Friday, August 29, 2008

Lori's Sushi Party

Lori put together a delicious sushi dinner for me last week and I just can't wait to reproduce it on my own!

She made edamame, seaweed salad, and set out ingredients for various rolls. She set out sushi mats lined with Saran Wrap for us to roll our own rolls -- it was a lot of fun. We had nigori sake made in Berkeley to drink, and ginger sorbet for dessert! Fancy pants, Lori!

The menu:
steamed Edamame
seaweed salad (with sesame seeds, sesame oil, and...scallions?)
sushi rice (flavored with rice vinegar, salt, and sugar)

for the rolls:
thinly sliced shitake mushroom
thinly sliced lime
thinly sliced japaleno peppers
sliced mango - not too ripe!
sushi-grade tuna
fresh crab meat, picked over by the nice people at Feletti's
wasabi mayo
chopped Macadamia nuts
soy sauce and wasabi

We created a couple of rolls: a veggie roll with shitake, avocado, cucumber, and mango. A spicy tuna roll with tuna, avocado, cucumber, wasabi mayonnaise, and lime. My favorite was a crab roll with crab meat, avocago, mango, cucumber, and macadamia nuts on top.

I will try to reproduce this party at home some time in the next month so I can set out some pictures. Thanks, Lori!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nandita's (Oatmeal) Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thanks to Nandita for this delicious recipe!

(Oatmeal) Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour (substitute 2 cups flour with 1 cup oats for oatmeal choc chip cookies)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt [I didn't add any salt (because I forgot, hahaha) and it turned out just fine!]
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar (or skip altogether bc the chocolate chips are already really sweet)

1 cup butter (2 sticks) at room temperature (I put a bit less)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 (i did 2 cups and it was A LOT. try 1.5 cups maybe) cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300F. Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cream together the brown sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, blend until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the sugar/butter mixture. Add chocolate chips. Scoop the dough into 2 inch mounds an inch apart onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove promptly and let cool on a rack.

Fettucini Alfredo

Aaron's coworker's wife has perfected her recipe for fettucini Alfredo. Give it a try!

Fettuccini Alfredo
8 oz Fettuccini
½ cup Butter
½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
¾ cup grated Parmesan (freshly grated makes a big difference!)
½ tsp white ground pepper

Cook Pasta according to directions. Melt butter and whipping cream in a sauce pan. Stir constantly until hot. Remove from heat and add cheese and pepper. Stir in pasta. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Avo Spinich Panini

Those of you who know me will know I wasn't blessed with the cooking genes my delightful cousin's have. ;) But! I did spot this on yumsugar and thought it looked too good (also healthy!) not to share!


2 thick slices of sourdough bread
1 teaspoon aioli or mayonnaise
1 slice of pepperjack cheese
1 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/4 of an avocado, cut into slices

  1. Spread aioli or mayonnaise on one slice of sourdough. Top with pepperjack cheese.
  2. Arrange the spinach leaves evenly over the cheese. Top with diced tomato. (Tip: Don't be afraid to put a lot of spinich! It will wilt in the heat and get pressed down as the bread flattens.)
  3. Cover the spinach and tomato with sliced avocado and second slice of sourdough.
  4. In a panini press or grill pan, cook the panini until the bread is lightly browned and crisp. Slice in half and serve.
Makes 1 sandwich.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Summer time is here!

I just wanted to share a cute picture of these baby tomatoes that my coworker brought in last week for us to enjoy! They were ripe, juicy, and super sweet.

Thanks, Ace!

Auntie's Mushroom Stirfry Revisited

Whenever I'm a little homesick for Taiwanese food I always go to the recipes I got from my family in my last last visit - they've never done me wrong! I realize that the directions for my aunt's mushroom stirfry recipe was a little vague so here is a new and improved version.

If you are not in an area with a good farmer's market and a cheap mushroom guy, this dish isn't cheap -- the maitake mushrooms at Whole Foods was pretty expensive, add to that the "Chef's Sampler Pack" of assorted mushrooms ($6.99) ... I can't think about how much this dish costs right now!

In any case, the original recipe for the mushroom stirfry was missing a few steps. Here's what I did:

Mushroom Stirfry with pork

1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 hot chili pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup pork (I used a shoulder steak), thinly sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
generous sprinkle of white pepper
1 tomato - diced
half a red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch diamonds
half a green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch diamonds
2 to 3 cups of your favorite mushroom -- use a mixture of shitake, maitake, oyster, and brown, all in big irregular slices
1/2 pork flavor boullion cube
3/4 cup hot water
cooking oil

Marinate the pork with soysauce and white pepper for about 15 minutes. Over medium-high heat, stir fry garlic and hot pepper until fragrant. Add pork and tomato, stir fry until cooked. Add the mushroom, stir to combined. Let the mushroom brown a little - don't move them around too much. Add pork boullion cube with the hot water. Cook for5-10 minutes until juices are absorbed. Then add the red and green bell peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes. Serve immediately over rice.