Friday, February 25, 2011

Mangia

So a lot of eating has been going on for the past couple of weeks. First of all I tried Wings N Things for the first time and their wings were unimpressive. For having a restaurant including the name wings, you would think they would be delicious but they're really not.

Wings Checklist

1. El Torito- Can't go wrong with these boneless chicken wings for 5 bucks during Happy Hour, pair that with a Margarita on the rocks.
2. Applebee's- Eating good in the neighborhood? Sure their wings are pretty tasty but I would rather order their spinach cheese dip.
3. Casa de Pico- This Mexican restaurant in the Grossmont town center has THE BEST CHICKEN WINGS I think I have tasted in the San Diego County. The wings are well seasoned, not too spicy yet not too mild and the flavors just burst in your mouth. The difference is that these chicken wings are actually seasoned and not just doused with buffalo sauce or hot sauce. 
4. Wings N' Things- NOT impressed. Seems like Tobasco and buffalo sauce were just dumped on the wings. Would never go back unless I had to pee...desperately. 
5. Pizza Hut- Addicting, Too Hot to Handle. Caution! These wings will make your butt-hole burn. 

Soups and Truffles

I haven't really been cooking lately, but I did attempt to make some cake balls. They came out more like truffles and are really easy to make. You can use regular cake mix and bake accordingly. Crumble the cake once finished and mix in with some frosting. Dip in your favorite candy coating. (I didn't have candy coating readily available so I just melted chocolate chips :)

I have been really into soups and I've made three different cream-based soups.

1. Mushroom Soup

2. Asparagus Cream Soup topped with Bacon

3. Broccoli Cheddar Cheese Soup topped with Garlic Cheese Croutons. 


My favorites were the last two. The soups are surprisingly simple to make except you have to be extra careful when blending the ingredients... especially if the contents are hot. I learned my lesson as my blender exploded broccoli and heavy cream all over the kitchen counter and cabinets. 

That's it for now folks. Happy Eatin'!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pavlova

Last night me and Stephy decided to make a wonderful chicken bowtie pasta, chocolate dipped strawberries and pavlova infused with fruit custard for dessert.
The pasta came out fantastic, I was pretty happy with it except I overcooked the pasta a tad. Pasta should always be al dente. Anyways I received lots of compliments, so I'm gonna go ahead and write down the recipe =)
What you Need:
Chicken Bowtie Pasta


5-8 Garlic Cloves
1/2 Onion
Olive Oil
Chicken Fillet
Salt
Pepper
Sundried Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Rosemary
Seasoning Blend
Parmesan Cheese
Bowtie Pasta


Start with dicing fresh garlic cloves (5-8) and half an onion. Heat some olive oil on low heat and once hot, add the garlic and onion. Simmer until golden brown and proceed to add in sliced chicken. As chicken cooks start to add salt, pepper, rosemary and seasoning blend. Continue to sautee the chicken and add a bit more olive oil. Once chicken is ready, add in sliced mushrooms as well as 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes. Wait till mushrooms are golden brown and bring pot to a simmer.
In different pot cook pasta. Wait till water boils, adding some salt makes it boil faster. Once pasta is ready, drain and pour into pan with chicken and olive oil.


Mix the pasta and chicken, adding a bit more olive oil, dashes of rosemary and salt as necessary. Finally, mix in parmesan cheese, freshly grated is even better but bottled will do the job too.
Lastly, enjoy with a glass of white wine surrounded with happiness, friends and family.


Pavlova:


As for the pavlova, it's relatively easy but I made the mistake of turning the heat a bit too high. The trick is to keep the oven at around 200-250 and leave the mix in the oven for 60-90 min. My pavlova ended up golden and it folded in =/ It still came out delicious but today I'm going to adjust some things.


Firstly, you need about 4 eggs with just egg whites. KEY: Let egg whites come to room temp. before mixing, for at least 10-15 min. This helps them achieve the soft peaks and become fluffier =) I will be doing this today. Then mix in one cup of sugar, one tsp at a time. Continually, mix the sugar in. Add in a tsp. of cornstarch and a tsp of vanilla extract as you whip. Electrical hand mixer is easiest to use and keep whipping until the egg whites are super shiny and fluffy.


Place the egg white mixture in either muffin molded pans or pie pan for a larger pavlova. Put in the pans in the pre-heated oven and leave for about one hour. Make sure the egg white mixture still stays cream colored, if it starts to brown, turn the heat down. Wait until the mixture has become hardened.


Once the mixture is hardened, take out and let cool. In my case, I added a vanilla custard infused with fruits in the middle. You can just use a vanilla pudding and add some fruit cocktail.


For the sauces, I mixed strawberries with blueberries and passion fruit drink. I also made a mango sauce with mango pulp, passion fruit drink and leftover fruit cocktail. You can add more sugar if necessary but the fruits have a lot of sugar in them already and the taste comes out wonderfully.


Finally top the pavlova with diced strawberries and blueberries, drizzled with the two sauces along the edges


HOPE YA'LL ENJOY!!
MORE TO COME =)
P.S.
Use the leftover egg yolks for a delicious creme brulee or an egg yolk mask.
Mask: add a tsp of honey, tsp. of olive oil and 2 egg yolks. Make your face feel refreshed and treat yourself to a tasty treat at the same time =)))

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ingenue Creations

Its been a while since I last posted. Lots has happened, firstly I was supposed to be in Boston this week for my interview but due to the weather I had to postpone =( On the brighter side I decided to spend some time at home during this little break.

As for food updates, I made a delicious fish soup with wonton noodles, tamarind base, and bok choy. This was my first time making a fish soup and I was a bit weary but it turned out great. I ended up adding lots of vegetables and extra noodles which I sort of regretted because it ended up with less water for the soup part. Overall it was a pretty good first try.

I tried Hodad's for the first time the other day, boy it was delicious. I really enjoyed my half bacon cheeseburger and potato wedges. The portions are humungous. The key to what makes these burger's so yummy is definitely the meat. The meat is so fresh and the simplicity of the ingredients really adds to the deliciousness of the burger. I must say this may have been one of the best burgers I have ever had.

Lastly, I have decided to create my own little project which is going to be named Ingénue Creations. Im going to try my hand at creating designed fruit baskets and see how they turn out. Perhaps people will be interested in buying. I am going to play around with my designs and ideas and practice making my first one for my mom for her birthday. I will be posting pictures up soon to show you all how it came out!