Friday, June 22, 2012

Pineapple Water

There is nothing like having vacation dreams.. Last month, I was in Kauai and Oahu. If you go to the groceries stores there, pineapple and papayas are much cheaper than bananas and strawberries. When I saw a pineapple sale in HMart, I had to get in on the bargain.

Being back in Hawaii reminded me of how wonderful it was to have ice cold pineapple water in the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel. Every time I would walk by, I would drink a couple small cups to hydrate. Perfect alternative to the typical lemon water. Wonderful for summer!!

Pineapple Water
Ice (Optional)

Cut up pineapple. Use about one pineapple per gallon. Add water and ice (if desired). I usually don't add ice since I let it infuse in the refrigerator for an hour or two.


You can do the same for many fruit and vegetables. Be creative!! Use what you love. =)

Here are some ideas:
Cucumber Water
Strawberry Water
Watermelon Water
Lemon Water

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

Summertime is a perfect opportunity to make sweet treats. I, myself, eat ice cream all year round but that's just me. Lately, I've been wanting to try a salted caramel ice cream recipe. My favorite one is from Carmela Ice Cream in Pasadena, CA.

Whenever I try a recipe, it means that I have sifted through many many of them until I finally have a winner. This one is from Cooking Light. Debated for weeks until I purchased heavy cream. Yes, I know that this recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of it but I usually make my ice cream without it.

Salted Caramel Ice Cream Recipe (from Cooking Light)
Cook Time: 10 minutes     Prep Time: 10 minutes
Refrigerate Time: 2 hours
3 1/2 cups 2% milk (I used Vitamin D milk)
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp flake salt

In a medium pot, heat up milk (but not to a boil). Whisk in egg yolks. Remove from heat.

In another pot, put the brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter in on low heat for three minutes. After the sugar mixture is done. Remove from heat. Add sea salt. Pour the sugar mixture slowly into the milk mixture stirring constantly.

Place mixture in the refrigerator for at least two hours. When mixture is cold, follow directions for your ice cream maker. (It takes about half an hour.)

When serving your salted caramel ice cream, scoop ice cream into bowls. Sprinkle some flake salt or sea salt on top of the ice cream.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

My Bistro Salad

When people say that salads are not delicious, it's because they don't know how to make one. You aren't supposed to just cut lettuce and splash some salad dressing. C'mon people...

A great salad is one that people dream about and crave. Satisfying to the tastebuds with tons of texture. Not only that but it is highly nutritious too. The ultimate salad needs to have elements of crunchiness like nuts as well as soft ingredients such as tomatoes and beets with more flavor like salami, ham, and cheese.

Delicious Bistro Salad
Prep Time: 20 min
romaine lettuce
just a handful of walnuts (chopped)
1 slice ham (diced)
8 oz or 2 baby beets (chopped)
2-4 slices of salami (diced...a little goes a looong way)
1 roma tomato (diced)
2-3 oz cheese (sliced, cut into small pieces)

sunflower seeds (optional)
fresh ground pepper
salad dressing of your choice

Servings: 2 big salads or 4 small ones.

There's a lot of chopping involved. If you have choppers, you can prepare this salad faster but I just use a cutting board with a small knife.

Grab a big bowl for tossing everything together.

Start by cutting the romaine lettuce (or other lettuce of your choice).

I tend to prepare my salad by adding the dry ingredients first followed by ingredients of increasing moisture (tomatoes are last). 

Then add the walnuts and cheese. Throw all the other ingredients into the bowl when you are done chopping except for the bottom three ingredients.

Add two to three tablespoons of salad dressing. Toss your salad well. Plate the creation.
Top the salad by sprinkling sunflower seeds on top and fresh ground pepper.


If you wish to make your own dressing, lemon viniagrette is easy.
Did you know that lemon vinaigrette does not contain any vinegar? *chuckle*
Just mix all the ingredients. Refrigerate the unused dressing for next time (Use within a month).

Lemon Vinaigrette
Yield: 1/4 cup
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper

Cheese - My current favorite is the Toscano Cheese soaked in TJ (Trader Joe's) Syrah. Other similar tasting cheeses are Manchego and Iberico. I adore Spanish Cheeses.

Other salad ingredients - chopped olives, corn, white or black beans, diced avocadoes...the possibilities are endless!!! 

Salad dressing - You can make your own dressings. I included a lemon vinaigrette dressing. This time I used Champagne Vinaigrette (TJ's, of course). My favorite Trader Joe's salad dressing so far has to be the Poppy Seed Dressing.