Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken

This has always been one of my favorite dishes, but I hated using the pre-made marinades or sauces because they always came out too salty. I had to work on this recipe for quite some time before I was happy with it.


1 c. soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pepper
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cold water
20 oz. pineapple chunks, drained and juice reserved
2 tsp oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
3 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into strips
1 broccoli crown, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls were the first time I ever tried to make a breakfast pastry from scratch and I learned a lot! The dough was surprisingly flaky and delicious.

Next time I will make a change:
  • Make 1/2 the amount of dough. This will make the pumpkin & cinnamon to dough ratio higher. If you like your cinnamon rolls more doughy, leave the proportions the same but split the dough in half and use two 9x13 baking dishes. This will make the glaze easier to drizzle, since the dough needs room to rise. 

Ingredients (split these in half for less doughy, more pumpkiny rolls):
2 (0.25 oz) packages Rapid Rise Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups warm water (approximately 110 degrees, I just used hot tap water)
1 tbsp salt
6 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree

2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp milk

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pineapple Dream Dessert

This is a dessert to make for potluck or event, because it is best to eat it on the first day, it doesn't keep well and the crust gets soggy. On the first day you make it, the pretzel crust is buttery and crisp. The saltiness of the crust is a great counterpart to the sweet & tart pineapple. Some people told me they wished the crust was a bit thicker, next time I make this I'll probably do 3 cups of pretzels and 1 1/2 sticks of butter and bake it for a few minutes longer.

2 cups crushed pretzels
1 stick butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
8 oz. Cool Whip, thawed
2-20 oz cans of crushed pineapple
1 package banana pudding mix

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Autumn Pot Roast

Ever since I got my crock pot I've really wanted to make a pot roast! I wanted to make one with some seasonal veggies, so I read a bunch of different recipes and came up with this. Originally I wanted to use red potatoes also, but I ended up having too many veggies. Next time instead of 2 sweet potatoes, I'll probably just add one and substitute couple small red potatoes.

2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
3 lbs. beef chuck, fat trimmed
2 tbsp oil
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cut into long pieces
1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb. green beans, ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
28 oz. beef broth (I used a 32 oz. container and ended up with a lot of gravy, you can use a lot less depending on how much gravy you want)
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp cold water

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Lemon-Herb Roast Chicken with Potatoes

This is an easy one, with simple flavors, but is simply delicious! I served it with a side salad. Chop veggies, put in a baking/roasting dish, and bake, about 90 minutes later, dinner is served! For the wine, pick a dry white wine like a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. Pick one that you like drinking, because you can use the rest to eat with the meal!

2 lbs. chicken thighs or legs
2 lemons, cut into wedges, seeds removed
2 lbs red potatoes, cut into pieces
10 cloves garlic, smashed and cut in half
1 onion, sliced very thinly
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
3 sprigs of rosemary, broken into 1-inch pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Tacos Al Pastor is my favorite Mexican dish, but seeing as how you can't really have a huge roasting spit in your home, it can be hard to duplicate. The recipe I have come up with is more like shredded pork with the flavors of al pastor  - kind of a cross between carnitas and al pastor - made in my new crock pot courtesy of my awesome brother!

This recipe is also versatile. You can:
  • Make the sauce and slice roast into smaller pieces and marinate overnight, then barbecue on a grill, or
  • Marinate overnight and bake the whole roast in an oven at 350 for about 3 hours, or until the internal temperature is 176 degrees, or
  • Make in a crock pot, directions below.


5 guajillo chilis
2 ancho chilis
2 - 20 oz cans pineapple chunks in juice (not heavy syrup!)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. annatto powder (achiote powder)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
3 lb. boneless pork loin roast
1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
1 lime
1 pkg tortillas
salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, shredded cheese for garnish

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mushroom Corn Chowder

This soup warmed us up on this chilly evening! I have made this soup vegetarian before by substituting chicken broth with vegetable or mushroom broth. Delicious!

4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cartons (8 cups) chicken broth
1/4 oz. fresh dill
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 bay leaves
3 lbs. red potatoes, cut into cubes
1 1/2 lbs. mushrooms, sliced (I used crimini and shitake)
1 c. half and half
6 oz greek yogurt
1 lb frozen corn

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Shrimp Farfalle with Basil-Walnut Pesto

I expected this to come out better, but since Hurricane Sandy is coming through soon, the store was completely out of fresh shrimp so I had to use frozen. Ahh well, my guinea pigs (aka friends who I force to eat my experimental recipes) all loved it.

I usually use pine nuts for my pesto, but walnuts are much cheaper, and taste great too. I think next time I will toast the walnuts first.

2 oz. fresh basil leaves, plucked from stems
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. walnuts, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c. grated parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 head broccoli
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
16 oz. farfalle pasta, cooked and drained

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vodka Bolognese Lasagna

Sometimes I like to make the sauce from scratch but sometimes I just don't have time. If you use a quality jarred sauce and diced or crushed tomatoes, it will still be delicious. So here is my easy version of lasagna.

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb ground beef
1 oz. fresh basil, chopped
14.5 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
1/2 tsp dried oregano
24 oz. bottle of vodka pasta sauce (I used Via Roma)
1 lb mozzarella, shredded
2 lb ricotta
8 oz oven ready lasagna
non-stick spray (PAM or other brand)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Maple Pecan Cookies

These cookies are SERIOUSLY ADDICTING and super easy!

1 1/2 c. pecans, chopped
2 c. butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp maple flavor (found in baking aisle with vanilla extract)
2 eggs
4 c. flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp maple flavor

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Maple Glazed Salmon

Kevin and I picked up a bottle of good ole Vermont maple syrup when we were visiting some of his friends there, and whenever I have a good quality maple syrup I feel inclined to make this incredibly simple but tasty dish, which is one of my favorite meals to make because it is just so darn good and takes barely any prep at all.

1/2 c. maple syrup
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 lbs. salmon filets

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

This is my own personal chicken enchilada recipe, so I realize it is not very authentic. Also I made way too much filling, so the pictures will show twice as much filling ingredients as the directions will call for below. I ended up saving my extra filling for burritos. It freezes well and will make a whole other dinner for another night. So if you want extra filling, use 4 chicken breasts, 1 cup frozen corn, 2 cloves of garlic and 2 cans of green chilis.

Also, I prefer to use corn tortillas but they were out at my local grocery store, so I had to settle for flour.


2 tbsp oil
2 chicken breasts
dash garlic powder
dash cumin
salt and pepper
1 8 oz can green chilis
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, diced
2 cans enchilada sauce
1 pkg tortillas
12 oz. shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
sour cream, guacamole, salsa, Sriacha, cilantro to garnish

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Roast Truffled Potatoes

This is a great side dish for my Balsamic Marinated Steak recipe! 

1 lb. small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch wedges
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tsp truffle oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Balsamic Marinated Steak with Gorgonzola-Herb Butter

I made this dinner for Labor Day weekend because the weather was crappy and there wasn't very much in the way of BBQs going on. The blue cheese and balsamic flavors go so well together! This meal is fairly easy but you need to plan ahead because the steak will marinate overnight. You can really use any kind of steak for this recipe, I used a London Broil. Also, the roasted truffle potato recipe goes really well with this dish.

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp pepper
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. olive oil
2 lb. steak
6 tbsp butter, softened
2 oz. gorgonzola, crumbled
1 tbsp. green onions, chopped
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Breakfast Burritos

Some mornings I get up and I absolutely don't feel like prepping, making, and cleaning up after breakfast. This is my go-to for mornings like this, because there is virtually no prep and the clean up is super easy.  Breakfast is done in about 15 minutes.


2 tbsp oil
1/2 bag of Ore-Ida Potatoes O'Brien
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans (I left this out)
1/8 tsp. cumin
1/8 tsp. chili powder
4 eggs
1 jar salsa
1 (4 oz) can of green chilis
1 package tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used the Mexican blend, but cheddar or something similar would work)
sour cream, Sriacha, guacamole, and/ or cilantro to garnish

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pear Almond Bundt Cake

When I was a little kid, I used to have an apple tree in my backyard that was always loaded with apples in the late summer/fall.  I used to make all kinds of things to use the apples, and I changed this apple cake recipe so many times to improve on it.  This the first time I ever made variations on a recipe and made it my own.  

It happened by accident, but one batch of apples I picked one year happened to be pretty tart, so I put half of the sugar in with the apples and let them soak until it was time to add them.  What I discovered was that the sugar drew out a lot of the juices from the apples and made the cake super moist.  A few years ago I tried it with pears instead of apples, and almonds instead of walnuts.  Both was are delicious!


3 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp. almond extract
3 oz. slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Filipino Chicken Stew (Chicken Adobo)

This was a staple dish during my childhood, probably because my parents were so hardworking and this dish is easy to prepare and only requires one pot to cook it. Now when I make it, I make a big batch and eat it for leftovers over a week. The pic above was from a different time that I made it, since I forgot to take a final picture this time around... 

I have been recently told by my mother, after several Pinoys out there denied this recipe's authenticity, that this version is Batangueno style (from the great province of Batangas where my mom was raised).


2 lb. chicken, traditionally thighs and drumsticks
2 tbsp. oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cloves garlic
2 cups water
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar 
6 tbsp soy sauce 
2 bay leaves 
salt & pepper to taste 

Not pictured due to my poor planning: bay leaves, salt & pepper. I also usually use fresh garlic but I didn't have any, so I used some jarred minced garlic.

Heat oil in a pot, add chicken and brown on both sides. I typically use drumsticks and thighs, but I did not have any thighs in my freezer. I do recommend using both thighs and drumsticks for a nice variety.

Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized. 

Add water, vinegar, and soy sauce.

Add potatoes.

Season with salt and pepper and add bay leaves.

Stir and stew for 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Serve over sticky rice

I eat mine in a bowl and soak up the sauce in the rice. The chicken should fall right off the bone. Yum! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Easy Chicken Pot Pie

Here is my super easy chicken pot pie recipe!  
You can also make it more healthy by using low sodium broth.  I also would love to learn how to make my own crust, because as you can see below, the store bought ones tend to crumble and make the presentation not so pretty.  But it tastes good!

Excuse the quality of the pictures, I used my phone camera for these because I couldn't find my good camera.  :( I found it now, so the future blog entries should look better, I promise.

1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium potato, diced
1 lb chicken thighs, cut into chunks
3 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup flour
1-3/4 cup chicken broth (not pictured)
2/3 cup milk (also not pictured. Oops!)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp dried thyme
2 frozen deep dish pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Boil peas, carrots, corn, potato and chicken for 15 minutes in a covered saucepan.  Drain and set aside.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Peach Cobbler

It's summer time, and for me that means the best seasonal fruits of the year.  Every year I look forward to peaches coming into season just so I can make this Peach Cobbler recipe I found on, although as usual I made a lot of changes, mainly adding A LOT more peaches to the recipe.  Also, I learned a trick to peeling the peaches, which in previous years took the longest time to do.

I was so happy when I found this recipe because my in previous attempts at Peach Cobbler, something about the crust is always off -- too sweet, too chewy, etc.  This recipe makes the perfect fluffy and sweet crust.  

6 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
3 tbsp. butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9"x13" baking dish (a good trick for this is to use the wrapper of the butter you are using in the recipe).  I used a smaller 8"x11" pan and my cobbler overflowed a little bit, so I will make sure to use a 9"x13" next time.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Balsamic Chicken with Peppers

As promised, I am posting a healthier recipe.  This also happens to be a super quick and easy recipe that I whip up when I am tired and don't have very many ingredients to work with.  You could add other fresh veggies that you like, but I tend to make mine very simple. 

olive oil
6 chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2-3 thinly sliced bell peppers, any colors 
1 medium onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried basil (or one bunch fresh basil)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spicy Mac with Chicken and Broccoli

I love a good macaroni and cheese, especially when it's homemade. I love mac & cheese because you can change up the types of cheeses, the veggies you add in, and the type of pasta. I realize my first posts haven't been exactly the most healthy ones; I promise to provide some good healthy recipes in this blog as well... but as for now, bring on the cheesy. Also, I should note that I am a bit of a spice wuss. I suggest if you like spiciness, you add a chopped jalapeno or serrano, or an 8 oz can of green chilis for an extra kick.

Ingredients you will need:

1 lb. cavatelli pasta, cooked as directed on the box
8 oz extra sharp cheddar, shredded
8 oz pepperjack, shredded
salt & pepper
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp butter
3 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 broccoli crown
2 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch strips

Let's start by getting the broccoli & chicken part cooked. I also boiled the pasta while getting this part done. The cheese sauce requires the most attention, so you don't want to be working on other parts of the recipe while making the cheese sauce.

So first, heat up a large skillet pan with oil, add garlic. Saute for one minute, then add onion, and cook until translucent.

Add chicken. I used chicken thigh meat because it was on sale, but if you prefer white meat, you can use that too. I actually love dark meat and its rich flavor. Cook on medium-high heat until browned, about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the broccoli on top, cover immediately. You do not need to stir, the steam from the chicken and onions should cook the broccoli to the proper tenderness.

Cook until broccoli is bright green and slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, but keep cover on to retain heat.

Now on to that cheese sauce. Start by warming a saucepan on medium heat. Add butter but watch carefully so the butter does not burn. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 2 minutes.

Slowly add the milk very gradually, whisking constantly.

Simmer and let thicken, whisking frequently, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately add cheeses, salt & pepper, and garlic powder. Stir until incorporated.

In the pasta pot, add chicken and broccoli mixture to the pasta.

Pour cheese sauce on top, and mix all together.

Serve immediately!


add a can of green chilis to cheese sauce to make it spicier

sub white meat for thigh meat

sub peas for broccoli

sub macaroni pasta or penne for cavatelli

sub fontina for pepperjack, or any other good melting cheese