Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Little Red Pot Who Could

Introducing The Little Red Pot Who Could

So for my birthday I was allowed to buy something anything. I wanted this little Staub Round 2-Quart Cocotte, Pimento Red Pot after seeing, Wandering Chopstick's cute tomato pot. I thought I should get one. It looks cute eh? It's a Staub. It's from France. It seems useful? It's on sale. Right when I was about to purchase it though, the price doubled from $50 to $100. Rats! So I continued to monitor it. :D Then it went down to $44.50. Should I? Shouldn't I? I convinced myself out of it. I don't know how to cook that well. What if I don't know what to do with it? I've never purchased anything for the kitchen that cost that much. Most of the cookware I've received were wedding gifts. Too much indecision caused me to miss the deal again. Amazon stop playing with my mind!!! So after forgetting about it for a couple weeks, the price dropped again to $44.50. I hopped on the sale and purchased it! Just my luck though, the next day it dropped 5 bucks.:D WAH. Luckily though we were able to get a price adjustment. Yay.

My little red pot arrived. It's cuter than I thought it would be. It's darker red on the bottom and is two toned. Viva La France! It's a dutch oven, though Le Creuset calls their versions French ovens. I think that's clever. Stay tuned for many recipes from the little red pot who could. My brain has exploded w/ all the recipes I want try. Plus I'm still searching for more recipes. :) Any thoughts? Do you have one of these cast iron beauties? Can you tell I'm excited?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Recipe: Wonton Pineapple Coconut Dessert

I tried really hard to recreate the delicious looking treats from Melting Wok's No bake macaroon recipe. I however was unsuccessful. My little treats fell apart. :( I think I didn't leave the pineapple on the heat long enough? Perhaps it didn't form into a paste? Melting? :D Not sure but this is my first time cutting a pineapple and didn't want it to go to waste! Plus I tasted the mix of coconut and sweet pineapple and it was so refreshing! So instead my little brilliant red brain thought to place the mixture into the wonton cups.

Recipe: Wonton Pineapple Coconut Dessert
1 fresh pineapple
1/2 bag of shredded coconut
1 bag of trail mix
1 bag of large wontons


The wonton cups were made the same way as my as my little dynamite wontons . Cut large wonton sheet into smaller rectangles. Pinch the two ends and place into mini muffin pan creating a pinwheel type shape. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.

Place the trail mix into a sandwich bag and use a mallet or in my case a meat tenderizer and crush the nuts. Cut pineapple and place into blender. Put pineapple into a pan on low heat until the pineapple forms a syrup like paste. Mix coconut, pineapple and crushed nuts together. Refrigerate mixture before eating. When the mixture is cool enough and it's time to eat, spoon the mixture into baked wonton cups.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

What color is your brain?

Take this test. There are only four questions and it seems pretty accurate. I do daydream a lot! So tell me, What color is your brain?

Your Brain is Red
Of all the brain types, yours is the most impulsive.If you think it, you do it. And you can get the bug to pursue almost any passion.Your thoughts are big and bold. Your mind has no inhibitions.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about love, your dreams, and distant places.

To bring it back to food - Have you ever eaten brain? If so what? I have yet to consume brain. My friend said that she knew someone who turned vegetarian after his experience in China. I guess he was at a restaurant where they plop a live monkey in the middle and chop off the top of the monkey's head. He was then supposed to spoon out the goodness. He saw the moneky cry and never ate meat again ...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Recipe: Mini Dynamite Wontons: Salmon Motoyaki

(Click on picture to see a larger image)

I remember the first time I had a dynamite at a Japanese restaurant - It came right out from the oven (a slighty browned mayo on top of salmon and oysters and rice). Ever since then I've tried dyanmite at almost all of the sushi restaurants I frequent, none of them good as the first. However, I think I've struck gold (golden mayo that is) thanks to Chow Times! I didn't have any oyster shells so I thought of using baked wonton wrappers. Besides that I pretty much followed the recipe for the salmon mix. These are scrumptious.

Recipe: Mini Dynamite Wontons: Salmon Motoyaki

1 piece of salmon
1 onion
Cutie Japanese Mayo
1 package of large wonton wrappers
Pepper to taste

24 cup Mini Muffin pan

Directions: (makes about 54 mini dynamite wontons)
Cut large wonton sheet into smaller rectangles. Pinch the two ends and place into mini muffin pan creating a pinwheel type shape. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Slice up salmon into little bits and onion. Sautee onions add salmon. Sprinkle some pepper into the pan. Place fully cooked salmon mixture into the pinwheel shape wontons and then cover w/ mayo and then sprinkle on some parmesan cheese. Broil in oven for 2-3 minutes on lo. I made a couple of batches for our new year's party. :) I ate a lot of them.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Recipe: Banh Day

Happy New Year!

The story behind Banh Day:

Legend has it that the ancient King, King Hung Vuong was growing old and wanted to find a successor to the throne. Not knowing which one of his three sons to choose he decided to challenge them. Each of them were to provide a dish of food that they would serve to him at the end of the Lunar Month, and based on that dish they would be come the ruler of the Kingdom. The first brother offered a fish dressed in sweet chilli and expensive lotus seeds. The second offered a boar dressed in mushrooms and rare wild fern sauce. The third prince opened his basket to reveal simple plain rice cakes:

He said:
"Rice is the most precious and valuable of all food found in this Kingdom, yet it is also the most abundant. I have prepared a dish that represents my love for you and our beautiful Vietnam. I have cooked it thoroughly then molded it into a round rice cake, and called it Banh Day as it symbolizes the sky we live under. I have cooked a square rice cake, stuffed it with cooked bean paste and ground meat in the middle and called it Banh Chung. This will symbolize the earth we live on."

Realizing that he was the wisest one of the three, the third prince became the successor to the throne. The recipes were passed to all the people of the Kingdom and are traditionally given to family and friends in celebration of the new year. The following Banh Day recipe I pass on to you as we celebrate! Happy Tet!

For a more detailed version of the tet story and my resource:

I believe this is not exactly the traditionally way of making them. The traditional way requires that you break up Glutinous rice. Here is a quick simple recipe:

1 16 oz bag of Glutinous rice
2 tablespoons of Rice flour
2 tablespoons of Oil (Don't use olive oil)
1 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of milk
Banana Leaves (1 sheet)

Microwave the milk for one minute. Just so that it's at room temp not boiling. Mix all the ingredients in together. If it is too hard then add some water. Take some mixture it should be about a size of a small lemon. Take it and flatten it a bit. Dip your hand into some oil and rub it on the side and place on a small piece of plastic wrap. Place the pieces in a steamer. Steam for 10 minutes. You can also cut little squares out of banana leaves. Remove plastic wrap and place the Banh Day on the leaf. Traditionally this is eaten w/ Vietnamese Ham.

Monday, February 12, 2007

OverStuffed chillies (Yong Tow Foo) over rice noodles


I used Rasa Malaysia's Yong Tow Foo stuffed chillies recipe and Tigerfish's use of rice noodle and garlic to create this flavorful, colorful simple dish.

To make the Yong Tow Foo:
2 stalks scallion
9 red chillies
3 dashes of white pepper
1 tub of fish cha ca

Yong Tow Foo Sauce:
2 tbsp of garlic
2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon starch

Rice Noodles:
Oil for frying
Rice noodles
1 clove of Garlic
2 stalks scallions

Thaw the cha ca the night before. Chop scallions and 1 red chilli and mix w/ cha ca and 3 dashes of white pepper. Deseed chillies and cut off the tops. Place the mixture into the chillies and place in steamer. Steam for 5-10 minutes. Heat up oil. Stir fry w/ garlic and scallions. Break up noodles and place into the mix. The rice noodles will soften. Once done plate rice noodles and place chillis on top. Pour over Yong Tow Foo Sauce. Makes two large *overstuffed* servings.

Do you like my little steamer? I just got it. It was only 10 dollars. :D It's cute and it is three levels high. 2 for steaming and 1 for the boiling water. :D

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sweet Love: Peanut Butter Cookies

I am participating in the monthly mingle hosted by "What's for lunch Honey?". I made peanut butter cookies for my husband. I am not much of a baker but my husband loves peanut butter. His favorite candy is peanut butter m&ms, one of his favorite cakes is the peanut butter chocolate bomb, and his favorite brownie made by a co-worker is oozing with pb. Well I am still up in the wee hours of the night because I started cooking late at 10:30 p.m. and now it is past 2:00 a.m.. I even enlisted my husband's help to make the little cookie balls and place them onto the cooking sheet. I was cooking 3 things at once and had a pile of dishes to wash! Woe is me. I wrote this poem for him:

Sweet Love, Happy Early Valentines!
I'm not a baker. Just a budding cook,
Sometimes it takes me hours,
Before you can taste and look.
You say I bite off more than I can chew,
Just know that these cookies were made especially for you!

Your Budding Cook

3 cups of all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of butter
1 cup of peanut butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of sugar
4 tablespoons of corn starch
4 tablespoons of water (ack I just noticed I think I only put four teaspoons of water, and 4 teaspoons of corn starch. hmms no wonder the dough was so hard to mix! I tasted it though it taste pretty good.)

Update Budding Cook Miship #6: My hubbie didn't like them. oops I guess they don't taste that good the next morning! I didn't have eggs so I used an eggless recipe. Tasted kinda of raw and I didn't sift my flour so there were little bits...eww

Note: There is an encrypted message in the slide show for my husband. Can you see it? It's another puzzle! :D Winners don't have to eat a cookie.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Recipe: Peppered Gio Lua Sandwich

Recipe: Peppered Gio Lua Sandwich


Pepper, White bread and Gio Lua.


Lay out a piece of white bread. Cut the gio lua into thin slices. Place on top of the bread and pepper it to taste. Top with another piece of bread. Gio Lua is a vietnamese ham. My grandma made this gio lua. It's delicious. You can also find this at an asian market. I saw some this weekend. It is in the fridgerated aisle. It's wrapped in banana leaves and then foil. I saw some next to the rice noodles. :D This is the way my mom would pack my dad's lunches for work. I like to smash the bread together a bit. :) Yummy.

p.s. My pictures aren't very nice. Sorry I made the sandwiches and snapped some pictures really quickly before rushing off to work.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Meme: 5 things Most people don't know about me

I've never been tagged before :). I was tagged by TigerFish.

1. It's my birthday today.
2. My favorite animal? The bunny. Could you guess? :) There is a little bunny that comes every night to our yard and eats carrots we throw out.
3. On the note of TigerFish being a prankster, my older sister and I created little candy like shapes in different colors and passed it out to friends in elementary school. Little did they know it was actually "Play DOH!" haha. We were nice because we stopped them before they ate it. When I was making this dish, it reminded me of the incident. :)
4. I hate to admit but I watched Top Chef after Rasa Malaysia told me about it. My favorite character was Sam. :) She said she liked Marcel. :D
5. My husband loves rollercoasters and I tag (pun intended) along. :) So we've ridden this back to back like 13 times in one day. :D
I'll tag:
Mushroom Meadows
TT from Playing with My Food
Suanne and Ben from ChowTimes
Rasa Malyasia
Ruth from My little cyberspot

You are it! :D

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Vietnamese Chao Ga - Chicken Congee Porridge

Everyone has their rendtion of porridge or congee. From Sim cooks to TigerFish's recipe, this is my mom's rendition. With her verbal directions, it tastes just like it did growing up. Yummy. I'm feeling slightly under the weather. But we use to eat porridge any time of the year. How do you cook your porridge?

Recipe: Vietnamese Chao Ga - Chicken Congee Porridge

1 cup rice
12 cups of water
3 chicken drumsticks
Pepper to taste
Fish sauce to taste

Throw rice, 12 cups of water, and 3 drumsticks into a nice large pot. My mom said for this dish you don't have to wash the rice. Place on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours. When finished the rice will be broken and unrecognizable. The meat will be so tender it can easily be taken off the bone. I just use a spoon to take of the meat and I threw out the bones. Pepper the dish to taste and add as much fish sauce as you want to your liking. I probably squirt about 3 large squirts of fish sauce. My brother squirts even more. Mix up the ingredients and dive in.:D I love this dish especially on a cold day like today. I only defrosted 3 drumsticks but the first time I made this dish I used 4. :) If you have green onions you can chop some up and garnish the dish as well. Hope you enjoy.