Friday, October 14, 2011

honey honey honey

An episode of Cake Boss, a fb post on honey waffle energy snacks, and a commercial with vivid images of honey have brought me to THIS! I'm excited to see where this idea takes me and I hope you will ride this wave of golden sweetness with me :)

My first honey baking adventure starts with smitten kitten's moist honey cake! I stumbled upon Jack Daniel's Honey Whiskey and HAD to buy a bottle to add to the recipe. It came out deliciously moist. Some said it tasted like a holiday. My take? The honey cake tastes like a mix between honey graham cracker, banana bread, and a gingerbread man cookie. Honestly, it's a one of a kind treat.

I want to piggy back off this honey cake onto my next baking adventure to create a honey whoopee pie! What flavor to sandwich between these amazing honey whiskey patties??? Leaning towards something nutty, like almond :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

sab's roasted vegetables medley

motivational speaker: roasted vegetables medley

this weekend, my roommates and i marked the arrival of fall with an early halloween dinner party. i decided to give roasted vegetables a chance, i was hoping they would turn out as yummy as the ones my coworker had made for a potluck earlier in the week.
i reviewed a few recipes to get an idea of where to start. some recipes suggested using all root vegetables in light of fall, while others added other year round veggies packed with vitamins. i decided to go with a large variety of vegetables for flavor and color.

interestingly enough, i am usually one to enjoy eating vegetables prepared 'simple' - for example, a simple stir-fry of cabbage and garlic is right up my alley. these roasted veggies would be my first attempt to make 'american-style' vegetables. needless to say, i was both anxious and skeptical of how they'd turn out.

20 minutes of prep time, 40 minutes of baking, and 450* degrees later, i had myself a delicious medley of roasted flavorful vegetables.


Sab's Roasted Vegetables Medley

2 heads of broccoli - cut up
1 yellow squash - sliced
1 zuchini - sliced
1 russet potato - cubed
1 green bell pepper - cut into 1 inch squares
1 red bell pepper - cut into 1 inch squares
1/2 large red onion - cut into 1 inch squares
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup cut fresh basil (approx. 2 full stems of leaves)
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to your taste preference)

Preheat oven at 450*. Toss cut and sliced veggies in a large mixing bowl with olive oil, vinegar, fresh basil, garlic, pepper, salt and chili flakes until coated. Place veggies into metal 13X9 baking pan lined with foil. Roast vegetables for 45 minutes. Let cool and serve warm.


and here's lunch!

Roasted vegetables medley over thin spaghetti and marinara.

food lesson: tasty food doesn't always have to come with a guilt trip. colors can be as appealing to the tastebuds as they are to the eyes!

life lesson: don't be afraid to combine a few unappealing elements together for something that could surprisingly work, you may just encounter a masterpiece!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two peas in a pod

Motivational Speaker: Cauliflower with White Cheese Pasta Shells (Trader Joe's)

Body: This dish was as easy to make as it was to think up! Naturally, without even checking any recipe website, I had already had the idea to combine cauliflower with cheese pasta in my head. Cauliflower's volatility in texture and lightness in flavor seemed to bake well with a thick, cheese sauce and pasta. Who knew how popular these two ingredients were together. Shortly thereafter, I found tons of recipe sites which paired these two star studded performers in the same dish! I'm telling you, they were destined to be together.

To top it off, the mister had just purchased me a Magic Bullet and so I was eager to grind up some bread crumbs to add as a finishing touch to this casserole/bake.

The Super Duo in action: Cauliflower with White Cheese Pasta Shells (Trader Joe's)

After some Magic Bullet Fun...

Food Lesson: Veggies and cheese go great together!

Life Lesson: Certain people and some things naturally have an amazing connection, so embrace the beauty of those bonds when you find them.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Don't take me for granted!

Motivational speaker: Your choice selection of boxed cake mix.

Body: Have you ever been overcome by that wonderful feeling when you get that cake mix you wanted for only 50 cents? It can make any baker shout for joy! But those babies get stored away, and if you're a pack rat and a deal-diver like me, you stock up when those sales hit. Worse, you walk in the store with your grocery list, and walk out with some additional items you realy don't need but given their shelf life (or so as far as you know), you walk out with it thinking about the next batch of cup-cakes you want to make.

Warning! Those babies go BAD! And they teach us not to take those little moments of frugal victory for granted. You can't just use them when you want, on those nights you regain that sweet tooth of yours. You'll find that little critters have alreaady gotten to your secret stash before you (IF you leave them sitting there forever).

Food Lesson: Be wary of items that appear to have long shelf lifes. Any flour or grains should be stored cautiously or away in the fridge so that bugs don't get to them first!

Life Lesson: Don't take those simple joys for granted. When we overlook them or fail to remember them, they might not be there waiting for us when we're ready for them at a later time. Make reminders for yourself!

Out with the old, in with the new? Nope!

Motivational speaker: Fresh lotus root, leftover galbi from last week

Body: Instead of throwing out (good) leftovers, I have consistently tried to make new dishes out of them that I think would be tasty. The other day I made a tad bit too much Chili, which might I add was a big hit at work and at home, and once the tortilla chips and garlic cheese biscuits were gobbled up, I needed to do something with it for lunch. Not being much of a meat eater to begin with, I knew I needed something to go with it. The recipe I made was deliciously reminiscent of spaghetti and so that's exactly how my next meal came to be.

What I am proud of today is my special fusion-like creation! Got your head spinning? No worries. I'll break it down for you. I sliced up some lotus root I picked up at the Chinese market (mind you, these pack some delicious crunch if you're into that kind of thing - think water chestnuts) and wok-fried that with some leftover galbi from Thang Thang A Family Restaurant. And voila! I was pleasantly surprised with a dish that I am able to take with me for lunch until the end of the week.

Check it out! Note that lotus root comes to your grocery stores in a shade of 'nude' but darkens when cooked.

Food Lesson: Combine old with new for something spectacular!

Life Lesson: Be resourceful with what you have, you can still create new treasures when you think outside the box.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Food enriches life

My friend and roomie, Debbie, surprised me for my birthday with Thomas Keller's cookbook, ad hoc at home. I haven't finished flipping through the many interesting chapters and pictures, but I did get through some of the prologue...which I had to share!

When I think about why I enjoy food so much, it's hard to describe why it makes me happy, especially when the sensation of taste is so temporary. But I know that it does. I think Keller has a pretty good handle on explaining it.

"When we eat together, when we set out to do so deliberately, life is better, no matter your circumstances. Whether it's a sad or difficult time, whether it's an ordinary-seeming day, or whether it's a time of celebration, our lives are enriched when we share meals together." - Thomas Keller

So there you have Keller's insight on why we find joy in food. The joy of it is in sharing it!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Embrace each element

Nothing beats the natural fun of a potluck party, especially when you gather a diverse group of friends together for a meal. I was able to experience some potluck fun this past weekend!

Motivational Speaker: Potluck partaaaay

I attemped to make the best meatballs ...instead we made use of our dinner rolls which turned into beef sliders! Spontaneous imrov, right?

My other potluck/bbq specialty...Shrimp Skewers! Secret ingredient being Old Bay Spice and lots of butter.

Unfortunately we didn't take all that many pictures of the rest of the food. But one worthy mention was my boyfriend's Chinese sausage garlic fried rice, which was definitely a HIT.

At the end of the potluck I decided the most unique and flavorful potluck item was the Turon that my boyfriend's fellow Filipina colleague brought! I absolutely fell in love with this banana and jackfruit filled dessert. I wanted to highlight the dish because the elements of the dessert were mind-boggling delicious. You have my favorite two elements of guilty eating pleasure: crispiness and glazed goodness! Then you'll note the natural intense sweetness of mashed banana and jackfruit, served warm. It was an orgasmic indulgence!!!

Food Lesson: Embrace foods from all different cultures.

Life Lesson: We should appreciate the different cultures around us and the many unique elements that make up our experiences with them.