Tag Archives: cheese

A Great Saturday

28 Jun

On Saturday we got up early to go to a sailing lesson at Berkeley Marina with the Cal Sailing Club. It was great! The weather was perfect and the wind was calm. I was supposed to get a turn at the helm but the person before me went too far out into the choppy water (3′ waves) and I got really bad motion sickness. So we ended up sailing back to shore. Next time I’ll make sure to go first. Sailing requires a lot of teamwork and there’s so much to learn in terms of concepts, all the parts of the boat and how to use them (ropes galore!), and balance, which all complicated by terminology! There’s so much to learn! I’ll get pictures next time, because I didn’t want to worry about taking pictures on the first day.

After sailing, we went to the Cheeseboard Pizza Collective in Berkeley. It’s one of the best pizza places I’ve been to and that’s saying a lot since I’m from Brooklyn! They only make 1 pizza flavor a day and you can get a slice, half a pie or a whole pie. With every half or whole pie you get an extra half slice. They have interesting soft drinks for $2, wine, cookies and salad. That’s the whole menu. Luckily there was no line when I went (during lunch it’s not unusual to see at least 20 people in line). Either way they’re fast because they only make 1 flavor of pizza. They post on twitter what they have daily.

half a pie

the menu with the daily offerings

Next door is the Cheeseboard Collective, which sells tons of different cheeses, freshly baked pastries and bread, coffee and other hot drinks, as well as ready made pizza from next door to heat up at home. We picked up a corn and cherry scone and a brioche bun for breakfast the next day along with a big block of manchego for the camping trip this weekend!

cheese list at the cheeseboard collective

just some of the cheeses in the case

We walked around after lunch then went home to rest and get ready for Admob’s Memories Party. Admob got acquired by Google so this was their last company party. It was held at MacAuthor Park Restaurant in Palo Alto. The restaurant was dim so I apologize for the fuzzy pictures. There was free flowing wine and lots of delicious hor douvrs, cheese and veggie platters. The food for the sit down dinner was excellent. No complaints at all. I got the Filet Mignon and Brian got the veggie rice dish. Both had great flavor and the beef was cooked perfectly. We tried both dessert options and the mud pie was surprisingly good. It overshadowed the cheesecake, which was good by itself but not the best we’ve had.

Spinach salad with apple, cranberry, feta cheese and orange dressing

Filet Mignon with cheesy mashed potato and veggies

Grilled vegetables with pesto over rice

Cheesecake with orange glaze and berry sauce

Mud pie - chocolate and coffee ice cream pie with chocolate and caramel sauce and peanuts

The lovely outdoor cocktail area.

Afterwards we went to the after party at Nola’s. There was a cool balcony area upstairs that has an open ceiling. Only issue was that the space was way too small for all of us and the cocktail waiters did a crappy job getting the drink orders. We left after waiting over an hour for our second order of drinks.

Turkey Chili and Cheesy Polenta Dinner

19 Dec

I made turkey chili based on this recipe. Randomly bought some polenta at the grocery store while shopping for this dinner and decided it would be perfect with the chili.. and it was!

turkey chili polenta

Here’s my recipe:

Turkey Chili (adapted from above link)
Makes a huge pot.. probably enough for 6-8 servings.

Ingredients:
Olive oil to coat pan (about 2 tbsp)
1 medium onion, small dice
1 red bell pepper, small dice
2 stalks celery, small dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Jalapeno peppers, chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 Tbsp chili powder
~ 1 lbs ground turkey
½ cup corn (fresh if possible, frozen if not)
2 – 14 oz cans red kidney beans
1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 – 14 oz can cannellini beans
1/2 – 32 oz carton chicken stock
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Sour cream, as garnish

Directions:
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sweat onion, pepper, and celery until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and Jalapeno peppers and cook for an additional 2 or 3 minutes. Add spices and stir to evenly distribute in the pot.

2. Meanwhile, brown ground turkey in a separate pan and into bite sized pieces. Add to pot when fully cooked.

3. Add corn, beans, tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until chili reaches desired thickness. (You can thicken with corn starch dissolved in cold water.)

4. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cilantro and sour cream.

turkey chili polenta sc

Cheesy Polenta
Serves 4-6 as a side.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup polenta
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese (i used the green can stuff)

Directions:
1. In medium pot heat milk and chicken stock. Stir in the polenta while the liquid is still cool to prevent lumps.
2. Add some salt and pepper. Stir often until almost to desired consistency.
3. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Serve immediately.

Sister’s Focaccia Bread

3 Aug

My sister made some lovely focaccia bread. It came out a lot thinner than I expected but it seems like that’s how the recipe makes it. I made another recipe before and remember it to be more fluffy. I guess I will experiment later. This recipe makes a nice dense bread almost like flat bread. Very tasty and full of flavor.

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Here’s the recipe she used from allrecipes.

Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon white sugar
* 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 pinch ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 cup water
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 cup mozzarella

Instructions:

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Changes she made: omit mozzarella and Parmesan cheese and put half rosemary and half cheddar cheese (since our dad doesn’t like rosemary).

Two bentos and Tempura Jalapeno Poppers

11 Jul

My sister and I made bentos for lunch today. She made one to bring to school and I made one for our younger brother. It took quite a while but it was fun. They came out quite pretty I think considering this was my sister’s first time making a bento box.

My sister’s box:
Contents: bottom has ham and cheese flying pig on bed of rice and cucumber and carrot garden; top has dried cranberries, plum slices, cucumbers, chicken strips and a piece of chocolate.

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Here’s the one I made for my brother.
Contents: bottom has two mushroom caps with cheese, dried pork tamagoyaki (i make it with soba sauce and sweet soy sauce), and chunks of cucumber; top has cubes of colored and plain rice, ham, cucumber and carrot sticks.
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Close up:
IMG_2929

I went to the Sunrise Mart in Soho for the first time today. Sunrise Mart sold tons of Japanese groceries, snacks, drinks, cookware, bento boxes, prepared sushi and bento boxes to eat in store or for take out. It was great, the prices were cheap but they were reasonable. They even had prepackaged onigiri in different flavors for only $2 a piece! I highly recommend a visit. Check them out on yelp.com here.

So after having some spicy tuna sushi and a strawberry Calpico yogurt drink with a good friend of mine, I walked around and bought a tempura batter mix and panko (Japanese bread crumbs). I knew there were several jalapenos in my pot-garden that were ready to be eaten. So I went home and made jalapeno poppers – tempura style.

jalapeno poppers
There are two eggplants in there because I had extra batter left.

I didn’t measure anything but here’s what I did. I cut four large jalapenos in half after removing the stems and removed all the seeds and membranes with my BARE fingers. Unfortunately, I forgot this fact and touched my eye for the briefest of moments. Instantly I felt like my eye was on fire. My stupidity didn’t end there because while tearing up in pain, I removed my contact with my fingers instead of asking someone else to do it. This resulted in 100 times more stinging and pain. I had to stand with my eye pride open under running water for almost 15 minutes before it stopped burning. So this serves a warning to you.

Anyways, after that scenario, I mixed together about 4 tbsp cream cheese, 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar jack cheese, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder and a dash of salt. I filled the jalapeno halves with this cheesy mixture, dipped them in the tempura batter made from the mix, dredged them in panko and then fried them in oil until golden brown. I probably will make this again soon, maybe with different fillings. It was really good.