Apr 26, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Two Dollops of Nutella

Cookie time!!

I can't even remember when was the last time I made cookies,
Usually there is always some kind of chocolaty snacks at home,
You know, it always helps when my sudden urge for sweet treats arise late at night.

But unfortunately, all the choco stuff has been missing from my fridge and the kitchen shelves,
There must be a chocolate monster wandering around the house,
I think I can see that monster every time I looked into the mirror...
Hmmm...who can that be?

Anyways, so to solve my sweet tooth crisis,
Shall we make some chocolate chip cookies infused with nutella?

Ingredients (for about a dozen)?

1 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
Tiny pinch of salt

1/2 stick or 1/4 cup of butter
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 egg
2 tablespoons of nutella

1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line the parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Meanwhile let's get two big bowls ready,
One for the dry ingredients and the other for the wet ingredients.
For the dry stuff,
Sift the flour and mix the remaining ingredients into the bowl.

For the wet stuff,
First melt the butter or just use the room temperature one for the cookies,
I always use melted butter because it's easier for mixing.
Now use a food processor or an electric hand mixer to mix the butter and brown sugar,
Add the vanilla extract along with one egg, mix well.
In the end, add two tablespoons of nutella and mix till fully incorporated.

Now gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients,
I did it with two batches,
Gently mix in the first batch and then pour in the remaining dry ingredients,
Combine well, but don't over-mix it.
Add the chocolate chips,
Use a spatula to gently incorporate the chips into the mixture.

Use an ice cream scoop or a regular spoon will do,
Scoop out the mixture evenly to the baking sheet,
Into the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or till the edges turned slightly dark brown color,
When the cookies are done, let it cool for a little bit before serving.

Ahhhh this batch of cookies will last me at least a few days,
No more digging through the shelves for the last few pieces of chocolate late at night!
I'm keeping my figures crossed that the mysterious cookie monster won't show up anytime soon!

Cindy's Rating:

Apr 20, 2010

Oven Baked Mentaiko Sea Bass

Yo Yo what's up people!?!
. . . . .
I think I'm turning insane here....

After hours of editing my class' team project report last night,
That means from 11 p.m. till way passed 2 a.m...
I don't think my brain can function normally anymore,
Head spinning, back aching, and eyes popping,
Yes, eyes popping, just when I thought I was the only one who can write proper English..

Here's one of the most extreme examples of bad English writing that I've "encountered" last night (Just wanna share my pain to you muahahahha):

"I found out from "XXXXeyed.com" that 40 feet container....."

*Sorry that I had to censored the letters into "XXXX."
First of all, who the heck use "I" in a formal business report,
On top of that,
The reference link sounds like a porno site....
That "XXXX" actually starts with a "C" and ends with a "K"
You figure.

Imagine looking at that level of English writing and it lasted about 20 pages,
Unavoidable insanity.

One good news though,
All that nonsense will end tonight, after turning the "masterpiece" to my professor.
Yes!....Oh yes! I can't wait for that moment to come.

Cold beer and salty food should prepared when my nightmare ends tonight,
Celebration it is, with oven baked mentaiko sea bass!


1 Sea bass fillet
Some mentaiko
Some dried seaweed flakes
Some toasted sesame seeds


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a baking dish with foil, it'll save you a lot of cleaning time later on.
Lay the fish fillet inside the dish and cover it with mentaiko,
Remember to cover the edges too, it should look like this-

Into the oven for about 18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish,
Afterwards, pump up the temperature to 400 degrees and let it bake for additional 5 to 7 minutes.

When the fish is done, sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds and dried seaweed flakes.
Celebration dish made easy.

Cindy's Rating: 7


Apr 13, 2010

福方園 F.F.Y. Noodle House

Finally! New restaurant review is in!

I can't even remember when was the last time I wrote about a restaurant review,
Been eating at the same places over and over again,
That's why no new reviews are in,
And believe me or not,
Sometimes it takes more time composing a review compared to writing about my own recipe.

*Maybe partly due to my simplified recipes these days,
Am I getting lazIER? Hope not.

*Oh oh, I wanted to write a review about this seafood place,
Boiling Crab - heard of it?
But it's so hard to take pictures when battling with crabs and shrimps,
Especially when grabbing a little wooden hammer in one hand, and a giant craw in the other.
Plus all my fingers were dipped in Cajun flavored spicy sauce...
Hmm....I'll figure out a way one day...(that restaurant is good!)

So today I went to this newly opened Chinese dumpling/noodle place called F.F.Y.
That's their English name,
If you pronounce that in Chinese, it'll be something like "Fu Fon Yuen."

Little Chinese lesson here,
Fu means good fortune, Fon means square, Yuen means garden,
So the combined meaning? You figure.

Got there before lunch rush hour so still kind of empty,
But it was packed after I finished my food.

The restaurant got a letter "A" grade, meaning that this place passed series of inspections from the government,
What it means is that this place is super clean!
Well, sorry if I got too excited back there,
But you know how rare is it for a traditional Chinese eatery to get an A?!?
(No offense to anyone by the way)

Inside the menu-

F.F.Y. sells a wide variety of dumplings and noodles,
They also have an open kitchen in the front where you can see chefs making these cute little dumplings.

酸辣湯和熗黃瓜Sour and spicy soup and lightly seasoned cucumber-

The soup was good!
Usually I have to add a lot of vinegar and chili paste in order to make it more of my taste,
But this one was spicy enough with a pretty strong peppery flavor,
I was happy with it!
Still added some more vinegar though, I'm a vinegar hugger!

As for the cucumber, it's kind of on the lighter side, maybe too light,
But it did help balance out the spiciness from other dishes.

麻辣筋肉Simmered beef with beef tendon in chili sauce-

At first you won't feel the spiciness,
However, after a few bites, you'll start getting that tingling sensation from the peppercorns,
Cilantro on the top adds a bit of freshness to the dish. 

牛肉捲 Beef rolls? (I didn't remember the English name from the menu)-

The filling was made with stewed beef slices brushed with some sweet flour sauce (甜麵醬),
A lot of chopped scallions were also used, all wrapped in tortilla-like flour skin.

豬肉韭菜水餃 Pork with leek dumpling (or chives)-

The menu says leek dumplings, but it's more like chives,
Or "Chinese" leek.

The dumplings are larger than the regular kind you get from the grocery store,
In addition to that, it was full of juicy fillings, pretty good.

There's also a small sign on each table saying that they don't use any MSG for both the sauces and the food, how good is that?!

牛肉洋蔥水餃 Beef and onion dumplings-

Kinda sweet because of the onion,
On top of that, this is even juicier than the leek one!

Usually I stock up some frozen dumplings at home,
You know, when nature calls, stomach grumbling, frozen dumplings always come in handy,
Instead of store-bought ones, next time I'll to-go some of F.F.Y's fresh dumplings,
Plus no MSG! I won't get thirsty by eating too much of these goodies!

Cindy's Rating: 6 (might be higher after I explore more dishes later on)

福方園 F.F.Y. Noodle House
18219 East Gale Avenue. #1
Rowland Heights, CA 91748
(626) 839-8806

Apr 10, 2010

Light and Healthy Spaghetti Recipe..with Oven Baked Chicken

Pimples pimples please go away!
Something must be wrong with me, these little tiny annoying zits just can't stop popping out on my forehead..

Lack of sleep? Possibly...I've been sleeping around 2 a.m. lately...too much blogging...
Or maybe it's the food I ate?
Recalling that flaming, fiery spicy hot pot and fried mayonnaise shrimps...
Fine!!! (with a slap on my head)!
Something needs to be done here,
First, I'll start going to bed no later than 1 a.m. (come on...one little step at a time yep?)
Second, I shall eat lighter and healthier food for the next few days!

As a remedy, I came up with this recipe-

*I can't figure out a name yet, let's just call it light and healthy spaghetti for now,
These little dots on my forehead seems to block my ability of creative thinking too..arghHH... 

Ingredients (3 to 4 portions)?

For chicken:
4 thin slices of chicken
1 egg
2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
1 small pinch of salt
Some flour
Some panko (or breadcrumbs)
Some olive oil

For sauce:
1 cup of chicken stock
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3 garlic cloves (peeled, finely chopped)
Some salt
Some black pepper

For spaghetti:
1 package/12 oz of whole wheat pasta
1 package/5 oz of arugula (can be substituted by fresh spinach)
1/3 onion (finely chopped)
1 lemon (we're going to use both the lemon zest and its juice)
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Some olive oil
Some salt
Some pepper
Some fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit,
Meanwhile, have a big pot of water ready, bring to a boil,
Sprinkle some salt and start cooking the spaghetti according to package instruction,
Once it's done (preferably al dente), drain it and set aside.

Now prepare three plates,
One with some flour, one with some panko, and one with egg wash,
For the egg wash, add 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning with a tiny pinch of salt, mix well.
Take out the chicken slices,
First coat all sides with flour, give it a tap to shake off excess flour,
Dip into the egg wash mixture, and then coat with panko,
It should look like this-

Now drizzle some olive oil in the pan, turn to high heat,
Sear the chicken for about 1 to 2 minutes each side depending on the thickness of the meat,
Or if the coating turns slightly brown color then it's ready to flip to the other side.
Transfer the seared chicken slices into the oven for about 15 to 18 minutes,
When the chicken is done, set aside and let it rest for at least 5 minutes,
It helps keeping the meat moist and tender.

In the same pan, add all the ingredients for the sauce and bring to a simmer,
Cook till the sauce is reduced by half then it's ready.

Time for the spaghetti,
Have another big pan ready, drizzle some olive oil,
Toss in finely chopped onion and sprinkle some salt, black pepper, and red pepper,
Cook till the onion turned translucent, toss in the arugula.

Zest one large yellow lemon and squeeze the juice of it into the pan,
Give it a quick stir, taste it and see if more salts are needed.
Transfer the drained spaghetti into the mixture, mix well.

To assemble,
Have some finished spaghetti in a bowl,
Chop the chicken into strips and drizzle some sauce over the meat,
Garnish with some  fresh parsley.

Now I hope by eating this for my next three meals...
At least...at least some pimples will go away...
Keeping my fingers crossed here.

Cindy's Rating: 7 (Light and healthy)

Apr 5, 2010

Potpourri Pasta with Cream of Mushroom Sauce

Last night is a very memorable day in my little food blogger's history,
I had never ate so much food in my life,
I felt like it took me double the amount of time just to wash my belly in the shower,
It was THAT huge...bending over to pick up the coin on the floor will be mission impossible...

As a consequence of my careless action....a serious stomachache....
Especially the day after...
My stomach finally demands for a protest..
No more binge eating! No more binge eating!
To make the matters worse, I was binge eating on spicy hot hot..

So during my recuperating period, I came up with this light and easy recipe...
A break for my hard-working tummy,
Potpourri pasta with cream of mushroom sauce-

Ingredients (for 4 to 5 portions)?

1 pack/10 oz of potpourri pasta
(I used the one made with organic mixed vegetables, about time to pamper my tummy)
1 lb of ground pork
1 small can of cream of mushroom
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
Some freshly ground black pepper
Some fresh Italian flat leaf parsley (chopped)
Some salt
Some red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Tabasco sauce if desired


Don't know what's potpourri pasta?
Here's a picture of the one I used for this recipe-

If you can't find potpourri,
It can be substitute with any kind of smaller sized pasta such as fusilli, coquillettes, farfalle, and orecchiette.

So first let's prepare a pot of water, bring to a boil and sprinkle some salt in it,
Add the pasta and cook according to package instruction.

Meanwhile have a big pan ready, drizzle some olive oil and turn to high heat,
Toss in chopped onions along with some salt and red pepper flakes,
I used about 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, you can use more if desired,
Cook till the onion turned translucent, add the ground pork, some Italian seasoning, some salt and about 1 teaspoon of black pepper,
*Other kind of mixed seasonings work too,
For example, herbs de Provence.

Give it a quick stir, make sure every ingredients are coated with the seasonings, and the ground pork is not sticking into large pieces,
Add cream of mushroom,
Mix well, taste and see if more salt is needed.

The pasta should be ready by now, drain it and transfer to the mixture,
Combine well, garnish with some fresh parsley before serving.
I usually add more black pepper and some Tabasco sauce for myself,
But due to my "swollen" tummy..I think I'll skip the Tabasco part this time..

Cindy's Rating: 7 (indeed light and healthy, plus easy to make)