Honey’d Kale Salad

Hello everyone!

Long time no post, how are you? 🙂 I’ve been really bad at keeping my blog postings regular and I apologize. Things get crazy with school, but I’m currently on my spring break & I have planned out and stocked up on some recipes for when times get busy. I work really hard on my other blog as well, and my partner and I are making up plans to crank out posts 2-3x a week. It’s pretty hectic over there, but feel free to check it out at www.p2pstyle.blogspot.com ! Manning two blogs & going to school full time is so much more work than people perceive…but I’ve always said that my choice to blog is purely for myself. It’s like a public diary where I document through posts and photography. Anyways, enough blabbering…recipe time!

Kale. Kale. Kale. What can I say about kale that everyone hasn’t said already? It’s so popular & such a tasty dark green that’s good for your body. Of course, I don’t think it’s wise to have a diet consisting of 80% kale…but if you choose to eat kale all day everyday…hey to eat their own. Personally, I believe everything should be eaten within moderation. Here is my favorite way to prep kale in its raw state. I also love a good sauteed kale or braised kale, but that’s besides the point. This salad is super refreshing, sweet, and savory all at the same time.

You’ll see in the recipe below, I treat my kale salad with a massaging method. I recommend this step to every kale salad you make. It helps break down a bit of the toughness and adds a layer of flavor to your salads.

Salad Ingredients:
Kale – 1 Bunch (preferably curly leaf kale)
Fruits of your choice – I used strawberries & oranges, but I also love this salad with mangos
Toasted almonds – optional

Dressing:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 4-5 Tbsp plus extra for drizzling
Lemon – 1 whole, cut in half
Honey – 1 Tbsp
Sea Salt
Lemon Pepper

Preparing the Kale:
1. De-stem the kale and roughly chop to bite size pieces and place into a large bowl
2. Drizzle juice of half a lemon over the kale, followed by a drizzling of olive oil
3. Season well with sea salt, the abrasiveness of the salt also aids with breaking down the leaves
4. Massage for 2-3 minutes, until leaves look slightly wilted & put aside while prepping dressing
*to avoid super oily hands, I put on disposable gloves for this step*

Dress & Serve:
Dressing: combine juice of half a lemon, honey, and olive oil and give it a good whisk, season with salt and lemon pepper to taste (I am very liberal with the pepper)
1. Pour dressing over the kale and toss/massage
2. Toss in your choice of fruits and gently toss so your fruit doesn’t become pulp… 😛
3. Add almonds, or any choice of nut, right before serving

Recipe adapted from the Food Network

*This salad can actually be made ahead of time, it’s even more delicious the day after. I would withhold the nuts till serving time. If your fruits are extremely juicy, withhold till serving time as well.*

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Finally got to use the olive oil my sister gifted me from Greece!

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Massage the kale…help it relax… 😉

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Dress it up!

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Had some company while shooting outside 🙂

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She was sad she couldn’t snag some kale salad… 😐

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Easy Pork Tenderloin [Dry Rub]

Hey Everyone!

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had exams last week in school and I was studying my butt off. But I’m back & it feels so nice to be blogging once again. I just posted on my #P2Pstyle blog, so go check that out if you’re interested in more of my day to day happenings/fashion/makeup/ramblings. Blogging feels like a place where I can share little bits of who I am with the world (which is an awesome and fascinating concept to me). Anyways, today I come to you with a super easy recipe.

Pork tenderloin is a beautiful cut of pork that’s lean yet extremely tender. It’s much easier to tend to than a pork chop which can get dry if you over cook it for 1 second. I even use pork tenderloin for my chashu recipe, to get a leaner yet flavorful dish. (I’ll post that recipe up another time, it’s really simple!)

The star of this dish is the 21 Seasoning Mix by Trader Joes. I swear, this seasoning tastes great on almost anything. It has so many ingredients, but remains sodium free (I add salt to my mix, but it’s optional). I love it with pork or chicken. It’s my go-to spice rub when I want to cut down steps. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by, try any seasoning mix & find which ones you like. 🙂

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Ingredients:
Pork Tenderloin – 1 lb
21 Seasoning Mix – 3 tsp
Sea Salt – 1.5 tsp

Steps:
1. Preheat your oven to 425 F
2.Rinse your pork and pat it dry with a paper towel
3. Mix together the sea salt and seasoning mix in a small bowl & generously coat the pork
4. Place on a rack with some tin foil (or a baking sheet) under; just to catch the minimal fat that may render off
5. Pop in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on how thick your cut of tenderloin is

I paired my tenderloin with some sauteed asparagus & brown rice for a simple dinner. Enjoy! 😀

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Pomegranate Duck

Hello Everyone!

As you all know, this past weekend was Valentine’s day. Instead of going out to a fancy dinner, I decided to invite family over and cook a gourmet meal right at home. I felt like this weekend was the right time to try coming up with a duck recipe. I don’t have much experience cooking duck, but it’s something that I always order when eating out. Duck confit, glazed duck breast, duck fried rice, duck whatever. It has a slightly gamey taste and high fat content, making it oh-so rich and tasty.

Duck is often harder to find in grocery stores, so I headed over to my local Whole Foods and consulted the butcher. Portion wise, he suggested 1/2 lb of duck per person. I was serving 6 people, so I got 3 lbs of duck. The serving sizes were absolutely perfect! We had a mixture of big eaters and light eaters, but everyone was full and there were no leftovers!

I paired the duck breast with a tart pomegranate sauce that complimented the gamey flavor. The tartness of the sauce also helps cut the fatty richness of the duck. Honestly, this recipe tops a lot of dishes that I’ve tried at very expensive restaurants. I was extremely happy with the results & got more than great responses.

I served the pomegranate duck next to some sauteed rainbow chard & japanese black garlic mash potatoes.

Ingredients (serves: 6 people)
Duck Breast – 3 lbs
Sea Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder
(generous sprinkling on each piece)

Pomegranate Sauce:
Pomegranate Juice – 1 cup
Vegetable stock – 1/4 cup
Cornstarch – 2 tsp
Cold water – 4 tsp
Fresh Pomegranate Seeds – 1/2 cup

Steps:
1. Prep a baking sheet with foil & Pre-heat oven to 150 F
2. Rinse the duck breasts and pat dry
3. Season the duck well with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
4. On med-high, cook the duck skin side down for 5 minutes or until skin looks golden brown and crispy
5. Flip and cook the other side for 5 more minutes, occasionally base the skin with the duck fat that has accumulated in the pan
6. Place duck onto the baking sheet & allow duck to rest in the warmed oven for at least 10 minutes, or until ready to serve.
7. To achieve a extremely crispy skin: fry the duck skin side down a second time prior to serving (I chose not to this time around, but may try it next time I prep duck!)

Sauce:
1. Place pomegranate juice and vegetable stock in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
2. Mix the cornstarch and cold water together and slowly pour slurry into the pomegranate juice mixture.
3. Add the pomegranate seeds and bring back to a boil.
4. Once boiled and thickened, cover & leave on the lowest heat possible until you’re ready to serve.

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Sweet Ginger Rice Ball Soup

Hello Everyone!

California is finally having some rain and gloomy days. It’s a bit sad to think that 50 degree weather feels like winter to me, when I hear of snow storms and negative degree weather over taking certain parts of America. Nonetheless, I have a recipe for you that will warm you right up. It’s actually a traditional asian dessert that is served hot after dinner. There are many varieties of the dessert soup, some pair it with red bean, black sesame, or taro. Today, I’m going to show you how to prep it with ginger. The soup also contains sweet rice balls, which are very similar to boba or tapioca (you may substitute if rice balls aren’t available to you.) They’re soft, chewy, and absorb whatever flavor you boil it in. This soup is sweet, syrupy, and spicy. Perfect for a cold night.

Extra Knowledge Blurb: Ginger, in the asian culture, is believed to have medicinal properties. It’s known to provide extra warmth, therefore those that are going through extreme weather or colds/illnesses are encouraged to consume more ginger. It’s believed to “warm ones’ heart” referring to the hot sensation felt in the chest when drinking fluids that contain ginger. Sometimes it’s even used externally to provide heat to certain body parts. Now, with this ginger knowledge, let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:
Rock Sugar or Cane Sugar – 90 grams (a little less than 1/2 cup)
Ginger – 2 inch knob; sliced
Water – 4 cups
Sweet Rice Balls – a 7oz bag
*This version is quite sweet. To alter the taste, adjust the sugar/water ratio to your liking!*

Steps:
1. Place water + ginger into a pot & bring to a simmer
2. Once simmering, add sugar and boil until all the sugar is dissolved
3. Pour rice balls into the ginger syrup
4. Bring soup back up to a boil
5. Once the rice balls float, they’re done!

*The crystal looking object in the photo = Rock Sugar*

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Chinese Style Tomato Beef

Hey everyone!

So…my mom recently took a little tumble. She’s okay but has some scratches and a swollen sprained ankle. Therefore, dinner will be on me for a bit. 🙂 I decided to cook one of my favorite dishes that you can basically find at any Chinese restaurant. *drum roll…* Tomato Beef! *applause* Hahaha, I’m such a loser. 😛 There may seem to be a lot of steps to this recipe, but don’t be intimidated! I’m going to split up the process into little sections to make the process smoother. Most of it is just prep. The end will be worth it! 😀

This dish is sweet, hearty, and great with a bowl of steaming white rice. Enjoy! 🙂

Step 1: Prep the Beef
Flank steak – 1.5 lb
Cornstarch – 1 Tbsp
Cold Water – 1 Tbsp
Soy Sauce – 2 Tbsp
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Salt – Pinch

1. Slice the flank steak (against the grain) into thin slices & place into a large bowl
2. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, water, soy sauce, sugar, & salt. Mix till no clumps remain.
3. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the beef & mix well
4. Let beef sit and marinade at room temperature while you prep for the next steps!

Step 2: Prep the Vegetables
Beefsteak Tomatoes – 4 medium
Onion – 1 medium-large
Spring Onion/Green Onion – 2 stalks
Garlic – 2 cloves

1. Cut tomatoes into large chunks
2. Chop the onions and spring onions (I prefer thin slices, but you can cut however you like)
3. Mince the garlic into small pieces
4. Set all your vegetables aside

Step 3: Collect Ingredients for the Sauce *heaping = be generous & don’t bother to even out the measurements!*
Tomato paste – 1 heaping Tbsp
Ketchup – 1/4 heaping cup
Water – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Soy Sauce – 1 Tbsp
Salt & Pepper to taste (I prefer white pepper in this recipe)

Step 4: Let’s Cook!
1. On high heat, coat a non-stick pan with ~1 Tbsp of oil
2. Saute beef for 4-5 minutes or ~80% cooked through, place in a separate bowl/plate and set aside
3. In the same pan, toss in your garlic and onions. Cook till onions turn a bit translucent.
4. Throw in the tomatoes and let the vegetable mixture cook together for ~5 minutes or until tomatoes break down a little
5. Remember to season as you go! Whenever you add a new ingredient, sprinkle the pan with salt/pepper.
6. Mix all the sauce ingredients into the vegetable mixture
7. Put the beef back into the pan with all the vegetables and sauce
8. Mix & let simmer for 5-7 minutes until the beef is cooked all the way and the sauce thickens
9. Mix in green onions last minute, save some to garnish the plate if you’d like.
9. Eat with steamed white rice or noodles & enjoy!

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Teriyaki Glazed Chicken

Hello everyone! I have a chicken glaze for you today. I just made this for dinner tonight and it came out pretty good. So, I whipped out my camera and snapped a few shots so I can share with you guys! It’s sweet and savory. The marinade creates a glaze over the chicken when sautéed. This is a recipe that requires the chicken to marinade for 1-2 hours (just a forewarning). Due to the sugar, the marinade causes a bit of blackening when cooked. If you don’t prefer that, you can avoid the blackening by baking it instead. Nonetheless, I hope you try it out & like it!

Ingredients:
Boneless&Skinless Chicken Thigh – 1.5lb/pkg
Teriyaki Sauce – 1/4 cup
Dark Brown Sugar – 1 tbsp
Cooking Wine – 1 tbsp (I used rice wine for this recipe)
Mirin – 1 tbsp (Mirin substitute: 1 Tbsp vinegar +1/2 tsp. granulated sugar)
Garlic – 1/2 tsp
Ginger – 1/2 tsp

Steps:
1. Rinse chicken & place in a large bowl or ziploc bag
2. Combine all the ingredients, mix, and set aside for 1-2 hours
3. Liberally oil the pan, and cook for ~4-5 minutes each side on high/med-high heat
*I put the lid on the pan while browning both sides to let the meat cook a little faster, but it’s optional*
4. If baking, place in oven at 375F and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked all the way through

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Chocolate P.B Banana Smoothie + Introducing Brie!

Hello everyone! I was sitting in my living room working on a post for P2Pstyle. I suddenly started craving a smoothie…but I was feeling super lazy. So instead of going out and purchasing a smoothie, I scrounged up things I found in my kitchen. I’m not going to lie to you and say this was the best smoothie I’ve ever had/made, but it settled my craving. It was smooth, slightly creamy, full of banana and peanut butter goodness. Also, this smoothie isn’t super horrible for you…I mean it’s no green smoothie juice cleanse…but at least it isn’t a waist widening treat. Personally, the smoothie wasn’t chocolatey enough for me (since I’m a chocolate freak…). I would definitely add 1 Tbsp of unsweetened Cocoa powder next time.

Ingredients:
Chocolate Soymilk – 1 Cup
Banana – 1/2
Peanut Butter – 2 Tbsp
Ice – 1 Cup

Steps:
1. Place ingredients into a blender & blend until smooth
2. Pour in a glass & enjoy!

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As I was making my smoothie, there was this little pups begging for a lick of peanut butter. Let me introduce you to my brother’s dog named Brie. She is the reason why I named my blog “Crackers&Brie.” Here she is! She’s a corgi/beagle mix, but we also believe she has lab inside of her. She’s a rescue & she’s the family princess. 🙂

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Udon Noodle Soup

Hello everyone!

As you know from my previous post, I am recovering from a pretty bad cold. My boyfriend came over this weekend to tend to me. He was the best man a sick girl could ask for. I felt spoiled. But he left a couple days ago & now I’m tending to myself once again. So I decided to whip up a super simple noodle soup for dinner!

I really appreciate a flavorful clear broth. My mom makes a really simplistic chicken soup by placing a whole chicken into a pot of water and boiling it with carrots, daikon, and potato. Sometimes she will add some ginger and spices, but usually it’s just the whole chicken with a couple vegetables. It’s really clean and crisp in flavor. It’s great for anyone suffering from an illness. I highly recommend it! This broth is what I used for the base of my soup today. 🙂

Now let’s talk noodle. Udon is a Japanese wheat flour noodle that is known for its thick and chewy texture. It’s actually one of my favorite noodles to chomp on. You can put it in soup, sauté it, eat it with an egg and splash of broth. It’s so versatile and utterly delicious. P:

This recipe is light in flavor yet savory and delicious. Hope you enjoy!

What you need:
Chicken Broth – 3 cups
Udon – 1 individual package
Egg – 1
Spinach – Handfull
Sesame seeds or Furikake (japanese rice seasoning) – a pinch

Steps:
1. Bring the chicken broth to a boil
2. Add the noodles and cook for ~5 minutes
3. Crack an egg directly into the pot and cook for 1-3 minutes (the longer the firmer the egg will be, I like mine runny so I cooked it for ~1-2 min)
4. Throw in the spinach and let it wilt
5. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds or furikake

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Sarah’s Bridal Shower

Hello everyone!

I’ve been pretty sick the past couple days and today wasn’t any less brutal than the others. I literally have mountains of tissues filling up every trash bin in my house and my nose is raw and chapped. Boooooooo. On a total tangent, I just started watching the series Chuck and I am really liking it so far. I am watching an episode as I type this post… 🙂

Let’s go back in time…to Summer 2013. The summer my sister got married. It was such a joyous moment for everyone. She was the prettiest bride there will ever be! I had such a blast supporting her through the wedding process. One of the things that was on my list of duties was to throw a Bridal Shower. My sister is a pretty private person, so I planned an intimate get together in our own backyard. Everything was DIY and all the food was prepped by yours truly.

My friend, Justin was gracious enough to come over and help me snap some shots for the day. He has his own photo blog & facebook fan page!! Check him out HERE & HERE! All the pictures in this post are credited to him. Enjoy!

Everything prepared was at the request of my sister’s favorite things: Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes, Vanilla Bean Cupcakes, Salted Caramel Stuffed Double Chocolate Chip Cookies, Charcuterie Plate, Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Strawberries, Strawberry Lemonade, White Wine Sangria 

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Everyone had a wonderful time & my sister got asked multiple times — “Who catered this party?” With that being said, everyone enjoyed this simple spread of deliciousness.  This table served a little less than 20 people (with loads of leftovers…!) Is it your turn to throw a bridal shower? Keep it simple & contemplate a DIY backyard party! 🙂

The Best Way to Prep Salmon

Almost a year later, I am scrambling back to this blog. Clawing at my brain for why I’ve neglected this little food blog of mine for almost a year. I have the excuse of nursing school, but I definitely had little pockets of time that I could have dedicated to this site. But I didn’t. I chose to sit on my bum and eat ice cream while watching Dexter on Netflix. Sorry not sorry. 😉

So a quick update: I am 22 years old, halfway through Dexter season 6, going into my 3rd (out of 6) semester of nursing school, and am currently in the process of launching a lifestyle blog with my friend, who also goes by the name Priscilla! Here’s a little linky link –> check it out! Oh & I got a new camera, so the picture quality should be getting better. But bear with me as I learn how to use it & hone in some photography skills (I took one photo class in high school, I got an A. So…I think I pretty much got this. Just kidding. Honestly, the pictures for this blog entry are really rusty, i know.)

I kept mentioning things on my facebook that would be going onto my blog. But I didn’t post it. I even had a friend come shoot a catering thing I did…and haven’t posted. I think I’ll post that one like a #tbt kinda ordeal.

ENOUGH…of me. Let’s resurrect this little nugget of a food blog with a revisited recipe (I deleted the previous salmon entry because it was a mess of words) But here is my FAVORITE…way to prep salmon. The important thing to take out of this is the parchment paper. You can really do any marinade or salmon flavorings you want. I just chose to share one of my favorites. Enjoy!

The Best Way to Prep Salmon

What you need:

  1. Parchment paper/large sheet approx. 1.5 ft. x 1.5 ft.
  2. Salmon/~1lb filet
  3. Oil (I use avocado here, but olive oil or any flavored oil would be fantastic too)/ 2 tsp
  4. Soy Sauce/ 1 tbsp
  5. Crushed Garlic/ 2 tsp (1 tsp if you don’t want your breath to smell glorious)
  6. Dark Brown Sugar/ 1 tbsp
  7. Sliced Ginger/ enough to sprinkle over the filet
  8. Salt & Pepper / pinch of each

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Wash salmon, pat dry, & place on parchment
  3. Coat salmon with oil and soy sauce
  4. Rub on the crushed garlic and dark brown sugar (the oil & soy should help create almost a glaze)
  5. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, and cover you salmon with ginger slices
  6. Fold up the parchment (so the fish is sealed) & bake for 20-25 minutes

*Timing for an individual piece of salmon: 6-8oz = 10-15 min; and cut ingredient amt. in half*

This method allows the salmon to infuse with flavor and stay tender and moist without having to marinade. The worst thing is dry fish. This recipe ensures moist fish every time.