Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Things I recently made and cook books I recently borrowed

Summer is finally here and I am enjoying my first summer with a baby. Sometimes, it is too hot but I put him in a water bath outside my house and he loves it. We take him to the beach sometimes also. He doesn't really like the ocean water. I think it is too cold. Anyhow, my life is perfect with him!
He is already 5months and we just started to give him solid food. we started with rice porridge. (He is a half Japanese :-) It is interesting to see how he develop. He is growing up too fast!

Well, I have been cooking more lately but just didn't have time to update my blog. So I would like to upload some of the things I made recently.

First of all, I made biscuit. I had homemade biscuit the other day at a restaurant in Brooklyn and I wanted to try making it myself ever since. Here is how it came out.

Not bad, right? It tasted good also! I didn't know how easy to make biscuit at home. I love having it with butter and strawberry jam when it came right out from the oven. Yum!

I used the recipe in this book which I had for this biscuit.

Also, I made an indian dish. This is chicken with some indian spices with lots of cilantro and tomato. My husband and I love this dish. I didn't make it super spicy this time so we didn't need to be crying while we ate. For some reason, I love eating spicy food when it is hot.

Next, I made salmon and napa cabbage. Salmon is just with salt and pepper and sautéed in a pan. Napa cabbage is cooked with bacon and some vinegar. I love this cabbage dish. I can eat a bowl full of this cabbage.

And, this is a edamame salad. We love edamame and we eat them quite often but I never had it in this form. This is a warm salad with mushroom, roasted bell pepper, snap peas and so on. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart magazine. I bought frozen shelled edamame. For flavor, I used vinegar and chili paste and stuff so it is a bit spicy but very good. To my surprise, my husband liked this dish. It is very healthy but tasty dish.

Speaking of edamame, I bought edamame plant this year for my container garden. It is growing some edamae but it is just like 5 of them so I don't really know what to do with them.

I also got basil for my garden as I always do every year. This year, basil has been growing really well so I have already harvested them twice and made pesto pasta. This pesto was really good. I wrote it down the recipe so I would like to upload it some other time.

I went to the library the other day and borrowed some books again. One of the book I borrowed was for my husband. This is from my favorite Japanese author named "Kotaro Isaka". He is very popular in Japan and I found that one of his books is finally translated into English. I always wanted my husband read one of his book so I borrowed it for him.

This is the book.

I read many of his book but I actually haven't read this one yet. I thought about reading it in English but I decided to get it in Japanese and read it in Japanese.

My husband finished reading it and he liked it.

He said he didn't like the first half of it but then he got into it and really liked it when he finished reading.

I went to this Jpaaneses used book store called "Book Off" in Manhattan the other day and purchased the original version of it. I am excited to read it. My husband ask me every day if I read it already or not. But I still have other books to finish so I haven't really started yet. (Plus, with a baby, my reading time is quite limited right now)

Other than the above book, I borrowed lots of cook book again. I realized that there are many celebrates publishing cook book lately.

This is a cook book from an actress "Eva Longoria". Since her parents are Mexican, I thought I can get some good Mexican recipes from this book. I liked many of the stuff I saw. I am excited about trying it.

This is my favorite celebrity chef Jaime Oliver's cook book about food from American continent. There are many dished which looks really good from all different regions. Very interesting book.

This is a book from iron chef Cat Cora. I actually have never tried her recipe so I would like to try something from this.

This is a cook book from Trisha Yearwood. I think she is an country singer (I am sorry but I am not sure about who she is)

In this book, there are lots of American classic recipes and some of them looks really good. I would definitely try her chicken salad and chicken casserole.

When I borrow or buy cookbook, the most important feature is pictures of the dishes. I don't like cookbooks without any pictures of the dishes. All of these cookbook above had many pictures of the dishes. However I wish they have pictures for each and every one of the recipe they have in the book.

Anyway, I am excited about trying some of the dished from these book. The only problem is that it is too hot to cook lately!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Rigatoni alla Vodka

I started to have little more time and feel less overwhelmed these days and started to cook again. It is still difficult to update blogs because of the time (my baby does not take long naps) but I would like to continue this blog as much as I can.

Anyhow, I made this pasta with vodka sauce the other day and it came out pretty good so I wanted to post.

Vodka sauce is quite popular here in the U.S. I never had it in Japan but when I first tried it here, I was pleasantly surprised. I have ordered this dish at some restaurants and also I bought a jar of Vodka sauce but I had never made it at home. I saw someone making vodka sauce on TV and it seemed quite simple and easy so I decided to give it a try.

I wanted to make this with Penne but I didn't have Penne at home so I used Mini Rigatoni which I had at home. Here is how I made.

Rigatoni alla Vodka
Rigatoni  Pasta   1lb
Canned Tomato (chopped) 1lb
Yellow Onion       1
Vodka    50ml
Heavy Cream   1/2 Cup
Garlic    2 cloves
Parsley    for garnish
salt and pepper for taste
Olive oil    2 table spoons

1. Chop onion, garlic and parsley.

2. In a frying pan, add olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until tender.

3. Add Vodka in a pan and continue cooking.

4. Boil pasta following the direction on package.

5. Add tomato in a frying pan.

6. Add heavy cream to the pan. Bring to boil.

7. When pasta is done, add pasta to the sauce and mix till the sauce coat the pasta.

8. Serve with chopped parsley on top.

Its easy, isn't it? I really liked it and surprised how easy it was. You don't taste the alcohol so kids can eat it also.

By the way, our son is already 4months old. Time flies! He can hold his neck on his own and he start to really laugh. His voice is getting bigger and when he cries hard, it is quite loud :-) It is great to see him grow everyday. He is such a wonderful boy. I am really thankful to have him. He is my treasure.

I was watching his photo and videos with my husband the other day from 4 months ago and was surprised how tiny he was. It made me feel very sentimental because my baby is growing up so fast. I really need to enjoy every moment of his baby stage because it goes by so fast. Soon, he is off to college, leaving home :-(  It is great that he is growing up but at the same time, I want him to stay as baby... I know it is selfish of me to think this way but that is how I feel. I think the baby stage is too short. At one year old, he will not be a baby anymore. I think baby stage should be at least for 2 years or so.

Anyhow, I am very happy that he came into our life. I love him more and more every day.