Friday, April 17, 2015

Flowers from the garden

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Photo of the Day - Artichokes

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Char Kway Tweo- Flat Rice Noodles Stir Fry with Shrimp


2 T cooking oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2  cup peeled shrimp
1 Tbsp  thick, or sweet soy sauce
2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sambal olek
a  handful of  garlic chives, cut into 2 -inch long
8 ounces fresh, flat rice noodles, separate the noodles into single layers
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cups  bean sprouts
hoisin sauce


Heat one tablespoon oil in a wok, add garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add sambal olek and saute for about 4 to 5 minutes, till fragrant (add more oil if needed).

Add shrimp stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add noodles, soy sauces, sugar and stir fry to coat well with sauce for about 2 to  3 minutes on high heat.
Push noodles towards edge of wok, add a little oil in center, add beaten egg and 1/2 tsp soy sauce. After a minute or two,  lightly scramble the eggs into noodles. Stir fry for about 3 to 4 minutes constantly stirring.
Toss in the bean sprouts and garlic chives and give quick stir and remove from the heat.
Serve with sambal  olek and a squeeze of  hoisin sauce .

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Super moist pumpkin cake, spiced with cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and  freshly grated ginger. 


15 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
1 tsp grated nutmeg 
17 1/2 ounces sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 ounces grated ginger
4 1/4 ounce sour cream
5 1/2 ounces of water
1 tsp salt
16 ounces pumpkin puree
1 cup roasted walnuts or pecan, chopped roughly


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease 10-inch fluted bundt pan generously. Dust it with flour and remove access flour by tapping the inverted pan.

Combine all dry ingredients and sift. Add the roasted nuts and stir well. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using a hand held whisk, beat  sugar and eggs for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the oil whisk for another 2 minutes. Add the grated ginger and pumpkin puree, sour cream and water. Whisk until well combine. 

Add the dry ingredients and using a rubber spatula incorporate the dry ingredients with the wet.
Transfer into bundt pan. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack. Remove pan and cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fregola Salad served with Grilled Harissa Chicken

Fregola, a  toasted pebble-shaped pasta made from semolina and roasted lightly in the oven is a type of pasta from Sardinia, Italy. In my opinion, it has a strong resemblance to Moghrabieh, Lebanese couscous.

Cooking Fregola :

Heat about 10 cups of water with 2 teaspoons salt to a rolling boil in a pasta pot. Stir in the  1 cup fregola, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Empty the pot into a colander or large strainer to catch the fregola. Add a little olive oil and  fluffed with a fork to keep pieces from sticking together. Cooked fregola can be used in a variety of dishes.

Here,  I have made a  fregola salad, tossed in a red wine vinaigrette, served with grilled chicken. I added arugula, red onions, black olives, radishes and grated a lot of  Pecorino Romano cheese on it.

Fregola can also be added in soups or as a side dish to accompany seafood, grilled meat etc..

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tuna Salad -Fresh, Aromatic and Citrusy

Great for a summer dish, and especially healthy without the mayonnaise. The aromatic flavors from the kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass and lime juice give a nice refreshing taste to the canned tuna.  


2 canned tuna, drained well
1 lemongrass, finely sliced
2 kaffir lime leaves, julienned
4 radishes, cut into match stick 
5 endive leave, sliced finely
a handful of greens
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and cut 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup red onions, chopped 1/4 inch thick
3 green Thai chilies, seeded and finely slice
1/2 cup mint leaves, roughly torn
1/4 cup lime juice
3 Tbsp fish sauce
ground black pepper


Put the tuna in a bowl. Add the lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, radishes, endive, greens, tomatoes, red onion, mint leaves and the chili. Add the lime juice and fish sauce and toss to combine without mashing up the tuna. 
Adjust the tanginess and the salt. Serve as a finger food on endive leaves or as a side dish accompanied with bread or as filling for wraps.