Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

June 12, 2019

Garlicky Clam Pasta

Super fast dinner. 20 min total time. Husband made pasta ahead of time while I took the kids to the park. By the time everyone’s hands were washed, milk poured, and table set, dinner was ready. And mamma was tipsy. Win.

And to think, this dish only happened because my toddler figured out how to add items to my FreshDirect cart. (Online grocery delivery service in NYC)

I’m gonna let him pick our meals more from now on.

Photo above shows clams note quite done! You want them nice and open. Cover again and continue to steam for another 2-3minutes. Total cook time should be about 5-7 minutes.


  • 2-3lb or 25 fresh littleneck clams
  • Package of Beech/Buna shimeji mushrooms
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh parsley
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 lemon
  • 2-3tbs butter
  • Parmesan
  • 1/2+ package of spaghetti/linguini


  1. At least an hour or so before cooking (or morning or), place clams in heavily salted water and set in fridge. Clams will spit out sand over time. Before cooking, give them a good scrub down and rinse off sand. Drain and set aside.
  2. Boil water in large pot. Cook pasta as per package instructions. Drain and set aside once done. While cooking pasta, make clams in separate Dutch oven. (Can be done ahead. Toss in olive oil so it doesn’t stick.)
  3. Heat Dutch oven on medium high. Once hot, melt butter then sauté onions 2-3min until soft. Salt generously.
  4. Add garlic, continue to sauté until fragrant but don’t burn it. 1-2min.
  5. Add mushrooms, another pat of butter, parsley and any other herbs you want (chives? Tarragon?). Sauté until mushrooms are just soft. 2-3min.
  6. Add 1cup white wine. Let it cook off and bubble for 3 minutes or so. Add a dash (about 1/4-1/3 cup of chicken stock) and bring to a rolling boil.
  7. Gently dump in cleaned clams. COVER and steam on medium heat for 5min, stir once at half way point. Clams are done when they’re wide open. Discard unopened clams. Squeeze some lemon over the clams and mix.
  1. Remove clams and set aside. Let liquid continue to boil and reduce in volume. Add more butter if you want it extra rich. Turn off heat.
  2. Dump in cooked pasta and mix thoroughly.
  3. Plate. Top with clams, extra chopped parsley, and a generous grating of cheese.

June 9, 2019

Strawberry Cake

Dense, moist, cornmeal cake packed with summery strawberry flavor. Recipe from Bon Appetite! Mine did not come out nearly as pretty as I’d like, but the baby was stirring from her nap so I rushed the berry arrangement…


  • Use finer cornmeal to avoid grittiness.

  • Use fresh strawberries for neater slices, or cut while still slightly frozen. Soggy defrosted strawberries are difficult to cut…Also, fresh berries shrink so pack them more tightly when arranging the rows.


  • 8oz strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar + 2 tbs extra, set apart
  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cup AP flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal, fine grind
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup strawberry jam (preferably Bonne Maman)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Rub down pan with olive oil and sprinkle with sugar. Shake out excess
  2. Slice strawberries thin. Mix with a generous sprinkle of sugar and a pinch of salt. Set aside
  3. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, 1 cup of sugar, 1 tsp salt, baking powder, baking soda. Mix.
  4. In separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yolks, sour cream, vanilla, zest, lemon juice until creamy and well combined.
  5. Gently mix in dry ingredients.
  6. With spatula, gently fold in olive oil until well combined and homogeneous.
  7. Pour batter into pan.
  8. Scoop in dollops of jam on surface and swirl in with butter knife. Don’t mix into batter. Gentle swirls.
  9. Lay strawberry slices on top of the batter in even rows, edges touching.
  10. Sprinkle over with sugar.
  11. Bake 30-40 min or until golden and toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  12. Cool before serving. Can sit out for 4 days covered.
  • June 6, 2019

    Broccoli and Ham Quiche

    To blind bake or not to blind bake pie crusts?? I have no idea. Blind baking is when you pre bake your crust before filing it. Quiche is rather liquidy. When in doubt, doesn’t hurt to blind bake. But as I had a three year old climbing on me and eating all my ham, I was in hurry and went ahead and filled my store bought crust without a blind bake. Tastes fine to me. If you like a firmer, more crumbly crust, go ahead with the extra step.

    After the quiche cools, the center will deflate a bit. Definitely one of those things that tastes better the next day, I think. Reheat in toaster oven.


    • Refrigerated pie crust
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1.5 cups broccoli florets chopped small
    • 3/4 cup chopped ham
    • 1/2 small onion chopped
    • 1 cup+ shredded Swiss cheese
    • Parsley
    • Salt
    • Pepper


    1. Preheat oven 375F
    2. Sauté onions until browned. Add broccoli and sauté 5-8 min or until broccoli is just fork tender. Salt to taste. Set aside in fridge to cool.
    3. Optional: Bake pie crust ~8 min or until bottom just browns a bit.
    4. Beat eggs with 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix in shredded cheese, ham, and onion/broccoli mixture.
    5. Pour mixture into pie crust.
    6. Bake 30min.
    7. Cover edges of crust with strips of aluminum foil.
    8. Return to oven and bake additional 10-15min or until center is set. Edges should be browned, center can be slightly wobbly.
    9. Remove and cool before cutting.
    January 3, 2019

    Tuna Casserole from Scratch

    Trying to find ways to feed our monster toddler that doesn’t end up with my hard work on the floor. I was inspired by this amazing recipe and a craving for the hamburger helper tuna casserole that an old childhood friend of mine use to make for us when we went to college together. Good times. I don’t like peas so feel free to substitute broccoli for peas!


    • 8 oz pasta, shells or otherwise
    • 1 celery rib, small dice
    • 1 small onion, small dice
    • 1 small head of broccoli, small dice
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 tbs butter
    • 1 can chicken broth (15oz) warmed
    • 1 cup milk, warmed
    • 4 tbs white flour
    • 1 tbs dried parsley (or batch of fresh, chopped)
    • 1/8 tsp dried dill
    • 8 oz albacore white tuna packed in water
    • 3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese
    • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs


    1. Cook pasta as per package instructions. Drain and set aside in 9×13 baking pan or casserole dish. Add a drizzle of olive oil and toss to avoid sticking.
    2. In large skillet, heat on medium high. Add a drizzle of oil. Saute onions and celery until just soft. Salt generously. Add broccoli and garlic and continue to sauté. ~5min. Remove and set aside. Turn heat down to LOW.
    3. Nuke broth and milk separately 30sec or so, then set aside.
    4. In skillet over low heat, add butter. Once melted, slowly mix in flour to make a roux. ~30sec. Don’t let it burn!
    5. Slowly mix in warmed stock and then milk until thick and bubbly. ~3 min. Don’t bring to full boil or milk curdles.
    6. Mix in parsley and dill. Salt to taste. Stir in HALF of the cheese until completely melted in. Continue to let mixture thicken. ~1-2 min.
    7. Pour veggies back in and mix.
    8. Preheat oven 350F.
    9. Break up tuna into small pieces and crumble it over pasta. Pour gravy mixture into dish and mix well. Level the surface with a spatula.
    10. In a small bowl, make topping: drizzle 1-2 tsp olive oil over panko bread crumbs. Mix with fingers. Toss rest of the cheese in and mix. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake in oven 20-25 min or until top is just golden brown.

    January 3, 2019

    Scallops and Linguini in Lemon Butter Sauce

    INGREDIENTS (2 generous portions aka enough for toddler, too)

    • 0.5 lb dry packed scallops
    • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 small onion, sliced
    • 0.5 lb linguini
    • 0.5 lb zucchini spirals
    • zest from 1 lemon
    • 2 tsp lemon juice
    • 2 tsp butter
    • handful of fresh parsley, chopped, or 1-2 tsp dried
    • 1/4+ cup of grated parmesan cheese
    • olive oil
    • salt and pepper


    1. Cook pasta per package instructions. Drain, toss with 1-2 tsp olive oil, set aside.
    2. In large skillet, saute onions until just soft. 3-5 min. Salt. Add garlic. saute 1 min until fragrant.
    3. Add zucchini noodles and 1 tsp of butter. Saute until just softened. Salt to taste. Mix parsley. Continue to saute until slightly browned. Turn off heat. Mix in pasta, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese. Stir and mix well. Salt if needed. Add more cheese if you like. Can’t go wrong with more cheese.
    4. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Pat scallops dry. Salt both sides generously and add black pepper to your preference. Add high smoke point oil to skillet (NOT butter or olive oil. Your smoke detector will go off.). Place scallops in skillet with a good 1 inch gap between each to avoid crowding. Once bottom is browned, (3-5min), flip and sear other side. When pressing down on scallop, it should be bouncy, nOT firm. Add 1 tsp butter and a squeeze of lemon juice. Swirl it around the bottom of the pan. Remove and serve ontop of pasta


    November 28, 2018

    醬爆肉 leek and pork belly stir fry 

    Literally translates to “exploding sauce meat”. 

    Mmmm. Good. 

    This is my mom’s recipe. Meaning there are no measurements whatsoever! I’ll come back and add what I can as I practice this dish.


    • 五花肉 Pork belly
    • 高麗菜 Chinese cabbage, chopped
    • 青蒜/蒜苗 Chinese leek, sliced on diagonal 
    • 大蒜 garlic, sliced 
    • 豆腐乾 dried tofu, sliced
    • 甜麵醬 tian mian jiang (sweet bean sauce)
    • 豆瓣醬 dou ban jiang (fermented bean sauce)
    • Rice wine 


    1. Boil pot of water. Add pork belly. Blanch for 15-20 min until cooked through (depends on thickness. Remove and check inside for pink if you’re unsure).
    2. In a small bowl, mix the two sauces with a bit of water to thin it out a bit. Set aside. 
    3. Remove pork from water and cool. Slice thin and set aside. 
    4. Bring water to a boil again. Blanch cabbage slices for 3min or so or until just soft. Remove and set aside. Add a dash of rice wine and mix. 
    5. Heat skillet on medium high. Add a bit of oil. Once shimmering, add pork belly slices. Render fat until they dry out and shrink a bit (like breakfast bacon but don’t fry to a crisp). 
    6. Remove pork from pan. In remaining oil, fry garlic until fragrant. 1min. Do not burn! Next, add tofu slices until browned, then add cabbage and continue to stir fry. Lastly add leeks (greens last always or they get soggy and brown).
    7. Remove everything and set aside with pork. 
    8. Pour sauce in hot pan and mix until fragrant. 
    9. Pour everything back in pan. Stir fry until everything is evenly coated. 
    10. Remove from heat and serve.
    November 28, 2018

    Spatchcock Chicken with Roasted Vegetables 

      I make this for Thanksgiving every year. About time I write it down.


    • 4lb whole chicken 
    • fresh herbs like rosemary, parsley, thyme 
    • 2 large sweet potatoes and or fingerling potatoes, large diced 
    • Mushrooms quartered or halved 
    • 1 large Onion sliced 
    • Butter
    • 1 head of broccoli, chopped 
    • Probe thermometer 


    1. Preheat oven to 475F. 
    2. Remove spine from chicken. Cut along the left and right side of the spine and pull it off. Set aside for stock or gravy if you like. Press chicken, skin side up, down on the cutting board until you hear a loud crack. Rub with olive oil, salt, dried herbs if you want. (I used garlic salt and dried thyme and parsley.) 
    3. Line large roasting pan with foil.
    4.  Toss veggies in salt and olive oil. Spread evenly on pan. 
    5. Top veggies with layer of fresh herbs. I used a large spring of rosemary and a handful of parsley. 
    6. Place chicken over herbs skin up in the middle of the pan. Fold wings under or wrap in foil to avoid burning the tips. Cut a few slices of butter and evenly place over chicken skin. 
    7. Roast for 45min or until breast is 150F and legs are 170F. 
    8. Remove from oven and rest for 10 min. 
    October 7, 2018

    Dutch Apple Bread

    Went apple picking for the first time ever with the little human over the weekend. Now we have a giant bag of apples and what better way to use them up than APPLE BREAD? Crumbly top, pound cake like consistency, and not too sweet! The little chunks of apple add a delightful texture. Feel free to add a glaze if you’d like. I’m sure I have a recipe somewhere on this site.

    Don’t use mealy apples! Something firm and tart. Green apples.

    I also learned a few things about baking today. Creaming butter and sugar is an important step! It can take up to 5min to get the right consistency. Fluffy and light. Not grainy and dense. And don’t use warm butter. Apparently warm butter doesn’t trap air well. Sit butter out on the counter for a bit. I wouldn’t nuke it. Don’t let the eggs sit in the butter/sugar mixture (I had to wait for R to pick up some vanilla extract for me). The egg gets gross.

    Yea. I was never good at chemistry. You live and you learn.


    • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used turbinado)
    • 1/2 cup butter (one stick), softened but NOT melted/warm
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp ginger
    • pinch of ground cloves
    • 1 1/2 cups of tart apples, peeled, cored, diced (or sliced)
    • optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts?)


    • 5 tsp butter, cold
    • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
    • 2 Tbs granulated sugar
    • 2 Tbs light brown sugar
    • 2 tsp ground cinnamon


    1. Preheat oven to 350F and butter up an 8 to 10inch bread pan.
    2. With a paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This can take 5min. Color will physically lighten. Don’t over do it, or it’ll warm the butter and you’ll loose all that air you just trapped. With a silicone spatula, scrape off sides. Mix a couple times more.
    3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, spices.
    4. In batches, add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Continue to mix with paddle attachment until well incorporated.
    5. Add apples (and nuts if using). Mix
    6. Pour into bread pan.
    7. Wipe out mixer bowl. Switch to wisk attachment. Add topping ingredients. Mix until crumbly. Spread over top of bread batter.
    8. Bake 50-60 min or until toothpick comes out clean. (200F internal temp)
    9. COOL then serve! Optional glaze. I didn’t bother.


    August 14, 2018

    Summer Pasta

    Cheesy veggie pasta! What’s not to like? Didn’t get a picture ’cause freshdirect delivered our food and hour late and it was a mad dash to get dinner on the table.

    Based on this recipe. 


    • 2 medium zucchinis, sliced (mix of yellow and green make for better presentation!)
    • 1 small onion, diced fine
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 2 cups loose leaf basil
    • olive oil
    • 8-10 oz ricotta
    • 3/4 cup Parmesan, grated
    • zest from 1 lemon
    • red chili flakes
    • 1lb dried pasta (ziti or fusili)


    1. Cook pasta as per package instructions, very al dente. Drain and set aside 1/2 – 1 cup pasta liquid.
    2. Heat large skillet on medium high heat. Add a bit of oil. Saute onions until soft, 5-8 min or so. Add zucchinis and saute until soft and browned on edges. 10 min.
    3. In a food processor, blend garlic 3 tbs olive oil, basil, ricotta, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
    4. Once zucchini is done, add ricotta mixture, zest, a pinch of chili flakes, and cooked pasta, slowly adding about 1/4 – 1/2 cup pasta water. Mix. Should be a creamy consistency. Add more water if needed.
    5. Mix in half the Parmesan, then salt to taste (I’d recommend not adding too much salt. The Parmesan was quite salty.)  Serve and top with additional grated Parmesan.


    August 8, 2018

    Crispy Rice with Shrimp, Bacon, and Summer Veggies 

      Very summery and tasty. It was a win with my two year old, and let’s face it…these days he’s really the only judge that matters. I didn’t think I’d like the raw tomatoes but it really does add a juicy pop of flavor and the acidity cuts the bacon grease. I highly recommend fresh ingredients when possible. Fresh shrimp and veggies makes a huge difference. 
     Adapted from this NYTimes recipe. 

    • 1lb peeled and de-veined shrimp (small) 
    • 4 slices of bacon
    • 2 ears of corn or 1 10oz package frozen
    • 1 small zucchini, diced
    • 1 large tomato or 1 cup grape tomatoes, diced
    • 2 stalks of green onion, minced
    • 3 cups left over rice
    • paprika
    • garlic salt


    1. Defrost corn. (and rice if you store left over rice in the freezer like I do). Dice zucchini, tomatoes. Mince green onion. 
    2. Place bacon in a large, cold skillet (cast iron holds heat better for this recipe!) and heat on medium high. Turn often and slowly render the fat. Remove and set bacon aside on paper towels to drain. Drain some of the fat and set aside. Chop bacon once cool. 
    3. In left over bacon fat, saute shrimp. Season with garlic salt and paprika. Remove and set aside. 
    4. Add more bacon fat if needed. Saute corn and zucchini and a handful of green onions ~1min or until just soft. Add rice and bacon and mix. Season generously with more garlic salt. Add bacon fat if it gets dry. 5-10min. 
    5. Once rice is warmed through, push rice into bottom of the pan and up the sides. Continue to cook over medium high heat. This will create the crust. Wait for the pop and sizzle of the corn and rice mixture. Should smell toasty. ~5min. Cast iron pans make better crust! You can always lift up an edge to check if the rice is browning. 
    6. Top with tomatoes and shrimp and a sprinkling of more green onions. Serve in pan.