Saturday, April 23, 2011

Breakfast Time: Eggplant Torta!!

This dish has to be one of my favorite dishes, I'm always pushing my dad to cook this for me!  Then he FINALLY taught me how to make it!  It's a traditional healthy eggplant dish for breakfast, it's very much like an omelette using scrambled eggs.  


4 Medium Eggplants
8 Eggs
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Pan of choice: Wok
Serves: 4


1.  Wash the eggplant and roast the eggplant over a stove or put the eggplant in the broiler, till it looks like this photo!   I just used the stove technique.

It might look funny but after this is done hold the stem of the eggplant and use tongs to peel away the top layer

2.  After, scramble two eggs and add it to the bowl and the eggplant, salt and pepper to taste. Using a fork, smash the eggplant into the egg.

I like to use a semi-shallow bowl, because when you put the eggplant in the pan you can just slide it in and it keeps its shape.

3.  Add a large bit of oil to the pan and slide the egg and eggplant in the pan.

4.  Flip the torta around and brown the otherside.

And there you have it!! Repeat the steps for more.. believe me it's addicting.  I definitely recommend adding a bit of ketchup!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Saca’s Mediterranean: Falafel’s Falafel’s Falafel’s!

Saca’s is in the charming little downtown area in Claremont.  Small and quaint but very modern at the same time.  I’ve made several stops there last year and fell in love with the falafel’s.  But I finally determined that saca’s are the best by far with falafel’s.  I believe it’s family owed since 1992 and you can always see the “mom and pop” there always helping out.
However, dessert first!
The Baklava was good. Definitely buttery (but what is Baklava without the buttery-ness). The Filo dough was melt in your mouth and the filling of Walnut/Pistachios was in a perfect ratio. It’s a must try if you want a very rich dessert and only $1.29!
This is the Falafel Platter
Falafel definition directly quoted from the menu: “Saca’s Original Family Recipe.  Our famous Falafel are made fresh daily from Garbanzo Beans, Parsley, and Seasoned with a Secret Blend of Mediterranean Herbs and Spices.
About $7, but it’s more than enough for one person.  It comes with 6 falafel’s, hummus, pita bread, sesame sauce, and pickled turnips (the pink things!).
Look at the color! How do they make it so green!!
It has really great texture and it’s surprisingly not at all greasy.  It’s not stale or too hard.  It’s really filling too.  When I compare it to other falael’s, the others are always bland with no distinctive flavor.  But the falafel’s here have different components that are very distinctive.
Saca’s also serves shawerma chicken, beef, and lamb which is just vertically flame skewered.
248 w. second street
claremont, CA, 91711

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cupcake Pops!!! ::Dessert Adventures w/ErikasJewels!::

Lately the greatest invention in the baking world has been these cake pops!  Of course 100% of the credit goes to baking genius Bakerella at  The pops are 'popping' up everywhere! Many coffee shops are including them in there food section, and I was surprised to see them at Starbucks!  My sister and I decided to make these amazing cute cupcake shaped ones!!

Here is the recipe adapted from Bakerella using redvelevet cake and mini chocolate chips.

Cake Ingredients:
1 box red velvet cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake) & 1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.) 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
Cake Pop ingredients:
Pink Candy Melts
Chocolate/Brown Candy Melts
Lollipop Sticks
Rainbow Sprinkles
Wax paper or plastic wrap (for easy clean up!!) 

Bite!!Yummery Goodness.

1.  First you bake the cake as directed.  After the cake is baked, cool the cake down and crumble the cake in a large bowl then mix in a 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips.
2.  Add 3/4 of the frosting and mix well.  If the mixture is not 'bunching up' from the frosting you can add a bit more.

3.  Roll the mixture into large ball, about the size of a mini cupcake.  We didn't have a cookie cutter to shape the bottom of the cake so we just shaped the ball into a 'cupcake' like shape.  Then we placed the cake in the refrigerator for two hours to harden.

4. After the cake has harden, then dip the smaller side of the cake into the melted chocolate melts.  After you dip the chocolate half way then insert the lollipop stick. It might help to dip the tip of lollipop stick first then insert it for maximum security!!

5.  After the chocolate has hardened, melt the pink candy melts and dip the other end of the cake so it covers the rest of the cake.

6.  Quickly place an M&M in the middle and sprinkle on the sprinkles!!  Insert the lollipop stick into a styrofoam block so the cake pop can air dry. 

Wrap in candy plastic to make it look AMAZING!!


AMAZING Beef Dish recipe using KETCHUP!!

Our father has made this dish for awhile now, it's kind of a special dish whenever we have some beef to cook.  It's a 'stew' like dish and uses only ketchup!!  Cooking with ketchup is super easy because all you do is simmer it down until it tenderizes the meat and the ketchup combo makes the stew extremely savory!  For this recipe you can use any kind of beef, but it's usually made with short ribs.        


1.5 lbs of Beef Short Ribs/ OR Beef Stew Meat (for this recipe I used Beef Stew but it's a lot easier with Short Ribs.
1/2 Medium Onion
1 Garlic
Salt and Pepper
Large Bottle of Ketchup (44oz bottle), You will use 3/4 of the bottle of ketchup.
2 tablespoons of oil

Pan of Choice: Wok
Serves: 4-5 people

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

2. Add a little salt and pepper to taste and add the beef to the pan and create a light sear (till it gets brown).  If you are using short ribs make sure to do both sides, if your using beef stew, browning just two sides of the cube is fine.  

3.  Add the ketchup to the pan until it covers most of the beef. Lower the heat to medium/low heat and simmer the beef and ketchup. 

4.  The ketchup will start to get dark red and evaporate slightly.  Once the ketchup tastes less sweet and more savory then its about done!!



The Forgotten Onion!! ::tear:: :D