Monday, July 26, 2010

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Until I started dating my husband about 4 years ago,  I had no idea what red velvet cake was. I've never seen it in stores. He said that it's his most favorite cake in the world! So finally, I found one at one supermarket but he said it's still not the same taste like the way he's had it in the Midwest or the South. Fast forward to the final weeks of planning our wedding, we decided on having red velvet as our wedding cake. We found a good baker in San Leandro. I'm still not a fan of it. I think that it's too sweet especially when they top it with the cream cheese on top or sometimes with butter cream. I told my husband that one day, I'll try to make it for him.

Fast forward to 2010, I see red velvet on everything!! CAKE, CUPCAKE, ICE CREAM, COFFEE, ETC! It's like a war of red velvet! 2 weeks ago, the Gelato place near our house had red velvet gelato too! I didn't taste it but I bought it for my husband and he approved! Then I was reading one of the magazine that we brought back from Atlanta family reunion and I saw a recipe for a red velvet cheesecake. I love cheesecake and the recipe is simple enough for me to challenge my self to make it for my husband's birthday today!

You must try this recipe because it is DIVINE!!


2 packages (8 ounces each) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate morsels, melted
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 prepared chocolate crumb crust

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with a mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, beating on low speed just until blended. Transfer one cup of batter to a medium bowl; stir in melted chocolate and food coloring. Pour into prepared crust. Top with remaining plain cheesecake batter. Bake until center is almost set, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover; refrigerate at least 3 hours. To serve, drizzle with your favorite fruit or chocolate topping. ENJOY!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mongolian Beef

We have community lunch twice a week for a team of employees working on a product at work. It's usually sandwiches, salad, taco bar or whatever is easier to order near the office for delivery. Today, I decided to order Chinese food from Chinatown in Oakland. They don't deliver so I had to pick it up. The food was a hit with the team since it's been a while since this type of food had been delivered to the office. Unless you go to Chinatown, there's really not that many Chinese restaurants near our building. One of the dish I ordered was Mongolian Beef. It was the first one to go so I wasn't able to try it. So I decided to cook it for dinner. I sent my son to go to the market around the corner to get one of the important ingredients - green onion!

2 lbs sirloin steak (sliced thin and crosswise)
1/2 cup of corn starch
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
6 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon of pepper flakes
1 cup of water
1 bundle of green onion (sliced thin)

Pat steak slices dry and add to a bowl with corn starch. Toss to ensure all pieces are coated. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large wok or non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 3 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Turn the heat to high and add the remaining oil to the wok. Add the beef and cook until browned on all sides. Pour the sauce back into the wok and cook until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Add the green onions, stir and remove from heat. Serve with steamed rice.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Smoked Chipotle Pork Loin Sliders w/ Cantaloupe Slaw and Blue Cheese

Sliders are becoming very popular and it seems like every restaurant I go to has them in their appetizer menu. I've seen and read a variety of sliders in cook books and there's even some sliders truck at busy downtown areas serving people from the street. From salmon, pulled pork, oyster, beef ribs, turkey burger and so on. I've been itching to try to make some and after the church service today and a good word from our Pastor about food, my brain was working on a good recipe on the way home. This recipe is truly an MJ's original! It's a combination of spicy, sweet, sharp and salty.

Ingredients: (Serves 3)

9 mini wheat or regular buns
6 pieces thin sliced pork loin (cut in thin strips)
2 teaspoons of smoked chipotle powder seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of butter
1/8 wedge cabbage (thinly sliced)
1 wedge of cantaloupe (thinly sliced)
3 tablespoons of crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil
sweet and sour chili sauce (for dipping or added condiment)


Heat up a frying pan and melt the butter in slow heat to avoid burning. After the butter is melted, add the pork, salt and chipotle seasoning and stir fry for about 6 minutes in high heat or until meat is done to your liking. Over cooking the pork will make them chewy and dry.  Set the pork aside when it's done. Mix the sliced cabbage, cantaloupe, balsamic vinegar, oil and blue cheese in a bowl. Arrange 3 mini bun on a plate and top each bottom half with about a tablespoon of the pork. Then top the pork with the cantaloupe slaw and drizzle a dollop of the sweet and sour chili sauce. Finish by putting the other half of the bun firmly on top of the mixture. Enjoy with a lemonade or your favorite beer!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shitake Mushrooms and Long Beans Coconut Curry

I was craving for some spicy curry this week after 5 days of eating soul food and fast food while we were in Atlanta for a family reunion. My taste palate is looking for something different. I looked at what I have in my fridge and was very surprised to see that most of the vegetables I bought before our trip are still fresh and looks good enough to make a good dish out of them. I decided on preparing a vegetarian dish with the curry.


1 1/2 lbs of fresh Shitake mushrooms
1 1/2 lbs of long beans (cut in 2 inches length)
6 pieces of dried red hot chili peppers
6 cloves of fresh garlic (chopped)
15 pieces of fresh whole basil leaves
2 cups of coconut milk
6 teaspoon of vegetable oil
1 cup of water
6 teaspoon of fish sauce
2 teaspoon of yellow curry powder
1 teaspoon of galangal powder (optional)
1/2 fresh lemon or lime juice


 Turn the heat to medium high with a large frying pan. Add the oil and the garlic. Brown the garlic.

Add the mushroom and saute with garlic for 2 minutes

Add the long beans and saute for 3 minutes

Add the basil leaves and saute for 2 minutes

Add the coconut milk and cook for 3 minutes or until the milk starts boiling

Add the curry powder, galangal powder, fish sauce, water and chili peppers. Stir well and cover. Cook for about 8-10 minutes until the long beans are done. Squeeze the 1/2 lemon or lime juice all over and serve with rice and enjoy!

Chicken Adobo

I heard that there will be an Adobo Festival being held in Union City this weekend and it inspired me to cook my own version and decided to film it and share the cooking demonstration with my blog fans. I also shared some of the Adobo with some friends at Penelope Bar located near my job. They loved it!


10 pieces of chicken legs (drumstick)
5 medium potatoes (cut in quarters)
2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorn
1 cup of white vinegar
1/2 cup of dark soy sauce
1 cup of water
4 bay leaves
8 pieces of fresh garlic (smashed with skin)
1 large yellow onion (sliced thin)
3 teaspoon of brown sugar
1/4 cup of vegetable oil

Watch the video for cooking demonstration!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Sauteed Jalapeno and Cheddar Smoked Sausage

Here is another way to enjoy hot links off the grill. Less messy and less carb! Just enjoy it with salad for a healthier meal at the picnic!

Ingredients and Preparation:

1/2 medium yellow onion (slivered)
2 tbs butter

Slice the sausages 1/2 inch thick
Slice the onions thinly

Heat a medium saute pan and add and melt the butter. Toss in the onions and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the sausages, stir and cover. Cook for about 6 minutes. Serve with salad or over rice if you want your carbs :).

Pomegranate and Basil Prawns

I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July weekend! We had a great day and enjoyed the warm day in the Bay Area at Stinson Beach early in the day and ended up in Sausalito for the fireworks.

Since it's just 3 of us celebrating as a family, I decided to prepare the food ahead of time for our picnic lunch instead of carrying a portable grill with us. This way, it will be easy, convenient and not too messy and we can enjoy the day relaxing and not grilling. Here is one dish I prepared.

Ingredients and Preparation:

1 1/2 lbs jumbo prawns (peel and rinse well) (fresh or previously frozen)
10 fresh basil leaves
2 tbs of butter
pinch of ground black pepper
1 tbs of pomegranate molasses

Heat a wok or medium saute pan and add and melt the butter but don't let it burn. As soon as the butter melted, add the prawns and toss with butter and cook for about 3 minutes in high heat while tossing (or stirring). Add the basil, black pepper and molasses. Stir well and cook for another 3 minutes in medium heat. Serve with steam rice or if bringing for a picnic to eat later, let the prawns cool before packing for travel.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Crustacean Inspired Garlic Noodles

Here is another Crustacean inspired recipe for Garlic noodles. I found this recipe on one of the blogs I follow on Facebook - Rasa Malaysia. I've always wanted to try this recipe but I'm more a rice person than noodles. Since I'm cooking the roasted crab, the only way to savor it is with garlic noodles. At least, that's how they serve it at most Asian restaurants. A serving of garlic noodle at Crustacean is about $11.00. If you already have the ingredients in this recipe, it will cost you just between .99 cents to $1.50 for a pound of fresh homemade noodles at the Asian market!!

Ingredients and Preparation:

1 lb fresh noodles
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic (pounded)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
2 1/2 teaspoons oyster sauce

Rinse the noodles with cold water and set aside. Heat up a pot of water and let it boil. Boil the noodles in the hot water until they are done, drain the water, and set aside to cool down the noodles.

In a pan, saute the garlic with the olive oil in medium heat. The purpose is to infuse the olive oil with garlicky flavor.

Take out the garlic and set aside for garnish later and then add in 4 tablespoons of butter and turn the heat to low.

Add in the chicken bouillon powder, garlic powder, oyster sauce and blend well.

Set aside to let it cool.


Once the garlic mixture is cool and the noodles are cool at room temperature, pour the garlic mixture over the noodles and toss them together to blend well. Sprinkle the garlic you put aside for some crunchiness and more garlic flavor.

Roasted Crab with Peppercorn and Garlic

Crab season is almost over and I haven't had a chance to cook any. It's also been a few months since I blogged a recipe that I tried. Well, I have a darn good excuse....BEEN QUITE BUSY with travel and events and its just the beginning of summer. I found myself itching to blog for the past 2 days so I decided to visit the market and see what I can cook.

I stopped by my regular Asian market and my eyes got big when I saw that the live Dungeness crabs are on sale!! I started salivating and thought about the recipe I received from a colleague that she found from a blogger chef on Facebook and it turns out that I am also a follower of this blogger. I must say that this is my first time roasting crabs and the outcome is scrumptious!!

Ingredients and Preparation: (2 servings) 
2 Dungeness Crab (about 4 lbs)
2 stick unsalted butter
8 cloves garlic (chopped coarsely)
4 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
4 teaspoons black peppercorn (cracked using a mortar and pestle)
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Clean and chop the crab into halves or in quarters

Heat up the butter in a wok (between medium to low heat)
and saute the garlic until aromatic, but not brown

 Add in the black peppercorn, chicken bouillon powder

and then add in the crab and stir well. Add in the sugar and cook the crab until half done 

Dish out the crab into a deep baking pan and bake it in the oven at 375 degree F for 30 minutes

 Serve hot with garlic noodles