Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tender Charred Pork Roast

If you are looking for a moist sweet and savory fall-apart tender pork roast... this is it!

I made this pork roast for a Sunday dinner gathering, it was so good that 3 weeks later we had to have it for Christmas dinner too.  

Scroll down for the recipe.


1 (8 to 10 pound) pork shoulder blade roast
2 tablespoon Lawry's Seasoning Salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1/4 cup Yoshida's Teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Pierce the roast all over with the tip of a paring knife Sprinkle on all sides with seasoning salt, garlic powder, and paprika and rub into the meat.  Place roast in a shallow baking dish (I used a 9x11 ceramic baking dish) preferably fitted with a roasting rack (though not necessary).  
Refrigerate seasoned roast uncovered overnight or at least 8 hours.  Remove from refrigerator and bring roast back to room temperature (30-60 mins).  Rub all sides of roast with Yoshida's Teriyaki sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Put roast back on rack in baking dish with fat side up.  Add the quartered onion and enough water or chicken broth to come 1-inch up the sides of the baking dish.   Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and loosely cover roast with aluminum foil tent. Continue to cook until very tender, about 4-5 hours total cooking time.  Approximately 30 minutes per pound or until internal temperate reads 160 degrees F with a meat thermometer.  Remove from oven and let the roast rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Serve with a mushroom gravy or cranberry sauce.
Left overs are great for pulled pork sandwiches just add your favorite barbeque sauce, hamburger buns, and some coleslaw.  Hope you enjoy this roast as much as we did.

Friday, November 29, 2013


Citrus Chinese Spiced Turkey

This is the best turkey recipe ever!  Well at least in my opinion. Possibly even better than my Photastic Vietnamese Turkey recipe.  This turkey was so juicy and tender.  There is a lot of prep work but you will end up with an amazing turkey that your guests will rave about.  I started off with a Citrus Chinese spiced brine and glazed the turkey with a hoisin glaze. 

  • 1(16-20-pound) fresh turkey, rinsed & patted dry, with neck & giblets reserved for stock.
 For the Chinese Spiced Brine:
  • 12 cups (3/4 to 1 gallon) apple cider
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 8 whole star anise pods
  • 3 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 3 4-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cups (3/4 to 1 gallon) chilled water
For the Citrus Onion Aromatics:
  • 2 large oranges, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 large lemons, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges with rind intact
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into wedges with skin intact 

 For the compound butter:
  • Zest from one large Orange
  • 1/2 cup soft butter 
For the Hoisin glaze:
  • 3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 12-quart stockpot, with lid
  • 1 large roasting pan, without lid
  • 1 large brining bag
  • 1 meat thermometer
  • aluminum foil

Prepare the Chinese Spiced Brine: In a large 12-quart stock pot, bring (12 cups) apple cider, salt, garlic, herbs and spices to a boil. Stir occasionally to dissolve salt. Remove from heat. Add (12 cups) chilled water to cool liquid slightly. 

Prepare the Brine with Citrus & Onion Infusion: After the Chinese Spiced Brine has cooled somewhat (no longer very hot, but still very warm), squeeze citrus wedges into the liquid adding each rind after expelling juices. Next, add onion wedges and stir. Cover stockpot and allow the brine to steep. Cool to room temperature. (This will take a few hours.) If preparing brine the day before brining turkey, chill brine in refrigerator until ready to use. 

Assemble the Turkey & Brine in Brining Bag: Open zip-top brining bag wide and insert into large roasting pan with high sides. Using a large liquid measure (I use my 2-cup glass measure), scoop some of the brine and place it into bottom of large brining bag. Insert the turkey over the brine breast side up. Using a slotted spoon, place some citrus and onion wedges into the cavity of the bird and continue to add the remaining brining liquid over the turkey in the brining bag. Carefully close zip-top and expel as much air as possible. (It helps to have two sets of hands at this point.) Gather top of brining bag and twist. Secure brining bag at the top so that brine covers entire turkey, tie bag closed. Transfer roasting pan, with turkey and brine in brining bag, to refrigerator. Soak turkey for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. 

Prepare the Turkey for Roasting the Night Before: The night before you plan to roast your turkey, remove it from brining solution; discard brine and brining bag. Pat the bird thoroughly with paper towels to dry completely inside and out.  Loosen skin on breast of turkey being careful to not break the skin evenly smooth compound butter over turkey breast under skin, refrigerate it overnight uncovered in the roasting pan.

Roasting: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.  Loosely place onion and orange wedges (use your zested orange) into turkey cavity. Place a loose foil tent on top of turkey.  Roast turkey till internal temperature reaches 170 degrees at it's deepest point (part of the thigh, nearly to the hip joint, but taking care not to touch the bone).  Remove turkey from oven, remove foil tent and baste with hoisin glaze.  Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place uncovered turkey back into oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Reglaze if necessary and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Let turkey rest for at least 1/2 an hour before carving.


Apple of Roses Cream Pie

I found a beautiful pie on Pinterest and created my own recipe inspired by a lady named Yoli from Bulgaria.  I had to translate her recipe to english, change some measurements, and used substitutions. I made this pie for Thanksgiving and it was a huge hit.

 For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup finely ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 cup flour
For the cream:
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 5-6 apples
  • apricot jam
  1. Beat soft butter with powdered sugar, vanilla, and orange peel. Add egg and ground almonds. Add flour gradually to make a soft dough.
  2. Dust a 9 inch greased round pie pan with flour. Spread the dough evenly in it. Place in refrigerator while preparing the cream.
  3. For the cream, in a sauce pan mix the flour with vanilla and orange peel. Add yolks and a little milk. Stir until smooth. Pour in the remaining milk and apple cider. Bring the cream slowly to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened, then let it cool.
  4. With a vegetables peeler cut the apples in long strips.
  5. Wrap the strips into apple roses.
  6. Pour the cream on top of the dough and arrange the apple florets close to each other.
  7. Glaze the roses by lightly brushing them with the warmed apricot jam. Bake pie in preheated oven at 300 degrees farenheit until the dough is baked and apples become golden.  
  8. Let pie fully cool before serving.

 This pie is so delicious and light tasting too. Enjoy!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Hoisin Glazed Salmon

As always, I love combining my Vietnamese heritage with the Alaskan ingredients that my sister and I grew up with.  I am a lover of Hoisin Sauce, as my mother would disapprovingly tell you since she has witnessed me dump copious amounts of it into my Phở since I was a little girl.  Hoisin Sauce just makes it better!

So check out this amazing Hoisin Glazed Salmon recipe and see just how good it is!


  • 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 whole salmon fillet, divided into 4-6 individual portions
  • sesame seeds to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with a non-stick spray.
  2. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet, skin side down.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the hoisin sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar, lime juice, and ginger powder to create the glaze.
  4. Remove the salmon from the oven and spoon the glaze over the fillets.  Return the salmon to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.
  5. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds to garnish and enjoy!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie, an ode to Ted's Bakery in Hawaii

So I used to live in Hawaii while I was going to college on the North Shore of Oahu.  There is a little gem of a place there called Ted's Bakery where they make the most amazing Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie.  If you ever go, you must partake.  If you don't know what Haupia is, it's a Hawaiian coconut pudding.  Last night my friend Ali, over at Lemon Poppy Inc had a "Pie Party" where everyone made a pie and brought it to be photographed and tasted by everyone there.  It's for her up and coming cookbook called Humble Pie.  Keep a look out for it, it's going to be amazing.

So for the party I made a Chocolate Haupia Cream Pie and I must say... it came out REALLY good.  Here's the recipe that I used.


  • 9" unbaked pie crust
  • 1 c milk
  • 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 c corn starch
  • 1 1/4 c semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 Tbsp chocolate shavings

The Crust: Preheat your oven to 350 F.  Bake your pie crust for 15 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow it to cool.

The Filling: Combine the milk, coconut milk, 1 c sugar, and coconut extract in a saucepan.  In a separate bowl, combine the water and corn starch.  Bring the milk mixture to a boil, but be careful because it will boil over if you're not watching.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and whisk in the corn starch mixture.  Whisk constantly until thickened, about 3 minutes.  

In a separate bowl, microwave the semi sweet chocolate chips for about a minute.  Give it a good stir to make it smooth.  Pour half of your coconut mixture into the chocolate bowl and whisk it together until smooth.  Pour this mixture into your pie shell.  Set it in the fridge for just a couple of minutes to help it cool and to keep the 2 layers from combining.  Pull the pie back out and pour the remainder of the coconut mixture on top of the chocolate layer.  Allow the pie to refrigerate for 5-8 hours.  The longer it's in there, the better it will set.

The Topping: When you're ready to serve, make your whipped cream by combining the whipping cream, 2 Tbsp of sugar, and vanilla in a chilled metal mixing bowl.  Use an electric mixer to whip it until soft peaks form.  Put your whipped cream into a pastry bag prepped with a large star tip (I used a Wilton 2D tip) and pipe little stars of whipped cream all over the top of the pie.  Then sprinkle with shaved chocolate.  

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Bunny Rolls... Check Out My Buns-ies

I just had to share these cute bunny rolls that I made for Easter dinner.  Everyone loved them they were a huge hit.  The dough recipe is from a previous post by my sister, Lynn, and since the recipe has been pinned over 250,000 times why use another?  She calls it Best Rolls Ever. 

Now, I can't claim that I came up with the bunny design all on my own.  Nope that's what Pinterest and Google are for.  Bunny design came from Taste of Home.
Though the design and a different recipe is used at Taste of Home they didn't have pictures of step by step instructions which I will include here.
After you make Best Rolls Ever recipe you will need to let your dough rest for 30-60 minutes. Punch down your dough and with a rolling pin roll out your dough to at least 20 inches long one way (see picture below). Using a pizza cutter you will cut horizontal 1/2 inch strips.  Then cut the strips vertically 10 inches, 5 inches, two 2 inches, and then one inch.  Body, head, 2 ears, and tail.
You can see from the picture below that I formed the 10 inch strip into the body, 5 inch for head, two 2 inch strips for ears, and then 1 inch for cotton tail.
Let rise for 15-30 minutes.
 Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes.


The Easter bunny was pleased too.
Okay okay we didn't give any to the Easter bunny but if we did I'm sure he would approve.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcakes always look so beautiful when you add a lot of height to them.  However, I'm not a huge fan of a ton of frosting.  To solve my dilemma,  I came up with the simple idea that you can have a little bit of frosting but then pile it high with flavored whipped cream.  You get the gorgeous look while keeping it light and airy.  These started out as an experiment but have been a HUGE hit with friends and family so I love to make them for special occasions.

If you have a chocolate cake recipe that you already like, feel free to use it.  I used to use box mixes for this but I recently fell in love with a recipe from my friend Ali's cookbook called "When Life Gives You a Chocolate Craving".  She has given me permission to post it here for all you fine folks.  Enjoy!

Ingredients for the batter:
1 c water
1 c butter
6 Tbsp cocoa
2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp basking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c sour cream

Directions for the batter:
Boil the water, butter and cocoa in a small saucepan.  In a large bowl, layer the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Pour the sugar on top of the flour mixture.  Pour the boiling mixture on top of the sugar (this creates a fudge-like reaction as the two combine).  Add eggs and sour cream and mix until all ingredients are combined.

Other ingredients:
8.5 oz bag Andes Creme de Menthe Thins
1 recipe chocolate frosting (or buy premade from the store)
1 c heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pure mint extract
green food coloring

Other directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare your cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners, then fill the liners with cake batter to about 2/3 full.  Cut 24 Andes mints in half (widthwise), and push both mint halves down into the center of each cupcake.  Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.  Once they've cooled, top them with a layer of chocolate frosting.  Use a star tip to pipe a pretty swirl.  In a chilled bowl, beat together the whipping cream, sugar, and pure mint extract.  Add a few drops of green food coloring to give it a minty color.  Put the flavored whipped cream in a piping bag already prepped with a large star tip.  Pipe the whipped cream on top of the chocolate frosting and top it off with a whole Andes Mint.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chicken Curry Pita

This recipe was inspired by my friend Kim Grimmer when we were out fishing in the cold rain with our husbands and I brought a lame lunch with me and she shared her chicken salad pitas with me. Oh it was sooo good. This isn't her exact recipe but was inspired by her.

6 oz    canned chicken breast (drained)
1/4 C  light mayonnaise
1 t      curry powder
12      green grapes (halved)
1 C     alfalfa sprouts (divided into fourths)
2        Pitas (halved to form pockets)

Mix chicken, mayonnaise, curry powder together.  Add grapes and lightly mix.  Divide chicken salad into fourths.  Stuff each pita half with mixture and add alfalfa sprouts into remaining pocket space.  Serves 4.

177 calories per serving.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Best Rolls Ever

This is Lynn here.  I just have to tell everyone that I have the BEST sister ever!  Why, might you ask?  Because she and her husband got me my very own Kitchenaid Mixer for Christmas.

I have been falling in love with my mixer and using it non-stop.  Seriously, I've considered knitting it a sweater because I adore it so much.  With my new mixer I have tried out various roll recipes and I just have to share the one that I think is the absolute BEST.  Not only is the recipe easy, but they come out so soft and buttery and they just melt in your mouth.


  • 2 c warm water
  • 2/3 c nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2- 5 c all purpose flour


  1. In a Kitchenaid mixing bowl, stir in warm water and nonfat dry milk powder until it dissolves.
  2. Add yeast, then sugar, salt, butter, egg, and 2 cups of flour.
  3. Mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.
  4. Add 2 more cups of flour, mix on low speed until ingredients are wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.  (You can switch your attachment to the dough hook at this point for easier mixing.)
  5. Add 1/2 cup flour again, mixing on low speed until wet, then 2 minutes at medium speed.  You can add an additional 1/2 c if your dough is still too wet but I usually stop at 4 1/2 cups of flour total.
  6. Dough should be soft, not overly sticky, and not stiff.
  7. Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around the sides of the bowl so that the bowl is coated.  
  8. Spray some plastic wrap with non-stick coating and place the plastic over the bowl. Allow it to rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in size and rises to the top of the bowl.

     9.  Once the dough has risen, place your dough on a flat floured surface, then divide the dough in half.

     10.  Roll out 1/2 the dough into a circle.

     11.  Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 16 even slices.

     12.  Begin to roll the slice of dough in, starting from the wide end and tuck the small point underneath.  

     13.  Place rolls on parchment-lined baking sheet.  

14.  Repeat steps 10-13 for the 2nd half of the dough and let them rise for 1- 1 1/2 hours, until double in                          size.
     15.  Bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden-brown. 
     16.  Brush with melted butter while hot.

And if you're new to making rolls (which I was until just a few months ago) there are some great tips that you can find on my friend, Ali's website HERE.

So get baking to warm up your home and your tummy during this VERY cold winter!

Feel free to "Pin" to your heart's content!