July 22, 2014

Newlywed Lasagna and Berry Mascarpone Tart

My friend recently received a bunch of cookbooks at her bridal shower(s) and I admit I turned green with envy. Luckily, she is so generous, she lent me some of her books indefinitely (well, I assumed it was indefinitely) and I've been busy trying some recipes from a particularly photogenic book called "The Newlywed Cookbook." The author of the book is delightfully amicable and her recipes are the kinds of food/dishes I want to be eating everyday - flavorful, fresh, and not too hard or time-consuming.

One of the first recipes I bookmarked and tried was this Make Ahead Lasagna (in which you make the sauce and meat if you want, a day in advance). The main change I made was to use whole-milk ricotta instead of cottage cheese, which I think was a more authentic gesture. Maybe the cottage cheese was a healthy alternative but if you're eating a meat lasagna, I think you're better off not worrying about healthifying it because it's just not meant to be that healthy or light.

I also added 1-2 tsp of red chili pepper flakes to the red sauce to give the dish a very light kick. Overall, this lasagna was simple and rustic and totally hit the spot!

If you're looking for a quick and easy dessert to go with this lasagna, I highly recommend something lighter and fruitier. This berry mascarpone tart ties in with the lasagna well because of of the cooling effect of the masacarpone, the mild sweetness of the berries, and the it's just straight up pretty!

Oh, and did I mention the mascarpone is mixed with lemon curd for an extra tart punch of flavor? Lemon curd is always a good idea in dessert...now I just need to find a lemon curd donut recipe! 

July 18, 2014

Breakfast Goody: Best Ever Oatmeal Pancakes

Pancakes are hands down my favorite homemade breakfast. We make them at least once a week and each time, I like to try a new recipe. My favorites tend to be more traditional than lemon ricotta or cinnamon roll pancakes, though I love those for special occasions. For more daily or regular consumption, I prefer/love oatmeal pancakes because they're more hearty and filling. My favorite one used to be one from Cookie and Kate. It was gluten free and really goopy in a good way. But it wasn't quite fluffy or dense enough like a traditional buttermilk pancake.

Now I have found a super easy and delicious oatmeal and white whole wheat pancake recipe. I made it twice in one week...it is simple and wholesome and oh-so-satisfying. Enjoy these pancakes and your weekend! 

Recipe from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/oatmeal-pancakes-ii/

July 14, 2014

New Classic: Pork Banh Mi Bowls

My first favorite cuisine is Vietnamese and my second favorite is Asian Fusion. I especially like eating this type of food in restaurants like Komodo or Asia de Cuba (sadly, closed) because I can't seem to find many recipes for this restaurant-centric cuisine online or in cookbooks.

One recipe I did manage to find put a modern twist on the traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich (typically composed of pate, head cheese, and pork roll as the cold cuts, and cilantro, jalapeno, pickled carrots and daikon as the accessories) by turning it into a pizza, or serving the pork meat on a bed of dough instead of a baguette. I added my own twist by serving the banh mi ingredients in a bowl of white rice simply because I wasn't in the mood for a pizza.

The bowl version was delicious (as I'm sure the original pizza version would have been to). The marinade for the pork was amazing. The two sauces from the recipe are flavorful and unique. the combination of the crunch from the veggies and the tenderness of the pork was phenomenal.

At first glance, this ingredient list seemed intimidating but the recipe didn't take me longer than most other recipes I choose for a weeknight meal.  Especially if you make the pork marinade the night before and marinade the pork overnight, all you have to do is cook some rice and whisk two sauces together.

My take on the recipe above.

The original pizza version and recipe from: http://heatherchristo.com/cooks/2013/09/29/bahn-mi-pizza/

This was one of my favorite recipe finds so far this year. Try it!!