Monday, June 25, 2012

Ken Hom and Gordon Ramsay's cook books

Summer is here and we had been quite busy with all the activities we can do outside. My son loves going to the water park which is right around the corner from our place. Also we got a big vinyl swimming pool for our porch. We lives close by the beach but he doesn't like the ocean. I think the big wave and cold water scares him a little bit. But he loves playing with the sand at the beach!

Anyway, I would like to post some of the things I made from the library books which I borrowed.

First book is a cookbook for Chinese food.

It seems like he is a famous chef but I didn't know him but the food in the book looked great so I decided to borrow this book. 

The dishes I made from this book was "Cashew Chicken" and "Braised cabbage and garlic". (I am not sure if the name of dish is correct. I returned the book already and I don't remember exactly how it was names but it was something like this) 

Cashew chicken is something I see often at Chinese restaurant or take out places. I have eaten it before but I never thought about making it at home. I had Cashew at home so I tried this dish. 

It tasted great and my husband liked it also. The only thing was that I didn't measure the ingredients for the sauce when I was making it so it came out saltier than it should be.... 

The other dish I made from this book was "braised cabbage and garlic" 

I love savoy cabbage and this dish was great. I used homemade chicken stock so it was even better! Since cashew chicken was bit too salty, this cabbage dish balanced out the meal. 

The next book I borrowed was this one. 

I think many people know him since he is on TV quite often. I found a easy minestrone recipe in this book so I tried it. 

This was wonderful and easy. I used my homemade chicken stock for this soup also and it tasted awesome. I love my homemade chicken stock. If you are interested in making your chicken stock at home. Please click here and check out how I make my chicken stock.

The last dish is from a Japanese cook book or magazine or something. (I don't quite remember where I found this recipe). This is "Chicken and Cucumber stir fry". I never cooked cucumber before and when I saw this recipe, I wanted to give it a try since I always eat cucumber as salad. 

I liked this dish because cucumber has different texture when it is cooked and it is light dish which I don't feel guilty eating but it taste really good. 

Cooking cucumber was new idea for me and I like trying new recipes to expand my horizon. I think it is quite popular to cook cucumber in China. I think this is a great way to incorporate cucumber in your meal other than salad. 

Well, I hope everyone enjoying your days. I guess school is out for many kids and it is time to have fun! I love summer!!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Chicken with Apple, Onion and Cider Sauce AND Quinoa

I made this chicken dish using the book which I got for my birthday from one of my friend.
This is the book I used.

From this book, I made a dish called "Chicken with Apple, Onion and Cider Sauce". I had chicken and red onion and apple at home so this was the perfect dish to make. Here is the recipe on Food Network site. Click here if you would like to check out the recipe. 

This is the end result.

It uses apple cider vinegar and butter for the sauce. This vinegar is not too strong so I think it will be good even for someone who doesn't love vinegar. As for me, I love tangy flavor so this was great.

From another angle.

My husband liked it but he didn't love it. Maybe he doesn't like vinegar too much. Anyway, for me, this was great combination with the sweetness from apple and onion with tanginess from vinegar.

For side dish, I made quinoa. This is something I had never made but I tried at my friend's place and I loved it. Plus, it is quite healthy, I think.

I used this recipe from Food Network. Click here to jump to the recipe. 

It has raisin, garlic, pine nuts, parsley and stuff. It is very tasty. I also fed this to my son. He didn't like it on the first day but he liked it on second day. Sometimes, he is like this and you never know what he likes today and what he doesn't like tomorrow. So I have to try to again and again.

My husband didn't love it but I am going to make this again. I think you can just have this as salad.
When you are tired of same side dish, this might be a new side dish which you might want to give it a try!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Things I made before I went to Japan

I know. It really has been a while since I updated my last post. I went to Japan for a while to spend some time with my family and friends. I took my son to Japan for the first time. We had great time! We were so busy that I didn't even have time to blog while I was in Japan. Plus, I didn't cook anything while I was there.

Now we are back and back to our normal life, I am cooking again.

But before I post the things I cooked recently, I have many things which I cooked before I went to Japan so I would like to post those first.

First of all, I would like to show you some of the things which I made with my mom friends during our cooking play date.

First one if the pound cake. One of the mom had the recipe from someone she knew and we tried this recipe. We were supposed to use a tube pan and my friend asked me if I have one. I said "Sure!!! I have tube pan." thinking my loaf pan is what she meant. Though we were actually supposed to use tube pan (bundt pan or ring pan), it came out great. ( Well, it took a lot longer than it suggested since we used different type of pan). It was moist and very tasty. We had this pound cake with some tea. What a wonderful afternoon tea time we had!

This recipe was from a book which someone my friend know made from using all her friend's recipes. I think this is a great idea to make a recipe book with your friends or family. Maybe I should try it sometimes.

Next one if the one which I made with one of the mom friends when others couldn't make it to the play date. This was when St. Patrick's day was around the corner and we wanted to make something Irish.

First, we cooked ground beef with some veggies.

Then, you covered it with mushed potato which you made separately.

Sprinkle some cheese and bake in the oven .

Serve. This was really good! I never thought about making Shepard's pie so this was great experience for me. Our son had some also and he liked it too!

Then, one of the mom friends whose mother is from Guyana taught us her mom's special chicken curry.
First, cook chicken with spices and vegetables.

Then, you add water and cook until the chickens are tender and fall off the bones. This was super delicious! I loved it. This time, we didn't make it spicy but I would have loved it more if it was little bit spicier. Maybe I will try to make this by myself again and make it spicy!

The rest are the things which I made by myself.

This is the beef cooked in red wine. I had red wine left over which I had to use so I made this dish. It was good. Strong wine taste.

Then, lemon pound cake. After I realized that I don't have a tube pan. I bought it when it was on sale. I wanted to use it so I made lemon pound cake with this pan. It was delicious. My husband loves lemon pound cake so he ate a lot of them.

Pour over some lemon glaze.

This is scone. When we went for a two days trip to up state NY, we bought clotted cream which I was searching for a long time. So I baked this scone in order to enjoy the clotted cream which I finally was able to purchase. I really liked the scone which I had at the Plaza Hotel in NY so I tried to find the recipe and found something so I tried. For some reason, it didn't rise and was kind of flat but the taste was amazing! Plus the clotted cream and jam makes it even better!

This is a chunk of beef which I bought by mistake. I wanted to buy something different but I ended up buying this and I didn't know what to do so I just bake them in the oven with some spices. I don't quite remember what exactly I did with it but it tasted good.

And the last one was from the Jeremy Oliver book which I borrowed from the library. It is called Mustard Chicken. This has some leeks in the sauce and I love leeks so I used a lot of them. This was also delicious but the potion was just too much for two of of so I will try to make it in half portion next time.

Well, the summer is here and the time for BBQ. We had our first BBQ the other day. I love BBQ. This year, I would like to try something new to BBQ also :-)