Dec 24, 2012

Baked Chilean Sea Bass

Chilean sea bass is a kind of fish that I don't cook very well. It's so delicate that I worry about overcooking it. I have tried steam, and pan-fry before but neither of them works for me. This time, I baked it with breadcrumb with knob of butter on top. It was perfectly cooked! The richness of the fish and the crispy top was like a symphony in the mouth.

Dec 23, 2012

B├ęchamel Sauce Baked Cauliflower

Thinking about the heavy meals I am going to have in days, today's lunch featured a light vegetable dish: baked cauliflower with bechamel sauce. It is a simple bechamel sauce but I added additional basil (frozen cubes from store bought) to perfume it a bit. It will be better to have some parmigiano sprinkle on the top, but I didn't have any at hand. So the dish was baked for 45 minutes. Next time, I will add few more minutes to brown the top.  

Dec 18, 2012

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

The last bit of fresh vegetable in the fridge was used in making this sweet potato gnocchi. I like the natural sweetness in the gnocchi from sweet potato. Also, I added ricotta, which provided a litter bit of richness. The cooked gnocchi tasted like airy pillow, yum!!

Boeuf Bourguignon

Should I say too much about this? I was thinking the Julie and Julia movie that when Julie said to the butcher "I am making boeuf bourguignon, Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon", how delight her face was.
And me too, when the aroma of the wine filled every corner of the house, my hair, and everywhere. Needless to say, this is good.

Assorted Goodies

As can be seen obviously, if possible, my breakfast always involves fish and avocado. Croissant with them, home-made bread with them, cheese with them, all possibilities. I can't stop wondering, how people originally found avocado eatable, and why smoked salmon?

Breakfast Duo

When there is abundant avocado and banana, then duo sandwich happens. For weeks, I have been keeping eating avocados that were bought too many from many trips of the grocery shopping. Bowls and bowls of guacamole, avocado milkshake, avocado pound cake, and so on. Still the speed of consuming is way slow than buying. For this duo, one is banana with peanut butter, the other is guacamole with smoke salmon.

Homemade Panini w/ Brie and Dark Chocolate

Nothing tastes better than melted cheese. I particularly like panini with melt brie and chocolate. When I got brie on sale, that's how I ate the entire thing. It is great for an afternoon snack, and breakfast with a cup of black coffee.

Honey Wheat Bagel w/ Avocado and Smoke Salmon

Have I said that bagels at Wegman's are amazing good? I always get a dozen whenever I go there and freeze them for a week's supply.
My favorite sandwich combination has to be avocado+ smoke salmon+ cheese. In the morning that I don't work, I will make fresh soy milk to enrich the home-made breakfast.
So here I had a comfy and delicious breakfast that gave me energy for the day. 


This was lunch back to a while ago that I forgot to post. Lunch in a regular day: brown rice, sauteed cabbage, broccoli, bitter melon with hot paste, yogurt braised chicken

Dec 17, 2012

Avocado Banana Yogurt Cake

December has almost finished but I haven't been posting since late November! How time flies! It doesn't mean I stopped cooking or baking, just that I have cooked the same food again and likewise baking.
So end of the year...I start to clean the fridge for any food I left before leaving for the holiday. The first to go are fresh fruit and diary. The cake I baked was based on the Flour's Famous Banana Bread recipe and halved the all ingredients, with additional half of avocado, 3 tablespoons of yogurt and some azuki bean. The baked cake was DELICIOUS! Heavenly good!!
Bored with regular banana bread, I think this cake will now became my go-to recipe for a long time!

Nov 27, 2012


In the bento: brown rice, bean curd braised pork belly, braised shiitake mushroom, bacon with cabbage, carrot with egg, sauteed broccoli.

Nov 23, 2012

Lime-Poppy Seeds White Cake

Lemon-poppy seeds cake has been on my to do list for long. The bag of poppy seeds was purchased at an Amish grocery store that I have always wanted to use it. The Thanksgiving provided an opportunity to complete this long-delayed project. The Nordicware cake pan has been used again to bake this beautiful white cake. I have used the recipe here and the cake turned out beautifully. The taste was a bit too sweet and boring to me, but I like how it looks like when converted to the plate. 

Nov 12, 2012


In the bento: brown rice with carrot and mushroom, broccoli, eggplant with minced meat, miso braised saury.

Nov 11, 2012


In the bento: steamed red quinoa, salmon sauteed with celery, eggplant with minced meat, miso braised saury.

Miso Braised Saury

Saury is a very nutritious fish while not as expensive as one kinds. Regularly the fish is pan-fried as a whole piece without moving the guts. I learned a new way of cooking it in miso so it can be cooked and eat in few days. The liquid tastes full of flavor while the fish keeps its only flavor. I shall now buy saury more often and cook it like this.

Nov 10, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

The last bit of pumpkin puree from the crown prince squash has been used in this cheesecake. The texture and flavor of the kind of pumpkin is very similar to kabocha, which is a Japanese variety of pumpkin. It is very dense and almost no liquid coming out when drain. The color of the raw flesh is golden yellow. This kind of flesh is perfect for pie or cheesecake since not too much liquid in the filling will mess up when being baked. I like to use Oreo as a crust whenever possible. Plus, the color combination looks good, doesn't it?

Pumpkin Mac-n-Cheese

Mac-n-Cheese is such a cold weather staple that calls for people's craving whenever it wants. Fall is the season for pumpkin, all kinds of pumpkins. The flesh of the vegetable goes very well with mac-n-cheese. Weeks ago when on the way back from hiking, we passed by a local farmer's market, I got some crown prince squash, which I have never seen and used before. I am so glad I gave it a try. It was dense, dry and deep in flavor. It purees very well and goes by nature into all kinds of sauce. I used part of the puree in the pasta, and saved some for a pumpkin cheesecake. Next time if I see this kind of squash again, no doubt I will get as many as I can.

Nov 6, 2012

Matcha Red Bean Pound Cake

I received a new cake mode of Nordicware. It's a beautiful rose shape with 10 cups capacity. To welcome it join my collection, I made a pound cake with green tea powder and some home made sweet azuki bean. This has been the largest cake I have ever made. It un-mold easily with non-stick interior. With this new member I might bake more now :)


In the bento: steamed brown rice, sauteed Chinese broccoli, bacon stirfried with cabbage, pan-fried miso salmon, sauteed onion with egg.

Oct 23, 2012


In the bento: pasta with squash sauce, sauteed long bean, mushroom with red pepper, braised pork belly, sauteed fennel.

Peanut Squash with Gemelli

Fall is the season for squash. When hiking several weeks ago, I picked a peanut squash on the way back from a local farmer's market. I like to roast squash and use it as a sauce for pasta. If you have never tried use squash as a pasta sauce, it is a pity that such a delicious food you have missed.

Oct 22, 2012


In the bento: brown rice+spelt, pipian squash with red pepper, broccoli with mushroom, braised pork belly, miso egg.

Oct 21, 2012


In the bento: rice with spelt, sauteed mushroom with pipian squash, red pepper, braised pork belly, shiitake mushroom, miso egg.

Oct 10, 2012


In the bento: brown rice with black sticky rice, sauteed cabbage with carrots, broccoli, red pepper, pan-fried miso thigh.

Oct 9, 2012


In the bento: brown rice with spelt, sauteed cabbage, green pepper, broccoli, pan-fried pork shoulder, miso egg.

Oct 8, 2012

Taro Porridge with Dried Scallop

With the weather feeling cooler and cooler, a bowl of hot porridge is comforting to both stomach and soul. Dried scallop is used a lot in making porridge to add a taste of the sea. Adding taro is a trick I learned from a friend. The creaminess of taro provides texture for the simple porridge. When serving, drizzle some soysouce and green onion on the top. A comfort food in the fall.


In the bento: dried scallop and taro porridge, sauted green bean, broccoli, miso egg, pan-fried pork shoulder.

Oct 1, 2012


In the bento: black sticky rice+brown rice, pan-fried salmon, sauteed cabbage, yellow pepper, and green bean.

Sep 30, 2012


In the bento: steamed rice, sauteed green bean, pan-fried salmon, sauteed okra, sauted cabbage, sauted red pepper.

Sep 26, 2012


In the bento: steamed brown rice, pork belly with rice powder, steamed taro, sauteed cabbage, carrots sauteed with bacon.

Sep 25, 2012

Pork Belly Steamed with Rice Powder

It's a very traditional dish which uses the most humble ingredient but produces the most delicious flavor. And it is also one of the family staple dish always reminds me of home. Nowadays, I don't have to make the rice powder, or more correctly, the crushed rice. In most of the Asian grocery store, the pre-made powder is easy to get. All I did is to marinate the pork overnight with soy sauce, cooking wine and some spice, and steamed the meat the next day.


In the bento: rice powder steamed pork belly, sauteed cabbage, sauteed onion with egg, sauteed red pepper, steamed brown rice.

Sep 24, 2012


In the bento: sauteed bitte melon, sauteed red pepper, dumpling with shrimp and pork.

Sep 23, 2012


In the bento: sauteed shrimp, onion stir fried with egg, sauteed okra, braised pig feet, shiitake mushroom, sauteed green pepper, steamed brown rice.

Sep 20, 2012


In the bento: steamed brown rice, tamagoyaki, sauteed okra, lamb steak, sauteed cabbage with shiitake mushroom.


In the bento: steamed brown rice, sauteed pepper, sauteed cabbage with shiitake mushroom, pan-fried lamb steak, eggplant.

Sep 16, 2012


In the bento: leftover pasta from restaurant, sauteed cabbage, bitter melon, okra, potato with seaweed, braised shiitake mushroom, pan-fried miso salmon.

Sep 13, 2012


In the bento: orecchiette with carrot and fungus, sauteed potato with seaweed, pan-fried miso salmon, caramel onion with mushroom.

Sep 12, 2012


In the bento: stir-fried rice noodle, panfried salmon, sauteed cabbage, mushroom sauteed with shiitake mushroom, carrot sauteed with pepper, potato sauteed with seaweed.

Sep 10, 2012


In the bento: leftover carrot and shiitake mushroom rice, basil sauteed with eggplant, sauteed cabbage, steamed fish, braised pork belly, tempeh sauteed with bitter melon.

Sep 9, 2012

Braised Pork Belly

A staple dish from Shanghai, my sweetest memory of home. I have been craving this dish since I came to the States years ago. But I never manged to cook once like what sits in the memory. However, I was inspired by the blog "Anthropologist in the Kitchen" which has a video showing how to make another staple dish called sweet and sour rib. The principle is the same. So I tried again during the weekend of this mighty meat dish...And I nailed it. It was exactly what I have been craving for. I was so excited and bought more pork belly hope to make more.


In the bento: steamed rice with carrot and shiitake mushroom, sauteed bitter melon, steamed white fish, braised pork belly, sauteed cabbage.

Aug 21, 2012


In the bento: pan fried spot, sauteed zucchini and broccoli, pan fried pork, cherry tomato, rice (under)

Aug 19, 2012

Milk Bread with Aged Montegrappa

I haven't baked bread for a while. This week, I took the wild yeast out from the fridge days ahead and baked this bread with a lot of white sesame, flex seeds, and aged montegrappa cheese. The cheese made a great difference by the fruity smell and salty taste. The wild yeast has been growing very well in the summer. The warm temperature seems to be greatly liked by the yeast. Hopefully, before the weather cools down, I can make some more bread.


In the bento: brown rice cooked with carrot and mushroom, sauteed cabbage, pan-fried pork, stir fried broccoli, tomato.

Aug 1, 2012


In the bento: millet with rice, stir-fried onion with green pepper, sauteed carrot, tamagoyaki, wine marinated pork belly.


In the bento: Angel hair with green onion flavored oil, sauteed daikon, sauteed green pepper, steamed fish.


In the bento: instant noodle, roasted green pepper, sauteed mushroom, scrambled egg with green onion, sauteed carrot.

Jul 14, 2012

Cavatappi n Cheese

Last Friday when in whole food, I discovered that there were cheese nuggets sold. These nuggets are those small pieces that cut from the big piece. So this is nice for people to try different cheese without having to buy a big chunk. I got the apple wood smoked Gouda and reserve Gruyere to make my mac-n-cheese using cavatappi. It was the best mac-n-cheese I ever ate. The flavor of reserve Gruyere and smoked Gouda really stood out and I also used some sharp cheddar. The most important thing was to use a good cheese so even a little will go a long way! Definitely a keeper.