Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

Here’s a quick weeknight dinner recipe… spicy chicken corn chowder, which can be made (mostly) with pantry ingredients: canned chicken broth, a can of evaporated milk, and a can of Costco chicken breast.  For fresh ingredients, I use 2 ears of corn (you can substitute with frozen corn kernels), an onion, bell pepper, cilantro, and [...]

Zaru Soba (Cold Japanese Buckwheat Noodles)

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Cold soba noodles are a Japanese summer staple… when the weather gets really hot, these buckwheat noodles make a very refreshing and light meal (especially when you don’t feel like eating anything too hot or heavy).  This type of soba is served with various toppings (usually nori and chopped green onion), along with a side [...]

Langostino Scampi and Polenta

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Last time I went to Costco, I found a new item – frozen (cooked) Langostino tails.  What are “langostinos“?  Here in the U.S., “langostinos” refer to the Squat lobster (which is not what we think of as a real “lobster” – it’s actually a species related to hermit crabs).  Do not confuse “langostino” with “langoustes” [...]

Affogato (Italian espresso and ice cream or gelato)


In Italian, “affogato” means “drowned” or “drowned in coffee“…. and refers to an Italian espresso-based beverage (or dessert) in which hot espresso is poured over a scoop of ice cream or gelato. In it’s simplest form, you would just pair a shot of espresso with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to make an Affogato. [...]

Cioppino (Seafood Stew)

Homemade Cioppino

Cioppino is a tomato-based seafood stew which is traditionally made from the catch of the day (typically a combination of Dungeness crab, clam, mussels, shrimp, scallops, squid, and fish).  While many people think of this dish as being Italian, it actually hails from San Francisco, California!  During the late 1800′s, San Francisco fisherman would cook up [...]

Jalapeño Nacho Cheese Sauce Dip

Jalapeno Nacho Cheese Sauce

Here’s my quick and easy Nacho Cheese Sauce dip recipe.  It’s made with simple ingredients that you probably already have at home… butter, flour, milk, and cheese… spiced up with a  jalapeño pepper.  (If you prefer less spicy, you can omit the jalapeño or substitute the  jalapeño with 2 T. diced mild green chiles or your favorite salsa.) [...]

Kalimotxo (Spanish red wine and coke cocktail) a.k.a. “Calimocho”

Kalimotxo (aka "Calimocho")

I don’t often drink regular Coke (Diet Coke is my soda of choice)… but when we do end up with a leftover bottle of regular Coca Cola in the refrigerator… KALIMOTXO time!!!!  What is Kalimotxo (sometimes spelled “Calimocho”)???? Well, it’s a very simple Spanish cocktail made with half Coke and half cheap red wine, served [...]

Taiwanese Watermelon Toast (Asian Watermelon Inspired Bread)

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Earlier this week, I read some articles on the “Watermelon Toast” craze that has hit Taiwan.  Lee Wen-fa (a head baker at Jimmy’s Bakery in Yilan County, Taiwan) created a fantastic watermelon shaped and colored loaf of fluffy Asian style milk bread (shokupan) in order to “encourage young children to eat more during the hot summer [...]

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Happy 4th of July!  Now that it’s summer and HOT… I’ve been making a lot of iced coffee.  My favorite way to make iced coffee is using a cold brew method – it’s a bit slower – but flavor-wise, the resulting coffee is rich and sweet.  Part of the reason for the enhanced flavor using [...]

Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Bundt Cakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Mini Bundt Cake

A few years ago, I got a Wilton Mini Bundt Pan.  I really like the size of this pan because you can make smaller mini bundt cakes that can be given away to friends and family (or as gifts)… while still keeping some cake for yourself!  For portion control, these smaller cakes are also great [...]