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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Breakfast: Egg White Spinach Soyrizo Panini

Macho looking=YES? Macho bad ingredients=NO!
Not that everyone has soyrizo sitting in their refrigerator all the time, I decided to finally take it out of the fridge and do something with it. Soyrizo is basically tofu with more spices than you can count put into a link of sausage but meatless. TASTE JUST LIKE CHORIZO! (With less grease of course). So I thought let's just do a good ol' breakfast panini. Simple to make and easy to eat. This panini is easy to fool the veggie haters.

One for me, one for mom.
All you need in this macho looking panini is just FIVE ingredients:

Sliced sourdough bread
Baby Spinach (sauteed in pan with a little salt)
Soyrizo (sauteed out of casing)
Scrambled egg whites (I used about 5)
Shredded mexican four cheese

Put in any order you like preferably with the cheese next to the sourdough. Put in panini press and it's done in no time. I did brush the outer parts of the sourdough with olive oil so it would be nice grill marks.

For those with weak teeth, regular texas toast would work..grilled cheese maybe?

Crunch, crunch, crunch..
The soyrizo is pretty spicy just like regular chorizo. By using egg whites and sauteed baby spinach, it helps neutralize the spices. You can do any combination by either adding more egg whites to the soyrizo, or more spinach to the panini, or more soyrizo and less of everything else. In the end it's a great breakfast panini to perk you up! I think if I did a blind test, most people would say there's egg yolks and meat in this sandwich!

This one came out with the nice grill marks.
I actually meant to add avocado to the panini to help with the strong flavor of the soyrizo. But I totally forgot so that ended up in a smoothie my mom and I concocted. I will just use the extra avocados and left over soyrizo egg white scramble and work it into a nice burrito tomorrow. :) Until then, enjoy!

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Garden Fresh, Market Fresh

The Lucky 5
I wish I had a nice picture of the heirloom tomato to go with these San Marzano tomatoes, but unfortunately the squirrels striked again! My mom managed to salvaged these and kept them safe in her bedroom. The funny story with these San Marzanos and heirloom tomatoes is that these weren't originally the ones I started with. These came from the seeds of the tomatoes my co worker gave me to try. My mom took the seeds and just stuck them in the garden. Low and behold a year later, we have these tomatoes and none of the one I planted the year before!

Interesting find at the Korean Market. Red Corn!!?!?!?! My friend and I stood and stared for awhile before asking a Korean lady what does red corn taste like? Her response? That it's sweeter than the white and yellow and stickier. Hmm I didn't even know corn can be sticky!

We simply just boiled the corn. The only creepy thing about this beautiful corn is the nice red coloring disappears during the boiling process and it becomes this purple dot color. Scary!! But other than that, taste like any other sweet corn. Pin It Now!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Baby Ava: Melting Hearts at 7 Months!

So soft and sweet, cute as can be :)
Baby Ava had the best weekend with her aunty, uncles, and grandmas from Taiwan. Also in that weekend she learned to sit up on her own! She sat up once unassisted, then twice, then for the third time! The following day she had no trouble at all! Plus her hair is starting to grow much longer in the front so now a hairclip is very helpful to give her that ultimate cutie pie look.

I'm gonna pet my head and stick my tongue out at you Momma!

My favorite!


Tongue is peeking out !
This must be a japanese cutie pose!

She also got to teeth-test some teether toys her uncle bought for his baby in the oven. They look shockingly like BBQ ribs and chicken wings. Ava loved it and probably wished they tasted like the real thing! Everyone cracked up at her nommming away at the teethers. Total papparazzi moment for Ava with all the iPhones and cameras snapping away.


Also Great-grandpa sent over a box of yee-haw clothing for Ava. To go along with her half Texan genes. Thanks Great Grandma/Grandpa for the cowgirl clothing!

Now I just need a horse!!! Or a pony is fine...ok I do live in the city. I'll take a Rody horse!!

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

NINE-TEN's Half Baked Chocolate Cake

This dessert dish is based off the item my husband had at NINE-TEN restaurant in La Jolla, California. We ate here last year for San Diego Restaurant Week with our friends and was one of the dessert offerings. Not entirely sure what a half baked chocolate cake would taste like, my husband decided to give it a try. My friend's boyfriend also decided on the "HBCC" (Abbreviated version).

The consensus after tasting this at NINE-TEN was pretty much "OMG!!" kind of reaction. This cake is exactly what name is "Half-Baked Chocolate Cake". A year later, my husband still craves for it, as well as my friend. So I said, "find me the recipe and I will make it!"

Focus on the center..it is like a chocolate lava pit

You can find this recipe and Chef Jack Fisher showing you how to make the dessert from start to finish on YouTube here.

Recipe calls for:

9.5 oz of bittersweet chocolate 50-60%
5 oz unsalted butter
5 egg yolks
5 eggs
5 oz granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons flour

Put butter in saucepan to melt. Get all the eggs and sugar in the mixer to start whisking on medium. Once the butter is melted, add the chocolate chips to stir to combine. By then, the eggs should be ready to add the two tablespoons of flour. Add the butter/chocolate mix to the beaten eggs, stir to combine. Pour it in a deep baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. **This is where it can make or break for you with this dessert**

On my first attempt. I baked at 8.5 minutes with the "deep" dish I had. The cake came out like a regular chocolate cake. Granted, it was still delicious to eat with ice cream, but it wasn't "Half Baked". No gooey, ooozey, deliciousness.

Attempt #1..Not exactly half-baked..I blame the dish

On attempt #2, I decided to fill the bowl with double the amount and baked at about 10 minutes. So if you have a shallow bowl, reduce your bake time, deeper the bowl, go with the recipe time. Second attempt came out PERFECT! Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and the dessert is heavenly.

Chocolate Lavaaaa Pit

Remember, the dish you use will make or break this dessert. Look for dessert bowls that are deep and can withstand high bake temperatures. This dessert is definitely a crowd pleaser. Enjoy! Pin It Now!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Berry Good for You Smoothie

Lookie here! Something good for you in drinkable form!
I think as long as the summer is still here and temperature hovers between 75-83 degrees, I will continue to rely on my once dust covered blender for my summertime treats! For this recipe, I used whatever I found in the pantry and freezer cause everyone knows once you get home with the kids, there's not venturing out after that! Unless it's for a nice restaurant, then I will make an exception!!

This recipe is piece of cake easy, like as with all the other recipes here at Forks and Kisses. So it has some repeating ingredients from my Banana Almond Butter Smoothie since mom is always yelling at me for buying too much and wasting it.  So here goes:

The Players in this berry mix:

1 cup Apple Juice
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1 cup frozen berries (I bought the bag from Costco which consist of frozen bing cherries, pomegranate, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries)
1 cup Ice
1 Banana
1 tablespoon of Agave Nectar

Throw all in the blender and let it go. The longer the better to break down all the seedlings from the pomegranate and possibly cherries? (I didn't actually check. I ate some on my first blend, therefore, let it rip!!)

Joseph picked the gray straw cause he knows Mommy LOVES the color gray! That's my boy!!

That is some pretty color mix in there!
I have a regular Oster Blender, nothing fancy but I believe it can give the other specialty blenders a run for their money. A good test to see if you've blend it down enough is to drink from a straw and see if any chunks get caught below.

Try me today! Or tomorrow, preferably before the end of summer!
It's great to put this smoothie in mason jars since it comes with a lid and looks nice. Plus if you have picky kids who only like strawberries, this is a good way to sneak the other stuff in. Hope you enjoy this drink!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Shrimp and Spinach Pasta to the rescue!

Something about food on white plates make me swoon. ^_^
We tend to have some sort of shrimp dishes on rotation at Forks and Kisses household. Only because they freeze well and when they are on sale, you tend to want to stock up with at least 2lbs. Baby spinach or regular spinach is also another great thing to always have on hand. They are easy to work into sandwiches, pasta and even breakfast! Pasta....well who doesn't have pasta sitting in their pantry right now?

Usually I buy Prego sauce to use in my pasta dishes. Unfortunately at the local market Sprouts, they don't carry big named items. Mostly brands that are more natural. The more I use Prego, the more I tend to not want pasta dishes. That means it is time to retire Mr. Prego and move on to the next. I saw this bottle waaaaayyy down at the bottom of the shelf. I remember getting their fig & walnut balsamic vinaigrette, which I really enjoyed. So I thought..hmmm let's give this a try. **Warning: This will probably be the most expensive bottle of pasta sauce at $7.99 on "SALE"!! But well worth it!!** I will have to do a taste test with Joseph some other time with sauces.

I bought a garlic tomato sauce. But they have many MANY flavors to choose from.
So now, let's bring out the key players in this dish:

Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil didn't make it to the photoshoot, but everyone knows to season with S&P for taste.
There is really no exact measurement for this dish, add more of everything if you have a big family to feed, add less if it's just you and your significant others. For the tomato sauce, I usually add enough to coat the pasta and more if Joseph ask for it.

Obviously boil pasta according to the box. On the side, heat up a pan with olive oil and sautee the shrimp. Salt and Pepper!! When pink, put in a bowl. Now in the same pan pour a little sauce to heat, by then pasta should be alllllmmmooost done. When it's done, toss drained pasta into the sauce. Toss around and throw a handful of baby spinach in. The more the better!

The shrimps were too cool to toss with the pasta and spinach.
I decided not to toss the shrimp with the rest of the crew because I wanted to present the dinner nicely. But you can if you like. I added a bit of reggianito parmesan on top. This cheese differs from the regular parmesano reggiano since it's softer to the touch and has a slight hint of swiss cheese taste. I actually like this cheese alot more than the hard stuff. Voila! Shrimp and Spinach Pasta is done! How do I know it came out good? Because everybody ate this up!!

You can always add some chopped tomatoes for more texture.

This were the heirloom tomatoes from the garden. Got to them before the squirrels!
Serving a dish like this on a white plate can turn it into a more elegant summer dinner. Only if my backyard was nice with a farm table, this would definitely be the dish I serve on a summer night. Give it a try! Thanks for reading!! Pin It Now!

Dr. Weil's Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Dr. Weil's Recipe Vault- Part 2
I'm slowly working my way down Dr. Weil's recipes. If you want to know how I got into cooking his philosophy on healthy stuff, take a look here and here. At their restaurant they actually serve an almond olive oil cake. It might sound weird using olive oil, but really in the end you only taste what flavoring you decide to add (i.e. lemon, almond, vanilla, etc). I would compare this cake to a very light white cake.

You can find this exact recipe here at Dr. Weil's website or see caption.

If your too lazy to click for the recipe, just see below at my edited notes.
4 lemons, zested and juiced (I took some lemons from my grandma's house but was tart. Next time I'll buy from the market, no offense!)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 eggs
1 teaspoon sea salt (Ooops! No sea salt! It's ok, I used Kosher Salt)
2 cups evaporated cane sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Fresh berries or fruits you would want to add

  1. Combine zest, juice and olive oil in a small bowl. (I zested only about 3 lemons and it wasn't all the way through. I think two would of been enough)
  2. In the mixer combine eggs & salt. Mix on medium for 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue to mix until pale and thickened.
  3. Turn mixer to low and slowly sift in the flour and baking powder, followed by the olive oil mixture. Do not over mix at this point; just incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Pour this mixture into a cake pan or muffin tin. (I used a bundt pan that was sprayed with baking spray and then coated with flour) Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes for cupcakes and 35 minutes for large cakes. (Bundt pans took about 50 minutes). Poke with a toothpick to check for doneness.
  5. Serve with Greek yogurt and fresh strawberries. (I improvised here, I used Fage yogurt with fruit filling from the fridge, stirred up the yogurt with some agave nectar and spooned it on the cake and added fresh blackberries) 
Fage yogurt is sooo useful cause I was getting sick of plain ol' yogurt.
Blackberries want to play!

Can never have enough close ups!
So what did I learn from this recipe? Use store bought lemons! I think another great use for this recipe is incorporate chopped pineapples and turn it into a pineapple upside down cake. Combinations are endless since the olive oil cake is on the neutral side and makes a great base cake. Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading! Until then, enjoy!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rush Dinner option: Mushroom Cheddar Sliders

Sliders are such a great idea when you have kids in the house. Sliders are not too small and not too big to eat and the toppings are endless. I was short on time and was going to actually pass on dinner and order take out, I thought, "I can knock this dish out easy!"

Sliders breakdown:

1 package of King's Hawaiian Sweet rolls or Savory Butter
1 lb of lean ground beef
1 egg
Handful of italian breadcrumbs
Mini Tillamook Cheddar Cheese slices (Found these at the grocery store, what a good way to attract the slider consumers)
1 package of cremini mushrooms (I bought whole and then sliced it myself)
2-3 Tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
Some horseradish deli mustard I had in the fridge. Any mustard will do
Salt/Pepper to taste

*My measurements are not entirely on point since I prefer seasoning to my liking.

Cut little small squares out of the tillamook cheese. I did about 12 mini slices. Throw that in the same bowl as the ground beef, egg, the handful of breadcrumbs, and ehhh about 2 tablespoon of worchestershire sauce. Add salt and pepper lightly. Give the mix a nice massage until incorporated. Take a piece of cook it for taste and if it's a little bland, put some more salt or pepper. Shape into thin patties about a inch larger than the sweet rolls.

Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms and sauteed them on high heat in the pan, OIL YES, SALT NO, PEPPER YES and drizzle some worchestershire sauce, keep tossing it like a pro until nicely brown and set it aside. (But feel free to sauteed with a wooden spoon or spatula.)
Now cook the flatten patties in the  pan or on a panini press (THAT'S ME!) until done. You can toast the mini rolls before or after the patties, just keep an eye on it.

Assembly line:

Bottom half of the bread
Dollop of mustard of choice
Burger pattie
Slice of mini cheese
Top with other half of the bread
Serve with chips or side of choice (fries, sweet potato fries, salad, soup, etc)

Easy right? With the amount of meat I actually made 6 mini sliders for dinner and was able to freeze about 7 more mini patties for another night. Guys and boys, they don't refuse burgers so this is a great weeknight dinner second to steak :) Check out the other recipes in my blog! Until then, enjoy! Pin It Now!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Snapshot moments from the iPhone

Instagram captures the little things in life I cherish and love, which are my babies. Still melts my heart going into Ava's room and seeing her there on her tummy with sleepy eyes or taking Joseph to watch him build wooden toys at Lowe's. Ava has finally upgraded from being carried in a carseat to sitting in shopping carts and high chairs. Reminds me from part of Brad Paisley's song "Little Moments"

"But she looks so much like and angel that I don't wanna wake her up Yeah I live for little moments When she steals my heart again and doesn't even know it Yeah I live for little moments like that..."

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