Dec 21, 2011

Olive Oil Soaked Tomato

One of my bad habits is to store food more than I can consume. Even knowing I will be away for the break, still I got plenty of products. To avoid wasting them, this is one of the things I do to the cherry tomato: preserve them in the oil. I started doing this late last night. The tomatoes were halved and dried at 215 F in the oven. After 2 hours, they were taken out to cool. Meanwhile, I crushed a big clove of garlic, put it into a jar together with the tomatoes and bay leaf. Then I poured oil until it covers all items in the jar. After coming back from the break, I am ready to enjoy it :)

Dec 19, 2011


Plenty of leftover from the group dinner last night. Also the salmon steak from the lunch.
In the bento: some kind of pasta, stir-fried pepper and green beans, Chinese sausage, mayonnaise baked salmon, stir-fried rice.

Dec 16, 2011

Ground Pork in Tofu Skin

One of my grandma's signature dishes is this pillow like goodie. The star of the dish, from my point of view, is the tofu skin wrapped outside the meat filling. Tofu skin is not commonly seen here, but is one of the ingredients used on a daily base in Shanghai. This is made from soybean milk. When the soybean milk is cooling, the top of the surface will slowly develop a thin layer, like the same that milk will do. The thin layer is then collected and dried for future use. So the product is very fragile, also super delicious.
My grandma usually bought the tofu skin and filled in with ground pork, shiitake mushroom, wood ear and diced onion. Then the pillow will be pan-fried until the meat is cooked. Yum~~

Gingerbread Cake with Lemon Curd

This cake was baked for the birthday celebration in my office. I have to say because I am not a gingerbread person, this is the first time I made this cake and it didn't turn out as good as I expected. The cake was very dense and a bit dry. I can taste the molasses but need more ginger taste. Although I like the lemon curd more than the cake. It helped to cut out the dryness a lot.
And as usual, I did a terrible job on frosting, never improved :(

Mashed Butternut Squash w/ Boiled Egg and Cheese

It's not always lucky to buy a good butternut squash. Generally winter is the season that all those squash taste sweet and creamy. I happened to have a butternut squash that is kinda bland. So I baked and mashed it. Spread on the toast with hard boiled egg and some sheep cheese. Not the best but eatable.


In the bento: quinoa, steamed cabbage, butternut squash, broccoli, tofu skin wrapped ground pork.
I forgot to season with salt, uh...

Dec 13, 2011


In the bento: rice, broccoli, daikon, ground pork wrapped with tofu skin.


In the bento: rice, steamed broccoli, shiitake mushroom, bean curd skin wrapped ground pork, egg.

Dec 8, 2011


In the bento: stir-fried cabbage, egg, shiitake mushroom, lamb, shanghai style rice.

Dec 6, 2011


In the bento: Shanghai style rice, braised pig feet, egg, butternut squash, daikon.

Dec 5, 2011


This is a magewappa!!! For people don't know what magewappa is, this is a wood bento box hand-made with cedar by craftsmen. It is the most traditional Japanese style of carrying and eating bento.
This beautiful piece of work of art feels light and smooth. There is nothing covering the wood so the rice in it can breath, thus it tastes better.
Also it is an art. Elegance says itself.
In the bento: rice, braised pig feet, meatball, egg, shiitake mushroom, stir fried cabbage.

Nov 4, 2011

Everything Rice

Recently I discovered the beauty of store bought curry paste. Whenever I need to clean up the fridge, these curry paste makes everything taste good. These yam, Swiss chard, soaked shiitake mushroom are the last bit of fresh food I need to eat up. I cooked them and stirred with cooked rice. The mixture was covered with milk-base curry and baked for about 40 min. Needless to say, yum~~

Oct 31, 2011

Dark Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust

If you like chocolate covered pretzel, you will like this tart. The crust is made with crushed pretzel and lots of butter, the rich dart chocolate filling is seasoned with tiny bit of salt and top with crushed pretzel too. It's sweet but a bit salty at the same time. The crust is rich and full of flavor. This will be a winner if you bring it to a party! The recipe is here. I did replace milk chocolate with dartk chocolate.

Suzy's Chocolate Cake

I have several recipes collected from Pierre Herme's chocolate book that never have a chance to make them. This week, I happen to have all the ingredients at hand, that there is no reason not to make this cake. Mr. Herms' friend Suzy makes this cake which is very dense like brownie. This cake has a very rich chocolate taste but not light. Will be a good cake to have when having chocolate craving. To respect the book's copy right, I won't post the recipe, but google "suzy's cake" will bring you to the instruction.

Oct 27, 2011


In the bento: miso baked salmon, broccoli, curry brown rice with sweet potato.

Oct 26, 2011

Oct 25, 2011

Oct 23, 2011


In the bento: sushi, ravioli, carrot stir-fried with egg, eel.

Oct 20, 2011


In the bento: broccoli lasagna, daikon stir-fried with shiitake mushroom, BBQ wings, sausage.

Broccoli Lasagna

I am addicted to the white cheesey sauce baked lasagna. This version I used broccoli as the filling instead of cauliflower. The result is the same delious lasagna. The top cheese layer is a bit crispy while the melted smoke cheddar in the sauce is creamy and gooey. See this post for how to make the dish.


In the bento: broccoli lasagna, stir-fried carrots with egg.


In the bento: stir-fried broccoli, pan-fried lamb chop, pan-fried sweet potato, carrots.

Oct 15, 2011

Pumpkin Tart (Pie)

Kept the tradition from last year, I got a pumkin from the Amish again last week. Since I won't use it for Jack-O-Lantern, it went without doubt into a pie. I used the same filling for the big pie, but saved some for this small tart. The recipe used is the same one from last year. We are close to holiday season!

Creamy Cauliflower Lasagna

I won't image just cauliflower and b├ęchamel sauce with a little smoke cheddar will create such a wonderful flavor combination.  But just as simple as only one veggie and white sauce made a wonderful lasagna that beyond my knowledge. I made this lasagna from scratch. The go-to filling-butternut squash was out of stock in my house but there happened to have a head of cauliflower waiting to be used. So I cooked the cauliflower and mashed them, layed the filling and cheese sauce on each pasta sheet. The very top was coverd with extra smoke cheddar. I loved this dish so much that will sure to make it again.


In the bento: stir-fried cabbage, broccoli, mayo baked salmon, daiko cooked brown rice with shiitake mushroom.


In the bento: couscous, stirfried cabbage with carrot, broccoli, seaweed tamagoyaki.

Oct 6, 2011


In the bento: brown rice, stir fried cabbage with carrot, mushroom, broccoli, roast chicken.

Oct 5, 2011

Peanut Butter and Honey Granola (Bars)

As title, this was supposed to be granola bar. When I took it out from the oven, the entire tray slipped from my hand. The baked bar all broke into pieces. I almost felt like killing myself. But things already happened, and I won't thorw all these good ingredients into trash can. So I put them back to oven for few more minutes and make them more crispy, like granola. The taste is good, just they are not bars. The recipe can be found here.


In the bento: brown rice, egg yolk, roast chicken thigh, carrots, broccoli.

Oct 4, 2011


In the bento: broccoli, sauteed mushroom, miso glazed salmon, brown rice.


In the bento: brown rice, stir fried cabbage, miso glazed salmon, sauteed mushroom, carrot.

Plum Tartlet

This wasn't a very successful tart. The crust baked faster than the prune plum thus when it's done, the filling hadn't been caramelized. Here I only mean I didn't bake it well, but I believe the original recipe should work. I will try again later.

Sep 28, 2011

Poppy Seeds Tartlet

I really find the beauty of small size tart molds these days. Not only they look cute, but also I can use the same dough baking with various fillings in one batch. Meanwhile, I won't feel too guilty of eating one because it is small. Anyways, after the French apple tart last night, I baked this poppy seeds tartlet today. I like the texture of poppy seeds and wonder how they taste like besides in the cake or muffins. The filling recipe is used from this NY Times post. The taste was fine, but it was too much poppy seeds which made it very dense and tough. I don't think I will make this again.

Sep 27, 2011

French Apple Tart

I finally made the purchase of two tartlet molds. After flipping through few baking books I have, I made this tartlet by combining two recipes. The filling was from Ina Garten's French Apple Tart and the tart crust is made from the recipt here. I was satisfied in general, except the tart crust was a tiny bit overbaked. I love the small tartlet shape and will for sure use these two molds more often.

Sep 26, 2011

Home-made Soy Milk

When I visited home early this year, mom used to make soy milk everyday for breakfast. She used a soy milk machine which I thought was the only way to make soy milk. Until recently, I realized that as simple as a blender is more than enough to produce the same thing. So today, it only took me less than 5 minutes to make the milk. Amazing! All I did was to soak 1/2 cup of dry soybean over night. Then blend the soaked beans and water(amount based on how thick you want your soy milk to be) until superfine, about 3 minutes. The last step is to extract the milk and boil it. It's foolproof.

Sep 25, 2011


This was the last decent meal I made for myself. Now I have to find a time buying grocery before next cooking. The highlight in this plate was the home-made satay sauce. It is so versatile that can be used in everything. I made the sauce following steps here. This is a very simple version of making satay. There are more recipes online if you want to make more authentic satay sauce. The other stuff on the plate is the leftover flatbread from dinning out, stir-fried butternut squash and daikon, the last piece of the roast chicken.

Sep 22, 2011


The side dishes are the same as yeterday's. But the lefeover brown rice was stir-fried with garlic, green onion and egg.

Sep 21, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

This is my simply easy dinner. It is so simple that there is no recipe. I basically made it from scratch. I cooked some butternut squash with garlic and ginger. Once it was cooked through, I mashed them and added milk, back to the stove top stir until thicken. And that is it. Simple but tasty.


In the bento: brown rice, broccoli, butternut squash, daikon, herb roast chicken. 

Sep 20, 2011

Herb Roast Chicken

This is the first time in my entire life that I bought a whole chicken. Also, my first to roast a chicken. I like rotisserie chicken but never had good experience of store bought one. No matter what flavor they are branded, like lime roasted, BBQ roasted or lemon pepper roasted, all are way too try and bland. This time I made my mind to roast my own chicken. The method is based on Ina's Perfect Roast Chicken but I modified a lot. So this was how: I seriously salt the chicken inside and out the night I bought it. The next day I stuffed the cavity with thyme, lime, garlic and lemongrass. I chopped some basil and garlic mixed with oil and stuff the mixture underneath the skin. Some butter was rubbed on the skin and the chicken was roasted under 400F for 1.25 hour. After coming out of the oven, the chicken was rested cool before cutting. The picture was taken last night before cutting and now only 1/4 was left. That tells how good it is. Even the breast was succulent and flavorful. I am so proud of myself!!!


In the bento: ground pork fried rice, broccoli, egg, daikon, herb roast chicken.

Sep 7, 2011


In the bento: sweet potato porridge, kelp with enoki mushroom, salmon, eggplant with basil tomato, cherry tomato.


In the bento: collard green fettuccine, carrot stirfried with liver, kelp with enoki mushroom salted egg. 


In the bento: beet fettucinie with braised pork, stirfried cabbage, kelp with enoki mushroom, cherry tomato.