Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eva Longoria's Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made something new from Eva Longoria's cookbook which I borrowed from library.
This is the book.

There are many Mexican dishes which I would love to try in this cookbook and Chicken Tortilla Soup was one of them. I still had some of the Tortilla chip topping which I found at the local supermarket the other day so I wanted to use this also.

I had Chicken Tortilla Soup a few times before but I had never made it myself. It has avocado and crunchy Tortilla in it. It is all the things which I love in it.

This is the Chicken Tortilla Soup which I made from Eva Longoria's recipe.

Does't it look great? It tasted great also. Well, after I followed her recipe, I arranged little bit by adding some cumin powder, garlic powder, chili powder, corn and sour cream.

By the way, the chicken I used for this soup was the leftover chicken from the night before. I made roasted lemon chicken which was too hard to eat so I thought about remaking this chicken into something else. This chicken soup was the perfect solution for my chewy chicken.

I will post about that roasted lemon chicken some other time.....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Fruit Scone and my Fiesta Salad and about E-books

I take my son to a class called Mother Goose once a week at the local library. This is a great program for little kids where they can sing, dance, play with some toys and read books.

I made some friends from this class and the other day, I made scone with one of the friend whom I made there. I love cooking or baking with my friends so it was really nice to do this. I definitely would love to do this again.

Anyway, we made scones from Jamie Oliver's book. This is the book I used.

This is what came out. 

It tasted good but I think I mixed them too much. It got hard and was not soft scone which I expected. This is totally my fault because in the book, it specifically said not to mix it too much. The photo in the book looked a lot higher and better. I guess I need more practice on this one. 

Maybe I mentioned this before but I heard that people in England use clotted cream when they eat scones. I had this cream at the Plaza hotel when we had afternoon tea and loved it. I have been trying to find one here in NY but no luck. So we had this scone with some jam and whipped cream. 

Now, I would like to show you a salad I made. 

First of all, I found this strip of tortilla chips at a supermarket. 

Ever since I got this, I wanted to make this Mexican inspired salad. 
This is what I call "Fiesta Salad"

This has salad leaves, avocado, corn, boiled egg and tortilla toppings. This will be great with cilantro dressing from Trader Joe's but unfortunately, I didn't have it so I just made up some dressing with Dijon mustard. It was really good! I mixed Dijon Mustard, white vinegar, water, Olive oil, salt, pepper, grated garlic and lemon. My husband loved this salad also. If you want to make it heavier dish, you can add some grilled chicken. 

I love this tortilla topping! It is colorful and crunchy and taste great! 

By the way, do you read books in paper or digital? I read them in paper since I like the feel of paper book. But I was thinking the other day about how easy will it be to get Japanese book for me if I have device such as kindle or ipad. 

Since I love reading Japanese books, sometimes I ask my family to send some to me but the shipping is pretty expensive so if I can but digital book from here, it will be much much cheaper. 

So I researched some to see if such a thing is possible. To my disappointment, it seems like digital books are not popular at all in Japan. I was so surprised but it is true. Here it is so popular that now even libraries lend out e-books. 

I really really hope that it will catch up in Japan also so I can buy some Japanese books from here. 

Then, I have to buy Kindle or ipad or some sort. ipad is kind of expensive but it sure looks cool but if Kindle fire is same as ipad technically, I think I would go with Kindle fire. Well, I need to do more research since I am not sure if Kindle Fire can do same things which ipad can. 

Well, anyway, I have to wait till Japanese people start reading more e-books. I guess it will take a while. Maybe a few years? Who knows. I hope the day will come very soon :-) 

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Birthday Cake for my sister

When my sister came to visit us from Japan. I asked her to bring a few books for me. Most of them were cooking book and one of them was a book about my favorite writer "Kotaro Isaka".

Anyway, since my sister's birthday was close when she was here, we decided to bake a birthday cake using one of the cookbook which she brought from Japan.

In Japan, strawberry sponge cream cake is very popular and this is one of my favorite cake so we decided to make this. However, I didn't have any tool to decorate the cake, so we went shopping to get some decorating tool. My sister bought them for me. How nice of her!

And this is what we made.
 I know. I know. Decoration is not perfect and we need more practice but I think it came out pretty cute. I like the pink cream which we decorate the cake with.

It was quite difficult to decorate cake. The cream would melt quickly so we had to hurry to decorate. We wanted to write something on the cake but by the time we were done with those decorations, we were so tired so we skipped the writing part.

The taste was really good. I think blushing the rum syrup on the sponge cake helped the cake to stay moist.

On this day, my husband's friend from Germany and his fiancee was visiting us so we ate this with everybody. They liked the cake so it was worth the effort :-)

This couple were traveling the world for one year and NY was the last stop of their one year world trip. They were going back to Germany the next day so we felt very honored that they spent their last night of their world tour with us.

They started their trip in September of last year and they have just finished their trip at the end of September this year. Isn't it crazy? I am so impressed how they did it. I don't think I can do it :-)

Also, they got engaged just a few weeks before the end of their trip. The guy planned it all along but the lady had no idea and it seemed like that it was a great surprise. I think they are great couple and if they can spent a year traveling together, they know each other very well by now and they will be able to handle anything to come.

This was a first time I really spent time with the lady but she is very friendly, energetic and very cute. I really liked her and hope to see them again.

Other than birthday cake, I have been cooking a lot for my baby. Here, I made green peas puree. This takes quite a lot of time and effort.

I used a whole bag of frozen organic green peas but this is all it came out at the end.

Oh well, as long as the baby enjoy it, it all worth it.

I am so excited about all the cookbooks which my sister brought for me. I love cook books. I just love reading them. The great thing about Japanese cook books are it always have photos of final product. I love cookbook with photos!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Peruvian Food with my sister

While my sister was visiting us, we ate many things together but one of them was Peruvian food. I like Peruvian food so I took her to a Peruvian restaurant near by. She never had Peruvian food before but seems like she liked it also.

I think the most famous Peruvian food is roasted chicken. I like their roasted chicken but I also like what they call "Jalea" which is fried seafood with tangy salsa on top.

This is the roasted chicken we ordered.

And this is Jalea.

Shrimp, White fish, Calamari and mussels are fried and tangy onion and tomato salsa is on top. Normally, it is not easy to eat lots of fried food but with this tangy salsa, you can not stop eating it.
If you like fried seafood, I am sure you will like this.

Also, we went to have Buffalo wings on other day. We ordered mild but it was quite spicy. Blue cheese dressing is the best part of these wings! It also came with cornbread. I like cornbread!

We also made strawberry sponge cake since my sister's birthday was near. I will post is next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Sister's Visit (The View Restaurant & Mexican Lasagna)

In September, my sister came to visit us for a little bit. It was less than a week since she couldn't take longer vacation days but we had a great time and I am so thankful that she spend her time and money to come see us despite long flight from Japan (about 15hours!!! )

I wish she could stay longer but she is working in Japan and as you might heard it somewhere, Japanese people work too much without taking many vacations.

Anyway, it was nice to see her twice this year! She came to visit a few months after my son was born and this time. My son is growing up so fast so it was really really nice that she got to see him and experience his growth at third months and 7th months.

My sister like Ballet so we went to see NYC Ballet "Swan Lake" in Manhattan. It was great. We also had dinner at the View restaurant at Marriott Hotel in Times Square. This restaurant is on top of the hotel and has 360 degree view. The floor slowing rotate and you can enjoy the 360 view while you eat. The food was OK... but I guess you pay the price for the view. It is vert touristic place but it might be a good place if you have out of town visitors.

I also made something for her. I made "Mexican Lasagna" from Eva Longria's cookbook.
This tasted good but I used very watery salsa so it was too moist and bit watery. Next time, I should use thicker salsa but it was very easy and fun dish.

This is the book I used.

By the way, my husband and I start watching "Desparate Housewives" on NetFlix streaming. (I know you are thinking "Why now??" Well, I don't know why but one day we watched the first episode and we are kind of hooked now) 

Anyway, it is quite funny show and I like all the different characters in the show. Eva Longoria's character is Gaby and I like this character. She is very funny. But my favorite character is Lynett. I am always amazed that people can come up with all these character and stories. Anyway, we are still at Season 3 and it seems like there are 8 seasons so we have a long way to go. Do you have any favorite character in this show?

Well, there are more stuff which I ate with my sister, I will update them next time! Hope you are having a great week :-)