Wednesday, August 29, 2012

PLT Breakfast Salad—Lunch for One—with Pictorial

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With school starting soon, maybe some has already begun, many of us Moms out there will be back to this situation of “Lunch for One” on the weekdays. Sob sob... Since I posted my very first Lunch for One recipe a few weeks ago, I've received many positive feedback.  Well, I guess we all can use some simple and easy lunch ideas.  Right?  So here we go again.

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This PLT Breakfast Salad is super easy to put together.  It might seem like a lot going on, but I promise, you can put this dish together in as little as 10 minutes!  Don’t you just love that?  Notice it’s “PLT” not “BLT” (Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato) in this recipe, it’s not a typo. That is because I used prosciutto instead of bacon here.  Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE bacon!  However, since I’m preparing a simple lunch for me, myself, and I, I didn't want to smoke up the whole house to crisps up just a couple slices of bacon.  So, I used prosciutto for the meaty fix instead.

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Don’t you just love breakfast ingredients?  I know I do.  I can eat a breakfast for breakfast, obviously, for lunch, AND for dinner and be a happy camper!  Hm….look at that golden runny egg yolk (picture below). Simply ah-mazing.

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So, don’t forget to have a slice of toast ready for dipping.  I used the bread from my simple loaf bread recipe.  They always toasted up nicely with a tiny little bit of butter. 

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Nom nom nom….Sorry, I was a bit too busy eating….

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Here comes the PLT part of this dish (see picture below).  With a little bit runny yolk and spicy vinaigrette together, it’s the perfect bite!  The vinaigrette is a bit spicy and tangy; the lettuce is crisp and refreshing; the prosciutto is tender and salty; and the cherry tomato is sweet and juicy; they all go so well with each other.

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I’m sure you’re ready for the step-by-step pictorial, right?  Let’s head to the kitchen together.

First, let’s prepare the vinaigrette.

1) In a small bowl, place the Meyer Lemon juice (you can use regular lemon juice), agave, kosher salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and mustard together

2) While whisking, slowly drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil

3) add some fresh herbs if you like and that’s it

See how simple it is to prepare the vinaigrette?  You can omit the red pepper flakes if you don’t like it spicy.  But just a small pinch will add lots of flavor.  Feel free to put more if you like it more spicy.

Note: You will have more than enough vinaigrette for this salad. Simply cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and store the extra in the refrigerator for another time.

Vinaigrette Pictorial

Next, we can put the salad all together.  It’ll be a nice time to place your bread in the toaster.  And with a small non-stick pan, heat up a teaspoon of oil and fry up an egg.  I must be too hungry and forgot to take a picture of that.  But you know how to fry up an egg right?  I love it sunny side up, by the way, if you don't already notice.  Simply cook the egg on low heat until the white is set and the yolk is still runny.

1) On the serving plate, tear a few romaine lettuce leaves, as much or as little as you like.  I used about 3 pretty large ones.

2) Tear up a couple of thinly slices of the prosciutto into bite size pieces and place on top of the lettuce.

3) Split the cherry tomatoes in halves and scatter over the lettuce along with some radish slices if you like.  I really love the crunch from the radish.

4) Place the fry egg on top.

5) Sprinkle with some black pepper and garnish fresh thyme leaves of you like.

6) Drizzle with the vinaigrette on top and serve.  I added a few shaves of parmesan cheese on top as well.

I had my PLT Breakfast Salad with some Homemade Orangina.  Totally my favorite summer drink!

PLT Breakfast Salad Pictorial

Isn't it easy and simple to put together?  I love how light and refreshing it is and yet, it’s substantial to fill me up.  I hope you love this Lunch for One recipe.  Until next time, take care and eat well!

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P.S. I got these beautiful and super sweet cherry tomatoes from my next door neighbor.  Can’t you tell My Baby Girl loves them too (see picture below)? 

Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, sponsored this week by Whole Foods Market. Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.


Note: If consuming raw egg concerns you, simply use a pasteurized egg for this recipe.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mickey and Minnie Chocolate Macarons

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I’ve received a “special order” of shaped Chocolate Macarons recently.  I think they are just too cute.  But not too cute to eat, according to my kids.  Of course, besides the order that I need to fulfill, I’ve made some extras for my kids, and some round ones for my kids’ teacher.    

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The macaron shells are chocolate ones and I filled them with semi-sweet chocolate ganache this time.  These are simply divine.  If you need some tips on how to make perfect macarons, please refer to my tutorial post here.  These Mickey and Minnie Chocolate Macarons are perfect for kid’s birthday parties, baby showers, or any Disney fans who just can’t get enough of the mouse (such as my kids)!

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I hope you will enjoy today’s recipes. Until next time….

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Raspberry Roulé Cake—Baby Girl’s Birthday Cake

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We have 2 birthday celebrations last month, my Baby Girl’s and my Hubby’s.  This girly Raspberry Roulé Cake was for my Baby Girl’s, of course.  I apologize for the poor lighting and settings of these pictures because it was already dark when we were ready to cut the cake.  I decorated it right before we serve so I didn’t have time to do my photo shoot setup.  But nonetheless, this Raspberry Roulé Cake was the bomb!

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I made napoleon mousse as the filling of this cake.  The top layer is a raspberry mousse, the middle one was Meyer Lemon mousse, and the bottom layer was dark chocolate mousse.  Below is a pictorial to show you how to form this cake.

1) First, line a small mixing bowl with 2 layers of plastic wraps. Make sure the wraps are long enough to hand over the sides.
2) Cover the bottom and sides of the bowl with slices of Raspberry Swiss Roll
3) Frost a thin layer of stabilized whipped cream all over the cake and pour the raspberry mousse into it. Smooth the surface, cover with the over hanging plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mousse is set, about 1 to 2 hours.
4) Place the Meyer Lemon Mousse over the raspberry mousse
5) Gently smooth the surface, and refrigerate until the Meyer lemon mousse is set, about 1 to 2 hours.
6) Then, top with the dark chocolate mousse Layer
7) Cover with another layer of sliced Raspberry Swiss Roll
8)  Cover the whole thing with the over hanging plastic wrap and refrigerate for another hour or two.  In my case, over night until ready to serve.


There are quite a few steps and some wait time in between each layer, but those are pretty simple steps.  It sure was a fun cake to make and cut into.  After turning out the cake, I decorated it with more fresh raspberries and fresh whipped cream.

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I'll try to post the Raspberry Swiss Roll cake recipe in a separate post when I make them again.  For now, Happy Birthday to my sweet Baby Girl and Hubby.  Wish you lots of love, good health and happiness.

*Note:  This cake was inspired by the book Sprinkle Bakes.  It was originally an ice cream roulé cake. However, I used my own cake and mousse recipes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Homemade “Orangina”? You bet!

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I’m sure many of you are familiar with the drink Orangina, right? No? It’s a carbonated citrus beverage made from orange, lemon, mandarin, and grapefruit juices, which was originated in France. Sounds refreshing? Yes, it certainly is. If you’ve tried one before, you probably know it’s a really fun and refreshing drink, and expensive too.  I’m such a cheapskate.

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There are abundance of super sweet oranges from my In-Law's garden throughout the year.  You might remember these Orange Marmalade with Meyer Lemon that I've made with those oranges.  If not, you’ve got to check that out.

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With the super hot weather in L.A.  I really love to enjoy a cool and refreshing drink, in the afternoon or after a good workout.  I love carbonated beverages but soda is just not a healthy option, especially with the frequency and volume of my consumption.  So, I created the Homemade Orangina to quench the thirst! 

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I’ve made several version of this Homemade Orangina and they were all wonderful.  This is really simple to prepare, simply add one part of freshly squeezed juice with equal part of club soda.  Recently, I’ve harvested some tangerines from my In-Law’s garden.  The tangerines were even sweeter than the oranges and they added a nice floral tone to the drink.  If you prefer to add a splash of lemon juice, by all means go for it.  It’s a nice refreshing drink that’s not overly sweet.  Best of all, it’s packed with vitamin C and that’s good for you. 

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I took the pictures of this post in a super hot afternoon and the whole glass of Homemade Orangina was mysteriously evaporated within two minutes right before my eyes! Smile with tongue out


I hope you’ll give this recipe a try.  Until next time, stay cool and take care.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Japanese Masago Rice—With Step-by-Step Pictorial

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Many years ago, when I was still in college, I frequently visit this casual Japanese restaurant in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles called 花の島 (literally translated to Island of Flower).  They mainly serve set lunch and dinner on their menu.  They have tasty noodles and many varieties of rice bowl dishes.  Very tasty, homey and affordable, perfect for college students on a budget.  One of the items on the menu was Japanese Masago Rice and it’s always been my favorite ever since my first order.  And please do not ask me how many years ago that was, I’ve lost count!

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After moving away further from that part of town, I seldom visited this restaurant anymore.  I still crave this Japanese Masago Rice from time to time.  So, I’ve been making this at home for the longest time.  This is one of my favorite recipes from the “restaurant dish recreated at home” category, especially in the hot summer because it’s served at room temperature.  Think about it, who needs a bowl of hot rice when the temperature hits triple digits, right!?  Definitely not me. 

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Imagine flavorful, slightly tangy and sweet sushi rice packed with slightly salty and sweet Masago eggs (Smelt Eggs); mixed all in with tender egg stripes, sweet and umami crab (imitation crab meat it is, remember we’re on a budget here); top with crispy, earthy seaweed and crunchy and spicy radish sprouts.  Each bite is heavenly.  If you wonder what the imitation crab meat is made from, it’s fish.  Different brand might use different type of fish.  I’ll show you my favorite brand to use in the pictorial below.

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Ready to come into the kitchen with me to learn how to make this?  Come on over.

1) Place the cooked sushi rice into a large bowl and season with rice vinegar, sugar and salt.
2) Fold the rice to evenly distribute the seasoning and cool off the rice a bit.  Loosely cover the rice with a plastic wrap so it won’t dry out while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
3) Fry the eggs on a skillet until fully cooked.  Remove from heat and let it cool on a plate.
4) This is my favorite brand of imitation crab meat.  They are so good that I can eat them straight out of the bag!  And I did…and please don’t ask me how many either.  You probably know by now that I’m not too good with counting numbers.

Pictorial A

5) The imitation crab meats are individually wrapped, so make sure you remove the plastic wraps.
6) With your hands, pull them apart into thin strips. 
7) Cut the cooked and cooled eggs into thin strips.
8) This is the package of radish sprouts, as instructed on the package, use a pair of scissors to cut whatever amount you needed.

Pictorial B

9) This is the seaweed that I used.  Toast it in the toaster oven for 30 seconds at the lowest setting to crisp it up if you like.
10) With a pair of kitchen scissors, cut the seaweed into thin strips, 1 1/2-inch length.
11) Fold in the masago eggs into the cooled sushi rice.
12) Gently fold in the imitation crab meat, eggs and top with the seaweed, radish sprouts and serve.

Pictorial C

Here’s a close up of the finished dish.  Don’t you just love the colors?

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Hope you enjoy today’s recipe and pictorial.  Until next time, take care and let’s enjoy more summer dishes before it ends! 

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Fresh Thyme

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Some of you might not know, I don’t really like summer.  It’s so hot that sometimes I hesitate to turn on the oven to bake my cakes or cookies.  It’s way too hot to wear clothes that cover my baby fats (note: fats from babies that I had, of course….no, there’s no buns in the oven, I promise).  It’s way too hot to workout under the sun after 10 am!  I probably can go on and on….but let’s focus on the positive of summer, shall we?  The best thing about summer that I can think of, would be indulging in frozen desserts like this Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Fresh Thyme without feeling guilty.  It’s a really light and refreshing treat that won’t weight you down.  Plus, it’s super simple to make.
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I added some fresh thyme leaves to infuse the simple syrup that’s going into making this sorbet.  The lemony fresh thyme compliment the Meyer lemon really well.  Last year, I made the Mixed Berries-Kiwi Sorbet with fresh basil in it.  I love the fresh herbs in these sorbets.  The earthiness of the herbs added the depth of flavor and balance out the sweetness. 

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I made the Mixed Berries Sorbet without an ice cream machine last year.  Simply stir the mixture once or twice after the mixture is in the freezer for an hour.  You can do the same with this recipe if you don’t have an ice cream machine.  But, I really recommend you to get one.  Besides sorbets, you can use it to make some Valrhona Dark Chocolate Ice Cream, Roasted Strawberry Ice Cream, or French Roasted Coffee Ice Cream.  See how much fun I’ve been having with my ice cream machine? 

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Besides enjoying this Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Fresh Thyme as is, my favorite way to serve it is to pour processo over a couple of scoops.  What should I call it now?  hm…Let's see, it’s a dessert, it’s a drink, it’s cool and it’s a totally fun treat.  Whatever you want to name it, I don’t think I care much.  Just give this a try and I'm sure you’ll love it too.  

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If you’re serving this sorbet to the kids and they also want the bubbly fun, simply substitute the processo with some sparkling white grape juice.  Until next time, have fun and make this Meyer Lemon Sorbet with Fresh Thyme soon!


**Reminder: Don't forget to enter my current giveaway (click here to enter).  Don't miss it!  Deadline to enter is August 10, 2012 by midnight.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Spicy Chicken Wrap—Lunch for One (with Pictorial)

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Since my Baby Girl started school this summer, I’ve got a few hours of “me” time during the day while both of my kids are at school.  Yay…I finally got out of the night owl baking and posting habit, or maybe not.  I still love the quiet time I have at night, it’s just different.  That's my "Happy Hour", if you know what I mean.

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What do I do with the “me” time during the day?  Well, there’s something I’ve been planning and working on, but not quite ready for the revelation just yet.  I’ll make an official announcement in the future.  So, besides missing my kids tremendously, I've been spending  more time cooking, baking, taking pictures (food, people, and scenic views, etc), and exercise.  Yup, surprised by the last one?  Me too! 

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Also, I get to enjoy preparing some simple lunch and dishes that I don’t usually get to make when my kids are around... such as this Spicy Chicken Wrap.  So, don’t be surprised if you see more spicy recipes on my blog in the future.  I love spicy food.  Winking smile Let me show you how to make it.

1) In a small bowl, mix the Japanese Mayo and Sriracha hot sauce together
2) Spread the spicy mayo on a tortilla wrap, leaving an 1/2-inch border
3) Place baby arugula in the center
4) Top with roasted chicken and tomato
5) Top with some radish for some crunch
6) Roll it all up and enjoy

It couldn’t be any easier than this, right?  If you plan to serve this to your family, feel free to double or quadruple the recipe to make enough to share.  If you have young kids or anyone in the family who don’t eat spicy food, substitute the hot sauce with ketchup.  But I really love the spiciness in this wrap, especially pairing with the peppery arugula and radish.  The chicken I used here was a left over roasted chicken drumstick from the night before.  Simply warm it up in the microwave and remove the skin and bone before wrapping .   

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I really love this quick and easy recipe.  Hm…I guess I might start a “Lunch for One” series with quick and simple recipes on my blog. Will you be interested to see more of this type of recipes? Please let me know in the comment below.  I always love hearing from you.