Asian Shrimp Salad

Asian Shrimp SaladThe new dish of this week is: Asian Shrimp Salad with a Creamy Peanut Dressing! On the side is a Japanese Hokkaido Milk Roll (recipe coming soon for those). I decided to cook with seafood this week and got a bag of jumbo frozen shrimp and some ahi tuna steaks. I used the jumbo shrimp first and made a delicious salad with them. I was a little doubtful about how the peanut sauce would turn out because I’ve never made a dressing like that but I actually loved it and look forward to making it again in the future. The peanut taste is not too strong due to the variety of sauces and honey that you add to it. This dish would also look great in a mason jar- if you wanted a quick to-go lunch for work or school.

I first added the chopsticks as a prop just for the picture, but I ended up eating with them and it made for a complete experience. You’d think that lettuce leaves would be hard to pick up with chopsticks, but it was easy and worked out nicely. The cilantro-lime shrimp balances out the peanut dressing and the lime juice drizzled over the salad adds the perfect hint of acidity. Enjoy this dish and add your own special twist to it!

Asian Shrimp Salad w/ Creamy Peanut Dressing

Serves: 2

Printable Recipe Here

Ingredients

-For The Cilantro-Lime Shrimp

  • 1 lb tail-on jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

-For The Peanut Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

-For the Salad

  • 3 cups mixed leafy greens
  • 1 mango, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Other optional additions: sesame seeds, cashews, bean sprouts, sliced onion

Directions

  1. If frozen, place the shrimp in a colander or sieve and thaw by running cold water over them for about 5 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt, black pepper, and chili powder and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet and add in the garlic. Sauté the garlic for a few minutes and then stir in the shrimp.
  3. After 2 minutes, add in the cilantro, butter, and lime juice. The shrimp will be done when they turn pink and opaque and you no longer see any grey. Keep in mind that if using smaller shrimp, they will cook faster.
  4. Remove the shrimp from heat and prepare the creamy peanut butter dressing.
  5. To make the dressing, mix together all the ingredients until smooth and incorporated.
  6. Add the leafy greens to a bowl and top with the shrimp and optional sliced mango and diced avocado. Drizzle the dressing and lime juice over the salad and serve.

Adapted from Rasamalaysia and FoodsofOurLives

Tips

-Jumbo shrimp means that a 1 pound bag will have 16-20 shrimp. Choose another size based on your preference but keep in mind that the cooking time will change. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp as they cook rather quickly, 4-5 minutes for the jumbo shrimp and less if they are smaller.

-If you don’t live near water, I would suggest not to buy “fresh” shrimp because it would have already been frozen and thawed at least once. In this case, it’s better to buy frozen shrimp and thaw it yourself.

-What type of shrimp to buy? Wild is better than farmed as majority (94%) of our farmed shrimp supply comes from India, Indonesia, and Thailand and these suppliers are not regulated in the antibiotics/harmful chemicals that they add (prohibited in the US). If buying farmed US shrimp, make sure it says no antibiotics on the package.

-Have fun with the salad. I made it with mango/avocado because that’s what I had on hand at the time. Other nice additions could be red bell peppers for that nice pop of color or even bean sprouts for that slight crunch.

-You can also blend the peanut dressing instead of mixing it with a fork. Mix it quickly and you will notice the texture of the dressing change as it all starts to combine and take on a smooth texture.

Nutritional Content of Shrimp

-low in fat and carbohydrates

-low in calories (7 calories per shrimp) and high in protein (3 grams per shrimp)

-contain selenium, B12, and phosphorus

-have antioxidants- selenium (fights damaging particles) and astaxanthin (color pigment in shrimp that reduces inflammation)

Asian Shrimp Salad

 

What twists on the everyday salad have you made?

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Spanakopita

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You know your study break is going great when it includes the word food. I recently had some authentic spanakopita from Niko Niko’s (featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives!) and since then have been wanting to recreate it at home. I figured I would attempt it today and decided to make extra to freeze as a quick snack or perfect addition to any meal. Before I knew it, my meal cooking expanded and I ended up making beef and bean burritos to add to my freezer meal haul. Overall my freezer meals were a success so I wanted to share the spanakopita with you all.

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the spinach mixture cooking over the stove

Freezing them will stave off any future spanakopita cravings you may have . Hope you enjoy these flaky, buttery bites of satisfaction as much as I did!

Printable Recipe Here

Spanakopita

Makes around 25 spanakopita triangles

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 10 ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed**
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 sheets frozen phyllo dough
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

**Place the spinach in a strainer and drain well. Use your hands or a paper towel to squeeze all the excess water out

Directions

Preheat: 375 Fº

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute until softened . Stir in the spinach and cook for a few minutes to evaporate any extra moisture. Remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Add in the feta cheese, salt, and spinach mixture and stir until combined.
  3. Remove 2 phyllo sheets and place on a large clean surface. Cover the remaining phyllo dough sheets with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.
  4. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each sheet with melted butter. Cut the phyllo dough lengthwise into 3 strips.
  5. Place a teaspoon of filling in one corner and fold it diagonally. Hold the corner and fold up to make a second triangle. Keep folding until you have reached the end and fold the edge over. **
  6. Place the triangles on a parchment covered baking sheet. Repeat the same process with another 2 sheets and continue till you have used all the filling. Brush the tops of the triangles with any butter left over.
  7. Bake in a single layer at 375 Fº until golden brown, about 15 minutes. You can also freeze them and bake them while frozen, adding a few minutes to the bake time.

Tips:

**Here’s a great visual below from the MommiesNetwork blog on how to fold spanakopita:

Photobucket

-You can make these as small or as large as you want depending on how you cut the phyllo dough. I cut the sheets into 3 strips, but you can cut them into 2 (for larger spanakopita) or 4 (for mini spanakopita). Just be sure to adjust the filling.

Farmer’s Market Haul #1

Farmer's Market Haul

Some people get excited about makeup hauls or drugstore hauls, but one of my weekend delights is a Saturday morning farmer’s market haul. It’s always exciting to see what new goods are out. Some of my favorites thus far have been the farm fresh feta cheese and the white grapes (not pictured). The feta cheese was a lot more creamy and not as tangy as the ones you find at the grocery store and the grapes were very sweet with a nice crunch from the little seed inside. Fruits and vegetables from farmer’s markets have that special local feel and that is probably the only place where you will get to meet the direct people who picked them that morning or last night. Depending on what you get, some foods are cheaper than what you can find in the grocery store or very comparable at the least. Featured today is a haul containing mushrooms, cucumbers, squash, and bell peppers. Here is a little of what I have planned for these ingredients:

Button Mushrooms– cream of mushroom soup & marinated mushrooms (great for adding to salads)

Zucchini/Yellow Squash– zucchini chips, vegetable tian (dish with spiraled veggies including potatoes, onions, and tomatoes)

Bell Peppers– roasted vegetables mix with pasta

Cucumbers– spring mix salads, cucumber yogurt dip

I hope this inspires you to check out your local farmer’s market and get creative with what ingredients you find! Farmer's Market Haul

Farmer's Market Haul

What are you making with your farmer’s market finds?

Long Grain Rice with Chickpeas & Meat

Chickpeasandrice

I will be experimenting with a new style that I’ll be featuring on my blog more frequently in addition to all of the baking recipes that I have up, which will include meal planning along with portion sizing to vary recipes to your liking. You really appreciate something once it is gone from you and for me that has been: time. We always think about how wonderful our day would be if we only had that one extra hour, minute, etc. In reality, we can earn that time back with effective time management and that is where cooking comes in. Anything as simple as using one pot to create a dish translates to a few more minutes saved from scrubbing dishes.

Long Grain Rice with Chickpeas & Meat

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup of canned chickpeas
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 & 1/4 cups of water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube

Directions

  1. Mince the garlic and add it to a medium saucepan along with the olive oil. Cook it over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Toss in the cumin, cinnamon, and coriander and stir for about a minute.
  3. Add the diced onion and sauté it for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
  4. Stir in the ground beef until it is evenly browned and no longer pink. Add in the chickpeas to the meat.
  5. Add the rice to the saucepan and stir for about a minute.
  6. Dissolve the bouillon cube in hot water and pour  the water into the saucepan
  7. Cover the saucepan with a lid and turn up the heat to medium-high until the water is boiling.
  8. Once it starts to boil, put the heat on low and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Turn the heat off and let it rest for about 5 minutes before removing the lid and fluffing it with a fork.

Tips:

  • You can also use 1 pound of meat with the whole can of chickpeas and save half of that for another dish (possibly mixing it with pasta) or even freeze that half and use the remaining meat mixture for the rice
  • This recipe can be modified to your liking- if you do not like chickpeas then that can be taken out easily
  • Check out this link for some more ideas of what to do with leftover chickpeas

Chickpeasandrice

Any quick meal ideas that you recommend?

 

 

 

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Only the world’s oldest prepared cuisine, curry, has created quite the title for itself. It’s not exactly a term you can grasp. With a flavor-packed punch of spices and aroma, it is generally a meat, seafood, or veggie dish that is served in a sauce.  It can even be made freshly using 5 to 30 whole spices that are ground and mixed together. Trust me, you will never run out of options. 660 Curries by Raghaven Iyer, only serves to prove a delicious complexity that this dish can offer.

Every country has put its own twist on curry making it all the more unique. The motherland that curry can call home is India of course. Each region in India from North to Southeast also has its own speciality curry so it will be difficult to run out of curry combinations to try while traveling. Even the UK adopted curry as a favorite through its colonial past in India and since then has celebrated its fame with National Curry Week. Japan later acquired the taste by imitating the British Navy and today serves kare raisu (curry with rice and pickled veggies). Other curries can be identified by their colors as seen with the Thai-based ones (green, red, yellow, gold) and other Thai curries are paired with coconut milk as seen in this recipe, leading to a less spicy version of what can be a fiery dish.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

The easiness yet complexity of flavors in this dish instantly attracted me. Why not learn a recipe that you can whip up quickly for last-minute prep? Just keep a few cans of coconut milk in the pantry and a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer for these interventions if needed. The other ingredients are usually pantry basics with the exceptions of the curry spices. It may seem like a lot to buy if this is your first time using turmeric or curry powder, but they will become spice essentials as you will be able to use them in a variety of other dishes in the future (only a wise investment!). I highly recommend doubling this recipe, because you will go for those seconds and then crave them the next day for lunch too. Read below for the recipe and detailed step by step prep!

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Serves:6

Printable Recipe Here

Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Shrimp Marinade

  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp

Coconut Curry

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 small can (5.5 ounce) coconut milk
  • chopped cilantro/parsley for garnish
  • 1 cup of cooked rice for serving

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, toss the marinade ingredients along with the shrimp. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the coconut curry.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium sized dutch oven or saucepan. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, until it begins to soften.
  3. Stir in the garlic, ginger, coriander, salt, curry powder, black pepper, and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the tomatoes along with their juices and cook for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk and wait for it to boil. Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the shrimp along with the marinade juices and cook for another 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink. Be careful not to overcook it as the shrimp will turn rubbery.

Adapted from JoCooks

Tips

*Do not throw your unthawed shrimp straight into the saucepan as they will cook unevenly. Thaw them by running a gentle stream of cold water over them for a few minutes.

*When doubling this recipe, you can actually just buy a 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk if you do not find the smaller cans. Do not worry about making specific measurements such as 11 ounces and save yourself the trouble by just using the whole can. It will taste just as great and even better!

*Doubling this recipe is wonderful especially if you want an easy flavor-packed lunch for the next day.

Step By Step Pictures (I doubled this recipe in my pictures below)

Coconut Shrimp Curry

I doubled my recipe so I used 2 pounds of frozen shrimp. I left cold water running over them for about 5 minutes and that was sufficient to thaw them.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

After thawing the shrimp, I added the marinade ingredients (salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice) here. You could use bottled lemon juice for ease, but I squeezed one lemon for an additional freshness factor.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Next, I chopped up a medium sized onion. You can also put it in a mini food processor to chop it up quicker.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Sautee the chopped onions for 3 minutes until they are softened.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Add the crazy mix of spices and cook for another 2 minutes. The onions will start to look more translucent at this point.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Only the last line up of characters that will complete this satisfying dish!

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Mix in the whole can of diced tomatoes along with the coconut milk and stir.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Add in the marinated shrimp and cook for only 5 minutes, no more or they will turn rubbery! If you have raw fresh shrimp, then a general rule is that the shrimp will be done cooking when it turns pinkish. As well, you do not want straight shrimp, as that means that they are undercooked. When they curl up in a C shape as in the picture above, that is another good indicator that they are ready.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

All mixed up and ready to serve!

Coconut Shrimp Curry

But wait…

Coconut Shrimp Curry

A bit of parsley (or cilantro) will top it off with the perfect pop of green so chop up a small stalk for some garnish.

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Fine dining simply at its best!

 

What are your favorite recipes with curry powder?

10 Delicious Ways to Enjoy a Rainy Day

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Who said rainy days have to be all gloomy and sad? I figured I would help those in need of a little brightening today with 10 delicious ways to make the most of your rainy day! These are perfect days to have an excuse to stay inside, cozy up with comfort food, and watch your favorite shows on Netflix. Unless this day happens to fall on a weekday in which you end up driving to work, school, or run errands (in that case, you’ll be glad you bought those rain boots you never thought you would wear). Nevertheless, it’s a great feeling to come home and cook up some soup to enjoy. It’s probably even greater to come home to it already made haha.

Every type of weather has its ups and downs & surprisingly, rainy days do come with some perks. Why not use this chance to practice your skills in the kitchen whipping up hot chocolate drinks, blending together smoothies, and grilling cheese sandwiches. Check out the wide array of recipes from some of my favorite blogs below & enjoy (#4 may look a little familiar to some of you):

1.  Loaded Baked Potato Soup  from Damn Delicious

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

2.  Frozen Hot Chocolate  from Handmade Mood

Frozen Hot Chocolate

3.  Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate  from The Cookie Writer

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4.  Classic French Toast from yours truly- SimplyDelicious

French Toast

5.  Cookies & Cream Parfait from The Cozy Apron

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 6.  Stovetop White Mac and Cheese from Jehan Can Cook

Mac and Cheese

7. The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich  from Closet Cooking

The Perfect Grilled Cheese Sandwich 500 4401

8.  Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Cooking with a Wallflower

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9.  Chicken Noodle Soup from BudgetBytes

Chicken Noodle Soup above

10.  Strawberry Basil & Roasted Beet Smoothie Bowl from a New Life Wandering

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What is your favorite rainy day food?

 

Mason Jar Pecan Pies, Watermelon Bubble Tea, & More

pecanpie

Today’s lesson: You and only you have the power to turn your day into a great one.

My weekend was supposed to end with a relaxed swimming day with some friends. Nope. The stormy, rainy weather thought otherwise. My pool day was canceled and I was left with… A choice to either nap in, finish off some work, or host a cooking day instead. I chose the last option and sure was I glad that I decided to do so! Yes, I was pretty disappointed at the bipolar weather, but what better than great food and fabulous friends to spend your day with? Mason jar pecan pies. Watermelon inspired bubble tea. Soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies. Homemade mochi with mango and blood orange sorbet. My focus tends to be on the desserts, but I promise we ate some real food before all of this. Definitely can’t forget the chili cheese macaroni and buffalo chicken nacho pasta that was on the menu for entree.

filledpies

Mason jars just offer their own homey and special atmosphere. I have no idea what it is about mason jars, but I love them! These mini 4 ounce jars are just enough to satisfy you, especially if you have just eaten dinner or lunch. Not too much, not too little. And you know what’s best? You can use the lid and store them in your fridge for later, so no hassle of finding an empty Tupperware to store it.

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To top it all off: a scoop of classic vanilla bean ice cream. The cold creamy texture of the ice-cream perfectly balanced out the warm, chewiness of the pecan pie.

Mason Jar Pecan Pies 

Makes enough for 12 (4 oz) mason jars

Preheat: 350 F

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
  •  A ready made pie crust (store bought or homemade)

Directions

  1. Mix together the sugar, brown sugar, salt, syrup, vanilla, butter, and eggs.
  2. Get a round object (like a circle cookie cutter) that is a little wider than the mason jars to cut the pie crust
  3. Press the cut crusts into each of the mason jars so that they reach at least half way up
  4. Sprinkle some pecans in the bottom of each of the mason jars
  5. Pour your prepared syrup into each jar (about 3/4 full)
  6. Put your mini mason jars on a cookie sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 F (if they start to burn on the top, take them out)

Recipe from The Pioneer Woman can be found here

watermelon

Any bubble tea fanatic will appreciate this drink right here. Once you’ve tasted a majority of the usual bubble tea flavors such as thai tea, green tea, jasmine, etc. you will find that you may want something new; something a little more exciting. Now, the classics never get old. I could legit order green tea or thai tea for days and still love it as much as I did the first day.

The bubble tea above is made of a honeydew base and topped off with a watermelon slush and tapioca pearls for the “seeds”.

Watermelon Honeydew Bubble Tea

Directions:

I really have no exact measurements for this, because it truly is best done without that. I will still give a general recipe as to how I made it. The bottom is a honeydew base. It is basically honeydew blended with a few ice cubes added and half a cucumber. The top is purely watermelon. No ice cubes there. Blend enough watermelon till your desired amount is reached and add a few scoops of lemonade powder as it complements it nicely. Add prepared tapioca pearls and you are done!

Tips:

-Recipe for Tapioca Pearls can be found here (My post about it is still in progress)

mochi

Mmmmmochi! I’ve always seen this delectable and chewy delight in frozen yogurt shops, yet I had never really tasted it by itself to appreciate it to its fullest. One of my friends brought the recipe for this with her and so we got to add it to our great menu of desserts for the day. It goes great with sorbet especially blood orange and mango (pictured above). I will have a special post dedicated to how to make this delicacy later with step by step pictures so keep posted :)

 

 

 

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake

reeses cheesecake

Have you ever liked Reese’s so much that you needed it in more than just your cereal or average candy bar? Don’t get me wrong, nothing can beat the original Reese’s peanut butter cups. You know something is good though when you leave a pack of it out on the countertop and return to find that it has disappeared. So if you are planning on buying the Reese’s and making it the same day, you may be fine. Those who are planning for later in the week, mmmm… You may want to store the Reese’s somewhere safe and hidden. Any who, I always love a good occasion to celebrate. Events = a chance to test out a Pinterest recipe or make some dessert that I’ve been craving. A few days before I made this cheesecake, I actually had made a Strawberry Glazed NY Style Cheesecake for some relatives who were visiting from out of town. I didn’t make the Reese’s flavored cheesecake for them, because it is a hit or miss flavor. People usually either hate or love peanut butter, so I decided not to take the chance. A few days passed and my brother took his LSAT, so I was like- hey, why not make some cheesecake- everyone loves it. It was a success. And you can only guess what I made when some friends came over for dinner a week later… Yes. Chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake. In reality, I’d rather wait a few weeks before making another cheesecake again just so that it becomes that much more exciting to see a slice of cheesecake (rather than ugh, not again). And that, my friends, was the end of my mini cheesecake baking marathon.

Reese’s Cheesecake

Printable Recipe

Brownie Crust

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 whole peanut butter cups

Directions

Preheat: 350 °F

  1. Line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper
  2. Mix the butter, sugar, and vanilla extract
  3. Add eggs to the mixture and then stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt
  4. Pour and spread the brownie mix in the springform pan
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes
  6. Chop the peanut butter cups into pieces and place on top of the brownie crust
  7. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling

Cheesecake Mix

Preheat: 325 °F

Ingredients

  • 32 ounces of cream cheese (4 of the 8 ounce packages), room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating on low
  3. Mix in the sugar, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla extract until well incorporated
  4. Before you pour the cheesecake mix into the prepared pan, wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil so that water cannot get into it
  5. Fill a large glass or disposable baking dish (that will fit your springform pan) with about an inch of water
  6. Place your springform pan in the baking dish into the oven
  7. Bake at 325 °F for about 1 hr and 30 minutes
  8. Cool to room temperature before placing into the refrigerator and chill overnight for best results (3-4 hours will do though if you are in a rush)

If you are looking for other cheesecake recipes, check out my Original NY Style Cheesecake or even my Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake.

Recipe adapted from Hugs and Cookies Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake blog post here

reeses cheesecake

What is the most unique flavor of cheesecake you have tasted?

 

 

Liebster Award

Today’s special news:

Kat & Kloh from StateEats nominated Simply Delicious for a Liebster Award!

liebster

This award is given from bloggers to bloggers to help promote their blog and get their names out there!

Once you are nominated, you have to meet the following criteria:

  • Answer the 10 Liebster questions give to you by the blogger who nominated you
  • Select 10 blogs with a small following to nominate for the award
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees
  • Link back to your nominator
  • Inform each of your nominees of your nomination

Thanks StateEats for the nomination! If you love traveling and food, be sure to check out their blog for a variety of mouthwatering recipes from their travels to all 50 states.

Here are Kat & Kloh’s Questions

1. What’s your favorite comfort food?

A large bowl of cheesy broccoli cheddar soup with a loaf of soft French bread on the side

2. Where would you like to travel that you’ve never been?

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania- the challenge of climbing one of the Seven Summits is something I’ve always wanted to do

3.  What is a killer-good dish that you make that impresses everyone?  

Cheesecake. New York Style. Caramel Pecan. Chocolate Hazelnut. Any flavor is to die for.

cheesecake      hazelnut cheesecake

4. What song whisks you right back to high school when you hear it?

I Gotta Feeling by Black Eyed Peas

5. What is a food or dish you never eat?  

Not a picky eater but mustard is one condiment that I’m not very fond of

6. Who has served as a role model for you?

My mother, she always turns to be right regarding her advice and everything

7. Name one ingredient you cannot live without.

Butter. Somehow it always manages to find its way in every recipe…

8. What have you discovered about blogging that you didn’t know when you started?

There are so many ways you can customize your blog, one of my favorite is including a printable recipe link

9. What is a weird food combination that you love that doesn’t sound appealing but is really delicious?

Red Velvet Cake with Beets. You don’t even taste the beets in it and the best thing is that the color is 100% natural

10. What is the last book you read and loved?

Divergent by Veronica Roth

My deelish food blogger nominations:

A Dash Of Razan– words of wisdom in the arts of cooking, fashion, and everyday life

Thirsty for Tea– A blog dedicated to tea, tea foods, and modernizing a time-honored tradition

A Distinguished Palate– Breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, you name it

Ocean View Kitchen– Real Food Recipes

That Damned CanAsian-Tips and tricks, recipes, along with travel tidbits

Delicious Delicious Bagel– Baking and delicious bites to share

Miss Wu Kitchen- Food makes me smile. I’m on a “seafood” diet. I see food & I eat it

HappyLife.HealthyLife – Keeping You Happy & Healthy In Today’s Crazy World

Leni & Viv– Recipes, Cooking Tips, & Food Inspiration from Our House to Yours

Food 4 Your Mood– A Journey to the Gastronomy Universe

Here are my Liebster Questions:

  1. What is your favorite, easy to make dessert for parties?
  2. What is the weirdest drink flavor or combo you have ever had?
  3. What dessert flavor do you always end up ordering?
  4. Describe one of your biggest cooking/baking fails.
  5. Which Food Network show is your favorite?
  6. Have you ever been to a Man vs. Food restaurant or bakery?
  7. Do you prefer baking solo or with other people?
  8. Who/what inspired you to start your food blog?
  9. What is a dish that you’ve always wanted to make.
  10. What is your favorite fried food?

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Got a pack of raspberries laying around with no idea what to do with all of them? Don’t worry, SimplyDelicious can help you with this dilemma. It just so happened when I opened the fridge on a fine Sunday afternoon, that I was greeted with a stack of three raspberry packs. Just the previous day, I had discovered this amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. Seriously, it legit made the best vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted. So… I thought, why not make this delicious recipe raspberry flavored too? Now, I easily could have eaten all the raspberries too, rather than make cupcakes. I had to control myself though and think of the end product that was so close. That’s what’s so awesome about cupcakes. You make them quick, eat them quick. Done deal. Other desserts, like cheesecakes, make you wait overnight (way to0 long if you want instant pleasure).

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (6 oz) raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  2. Add in the butter until the mixture resembles wet and crumbly sand
  3. Beat in the eggs until they are well incorporated and you can no longer see the yellow
  4. Put in the remaining wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract) and mix until the texture of your mixture is smooth and fully combined
  5. Hand mix the raspberries into your batter until they are evenly distributed
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way with the mixture
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or golden brown

Raspberry Buttercream

Printable Recipe here 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor
  2. Pour the processed raspberries through a sieve with small holes to keep the seeds from getting in your frosting
  3. Use a spoon to help you get all the raspberry pulp out and set it aside in a small bowl (throw the seeds away)
  4. Cream the butter with a mixer for about a minute and then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and pureed raspberries
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, add in more powdered sugar until it is to your liking. If too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Recipes adapted from: Tide & Thyme and Baking a Moment

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes    Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Classic French Toast

Classic French Toast

French toast used to be the type of breakfast food that I would always hear about, yet never eat. It was not because I did not like it, but because I had never tried it and so I tended to dismiss it. The first time I tried french toast was totally random. I was carpooling with a friend and we were a little late to school. Her mom had made me a piece for breakfast, which was perfect by the way because I hadn’t had any breakfast that morning. I ate it on the go and instantly loved it. I never knew how easy it was to make and after hearing the directions, I decided that I must make it myself! Definitely will be making this perfectly delicious breakfast again.

Classic French Toast

Makes: 8 slices

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients

  • 8 slices of bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups half and half (or use buttermilk or whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Mix together the eggs, half and half, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl
  2. Place the pieces of bread in a baking dish and pour the mixture over them
  3. Wait 5 minutes and flip the pieces of bread to get the other side soaked
  4. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on a frying pan
  5. Fry each side of the french toast for 3 minutes or until golden-brown
  6. Use another 2 tablespoons of butter for the next batch, and repeat

Tips:

-For every 4 eggs, add 1 cup of liquid- half and half, buttermilk, or wholemilk

-If you want it to be more cinnamon flavored, add another teaspoon

-For other variations, you can also add a 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

-You can cut the bread in slices for french toast sticks

Houston Bites: Main St. Bistro

Mile High Meatloaf

Nothing better than this Mile High Meatloaf to start off the special series of Houston Bites! Exploring the distinct and peculiar restaurants that Houston has to offer is a favorite hobby of mine and I would love to share my finds with everyone else. Me and my friends are usually indecisive when it comes to picking restaurants. After one look though at the Yelp user pictures for this place, we had all already decided this was the location we wanted to try. Main St. Bistro, a local restaurant, tucked away in the local district of League City, was just the place we were looking for. All of the sandwiches and burgers for lunch looked so good! From the Monterrey Chicken Sandwich with Lacey Swiss Cheese and Sautèed Corn to the Bob Marley with Habanero Jamaican Jerk Remoulade Slaw and Battered Fish, the menu certainly had our attention. Regardless of the small size of the lunch menu, it was still tough deciding between all the delicious sounding dishes.

The Mile High Meatloaf for me was an obvious choice after seeing how heavenly it looked! Honestly, the best part about it was the mashed potatoes with the bbq sauce. The onion rings were great, but the large size caused them to fall apart when eating. The meatloaf was alright; it was a pretty large size for one meal and I ended up taking more than half of it home.

Would I come here again? Sure. Definitely want to try their sandwiches. Overall, this place was a nice hole in the wall type of restaurant. A little small inside, but the friendly waiters and funky atmosphere gave us a great experience overall!

Dont forget to follow SimplyDelicious on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/simplydeliciousrecipes :)

Main St. Bistro

Main St. Bistro

Mile High Meatloaf

Green Tea Frappè with Tapioca

Green Tea Frappé

Mason jars have just opened a whole new world to me. It’s crazy the amount of desserts or drinks you can make in them! They also end up looking ten times nicer, because the mason jar just adds this special effect to any photo. Well, asides from the mason jar, the green tea is definitely a winning flavor. It tastes perfect in just about anything- macarons, ice-cream, cake, and even lattès. Any bakery that serves this flavor instantly earns five stars from me haha. If you have not tried this flavor before, it would probably be a good idea to get that on your priority list. Usually I’m a regular with the “green tea” bubble tea served at tapioca houses, with the “thai tea” bubble tea coming in to a close second. I have also tried the green tea frappuccino from Starbucks, but I was disappointed with it. It felt that it was too sweet and had too much ice, like most of their drinks. Check below to see how to make this one of a kind green tea frappuccino!

Green Tea Frappuccino

Makes: One Serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla ice-cream
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla syrup or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Blend all the ingredients together until at a smooth consistency
  2. Serve with a scoop of ice-cream if desired

For directions regarding the tapioca, check out this link here. I will be posting my own step-by-step for it soon!

Tips:

-Green tea matcha powder can be found at a local Chinese grocery store or at amazon where I bought mine

-The matcha will be a little bitter, but the vanilla syrup or extract will cover up that bitterness

Batman Fondant Cake, Chocolate Trifles, & Tropical Punch

Batman Cake

Finally MCAT and finals free!!! This was the first thing I baked after depriving myself of baking while studying. My sister’s birthday was originally the week before my test. I know, what perfect timing… I told her, if she wanted me to make a cake that she’d have to move her party to the week after. This time, I made her cake the day before her party (best decision ever btw). Last year I decided to make her cake the day of and was still decorating it till even after guests started to arrive, which was pretty stressful. You can check out her last year’s Chinese Takeout Box Cake here.

If you look closely at the picture, you can actually see the Batman sign that I wedged in the cake, burning haha. Someone yelled out that it was on fire after I had lit all the candles. Without thinking, I blew them all out, pulled out what little was left of it, and had to relight all the candles.

Choc Cake Trifles

Other than the cake, I also decided to make these small chocolate trifles. I found these plastic disposable cups from Dollar Store. Definitely made for an easy clean up, which is always a great goal to have for any type of party!

Batman IceCubes

Of course, I had to top it all off with these Batman ice cubes for the punch. I guess I was so excited about these, that I forgot to even take a picture of the punch!!

**Check below for recipes for the Batman Fondant Cake, Chocolate Trifle Cups, & the Tropical Punch**

Batman Fondant Cake

-For a quick overview, the cake was made from four layers that I stacked.

-The two that I used for the base were vanilla. For the top two layers I used a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe.

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Cake recipe found here

Vanilla Sour Cream Cake

Makes: two 8 or 9 inch cakes

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Whisk the egg whites, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl
  2. Combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and lightly mix
  3. While the mixer is on a low speed, add in the butter (chunk by chunk) until the mixture is crumbly
  4. Now add your milk and egg mix to the crumbly mixture and mix for a minute
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated
  6. Add the sour cream next and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds
  7. Spread the mix in a cake pan (use springform pan for ease of removing the cake)
  8. Bake the cake for 23-30 minutes or until well done

Tips:

-If you want the cake to come out cleanly, line the pan with parchment paper and use a springform pan as well

-Instead of black fondant, you can color the white fondant with black gel food coloring & you can also buy edible black paper for the buildings and Batman signals

-The yellow parts on the cake are white fondant colored with yellow gel food coloring

-The toppings for the cake are wire cake toppers from Hobby Lobby & I printed out Batman signs that I cut out to paste onto them, because I had run out of the of the edible black paper

Mini Chocolate Trifles

Makes: 25 cups

Ingredients

  • Leftover cake pieces, about 1/2 cake
  • 3 boxes of instant chocolate pudding
  • 10 Oreos, crushed
  • 1 can of whip cream

Directions

  1. Make the pudding according to the instructions on the box
  2. Cut the cake into small pieces, size does not have to be exact
  3. Fill each cup with a few small pieces of cake
  4. Top with a few spoonfuls of pudding
  5. Add whip cream on the pudding with a handful of crushed Oreos
  6. Serve and enjoy

Tropical Punch

Makes: Two large punch bowls (50- 4 ounce servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 46 fluid ounce can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 two-liter bottles of lemon-lime carbonated soda

Directions

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil for 2-3 minutes
  2. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice
  3. Divide the mixture into three large ziploc storage bags and place in freezer
  4. When ready to use, mix the lemon-lime carbonated soda with the juice mixture

 

Batman Cake

Batman Cake

 

 

3 Rice Krispies Recipes in 1: Nutella, Peanut Butter, & Pumpkin Spice

Chocolate Loaded Rice Krispies

Chocolate Loaded Rice Krispies

The best recipes are always those that are impromptu! This one was created with a few friends that I had invited over. There was nothing planned in particular, as we are usually a spontaneous type of group and any type of baking episode that we create is always a memorable one; one where we usually double or triple the actual amount of baking time. No worries though, the time spent is invariably amusing and full of whimsical moments & shenanigans to look back at and laugh upon haha. As a big fan of simple recipes that are effortless, after eyeing the new bag of Rice Krispies on top of the fridge, I knew that we must attempt the unfailingly, delicious task of making Rice Krispy treats. I checked the recipe online and turns out that I had all the ingredients we needed (always a happy sight!). We ended up not following the exact recipe and added our own creativity to this delightful bite, which I highly recommend you do as well with your favorite chocolates or whatever you might have waiting to be used in your pantry. Some of the added goods included mini Reeses bites, mini chocolate M&Ms, peanut butter, & a satiny Nutella glaze to finish it off.

HomeMade Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice Krispies

Printable Version Here

Ingredients

  • 5 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 10 ounce marshmallow creme/bag of marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • optional: various candies/chocolates/pretzels

Directions

  1. Spray a medium 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray
  2. Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  3. Stir in the marshmallow creme until incorporated and remove from heat
  4. Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla extract
  5. Move to a larger bowl if the saucepan is not big enough and add the 5 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
  6. Gently mix all the cereal with the marshmallow mixture and add any of your optional chocolates
  7. Press the Rice Krispies mix into the prepared dish and refrigerate until set (about 30-60 minutes)

Different Flavors to Try:

*Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispies: add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin spice

*Nutella Rice Krispies: add a 1/2 cup of Nutella to your mixture

Few Tips:

*This is an easily adaptable recipe to what you like, for example if you do not prefer peanut butter then take that out or if you like extra m&ms in your rice krispies then add a whole cup of them

*For a chocolate icing simply melt 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, add 1/2 cup of Nutella to it, & drizzle all over

Pumpkin Spice & Nutella Rice Krispies

Pumpkin Spice & Nutella Rice Krispies