365 Project – 23: – Mahi mahi over pineapple fried rice…Lava Lava Beach Club – Big Island, Hawaii (January 23, 2013)

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365 Project – 316: Lemon dream tart…puckery sweet and gluten-free (November 11, 2012)

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I’ve posted pics of this tart before but, here’s the link again to this yummy gluten-free recipe. I make this a lot!

I made the lemon curd and crust the night before. The crust recipe made enough for one 9 inch tart pan and six 5 1/2″ oval creme brulee dishes so I modified the recipe to stretch out the filling since the lemon curd alone wasn’t enough to fill my tart AND tartlets.

I made the whipped cream ( a pint of heavy whipping cream, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract), whipped in 8 oz. of softened cream cheese, then once smooth I whipped in the lemon curd.

I froze the tart (s) then one hour before serving put them out to thaw. The raspberries can be added before serving or before putting in the freezer. As an option you can serve with additional whipped cream. This is my go-to fundraiser dessert, especially when they’re looking for a gluten-free dessert. It’s creamy, tasty and sooo pretty!:)

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 297: RECIPE: Easy filipino chicken adobo (October 24, 2012)

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Oh, I wish there was smell-a-vision so you could inhale this garlicky, vinegary, soy saucy perfume of happiness!! 🙂 Adobo is probably the most popular filipino dish in the States, and in my opinion, it’s one of the easiest to make. I wasn’t born in the Philippines but, fortunately I did learn how to cook some of my favorite filipino dishes. Here’s my version of adobo (there are TONS of adobo recipes out there). It’s a bit Americanized but, it’s still authentic enough and I have fans far and wide that love my adobo. I haven’t been great at sharing the recipe (I don’t measure…I tend to cook with my nose…seriously) but, I actually measured this morning so here goes!

Please be a recipe tester for me and let me know how it turns out for you!!!   I hope you come to love adobo as much as we do!

THANKS and HAPPY COOKING and EATING!!

CHICKEN ADOBO
Serves: 4
Adobo is best if it’s served overnight or if you can make it in the morning to serve for dinner. It just gets better day after day.

Ingredients
9-10 chicken thighs (skin on, bone in)
1 head garlic, smashed and broken into whole cloves, skin on or off
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 – 3/4 cup soy sauce (per your preference of saltiness)
1/4 cup water
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Suggested accompaniments
Pepperoncinis (for garnish)
White or brown rice
Steamed or sauteed green veggie (broccoli, swiss chard, kale, mustard greens,  etc.)

Directions
In large pot add all ingredients, except chicken, and bring to a medium boil. Heat up your frying pan on high. (Add oil if necessary just to prevent chicken from sticking to your pan; non-stick pans require no oil.) When pan is hot add the chicken thighs, skin side down first, ~ 3 minutes to brown on each side. Transfer browned chicken to pot. Bring mixture to a hard boil, with tongs move chicken around in pot to make sure all pieces get coated (all the chicken will NOT be submerged by the liquid.) Cover pot, reduce to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
OPTIONAL: Halfway through cooking time rotate the chicken pieces, top to bottom, to help disperse the flavor more evenly.

Serving suggestions:
* Chicken is ready to eat after an hour but, if you can let it sit longer, up to a day or two, it tastes better.
* Adobo is traditionally served with steamed rice and a simple vegetable on the side, like steamed broccoli or mustard greens.
* Greek pepperoncinis served as a garnish are a great spicy/sour/acidy compliment to adobo. I HAVE to eat adobo with pepperoncinis! 🙂
* In the summer, a refreshing side is a mix of diced tomatoes, diced white onion, and cilantro tossed with a little olive oil and salt.
* My adobo recipe is saucy compared to others, like my papa’s version, which is less saucy (it’s fattier with pork AND chicken and, super tasty too!), so you’ll end up with leftover sauce.  So, after you quickly gobble up the chicken, SAVE your adobo sauce!  Just serving it on rice later is so yummy AND, truth be told, I have re-used my adobo sauce by browning up more chicken, adding it to the sauce, and getting another meal out of it. Don’t dump all that umami flavor down the drain!  Although, I wouldn’t re-use the sauce more than once. You can freeze the sauce too.
* This recipe serves 4 but, I recommend making a huge batch because it makes for GREAT leftovers and freezes really well.

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And, here’s what the adobo looks like when it’s done. Mmmmm….

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 295: IN MY BOWL: quinoa, kale, pineapple, celery w/ Annie’s shitake sesame dressing :) (October 22, 2012)

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365 Project – 291: The last slice… blackberry pie ala mode :) (October 18, 2012)

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Thoroughly enjoyed this last slice of homemade blackberry pie last night. Mmmmm…. 🙂

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 284: Gluten-free blackberry blueberry crisp…YUM! (October 11, 2012)

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I don’t have time to post the recipe now but, I will tomorrow. I experimented with this recipe and it turned out sooo good! 🙂

p.s. Looking at this photo after posting it, I don’t like it much.  It looks burned, even though it’s not.  Will do a redo photo next time I make this crisp with the recipe later. 🙂
See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

365 Project – 269: Colorful stir-fry

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For sure, we eat with our eyes. Whether it’s beautiful plating, or a variety of complementary colors, how our food is presented can make our glands salivate…or not.  WhenI cooked up this stir-fry I kept the colors, shapes, and textures in mind: bright green broccoli (don’t overcook or it will lose its brightness), red peppers, yellow zucchini, diagonally cut carrots, and a trifecta of purple, variegated and yellow bush beans from my garden.  For flavor I used your typical asian flavors: onion, garlic, soy, fish sauce, salt and pepper.   It looked all Top Chef-y sided with a dome of brown rice and probably tasted better because it was so pretty. Ironically, I just posted on The Juicy Mamas blog about trying to teach kids how to eat with their taste buds, instead of just with their eyes.  And, I JUST realized I probably shared a mixed message between those two posts BUT…really, it’s one of those “both-and” situations. Yes, train your taste buds to eat, or at least try the ugliest of foods, and let yourself be pleasantly surprised but, also, make your food pretty to make it taste better. 🙂

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

Reblogging menu and recipes for a vegan BBQ

Some great vegan recipes here! 🙂

The Juicy Mamas

I was racking my brain for some vegan options for our family BBQ with juicy mama Bon Bon and was happy when I found a menu and vegan recipes that worked. So in case you are looking for something other than a vegan burger try grilling eggplant and tofu satay. Even my hubby, who is NOT a fan of tofu, was surprised how tasty there were. And, having a few colorful sides to choose from made the meal a fresh, tasty feast for your tummy AND eyes. For sure, try the corn salad with sweet summer corn right now. It’s like candy! And, the arugula and fennel salad just kind’ve elevate the flavors of the whole meal. Here was the full menu…enjoy!!

Appetizer: carrots and cukes with hummus
Lemon Miso Tofu and Eggplant Satay (ReBar Modern Food Cookbook)
Arugula Fennel Parmesan Salad (Oven Spoonful Catering – omit the parmesan to…

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365 Project – 139: RECIPE: Lemon dream tart, topped with raspberries and kiwi, on gluten-free almond crust (May 17, 2012)

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For Mother’s Day weekend I made this lemon dream tart topped with fruit for our Sunday dinner as well as the lemon cream tartlets below for a dessert auction to raise money for our local farmer’s market. Because I used a gluten-free crust, I received many requests for this recipe. The recipe for the crust is from Oven Spoonful, a local catering company, who taught a gluten-free cooking class in my house for my birthday last year. These lemon tarts were one of the highlights  however, I did modify the recipe slightly which was a result of wanting more filling in my tart. Instead of just putting the lemon curd in the crust (which is tasty as-is), I folded in some whipped cream which made this my “lemon dream tart.” In the end, I actually ended up liking this filling better because it cut the tartness and even the sweetness of the lemon curd a bit. It also served to give me the volume I was looking for. And, the crust recipe is exactly the same. I am just adding some extra details to the instruction portion of this recipe. There are four recipes in this post: 1) lemon curd which you should make hours or the night before, 2) lemon dream filling, 3) gluten-free almond tart crust, and 4) fruit glaze. Here you go!

LEMON CURD

Ingredients
8 large egg yolks
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
1 cup sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1 1/4 sticks (10 TBSP) unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces

Instructions:
Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a heavy-bottom saucepan; whisk to combine
Cook over medium=high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon (be sure to scrape the sides of the pan), until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, 8-10 minutes, and registers 160 degrees F on an instant read thermometer. Remove saucepan from heat.

Add salt and butter, one piece at a time, stirring until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the curd to prevent a skin from forming.
Refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour or up to 1 day

Fill your tartlets or tarts using the gluten-free almond crust below.
OPTIONAL: top with fruit brushed with fruit glaze (recipe below) and dollops of whipped cream. Grate lemon zest on top. 

NOTE: save your egg whites up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze them in ice cube trays.  make egg white omelettes, meringues, pavlovas, angel food cake, etc.  don’t throw them away! 🙂

LEMON DREAM FILLING

Ingredients:
1/2- 1 cup of pre-made whipped cream or make this one from Food Network
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Lemon curd – chilled at least an hour (see above)

Instructions:
Whip the vanilla extract into your whipped cream.  Fold  this whipped cream into your lemon curd to your preference of puckerness or firmness; the whipped cream dilutes the lemon flavor and you may need more time for your filling to firm up.  The filling will not be firm like a gelatin, it will be slightly soft because of the cream.  But, it should not be runny.
Fill your tartlets or tart and let chill at least an hour. Overnight is recommended.
OPTIONAL: Top with fresh fruit and brush with fruit glaze (recipe below); if possible add the fruit and glaze as close to serving time as possible.  It is also fine to add the fruit and glaze up to a night before.

iPhone photo of lemon dream tarts; these tarts were baked in a muffin pan

ALMOND TART CRUST

Ingredients
2 cups almonds – finely chopped
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 oz. butter – softened

Instructions
Grind the almonds in the food processor until finely chopped but, not to an almond flour; some coarsely chopped almonds are okay
Add the flour and sugar to the food processor and pulse; add the butter 1 oz. at a time until mixed
*Press into ungreased tart shells or a tart pan
Bake at preheated oven at 350 degrees until nuts are toasted; in tart shells or muffin pan: 8-10 min., tart pan: 12-20 min.
Let sit in pan(s) at least 5 minutes before gently removing tarts and transferring to wire rack. Let cool completely until filling.

* This makes approximately 10 tartlets or an 8″ or 9″ tart. To make it easier to transport your tart, cut out a circle of parchment paper a little bigger than the bottom of your tart pan so that the paper goes up the sides a bit. Press your crust on top of the paper.
* If you don’t have tart pans you can press the crust into an ungreased muffin tin; press halfway up the sides of each muffin cup. I used ~ 3/4 of  a standard sized ice cream scoop for each muffin cup. When pressing the crust up the sides use a substantial amount to give your tart more structure and make it easier to remove from the pan. Your tart may crumble if the sides of your crust are too thin. To loosen from the muffin pan, gently use a butter knife in one spot to start the loosen and lift the tart out of the pan.
* Baked tarts can also be refrigerated or frozen to be used later.

FRUIT GLAZE

Instructions:
Heat 1/4 cup of jelly with 2 tablespoons with water in a saucepan and mix until jelly is diluted.
Cool completely before brushing glaze on your fruit with a pastry brush.

* The fruit glaze is optional but, it adds a nice sheen to the fruit and it also adds some sweetness to fruit which may not be fully ripe. In the tart photo above I made the mistake of using a marionberry fruit glaze on the kiwi fruit. It was great for the raspberries and tasted wonderful but, a lighter colored jelly would have been a better choice for the kiwi slices. Maybe an apricot or apple jelly would be better for a lighter colored fruit glaze. When choosing a jelly, keep in mind the flavor of the fresh fruit you’re using and pick a complementary flavor and color.

Enjoy these recipes.  If you try them out, please come back and let me know how they turned out! Share your photos on my food photography flickr page here!

See more of my 365 Project: Untouched photos from my Nikon D5000 with 50mm lens

RECIPE: Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chilies (Greens cookbook)

INGREDIENTS 

1 bunch kale
3 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, diced into ½ inch squares
6 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 small dried red chili, seeded and chopped, or ½ tsp chili flakes
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
4 medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), scrubbed and diced into ½ inch cubes
7 c water or stock
Pepper
2 tsp nutritional yeast (optional) *
2 cans white beans *
Non-fat sour cream (optional)

* MY VARIATIONS: To add extra flavor I added 2-3 teaspoons of Seitenbacher vegetarian broth powder. Add this powder to taste, like you would add salt. Also, to give the soup some “meat” I added the white beans after pureeing the soup with my hand blender. To let the flavors develop I recommend making the soup in the morning or the day before.

Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears cut the ruffled kale leaves off their stems, which are very tough and take a long time to cook. Cut the leaves into pieces roughly 2 inches square, wash them well, and set them aside.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot, add the onion, garlic, chili, bay leaf, and salt, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the potatoes and the yeast, if using, plus a cup of the water or stock. Stir together, cover, and cook slowly for 5 minutes.

Add the kale, cover, and steam until it is wilted, stirring occasionally. Pour in the rest of the water or stock, bring to a boil, and then simmer slowly, covered, until the potatoes are quite soft, 30 to 40 minutes.

Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the potatoes by pressing them against the sides of the pot, or puree a cup or two of the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. This will make a unifying background for the other elements.

Taste the soup for salt and add a generous grinding of black pepper. If possible, let the soup sit for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to further develop. If desired add a spoonful of non-fat sour cream.

Serves 4 – 6.

FYI – this soup was served as part of a vegetarian dinner with Lindsay Wagner…yup the Bionic Woman! Click here to see the entire menu.