September 24, 2015

roasted Cornish hens

These roasted Cornish hens were convenient enough to make for dinner but will look festive and elegant for special celebrations and for the coming holiday season as well. When arranged on a big platter with roasted vegetables, they will make an attractive centerpiece for the holiday table.

roasted Cornish hens with roasted cauliflower and quinoa

They cooked much faster than regular size chickens and turned out quite moist with great flavor. They were marinated for a few hours in the fridge before roasting. Because of their petite size, it didn't take much time to infuse them with the marinade. I found a very good recipe from with just a few ingredients.

just be sure to remove the string before serving...I forgot :-)
For the recipe...

September 15, 2015

more cake donuts

Here are a few more baked cake donuts to brighten up our day :-)

vanilla and nutmeg with glaze and sprinkles

chocolate and vanilla with shiny powdered sugar glaze

chocolate with chocolate glaze :-)

extra moist with pumpkin in the mix

hot coffee and warm donut...the best combination

pumpkin donuts dipped in butter and sugar

September 12, 2015

project bento for lunch

My first bento lunch projects :-)

fruit and green salad bento with hard-boiled eggs and ham

torta (ground beef omelet) with quinoa and vegetable salad

bear shape hard boiled egg with cantaloupe flowers

fish shape egg with green bell pepper and cucumbers
A creative way to present food in healthy portions that's just right for a light but satisfying lunch. This is what I like most about bento. The colorful fruits and vegetables in cute shapes definitely add a fun element to everyday meal time.

September 1, 2015

gluten-free chocolate cake

Finally, a chocolate cake that my husband will eat :-) It has nothing to do with gluten intolerance. His aversion to chocolate is the issue here :-) However, I'm happy that he found one particular brand he likes, Lindt, which easily became his favorite.

I found this recipe for gluten-free chocolate cake sometime ago and I knew I needed to try making it with Lindt. I used Lindt Milk Chocolate Classic Recipe Bar. Most of the time, I feel guilty (but maybe for a few seconds only :-) that he doesn't get to try any of the chocolate desserts I make. Dark chocolate is ideal for this recipe but I used milk chocolate for milder taste.

For the recipe...

August 25, 2015

surf and turf sous vide with zucchini noodles

Having tried to cook salmon sous vide for the first time, I was so thrilled with the result that I may never go back to other ways of cooking this fish again. It was very moist, flavorful and perfectly cooked.

Using a vacuum sealer (shown above) to get the air out of the bag ensures that the food stays submerged in the water while simmering. A ziplock food bag will work just as well using the water displacement technique. I used the Anova brand of immersion circulator. Set the temperature to 50C (122F) then set the timer to 40 minutes. The salmon pieces were about 8 oz each. This recipe is also available at the Anova culinary website.

Rump steak cooked medium rare was sliced across the grain as shown above. The nice thing about the sous vide method of cooking is there's absolutely no way the steak can get overcooked and dry out during the sous vide process. It will always be evenly cooked inside out. A quick sear on a hot cast iron grill or pan was all that was needed before slicing and serving. Allow the steak to rest for about 10 minutes after searing.

My husband's sous vide tasting plate with thinly sliced steak, a small piece of salmon, cheese slices and zucchini noodles (shown above).

The zucchini noodle side dish, shown above, cooked scampi-style with minced garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes and lemon juice, was another revelation. I keep reading about them in food websites that I had to give it a try. We've always loved grilled zucchini since we discovered how grilling makes them extra flavorful, but I have to say this was another must-keep idea.

This Benriner turning slicer (shown above) is a handy kitchen gadget which I often use for carrots and other salad vegetables. It does a great job creating all kinds of spiral-cut vegetables. I used the medium blade slicer for these zucchini noodles.

August 19, 2015

orange tomatoes

I found some interesting orange tomato variety at the grocery recently. They had good flavor so I used them to make a couple of light weekday meals.

Inspired by caprese salad, one of my favorites, I sliced the tomato thinly, arranged and layered them on a plate along with thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, then sprinkled them with salt, pepper and some creamy lemon vinaigrette (shown below). Balsamic vinaigrette will be just as good.

One of the biggest salads I made this summer, this was a combination of mixed baby greens, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado, julienned carrots, tomatoes, a colorful mix of green, red, yellow and orange sweet peppers, hard-boiled eggs and fresh mushroom slices. Red onions, red radishes and alfafa sprouts may also be added. Very healthy and crunchy :-) Serve with some homemade dressing.

refreshing, colorful and crunchy summer salad

August 16, 2015

baked cinnamon cake donuts

Baked instead of deep-fried, these donuts turned out light, moist and full of cinnamon flavor! My husband actually prefers cake donuts more than the other yeast-raised variety. I'm glad he bought this pan so we could try it :-)

The non-stick donut pan worked quite well and produced such perfectly shaped treats. I still sprayed each ring mold with baking spray just to make sure they would not stick. They all slid out of the mold easily. Brushing them with oil or melted butter and coating them evenly with flour using a small fine sieve will do the trick as well.

I just love the donut pan :-) It was fun to make donuts the healthier way with absolutely no messy oil to deal with. The shelf life was much better than those that were deep-fried which tend to dry up fast. Any muffin recipe will translate well. I used a simple recipe for Doughnut Muffins that I found long ago. There's a recipe for Pumpkin Donuts at the King Arthur Flour website that I also would like to try next time.

For the recipe...