Archive | May, 2011

Food Adventures in Japan

24 May

Japanese food is one of my favorite types of food so as you would expect, I took a ton of pics in Japan. Check them out!

Omu Rice Japanese Omlette from a maid café in Akibahara

Huge Japanese Rice Crackers

Green Tea Kit Kat 🙂

Dango Mochi (Mochi rice balls)

Japanese Crêpes (some even have a slice of cheesecake in them)

Japanese Sushi served on a conveyor belt and Shinkansen bullet train brought out special orders.

Wasabi Kit Kat

Ramen and Pork Katsudon

Sashimi rice bowl and japanese soup (not miso)

Japanese Red Bean Cakes

White Chocolate Green Tea Muffins

Japanese Red Bean Rice and other flavors

Crunky Candy Bars haha

Japanese Burgers

Breakfast Hot Dogs at Tully’s Coffee

Tonkatsu Sandwich

Japanese Pizzas including Chicken Teriyaki Pizza

Crispy Noodles with Shrimp

Cute Soccer Ball Cakes with Cream inside

Tempura Everything!!

Katsu Everything!

Japanese Sweet Bread

Kit Kats of all flavors: Flan, Gingerale, Strawberry, Milk Tea and others

Jinya Ramen

Shrimp Katsu Sandwich at McDonalds

Different flavors of Onigiri

Fish shaped cakes filled with flavors like vanilla, chocolate, cream, and red bean

Japanese cakes in the shape of hello kitty, roses, bananas and other random stuff

Pork Katsu Bowl

Sushi Rolls

Big Cup a Noodles in unique flavors like curry, meat, and seafood. Oh ya and bacon and potato flavor.

Octopus Balls

Japanese Shaved Ice

Sushi Candy

Rice Crackers

Japanese Baked Goods

Fish shaped cakes filled with chocolate

Chicken Salad and Cold Ramen


Chocolate Chip Banana Crumb Muffins

24 May

These are my absolute favorite muffins. They have the perfect amount of banana and chocolate. They are so moist and delicious. This is one of my favorite recipes of all time.

Chocolate Chip Banana Crumb Muffins

Adapted from Simply Recipes

4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

For Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon of butter

1.Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl

3. Mix in the sugar, egg, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix.

4. Pour mixture into prepared muffin pan.

5. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Bon Appétit!

Magnolia’s Banana Pudding

23 May

After trying this pudding at Magnolia’s Bakery in New York, I knew I had to try to make it. I’m not a huge pudding fan, but this banana pudding just blew my mind. It is so creamy and cakey and bananay. And btw, I am a huge banana fan.

Magnolia’s Banana Pudding

From RecipeLink
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
3 cups heavy cream
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (no substitutions!)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas

1) In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute
2) Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.
3) In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
4) To assemble the dessert, select a large, wide bowl (preferably glass) with a 4-5-quart capacity. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas.

5) Add one third of the pudding.

6) Repeat the layering twice more.

7) Garnish with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours – or up to 8 hours, but no longer! – before serving.

It tasted exactly like the one from NYC!

Bon Appétit!


23 May

I am a huge mac and cheese fan. Growing up in an asian household, we didn’t eat much of it. So for our (my friends and my) weekly international dinner, I decided to make it. I was a little disappointed because it is not the cheesiest or creamiest mac and cheeses I have ever had, but it was still good. Maybe try adding some more cream and cheese when you try it. I think it would make a huge difference.


Adapted from Recipes We Enjoy
1.5 lbs elbow macaroni
1 pint heavy cream
2 cups milk (we use skim milk)
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
1.5 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1.5 cups parmesan/ romano
1 small package of gruyere cheese (you can shred it or cut into small pieces)
Bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Cook elbow macaroni until it is al dente
2) In a mixing bowl, whisk together heavy cream, milk, salt & pepper
3) Spray a 9×13 baking dish with Pam and then spread a thin layer of bread crumbs on the bottom of the pan
4) On top of the bread crumbs place a layer of the cooked elbow macaroni (should be half of the pasta you cooked)
5) Cover the top of the macaroni with all of the different cheese and then pour half of the cream/ milk mixture over the cheese and pasta
6) Put another layer of pasta (use the remaining half of cooked pasta)
7) Put the remaining cheese on top of the macaroni and pour in the remaining cream/ milk mixture over the top
8) Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and bake in the oven at 475 degrees for 50 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the top of the cheese is browning

Bon Appétit!

Thai Shrimp Rolls

23 May

These rolls are so refreshing and healthy. I could eat these all day every day. They are delicious and so simple to make. Try them out for yourself!

Thai Shrimp Rolls

Adapted from Dianasaur Dishes
20 circle rice paper wrappers
20 cooked shrimp
40 basil leaves
40 mint leaves
1 carrot sliced into shreds with vegetable peeler
2 cups torn butter lettuce (or romaine without spines of leaves)
1 skein vermicelli rice noodles cooked
1 cup bean sprouts
1 bunch of cilantro
4 stalks green onion finely chopped
pie pan of very warm water
1 jar of peanut satay sauce

1) Spread all ingredients out on a work surface
2) Remove tails from shrimp and cut shrimp in half lengthwise.
3) Dip a rice wrapper into the warm water until soft and pliable.
4) Place the rice wrapper on a clean dry cutting board.
5) Place your filling a little off the center in a vertical line. Start with two shrimp halves end to end, cut side up (so the pink shows through when it’s wrapped). Top with two basil leaves, two mint leaves, and a small portion of each remaining ingredient. Arrange so ingredients will be peeking out of one or both ends.
6) Starting at the corner your filling is closest to, wrap that corner over filling, (If you only want ingredients showing from one end, fold an inch of the bottom up right now) then begin rolling tightly. Place seam side down on a large platter and cover with plastic wrap. Serve with Peanut Satay Sauce.

Bon Appétit!

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Gruyere Bruschetta

23 May

Sadly, I couldn’t find the puff pastry at the grocery store so I made this with a french baguette. It was still really good. The caramelized onions with the melted gruyere on top made this such a wonderful appetizer. These were a hit at our french dinner party.

Caramelized Onion, Mushroom, and Gruyere Bruschetta

Adapted from Browneyedbaker

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
16 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup white wine (can substitute chicken or vegetable broth)
1 french baguette
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (can substitute any variety of Swiss cheese)
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water, beaten together (for the egg wash)
Handful of parsley, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize, about 20 minutes.
3. Add the butter to the pan. Once melted, add the mushrooms and saute, stirring occasionally, until they are completely soft and all of the liquid evaporates, about 20 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and the thyme and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to pull up all of the browned bits, and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat.
6. Cut 1-inch slices of the baguette. Bake the slices in the oven for a few minutes.
7. Top off each slice with a small spoonful of the onion and mushroom mixture. Top with shredded Gruyere cheese.
8. Bake until cheese is melted and garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
Bon Appétit!

Margarita Shrimp Bites

23 May

Tequila, shrimp, and puff pastry. What more could you ask for? What a delicious combination. I made this for a Cinco de Mayo dinner and everyone loved them. The chipotle chili sauce makes this dish. It is delish.

Margarita Shrimp Bites

adapted from recipegirl


Shrimp and Marinade
16 frozen shrimp, peeled and de-veined
zest of one lime
juice of one lime
1 tbs tequila
1/2 tbs sugar

1 cup sour cream
1 can of chipotle chile in adobo sauce (seeded and chopped)
1 tsp adobo sauce (from can)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tbs lime juice
1/8 tsp salt

Other Ingredients
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin 2-inch strips
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into thin 2-inch strips
1 sheet of puff pasty
1 egg mixed with 1 tbs water
16 cilantro leaves

1) Marinade shrimp with ingredients in large ziplock bag and let defrost overnight
2) Mix sauce ingredients and refrigerate until ready for use.
3) On a floured surface, unfold one sheet of puff pastry and roll out to get a nice even square. Cut down the center vertically and horizontally to get four squares. Then cut each of those squares vertically and horizontally to create four small squares so there should be 16 small squares.
4) Drain thawed shrimp and remove tails
5) Remove a small square to a cutting board surface. Place one piece of red bell pepper and one piece of green bell pepper diagonally onto the square. Make sure that the green one is peeking out of one side and the red on the other. Lay one shrimp on top of the peppers. Fold puff pastry corner to corner over peppers and shrimp. Use a little water to stick the corners together. Repeat with remaining squares of puff pastry, shrimp and peppers.
6) brush each appetizer with egg wash. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7) Scoop southwestern sauce into a ziplock bag. Snip a small piece off of the corner and drizzle onto each puff pastry bite. Place a cilantro leaf onto the top of each appetizers and they are ready to serve.
Bon Appétit!