Category Archives: "Local" Cuisine

My Little Basil !!!

Finally….I settled down in my new apt . It was a lot of work! The best thing ever happened to me , as a chef, is that I now have  a balcony! (maybe most of you have a large back or front yard 🙂 ) To fully exploit my little balcony :
I grow some sweet basil , jalapeno pepper, banana pepper, Arugula , and green onion! can you believe it only take 4 weeks for the basil to grow this big?! It makes me feel I am an expert ! haha:)

can’t wait to enjoy it !

With tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, grapeseed oil, pinch salt and pepper.

M’mmmmmm, freshness that I can smell!

and, save the rest of the basil leaves in this air-tight container from Lock&Lock:


and….if it is not too late ~ Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all my dear blog friends!!!  this time, with real moon cake !

With salty egg yolk, and lotus seeds puree:) sweet and salty – just like the one I remembered!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine, Authentic Asian

I am bold enough to deal with the Pork Rib!

It always sounds scary to bake a big piece of meat – although I don’t mind eating big piece of meat.

I am not a fan of slicing meat, neither do I have the patience to marinate the meat for more than 24 hours. Not to mention having the oven on for 2 hours in the hot hot hot summer.

However, I feel to the need to show my talent in cooking meat in front of my friends.

So here it comes: My Very First , Oven Roasted, Pork Ribs (that receive 5 stars from my friends)

To my surprise, it wasn’t that much labor involved. I searched several receipts online , and come up with my own version , given the limited ingredients I can find in my pantry.

So there are two steps:

Step one: Dry Ingredients:

Salt, Pepper, Chipolet (mild) sauce, brown sugar and Chili powder, . The ratio is about 1: 1: 1: 2: 3

Wrap the rib in a aluminum foil , put in the fridge over night.

Step two: wet ingredients: 

Soy sauce, honey, cooking rice wine, (about 1: 1: 1), makes about 1/2 cup.

pour the web ingredients in the tightly wrapped pork rib, and marinate for another 4 hours. Don’t skip the honey /brown sugar – they are very important to generate a nice caramelization on the rib.

Ready to Roast!! I used this lock&lock glass pot, and cover it with another piece of aluminum foil.

Since it will be in the oven for 2 hours, it is very important to keep the moist : first, wrap the rib tightly, second, cover the pot. As you can see, after two hours, there is still some liquid inside the wrap:

Be patient for 2 hours. And it is done:

M’mmmmm ,  the meat is so tender and falling off the bones. It tastes a bit spicy, with nice tough of honey. It is so easy to make and it will earn you a big chef title!



Filed under "Local" Cuisine


No no no, I am not talking about big Mac and Fried chicken.

I am talking about home-made fast food , ready in 15 min!

Like this chicken fried rice ( sounds familiar – Trader Joes’ fans? :-))

and this chicken fried noodles:

I was never a fan of frozen meat – I felt they all made of mysterious ingredients if you ever watched the Jimmy Olivers show. But Tyson Grilled&Ready Chicken kinda of changed my impression of frozen food.

I got a free sample of this chicken stripes from foodbuzz taster maker program, FYI,  Tyson also made beef stripes and chicken breast if you are intersted.

the nutrition info looks not bad:

in this bag, 80% of them are really big pieces of chicken stripes , and 20% are smaller , which is ideal for chicken fried rice or noodles:) I am surprised that these chicken stripes are PERFECTLY SEASONED according to my palate.

The chicken is actually cooked already, so it shortens the cooking time:


1. using a non-stick frying pan (this is the one from Lock&Lock, super cute!) , heat a bit oil

2. scramble the eggs, then veggies;

3. add already cooked rice / noodles, add about 1/2 cup of water, as well as the frozen chicken stripes, let it simmer for about 5 min, stir occasionally;

4. Done – EAT!

It takes less than 15min, and tastes like a 40 min’s work! 🙂 Enjoy , my dear friends!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine, Fushion Dishes, Product Review

Real Chili!!!

As it is getting warmer, I think I do need some chilllll(i)…..

This time is real stuff – I made chili exactly the same as the recipe on the box:

These are all you need :

1. 2.5 lb of beef

2. Chili kit, which comes with 7 individual package of : chili pepper, corn flour (for thickening, I didn’t use), oregano/cumin, onion/garlic powder, paprika, red pepper ( I used half ), and salt.

3. kidney beans,

4. 1 can of tomatoes (with juice) + water

5. Any veggies you like , I used 1 big white onion. But I guess carrot will work well too.

6. Optional : I am craving for some Parmesan cheese today instead of sour cream 😛

Okay…this pic may look a bit scary, yet this is how it look like while wildly boiling. The steps are pretty simple

1. Sautee beef, drain the fat ( I used 80/20, which is very juicy for chili)

2. Sautee the onion, add water, beef, can of tomatoes, and kidney beans (fully cooked), and secrete packages 🙂

3. Simmer for 30 min, until all flavor blends

Viola ~~~~ Please enjoy:

Did you happen to notice the special glass pot I store the chili ? It was a gift from lock&lock. I was fortunate enough to be selected as their “lock&lock supporters”. Lock&Lock is a company that makes things VERY important for students – I used and loved all their air-tight, perfectly sealed containers for almost 5 years when I bring lunch to the office.

This glass container is called a Borosilicate Glass pot, which is safe for microwave and oven cooking (gonna used to for roasting veggies and meat!).

It comes with the strainer:

The thing I like most is… looks so pretty that I can serve directly on the table, store in the fridge, and microwave without making a mess:-P

Yet the lid is not oven safe, which means I couldn’t used it as a casserole. But other than that, I am happy with this glass pot 🙂

Hope you like the chili in the pot:


Filed under "Local" Cuisine, Product Review

Is there a time that you soooo want pizza?

yes. I have that moment. The urge to just have cheeeeeese, sweet pineapple, and spicy Italian sausage. Maybe it was after 3 days living on greens, maybe it was on a raining day that I lose my interest in cooking.

So I ordered Pizza Hut.

yes, Pizza Hut. Not any fancy brand. I know the review may not be fantastic. But this time, I have good luck 🙂

I ordered a thin crust with 5 toppings. Yuppy 5, including spicy Italian sausage. Wooohooooo! still crispy, and full (four) of veggies!! I gotta give it 5 stars (note that I am not a pizza expert. take the review with a grain of salt).

Fits my working spots very well , and of course, fits my no-dish-washing-schedule very well. :

Then this urge of pizza lingered on for several days……

So I made my own version :  start with whole wheat pizza dough:

slicing King oyster mushroom;

Top the crispy pizza dough with tomato sauce, king oyster mushroom , and cheeeeeese: ready in 8 minutes!

Save the rest in the freezer 😀 maybe in a few days, I will use them!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine

Swedish Meatball Makes a Easy and Satisfying Meal!

I never really liked meatballs. I always feel they are salty, stuffing, dry, meaty , balls. Everytime my friends order the meatball sub, or meatball spaghettis, I feel like they are ‘out of my league’, immediately. :-p

However, things changed after I tried these :

For $6.99, I got big bag of swedish meatball from Ikea (first time I tried something other than their almond cake!)

It is so easy to cook (in oven for like 10 minutes, or stove top with other veggies for 10 min), juicy, soft, not very salty, perfectly portioned. I top them on my veggies:

with 180 cal for 6 meatballs, not bad!

My cousin love these too. She said “yeah, they are good – because they add lots of corn starch!” haha, anyway, the soft juicy meatball, does make a very satisfying meal!

It’s great to be back to foodie world! Not only I am savoring every meal (high or low cal), but also I am offered another chance to work with CSN store 😀 Check out their backyard swing sets ! I don’t have a backyard….yet, but I definitely will in a few years and enjoy swing!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine

You Haven’t been to Maryland without Trying the Crab Cake

“what is Maryland famous for????”  my friends asked.

– “crab cake, of course”

“Okay, let’s have crab cake for dinner”

Yah!!! Crab cake is also my favorite food.Since we are not planning to drive 1 hour to Baltimore, we decided to have it in Ruby Tuesday.

So here is the very famous Maryland Crab Cake. Lighted breaded, full of crab meat ( I can’t tell if there is any other ingredients! I can only taste the crab!)  It was juicy and savory dish, I bet you will love it! Highly recommended.

We also ordered the American’t favorite : “Buffalo Wings” !!!!!!! If you like your wings to be a bit ‘drier’ than soggy, this dish is for you!

Salmon Florentine. According to my friends, French fry is a must 🙂

and a salad : surprised to find the edammame there!!! ($3.29, recommend this if you would like to feel less guilty of ordering all meat/seafood as entree!)

Alright. Note that these are for THREE girls:

One hour later: (btw, the salad plate is empty too)

Everyone burps and enjoyed the dinner 😛  I am so happy that my friends finally feel the spirits of “Maryland” ! haha 🙂


Filed under "Local" Cuisine

You know one thing good about Boston???Free Food Everywhere!

I proved it.

If you are in Boston, and if you have some time around 4-7pm. Walk down the Street around Prudential center by yourself. I guarantee, there will be someone handing you new food samples. Like I did , the first time, I got Pringles new taste chips. and the second time, two bag of Kraft Deluxe Mac and Cheese. How sweet is that!

I can’t wait to try them out with my friends when I came back to Maryland:

Once in a life time, I strictly follow the recipe from the back of the box:

Butter, Mac and Cheese, Soymilk light, and dill. You see how big the bag is? I got two! 😀

There are three bags: one is the seasoning mix, one is the cheese ( really big bag! lots lots of chedder!) and a bag of bread crumbs.

So I stir in the soymilk, water, seasoning mix, and cheese , till it smells so enticing….

and stir in the ‘mac’ ~

Viola! Done!

They taste so cheesy – no wonder kids like it! Two bags of Mac and cheese fill in my party pan, and I luckily got some leftover for myself:

M’mmmmm, I know it’s fatty, but it is so good!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine

I went to Boston, yet I forgot my camera…

Oh How silly I am!!!

Even though the trip to Boston is absolutely NOT for fun ( it’s for non-stop, four day talking, getting challenged, and exhausted….), but forgetting my camera is unforgivable!!! The weather was extremely nice —which said to be unusual in Boston. I did have time to take a little walk around Harvard square, MIT, along Charles River, and harbor. Nice breeze. Can’t find a better relaxation than that.

And, since we have a daily budget for meals , I spend them all, I spend them all, I spend them all….I really like two Thai food place in Copley Place – one is Chili Duck, the other is Thai Basil. The Sushi is superb too, especially that Dauzo…..I wish I had recorded those moments for you! But if you got a chance to visit Boston, I highly recommend these place to satisfy your picky stomach!

So when I am back home, I make a little note for myself – get a small digital camera soon, so I can take it with me anywhere!

I feel sorry that I couldn’t share with my dear blog friends about Boston…but i do have some other food pictures:

another Buitoni Salad!

I got this Buitoni coupon from Foodbuzz taste maker program ( again! thanks ! ) it finally helps me to find the one I love!!!

This is the wild mushroom Agnolotti. ( who can help me pronounce this name! :-P)

I make this salad with two vine tomatoes, sweet corn,  sweet peas and just a little bit red onion ( I don’t want to burn my stomach again!)

Drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar, Dill, and pinch salt and pepper.

This time, I am VERY satisfied with the filling!!! there is A LOT mushroom, that I can really see. It seems that the mushroom is blended with cheese already. Taste very cheesy 🙂

Are you able to see it ? 🙂 Enjoy !!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine, Product Review, Salad

Beef Stew in a Bento Box

Bento Box sounds cute . It makes me feel I am back to the elementary school  🙂 I like to carry the little bento box and being little kid again 🙂

I got this cute Zojirushi Bento Box from the CSN store with their gift card. If you are like me need to spent a long day in the office or school, or, just feel like to be young, or just feel like to have home cooking instead of eating out , try these cute bento boxes 🙂

This would be my IDEAL bento box : I hope someone could make it for me !!!

It comes with three boxes with different sizes, and a pair of chopsticks. The nicest thing of it , is it can keep food WARM, or COLD , for up to SIX hours. Since I don’t like overnight food, and I prefer to cook early in the morning , this is perfect for me. I will bring them to the office and the food still hot when I have it for lunch!

So , I test it out with my beef stew (which is a very popular dish now!)

With pressure cooker, this dish is just so much easier to make:

4-5 carrots, about 2 cups of beef stew chunks, 1 yellow onion, 1/3 cup light soy sauce, 1/3 cup of cooking wine. For about 30min in pressure cooker . Done!

The beef is completely breaking down…., as well as the onions. Both carrots and onions give the stew a sweet flavor. I bet you will love it 🙂

Yeah – lunch time :

with Sauteed Kale, black berries, and beef stew !

Enjoy !!!!


Filed under "Local" Cuisine