Archive for the ‘Pictorial’ Tag

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

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?

Spring Rolls

Finally, a spring roll post! Spring rolls are so easy to make, although the prep time is very time consuming, and I’d say they’re pretty healthy for you. For some reason, whenever Chong and I go to Saigon, I’d always want to order the make-your-own spring rolls for $9. That’s pretty expensive, considering that there’s only 5-7 wraps in there! I can make my own spring rolls for that amount of money–and I’d still have a ton of ingredients leftover.

Argh. Since I made this a few weeks ago, I lost track of my ingredients and measurements so bear with me on my guesstimations.

Spring Roll


– 2-3 lbs of pork (shoulder or butt)
– 1 package of Asian BBQ powder (char siu)
– 1 cup water
– salt, to taste
– black pepper, to taste
– 1 bunch cilantro
– 3 carrots, grated
– 15 pieces of red lettuce, quartered
– 1 cooked pork meatloaf, julienned
– 1 package of rice wrappers
– 1 package rice vermicilli noodles, cooked according to the package


1. In a large ziploc bag, mix the packet of Asian BBQ powder (char siu) with salt, black pepper, and water. Add the pork and marinade for 2-3 hours, or overnight.

2. Turn the oven to ‘Broil’ and place the pork in a pan. Broil the pork for 7-10 mins on each side, or until cooked. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Once cooled, slice thinly.

3. In a large bowl or cake pan (depending on the size of your rice paper), add 1/2 inch of hot water (cake pan) or 2 cups of hot water (bowl). Soak the rice paper in the hot water either by placing the whole wrapper in the water or soak 3/4 of the wrapper and rotate slowly. The rice paper just needs a few seconds in the water because it’ll soften up out of the water.

4. Lay the soft/wet rice paper on a plate and add the lettuce, noodles, carrots, cilantro, bbq pork, and pork meatloaf 1/4 from the edge.

5. Starting from the shorter edge, fold the rice paper over the ingredients, then roll it over once, then tuck in the left and right edges and continue rolling. *Like how you would roll egg rolls or a burrito*

It’s so much harder to try to explain how to make spring rolls than it is to show it. Next time, I’ll try to post a video of it up.

Spring Roll Pictorial

Package I used/Powder+salt+black pepper/Add water

Chunks of pork—>Marinading—>Ready to be broiled

Next time, more powder, less water and all in 1 bag

Noodles/Carrots, cilantro, bbq pork & julienned pork meatloaf/red leaf lettuce (uncut)

I’m in love with this wrapper.  It’s better than the kind I usually get (and it’s HUGE!)


I made about 20-25 spring rolls, with a lot of left over ingredients.  During the spring/summer, I love growing or buying my own fresh herbs from the Farmer’s Market and add mint and sweet or Thai basil and cucumber for a little crunch.  Some version include shrimp but Chong is allergic to shellfish so no shrimp for him.  Spring rolls are so easy to make and very refreshing.  I can’t wait until the weather gets warmer so I can have an excuse to make and eat more spring rolls.  : )

Chicken Katsu

Ever since I got obsessed with bentos a few years ago, I started looking at Japanese and Korean food and how to make them.  I came across chicken katsu from a few of my favorite bento sites and decided to make it since the recipe looked so easy (and it is!).  I’ve been making it ever since then and everyone’s liked it so far.  I like smaller pieces of chicken because it cooks faster and the chicken isn’t so dry.

Chicken Katsu (2-3 servings)

– 2 chicken breasts, cut into thirds

– 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

-1 egg

– 1/2 flour

– 2 – 4 tbspn oil

– salt

– black pepper


1.  Salt and pepper the chicken pieces.

2.  Roll the chicken pieces into the flour, then the egg, then the panko breadcrumbs.  Repeat for all chicken pieces.

3.  Heat the oil in a pan.  Add the chicken and cook on medium high for 7-10 mins on each side or until juices run clear.

4. (Optional) Once the chicken is cooked, lay it on a cooling sheet so that the air can circulate around the chicken.  I find that if I just lay the chicken on a plate, the bottom half will end up soggy.

Chicken Katsu Pictorial

Chicken pieces


Starting from the left: flour, egg, and panko


Breaded chicken


Cooling off


Cilantro, onion, tomato & pepper


Pepper mash


Rice, stir fried noodles, garlic mushrooms, chicken katsu, & pepper


Birthday Weekend Dinner

I can’t believe it’s already Friday. How does the week pass me by so quickly? Feels like I haven’t even done anything productive with my time. Well, I did “win” the poker tournament that Chong and I frequent every week. Actually, I came in second place but Dave, the winner, was nice enough to split the pot with me this week (since I split the pot with him 2 weeks ago) and then we played for the remaining $4. Poker is actually pretty fun. I started playing online and then graduated to real life and I think I can read certain people (my husband) well. : )

Ok, so last weekend turned out pretty well. I thought I wouldn’t have enough food to thinking I had too much food, to thinking I had just enough food. Man, can my brother eat! I spent a good 4-5 hours prepping and cooking and then when it came time to eat, I was too hungry and too pooped to enjoy my food. : ( But it was still good, especially dessert!!!

I made Manicotti Alla Romana (stuffed manicotti) and PB cake for Chong. My cousin and her husband bought me a Cafe Latte Strawberry Cheesecake and her younger brother and his gf bought Chong a Peanut Butter Silk Pie from Perkins. We went to Perkins last week and I wanted him to try the pie but unfortunately, they were out. So he had a piece of PB cake and pie and he was in heaven.

Manicotti Alla Romana


* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
* 1 pound ground beef
* salt to taste
* 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
* 1 (12 ounce) package manicotti shells
* 2 cups ricotta cheese
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 3 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
* 2 cups half-and-half
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Saute garlic for 1 minute and stir in ground beef. Cook until well browned and crumbled. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
2. Cook spinach according to package directions. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add manicotti shells and parboil for half of the time recommended on the package. Drain and cover with cool water to stop the cooking process and prevent the shells from cracking.
3. To the ground beef mixture add the cooked spinach and ricotta cheese. When the mixture is cool, add the beaten eggs. Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Gently drain the manicotti shells and carefully stuff each one with the meat and cheese mixture; place shells in prepared dish. Lightly cover the dish with plastic wrap or a clean, damp towel to prevent shells from cracking.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
5. Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and chicken bouillon. Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble. Stir in half and half and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Pour or ladle the sauce evenly over the stuffed shells.
6. Stir the basil into the remaining spaghetti sauce. Carefully pour or ladle spaghetti sauce over the white sauce, trying to layer the sauces without mixing.
7. Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more.

It looks like a lot of ingredients and work, but it’s not as hard as the recipe makes it AND it’s SUPER delicious so it’s worth it.

Mannicotti Alla Romana Pictorial

Cooking–>Cooling off

Garlic & onion–>Add sausage

Sausage/Ricotta/Spinach–>Mix together



Baked (used mozzarella instead of parmesan)

Ready to serve

Results:  These were pretty good.  I loved the creamy white sauce combined with the tangy tomatoe sauce.  The filling could’ve used a bit more salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning but I didn’t want to make the stuffing out-taste the rest of the dish.  Everyone loved it, including P’s husband, who is a very picky eater.  I have leftover stuffing and sauce in the fridge so maybe I’ll make stuffed shells this weekend.

As promised, I made Chong a PB cake and after his first taste of the cake, he wanted to devour the rest of the it.  I think he was really hungry at this point, but dinner was an hour away so I didn’t want him to spoil his appetite so he only got a small bite. The cake and frosting were  really easy to make.  I didn’t have enough time to make the cake look pretty so it’s just a plain half-frosted cake in case some people didn’t want frosting.  Oh, and silly me bought whipping cream instead of heavy cream but it didn’t make a difference since I used such a little amount.  Even milk could’ve worked.  Darn, now I have to find a way to use up the rest of the whipping cream before it goes bad.

Peanut Butter Cake II


  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package butter cake mix
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans.
  2. Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup butter or margarine. Cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each one. Add cake mix alternately with the water. Stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake at 325 degrees F (165 degrees C) for 25 minutes or until cake tests done. Allow cakes to cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Assemble and frost with Peanut Butter Frosting once cool.
  4. To Make Peanut Butter Frosting: Combine 1 cup peanut butter, and 1/2 cup butter or margarine cream together until light and fluffy. Add the confectioner’s sugar. Mix in enough cream to make the frosting of a spreading consistency. Apply to cool cake.

Peanut Butter Cake Pictorial

Butter & pb–>Cream together

Add eggs & water–>Stir

Add cake mix–>Mix


Golden deliciousness

Butter & pb–>Mix with powder sugar & whipping cream

Frosted and ready to eat!

Wow, I realized I took ALOT of pictures but I didn’t think it would take this much work to post them up!  Ok, this will be Part I and will come back later with Part II.

Too Much Chocolate Cake

Sorry for the long hiatus, everyone.  I’ve been busy trying to get things in order.  It’s still a work in progress.  I haven’t been cooking or baking lately so I’ll be backlogging recipes for a while.  I have plans on making steamed rice rolls and papaya salad today so if I have time, I’ll take pictures.

I made some Too Much Chocolate (Cake) Cupcakes for my niece’s 5th birthday last month because she 1) loves chocolate and 2) I wanted to make something that would fit her appetite. She loved her cupcakes and her presents that Chong and I gave her, especially her little fingerless gloves.

Too Much Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes


* 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
* 1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* 4 eggs
* 1/2 cup warm water
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs and water. Stir in the chocolate chips and pour batter into a well greased 12 cup bundt pan.
3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool cake thoroughly in pan at least an hour and a half before inverting onto a plate If desired, dust the cake with powdered sugar.

Cake Mix

Jello-O Pudding

Cake mix + pudding mix

1 cup sour cream

4 eggs, beaten

Who says oil and water can't mix?

One big, happy, & messy family


Add mini-chocolate chips

Ready to bake

Cupcake pan with cupcake liners

Filled using 1/4 c per cupcake

Fresh out of the oven

Resting on the cooling rack

Side view of cake

Top view of cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes (Chong loves anything PB)

I LOVE this version of chocolate cake.  It’s so moist and chocolate-ly and so versatile.  You can add whatever chips you prefer and whatever cake/pudding mix you like and it’ll still turn out perfect.  I haven’t tried it for white/yellow cake but let’s assume that it’ll turn out great also.

Getting off this sugar-high

Due to the holidays and just because I enjoy baking, I’ve been making A LOT of sweet baked goodies lately. So it’s time to post up something new. WARNING: Besides baking and following new recipes, I barely measure my ingredients when it comes to my own cooking so don’t be alarmed if you’re trying to follow my recipe and I don’t have exact measurements. I will try to guesstimate but it’s ok if it’s not exact. And please bear with my directions/instructions. I will try to make things as clear as possible.

Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice


2 chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 stalk of broccoli, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1-2 stalks green onion, thinly sliced
7 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced into wedges
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, corn, green beans, etc.)
3-4 cups of white rice, cooked
2-3 tablespoons canola oil
1 Thai pepper, sliced (optional)
3-5 tablespoon oyster sauce, or to taste
1-2 tablespoon soy sauce, or to taste
2 tablespoon Chinese Fried Rice mix
black pepper


1. Heat oil in a pan over high heat and add in the chicken and Thai pepper. Season the chicken with salt and black pepper and cook chicken until it’s no longer pink.

2. Add the sliced mushrooms and stir for 30 seconds before adding the green peppers and onions. Stir and let cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the onions have started to wilt.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir in Chinese Fried Rice mix with soy sauce and oyster sauce. Set aside.

4. Add in the broccoli and cook until it’s done to your preference (I like mines slightly cooked and still crunchy, hence, that’s why they go in last so they don’t get over-cooked).

5. Add in the cooked rice and mixed vegetables and stir into chicken and vegetable mixture.

6. Add in the soy/oyster/Fried Rice mixture and toss to coat.

Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice Pictorial


2 Chicken breasts, thinly sliced



Broccoli, green bell pepper, green onion, red onion, & mushrooms



All chopped or sliced



Cooking the chicken breast and Thai pepper



Add mushrooms



Add green bell pepper and onion



Add broccoli



These are the sauces I used



Add rice, mixed veggies, & sauce mix and it’s ready to eat


There are so many variations of fried rice out there and this is just one of my FR recipes.  Enjoy!

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!!!

I am posting up cookie pictorials from last weekend when Chong and I made cookies.  These recipes can be found at

Felix K.’s Chocolate Chip Cookies (I shortened the name since it was way too long)


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag chocolate chips


  1. Preheat an oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  2. Gently mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a fork in a bowl. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla with the last egg. Mix in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips; mixing just enough to evenly combine.
  3. Divide the dough into 24 3-tablespoon-sized balls. Flatten the balls to about 1/4-inch thick onto a baking sheet.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden, 15 to 17 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet until the centers begin to set, about 20 minutes.

Flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter

Add brown and white sugar                                       Cream together

Add eggs and vanilla                                                   Cream together

**Opps, I guess I was too excited and forgot to take a picture of dry ingredients + wet ingredients.  But moving on…**

Mix dry + wet ingredients together & fold in milk chocolate chips

Roll the dough into balls.  DO NOT FLATTEN if you like textured cookies!!!

Cool on cookie sheet for 2 mins, then transfer to cooling rack.  Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 (6.5 ounce) jar macadamia nuts, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, stir in the white chocolate and nuts. Drop cookies by heaping teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Flour, baking soda, & salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter

Add sugar and cream together                                       Add egg and vanilla and mix

Add dry ingredients                                      Mix together

Add white chocolate chips & Macadamia nuts                                 Fold into dough

Roll into balls (I just used 2 spoons since the batter was so wet)

Baked goodies!

I hope the cookie pictorials were clear and helpful!  Have fun baking cookies!  I know I’ll be baking a lot this weekend.