Category: American

Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

I’ve been feeling really lazy lately. The other day, after lunch, the boyfriend and I drove home and I found myself suddenly lying back in bed where I had just been hours before. Even though it was only 3:00 o’clock on a Saturday. That made me feel really old for some reason. I mean, shouldn’t I be outside, playing in the sun? I decided to compromise by taking a walk and revisiting my blog for the first time in a while.
And oh, have I missed it so!
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Avocado Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing

I’ve been feeling really lazy lately. The other day, after lunch, the boyfriend and I drove home and I found myself suddenly lying back in bed where I had just been hours before. Even though it was only 3:00 o’clock on a Saturday. That made me feel really old for some reason. I mean, shouldn’t I be outside, playing in the sun? I decided to compromise by taking a walk and revisiting my blog for the first time in a while.
And oh, have I missed it so!
Continue reading

Strawberry-Chipotle Turkey Sandwich with Spinach

I hate to break it to you, guys, but I get rather idle come summer time. Granted, the weather has been much less than perfect lately, but nevertheless, it is still summer and I live in Hawaii (yup, there I go again, rubbing it in). And it’s sunny out (for the most part), it’s too hot inside without AC, and I sure as hell don’t feel like turning on the stove. Seriously. Unless, it’s to toast up these babies. Because these babies are, simply-put, amazing.
I truly kid you not. These glorified simple sandwiches are the perfect balance between sweet and savory, light and decadent. It’s the easiest (but more importantly, tastiest) on-the-go sandwich to avoid being cooped up in a hot kitchen on a sunny summer day.
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Salted Caramel Shortbread

I’ve been on something of an extended “vacation” post-Guatemala. Seriously. Guatemala spoiled me – just a little bit. I’ve been m.i.a. from the kitchen and temporarily preoccupied with other interests and endeavors (like this). I can’t help it! I have a tendency of becoming completely and irrevocably consumed in spurts by the things I love.
But that isn’t to say I’ve forgotten about you, loyal and lovely readers, whoever you are. This is still my first baby, after all. Continue reading

Homemade Pizza

Remember the last time you were on a deadline and desperately pressed for time or just way too exhausted from work or life to even remotely consider mustering up the energy to look through the fridge (except to retrieve that last ice-cold beer you saved for yourself behind the carton of milk – oops! sorrry, honey!), let alone make dinner? Remember the last time you picked up your phone just to call your friendly neighborhood pizza place to rescue you rather than calling your significant other to let them know that dinner is ready to be served? I do. In fact, it seems as though it’s all I ever do lately.
I grew up loving pizza. I don’t know anyone who didn’t. It was, in my opinion, a luxurious reward for good behavior. In other words, it was a parent’s laziness or lack of time resulting in a most marvelous treat of a meal for us as kids, and even as adolescents. In most cases, it was the meal succeeding a busy day of fun to which everyone would gather around for a slice or two.

However, instead of having to call for an instant pizza, I can now proudly say that I can make my own – albeit, not quite as conveniently. Pizza is a most wonderful thing. Endlessly versatile, it’s hard for anyone not to love some variation of it. Now, pair that gourmet handmade pizza of yours with a bold glass of wine or better yet, a homemade sangria and this, my friends, is what being a mature adult is all about.
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Side Effects.

Something noteworthy about Koreans is that they love their sides. At any and every Korean meal, in or out of a restaurant, you are absolutely guaranteed to have 반찬 (ban chan, or side dishes). It is usually the prelude and then also the accompaniment to a wonderfully orchestrated meal. While other cuisines may not be so elaborate on their sides, I still find the necessity to have some form of them in every meal. Even if they may not be extravagant Korean sides, I’ve managed to make, create and master some delicious American sides to be served alongside any magnificent meal. The most simple ones tend to be the most useful and versatile for adding that extra oomph to glitz and glam up any entrée.

Although cooking the perfect meal can presumably imply an overbearing amount of time and exhaustive exertion of energy, the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. If you strategically break down your to-be-executed meal, each step involved really isn’t too bad. Simple sides can make your already fabulous meal more wholesome and they shouldn’t be marred by excessive ingredients and complexity. For example, these recipes for Wilted Spinach with Shallots and Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes are straightforward and easy to make to go along with any meal. The spinach has a fresh tartness from the lemon juice and  a savory flavor from the shallots while the potatoes have a rich and creamy flavor from the butter, milk and buttermilk. Continue reading

Backyard Barbecue.


In a place where dreams are reality, a backyard barbecue would happen every other day or so. Sadly, this is certainly wishful thinking, seeing as I don’t even have a backyard. I do, however, have a terrific and spacious lanai. Although, even then, it can only be used as our dining table as an excuse to feel ‘outdoors’ for our deliciously-cooked-in-the-oven barbecue meal. Mind you, it was still just as fabulous as the real backyard deal.

Nothing screams summer (albeit nearly over) like barbecued ribs. I swear, it has to be universal. I’m sure everybody has their own form of barbecue that epitomizes the sunny summer season. If this isn’t the case, it needs to be because otherwise they don’t know what they’re missing out on! Continue reading

Oven-Fried Chicken.


When I saw this recipe by Ina Garten, I instantly knew that this had to be the next meal I make for three reasons. One, I had a quart or so of buttermilk in my fridge that was quickly nearing the end of its shelf-life. Two, I really like fried chicken. Three, it’s Ina Garten – enough said.

While I can’t say I don’t like KFC (because I’m bad and I actually really really do), this oven-fried chicken surpasses that of Kentucky any day (my apologies, Kernel Sanders). But surely I’m not alone in this love affair with fried chicken, albeit regulated and restricted to some reasonably understandable degree. If you hadn’t already noticed – which unless you are a first time reader (Welcome!), I don’t know how you wouldn’t know – I have an embarrassingly long list of weaknesses in regards to junk food. I most definitely need to curtail the junk-eating and cut the list  down to one page, or a side of a page. Hopefully, down to half a  page in the near future. But, until then, let’s happily continue on with this confabulation about fried chicken.
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Two Loaves of Meat.

Returning to my own kitchen, I still have to say that I feel as though I always marvel at my ability to bake anything. Sure, it may not be baking loaves of bread, but baking loaves of meat still feels like a truly magical accomplishment. I’m serious! Just the other week, I tried to bake a cake, which I haven’t tried doing in a very long time. Only because I remember thinking for years up to this point that I could not bake cakes to save my dear life, but I decided to try again feeling confident with all this kitchen experience under my belt. Psh, amateur.

That turned out to be a huge disaster, a complete and total fiasco. So, instead of flour and sugar, I decided to practice baking using ground beef and vegetables. That endeavor turned out to be much less disappointing. It actually turned out perfectly fine for an all-American kind of meal. I never tasted meatloaf until my late teen years and I remember being astonished at the name and the flavor. It wasn’t until even more recently that I realized how simple and inexpensive it could be to make. Oh, the wonderful simplicities in life.

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Sloppy Seconds.

The good kind, that is. Actually, the negative connotations of that simple phrase momentarily eluded me until it was brought to my attention.  Get your mind out of the gutter, kids.

Anyway, as I sort of  mentioned in my first entry, I have an anxious compilation of pictures from my eating excursions as well as cooking  combats (with my kitchen, at least) awaiting their debut. Hence, the next several blogs may not be in chronological order. Nevertheless, they will be as thorough and enticing as possible. The objective here is obviously to make your mouth water. Now this, this is a given. But, what I really want to get my readers to do is to become more conscious of their consumable surroundings regardless of city, state or country and to enjoy the simple joys of their very own kitchen.

Speaking of kitchen, mine is regularly messy because no matter how hard I try to maintain its cleanliness, the cooking (or eating) never seems to end. For instance, this Sloppy Joe (as pictured above) got me and my friends sloppy for seconds. Even though it wasn’t made from scratch, the adjustments that were made here and there made it undeniably good. I encourage you to try it!

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