Archive for March, 2010

Summer is almost upon us and I cannot wait to grill! We grill almost every night in the summer! Burgers, hot dogs, steaks, salmon, chicken, you name it, we will grill it! Tonight in class we made some grilled veggies and they were so beautiful that I wanted to share the pictures. Grilling veggies is so easy. Just season them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other spices that you like, place on the grill, and then turn over to cook evenly. You will know the veggies are done when you can see the grill marks! Grilled veggies are wonderful to have either as an appetizer or side dish… or even a main dish!

Assorted veggies being mixed with olive oil and seasonings before grilling


Grilled romaine


Grilled eggplant


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Ever wondered what a fried pork chop looks like? Wonder no more 🙂 My mom and I had this for lunch on our recent trip to Tennessee. It was fried food galore down there, and everything was absolutely delicious. Along with the fried pork chop, this lunch included potatoes, white beans, turnip greens, and cornbread. Oh and strawberry shortcake for dessert! Those Southerners sure do know how to cook up a good meal!

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If you are ever in the Nashville, TN area, a trip to Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House would definitely be very much worth your while. Miss Mary Bobo’s is located in Lynchburg, TN, which is famous for being a sleepy little town of 500 residents that houses the Jack Daniel’s Distillery. A perfect day trip could be made of touring the Distillery, lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s, and walking around Lynchburg’s quaint town square. Lynchburg is about an hour and a half drive from Nashville and it will take you through beautiful farm country. My mom and I went to Lynchburg last weekend to visit our good friend Ruth Daniel, who is actually part of the Jack Daniel’s family! Her husband was Joe Daniel, who was a grand-nephew of Mr. Jack Daniel himself! Ruth is pretty much a celebrity in Lynchburg. She knows everyone and everyone knows her! She was a wonderful hostess to us on our trip and knew that we would love to go to Miss Mary Bobo’s for lunch. Both my mom and I had been there before, so we knew to expect a HUGE southern-style lunch. While the lunch fare changes every day, we were lucky to have several delicious dishes, including Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Creamed Corn, Green Beans, Meatloaf, Baked Apples (with secret ingredient Jack Daniel’s), Fried Chicken, Fried Okra (my favorite), Coleslaw, Corn Muffins, Sweet Tea, Coffee, and Fudge Pie for dessert with Jack Daniel’s in the whipped cream! I guarentee that no one will be disappointed at Miss Mary Bobo’s! 

History of Miss Mary Bobo’ Boarding House:

Originally built in 1867 and named the Salmon House, it served as a traveler’s hotel, operated by Dr. E.Y. Salmon. In 1908, Jack and Mary Bobo bought the Boarding House and named it the Bobo Hotel. Miss Mary Bobo ran the hotel until her death in 1983, just a few days before her 102nd birthday. Today, Miss Mary Bobo’s is run by Lynne Tolley, the great-grandniece of Jack Daniel.

You will definitely have to make a reservation if you want to go to Miss Mary Bobo’s for lunch, since it is a popular tourist attraction and reservations fill up quickly. Lunch seatings are at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm (during the busy season). Want to learn more about Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House? Click here!

The outside of Miss Mary Bobo's Boarding House


One of the dining rooms


Another dining room


Our lunch table


Baked Macaroni and Cheese and Creamed Corn


Meatloaf and Baked Apples (with Jack Daniel's!)


Southern style lunch!


Dessert... fudge pie!


Me and Ruth


Me and my Mom outside Miss Mary Bobo's


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My little sister Gabi sent me this recipe and it sounds amazing. The recipe comes from The Harrison restaurant in New York City.

Here are her comments:

I also added sauteed zucchini and cut up some of those specialty chicken sausages and put them in as well. I also added some extra cheese 🙂 It was so good I even had a few bites for breakfast! It took about 40 minutes, but I’m sure normally it would take about 30. You could really put a lot of things in it, broccoli, mushrooms, peas…


  • 1 bunch standard-size asparagus
  • 1 1/2 cups Orzo
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano
  • 2 tbsp black truffle butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • If truffle butter is unavailable, you can make your own by combining two tablespoons softened (not melted) unsalted butter with half teaspoon of black truffle oil.


  1. In a 5-quart pot, bring salted water to a boil.
  2. Place washed asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute; remove with tongs and set aside, keeping water boiling.
  3. Cook orzo in same pot for 7-9 minutes; drain in a colander. Set aside.
  4. Trim the tough stem ends off asparagus and discard. Cut remaining asparagus into 1/4-inch thick slices and reserve.
  5. In a medium pan, heat oil, then saute garlic until golden brown.
  6. Add asparagus to pan; add cooked orzo.
  7. Continue cooking orzo over low heat and add heavy cream and butter, stirring constantly.
  8. Add cheeses and stir until they melt and combine.
  9. Stir in truffle butter, salt & pepper. Serve in a bowl family-style; top with more Parmesan if desired.

Click here to see this recipe featured in InStyle Magazine!

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Quinoa is a high-protein grain that is loaded with vitamins and nutrients. It is a great choice for vegetarians since is contains a balanced set of amino acids, making it a complete protein. We made this quinoa risotto in my cooking class tonight and it was so delicious! It was a lot lighter than regular risotto, but it was still filling. Everyone loved it and I will definitely make it again soon!

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • ½ Yellow onion, small dice
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced fine
  • 1 cup Quinoa, rinsed well
  • 18 oz Chicken or Vegetable stock
  • 1 cup Arugula, chopped (We used spinach since we did not have arugula)
  • ½ Carrot, peeled and shredded
  • ½ cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper, ground


  1. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté  until translucent, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and quinoa and cook for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Do not let garlic brown.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the quinoa is almost tender to the bite but not hard in the center, about 12 minutes. The mixture will be brothy.
  4. Stir in the arugula, carrot and mushrooms and simmer until the quinoa grains have turned from white to translucent.
  5. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals

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This is another recipe from class! This would be a great side dish for a party. It is healthy and hearty and all of the flavors are just delicious. Another to die for vegetarian recipe!

Yield: 4 servings                 


  • ½ cup Vegetable stock
  • ½ cup Bulgur wheat, course grind
  • ¾ cup Chick peas, cooked
  • ¼ Red onion
  • 1 Tbs. Sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated, drained and chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • TT Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbs. Lemon juice, fresh
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp Preserved lemon peel, minced
  • ½ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • ¼ tsp. Paprika
  • ¼ tsp. Coriander, ground
  • 1 Tbs. Extra virgin olive oil


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a boil
  2. Place the bulgur wheat in a large mixing bowl and pour in the boiling stock and allow to boil for one minute. Cover and let stand until the bulgur is tender and liquid is completely absorbed, about 15 minutes
  3. Add the chickpeas, onion, tomatoes, olives, parsley, cilantro, salt and pepper and stir to combine
  4. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, preserved lemon, cumin, paprika and ground coriander
  5. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified
  6. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to mix and coat evenly
  7. Serve immediately

 Recipe Source: On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals

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We made these in class tonight and OMG, delicious! These burgers are a vegetarian’s dream come true! Try them, you will not be disappointed! 

Note- you will also need 6 buns, just whatever kind you like!

Here is the recipe for the black bean burgers and the chipotle ketchup. 

Yield: 6 (large burgers)

Black Bean Burgers


  • 2 ½ cups Black beans (canned), rinsed
  • ½ Tbs Vegetable or Olive oil
  • ½ Medium yellow onion, small dice
  • ½ Red bell pepper, seeded, small dice
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup Cooked brown rice
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Pecans, chopped fine
  • 1 Green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup Whole-grain bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbs Vegetable or Olive Oil for frying burgers
  • 6 Whole-grain burger buns
  • Tomato, lettuce and onion for garnish
  • Chipotle ketchup


  1. In a sauté pan, heat the oil. Add the onions and sauté until translucent.  Add peppers and garlic until soft. About 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in salt. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a bowl. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a food processor, combine beans, onion mixture, rice, pecans, green onion and cumin. Pulse until mixture is coarse.
  4. Fold in egg and bread crumbs. Form into 6 even patties ¾ “thick.
  5. Refrigerate until ready to sauté.
  6. Heat oil and sauté patties, turning only once, until nicely browned on each side, 7 – 9 minutes total. Serve hot.

Chipotle Ketchup


  • 4 Plum tomatoes, concassé
  • ½  Medium yellow onion, small dice
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs Tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs Red wine vinegar
  • 2 Chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 ½  tsp Ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Salt


  1. Combine the peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes, yellow onion, garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, chipotle pepper, cumin, and salt in a saucepan
  2. Cook over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low
  3.  Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally (be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to ensure that it’s not burning)
  4. Cook until the liquid is reduced and the sauce is thick
  5. Puree and serve warm on burger

Recipe Source: On Cooking: A Textbook of Culinary Fundamentals

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I’ve never made stuffed mushrooms before and I have been dying to! I looked up a few recipes and then got an idea of how to make them, then created my own recipe. The result was delicious. I can’t wait to make these again soon, I know my boyfriend will LOVE them! They are so easy to prepare and would be great for a party appetizer. Next time I may try crab in the stuffing!


  • 25 white mushrooms, washed, and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Italian cheese mix
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Olive Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, stir together bread crumbs and cheese and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the bottom of a medium sized baking dish.
  4. Spoon about 1 tsp. of filling into each mushroom cavity and place in the baking dish, cavity side up. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of each mushroom.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and browned on top.

Note: You may have leftover of the filling, just store it in the fridge for next time!

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Can you tell I am on a stuffed foods kick? I wonder what I will make next! I don’t know why, but I have been in the mood to create new yummy vegetarian recipes this week. I was talking to my boyfriend’s sister about stuffed peppers and since I have never made them, I thought I would try them and see if they were good! And they were amazing. Even my boyfriend liked them, and he does not love meals that are all vegetarian. I do think that these would be great with ground beef next time though, so I will try that next time for a change!

Serves: 2


  • 2 green peppers, cut in half and stems and insides removed
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 can mexicorn mix (with black beans, onions, and red peppers)
  • 1 box Spanish rice
  • Mexican cheese 
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Cook rice according to package directions (depending on what kind you buy, it can take anyway from 10-30 minutes). When rice is done cooking, add in the mexicorn and diced tomatoes and mix in gently. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a small baking dish.
  4. Place green pepper halves open side up.
  5. Fill green pepper halves with a scoop of the rice filling, then sprinkle cheese in, then another scoop of filling (or until the pepper is completely stuffed with the filling).
  6. Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until green pepper starts to lightly brown.
  7. Sprinkle more cheese on top of each green pepper halve and cook until it melts, about 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with more of the rice mixture on the side if desired. 

Appetizer suggestion- guacamole with yellow corn chips

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Lei ChicAccording to Japanese tradition, today, March 3rd, is Girl’s Day (Hina Matsuri).  In practice since the Edo Period (17th-19th century), the holiday is meant to bring good luck to daughters for their future happiness and is celebrated by displaying dolls in the likeness of the Emperor and Empress during the festival time.

Being Japanese but also growing up in Hawaii with the huge Japanese influence, we have always celebrated Girl’s Day with treats and gifts.  One of the traditional goodies is mochi, a starchy, smooshy, hard to describe but very, very delicious thing, and I thought I would share this super easy recipe I just got in my email from Lei Chic.  I love the red azuki bean paste they tell you to use, but if you don’t like it or can’t find it the mochi will be super tasty without it.

I may not have time for any mochi making today, but I do know that first thing tomorrow morning I am taking down the dolls I have up in my room as my Aunt Kay instructed me to do….cause apparently leaving them up after Girl’s Day leads to REAL bad luck such as not ever getting married. So yeah, maybe those babies’ll be coming down tonight…

Microwave Mochi

2 cups mochiko (rice flour)
¾ cup sugar
2 cups water
1 can tsubushian (sweetened red azuki bean paste)

Mix the mochiko, sugar, and water with a drop of red food coloring in a microwaveable bowl. Cover. Microwave on HIGH for 9 minutes. Spread potato starch on plastic cutting board. Divide mochi into 18 pieces. Flatten each piece and fill it with ½ teaspoon of tsubushian. Pinch the edges together around the end to seal. Shape into patties and dust with potato starch.

Recipe excerpted with permission from ” Girl s Day in Hawai’i with Yuki-chan,” by Tokie Ikeda Ching (Mutual Publishing). To purchase or for more info, click here.

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