Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sprinkles Cupcakes!

This was my second visit to Sprinkles.  The first time was a couple of years ago, when the cupcake craze was just starting up, and  Sprinkles is known to be the one bakery who started it. I must say the craze is still going on this location in Newport Beach the line was out the door and almost to the street!!!!! I probably waited 15 to 20 minutes to grab my three cupcakes, but it’s worth the wait to try it (for the second time).
They are not as large as famous cupcakes, but I must say, the cupcake to frosting ratio was well balanced.
The cupcake with the green and orange sprinkle was a seasonal pumpkin flavored one and the other two are red velvet.  The red velvet, is of course the most popular.  It had strong red velvet flavor with a hint of chocolate.  But, the downside was that it was a bit dry.  The pumpkin on the other hand, didn’t have enough pumpkin!  I admit, I can be kind of a pumpkin/nutmeg/anything pertaining to fall(y) spices snob. But it was just not enough.
Here in Los Angeles, Sprinkles is a great ‘stopper by’ bakery; if you’ve never tried it before, but I feel like it’s fame has gone to it’s head alittle.
Sprinkles Cupcakes
Corona del mar plaza,
944 Avocado Avenue
949. 760 0003

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quick Eats: Dragon Fruit or "Pitahaya fruit"

Here is the first of many "Quick Eats" which are small little posts of food I love.
Dragon Fruit has to be one of my favorite fruits!  It has the texture of kiwi and a subtle sweetness PLUS its PINK!  Depending on the color of the flesh (white and pink) the pinker; the sweeter!  They are usually available in Asian grocery stores, or specialty foods store.  I've also noticed that the longer you let it ripe the sweeter it gets.  If you ever come across a funny looking pink oval with green spikes while at the grocery store don't be a afraid get it a try it out!!

How to cut:  Slice the fruit from the top to the bottom, then cut the fruit into little slices (kind of like cutting a orange.)      

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quick Grilled Chicken Seasoned with Soy Sauce!

Here is a easy grilled chicken recipe that has turned into a staple in the household.  With this, there is no need to marinate, just season and enjoy!

When using soy sauce, it tends to give a very distinct flavor to any protein.  So using it as one of the main components to this grilled chicken, you will soon find yourself adding it to everything!
  • 2 garlic, sliced (depending on your taste, you can add more or remove the garlic)
  • 9 Chicken legs and thighs
  • Pepper or Everyday seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 of a large onion
  • A sliver of Ginger (optional)
Serves: 5
  1. Slice the garlic and chop the onion and ginger.  Grab your grill pan and sauté the vegetables until the onion gets transparent and the garlic gets brown.
  2. Meanwhile, place the chicken in a large bowl and add the pepper to taste.  Pour the soy sauce on the chicken and it should make the chicken slightly darker.
  3. Move the vegetables to one side of the grill pan and raise the heat between ‘medium/high.’  Raising the heat will make a brown crust on the chicken. Place the chicken on the grill pan and once the chicken gets brown and crusty on both sides it’s finished!!
  4. Tips: With large thighs, cutting the chicken in half ensures that it will cook all the way through.  Also, heating up the onion, garlic, and ginger, leaves flavor in the pan, and once you add the chicken it will pick up the flavor and infuse into the chicken making it extra tasty!  Soy sauce has the tendency to be salty if you add a lot, so you don’t really need to add regular salt to season the chicken.
  5. Serve over a bed of rice or vegetables and nom nom (eat & enjoy)!! :D

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Beef Stew with Roasted Red Peppers and Potatoes!!

Recently, I’ve been enjoying the agitating task creating new dishes for dinner and avoiding cooking chicken every night.  So at my family request, we finally settled on some beef stew.

  • 2.5 pounds of stew beef

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2.5 cups water

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 tablespoons of 21 seasoning or allspice

  • Button Mushrooms (any amount is fine, I put about 10 large mushrooms)

  • 4-5 Small Red Potatoes, Diced

  • 1 red pepper

  • 2 tablespoons of flour

  • Serves 4 Pan of Choice: A Deep Large Pot

    1. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of 21 seasoning on the cubed beef.  Add the oil to a large pot and brown all sides of the beef on high heat.  Place the beef on a plate and let it rest.
    2. In the same pot, add the water, chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper, sugar, and the rest of the 21 seasoning (or allspice). Stir well and place the meat back into the pot. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/5 hours.
    3. Meanwhile, place the red pepper using tongs on an open flame until it blackens and blisters.  Remove the pepper when it completely blackens and place it into a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap. Let it steam for 20 minutes and it will start to peel.  Remove all the skin and after the process is done, cut  the pepper into large strips.
    4. Dice the potatoes into even cubes and slice the mushrooms. 
    5. After 1 1/2 hrs, layer the potatoes then the mushrooms and the roasted red peppers.
    6. Lightly stir the ingredients and let it simmer for another 35-45 minutes.  Check the stew until the potatoes are fork tender. Grab 1/4 cup of the stew and add the flour. Stir until well combined and add it back to the stew.  Raise heat to high until it starts to boil and the stew begins to thicken 
    7. Place over a bed of rice or egg noodles and ENJOY!

    The stew was such a nice change to our normal meals.  I find, also seasoning the vegetables every time you add more to a dish really enhances the vegetables.  The roasted peppers gave the stew a bit of spiciness. Pulling from various recipes, I found the dish included traditional ingredients and nontraditional ingredients.  Overall, it came out to be a very comforting and perfect meal for a cold night!

    Monday, March 14, 2011

    EASY Garlic Herb Shrimp!!

    Seafood can be so pricey!  But a really great alternative is to get frozen seafood. However, the only thing that bothers me about frozen shrimp is the 'fishy' taste gives off. :/  So when I was experimenting with my Garlic & Herb Seasoning it totally got rid of that 'fishy' taste!! It was amazing because it made it taste like it was never frozen!!

    2 Pounds of Frozen Peeled Cooked Jumbo Shrimp
    1/4 cup of Garlic Herb Seasoning
    1/2 Medium Onion
    Salt and Pepper to taste
    1 tablespoon of oil

    Pan of choice - Wok
    Serves - 5

    In a large pan add the oil, and sauté the garlic and onion on medium heat until the onions are transparent.

    After the onions are done place the shrimp in pan. Season the defrosted Shrimp evenly with Salt and Pepper.  Add the Garlic Herb seasoning and stir well until it evenly coats the shrimp.  The shrimp should be only heated through since it is already cooked; try not to over cook it.

    yummery goodness!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Ranch Chicken!

    I was looking for a way to use up the bulk size ranch dressing and figured I should make some ranch chicken!

    8 pieces of skinless/boneless chicken
    1/4 cup of Ranch dressing
    1 egg 
    2 tablespoons of Garlic Herb Seasoning 
     Salt and Pepper to taste
    1/2 Medium Onion
    1 Garlic, Minced
    1 tablespoon of flour 
    2 tablespoons of Oil

    For the Fries:
    Medium sized Red Skin Potatoes
    Sprinkle of Garlic Herb Seasoning
    Salt (optional)
    Pan of choice:  Large 2 inch deep pan
    Serves:  5 

    Place raw chicken in a bowl and season with salt, pepper, flour and garlic herb seasoning.  Add 1/4 cup of the ranch dressing and the egg making sure the egg is scrambled.  Put the bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for 30 minutes to an hour.  Adding the egg will help the chicken develop a crust when you cook it.

    Marinated Chicken: 

    In a large pan add the oil, and sauté the garlic and onion on medium heat until the onions are transparent.  
    Place the marinated chicken on the pan until it gets a golden brown crust.

    Like this!

    Add some Fries buy slicing the red potatoes thinly and fry or bake them.  Sprinkle a bit of garlic herb seasoning to make them garlic fries!!

    Toast: Texas toast grilled on a grill pan

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    Simple Garlic Herb Chicken with Olives and Mushrooms

    This Garlic Herb Seasoning has become my ‘go to’ secret ingredient! Yum!
    I’ve been experimenting with different amounts of the seasoning and discovered that its also great on shrimp!  So I thought, why not put a lot of the seasoning on the chicken and see how it goes.  It turned out to be really amazing and simple as well!!

    9 Pieces of Legs and Thighs (I used half skinless and the other half with skin)
    1/8 cup of Garlic Herb Seasoning
    Salt & Pepper
    1/2 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
    8 oz of Mushrooms, sliced
    Black Pitted Olives, 1/2 a can, roughly chopped
    3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
    Pan of choice – large 2 inch deep pan.
    Serves: 5

    First, sauté the onion in the oil on medium heat until slightly transparent. Move the onions to the side of the pan.  Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Grab 1/8 of a cup (half of 1/4 cup) of the Garlic herb seasoning and evenly coat  the chicken. Like this!
    Cook the chicken all the way through until it gets golden brown on both sides. The chicken should be firm when you press it.  (You can also cut it a little at the middle to see if it’s cooked.)
    Stack the cooked chicken on the side of the pan (opposite side of the onions).  Place the mushrooms in the pan and stir it together with the onions until it gets slightly darker.  Finally, add the roughly cut olives at the end.  Plate with a side of Grilled Texas Toast!!  The garlic herb seasoning does wonders to the chicken!! It really gives it a different depth of flavor.  1/8 cup of the seasoning might seem too much, however, it gives it flavor much like if you were to marinate the chicken for hours.

    Once Upon a Time....

    Today starts the beginning of my adventure with exciting !!!!