Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ground Beef Curry with Raisins

Last night, I made "ground Beef Curry with raisins". I had this kind of curry when I was little back in Japan. I remember that they had raisins in it. I know that there is Keema curry in india but I think they normally make it with ground Lamb. I made this with ground beef so I call it ground beef curry with raisins. 

Again, I made it really spicy. I did not mean to. But I just start adding curry power, chili powder, cumin, garam masala, turmeric and so on. When I realized, it was already really spicy. 
BUT the raisin helped a lot to ease the hotness of the dish. I think it was a great balance between spicy and sweet. I normally don't like fruits in salty food but this was a success. 

Plus, I put tons of vegetables in it but it all invisible at the end. I put carrots, onions, garlic, ginger, leeks, etc. I believe this is a great dish to sneak some vegetables if your kids don't like certain vegetables. 

It was really nice out last night so we ate this outside. I don't know why but eating food outside makes it taste better, don't you think? I love eating outside. I love summer. 

For the rice, I wanted to make lemon rice which my indian friend taught me long time ago. I kind of remember how to make it so I decided to make it without looking at her recipe. I added mastered seeds, cumin seeds, lemon and turmeric to the rice and sautéed in a pan. I accidentally add too much turmeric so the color is scary. It was supposed to be light lemon color. Oh well. 

After dinner, around our mouth and tongue were all yellow. It is amazing how colorful those natural spices are!!! 

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Monday, June 29, 2009

Bacon and Egg Pasta (Schinken Noodle)

I had so much sun during the day yesterday so I was a bit tired at night. My husband offered to cook for us and this is what he made. This is a pasta dish we make quite often because it is very simply, easy to make, you need only a few ingredients and it always taste good. 

I learned this dish from my husband. It is just with bacon and egg. I heard that they call this "Schinken Noodle" in Germany. Anyhow, when you don't have time or don't have energy to cook complicated meal, I recommend to try this one. 

Here is the recipe. (My husband's recipe)

For 2 people

Rotini Pasta   about 250g
Bacon             5 slices (cut into pieces)
Egg                 2
Salt                little bit
Black pepper   little bit

1. First, boil pasta until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, fry bacon in a frying pan until crispy. 
3. Add boiled pasta to the frying pan. 
4. Crack eggs in a small bowl and mix them well. 
5. Add eggs into the frying pan. 
6. Add salt and pepper 
7. Enjoy!

This is it. Isn't it so easy? I think Kids also will love this dish. I recommend adding some salad on the side since this dish does not have any vegetables. Please try it and let me know how it was. This is a perfect dish for a busy week night or when you don't have much energy to cook.

Also, if you want to make it richer, add some butter for more flavor. 

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo

For yesterday's lunch, I made sandwiches from the bread I baked in the morning. I love this small size sandwiches. This bread will be good for burger also. Next time when I have people over for BBQ, I would love to try baking this bread again and impress them with homemade bread!

Anyway, for dinner, I made Shrimp and Okra Gumbo. I like Southern food and Gumbo is one of my favorite. I make Gumbo at home sometimes. Often times, I make lots of them and freeze it so when I don't have time to cook, I can just heat it up and eat. 

I used Shrimp and Okra for this Gumbo. Sometimes, I use other than Shrimp but I always have Okra in my Gumbo. I love Okra. 
I think I put too much tomato this time. And I used canned tomato. Maybe I will use fresh tomato instead next time. 

I would love to visit South sometime and enjoy all the great food they have. I am sure there are loads of Southern food which I don't know yet. What is your favorite Southern dish? 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Homemade fluffy bread

I am not a morning person. I don't know what happened to me today but I woke up around 5:30am this morning. And yes, it is Saturday. I could not go back to sleep and thought "Well, this does not happen to me too often. Maybe I should enjoy this fine early morning" So I went for a walk and enjoy the nice fresh air. 

I came back home and thought "Well, what should I have for breakfast?" Then, this idea of baking my own bread for breakfast came to my mind. I have been thinking about baking bread at home for a while. I never baked bread before. So I thought, when can I ever have this opportunity to have time to bake your own bread for breakfast?  I decided that today is the perfect day to bake my own bread. 

I always thought that baking bread is difficult. But to my surprise, it was quite easy. I picked a easy recipe which does not require 2nd rising process. So within 2 hours, my bread was ready and the house smelled with fresh baked bread. 

When I was little, my mom used to make bread on Sat. I always loved how my house smelled when she baked bread. It made me feel so happy and safe. The smell of fresh baked bread at home, remind me of my childhood on Sat with my family. I should call my mom and tell her that I made bread myself. I am sure that she will be very proud. 

Friday, June 26, 2009

Delicious Cuban Food

Hello! I went to have dinner with my friend last night. 
Since I was watching a movie about "Che Guevara the night before, I felt like eating Cuban food. So we went to this Cuban restaurant called "Havana NY". 

This was my first time going to this restaurant but I like it very much. The food was good and not too expensive and the service was also good. 

First we had Fried Yuca fingers for appetizer. This came with pretty strong garlic oil. Garlic oil might have been a bit too strong but the fried Yuca was really good! 

Then, I had grilled skirt stake for the main course. (This was one of the recommendation from the waiter). Look at this huge portion! It comes with rice and beans but I don't like beans too much so I substitute beans for salad.  This was also pretty good. I love the Chimichurri sauce which came with this stake. I need to learn how to make this Chimichurri sauce. 

For dessert, we shared "Coconut Flan" but I forgot to take picture... 

Over all, it was really good and I had a great time with my friend, talking for hours. My friends make me laugh and makes me feel happy. I am very fortunate to have friends who are awesome. 

Also, I love eating out. It gives me many inspirations for my cooking. I love trying different kind of food from different countries. Normally, when I travel somewhere, first thing I think about is what is good to eat there. It sounds like all I think about it food but that's what makes me happy. To think about food and what I can cook next!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thai Chicken Curry

Last night dinner was "Thai Red Chicken Curry" with "Pasta Salad". I love Thai curry and used to go to Thai restaurant often. But I found out how easy it is to make Thai curry at home if you have Thai curry paste. So now, I cook Thai curry at home all the time. 

It is so easy and quick to make. There are different kind of curry paste such as red, green, yellow etc. And you can add chicken, beef or any kind of meat/seafood and vegetables depends on your mood and what you have time the fridge. 

Normally, I use chicken, onion, bamboo shoots and basil. I saute curry paste in a pan for a bit and add all the meat and vegetables and coconut milk. Then, cook it for a bit and it is ready! 

I needed some crunch and refresher with my curry so I had salad with it. This is just simple curly pasta with some vegetables. I mixed them with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. 

Often times, I make my Thai curry too spicy. But this time, I made it right. 
When you make your curry too spicy, you can adjust with coconut milk. (I did this quite often) 

Pad Thai is also one of my favorite Thai food but I have never tried to make it at home. It seems complicated. Where can you buy that kind of noodles anyway? Well, I know there is this one small Thai restaurant which is in Chelsea Market in NY and they sell some Thai products so maybe they will have those noodles there. I should purchase it next time when I am there and try making Pad Thai on my own. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Little container garden

Hello! I had to go to the city last night so I made "rice balls" and ate in the train. Therefore, no picture of dish for today. But I would like to share some pictures from my vegetable garden. (Well, not really a garden because they are all in containers and we don't have real garden at our house. Nevertheless, those are what I call "my little container garden" )

The first picture is lavender. I love the smell and I take the flower out and put them in a little cotton bag. If I remember correctly, lavender is effective to make you sleepy. So if you are having trouble falling a sleep, maybe you can put a bag of lavender right next to your bed or under your pillow or even inside your pillow. As for me, I normally do not have any problem sleeping so lavender is just for relaxing my mind. 

The next picture is cilantro. I love cilantro and used them for my cooking quite often. However, in my opinion, cilantro is not so easy to grow. But it is looking good this year. Actually, some of the seeds which fell last year to the pot started to grow this year. It is amazing how strong those seeds are. Because I left it outside during the cold winter!

The next one is tomatoes. Tomatoes are very easy to grow and yummy! 
This year, I bought "heirloom tomatoes". I am looking forward to see what kind of tomatoes are coming out this year!!

The next one is green chilies. I like spicy food and I used to live with an indian lady who cooked awesome indian food for me all the time. So I also cook indian food sometimes at home and this is when I need green chilies. I don't want to make it too spicy so I take seeds and ribs out before I cook with them. 

The indian lady I used to live with made food really really spicy. For her, if it is not spicy enough, it is not good. I love her food but sometimes, my nose start running and tears coming down while I eat. When she sees me like that, she used to say "Oh, I can see it is good!". We had great time living together. 

Basil is one of my favorite herbs. The smell of fresh basil just makes me feel so happy and alive. My favorite dish with basil is "Tomato and Mozzarella Salad". It is so simple yet perfect for hot summer day. 

The last picture I wanted to share with you is my favorite chocolate. I had been looking for this chocolate for a while and I finally found it yesterday! They have so many different kind under this brand but in my opinion, this cornflakes one is the best. If you find them, please try them. Which one is your favorite flavor? 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shrimp Fried Rice

Last night, I made Shrimp Fried Rice from the leftover Cocktail Shrimp which I had from Costco. I was thinking either Shrimp Salad Sandwich or Shrimp Fried Rice but I felt like eating rice so therefore Shrimp Fried Rice. 

I love Rice and I can eat rice everyday. When I was little, my mom used to call me "Rice eater" because I would just eat rice and leave all the other stuff she made. She used to tell me to eat other stuff also but I couldn't help eating rice and always end up finishing rice before I finish other stuff. Well, I still love rice but now I try to eat other stuff also.

 I love having a few variety of rice in my house so I can cook Japanese rice for Japanese food and Basmati rice for Indian food and Jasmine rice for Thai food. I love all these different kind of rice. 

For this Shrimp Fried Rice, I used half Japanese white rice and half Japanese brown rice. 
Brown rice is much healthier than white rice but some people don't like the taste or texture of brown rice. But if you use brown rice for fried rice, you don't really realize that it is brown rice (at least in my opinion). And brown rice is less stickier so it makes easier to make fried rice. 

Many people including myself, use leftover rice for fried rice because your fried rice will be fluffier that way. If you don't have leftover rice and would like to make fried rice, try cooling the rice before you make fried rice. I think it is a trick to make a fluffy fried rice. 

Fried rice was one of my mom's signature dish. And it is great especially when you have leftover rice and vegetables in your fridge. You can add any vegetables you would like. 

If you have any good idea for fried rice ingredients, please let me know!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mussels with White Wine and Coconut milk broth

Last night, I steamed Mussels which I bought from Costco. In the cookbook I have, they used wine and chicken stock. I wanted to add some asian taste so I added some cilantro and coconut milk and curry powder. To my surprise, it came out pretty good! It was easy to cook and fast. (Even though cleaning each Mussel took some time..)  I eat Mussel in a restaurant but I never cooked them myself this way so I am glad that I tried. I think this dish is great for summer night, especially eating outside. 

We had it with bread but I think it is also good with Pasta. I heard that in France, they eat this Mussel with French Fries. French Fries are one of my favorite food so I definitely would like to try that next time. 

Mussels were not too expensive and it was easy to cook and looks great. I recommend cooking Mussels at home with your favorite sauce this summer!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shopping at Costco

Yesterday, I went to Costco and bought some stuff which I needed at the house. I love going to Costco but normally, I can not buy food there because the portion is just too big for 2 people household. I think it makes a lot of sense when you have a big family or if you share with some other family. 

Nonetheless, I love going to Costco. Every time when I go to Costo, I buy Salmon but yesterday I bought Mussels for the first time. I would like to steam this Mussel with White wine and maybe coconut milk and cilantro and curry. I love the Mussels at the "Spice Market" and also "Markt" which are the restaurants in NY. I am hoping that I can make something similar to their Mussels. 

At Costco, we also had lunch because we were starving. We had a hotdog and chicken bake. I was surprised how cheap those food were. 

I was going to make the Mussels for dinner but I helped my neighbor to put their air-conditioner on their window and they asked me to have drinks with them afterwards. So I joined them for drinks and we ended up having dinner together at their place. We ordered Sushi and had a great time together. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera so I don't have a photo of Sushi... 

Well, I feel a little hangover today after all the drinking from last night. But I would like to make that Mussels and upload the photo tomorrow! Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup without Chicken

Last night's dinner was Chicken Noodle Soup. (Without Chicken in it...) 
I used chicken stock with I made and froze in the past and made this soup with it. 

Every time, when I roast a whole chicken, I use its bones to make chicken stock. 
I think it is 100 times better than store bought chicken stock. And it is so easy to make. 
You just need to add bones, water and vegetables like celery, carrot, Leeks, etc. Add some herbs and let it simmer for a few hours. You can freeze them and use it whenever you want to. 

Chicken noodle soup is super easy to make and light and yummy! 

Friday, June 19, 2009

What should I make from those ingredients?

Last night, I put out all those ingredients I had in my fridge and thought about what I can make from them. 

One thing it came to my mind was the Rice Gratin which I used to eat when I was a college student. I decided to recreate the flavor from my memory and this is what I end up with. 

So, it is layer of rice, tomato sauce with all the vegetables and cheese. It did not taste exactly same as I had before but it came out OK. There are still some adjustment I need to make but I am not sure what. 

I think I need to add more sauce so rice will be covered with sauce. 

By the way, I have a little story regarding eggplant. When I was a college student, my friend told me that eating eggplant will release more pheromone. So my friend and I ate eggplant everyday hoping that we would attract all the boys. 

Well, unfortunately, we did not see any result which we hoped  from eating eggplant. So I would not recommend eating eggplant for this purpose but I will definitely recommend eating eggplant for its taste!

Nice to meet you

Hello. I am Mausi. I love food in general and I wanted to shear my love for food with everybody. I would like to write about what I cooked, what I ate and things I love. I hope you will enjoy my blog.