Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Paprika Cauliflower Soup

I saw this soup in some magazine and wanted to try it out. It looks kind of spicy but I used sweet paprika so it is not spicy at all.

This soup also have some dumpling in it. Since it looks quite similar to cauliflower, it is difficult to differentiate between cauliflower and dumplings.

Personally, I was not too keen on the dumplings. Maybe it was the way I made it but I wasn't really sure how it supposed to taste and also how it supposed to be on texture. I think mine was somehow little bit off.

Anyway, the soup tasted really good and my husband loved it also. So everything is good!

It is already end of November and the weather is getting colder (well, today was kind of nice and warm though) so I will be making more soups in the winter! It is a great way to use leftover vegetables and keep your body warm. Actually, this cauliflower was also leftover from the baby food I made for my son. I didn't know what to do with it so I just made this soup.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Leek and Blue Cheese Tart (Quiche)

In the book I used, this was called Tart but it is basically Quiche. This was my first time making quiche but I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was and how tasty it was. Well, thanks to the pre-made frozen pie crust!

Well, in the book, they tell you to make your own pie crust but I know that I am not very good at making crust and also I am not good at rolling out the crust. I saw this frozen pie crust the other day and I wanted to give it a try. Result? I don't think I will be making pie crust ever again! It is super easy and tasted really good!

The book I used was this book I borrowed from the library.

Inside this quiche is leek, blue cheese, eggs and lots of heavy cream. It is very rich and taste wonderful and looked beautiful. I am really surprised how well it turned out and how easy it was.

My husband loved it also. This is rich quiche so you can not eat a lot at once but it is great meal with some green salad.

I love blue cheese so I loved this combination but if you don't like blue cheese, I am sure you can substitute blue cheese with some other mild cheese.

This was absolutely great. It taste great hot and cold and in between. I am 100% sure that I will be making this again. Maybe when I have some friends over, I will make this again. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shrimp Risotto

One of my favorite dish is Risotto. It is not difficult to make and love the richness and creaminess. Plus, I love rice so I like any dish with rice in it.

Anyway, I made this shrimp risotto using ingredients I have at home. Well, I ended up asking my husband to get more Arborio rice since I realized that I didn't have enough after I start making the risotto. I had some cooked shrimp in my freezer so this is shrimp risotto.

It is super simple and easy but was very tasty.

First, I chopped onion and sautéed in a pot with olive oil, then I added rice and sautéed also. Then I add some white wine. Then I start adding warmed chicken stock one ladle at a time and keep stirring.  I keep doing this for about 20mins or so until rice is tender but a bit hard in the middle. Then, add parmesan cheese and butter!

I recommend adding lots of cheese!

I heard in the restaurant, they make risotto half way through and leave it. Then when they get order, they finish cooking them so it doesn't take so long to serve it. It is interesting to know all these restaurant tricks. I would love to experience restaurant kitchen sometime. I wish I know someone who own a restaurant so I can ask them to have me experience it for one day in their kitchen. I am just curious how it works :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sushi Rolls

This year, Avocado price was quite expensive up till now and I didn't want to spend $3.00 for an avocado but now it is getting cheaper so I am enjoying avocado a lot lately. By the way, did you know that if you want your avocado ripen fast, you can put them in a brown paper bags and it will make it ripe faster? I learned this from a stranger at supermarket and I tried it. It really works! Ever since then, I always keep at least one brown paper bag at home.

Anyway,one of the way for me to enjoy avocado is California roll. I hadn't made sushi rolls for a while so I decided make sushi rolls and enjoy avocado. I also made tuna salad roll, smoked salmon and cream cheese roll and spicy shrimp salad roll.

All of them tasted good but my favorite is California roll. To my surprise, my husband liked Smoked salmon cream cheese roll the most.

Making sushi roll is very tiring. Maybe because I am not used to it. I always get exhausted and also I make way too much of them.

Well, I love eating sushi. I wish I could get really fresh fish around here so I can make some fresh fish sushi at home. Well, the good thing is that we have really good sushi restaurant in where I live so I can always eat fresh sushi whenever I want. I love these American creative sushi rolls.

Anyway, I invited some mommy friends today to my place and had play dates. I invited three mommys with their girls so we had 4 babies at our place today including my son. It was so much fun! So there are 7 ladies and 1 boy (my son). My son was happy with all these ladies around him.

I am very happy that I found some friends with babies. It is nice to talk to them and ask somethings when I am not sure about things. We can help each other! This is great.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Greek Salad

Today, I would like to share Greek Salad I made. This is also something my mother-in-law made for me.
It is called Greek Salad because it has dolma, Olives and Feta Cheese.

I love Dolma and now I can get already made dolma from Trader Joe's. This is great! because I think it is quite a hassle to make dolma on your own.

Anyway, this is salad so it is quite easy. You just have to cut the ingredients and mix them. So for this salad, I added butter lettuce, orange pepper, yellow pepper, red pepper, tomato, kalamata olive, feta cheese and dolma. I used simple dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

This is great salad! This is yet another great dish from my mother-in-law. Dolma has rice in it so this is very satisfying salad. You can have this salad as a main course.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Oven Baked Salmon with Fennel and Capers

This is a dish I learned from my mother-in-law. This is so simple and healthy but very tasty dish and also healthy.

It is super easy to make. First, you cut fennel and add them into a casserole with lemon and olive oil then bake in the oven until they are tender. (This time, I already had steamed fennel which I made for my baby for I used half of that so I skipped this step)

Then, you add salmon filet and capers and chopped parsley and more lemon juice and olive oil then bake more until salmon is cooked. Here, I also added chopped tomato since I had one tomato which I needed to use. This was great idea!! I set the oven about 400 degree and baked it for about 15mins.

This was super good and my husband loved it also. We had mushed potato for the side dish. Actually, this mushed potato was initially made for my baby but I took some out for us and added heavy cream, butter and salt, pepper for ours. I used Yukon Gold Potatoes. I love this potato. It is more yellow than other potatoes and it reminds me of the potatoes which I had in Germany.

Anyway, this is a great dish for busy night. I would definitely repeat this dish again. Also, I loved adding tomato so it is more colorful!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Mousse Tart

When the temperature goes down and started to feel a bit chilly, it is time to bake something. Fall is a great time to bake with lots of great apples and roots vegetable and so on.

This fall, I decided to try something new. I made Pumpkin Tart for the first time. I was never interested in Pumpkin Pie or Tart but I was looking at this book which I borrowed from the library and I just had to try this Pumpkin Mousse Tart.

This is the book I used.

This book had so many great pies and tart recipes and the best part is that each recipe has a picture of the finished products and the picture is great looking. 

Anyway, this Pumpkin Mousse Tart looked amazing in this book. Especially the whipped cream decoration on top. (I love whipped cream) 

I think I was supposed to use smaller tip for whipped cream but I didn't have anything bigger than this so I just used the biggest one I had. 

Well, it looks good, isn't it? Well, it tasted good also. BUT I made a mistake when I made crust so the crust was too hard. First of all, for some reason, I used half of graham cracker instead of required amount so it was very liquidly with butter and it wasn't setting when I baked. Then, I realized that the amount of graham cracker is wrong so I added more graham cracker and baked again. When I cooled in the fridge, it came out like a stone. It was so difficult to cut and eat this crust... Well, it is my fault. 

Next day, it was little bit easier to cut and this was how it looked. 

Well, it was good. But I am not sure if I want to make this again. Maybe I am not a pumpkin pie/tart kind of person after all... 

If you like pumpkin pie or tart, this is a great recipe and it tasted good and looks good. Great for Thanksgiving dessert! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Roasted Lemon Chicken

So, I wrote about Chicken Tortilla Soup the other day. I also told you that one of the reason I made that chicken tortilla soup was because I made roasted lemon chicken the night before and it came out pretty tough and was trying find a way to reuse this tough chicken.

Well, even though it was a failure, I wanted to upload and show it to you guys.

I made this following recipe in a book which I borrowed from a library but I think I might left the chicken in the oven too long.

I bought a whole chicken which was already cut up and made this.

This is before roasting. Got lemon, butter and thyme.

This is how it came out.

It looks pretty good but it was actually pretty tough and blunt. Even my husband said that he doesn't like this at all :-) (Normally, he is very good at complimenting my dish so this one must had been quite bad)

I also made roasted potatoes. This was really good. I added lots of herbs and spices which I have at home.

This is the breast part of the chicken. It is humongous so the plate looks small and the balance is kind of off.

For the side dish, I also made fennel. This is something I learned from my mother-in-law. It is super simple, easy but yummy! I just need to cut some fennel and add lemon and olive oil, salt pepper and microwave it for a few minutets and have a wonderful side dish in a minutes!  Before I try this side dish, I didn't like fennel too much and also didn't know how to use it. But now, I love it in this way and I make this all the time. Also, Fennel is suppose to help your digestion! It is a win win dish!

Well, so this was the roasted lemon chicken which was not great but because of this dish, we were able to enjoy wonderful Chicken Tortilla Soup!