Sunday, February 27, 2011


 On sunny days like today , it gives hope that Spring is right around the corner!

For a nice leisurely sunday dinner:

Pork, mascarpone/basil/garlic stuft mushrooms, braised leek 

And a personal creation....SPRING HASH!

Spring, we are waiting for you. :)

Bon Appetito!


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Saturday. Sunny. S'nice!! :)

Cajun Chicken and Skinny Asparagus

Asparagus with looming shadow.

A picture of asparagus that makes you feel up-side-down.

 Skirt Steak with Salad

Steaming skirt steak on a bed of onions, red bell peppers and mushrooms.
Includes an invisible secret ingredient.

Time to eat!

Bon Appetito and Happy Saturday! :)


Sunday, February 20, 2011


45 Tudor City Place
NY, NY 10017
(Chef Michael White)

Yellow Fin Tuna and Roasted Tomato

Rustic Chicken Liver, Marsala Onions 
(Kee's favorite!)

Duck sausage, grilled endive, raisins, pine nuts
(Yuri's Favorite!)

sardinian saffron gnocchetti, crab, sea urchin

slow cooked neapolitan oxtail ragu, shaved pecorino

Grilled lamb chops, salsa verde, swiss chard, tomato, beans

Parmigiano crusted veal chop, guanciale, brussels sprouts, honey

Panna Cotta and Vanilla gelato

Hazelnut Semifredo with Hazelnut Gelato



Happy Diner #2 thanks Happy Diner #1 for a wonderful night.
Happy St Valentino, mi amore.
Grazie. :)



Friday, February 18, 2011

I FEEL LIKE Chickenteriyaki TONIGHT!

Friday is here! Looking forward to having some Kati rolls with my friends for lunch later today. Yum Yum!

Well, this past week we took a trip to the grocery store on a whim and it had me picking up a few versatile veggies and meats to whip something up. I had the whole week planned, but as unexpected things are bound to happen,  it was time for a little improv. It's all about being resourceful in this life, folks. :)

On the menu a couple of days ago was the proverbial dwenjang jiggae, a korean fermented bean based soup. It takes things like a meat, potatoes, onions, tofu, jalepeno for some heat, green onions and zucchini. Pretty common dish to make so I won't go into that, but I found some fun zucchini at the supermarket. They're tiny!

*angel choir music* Into the cart! 

I remember a few entries back, zucchini's were made into fries and they were "fun". We named them Zookini Fries. These little munchers are pretty fun too! Have you ever seen such a small zucchini? Ladies and gentleman...return of the Zookini!

Well and right next to the Zookini were little mini squash! Here they are in comparison to the onion.

*angel choir music* Into the cart! 

Never seen this either, but chopped half and put them into the soup. These actuall taste a little sweeter than the normal-sized zucchini and squashes. Half are left for some experimenting.

So awesoooooome!! :)

And last night's dinner was a simple teriyaki chicken made with chicken tenders. Using chicken tenders cuts down the prep and cook time and on a weekday... it rocks my world! I've been putting a little more veggies than dishes call for. It's really important to diversify as much fruits and vegetables as we can to get alllll different sorts of nutrients. Now any kind of veggie can't be added, but it really has to make some kind of sense in the flavor. Onions, green onions, carrots, garlic and mushroom made sense for chicken teriyaki. The onions were an inspiration from a lunch I had with a friend. We had some burgers and the cut the onions really thick. If you want to imagine how thick it was, they took a whole onion peeled and cut it three times across the onion into rings. On top of that, they were deliciously caramelized.

Why not add it to teriyaki? It'd make some sense, right? Onions... chicken teriyaki? It also needed a pop color so the beta carotene filled carrots added to the visual appetite of the dish as well as nutritional value. On the side, were some shanghai tips with some garlic, oyster sauce and tossed in with about half a diced jalepeno. The jalepeno was the push for more veggies (and because the store sells them only in pkgs of about 10 and the needed to be used!). Some spice is nice and doesn't disrupt the dish.

So here it is in all it's ordinary-weekday-fortified mealness!

Here is the onion inspiration. So beautiful...

Buon Appetito!


Sunday, February 13, 2011


A new experiement for the Valentine's day weekend!
What other common good has been so successfully marketed for this holiday, but  chocolate?
 Okay, you're right. Roses too! Well, whatever it is, who doesn't love a little chocolate? :)

 Enlisted someone with very steady hands to help with some of it.
That means we have the other common good covered because he's making a dozen roses.
And who doesn't like to receive some pretty roses ?  :)

And alll the finished chocolate! Took a few hours, but the results were extremely satisfying. A bottle of red table wine was in order since it makes a great combination with chocolates and between tasting the different flavors, it makes it taste like the first bite again! Yum yum. 

and if we ate all these chocolates, well ... that wouldn't be fun eating them alone so they got packed up and are ready to celebrate with our offices! A box for Kee's office:

and a smaller lady version for mine. :)

      Happy Valentine's day !    

Buon Appetito~


Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Japanese Gyudon


Japanese for Buon Appettito is Meshiagare, pronounced "Mi-eh sheh ga-reh!" 

and a Red Lobster cheddar biscuit for dessert.


FY  :0)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Devoting time to read in the mornings before work has been a constant dedication, but it's quite pleasant and reaps its rewards. Nevertheless, it left me so beat with work and cooking each day that I was an inflated balloon shooting out air and up and up! during the week and when the air ran out, kaput! So saturday, I slept in and got some cell-level-life-giving sleep. It was good and much needed sleep. Ode to the sleep!

So it was the end of the week and usually, this is the time to throw together something for our tummies out of what we have. I had some leftover chicken breast so I chop't! the chicken, whipped up a pesto sauce, sliced tomatoes, shredded some romaine and piled it onto some bread. Our friends gave us a loaf of the asian white bread (thank you!) so the white bread got to be the candidate to receive a streaky suntan from the foreman grill. Into the "tanning bed" and out comes...oh lala!

And Saturday was a special day. Yes, Superbowl Eve which the hyped up football players, roaring fans,VIP national anthem belter and an awesome halftime show! But alas, there was a reason more important to than that. Please take off your hats and put it over your was WORLD NUTELLA DAY! :) For those who have experienced Nutella at it's finest whether in crepes or on toast, you know the reverence. Perhaps the more proper way to show respect is to take the Nutella off the shelf, turn it into a cookie and let it sink way down in your tummy and reach your soul. Lo and behold, the nutella cookie!

As items of such sweet satisfaction don't come without trials, especially to novices like me, I couldnt' figure out how to give it the cracked look at the top. As the fruit of some dead end attempts, I knew it wasn't the proper way, but I found a way to make some cracks in my cookies. Right when it comes out ...SMOOSH!

and the results were quite pleasing! it had many delicious cracks, so many more than a girl trying to make cracks in her cookies could aks for! It is called the SMASH COOKIE.  I guess you can call the invention of the smash cookie a serendipitous moment. These serendipitous cookies traveled with us to a superbowl party and I put four smash cookies to see if they'd fly with a crowd. All four flew. woot! I think it'd still be nice to know how to make those cracks the normal way though. Does anyone know how to do that? Please help.


God has been in even a simple thing like baking. Baking has been challenging and quite discouraging at times... I actually typed up the above at an earlier time than this portion here on. Between then and now, something amazing happened. Kee and I celebrated our 35 months today and we decided to use one of our coupons at a restaurant in the city (will post about it next). I got there a little before Kee so I dropped in to get a manicure a few doors down. As I was getting a manicure, Kee walked in and waited on the couch. I was in a line of ladies with our hands in front of us like kangaroos, getting our nails made pretty.

There was a nice lady next to me who had her hair done and a lot of makeup and her hair done! She was getting her nails painted in bright red and she was talking to her manicurist. Red Nails was so kind. Red Nails asked the chinese lady manicurist how her day was going and the manicurist spoke of a long 10am to 10pm day. Red Nails said, "I understand. I've been working long hours filming." And it doesn't ring a bell to the manicurist lady when red nails says," I film for the Food Network". Whoa, hello. Red Nails and the manicurist reach a pause in their conversation.

I ask red nails what she does for the Food Network. I thought she might be in the camera crew or something, but she said she was the one who was being filmed, hence the hair do, makeup and manicure. I'm thinking, "Am I sitting next to someone big and oblivious?" So I proceeded to ask questions. Oh nice. What's your name? Anne Thornton. What show do you do? I do Dessert First. I'm getting a manicure next to a food network star...

I kept my cool (I hope) and not of a starstruck wanna-be baker and had a chance to share with her about this blog. ( I wonder if she'll read my blog , as big as a star that she is, haha ) We talked about my recent challenge of learning to bake and explained my big breakthrough. And she was so kind to give me a thorough run down of butter and not-butter and what they can and can't do, which of course was my long-time reason for floury cookies. In short, stick butter, for many reasons, is so much better says Anne. She shared that she had just done a recording of a dessert with Nutella earlier in the day airing in April. No way. So of course, I still had that pressing question on how to make the cracks on the top of the cookie. Who would have known I'd get the answer in this way??

Thank you God for your amazing and unexpected ways you teach me.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011


How exciting! A package came in the mail this week in a big yellow box.

Our friends in Italy were thougthful and stuffed a box full of Italian goodies. And you wonder why we miss this country...the people are amazing and so is their food! We couldn't really read the labels, but we do know that it is pasta, pasta sauce, cookies, chocolates and more chocolates! Buon Appettito indeed!

So with Italian inspiration, let's make pasta! It was time to try those stuff't little bundles of  pasta:
Ravioli, Cappelleti and Tortellini.

The word ravioli is reminiscent of the Italian verb riavvolgere, "to wrap".
Spinach, mushroom, garlic, parmesan cheese all "wrapped" up in skins.

Now if that wasn't neat, let's look at Cappelletti.

 What does it look like?

Can you guess, without look further?
What the pasta might look like from the name?

It looks like the Popes cap! Holy's Holy Pasta!

and finally, I'll leave you to decide what you feel about Tortellini.
Would you eat tortellini after hearing this?
Would you be offended if someone served this to you?

Tortellini- Stories say that this dish was born in Castelfranco Emilia .One night during a trip, Lucrezia Borgia checked into an inn in the small town. Over the course of the night the host became so captivated by Lucrezia's beauty that he could not resist the urge to peek into her room through the keyhole. The bedroom was only lit by a few candles, and so he could merely see her navel. This pure and innocent vision was enough to send him into an ecstasy that inspired him to create the tortellini that night.

Did that offend you?! haha.
These tortellini's look like outties! :)

So past all the silliness, here are all the stuf't pastas lined up together for their class photo.
Ladies and gentlemen, the class of Make-it-on-sunday-and-eat-during-the week!

That's right! You can make these ahead of time. Want to know a neat thing about making these kinds of pastas? You really don't need a pasta maker. Just roll out fresh pasta and fill them and if you don't have time to roll out pasta, but you want homemade ravioli, try using wanton skins for a quick homemade stuffed pasta. Chef Sandra Lee would be proud of you since it's semi-homemade! :)

These were made ahead of time on sunday and stuck into the freezer to eat later in the week. There's a specialness to eating things right when they're made so I made four bigger sized raviolis, pan-fried em', shaved some parm cheese and served it hot as an appetizer for dinner that day.

And for dinner tonight, they were served up with some soup. I call it "Florentine Soup" because it's simple with ingredients left close to their natural form. Chicken, Kale, Purple Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Corn, Garlic and Basil in a broth. Very colorful! and you know what that meants. It screams,

"I have lots of vitamins and minerals that are good for youuuu! "

and the star of the show dressed and ready for the main event...

WHOA!! Watch out. It's piping hot!

Take 2...

Little Pope's hats and belly buttons dressed with a sage butter sauce. :)  

Served with "Florentine" rosemary-infused beans. After demystification, all it means is:
salt, pepper and rosemary beans. 

Veggies used in this post: spinach, mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, peas, kale, purple potatoes, sage, corn, rosemary, kidney beans and cannelini beans. Is success a vegetable? haha.

Time to eat!

Here's your portion.

Buon Appettito, friends! Thanks for reading and encouraging me!

Hubby, thanks for sharpening my knives for me today!