I love mini things

Portions are the best! Also, cheesecake is probably one of my favorites, so when I stumbled across this site it was a glorious day! I made these for my friend Abby because she is leaving and moving on up in the world. Shout out for her getting into nursing school! 😀 Anyway, not too much to say so here is where you can find it on the interwebs:

http://www.canyoustayfordinner.com/2010/08/06/mini-rainier-cherry-cheesecakes/

Ingredients:
For graham crust:
1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (12 graham cracker sheets)
1 TBS sugar
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted

For filling:
1 lb cream cheese (two 8 oz packages), at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
½ cup jam (any flavor)- I used cherry

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. I did not use the paper liners because I’m absolutely out of my mind and wanted them to look perfectly formed without the lines of the cups. This is possible, yet pretty fussy to do. You must first grease each muffin cup, trace the circles of the muffin cups onto parchment paper, cut those circles out, and place each circle in the bottom of the cups. Then spritz these parchment rounds with cooking spray just to ensure that they don’t stick at all. Then you’ll press the graham crumbs firmly into place if you wish to do the same as I did. I recommend the paper liners, though, for almost everyone. Except my clinically insane brethren.
Grind your cracker sheets into crumbs using a food processor. You can also just place the crackers in a large ziploc and have at it with a rolling pin or hammer, until you achieve a finely ground crumb.
Mix crumbs and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture in bottom of each cup. Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.
Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, and then vanilla.
With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scraping down side of bowl.
Pour batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the tops.
Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
Warm jam in a small saucepan until liquidy. Strain through a sieve. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam on top of each cake. Cheesecakes will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Notes:
These were awesome and super simple! As you can see in my pictures I didn’t used exactly what they used. I had some small tins I saved from the mini pecan pies. I think mine looked better :P. I used raspberry (non photographed) and strawberry jam! They were both really good. I think my next time using this I am going to use some Nutella or something chocolate. Also, definitely going to make these for this BBQ we are having this next week. They just look so nice!

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What’s cookin’ south of the border?

So, a few months ago I was at this business expo for work (also promoting this organization I’m in called Tech Marketing Association). My boss and I were just walking around meeting new people, and enjoying the sights and sounds. That is until we hit the food area. It smelled sooooo good! Pizza, pasta, baked goods, and others. I knew that something smelled good when I walked in, but I like to say I have a crazy sense of imagination. Anyway, we ran into this booth called “Go Texan”. Basically promoting buying local (oops…sorry…walmart is my friend right now) and how it effects us. At the booth there were recipe cards of all sorts, so I grabbed a few. Again, me being me, I forgot where I put the cards until now. So, I am proud to present: South of the Border Chicken Breasts by Go Texan.

Ingredients:
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Method:
1. Heat broiler
2. Spray broiler pan with nonstick spray
3. In a small bowl, blend oil, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and cayenne
4. Place chicken on pan and spoon/brush half of the seasoning mixture over the chicken
5. Broil chicken for 6 minutes 4-6 inches from heat
6. Turn chicken and brush/spoon remaining mixture onto the chicken
7. Broil for 4-6 minutes more, or until internal juices run clear

Notes:
I really liked this. It was spicy and savory. Definitely something to make for a mass amount of people. The recipe is so easy, and you can definitely put some twists here and there. I think adding lime juice or a lime when serving would be a great addition. It says to serve with hot black beans and corn (so I did…I’ll show you later what I did). Anyway, cook it up and happy Nom Noms 😀

 

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Wasted Grapes

Not wasted as in…I bought to many and couldn’t eat them (that would never happen…I’m a grape fanatic), but more like the case of those Friday, or Saturday nights that got a little too crazy. I stumbled this recipe a while back and I just thought it was the coolest idea ever. Who knew that a great recipe would be Wine + Grapes? I mean wine is made from grapes…so…Why would it be better? *shrug* I don’t know, but the grapes really were quite good. Oh! By the way, my sister is visiting and my friends are now married! YAY! Also, I am having surfing withdrawals, but I guess that happens when you love to surf, and you live in the middle of a desert. 😛
Here is the recipe for the grapes:

http://thursdaynightsmackdown.com/2008/06/22/marinated-grapes/

Ingredients:
1 750-ml bottle dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc)
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 pounds red and/or green seedless grapes, cut into small clusters
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

Method:
1. Pour wine into large nonaluminum bowl.
2. Add 1/4 cup sugar and stir until dissolved.
3. Add grapes and peel; mix gently.
4. Cover; chill at least 3 hours and up to 1 day.
5. Using slotted spoon, transfer grapes to shallow bowl.
6. Sprinkle grapes with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and serve.

Notes:
The grapes taste the same basically, but with a little twist. I really liked it. They were kinda sweet, sticky, and I just couldn’t help but gobble them up. I was trying to think of ways to present them in a cute way, but I realized that I don’t have anything like that. HA! So, I had to be creative. I found an old soft serve cup and I figured why not try a champagne flute? I really should have thrown some of that marinade into the flute, but I didn’t think of that until now. Oh well. The marinade also was really good. The grapes lend a little flavor over into it, plus the lemon zest helps too. One thing you have to figure out is the balance between club soda, and wine. It took a few yummy and not so yummy sips to find the right amount, but in the end it comes out to be a really refreshing spritzer. Anyway, definitely be responsible while drinking! Glasses up and happy nom noms!

PS: I used my Wii Fit (cleaned) to weigh the grapes and make sure I had 2lbs lol

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Edit:
Leave the grapes in longer for a bigger wine taste. I know it says up to a day….but sometimes you’ve got to break the rules. I kept them in for 2.5 days and MMmMMmm!!! DELISH!

one of my flavorites

Ahhh…I love summer. The sun, the pool days, and most of all the food. Today’s recipe comes from my sister who is visiting for a month to take some summer classes. I love when family comes to town :D. Anyway, if I were to have to take one food to a deserted island it would have to be pizza. The problem is that I am trying to diet by reducing the amount of carbs and calories I take in. So, when my sister said she wanted to make me a pizza I was a bit hesitant. I didn’t want to break what I started, but then I realized I was limiting food. BLAH! I want to taste EVERYTHING! Sure, I may get a little chubby, but everything is okay in moderation…right?

Ingredients:

5 tbs olive oil

1 medium tomato, sliced and quartered

1 tbs garlic (minced)

2 tbs rosemary

2 tbs thyme

2 tbs oregano

2 tbs parsley

2 tbs crushed red peppers

2 tbs basil

1 cup of cheese (we used a Mexican mix)

1 premade pizza crust (wheat if you can find it)

 

Method:

First slice the tomato and cut the slices into quarters. Place about two tbs of olive oil and mix with the garlic. Let the tomatoes quarters marinade in the mixture while preparing the crust. Preheat the oven to 425F. Drizzle the crust with about 3 tbs olive oil, then use a brush to spread it evenly. Cover the crush with cheese, then sprinkle the oregano, parsley, crushed red peppers, thyme, basil, and rosemary over the cheese evenly. Next spread the tomatoes on. You can drizzle the marinade over the pizza after the tomatoes are placed. Bake for about 10-15 mins, and then enjoy.

Notes:

This probably is one of the best and healthiest pizzas I have had. I would probably add some salt and pepper to taste, but other than that this is something that you need to try!

 

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PS: I’ve lost 3 lbs 😀

In Need of Inspiration

So, I am back from VEGAS! It was a lot of fun. I’ll post some pictures at some point. I went to 2 Cirque du Soleil shows (Zumanity and Mystere). I don’t recommend Zumanity for those who are…easily made uncomfortable. lol. I love it though :D. Also, EVERYONE needs to see Mystere. It was so good! I was on the edge of my seat (could have been because I was in the nosebleed section) the whole time, and I would see it again if I had to money to go back to Vegas. It is definitely something that will make you laugh, gasp, and smile. It made me miss the days of gymnastics. 😦

Anyway, that’s where I have been and I will have a new recipe up tomorrow or the day after. Although, I am running out of things to cook. I mean, not running out of because stumbleupon makes it easy to find recipes, but everything that I have been stumblingupon has crazy ingredients that would be one time use. I don’t want to go buy a bottle of something that isn’t used (I don’t know anyone who would). I like it when the recipe calls for things that are already lying around the house. Easy ingredients makes it that much more appetizing. Okay, well this was just a random life post. Hope you enjoyed it. If you have any ideas for something that I should try to cook just leave me a comment or email me at:

jeffrey.chui@gmail.com
Happy Nom Noms

SYKE!

Haha, so remember that promise I made about posted? Fail. But, I feel bad every time I don’t post, so that has to have SOME merit….right? So, lets hit up on some more appetizers :D. I still haven’t felt like I’ve found a good start off the summer right main course that I would like to do. If you have any suggestions comment on my blog :D. Also, I am looking for eaters. I decided to weight myself yesterday and discovered I am at a tragic 165. So, I am going to start cooking for other people! Obviously I am looking for people in my city because I don’t trust my car to go anywhere outside. If I can I would like to cook at said locations, but I can always cook and bring it over :D. This is just a test idea. I mean I could just cut the ingredients, but I find it more fun to share :D. Anyway, today I am doing a recipe for pizza puffs and another post to show you what I do at work on occasion:D. I will probably post a drink tomorrow because a lot of people are graduating (and leaving me). The drink is actually coming from that cookbook I mentioned oh so long ago. I am going to give away that book somehow….anyway, so we have done appetizers, I will do a drink, and I think I have dessert covered. I am in need of a main. Here is the site:

http://redsie05.blogspot.com/2010/06/pepperoni-pizza-puffs-oh-my.html

Ingredients:
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 1 cup) (I used Monterey Jack)
4 oz. pepperoni, diced (about 1 cup) (I used turkey pepperoni)
1/2 cup pizza sauce (homemade or store-bought)
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely diced. (didn’t use any but will next time!)

Method:
1.Preheat oven to 375o. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and oregano; whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella and pepperoni; let stand for 10 minutes.

3. Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

4. Warm the pizza sauce, then stir in 1 tablespoon basil. Sprinkle the puffs with the remaining 1 tablespoon basil. Serve the puffs with the pizza sauce for dipping.

Notes:

YUMMMMM. This is such a fun little finger food. I added a little more cheese and pepperoni because I wanted it to be cheesier and meatier. Also, definitely add some salt. I don’t know if any of you taste batter before you bake, but this needed it. The sauce was pretty good with basil (mine wasn’t fresh though, but hey still came out fine). This is something that I will make again with my niece and nephew. I know they will really like it just because they like bite size stuff. Anyway, not much to say about it except to make it! Happy nom noms!

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PS: I took them to class for my team members to have some goodies.

SUMMER!!!!

Okay, so I am super sorry for ignoring my blog for all this time (I was having blogging withdrawals). I am happy to report that school is over! Now I have Vegas, Erin’s Bachlorette party, Erin’s Wedding… Erin’s etc. Speaking of Erin here is her blog:

http://thelongdistancebride.blogspot.com/

Just in case any of my readers a looking for a little decorating, wedding, or just inspiration in general. Anyway, I figure since I have been such a bad little blogger we could catch up with each other. Yes? Okay good :D.  I am going to be cooking ALL week and try to do a post every day from now until the end of the week. I want to hit on all of the categories, so that maybe you can do an entire meal….we’ll see though. I haven’t really found what to do for a main course yet (if you have any ideas definitely comment them below). For today, let’s start with the appetizer. Today is brought to you by the letter: Parmesan Garlic Broiled Tomatoes

So…I totally fail. I will add an edit, but I forgot that I am on my work laptop (haha…I should be a little more productive! But I finished like 3 safety campaigns this morning, so I thought I deserved a little break!) and not on my home laptop. Fail! So, I don’t have the website to give you…but the recipe was simple enough that  I can for sure post it 😀

edit: http://blog.foodnetwork.com/healthyeats/2011/02/17/robin-miller-spicy-recipes/

Ingredients:

4 Beefsteak tomatoes

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

salt

pepper

1 Tbs garlic powder

1/2 C Parmesan (I used an Italian mix)

Method:

1. Preheat the broiler

2. Wash the tomatoes and then cut them along the equator (you can actually cut them into thirds and it still comes out nicely)

3. In a mixing bowl, mix  cheese and garlic powder

4. brush the olive oil over the top

5. salt and pepper (i did about 3 shakes for each tomato)

6. put about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture on each tomato (I just pinched the mixture and added so the whole top was covered)

7. broil for about 7-10 mins

Notes:

I didn’t notice before when I made it the first time, but I think to broil you put your oven rack on the higher one. Yes? No? Idk. I did it the second time and they cooked a lot faster. There aren’t many notes on this except for they are REALLY good, and it is so easy. Plus, the meal says summer to me. Be aware that the cheese doesn’t separate so if you want to take a bite, it may be cheese less. Also, my tomatoes were really juicy so I got a little messy when eating (After the 2nd squirt I just popped the whole thing in my mouth. Try it out and happy nom noms!

(I will have pictures later…my phone is being dumb and not sending them to me)