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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

10 Fun Food Facts of the Day

It's a while since I've done the regular version of fun food facts. It's been a slightly hectic few days on my end with projects and relatives visiting. Time seemed to be non existent and I've been hankering to cook something up. Hopefully now things will settle down just a little bit. But for today, I'll indulge you with some facts. Since you've already been bombarded by all the food porn on the interweb. hehehe... Anyway... Here's you go. Enjoy!!

One -
The flavor of bubble gum comes from the fusion of vanilla, wintergreen and “cassia,” a form of cinnamon.

Two -
The smaller the size of a berry, the sweeter its taste.
Three -
Iceberg lettuce is 90 percent water, and therefore, of negligible nutrient value.
Four -
Diet soda has not been proven to aid in weight loss. In fact, it’s been shown to actually increase hunger.
Five -
 Each American eats an average of 51 pounds of chocolate per year.

Six -
Goulash, a beef soup, originated in Hungary in the 9th century AD.

Seven -
In an authentic Chinese meal, the last course is soup because it allows the roast duck entree to "swim" toward digestion.

Eight -
 Eating about 20 tart cherries a day could reduce inflammatory pain and headache pain.

Nine -
Today, in Michigan, there are almost 4 million cherry trees which annually produce 150 to 200 pounds of tart cherries.

Ten -
It takes 24 to 26 hours for a hen to produce an egg; there is 30 minutes between each egg-producing cycle.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Eat Your Words" with Twisted Breadsticks

I promised myself that I would participate in this year's Eat Your Words Challenge hosted by Tangled Noodle and Savour The Thyme.  Well here's my entry. Just in time too. It's been crazy hectic for me lately and trying to squeeze in the time to create something during productions gets a bit tricky. But I'm glad I was able to pull it off. Just something simple and of course a favorite of mine to eat. What you may ask, is it? It's non-other than bread.  Luckily, I had a can Pillsbury pizza dough left in the fridge. One of the neat things about dough is that you can shape them any way you want. I didn't want to make ordinary breadsticks, so I stuffed them with cheese. Cheesy breadsticks. You know like the cheesy pizza crust from certain pizza joints. It's sort of from that concept. I used shredded cheese for the inside, that way the pieces that stick out will melt onto the outer crust.  I made a little happy face to along with the "bread." I was originally going to try PB&J stuffed breadsticks, but I think I'll save that for another day. It's super easy, plus you can get kids to help out and make them, too.

Makes 10 sticks

Twisted Breadsticks
1 can Pillsbury Pizza Dough
 Shredded cheese.

Preheat your oven to 425˚F

Cut the pizza dough into 2-3 inch strips. Sprinkle a good amount of cheese down the center.  Carefully roll them up by rolling up one corner diagonally and twisting to carefully seal the cheese in.

Place the sticks on an ungreased baking sheet and baked for 13-17 minutes until golden brown.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tomato Avocado Sandwich

This is one of those sandwiches that I ate quite frequently during my post-college days. I ate it quite a bit as a budget conscious strategy. Well, I'm still budget conscious. But at the time it was really a budget crunch especially with just having graduated.I think most of you readers know that I love avocado, so it should no surprise that I'd plop in between to slices of bread. It's actually better than my other sandwich option. A mayo sandwich. Can you guys what ingredients go into that?'s always nice to revisit eats that I used to constantly eat on a nearly daily basis.

Makes 2 sandwiches

Tomato Avocado Sandwich

4 slices of bread
1 small avocado - sliced
1 small tomato - sliced
1/4 c pineapple tidbit - sliced

Note: You may pretoast your bread before assembling.

To make one sandwich:
Take two slices of bread. Spread a thin layer of mayo on one and a thin layer of mustard on the other.
Place half of the avocado slices over the mayo slice, followed by half of the tomato slices, and half of the pineapple tidbits. Top with the mustard slice of bread.

heat  the sandwich in a panini press or skillet until the bread is toasted. If using a skillet (on medium heat), apply pressure with a place and a 12 oz can over it for 3-5 minutes. Flip and do the same for the other side.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Buko Pandan Shake and an award

It was a sunny, yet slightly breezy afternoon as I had helped my mom with a couple errands. By the end of it all we were starving. We decided upon a little Filipino food to appease the stomach. We ventured into Chow King. It a "fast food" joint that serves up some family Philippine meals. I've glod about them before and this particular meal. (here) My mom and I both ordered the half bangus meal.

 But this time around I decided to order up a shake to wash it all down. A buko pandan shake.

 Look at that nice green color. What's the best way to describe this drink? Well first off...buko (boo-ko) is made from the meat of young coconut. Pandan according to :

Pandan (screwpine pandanus) is a type of tree that grows in tropical areas of Asia. Pandan leaves have a sweet, unique flavor that is commmonly used in Southeast-Asian countries to enhance both desserts and savory dishes.

In actuality it's a dessert made from buko, pandan, gulaman (firm jello-green), cream and condensed milk.  They just decided to turn it into a shake over at Chow King.  You can see the little bits of jello, and cocnut at the bottom there. So it's a coconut-y drink. But so delicious.

I'd like to give a shoutout to Michelle at All Home Cooking All Year Long for passing this award along to me. Thanks a bunch.

You can find out more about this nifty award here.

1.Display the Stiletto badge of honor.
2. Brag about it-post a link to the page to highlight what the award is about
3.Say thanks! Include a link to the friend who nominated you.
4. Share the love-nominate 5-10 more blogs. Leave links to their blogs and leave them a comment so they know they won!
5.Do what you do! Keep at it and keep inspiring others!

As far as passing along to 5-10. I'm the type who doesn't like to choose. I'd like to share it with all of you. Because quite frankly you readers are the awesomest!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Creamy Mushroom and Orzo pasta

It's kind of like a risotto. Kind of, but not really. I saw a few recipes out there using orzo as a kind of risotto. I thought that was a great idea. I had the orzo. To the ingredient list were also some baby bella mushrooms that I chopped up. As well as an onion. So I saute the those then added the orzo and vegetable stock. It's still lent, so chicken stock was out of the question. Cook that up until the orzo cooks up and absorbs the stock. then season with the usual S&P with the addition of some dry thyme, oregano and my favorite spice paprika.  To give it that creamy texture i used evaporated milk instead of cream and some white wine. Risotto usually has parmesan in it, which I didn't have. So I used shredded mozzarella. It worked just fine. I was a little intimidated by how it would turn out, yet I ate it all up. Not because I was hungry as heck, but it was really good. A nice hint of the white wine with the mushroom. Delicious.

Serve 2

Creamy Mushroom and Orzo pasta

1 c uncooked orzo pasta
1 12oz can vegetable stock
1 small onion - chopped
8 oz baby portobella mushrooms - sliced
1/4 c evaporated milk
1/4 c white wine
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dry thyme
1 Tbsp dry oregano
1 Tbsp paprika

Melted the butter in a pot and saute the onions and mushrooms until both are tender. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add the orzo and vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer. When orzo has cooked and absorbed the stock, add the milk and wine. Stir occasionally and combine and then add the dry thyme, oregano, and paprika. Simmer for a couple minutes before serving.

Friday, March 26, 2010


Lately my mind's been everywhere. I'm working on a couple different projects right now, so most of my time is spent getting things together for those. So that uses up a lot of my mental energy. By the time it comes to eat I'm a t a loss as to what my belly is craving. In this case pizza was on my mind again.

Well it's doesn't look like much of the familiar calzone shape. But i like to consider it as one. I used one of those Pillsbury pizza crusts. When you take it out it look square shaped. I halved the dough to make two. Spread some shredded mozzarella, layered on some fresh sliced roma tomatoes and baby portabella mushrooms and some avocado. Why not? If you've been following this blog over the past year, you'd know that I love avocados. Besides it's one of those ingredients you wouldn't necessarily find in a calzone. Let alone as a topping on pizza. To I place accordingly on the dough and seal it up. poked a tiny hold on top to let the steam out. Easy last minute meal for the busy mind.

Just look at that tiny string of cheese hanging in between the two pieces. Tempting ain't it?

Makes two plump calzones


1 can Pillsbury pizza dough - halved width-wise
1 c sliced baby portobella mushrooms.
2 roma tomatoes - sliced
1 c shredded mozzarella - plus extra
1 small ripe avocado

Preheat your oven to 425˚F

To make one:
Place the dough flat on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle some of the mozzarella on one side of the dough.  Leave the other half untouched. Be sure there is a 1-inch space from the edge of the dough. Top a slices of the roma tomato, mushroom the avocado.

Bring the other halve of the dough over and seal the edges. Cut a small slit at the top to let the steam out while baking.

Bake for 15-17 minutes until the crust is browned.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sourdough Bread Pizza

Remember those Stouffers french bread pizzas? I remember eating that to snack on after school. Just heat them up in the oven for a few minutes and you've got yourself a personalized pizza on a baguette. I remember I used to pick off the pepperoni pieces and save them for last.

Anyway...I (sort of) had a craving for them recently. To delve back into my teenagehood of memories from after school snacks. I decided to revisit that memories by making myself a sourdough bread pizza. Since i had given up meat for lent, I was lucky enough to have a can of sardines in the pantry. And a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.  The sardines covered the "peppeproni" part. Also, since bread is so common in most households, you got no excuse not to make pizza anytime you want.

Makes 4 pizza slices

Sourdough Bread Pizza

4 1-inch thick slices sourdough bread
1 c diced fire-roasted tomato
1 c shredded cheese - your choice
extra virgin olive oil

optional topping:

Preheat your oven to to 375˚F

Lay the pieces of bread on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle some of the cheese, then the fire-roasted tomato and any additional topping you desire.

Baked in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bread is crisp.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (with a crunchy salad)

I remember buy this bottle of sesame dressing from some Asian market.  It was pretty tasty. i would drizzle it all over coating everything with that sesame goodness. I went to a crunchy salad. Chopped carrots, bell pepper, almond slices. and to add an extra crunch, instead of croutons I put in ramen noodle. straight from the pack that i crunched up into pieces. In reality those ramen noodles are precooked to help dehydtrate them for packaging. So they're really ready to eat.

Makes 1/3 cup - Serves 2-3

Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette (with a crunchy salad)

3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh ginger - grated or fine chopped
1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Combine all ingredients together.and drizzle of your salad

1 small head of lettuce - chopped
1 carrot - chopped
1 bell pepper - chopped
1/2 c almond slices
1 pack ramen noodles - minus seasoning and crumbled

Toss all the ingredients together and drizzle the vinaigrette over.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guinness Battered Fish Sandwich

I had a few pieces of the Guinness batter fish left over. I figured it was sandwich time. Besides I couldn't think of anything else at the time of what to make with it. Fish sandwiches are good. Beat the fillet o'fish at McDonald's right?

I paired it with some sun-dried tomatoes and lettuce leaves. A little bit of mustard and mayo on a couple slices of sourdough bread and voila. I stuck the fish in the oven for several minutes to re-crisp the crust of the batter. The mircowave would have just gotten it soft. No one likes a soggy crust on anything that's been "fried" or pan-fried. Then I pressed it on ol' georgie to get those press markes and chowed down.

makes 2 sandwiches

Guinness Battered Fish Sandwich

3-4 pieces of Guinness Battered Fish
4 slices of bread
1/4 c sun-dried tomato
lettuce leaves
yellow mustard

To make a sandwich:
Spread a thin layer of mustard on one slice of bread and a thin layer of mayo on another. Place some lettuce, the sun dried tomato and fish on one slice of bread. Place the other slice on top.

Heat the bread in a panini press or skillet. If using a skillet, apply some pressure on top of the sandwich to give it that panini style look by using a clean plate and put a heavy can on top. Flip the sandwich to cook the other side.

Note: You may toast the bread before assembling the sandwich.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Loteria - A blogger meet up

This past Saturday, I was able to meet up with a few LA bloggers. I love meeting people, have I told you that yet? The place was Loteria Grill at the famed Los Angeles Farmer's Market.

Snagged this shot from Sophia. :)

I was initially invited by Sophia from Burp and Slurp.  At the time, I wasn't sure if I was able to make it as I'm currently producing a small project, so my time tends to my iffy during production days. But I was glad that I was able to go. I've been asking Sophia as to when and if we were ever going to meet. And I'm glad that time has finally come. I was also glad to meet three (new to me) bloggers as well.  Andy and Amanda from Two Boos Who Eat and Ameena from Fancy That...Fancy This.

Andy, Amanda, Ameena, and Sophia

We all come from different backgrounds and yet food has a way to bring us all together. It was a little funny when we all whipped out our cameras at the same time.

Ameena with her tacos.

I'm tempted to grab that cup of guacamole. :)


The Napolitos Ensalada that Ameena graciously shared with us. It was made from fresh cactus paddle with tomato, chile serrano, onion and cilantro in a light lime vinaigrette.

It was interesting. I've never really had cactus before so I wasn't quite sure what to except in terms of taste and texture. It was tasty though. 

Oh yeah...before I forget. I ordered the Tacos de Camaron with some rice and beans, which was shrimp tacos. I so wanted to try the conchita pibil, but I wasn't going to break my lenten vow after all this time. My original choice was enchiladas, but the shrimp sounded tasty. Though, it did take a while for my food to arrive. (?) I kept going back to the counter just to make sure that they said my name as everyone else had already gotten their plates. The server did say that the "shrimp takes a while to cook." Really? It was tasty. But a bit pricey. All that for $11 bucks for something that didn't really "wow" me. The only saving grace were the fun conversations we all had.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Father's Nature Lavash Wraps

Father's Nature Lavash Wraps is like this little hole in a wall place in Old Town Pasadena. It's not directly located on the historical Colorado Blvd (Route 66). But it is close. It's sandwiched between Diesel and Forever 21 on De Lacey Ave.

I've been here many times before. Especially when I was going to college nearby. I was actually there 2-weeks prior to this meal, but I thought I had forgotten to bring my camera so that I can show you the delicious wrap I had gotten, only to find that I actually did have it in my purse the whole time.

They serve Greek and Mediterranean style wraps. Awesome place for vegetarians. I order their delicious falafel wrap. Inside is lettuce, tomato, parsley and pickled turnips and a good helping of falafel in almost every bite and is served up with their own tahini sauce. Other items on the menu include an eggplant wrap, their well-known Father Nature wrap that has broiled chicken. They have a nice selection of choices for a decent price.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sukjunamul - Korean Bean Sprout Side Dish

This is probably one of my favs among the banchan dishes served in many Korean meals. Plus, I guess I just like bean sprouts. There used to be this one little restaurant that I loved to frequent and I'd always asked them to replenish the little dish of bean sprout. I'd still eat up all the other banchan dishes, but this would always be one I'd ask for more than once.  I don't remember where I had gotten the recipe below. I found it in my little card box where my chicken scratch looked almost semi-legible. I had gotten it many years ago from somewhere. It was one thing I've been wanting to learn how to make and I never figured that it would be simple and easy to do. Why I hadn't made it before boggles my mind. I'm so glad I now know how to make this at home.

Serves 2

Sukjunamul (Korean Bean Sprouts)

12 oz fresh bean sprouts
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 small garlic clove - minced
1 green onion - fine shopped
1 tsp sesame seeds

Bring a small pot or sauce pan of water to a boil seasoned with some salt. Add the bean sprouts and boil them for roughly 2-4 minutes. Drain them from the water and cool. Sprinkle the salt, and mix well.  Let it sit for 2 minutes then squeeze out the excess water. Add the sesame oil, garlic, green onion ans sesame. Toss together. Set aide for 30 minutes before serving. You may add a little more salt or some soy sauce for more flavor.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sweet Potato Bake (Pizza Style?)

This was my attempt at trying to make a crust out of sweet potatoes. I had 3 of the white variety. I though of making potato chips, but slicing them was a bit of a chore at the time. So I grated and chopped it finely andmixed it up with some olive oile, salt, pepper, and paprika. Baked it until It looked ready. I prebaked it before adding the toppings. It came out a bit soft and it was still soft even after baking with the toppings. But it was actually really good. I used a fork to eat it, but it was definitely tasty. I'll eventually figure out how to properly crisp up a sweet potato in the oven. For now I'm content with some of the resulting dishes I've had.  It was actually fun to tear into it.

Serves 2-3

Sweet Potato Bake (Pizza Style?)

3 small to medium sweet potato (white variety)- peeled grated
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp dry thyme
extra virgin olive oil
1 c Bertolli Arribbiata Sauce
1 1/2 c shredded cheese
1 small tomato - deseeded and chopped
1/4 c sun dried tomato - rough chopped

Preheat your oven to 450˚F

In a bowl, mix together the grated sweet potato, salt, pepper and paprika. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Press down firmly until it forms a crust 1/4-inch thick. Pre-bake for 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pineapple Almond Bars

I loved those coconut lemon bars so much that I wanted to make more. But the second time around, I decided to change it up a bit. I had opened one of the large cans of pineapple tidbits when the idea hit me on the head. I didn't want to throw away all the delicious juice it came with. Sometimes I prefer the juice to the actual fruit. So pineapple bars it was!It's basically the same procedure as making the lemon bars. For the base I added some almond slices into the mix. Pineapple and almond do go well together.

Once baked, I put a tiny chunk of pineapple evenly space. It's best to do that part before the top layer of crust settles. One of the neat things is that after you sprinkle the powdered sugar on top. It melts into the little pineapple chunk, so it sort of looks like a tiny crater.

Makes 12 to 24 bars.

Pineapple Almond Bars

vegetable oil or cooking spray
3/4 c unsalted butter - 1 1/2 sticks - cold cubed
2 c all purpose flour
1/4 c brown sugar - packed
1/4 c confectioners' sugar (powdered sugar) - plus extra for dusting
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c almond slices

4 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 c granulated sugar
1/3 c all purpose flour
1 c pineapple tidbits
1 c pineapple juice

Preheat your oven to 350˚F

Grease a 9x13 - inch pan with the vegetable oil or cooking spray. Then line the pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. Grease the foil as well.

In a food process, pulse the butter, flour, sugars and salt until it feels of a dough texture.  About a minute. If you don't have a food processor, mix and mash together with your hands until you get a doughy consistency. Pour the flour mixture into a bowl and add the almonds.

Place the dough in the pan and press evenly, making sure there are no cracks. Place in the oven and bake until the crust is golden brown, roughly 25 minutes.

While the crust bakes, make the filling. Whisk together, the eggs, yolks, sugar and flour until a smooth consistency. Add the pineapple juice.

When the crust is finished, remove from oven. Turn the oven down to 300˚F. Pour the filling onto the warm crust and return the pan into the oven. Baked for another 30-35 minutes or until the filling has set.

Let the bars cool in the pan on a rack, garnish with the pineapple tidbits evenly spaced. Then put in the fridge until it firms up -- 2 hours. When the filling has set, remove from the pan and slice. Dust with some additional powdered sugar.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guinness batter Fish and (Baked) Chips - St. Patrick's Day Edition

I don't think I need to tell you what day it is, do I? It's time to get your green on!!!!!

I decided to make something simple and a common delicacy to our friends across the pond. Fish and chips. It's good food. Rather than making the usually batter, I decided to make it into Guinness batter fish and baked chips. I fish of choice here are some nice fillets of cod, but you can use any white fish you like, like haddock or tilapia. I bake up the fries first. That would give me time to cook up the fish.

I make the batter and pan-fry the pieces. It's usually deep-fried, but I try as much as possible to avoid it when possible. I like how the batter has a creamy-like texture to is and you can definitely taste the beer after it's been cooked. It's a nice flavor to the fish.

Make sure you have yourself a pint of Guinness today.

Serves 2-3

Guinness batter Fish and (Baked) Chips

2 fillet of cod, haddock, tilapia (any white fish)
1 c flour (plus extra for dredging)
1/4 c water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2/3 c Guinness Stout
Canola or peanut oil

Baked Chips
3 russet potatoes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 400˚F

Cut the potatoes lengthwise into thin or thick sticks. You may peel them if you desire. Place the cut potatoes into a bowl or large ziplock bag and add the salt, pepper, paprika, and olive oil. Toss together and coat evenly. Place the sticks on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until crisp. For extra crispiness, you can place the chips into the broiler for a minute or two. When the chips are done baking, remove from the pan and season lightly with a little salt.

While the chips bakes, cook the fish. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, pepper, water. Lightly stir to combine. Then add the Guinness. Mix well removing any clumps. Set aside and prep the fillets.

At this time preheat enough oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. You may cut your fish into sizable pieces. Season with salt and pepper and dredge the pieces in some all-purpose flour. Place the dredged pieces in the batter. When the oil is really hot, slowly and carefully place the fish and pan-fry for 2-3 minutes per side. Place the fish on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.

Serve together and enjoy with some malt vinegar, ketchup, or your preferred dip.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Four Cheese Spinach Bake and A Winner

First, we've got a winner!! A week ago I announced a giveaway for the 1-year birthday of B + B. I got some interesting and diverse responses to what you favorite dishes are. It was nice to read a variety of tastes.  Thank you to everyone who entered. I was going to do it the old fashioned way by pulling a name out a bowl, but things happened in the last couple days that prevented it. So I used my back up via

And the winner of the really cool sushi book and kit is....................................

ValleyWriter from Adventures in the Pioneer Valley!!!!!!! 

Email me your address ( and I'll get this fab prize your way. Congrats!!!


Now, onto today's dish. I still had that second Bertolli sauce to try out courtesy of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program and Bertolli. The Four Cheese Rosa. It tastes much like an alfredo sauce with a hint of tomato. I enjoyed it quite a bit. It a nice creamy texture and smooth at the same time. I cooked this up with some pasta. And I remember that I had some frozen spinach left in the freezer that I need to use up.

The pasta I used for this are some small shells. I find that they scoop the sauce really well. Mix in the spinach and well as the sauce. Topped it with some shredded cheese that I mixed with some panko crumbs to give it that nice cheesy and crunchy crust. Simple weeknight meal.

Serves 4-6

Four Cheese Spinach Bake

2-3 c uncooked pasta
1 c leafed spinach - from frozen (defrosted and squeezed of water)
1 jar Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa
1 tbsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
2 c panko crumbs
1 c grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375˚F

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, season the water with salt and a small drizzle of olive oil. Drop in the pasta and stir a couple times to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other. Cook until al dente, roughly 8 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together the panko and cheese.  Set Aside.

Once the pasta as cooked drain most, but 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the spinach, garlic powder, and Bertolli Four Cheese Rosa sauce. Season with a little pepper and mix well. Pour the pasta mixture into an oven safe dish and spread evenly.  Then pour the panko-cheese mix on top.

Place the dish in the oven and bake for 15 tto 20 minutes until the cheese has melted and crumbs lightly browned.

Serve warm.

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