thank you Rachael Ray Magazine!

I woke up yesterday morning to see a pleasant surprise on Twitter- Rachael Ray Magazine chose me as their “Whatcha Cookin’ Wednesday Featured Cook of the Week”!!

I tagged one of my photos on Instagram with the hashtag #RRWhatchaEatin. It was my huevos rancheros dish I had at Bar Ama. I was smiling the whole day because I was so surprised, thankful & honored to be featured.

So thank you to Rachael Ray Magazine for featuring me! I will continue to eat & make delicious things! :)

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http://rachaelraymag.com/blogs/rachael-ray/?p=6567

#RRWHATCHAEATIN FEATURED COOK OF THE WEEK: @DELISH_THOUGHTS
Written on April 16, 2014 at 10:00 am , by Lauren Katz

Every week, we check out YOUR food photos on Instagram and pick a
“Whatcha Cookin’ Wednesday Featured Cook of the Week” to appear on our blog and have a chance to be featured in a future issue of the magazine.

Blogger and Instagram user, @delish_thoughts is giving us some serious food envy! Her beautiful photo of brunch time huevos rancheros definitely displays the epitome of the #RRWhatchaEatin challenge. We would love to dive into this dish right now! For more of her gorgeous photos and recipes, check out her food blog here.
- See more at: http://rachaelraymag.com/blogs/rachael-ray/?p=6567#sthash.PDRFWM5L.dpuf

my first time making donuts

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I don’t know why but one day, I had a sudden urge to try making donuts. So I went out and bought a donut pan and all the ingredients and was so excited. I didn’t realize it would be so hard! So for my first try last night, I actually was too eager and didn’t read the directions ahead of time. I mixed all the ingredients together when I was supposed to mix the wet & dry ingredients separately. Fail. I kept going though and hoped it wouldn’t be too bad. After I took my first bite, it seemed like something was missing and it wasn’t sweet enough. I was sad they didn’t turn out great. Then I woke up this morning with new hope- this time, doing exactly as the directions said- I thought they turned out better than last night’s batch. I got mixed reviews though from friends though- some thought it needed to be lighter & more airy and the glaze was too thick. One person thought the glaze wasn’t sweet enough while another person thought it was too sweet. There was one person who liked them though! In the end, I realized that making donuts is harder than I thought but I shall not give up! My friend found another recipe from Ina Garten so I’m going to try again and hopefully they will be a big hit with everyone. At least, these look kind of cute? :)

Baked funfetti donuts courtesy of:

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/01/12/baked-funfetti-donuts/

Ingredients:
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (gives them that “bakery donut” taste)
1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt*
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

GLAZE
1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
2 cups (240g) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
extra sprinkles to sprinkle on top, optional

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

For the donuts: whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the milk, yogurt, and egg together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the sprinkles gently to ensure they do not bleed their color. I use these rainbow jimmies and they do not bleed.

Spoon the batter into the donut cups—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease, as pictured above. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2 ∕ 3 –3 ∕ 4 of the way full.

Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the donuts to slightly cool before glazing. I find the glaze “sets” easier onto cooled donuts.

For the glaze: combine the glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and immediately begin dunking the donuts, one by one, into the glaze. I simply dropped each donut into the saucepan and moved it around to coat evenly. Transfer each donut to a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch the glaze drippings. Take each donut and dunk again if you have enough glaze leftover. Sprinkle with additional sprinkles.

Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2 days.

*Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk is OK.

*Nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek or regular yogurt is OK.

*You may make this recipe into muffins using a muffin pan. Bake at the same temperature for 18 minutes or until lightly browned.

today’s breakfast: sweet potato hash

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This was the first time I ever cooked with sweet potato or had it in a hash! I felt like mixing it up since I always use regular potatoes and found this recipe for sweet potato hash. There were a few revisions since I didn’t have some of the ingredients at home: I used yellow bell pepper, yellow onion & no green onions. And you can’t eat hash without some eggs! I of course had to add some fried eggs on top to complete the dish. A great, hearty breakfast to start the day! :)

Recipe for Sweet Potato Hash courtesy of:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/patrick-and-gina-neely/sweet-potato-hash-recipe.html

Prep:10 min
Cook:25 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-inch cubes
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onions
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Add the potatoes to a large saucepan of salted boiling water and simmer until tender. Drain and dry completely with paper towels.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red onions, bell peppers, green onions, and garlic, and saute until tender and lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a bowl.

Add the remaining 4 tablespoons oil to the skillet, and then add the drained and dried sweet potatoes. Cook in a single layer, stirring occasionally, on medium heat until they are tender, about 6 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the potatoes are golden and crisp, about 2 more minutes. Sprinkle with the smoked paprika and gently stir in the onion mixture and parsley.

my breakfast today: huevos rancheros

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I think huevos rancheros is one of my favorite dishes to make. You can use so many different ingredients, whatever is to your liking. I like the usual corn tortilla, black beans, avocado, tomatoes, feta cheese, egg. This time, I tried pickling onions for the first time! It’s super easy to make and adds a little tang to the dish. It’s fun arranging all the ingredients. I felt like I was creating a work of art and it was quite peaceful. And then I devoured everything in minutes. :)

Recipe for pickled onions courtesy of:

http://sharedappetite.com/easy-pickled-onions/

Ingredients:
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Directions:
Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved.

Place onion in a jar or bowl (I like to use a mason jar). Pour vinegar mixture over the onions and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour if you’re in a rush. Preferably, cover jar or bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator.

chicken schnitzel

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If you like breaded chicken, then try making chicken schnitzel. What is a schnitzel? According to Wikipedia, a schnitzel is a boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. A popular food in many countries, it is made from veal, chicken, beef, turkey, or pork.

It’s like making chicken parmesan but there is a bit of Dijon mustard in the schnitzel. I also like that it is a simple dish, without any sauce & cheese. The chicken has a nice crisp on the outside and is juicy on the inside. Garnish with parsley and sprinkle lemon juice on top… simple but flavorful. You can serve with a simple salad or veggies if desired. I just ate the chicken alone and was completely satisfied. :)

Recipe for Chicken Schnitzel courtesy of:

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/chicken-schnitzel

Ingredients:
4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/8-inch thickness
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cups (or more) whole wheat (or regular) panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges

Directions:
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Place flour on a plate.
Beat eggs and Dijon mustard to blend in a shallow baking dish.
Place 1 cup panko in another shallow baking dish, adding remaining 1 cup panko, or more, to dish as needed throughout process.
Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in flour, shaking off excess, then dip into egg mixture, turning to coat evenly; carefully coat with panko, pressing panko gently to adhere to chicken.
Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat (pan should be large enough to hold 2 breasts).
Add 2 chicken breasts to skillet and cook until golden brown on both sides, 8-10 minutes.
Transfer chicken breasts to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter to skillet and repeat with remaining chicken breasts.
Transfer chicken breasts to plates and garnish each with parsley and a lemon wedge.

rigatoni with artichokes & fried rosemary

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If you like artichokes, then this is a good recipe for you to try since it’s basically just pasta and artichokes, which is fine with me! It’s a super easy recipe with barely any cooking. You just fry up some rosemary, add garlic & artichokes from a jar and then add pasta and finish with cheese. It’s simple but full of flavor from the rosemary & garlic, and the artichokes add juiciness. How easy is this recipe? Thanks Goop! :)

Recipe for Quinoa Rigatoni with artichokes & fried rosemary courtesy of:

http://www.goop.com/recipes/pasta/quinoa-rigatoni-with-artichokes-fried-rosemary

Makes 4

Ingredients:
1 lb quinoa rigatoni
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small (about 14-ounces) jar of artichokes
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
parmesan to taste

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and salt generously. Drop in pasta.

2. Meanwhile, coat the bottom of a large frying pan with olive oil (about 2 tablespoons) and place over medium-high heat. Add rosemary and fry for a minute in the hot oil to release the flavor. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant, about a minute, and then add the artichokes, breaking them up with your fingers while you drop them in. Add about half of the liquid from the jar, season with salt and pepper and stir, cooking for about another minute.

3. When the pasta is al dente, drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta water. Add the water to the pan with the pasta, stir and grate a lot of parmesan over the top.

B-L-T-A with pesto mayo

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Who doesn’t love a good BLT? Especially with avocado & pesto mayo! Just get your ingredients together and build your sandwich: bread of your choice (I used sourdough), bacon, sliced tomatoes, arugula & pesto mayo. For the pesto mayo, I just combined store bought pesto with mayo. Below is a good recipe if you want to make homemade pesto mayo. Is it bad if I dipped the sandwich in the pesto mayo in addition to having it already on the bread? :D

Recipe for Pesto Mayonnaise courtesy of:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/turkey-sandwiches-with-pesto-mayonnaise-and-dried-cranberries-recipe.print.html

Ingredients:
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves (about 2 ounces)
1/3 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup mayonnaise (good quality store bought, or homemade)

Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper and puree, scraping down the sides as needed. With the machine running, add the oil through the feed tube and process until the mixture is thick and smooth. Add the Parmesan and process for 15 seconds.

Transfer to a bowl and add the mayonnaise, stirring to blend well. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. (The pesto mayonnaise will keep for 3 days refrigerated.)

easy-to-make French Toast

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I grew up loving sweet breakfast dishes like pancakes, French toast, cinnamon rolls, but then as I got older, I began to only eat savory dishes. Once in a while though, I will have cravings and indulge in something sweet. I have been wanting French toast and was happy to see I had all the ingredients at home to make it. It’s so easy to make and doesn’t take that long. Just mix together your batter for the bread, dip the bread in, and fry in a pan with butter! It’s good to eat with just syrup but I added sliced strawberries and powdered sugar.. I was sad to see I ran out of sugar though and dusted the last bits I had left. There definitely needs to be more sugar! Maybe next time, I can ask my neighbor for a cup of powdered sugar? :)

Recipe for French Toast courtesy of:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robert-irvine/french-toast-recipe.html

Prep: 20 min / Cook: 10 min
Yield:4

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons butter
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 slices challah, brioche, or white bread
1/2 cup maple syrup, warmed

Directions:
In a small bowl, combine, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar and set aside briefly.

In a 10-inch or 12-inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk together cinnamon mixture, eggs, milk, and vanilla and pour into a shallow container such as a pie plate. Dip bread in egg mixture. Fry slices until golden brown, then flip to cook the other side. Serve with syrup.

my Friday night dinner

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I’m not going to lie.. I just made an awesome dinner for myself. It’s been a while since I’ve been home on a Friday night so all I want to do is eat a delicious meal and watch TV on the couch all night :)

I was craving steak earlier today so I went to the market after work and picked up a New York strip steak. I decided to make myself a little rice bowl with steak, bok choy and shiitake mushrooms. Just cook your steak how you like (I season with salt & pepper, sear it in a pan and finish in the oven) and slice into strips. The mushrooms were sauteed with olive oil and the bok choy was steamed and then sauteed with oyster sauce. Below is a good recipe for bok choy with oyster sauce. I did my own version with oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil and minced garlic. After everything is cooked, assemble the ingredients on top of rice and top with more oyster sauce. SO GOOD! It’s always nice to have satisfying meal. Now time to lounge on the couch! Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Recipe for baby bok choy with oyster sauce courtesy of:

http://www.food.com/recipe/baby-bok-choy-with-oyster-sauce-74827

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons chicken stock
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch, mixed with
1 tablespoon chicken stock
1 bunch baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed but stalks left whole with some still ‘stuck together’,washed ( about 3/4 lb.)

Directions:
In a small saucepan, combine oyster sauce, stock, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornstarch mixture.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sauce bubbles and thickens; remove from heat.
Blanch bok choy in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 1/2 minutes; remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a serving plate.
Pour oyster sauce over it and serve.

open faced egg & prosciutto sandwich

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I was inspired to make this after seeing a post from a fellow foodie I follow on Instagram- @MissHappyBelly. Her posts always make me hungry and I want to eat and make everything she does! This particular post was for ciabatta with gruyere, arugula, prosciutto & fried egg. It’s so easy to make- just place a slice of bread at the bottom and assemble the rest of the ingredients on top: slices of prosciutto, gruyere or your desired cheese, arugula, and a fried egg. It’s a simple, fast & yummy breakfast meal! :)

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