scallions, chopped finely
  • 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp dill, chopped finely
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
*Do NOT use as much salt as suggested by Ina Garten -- it turns out way too salty that way. I had to keep adding sour cream to drown out the salt.

Roasted Red Bell Peppers

Very easy, very healthy. Take whole red bell peppers, wash, cut in half, remove stems and seeds. Place a tiny bit of oil in a baking tray and place bell peppers cut side down. Move the peppers around to spread out the oil. Put in toaster oven or regular oven on broil, about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on them (depending on what temp you broil at) until the skin starts to blacken. Take out of oven and immediately put in an air tight tupperware and shut the lid. Leave them in there until the peppers are completely cool, then take them out and peel off the outside layer. Cut up into pieces, garnish how you'd like (I tried basil, oregano, and a bit of black pepper). Use in a sandwich with some mozzarella or dice it up to use in a chip/cracker dip.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tofu Sandwich Spread

I saw this recipe and thought I'd invent my own version. It turned out good enough that I wanted to just eat it with a spoon out of a bowl. Butttt...I'm saving it for my sandwiches because I'm on a health streak!

  • Soft tofu
  • 1/3 cup of mayo (use low fat or fat free for healthiness)
  • Sweet relish
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of cajun powder
  • 1 tsp fresh dill
Mash and mix. Add/subtract amounts depending on how much you like those particular flavors.

*Edit: This is delicious to use as an appetizer dip for crackers.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sticky Buns

I saw this recipe on Barefoot Contessa (Food Network) and it looks SO delicious. Dying to try it out.

*Edit: Try 350 degrees instead, it might burn leaving it in the oven at 400 for so long.


SOOO good. Eat plain or with chutney/achar/tamarind sauce/chili sauce. Eat hot or at room temp.
  • 1 cup split yellow peas (similar to chana daal)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, blended/minced/pureed/can't even see it
  • 3-4 green chili peppers
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
Soak split yellow peas in water for 2 hours, drain, blend in blender. Add a little bit of water only if necessary. It should become like a thick batter. Mix in the onion, ginger, peppers, and spices. Drop tablespoons into hot oil and deep fry.

They look similar to, but taste better than the cauliflower fritter/pakoras I tried making.

Cottage Cheese Lasagna

Didn't get a chance to take a picture when I made this. It turned out good, but a bit liquidy just because I decided to add a layer of spaghetti sauce in make this dish without the sauce. Use fat free cheeses to make it healthier.
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 small zucchini or squash, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 small container cottage cheese
  • 1 medium container ricotta cheese
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Grease pan/dish. Boil water and cook lasagna noodles, drain. Sautee all veggies. Whisk flour and milk in pan, boil and cook until thick. Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, salt, pepper. Remove from stove, add spinach. In a different bowl mix cottage and ricotta cheeses. Layer noodles, spinach mix, cheese mix, mozzarella cheese, and sauteed veggies in any order. Bake for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thai Chicken and Tofu Curry

  • 1-2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups chicken cubed (thigh or breast)
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot chili paste (like sriracha)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can coconut milk (I didn't have this so I used 1 cup milk with a bit of cornstarch)
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 package tofu, cut into cubes
  • Any vegetables to your liking: shredded carrots, celery, bell peppers, cilantro, etc

Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic -- cook until onions are tender, then add chicken. Cook about 10 minutes until chicken is fairly cooked through. Add peanut butter, turmeric, cumin, and chili paste for a minute. Stir in water, coconut milk, lemon juice, and brown sugar and simmer. Season sauce with salt. Adjust curry to your liking (more chili sauce, salt, spices, etc). Add tofu and vegetables -- simmer over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked and vegetables are tender.

I put this recipe together from a few different things I saw online. I wasn't sure what to expect with the peanut butter, but I went for it and its GREAT. You can't blatantly taste the peanut butter at all, but there's a hint of an earthy flavor because of it. Skip the peanut butter for allergies, and you can also make this recipe with tofu only for vegetarians.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Potato Soup

Super easy recipe and VERY tasty.
  • 6-8 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1-2 stalks of celery (chopped)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • salt,pepper
  • shredded cheese
  • spices: garlic powder, basil, oregano, parsley, crushed red pepper, cilantro, etc
Put all the potatoes in a pot and fill with water. Boil in water or broth until potatoes are cooked while adding celery, onion, and spices in whatever proportion you like (depending on what flavors you prefer). Once potatoes are cooked and water has slowly evaporated, add the cream of mushroom soup, wait until soup reaches a thick, creamy consistency. Add a handful of cheese and serve.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my all time favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. I've made it so many times and don't get tired of it. I've tried variations, with and without nuts, little and a lot of chocolate chips. This time I tried making them into cookie bars rather than regular round cookies. When making the round ones, they turn out looking exactly like the picture in the Cookie Madness blog. (I love that blog.)

Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars

I modified this recipe and made something different. I had an entire box of plain, generic, rice krispies. I had cheerios on me too, but I thought I'd try a makeshift rice krispie bar instead.
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 cups rice krispies cereal

Line a pan with wax paper or foil. In a small pan with a tiny bit of butter or nonstick cooking spray, boil the honey and sugar together over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as the sugar is dissolved and add in the peanut butter. Mix until smooth/creamy and pour mixture over the cereal. Mix until cereal is well coated and spread coated mixture into the pan.

Lemon Bars

I tried this recipe and it looks amazing.

The only differences: I used salted butter because, unfortunately, that's all I had -- so I didn't add any of the optional salt listed in the ingredients. I didn't have fresh lemons to grate the lemon zest, so instead I added an extra tablespoon of lemon juice to makeup for it (not sure if that's the best substitution, but it turned out good).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Shrimp Teriyaki

This turned out yummy. My cat liked this one, too...he stole some shrimp before I put it away. I found teriyaki sauce/marinade at the grocery store that had no wine in it. I tried chicken teriyaki with it too, and it tasted good.
  • 1 lb shrimp
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup carrot
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro

Marinate shrimp in teriyaki sauce for a half hour to an hour (can add in a Tbsp of lemon juice with the marinade). Strain the shrimp, but save the leftover marinade. Cook shrimp with oil until pink, then remove shrimp to a plate. Sautee onions, carrots, and mushrooms until onions are caramelized. Add the shrimp back in along with the leftover marinade and cook on high heat until the teriyaki sauce looks like it glazes the shrimp. Add cilantro and toss. Serve with fried rice or white rice. =)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cauliflower Fritters

These turned out so good! They pretty much taste like realllly good vegetable pakoras. So if you're in a Indo-Pak-Bengali mood, you can eat this with some kind of chutney (coriander, green chili, or mint chutney mixed with some yogurt) and if you're in an Oriental mood, you can eat this with some soy sauce mixed with wasabi.
  • 1 head cauliflower (4 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Steam cauliflower, then chop into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, flour, garlic, eggs, grated cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Add water so that batter becomes slightly more dense than pancake batter. On medium-low heat, add 1 tbsp of oil in a 10 inch skillet coating bottom of the pan. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to form fritters. You can fit 4 fritters at a time. Cook until golden brown, turn and cook another few minutes. Add a little more oil to the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter.

I used garlic powder instead of whole garlic (1/8 tsp powder = 1 clove), regular all-purpose flour instead of wheat flour, cilantro instead of parsley, and a mix of parmesan and romano instead of JUST romano.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Brown Sugar Cookie Bars

I got this recipe off the back of a bag of brown sugar that I have.
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 C chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
Melt butter in a saucepan. Remove from heat and add brown sugar. Stir until smooth then mix in the egg. Stir together the flour and baking powder and then add to the brown sugar mixture. Mix in vanilla. Add chocolate chips or nuts. Spread into a greased baking pan and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

I made this using margarine instead of butter and used about 2 fistfuls of chocolate chips (add more or less depending on how much you like them). I also baked them for exactly 20 minutes and took them out of the oven immediately. If you like cake-y cookies, you could try leaving them in the extra five minutes. These came out looking a lot like blondies. Next time I might try adding oats for a thicker texture. The batch is small and makes about 12 bars so I'd multiply the recipe for a lot of people.

Oreo Truffles

I tried this recipe from Kraftfoods and it turned out REALLY tasty. It is very messy to make. After trying this once, I would recommend putting the mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling them into balls so that they're easy to form. Otherwise it'll be a gooey mess all over your hands.

It's very rich so decorating them on the plate with a mix of fruit helps soothe the flavor. It wold probably also be a good idea to have glasses of milk available for your friends when they have them - a very rich dessert, but definitely was a hit for my buddies.