Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Creamy Potato Dill Soup

If you love your soups thick and creamy, then this is a recipe you have got to try.  The potato pairs perfectly with the buttery dill flavor, and to drive it two degrees north of amazing, I've added cheese and bacon.  You're welcome.

  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • dash black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 sprig of fresh dill
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
 Cook the potatoes and onion in a large saucepan with enough boiling water to cover the vegetables for about 15 minutes or until tender.  Drain the water out and reserve 1 cup of the potato/onion mixture.  Dump the rest of the vegetables and the chicken broth in a blender or food processor and blend for about 1 minute or until smooth.  Set aside.  In the same saucepan, melt the butter.  Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper.  Add in the milk and whisk the ingredients until it is thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for 1 minute more.  Stir in the reserved 1 cup of reserved potato/onion and the blended vegetable mixture.  Cook and stir until heated through.  Snip the sprig of fresh dill into the soup using scissors, stir to combine.  You can add more salt and pepper to taste.  Serve the soup in bowls and top each serving with cheese and bacon.  I also served mine with slices of homemade sourdough bread and it was a hit with my family.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Rainbow Pasta

After making a blueberry dessert pasta I couldn't stop and made several other types of pasta that are beautiful in color inspired by a website called Spoon Fork BaconIn addition to blueberry pasta made in a previous post I made tomato, spinach, saffron, and beet pasta.

I hung the pasta to dry on clothes hangers and stored them in large Ziploc bags. 

basic pasta dough:
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons water, if needed
for spinach:
1/2 cup canned spinach, purred until smooth
for saffron:
1 pinch of saffron (soaked in 1/3 cup warm water for about 30 minutes)
for beet:
1 small roasted red beet, pureed until smooth
for tomato:
1 8oz canned tomato paste
for blueberry:
1/2 cup tundra blueberries (store bought blueberries will not give you a vibrant purple color)

  1. For dough: In a food processor combine flours, eggs, spinach, saffron, beet, tomato, or blueberry, followed by oil. 
  2. Knead dough on a floured surface to form a ball that is no longer sticky to touch.  If dough is dry add water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes (dough should feel very tight and should bounce back when gently pressed), wrap in plastic and let sit for about 20 minutes before using. Follow pasta machine instructions for rolling out the dough and cutting into desired pasta type (or roll pasta dough by hand with a rolling pin until very thin and cut into desired pasta type, using a clean ruler for even noodles). 
  3. To dry: Line freshly cut pasta dough onto a pasta dry rack (or onto clean clothes hangers), in a single layer and allow pasta to dry in a cool, dry place for 24 hours. Carefully remove pasta from drying rack and store in an airtight container or Ziploc bags until ready to use. Dry pasta will hold for up to 1 month if stored in a cool, dry place.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Blueberry Pasta... say wha?!?

Last Christmas I received a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid.  I've been making all sorts of pasta egg pasta, beet pasta, spinach pasta, etc.  I wanted to make a pasta that could somehow incorporate Alaska, therefore tundra blueberry pasta.

To get this vibrant purple color you have to use tundra blueberries also called bilberries similar to huckleberries.  Blueberries from the grocery store just won't cut it.

  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup tundra blueberry puree
  • 2 tbs. sugar
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • dash cinnamon
  1. Mix all ingredients in a your Kitchen aid mixer and finish off with your dough hook or used a food processor to blend all ingredients so that it forms into a solid ball.  
  2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Roll out dough or wind through your pasta machine.
  4. Cut into strips or wind through your pasta machine.
  5. Cook the pasta in boiling water until al dente…it will only take 3-4 minutes if the pasta is fresh.
You can use your blueberry pasta in just about any recipe that you would use any other type of pasta.

Here I've made a dessert pasta using my blueberry pie filling recipe.

You will need cooked blueberry pasta, topped with blueberry pie filling and almond flavored whipped cream.  I finished it off by sprinkling some ground cinnamon on top.  I will admit texture was a little weird at first because I was expecting pie crust but it was yummilicious.  The kids scarfed it up.
For Pie Filling

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbs. corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cup tundra blueberries
  • 1/2 teas. ground cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, mix together the water, cornstarch, and sugar.  Add in blueberries and bring to a boil at medium heat, stirring constantly for about two minutes or until mixture is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon.  Pour into a pint size jar and set aside.

For Whipped Cream


1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbs. sugar
1/2 teas. almond extract


Chill a medium mixing bowl and the beaters from your electric mixer.  Combine all the ingredients into your chilled mixing bowl, and use chilled beaters to beat the mixture till soft peaks form.

I had so much fun making this blueberry pasta that I even threw it in with some left over garlic shrimp.  All I did was saute some peeled an deveined shrimp with butter, minced garlic,  Johnny's garlic seasoning, dash of salt, and tossed in the pasta.  The blueberry flavor in the pasta is a bit mild so that this pasta could go with just about any pasta dish.  


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

 If you're a pumpkin lover then you have got to try this recipe.  This sweet treat comes out moist and fluffy and this recipe makes plenty to share with loved ones who will love you all the more for sharing!  The recipe comes from my friend Ali Eisenach's cookbook, When Life Gives You a Garden.

By the by, I have a new found love for cupcake stands.  I found this one at a local shop but you can also find it online at Glitterville.  It has become one of my favorite things that I own and it will probably appear in many more foodie pictures in the future. 

But back to the Pumpkin Bars!

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 2/3 c sugar
  • 1 c oil
  • 16 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt

Beat eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin until fluffy.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into a greased 15x10x1 inch pan.  Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.  Cool and frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c butter, softened
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 3 c powdered sugar
Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs. Thit Heo Kho Trung.

It's Vietnamese New Years (Tet) in our home.   As a child I remember my mom involved in Vietnamese new years parties at our home.  I'm sure that every Vietnamese person would come to these parties...  I loved receiving the "red envelope" from "aunts and uncles" with money inside.

Now that I have my own family I try to carry on the traditions of my mother's culture.
Started decorating the house last year

 This year I printed out my own banner and found some year of the house signs to print and place in photo frames..

 I found some inexpensive decorations at Oriental Trading such as the red envelopes, chop sticks, paper fans as gifts, Chinese take out boxes, lanterns, and more.

Here's my son Aiden helping me put up the mini lanterns.

I don't know why I didn't think to take a picture of this year with everyone at the table... maybe because I was busy eating... someone even had to remind me to take a picture of my plate of food.

I made a Coconut Curry Seafood Soup which is in the previous post.  We also had Vietnamese Chicken Salad.  Manapua or BBQ pork buns and egg rolls.  The egg rolls and pork buns would have taken too much time to make in my busy schedule so i was fortunate to find some at our local Safeway grocery store.

Now I know BBQ pork bun is not the tradition Vietnamese steamed bun (banh bao) the filling is more  like ground pork with a hard boiled quail egg in the middle.

like this:

but I like the Cha sui bbq pork version better.

And I know the Safeway brand is not the tradition Vietnamese egg roll (cha gio).  If you want to make the traditional stuff here's link our recipe 

Here's a picture of my dinner plate.

So what you're really here for is the Vietnamese Braised Pork and Egg recipe, right?  Sorry it's taken me so long to get to this point.  This is my all time favorite Vietnamese dishes it's tender sweet and salty goodness braised in coconut water.  You're probably thinking why the boiled egg.  The boiled egg compliments this dish especially if you take a a bite with a little rice, pork, and egg with each fork full.  It's a traditional Tet dish.  The downside to this dish is that I have a hard time not overeating.

Vietnamese Braised Pork and Eggs. Thit Heo Kho Trung.

 INGREDIENTS (serves 8)

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (most of the fat trimmed off)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
8 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
3 cups coconut water
2 Tbsp oil for stir frying.
8 cups cooked steamed rice


Cut pork into about 1 inch serving pieces.  Place in a large bowl and season with garlic, onion, fish sauce, and sugar.  Let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in large 5 quart soup pot and brown pork lightly.

Add half the coconut water and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the remaining coconut water and boiled eggs, continue to simmer for about 45 minutes until liquid has thicken and pork is fork tender.

Serve over rice.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Coconut Curry Seafood Stew

This is a delicious coconut curry seafood stew with a lot of ingredients common in Vietnamese and Thai cooking.

1 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons pureed lemon grass
2 tablespoons curry powder
6 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon tamarind soup base  (or 2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice at the very end)
2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 pound medium peeled and deveined shrimp
1 pound hardshell clams
8 ounces mussels
8 ounces halibut (cut into 1x1 inch pieces) or fresh Alaska king crab meat
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
cooked jasmine rice about 4-6 cups
Siracha Chili paste (optional to add heat)

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat.  Cook and stir in ginger, lemongrass, and curry powder in oil for 1 minute.  Pour in chicken broth over mixture and stir continually to incorporate irall ingredients.  Stir in fish sauce and brown sugar; simmer for 15 minutes.  Stir in tamarind soup base and coconut milk.  Add shrimp, clams, mussels and halibut and cook till no longer translucent about 5-8 minutes.  Serve in a bowl with 1/2 cup of rice and garnish with cilantro.

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.