Mussels Adobo with Potatoes

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A couple of weeks ago, I bought some cookbooks (I finally caved in!) and have been eager to test out some recipes or find inspiration from the recipes in the books. One of the books that I purchased was Chef Brian Malarkey‘s Come Early Stay Late and it is a beautiful book with photographs of each dish (yay!). I would recommend buying this book if you are into cookbooks. We’ve been to 2 of his 5 restaurants in San Diego, and have had nothing but delectable experiences. Searsucker and Gingham are a couple of our favorite San Diego restaurants. We make sure to eat there especially on restaurant week! Maybe you have seen Chef Malarkey on the new reality cooking show The Taste or on Top Chef Miami (season 3 in 2007)? Anyways, if you haven’t heard of him, I’m telling you that his food gives you a happy feeling like a beam of sunshine. Well, that’s how I feel!

One of these days, we’ll have to check out his Asian-influenced restaurant called Burlap as one of their top dishes there is Mussels Adobo. I was proud to read about the popularity of the dish and proud that people are enjoying dishes inspired by Filipino cuisine. There is actually a Filipino mussels adobo dish which in Tagalog is called “adobong tahong.” Seeing the mussels adobo recipe in the cookbook inspired me to explore my family’s recipe with a restaurant-style touch from the Burlap version. My parents also gave us some half shell green mussels–thanks! So here is my version of mussels adobo with potatoes. Continue reading

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Hamantaschen

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Have you ever heard of Hamantaschen? It is a Jewish pastry that is part of the Purim festivities. It is a tender, crumbly, and buttery-tasting cookie shaped in a triangle and has a filling. I never knew about these cookies until about 3 years ago when my husband and I started to go to D.Z. Akins, our town’s Jewish-style deli. My husband especially likes that place when he is craving for Matzo ball soup and a good corned beef sandwich. I really like their barley soup.  Their bakery is really good too! Their hamantaschen are very yummy! I guess that when I heard that Purim is this weekend, I got a sudden craving for Hamantaschen. So I made some! Continue reading

Blog of the Year 2012 ☆3!

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Woohoo! Yay! A nomination for a 3rd star for the Blog of the Year Award! I truly feel honored to be nominated and to be a part of this great community of bloggers. Thank you to Fae from Fae’s Twist & Tango for nominating me! Her blog is one of my favorites and is also one of the most interesting ones out there! Go check it out! Continue reading

Broiled Hake in Tomato-Olive Crust

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I love fish! I love learning about them–their biology, systematics, ecology, etc. I spent many hours as a undergraduate researcher in a university biology fish lab (specifically with guppies & close relatives), was the first author of a manuscript, and for a couple of years was the lab manager in charge of hundreds of fish tanks. I became very attune to the needs of the fish that I worked with that I think I was in some ways “The Fish Whisperer.” I ordered all their supplies, coordinated a team of students to help care for them, spent weekends cleaning tanks and measuring their reproductive capabilities (for the scientific research of maternal provisioning–yes, some fish I worked with had placentas too! lol ), and I even made a special dish for them–a beef liver pâté for optimal nutrition. Anyhow, I get excited by the subject of fish. Just ask my parents! They have been there with me through all of my fish adventures at school and with the several incarnations of the family fish tank at home while growing up. Of course, I also enjoy fish in the culinary realm–cooking and eating them!

Anyone else love fish? I learn a lot about food when I go grocery shopping. On a grocery trip recently, I encountered a new fish for me, a white fish called hake (Merluccius capensisor also commonly called Cape Capensis in the U.S. and Merluza in Spain. Continue reading

Super Sweet Blogging


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I hope you all had fun on Valentine’s Day! It was a lovely Valentine’s Day for my family and I. Nice and relaxing. I am out of town so I couldn’t celebrate with my husband today, but he was very sweet to send me a dozen red roses 🙂 My mom stopped by The Cupcake Place, a cupcake bakery near her work and got some very delicious cupcakes–the favorite of ours was a chocolate cupcake called “Tall, Dark, and Handsome.” I only ate half of it and it was one of the best cupcakes I have ever had! Nice and balanced–not too sweet at all. So, I would say that this Valentine’s Day 2013 was really sweet!

Been behind on doing award posts (sorry!), but I will get to them. Going with the sweet theme, I’ve been nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award!  Thank you to the super sweet Fae from Fae’s Twist & Tango  for nominating me! I really enjoy learning new things every time I read your blog! Continue reading

St. Valentine’s Day Pop Tarts—something for the kid in all of us

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The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you.
—English nursery rhyme, Gammer Gurton’s Garland (1784)

Love is in the air as St. Valentine’s Day is approaching (on Thursday) 🙂 The history of this holiday and it’s origins is rooted in the martyrology of Valentine, who was said to have illegally performed weddings to soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians who were persecuted during the Roman Empire. Then, by the time of Geoffrey Chaucer (known as the “Father of English Literature“) in the High Middle Ages, Valentine’s Day became a day to celebrate romantic love full of flowers, sweets, and valentine cards.  Continue reading

Spaghetti Squash, Onion, and Cashew Pizza

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Who doesn’t like pizza? I guess it is rare to encounter someone who  isn’t into pizza. It’s a very customizable dish, which makes it fun for everybody. Even gluten-free pizza satisfies many, myself included. I like all types of pizza! From salsiccia (sausage) to spinach and goat cheese (my husband’s favorite), there are so many types of pizza to shkoff! I always wondered why Chicago-style fans and New York-style fans butt head over which pizza is better. I think, the more the merrier! Why not enjoy more than one type? The only thing that gets to me with pizza is when it is too greasy. I get a sickening feeling seeing an oil slick, often with the reddish hue, on my slice. One way to circumvent that problem is to make your own pizza!

How about an unusual one? A little while ago, I wanted to make a weird pizza. In the kitchen, it’s not a rare occurrence for me to make something that I think may be unusual. I have a fascination with such things 🙂  So… here is what I thought up:  a Spaghetti Squash, Onion and Cashew Pizza. This is the type of dish that you can just throw together without following a recipe, as are the case with most pizza. So here is a step-by step tutorial of sorts with comments. Continue reading

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

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Yay! I am so happy that I got nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award!! It is really nice to get to know great bloggers out there and learn about new blogs through these awards. I want to thank the authors of the blogs Savor the Food and tuttacronaca for nominating me for this award! I really appreciate the support! Continue reading