Archive | March, 2009

thankful thursday

28 Mar
  • my first four-page mag feature
  • patience, perseverance. to keep trying new layouts til i found one that worked.
  • really design-smart coworkers
  • meetings. informal rant/discussion sessions. venues of which i learn what’s going on at work and with the other people at work.
  • the gym, running, fitness class, ritas. i could not live without this combo.
  • double-stamp tuesday. my fav weekly outing to buy happiness
  • ice cream sundaes. i love love love hot fudge, brownie sundaes.
  • the recent pens record and their wins despite falling in the standings
  • the upcoming fball season.
  • michelle for really good girl-talk sessions.
  • anthony. my margaritas are not the same made by any other person.
  • cooking. waffles. i love making food.
  • making it through budget cuts at work

Taiwanese Style Fried Pork Tenderloin

22 Mar

Browsing Foodgawker, I came across these fried pork things. Having been to my share of Chinese banquets, I must admit that these things are really tasty, but I don’t know what they’re called. 

Comments: This recipe is very straightforward and was easy to make. While I was at Whole Foods I saw that the tenderloin was about $20 and almost didn’t make it, but then I had to make a trip to Trader Joe’s and I lucked out with tenderloin for only $5! Hurrah for TJ’s, they’re really quite awesome. As for taste, my mama brought home leftovers of some of the same thing from a restaurant that night and I preferred my homemade version.

recipe from Tamarind and Thyme

Raspberry Teacake

22 Mar

Originally I was making this for a friend’s bday, but turned out someone else was baking the cake. So I brought this pretty teacake to work. 

(recipe from Inn Cuisine, adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Baking, 2008)

1 (12 ounce) package frozen raspberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold butter, sliced into thin pats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10″ round pan that has a removable bottom; set aside.

Raspberry filling: in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine raspberries, sugar and cornstarch over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Push raspberry mixture through a fine, mesh sieve, discarding seeds and pulp. Set filling aside to cool slightly; alternatively you may store airtight, refrigerate and use within 3 days.

Tea cake batter: Stir together flour and sugar. In a food processor, combine the flour/sugar mixture with butter. *Measure and set aside 1/2 cup of this flour-crumb mixture and reserve for crumb topping. In a bowl, combine the remaining flour mixture with baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well to combine. Make a well in the center of flour mixture to accept wet ingredients.

In a small mixing bowl, beat egg; stir in buttermilk until combined. Add all at once to the well you just created in the center of the flour mixture. Stir gently until just moistened; batter will be thick. Spread two-thirds of this batter over the bottom and up 1″ of the sides of prepared tart pan, using fingers to pat into place if necessary. Next, carefully spread the prepared raspberry filling on top of this batter, tilting pan if necessary to cover surface area. In many small, irregular mounds, drop remaining batter on top of filling, spreading ever-so-gently with fingers or back of spoon if necessary. Allow mounds of batter to rest atop raspberry filling without pressing into bottom layer of batter. Sprinkle entire cake with the *reserved flour-crumb topping.

In the center of a preheated oven, baked tea cake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. The cake should appear lightly browned. Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. When time has elapsed, remove cake from tart pan and place on cake stand or serving plate.

Comments: I love my food processor, especially when making crusts/crumb. Mixing by hand or using a hand-mixer are both such time consuming and painful activities, food processing cuts down both of these to mere seconds! I really enjoyed making this cake. It was made for a tart pan, but since I don’t have a springform tart pan, I just used a round springform. I found it difficult to press the batter to the pan since it was greased and didn’t want to stick. Somehow I made do. The raspberry filling was easy to make but I wish it had a more concentrated raspberry flavor. Putting the batter on top of the filling was a bit tricky in that I had to make quarter-sized dollops of batter placed closely together, again not the easiest to spread. If I made this again I would prefer this cake to use almond flour instead of all-purpose flour and Perhaps raspberry jam or almond marzipan would have been a nice touch.

recipe from Inn Cuisine

thankful thursday

22 Mar
  • alex is home 🙂
  • dates with old loves
  • trying new restaurants/recipes
  • people/stores that are closeby
  • celebrations!
  • sneaky md bball watching + really awesome coworkers
  • bffs. b/c there’s nothing better than sitting around laughing your head off for no good reason
  • going to work without all the students.
  • daylight savings, i am really loving all the sunlight
  • plans for a garden
  • camerata + dave. even though he’s gone, i will never forget him. this class changed my life for the better.
  • new friends. really, really nice people.
  • decongestants. antihistamines. anything really that will allow me to hear normally.

Belgian Waffle #2

16 Mar

Waffles take 2 🙂 My coworker loves waffles as much as I do and this is her go-to recipe.

Buttermilk Waffles
Yields: 4 waffles

3 large eggs, separated
Pinch cream of tartar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon, melted
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Beat the eggs, cream of tartar, buttermilk, vanilla and 2 tablespoons melted butter.
Into a large bowl stir together the flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Combine with the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Grease the waffle iron. Ladle batter onto the waffle iron and cook until golden brown.

Comments: So the eggs were supposed to be separated with the whites folded in afterwards, but my coworker told me she usually skipped that step. The resulting waffles were light and fluffy, but not crispy. However, when I reheated a frozen leftover waffle in the toaster, it crisped up, so maybe I can just eat these as frozens.

Recipe adapted from Foodnetwork

Nutella Oatmeal Thins

16 Mar

World Nutella Day passed recently and I had to a craving for nutella, thus the birth of these cookies. Really now, where do you go wrong with Nutella sandwiched by two Nutella cookies? You don’t.

Nutella Oatmeal Thins
Yields: About 24

Original recipe can be found at Baking Bites

1 cup + 2 tbsn. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter, room temp
6 -7 tbsn. Nutella
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 cup of quick cooking oats
Preheat to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl cream the butter, nutella, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and egg yolk, then the vanilla. Gradually blend in the flour mixture and the oats, slowly. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto the baking sheet, at least 2.5 inches apart to allow them to expand. Bake for 10 minutes, and let cool completely. Enjoy!

Comments: These cookies are super-easy to make. Mix, mix, bake, BAM—delicious. I love that the cookies don’t obviously taste like nutella and that they are very thin, but not crunchy. Since Michelle at Une-deux Senses posted that she made sandwich cookies, I tried it out too. Amongst my coworkers, seems like some people like plain and some people liked the sandwiches, so it’s up to you which you make.

Recipe from Une-deux Senses

Sausage and Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

16 Mar

From my many days of buying gross, but usually yummy soup down in the Dairy, I have realized that I cannot live without soup. Or crackers. I actually can’t decide which I love more. The soup is lacking without crackers, but I don’t like soggy crackers that soak up the soup flavor, moreso the half-crispy, half-soggy consistency that you get after waiting a minute after throwing them in. Either way, I had to make soup and I found this on Foodgawker.

Adapted from Cooking Light 
Yield: 4 servings

1/2 tsp of olive oil
1 small onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (omitted b/c of spicy chorizo)
8 ounces pork sausage (I used spicy chorizo, casings removed)
2 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used 1 box aka 2 cups of reduced-sodium)
1 (14.5-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
3/4 cup uncooked small shell pasta (Couldn’t find small shells, so I used mini wheels)
1 bag (~2 cups) baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add onion to the pan and cook until translucent. Add sausage, garlic, pepper, salt and red pepper to pan, and cook about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.

Add broth, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat; stir in spinach until wilted.

Sprinkle each serving with cheese and basil.

Comments: I love soup, but this turned out to be more like pasta. Of course I never actually measured how much pasta I put in and I didn’t use as much chicken broth as I should have. When I reheated my leftovers, I always added more water to the broth to create more broth. I should have added more spinach b/c I love spinach. Overall, I was happy with the results.

recipe from Elizabeth’s Edible Experience

belgian waffle #1

16 Mar


I love belgian waffles. I love them so much that I splurge purchased a Waring Pro WMK300 Belgian Waffle Maker off of Craigslist. 🙂 Now I can eat all the waffles I want!

Yields: 4 waffles

4 eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 (1/2 stick) butter (I always use unsalted when cooking)
1 cup milk (whole is ideal, but I used 2%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the yolks and sugar in a bowl until lightened in color. Beat in the milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Beat in the flour, salt, and baking powder, stirring as little as is necessary to incorporate it–if you overdo it, the waffles will be tough.

Meanwhile, using a mixer, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gently fold this into the thick batter. Take care not to beat the air out of the fluffed egg whites.

Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray like PAM (VERY important! waffles stick like crazy). Make your waffles. Your waffle iron should come with a measuring cup telling you how much to pour in and ought to have its own doneness gauges.

Comments: Crispy, yummy, filling, a little bit dense (I don’t think I over mixed the batter). Since this recipe doesn’t use yeast, it’s a good recipe when you want waffles in a pinch. I like the fact that you can make a whole batch of waffles and freeze the leftovers so that you can have homemade frozen waffles as opposed to Eggos for breakfast.

recipe from Mike’s Table

rita’s = happiness

16 Mar

Last year when things got crazy, I went to Rita’s, which advertises that it sells “ice, custard, happiness, ” and true to its tag line, I always left happy. It has been a stressful month so since seeing the opening March 6 sign on its window, I had a little countdown til opening day! Alas, opening day didn’t work out for me, but I still managed to go out opening weekend. It was a long line, but well worth the wait.

thankful thursday

15 Mar
  • spring break. the sleep and free time that ensues b/c of it
  • kernan! which is so much nicer than PGHC
  • a good week of work filled with photoshoots and the planning of them
  • the awesome comeback season the pens are having. and today’s win again the bruins
  • fitness classes and running my heart out
  • my cousin and her sweet friends.
  • arlington and how close everything is
  • getting out of work early for break
  • happy hours. oh gosh it’d been so long
  • knitting. b/c i am an old granny lady.
  • ritas. when life gets rough, i go buy happiness from them
  • having a car to drive. b/c carpooling and metroing is painful sometimes