Tuesday, December 29, 2009

las enchiladas

as promised, the traditional christmas enchiladas...
basically, grate up a giant pile of cheddar and jack cheese, add some sliced black olives, sliced jalapenos, and a diced onion. now, get some corn tortillas and some enchilada sauce (my mother's "special recipe"= sauce from a can. we've never made homemade sauce). dip each tortilla in some sauce, then cook in a frying pan for about 2 minutes on each side, until it's still soft, but just starting to get crispy. place in a baking pan and fill with a scoop of the cheese mixture. roll up, and place in pan seam side down. continue until you have as many enchiladas as you want, or have used all the cheese mixture. top with more sauce and olives. bake about 40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

ensalada de nochebuena (christmas eve salad)

isn't that a pretty salad?
i love holiday traditions, and my family's christmas eve enchilada dinner is one of my favorites (yes, rita and i were/are those lucky kids whose family did both christmas and hanukkah). every year, i've helped my mom make giant masses of cheesy enchiladas. sometimes, she suggests a change, but i am firm on my devotion to the enchilada recipe. the accompanying salad, however, varies from year to year. this christmas, we found a real winner, from an article in the san francisco chronicle (about another family's traditional christmas enchiladas, so we knew it was meant for us).

ensalada de nochebuena (christmas eve salad)
Serves 8-10

"This fruit salad has traveled with me from Queretaro, Mexico, to California, with additions from friends in the Southwest. It is the perfect counterpoint to spicy food. The latest addition is the Pomegranate Pink Dressing inspired by Fonda San Miguel in Austin.

  • The dressing
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • -- Seeds from 1 large pomegranate (reserve 1/2 cup for garnish)
  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
  • -- Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • The salad
  • 4 navel oranges, peel and pith sliced off and discarded
  • 1/2 pound jicama, peeled, cut into tiny batons
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple (about 2 slices)
  • 3 Gala apples with peel, cored, diced
  • -- Juice from 1 Meyer lemon, or more orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • -- Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • -- Heaping 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 3 small orange beets, roasted and peeled (see Note)

For the dressing: Combine the sour cream, pomegranate seeds, agave syrup, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the salad: Dice oranges and combine with jicama batons, diced pineapple, and diced apples. Squeeze lemon juice over the fruit, to help prevent browning. Sprinkle with sugar and pinch of salt. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the bananas, cilantro, peanuts and beets, and sprinkle with the reserved pomegranate seeds.

Serve fruit salad in small bowls, dolloped with the dressing.

Note: To roast the beets, scrub well and cut in half. Place on a large square of foil. Drizzle with several teaspoons of agave syrup, a little olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Wrap up tightly and bake in a preheated 350° oven for about 45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a small knife. Cool and dice.

Per serving: 192 calories, 4 g protein, 34 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 53 mg sodium, 6 g fiber." -sfgate.com


(enchilada recipe to come soon)

giveaway time!

and another giveaway

Sunday, December 20, 2009

sa bhaile!

i think that means "homeward!" although i briefly started speaking italian in my irish oral exam, so who knows, really. anyway, sorry we've been slightly absent lately. finals and everything. but after monday, we'll be done, then heading home where we'll have a real kitchen and can bring you fabulous and impressive recipes. see you soon! and merry christmas to all who celebrate it!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

more artistic endeavors

we're in the midst of finals week, plus I've come down with a cold, so the food hasn't been terribly interesting here at chez twin in the past couple days. We haven't got any food to blog, so in the meantime, please enjoy my final project for drawing class:


Sunday, December 13, 2009


Our winter break starts very late this year, and while we were sad to miss Hanukkah at home, we had a great time celebrating with our friend I. and eating a dinner that consisted only of laktes and gelt, which are really the only foods you need on Hanukkah (well, that and jelly donuts)

it was our first time making latkes and it was very successful. We used our grandparents' recipe and we served them with applesauce.

Bubbe and Zayde's Potato Latkes (thanks to our Bubbe and Zayde, who sent not only their recipe, but also a grater. they are fantastic!)
Makes many, many latkes (or enough for dinner and a small amount of leftovers for 3 girls who really love latkes)
-6 medium potatoes, peeled
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-1 tsp salt
-1 medium onion
-3 tbsp matzo meal
-1/4 tsp pepper
grate the potatoes coarsely (according to our grandma, this must be done with a grater, NOT with a food processor) into a bowl of lightly salted water. Drain and press out the moisture.
Grate the onion coarsely. Stir the onion, eggs, matzo meal, salt, pepper and potatoes together.
Heat about 1/4 inch oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Drop the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls into the oil and flatten with back of spoon. Fry until golden brown on both sides, 3-5 min per side. Drain on paper towels and serve with applesauce, sour cream, or ketchup

and the most important part...
GELT!!! (chocolate coins...I get very excited about chocolate things)
Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate it! and happy holidays to all!
giveaway time!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

couscous and roasted squash

I'm not going to write much about this because finals are coming up and the studying is eating my brain. Proof: I had a half hour conversation with Rita last night that ended with "and then all of the nannies and all of the babies and all of the surrogate mothers will rip their masks off and they will all be Rain in disguise". don't ask.
Also, I've decided to switch my major from psych to cat petting and hot chocolate drinking, with a double minor in listening to Ricky Martin and watching Grey's Anatomy.
Anyway, here is a quick, easy recipe you can make even if your brain has been eaten:
Couscous with tomato sauce and roasted squash
serves 2
-2/3 cup dry couscous
-2/3 cup water
-1 14 oz can diced tomatoes in their liquid
-1 yellow squash, diced
-1 zucchini ,diced
-1/2 can (7 oz) chickpeas
- curry powder and cumin to taste
-olive oil for roasting
toss the squash and zucchini with some olive oil and cumin. Put it in a baking dish and roast in the oven at 300 degrees for about 40 min/ until browned. When it has about 10 minutes to go, cook the couscous, adding some cumin and curry powder to the water beforehand. Combine all the ingredients together in a big pot, then cook at a low temperature until everything is heated up.
p.s. roasted zucchini and yellow squash are also good added to mac and cheese.
and a giveaway!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

baked pasta with gouda

just look at that big chunk of melty cheese:badly lit, yes, but cheesy nonetheless. i promise it really looks more appetizing than that. winter in new york=no natural lighting after 4 pm.

baked pasta with gouda serves 2-3
*2 cups penne pasta
*about 1/3 cups gouda cheese, chopped into small cubes if you live in new york, go here. its amazing.
*a good sized plop of tomato sauce (1/2 cup? basically however much you need to cover your pasta)
*2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
*1 onion
*about 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. cook pasta in boiling water. meanwhile, slice onion and cook in olive oil, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10-15 minutes.
2. when pasta is done, drain and return to pot. mix in onion slices and sauce.
3. preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. put pasta mixture in a glass baking dish. top with breadcrumbs and cheese. bake for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
giveaway links!
the twelve posts of christmas
kay's naturals, from averie
lara bars, from iowa girl
lots of good stuff from pure2raw

Monday, November 30, 2009

peanut butter and sweet potato toast + cinnamon blackberry oats in a jar

two simple and scrumptious dishes...
toast a piece of bread, top with peanut butter and roast sweet potato slices (slice a sweet potato and roast it in the oven for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees F, or until soft on the inside--poke it with a fork to test). YUM! that is all i have to say about that.
Oh. Em. Gee. and that is not a phrase i use often, so you know this was some seriousness goodness.
cook 1/4 cup steel cut oats in 1/2 cup milk (or soy, for any vegan readers) + 1/4 cup brewed darjeeling tea for 10-20 minutes (mine was about 15 min). stir in some blackberries, raisins, and a generous spoonful of cinnamon. serve in an almost empty peanut butter jar and top with a small scoop of peanut butter (I used about 1/2 a tablespoon)and 1/2 a crumbled cinnamon graham cracker.
if i made this again, i would replace the raisins with more blackberries (i only had 3 left and i wanted to get more fruit in, hence the raisins) and either replace the tea with more milk or water or replace some of the milk with more tea (was that confusing? the tea flavor didn't really come through, so either omit it entirely or use more tea, is what i mean).
ps. check out chocolate covered katie's coconut butter giveaway
and emily has a giveaway too!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

thanksgiving break

its been a while, hasn't it? no new recipes today, but i just wanted to do a quick post. we had a great time over thanksgiving break. my fabulous friend A. was visiting for the weekend, and we spent most of our time in chinatown, with some detours to upstate (thanksgiving dinner with our aunt, yay!), columbus circle (black friday shopping. we went in the afternoon, we're not crazy enough to go at 5 am. but still, it was insane), little italy, and soho.
food highlights (sorry no photos! hopefull A. will upload hers soon and i can steal some):
-Szechuan food in Chinatown. Famous Sichuan. we met up with A.'s friends, who are all from China. super spicy and delicious. from now on, i need to go with people who speak Chinese whenever i eat Chinese food...more authentic dishes and we got a discount! fave dish was the dan dan noodles. we got a huge feast, even though this was our lunch before heading upstate for thanksgiving dinner.
-Cannoli in little italy! amazing, but overpriced. i don't remember what restaurant we went to, but cannoli seems to be the same at most places in little italy.
-vietnamese sandwiches at paris sandwich. delicious, but if you're going to get banh mi, san francisco is better and cheaper. i reccommend saigon sandwich for true amazingness.
-grilled corn at cafe habana. with cheese and chili powder. yum!


Monday, November 23, 2009

butternut squash casserole

This weekend was my turn to have a thanksgiving potluck. I was assigned a squash dish, so I decided on this butternut squash casserole. It turned out quite tasty, if i do say so myself! although the star of the dinner, for me at least, was the sweet potatoes. I'd never had the traditional preparation with marshmallows before, and it was fantastic! Although i am generally of the opinion that marshmallows make everything better.

the recipe, from southern living via myrecipes.com

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings

* 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes (about 1 3/4 pounds)
* 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
* 1 small onion, minced
* 1 garlic clove, minced
* 3 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
* 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, chopped [found these at whole foods]
* 1 cup fresh soft breadcrumbs


Bring squash and water to cover to a boil; cook 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; drain. Mash until smooth.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in skillet. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in squash, 2 tablespoons butter, eggs, and next 3 ingredients. Fold in cranberries. Spoon into lightly greased 1-quart baking dish.

Combine breadcrumbs and remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Sprinkle over casserole.

Bake at 375° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until set and golden.

My "I am a ridiculous college student" notes:
First of all, I doubled the recipe and made it in a 2 quart dish. This made more than enough for the 15ish people at our dinner, although not everyone ate my dish. Also, I would like to say that peeling and chopping a 3.5 pound squash when you have approximately 1 square foot of counter space is very challenging. I made the breadcrumbs by toasting a few slices of wheat bread and 1 stale whole wheat pita in the oven for about 15 minutes. I then put the bread in a plastic bag and crushed it into crumbs using a metal water bottle as if it was a rolling pin. I stole the sugar and pepper from starbucks and our dining hall, respectively. I forgot to steal any salt, so I left it out and it didn't seem to make a difference.
p.s. happy thanksgiving everyone!
also: a giveaway!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stuffing with collards, cornbread, and soyrizo

I had a thanksgiving potluck this week, so I decided to try a new stuffing recipe. I followed the recipe exactly, except instead of making my own cornbread, I used TJ's cornbread mix because it is impossible to do any baking from scratch in our tiny kitchen, especially since we no have no mixing bowls and only 1 baking pan (and as lola's friend k. said, "actual homemade stuffing is like wild cows...you just never see it" we then proceeded to have a 20 minute conversation with two of the RAs about how Jiffy cornbread is everyone's family secret, the controversial inclusion of whole pieces of corn in cornbread, and the existance of something called a "cheesecake lollipop tree". anyhoo, trader joe's makes a good cornbread mix). I also substituted soyrizo (trader joe's too) for the chorizo.

despite having to figure out a way to make everything in one pot, and a frantic last minute trip to the deli to buy tinfoil, it turned out quite good. Everything at the potluck was delicous, and I had a the perfect thanksgiving feast-stuffing, mac & cheese, candied yams, and a ridiculous amount of pie.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 cups stone-ground white cornmeal
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 pounds collard greens, large stems discarded
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound chorizo, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock or canned low-sodium broth


1. MAKE THE CORN BREAD: Preheat the oven to 425°. Pour the oil into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and heat in the oven. In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, whisk the buttermilk with the eggs. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, add the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended; do not overmix.

2. Remove the baking dish from the oven and swirl to coat with the oil. Scrape the batter into the hot dish and bake for 25 minutes, or until springy and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool. Turn the oven down to 375°. Crumble the corn bread into small chunks and spread on 2 large baking sheets. Bake the corn bread for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until dry and golden. Leave the oven on.

3. MAKE THE STUFFING: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the collard greens until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Squeeze dry and coarsely chop.

4. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the chorizo and cook over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the collards and remove from the heat. Let cool completely.

5. Scrape the corn bread into a very large bowl and add the collard mixture. Season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the stock and pour over the stuffing; mix well.

6. Butter 2 large, shallow baking dishes and divide the stuffing between them. Cover and bake at 375° for about 25 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and bake for about 10 minutes longer, or until browned. Serve hot.

Make Ahead: The corn bread can be frozen for up to 1 month. The stuffing can be assembled and refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.

-Rita we're gonna start signing our posts now so you can tell which twin wrote what =)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

butternut squash chili + the twins' artistic endeavors

As much as we'd like autumn to go on forever (or at least until next spring), we've been forced to admit that it's almost winter here. The one advantage of this is that it's the perfect weather for chili.
Lola remembered seeing a recipe for butternut squash chili somewhere, so we took that basic idea and made our own (probably much simpler and faster) recipe:
Butternut Squash Chili: serves 6
1 butternut squash, roasted in the oven and then cut into cubes
*1 can (14 oz) red kidney beans
*1 can (14 0z) black beans
*1 can (14 oz) corn kernels
*veggie broth or water
*3 tablespoons each cumin and cayenne
* a pinch of cinnamon
Combine everything except squash in a pot, including the bean liquid from the bottom of the cans. heat up, then taste and add more spices if necessary. Add water or veggie broth until it becomes as soupy/liquidy as you want it. Add squash, heat up for a few more minutes and stir everything together. Put into bowls and top with grated cheese if desired. (and at Chez Twin, cheese is always desired)
it turned out delicious! we also added some Mexican hot sauce at the end.
and now, onto the artistic endeavors. we are twins of many talents:
this is how Lola studies for her science tests:

and this is my assignment for drawing class: (turn your head or your computer around)
now turn it back

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

italian vegetable and bread stew

I literally just finished eating this a minute ago, then rushed over to the computer to blog about it. first of all, because its been 5 days since our last post (sorry!), but also, because i am excited about this. it was that good.
italian vegetable and bread stewserves 2
*10 Brussels sprouts
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*salt and pepper
*1 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
*1 (or most of one, depending on how much you want) 14 ounce can of chickpeas
*2 teaspoons italian seasoning
*2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
*1 slice stale wheat bread
*grated Parmesan cheese
1. preheat oven to 450 degrees F. toss brussels sprouts in about 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus a pinch of salt and two pinches of pepper. pour into a glass baking dish and roast in the oven until the outsides are browned, 40-50 minutes.
2. heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. add garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until light brown.
3. add can of tomatoes, bread, torn into bite sized pieces, and italian seasoning to skillet. cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. add chickpeas and stir.
4. remove brussels sprouts from oven. let cool for about 2 minutes. if desired, you can slice them in half.
5. put 5 brussels sprouts in each of 2 bowls. top with tomato mixture and stir to incorporate sprouts. sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
edit: a variation!omit the bread and serve everything else over cooked pasta.

Friday, November 6, 2009

The chorizo post

We are usually not big fans of fake meats, but we've been trying some really good ones from TJ's lately that might change our minds on that. The latest is soyrizo. We got a link of it a few days ago and have been using it in as many meals as possible since then. The first way we tried was with some chipotle salsa, also from TJ's. Lola had it inside a whole wheat pita (as Lou Seal watched jealously) and I had it on top of some home-made tortilla chips with a little cheese melted on top.

For my second soyrizo meal, I made soyrizo and potatoes. This dish is so simple, yet so delicious. It only has 2 ingredients (3 if you count the generous amount of oil used for frying) but those 2 ingredients go together perfectly to create the most comforting, flavorful breakfast/ brunch ever.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Super Taste Restaurant

On a cold day, there are few things better than a giant bowl of warm noodle soup. Especially when those noodles come from a tiny, crowded restaurant in Chinatown. And when they are only $3.45. Rita and I both got the hand pulled noodles with vegetables and a fried egg. A few minutes later, we were presented with ridiculously ginormous bowls of deliciousness. You can also get many other toppings, such as beef, or fish balls (my favorite at most places...but it was slightly more expensive and was being cheap that day so i didn't try it at Super Taste), with the most expensive bowl coming to $6. And, like any good restaurant, they have big bottles of sriracha at every table. They also had dried mustard greens to add to your soup. At the restaurant, we each ate half our noodles, plus the fried egg and the vegetables (leafy greens) that came in the soup. At home, we added spinach, shiitakes, and more sriracha (this is what's pictured above).
Super Taste Restaurant
26N Eldridge St., New York, NY 10002
nr. Canal St

Monday, November 2, 2009

thai rice with vegan meatballs

rita is the ambitious one in our dorm kitchen. she does big shopping trips to trader joe's and actually tries to make recipes. with more than 3 ingredients. me, i stop at gristede's on the way home from class, wander around the aisles in a daze for 30 minutes, and wind up with a dinner of toast, baked beans, and artichoke hearts (which was delicious by the way). so this meal is a bit of a mix between our 2 current styles-her "fancy" ingredients, and my "lets just cook a few random things we have and throw them together" craziness.
thai rice with meatless meatballs
*trader joe's meatless meatballs i had seen these on other people's blogs and wanted to try them. they are super good! i would use 6 per person in this, or any other, dish
*brown rice
*trader joe's thai green curry sauce, or other spicy curry sauce
*peas i buy tons of frozen peas because they're the cheapest of the frozen veggies
*mango (or other type) chutney
cook your rice, add peas and meatballs (defrosted, of course...i just threw mine in to the rice pot frozen once there was about 10 minutes left for the rice to cook. but i also had way too much water in that pot because apparently i thought i was cooking pasta--lesson of this post: ironically, an entire day of classes about the brain causes my brain to cease functioning. anyhoo, it would be better to simply defrost your meatballs and peas first and throw 'em in at the end),stir in a big glob of sauce, and top with mango chutney.
serve in tupperware, if you're classy like me. also, wow. super unappetizing photo. but it tasted good!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


happy halloween everyone! eat lots of candy... ...and even more oats!
(oatmeal is unphotogenic, so you get a photo of the magical land that is economy candy instead.)
so we now have mass quantities of oatmeal, and we've been experimenting with different recipes. our new favorites:
-nutella and strawberry: oats cooked in milk + handful frozen strawberries + spoonful nutella
-pumpkin and peanut butter: oats cooked in milk + big scoop of pumpkin + big spoonful of cinnamon, topped with spoonful of pb and 1/2 a square of dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
-banana pumpkin: oats cooked in milk + 1 banana, sliced and added to milk at the same time as the oats + spoonful cinnamon + small handful cashew pieces
p.s. i just saw a guy dressed as a bottle of sriracha on my way home. he's my hero/future husband.

Monday, October 26, 2009

thai curry with bamboo shoots and tofu

yesterday on the way home I realized we didn't have any ingredients for dinner, so I stopped at Sunshine. Sunshine is a Japanese grocery store, but that description does not do it justice. It is a magical land of canned congee, unidentifiable (to me) veggies, a million different kinds of noodles, and most importantly, pocky. But unfortunately, I cannot live on pocky alone and I wasn't sure how to cook the strange veggies, so I came home with rather normal ingredients. I did get some bamboo shoots, which I had previously only had canned and pre-cooked, but that was about as exotic as my ingredients got. Here's what we made with my purchases:
Thai Curry with Bamboo Shoots and Tofu pictured above, serves 2, as usual no measurements are exact
-about 8 oz winter bamboo shoots, cut into strips
-about 1/2 cup snow peas
-fried tofu (I bought it pre-fried), cut into bite size chunks
-1 cup shitake mushrooms, cut into strips
-about 1/2 cup thai green curry (we used TJ's)
-rice for serving
- about 1 tablespoon butter/ butter substitute for frying (we used earth balance)
Melt the butter in a nonstick skillet. Add bamboo shoots and saute for about 5 minutes. add the shitakes and snow peas and continue sauteing until the bamboo shoots are browned on the edges. add the tofu and the sauce, simmer for about 2 minutes, then serve over rice.
This turned out very good. The best part was the bamboo shoots, which were crispy and almost caramelized from the butter.
Today, I used the last little bit of bamboo shoots to make a delicious curry.

This was just bamboo shoots, chick peas, rice, and peas, sauteed in earth balance and loads of curry powder and cumin, topped with some delicious mango chutney that our mom sent us for our birthday.
and lastly,one of the awesome plates our mom sent us (with the remains of a curry on it):

thanks mom!
ps. there's a giveaway for probars here

Friday, October 23, 2009

sweet potato oatmeal

i've always felt that i should like oatmeal. first of all, its healthy, and i've always associated it with a general healthy lifestyle. like maybe if i were the type of person who liked oatmeal, i could also be motivated to do things like take up jogging, or floss my teeth daily. also, its scottish. and if i can find love in my heart for bagpipes and haggis, you'd think oatmeal would be no problem. but despite my best efforts (ok, i tried it like twice, once plain and once with pb&j mixed in) the appeal of oatmeal remained a mystery to me...until now! =) i've been seeing all kinds of tasty looking oatmeal recipes around the blogosphere (as we hip bloggers say), and i decided to give it another try. originally, i wanted to try pumpkin oats, but Trader Joe's was out of pumpkin, so i decided on sweet potato puree instead.
sweet potato oatmealserves 2-4(being an oats novice, i didn't realize how insanely filling they are and made the box's directed 1/2 cup of oats per person serving for each of us. this made a ton! the portion pictured is half the recipe. i ate most of it, but i would have been satisfied with half of it, meaning 1/4 of the recipe)
*1 cup quick cooking oats (we used mccann's)
*2 cups plain soy milk
*1 cup sweet potato puree
*1-2 Tablespoons cinnamon
*1 handful walnuts and/or walnut pieces
*1 granny smith apple
1. put soy milk in pot over medium heat. heat until very hot, but not boiling, about 2 minutes.
2. while milk is heating, chop of apple into bite-sized pieces.
3. add oats and apple to milk. stirring constantly, continue to heat until thickened.
4. remove pot from heat and cover. let sit 1-2 minutes.
5. add sweet potato, most of the walnuts, and 1 Tablespoon cinnamon. stir.
5. add more cinnamon to taste, if desired. divide into 2-4 individual servings. top each with a few more walnuts.
yum. i am officially an oatmeal convert. now i just have to work on that jogging thing...
p.s. thanks to everyone who wished us a happy birthday! here is my present back to you: the best top chef recap ever! enjoy.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


i'll get a real post up soon, promise.
for now, some giveaways:
solstice bars at run to the finish
lots of goodies at the candid rd
dr. kracker crackers at hop skip leap
lots of stuff at what's for dinner
off to watch gossip girl and celebrate our b-day now. happy 20th birthday to the greatest twin, roommate, and friend ever (except for me of course), rita!
PS-here's some more: another giveaway for dr. krackers
Missy Maintains is giving away some chips and a tote bag

Thursday, October 15, 2009

coconut milk and tomato curry

every monday night, rita and i have dinner with the hare krishnas. in addition to providing weekly free vegan food to broke college students, our local hare krishnas are just generally kick ass guys, who tell random and hilarious stories about climbing mountains and becoming the pope. i guess you have to be there. (side note: last week we joined the sikhs for dinner instead. they had better food, although the wait was long and it was a one time thing so we can't go every week. i don't know anything about india or its religions, so i hope the sikhs and the hare krishnas aren't bitter rivals or anything).
on hare krishna night, dinner always consists of a vegetable curry, white rice, green salad with this really tasty almond dressing, and halavah, a desert made with flour, sugar, and water, and flavored with fruits, carob, or peanut butter. recently, they made a curry with coconut milk, so we decided we'd try our own version.
coconut milk and tomato curryonce again, i fail as a food blogger because i rarely measure anything. sorry! but quantity of the veggies is up to you and not that important. we made about 4 servings, but it was very saucy, so you could probably make it more servings with more veggies but the same amount of coconut milk and tomatoes
*1 14 oz can diced tomatoes with juices
*1 14 oz can coconut milk (we used light)
*curry powder
*couscous, to serve (ours had tomatoes and lentils in it...yum!)
*sriracha, or other hot sauce, to taste (definitely needed the hot sauce, at least for me)
1. break off whatever amount of cauliflower heads you want. saute in oil with a big pinch of curry powder for 10-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is a little soft.
2. add however many peas and chickpeas you want(we used about a cup [?] of each). stir.
3. add coconut milk and tomatoes (including juices).stir in pot until thoroughly heated.
4. served over cooked couscous with hot sauce.
now we just need to learn to make halavah...it is tasty stuff, seriously.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

scrambled eggs

i have no idea how it got to be the middle of october already. it is a bit crazy round these parts, between midterms, our dorm room slowly falling apart, 8 am dentist appointments, 2 jobs (i shouldn't complain...i'm very happy with both and i work very very minimal hours), random outings and hangouts with friends, and, of course, homework. so yeah...cooking=not a priority right now. but after next week, midterms will be over and i will be free! for now, i eat scrambled eggs.
in this case, two eggs, mixed with a dash of fat free milk (i just discovered that you're supposed to add milk to scrambled eggs...what a life changing moment! it makes them so much fluffier and delicious). put it in a pan, stir a bit, add a handful of feta, a handful of spinach, and about 1/4 of a sauteed onion. stir until cooked, then top with salsa.
and now, apropos of nothing, my cats:

i miss them. but pictures of them make me happy.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

black bean and sweet potato tacos

My sister and I are both completely obsessed with sweet potatoes. For some reason I can't fathom, my dad hates them, so we never have them at home. But now, free from his senseless anti-sweet potato stance, we can have as many as we want! We've mostly been making Asian dishes, inspired by my favorite dish at Chef Jia's, the sizzling Hunan bean curd with yams. But the other day, I decided to change it up a bit by making Mexican food. It turned out delicious. Sadly, we are out of sweet potatoes now, but I plan to get another huge bag as soon as possible.
Sweet Potato Tacos
Serves 1
-1 small sweet potato, cut in half lengthwise
-1/2 an onion,chopped
-1 clove garlic, chopped
-butter or butter substitute (I used Earth Balance)
-2 teaspoons cayenne
-cumin to taste
-1 tortilla, toasted on the stove for a few seconds
-about 1/4 cup black beans
1)Spread some butter onto each 1/2 of the sweet potato and sprinkle each 1/2 with 1 teaspoon cayenne. Bake at 400 until soft (test with a fork), about 40 minutes.
2) Heat up some butter in a non-stick skillet and add the garlic and onion. Cook until onion is very soft, almost caramelized, about 20 minutes. About 10 minutes in, add cumin to taste.
3) Add beans to the onion and garlic and heat them up. Taste it again and add more cumin and cayenne if necessary.
4) Chop the sweet potato into bite size chunks.
5) Put everything together onto the tortilla. You may need 2 tortillas, depending on what size they are.
6) Eat it. This is a very important step, don't forget it!

Monday, October 5, 2009

noodles with kimchi and sweet potato

i know, noodles again. but this is my favorite recipe we have made in our dorm so far. after we ate it for lunch, i looked forward to eating the leftovers for dinner all day.
we hit up our local asian market for some kimchee (with skate fish) and...

SRIRACHA! but don't use any in this recipe, because kimchi + sriracha would be too spicy, even for us.
anyhoo, the recipe:
makes about 3 servings
*200 grams (7 oz) dried asian noodles (ours were flat and white...i'm not up on my noodle terminology and the package didn't have a specific name. but you could also use udon, soba, or many other types of asian noodles)
*an 8 oz package of kimchi (like i said, ours had skate in it too, but it would be just as good with standard kimchi)
*a splash of soy sauce
*1 small to medium sized sweet potato
*half a yellow onion, sliced
*2 teaspoons butter, or butter substitute (you could probably use any oil too)
*a handful of baby spinach.
*a handful of peanuts, to garnish
1. preheat oven to 450 degrees F. cut ends off sweet potato and place in pan in oven for 40 min-1 hour, or until soft.
2. heat butter in a pan. cook onions until soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. cook noodles according to package directions. drain.
4. add soy sauce, spinach, and kimchi to noodles. stir.
5. cut sweet potato into bite sized pieces. add potato and onion to noodles. stir.
6. top each serving with a sprinkle of peanuts.
ps-check out the giveaway at lucky tastebuds

Thursday, October 1, 2009


The weather here seems to have gone from summer directly to winter. A few days ago, I was in a t-shirt and skirt, finally adjusted to the fact that I don't always have to bring a hoodie when I go out, and then last night I went out in a big coat and was still freezing. It's really just fall weather, and I didn't even need to break out the huge, sleeping bag-like winter coat, but being from San Francisco, I always forget that seasons exist, let alone change. Anyway, the point of this is that Lola & I were in need of some warming soup.

Rice, carrot, and tomato soup
serves 2
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
2 medium carrots,sliced
1/2 onion, diced
Italian seasoning to taste
14 oz diced tomatoes & juices
1/2 cup water
3/4 can cannelloni beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the carrots and onion. Saute until they start to get soft, about 5 minutes. Add everything else except for the Italian seasoning and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
The next day, I used the leftovers to make a Mexican version of this soup with fried corn tortillas instead of rice, cumin instead of Italian seasoning, and some cayenne and hot sauce. I topped that with some grated cheese.
Both versions of the soup were warming, comforting, and very filling. They also turned out a bit more like stew than soup, because we tend to throw in a lot of veggies, rice, etc when we make soup. So if you'd like it more soupy, use the liquid from the canned tomatoes, but not the tomatoes themselves.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Pasta two ways

I feel so fancy and chef-y(which is totally a real word, by the way)saying "pasta 2 ways". It's just like top chef! Anyway, here's our pasta two ways:
1) Pasta with Trader Joe's marinara sauce, peas, and Tofurky Italian Sausage (photo above)
This was my first time having any Tofurky product, and the sausage was good. It didn't really have the texture of meat, but it was well spiced and very flavorful. The cooking is self-explanatory from the name, except that we did add a sauteed garlic clove.
Then, to cancel out the vegan-ness and healthiness of that meal...
2)Cheese and butter! aka Pasta with spinich, peas, and alfredo sauce.

Here's how you make the alfredo sauce (1 serving): melt 1/2 t butter in a small pan. Add 1/4 C whole milk & 1/8 C grated parmesan.Swirl it around until it gets creamy and alfredo-y(also definitely a real word), then add salt a and pepper to taste.
I tossed the sauce with 3/4 C pasta, peas, a handful of walnuts, and some spinach which I'd cooked for a few seconds in olive oil. It turned out good, although if I made it again I think I'd double the amount of sauce, because the pasta wasn't supper saucy. I like my pasta to have a lot of sauce, especially if said sauce consists solely of butter, whole milk, and cheese.

Friday, September 25, 2009

new taco express

this is an addendum to my last entry, about mexican food, because i have found a good mexican restaurant, although it is not at all "real mexican". apologies if my last entry was a little complain-y (is there a word for that? there probably is a really obvious one that i'm just completely unable to think of right now)-i did worry about it because i didn't want to be too mean.
anyhoo, i do remain loyal to my california mexican, but that doesn't stop me from trying new places in new york, which is a good thing because it led me to discover my new favorite restaurant. it is tiny, run entirely by asians, and not at all authentic, and i am in love with it. like all my favorite restaurants, ambiance is completely lacking, and the food is cheap--95% of the menu is under $5. the decor consists of those weird backlit photos that make the food in them look as unappetizing as possible and 1 sombrero hung on the wall. and for $3.99, you can get a delicious (albeit small) quesadilla with broccoli slaw, yummy cheese, and mild hot sauce.
New Taco Express
130 East 28th street (between Lexington and Park), New York

Thursday, September 24, 2009

quesadillas with guacamole and pico de gallo

As amazing as New York is for finding food from any part of the world, it's considerably harder to find good Mexican food here than it is back in California. I can't imagine how anyone could grow up without the taquerias of the mission, or the even better ones of so-cal.
I have a friend from Texas who has banned us all from ever going out for Mexican food in New York because its "not real". Unfortunately, she is also seriously misguided, because being from Texas, she thinks queso dip is "real Mexican" (actually we all kind of hate her for this and other reasons, and I would one day love to point out to her that queso dip is barely even real food, let alone real Mexican-sorry for being a bit of a snob there, but i have never understood the appeal of velveeta-but that's another story). Anyway, point is, she is at least correct in her assessment of New York's lack of good Mexican.
So we made our own quesadillas (and did not invite said Texan). As Rita said, they were "melty and cheesy and delicious".

what we did(for 1 quesadilla) : saute 1/4 of an onion, sliced, in oil until burnt, about 20 minutes. spread 1 tortilla (we used flour) with guacamole and pico de gallo (we used a product from trader joe's which had one layer of guacamole and one layer of pico de gallo together in one container. of course, you can also buy them separately or make your own), add half your burnt onion pieces, add a big handful of shredded cheese (we used the "mexican blend"), and add the rest of the onion. top with another tortilla. heat up a teaspoon or two of oil in a frying pan. add your quesadilla and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until all cheese is melted.