Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Brief Hiatus.

I'll be packing up my little family again this week to move up to Washington D.C., and I'm amazed at how much I need to do before we leave. We don't have much stuff, but it seems like we have things scattered everywhere! As much fun as this summer has been, I will be happy when one day we are home again and not living out of suitcases.

I'm not sure how the internet connection will be in our next destination, so I decided to also pack up this blog and put it on the shelf for awhile. Oh, but I'll try and post the curry before we leave.

I'll be back sometime in August, have a great summer everyone.

Mugga says, "I'll see you soon!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quiche and French Toast.

Well, I didn't get the chance to make that quiche till late late Friday evening. Axel and I ended up eating it for a midnight snack, and was it good. Unfortunately I don't have a picture, but here's the shot from Food & Wine:

Over-the-Top Mushroom Quiche

In our household, we don't appreciate things like mushrooms as food, so I used some smoked sausage instead. I will never make that substitution again. The quiche was already extremely rich and with the added meats, it was a little out of control. Maybe I'll use asparagus next time.

On Saturday, I tried the french toast recipe I didn't get to last week for a breakfast brunch with friends. It was a hit! This recipe is a keeper. Courtesy of Martha Stewart of course, but it's not her recipe. She had Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson from Balthazar restaurant in NYC on her show. They made their yummy french toast, and I'm glad I now have it in my collection. You can watch the show on the recipe link too:

Balthazar Brioche French Toast

I used challah bread instead of brioche and I loved, loved, loved it.

Oh, and just to let you know, I had breakfast today too. Nothing special, just cereal. But maybe, just maybe, breakfast will stick.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Thai Green Curry.

This morning's meal may not seem appealing to some of you, but having leftover Thai Green Curry from dinner last night was just the thing for my breakfast. Reasons why curry is so perfect:

1) I am too tired and too impatient to wait for my planned quiche to cook (the recipe I'm using takes hours, but it's a Thomas Keller recipe so I'm sure it's totally worth it).

2) I woke up this morning really wanting to eat last night's leftovers. I really love green curry.

3) I can pretty much eat anything for breakfast and I do. I'm asian. We do things like have dinner for breakfast.

I don't have a recipe to share because all the steps and measurements are in my head. It's the version my mom taught me and I should probably write it down one day. If anyone really wants it, I suppose I could try to figure it out on paper.

Tonight though, tonight I'm having quiche for dinner. I'll post the results of that later. Don't you think breakfast for dinner is a great thing too?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Eggs Benedict.

I absolutely love Eggs Benedict, but it's a dish I'm always a little nervous to try. Sometimes it seems like it could be so easy, but I have my doubts. It's that darn hollandaise sauce. It seems so impossible to get right. Before today, I've only made it one other time and it turned out pretty bad. I think I was using a low-fat rendition or something.

Well, I'm not sure my attempt this morning would sell in a restaurant, but I think I managed to make myself a passable breakfast. I can poach eggs okay (they aren't the prettiest things though). Plating the eggs on an english muffin and slice of canadian bacon isn't hard either. It's just that darn hollandaise sauce. My sauce taste just fine, but it was on the thin side.

Oh well.

I think I heard somewhere that Trade Joe's sells hollandaise sauce in a jar. If so, I'll have to go stock up on that stuff before I leave the East Coast. Oh, how I love Trader Joe's. Especially their Orange Juice. My husband thinks it's a little strange that I can love a grocery store so much.

Anyway, the recipe I tried was from the Martha Stewart web site. It's courtesy of Josh Eden, a pretty amazing NYC chef.

Eggs Benedict

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Peanut Butter on English Muffin.

Today I feel like a minivan mom. Partly because I'm driving a minivan this summer and also because I've been playing chauffeur since 5:50 a.m. I've dropped Axel off at the bus stop, another person off at the airport, ran errands and only got lost once.

So ... this morning all I had time grab was a whole wheat english muffin with peanut butter. Oh, and some strawberry yogurt. I was running so late, I didn't even have time to document my breakfast with a picture.

Sometimes there's just no time to eat a good breakfast.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cereal Muffins.

This morning for breakfast I had yogurt and cereal muffins. I've had a recipe for bran muffins for awhile and I've always wanted to try it. Since I don't happen to have any bran cereal on hand, I went with my next best alternative: Cranberry Crunch Total.

Growing up, my parents always bought Total. To this day, I still hate that cereal. It's nasty. No amount of sugar poured over that stuff can make it good. Believe me, I've spent many years trying.

Since I married a man who has eaten grown-up cereal all his life, my cereal consumption has changed over the years. I don't buy Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs anymore. Or Cocoa Crispies. We hardly even eat Pop Tarts in our house (but that's an entirely different breakfast component).

Axel has gotten me to eat cold cereal with more grains and you know. Good for you stuff. It's a gradual process though, he eats Kashi brands, I can swallow down Special K.

Well, these cereal muffins I made today might be a good alternative to adult cereals. At least for me, it's one way I can eat any form of Total cereal. 

The muffins are pretty tasty, they are nice and fluffy and I like the tall tops. Oh, and did I mention, it doesn't even taste like Total cereal?

Cereal Muffins
  • 1 c. shortening
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 qrt. buttermilk
  • 5 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 c. cereal
  • 2 c. boiling water
  • 5 c. sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. salt  
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs. Pour boiling water of cereal, mix together. Add cereal to shortening and sugar mixture. Sift flour and salt. Add baking soda to buttermilk. Mix half of flour mixture to cream mixture.  Then add half buttermilk to batter. Add rest of flour, then remainder of buttermilk.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 full, bake 20 minutes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Carrot Cake Pancakes.

I've never even thought that things like Carrot Cake Pancakes would exist. When IHOP starting flashing their recent commercials, I decided I wanted them. Like right now. Since I am pregnant and very susceptible to food cravings, I sometimes have to close my eyes when food commercials come on TV. Most of the time I think, Oh, no. Not another burger commercial.

I don't want a burger. I don't want a burger. I don't need a burger.

"Honey?" I call to my husband in the next room. "Can you get me a burger?"

After lots of Internet searching, I decided to use this recipe I found on this tasty food blog. It has all the components I wanted: no pre-made pancake mix, no raisins, no pineapples. and yes, just like real carrot cake, the recipe also includes a cream cheese topping.

This morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. to whip these babies up. Axel leaves for work a little before 6 a.m., and I wanted to cook for him. I consider it payback for all the late night burger runs. The pancakes are super fluffy, just the way I like them. It's a pretty good recipe. On the cook's suggestion, I sweetened the cream cheese with some powder sugar. When I plated the cakes, I put the topping on the side. It may be optional for some (like my toddler) but not for others (like me who enjoys dessert for breakfast).

The best part of the pancakes? My little Mugga loved 'em. She ate them even with out syrup or any additional sweeteners. I feel pretty good knowing I just gave her carrots first thing in the morning. And she didn't even notice. Hah!

Carrot Cake Pancake Recipe here.

Challenge: Breakfast

I'm really bad about eating breakfast. It's a little boring to me. Usually just cold cereal. Peanut butter toast. If I'm ambitious, I'll fry some eggs.

I think one of the reasons why I don't look forward to breakfast is because I'm usually eating it by myself. It's something I shove down my throat out of necessity, something I know I need to do but don't particularly enjoy. Well, I recently read an article in New York Magazine that has my mind thinking differently about the most important meal of the day:

How I Learned to [Heart] Breakfast (or at Least What to Eat for It)

I'm not going to go into the article, but it's so interesting. It caught my attention enough, that I decided that this week, I'm eating breakfast. Not only am I not skipping my morning meal, but I'm going to make some recipes I've always wanted to try.

So, this week I'm thinking about breakfast. Because I want to look forward to my mornings, I'm making dishes that aren't so healthy, but definitely worth waking up for.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Top Chef.

I have been heartbroken for the last few weeks since Dale left Top Chef (but so happy to see him make an appearance last week). Tonight's the finale and I'm super excited.

I'm crossing my fingers Stephanie's the winner. Although if Richard takes it, I would be happy too.

Real Simple Essay Contest.

I know by posting this, I'm just asking for more competition. I'm always one for fair game though. Real Simple is offering their first essay contest, and I'm excited about it. You can be published in the mag, and recieve $3,000.

Rules and details here.


I have friends who tell me that Crocs are where it's at. Especially when you are pregnant. And have big feet. And your feet will just get bigger when your belly gets bigger.

I've heard how comfortable they are, how great they are in the summer (even winter), yet I find myself so extremely hesitant. I can't bring myself to do it. They are just so ugly.

Well, after a conversation with a friend just a few days ago (again, a Croc supporter) I decided to look again. I found these styles that aren't too bad ... I dunno. Maybe I can give it a try.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Eat What I Make You?

Here are a few questions for all you parents out there. Do your kids eat what you make them? Do you make special meals during chow time? Do you enforce the "Eat What I Make You" rule?

I always thought I would be the enforcer-type of mom. The one who says, "You kids eat what I make -- end of discussion." Yeah, I pictured myself stern and firm just like that.

Well, now that I have a toddler, I see I'm not as tough as I thought. I'm quite the pushover, really. At meal time, I find myself spending more time rummaging through the kitchen in search of something that my gal will find palatable at the moment (because, of course, the dinner I cooked that night just wasn't good enough). I don't know why I do it ... well, I do. I don't want her to be hungry. She's just so little.

Axel is always reminding me not to cater towards my daughter's sometimes picky/sometimes not eating habits. Yup, you guessed it. Dad is definitely the Enforcer.

I guess I've worried that my girl is too young to follow the eating rules ... but am I wrong? Is an almost 2-year-old mature enough to handle the "Eat What I Make You" rule? Is it too late? Can I still be an Enforcer?

Your comments are much appreciated.

Sugar Rush.

This weekend I was able to escape the 100 degree weather (plus humidity) and walk around the Tysons Corner Mall. My favorite part about shopping?

Going to Cakelove.

You may know I'm a lover of cupcakes, and I was super excited to try Cakelove's treats. We had the German Chocolate and the Brown Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting. Delish!

I'm still hoping to visit the famous CakeLove and Love Café on U Street in D.C., and go to the cupcake bar. Here, you can create your own cupcake concoction. Oh, or maybe I'll even take one of their baking/decorating classes this summer.

The sugar possibilities are endless.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

East Coast I love you, but you're bringing me down.

I know, I know. I said I would be a better blogger, and look. It's taken me almost a week again to post something.

Well, I blame tornadoes, crazy mean thunderstorms and super bad internet connection. Yes, this is the welcome the East Coast has given me. The very first day we are here, there is a tornado warning.

Yesterday, we were out power all day and night. Axel was almost blown over at a bus stop in D.C. on his 2 hour commute home, and I had absolutely no techology for most of the day. No cell phone, no central air, no TV, no nothing. Just me and the baby. Watching the sky grow dark.

Well, this morning things are starting to look better. The AC finally kicked back on an hour ago, just in time for Mugga to watch Yo Gabba Gabba and for me not to shower in the dark.

So, right now I'm off to do something fun. We're hitting the mall. And some Popeye's Fried chicken. See ya.