Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ellie Krieger's Sesame Chicken & Mini Cheese Cake

Using this book again, I made Sesame Chicken and Mini Cheese Cake! Sesame Chicken is my husbands' favorite dish when we order in Chinese food. Normally, it is battered and fried and coated with sweet and sour sauce with lots of sesame. This Ellie Krieger's version is not deep fried but more like stir fried which makes this dish little bit healthier and lighter.

I cooked broccoli too long so the color of broccoli is not great but this sesame chicken was great. It is not exactly like the sesame chicken we order from Chinese restaurant but this one is good substitute when you make it at home. You don't have to deep fry your chicken and it was quite tasty. The sauce has quite strong taste so I end up eating lots of rice....

I like it with lots of sesame and lots of green onions. 

 Also, I tried making this mini cheese cake. It is cupcake size and perfect for little dessert. 

However, when I dissolved gelatine powder, I guess I didn't dissolve it well so when we ate the cheesecake, there were chunks of gelatine in it. It was not pleasant texture and we couldn't eat it. 

It tasted pretty good so if you follow the recipe well and if you dissolve gelatine well, the result must have been much much better. Oh well, I will be more careful next time.....

Even though it did not come out well I think it is a great idea to have such a small cupcake size mini cheese cakes. It looked really cute. I think I should try this again.....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ellie Krieger's Broiled Buffalo Wings & Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I borrowed another cookbook from the library and made these two dishes from the book I borrowed.

The book is called "Comfort Food Fix" by Ellie Krieger

She used to have a show on Food Network. She always cook something healthy and good for you. I think she is a nutritionist and have a few cook book published. 

I normally don't look at cook books which are focused on healthy food but this one is called Comfort Food Fix and she tried to recreate all the comfort food in a healthier way. I was interested so I borrowed it and I found quite a few things which I wanted to try out. 

One of them was Broiled Buffalo Wings. I love Buffalo chicken flavor but I don't normally make Buffalo wings at home since I don't want to fry them. But this is broiled and you don't have to fry them. I was a bit skeptical but wanted to give it a try. 

First, she ask you to boil the chicken. I liked this idea. Actually, one of my friend did this for BBQ and I really liked the idea of boiling chicken (especially skin on and bone in ) before broiling them. It will take some of the excess fat and also you don't have to worry about the chicken being undercooked inside. 

Anyway, then broil the chicken in broiler until crisp and brown. 

I liked this and my husband also liked this. It is not greasy since it is just broiled and still very tasty. I also made Blue Cheese Dip from the book. I need Blue Cheese Dip when I eat Buffalo Chicken! 

Since I wanted to eat some vegetables also. I made Broccoli Cheddar Soup from the book. 
This was also great. In the recipe, it asked to use low-fat milk but I didn't have low-fat milk at home so I just used regular milk. Also I didn't have enough Cheddar Cheese so I used a lot less Cheddar Cheese than the recipe required but it came out great! 

I pour this Broccoli Cheddar Soup over rice and gave it to my son and he loved it also. I think he eats a lot more Broccoli this way. 

If you are interested in cooking healthier but still want to eat those comfort foods, this is a book to go. I was quite impressed how she made them very tasty yet more healthy. I am planning to try her Sesame Chicken recipe tonight. I will let you guys know how it turned out! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Grilled Salmon Salad with Quinoa and Yogurt sauce

It has been quite nice temperature here in NY lately. I can definitely feel the fall approaching but not too cold to wear short sleeves. This weather reminds me of areas in California where I used to live.

I loved the weather in California. It was dry and warm all year around but one thing I realized after I moved to NY is that you appreciate summer more and also you can actually enjoy four different seasons in a year. I like warm weather and I don't like cold weather but at the same time, I kind of enjoy   a little bit cold fall night when I feel like baking or cooking something hearty.

Anyhow, I always buy salmon from Costco and this is also from Costco salmon. I froze half of it and used the other half for this salad. This is definitely a summer dish. I made this dish on Sunday.

Grilled Salmon Salad with quinoa and yogurt sauce!

The salad itself is very simple with romain lettuce, cucumber and corn with some store bought Caesar dressing.

On top of that, I added some quinoa with cilantro, raisons, pine nuts and garlic. This is something my friends told me about and I made it once before. The recipe is from Food Network. Here is the link for the recipe if you are interested. 

For salmon, I just sprinkle salt and pepper then sautéed with olive oil in a pan 6 mins each side.

Then, I made this yogurt sauce which is with greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, grated garlic and lime juice plus salt and pepper.

My husband absolutely loved this salad and especially the yogurt sauce. He was so impressed how I came up with this sauce but I have seen yogurt sauce with salmon in many places and I don't think it is nothing new but he was quite happy. Normally, yogurt sauce for salmon has dill but I only had cilantro so I used cilantro for both quinoa and yogurt sauce. For someone like us who love cilantro, this was great.

This is a great light dinner for hot night. It is super easy and healthy and delicious.


Monday, September 10, 2012

Perfect for Summer Time "Lemon Chicken"

This is something I made before I go on a trip but it was really delicious so I wanted to post it before I forget.

I used a recipe from one of the blog which I love. The blog is called "Simply Recipes" and this blog has so many amazing recipes and photos. I tried some of the recipe from this blog and everything tasted wonderful. If you are interested in the blog and this lemon chicken recipe, click here to go to "Simply Recipes". 

This is oven baked lemon chicken recipe. It was very juicy and tasty. This recipe uses skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. I like using chicken thigh for my cooking because it is much cheaper than chicken breast and it normally comes out very juicy.

My husband loves lemon or lime so I tend to look for lemony recipe especially in summer. This was perfect chicken dish for summer. Using oven was a challenge for me (since it was very hot that day and I normally try not to have AC on) but it was worth.

My husband and my son loved it. This is something I would love to make over and over.

It was nice and sunny that day so we ate outside. I love eating outside. In summer if the weather is nice, we normally eat dinner outside.

However there is one problem. This summer there were so many mosquito around and I always got bitten at least 5 times during dinner. One time, I was outside for 5mins and I got 8 mosquito bites. I always get lots of mosquito bite but this summer was just out of control. I had mosquito repellent band on my both wrist and both ankles but those didn't work.

Maybe it is my blood type which attract mosquito but my husband doesn't get mosquito bite like I do.

My son get them sometimes but a few days ago, he got mosquito bite right on his eye lid and it got swollen so badly it made him look like a beaten up boxer. I felt so bad but it seemed like it was not bothering him too much. Thankfully, it went away after one day but it did not look good.

I would love for my son to play outside and I don't want to spray mosquito repellent on him but at the same time, I don't want him to get too many mosquito bite.... Oh well, let's hope it is not going to be bad next year.

Meanwhile, if you know any natural way to repel mosquito, let me know!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Germany and Croatia Trip

Hello! It has been a while since my last post. We had a family vacation and went to Germany and Croatia. Germany is where my husband is from so we went to visit his parents and his grandmother (my son's grandparents and great grandmother.) Croatia was where my friends had their wedding so we went there to attend the wedding.

There are not so many food pictures from this trip which I realized after I came back. We ate great food while we are on vacation but we are taking many pictures of our son and forgot to take food pictures.... But there are some so I would like to post them here.

First stop was in Germany to see my husband's grandmother (my son's great grandmother). She is 90 years old and very strong and eats well and drink well. She used to own a restaurant so she is a great cook.

She loves my son and was very happy to see him. She played soccer with my son in her garden. My son loved her garden. He ate grapes and tomatoes from her garden and picked some flowers and run around.

And this is oma's famous Schnitzel. She makes this dish for us every time we are there because we love oma's Schnitzel so much. It always accompanied by pan roasted potatoes.

We also had some tomatoes from her garden. Sweet and delicious!

Also, she made something called "Dumpf Noodle"(I am not sure about the spelling). This is Pan fried bread with sweet vanilla sauce dip. My husband loves this dish. I also love the combination of somewhat salty bread with sweet vanilla sauce.

We met up with my husband's cousin and his wife for dinner also. We went to this Italian restaurant which we always go when we visit them. This is my favorite Italian restaurant in Germany!

First, we had some appetizer. My favorite is grilled octopus!

My dish was scampi curry cream sauce pasta. I think this curry cream sauce is quite popular in Germany. I see them often in many restaurants. I love it!

My husband ordered rolled lasagna. I love the idea. It was also really good.

After having great days with Oma and relatives, we flew to Croatia to attend my friends wedding.
Both of us had never been to Croatia before. It is always exciting to visit a new country.

First, we were going to pick up a rental car at the airport but the car was not ready so we had to wait for a few hours at the airport. Finally, the car was ready and we start driving then realized that we didn't have the navigation system which we ordered so we went back to the airport and got the navigation system.

When we went back there, we met two other friends who are also attending the wedding. It was funny to see them there. They were also renting a car and trying to get to their hotel. We talked a bit and off we went to hit the road.

The problem was that the navigation system kept telling lie to us. It took us to completely different place first. We reset the navigation system and tried again. Seemed like it was working this time. To get to where we were staying, it took us about two hours and the navigation system took us to a mountain road. Our son got sick and threw up in the car. We changed him and clean and rest a little bit but we still had to drive a bit more. I felt bad for my son and fortunately he went to sleep after that.

We stayed in a town called Gradac. It was a touristic town by the beach. Everyone was walking along the beach at night having fun. It was very nice small town.

The wedding was great. I stay up till 4:00am and partied. It has been a while since I partied.

In Croatia, we had some meat and seafood. Our favorite was Cevapcici. It is finger size grilled ground meat with some spices. It was so good that we ate this almost every day while we were there. Unfortunately I didn't take picture of this dish....

We stayed in a hotel called "Marco Polo". It was a nice small hotel and we had a dinner at this restaurant last night of our stay.

For appetizer, we had tomato risotto and squid ink risotto. I loved squid ink risotto.

For main course, I had a fish plate. It was more like for two people but the fish were fresh and tasted really good. Also the shrimp was sweet and excellent!!

My husband had something like shrimp rolled fish with Champaign cream sauce. It was good but the Champaign sauce was quite strong. If it was strong for me, I can not imagine how it felt for my husband since he doesn't drink :-)

Anyway, the dinner was great and the service was also great. My son played with some stones in a flower pot.

After Croatia, we went to visit my husband's parents for about 10 days.  They were so happy to see us and their grandson. It was very nice to see how they play with my son and how they talk to him.

We met up with some friends also and had a great time. The weather was great and we enjoy our stay there.

The night before we left, my uncle and aunt came to Germany from Japan to attend a tour of Germany. It was perfect timing because we were still there. So we met up with them for dinner.

My husband's parents have met them in Japan also so they knew each other.

It was just for a few hours but it was great to see them in Germany. They also love my son and played nicely with him. It is like my son have three sets of grandparents. He is a lucky guy :-)

Oh, this is what my mother in law made for us. It is with raspberry, blueberry and blackberry with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. This is easy but taste so good! I learned how to make it so I will post the recipe when I make it. Like always, my mother in law is great at presentation. Look how beautiful this dish is!!

So, now we are back to NY settling down again. I missed NY and my neighbor and friends. Everybody was so happy to see us back. It was very nice. So, I am going to start cooking again. Looking forward to try some new things which I learned in Germany :-)