Category Archives: Recipes

BlackBall Taiwanese Dessert – San Gabriel

Given the blistering temperatures of late, I decided to give BlackBall Taiwanese Dessert a try, despite the tepid reviews on Yelp. BlackBall is a Taiwanese dessert chain that markets itself as an ‘healthy’ dessert alternative, with an emphasis on grass jelly desserts and the Taiwanese penchant for QQ, i.e., chewy.

Continue reading BlackBall Taiwanese Dessert – San Gabriel

Blueberry Scones with Coconut Flour

I was recently asked to recreate a recipe using coconut flour. I hadn’t ever heard of coconut flour until I was introduced to it by Nuts.com, but I was instantly intrigued because I already knew all the great benefits of coconuts. Coconut flour is gluten and wheat-free, high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and it doesn’t spike your blood sugar like grain-based flours do. I have also been delving into the world of coconut – coconut oil spray, coconut butter, coconut coffee, and have been pleasantly surprised but how good this stuff is, so this request just made sense to me. After doing some research, I decided to purchase Anthony’s Coconut Flour from Amazon (here). While waiting for it to arrive, I then had to think about what recipe I could use it for.  My research showed that coconut flour absorbs more liquid than regular flour, and that I wouldn’t be able to substitute it 1:1. I decided to use it on my all-time favorite blueberry scone recipe (here), and after a trial and error round, I was able to create some delicious blueberry scones that were guilt-free! So, I present to you…

Blueberry Scones with Coconut Flour

20150529_203847 Continue reading Blueberry Scones with Coconut Flour

Japanese Char Siu

Ramen
Miso Ramen with half-boiled egg and homemade char siu

Continue reading Japanese Char Siu

Chocolate Nutella Mug Cake

Chocolate Nutella Mug Cake

Continue reading Chocolate Nutella Mug Cake

Pepper Candied Bacon

20130727_225841

Inspired by this recipe.

Continue reading Pepper Candied Bacon

Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • White mushrooms (I bought a carton of large ones and a carton of small ones)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese (3/4 cup)
  • Cream cheese (6 oz.)
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Panko breadcrumbs

Continue reading Stuffed Mushrooms

French Macarons

20121223_182717

Hello all!

Merry Christmas! I know it’s been a little while since I’ve last posted, but school has been busy busy, as usual. However I hope I can make up for it with this short break that I’m on.

Continue reading French Macarons

Kimchi Beef Jjigae

Hello all!

I recently purchased a clay pot from “Hawaii Supermarket” in San Gabriel and wanted to put it to work. It’s been a while since I’ve made homemade jjigae, and wanted to give it another go. I’ve tried so many different recipes and ways of making this tofu soup, but it never turns out exactly like the kind you would get at a tofu house. I’m not sure what it’s missing, but I’ve followed all of the other recipes to a T, and it still doesn’t turn out the same. I don’t know why my broth is a little lighter than the ones you would find in tofu houses. Either way, the result is still good, but I have to warn you that the flavor may not be authentic.

I’m using a similar recipe to an old recipe I posted a long time ago, back in 2010. However, I’ve made a few changes from then. I hope you enjoy this anyway!

Vegetable ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pack of Enoki Mushroom
  • 1 pack of soft tofu
  • 1/2 zucchini (cut into one inch, quartered size)
  • 1 green onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 small brown onion
  • 1/4 chopped Kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon of red pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper powder
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame oil (to finish)

Beef marinade:

  • 1/4 lb of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chili oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce
Red pepper paste and soft tofu ingredients

Directions:

Combine the ground beef and marinade ingredients. Set aside for 10 minutes. During this time, prepare your vegetable ingredients.

Marinaded beef with onions

Heat a pot over medium heat with 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add the beef and stir fry until beef is cooked through and onions are translucent. Stir fry the kimchi into the beef, onion mixture.  Add 1 cup of water and the sliced zucchinis. Bring the soup to a boil.

Adding in the zucchini

Once the soup is boiling, reduce it to low and add the mushroom, soft tofu, red pepper paste, and soy sauce. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the egg to the soup, and spoon the soup mixture over it–making sure that the egg will get cooked through. Add the chopped green onion over the top and allow the soup to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and drizzle some sesame oil over the top to finish.

Kimchi Beef Jjigae

This was one of my favorite soups to make on cold nights in my old apartment. Something that I didn’t do in this recipe that I normally would do is add one chopped chili over the top. The flavor of this soup is lighter than traditional jjigae. Please feel free to add salt or soy sauce to taste.

If you have any recommendations for jjigae recipes I should try, please comment below! I’m still searching for the best jjigae recipe out there that will get me results closest to tofu houses! haha..

Enjoy!

❤ josie

Peanut Butter and Nutella Filled Crescent Rolls

Ingredients:
-Pillsbury crescent roll dough (each container makes 8 croissants)
-Nutella
-Peanut butter

Line tin tray with foil and roll up croissants with your choice of filling. I made some plain, some with peanut butter only, some with nutella only, and some with both peanut butter and nutella.  Bake at 375 degrees (my oven is convection) for 10 minutes.  So easy and yummy!  I used one can of the reduced fat croissant rolls, and they were still amazing because of the filling.  Yum!

 

 

~Nicole

Spinach and Ham & Cheese Puff Pastries

Ingredients:
-1 pack of frozen puff pastries (comes with 2 sheets), thawed in the fridge
-1 cup sliced mushrooms, cooked with a little salt and pepper
-8oz. frozen spinach, thawed, squeeze as much water out as possible
-cheddar cheese, add as much or little as you like, can substitute with any cheese
-ham, I used honey baked because that’s my favorite
-melted butter

For the spinach and cheese, I let the mushroom filling cool before using it so it didn’t melt the butter in the pastry.  Roll out the pastry until about 11″x 13″ and brush with melted butter. Lay spinach layer, mushroom later, and cheese layer and wrap as tightly as possible; put in freezer to set.

For ham and cheese, roll out pastry the same way, brush with butter and lay ham and cheese on, wrap and put in freezer.

Set oven to whatever the puff pastry package suggests.  After the rolls have been in the freezer for around 20 minutes, take them out and slice them into 3/4 inch pieces and lay them on a baking sheet sprayed generously with cooking spray/butter/oil (super important unless you want your pastries to stick).  Bake them in the oven for around 15 minutes or until the puff pastries are golden brown and the cheese has melted.  Let them cool and serve.

Perfect for breakfast on the go, I put them in the fridge and microwaved them, and they were still fluffy. Yum.

Image

~Nicole

Baked Coconut Shrimp with Pina Colada Sauce

A couple weeks ago my family and I went to Red Lobster for my brother’s birthday, and we ordered their coconut shrimp.  I guess my family was craving it again so they asked me to make it for them.  I’ve done them before and I always prefer baking because it’s healthier.

Ingredients:
-1 to 2 lbs of shrimp, I had around 40 medium sized shrimp, deveined and washed with salt water
-1/3 cup corn starch
-3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less to your preference)
-1 tsp  salt
-2 cups flaked sweet shredded coconut
-3 egg whites, beaten until fluffy

Mix the corn starch, cayenne pepper, and salt together in one bowl.  Prepare and separate the shredded coconut in another bowl.  Have the eggs ready and the shrimp dried.

Dip the shrimp in the corn starch mixture, shake off excess; dunk them in the egg white mixture real quick and then in the coconut, pressing it into the shrimp to make sure they stick.  Place them on a lightly sprayed cooking pan/sheet.

Put them in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees until they are cooked, flipping them halfway through.

My dog popping his head in to see what I’m baking.

For the sauce, it’s kind of like a pina colada yogurt basically.  I just mixed coconut cream, pineapple juice, vanilla yogurt, some sugar, and crushed pineapple until I liked the consistently and taste.

The finished product is below! I like it that the coconut is kind of charred, it’s really crunchy.  Most my friends know I usually hate shredded coconut, but this recipe is probably the only exception, because baking or frying the shredded coconut changes it to a more nutty taste and the texture is crunchy.  This is probably a recipe version a thousand times healthier than Red Lobster’s haha.

ENJOY!
~Nicole

Korean Cheese Corn

This is a popular side dish that I have had in Korean restaurants and bars in both NorCal and SoCal, so I just tried to make it at home, it’s really easy!

Ingredients:
-1 cup of corn (I used the frozen white corn from Trader Joe’s)
-Mayonnaise (I used lite mayo)
-Sugar
-Shredded cheese (I had Mexican 4 blend in my fridge)
-Salt
-Pepper

The corn was still frozen but I just put it into a bowl, put enough mayo to coat the kernels lightly, added half a teaspoon of sugar, a pinch of salt, and some pepper.  I microwaved for 30 seconds, mixed and microwaved for another 30 seconds.  I added 1/4 cup of cheese and microwaved for another 30 seconds, mixed, and added another 1/4 cup of cheese, and microwaved again for 30 seconds.

It came out really yummy, just like the ones they serve in the bars…so easy to make too! You can adjust all the ingredients to your taste or to how sweet your corn is.  Next time I might try baking it and putting some bread crumbs on top for texture.

Yum!

~Nicole

Char Siu ribs

Pork babyback ribs were on sale for $1.99 at our military grocery store, so my parents bought this sweet rack for less than $12.  I saw this recipe on youtube and wanted to give it a try, doubled the amount of everything since my rack of ribs was twice as big as the one she had in the video.  I couldn’t find brown sugar and I didn’t want to go buy some so I just used white sugar instead.  The recipe asks for hot chili garlic sauce but I couldn’t find that in my fridge either so I just used sriracha sauce and minced garlic.

Ingredients for marinade:

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 shao hsing wine (rice cooking wine)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sriracha

Ingredients for basting sauce:

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce

After cleaning the ribs, trimming the fat and cutting it into pieces that would fit a giant plastic ziploc for marinade, I rubbed the ribs with salt and washed it, this gets rid of any unpleasant smells in the meat.   I mixed all the marinade in a small bowl and tasted it before pouring it into the container with the meat and rubbing it in.  I then put all the meat in one ziploc bag, squeezed all the air out, and closed it.  I marinated it in the fridge over night, turning the bag over in the morning so the marinade soaks everything evenly.

I baked it exactly according to how the recipe states, except I pulled out some of the smaller pieces early so they wouldn’t overcook and turn into jerky.  I microwaved the basting sauce a little to make it easier to baste the meat as well.

One thing I would do differently if I cook this again is add more garlic sriracha in the marinade, and change the basting ratio to have more hoisin and less honey.   The end product was very delicious, the ribs were moist with that classic char siu flavor that wasn’t salty and just sweet enough, and it had a slight char on the edges that were SO yummy to chew on.  My family loved it, and they’re very hard to please.  It’s a little time consuming on the cooking end, since it took 3 hours and I had to flip it and baste it, but WELL worth it in the end.

~Nicole

‘lette macarons – Pasadena/Beverly Hills

Hello loves,

Just a quick post today. I was in Old Town Pasadena, because my class got out early and also because my dad asked me to pick up a charger from the Apple Store today. I decided that it’s been a long time since I first had ‘Lette and I wanted to try it again.

I wrote about my first experience with ‘lette (here). This time around, I bought the salted caramel and the raspberry. The salted caramel was just as good as I last remembered it to be. The raspberry filling is to die for. It’s not too sweet or too tart. It’s a nice balance to the sweetness of the cookie itself. I really love the texture of macarons, and I’m sad that I didn’t try them before.

Unfortunately these things are still $1.70 a piece, so they are my occasional guilty pleasure when I have some change lying around.

If you have not yet tried a macaron, I suggest trying it!

Let us know what you think.

Cheers,

❤ Josie

14 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

—————-

Here are some pics from the one in Beverly Hills to tempt your tastebuds…

9466 Charleville Boulevard at Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

http://www.lettemacarons.com/macarons.html

~Nicole

Fluff Ice – Monterey Park

Remember my “Lucky Noodle King” review from not too long ago? Well on that very same day, I had a chance to visit Fluff Ice for dessert.Fluff Ice is located in the Atlantic Square plaza in Monterey Park. I always walk past this place when I go to the 24 Hour Fitness next door. For a long while, I had been meaning to go to Fluff Ice and try their stuff out. I had written a review about “Salju Dessert” a while back, which Fluff Ice had taken note of through their tumblr page. The owner had mentioned that we should come and try Fluff Ice. I had messaged them and said that I would love to come out and try their Fluff Ice and asked what they recommended. Matthew, one of the owners, replied suggesting that I try the Thai Tea Fluff Ice.

I stopped by a few times to Fluff Ice during the day, only to find that I was much too early. Fluff Ice opens up at 1pm in the afternoon.  So I was pretty bummed during my first few attempts to try their fluff ice. However, I was happy when Calvin agreed to accompany me after we had lunch.

We came around 1:30-2:00 pm and was surprised to find the store busy with kids and adults alike.  The store was brightly colored and had a nice whimsical atmosphere about it. I really love brightly colored walls with white accents. I’m a sucker for places that are just aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Anyway, I tasted a sample of the Thai Tea Ice, just to see what it tasted like. It was sweet and had a nice Thai Tea Flavor, however I feared that it might be too sweet with the condense milk and in large quantities, so Calvin and I decided to settle on Taro Fluff Ice with mangoes and egg pudding.

So what is Fluff Ice exactly? Well, on the wall of their store, there is a poster that states:

What is Fluff Ice?

It’s not ice cream.
It’s not yogurt.
It’s not your typical shaved ice.
It’s a new type of shaved ice that has not been seen anywhere else.
It’s creamy and has a texture that is so unique that it can only be described as “Fluff Ice”

I must admit, they were true to their word when they said it wasn’t ice cream or yogurt. The consistency of Fluff Ice reminds me a little bit of Class 302’s shaved snow at first glance. However when you taste it, it does have a creamy consistency, reminding you of ice cream. The reason why I wouldn’t say it’s ice cream is being of how light and airy the consistency is when it first touches your tongue, and then it slowly eases into a creamy texture. It is definitely not like shaved ice, because you don’t find the icy, chopped ice particles you would find in shaved ice.

I must say that I was slightly disappointed by our selection of the taro ice, simply because the taro flavor was so subtle, it was hardly noticeable even when consumed in its natural state. Add in the mangoes and the egg pudding, then you just get a cold, cream textured ice that has been overpowered by its toppings. I was expecting a kick of flavor, similar to the flavor I got from the small sample of Thai Tea Fluff Ice. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case with the taro. It’s a shame too, because I really love taro flavored ice creams and desserts.

But don’t knock it until you try it. Fluff Ice offers a good variety of flavors, so choose wisely. I would definitely come back again to try Fluff Ice a second time, but perhaps I won’t try the taro one again.

Try it out, and let me know what you guys think.

Cheers,

❤ Josie

500 N Atlantic Blvd
Monterey Park, CA 91754