Potatoes Stir-Fry with Mango and Bell Peppers

I do weird with potato, don't I? While most of you roast or bake them, toss them in salad, add them to soup or make mashed potatoes out of them, I steam them. And stir-fry! When selecting potato for stir-frying, a potato with firm texture will be ideal, just like the Purple Passion* from Tasteful Selections.

For this dish, I use low-temperature cooking and let the steam from the heat partially cook the vegetable mixture in the covered pan. I wanted my vegetables to be tender-crisp. Not soggy. This dish looks very festive being so colorful ! And adding rainbow colors to your meals is definitely encouraged! The flavors are fresh and refreshing esp. with that added touch of not-so-ripe mango. So unveils my Purple Potatoes Stir-Fry with Mango and Bell Peppers.

Kale and Potatoes Soup

This can become my favorite cooking tip or kitchen quote: When in doubt, add tomatoes.

I wanted to make kale the main-dish for me this time, not as a side such as Kale with Garlic and Mushrooms and Garlic Kale Stir-Fry. Tomatoes come save me! Make me an appetizing delicious soup!

The kale soup would not have made it without the tomatoes. Come on, simply sauteing the onions and garlic, plus some broth then adding those kale is not going to make me my kind of soup. But with tomatoes? Definitely.

Also,I used the potato-trick again to make this soup a one-dish meal for me. So here, Kale and Potatoes in Tomato-Based Soup!

Seasoning with a lil' sea salt and ground white pepper. Some red chili flakes and red chili powder to spice things u...

The soup is also for Souper Sunday at Kahakai Kitchen.

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Spaghetti Squash Frittata Fritters

I wanted to try spaghetti squash after seeing "noodle" dishes out of them! This recipe came to me at the instant when I had that plate of squash strands (after roasting in the oven 375degF for ~ 45 minutes) sitting right in front of me. No squash noodles, I decided, since I am cooking rice congee for that same meal. I wanted a side-dish more than a one-disher noodle. Here comes my Spaghetti Squash Frittata Fritter!

I am a huge fan of Indian spices so I fall back to my comfort zone when seasoning the squash strands - cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, curry powder, red chili powder, salt, pepper - that should work!

Dumplings in Fermented Glutinous Rice Wine - 酒酿圆子

Winter Solstice, sometimes known as midwinter, falls on 21 December this year. Since Glutinous Rice Dumplings, 汤圆- Tang Yuan, are symbolic of Winter Solstice, there is no better time to enjoy them during December, or even January and into February. Say the same for this dessert Boiled Glutinous Rice Dumplings in Fermented Glutinous Rice - 酒酿圆子.

As this dessert is typically serve warm and due to the presence of "wine" from sweet ferment rice - 酒酿; it is indeed a timely dessert soup for winter.

The first time I tried this dessert was many years ago in Singapore. Yes, at a mom-and-pop Shanghai restaurant by the name of Pudong Kitchen in Balmoral Plaza (I wonder if it is still there).

So when my friend made this some time ago, it was not unfamiliar to me. I got reconnected to this long-lost dessert which might be an acquired taste for some (due to the taste of fermented rice). I confess I could not really adapt to this "strange" dessert at my first but have got used to it now.

This sweet ferment rice (fermented glutinous rice) - 酒酿 is Chinese yeast fermented glutinous rice or glutinous rice wine. It is low in alcohol content and tastes sweet, with a subtle wine aroma.

Spicy Sausage Bell Peppers Pasta

Tis the season to be jolly, fah la la la la, la la la la....

Tis the season to be lazy, fah la la la la la, la la la la...

There is just this chemistry with spicy sausage, bell peppers and onions. So I paired them all up in a Christmasy red and green pasta!

Salt and Pepper Chili Shrimps

The winner (selected via Random.Org) of the Tasteful Selection giveaway: Joanne from Eats Well with Others. Hey Joanne, you will soon be contacted via email. :)

Have the shells on, please! Grilled or pan-fried shrimps taste much better. I made this after I tried something similar in my friend's place. Difference? She used shell-on shrimps vs these naked shrimps version. Of course I love shrimps with shell-on but I just did not have them handy that day :(

There are many ways and variations to Salt and Pepper Shrimps (椒盐虾 Jiao Yan Xia). Some cook them with salt and pepper. Some use salt, pepper and fresh chili, while my friend cooked them with salt, red chili powder and some freshly ground white pepper. Turned out delicious. So yummy that I decided to make my own.

RiceCooker "Braised" Pork, Babi Chin

This can be cooked over the stove-top. But how can I forget, "promoting" the use of a rice-cooker to cook this...^o^

In my cookbook, I call this Braised Fragrant Pork (Pg. 188), also otherwise known as Babi Chin in Nyonya Cuisine. The sweetness from the generous use of shallots with the aroma of star anise and coriander seeds marks this dish - Delicious!. Of course, the sliced red chili ups the notch.

When you set the rice cooker to "Warm", it simmers and cooks at low heat.

Hearty Vegetable Soup, Easy Minestrone

Your comments leave me inspired. Keep them coming! This soup was inspired because Stella of The Witchy Kitchen left a comment at my Chicken Daikon Soup post, asking if I have a recipe for clear vegetable soup.

Actually...I do, but it is not in any published post yet as I have only cooked them (with photos taken) quite recently. So in my email reply to Stella, I told her briefly the combination of my more recent vegetable soup: Daikon - Edamame - Cabbage - Tomatoes etc.

The use of tomatoes usually leave the soup more brothy than clear. But to me, still a clear soup vs the creamy type - such as pumpkin or mushroom.

Days after I made that daikon-based vegetable soup (that post...? another day perhaps), I decided to make another one. A vegetable soup that bears a close resemblance to minestrone. I am a fan of minestrone.

Edamame, Hijiki, Pomegranate-Infused Pasta Salad

KISS. Keep it simple AND short. I am doing both...for this post.

This is my second creation using POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice.

But it is not a dish born from my own concept. Instead, it was inspired from two posts: Food Gal's A Welcome and Delicious Red Wine Stain and Angies Recipes' Pinotage Spaghetti with Arugula. Got some basic idea from there, then executed and completed it...my way.

Mine? A refreshing creation! Not only you taste the pomegranate in the pasta shells, the entire dish has the sea-flavor of Hijiki and taste of subtly sweet edamame. Textures are exciting too - it's like al-dente...everything!

Cabbage, Cauliflower and Pea Curry

2Cs away from perfect 5Cs diamond quality - this dish scored 3Cs: cauliflower, cabbage and curry. And perfect as cruciferous curry of the day. The 4th C! Hey Ho!

And where is the 5th C? You smarties can give me a word that begins with a letter- C, which best describes delicious, scrumptious, tasty?

What goes into this Cabbage and Cauliflower Curry:

Steamed Potatoes (Easy Warm Salad) + Giveaway Tasteful Selections

Tasteful Selections generously sent me two sample-bags of beautiful round potatoes ( Sunrise Medley and Purple Passion) few weeks ago. "Amazing colors!"...my first thoughts on getting the samples.

Growing up in Asia, potato is really not my kind of staple or ingredient (Rice is!). But I was excited to try these potatoes especially when they are petite, cute, fast to prep and easy to cook. Will potatoes be at your festive table this holiday season - Thanksgiving might be over but there is still Christmas and New Year, yeah? How would you prepare them ? Now I wish you get a potato dish down at the table for your festive entertaining. For this Giveaway (details at end of post),  Tasteful Selections has gladly agreed to send some lovelies to the winner of the giveaway.

So...how...did..I...prepare...mine? The first dish has got to be a super-easy-and tasty right? So will be the second...third...fourth dish - which I have not thought of it yet. Back to my first creation - inspired from a simple Steamed Potato dish I saw over at PigPigsCorner some time ago. Oh yes, of course you heard me right! Steamed Potatoes. S-T-E-A-M-E-D Potatoes!

Mushroom Potato Soup, Mushroom Potage

As one of the participating blogs to help create Recipe Advent Calendar, I am sharing a festive-inspired recipe today, which will be part of the calendar. Each day in December, one new yummy recipe will be unveiled. So make sure to check this calendar daily!

Not that it was my first time making Mushroom Soup but I never had it so chunky and mushroomy at home. And I was inspired to make this thick and chunky soup which is timely for this holiday season, especially when it gets cold down here in the United States.

Without brown or white crimini mushrooms that particular day, I made do with the fresh shitake and portobello mushrooms. Mushrooms, to me, is all-seasonal; and easily available where you are.

And how to make mushroom soup chunkier, and better still, a one-dish meal? Add potatoes! Nothing new, but inspired from Campbell's Mushroom Potage. That's canned and mine is not. Plus, mine is surely more fresh, natural, healthy, nutritious and delicious.

Winter Veggies Pasta

A dish made from those fall/winter seasonal vegetables, errrrrrrr... though you can get them all year round.

Not giving the recipe today but just what went in there: 2-3 stalks kale, 1/4 head cabbage , bell peppers, 6-8 crimini mushrooms, 3 broccoli stems, 1/2 medium carrot, 1/2 tomato,  green onion, cilantro, garlic, ginger, cumin, fennel, curry powder...all into the wok finally!!

YEssss! Cooking them in the wok! Surprised?

This is for Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast, round up 3 Dec. next Friday. This is also for My Meatless Mondays and Hearth and Soul.

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Cabbage with Green Onions, Scallions, Spring Onions - whatever you call it

Hey, I think I get along pretty well with those in the Cruciferous family. I love kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage. Cabbage is so versatile and becomes my savior when it comes to whipping up a variety in my kitchen.

Other than enjoying it as a simple tasty stir-fry, I also enjoy making soups with cabbage, adding cabbage in my noodle and rice dishes. The texture is welcomely tender in either soups or stir-frys; and taste-wise, cabbage naturally sweetens up a dish, if you cook it properly.

Following my recent cabbage post on Rice Cooker "Stir-Fried" Cabbage, today's dish can also be made in the rice cooker or over the stove-top, your wish. Today's post is short because the recipe itself is easy (and short)

Caramelized Green Onions and Cabbage
Ingredients: 2-3 stalks of green onions, rinsed and finely diced; few thin slices or "matchsticks" of ginger;1/4 wedge of cabbage, finely diced; salt and white pepper to taste.

Golden Pumpkin Dishes + more Golden Deals

My Golden Fries is featured at Yellow Pages, as part of its Scrumptious Pumpkin Dishes gallery! Thank you for the mention. ^o^

How about getting more "golden" at Gold Box Deals? Lightning Deals?

I recalled going for the lightning deal last Thanksgiving for items in Kitchen Deals but could not match up the lightning speed of some "professional" online shoppers. Professional? They are quick! If you are wondering what is today's deal -Check Deals now! Also, Black Friday Event (22-27 Nov) with savings up to 50% on a wide selection of products for the home from kitchen knives to appliances.has already started!

Take the opportunity to buy gifts for your loved ones! Ever since buying gifts became a chore for me many years ago, I turn to Gift Cards. Hey, I hear ya. It lacks sincerity. (And ok, I am also not talking about buying gifts and toys for kids). Hoo...ha! But it's practical. Your loved ones get to choose what they want and how they want to shop. Now, when your buddy asks you "hey budd, I wanna to get you a gift this holiday, give me some ideas?". What would you say?

Which one are you?

(1) Tell the person the gift you want and he/she buys them for you
(2) Tell the person "I will like it as long as it's a gift from you. It's the thoughts that count"- (errrr, are you sure?)
(3) A gift card is good. Makes it easy for the giver and receiver
(4) Next closest to gift card is money but is it really a good idea to give money? Some argue that to give a gift card is equivalent to giving money - what do you think?

Personally, I have been using the Amazon Gift Card to shop at Amazon and love it. It is so easy. Go check it out!

The FoodNetwork Store

There are not many cooking shows I watched at Food Network nowadays, other than Chopped, The Next Iron Chef and Good Eats. But there is a range of cookware I want from the Food Network store! Are you into stocking stuffing? I used to enjoy stuffing Christmas stockings with candies then present those as gifts to a few good friends. Oh, how uncreative I was then! I could have done so with the stocking stuffer ideas from FoodNetworkStore.com. But again, I was not that into food when I was a kid. Cooking was something that gradually developed as I grew up!

I know some of you adore Le Creuset, so you can get some special values from Le Creuset at the Food Network Store too Are you into one of Le Creuset's best-sellers too? The FoodNetworkStore.com is quite an easy shopping site, listing items by category, subcategory, size of pots or pans (where applicable), by color, by price etc. All that makes shopping an ease!

Also, how about shopping by Food Network Host, or Show? You know I have been following some nifty gadgets used by Alton Brown, and of course, you can get his series of books at the site too. Quite uniquely, the FoodNetworkStore.com is a good site to follow your favorite host's authored books and DVDs! Not forgetting to discover some tools of the trade of your favorite host or show if you are inquisitive enough. Want to know more about that Balsamic Vinegar of Modena by Giada de Laurentiis? Now you know where to find that information. Who is your favorite host? Alton Brown, Rachael Ray, bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, Ina Garten?

If you are into some good quality cookware in the coming months, a pan or pot worth more than $99 will entitle you to free shipping! Just remember to get the related coupon code at their site before you check out your item.

Happy Shopping!

Simply Tomatoes Pasta

We often like to complicate matters, and lose the simplicity of being...simple.

So here, no sardines, no mushrooms, no ground meat. No Bok Choy, no bell peppers, no greens beans. I serve you...simply tomatoes. The "simply tomatoes" linguine - garlic and onions included, salt and pepper not forgotten.

Hijiki Seaweed, Nori, Wakame - Healthful!

WHAaat? I made it to Foodbuzz Top 9, November 17, 2010! Rather, my Parchment-Baked Superfruity Chicken Wings "flew" right there. Thanks, Foodbuzz. :)

Have you caught the festive joyous mood yet? I have started "kitchen shopping". Just ordered the Pizza Cutter - one of Alton Brown's fav. gadgets from Amazon!

So, here is the deal: Enjoy the Black Friday Event (22-27 Nov) with savings up to 50% on a wide selection of products for the home from kitchen knives to appliances. THEN, also the Cyber Monday Event (28-29 Nov) with savings up to 50% on products including kitchen appliances. It's online shopping. No 4am-queuing at the departmental stores or gate crashing. Get your deals at the comfort of your home, in your PJs. Ha!

I digress.

Wanted to tell you how it started with Wakame, then Nori and now Hijiki. All the seaweeds! Counting to that, I have tried three different seaweeds altogether. Not much, considering it is super-nutrition food! I should eat more. Specifically, Hijiki contains dietary fiber and minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium (with a good calcium and magnesium balance, ratio of Ca:Mg ~ 2:1). Do you know Magnesium helps our body absorb and retain Calcium? Now you know.

Which is the type of seaweed, most often appearing in your kitchen and why did you choose that?

My recent encounter with Hijiki was kinda noob. Walking the aisle of the Japanese grocery store, with so many different seaweed(s) appearing right in front of me. The shiny. The long and curvy. The black and mysterious. Finally, I picked one which read a relatively higher iron content. The point goes - for the same kind of food, why not choose the most nutrient-dense?  So I picked Hijiki with the slightest idea what I wanted to do with it. But all these Japanese dishes came to me, and of course the first being...MISO SOUP! Well, I don't think Hijiki is traditionally used for miso soup but What The H***! Buy first! We'll talk about that later.

Kind of wormy looking right? Crunchy texture. Oh no, suitable for soup?

Hijiki, after rehydrating in cold water for 15-20 mins. 

Pomegranate-Infused Toasted Anchovies

Oh al'mighty!

Too much tartness typical of the pomegranate fruit? I don't think so. Rather, it's not overly sweet and a good balance of tartness and sweetness. I enjoy drinking this on its own. But if asked to challenge the secret ingredient - Pomegranate Juice - what would you do? I am day-dreaming of this scenario in Iron Chef America!

Then he got angry...

...really angry.

No way am I going to lose sleep over the "secret ingredient challenge" and the offended anchovies. While enjoying the POMWonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice* as a drink, I got wacky and appease the anchovies by "feeding" them with what I was drinking. Share the love, right?

Parchment-Baked Mango Chicken Wings, with other superfruits

Hey lady, how lady-like you are, lying down so gracefully...

Bathed in golden delicious gravy...

What is golden: mango
What is golden: golden kiwi
What is golden: curry power and turmeric
What is golden: honey

To the base marinade, I added the "remnants" (leftover) of a mango (including the seed) and kiwi (citrus-sweet); with some gojiberries (sweet) to jazz up the otherwise savory-spicy roasted chicken wings.

Sambar - Vegetable Soup, South Indian Cusine

Sambar* and Rasam** often got me confused. I developed a liking for this hearty vegetable soup ...quite recently. Why not earlier? Cos' I never had it in the past. To me, this is like Minestrone, Indian-style.

Today I am making Sambar. I learn this homemade version from my friend who learn it from her mother-in-law who is Indian. Anything delicious needs passing down right?

And gawd, I did not even know there are peeled-split-mung-beans in this soup. I always thought they were chickpeas(garbanzo) disintegrated/broken down to powdery texture when cooked in soup, which I believe will work for Sambar too, just like how yellow lentils may work. Peeled and Split Mung Beans are known as Moong Dal, so now I know. And that is similar stuff used in making Chinese dessert - Tau Suan. I believe any one of these legumes mentioned above is key to making Sambar.

Note: Another key ingredient to making this soup, is onions. LOTS of ONIONS.

Steamed Salmon with Zucchini

Welcome! Zucchini. You are now part of my vegetable family.

It began with a strange story about zucchini (and maybe eggplants?). Remember I told you I am not a fan of eggplants? I am also not a fan of zucchini. You can look at the list of ingredients tags by the right column and no surprise...no zucchini (till the tag to this post).

The story was weird. I started to dislike zucchini because of how it was prepared - typically served as "roasted vegetables" as sides to an entree of grilled fish, chicken or beef steak. Almost always, the roasted zucchini turns out "bad". Soggy. Bland. Nah...it should not taste and feel like ROASTED WATERY CUCUMBER but it does.

The story took a twist and turn. I changed. It took a change of preparation method to change me. This time I had it all tender (and soft)...but I did not roast it tender (and soft), so don't punish me. I steam them (with salmon) and I like it!

From strange to weird. But hopefully not totally unacceptable. Yes, dearies. I steam salmon occasionally. I actually find steamed salmon with zucchini one of the easiest yet nutritious dish to cook on a lazy day (Note: You can oven-bake this combination, too).

The final dish does not smell smoky or taste charred. And the salmon usually turns out moist and cooked perfect. Oh and that zucchini ? Subtly sweet with taste of vegetable freshness. The salmon must have lend a helping hand. The zucchini also helped in keeping the salmon moist.

The chemistry that sends sparks remains unexplainable. They live happily ever after. Even with "a third party" -

Butter and Pepper King Oyster Mushrooms

King Trumpet Mushrooms was on sale in the Asian Supermarket few weeks ago, and there I was...succumbed to impulsive shopping... ...again (Well, King Trumpet Mushrooms was not specifically in my shopping list!)...so you see ?

This recipe is super duper easy using the "pan-grill" method. You need butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper. That's it.