Monday, February 28, 2011

Tacos de Pollo (semi-real)

When most of my friends from BU think of tacos, they think hard shell lettuce-topped cream-and-cheese-sprinkled mince-meat-filled hard shells served with chips, guac and salsa on the side. Contrary to their belief, those are not tacos.
Let start with the basics. There is no such as a "hard shell" in Mexico. A crispy tortilla, otherwise known as a "tostada" is flat and served with beans, cheese, and chicken (or other variations), but you will most likely never see an u-shaped hard shell in an authentic Mexican plate.
That being said, a tacos is really just a corn tortilla wrapped around your choice of meat. Usually there is no lettuce, cream or cheese involved. But, there's also another type of taco, which some people call "flautas." I'm talking about shredded chicken rolled up in a tortilla and fried until perfectly crispy. These are served with lettuce, cream, cheese, guac, and salsa.
So there you have it, Mexican cuisine 101.
Yesterday my roommate wanted a Mexican dinner, so I decided to go all out and make her chicken tacos, rice, beans, and pico de gallo from scratch (with Trader Joe's guac since I couldn't find ripe avocados).
I wasn't able to find corn tortillas, so I substituted with flour ones, but ideally the tacos would have corn tortillas, and the rice would be red.

Chicken Taquitos
  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 white onion cut into chunks
  • 1 shallot cut into big pieces
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • Chile powder to taste
  • S & P
  1. Place onion, shallots and chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with water. Add cumin, chili powder and S & P. 
  2. Cover pot and bring water to a boil, getting rid of any foam if necessary.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer with pot slightly uncovered until chicken is cooked through, about 30 mins.
  4. Remove chicken from water and let cool on a plate. Shred chicken with fingers.
  5. Place about 4 tablespoons of chicken on each tortilla (depending on the size) and roll, securing with a toothpick.
  6. Heat canola oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Fry each taco until golden. Remove tacos from oil and pat down with paper towels before serving.

Pico de Gallo
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion (I used red, but white works as well)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Chile powder or jalapenos (optional)
  • S & P
  1. Cut tomatoes into 1 inch cubes (or smaller if you want the pico to be more like salsa) and place in a large bowl. Finely chop onion and add to tomatoes. Add cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. Mix well.
  2. Add chile powder and S & P to taste. Mix well. Serve or reserve in the fridge for later.

I took the rice recipe from Epicurious. Quick and easy Mexican White Rice

Saturday, February 26, 2011

technorati check


Healthy Cookie

I hate being sick. I know everybody does, but I really do despise it. I am not the kind of person who can just sit and wait in her apartment all day long. Let alone for 3 days in a row!
I am sick of being sick. 
That being said, as my cough begins to die out, I can finally take baking into consideration again. Don't get me wrong, its not like I haven't been browsing through food blogs dying to make almost everything I see these past few days; but I couldn't muster up the energy to cook and I didn't want to spread my germs.
Anyways, today I decided to bake some "healthy cookies." I took the recipe from the Boston University Sargent Choice website. The recipe boasts a few "nutrition notes" that make the cookies even more appealing to my nutrition-obsessed self.

  • Flour reduced by 1/2 and replaced with oats.
  • Salt reduced by 1/2
  • Butter replaced with peanut butter and olive oil
  • Sugar reduced by 1/2
  • Chocolate reduced by 2/3

Whole Grain Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from Sargent Choice)

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ¼ cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup olive or canola oil
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/8 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or mini chocolate chips)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, baking soda and salt in small bowl.  Beat oil, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla extract in large mixing bowl until creamy.
  2.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Cool on baking sheets.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So I had a job interview today and it consisted of me making sandwiches for 2 hours and serving them to customers. I was surprised that I was working on the floor of this specific fast food place in Boston on my first day in a commercial kitchen; but it was all good and I actually enjoyed my time manning the station.
Still, between the gym, class, the interview, and homework, I did not have time to relax until I got in the kitchen and began making dinner. 
I wasn't really that inspired tonight, and I definitely noticed it with the outcome of my dishes. Lesson learned: if you're gut is unsure about cooking then save the recipe for another day. Cooking is not meant to be a hassle.
Although I have to say it did help relieve some stress.
Here are the recipes for tonight. I flipped through my magazines and adapted 2 recipes to fit the ingredients in our small kitchen.

Yogurt Chicken Kebabs (adapted from Women's Days Specials Eating Light) 
  • 1 cup plain non-fat yogurt (Lebanese)
  • 1 small shallot finely chopped
  • 1/4 ground cumin
  • S & P
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch pieces
  1. In a shallow baking dish combine yogurt, shallot, cumin, salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Thread chicken onto skewers and add them to yogurt mixture. Turn to coat them and refrigerate about 20 minutes.
  3. Heat a grill (I have a George Foreman thanks to my roomie!). Oil the grill and cook chicken until fully cooked, 8-10 minutes).

Grilled Zucchini and Carrot (adapted from Cuisine Lite)
  • 3 lbs. small zucchini
  • 3 lbs. organic carrots
  • 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
  • Lemon zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh basil thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp. pine nuts
  • S & P
  1. Preheat grill or large saucepan. Oil grill/saucepan.
  2. Whisk together 2 tbsp. olive oil, dijon mustard, lime juice and zest, S & P in a small bowl.
  3. Quarter or half (depending on size) zucchini and carrots and toss in a bowl with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  4. Grill zucchini and carrots covered on one side until slightly browned, about 2 mins. Flip and grill on other side 1-2 mins.
  5. Remove zucchini and carrots from heat and toss with vinaigrette (to taste), feta, basil, and pine nuts. Serve.

P.S.: sorry for the bad pictures, I was not up to par today.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Leftover Buttermilk + Oreos = President's Day Cupcakes

President's Day: wake up late, eat breakfast, attempt to do homework, shop online, eat lunch, 1.5 hour nap, and BAKE! Best way to end my long weekend.
I was so excited to wake up to snow and no classes this morning. After a long day of doing all of what I just mentioned above, I suddenly got a huge craving to bake. With leftover buttermilk in my fridge (yes, even after baking the biscuits last night) and half a box of Joe Joe's oreo-cookies, my options were pretty much set.
So 20 minutes after browsing my favorite food sites I ran into these Cookies & Cream Cupcakes.
I have to say, even though I am not a big cupcake fan, I am very excited to try these!

Sunday Cookout

So Sunday comes around and its one of those days when all I want to do is lounge around in my sweats, watch TV (even if it's just background noise), aimlessly procrastinate on the internet, and bake or cook like a crazy person. The last part being the most important.
I was feeling for cookies, but when I came across a Buttermilk Biscuit recipe from Noble pig (one of the best food/wine blogs out there!) that would help me get rid of the almost-expired buttermilk and left-over cake flour in my kitchen, I changed my menu.
First time making biscuits; first time making bread without a food processor. And let me tell you, it's definitely not as hard as those crazy cakes I've done before. Pretty simple recipe and delicious outcome (my roommate actually said they were just like Pillsbury ones, but I haven't decided if that's a good or bad thing). 
Anyways, here are some picture of the process, and then the final product (although I did forget the melted butter towards the end, so the presentation is really not great).

Next on my dinner menu was Turkey Meat Loaf (adapted from Spicy Turkey Meat Loaf) and Kale Salad with Pine-nuts, Currants, and Parmesan).

Again, first time making meat loaf. I wasn't excited about the ketchup dressing at first, but it actually came out pretty good considering its ketchup. I added normal mustard instead of the dry mustard since that's what I had, and it was in the oven for about 1 hour (granted my oven acts up now and again)

Finally the favorite part of my meal: the kale salad! Its an easy recipe, but it does take some planning because the currants have to marinate for a while. I sometimes add more dressing, depending on the amount of kale I have, but the recipe is pretty much perfect. Do use the specific vinegars asked for, because that's the only way to get the yummy factor!

And then, dinner was finally served (about 2 hours after I began cooking).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Shrimp Supper

Here's my dinner for the night: Ginger Lime Shrimp and Noodles.
One word: delicious.
I have to thank Steph and Alyssa for introducing me to . If you haven't visited this blog yet, visit it. It has delicious and unique recipes.
Anyways, since my roomie went out to dinner for her birthday tonight (happy birthday to her once again!), I decided to make shrimp.
My recently developed seafood palate was more than satisfied with this easy-to-make dish.

Monday, February 14, 2011

V's Day

Im certainly not an avid Valentine's Day fan, but what started out as an okay-turned-bad-day ended up very very good! What can I say, my baking obsession kicked in and I couldn't fight the urge to use my newly acquired cupcake pan.

My roomie asked for some cupcakes and I quickly agreed to bake them for her.
Chocolate Buttermilk (Martha Stewart) Cupcakes were the choice of the night, and I must say they turned out very yummy!
Didn't make the frosting myself since I was quite busy cooking dinner for our "dinner date" (haha), but Betty Crocker came to the rescue.
For dinner, I made Honey-Mustard Chicken from Cuisine Tonight (one of the 2 food magazines that I couldn't keep my hands off of this morning)
Here's the recipe:

Honey-Mustard Chicken
  • 1/4 cup stone ground mustard
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • S & P to taste
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (5-6 oz. each)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F
  2. Whisk mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Reserve 2 tbsp. for serving. Brush chicken with remaining dressing.
  3. Coat non-stick ovenproof pan with cooking spray and saute chicken over medium-low heat for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer pan to oven and cook until chicken is done, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Remove pan from oven and serve chicken with scrapings and reserved dressing.
As a side dish, I made yummy Broccolini with Lemon Oil
I substituted lemon for lime though because I had no lemon, but it still turned out delicious.

Enjoy the pictures!! And be happy, V's day is almost over!!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


When I decided to make the Martha Stewart "Who's Counting Cake" I never imagined that it would be the ultimate baking challenge. Seriously though, "active time" was way more than I called for; baking was a workout and decorating was a loooong process. It all payed off though (just look at the final product!).
Cake was delicious, and it looked amazing. I don't mean to brag but I was pretty proud of myself ;).
Oh and there's a lot left over, so I'll probs be having cake for dessert/breakfast/dinner/lunch for a while...

a lot of cake batter

crazy whisking

fresh out of the oven

what nothing shows you: the ugly part of baking...


cut out cake

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fish & Fennel (and Carrots!)

So I've never cooked fish before (I just realized there's a lot of first in this blog haha). Anyways, I found this Parmesan Crusted Tilapia recipe on a very good cooking blog: and I decided to make it. But since I like cod a lot more than tilapia, I tweaked it to fit my taste!
I did only 2 filets because my roommate doesn't like fish and having tons of it left in my fridge is not an option (there's still one fillet waiting for me there now though).
I have to say the fish was delicious; and the veggies that I made to accompany it were also. (Roasted fennel and baby carrots).
I know my pictures aren't really like How Sweet Eat's, but bear with me, I'm just starting this whole food blogging thing.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


There was a whole bag of frozen broccoli florets in my freezer. What to do with it?
32 oz. of frozen broccoli + Martha Stewart = Crustless Broccoli & Cheddar Quiche.
Never thought recipes for crustless quiches existed, but they do, and thank goodness for that!
Very easy to make and delicious outcome.
I used the leftover broccoli to make a sauteed side dish for my quiche.