NATIONAL CHICKEN MONTH

September is ‘National Chicken Month’.  Here are some really delicious Chicken Recipes for you to try!

 

FRIED CHICKEN:  Fried Chicken is everybody’s favorite and mine especially.  Try substituting Oatmeal or Rice Flour for some of the Flour and you will have the crispiest, best tasting Chicken ever!   /fried-chicken/

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another delicious way to prepare Chicken is ‘Chicken Picatta’.  An Italian delicious it is redolent with the flavor of fresh Lemon Juice.  If you love anything Lemon, then you will certainly love this Chicken Dish.  Serve it with Linguini or Risotto.  The sauce from the Chicken will help to flavor the rice or pasta.  /dinner/chicken-picatta/

 

 

Chicken Picatta

Chicken Piccata

 

 

 

Chicken Cacciatore is another Italian Chicken Dish, but this time it is made with a Tomato Sauce that goes perfectly with your favorite pasta.  It is best made with fresh tomatoes but canned can also be used. chicken-cacciatore/

 

Chicken Cacciatore

Chicken Cacciatore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more delicious Chicken Recipes visit the Appetizer Section appetizers/ in the Recipe Section of this Blog.

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/09/13 at 4:16 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Culinary Arts, Dinner Ideas, Main, National Food Days   Tags: , , , , , , ,

BREAKFAST

 

 

September is ‘National Breakfast Month’ and this is a particularly good time for it.  With the kids back in school, it is a good time for parents to emphasize the fact that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  The word Breakfast literally means to break a fast.  That Fast is the time between when you eat your last meal of the day and the first meal of the next day.  This usually is a period of 10-12 hours.   This is the reason that your body needs to replenish its fuel supply to run and to feed your brain.  Automobiles can’t run without fuel and neither can the human body.  Therefore, skipping breakfast is not good for your body or your brain.

A healthy Breakfast should contain some Protein and some Carbohydrates.  If you eat wholesome nutritious foods they will also contain the vitamins you need along with essential fatty acids.

All cultures have a breakfast menu, although some do not call it as such.  Breakfast foods as we know them in the West are not necessarily what people in the Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures eat.  The typical American Breakfast is actually based on the English Breakfast which traditionally consists of Eggs, some kind meat such as sausage or bacon and maybe potatoes plus fruit and a beverage.  And don’t forget the toast!

In Asia most breakfasts include rice of some kind.  In China, it is Congee, a porridge made with rice but in other Asian countries rice is just used as one of the ingredients for the breakfast.

Since we could elaborate for miles and miles on the different breakfasts around the world I am going to stick with the Western Variety.  This would include, of course European Countries as well as North America.

In Spain and Germany,  the first meal of the day is usually just a cup of coffee and a pastry and a larger more elaborate breakfast is eaten a couple of hours later.

In American, many families have opted to have dry cereal for breakfast along with milk poured onto it.  This is certainly faster for people in a hurry, but it is not necessarily the best or tastiest way to go.

My favorite breakfast stems back to my childhood when my parents and my brother and I usually had eggs for breakfast.  To this day, Eggs are still my favorite food for breakfast.

Since this is ‘National Breakfast Month’ we will devote one blog a week to Breakfasts around the world.  This month will be American Breakfasts such as we know them.  The traditional American Breakfast at least as I knew it was Fruit Juice or Fresh Fruit, Eggs, Toast and Milk or Coffee for the Adults.  Of course, there are many other variations such as Pancakes, Waffles, Crepes (one of my favorite filled with fruit), cooked Oatmeal (with Raisins! or dried Apples!) and the proverbial dried Cereal with Milk and fruit such as Bananas added.

Whatever your favorite Breakfast, just don’t forget to eat it!  Remember, Breakfast is the most important meal of the Day!  Especially for children who go to school and need the fuel and brain power that a good breakfast provides!

 

To give you some ideas and recipes for Breakfast Items check out the Breakfast/Recipe section of this Blog:  recipes/breakfast-items/

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/09/06 at 10:36 PM

Categories: Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Halloween Recipes, Main   Tags: , , , , , ,

ADVENTURES IN CHEESE MAKING – CHEESE BLINTZ

Now that I had a batch of fresh homemade Ricotta Cheese the next step was to make something with it.  I decided to make a batch of Cheese Blintz to serve for Sunday Brunch with fresh Strawberries.  The crepes for the Blintz are easiest to work with if the Batter is made at least 1 hour ahead of time and then allowed to rest in the refrigerator.  If you try to make the Crepes right after making the Batter there will be too much air in the batter for the pancakes to form properly.  Now as far as I am concerned, the thinner the crepes the better, but of course you do need to have them thick enough to hold the filling without tearing.  You can use the Sweet Crepe Batter Recipe under the Recipe/Dessert Section of this Blog.  deserts/sweet-crepe-shells/ Just reduce the Sugar in the recipe from 1 Tbsp. to 1 tsp.

 

I made the Crepe Batter with the residual Whey from the production of the Ricotta.  This reduces the waste that normally would result from making the Cheese.  To make the Crepes, the Filling and the topping just follow the procedure below.

 

#1 – Make the Batter and refrigerate for at least one hour.

#2 – Rinse, dry, slice and sugar the Berries.  If using Blackberries, Boysenberries or Raspberries eliminate the slicing procedure.  Place the Berries in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime (for every pint of berries) over the Berries and then toss with 1/4 cup of Superfine Sugar.  Taste and add more Lime Juice and/or Sugar as desired.

 

Strawberries

#3 – Make the Cheese Filling for the Blintz.   /deserts/cheese-filling/

 

Ricotta Cheese Filling for Blintz

 

4.  Make the Crepes -

 

Heat the crepe pan until a drop of water splashed on it sizzles;  melt the Butter and stir into the  Batter.

  • Use approximately ¼ cup of Batter (the exact amount depends on the size of the pan)
  • While you are pouring in the Batter, tilt the pan with your other hand to cover the bottom of the pan.
  • When the edges begin to dry and bubbles appear on the crepe surface, turn it over with a heat-proof spatula and cook a few seconds more on the turned side.  (Cook one side to a light brown and the other just enough to set the batter.  This side should still be almost white when you remove it from the pan.) 
  • You will be browning the Blintz in Butter before serving them so you do not want the second side to be cooked too long.

 

5.  Filling the Blintz -

  • Lay the Crepe Shells on a flat plate or work surface
  • Place a scoop of the Cheese Filling in the middle
  • Fold in the sides and then fold over the top and bottom.  You should have a square package.

 

Filled Blintz

Filled Blintz

 

6.  To Serve -

 

  • Melt enough Butter to make a thin sizzling layer in the bottom of a medium to large frying pan.  When the Butter starts to sizzle add the Blintz, leaving about 1/4 – 1/2″ between each one.
  • When the bottoms brown gently turn and cook the other side.

 

Browned Cheese Blintz

Browned Cheese Blintz

  • Serve while hot with the sliced Strawberries and Sour Cream or Whipped Cream as a Garnish.

 

Cheese Blintz with Strawberries and Sour Cream

Cheese Blintz with Strawberries and Sour Cream

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/29 at 11:38 PM

Categories: Breakfast Ideas, Cheese, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Culinary Arts, Dairy, Dessert Ideas, Lunch Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , ,

ADVENTURES IN CHEESE MAKING

One of my sons who lives in a country where Cheese is not a commonly found product has experimented with making his own.  His adventures have inspired me to try my hand at Cheese Making even though Cheese is readily available where we live.  So the first Cheese that I tried making is Ricotta.  Ricotta or Cottage Cheese is probably the simplest of all Cheese to make.  It took about an hour and a quarter and that includes draining time.

 

The products you need are readily available at your local grocer and you probably have the cooking vessels and containers that you need at home.  Listed below are the groceries that you need and the equipment you should have.

 

Let’s start with the Equipment so that when you go out to buy the groceries, if you don’t have all the equipment, you can purchase it at the same time you purchase your groceries.

 

5-6 Quart Cooking Vessel

Large Colander or Sieve (Strainer)

 

Cheesecloth on Colander

Cheesecloth on Colander

Cheese Cloth

5-6 Quart Bowl

 

The Groceries that you will need are:

1/2 Gallon of Milk  (preferably from a local dairy and is not over-pastureized

1 cup of Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream

Heavy Cream

1/2 tsp. Salt

3 Tbsps. Lemon Juice

 

Start by combining the Milk, Cream and Salt in your large cooking vessel.  Place it over high heat and bring to a rapid boilstirring continuously to prevent burning.

 

Once the mixture comes to a rapid boil, stir in the Lemon Juice, lower the heat and cook (again stirring continuously until the mixture curdles completely.  (About 2 minutes)

 

Curdling

Curdling

 

Remove from the heat and pour into the Cheese Cloth lined colander.  Allow to drain for one hour.

 

Draining in Colander

Draining in Colander

Wrap in the Cheese Cloth and plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.  This Cheese will keep for only 2 days, so plan on using it as quickly as you can.

 

Completely Drained

Completely Drained

You can see that the drained Cheese has taken on the shape of the colander and is formed into a perfectly round parcel.  This is not so important with Ricotta Cheese as it usually gets mixed with other ingredients to form a filling for Ravioli, Lasagna or Blilntz, but if you are making semi-hard or hard cheeses this is a bonus.

After the Ricotta had completely drained I had about a quart of the residual whey (the portion of milk that does not form the curd)  Some people feed this to their chickens ( if you have them), their cats or dogs (again if you have them).  I no longer have pets but I did find uses for the Whey.  I made a loaf of Wheat Bread with some of it and used another portion to make Crepe Shells for Blintz which I will show in my next blog.

This was the best Ricotta Cheese I have ever eaten and I usually buy an expensive brand that is made from whole milk and is very good.  This at least matched it, but I think it was better.  It costs no less to make it at home than it does to buy, but it is good and it is fun.

Check my next blog to see what I did with this Ricotta.

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/28 at 7:07 PM

Categories: Baking, Bread, Culinary Arts, Dairy, Main   Tags: , , , ,

CULINARY MAKEOVERS – #17: Fried Chicken Fettucinni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time for another ‘Make-over’.  When cooking for two people, it is often difficult to cook just the right amount of food.  Especially when making Fried Chicken!  Whoever heard of frying just half a Chicken?  And who gets what?  So, I always make a whole one and use the leftovers for lunches, salads, sandwiches and even a dinner.

 

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

This time I made Fettucinni with the Fried Chicken leftovers and Garden Fresh Vegetables.  Yes, from our backyard Garden.  The Vegetables that came from our yard were Tomatoes, Japanese Eggplant and Basil.   The rest of the Vegetables that I used were Onions, Mushrooms, Red Bell Pepper and Garlic.

 

Start with the Chicken by boning and removing most of the skin.  Next slice the Chicken against the grain into bite-sized pieces.  Set the Chicken aside and prepare your Vegetables. Wash and dry all the Vegetables before prepping them.   Peel and crush or mince the Garlic.    Dice the Onion and clean and slice the Mushrooms.  Mince the fresh Basil and set aside.  The Eggplant I used was Japanese Eggplant and they are slender to begin with so I just sliced them into 1/4″ slices.  (Thicker if you prefer)  Dice the Tomatoes and Bell Pepper and set aside.

 

Cook the Pasta in Boiling Salted Water per package directions.  (DO NOT OVERCOOK!)  Drain in a colander and set aside.

In a saute pan, heat a small amount of Olive Oil and start sauteing the diced Onion, minced Garlic, sliced Mushrooms and sliced Eggplant.

 

Onion, Mushrooms & Eggplant

Onion, Mushrooms & Eggplant

Once the Vegetables  have softened add the Chicken Pieces along with the prepared Tomato.  Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

 

 

Tomatoes and Chicken Added

Tomatoes and Chicken Added

 

Just before serving combine the Cooked Vegetable/Chicken Mixture with the Cooked Pasta.  Add the diced Red Bell Pepper and Basil.  Serve immediately.

 

Pasta Added

Pasta Added

 

Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/25 at 7:59 PM

Categories: Cooking for Everyone, Culinary Arts, Dinner Ideas, Italian, Leftovers, Main, Pasta   Tags: , , , ,

LET’S GET COOKIN’ TEEN BASIC’S CAMP 2014

Here are the photos from Let’s Get Cookin’s Teen Basics Camp held the Week of July 7th, 2014.

 

Monday, July 7th - BREAKFAST


The Students each made an Omelet for themselves.  The rest of the items that were made were:  Waffles, Bacon & Sausage, Home Fries, Granola, Breakfast Fruit Shakes and Eggs Benedict.

Sophia with a Poached Egg

Sophia with an Egg Benedict

 

 

Breakfast

Breakfast

 

Home Fries

 

 Home Fries

 

 

Tuesday, July 8th - LUNCH

Lunch Items made were:  Clam Chowder, Vegetable Soup and Tomato Basil Soup.  Salads were Pasta Salad and Grilled Seafood Salad which was made with Grilled Salmon.  The students also made Buttermilk Biscuits and Chili Corn Bread to go with the Soups and Salads.  Sandwiches were Portobello Mushroom Sliders and Southwest Chicken Wraps.   Dessert was Chocolate Brownies.

Lunch Time

Lunch Time

 

 

 

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

 

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

 

July 10th – DINNER

 

Dinner items that were made were:  Garlic Dinner Rolls, Baby Lettuce Salad, Caesar Salad, Vegetable Chili, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Croquettes, Macaroni & Cheese Supreme, Scalloped Potatoes and Strawberry Granita for Dessert.  Iced Tea was the Beverage.

 

Miles, Esha, Lily & company

Miles, Esha, Lily & Jamee

 

 

Making Garlic  Yeast Rolls

Emily, Gia, Caitlin & Emily Making Garlic Yeast Rolls

 

Making Rolls

Making Rolls

 

 

 

Gavin, Diego & the Girls making Garlic Dinner Rolls

Gavin, Diego & the Girls making Garlic Dinner Rolls

 

 

Miles Making Granita

Miles Making Granita

 

July 11th – DESSERT DAY

 

The Dessert Recipes were chosen from a student request list.  The items made were Apple & Berry Pies, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes, Coconut Snowballs, Eclairs with Pastry Cream & Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

Mary helping  Jamie,Esha & Lily make Pie Crusts

Mary helping Jamie,Esha & Lily make Pie Crusts

 

Gavin,Esha & Lily making Pies

Gavin, Lily, Esha & Jamee making Pie Crusts

 

July 12th, – MYSTERY BAG DAY

 

On the final day, each group (4 in all) were given a ‘Mystery Bag’ containing a Protein, a Starch and a Vegetable from which they were to create a meal.  The groups were allowed to use whatever they needed from the Pantry and the Refrigerator.  The resulting products were quite amazing and delicious.

 

Group A – were given Beef Steak, Potatoes and Zucchinni.  They made Seasoned Grilled Steak which they sliced thinly, Mashed Potatoes and Grilled Zucchini topped with Cheddar Cheese.

 

Mystery Day

Mystery Day

 

Beef Presentation

Beef Presentation

 

Group B was given Chicken Breast, Italian Rice, Snap Peas and Green Asparagus.  They made Chicken Parm-Asian, Risotto with Snap Peas and Roasted Asparagus.

 

 

Mystery Bag Day

Mystery Bag Day

Chicken Presentation

Chicken Presentation

 

Group C was given Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potatoes, Apricots & Apples.  They elected to make Pork Lettuce Wraps with a Fruit Salsa and Sweet Potato Fries.

 

Pork Lettuce Wraps

Pork Lettuce Wraps

 

Wrap Presentation

Wrap Presentation

 

Group D was given Bowtie Pasta, Fresh Tomatoes, Yellow Squash and Italian Sausage. Included in their Package was Romaine Lettuce, Cucumbers & Carrots.   They elected to make Pasta with a Bolognese Sauce and a Green Salad with Vinaigrette & Bruschetta with a Pesto Topping.

 

Mia with Group D

Mia with Group D

 

Pasta, Salad and Bruschetta Presentation

Pasta, Salad and Bruschetta Presentation

 

Group D Presentation

Group D Presentation

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/07/14 at 11:53 PM

Categories: COOKING CLASSES, Cooking for Kids, Culinary Arts, Main, Teen Classes   Tags: , , , , ,

FOOD NOSTALIGIA

The other day my husband said “you know what you haven’t made in a long time and I would like to have”.  No, what?  “Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast’.  Now, quite honestly, I have never ever made this particular dish for him.  However, I did make it once or twice for my sons’ Father.  Well, I don’t like it now and I didn’t like it then.  But I do know where their desire for this dish came in.  This is one of the few dishes that they both remembered from their Navy days.  Why, I don’t know.

So, I told my husband that I would make it for him for dinner the next night.  “Dry Chipped Beef” anyone?  I don’t think it exists anymore except maybe in ‘camping stores’.  I went to three markets and no one had anything close.  Then, I figured that if I am going to make this dish, I would make as close to a Gourmet Version as possible.  So I purchased some Rare Roast Beef from the deli and went home and made Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast for dinner.

 

Rare Roast Beef & Mushrooms

Rare Roast Beef, Celery & Mushrooms

I sautéed some diced Onion and Celery and some sliced Mushrooms in a combination of Olive Oil and Butter.

Sautéing Diced Onion

Sautéing Diced Onion

 

While the vegetables were cooking, I cut up the Beef into small pieces.  Once the Vegetables were done, I added 3 Tablespoons of Flour to the pan and stirred it all around until the Flour had absorbed the Fat and coated the Vegetables.  Next I added 1 ½ cups of Milk and Half & Half and stirred and cooked until a thick Sauce (Béchamel) had formed.

Milk and Half & Half added

Milk and Half & Half added

 

The Beef Added

The Beef Added

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next I added 1 cup of Petit Pois (baby peas) and the Beef. I seasoned this mixture with my ‘Basil Salt’ and White Pepper.   I kept this mixture on low heat while we made the toast and put together a salad.

Since I had just made a ‘Country French Bread’ the day before we decided to use it for the toast.  This was dinner, one of my least favorite ones, but Ev loved as did Arnold before him.  I did tell him though that he would have to wait a long time before I made it again – at least one year.  I can’t think of anything that I would like to eat less.

 

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

Creamed Chipped Beef on Toast

 

The Roast Beef would have been so much better as a sandwich with olive spread, mustard, mayo and tomatoes!  Actually I did save a few pieces and that is what I will have for lunch tomorrow while Ev eats the leftover Creamed Beef!

 

Rare Roast Beef on Croissant

Rare Roast Beef on Croissant

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/06/25 at 11:52 PM

Categories: Bread, Culinary Arts, Dinner Ideas, Main   Tags: , , , , , ,

Yum Nua – Thai Beef Salad Comparison

THAI BEEF SALAD

(YUM NUA)

Unusual thought it may be for me to have eaten at three different Thai restaurants within a four day span, I did.  Each time was with a different person and coincidentally we ended up ordering Thai Beef Salad each time.  This was not a problem for me because Yum Nua is one of my favorite Thai dishes.  Having said all this, each salad was both similar to and different from the other ones.

The first Yum Nua that I had was in the Conejo Valley at my favorite local Thai Restaurant.  That being said, there really is no other local Thai Restaurant as this company has at least four locations in the Conjeo as well as one in Camarillo and one in Woodland Hills.

 

Thai Beef Salad, Conejo Valley

Thai Beef Salad, Conejo Valley

The salad is made with Lettuce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onion and Beef Tenderloin with a dressing that definitely has Fish Sauce in it although in their version the Fish Sauce taste is not prominent.  Oh, by the way it is also listed as Spicy – I get mine medium and it is quite tolerable (and this is for someone who cannot take it really hot!)  I always order it with a side of steamed Jasmine Rice just in case the heat is more than I can stand.  This particular evening I had dinner with two former students of mine so we also ordered Tom Yum Soup and Yellow Curry Chicken.  Everything this evening was quite good and tasty!

The second Yum Nua I had was actually the next day when I went to visit my family in Lompoc.  My daughter-in-law and I were out shopping and decided to stop for lunch.  There are actually at least four Thai Restaurants in Lompoc but the one that we went to was the one that Nereida thought was the best one.  In comparing the dishes and the prices to the one in the Conjeo, I would say that the portions were actually larger for the same price and the Beef Salad was more Beef than Salad which I suppose would be good for most people.  We ordered the Salad medium which was the same that we had ordered the night before.  When it came to the table and we both tasted it, we actually had to send it back because it was intolerably spicy – I think even in Thailand it would have been too spicy for most people.  When something burns the lining of your stomach after one bite, you know that it is way too hot.  I think they just went overboard with the Chilies!

All that being said, we also ordered Pad See Ewe which was flat noodles with Chicken and Fried Tofu.  I am sorry to say that I definitely did not like this dish either – there really wasn’t much flavor and the noodles were sort of on the mushy side.  For an appetizer we ordered the Pork Satay.  The Pork was cut way too thick, and it was actually tough.  The only good thing about this dish was the Peanut Sauce and the marinated Cucumber Salad that came with it.

Again, the food at this Restaurant was about the same price as in the Conjeo but the portions were larger.  However, I would rather have the smaller portions with better flavor and palatability!

The third Yum Nua which I had was two days later in Moorpark at a Restaurant that I and my friend who I had lunch with had never frequented before, even though it was only one mile from her home.  We ordered the Yum Nua, this time mild after my experience in Lompoc and along with that,  Mee Krob which is a crispy noodle salad with Chicken and Shrimp.  And of course, steamed Rice.  The Salad was mild and we could have tolerated some more heat with it.  The dressing was just a little on the fishy side (but as we ate it, that kind of disappeared).  The beef with this salad was the most tender of all three and was cut into more palatable pieces.  So the Moorpark Restaurant was the winner of the Yum Nua Salad and yes, I would go there and order it again!

Now, the Moorpark Salad was good and the Conjeo Valley Salad was good, but the truly best Yum Nua that I have ever had was that one which I and my sons and daughter-in-law ordered and ate in Thailand!  And this was in a restaurant!  Now, you may wonder why I marvel at a Restaurant’s Yum Nua being so good!  In Thailand, some of the best food is that which is prepared on the street!  It is tasty and authentic and perfectly safe to eat as the vendors are very particular about cleanliness.  One instance of comparing Street Food with Hotel Food as an example – we had a very good Tom Yum Soup from a floating boat vendor at the Floating Market – this cost us $1.50 per person.  On one evening my daughter-in-law was hungry and we were at the hotel so we went down to the hotel restaurant.  She ordered the Soup which at the hotel cost $10.00 and wasn’t nearly as good!  So, when in Thailand, do try the food from the street vendors or at the very least, the small restaurants!

The second best Thai Beef Salad that I have ever had was at the Maui Thai Restaurant in Kihei.

So the final rating goes like this:

#1 – Pizzalun,  Thailand

 

Thai Beef Salad, Thailand

Thai Beef Salad, Thailand

#2 – Maui Thai Restaurant in Kihei, HI

Thai Beef Salad at Maui Thai Restaurant

 

#3 - Thai Restaurant in Moorpark, CA

#4 – Thai Restaurant in the Conejo Valley, CA

 

Thai Beef Salad, Conejo Valley

Thai Beef Salad, Conejo Valley

#5 – Thai Restaurant in Lompoc, CA

 

Sorry, no photos for Moorpark or Lompoc.  Next time I frequent the Moorpark Restaurant, will take photo, but sorry, not at the Lompoc Restaurant – at least not the one we went to on Saturday.

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/06/24 at 11:14 PM

Categories: Asian, Main, Maui   Tags: , , , , , ,

STIR FRY DINNER

Stir Fry is one of my favorite dishes to cook and to eat.  You can literally clean out your refrigerator and almost always come up with enough items to make a delicious Stir Fry Dinner.  Beef, Pork Chicken or Fish or even Tofu will serve as the Protein.  Vegetables such as Cabbage, Celery, Carrots, Onion, Spinach or Broccoli will complement your protein items.  Asian Condiments such as Soy Sauce, Bean Sauce, Hoison Sauce and even Oyster Sauce will add the flavor enhancements.  A Stir Fry Dish can be served with either Rice or Noodles.

 

The Noodles that I prefer with Asian Stir Fry are Rice Noodles which only need to be cooked or soaked for a short time.  (This will depend on the manufacturer and the directions on the package they come in)

 

Cooked Rice Noodles

Cooked Rice Noodles

 

This particular night we had decided that we wanted Stir Fry Shrimp.  While I had the Shrimp in the freezer I did have to go out and purchase a few of the Vegetable items for the Stir Fry.  The Vegetables that I did have on hand were:

Broccoli Stalks – I love the crunchiness of the stalks – peel the stalks and then slice thinly.

 

Peeled Broccoli Stalk

Peeled Broccoli Stalk

 

Peeled & Sliced Broccoli Stalks

Peeled & Sliced Broccoli Stalks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Cabbage -

Green Cabbage

Green Cabbage

Orange Carrots  – Carrots can be had in a variety of colors these days – Red, Yellow, White or even Purple.

Onions

Garlic – an absolute necessity when it comes to Stir Fry

 

Eight Ball Zuchinni – an interesting shape – this is a round zuchinni just about the size of a pool table ball ’8′ ball.

 

Eight Ball Squash
Eight Ball Zuchinni

 

Garlic & Zuchinni

Garlic & Zuchinni

 

Ginger Root - adds amazing flavor – a little zing!  Cut off the amount you need (usually a piece about the size of a quarter) and peel.  This can be done with a teaspoon as the skin has a contrasting texture to the Ginger itself.  Then mince before using.

 

Ginger Root

Ginger Root

 

Maitaki Mushrooms – these are also known as Beech Mushrooms which also come in a white variety.  They grow together in a cluster which you can cut apart at the base leaving tiny mushrooms on a slender stem.

Maitaki Mushrooms

Maitaki Mushrooms

Maitaki-Mushrooms

Maitaki-Mushrooms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Vegetables that I purchased for this dish were:

 

Bean Sprouts – I usually use Mung Bean Sprouts – just add them at the very end – these also need very little or no cooking

Mung Bean Sprouts

Mung Bean Sprouts

Bean Sprouts (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chinese Pea Pods – wash and remove the strings – they need very little or no cooking

Vegetables for Stir Fry

Chinese Pea Pods, Broccoli Stalks, sliced & Zuchinni

You will want to marinate whatever Meat you are using in your Stir Fry;  Shrimp or any other Seafood should not be marinated for more than about 20 minutes.  Chicken, Beef Pork or Lam on the other hand can be marinated for several hours or even overnight.  For our Stir Fry this night I did use Shrimp.  For the Marinade I used:

Hoison Sauce – 1-2 Tbsps.

Black Bean Sauce – 1- 2 Tbsps.

Fish Sauce – 1 Tbsp.

Peanut Oil – 2 Tbsps.

 

 

To make your Stir Fry start with the Onion;  sauté in a wok or large sauté pan just to soften and then add the Garlic.  Next add the Vegetables that would need the most cooking, starting with the Cabbage and then the Carrots and lastly the Zuchinni which needs very little cooking.

  Vegetables for Stir Fry

Vegetables for Stir Fry

 

Once  these Vegetable are almost done (about 2-3 minutes) remove them to a covered dish and then Stir Fry the Shrimp.  Stir Fry the Shrimp in the same vessel as the Vegetables were cooked in – Shrimp should take 3-4 minutes to cook.  Add the Noodles  (if the Noodles have stuck together, just rinse them with some warm water) and combine with the Shrimp Mixture.

 

Shrimp-Sauce- & Noodles

Shrimp-Sauce- & Noodles

Once the Noodles have warmed and been coated with the Sauce, add the cooked Vegetables along with the Pea Pods, Bean Sprouts and the Bell Pepper.

 

Vegetables and Shrimp combined with the Pea Pods and Bean Sprouts added.

Vegetables and Shrimp combined with the Pea Pods and Bean Sprouts added.

Once everything is combined and hot serve immediately.  This is a great one-dish meal or can be served as a second course after a soup or salad starter.

Stir Fry in serving Dish

Stir Fry in serving Dish

Stir Fry Completed

Stir Fry Completed

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/06/09 at 10:54 PM

Categories: Asian, Condiments, Cooking for Everyone, Dinner Ideas, Leftovers, Main, One Dish Meals   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE GARDEN OF EDEN AND MORE

On Monday we decided to drive to the ‘Garden of Eden’  Arboretum which was half way on the road to Hana.  We drove that road all the way to Hana on one of our previous trips to Maui and it was quite an experience.  Nothing but twists and turns for almost 20 miles.  You can imagine what it is like if it is only twenty miles and the travel guide says that it takes at least 21/2 hours to get there.  Having done so many years ago, we didn’t think about the first half of the road being twisty and turny but at least half of it was.  However, it was worth it because the flora and the overlooks to the ocean and the waterfall was quite spectacular.  The vegetation was all tropical and there were also Peacocks, Ducks and Geese to observe as well.

 

One section was called the Enchanted Forest and the entrance to it had all these cute and clever talismans hanging from the trees and foliage.  My favorite sign was the one that said ‘SMILE’!

 

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest

Enchanted Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ev standing under the Smile Sign.

Ev standing under the Smile Sign.

 

Enchanted

Waterfall

Waterfall

Rainbow Overlook Overlook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though there was no Rainbow present this day the view was still beautiful.  We were able to gaze out over the ocean for miles – much further than it looks in the photo.

In addition to the Flora there were Ducks, Geese and Peacocks.  There was a feeding station for the Ducks and Geese and when I went to put some quarters in the feed dispensers those ducks were right there waiting to be fed.

 

 

Looking for Food

Looking for Food

 

 

Me taking a photo of the Peacock from the car.

Me taking a photo of the Peacock from the car.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Fowl

Water Fowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Situated at the exit of the Garden is a small café which sold Wraps & Spring Rolls along with drinks and Chips.  Ev had the Turkey Wrap and I had the Vegetable Spring Roll.  The Café was operated by two Thai women and the food tended towards Thai flavors, something which I thoroughly love.

 

Café at Garden of Eden

Café at Garden of Eden

 

Area surrounding Cafe

Area surrounding Café

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Spring Rolls

Thai Spring Rolls

 

 

Ev eating his Turkey Wrap

Ev eating his Turkey Wrap

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the way down the hill from the Garden of Eden I decided to take a video of the vegetation along the road.  It looks like we were going really fast down the hill but in reality we were only going about 35 miles per hour.  Unfortunately I could not upload the videos to this blog so will post them on Facebook with the link to this blog.

 

 

 

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Posted by sylveee - 2014/05/27 at 12:54 PM

Categories: Main, Maui   Tags:

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