Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scalloped Cheesy Potatoes and Ham

This is the perfect dish to make with your holiday leftovers and perfect  for cold winter nights- even if your winter nights are in Southern California.. it still gets pretty cold here. I made this dish after

Monday, December 26, 2011

Apple Pie Gone Wrong, A Return

I've decided. I am finally back to getting back to posting about my adventures in baking, cooking and all that jazz. Work was cutting into updating this blog in a way I could have never imagined. Here's hoping that 2012 will not turn out this same way. I will try and let it not.

So, I couldn't think of a better return post, than with a disaster post. Because disasters in the kitchen do happen. And often, they happen when you don't take the time to thoroughly create your dish. This is what happened to me when trying to make an Apple Pie for Christmas.  I was rushing around and really have the time to make an apple pie. But I wanted to, because you have to have pie at Christmas, right? Well, wrong in this case. Here's where I went wrong:

Apple Pie Gone Wrong
1. I didn't follow the directions. I skipped on using all the recommended butter because I thought I could get away with it (there was already so much!). Wrong- if you're going to make an Apple Pie, make one... with all the butter. Most of it was in there anyways- taking out a couple of tablespoons was a bad idea.
2. The crust wasn't rolling out right- it was too crumbly and falling apart. Instead of just doing it over right, I thought I could just re-shape it and patch it up in the pie tin. It turned out so ugly.
3. I rushed through it all and basically the result is what you see in the picture. Uh- well! There is always next year... lesson learned. :)

Apple Pie Gone Wrong, 2011

Stay Tuned... in this coming week, I'll have more updates on things that turned out right.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Homemade Coconut Ice Cream

It's been a long week. I thought I was on track to tons of  blog updates this past week- but it's been a very intense and crazy work week.  Perhaps this week I will get to posting it all. Let's start with dessert. I made a very tasty coconut ice cream this week. It's a very simple and rewarding recipe. It's a coconut lovers dream!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday Morning Cheese Blintzes

I'm actually not a fan of cheese blintzes, but Jason is and I wanted to make him some for some time. I finally got around to it a couple of weekends ago and thought I could make these suckers as quick as you make pancakes. Turns out cheese blintzes are served warm and are suppose to bake in the oven

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Rice and Egg

Do you have a childhood dish that seems like only your family ever ate? When I was a kid, my mom used to make my sister and I rice & eggs. And it's exactly what it sounds like. Steamed white rice and a scrambled egg. We usually ate this for breakfast and if my mom was feeling fancy she would add mushrooms or green onion to the egg. Now I realize this may sound like a weird breakfast dish, but it really takes me back to my childhood & it's comfort food for me.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Take to Work Lunch: Asian Inspired Salad

I can post "Take to Work Lunches" on Saturday right? Good. With the recent purchase of some cute lunch boxes called "Easy Lunch Boxes" and some planning and preparition on my part, I took my lunch to work 3 out of the 4 days this week. Which for me, who usually sleeps in a little too late and rushes out the door all while knowing if I don't pack a lunch,

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!

Nothing beats the simplicity of a burger, or in this case mini-burgers on King's Hawaiian poppy seed bread rolls straight from the King's Hawaiian bread factory itself.

Have a Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Coffee Cupcakes!!

Last night I stayed up late to make some coffee cupcakes for my sister. See, my sister graduated college a couple of weeks ago and we were to celebrate with homemade coffee cupcakes. (She is a coffee-holic.)But I was sick the whole week & weekend of her graduation and I never made them. But hey, at least she got some tiramasu from CPK that day. 

Anyhow, I was back at in my parent's hood and this time, toting the coffee cupcakes

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Homemade Pizza and Breadsticks (and Marinara Sauce)

Not only did I make blueberries and cream cookies this weekend, I also made a really good pizza on Monday. This required some preparation on Sunday, but it was well worth it. Let me tell you about this pizza dough recipe. I've mentioned it before. It takes some patience, not in kneading the dough, but just time. Time and planning to make the dough the night before so it can be refrigerated and time again to allow the dough to rest and rise the next day. But it's well worth it and way better than Trader Joe's pizza dough (sorry TJ's, it's true!) and anything from a chain pizza place.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blueberries and Cream Cookies

Hope you had a nice weekend! I sure did. I visited the MOCA's street art exhibit in downtown LA and also spent some time in Little Tokyo. On Sunday, I spent a lot of time cleaning our apartment floors (wooden floors are more work than carpet!) and then I experimented and made some blueberries and cream cookies.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quick and Dirty Coconut Cream Pie

I've got to learn to take better pictures
I'm on a roll... 3 blog posts in one week... in one month in fact... crazy! This will be quick and dirty, just like my semi-recipe for coconut cream pie. In fact, you could argue and say it's not really a recipe and I'd probably agree. Jello pudding mix and graham crackers... who am I trying to fool? Well, what it lacks as a so called recipe, it makes up in easiness and creativity. Yes, creativity! I cleaned out our pantry on Sunday and what did I find?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Local Eats: Pepe's Mexican Food

Chicken Plate @ Pepe's
This is a quesadilla!

Place: Pepe's
Location: Several, but Jason and I used to frequent the Fullerton & Brea locations
Website: http://www.pepesmexicanfood.com/

Jason and I discovered Pepe's while living in Fullerton. At the time, our apartment was really close to a Pepe's and we would often drive by and think.... "hmmm... that place looks like it's either really bad or a whole in the wall that is actually really good." It was years before we tried it because we leaned toward the first statement. I don't know why weren't savvy enough to yelp anything back then, but we sure missed out.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

NYC Eats!

Last month Jason and I took a real honest to goodness vacation.  Unfortunately work stress from the past month made it seem like I never took any vacation and this stresses me out. Seriously. But with less complaining, I offer to you a snap shot of all the meals Jason and I ate while on vacation in New York City. Everything is captured with

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Product Review- Salad Spinner!

Alright, this may or may not be a new category. I like buying fun little kitchen gadgets, but my wallet & kitchen cabinets prefer I do otherwise. See, sometimes I buy things because they are cute, but then I never use them and they take up space and also waste my money. But.... there are other times when I find something so neat (and hopefully on sale or cheap!) that I thought it would be worth sharing.

For the longest time I wanted to buy a salad spinner... seriously. I did. However, the going price for one of these gadgets to dry off my lettuce leaves was around $20 bucks. And $20 bucks to dry off some leaves of lettuce is too pricey for me.

Enter... Ikea. Ikea with all it's cheap and fun goodness. Sometimes Ikea products are a little too cheap & break or don't work as promised. So when I found a salad spinner for the nice price of $2.99, I thought... too good to be true. But at $3, it was well worth the risk to find out. And wouldn't you know? It's spins and dries my lettuce leaves oh so nicely. It really beats eating soggy salads! I completely recommend adding this little gadget to your kitchen cabinets, especially if you are a salad eater.

Get your own @ Ikea

Monday, May 30, 2011

New Category- Local Eats

Pretty Coffee
I'm planning on revamping my blog by categorizing my posts, fixing my labels and giving my blog a little face lift. My goal is to convert everything by the end of June. That should be plenty of time... yes?

One of my new categories I'd like to share with you is called "Local Eats." I live in the Los Angeles area and there are plenty of neat and interesting places to eat at and I thought it would be neat to share them with you... good experiences and bad.  Let's start with the good...

Place: The Conservatory for Coffee
Location: Culver City, CA (right across from Sony Studios)
What: Coffee Shop

I believe I found this gem from Yelp and I'm sure glad I did. Jason and I love to get coffee here on Saturday mornings. I love this place for many reasons. 1st, it's an independent coffee shop. 2nd, they make really good coffee. 3rd, it's literally a mom & pop shop and 4th, it's not run by hipsters! The staff are all very nice and put care into making your coffee.  Having just visited NYC and experiencing some local coffee shops, it's made me appreciate The Conservatory for Coffee even more because it's really the whole experience that makes going to coffee shops appealing to me. (I used to work at a coffee shop in college, by the way.) I've found that specialty coffee shops do make better foam and put in a bit more TLC in pulling their espresso, but the hipster vibe that I've found at these other coffee shops just doesn't do it for me and ruins the experience.

And that's why I like Conservatory for Coffee. One person takes your order and that same person makes your drink. They know what they're doing when they steam their milk and pull their shots. The prices are comparable to Starbucks, and with recent Starbucks rate hikes, they are likely cheaper. And the quality is so much better. Seriously. It's smooth strong coffee and velvety milk. My favorite drink is their vanilla iced latte, where they froth their milk by blending just the milk & vanilla in the blender before pouring it over ice and adding the espresso shots. Yum and genius!
Dreamy Vanilla Iced Latte

Jason and I only go here on Saturdays generally because they close at 6PM on weekdays and are closed on Sundays. If you're in the West LA area, I completely recommend you make a trip here. If you're not, check out their website, where you can order coffee beans online.

You will be hooked.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade

Strawberry Lemonade

When your mom gives you a ton of home grown lemons and you freeze all of them and forget about them for a couple of months, but eventually find them and defrost them all.... you make lemonade. Did you know when you defrost frozen lemons them become all mushy?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

So my weekend started off wonderful... took off early from work on Friday, woke up early Saturday to take my car in for an oil change

Monday, April 18, 2011

French Toast

Do you have a dish that you make without an aid for of a recipe? Something you just toss together and it's always the same way each time, regardless of the fact you didn't measure anything?

French toast is that recipe for me. It's such an easy dish.

Monday, April 11, 2011

White Chocolate-Chocolate-Coconut Cookies

Piles and Piles of Cookies

Cookies- what's not to love? I decided to make some cookies last Thursday night to bring into work and to also enjoy at home. I had half a bag of dark chocolate chips, half a bag of white chocolate chips and a big bag of coconut hanging around and felt like experimenting a little.

German Chocolate Cake

March has the blessing of two birthdays in my family. My BF Jason's (see his birthday cake here ) and my dad's, which this post is about. My dad wanted a German Chocolate Cake. I thought this would be (pardon the pun.... hah) a piece of cake.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week Night Dinner- Chicken Caesar Salad

I have a few posts saved up and I need to start cranking them out! This is another week night dinner edition... brought to you on a Friday night where I did not cook dinner and instead had some takeout. But I mean well and that counts for something, yes?

This Chicken Caesar Salad was made one night last week for dinner. Homemade croutons, dressing and all. And it sure was good. I've never had such good tasting salad dressing at home before. And the best part was that is was almost too simple, I can't figure out why I've been buying the stuff from stores this whole time??  Seriously, the dressing will boggle your mind and change the way you buy salad dressing.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Take to Work Lunch: Greek Salad

I guess I may be spoiled. My work feeds me lunch everyday. And it's generally pretty good. But I've been trying to get on the healthy bandwagon and bring my own lunch to work lately. I've never been good about bringing my lunch to work. I usually half throw things together and- at least prior to my current job- would usually eat what I brought because I had no choice. It gets trickier when your work has lunch ready for you. Warm and tasty food generally speaking as well. It's easier to leave your brown bag in the fridge and just get in line for lunch. So in an attempt to make take to work lunches more appealing,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Birthday Cake!!

Last week was Jason's birthday and I wanted to make him a cake. A Dreamcast cake to be more exact.  Some of you reading may wonder, what's a Dreamcast? Well if you were a kid or teenager of the late 90's you may recall it was a Sega gaming system. It happens to be Jason's favorite gaming system of all time, so what better way to celebrate a birthday than making a cake that looks like a Dreamcast? I'm not the first to do it either. Just google "Dreamcast cake" and you will find some results.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

President's Day Pizza Pie

Pear-Blue Cheese-Pecan Pizza
Pepper Jack Pepperoni Pizza
Because I was lucky enough to enjoy President's Day off, I had more time to cook something fancy for dinner.  I started this pizza project on Sunday night, so I could make a really tasty pizza crust for Monday. Also, because I forgot to buy the pizza dough from Trader Joe's on Sunday and had all other ingredients. Whoops!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Darth Chocolate Cookies

Hope I'm not too late to posting this! We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day around here, because we're pessimistic like that and feel it's too frilly. However, if you're looking to impress a boy, I suggest baking these Darth Chocolate Cookies. Yep, that's right...Darth Chocolate. Chocolate sugar cookies shaped like Darth Vader. I got these cookie cutters from Williams- Sonoma. And I tried out this recipe from Bon Appetit via Epicurious.com.

Cookie verdict: pretty tasty for a chocolate sugar cookie! And the cute cut-out makes it even better!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Must not be a slacker... and must update blog! I baked some triple chocolate-chocolate chip cookies not that long ago and I haven't gotten a chance to update this blog. And they were pretty darn good cookies too if I do say so myself. Not to mention I made white chocolate peanut butter blondies and didn't even take any pictures of them. Also, I threw them out. Not so much because they were bad, but more so, they weren't my cup of tea. Too peanut buttery and the white chocolate wasn't super high quality white chocolate (sorry Trader Joes, but it's true!). Ahhh so before I go on anymore tangents, lets get to the nitty gritty of these triple chocolate-chocolate chip cookies

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yummmm.... Bagels

If you ever read any of my posts- you know I've been wanting to make bagels for some time. Bagels are pretty much the best breakfast ever. They remind me of my coffee shop days, where I worked and ate tasty bagels. Cinnamon sugar bagels were the best, followed by the Everything bagel. Yum.

And recently, Jason and I became hooked on these Everything bagels from this coffee shop/laundromat near our place. They are like the best Everything bagels ever. Their coffee is awful, and their service is a little creepy (think a little indie coffee shop that has an air of awkwardness)- so I thought why not make my own bagels and cut out the weekly awkwardly trip.

But then I became obsessed with finding just the right recipe- all the good ones required starting a night before, which to me, is just too much time. Haha, I want a good bagel and I'm willing to work a little for it, but starting the night before and two pages of instructions- no thank you! So I settled on this recipe that I found by googling. The pics looked good and the instructions looked much less complicated than everything else I was finding.

The result: bagels that were a bit on the smaller side, but pretty much a good everything bagel. I think they really needed to bake longer or at a higher temperature to get that golden brown bagel look, but all-in-all, not bad for a first time bagel baker.

Rest assured, this won't be the last you hear of me on bagel baking. For now, go to Baking Bites and follow her recipe. I'll adapt and post one here after one more time of attempting this breakfast treats.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Coffee Ice Cream

This post made me want to make ice cream again. It also reminded me that I bought about a quart of heavy whipping cream back at the end of December, because I was really keen on trying to make black forest cake for Christmas dessert, but it didn't pan out since I was all baked out by time it rolled around to make the cake (I had, perhaps, made too make cookies).  Heavy whipping cream is probably the most critical ingredient to making ice cream, so I thought- why not, let's do this.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Week Night Dinner- Spicy Soba Noodles

Cooking on weeknights can be pretty easy if a) I leave work at a decent hour  b) if I kind of figure out a plan of dinners to make and c) if I properly grocery shopped for the week. I need a,b,c, in order to get it right. And even then by Wednesday night, I just want to eat dinner by the time I get home. So what I need is something easy, quick, healthy and delicious and also something Jason will like.

Enter spicy soba noodles.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Happy Breakfasting!

This weekend I planned on using my new Kitchenaid mixer to make some bagels.... but it turns out they might take longer to make than I expected. And Saturday evening rolled around and it just was not going to happen for Sunday morning breakfast since Jason and I had 6 loads of laundry to do. So bagels... they will be for next weekend. And I blog about it if they turn out good.

So instead, I bring you healthy-tasty-breakfast again... this time in the form of granola.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Raisin and Oat Scones- something healthy for you!

Happy New Year!! Hope every one's New Year is starting off well and that you've enjoyed your holidays. I surely wanted to update this blog with Christmas cookie posts, but I didn't get around to it... I was too busy enjoying a full week off of work (didn't take a vacation ALL YEAR)and not hanging around a desk and computer... it just didn't happen. And now I feel like it's a bit too late for Christmas cookies. I'll save them...for next year... ;)