Category Archives: West

Tasty Macadamia-White Chocolate-Espresso Cookies

The Bite Lovingly Created by K

The Bite Lovingly Created by K

Our Dear Ladies and Gents, here are the ‘goods.’ This cookie is the triple threat: macadamia nuts (the king of nuts in my book), white chocolate (need I say more), and espresso (again, need I say more). Personally, we are not big on cookies because we are very picky on what we want in a cookie. It HAS to be moist and chewy (no exceptions…actually, never mind, we like a good biscotti once in awhile) and of course, tasty.

We became inspired to make these cookies while reminiscing about Diddy Riese Cookies. Diddys is a cookie store that is infamous among students attending UCLA for having the best cookies. Our favorite cookie has always been their white chocolate macadamia cookies. SOOO delicious..

Well, we sat down and brainstormed one day and decided to take the plunge into recreating these delicious cookies. We LOVE our cookie. It’s not too sweet, very~~moist and chewy. The above picture shows K’s big bite into the cookie–I was taking several photos of it…went to the bathroom…came back to finish taking the pictures, and there was the HUGE bite on the cookie. I was FREAKING angry at first, but decided that it may have been a good thing…BECAUSE…notice that big perfect bite mark..that can only be made on moist, chewy cookies, don’t you agree? 😛

Anyways, despite it being a triple threat :), this cookie is easy to make (really!). It’s become a favorite sweet indulgence for us, and we hope it’ll become your favorite too.

What You Need:

(I’ve learned that in baking, knowing the exact measurements are a must, so here are my best approximations on how much we used)

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp espresso drink (or strong coffee)
  • 3/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate

What to Do:

Preheat your oven to 350. We just got regular instant espresso and boiled some up. After that, we got our nuts, poured them into a plastic bag, and smashed them with a big stew ladle. You want the nuts to be in small pieces.

Stir/sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Then in a separate bowl, beat butter and sugar until ‘creamy.’ Sadly, we do not own one of those fancy blender thingys, so we have to resort to mixing everything by hand. Melting the butter somewhat before mixing made it a whole lot easier. 🙂

Next, add in the egg to the mixture. After that is mixed well, slowly add in the flour mixture (add a little at a time..mix..add.. mix).

Add in the espresso as well.

After that is mixed well, slowly add in the flour mixture (add a little at a time..mix..add.. mix).

MIx in the nuts and chocolate

Next, scoop out the cookie mix onto a cookie sheet.

Lastly, bake the cookies in the oven for about 12-15 minutes! You are done!!! Yay!

Enjoy!

Tasty Chicken Katsu Served Hawaiian Style!

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Aloha! As the temperature rises in Los Angeles, we are sitting (frying) at home dreaming of the perfect fantasy getaway–HAWAII! Ah! What’s not to love about beautiful Hawaii? Its lovely beaches, fantastic shopping, and of course, the SCRUMPTIOUS food. We both miss it so! SOOO, this past weekend, we decided to bring ourselves back to the Aloha land by trying our hands at making a typical Hawaiian Plate Lunch. For those of you unfamiliar to Hawaiian cuisine…it is time to get familiar! 🙂 Hawaiian food is very unique in that the cuisine is truly a melting pot..a fusion..a fantastic blend of Asian food (Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Chinese, etc) and American food with the occasional island twist. A Plate Lunch usually consists of a couple scoops of rice, a meat dish (teriyaki, korean bbq, katsu, etc), and a side of Macaroni salad. Yummy, eh?

Today, we will show you how to make chicken katsu (chicken instead of pork is more often seen in Hawaiian cuisine) and a simple macaroni salad. We served it with another side of finely sliced cabbage with dressing, and wala~a tasty meal at home for the weekend (for us, it will be for the whole week). 🙂 We will end this entry with something that will leave you wanting more! Read on to find out!

I. Chicken Katsu

What You Need

  • Chicken Boneless skinless thigh
  • Panko Crumbs
  • Egg
  • Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for frying

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What to Do:

First clean the chicken and pat dry. Next in a shallow bowl, crack the egg and break the egg yolk up. Add in 2 tsp of water, salt and pepper for flavor. After that, pour flour in a different shallow bowl. Add in salt and pepper. Lastly get a third shallow dish and pour in the Panko Crumbs. You are going to end up with a three bowls:

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Ok, so we are going to 1) dip the chicken in the flour, 2) Dip in egg mixture, 3) Coat with plenty of panko crumbs. Ready? Let’s go!

One…

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Two…
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and Three…
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Not too bad, right? Next, put in a good amount of oil for frying in a large deep pan and heat it up. While that is heating up, coat the rest of the chicken pieces.

Once the pan is ready to fry, add in the chicken one by one. Fry until the bottom has turned a nice golden brown color. Then, with a good pair of tongs, flip it over, and continue to fry until the entire piece has turned golden brown..probably about 3-5 minutes. Once they are done, put them on a paper lined plate to drain excess oil.

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You are done! You can slice this up to serve with katsu sauce. You can purchase this sauce at any local Asian market. In the case that you do not have time or if the store has run out (like ours), you can try your hand at making your own sauce:

You will Need
: Ketchup, Worcestershire Sauce, Brown Sugar, Salt

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Mix in about 2 tablespoons of Ketchup with 1&1/2 – 2 tablespoons of W. sauce. Add in 1 tsp of salt and about 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar. You can play with this recipe and add in soy sauce, mustard, hot sauce etc. Up to you! Feel free to play around with the amounts as well. We added in sesame seeds for a kick.

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Now that the main part is done, here is the recipe for a classic macaroni salad served in a Hawaiian plate lunch:

II. Macaroni Salad

What You Need:

  • Elbow Macaroni
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 cup onion
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup mayo
  • salt & pepper

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What to Do:

First boil the macaroni with a little bit of salted water. Then rinse under cold water and drain.

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Next thinly slice the carrot and onion. It would be good if you had a grater to cut these veggies. We want it that thin. If you do not like the onion flavor, feel free to take it out. If you like it, feel free it add more to it.

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Next in a separate bowl, mix in the mayo, milk, salt and pepper to taste.

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Mix everything together. Leave in fridge until ready to serve.

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We are done! Now, all we need to do is plate the dish: Two scoops of rice, 1 scoop of macaroni salad, and the katsu. As we said before we added in another side of cabbage salad. An ice cream scooper works well to scoop the items. Since we don’t own an ice cream scooper, we decided to plate ours like this:

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AND NOW….To top off our already delicious tasty meal! What about these chewy Hawaiian inspired Macadamia Nut White chocolate Expresso Cookies? H finally gave in and decided to hand over the recipe, but only under the condition that it has its own entry. Sigh. So until next time. Enjoy!

comingup

Tasty Lomo Saltado! (Peruvian Beef Stir Fry) + Garlic Rice

Lomo Saltado, Anyone? 🙂 We fell in love with this dish after trying it at the very popular Mario’s Peruvian Restaurant on Melrose. Every time we head over there, we order this particular dish–beef, tomato, red onions, and FRIES!!!! Who would have thunk of stir frying fries into their food? Bloody Brilliant Peruvians!

We decided to give it a try in making this dish, and we have perfected it over the years to suit our taste buds. It’s not that difficult to make, and is a very worthwhile dish to try. For those of you who have not tried this dish before, you will be surprised and hooked on this tasty meal–sweet onions + salt-tangy fries, and juicy meat. . This dish is served with garlic rice and in this entry, we will teach you a very easy way to make garlic rice.

Here it goes!

Lomo Saltado

What You Need:

  • French fries
  • Steak/meat
  • Red Onion
  • 1 Tomato
  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • spices to taste–optional

What to Do:

Cut the tomato and Onion like so:

Cut the steak into strips and salt and pepper the meat. During the wait time (~30 minutes, put the fries into an oven and bake. Also, cook some rice in the rice cooker.

Heat up a frying pan to VERY high heat. When the pan is ready, apply oil and cook the steak strips.

When the meat has browned, add in the onions and tomato. Continue to saute.

We like to cook the onions until they are somewhat soft. Once you can see that they are, get the soy sauce, and drizzle it on there. You don’t need much. We would say..oh, about 1-1 and 1/2 tablespoon.

Next, do the same with the rice vinegar. Depending on how much you put the vinegar, your dish will be more or less tangy. We usually use about 1/2 tablespoon of rice vinegar.

We are almost there. At this time, you can add in your various spices–black pepper, cayenne, paprika, etc. This is optional, of course. 🙂

Now it’s time for the fries! Here is the picture right after the oven:

Now grab that tray, and gently pour the fries into the pan. Over the years, we found out that the longer we stirred the fries into the mixture, the more soggy the fries would turn out. So, reserve this is step as the last and quickest step. You are just going to add the fries, stir about three times, and turn off the heat.

Oh so Yummy looking! 🙂 This part is DONE. You can totally now enjoy this by itself…OR read on ahead to make the garlic rice! So easy, we promise! 🙂

Garlic Rice Recipe

What You Need:

  • Rice (we used basmati)
  • Garlic (1-2)
  • butter
  • lemon juice-optional

What to Do:

Before you make the lomo saltado, cook the rice.

Dice the garlic into small pieces.

Heat up a fry pan and melt the butter.

Add in the garlic. Now this is an optional step. Put in a good squirt of lemon juice.

Now, gently brown the garlic….barely brown. We tilted the fry pan this way so that the garlic would be fully immersed in the butter.

Next, turn off the heat and open up the top of our rice cooker. The rice should already be done. Pour all the contents of the fry pan into the rice container.

Now, stir stir stir.

The garlic rice is done! Can you believe how quick that was? When you taste the rice, you will definitely taste that tint of garlic and butter. Fantastic!

Now that the rice and lomo saltado are done. Plate the two, and enjoy your meal! (they make fantastic leftovers, by the way. 🙂 ) Thank us later. Bye!

Tasty Split Pea Soup

K and I are in a split pea soup craze. These past few months, we have been ordering pea soup at every restaurant that offers pea soup! We’ve had some great ones and some not so great ones. One day after a particularly disappointing pea soup at a restaurant that shall remain anonymous, we decided to try our hand at making the perfect pea soup for us–creamy, hearty, FLAVORFUL. We’re happy to announce that we no longer make trips for split pea soup. 🙂 Here is our incredibly easy recipe:

What You Need:

  • Bacon/ Ham Hock–(I cannot stand the look of ham hock, so we opted for two different types of bacon for flavor)
  • Chicken Stock (Recommend about 4 cans)
  • 1/2 stalk Celery
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 Garlic
  • Green Split Peas
  • Butter
  • Salt & Pepper

What to Do:

First, let’s chop chop chop the onions, garlic, celery, bacon–we used about 4-6 pieces of bacon and two small slices of Canadian bacon.

Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter on a hot pot and saute the onions, garlic, celery, and bacon together.

Add in 3 1/2 cans of chicken stock.

Add in 3/4 of the 1 lb bag of split peas. Salt and Pepper.

Let mixture come to a boil then simmer for about 2 hours. You’re going to notice the soup become thicker:

Depending on the amount of peas you put in, the thickness of your soup will vary. If you find that the soup is becoming way too thick, add in the rest of the chicken broth. If it’s still thick, you can always add water.

After two hours, the soup is done! You might find that the soup is not 100% creamy. If you want to make it creamy, pour the soup into a blender and blend. This will make the soup very creamy. 🙂 Enjoy!

Nutty Banana Bread

One of our favorite breads to bake and eat is a good ol’ banana nut bread. When we’re too busy to eat breakfast in the morning, we grab a couple slices of these and out the door we go!

What You Need:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

What to Do:

First preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan like so:

Next, in a bowl, sift the dry ingredients–flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.

In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with the vanilla extract until it is smooth. Add in the nuts and mix.

In another bowl (we promise, it’s the last bowl!), mix the butter and sugar until the mixture is smooth and fluffy. We’re going to be adding all the other ingredients into this bowl so make sure it’s a big bowl. (notice in our picture we didn’t do that…and we had an oops moment 🙂 )

Add in the egg into the mixture.

Add in about 1/2 of the dry mixture into the butter bowl and mix. Next add in the mashed banana mixture and mix. After that, add in the other 1/2 of the dry mixture and mix.

Pour the mixture into the floured loaf pan.

Bake the bread for 45-60 minutes. The bread is done when it is golden brown. Stick a chopstick/toothpick in and check if it comes out clean. If it comes out clean, the bread is ready.

Let the pan cool. Slice and enjoy! 🙂


Quiche Lorraine with Mushrooms and Emmenthal Cheese

We fell in love with the quiche while dining at a Parisian bakery a few years ago. We’ve been hooked ever since! This recipe will make everything from scratch: the crust and the filling. Our recipe once again uses the typical food items found in your average pantry/fridge. The only thing out of the ordinary is Emmenthal Cheese. However, please keep in mind that using this cheese is your own preference. Any aromatic cheese will do. 🙂

This dish is perfect for lunch..for a snack..for breakfast..for dinner..a late night snack..party, whatever. It is perfect with a side of salad and a cup of expresso/juice! 🙂

Oh yes..We’re not going to lie, this dish takes some time to make. But, you know what? It’s worth it and a lot of fun to do together with someone. Give it a try!

Ok! Are we ready? Let’s go!

1. Crust

What You Need:

1/2 cup cold butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 tbsp water

1 1/4 cup unbleached flour

crust pan

What to Do:

Get the butter and salt in a bowl and using a mixer or via hand, mix until throughly combined.

Add in the egg, water and half of the flower. Continue mixing until dough is smooth and uniform.

Add in the rest of the flour and continue mixing until a neat ball is formed.

Take the dough out and cover with a plastic wrap and let refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

2. Quiche Filling

What You Need:

3 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/4 cup heavy cream

What to Do:

Mix eggs and cream in a bowl.

in salt and nutmeg until mixture is smooth.

Cover and refrigerate until needed for later.

3. Quiche Recipe

What You will Need:

Crust dough

Quiche Filling

1/2 cup bacon

1/2 cup grated Emmenthal cheese

1/3 cup sliced mushrooms

1 beaten egg

1/4 cup diced onions

2 diced garlic

What to Do:

Take out the pastry dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the dough to a quiche pan (10 inches) and press the dough into pan using your fingers. Cup off excess dough around edges.

Preheat the oven to 375 and store pan into fridge for ~15 minutes. Then, remove pan from fridge and fit some baking paper/parchment paper onto the dough. Then pour beans/rice onto top of the paper. This is to weigh down the dough so that once it’s in the oven, the dough will be prevented from rising.

Bake for 20 minutes. Meanwhile fry up the bacon until almost crisp. Remove bacon and set aside. Discard half the bacon fat from pan and use that to saute the onions and garlic. When the onions are translucent, add the bacons back into pan and saute for an additional minute.

We’re nearly done! Let’s go back to our pie crust. Remove parchment paper and weights and brush bottom and sides of dough with the beaten egg. Bake for 3 minutes.

Transfer pan to a work surface and sprinkle the bacon-mushroom filling into the bottom of the pan.

Sprinkle the grated cheese over the bacon.

Pour the quiche filling on top.

Return to oven and back for 20 minutes.

(after 20 minutes…) Remove from oven and serve immediately or let cool to room temperature and reheat before serving. Enjoy!

– Tasty Meals At Home

Tasty Stuffed Mushrooms

There are days when we look in the fridge and there is absolutely nothing to eat except for a big box of mushrooms. When we use mushrooms, they are usually used in small amounts for stews and stuffings and things. More times than not, we always end up with a box full of leftover mushrooms. The question arises…’what do we do with those leftover mushrooms?’ Ah ha! STUFFED MUSHROOMS! We’ve been making these for a quite a long time now, and no joke, they are super easy to make in a super short amount of time. They are also quite the beauty for appetizers for parties and things, ain’t they? 🙂

What You Need:

White whole Mushrooms

olive oil

Cheese –(best if using cream cheese and Parmesan cheese (may be the kraft powdered one)

1/4 cup red onion

diced garlic about one tbsp

bread crumbs (we used italian bread crumbs)

parsley, paprika to garnish

*sadly we didn’t have any cream cheese that day so we used shredded mozzarella. cream cheese works best!

What to Do

*preheat oven at 350*

First wash the mushrooms really well. You can do this by using a damp cloth and rubbing the dirt off the mushrooms. Next de-stem the mushrooms. Leave the stems on one side and the mushrooms caps on another side.

Using a knife or a food chopper, dice the mushrooms stems. Next, dice the onion and the garlic. Combine the two with the mushrooms and mix the mixture with a spoon.

Now get the small package of cream cheese and slightly melt it in the microwave. Take it out, and mix it into the mushroom stem mixture. Add in the Parmesan cheese (however much you want to put in) and mix. Note: in the picture, we didn’t use cream cheese bc we did not have any. instead we put in mozzarella cheese (pictured).

Next, put in a scoopful of bread crumbs into the mixture. Drizzle in some olive oil into the mixture after that.

Your mixture is done. Now comes the fun part. 🙂 On a clean plate, pour some bread crumbs onto it like so:

Next, with a spoon, spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps. It’s ok if it’s a little overflowing. Make sure though, that you pack it in there well. You can do this by using the back of a spoon and patting it in. This is to ensure that the mixture will not pop out for the next step you’re about to do. Oh yes..and more than not, you’re going to end up with lots of leftovers of the mixture. You can later use these as a topping for bread…freeze it for stuffing mushrooms later…whatever.

Now, bring your mushrooms to the the bread crumbs on the plate and quickly dip it into the crumbs like so:

Wasn’t that fun? 🙂 On an aluminum foil lined baking pan, set that mushroom aside.

Do the same with the rest of the mushroom caps

Next drizzle on some olive oil.

Next for garnish, sprinkle on some parsley and paprika.

The last step is to stick the mushrooms in the oven on 350 and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Enjoy!