February 13, 2011

To celebrate Valentine’s day, I wanted to make some chocolates for myself. I usually make truffles, but I wanted to change things up this year. When I was small, I loved it when one of my friend’s mother will make Brigadeiros for special occasions. This is the recipe that my mother got from her mother. Brigadeiros are a traditional treat from Brazil.


2 tbsp margarine/butter
1 can  (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp powdered chocolate
Chocolate confetti
Small cupcake foil





1. Mix the condensed milk, chocolate powder, and butter in a small saucepan and stir over low heat. Keep stirring.

2. Heat mixture up until the mixture thickens until the you can see the bottom of the pan while stirring. This should be about 10 minutes.

3. Pour mixture to a well greased surface or container. Wait until the mixture cools to room temperature.

4. Grease hands with vegetable oil, and roll the chocolates into small spheres. Cover the chocolate with chocolate confetti, and keep the chocolates in the small cupcake foil.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Now Listening to: Já Sei Narmorar- Tribalistas


This is a recipe that I originally took from the NYTimes “Recipes for Health” and made a few changes to it. I wanted to make the recipe more hearty with the winter vegetable. If you want to see the original recipe:

2 lb Chicken thighs with bone
1 Turnip
1 1/2 cups Bulgar Wheat
1 Onion
1 tsp Chicken Bouillon
Grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)

1. Peel and cut the turnip into bit size pieces. (If the turnip is too hard, peel the turnip and bake at 425°F for 20 min in a tray with water).
2. Bake the turnip at 425°F for 50 mins.
3. Poach the chicken in 4-5 cups water. Make sure to skim the fat. This should take about 30 mins.
4. Slice the onion.
5. Take the chicken out, and chill. Once it has cooled down enough to touch, shred the chicken and discard the bone.
6. In the meantime, add the bulgar, onion and bouillon to the remaining water (now broth). Add as much salt and pepper as desired. Simmer for 30 min.
7. Add in the roasted turnip and shredded chicken. Once heated, add the juice of a whole lemon.
8. Add grated parmesan cheese (optional).


I know, the picture doesn’t look too great, but I promise it tastes better than it looks!


Now Listening to: Wild Thing- Noah and the Whale

Shumai (Dumplings)

February 2, 2011

Sorry we have been MIA for such a long time! Ever since we all moved away from one another, it’s been tough to update this blog. Hopefully I can keep this going this time! So here is one of my favorite Japanese/Chinese foods that my mom taught me, and it’s relatively easy to make. Shumai!


1lb ground pork
1lb minced shrimp
4-5 rehydrated shiitake mushrooms

3 tbsp Potato starch
2/3 tsp Salt
2 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sesame Oil

Dumpling/Wonton wrappers (square shaped)

Napa Cabbage (optional)


1. Rehydrate the shiitake mushrooms in water at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Devein shrimp and mince (it’s easier using 2 knives) until it is the same consistency as the ground pork.
3. Mix the shrimp with the salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, and pepper.
4. Mix the ground pork with potato starch.
5. Mince the shiitake mushrooms into small pieces.
6. Mix the shrimp, ground pork, and shiitake mushroom together.
7. Wrap the filling with the wrapper


Make a circle with your index finger and thumb, and place the wrapper.










Put a spoonful of filling in the circle.
















Fold around the filling.



















8. Line the steamer with napa cabbage (makes the steaming aromas sweeter), and put the shumai in so they are not touching each other.
9. Steam the shumai for 13-15 minutes.

I suggest that these are eaten with a dipping sauce, soy sauce works fine.

This is a recipe passed down from my mother. It’s actually the perfect Japanese “bar food,” especially served with a cold glass of beer and a side of edamame.

1 lb chicken thighs
3 tbsp soysauce
3 tbsp sake
thumb sized piece of ginger, sliced
chopped scallions (1-2 shoots)
potato starch

1. Cut chicken thighs in bite size pieces.
2. Marinate chicken in soy sauce, sake, sliced ginger, scallions and a sprinkle of pepper. Let it marinate for 15-20 minutes.

(Marinating the chicken anymore than 20 minutes will cause it to become too salty)

3. Coat the marinated chicken with potato starch

The marinade will turn the potato starch brown, which is perfectly normal

4. Deep fry the chicken until golden brown.

Serve while it’s still hot!

• 1lb cleaned deveined shrimp.
• 1 can of lite coconut milk.
• Chili powder.
• Salt to taste.
• 1.5 Tbsp of ginger-garlic paste.
• Whole garam masala.
• Bay leaf
• Half of a large onion thinly sliced.

Season shrimp with salt and chili powder and fry them till pale pink. Set aside the shrimp.

To the oil add whole garam masala (a couple of cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods)

 and the ginger garlic paste. Sauté for 5-10 minutes and then add the coconut milk, salt and chili powder (according to taste) and let the sauce simmer on low heat for 10-15 mins, stirring frequently.

Add the shrimp and let it simmer or another 10-15min minutes till the sauce thickens and all the spices have mixed together well. Adjust seasoning. While the sauce is thickening, fry the thinly sliced onions till dark brown. This will take a while but take the time and don’t let it burn. Garnish the dish with the onions and sever over hot rice !

This versatile fried dumpling can be classified as street food to a gourmet appetizer. Either way it is delicious. The filling can change according to taste but traditionally it is savory and vegetarian. I hope you enjoy this recipie.

For the filling:
• 5-7 medium sized russet potatoes cut into small cubes.
• 1.5 cups of frozen petite peas
• Vegetable oil for cooking.
• 1Tbsp whole cumin seeds.
• 1 inch fresh ginger, grated.
• 1Tbsp turmeric powder
• Salt and Sugar to taste
• Chili Powder according to heat tolerance.
• 0.5 cups of peanuts (optional)

Heat oil in a nonstick pot and once it is warm, add the whole cumin seeds. Next add the potatoes, ginger, salt, chili powder, turmeric, salt and sugar and let the potatoes cook. Once the potatoes are half cooked add the peas.

Keep cooking till all the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.

For the Dough:
• 1 cup flour
• 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
• 8 Tbsp water
• Dash of salt
Mix all the ingredients and knead the dough. Make small balls about a 1-1.5 inches in diameter. On a lightly floured surface roll them out into very thin ovals and cut them down the middle. Use the cut half to shape into a cone and fill it with the potato mixture. Seal the edge with water.

While you are making the samosas, heat enough oil in a pot for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, allow it to cool down and then start frying the samosas in it—this heating and cooling method quickens the frying process without soaking too much oil. Serve hot!

Maple Granola

April 12, 2010

This recipe is adapted from a recipe on Martha Stewart Living in Feb 2009. I’ve always made homemade granola bars, but this is the best recipe I’ve ever had! I find it delicious with my yogurt and fruits. For the recipe, I prefer to use almonds compared to other nuts, but that’s up to your preference. Also for the fruits, I try to use a mixture of all three different dried fruits. Hope you all enjoy!


(Makes 7 cups)

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried sweetened coconut chips
1 cups pecans, walnuts or almonds, chopped
1/2 cup dried banana chips, chopped
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup raisins, craisins or golden raisins, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 300°.
2. Mix together oats, coconut, nuts, banana chips, syrup, oil, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a 9×13” pan.

3. Spread the granola in an even layer.
4. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, for 40 minutes.
5. Add the raisins, and bake for 10 minutes more.
6. Let cool

Now Listening to: Souverian- Andrew Bird

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