move over beef. [turkey burgers w. sun-dried tomato mayonnaise]

August 12th, 2010 by | comments

It’s all about the turkey in this recipe. I absolutely love cooking these quick and easy turkey burgers. I’d say they definitely give an In-n-Out or Five Guys burger a run for its money. With an equal amount of flavor, why not opt for the healthier alternative? Although, once you add the cheddar cheese and sun-dried tomato mayonnaise, it somewhat defeats the healthy aspect, but there’s no doubt it boosts the flavor tenfold. The succulent vinegar-infused sauce is guaranteed to titillate your taste buds—and it’s a strong competitor with the In-n-Out “special sauce.”

I usually make mini turkey burgers, but decided to make regular-sized patties the other night. The mini burgers, however, are the perfect dinner party appetizer. They’re just like sliders you would order at a restaurant.

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birthday baking. [blueberry & lemon cupcakes]

August 10th, 2010 by | comments

A friend of mine celebrated her birthday last night—and we all know what that meant. I had a reason to bake! I wanted to make something that I had never made before, so I decided on blueberry and lemon cupcakes. The birthday girl was kind enough to share her cupcakes with our table of 12 so that everyone got a taste. I’m not sure how well blueberry cupcakes went with sushi, but they still got two thumbs up all around the table.

Since two of the main ingredients are fruit, one of my friends asked if that meant they were healthy. Unfortunately, I had to say no. But it would be ideal if they were, right?

The sweetness of the blueberries and the subtle tartness of the lemon is a surprising, yet delicious, combination. The recipe initially did not have a strong lemon taste, so I altered it a bit to make sure the lemon stood out. One suggestion for the recipe was to freeze the blueberries for 4 hours. By doing this, the blueberries would not sink to the bottom. I’d say this trick worked!

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chimi-chimi(churri) choo-choo. [steak pita w. chimichurri sauce]

August 8th, 2010 by | comments

All aboard! Let’s take a little trip south of the equator. I guarantee you won’t regret it. With succulent rib-eye steak and garlic-infused chimichurri sauce, your palate will experience an explosion of flavor.

Simplicity seems key to this recipe—multiple condiments are unnecessary. Just pile the steak and drizzle the chimichurri sauce on top of grilled flat bread. Of course if you’re feeling adventurous, there’s no problem with adding a little Cotija cheese, tomatoes or avocado—I just prefer to make the flavorful sauce the star of the meal. I included photos of both options.

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chicka what? [simple hummus topped w. toasted pine nuts]

August 7th, 2010 by | comments

Chickpeas! If the name isn’t ringing a bell, that’s most likely because you’re more familiar with them when in the form of hummus. And I guess that’s really one of the only ways I eat these little guys.

A year or so ago, I remember ordering hummus at a restaurant and wondering if it was difficult to make. I went home and browsed the Internet for some recipes and stumbled upon one that’s very simple and very delicious–I’ve used it ever since. I tweaked the recipe a bit, but it really comes down to how you prefer your hummus: thick/thin, salty/non-salty or spicy/mild.

My mom and I frequent this little Arab market by our house where we can find all the ingredients. (FYI: You might have to go to this type of market, rather than an Albertsons or Ralphs, to find the tahini paste). We absolutely love the market’s Lavash that they bake right in front of you upon order—we rarely walk out of the store without trying a couple bites.

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when eggplant met salsa. [sesame eggplant salsa w. lavash]

August 6th, 2010 by | comments

Disclaimer: don’t judge a book by its cover. This appetizer is absolutely delicious, but it doesn’t necessarily look it. My brothers made sure to point that out. But trust me, I wouldn’t share something that’s anything but scrumptious.

This is a pretty time-consuming dish with a decent amount of ingredients, but it’s all worth it in the end. I can guarantee that people will hover over it at any dinner party or event. Initially I was leary about the ingredients, since I’m not eggplant’s biggest fan, but this appetizer definitely erased my skepticism.

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the snozberries taste like snozberries. [blueberry pie]

August 5th, 2010 by | comments

Blueberry pie and I have become very good friends. After my third attempt, I finally got the flavor and texture just right. The flakey and salty crust juxtaposed by the gooey blueberry and cinnamon filling is the perfect combination. I have to admit, I’ve gotten rave reviews with this recipe. Depending on the freshness of your berries, they will subtly pop in your mouth with each bite—definitely an unexpected experience!

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berry delicious. [mini strawberry cupcakes]

August 3rd, 2010 by | comments

It’s almost impossible to limit yourself to just one of these delectable mini strawberry cupcakes. I baked them for my family and cousins from Ohio while they were visiting and I think they demolished the batch in 3 days. I used my grandma’s recipe for her strawberry cake, but figured the recipe would be just as delicious in cupcake form—and that was definitely the case!

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more cheese please. [goat cheese baked in red pepper]

August 2nd, 2010 by | comments

While my mom was in South Carolina, she decided to cook a Caribbean-themed dinner for some guests. She found a goat cheese and red pepper appetizer that is absolutely delicious. Once I dove into the dip, it was almost impossible to stop. From what my parents said, their guests couldn’t get enough of it either.

* Note: I doubled the recipe for the goat cheese filling.

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beat boredom with baking. [Coca-Cola cupcakes]

August 2nd, 2010 by | comments

Plain and simple: when I’m bored, I bake. My baking tendencies have unfortunately become a love-hate relationship with friends and family. I enjoy the process of baking, but when it’s all said and done, my kitchen is overflowing with sugary (and often fattening) treats. But I’ve figured out the perfect solution: I get to bake whatever and whenever I want if I can come up with a reason to do so. I’ve baked treats for friends’ birthdays, housewarming gifts, co-workers…and sometimes just force someone to take them off my hands.

My most recent baking experiment was Coca-Cola cupcakes. Yes, it could be said that these cupcakes merely offer a sugar overload or a chance of getting a cavity—and that might be accurate. But if you can limit yourself to just one cupcake (which might be difficult), you won’t be able to resist these surprisingly delicious and moist cupcakes.

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