Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Slow Cooker Beef Back Ribs

Hi guys! This recipe I am about to share with you is one of my favorites! It's SO easy and SO tasty. I am much a fan of things that fall of the bone and are ultra tender. Who likes dry, tough meat anyway? I wouldn't even call these "fork tender" either. A fork would be much too sharp for these babies! That is how supple and moist these ribs are.

I found this recipe from a friend, Dianne (thanks Dianne!), who shared something similiar from the Better Homes and Garden's website- Chili-Orange Short Ribs. However I couldn't for the life of me find Short Ribs at the market! I went to 3 different grocery stores!! Anyway, I ended up buying "Beef Back Ribs" for a nice price of $10. It would definitely be enough for my parents and I. I also ditched the dried chile de arbol pepper, and used just a pinch of red chili pepper flakes.

As I was preparing everything for the slow cooker, I realized I had forgotten to buy orange juice!! Long story short, these don't need orange juice, though you very well could add it, and either way, it'll be amazing.


What you need:
serves 3
Difficulty level- easy

2.5-3 lbs Bone-in Beef Back Ribs or Short Ribs
5 cloves of garlic
a finger of ginger
1-2 small Maui onions or sweet onions
1 orange or tangerine
1/2 lb cremini mushrooms
2 star anise
garlic salt
1/8 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup dry Sherry wine
1/3 cup shoyu or soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1.5 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp ponzu sauce


1. Rough chop 5 cloves of garlic and one 1-inch finger of garlic. Add to slow cooker.
2. Cut onions in half and slice into half moons. Add to slow cooker.
3. Peel your tangerine or orange. Add the slices to the cooker while squeezing out the juice with your hands. Keep the peel and add it into the mix too.
4. Wash and dry your cremini mushrooms and slice into preferred thickness. I kept mine pretty thick so that it didn't wither away during the long cooking process. Add to the slow cooker.
5. Get your meat out and season well with garlic salt and pepper on all sides. Heat up your pan to high and add oil.
6. Gently lay the meat in the pan to brown. There should be a lot of sizzling goin' on!

7. While the ribs are browning, make your sauce. The sauce consists of 2 star anise, 1/8 tsp chili pepper flakes, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup dry Sherry wine, 1/3 cup shoyu, 1/3 water and 1.5 tsp lemon juice. Whisk to combine and set aside.
8. Once the ribs have that nice golden brown color, take the pan off the heat and transfer the ribs to the slow cooker. It should sit atop the garlic, ginger, onions and mushrooms!

9. Pour the sauce allllllll over those ribs!

10. The last secret ingredient is 2 tsp of Ponzu! Drizzle on top and place the slow cooker lid on top.
11. Set the slow cooker on low for 12 hours and don't, I repeat, don't open it until the time is up!
12. Take the lid off, and skim the oil from the sauce. Enjoy your delicious ribs that will fall of the bone. Trust me, no knife needed!

Just comes right off the bone!!

Gingery and Moist Zucchini Bread with Poppy Seed and Lemon Crunch Glaze

 I adapted this Zucchini bread from a Food 52 recipe, and this is why the name is so long! The author chose to take a little bit of something from 3 different recipes she liked- the olive oil ingredient from a cake recipe, poppy seeds from another, and the lemon crunch glaze from the last recipe. Here you get all the goodies wrapped in one big package!

This recipe takes a big amount of time and effort, though it is fairly easy to make. The biggest headache is grating a whole zucchini and making sure you squeeze as much liquid and juice from it as you can.

It was a long-er process than normal quick bread, but I found the end product a real treat! And you can say it's basically healthy right??

Alright here's the recipe:

What you need:
serves 4-6
Difficulty level- medium

For the bread:
1 zucchini (about 1 lb)
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp poppy seed
2 tbsp chopped candied ginger
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3/4 cup coconut oil
coconut oil spray

For the lemon crunch glaze:
1/3 cup turbinado sugar or raw sugar
1-2 tsp milk
juice of half a lemon
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. With a cheese grater, grate one whole zucchini. Place the grated zucchini in a small bowl with 1/4 cup sugar. Mix.

3. Place zucchini in a colander and squeeze all the juice out of the zucchini as you can. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, and then add the salt, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, poppy seeds, and the chopped candied ginger. Combine all ingredients to make the dry ingredients.

5. In a large bowl, add your eggs, vanilla extract, lemon zest, olive oil and coconut oil. Whisk to combine. These are your wet ingredients.

6. Add your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients slowly. Combine, but don't over mix or the batter will be dry and dense.

7. Now, grab your grated zucchini and add a small amount to the batter at a time. While you're adding it, make sure to squeeze any excess liquid out of the zucchini. Mix zucchini into batter.

You should have a fair amount of zucchini liquid that was squeezed out. I was shocked at how much there was!
8. Spray your loaf pan with coconut oil spray or Pam, and then pour the batter in.

9. Place in oven for 40-45 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.

10. In the meantime, make your glaze. Mix your turbinado sugar, milk, lemon juice and confectioners' sugar together. That's it!
11. Once the 40-45 mins is up and your bread is done, set it on the counter to cool.
12. When bread has cooled, generously drizzle lemon crunch glaze ALL over........then enjoy!

See all the yummy ingredients inside? Zucchini, candied ginger, poppy seeds, and then that luscious glaze on top...delicious!!

Monday, August 31, 2015


This is another recipe adapted from what I've seen on Chrissy Teigen's Instagram. Shakshuka. Very simple to make, simple ingredients and takes about 30 mins or less to whip up. It's basically skillet eggs in tomato sauce. And yup, you can be as creative as you want with this recipe as well. Dump whatever ingredients is getting old in your fridge into this dish, and well, dinner is served! Plus, it's a healthy dish- tomato and eggs, some cheese and basil/ can't go wrong!

What you need:
serves 3-4
Difficulty level- easy

2 garlic cloves
half an onion- sweet or yellow will do
2 tbsp EVOO
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes- I made mine with the Italian style can
1 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
dash of cayenne
leaves of 3 sprigs of thyme
3 tbsp grated parmesan
3-5 eggs
mozzarella, feta or goat cheese


1. Chop up 2 garlic cloves and half an onion.
2. Drizzle EVOO into a deep pan and add in the garlic and onion. Let the onions sweat and turn translucent for a good 5-7 mins.
3. Then pour in the 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes and 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes.
4. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, the sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, dash of cayenne, the thyme leaves and the grated parm.
5. Stir together and put the lid on the pan so it can bubble a bit. The lid and an apron are crucial, as the tomato sauce will splatter!
6. Now, it's time to crack your eggs into the sauce! With your spoon, make a little divot in the sauce and crack your egg into it. Repeat depending on how many eggs you want.
7. Season the eggs with a little salt and pepper. Place lid back on and let it cook for 7-9 mins until the whites are cooked, but yolk still oozes.
8. Before the eggs are done, tear pieces of mozzarella/feta/goat cheese and dot all over the sauce. Place the lid back on.
9. Once cheese has melted and eggs cooked to preference, sprinkle on cilantro and basil shreds.
10. Serve with some crusty bread or Pita!

Some notes for this recipe-
-USE AN APRON and the lid to the pan! This sauce will splatter all over the place.
-You may also sub the cheese with any cheese of your liking. I'm obsessed with goat cheese and this stuff was so creamy and melty in this recipe. I only added a bit to my bowl, as I didn't know how my parents would like the intense flavor of the goat cheese.
- Like I always say, be as creative as you like, especially with this homey dish. Some recipes drop in a bunch of spinach or arugula to add some green freshness to it! I'm thinking I'll even crumble some good 'ol pork sausage into this next time. Mmmmm!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Stuffed Chicken Chrissy Teigen Style!

I'm a big, big fan of Chrissy Teigen and her kitchen prowess. She's what we all envy- a skinny chef. Damn her! Anyway, besides that, I lust over her amazing pictures of food, and her cooking food, and the colors, and spices, and herbs and creativeness she adopts in the kitchen. I'm more surprised her and John Legend are not obese at this point! The secret to her figure is that she cooks low carb. Sometimes, you just gotta cut some carbs- your body and mind will love you for it.

My Stuffed Chicken recipe is adopted from her own Stuffed Chicken recipe. Chrissy mentioned that when she's trying to go low carb, this is one of her favorite recipes because all of the ingredients she stuffs the chicken with keep it so moist and flavorful. It's not the usual, dry, bland chicken. For me, I have to force myself to eat chicken, unless it's this or my Mochiko Chicken. That, I'll eat any day.

So here it is, I hope you enjoy making and eating this dish as much as I did. It's very much like creating art!

PS- Stuff the chicken with anything you want! Instead of bacon like Chrissy uses, I used Sundried Tomatoes just because I had it on hand. And of course, you NEED to use that Boursin cheese. That stuff is amazing.

What you need:
serves 3-4
Difficulty level- Medium

1 whole garlic bulb
EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
S&P- salt and pepper
3 thyme sprigs
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Boursin Cheese- Garlic and Fine Herbs
1/4 cup Sundried Tomatoes
4-5 slices of Prosciutto
Juice of half a lemon
Garlic salt


1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Get your garlic bulb and cut the top half off.
3. Place on foil, drizzle with a little bit of EVOO, salt and pepper and place your 3 thyme sprigs on top.
4. Wrap the foil up around it and squeeze tight. It should look like a little balloon. Set aside.
5. Now, get your 2 chicken thighs. Unwrap the thighs and lay out flat.
6. Place a big piece of Saran Wrap on top of the chicken.
7. Get a kitchen hammer and pound the chicken with the pokey side. Make sure you pound it to about 1/2 inch thick.
8. Take plastic off. Turn chicken upside down so that the inside of the chicken is where you are stuffing it.
9. Top with a generous amount of Boursin. I don't think I stuffed it enough with this stuff, so if you like it cheesy, use a lot! Use one half of the Boursin per chicken thigh- my suggestion.
10. Next, place either chopped or whole Sundried Tomatoes on top of the cheese.
11. Tightly start rolling up the chicken using the short side.
12. Once rolled, get your pieces of Prosciutto and wrap around the chicken. You'll need about 2 slices prosciutto per chicken.
13. Place chicken roll in your pan, squeeze lemon juice on it, and season with garlic salt and pepper.
14. Add that lemon half on the pan too, and place pan in oven for 45-50 mins.
15. After taking the pan out of oven, give the chicken about 5 minutes to sit and settle so the juices soak in. Then you can slice and serve!

Yup, those are some of the Caprese Polenta Cakes in the background from the previous recipe!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Creamy and Cheesy Polenta!

Polenta Cake with Prosciutto, the most perfect soft boiled egg and homemade Pesto

This stuff just makes me happy. It's creamy, warm, comforting. A really yummy alternative to rice. I like to add flavor to this otherwise bland cornmeal with lots and lots of cheese!

So everyone always gets confused with Polenta. What exactly is it? Is it the same as Grits? Well, here's my understanding- both Polenta and Grits are made from dried corn that's ground into coarse bits, aka cornmeal. Some think that the difference lies in geography- Polenta is the Italian version made from yellow corn, while Grits are the Southern carb made from white corn. But really, the two are made from very different types of corn, some say they're unalike in grind (coarse vs fine), and lastly, taste and texture varies from person to person.

For me, hell, I'll eat both! Southern fried shrimp and grits or a nice polenta with the most tender piece of short rib laid on top....yes please! I don't discriminate!

Alright, now you know exactly what you're cooking, here's the recipe below. Just a little note, though. Make Polenta when you have a good hour on your hands. It takes about 45 minutes for the Polenta to come full circle. You'll think you're done at the 20 minute mark, and it'll look ready, but give it a little more time and love, and it will be amazing.

As far as Polenta cakes go, it's easy. Pour your leftover polenta in a large pyrex, so it makes a flat 1/2 inch thick layer. Cover with plastic wrap, stick in the fridge overnight. The next morning for breakfast your polenta has transformed! Cut your polenta into different shapes (squares, circles, triangles), pour a little EVOO in the frying pan, and fry them up til they're golden brown and crispy! I've dreamt about what you can top these babies with. Instead of avocado toast, well, here you got Avocado Polenta Cakes! Or what I've done recently- topped it with Caprese and Balsamic Glaze or a slice of Prosciutto, a soft boiled egg and homemade Pesto. Both were flavorful and satisfying. The possibilities are endless!

What you'll need:
serves 6
Difficulty level: Medium to easy

1 cup Polenta (like Golden Pheasant brand)
4 cups of water
1/2 cup milk or half and half
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp salted butter
1 cup grated Parmesan


1. Pour about a 1/2 cup milk or half and half into a cup and let it come to room temp. Set aside for later.
2. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
3. Once you have a rolling boil, add in 1 tsp salt and pour in your Polenta. Stir.
4. Keep stirring and lower heat to medium.
5. After about 15-20 mins, it should be thickened well. You'll think it's done. Don't stop here! Keep going!
6. At about the 30 minute mark, add in your milk that's at room temp, the butter, and the grated parm. Stir and combine well.
7. In about 10 minutes, your creamy cheesy Polenta will be ready to eat!

For me, this recipe was all about timing. I knew it would take about 40-45 minutes to come together. It was delicious- everything that I had expected!

I served mine with a pan fried, succulent and tender Salmon fillet and some roasted Asparagus. The next day I grilled some Polenta Cakes for breakfast. It was the perfect carry over food. Easy to prepare and you can top it with pretty much anything......even more cheese!

For the Caprese Polenta Cake, I bought a pre-sliced Mozzarella log, some Roma tomatoes, Basil and my trusty Trader Joe Balsamic Glaze, and just put it all together on top of the cake!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Elote (Mexican Corn)

In May, at Seattle's Pike's Place Market!

Yup, you read right! The FFF blog is back, folks! It's still focused on food of course, but a little different this time. In my hiatus, I've surprisingly cooked up (no pun intended), a big passion for cooking! It's very unlike me. Having used to hate being in the kitchen and "making" anything other than rice, I didn't think I'd ever be the cooking type. That was just one thing on the "Wifey Material" list that I just didn't have, and never thought I'd ever have. Fast forward to almost a year ago, having just came back from a trip where I overate and came back feeling sluggish and just plain 'ol chubby, I decided it was time to cook healthy. Just for a week. Yeah, just for a week. 

Long story short, here I am today, sharing my very FIRST recipe on my food blog. Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think!

What is Elote? Elote is a Mexican Corn on the Cob, usually served on the cob with a variety of condiments like mayo, sour cream, lemon or lime juice, chili powder, butter and cotija cheese. All the best things in life, of course!!! Sometimes it is also served with the corn cut off the cob in a cup or bowl with a side of chips to dip it in! The first time I was served this deliciously creamy concoction was in Sedona, Arizona at a restaurant called, non other than, Elote. It was their specialty, and boy did they do it well. Ever since then, I crave this stuff. I made it for my M&D to munch on during the Superbowl earlier this year. Here's the FFF version! With summer coming to a close, get your corn at the supermarket quick!

What you'll need:
serves 6 
Difficulty level: easy

4-6 heads of corn
3/4 cup of mayonnaise
2 tbsp Cholula Hot Sauce
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup Cotija cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp paprika or Tajin citrus chile seasoning (you can find this at Safeway, but I ordered mine online)
a bag of Tortilla Chips


1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Leave husks on corn and place in oven for a good 15 mins. You can do the oven method or boil the corn as well.
2. With oven method, take out after 15 mins and let cool. Set aside.
3.  In a large saucepan, mix the mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper, sugar, and chicken stock together over medium heat.
4. Once corn has cooled, remove the husks and slice the corn off the cob.
5. Mix corn and sauce together over stove.
6. Plate in a large bowl and top with lots of crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro and Tajin.
7. ENJOY with Tortilla Chips!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Livestock Tavern

 Livestock Tavern opened just in the latter part of October by the Owners of Lucky Belly in Chinatown. I've heard such great reviews in just the last few weeks that I had to make my way down, even with all the road construction going on downtown. You're that special, Livestock! And you definitely did not disappoint. I will be back if not for their amazingly-tasty and visually appealing cocktails, but also to try some of their different menu items. I wouldn't even mind coming by myself for lunch, as the vibe and feel of the restaurant is so rustic, comfortable and cool. I see this as the place for a business-casual lunch with friends or clients, and if you're off the clock, a stellar place to get some amazing drinks.

A friend and I went there around 1pm on a Friday, and were immediately seated. I thought it would have been packed, but I guess the lunch crowd left early. We ordered the Clam Chowder, Burrata with Pesto/Fig/Arugula and a Lobster Roll each. I thought it was strange that they were out of a few items- the Heirloom Tomato Salad that comes with Cured Duck would have no duck, the Venison Carpaccio had no Venison, but instead prosciutto and no Bundaberg Ginger Beer. What a shame! I hope they fix this soon!

Anyway, everything we ordered was delicious and filling. My favorite was probably the Burrata with Pesto/Fig/Arugula and I would most definitely order it every time! The New England Corn Chowder had a lot of hearty "gunk" as I like to call it, and I'm sure most people can make a lunchtime meal out of it especially with the little slice of Rye Bread that it comes with. By the time the Lobster Roll came, I was on the fuller side of things, but as soon as I grabbed the roll to take a bite, I was astonished as to how soft and buttery the roll was. It was filled to the max with a generous amount of Lobster. Definitely not skimpy, and it better not be at the $18 price tag. The sauce on the lobster was light and not overpowering, which I liked. As much as I enjoyed how soft the roll was, I would have enjoyed it more (and felt not so guilty) if it wasn't so damn buttery!!! The tips of my fingers were shiny as heck with oil.

Next time, I'll be back to try some new cocktails by Alicia and a bunch of other dinner items like the Porridge and Pork Belly, Crispy Trotters (that I've heard so much about!), Shrimp and Grits and Mushroom Stuffed Pasta.

I'm definitely impressed with Livestock. For being open for such a short time, service was on point, albeit a bit slow at times, but always attentive and courteous. Food was served hot and tasty with such unique presentation. Not to mention the presentation of the restaurant itself was unique and notable as not many other places have that aura. You don't feel like you're in Hawaii anymore! (And I kinda like it!)

PS- Be sure to try their Seasonal Sweet Tea, which is an Apple and Cranberry Tea with All-Spice Simple Syrup. I grabbed one to go, and it kept me refreshed the entire day. Really sweet!

"Nothing Gold Can Stay"- Clear Creek Pear Brandy, Aviation Gin, Lime Juice, Spiced Almond Syrup, Apricot Simple Syrup, and Angostura Bitters

Seasonal Sweet Tea to go!!