Tuesday, April 30, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Since we had a bit of leftover chicken breast, we decided to make another favorite. While we've made this pizza before, this time we cooked the chicken in the barbeque sauce before placing it on the pizza. Next time, we'll shred the chicken once it's cooked before placing it on the pizza so the bbq sauce has a chance to coat the chicken thoroughly.


BBQ Chicken Pizza
2-3 servings

1 pizza dough
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast meat, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup barbeque sauce
1/4 cup marinara sauce
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/2 tsp pizza seasoning or italian seasoning
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2-3 stalks of green onions, finely sliced

Preheat oven to 425*.

Prepare your favorite pizza dough.

In a deep enough skillet, heat barbeque sauce and chicken, until chicken is fully cooked.

Begin to add the toppings atop the pizza dough. Start with the marinara sauce, then arrange the red onions, add the chicken, add the seasonings, and top it off with cheese.

Bake for 12-17 minutes, until crust is a nice golden brown color and all the cheese is sufficiently melted. Once pizza is removed from oven, let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Once plated, garnish the pizza slices with the scallions.

Leftovers taste great the next day, heat up the slices for 5-10 minutes in the oven or toaster oven!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

No-Clay Pot Chicken

My wonderful husband has been taking charge in the kitchen the last few days, and we've been having some new and delicious meals, as a result. I've also started to expand my palette, and have been eating a bit of chicken here & there. Mostly at home, because whenever hubby makes chicken, it smells too good not to give it a try!

Here was a quick, mostly one-pot dish that's perfect for a weeknight, and it was put together 100% by H. I didn't even help chop anything!



The recipe is courtesy theKitchn and we'll let you venture there for the full details. We will note that we did not use sausage, so the main difference in our recipe is the lack of sausage and that we cooked the mushrooms in a bit of oil, rather than in the sausage fat, as indicated in the recipe. We also used homemade vegetable broth, rather than chicken broth. And, we didn't have a pan that went from stove to oven, so after cooking everything on the stove, H transferred everything to an oven safe dish. 

This dish was so incredibly flavorful! We halved the recipe, and had enough leftovers for H to enjoy in the following days. 


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

Back to soup. Wanting to change up our normal grocery list, we picked up some broccoli. Intended for some sort of stir-fy, or some Chinese-style dish, we instead opted to use the whole bag for soup.

We also opted to indulge a little, and combine a little half & half into this soup. After all, it's mostly broccoli, a little something extra isn't exactly going to make this an unhealthy dinner, right?

The color was a bit of a shocking green, but the taste was spot-on. I think next time we'll use either a white cheddar or a sharper yellow cheddar, as the cheese flavor could have been a little stronger.


Broccoli Cheddar Soup
recipe adapted from Blendtec
2 servings

2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup half & half
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded or roughly chopped

Add ingredients to Blendtec in the order listed above, and then select "Soup."

Garnish with a little shredded cheese and a few drops of sriracha, and serve.

Additional Notes:
The half & half did create quite a thick soup, but we didn't mind. If you want your consistency to be more liquid, substitute water for the half & half.

Also, to prevent you from having to microwave your soup once it's made, be sure the broccoli is still warm/hot from being steamed, and warm the broth prior to adding it to the Blendtec. These steps will ensure you have hot soup right from the Blendtec!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Tortilla Española

A few years ago, a couple girlfriends and I ventured to Spain. It was a few weeks of laughs, sunshine, World Cup celebrations, A LOT of walking, coupled with A LOT of eating. Being vegetarian, I found my food options a little limited, but what I did eat, I really enjoyed. In particular, I fell in love with the Spanish omelette, Tortilla Española. Especially when paired with pan tomate (tomato goodness spread onto bread) & glass(es) of cava.

I found the beauty of Spanish food to be in its simplicity. It's dishes are comprised of only a few ingredients, but always the right ingredients paired together. This dish is no exception.

My recipe and method may not be true to the origins of this dish, it's my interpretation of a dish discovered while traveling. The flavors always bring me back to those sunny Barcelona days and cava bar nights.


Tortilla Española
2-3 Servings

For the Omelette:
4 eggs
1 small potato, boiled and sliced*
1/4 onion, chopped finely
1/2 green chili, optional
salt & pepper to taste
For the Tomato Sauce topping:
1 tomato
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt

1 avocado, sliced for garnish

Start with the omelette preparation. In small bowl or measuring cup, beat eggs with green chili, salt, and pepper. Heat oil in pan. Make sure pan and oil are hot before placing any further ingredients into it. Add onions to pan and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Arrange potatoes in pan in single layer. Then, pour egg mixture on top. Let cook until omelette starts to form. Once sturdy enough, flip the omelette. I've found one fool-proof method to not breaking the omelette is to hold a plate against the pan, flip, and slide the omelette back in to the pan. Though, even if the omelette breaks a little, don't sweat it. Let omelette finish cooking.

While the first side of the omelette is cooking (prior to the flip), you can prepare the tomato sauce topping. To do so, grate a tomato. Place a bowl under the grater to catch all of the juice. Discard tomato flesh once finished. Add olive oil and garlic sauce to tomato juice, and mix well.

To assembled the dish, cut omelette in half and transfer each half to a plate. Pour tomato-oil mix in equal parts on both halves. Top with sliced avocado, and enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sai Bhaji (Spinach + Chickpeas)

Ok I must admit, I am starting to enjoy this cooking and picture taking and slowing starting to get to enjoy blogging as well :)

There is a certain joy that fills you when you try to recreate your mom's recipe of your favorite dish and it comes out to be perfect! So needless to describe, this is my favorite childhood food that my mom cooked during finals week to make sure that studying didn't feel as stressful or painful after this meal.

Hope you all can try this recipe out and enjoy it the same way as I have done for the last 25 years.

Sai Bhaji (Spinach + Chickpeas)
recipe courtesy my mom :)
3-4 servings


10oz of spinach, chopped finely 
1/2 cup of channa daal (chickpeas)
1 onion
1/2 green chili (change as needed)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of coriander powder
salt to taste


Fry onion in 2 tbsp oil. Once onions start to become soft, add garlic and green chilies and saute until the onions are translucent  Add spinach and saute for 5-7 minutes until spinach starts to blend with rest of the paste nicely. Add the channa daal and mix well. 

Now spice it with turmeric, coriander powder and salt. Mix well. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 8-10 minutes until the daal is soft (can generally take between 2-4 whistles depending on the pressure cooker)

When done, take it off the stove and use a potato masher to soften the daal so that it makes the gravy thick.

Serve with plain white rice or tandoori (plain or garlic) naan (we generally get our naan from Trader Joe's)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Daal + Chawal (Lentils + Rice)

Daal chawal (translation: Lentils & Rice) is ultimate comfort food. It's the type of dish you make when you're craving mom's food. When it comes to daal chawal, we keep simplicity in mind. Simple flavors & simple textures.

It hits the spot. Every time.

Moong daal probably one of the easier lentils to find in the marketplace; while we always buy daal from our local Indian store, I believe places like Whole Foods stock it as well.

Moong Daal
2-3 servings

1 cup moong daal (yellow/golden colored moong)
2 cups water
1 green chili, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt, to taste
1/2 tsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander powder, for garnish
1/4 tsp red chili powder, for garnish

Soak moong daal in water for as least 2 hours. Drain the water.

In a sauce pan, heat daal and 2 cups water until water begins to boil. Then, add the green chili and turmeric. Let cook until almost dry, then stir. Add salt. Stir, then put daal in serving bowl.

In a separate pan, heat oil, and once hot, add cumin seeds. Let sputter for a few seconds. Be careful not to burn. Pour this over the daal.

Finish by garnishing the daal with coriander and red chili powder.

Serve with rice.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nutella + Banana Ice Cream

Probably for most of my childhood (ok, even adulthood), if someone asked me my favorite food, I'd most likely have responded [very enthusiastically] with "Ice Cream!"

It should be of no surprise to anyone that we put an ice cream maker on our wedding registry. It should also be no surprise how excited I was when I learned the gift was fulfilled. It's maybe a little dangerous that I own an ice cream maker now, BUT, I can have ice cream ANYTIME I want. Not only that, I can have ANY flavor I want.

Life is good.

We inaugurated this beautiful machine with, what else, Nutella. I threw a banana in there, too. That makes it healthy, right?

The ice cream consistency was not AS creamy as say, Mitchell's, but it was pretty freakin' delicious, all the same. I made a milkshake out of it, too; it was fabulous.

Nutella & Banana Ice Cream
recipe slightly adapted from Crumb Blog
1 pint ice cream

3/4 cup Nutella (or, your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread)
1 ripe banana
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 cups half and half

Mix all ingredients in food processor or a blender until everything is well incorporated. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover with saran wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then, prepare the ice cream according to your machine's direction. I left mine in the machine for about 20 minutes. The ice cream will be pretty soft. To firm it up, transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container, and freeze for a couple hours before enjoying (I know, this part is tough). Once frozen, scoop & enjoy!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wednesday Winddown: Sunflower Caffe

Let's try something new here. A monthly feature sharing some of our favorite spots.

As much as H and I enjoy cooking and experimenting in our own kitchen, once in a while, our fondness of foods leads us on culinary adventures. Whenever we're travelling, either locally or internationally, my what-to-do research isn't complete without restaurant and food research. Here's us sharing some of our findings with you.

First up, one of our favorites in Sonoma, CA: Sunflower Caffe Espresso & Wine Bar. It's our happy place.

In addition to our love of food, we've also become wine lovers. Being so close to beautiful California wine-country certainly has its advantages. What started as a New Years tradition, soon became a quarterly retreat. We have since joined a wine club at Eric Ross Winery (a charming winery that produces some really great wine), and opted to pick up our quarterly shipments - as if we needed the additional excuse for a Sonoma getaway.

On one of our first trips to Sonoma, we ended up at Sunflower Caffe for a bite to eat. It was crowded, and although it was freezing outside, we ended up sitting in the (heated) porch area. We ordered cappuccinos and bread pudding. Our order was right on the money. Their bread pudding is out of this world. Warm, gooey, perfectly baked. It's topped with warm chocolate sauce and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It. is. amazing. The cappuccinos were also delicious, complete with cute foam art.

In subsequent trips, we've tried numerous other menu items. Our standard order is now a grilled cheese (on focaccia with pepper jack cheese), bread pudding, and two cappucinos. On one recent visit, we were in the mood for brunch, rather than lunch, and opted for a pecan waffle (in addition to our standard order), and it didn't disappoint. It was the fluffiest waffle I've ever had.

Really, everything we've had on the menu is delicious. So, whatever you order, you probably can't go wrong.  Protip: get there early enough to get a slice of bread pudding before it's sold out (yes, it happens, and when it happens, you will be sad). They close a bit early, so it's an ideal spot for brunch or lunch.

Let us know if you make it there. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tortilla Soup

It's been a rainy few days here in San Francisco. Rainy days mean soup cravings. Here's another gem of a Blendtec recipe. It's foolproof. And super delicious.

We added a little avocado and Sriracha love to complete the dish.


Tortilla Soup
recipe slightly adapted from Blendtec cookbook
~4 cups of soup.
Enough for a hearty meal for 2. More servings if serving with another dish.

2 tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup bell pepper, cut in big slices
1 avocado, divided in half
1/4 small onion
2 tbsp pepper jack cheese
couple sprigs fresh cilantro
1 tsp taco seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cup warm water
1/2 cup tortilla chips

Add ingredients in order listed to blendtec, except 1/2 the avocado and the tortilla chips. Press "Soups" and let the bledntec run its course. Once done, add the tortilla chips to the jar and "Pulse" 3-4 times until the chips are incorporated and the soup has reached the desired consistency.

Serve soup in bowls. Add remainder 1/2 avocado (diced) for a nice texture and garnish. We also added a few drops of Sriracha, for an added spice.