Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Stir-fry with Peanut Sauce and Chicken

The peanut sauce came out kind of gross. I found some recipe online for peanut sauce because that's my favorite stir-fry sauce. So I put peanut butter (the kind that just has peanuts and salt in it), low fat coconut milk, soy sauce and I think water. I think that the coconut milk is what threw it off. It just had a weird taste that I didn't really like. Some recipes called for chicken stock instead of or in addition to the coconut milk but I didn't have any so I made it without. Next time I'll probably just use that instead of the coconut milk. The stir-fry is with frozen stir-fry vegetables from Costco and boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut up into bite size pieces. Nevertheless, the stir-fry was pretty good, but I will definitely not make the sauce again without modifying it.

Chicken Soup

I made this with celery, carrots, onion, zuchinni, garlic, egg noodles, parsley and boneless and skinless chicken thighs. I though thighs would work well since they're more fatty but apparently you're not supposed to use boneless chicken in chicken soup because that's where all of the flavor comes from. I also used organic chicken stock from Trader Joe's (since it's the same price as non organic chicken stock...). It came out good, I think next time I'll use chicken with bones. This soup is not how I'd like it to be though, I'll probably have to do more research on chicken soup before I make it again.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Ok, I know, I didn't cook the grapefruit, but I couldn't resist an entry! The grapefruit is so pretty, and it was surprisingly good. I usually don't like how bitter and difficult to eat grapefruit are but this time it was pretty sweet and I cut it nicely! Oh, and these babies were 6 for $1 at Henry's.. pretty good price! And they're big.

Bling Bling Does Lasagna... Again

Well, I decided to make lasagna again since it came out good last time and it's convenient to have around to eat for dinner and it lasts a while (a little less than a week). This time what I did differently is I remembered to add the egg, I put 2 eggs in it, and I added my left over feta cheese. I don't know how much of a difference these items made, but the lasagna was good. It actually came out watery in the beginning and I was very worried, but then I used a paper towel and soaked up as much as I could and now it's fine. Oh, I also decided to buy a block of cheese instead of shredded cheese to save a dollar so the cheese came out a little funky on top. This is the before picture:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Barley and Lentil Soup

I had a bunch of barley and a bunch of lentils so I decided to make this soup. I just fried onions, added some garlic, added a can of diced tomatoes (undrained), fresh chopped basil, rosemary, and then the barley and lentils. It came out really nice. It's just a nice hearty soup.


I love artichokes, and they were really cheap last week. 4 large artichokes for a dollar!! That's unheard of. Anyhow, all I do is boil them in salted water, for about 45 minutes to an hour. I like my artichokes really soft, so when you get to the heart, it just melts in your mouth. It's delicious!! I bought 7 and I only have 1 left. I don't eat the artichokes with anything like mayonnaise, I just eat them plain and they're great!


I bought salad materials and made an amazing salad. Ok, it's actually really simple, but I love it. It's just romaine lettuce, tomato, red bell pepper, and feta cheese. I bought this incredible feta cheese at Trader Joe's and it's just delicious. It's Israeli feta (and Israelis know how to make cheese) and it's a little more expensive but definitely worth it. It's called Garden of Eden feta... I think. Maybe I just made that up but I think that's what it was. As for the dressing, I just put almost equal parts of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, maybe a little more olive oil. The picture is what it looks like before the dressing or stirring it.

Soy sauce and honey chicken

I got this recipe from my cousin, and I really like it. I really need to figure out the proportion of honey to soy sauce I need though, because I always just wing it. Basically I just fry onions in a little olive oil, add some garlic, add boneless and skinless chicken breasts along with honey and soy sauce and let it do it's thing. You're actually supposed to put some fruit in it too, such as canned pineapple pieces (which is amazing in this) or dried fruit like dates... I think. I didn't have any pineapple so I just made it without fruit. This is what it looks like in the beginning.

And, this is what it looks like later:

One of the mistakes I made with this plate is I added a decent amount of salt to the onions when they were frying, because I always see that on TV! I forgot that soy sauce already has a ton of salt, so it came out really salty this time :( In the past when I've made it I never added salt to the onions, I don't know why I did last time. I think more honey would have been better too. Anyway, the chicken comes out really flavorful in this dish, and I like it regardless and will definitely try again!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Barley / lentil / lima bean / black bean thing

I love this combination. I haven't made it in a while, but I decided to make it last night since I knew I was going to be donating blood today. There are times that I've tried to donate but my iron was too low, and lentils have a good source of iron. And it seemed to have worked, the guy said my iron was very good!

Anyhow, dish is made in the slow cooker. The recipe takes equal parts of pearl barley and lentils (any kind really), however much lima beans you want, and however much black beans you want. For the beans, I usually use about a quarter of the amount I use for the barley and lentils. So, just get all those ingredients together, add a bunch of cumin, paprika, garlic cloves or chopped garlic, a few slices of onions, and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Chicken stock is really good in this too, but I stopped using it because I realized the chicken stock I've been using has MSG! So, the really tricky part about this recipe is figuring out how much water to put in. I usually just eyeball it, I really need to start writing down exactly how much dry ingredients I put in and how much wet ingredients I put in. So, once you put the water in, put everything in the slow cooker and let it cook overnight. My slow cooker is very cheap and only has 2 options, low and high, and I usually go with high.

The final product looks like the picture below. I understand that this probably doesn't look appealing to many people, but it's delicious.

Side note: this recipe originates from "Chamim" or "Cholent" or "Shchena"... the Jewish dish made in the slow cooker and served on Saturdays. This is a vegetarian version though. Usually chamim is more tomato-y and has beef and eggs.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

First successful lasagna

Finally, I made lasagna that wasn't horrible! Well, I've only tried it once and I was young and naive back then. It is a really simple vegetarian lasagna, I got the recipe from my mom. It basically just consists of ricotta cheese, canned tomato sauce, spinach, cooked onions and garlic, and cheese. You get the idea. The one thing I forgot (that I realized after putting the lasagna in the oven) was the egg. Oops! I wonder how different it would taste had I put it in.

I would definitely like to make this dish again, except include the egg next time, put the cheese that goes on top of the lasagna on later in the baking process so it doesn't get so brown, and add more of a variety of veggies.

Barefoot Contessa Truffles

I saw Barefoot Contessa make white truffles with dark chocolate drizzled on top. I wanted to make the same, except the other way around, dark chocolate truffles with white chocolate drizzled on top, since white chocolate is so bad for you. I followed her recipe except replaced dark chocolate with white chocolate and white chocolate with dark chocolate. I also didn't use the nuts nor the liquor since I didn't have any. They came out alright, I'm not quite sure how they're supposed to taste. It was difficult to roll them into nice, smooth balls because the chocolate kept sticking to my hands. They did taste good, but I don't know if I'd make them again.

The picture of them was taken 2 days after I made them, after they became hard and old looking.