Saturday, February 28, 2009

Food Porn

I found this awesome site that could possibily cheer you up more than pictures of kittens. It's called Food Porn Daily. My favorite hobbies include cooking and photography, so this site makes me "click, drool, repeat" as their slogan indicates. Just keep clicking and more pictures will appear. Here are some examples:

No longer will lolcats satisfy me when I'm sad.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Who doesn't love a big juicy steak? Personally I don't like steak cooked elaborately. Salt and pepper is enough if the meat is of high quality (note: expensive). With beef, you usually get what you pay for.

This site has a great chart for steak cooking times, something that takes practice to perfect. The worst thing you can do is cut a piece of steak to test if it's cooked to your tastes. All the juices and flavor will flow out never to be seen again. Also, tent the steak with foil after cooking for 5 minutes or so to let the juices settle (or something of that sort). There's nothing better than a well cooked high quality steak. Just looking at this makes one drool.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Breaded Pork Chops

I made a quick meal when I got home from a midterm tonight and I forgot to take a picture. Just imagine a juicy piece of pork chop after I tell you how to make it. This took me less than 5 minutes to prepare and about 12 minutes to cook depending on how big your pan is.

  • Parmesan cheese grated
  • Egg scrambled
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pork Chops

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Prepare three plates with the cheese, egg, and bread crumbs on separate plates. Put the pork in the cheese until coated, put it in the egg batter, then coat it with the bread crumbs. Cook the pork chops for 5 minutes or so on each side. Done! Told you it was easy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Pototo Salad

I went home for reading week and my mom made this yummy rosemary potato salad. I don't know the exact proportions of the ingredients, but it was made from:
  • Potatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Canned corn
  • Miracle Whip
Just chop the potatoes into cubes, drain the corn, then mix with rosemary and the Miracle Whip. It's easy to make and it's delicious. I'll talk about the steak some other time.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cooking by the Book

I know this is extremely random, but this song really gets stuck in your head. Oh yeah... and this remix is just hilarious.

*CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE* (Am I even allowed to post this? Oh well)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes is one of the easiest and tastiest side dishes to make for many meals. I'm often surprised at people when they state they don't know how to make it (honestly, the name basically says it all). There's no perfect way to make mashed potatoes, since everyone's preference is different. Do you like it lumpy or smooth? Plain or garlic flavored? There are countless ways to add flavor to mashed potatoes.

Personally, I like mine smooth and buttery. I like to add butter, cream, and cream cheese to my extremely mashed potatoes. I also like to leave the skin on (I'm not sure why, but it tastes better to me). The amount of each ingredient is up to you! Just remember, you can always add more, not less, so keep taking "test" bites while you're cooking.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Other Herbs and Spices You Want in Your Kitchen

I listed five essential herbs and spices a few posts back, and I realized there are plenty of other herbs and spices that I missed. The lesson is: buy a spice rack so you'll never have to worry about missing ingredients. I'll continue to list more as I remember them/have time to recite them all.

It's embarrassing to say I don't know much about cooking with ginger. As a person of Chinese descent, I should be knowledgeable about its uses since it's used in Asian cuisine constantly. What I can say is that ginger has a very unique and spicy flavor, it packs a bite. If used properly, it is an amazing supplement to a dish.


Cumin is one of the spices I use a little too much. It's hard to describe it's flavor, but it's great for marinating, chilis, sauces, and random seasoning (I like its taste). Cumin and other spices with lemon or lime juice makes a great marinate for pork, chicken, and lamb. I'll cover marinates in greater detail at a later time. It's one of the more versatile spices, so make sure you have some in your kitchen.

Personally, I don't use cinnamon a lot in my cooking as it's usually used for baking and desserts. I can think of countless culinary delights that uses it and the flavor is fantastic. Cinnamon is commonly used in cakes, cookies, and desserts (especially with apples, pears, and similar fruits). It can apparently be used for savory dishes, something I have yet to try.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top 50 Food Blogs

Times Online recently posted this piece on 50 of the world's best food blogs.

Maybe posting about my competition isn't the best idea... but these blogs not only provide recipes, tips, and commentary, but they can be a source of inspiration for us amateur cooks out there. I've only looked through the first five or so, so it'll be a while before I'm through the list.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Caprese Salad (Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil)

This is a delicious salad that you can make with minimal preparation with ingredients that's usually laying around the kitchen.

  • Chopped basil
  • Sliced mozzarella
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Just mix the ingredients and you're done! The amount of oil and vinegar you put is up to you (go lightly on the balsamic if you've never tried it, it's really strong). Cubing the tomatoes and mozzarella and eating with a spoon would be easier than how I prepared it though.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Recipe Ideas

Have you ever looked inside your refrigerator and wondered, "How am I supposed to make something with all these random ingredients?" I just found this wonderful site, Recipe Matcher, that can solve this once and for all. You just have to type in your ingredients and they will find you a recipe that works. There is also the option to select a type of cuisine or pick your preferred main ingredient. This will take out the headache while deciding what to make with seemingly random items.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

5 Herbs and Spices You Want in Your Kitchen

Basil is
usually chopped (to enhance the flavor) and put in tomato sauce, pesto, salads, oils, and many more. My favorite is a simple salad made from mozzarella, basil, tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Basil has a strong taste and can overpower foods with delicate flavors. But it is extremely versatile and can be used in a huge variety of dishes.

Paprika is a kind of dried sweet red pepper and usually has a mild taste. The most common uses for it are as a garnish for eggs, chicken, fish, rice, and other savory dishes. I often use it to brown chicken and oven roasted dishes.

Thyme is often dried then chopped for later use. It has a slight minty flavor and is commonly used in sauces, soup, lamb, pork, roasts, or anything that mint compliments (which is a lot). Unless you're adverse to the taste of mint, you can't go wrong using thyme.

Garlic Powder
It almost feels like cheating putting garlic powder on this list. Simply put, I put garlic powder in every single dish. I love garlic, so I put it in every western dish I make. Usually it's better to put fresh garlic, but garlic powder is a decent alternative.

Like basil, rosemary is very strong and will overpower other flavors in a dish. It has a pine-like flavor and should be crushed before using (to enhance the flavor). Put it on lamb, pork, or chicken. Melting butter with rosemary is a simple delicious sauce for potatoes and vegetables.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dory Fish and Shrimp

My mom gave me a couple frozen dory fish fillets the last time she visited. The name reminds me of Dory from Finding Nemo... so I was hesitant to try it (it was really good though).


  • 2 Dory fillets
  • 6 large shrimp
  • All-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cucumber
  • Handful of Spinach
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce

Cover fish and shrimp in flour on both sides and cook with olive on over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper and put on a plate. Garnish the fish with spinach and cucumbers then add soy sauce, lemon juice, and tomato sauce (however much you want). Heat the butter over medium heat with parsley and pour over the fish and shrimp.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I found this site while stumbling (What have you done to me Stumbleupon?!?!). Turns out bananas do more than look funky and taste delicious. They have superpowers (almost).

According to the site, bananas can:
o Reducing Depression
o Reduce PMS
o Help Anemia
o Reduce Blood Pressure
o Increase Brain Power
o Fix Constipation
o Cure Hangovers
o Cure Heartburn
o Cure Morning Sickness
o Mosquito Bite Remedy
o Calm Nerves
o Prevent Ulcers
o Help Internal Temperature Control
o Fix Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
o Helps to Quit Smoking
o Stress Relief
o Lower Stroke Risk
o Wart Removal
o Splinter Removal

So maybe a banana a day keeps the doctor away?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Avocado Omelet

I had a post about avocados a while back and I promised to post some recipes. Here it is!
I'm sorry I don't have a picture right now... I was too busy cooking it/eating it (I was really hungry!) to take a picture. I still have an avocado in the fridge, so I may make one tomorrow and post the picture =)

An avocado omelet may sound weird (it did to me too), but it tastes delicious! Here's a picture of one (it looks really close to the one I made, but I didn't stuff it with so many tomatoes and avocados).

  • 3 Eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tomato, diced
  • Avocado, sliced or cubed
  • Onions, diced
  • Cheese (Any type you prefer on an omelet; cheddar and mozzarella are the staple ones)
  • Butter (or any oil you prefer your eggs cooked in)

Beat the eggs and season with some salt and pepper. Heat the butter and cook the onions until clear (5 minutes or so). Add the eggs and cook until the bottom side is done, then flip it (do I really have to teach you how to cook eggs?). Add the tomatoes, avocado, and cheese. Fold the egg in half and heat until cheese is melted. Put it on a plate and make it look pretty. Done!

For directions I wanted to put "make an omelet with the ingredients", but I chose not to =)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 6 sun-dried diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese
  • 4 (4-ounce) pork chops
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 a lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Warm olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic then add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme. Put it into a bowl and stir in the goat cheese and cream cheese.

Cut a pocket into the pock chop and stuff with the mixture. Season the pork with salt and pepper.

Cook the pork with the olive oil until golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). Tent the pork for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken broth and reduce. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and mustard and serve with the pork.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Freezing Stuff: Herbs

Herbs are great to freeze because since they are seasonal, it's cheap to stock up and freeze for later use. Any herb can be frozen (from my experience), but they will lose their color and form; so you should not use it for garnish. If frozen fresh, they'll keep their flavor for a very long time (this site says leaves will keep for a year).

There are two simple ways to freeze herbs. The first way is to:
  • Clean and pat dry
  • Spread it evenly on a sheet and freeze
  • Put it in a container or zip-lock bag for easy storage
The second way is:
  • Clean herb
  • Chop or leave it whole
  • Put it in an ice tray with water and freeze

Personally, I freeze my herbs using the 2nd method (it's fun using cubes of herbs). When you need to use the herb, you can throw it in frozen. Try it the next time you see fresh herbs on sale! It's an extremely convenient way to get fresh herbs for your recipes without growing them yourself.