Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Soy-Honey Glazed Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Baked Tofu

By: Jackie

Brussels sprouts are a new veggie for me. Their popularity in the food community sparked my curiosity as I passed the fresh-cut veggie section at Trader’s. I grabbed a bag of Brussels and remembered the first time I tried them only a few years ago as a student teacher. The head teacher steamed Brussels sprouts, poured a soy-honey glaze on top, and served them for the children's snack. To my surprise, the children ate them up! 

If the kids and foodies love Brussels, I will love them, too! (Plus, all those vitamins/fiber/antioxidants couldn't hurt.)

Mission accomplished…. And Jon liked them, too!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cycling Bites: 30-Minute Granola

By: Jon

Happy Friday! Memorial Day weekend is here, and I am excited to bring you a very savory granola recipe. Simple to make, savory and sweet, and requires no baking.

As Jackie mentioned in our previous post, we both have been busy lately. Yet, I am ecstatic to be back sharing our culinary adventures with all of you.

Tour of California: Stage 3. The main peloton ascending Calaveras Road in Milpitas, CA.

In mid-May, the Tour of California rode through the San Francisco Bay Area. The Tour of California is an eight-day event featuring elite professional teams and athletes from around the world. Top professional cycling teams compete in a challenging 800-mile course through scenic California highways and roadways. I was excited to spectate for my second year in a row. The night prior to spectating Stage 3 in San Jose, I debated on baking a batch of granola. The first time I made granola, I found that toasting the oats in the oven took a significant portion of the cooking time. Additionally, the clean up consisted of too many bowls, spoons, and spatulas. Thus, I decided not to make granola again.

However, months later as I browsed through my daily reads, I stumbled upon an article at Bicycling.com that caught my attention, "A Recipe for Homemade Energy Bars for Cyclists by Cyclists," by Neil Bezdek. Though the instructions seemed easy to follow, I was hesitant on how well the granola would taste because the recipe used only a few ingredients.

Since the recipe did not involve any baking, I took a risk and decided to try it out. I packed up the finished products for the 46-mile bike ride with a buddy of mine whom I race with to follow the pro peloton* from San Jose through Milpitas. I found the bars kept their shape while remaining soft and gooey on the inside. The peanut butter added a good amount of savory flavor while the trail mix gave variety to each bite. After only the first mouthful, I knew that these home-made granola bars were podium worthy.

Each 2x2 square packs an energizing blend of simple sugars (sweet stuff), and complex carbohydrates (oats and whole grains,etc.) to keep you trucking along the trail. The granola squares are small enough to pack in a backpack or pocket, and provides about 250 calories in each delectable morsel.

Thank you, Bicycling.com, for a great granola recipe!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Juicy Apple Pie

By: Jackie

“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans” - John Lennon

After a two month blogging hiatus, we’re backkkkk! We haven’t stopped cooking or taking photos of our food, but we briefly stopped blogging and reading others’ blogs. Shame on us.

With work, a cyclist’s training schedule (Jon), Zuckerberg sightings at dinner, bidding adieu to family moving to Japan, acupuncture appointments (me), and holiday and birthday dinners, Jon and I had barely any time to do anything. Phew… As summer slowly approaches, things are finally starting to wind down, so here we are! Back with a fresh post about an apple pie I baked for my dad’s birthday two months ago… in March!

Happy (Belated) Birthday, Dad!

We had a quiet dinner at home to celebrate my dad’s birthday. I wanted to bake an apple pie for dessert, so thus began my search on the interwebs for the very best apple pie recipe with a doughy yet flaky crust and a juicy filling.

Since it was my first time attempting pie, we asked for recipes and tips on our Facebook page and found two great suggestions! Smitten Kitchen’s All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough for the crust and Paula Deen’s Crunch Top Apple Pie filling. The combination was aweeesoommeee.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Martha’s Perfect Macaroni and Cheese (Plus Bacon and a Third Cheese!)

By: Jackie

First and foremost, we got another award!!

We were awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by these three awesome bloggers:
- Dara of Gen Y Foodie - Dara has a great food blog that showcases healthy and delicious recipes along with informational links on important health topics!
- Kristina of Whipped Baking - Kristina features sweet treat recipes that are seriously mouth-watering but unbelievably guilt-free!
- Emily of Life on Food - Emily provides a variety of interesting posts, including book reviews, great savory and sweet recipes, and restaurant highlights! I noticed that Emily nominated us at the same time we were planning on nominating her blog, so we decided to keep her blog on the list!

The Versatile Blogger Award is “a great way to introduce different bloggers to each other and to promote quality blogs that awardees and their readers may not have discovered otherwise.

There are a few guidelines for what to do once you receive the award:
1. Thank the person(s) who gave you this award.  
2. Include a link to their blog.
3. Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
4. Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
5. Tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.  Check out my list below!
6. In the same post, include this set of rules.
7. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

Here are 15 amazing blogs I’d like to nominate for the Versatile Blogger Award! In no particular order…
First, here are wonderful blogs I follow regularly:
1) Just One Cookbook
2) My San Francisco Kitchen
3) The Corner Kitchen
4) Baker Becky
5) Pass the Sushi
6) Tiny Tiny Fork
7) Chocolate Broccoli
8) Life on Food
And here are some blogs I recently discovered!
9) Weeknite Meals
10) Cravings of a Lunatic
11) Malibu Kitchen
12) Me and My Sweets
13) Nish Whips Up A Dish
14) Authentic Suburban Gourmet
15) Dessert for Two

Now 7 things about us:
1. I’ve always had an interest in food, specifically eating, but actually making food is a relatively new interest and hobby for me. And it’s been a fun journey!
2. I recently completed a running program, the Ease into 5K app. Yay!
3. I love, love, love Disneyland.
4. Jon and I try to take at least one summer vacation a year. This year we may skip it to save for a bigger trip in 2013!!
5. Jon’s favorite sashimi is live sea urchin.
6. Jon has recently taken an interest in baking. (Wowza, we’ve reversed roles!)
7. Jon’s favorite Peet’s coffee bean is New Guinea Highlands made in a French press.

Now let’s talk about Martha’s Perfect Mac & Cheese!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Healthy Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Mashed Potatoes

By: Jackie

Rain has finally come to the Bay Area! It has rained almost every day this week and it is the most rain we have seen all winter! When it is cold, wet, and gloomy outside, nothing is better than a warm comfort meal to heat up my body!

It may seem strange that I chose to make Shepherd’s Pie as my comfort meal, but I first became aware of Shepherd’s Pie from my (Chinese) family’s kitchen. I seriously had no idea it was a traditional Irish dish until we had a bite of our friend’s Shepherd’s Pie ordered in a local Irish pub. Nevertheless, I associate Shepherd’s Pie with my family’s kitchen, especially the way they prepare it, which is vastly different than the way I had it in the pub.

And with St. Patty’s Day just around the corner (tomorrow), I thought I’d post this recipe for those looking for a healthier, slightly spicy, and fiber-filled version to celebrate the holiday!

Double bonus: I also learned how to cook mashed potatoes - my second (successful) recipe from How to Boil Water!

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