Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fun Ingredients you should try now!

Here are my picks of interesting ingredients to add to your "I've seen that before at the market and I wonder what you really do with it" list!

1. Sriracha Hot Sauce: Made from sun-ripened chilies which are ground into a smooth paste with garlic and packaged in a convenient squeeze bottle. Use this on anything from stir-frys, to burgers or mix it mayonnaise. I love to squeeze this on eggs too!

2. Forbidden or Black Chinese Rice: Delicious nutty taste, soft texture, and beautiful rich deep purple color when cooked. High in nutritional and medicinal value, this pairs really well with shrimp which is how I like it, and it cooks in only 30 minutes.

3. Genmaicha Green Tea: This is such an interesting tea! It's a combination of toasted rice and green tea. It has a nutty flavor from the rice, and the added benefits of green tea. It was considered the poor man's tea in Japan originally, because the rice was used as a filler to make the tea less expensive.

A close-up of the tea:notice the toasted rice!

4. Maldon Sea Salt: This is a light delicate salt that is great as a finishing salt for salads especially, but great on roasted veggies and anything you want to add a light delicate salt flavor.

5. Mary's Gone Crackers: My sis turned me on to these actually. They are a great gluten-free alternative and are just so crunchy too. And to think, they have good for you fiber too. Developed by a woman who discovered she and her son had a gluten intolerance. They are made with organic brown rice, organic quinoa, organic flax seeds and organic sesame seeds. There are several flavors too like herb, black pepper and onion.

6. Tomato Paste in a tube: This is hands down the best food invention in my eyes. I mean, how many times has a recipe called for a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and you open one of those cans, only to realize you have throw out the bulk of it- you can't save a can once it's opened unless you transfer it to another container...I am too lazy for that my friends! This is the answer for me. There is also a sun-dried tomato tube too! Tubes rock! What more can I say?

Monday, February 15, 2010

I Know How to Cook


I think perhaps this is one of the most delightfully illustrated cookbooks I have seen in a very very long time!

Written by Ginette Mathiot (1907–1998), and published by Phaidon, this wonderful book of over 1400 recipes, illustrates how easy and accessible classic French dishes can be. Perfect timing since French Bistro fare has become so popular. I Know How to Cook is the first English translation of France's cookery bible, Je sais cuisiner by Ginette Mathiot. Originally published in 1932, this book is to France what The Silver Spoon and 1080 Recipes are to Italy and Spain: the indispensable cookbook for every household. This new edition takes the modern kitchen of today into account and seeks to brings forth the natural French home cook in all who venture through it's gorgeous pages!

I just ordered a copy and plan on trying out some of the recipes as soon as possible! I will post those here on the blog to let you know how they come out!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentine Wishes

Here's a cute last minute card template for anyone who wants to get in the mood last minute for the upcoming day of love! It's from and I think these are adorable! They work best if you use a card stock paper, and there's a little effort involved in that you have to cut them out, but it's worth it!

And if you are into vintage valentine cards like I am, check this one out:

It's just so simple and so to the point! So this is my Valentine to all my readers! Thanks for stopping by and have a great Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Comfort Food:Pancakes

One of my fondest childhood memories is when our Mom would sometimes make us pancakes for dinner. I remember thinking it was kinda weird but secretly I think we all enjoyed it and would often plead with her to make them even more often! Sadly, I don't recall if she made them from scratch or if they were of the boxed variety, like Aunt Jemima or Hungry Jack. I'm going to go with the latter that they were not from scratch. With 5 kids to feed, I would go for the box too! I seem to have some memory of Hungry Jack in our pantry. This is what it looks like now and it seems to me it hasn't changed that much! My sibs are going to have to help me out on this one!

You are probably wondering when I will get to the good part of this post? Well here you go: I made some wonderful pancakes from scratch, but I didn't eat them for dinner! I was in the mood this weekend for a stack and did eat them for brunch rather than dinner. Not quite that same thrill, but needless to say, they hit the spot.

Here is my recipe for Walnut Pancakes:

1 1/2 cups spelt flour [or all-purpose flour]
1/2 cup rice flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 Tablespoon honey [or agave]
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup rice milk (you may need to use a little more or less)
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Stir flours, baking soda and salt together in a medium size bowl.
2. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg, add the rice milk (soy or regular is fine too), honey, and olive oil until blended. Stir in the walnuts.
3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry being careful not to over beat the mixture.
4. Cook on a hot griddle.

I made a blueberry raspberry sauce with some frozen berries I had on hand, or you can just top with maple syrup and sliced bananas too!

I am considering trying to recapture the past by making these for dinner sometime!