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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