"One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating." - Luciano Pavarotti

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My NEW favorite cookies

This year for Christmas I decided to try my hand at Angeletti cookies. They are a soft pillow-like Italian cookie topped with a glaze. I wanted less of a sugar cookie and more butter flavor. They were perfect. I had a few fall out of their ball shapes in the oven, but that means I just got to eat the "ugly ones".

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mulled Wine

Here in Alabama we had our first white Christmas since the 1800s. They had been predicting it on the weather channel but no one really paid attention ... then on Christmas morning volia SNOW! This wasn't my first encounter with snow but definitely my first white Christmas. Our dog Mini loved it. She looked like a little kid running around in the snow. It took a few minutes to convince her it was okay to walk in though.

With snow still on the ground and melting rapidly I thought it was the perfect time for mulled wine. It's really good with brandy but since we didn't have any I used two bottles of dry red wine, 4 oz apple juice, 5 orange slices, orange zest, 5 cinnamon sticks, 12 whole gloves, and nutmeg. Combine all ingredients and heat.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My favorite pre-made Thai products:

1. Thai Taste Green Curry Paste, Red Curry Paste, and Palm Sugar. This has been a really reliable brand. They are packaged and produced in Thailand. I'm a sucker for packaging and I love that all these pastes and sauces are resealable. Their website offers some recipes and a list of products. They even sell their own brand of coconut milk!
2. Lobo Brand Curries. Lobo is part of the Globo Food Ltd, and I actually got their curry pastes in Thailand. Every now and then I find them at local Asian markets. My main complain is that you need to buy at least three envelopes if you're cooking curry for more than two people. You can find a lot of these for a reasonable price on Amazon.com.
3. Por Kwan Tom Yum Paste. I found this one at an Asian market and its works wonderful for quick and easy Tom Yum. It's packaged in a nice glass jar, and has nice instructions of use on the package. This brand also offers a Thai Ice Tea mix.
4. Thai Taste Kaffir Lime Leaves. This is from the same brand as number 1, but its Kaffir lime leaves, shredded, and set in oil. I had the hardest time finding fresh kaffir lime leaves after arriving home from Thailand, and this was breathe of fresh air in my kitchen. You only use a pinch at a time and they last for over a year.
5. Maesri Curry Paste. I saw this brand while shopping in Thailand but didn't actually buy any until I was in the United States. I found these at Earth Fare grocery store for only $1 each. It was a steal really. You can also locate these at some Asian markets. My only complaint is that you need to use a can opener. Yeah, I'm lazy at times. This brand also makes wonderful dipping sauces.

These are all products of Thailand

Visit the sites: Thai Taste, LoBo, Por Kwan (not official site), Maesri Brand

For my green curry recipe: click HERE

Monday, December 27, 2010

"But if you make me need you, I will need you less"

Keren Ann: My Name is Trouble. '101' to be released in 2011. I love her voice, so pretty.

Thai Green Curry / แกงเขียวหวาน

Since my two month stay in Thailand I've been working on mastering Thai curries. My first time was a bit shaky, but after at least 5 different curries I finally think I've gotten it down. I've been wanting to recreate the gang keow wahn (แกงเขียวหวาน) we ate at The Lemon Tree in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The one thing I'm still missing is locating ma-Keu-uh (มะเขือ), which are tiny ball shaped eggplants. They are slightly more bitter than large eggplants, and are filled with tiny seeds. These little guys are used in soups or spicy papaya salad, and are usually found in Northern Thailand. With my green curry, we use a curry paste from Thailand, but if you want to make your own go right ahead. This is the best recipe I've found on the internet: P-Mala's Recipe. You can find shrimp paste at your local asian market, and I usually find Thai chilies at Whole Foods or Earth Fare. This recipe is only a guideline, I usually add or adjust by taste. You can use any combination of meats and vegetables that you have available.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Joyeux Noël!

Merry merry Christmas! It snowed here in Alabama. It was the first white Christmas here since 1881. It turned out to be a really great day with the loved ones. I feel like I've eaten a entire cow, and I'm really really enjoying my new iPhone 4. Tomorrow is my mothers annual day after Christmas party with her girlfriends ... it usually involves tipsy dancing women. Wish me luck! 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spaghetti Carbonara

The only picture I have of the pasta carbonara is from my phone, but don't worry its from my new iPhone 4 ... which I can't stop using. Yeah. What am I kidding, I was just as bad on the older iPhone.

I needed a quick dinner to make for a larger group since I was spending time with the family. Pasta served family style is usually my go-to recipe. The recipe is from Silver Spoon, its always good and you can't go wrong. Just remember to use a big enough frying pan or sauce pan. I always miss judge this. Even this time around I had to switch to a larger pan so I didn't make a mess tossing my pasta.

1 cup pancetta (I used 1/3 a pound)
1 cup red onion, chopped
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb spaghetti
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated mixed cheeses (parmesian, belgioso romano)
4 tablespoons parsley
1 cup dry white wine

- Set a large pot of water to boil with about 1 Tbs olive oil and a few good shakes of salt for the pasta. Cook pasta al dente. Normal spaghetti I do 7-8 minutes.
- While pasta is cooking add about a Tbs of olive oil to a large frying pan and heat over mwdium heat.
- Add garlic and sauté until just barely brown.
- Add onions and shallots, sauté until they are translucent.
- Add meat and cook until meat is not quite cooked.
- Add white wine and simmer on low heat.
- Mix eggs parsley and half of the cheese mixture, set aside.
- Strain pasta and add to frying pan with the meat/onion mixture.
- Toss well while adding the egg+cheese+parsley mixture gradually.
- Put pasta in a preheated serving bowl and sprinkle some more cheese on top along with some fresh ground black pepper.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Originally posted by Buck Meyers How sweet!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Cuban Creole Chicken

I originally found this recipe in the Old Havana Cookbook: Cuban Recipes in English and Spanish. It's quick, easy, and tasty. I have a bit of a confession, I under cooked the chicken! Shameful, I know! I had to throw it into the oven for a few minutes. With that in mind, I'd suggest roasting your chicken on a roasting pan before boiling it in the sauce.

Monday, December 20, 2010


This custom pin from Prairie Dog is so adorable. If you send them a picture of your favorite bearded man they will make one based on the eye color, skin color, and hair color. They also have christmas ornaments available. So if you have a special bearded one in your life, you need to order them this for christmas, à la va-vite!

Red Beans and Rice

Red beans and rice are made for Mondays, and according to lure should take up your entire Monday. According to Gumbo Tales: Finding My Place at a New Orleans Table "Red beans and rice became a Monday staple for two reasons: it made good use of the ham bone from Sunday dinner, and cooks could stir the low-maintenance dish infrequently while tending to housework back when Monday was laundry day and people still set their washtubs over charcoal furnaces in the backyard". Some credit the creation to the African slaves, and other sources credit the French Canadians ousted from Canada (which became the Cajuns). The first step to most cajun and creole recipes is "your seasoning". Nope, that doesn't mean your mixture of dried herbs. The seasoning consists of the "holy trinity" which is your bell pepper, celery, and onion.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Zaz-Je Veux

Will be canoeing until December 21st.
Recipes to come:
Cuban Creole Chicken
Green Thai Curry
Red Beans and Rice

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 牛肉湯麵

Shin-Ho Chen (aka Jack) has been staying as an exchange student from Taiwan now for several months, and in his honor we decided to try our hand at Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. After reviewing a bunch of recipes, we were really pleased with the final product. It reminds me a bit of the Korean samgyetang or the New Orleans hang-over cure ya ka mein (just google it. trust me on this one). Anything with salt and warmth is okay in my book. After writing that statement it really got me in the mood for boiled peanuts...

Friday, December 17, 2010


I don't wear socks. I actually don't think I own more than two pairs, but since its been getting chilly outside my feeties have been cold. I've been considering buying these socks from Modcloth.com. Aren't they charming?

PS: I'm back.

Monday, December 6, 2010


So, okay...maybe I had a bit to many hamspters as a child. For som reason these commericals make me laugh every single time. I'm about to admit my dorkiness by admitting to watching them on youtube more than 5 times...in a row. Give me a break already.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Todays Inspiration

There's a few pictures I'd like to take but my cameras battery charger is MIA. What's even more frustrating is that I had to order the charger and the cord separately from Amazon.
It looks like the Christmas season has finally started. I'm off to make garland.