Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer tomato salad

Beside the awesome warm feeling of the summer months and the never ending invitations from friends and families, farmers market is one of my must-dos. They have a line full of vendors that give you a large variety for whatever your little heart desires. It's kinda relaxing in a way and very fulfilling too, especially when you find the things you love or something new to try. I bought a tray of heirloom tomatoes which tasted just the way it looks; summery! I like  fresh  tomatoes and love to make simple light salads using them. They are one of the many good things summer brings us each year. These particular ones are harvested during the months of July and August. By the end of September those freshly picked, locally grown tomatoes will just be a memory, so lets join with me and make it a happy one.


1 lb assorted summer tomatoes
1 seedless cucumber ( about 3 inches)
2 chilies for heat, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion chopped
4 tbs good olive oil
2 tbs vinegar
1/4 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
2 tbs cilantro roughly chopped

Summer tomato salad

Assorted summer tomatoes


Cut each tomato in half and set aside in a bowl. Cube the  cucumbers, slice the chilies, chop the red onion and add this to the bowl of halved tomatoes. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and Tabasco to make a vinaigrette. Add this to the bowl. Add the roughly chopped cilantro and toss to coat evenly. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Zesty baked Salmon

I put this  together for dinner one evening  and  was delighted by how it turned out. I have been experimenting with different ways of cooking this healthy, omega 3 and  protein-packed fish. I intend on sharing all of them with you in due time! Salmon fillets are versatile and cook quickly, depending on the thickness. I mostly select the skinless fillets since I don't care for the texture of the skin much. A simple marinade will also help build flavor. Since fish is not as dense as meat or poultry, it just needs 20 to 30 minutes of marinading time in the refrigerator. I hope you make this for dinner one evening for your dear ones, or yourself.

good to know:

Keep the salmon refrigerated in its original package  until ready to cook. It can be refrigerated up to 2 days.


4 salmon fillets, 5-oz each
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Direction for marinading:

Combine lemon juice, olive oil and salt in a glass bowl or Ziploc bag. Place the salmon in the bowl or bag and coat evenly. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes. While the salmon is marinading, place oven rack one level above center rack and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients for baking salmon

2 Roma tomatoes sliced to desired thickness
2 jalapeno peppers sliced to desired thickness
1 clove garlic sliced thinly
1/2 red onion chopped
cilantro and cucumber for garnish

Prepare a baking pan or baking sheet by spraying its surface  with cooking spray. Place sliced tomato in pan. Place marinaded salmon fillets on the sliced tomatoes. layer the red onion, sliced garlic, and jalapeno on each fillet. Place fillets in oven and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Plate, garnish and have a great meal!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Cumin chickpeas

As a child chickpeas was introduced to me in different ways. My mother mostly used the dried version back then. I still remember her reaction when she first saw chickpeas in cans; " this looks like it might be easier to cook", she looked somewhat relieved. The dried version usually has to be boiled  for 30 minutes to reach the tenderness of that in the can. Chickpeas being canned, has no affect on it's nutritional value. It's high source of protein makes it an awesome substitute for meat, so go crazy on this recipe dear vegetarians. I myself am not a vegetarian, but I like to have it at least once per week. It's usually a side dish at dinner or lunch. I really like this version and I hope you do too! 



1 can chickpeas
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp whole cumin
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/2 onion cubed or chopped
1/4 tsp salt 
3 stalk green onion chopped 
2 tbs cilantro chopped
1/4 cup water 

Prepare your ingredients, open your can of chickpeas and drain it's water. With oil in pan place it on medium heat. Once oil seem hot enough to start cooking, add onion and garlic to infuse (about 20 seconds). Add cumin, both ground and whole and fry for an additional 10 seconds. Add your can of chickpeas, salt and let cook for 1 minute while turning  it every 20 seconds within the minute ( gentle turning). Add water, cover and let steam-cook for about five to ten minutes or until water has dried off. Turn occasionally to achieve even cooking. Add green onions and cook for an additional 10 seconds. Add cilantro, remove from heat, place in  a lovely serving dish and enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Kaffir lime leaf tea

My Asian background has been a big part of my love for tea.The kaffir lime leaf tea is not just another tea made from dried leaves, but made from fresh picked leaves from the Kaffir lime tree. The leaves are highly aromatic and suitable for Asian cuisines, including Thai, Indonesian, Cambodian and Lao Cuisines.With it's fresh lemony flavor that says, " wake up" and aroma which says, "relax". It's best in the morning or mid-afternoon.  I love this tea! If you get these leaves fresh-frozen or fresh, do try it. It will be a delightful taste.Thank goodness for oriental markets, and their goodies!


3 Kaffir lime leaves washed
1 1/4 cup of water
1/2 tsp brown sugar


Bring water to a boil. Lower heat, which will bring the water  at a slow boil before placing leaves in. Cut or tear each leaf in 3 pieces as to let out the natural oils. place leaves in water for a slow boiling time of two minutes. Take  your source of heat off, and pour your tea in a lovely tea cup, add sugar, stir. place a fresh leaf in your cup for added aroma. Enjoy nature's goodness.

Kaffir lime leaf tea

Monday, February 18, 2013

Artisan bread

I have been wanting to tackle this for a long time, but I have been apprehensive to even begin. This was made possible with the help of a friend. Take a try at this wonderful recipe!

1 1/2 cups Luke warm water (105 degrees)
1/2 tsp granulated sugar  
1 packet yeast
1/2 table spoon salt
3 1/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour 
Cornmeal for dusting pan

Add sugar and yeast to water. Let sit for 1 minute. Add flour and salt. Mix with wooden spoon until there is no sight of dry patches. Place dough in large enough container for tripling the size after initial rise (about two hours). Cover container with plastic wrap or a lid which is NOT air tight.

Let sit in a warm place on your counter. Preheat oven 350 degrees 15 minutes before baking. Place a cookie tray half full with water on lower rack in the oven two minutes before bread dough goes in. This will help with crusting. After the two hour rise, flour your hands before handling the Dough. Cut dough into desired sizes. Sprinkle cornmeal on a heavy cookie sheet. Roll each piece into desired shape. Keep flouring hands so dough is easy to work with. Let it sit for ten minutes before placing in the oven. Create those cuts on the Dough by using a kitchen scissors, clipping two inches Into the dough. That will give the open-cut design. Let sit for ten minutes. Dough will rise a little. Place in oven and bake for 25 to 28 minutes. Serve warm, not hot. Five minutes after coming out of the oven. Serve with flavored butter.


when we say chili, it means, 'chili in our house, or our preference', at least in my words. The reason why I say this, is because your favorite chili is based on your tolerance of certain ingredients. Most are a must and some are just added to create a unique flavor or taste. Chili has a history behind it. I would rather not get into it.The taste is great either way. I hope it's one you might appreciate, if you happen to stumble upon this pot of delicious goodness as you search for chili recipes. With that said, here follows my preferred chili created by me!

2 tbs olive oil
3 cloves freshly crushed garlic
1/2 large onion chopped
1 jalapeno pepper diced
2 lb ground beef
1/2 tsp  ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground chili
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground adobo seasoning
2 cans red bean (15 oz each)
1 can diced tomato (15 oz)
1 can tomato sauce (13 oz)
1 green bell pepper diced
1 tbs light brown sugar
Kosher salt to taste

With oil in dutch oven and heat to medium high add garlic onion and ground beef. Let brown for about two minutes or less. Add spices, jalapeno, brown sugar and turn to coat ground beef. Let cook for 20 seconds. Now add beans, tomatoes and salt. Turn to distribute everything evenly in pot. Take a big smell , cover your concoction and let cook on low for 5 hours. Once finished, serve as pleased.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Coffee press delight

Here is a wonderful start of the day. Don't you think so? My mornings will be a drag if I don't take my dose. One cup is all I need. Love to try different brands of coffee. A passion of my husband, which I adapted. We really like our French press! You should try it if you haven't yet.

Here's how to work with your French press :

Ground Coffee

Place your ground coffee of choice in your press following directions on package. It is usually, 2 tbs per 6 oz of boiling water. Cover, let your coffee brew 4 minutes for fine ground, and 6 minutes for course ground. Press down slowly, pour and enjoy!

Finish off with your own personal touch.
Sugar, cream, ...?

Always place your coffee press away from the edge of your counter, in case of accidents.
Timing is very important when using this method, so follow it completely.