asian-style lettuce wraps

Asian-Style Lettuce Wraps | daisysworld.net

These Asian-style lettuce wraps make a great appetizer for your next party or a light, yet filling, main dish your entire family will enjoy. Filled with lean ground turkey, shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts, bell peppers, and carrots, they’re  healthy and full of flavor.   Continue reading

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chicken karaage: japanese fried chicken

Chicken Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken

I’ve always had a thing for fried foods: french fries, onion rings, corn dogs, and doughnuts. You name it, if it’s fried, chances are good that I’d love it.  Without a doubt, my favorite fried food is fried chicken. When I make it at home, I used to use a  traditional Southern fried chicken recipe with buttermilk until I discovered chicken karaage, Japanese fried chicken, or JFC, for short. Now, it’s my go-to fried chicken recipe. Continue reading

baked buffalo wings with celery and blue cheese slaw

Buffalo Wings with Celery & Blue Cheese Slaw

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Camp Blogaway, a conference for food and recipe bloggers run by Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk. Special thanks to Christina Peters, of MDR Photography Classes, for telling me about the camp in the first place, and for graciously sponsoring me to attend. The camp, limited to about 100 bloggers, speakers, and sponsors, is held annually at Camp de Benneville Pines, located at about 6,800 feet in elevation in the picturesque San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California. All weekend long, we heard from top notch speakers who spoke about their careers in food, their experiences writing cookbooks and e-books, and their experiences working with PR agencies, literary agents, and brands.

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spicy clementine beef stir-fry

Spicy Clementine Beef Stir Fry

While citrus are available year round, many varieties are at their peak of flavor in winter.  Among them is one of my favorites, clementine oranges. These little “cuties”, at their best right now, are super sweet, juicy, naturally seedless, and easy to peel.  Clementines are delicious on their own or in desserts, but I think they are even more sensational in savory dishes. Their sugary, tart flavor compliments the salty and spicy notes of this delicious stir-fry.

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bo luc lac, vietnamese shaking beef

Bo Luc Lac or Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Fish sauce, a staple ingredient in many Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma, and Cambodia, is made from fermented fish and sea salt. While it may not sound or smell appetizing, fish sauce adds a complex  flavor to food. It is added to dishes during the cooking process or used straight or as a base for dipping sauce. Continue reading

lamb sliders with feta cheese, red onions, and cumin-mayonnaise

Lamb Sliders with Feta Cheese, Red Onions, and Cumin-Mayonnaise

While not as popular as beef or turkey, lamb creates a very tasty burger. Topped with feta cheese, sliced red onion, and a generous dollop of cumin mayonnaise, these lamb sliders have a decidedly Greek flair. The salty feta is the perfect accompaniment to the meaty lamb.  The cumin mayo puts it over the top.  They may be little, but these babies pack huge flavor.  They were inspired by the Lamb Burger I had at The Breslin, a popular gastropub in New York City. Continue reading

baked chicken thighs with olive tapenade

I don’t like olives at all, but, on the other hand, Chris loves them and  keeps our fridge stocked with some type of olives at all times.  When I stumbled upon a recipe for chicken which incorporates olive tapenade, I knew he would enjoy it so I had to make it for him.  The original recipe calls for roasting a whole chicken and three different types of olives, but I improvised by using what I had on hand – chicken thighs, some canned California green olives, and a big jar of kalamata olives. Continue reading

pork meatball bánh mì sandwich

pork meatball bánh mì sandwich
The result of the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine is very evident in the bánh mì sandwich.  Usually served on a baguette and slathered with spicy aioli that is borrowed from French cuisine, this sandwich is then filled with meat and other ingredients that are decidedly more Vietnamese –  vegetable slaw made with pickled carrots and daikon radishes, sliced jalapeños, and fresh cilantro.  Other typical fillings include barbecue or roast pork, pâté, sliced ham and other deli meats, and even tofu. Continue reading

mongolian beef

Last night, Chinese communities around the world welcomed the Year of the Dragon with festive traditions that were meant to attract good health and prosperity, as well as closer family ties, peace, and harmony in the home.  In honor of the Lunar New Year, I made Mongolian Beef, one of the more popular dishes found in Chinese-American restaurants. It is a simple beef dish typically made with flank steak or tenderloin and stir-fried with scallions in a brown sauce containing many ingredients typically found in Chinese cuisine – oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and Chinese cooking wine, also knows as Shao Xing.  The name, Mongolian Beef, is misleading because none of the ingredients or the method of preparation are drawn from traditional Mongolian cuisine.  Chalk it up to some clever marketing ploy to name this dish in a way that conjures up a “more exotic” type of food. Continue reading

my latest guilty pleasure: pigs in a blanket

guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The “guilt” involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one’s lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes. (Wikipedia)

Mine….mini pigs in a blanket.  I had been craving them all week.  Just wrap some Lit’l Smokies with some crescent roll dough and bake until the dough is golden.  Serve with some mustard and ketchup.  That’s it.

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football food: asian chicken wings with lime, ginger, and soy sauce

Asian Chicken Wings with Lime, Ginger, and Soy Sauce
To many Americans, football season means getting together with friends to watch the big game.  Aside from the thrilling action of the game, a big part of the fun and festivities is the food.  Football food has to be easy to handle as table space is limited around the couch or tailgate so finger foods are ideal.  Over the next couple of posts I will share with you a few recipes perfect for your next football gathering or tailgate party.  So, instead of ordering takeout for the next big game, I hope I inspire you to try one of these recipes. Continue reading

tri-tip with romesco sauce


I was watching the Cooking Channel last weekend and saw Mark Bittman prepare this recipe on his cooking show, The Minimalist.  His enthusiasm for this recipe and the simplicity of his version of the sauce made me want to try it.  I had never heard of the romesco sauce and I found the combination of almonds and tomatoes intriguing.  Since I had a surplus of tomatoes and jalapeños and I have the pimentón, Spanish smoked paprika, in the pantry I decided to give it a try.

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classic comfort food: chicken pot pie

I was drawn to this recipe of chicken pot pie from the first moment I saw it on the cover of the cookbook Easy Comfort Food: Simple Recipes for Feel-Good Favorites. This version of chicken pot pie is fairly simple to make, especially if you use frozen pie crust or puff pastry and grocery store rotisserie chicken.  The recipe also calls for my favorite herb of the moment, tarragon, which pairs very well with chicken. Best of all, this chicken pot pie does not contain anything I have to pick out, namely carrots or peas.  I added shiitake mushrooms to make the filling more hearty and because I like mushrooms.  To get all the fond, or caramelized browned bits of chicken stuck on the pan, I also recommend deglazing with some white wine.  This step adds wonderful flavor to the filling.  I converted this recipe from one large pie into 4 individual ones because the pies served in ramekins makes for a nicer presentation and they’re easier to serve.  To ensure that there is ample pie crust for each serving, I cut the dough into rounds and placed a piece of dough on the bottom of each ramekin, added the filling, and then topped it with another piece of dough.

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How to Smoke a Brisket

Texas Barbecue Smoked Brisket

I am really happy in my husband, Chris’ growing interest in cooking.  I heartily encourage him to try new recipes and be more adventurous in his cooking.  Last Sunday, I was in for a real carnivore treat because Chris spent the better part of the morning smoking a brisket.  So today’s post comes from my new personal pit master (who also happens to be my personal barista).  Thanks for sharing your newfound knowledge on Texas-style barbecue, Chris!

Hello, daisy’s world readers!  I’ve wanted to do some kind of low and slow all-day cooking project for sometime now – either smoking, braising or rotisserie-cooking some kind of meat.  Then I saw an episode of Alton Brown’s show, Good Eats entitled Right on ‘Cue.  In it, he describes in great technical detail how to smoke meat.  That was it; I decided that I was going to cook with smoke. I was tempted to invest in a smoker and fancy dual temperature thermometers made specifically for smoking meats, but, in the end I decided to use the gas grill and meat thermometer we already had.  The only thing I had to buy was a disposable aluminum pan and a bag of wood chips.  I choose cherry wood chips for “medium” smokiness over mesquite or apple wood chips that only promised “light” smoke.

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Country Fried Chicken

 

I woke up yesterday morning with a craving for fried chicken, and as luck would have it, we had a package of chicken thighs.  After more digging around in the freezer, I also found some leftover frozen biscuits and a package of Trader Joe’s frozen sweet potato fries.  With that, grease-laden lunch was born!  I got my Presto Fry Daddy, which does not get much use these days, and filled it with peanut oil.  While the oil was heating up to 350 degrees, I put together my wet and dry ingredients for the fried chicken.  I didn’t have any buttermilk (and didn’t want to go to the store), so I used whole milk instead.  After frying the chicken, I brought up the temperature of the oil to 375 degrees and put the sweet potato fries in the fryer for about 3 minutes.

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