All posts filed under: cooking secrets

Food: How to Substitude Ingredients and This Recipe

I have to admit, I switch up ingredients all the time while preparing a meal. For example – I am allergic to soy, so I use Worcestershire sauce instead. I hate the taste of fish, so I never add fish sauce to any Asian dish. So I was glad to find a list of alternatives here, for ingredients. What have you substituted, and share your experience or other recommendations Here’s a recipe for dinner tonight for the family – spicy eggplant pasta    {featured image source}

A Lazy Saturday Topics of Interest

This time of year, I prefer the indoors, spending most of my weekends in my pajamas craving hot chocolate, baked goods, and naps. Don’t misunderstand. I have a list of chores I need to tackle, but for some reason, the gloomy outdoors has me needing to find inspiration… {featured image source and inspiration for this topic}

Food: Saturdays Are For Baking

I’ve been craving cinnamon swirled baked goods – mostly brioche with my mother’s recipe. But I decided to go with this one instead – a simple loaf, which can either be smothered in Marscapone and cherry Jam or eaten simply with a cup of coffee, I think the fact it is an easy recipe to follow, I will put my hair up, wear my cozy slippers and head to the kitchen to bake before anyone wakes up: Eh hum – don’t let the butter scare you – it’s a croissant style loaf. INGREDIENTS 1 3/4 cups warm whole milk 1 tablespoon instant yeast 2 tablespoons honey 4 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 2 teaspoons kosher salt 6 tablespoons (1/2 cup) salted butter, at room temperature 2 sticks (1 cup) cold salted butter, sliced into thin pieces 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1 egg, beaten, for brushing  {more} After breakfast, hopefully we can pull off a trip to Napa to see the colorful Autumn landscape and have some wine of course 🙂 – stay tuned! And oh, what are you doing this weekend?   

Hello There, Would You Like Some Cake?

I am back, after a week off to celebrate, reflect and contemplate how the rest of the year should pan out – taking into consideration of course the minor glitches, and/or set backs, I am thinking it will hopefully stay on course and if not, I know exactly where to escape for a few days to detox-if-you-will. So, before anything, I decided to share this cake recipe with you – not sure why I am craving cake all of a sudden, but I am and this one is on point and a easy to make for that July 4th picnic you are due to bring a dish to. INGREDIENTS 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons 3 large eggs, at room temperature 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt CHAMOMILE STRAWBERRIES 1/4 cup honey 2 chamomile tea bags (optional) 2 cups fresh strawberries, …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Feta and Honey and Cauliflower Salad

I’ve had the weirdest cravings lately – not pregnant – just that I think my body is telling me what nutrients I am lacking. Which right now, or early this morning, I had a taste for feta, and cauliflower and sweet and sour – which I probably could consider combining into one big happy salad. But then I saw this recipe for pan fried feta, and my dinner plans got a whole lot better. Now the trouble is, I also LOVE pan-fried Halloumi cheese – maybe I’ll do both.  Anyway, here are the recipes: INGREDIENTS for Pan-Fried Feta PEPPERED HONEY 1/4 cup honey 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for serving 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving FRIED FETA 1 (10-12 ounce) block feta cheese 1 large egg, beaten 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 thinly sliced lemon zest (from about 1 lemon) 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped pita chips or pita bread, for serving {more}   INGREDIENTS for Roasted Cauliflower Salad 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets 1 can (14 ounce) chickpeas, drained 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder 2 teaspoons smoked paprika …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Beans In Variation

I care for my mother and cooking is part of that package – which I don’t mind. So every afternoon after work, I visit with her and help prepare her dinner. She’s always excited at the recipes I come up with, and the ones I find online where I add my own spin to the whole thing. Yesterday, while my head was spinning out of control, she asked about dinner and the quickest option I could come up with was a simple Cannellini bean dish which goes something like this – open two cans of beans. I use this one.  Bring to a boil, add finally chopped parsley, and sliced green onions, olive oil and lemon juice to taste and serve with toasted pita bread. Simple and easy. So today, I decided to expand on bean dish recipes since that is what we are having for dinner tonight. And here’s another middle eastern product my family has used for decades – and I sort of giggle now when I see it popping up in restaurant …

Food: Garlic Butter, Salmon, Creamed Spinach

I realized as I was multi-tasking this morning that it’s nearing noon – which means I am hungry and need to get a quick bite for lunch and think of dinner – which for tonight is this wonderful recipe. I am on the fence about the creamed spinach part, with heavy cream or coconut milk + cream cheese + Parmesan. So, I am sharing the recipe and considering switching it up or adding my own take. I am going to go with heavy cream + a dash of Marsala wine, and a spritz or two of extra-virgin olive oil. I am not a fan of  any cheese on fish. Everything else is perfect. INGREDIENTS 4 salmon filets, skin on or off (your preference) kosher salt and black pepper 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons salted butter 1 small shallot, thinly sliced 3 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk, or heavy cream 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese 4 cups fresh baby spinach juice from 1 lemon 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives, plus more for serving {more} On …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Hummus

Over the weekend, while doing the usual grocery shopping, I brought home chicken as usual, and a half dozen fresh sweet potatoes with the intend that I would dice up the chicken, and the sweet potatoes  and stir fry it with garlic, olive oil and herbes de Provence blend of spices and then I saw this recipe and decided to shift gears and try something new. INGREDIENTS 2 pounds boneless chicken breasts 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon honey 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes juice of 1 lemon kosher salt and black pepper 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds 4 cups baby arugula 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes + 2 tablespoons oil from the jar 4 ounces cubed feta cheese 2 cups plain hummus, homemade or store-bought naan, Persian cucumbers, and fresh dill, for serving  {more} In case you are curious about cooking with herbes de Provence – there is a whole list of recipes to incorporate the spice –    

Sunday Edition: Movies, Novels and Chocolate

If someone were to ask me what my plans were today, I’d  say, stay in bed all day, napping in between reading, and watching classic films. It’s just that kind of day. I did much walking yesterday, along the beach and Land’s End in San Francisco – yes the weather cooperated enough, and while walking did too much thinking. So today, here’s the plan: After waking up at four in the morning to feed my dog, crawl back into bed and pull the covers over my head (I lied- shoulders) and go back to sleep. Wake up, make coffee, and crawl back into bed, and read a few chapters of this novel – which is too well written to put down, but too depressing to read all of it at one sitting/laying/lounging. Play on cellphone – color-by-number for about thirty minutes, or until I fall back asleep Then a classic film, another snooze, after which I sit up, to watch in full  a second film before slowly crawling out of bed, just in time to eat …