some home cookin’ VI

some home cookin’ VI

Been cooking a lot more lately. Can you tell this is because of the colder season? (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food dish) I usually cook udon noodles in a soup, but it’s really good in a stir-fry, too. Also, I was afraid of cooking eggplant.. there’s something about it. The eggplant parm came out good though. Maybe I’ll try some other eggplant dish someday.

20161111_173711
black bean, corn, tri-color penne pasta with turkey meatballs, shredded cheese and tomato sauce
img_6590
stir-fried udon noodles with broccoli, fish balls, bok choy, fried tofu pieces, in a sauce with hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sriracha, vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce, sesame oil
img_6645
Spicy tri-color penne pasta with marinated sauteed shrimp with green onions and parmesan cheese (looks rather plain but it was super delicious)
img_6653
eggplant parm, my first time cooking this dish. it’s tasty! There were more eggplant hiding under the sauce.
some home cookin’ V

some home cookin’ V

Yay! Another home cookin’ post. Feel free to check out post one, two, three, and four of this home cooking posting series. As always, I hope you are all well and smiling :) (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food dish)

IMG_4913
rice vermicelli noodles, fried tofu, fish balls, bok choy

fried-lasagna-square

img_6315
Fried rice with shrimp and bok choy – scrambled eggs, peas, chopped green onions, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper, some hoisin sauce, some soy sauce, some sriracha, boy choy and shrimp
img_6584
Ricotta pie. My first ever pie. I hope to make many more. This one wasn’t my favorite, but my love liked it. He said it has a subtle sweet taste. This is made with chocolate chips.
lemon & orange bars

lemon & orange bars

This is a sneak peak to the next some home cookin’ post. I checked my archives and I haven’t posted one since August (the post’s here in case you’re interested). Whoa.. too long! I’ll feature this in the next one. I’m slowly getting back to it and it’s fun. I made these lemon bars for a birthday gathering and I like them… so much so, I tried it with freshly squeezed orange juice as opposed to lemon juice. Not as defined in terms of taste & reallllly sweet, but I still love that shortbread cookie crust. It’s simple to make and inspires me to try out other desserts. I went a little overboard with powdered sugar, but it’s fitting with snow this winter! I’m giving some to my family as a little treat!

*not sure why the photograph doesn’t stay when you click on it. sorry for inconvenience!

peaceful cooking

peaceful cooking

stir-fried bok choy with pan-fried firm tofu in spicy sauce with green onions, served with brown rice.

I made this the other day and while cooking, I became aware of how peaceful the whole process was. This isn’t a new thing. I truly enjoy cooking and baking (although, honestly, not all the time. Especially if I’m in a weird cooking slump.) A time before I lived in my apartment, I wasn’t too excited about cooking. Yes, I cooked and baked, but I didn’t see the joy in it. The value wasn’t there for me. It was either to get it over with to go on to do homework or go out or it was just to feed my hangry attitude (“hangry” = hungry and angry, irritable) after work.

img_6540

I’m sure chefs know this feeling. It’s this zen-like time in which I focus on what I’m doing and nothing else. I don’t care what time it is. I don’t care about the other thoughts that usually whirl in my mind. Perhaps this is mindfulness or some form of meditation (blogger friend Lu said it’s like “flow” or “the zone”–yes, a name!). It’s the same feeling I get when I finish an art piece, but it’s much calmer. It’s fulfilling in a different way. It all comes in full circle, I suppose, because during this whole process of cooking, everything else seems in place. The tofu finished cooking as I was done chopping up the bok choy or the green onions fit just right… everything feels in harmony. This is most likely why I get antsy when I don’t feel inspired to cook or to cook something new because I just love this feeling. I love cooking. It’s the cleaning afterwards I have problems with :)

fried lasagna squares with meaty tomato sauce

fried lasagna squares with meaty tomato sauce

fried-lasagna-square

Yes, finally, a post about food (more for me than anyone else really). I have been so uninspired lately in making anything new, so I’ve been waiting for something to spark my interest again. Needless to say, I’m happy to have made this (you can tell with all the stars in the photograph.)

I was scrolling through a blog called Youth Food – Meals Under Pressure Cooker from blogger friend Chris and saw an image of this food item  called “lasagna fritta.” I have never had one nor heard of it before, but I was intrigued. Long story short, my love and I decided it would be the next cooking adventure for us. Since I have never tasted or seen a lasagna fritta in real life, I didn’t feel comfortable calling what we made that name, so hopefully lasagna squares works, too.img_6448

Feel free to check out some snapshots of this adventure. The ones in which I cut the cooked squares in half don’t look so great, but the food was really delicious! The meaty sauce really matched well with the flavorful squares. We made 8, so we had plenty for leftovers.

img_6449

There was a good amount of croutons we had to use up soon, so we used that as our breadcrumb mixture. For our sauce, we cooked up some frozen turkey meatballs with a can of tomato sauce. To give it some flavor, my love put in a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil and honey (not sure on measurements, we just decided along the way/winged it).

It was a long process, but we think it was worth it. We may pick a less busy day to do it next time though!

Maybe I’m a on a roll, but I’m hoping to use up the ricotta cheese I have left and make a pie next. We shall see, I suppose :)

food photography highlights

food photography highlights

Food = nourishment, home, family, love, creativity, spontaneity… I’m missing my food posts around here (been uninspired to cook new dishes as of late). Let’s solve that, shall we? Here are some highlights of some food photography I’ve taken. I snuck some in of ones I didn’t post here, but had in my archive. Enjoy.

some home cookin’ IV

some home cookin’ IV

hi everyone, i finally got around to posting these food photographs. i hope they inspire you. i haven’t been making a lot of food lately (or i should say “new” food or anything original), unfortunately, due to timing. but maybe that means when i do make something different, it’ll be worth posting :) feel free to check out post one, two, and three of this home cooking posting series. as always, i hope you are all well and smiling :) (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food item)

IMG_5647
rice pudding (my first time making it and it was so delicious!)
IMG_5645
quesadilla with corn, diced tomatoes, beans, onions, ground turkey

IMG_5573

IMG_5568
homemade pork, shrimp and green onion wontons, soooooooo good. it is a good amount of work, but worth it. stored uncooked ones in the freezer and was able to save myself some nights of cooking!
IMG_5566
kielbasa, yellow & red peppers, green onions, diced tomatoes (not sure why but maybe i needed to use up ingredients in the fridge haha)
IMG_5657
classic chocolate chip cookies (can freeze these too so you don’t need to eat it all at once)
IMG_5660
egg rolls! i wish i had a pic of inside it. it was very delicious. i’d def make again. froze the extras, too.
IMG_5668
tri-color rotini with tomato sauce, turkey meatballs, black beans and corn
IMG_5213
broccoli, mac & cheese with meatballs. i like putting a new spin on mac and cheese, adding different ingredients (especially veggies) makes it taste more flavorful.
some home cookin’ III

some home cookin’ III

serving up a new post of different/new dishes i’ve made. i love the creativity that comes from cooking and baking; trying out different spices or ingredients. it’s fun! feel free to check out post one and post two of this home cooking posting series. i’ve made many more dishes since this, so post IV should be interesting. i hope you are all well and smiling :) (use your mouse to hover over the image to see the name of the food item)

IMG_5208

IMG_5205
french toast with strawberry cream cheese filling
IMG_5209
cold peanut noodles
IMG_5219
sloppy joe’s but with ground turkey placed on mini slider buns
IMG_5216
strawberry cream cheese on pumpkin spice swirl toast with scrambled eggs and fruit cup
20160314_095644
fried rice with leftover boneless spare ribs
IMG_5531
orange yogurt cake
IMG_5521
firm tofu with sesame seed oil & seeds, garlic, green onion and soy sauce seasoning & broccoli bowl

IMG_5524

IMG_5523
boiled potatoes with parsley, green onions and garlic
portland, maine

portland, maine

maine2

people seemed really laid back, calm and peaceful here. they kinda do their own thing and let others do their own thing, too. they’re not mean or overly friendly; a good in-between. it reminds me of the vibe of albany new york with harvard square massachusetts with local small businesses and lots of good food and every place being walkable.

check out some nice architecture, casco bay, too many photos of buildings and cute seating:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

let’s talk about food! when i was doing some research before visiting, i could already sense that it wasn’t going to be one of those trips in which i hike or window shop. it’s an eating trip. if you’re a foodie, then you should think about coming here (do some online research and drool over some food pics). i’d also suggest selecting the places you want to go because we just sort of winged it regarding time, so now i want to go back and try more restaurants and different foods :) i didn’t take photos of everything we ate, but here are a few (restaurants pics from top to bottom: the holy donut, fuji restaurant, otto & ramen suzukiya)

IMG_5349
mmm…i tried the sweet potato ginger glaze & maple bacon, the holy donut
IMG_5470
loved my pizza with mashed potatoes, bacon and scallion!, otto

my favorite regarding vibe was at ramen suzukiya. the owner is so nice and the whole aesthetics of the restaurant was very clean, smooth and simple. overall, the food of portland is simply fresh and delicious. some more highlights from my trip are:

the art gallery at maine college of art (meca). we got to check out their mfa thesis exhibition 2016

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

the local businesses like:

electric buddhas

the owner is super knowledgeable and had lots of cool stuff displayed and not to mention all the cool records, video game gear and vintage tees to browse.

portland flea-for-all

if you’re like me and you like browsing & thrifted/vintage stuff, then this is a really cool place to check out, too. really eclectic stuff and just a nice place to get lost in and feel inspired by.

and here’s me trying to take some artsy, raw photographs:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

if you liked this travel post, feel free to check my photographs from albany ny, a poem video and some photographs of vermont, and snapshots of taiwan.

sweet stuff

sweet stuff

wordpress was acting weird all day yesterday, did anyone else have issues? since it’s been getting really warm and i had a lot of oranges on hand, i decided to make Linda’s orange yogurt cake recipe from Fabulous Fare Sisters. very yummy and i really liked the refreshing citrus taste. this is a sneak peak of the next home cookin’ post (..there is a lot of parsley/greens in the next one, too). wishing you a happy day everyone :)

IMG_5531

some home cookin’ II

some home cookin’ II

hello there, thought to share some more photographs of some home cooking & baking. here’s the first post if you’d like to check out those photos. haven’t cooked anything different/new lately. hopefully that’ll change in the coming months. my goal is to cook/bake something new and different and showcase them here for memories. i’ll unlikely post dishes i’ve already posted, so each one will only include new dishes i’ve made!

IMG_5059
blueberry muffins, best ones i made so far. pretty happy about that
IMG_5102
Chinese rice porridge or congee. i made this with ground turkey. so heartwarming, literally and surprisingly reallly deliciously flavorful
IMG_5107
a shrimp scampi remix with leftover noodles. we were surprised how yummy it was.
IMG_5109
failed attempt at making cinnamon rolls without yeast, okay cookie though
IMG_5050
our spin on Vietnamese fresh summer rolls..so simple and packed with delicious flavor, a DIY here if you missed it.
20160323_103714
black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, whole wheat pasta and gooey cheese (didn’t need a lot of it, which is good)
IMG_5202
bacon lettuce turkey sandwich on toasted Italian bread (I think?)
IMG_5242
strawberry banana muffins, check out my poem post for these.