Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mango Mochi

I love love love this Japanese creation. Often found as a popular dessert in Japanese sushi restaurants you can also pick Mochi up in the freezer section of Trader Joe's. Available in strawberry, chocolate, mango and green tea; its the perfect treat.

More specifically Mochi is a very fine, exquisitely grained, chewy rice cake dough. Mikawaya's Mochi Ice Cream is more exactly a soft middle of impeccably, delicious ice cream nestled inside the best mochi this side of Japan. So if you're thinking, East meets West in the best of possible ways and that sort of thingÂ…well, you're exactly right!

Tip: Mochi sliced in half and served with toothpicks is a fabulous party treat.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Savory-Sweet Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken

So, recently I went to Trader Joe's for some "Mochi," a Japanese ice cream dessert which I will blog about later, but lucky me I also discovered a new sauce to spice up dinner a.k.a. "Soy Vay-Veri Veri Teriyaki." So versatile and delicious you can use this sauce as the cure all for any fish/meat/tofu dish needing an extra kick. Just pour over a mixture of your favorite vegetables and meat and let "Soy Vay" do the rest of the work. Although, we haven't got to the sweet part of this recipe...enter pineapple. This exotic fruit is the perfect compliment. Who knew this underestimated fruit in the canned food isle could have such an impact. You'll just have to try this recipe to understand what I mean. All of this over a bed of jasmine or brown rice makes for fun and healthful meal.

Savory-Sweet Teriyaki Pineapple Chicken


4 Skinless/Boneless Chicken Tenders
1 Green Bell Pepper (Sliced)
1 Carrot (Diced)
1/2 Large Onion (Diced)
I Can Chunk Pineapple
1/2 Bottle of Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki
Garnish: Chopped Parsley
Chopstick optional

Bake at 400F for 30 minutes

Sunday, February 12, 2006

"Blood Orange" Chocolate Cake

This recipe creates fireworks. Literally, the intense color of this fabulous fruit gives any recipe a "splash" of vibrant fushia and unique flavor. Make sure to wear an apron for this one folks. Start by baking any type of chocolate cake in a bundt style pan and set aside. The "Blood Orange" Sauce will take the cake so no frosting necessary.

Blood Orange Simple Syrup Sauce

1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Water
Juice of 2 Blood Oranges

Combine all ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stirring occasionally boil down to sauce reaches a thicker consistency. Then drizzle over a slice of chocolate cake. Can be stored in refrigerator if using at a later time.

A little background:

How They Get Their Color
Blood oranges contain a pigment called anthocyanin which is not typically found in citrus but rather more common in other red fruits and flowers. Not only is the inside of the orange darkly pigmented but depending on the variety the outside may also have dark washes of red.

Blood oranges are great for juicing and using as you would common orange juice. The dark red color of the juice makes it a good cocktail ingredient. Use fresh blood orange segments in salads, sauces, sorbets, granitas and compotes. Spanish blood oranges are used in special English marmalades.

Where To Buy
Check your local grocery store or farmer's market for fresh fruits from December through May. Texas Crop - December to March and California Crop - November to May.

P.S. Many "thank-you's" to my dear mom for introducing me to this fabulous fruit. I am reminded of you everytime

Another way to use this fruit is the:

Blood Orange Margarita
i n g r e d i e n t s
1 cup fresh-squeezed blood orange juice
3 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 ounces premium tequila
7 ounces triple sec
1 Blood orange, sliced for garnish.

h o w t o m i x
Make a blood orange simple syrup by combining the sugar and blood orange juice in a small sauce pan; simmer over low heat until thick and syrupy. Allow to cool.

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. To prepare a drink, pour 6 ounces into a shaker filled with ice. Pour into margarita glass, garnish with a blood orange slice.

Serving glass: Margarita glass

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Acclaimed as one of the world's great cheeses, Brie is characterized by an edible, downy white rind and a cream-colored, buttery-soft interior that should "ooze" when at the peak of ripeness. Though several countries (including the United States) make this popular cheese, Brie from France is considered the best and French Brie de Meaux dates back to the 8th century.

So what happens when you take something that is already delicious and add some sweetness. Well, I'm referring to my aunt Barbara's favorite appetizer which simply takes Brie cheese and adds a layer of sweet dried cranberries. Next, pop this combination into an oven-safe dish at 375 for 15-20 minutes. This step is a must to bring out all the aromas and flavors. It's "Brielicous." Serve warm with a tray of crackers and/or pita chips.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy New Year

While most cultures around the world celebrate New Year's as a time of renewal, for the Chinese, New Year means that and much more. It is a time to gather with family, honor ancestors and celebrate with a big banquet of food that symbolizes prosperity in the New Year.

There is an interesting legend surrounding the origin of Chinese New Year. In ancient times, people were tormented by a beast called a Nian. The Nian had a very large mouth, which it used to swallow many people with a single bite. Finally, an old man found a way to trick the beast into disappearing. People celebrate this event at Chinese New Year. In fact, Nian means "year" in modern Chinese, and people often say Guo Nian, meaning "celebrate New Year," while the literal translation is "survive the Nian." The custom of setting off fire-crackers and decorating the home with red paper also has its origins in the myth of the man-eating beast. The loud noises and bright colors are designed to make sure Nian is too scared to ever return. I rung in this 2006 New Year season with a friend who introduced me to a whole new world traditions and food knowledge.

Chinese New Year Food Symbolism
• Black moss seaweed - wealth
• Dried Bean Curd - happiness
• Chicken - happiness and marriage
• Eggs - fertility
• Egg Rolls - wealth
• Fish served whole - prosperity
• Lychee nuts - close family ties
• Noodles - A long life
• Oranges - wealth
• Peanuts - a long life
• Pomelo - abundance, prosperity, having children
• Seeds - lotus seeds, watermelon seeds, etc. - having a large number of children
• Tangerines - luck

May this New Year bring you much happiness and peace.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mini Apple-Spice Bake

A little bit of this...a little bit of that and wa la this mini apple-spice bake is the easiest home-cooked dessert without the fuss. This crustless apple bake is one of my favorite treats to make for a cozy movie night or dinner party because it's as simple to make six apples as it is one. Not to forget this dessert is halfway healthy with the fruit, oatmeal, and raisins. Of course the brown sugar, cinnamon and caramel topping balance it out. It will vanish before your eyes.

Mini Apple-Spice Bake

4 Fuji Apples
1/2 Cup Oatmeal (uncooked)
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Butter (Softened)
10 Caramels
1 Handful Raisins

Optional: Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to create that perfect hot/cold combination.

Core apples and stuff with mixture of oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. After removing from oven, top with a generous sprinkle of raisins, more brown sugar and melted caramel.

*This recipe is guaranteed to impress your grandmother.