Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I often think of guacamole, that heavenly blend of mashed avocado and various spices, as similar to an attractive and flirty girl who is very un-photogenic. As with many dips, it looks dubious but tastes delicious.
 I also find that guacamole tastes great with plain crispy bread croutons too.

Recipe: Makes about 1 cup, just double or triple to make more
*1 ripe avocado
*1 tablespoon finely diced onions
*1 teaspoon finely diced jalepeno pepper
*1 tablespoon finely diced tomato
*1 teaspoon finely diced garlic
*1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice (bottled or canned is fine, but make sure it's pure and there aren't any other ingredients, especially sugar)
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper

1.) Mash avocado until smooth and sauce-like
2.) Sprinkle all other ingredients in and mix thoroughly

Serve with tortilla chips/ corn chips, and enjoy!


Fresh summer peaches!!! Could not resist snapping a couple shots.
Will probably find a creative way to eat fruit today, like crunchy salad with slices of peach, romaine lettuce, blueberries, cucumbers, and radishes, sprinkled with honey and rosemary. Or maybe peach cobbler with homemade ice cream... so many yummy options.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Radish pickles

Due to a minor kitchen accident yesterday, my cooking these couple of days will probably be confined to baking in a plug-in electronic oven, salads, and more minor (safer) methods of cooking.
One of my favorite summer delectables is the bitter, tart crunchiness of pickles. (Somehow, in the winter they don't seem as crunchy. Psychological effect, I suppose) These yummy radish pickles perfectly fit the score. Recipe owing to the archives of .

Quick Radish Pickles
Makes about a cup
    *6 oz radishes (about 7), quartered
    *3 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)- regular black vinegar works fine too, but it doesn't come out as pretty and pale
    *2 tablespoons sugar
    *1 (1-inch) piece peeled ginger, cut into thin matchsticks (1 tablespoon)

    1.) Toss radishes with 1 tsp salt in a bowl and let stand 30 minutes. Drain in a sieve but do not rinse.
    2.) Heat vinegar with sugar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and add radishes, then stir in ginger.
    3.) Transfer to a small bowl and marinate, chilled, at least 2 hours.  Radishes can be marinated up to 1 day.

    Saturday, June 25, 2011

    3-step peanut butter cookies

    I've been in a baking craze since yesterday, and officially am indepted to Kraft for coming up with the easiest and yummiest peanut butter cookie recipe EVER and printing it onto their peanut butter cans! It's so easy that even my mother, who's a phenomenal cook but possibly one of the worst bakers in the history of the world, could make it. If you feel like it, you can add nuts or press a single Hershey's kiss into the centerof each cookie. Serve with milk or eat plain, and enjoy!

    You only need three ingredients: (I added chocolate chips, but that's totally optional.)
    *1 beaten egg
    *1/2 cup sugar
    *1 cup smooth peanut butter

    1.) Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees farenheit
    2.) Mix all of the ingredients together
    3.) Dollop 24 cookies onto tray and bake for 10 minutes

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Banana bread

    After I did my usual yoga workout routine this morning, I was still super inspired by last night's baking craze, so I baked banana bread.
    My favorite Banana Bread recipe of all time is a simple, basic recipe to which I usually add whatever is at hand- walnuts, chocolate chips- and since I was craving sugar (as always) I iced half the sliced loaf with cream cheese icing, another fave, and topped it with walnuts. My mom doesn't like super-sugary stuff, so I left half of the loaf un-iced and plain. Either way, it was moist and delicious.
    QUICK TIP: Make sure to let the loaf cool for at least 5 minutes or else it'll crumble when slicing

    Recipe: (courtesy of
    • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
    • 1/3 cup melted butter
    • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


    1.)Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C)

    2.)With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.

    3.)Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla.

    4.)Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.

    5.)Add the flour last, mix.

    6.)Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

    Stuffed peppers

    Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite ways to cook veggies when I want something savory but fresh and tart. The strong flavor of the onion dominates but doesn't overpower the general taste of cheese, chicken, mushrooms, and other ingredients, making it so that you can taste each flavor more clearly. This is a recipe of my own devising, very loose and insipred, and you can throw in pretty much whatever sauces or vegetables you want. You can add alfredo sauce, shrimp, garlic pepper, celery, carrots, jalepeno... be creative!

    RECIPE: serves 1 halve, simply double, triple, quadruple etc. to make as many as you want.
    (original recipe)
    *1/2 large bell pepper
    *1 tablespoon chopped onion
    *1 1/2 tablespoon chopped tomato
    *2 tablespoons shredded spinach
    *1 slice of your favorite meltable white cheese
    *Pinch of shredded cheddar cheese
    *Small chunk of chicken, boiled and shredded (as much as you can stuff into the pepper with the veggies and not spill out)
    *1/4 stalk spring onion (just enough to sprinkle over everything)
    *Pinch of black pepper
    *1/2 small jalepeno pepper (optional)
    *3-4 small mushrooms
    *1 teaspoon soy sauce

    1.) Clean out the halve of bell pepper and wash
    2.) If not already prepared, wash and chop all veggies (except mushrooms, which belong to the fungae family anyways) to tiny slivers or blocks
    3.) Stuff all chopped veggies into pepper and arrange as best fit, mixing in soy sauce and/or any other spices you would like to add
    4.) Stuff the shredded, prepared chicken into pepper, making sure it's not past the rim of pepper
    5.) Arrange mushrooms on top
    6.) Sprinkle with cheddar and black pepper
    7.) Cover top of bell pepper with the slice of white cheese
    8.) Garnish with a few sprinkles of chopped spring onion
    9.) Steam for 2-3 minutes, and voila! ( if you decide to make more, don't cook for longer than 3 minutes.)

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    Teriyaki Pork Jerky

    Is everyone else tired of plain old beef jerky yet? I was, after living off it for an entire week when we went camping once (raccoons ransacked all our other food supplies). However, I decided not to hold it against all jerkydom (is that a word?) and my mother and I baked Teriyaki Pork Jerky today. Sure beats plain old barely-seasoned beef jerky, and is fresh but chewy.

    RECIPE: Teriyaki Pork Jerky (Serves one)
    recipe courtesy of my dear mother, who picked it up from her mother's kitchen. The romantic pass-down-by-generations story ends here, because I'm almost positive my grandmother got it out of the local newspaper
    *1 tablespoon soy auce
    *1 teaspoon black pepper
    *1 teaspoon garlic powder
    *1 teaspoon chile powder
    *1 tablespoon sugar
    *1 teaspoon hoisin sauce- you can get it in almost any asian food store, and it might help if you ask for the seafood sauce
    *1 lb pork tenderloin, sliced

    1.)Marinate pork in sauce for 2-3 hours
    2.)Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit
    3.)Bake for 1 hour until it turns dry
    4.)Take out of oven and let it sit for 5 minutes to dry out and cool

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Early Father's Day

    My family of four had chicken alfredo, mussels, ravioli, and stuffed chicken plus a frozen tiramisu shake or dessert at the resident Olive Garden- not the finest cuisine, I know, but actually rather delicious at times. My mother, for reasons beyond my comprehension, decided to have lunch the day BEFORE Father's Day to celebrate Father's Day, because she thought the restaurants would be too packed. Story of my life...
    No pictures of the ravioli and chicken because my mom and brother dug into their food before I could take a shot! I wasn't especially hungry, having eaten a large breakfast, so I sampled everyone else's food. Overall, a nice meal with the fam.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Not your average Spinach Salad

    Sometimes people associate spinach salad with canned products and week-old frozen veggies. Having eaten in a school cafeteria before, I understand your point of view. However, there are countless ways to make deliciously fresh spinach salad that is truly a delight for the senses. My very own recipe for spinach salad (works great with basil leaves too; we ran out so I used spinach) is simple and takes only about ten minutes to prepare, tops. Just lightly steamed spinach or basil with half a cup of chopped tomato, drizzled with olive oil and honey, and sprinkled with some crumbled feta cheese and some walnut halves. If you feel like a heavier meal, add some scrambled egg (no ketchup please! For some reason, eating ketchup with fresh tomatoes for me feels akin to eating bacon for breakfast while watching pigs. Plus, in this dish it ruins the taste and crunchy zest.)

    1 cup fresh spinach or basil
    1/2 cup chopped tomato
    1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 teaspoon crumbled feta cheese
    6-8 walnut halves

    1.) Steam spinach for ONLY 1-2 minutes
    2.) Arrange chopped tomato pieces as desired
    3.) Drizzle virgin olive oil and honey lightly, making sure to cover whole salad
    4.) Sprinkle feta over dish
    5.) Add walnut halves, and enjoy!

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    An intro to Food-dom

     I feel obliged to give all of you out there an introductory post, and I'll try to make it painless. So. I'm your (better, in my opinion) than average teenager who is a total slave to her taste buds. Though I have a rather small appetite and stomach, I try my best to sample all sorts of delicacies. From ethnic-influenced home cooking to various resturaunts and food crawls, there's servings of interest for everyone and anyone who enjoys food.

    To make this intro post less useless and empty, I've added some visual appetizers- my mom's delicious lamb and rice, a traditional Uyghur recipe. Coming from NorthWestern China, my family cooking is very ethnic-influenced.

    On the plate and in the pan