Sunday, March 9, 2008

Kale & Sausage

I had wanted to try out kale because there was all of this buzz on kale recently from my food shows, my diet books, etc... so kale was on my mind. Anyways, after we hiked Camelback today, we went to Fry's and I was able to pick up some kale so here is what I made.

Kale & Sausage

(got a 4.5 out of 5 stars from Karthik, amazing because there was something GREEN in the dish)

Sauteed 1/2 an onion, 3 cloves of garlic in some olive oil. After they are soft, add 2 hot Italian turkey sausages (without skin) to brown. Sprinkle some red pepper flakes for some spice. Then add the a bushel of kale (leaves only no stems) to cook until wilting. Add some salt & pepper to taste....

Karthik was actually really sad because he wanted more but we only had one bushel of kale and once it cooked down it's only enough to make 2 small servings. Super quick to make and healthy.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cupcakes Galore

Today, I was craving for some CUPCAKES! After Googling for a bakery nearby, I stopped by Wicked Bakery to pick up 4 cupcakes. 2 of those are Red Velvet flavored cake with cream cheese frosting. The 2 remainder were Vanilla Creme Brulee, real vanilla cake filled with vanilla cream & topped with vanilla buttercream AND last but not least, Double Chocolate Molten cupcake - rich dark chocolate cake filled with chocolate sauce topped with chocolate buttercream and chocolate shavings...

The box they put the cupcakes in kinda squished the top cream so they looked kinda flat. Originally, they were pointy and squirrelly at the top. Anyways, after a seemingly long drive back to the house (5 minutes), I got to taste the cupcakes. I quickly ate 1/2 a red velvet, 1/4 a vanilla creme brulee, and 1/4 the chocolate cupcake. Delicious...

According to the clerk at the store, Red Velvet ANYTHING is VERY popular in the sugar/flour world...

I cannot bake anything if I invite you to lunch/dinner, please please please bring dessert! hm...I can't make coffee either, so please bring some coffee for you...and for me too =o)


On Saturday last week, I decided to have a little lunch with a couple of friends for GAME DAY- the first of many more to come. I have always wanted to throw little dinner parties for good friends where we can eat, watch movies, play board games or video games, etc... The idea was appealing to me because I like to experiment with different type of cusines and have people come over to play games with. I invited John, a close friend that I met during college and his girlfriend Trang. They drove all the way from Tucson and even brought a game (Killer Bunnies) for us to try out.

I got these recipes from this cooking show called Nigella Express. The menu was Crispy Squid with 2 different type of dipping sauces-garlic mayo and marinara. We also had Sesame Noodle Salad, Sweet & Sticky Ribs, and Chocolate Mousse for dessert.

The Crispy Squid was a little bit (ok a lot salty) because we couldn't find this particular spice, OLD BAY anywhere so I had to make my own. Supposedly this was the make it or break it ingredient aka the killer spice and she gave instructions on how to make it if you can't find OLD BAY. But while making it, my hand slipped and a lot of salt went into the mixture so it was super salty. I had to fix it (by removing some of the old mixture and adding new flour/semolina without salt) and John ended up liking it fine. The squids dipped in corn flour and semolina gave them a nice crunch when fried. When dipped with the marinara, it was not that salty and was quite edible.

The cold sesame noodle salad was a hit. Everybody liked it and most of it was gone eventhough I made quite a bit. It's cooked noodles with mangetout, beansprouts, red peppers, and spring onions flavored with a dressing composed of sasame oil, garlic, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, lime juice, and peanut butter.

The ribs had to be prepared the day before to allow the marinade to seep into the meat overnight. We bought some ribs, chopped them up and drowned them in sweet chilli sauce, cranberry sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, orange juice (and rind), and lime juice (w/ rind). Put them in the fridge to rest and the next day, you just bake it for an hour and a half. This was REALLY GOOD! Karthik's only complain was why did I buy the ribs with bones and not just slabs of meat.

Last was the chocolate mousse served in wine glasses. It's dark chocolate, condensed milk, marshmallows, butter, and cream (whipped). We left these in the fridge so we forgot to take pictures. Karthik helped with making these things and they were really good. John and Trang also brought a cheese cake for us which was delicious!

After filling our bellies, we proceed to play Ticket to Ride, Blockus, and Killer Bunnies. By an amazing stroke of luck, I won all three games, even the last one where the winner was selected purely on luck! Sadly for Karthik, when we played Ticket to Ride, Trang blocked his route on purpose and he was unable to complete two of his routes. He was very sad because he barely got 50 points.

Game day was a success! John and his girlfriend are interested in turning this into a monthly thing. I think next time I will invite more people, maybe 1-2 additional so we have a party of 5-6 people. I didn't want to overwhelm myself with the first lunch/dinner so I invited only 2 people. I think if I have a bigger than 5-6 people party then everybody cannot participate in the games that we have at the same time. We would have to start forming teams.

All pictures were taken by Kar!