Archive for the ‘Pictorial’ Category

Roasted Chicken (Pictorial)

This is The Best Homemade Roasted Chicken I’ve Ever Eaten.  It’s extremely juicy, moist, falls off the bone, and the skin remained crispy–which is the best part.  I’ve been meaning to make it since I stumbled upon the recipe but the procrastinator/perfectionist in me stopped myself because I didn’t have the ingredients I wanted.  Regardless, I decided to go ahead with what I had on hand and it didn’t disappoint.

I rubbed the chicken with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, seasoning salt, Italian seasoning, thyme and rosemary and stuffed it with half a red onion and more rosemary and thyme and roasted it for 5.5 hours @ 250 degrees.  I added some seasoned potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots and onions at the halfway point and made some gravy out of the pan drippings.  The only change I would make next time is to marinate the chicken overnight.

Roasted Chicken Pictorial

Seasoned chicken waiting to be roasted


2 hours later–notice the pan drippings

Seasoned vegetables–I love the purple potatoes

Laying on a bed of vegetables

Roasted chicken, cut up

Roasted vegetables

Gravy made from pan drippings

My dinner

Does anyone else crave turkey with all the trimmings when it’s nowhere near Thanksgivings?  I know I do!  This dinner is the closest I’ll get to a Thanksgiving dinner in August.  The next time I make roasted chicken, I’ll do a garlic mashed potatoes and stuffing.  Chong gives it 2 thumbs up and raves about how good it is.  It’s definitely going to show up on our dinner menu on a monthly basis now.


Tomato, Cilantro, & Green Onion Relish Pictorial

I received a small bag of cherry tomatoes from my mom and decided to make tomato, cilantro, and green onion relish.  This is a very simple yet delicious relish that goes great with any type of meat (I love pairing it with deep fried or broiled pork) and stir-fry dishes.  This dish is also good sans tomatoes and/or using mushrooms instead of tomatoes.


–  2 Thai chili peppers

–  a handful of cilantro (about 1/3 c)

–  1 stalk green onion

–  10-12 cherry tomatoes

–  salt, to taste

–  MSG, to taste


1.  Slice the cilantro, green onion, and cherry tomatoes into small pieces.

2.  In a mortar, pound the chili peppers with salt and MSG until finely crushed.  Add the cilantro and green onion into the mortar and add more salt and MSG to taste.  Pound lightly with the pestle until lightly bruised.  Add the cherry tomatoes and pound lightly and mix well.

Cilantro, Green Onion, and Tomato Relish Pictorial

Cherry tomatoes, Thai chili peppers, cilantro, and green onion


Thai chili peppers + salt + MSG in mortar

Finely crushed

Add cilantro + green onion + salt + MSG

Add cherry tomatoes

Cilantro, green onion, & tomato relish

Eggrolls Pictorial

Last week, my sister, Mai Lee, wanted to make eggrolls so she texted me over to help her. We went shopping and got tons of stuff, thinking that we were going to make 120 eggrolls but ended up only making 60, which were gone within hours.  Recipe to be posted at a later date.  Enjoy the pictorial for now.

Eggroll Pictorial

Bean thread noodle soaking in warm water

Bean sprouts


Green onion/cilantro

Shredded carrots

Ground pork

Most of the ingredients

All of the ingredients

Mixing the eggroll filling


Eggroll wrapper

Cooking the eggrolls

Another view


**The peanut dipping sauce recipe and pictorial can be found here.

Pasta with Peas & Chicken

I was browsing through my favorite food website, AllRecipes, and came upon this easy and interesting Pasta with Peas and Sausage recipe that I had to try since I had most of the ingredients on hand.  The only changes I made was I used chicken instead of sausage, 2 cups of heavy cream instead of 1 1/2 cups, threw in a handful of Parmesan cheese into the heavy cream and I tossed in a handful of chopped basil at the end.  I had bought another pint of heavy cream because I was planning on making a second batch of ice cream but changed my mind and used it to make a pasta sauce instead.  I had some chicken breasts already thawed so instead of thawing out some sausage, I just used the chicken breasts, which was just as yummy.

Pasta with Peas & Chicken

Cooking the chicken breast & garlic

Cooked chicken breast & garlic

Add frozen peas

Add heavy cream

Add Parmesan cheese

Chopped basil

Cooked tri-color rotini pasta

Add rotini pasta

Add basil

Topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan

This dish was very simple to make.  It probably took me about 30 minutes from start to finish so it’s very convenient if you want something fast and tasty.  The sauce was very easy to make but I think it lacked flavor.  I prefer a more Alfredo sauce taste…maybe add some cream cheese and butter?  I love the taste and smell of fresh basil (I bought 6 plants from the Farmer’s Market and they’re currently growing along side my thyme and rosemary) and it was a great finishing touch to the dish–although I’d probably add 2x the amount next time.  I would definitely make a variation of this dish again but add more ingredients to the sauce and more veggies like some chopped broccoli.

Fresh Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

Chong and I received an electric ice cream maker from my wonderful cousins (thanks Cecilia, Bao & Mai!!!) at my bridal shower last year and it sat in our closet collecting dust until now.  I’ve been meaning to take it out last summer and make some ice cream but apparently, good intentions do not result in ice cream.  So after getting some huge strawberries from my Aunt, I decided to finally make some strawberry ice cream.  I followed the recipe that came along with the ice cream maker, which turned out to be delicious!

I can’t find the booklet right now so I’ll have to remember to post the recipe at a later date.  The ice cream is really simple to make.  The ingredients consist of:  heavy cream, whole milk, sugar, strawberries, lemon juice, and vanilla (which I didn’t have any).

Strawberry Ice Cream Pictorial

Strawberries tossed in sugar + lemon juice

2 hours later

2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream + 3/4 c of sugar

Add 1 cup milk

Add strained strawberry/lemon juice

Churning in the ice cream maker

View from top

Actual churning process post strawberries

Frozen overnight

Single serving

My first spoonful


The frozen strawberries were my favorite part!  I really liked the single serving cups (1/2 cup) because they’re so much easier to eat and you don’t have to worry think about how much you’re eating…unless you’re eating more than 1 cup in one sitting.  I gave the bigger container to my brother and he ate about 3/4 of the container in one sitting.

I’m planning on making some mint chocolate chip ice cream tomorrow.  I can’t wait to try different recipes…lemon sorbet, orange sherbet, raspberry sorbet, gelato, slushies, and of course, more ice cream!  Chong and I are not planning on gaining a gazillion pounds eating all these goodies all by ourselves.  I’ll have to distribute the calories goodies to my friends and family.  Who wouldn’t love a nice container of homemade ice cream as a gift?

Rosemary Bread, Steak Saltimbocca, & Green Beans

Last summer, I made my first yeast bread using the rosemary from my garden.  I was a bit hesitant to try making bread from scratch but fortunately, the bread turned out to be delicious.  I can’t wait until my baby rosemary plant grows big enough to start using it.  I also made steak saltimbocca and that turned out pretty tasty, too.  Served with a side of tomato and green beans.  Yum yum.

Click here for the recipes:

Rosemary Bread

Steak Saltimbocca

Rosemary Bread Pictorial

Rosemary                                                                                    Chopped

Waiting….                                                                                     Poof!

Add seasoning and herb

Add flour and stir

Oiled and waiting to rise

1 hour later

Egg wash


Cooling (2nd RB attempt–notice how it turned out better?)


Steak Saltimbocca Pictorial

1st layer:  flank steak, salt & peppered on both sides

2nd layer:  prosciutto

3rd layer: provolone cheese

4th layer:  sage

Rolled up

Ready to be seared


Baked…look at all that gooey cheese!


The rosemary bread tasted so good warm out of the oven and spread with a little butter.  I’m not growing sage this year so unless I’m really craving steak saltimbocca, I probably won’t be making this dish this year.  Chong says he’ll eat it again if I make it but I’m sure he’d prefer pasta or regular steak.

Zaub Paj/Chinese Mustard Green Stir-Fry

Zaub Paj literally translates to “vegetable” “flower”, respectfully, and is also known as Chinese Mustard Green.  It is one of the most common vegetable found in Hmong cuisine.  My mom had picked some from one of her various garden and gave me a bagful.  I was craving simple and delicious Hmong food so I made a quick stir fry with pork with a side of pepper and it was divine.  Sometimes, the simplest foods are the most fulfilling.

Zaub Paj (Chinese Mustard Green) and Pork Stir-Fry Pictorial

About 2 cups of pork, sliced thinly, cooking in 2 tbsp of oil + salt & black pepper

Fully cooked

Zaub Paj/Chinese Mustard Green

Add the zaub paj into the pot

Stir until the zaub paj is cooked (2-4 minutes) depending on how you tender you like your vegetables

My HUGE plate: rice, pork + zaub paj stir-fry + side of spicy crushed peppers

That’s a total of 2 ingredients, excluding oil, salt, and black pepper.  An easy, quick and delicious meal.

Spicy Green Mango Salad

I love love love papaya salad, especially if it’s sour/spicy/salty.  Last summer, I don’t know how much papaya salad I consumed, but it felt like I was getting some once a week.  I always get it from Dragon Star, because the ladies over there always make some kick-butt papaya salad.  Every other papaya salad I’ve had from other people and other places pale in comparison, including mines.  But I’m getting a little bit tired of eating their papaya salad because the texture is so unappetizing to my mouth now.  I prefer to hand chop the papaya, even though it’s time consuming but you get better results.  It’s still good but I think I’ll save it for when I have a bad bad bad craving.

Spicy papaya salad

My other favorite spicy green salad is mango salad.  I was eating these at least 2x a month after my tonsillectomy.  They’re so much easier to make and anyone can make it.  Plus, it satisfies that sour/spicy/salty craving I have.

Spicy Green Mango Salad


–  1 green mango

–  2 Thai chili peppers

–  fish sauce, to taste


1.  Peel mango and chop into chunks.  Place the chopped mango in a bowl.  In a mortar and pestle, pound the chili peppers with salt and MSG.  Add to the mango.  Add fish sauce, stir and enjoy.

Spicy Green Mango Salad Pictorial

Green mango

Chopped into chunks

Add pepper (plus a sprinkling of dry chili powder)

Doesn’t that look scary delicious?

Chong isn’t a big fan of peppers so I usually eat this All By Myself.  He’ll sometimes look at me like I’m crazy when I’m eating this and trying to get the fire in my mouth under control.  : D

Steamed Rice Rolls (Fawm Kauv) Pictorial

I loved eating these when I was younger because it was a treat whenever my mom made it–which was only once or twice a year.  As I grew older and started cooking, I would often make these whenever the mood struck me.  Nowadays, my husband is sick and tired of eating them because I’ve made them so often.  There was a point when I made these almost every week.  And now I’m getting a bit tired of making them (and eating them), too.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with the 12 bags of powder we have in the closet….

Steamed Rice Rolls/Fawm Kauv


–  2 lbs ground pork

–  1 bunch green onion, sliced thinly

–  3 tbsp canola oil

–  2 bags of steamed rice roll powder

–  8-9 cups water *

–  2 tbsp oil

–  salt, to taste

–  black pepper, to taste

*The directions on the back of the bag says use 4 cups of water/bag but I like my batter thinner so I use 4.5 cups of water/bag.  Start out with 8 cups and adjust to your taste.


1.  In a pot, heat up the oil and add the ground pork.  Salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Once the ground pork is fully cooked, add the green onions and cook for 1-2 minutes.

3.  Drain the mixture in a colander or spoon the mixture into a bowl.

4.  In a large bowl, mix the 2 bags of rice roll powder, 8-9 cups of water, and 1 tbsp of oil.  Stir until there are no more lumps.

5.  On medium high heat, heat a non-stick pan.  Take a small piece of paper towel, fold it into a small square and dab it into the oil.  Wipe the hot pan with it and set aside.

6.  Pour a small amount of batter (1/4 – 1/2 cup)  into the pan, making sure to swirl the pan around so the liquid covers the bottom of the pan.

7.  Cover the pan and let cook for about 15-20 seconds.

8.  Uncover the pan and flip the thin crepe onto a plate.  Fill with the meat mixture and fold it like a burrito or eggroll.

Steamed Rice Rolls/Fawm Kauv Pictorial

Cooking the ground pork

Cooked ground pork

Add green onions

Cooked meat mixture

Meat mixture in a bowl

Bag of steamed rice roll powder

Steamed rice roll batter

Uncooked (seconds after the batter hit the hot pan)

Cooked (notice that it shrunk and the edges are crispier)

Add pork & green onion filling

Fold in opposite ends

Fold in third end

Continue rolling

All rolled up

Finished product

Peanut Pepper Sauce


–  1 cup peanuts

–  1/2 lime

–  2-3 Thai chili peppers

–  fish sauce, to taste

–  water, to taste

–  MSG, to taste

–  salt, to taste


1.  In a mortar and pestle, crush the peanuts.  Scoop out and put in a bowl.

2.  Add Thai chili peppers, MSG, & salt and pound until broken into small pieces.  Add to peanuts.

3.  Add about 1-3 tbsp of fish sauce, 2-3 tbsp of water, lime juice, and a dash of MSG to the peanuts and pepper.  Stir and add more fish sauce/water/lime to taste.

Peanut Pepper Sauce Pictorial


Crushed peanuts

Hot Thai chili peppers

Salt & MSG



Add fish sauce

Add lime juice

Add water

Add pepper


Dry Chili Pepper


–  1 tbsp dry chili pepper

–  3 tbsp fish sauce


1.  In a small bowl, add the dry chili pepper and fish sauce together.  Stir and serve.

Dry Chili Pepper Pictorial

Dry chili powder

Dry chili powder in a bowl

Add fish sauce


My plate:

Plate of fawm kauv

Add sauces

Cut up and ready to eat!

I have to admit, these are VERY time consuming to make because you can only make them one at a time but trust me, they are worth it.  I don’t like most restaurant or deli fawm kauv because they’re 1) too thick  2) taste weird  3) not enough filling and 4) they’re EXPENSIVE!  Depending on where you buy them, they can run from $3-$6 for a small package.  I can make enough to feed Chong and myself based on $6.  Plus, when you make them yourself, you can eat it while it’s still hot and freshly made, which is the best time to eat it.  Oh yes, these were what I spent 6 hours making on Mother’s Day.

Eazee Cheezees

***I’m so slow sometimes.  I couldn’t figure out how to link websites until now.  So from now on, blogging and linking websites will be so much easier!***

Yah!  I found my inspiration to cook and bake again!  I was browsing through some food blogs and came upon this wonderful food site, TasteSpotting , and OMG, I’m in food heaven.  Browsed the site for a day and found some great food ideas.  This is the first recipe I’ve tried and it turned out pretty good.  Will make little changes next time I make them, which will probably be soon.  Thanks to Chef Cathy at ShowFood Chef for the recipe.

Eazee Cheezees Pictorial

Flour, salt, black pepper, butter, and medium cheddar & colby jack cheese

Used my handheld mixer to blend everything together


Rolled and cut out

1st batch:  seeing stars

2nd batch:  seeing flowers

Star Crackers

After all the time spent rolling, cutting, transferring and baking, this is all the stars I got from my first batch!  My right hand was cramping from making all those star and flower cut outs but it was worth it.  For the third batch, I just rolled it out and made square crackers.  Chong prefers the 3rd batch to the first two but they’re all equally good.