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? πŸ˜›

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. πŸ™‚

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!

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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! πŸ™‚ 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). πŸ™‚ 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!

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

Lomo Saltado, Anyone? πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ ) Thank us later. Bye!

Kimchi ‘Pancakes’ aka Kimchi Jun

Kimchi ‘Pancakes’ are a comfort side dish back at home. I recently met my mom and begged her to teach me how to make it…. and she finally gave in! I tried these today, and my oh my~brings me back home! πŸ™‚ LOVE IT! Here is the super easy and quick recipe!

Things You Need (makes about four):

  • Good fermented Kimchi
  • Flour
  • Egg
  • Sugar

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What to Do:

First get a good handful of kimchi and dice it up like so:

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Next, crack open an egg in a bowl and break the egg yolk–mix mix mix! Next add in 2-3 spoonfuls of flour as well as a good pinchful of sugar. Eye the amount of flour you put in. You don’t want it too thick, but just enough so that you can make a good ‘pancake’ like batter.

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Now add in the kimchi into the mixture.

Now heat up the pan with oil and when the pan is hot, put in a good spoonful of the mixture (like pancakes!).

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Don’t forget to flip them over once!

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You are done! These are delicious plain, or with a dipping sauce. Just in case you want to dip them in a sauce, here is my recipe for the sauce:

In a small sauce dish, put in about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar. Next add in about 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and a good sprinkle of Korean Red Pepper Flakes. Top that off with a sprinkle of sesame seeds! For an added kick, you can dice up a little bit of green onions and mix it into the sauce.

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ENJOY! πŸ™‚

Tasty Asian Beef Stew

This is a dish thatΒ H particularly enjoys. It is inspired from both the Western Beef Stew and the Chinese Beef Noodle Soup. The combination of Western and Asian ingredients marry beautifully together and brings about a delcious flavor that one cannot quite place a finger on–“what is IN this?” Well, it is a combination of many things. To name a few: beef (duh), tomato, soy sauce, star anise, and ginger.Β Are you excited yet?Β πŸ™‚

Another great thing about this recipe is that it is very cheap to make. You can make a whole pot of this and enjoy it for the rest of the week with rice…with bread…with noodles…or just alone. Please, next time you are craving beef stew, give this stew a chance. You do not want to miss out on this dish! πŸ™‚

What You Need:

  • Beef for stewing (beef shank brings great flavor!)
  • Soy Sauce
  • Whole Star Anise (We found this at the local Asian Store)
  • Ginger (ginger flavor is not too strong, so for you ginger haters, don’t worry)
  • Garlic
  • 1 Can of Beef Broth
  • 1 Can of diced tomato
  • Hon Dashi
  • sugar
  • Carrot
  • Onion

What to Do:

First, we have to cut the carrots and onion–cut into bite size pieces. Let’s also dice the garlic and slice the ginger.

Next, cut the beef into a nice stew-size:

Now, heat up some oil in a big pot and brown the meat.

After the meat has browned, you can either take the meat out while you cook the onions, but being lazy, we decided to just add the onions, garlic, and ginger in the pot with the meat. Stir, stir, stir!

Next, add in the carrots.

Ok, the hard part is done. Open the can of tomatoes and pour it into the pot.

Open up the can of beef broth, and pour that in. Pour in one and 1/2 cans of water into the can, and pour that in as well.

Now put in 3-4 star anises into the pot. You can choose to put them in a cheese cloth if you do not want to deal with the star anise when you eat the stew–up to you.

Next, put in 4-5 spoons of soy sauce.

And now for the last step, put in a pinchful of hon dashi and about 1/2 spoonful of sugar.

Now, bring the stew to a boil…then turn down to heat, coverΒ and let simmer for a couple hours.

Now DIG IN! ENJOY! YUM! πŸ™‚

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Quick and Easy Spinach (tasty too!)

We love veggies–raw, boiled, steamed, you name it. One way we enjoy our greens is to saute them with garlic. It’s tasty as a side dish as well as on its own. This particular recipe uses spinach, but it can be used with any kind of green. Here is the super duper easy recipe:

What You Need:

  • Spinach
  • Oil
  • diced garlic
  • Salt
  • Hondashi

What to Do

Heat a pan with oil. Saute the garlic in the oil. Once you smell the garlic in the oil, add in the spinach. Sprinkle in a small pinch of salt and hon dashi. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn, so when you see it turning brown, turn off the heat!

You are done! Can you believe it? Incredibly easy and fast! Enjoy!

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!