Food Recap of February

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|Vietnamese Buddhist Sour Soup|

October 11, 2010 Leave a comment

During weekdays, I’ve been struggling to strike a balance between work and rest.  Then I remembered a friend of mine saying a while back that she reserves Sundays for rest. No plans, no activities, just a day to take stock.  She also begins the week by baking bread, one to share with friends and one for herself. So, today I did my own form of taking stock by making some home food.

This is a dish I fell in love with as a child in Texas.  My parents and I used to frequent a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant in Houston called Guanyin and they had the most delicious herb spiced tomato soup with pho noodles.  I’ve tried many a time to recreate it in my own kitchen but something has always been missing.  Yesterday, I went to Super 88 to pick up some Asian greens (I need my Asian greens) and stumbled upon a mysterious herb in the produce section called Ngo Om and on a hunch, bought a packet.   Lo and behold, a quick search through google produced the recipe for this dish I’ve been craving since our big move from Texas. Apparently there was another missing ingredient as well: tamarind.

Here is the modified version of this recipe from the recipe book “Hot, Sour, Salty Sweet: a Culinary Journey through Southeast Asia” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Buddhist Sour Soup (cahn chua dau hou)

3 blocks tofu

1/4 cup of tamarind pulp, dissolve in 1 cup hot water

5 cup water

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons salt

2 medium tomatoes, diced

soy sauce (to taste)

Garnish and Flavorings

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped shallots

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 ro 3 cups bean sprouts, rinsed drained

12 leaves Asian basil, coarsely torn

6 sprigs rice paddy herb (ngo om)

2 to 3 bird or serrano chiles, minced


To make garnish, fry shallots and garlic cloves in vegetable oil with a bit of honey and salt. Fry until golden yellow. You may either use this as a garnish or directly place in soup.

To make soup, place the tamarind pulp and water into large pot to boil. Boil vigorously for 3 minutes, then add the sugar, salt, and tomato wedges.  Bring back to boil and add tofu cubes and soy sauce and cook for 2 minutes. You may add the shallot and garlic garnish here if you wish. Taste adjust the balance of seasonings if you wish. Let the soup slowly boil so that the broth become a bright red and thick with tomato and tamarind pulp.

A few minutes before serving, place the ngo om herb in sprigs into the pot. Let the herb cook in the pot for about 5 or 6 minutes so its flavor seeps into the broth and then remove the sprigs from the pot and discard.  Some people prefer serving them with the soup but because of its strong taste, I personally like the soup without the herb. Served the soup atop rice or rice noodles. Garnish it with basil, bean sprouts, fried shallots and minced pepper.

Serves 4-6 with rice or rice noodles.



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|recipe exchange continues…|


Pizza in the Round

1 medium green bell pepper
1/2 C. onion, chopped
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
1 garlic clove, pressed
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
2 pkg. (235g each) refrigerated crescent rolls
2 T. grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F. Chop pepper to make 1/4 cup; cup onion.

Cook and stir ground beef, green pepper, onion and garlic over medium-high until meat is no longer pink. Remove from heat; drain using colander.

Shred cheese.

In a bowl, combine meat mixture, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup of pizza sauce, Italian seasoning and salt.

To assemble ring, unroll crescent dough; separate into 16 triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a round stone with wide ends of triangle overlapping in the center and points toward the outside. (There should be a 5 inch diameter opening in center of Stone). Using a scoop, scoop meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck wide ends of dough at center of ring. (Filling will not be completely covered.)

Bake 20-25 minutes or until deep golden brown. Grate Parmesan cheese over top. Heat remaining pizza sauce and fill green pepper bottom; place in center of ring. Serve with pizza sauce. Yields 8 servings.


(Delicious and Easy) Cream Puffs! -Joy of Cooking
1C flour                                     Filling: make pudding or use ice cream.
1Tbs sugar                                Opt: melt chocolate and drizzle on top of pastries (yum!)
1/3 C butter (room temp)
1/8 tsp salt
1C water or milk (i use milk)
4 eggs @ room temp
1. Preheat oven to 400*; lightly grease baking pan.
2. Boil butter and milk (or water). Add flour, sugar and salt. Stir quickly as adding! (The consistency is thick.)
3. After this is mixed, take pan off heat and quickly whisk in eggs. Mix dough until it is firm enough to hold shape (when you make a peak, it stays up.)
4. Plop dough onto cookie sheets in 1 1/2″ balls (or bigger if you feel daring..echlair sizes work too!).
5. Bake @ 400* for 10 mins and then 350* for 25 mins (or until golden brown along edges/peak of dough.)
6. Allow cream puffs to cool.
7. Cut a slit into each puff and squeeze pudding in with a bag that has a corner cut out. (note: middles are a little doughy..this is normal!)
8. Drizzle melted chocolate ontop as a garnish..(1 1/2 C semisweet on high for 30 seconds, mix and then 30 more seconds.. until melted)
9. Enjoy!!

| and the recipe parade continues… |

I am loving this. I’m also loving the different ways people approach beginning an email to a stranger.

love it.


Ahaha hi duck, here you go – carrot cake with cream cheese frosting.  Is so good.  I cut out the coconut and had no nuts, and baked it as a cake instead of muffins but was devoured by hungry fam.


Here’s a recipe from a blog I like to look in on every few weeks or so. The directions seem very detailed, but the cookies are actually really easy to make. I use normal table salt instead of fleur de sel or fine sea salt, since there’s so little of it, and there isn’t a very noticeable difference.

World Peace/Korova Cookies
Paris Sweets, Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 36 cookies

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons or 150 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (120 grams) (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces (150 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

Getting ready to bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about one inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

Serving: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature — I prefer them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest — and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.

Do ahead: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days; they can be frozen for up to 2 months. They can also be frozen in log form for months, and can be sliced and baked directly from the freezer, adding a coupld minutes to the baking time.


I had your name for some recipe swap!

Breakfast sandwich!

1 piece of wheat bread
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 of an onion
1 or 2 eggs
asparagus on the side
1) Slice red pepper into long strips
2) Dice a small amount of onions
2.5) put bread in toaster
3) Fry asparagus and red peppers for a bit
4) Throw in onions to fry
5) throw in the eggs and scramble a bit (try to time it so everything in the frying pan is done at the same time)
6) Take out toast, put strips of red pepper on toast so that you can fold it fat
7) throw everything else onto the toast and fold it half like a sandwich (asparagus optional inside the sandwich)
8) eat that shit with some salt and basil



Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

1 cup of butter
2 cups of sugar
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 egg
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of vanilla extract

Cream butter and sugar. Then add egg and vanilla extract. Shift flour, cinnamon, and baking soda in a separate bowl. Pour and stir  dry ingredients in a little at time. You can either let the dough become firmer by putting it in the fridge for a few hours so you can use cookie cutters, or you can drop onto a baking sheet with a spoon and bake at 325 for 15 minutes.



people puppy chow:

2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of peanut butter melted together.
pour over one box of crispex cereal (or off brand), mix well so all cereal is coated.
put into a brown paper bag with 2 cups of confectionary sugar, shake well. (i put the brown bag in a plastic bag or shake outside because the sugar leaks out of the seems of the paper bag)
once it is all fully coated, lay out on a cookie tray and put in fridge (or put in a bag and put in fridge)
Categories: Uncategorized

|Recipe exchange|

March 12, 2010 1 comment

A lovely message I received in my inbox yesterday:

You have been invited to be a part of a recipe exchange 🙂
Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know them) and it should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now. Don’t agonize over it, it is the one you make when you are short on time.

After you’ve sent your recipe to the person in position 1 below and only to that person, copy this email into a new email, move my name to the top and put your name in position 2. Only my and your names should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this within 5 days, let me know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes.

It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas!

The turnaround is fast, as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do this once!


Thanks so much! and…HAPPY COOKING!

The first recipe I’ve received so far is included here. It sounds yummy 😀

Chocolate on top of the Stove Cookies

2 teaspoons of vanilla

3 cups of oatmeal (709 mL)

½ cup of butter (118 mL)

2 cups of sugar (473 mL)

½ cup of milk (118 mL)

½ cup of dark cocoa (118 mL)

½ teaspoon salt

Mix butter, sugar, milk, dark cocoa, salt in 2 ½ quart pan.  Bring it to a rolling boil over medium heat.  When it comes to a rolling boil, let it boil on medium heat for 6 – 7 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add 2 tsp of vanilla and 3 cups oatmeal.  Stir.  Place on cookie sheets while hot.  Place in fridge.

Categories: Uncategorized

I’ve started another one…

March 5, 2010 1 comment

and am keeping this one for food.

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Calling all vegetarians and their friends..

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized