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tofu with stir fried kimchi & pork

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I love Korean food so much. I crave it all the time & can eat it everyday… it’s just so good! One of my favorite dishes is tofu with stir fried kimchi & pork aka dubu kimchi. I always want to order it when I see it on menus. I’ve usually made a less fancy version by just cooking kimchi, onions & spam but decided to try a legit recipe this time. Don’t get me wrong- I love a bowl of kimchi & spam but this was pretty amazing. I felt like I was at a restaurant. It’s spicy and delicious and perfect with a bowl of rice. I made a whole pan for myself and ate it again for dinner the next day 🙂

Recipe for Tofu with stir-fried kimchi & pork courtesy of:
http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2010/10/dubu-kimchi-tofu-with-stir-fried-kimchi.html#.UUXOFhxnrrw

Ingredients:
2 cups fully fermented kimchi
1/2 pound (230 grams) sliced pork or pork belly
1/2 onion
2 scallions
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 – 3 tablespoons gochujang
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
pinch pepper
1 18-oz (500 grams) package tofu

Directions:
Cut kimchi and pork into bite sizes. Thinly slice onion and scallions. In a large bowl, combine kimchi, pork, onion, scallions and the remaining ingredients and mix well. Let it stand for 15 minutes.

In a medium size pot, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium high, and add the tofu. Gently boil for 5 minutes. Carefully transfer the tofu to a colander to drain. Cut the tofu into two blocks. Cut each block into about 1/2-inch thick slices.

Heat a large pan over medium high heat and add the kimchi and pork mix. Cook until the kimchi becomes soft, the pork is cooked through, and most of the liquid generated during the cooking process is evaporated, about 5 – 6 minutes.

Arrange the tofu slices nicely on a plate leaving an open space in the middle part. Place the stir-fried kimchi and pork in the middle and serve.

homemade apple tarts

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After making mushroom & gruyere tarts last week, I am now obsessed with making tarts. I never knew how easy it is and have been searching for a lot of different recipes. I have always wanted to make apple tarts and tried this recipe from The Pioneer Woman… like she said, it is quick & easy! You just mix apples with lemon juice, brown sugar & salt, arrange on the pastry sheet and bake! How easy is that?? I love the flakiness of the pastry & juiciness from the apples. It’s great for breakfast, dessert or a snack! Now, time to look for more tart recipes 🙂

Recipe for quick & easy (and yummy) apple tarts courtesy of:
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/05/quick-easy-and-yummy-apple-tart/
prep time: 20 min
cook time: 20 min

Ingredients:
1 whole Sheet Puffed Pastry, Cut Into Half Or Thirds
4 whole Apples, Cored, Halved, And Sliced, But Not Peeled
1 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 415 degrees.

Place puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick spray. Add sugar and salt to apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.

Arrange apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Remove from pan immediately and place on a serving platter. Serve plain, with caramel topping, whipped cream, or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

homemade bi bim bap

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Bi bim bap is one of my favorite Korean dishes. You have a little bit of everything in one bowl: veggies, meat, rice, hot sauce. Every bi bim bap bowl is different- it depends what you want in it or what restaurant you go to. Usual ingredients include bean sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, and some sort of meat. If you are awesome, you could make all the ingredients from scratch but if you are lazy like me, just go to the Korean market and buy the ingredients in the side dish section.. there are some places that have everything packaged and ready to eat! I bought a package of veggies and just poured everything on a bed of rice. I didn’t include meat this time around and added kimchi. Add hot red pepper paste, sesame oil, sesame seeds if desired, and of course, you can’t forget an egg! Some people like a fried egg, some like a raw egg.. whatever you desire. Mix everything together and you’re good to go!

Here is a great bi bim bap recipe:
http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/bibimbap
For 4- 6 servings.

Ingredients:
Cooked rice
a package of bean sprouts
a bunch of spinach
2 small size of zucchinis
5-7 Shiitake mushrooms
fern brakes (kosari)
200 grams of ground beef (about half a pound)
1 small carrot, eggs
soy sauce, hot pepper paste, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and vegetable oil

Recipe: Arrange everything on a platter.

Cook rice. You can use a rice cooker or a stainless pot.

Next, you need to prepare a large platter to put all your ingredients on. Rinse your bean sprouts 3 times and put them in a pot with a cup of water. Add 1 ts of salt and cook for 20 minutes.

Drain water and mix it with 1 clove of minced garlic, sesame oil and a pinch of salt. Put it on the platter.

Put your spinach in a pot of boiling water and stir it for a minute. Then rinse it in cold water a few times and squeeze it lightly. Mix it with a pinch of salt, 1 ts of soy sauce, 1 clove of minced garlic and sesame oil. Put it on the platter.

Cut 2 small size zucchinis into thin strips, sprinkle them with a pinch of salt, and then mix them together. A few minutes later, sauté them in a pan over high heat. When it’s cooked, it will look a little translucent. Put it on the platter.

You can buy soaked and cooked “kosari” at a Korean grocery store. Prepare about 2 or 3 cups of kosari for this 4 servings of bibimbap. Cut it into pieces 5-7 cm long and sauté in a heated pan with 1 ts of vegetable oil. Stir and add 1 tbs of soy sauce, 1/2 tbs of sugar, and cook them for 1-2 minutes. Add sesame oil. Put it on the platter.
Slice shitake mushrooms thinly and sauté with 1 ts of vegetable oil. Add 2 ts of soy sauce and 1 or 2 ts of sugar and stir it for 2 minutes. Add some sesame oil, and put it on the platter.

In a heated pan, put some oil and 200 grams of ground beef and stir it. Add 4 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tbs of soy sauce, 1/2 tbs of sugar, a little grounded black pepper, and sesame oil. Put it on the platter.

Cut a carrot into strips, sauté it for 30 seconds and put it on the platter.
prepare eggs with sunny side up.

Put your rice In a big bowl, and attractively display all your vegetables and meat. Place the sunny side up egg on the center.

Serve it with sesame oil and hot pepper paste. Lastly, mix it up and eat!

flaky mushroom & gruyere tarts

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I recently had dinner at Church & State and ate a yummy mushroom tart and was inspired to try making it myself! I found this easy recipe from Real Simple for my first time making anything with puff pastry! This mushroom & gruyere tart has so much flavor. It’s savory, cheesy, and the pastry is soft & flaky. It all just melted in my mouth. It’s perfect for any meal- breakfast, lunch or dinner! You can eat the tart alone or serve it with a simple salad. I ate one driving to work which wasn’t such a smart idea since there were pasty flakes all over me but I couldn’t wait to eat it. That’s how good it is! Since my first attempt with puff pastry was a success, I want to try making different kinds of tarts now! Stay tuned 🙂

Recipe for Flaky Mushroom & Gruyere Tarts courtesy of:
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/flaky-mushroom-and-gruyere-tarts-00000000049745/

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry (half a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
4 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces assorted mushrooms (such as button, cremini, shiitake, and oyster), sliced
1 shallot, sliced
kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 ounces Gruyère or sharp white Cheddar, grated (1 cup)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
4 ounces mixed greens (6 cups)
2 radishes, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 400° F. Unfold the pastry and cut it into 4 squares. Place the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet and, using a fork, prick the dough all over.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallot and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute more.

3. Dividing evenly, sprinkle the pastry squares with half the cheese, leaving a ½-inch border on each. Top with the mushroom mixture and remaining cheese. Bake until the pastry is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the greens and radishes and toss to coat. Serve the tarts with the salad and sprinkle with the chives.

homemade pesto

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There’s nothing like fresh, homemade pesto that is ready to eat.  You could include it in sandwiches, drizzle it on fish, dip veggies in it, and of course, mix it with pasta!  This is a great pesto recipe and you can add more of anything you like, depending on your taste buds.   I like to add a little bit more cheese.   It only takes a few minutes to blend everything and then I mixed it with a big bowl of linguine..  so fresh & delicious and I had leftovers to pack for lunch! 🙂

Recipe for pesto courtesy of:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/basil-pesto-recipe2.html

Ingredients:
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions:
Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

homemade granola

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I wanted to try making my own granola after I saw my friend Sammie Jo’s photo of her homemade granola. It’s great because you can add ingredients of your choice- you can use different nuts, seeds & dried fruits. I did a modified version of the below recipe. I decided to use sliced almonds, cashews, chia seeds & dried cranberries. I didn’t use gluten-free oats but found a bag of rolled oats at Trader Joe’s. I used honey instead of maple syrup and skipped out on the apple juice and black pepper. You just mix all your ingredients and spread out the granola on a baking pan and bake! It is so easy to make- you can eat it as a snack or eat with yogurt. Crunchy & yummy! 🙂

Recipe for Gluten free granola courtesy of:
http://www.cannellevanille.com/gluten-free/my-basic-granola-recipe/

Ingredients:
3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (you can even use quinoa flakes)
1 1/2 cups nuts and seeds – I used a combination of slivered almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, cashews, black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds, chia seeds and flaxseeds
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup dried fruit – I used dried blueberries and cranberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F.

Combine the oats, nuts and seeds in a large bowl.

Combine the apple juice, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract, cinnamon, sea salt and black pepper in a medium saucepan. Gently heat all together until salt is dissolved and coconut oil liquified. Pour liquid over the dry ingredients and toss to coat. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes until golden. Make sure to stir the mixture about every 15 minutes to make sure it is evenly baked.

Let the granola cool completely. It will become crunchier as it sits. Stir in the dried fruit when completely cool. Store in an airtight container for a few weeks.

Serve with fruit over yogurt or milk.

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.