Wednesday, July 25, 2012

REAL Green Eggs & Ham @ Batter Up - Fresno, CA

Batter Up Pancakes
8029 N Cedar Ave
Fresno, CA 93720
(also located at 4025 W Figarden Drive #101, Fresno, CA 9372)
Website here.

*Note: They close at 2pm! They kicked us out because we didn't realize they had closed. Oops.

Ate here with Andrea! I love the blue corn pancakes here. So thick...and I love that grainy texture! "Grainy" might sound gross, but it's not. Imagine the texture of cornbread...but softer and less dense and in pancake form. I ordered the Green Eggs & Ham because a friend from high school who used to work here strongly recommended it to me. So glad I did try it! Delicious! It actually comes with two sides (I can't remember the options, but I ended up ordering a blue corn pancake and country potatoes). Here's the menu description: "Two Eggs Any Style, Ham Cooked in Basil Pesto & Butter"

They also have several interesting pancake options with ingredients like apples, chocolate chips, bananas, etc. baked IN and/or added on top of pancakes. Andrea had a really tasty pancake called The Nina: "Buttermilk Pancake(s) Chocolate Chips, Oats & Bananas ALL COOKED INSIDE THE CAKE" - Sooo good. You can really taste all of the ingredients. I'm really picky about banana things, and I approve of this one. No artificial or over-powering banana flavor. Yum!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Corrie Food in Cooking Across America - Country Comfort Cookbooks

Cooking Across America was officially released TODAY
(July 24th, 2012)!

Who'd have thought that I'd publish recipes in a cookbook before submitting a paper to an academic journal?! I was fortunate enough to publish a few of my/my family's recipes in the book! It's mostly a collaboration with my parents. :) Here's some info about the book and how I became involved:

I don't have pictures because I haven't received my copies yet, but you can go HERE and see all of the details and the front cover.

If you haven't heard of Country Comfort Cookbooks, they're a series of cookbooks created by Mary Elizabeth Roarke and her daughter, Nicole Roarke. Cooking Across America is their 6th and newest edition, and the idea of this book, as reflected in the title, was to collect a bunch of recipes from across America. What's neat about this is that there are brief anecdotes from people related to what inspired them to create this recipe, personal stories related to their dishes, etc. I can't wait to see it and read everything! Here is their Facebook page.

Anyway, how did I become involved? Mary Elizabeth contacted me in November of 2011 and asked if I'd be interested in contributing a few recipes because someone had referred her to my blog! WHAT? I thought it was a joke or some kind of spam message, so I had to look up this book series and everything related to it. I was SO exited when I found out it was a legitimate email!

I'll update this with pictures soon.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chocolate Meringue Kisses

I didn't make mine as perfect as the ones here where I got the recipe, but they still look like kisses!

Looks like an upside-down owl! This is what the meringue looks like before baking & pre-chocolate.
The inside is supposed to have that soft, melt-away texture, but I completely skipped the last step (leaving them in the oven for 15 min after the heat was off, so instead they taste & feel like a Tootsie Roll on the inside
when they get wet in your mouth. Oops!

RECIPE (reworded from MyRecipes)

4 large egg whites, at room temperature 

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 
1/2 cup sugar 
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar 
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1) Preheat oven to 225°F
2) Line 2 large rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper
Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl & beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy
4) Add cream of tartar, increase speed to high, & whip until mixture forms soft peaks
5) Gradually add granulated sugar & continue beating until whites are stiff and shiny
In a separate bowl, sift confectioners' sugar with cocoa to blend
7) Working in thirds, sprinkle cocoa mixture over egg whites & gently fold in until thoroughly incorporated
8) Transfer to a large ziplock bag
9) Seal bag (pinch out excess air)
10) Cut off a small corner of bag
11) Pipe out meringues through hole onto cookie sheets, forming small "kisses," about 2 inches in diameter
12) Bake for 1 hour, until meringues are firm & dry
13) Turn oven off & let meringues sit in oven for 15 minutes * THIS IS THE PART I SKILLED!! *
Let meringues cool on sheets on wire racks
15) Carefully peel kisses off parchment paper. Store @ room temperature in an airtight container.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Chicken Marsala & Ravioli @ Madera Valley Inn Coffee Shop - Madera, CA

Madera Valley Inn Coffee Shop
315 N G Street
Madera, CA 93637

Last night (7/14) Blake and I took our bachans (grandmas) to Madera for dinner, and after that we had a delicious homemade peach pie at Blake's parents' and grandma's house. Yummy night!
Why did we choose the Madera Valley Inn Coffee Shop? Because last year when I had chicken marsala at F. McLintocks in Shell Beach, Blake's bachan ordered the same thing and said that the chicken marsala at the Madera Valley Inn Coffee Shop is much better. I agree! This one below had a stronger wine flavor and was not thick & goopy at all like the one at McLintocks--not that that one was gross; it was just not as good. I liked how this came with steamed broccoli and pilaf too!

Blake's ravioli. I know they're known for their spaghetti and ravioli sauce, but honestly while the sauce was good, the ravioli and the lasagna noodles were a little too soft for me. Everyone else enjoyed the noodles. I think those canned Chef Boyardee ravioli ruined soft noodles for me. That soooffft texture kinda weirds me out now even if the sauce is good. Oh well. Glad I got the chicken marsala! Yum!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Virgin Lemon & Mint Spritzer

Easy. Refreshing. Inspired by Macaroni Grill's lime-flavored Limonata Nojito, which is made of San Pellegrino Limonata, agave nectar, lime, and mint. Ate there last night w/ Blake. Basically tastes like a minty lemon soda. It'd also taste great with lime juice, but I had to use some lemons and didn't have any limes.


3-5 lemons
1-2 cups cold water
1/2 - 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 liter tonic water
mint leaves (some chopped, some whole)

* Note: I didn't measure, so these are estimates. You might prefer more or less of something.

(1) Juice 3-5 lemons and pour into pitcher
(2) Add water
(3) Add sugar
(4) Add tonic water
(5) Add mint leaves
(6) Add ice
(7) Mix well

Pretty simple, right? You could also make a simple syrup (Boil 1 part water : 1 part sugar and cool it).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quady Winery's Elysium Chocolate Sauce

Wow. My mom told me she could just drink this stuff, so I knew it had to be good, and it really is! I think this would be a great gift for Valentine's Day, birthdays, and any kind of event for chocolate-lovers. You don't even need to like wine. It's sweet, thick, and sooo delicious on vanilla ice cream I'm excited to experiment with this. Like the back of this bottle says, their wine, Elysium, pairs well with chocolate, which is what they did when they created this sauce. Dave commented on this post and said that the syrup also makes a great Elysium Chocolate Shake (ice cream, milk, Elysium Chocolate Sauce and a splash of Elysium). That sounds amazing. I'm definitely going to try that! Thanks, Dave!

P.S. Like the bowl? I actually used my parents' wedding gift. It was originally a sugar bowl, but I dropped and broke the cover awhile ago. :(

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Bulgar Pilaf

Hot, delicious bulgar with mushrooms!


2 tablespoons butter (I used margarine...but as of 2011 I am anti-margarine for cooking & baking purposes)
1/2 lb. sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped green onion (I used white onions instead)
1 cup bulgar (uncooked)
2 cups water

1. Saute onions and mushrooms in butter until brown.
2. Stir in bulgar and salt, and stir for about one minute.
3. Add water and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly.
4. Cover and place in a 350-degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

Made this a few nights before 1/12/08 (I've been editing my old posts and wanted to republish this one), and it was yummmyy. Normally, I can taste the difference between margarine and butter, but I couldn't this time. I put it all in an uncovered pie dish and looked at it after 15 minutes. The bulgar was still a tiny bit hard at that point, so I left it in for about two more minutes, and then it was perfect!

Green Tea Latte Slush w/ Boba @ Pearl Tea House - Fresno, CA

Pearl Tea House
2633 E. Shaw Avenue
Fresno, CA 93710

I know the color is off-setting, which I realized in my junior year high school math class when a classmate expressed his complete and utter disgust and bewilderment at this green drink with dark round fish egg-like blobs at the bottom. Don't worry. They're just tapioca balls made from cassava roots. They're just chewy (fun to eat!) and don't have too much flavor. I think they kind of taste like coffee a tiny bit.

* FYI: Boba = tapioca = pearl = bubble

I really can't tell you how much I LOVE this green tea latte slush (I've mentioned their pineapple slush with boba before too). It's my favorite green tea drink, and Pearl Tea House is my favorite boba place--period. My high school friends and I have been going there since high school. Their boba are always perfectly squishy/chewy without being too soft or to hard. I do have to say that one lady that works there isn't the warmest or the most polite, but the others seem nice and welcoming. You can also order this with less sugar, without boba, etc. The lower sugar one actually doesn't taste much different, which is great! I love how they use matcha powder so it tastes like real green tea...but it's never bitter or too sweet! Mmm!

Other green tea drinks:
Cha for Tea's Green Tea Ice Cream (in Irvine, CA. This was actually a slushy drink --- GOOOD! 2nd favorite green tea drink)
Tay Tah Cafe's Green Tea Slush with Boba (in Albany, CA)
Green Tea Slush w/o Boba (in Richmond, CA at a boba place in a shopping center called Pacific East Mall)
Beard Papa's Green Tea Slush (Okay...not the best)