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Even Yummier Refreshing Pad Thai

I love cooking asian/oriental. Every time I successfully accomplish an oriental dish, I kinda feel like I conquered the world, (or at least i do until the food gone...)

[Oh man, i have to give you guys the recipe for a delicious japanese carrot dressing that I created. !!!! The next time i make it... for sure.!]

but mmMmm this pad thai was even more delicious than the first! I combined thinly sliced Shitake mushrooms with julienned carrots and peppers and tossed it with chopped scallions. I dont recall exactly everything i used to season it, but Im pretty sure I used a simple dressing of rice vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil a few red pepper flakes (opt) & i think i might have added garlic powder or freshly minced garlic..

Oh && super uber muy imporante when making pad thai... use the right kind of noodles!! I think these are rice noodles... and for lo mein, i use egg noodles...fyi.



my luscious chewy && ever so popular caramel squares.

divine goodness. Would you believe that they are milk free?! Im allergic to milk (but can eat butter) and I created this recipe to be enjoyed by all!

These are fabulously chewy caramel squares that can be topped with almost anything. Here i've topped them with cashews, cranberry nut balls, sliced almonds and a delicious toasted coconut mixture (bottom pic)!!

YUMM!!!!


Caramel Blueberry Almond Blondies



These are so amazingly delcious. They have a nice soft but chewy texture with a caramel flavor with a hint of almond & balanced with the fantastic flavor and texture of fresh blueberries baked right in!

These are also incredibly easy to make!






yet again i didn't write everything down... BUT! im almost positive this is the recipe! haha.

Amazing Caramel Blueberry Almond Blondies

1 cup granulated sugar
1.5 tbs honey
1 stick melted butter
1 egg
1.5 tsp almond extract (feel free to use vanilla extract instead)
1 cup flour
Dash of salt
1 cup fresh blueberries (or more if youd like)
nuts (opt)

Combine the sugar and honey until it is a thoroughly combined crumbly mixture. Then pour in the butter and the egg and mix until well combined. Add the almond extract. Stir in the flour and salt until everything smooth and fold in the blueberries. (If you add nuts, add them now). Pour into a greased baking sheet, (bang on counter to get out the air bubbles) and bake at 350º for about 35 - 45 min until golden brown and semi firm.

(It will be a little soft, and when a toothpick is inserted, stuff will stick to the toothpick)


Hope this works!

Homemade Peanut Butter!



who doesnt love love love the smell of roasting peanuts?
Especially when they are roasting just to be made into a delightful homemade peanutbutter! yum.


I have no exact recipe for this one, its kind of just you add to taste and to get the right texture... but the only ingredients are peanuts (I use salted cocktail peanuts and roast them til dark brown in the oven), honey and oil (peanut, veggie or canola oil will do)! Then just put it all in the food processor and yay! homemade peanut butter! (Oh, and I don't usually refrigerate mine, it tends to make it hard... sometimes)


Onion Soup & Parmesan Croutons

the other day my parents bought Panera Soup.
&& lets just say, i'm very stubborn when they order food out.

I feel as though I must win them back and recreate what they bought... except make it taste even better ofcourse. So this is my version of the Panera Bread French Onion Soup & Parmesan Croutons.




Delicious Onion Soup

(measurements are approximates, adjust as necessary)

1/2 Onion, sliced ( i made my sliced nice and thick)
1 frying pepper, sliced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
1 packet onion soup mix
1 tbs (or so) lemon juice
10 capers
salt (to taste)
1 - 2 tsp corn starch (optional, used to thicken)

Sauté the onions and peppers in a little olive oil and salt until tender. Add the broth, water and onion soup packet and stir until combined. Then add the lemon, capers and salt. Season it to your desired taste.

If you'd like to thicken your soup, mix the cornstarch with 1/2 cup of the soup liquids and then pour back into the soup. Stir and continue cooking.

Asiago Parmesan Croutons

Thick cut Sourdough or some sort of good bread
Asiago Parmesan, thinly sliced and chopped
olive oil
kosher salt

Generously olive oil both sides of the bread slices. Then cut them into 1 inch cubes. Put them on a greased cookie sheet and sprinkle them with the kosher salt and cheese. (make sure the cheese is on the bread... and not the pan haha) Then bake at 450º until brown and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside!

pure goodness = baked oatmeal.



so you dont want bread.
but you want something bready.
but you dont want pudding.
but you want it oatmeal-y.
but you dont want smushy oatmeal.
but you dont want granola-y oatmeal.
but it you arent sure if you want it warm or cold.

i know what you want!!!!

BAKED OATMEAL!!!

mmm you can eat it hot with milk on top, or cold like bread, or warm like a muffin, or even toasted with butter (toast under a broiler though)... this is the amazingly versatile food that fulfills any breakfast craving. you can put in any fruit, nuts, even bacon if you want! And you can season it just like anything else! You could make it cinnamon, or brown sugar and maple, or banana chocolate, or apple peanut butter... im telling you... this. is. pure. awesomeness.

And the even awesomer part, is that the recipe is basically the way you make oatmeal.
All i did was pour some oats, brown sugar, sliced peaches & apples in a bowl. Then i combined some rice milk (you can use regular or soy milk for that matter... even water) and vanilla extract (some times i add almond or maple extract) it should be semi liquidy but not as liquidy as when you make smooshy oatmeal. ... and then bake at 350º until firm! Voila.

Eat it warm or cold with milk. or eat it like bread. or with a spoon. or with honey. or with peanut butter. or put on some bacon and syrup...

im telling you.

this is fabulousness to the extreme.




who says salsa is for peppers. its pineapples turn.

yes indeed, i made PINEAPPLE SALSA! its the perfect blend of the sweet and tangy taste of pineapple balanced with the crisp, savory flavor of fresh onions, peppers and tomatoes.

(and those are basically the only ingredients added plus a little salt, and lemon juice... cilantro is good in it too! I used canned crushed pineapple. Its all about balancing the flavors to get it just how you like it.)



Custom Order Pita Pizzas!!!



sometimes my family just wants a good ol' home made pizza. but by the time i finish making the crust for my pizza, (that has to sit and rise for a little while), they have already ordered, picked up and finished the pepperoni pizzas from the nearest pizza shop. Leaving my soon to be made pizza, alone and unwanted.

but alas i have found a solution!!! PITA PIZZA!

the pita bread crust IS basically an already baked pizza crust. And considering I had some in the cabinet left over from my greek food phase (which being more that 2 weeks later, im still stuck in), I used them from my mini pizzas. And the great thing about using pita, is that they make individual sizes, so i got to make my dad the pepperoni that he wanted, my mom the olive that she likes and a bunch of others like onion, cheese and pepper, that could be eaten later on.!

All I did was grease a baking sheet & put 6 pitas on it. Then i spread them each with this really good pasta sauce, of course you could use fresh tomatoes or pizza sauce, and then i sprinkled them with cheese and added the toppings. They were baked at 400º until bubbly and brown!

Definitely make them, they are quick and easy and will fulfill your pizza craving for sure!





Amazing Pork Pad Thai



Who doesn't love the fresh taste and chewy-ish texture of pad thai noodles? Here I created a delicious pork pad thai with chunks of sautéed onions & cherry tomatoes. && yes, i failed when it comes to writing down this recipe.... :)



Fabulous White Greek Pizza.

is a pizza still a white pizza if it has fresh tomatoes?


Well my as apart of my greek/salad phase, I made this delicious greek pizza. It has fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, feta cheese, black olives, onions & a little salt. oh yea and BACON! MWAHAHAHAHAHa..ha..h....ahem... .. And i did it on pillsbury pizza dough crust which added a surprisingly sweet balance to the salty toppings. And for a "white" pizza, infact, for any pizza... this was superb. yes, i said superb.




Greek Salad doesn't have lettuce.

So im still stuck in my cobb salad, greek food phase from my visit with my sis in NYC. From the delicious feta cheese that made me itchy, to the to-die-for cobb salad with bacon, avocado, tomatoes, mozzarella, baby corns, onions, olives and the wonderful fresh hot pitabread. (yum! my mouth is watering)...but basically, im stuck in a salad rut & I can't get out... (but i don't really want to either)


So, Apparently in Greece, their salads don't contain lettuce. But hey, who needs lettuce when it tastes soo good! I love salads, especially when it has lots of accessories... thats what i call all the croutons, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers and other toppings...

Either way... greek salad is all accessories... and its mighty fine with me. So i decided to make my version of the all-accessory greek salad with black olives, capers, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, lemon juice and salt... it.is. divine. ((oh && you can add plenty of feta if you so desire!))

SO here it is!




my BIG & Crunchy OREO oreo cake.



oreo is a funny word. i mean when you keep saying and spelling it. oreo oreo oreo. hm. weird.

eitherway, its a good GREAT cookie.

So it was my dads birthday && just like every other birthday for a family member, I like to make them homemade cakes... and i never duplicate the same cake. So this time, I made him this wonderful, organic, crunchy and chocolaty OREO oreo cake. except i used trader joes "oreos" not the real ones. && ill admit... i thought it would be kinda cute to make the whole cake look like an oreo itself! yay.








so. lets see. this cake was partially homemade... and partially a boxed mix... considering I ran out of sugar to make the vanilla part of the cake... ha.

so for the chocolate part, I used an amazing cake recipe I just discovered from the Best of the Best Food & Wine Cook Book titled, "That Chocolate Cake" & let me just say... this sooo is... that chocolate cake... except its even better because its oreo...

For the Vanilla Cake, I used the Trader Joes Madagascar Vanilla Bean Cake mix... yummm it is soo good and buttery! But im sure any golden cake mix will do.

&& finally for the frosting and filling i used chocolate chips, oil, salt, vanilla extract & almond extract. You can even just use chocolate chips and coconut oil, which has a delicious flavor too!


"That Chocolate Cake"

2 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs, lightlyl beaten
1/2 canola oil
1 cup whole milk (i used soy milk)
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 350º. Lightly butter/oil & flour two 9 inch cake pans, then li ne with parchment paper and butter & flour the paper.

In a bowl mix the sugar, flour, cocoat, salt, baking powder and baking soda on low speed. Mix in the eggs, oil and milk.

Continue mixing for 2 minutes then add the water and continue mixing. The batter will be super liquidy... but thats okay!

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.!

YAY!

oh and let it cool before attempting to remove from the pans ha.


Frosting

Chocolate Chips
Canola and or Coconut oil
Vanilla Ext
Salt
Amond Extract (opt)

Melt the chocolate under a broiler. Stir in a dash of salt and a few tsp of oil until well combined. Then add the extracts. (Often time if the extract has even t he slightest bit of water in it, it wil lreact with the chocolate and make it harden... if this occurs... just add more oil until it is spreadable.


Basically after the cakes were made and the frosting was made... I layered them (chocolate, vanilla, chocolate) while putting frosting and crushed oreos in between each layer.

On the top I spread the rest of the frosting & put the remaining crushed oreas and drizzled it with chocolate and sprinkled it with powdered sugar. I wwould have drizzled it with white chocolate... but... my parents dont like white too much...

... so voila! theres my big fat OREO oreo cake! ENJOY!!!

Lettuce + Tomato + Bacon - Burger x other stuff = Delish Cobb Salad




ive been gone from the internet all weekend until today... Can i just say i was going through tastespotting withdrawal! Oh, how wonderful it is to be back and surrounded by mouthwatering recipes & food!

But, while i was gone I went to this amazing diner (and i didnt think i liked diners) where i ordered a cobb salad. TALK ABOUT SALAD! that was the biggest & most gourmet cobb salad i have ever eaten & boy was it good. if had huge chunks of avocado & bacon, & those little corn thingys that are often in Chinese dishes. Also since i dont like blue cheese... and am allergic to milk... i had them put on mozzarella cheese instead (for some reason i don't always get a reaction to that)... YUM! (I even went back the next day and ordered the same thing!)

anyway... the salad was so good, i decided to make my own.! Except minus the avocado and corn thingys and plus crispy apple chips & fresh purple basil...boy was it good.!


Fresh Yum-bo Gumbo!

mmm delicious gumbo with farmers market fresh Peppers as well as fresh Okra, Tomatoes, Garlic, Onions & Cilantro with Roasted Corn kernels. Sautéed with spicy sausage & seasoned with fabulous ethnic spices such as Cumin, Saffron, Tumeric, Paprika, All Spice, OldBay & more!

this was amazingly wonderful. it had the perfect spicy, tangy, tartness that satisfied every tastebud. mmm my mouth is watering.