June 29, 2013


Ode to #summer. Garden veg lasagna with fresh made pasta and a spicey lemon ricotta  #yum #dinner #food

Ode to #summer. Garden veg lasagna with fresh made pasta and a spicey lemon ricotta #yum #dinner #food

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October 15, 2012


Eggplant Parmesan
Ingredients:
1 large eggplant
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 large onion
1 zucchini
1 red pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tomatoes
A small handful button mushrooms
Small bunch fresh basil
Small bunch fresh Italian parsley
1-2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
8 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz mozzarella cheese, either shredded or freshly torn
Lemon zest
Flour for dredging
Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs
To Make:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Sauce:
Chop up all your veggies into similar sized pieces and mince the garlic. 
Heat up some olive oil in a medium pot. Add your onions and garlic and cook for 8 minutes on medium-low heat, until onions are soft and translucent. 
Add in the pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Season this mix with salt, pepper, paprika depending on how spicy you want the sauce to be, and the cumin. 
Add in the can of diced tomatoes and the chopped tomato and stir it all together. Add a little water if the sauce is getting too thick. 
Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer while you cook your eggplant. 
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 
Eggplant:
Cut the eggplant into disks about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a large plate. Season the disks with salt and pepper.
Prepare three bowls for the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs. Make sure to season each mix with salt and pepper. Use a little flour and bread crumbs and keep filling the bowls as the mixes run low.
Prepare a large frying pan by turning it on medium-high heat and heating up some oil. Use either olive oil or canola oil. 
Take a disk and press it into the flour bowl, coating both sides.
Then dunk it into the egg mix, making sure it’s coated.
Then press it into the bread crumbs, on both sides again. 
And then put it in the frying pan. Do so with more disks, until the pan is full. 
Flip the eggplant slices once they have browned up a bit and cook on the other side until browned. 
Remove from pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate, so the oil gets soaked up. 
Repeat process until all the eggplant is cooked. 
Assembly:
Chop up the parsley finely. 
Arrange a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Best to use a 9x13 inch baking dish. 
Followed by a layer of eggplant disks.
Followed by a layer of sauce, thin layer of mozzarella cheese, layer of Parmesan cheese, a few whole basil leaves, and sprinkled with chopped parsley. 
Repeat steps 3-4 until all the eggplant and sauce is used up. 
Finish it off with any cheese you may have left over, a sprinkle of bread crumbs, and a dusting of lemon zest on top. 
Drizzle lightly with a little olive oil and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting. 
Enjoy! 
Made this for a friend of mine who’s father said this was the best eggplant Parmesan he’s had in his whole life! Pretty damn good. :)

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • A small handful button mushrooms
  • Small bunch fresh basil
  • Small bunch fresh Italian parsley
  • 1-2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, either shredded or freshly torn
  • Lemon zest
  • Flour for dredging
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Sauce:

  1. Chop up all your veggies into similar sized pieces and mince the garlic. 
  2. Heat up some olive oil in a medium pot. Add your onions and garlic and cook for 8 minutes on medium-low heat, until onions are soft and translucent. 
  3. Add in the pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Season this mix with salt, pepper, paprika depending on how spicy you want the sauce to be, and the cumin. 
  4. Add in the can of diced tomatoes and the chopped tomato and stir it all together. Add a little water if the sauce is getting too thick. 
  5. Turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer while you cook your eggplant. 
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. 

Eggplant:

  1. Cut the eggplant into disks about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a large plate. Season the disks with salt and pepper.
  2. Prepare three bowls for the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs. Make sure to season each mix with salt and pepper. Use a little flour and bread crumbs and keep filling the bowls as the mixes run low.
  3. Prepare a large frying pan by turning it on medium-high heat and heating up some oil. Use either olive oil or canola oil. 
  4. Take a disk and press it into the flour bowl, coating both sides.
  5. Then dunk it into the egg mix, making sure it’s coated.
  6. Then press it into the bread crumbs, on both sides again. 
  7. And then put it in the frying pan. Do so with more disks, until the pan is full. 
  8. Flip the eggplant slices once they have browned up a bit and cook on the other side until browned. 
  9. Remove from pan and place on a paper-towel lined plate, so the oil gets soaked up. 
  10. Repeat process until all the eggplant is cooked. 

Assembly:

  1. Chop up the parsley finely. 
  2. Arrange a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Best to use a 9x13 inch baking dish. 
  3. Followed by a layer of eggplant disks.
  4. Followed by a layer of sauce, thin layer of mozzarella cheese, layer of Parmesan cheese, a few whole basil leaves, and sprinkled with chopped parsley. 
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 until all the eggplant and sauce is used up. 
  6. Finish it off with any cheese you may have left over, a sprinkle of bread crumbs, and a dusting of lemon zest on top. 
  7. Drizzle lightly with a little olive oil and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting. 
  9. Enjoy! 

Made this for a friend of mine who’s father said this was the best eggplant Parmesan he’s had in his whole life! Pretty damn good. :)

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eggplant parmesan eggplant parm food recipe eggplant parmesan sunday dinner dinner yum comforting food comfort food italian

April 17, 2012


Current Craving: Bahn Mi sandwich from the Nom Nom truck 
I have a get one free voucher. Hmm… maybe I should hunt it down?

Current Craving: Bahn Mi sandwich from the Nom Nom truck 

I have a get one free voucher. Hmm… maybe I should hunt it down?

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February 6, 2012


Banana Treat (Recipe by Jesse)
Great for breakfast and post workout treats. 
Ingredients:
1 banana
Nutella
Peanut butter
To Make:
While peeling banana, add to it a bit of peanut butter followed by a bit of Nutella
Repeat as many times as you like
Enjoy! So yummy :)

Banana Treat (Recipe by Jesse)

Great for breakfast and post workout treats. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • Nutella
  • Peanut butter

To Make:

  1. While peeling banana, add to it a bit of peanut butter followed by a bit of Nutella
  2. Repeat as many times as you like
  3. Enjoy! So yummy :)

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November 27, 2011


The Perfect Holiday Roast Turkey (and what to do with the leftovers)

This year was a week of Thanksgiving rather than a day. I made two feasts and dined out for another with many, many leftovers along the way. I am delighted to say that I have come up with a recipe for the best turkey ever.

The thing I hate most about roasting turkey especially is that for the most part, it comes out too dry. The kind of dry that get stuck in the back of your throat. So I decided to make up a new way of cooking inspired by traditional methods to cook ham.

Perfect Roast Turkey (recipe by Marina)

Ingredients:

  • Turkey breast - about 3 lbs. I used Butterball
  • 1/2 onion - sliced
  • 1 large carrot - sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 sticks of cinnamon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • two good lugs of olive oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 red chili or 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes

To make:

  1. Defrost turkey breast completely.
  2. In a large ziplock bag, place turkey in center.
  3. Add into the bag the honey, herbs, spices, olive oil, chili flakes, sliced onion, and sliced carrot.
  4. Zip up the bag and gently massage all the seasonings into the turkey.
  5. Marinate in the refrigerator for 30 mins to an hour, skin side facing down so it absorbs the most juices.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  7. Take turkey out of the bag and put in the center of a baking dish. Drain all excess juices from the bag onto the turkey in the dish. Add juiced lemon on the side.
  8. Roast the turkey for an hour and 45 mins or until inner temperature reaches 170 degrees.
  9. Let the turkey rest for at least 10 mins before carving.
  10. Enjoy!

As for leftovers, I like to slice my turkey into sandwich-like pieces, fill a croissant with leftover green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and a tomato slice, and put it all together in a “deluxe holiday T-GB-T.” Stick it in the microwave to heat everything up for a minute or so and voila! Your very own holiday sandwich. Delicious for lunch at home or work. :)

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November 14, 2011


Triple Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms (Recipe by Marina)

I come from a family where my mother has cooked almost every meal we’ve ever had. Only in recent years has she been more keen on going out then cooking at home (and I suspect it has something to do with two of her children being out of the house now). Regardless, I’ve grown up with home-made dinners and it’s what I do naturally. But sometimes, it’s difficult to come up with an idea of what to make. Thankfully, I’m exhausting my options of places to eat in West LA so I love to get creative at home. As such, it has become almost customary for my sister and I (who live in LA while my parents and younger brother live in Colorado) to call home and each other to mix and match ideas of what each of us is having for dinner.

Last night, I phoned up my mother but my dad picked up. I asked him what they ate for dinner and he said stuffed mushrooms. Now, my dad has never been the type to get into the details of cooking. For him, if it’s delicious, he likes it, no questions asked. He would rather not think about how it got to that stage. My mom being unavailable, I tried to grill him on how these stuffed mushrooms were made.  

Me: Was there meat?

Dad: No, no meat but it was yummy

Me: Can you remember anything that was it in?

Dad: Well, there was this lovely goat cheese, and another cheese, and some green stuff…

Me: Ok… Any other vegetables?

Dad: I don’t know. Maybe. The cheese was lovely.

So that’s pretty much the extent to which I was able to get my dad to think about food. Nonetheless, I decide stuffed mushrooms was the way to go. I had ¾ of a red pepper, two different cheeses, and some tomato paste in my fridge. I ran out to the store and picked up two giant Portobello mushrooms. The recipe for my thrown-together-turning-out-beautifully stuffed mushrooms is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large portabello mushrooms
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • dried basil
  • 2 oz mozzarella cheese 
  • 2 oz shredded cheese of choice
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

To make:

  1. Gently remove the mushroom stems from the caps without breaking the caps
  2. Dice the mushroom stems
  3. In a small pan on medium heat, saute mushroom stems with minced garlic clove in a good lug of olive oil for 3 minutes until mushrooms are brown
  4. Dice red bell pepper
  5. On a baking sheet, add olive oil to coat bottom and place mushroom caps, face up
  6. Fill each mushroom with browned mushroom and garlic mixture, add oil from pan
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to each mushroom, spread as evenly as you can
  8. Sprinkle with dried basil to taste
  9. Add peppers to each mushroom
  10. Break up mozzarella all over the mushrooms
  11. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top
  12. Drizzle balsamic vinegar on each mushroom
  13. Place 1 slice of provolone on each mushroom
  14. Add salt and pepper to taste
  15. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees
  16. Eat!

So so good. And super fast!

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November 7, 2011


Fabio’s Meatballs!

No, not those. ;)

THE PERFECT ITALIAN MEATBALLS
Recipe by Fabio Viviani

Cook time: 25 Minutes
Yield: 8 meatballs

1 lb. ground beef (90/10)
4 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
fresh parsley for garnish

Place all above ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix thoroughly by hand until they are completely combined and the mixture is uniformly firm.

Coat your hands in olive oil, and using your hands form mixture into 3-4 oz. balls

Drop the meatballs into Fabio’s tomato sauce (see recipe here) and add some water so that the sauce can reduce and simmer. Let cook for about 10 minutes on one side.

Turn them over, add some more water and cook for another 10 minutes, covering in the sauce with a spoon as they simmer.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped parsley, salt and pepper, more shaved parmegiano reggiano and a drizzle of olive oil, of course!

MANGIA!

This looks perfect. I’ve got my own meatball recipe but this one looks bomb!

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July 6, 2011