Oats and nuts breakfast muffins


I'm not a fan of oatmeal porridge but I enjoy oats in many other forms -- in cookies and, lately, after I learned to make them because Sam loves snacking on them, in granola bars.And these oats and nuts breakfast muffins actually started with granola bars gone wrong. Sam and I were making a batch of granola bars one night, I asked her to get the bottle of honey from a … [Read more...]

Homebaked granola squares


Sam discovered granola bars when she was in high school. By the time she was in college and living away from home, she used to bring a stash of granola bars for a weeks' supply. Granola is muesli -- a loose mixture of oats, nuts, honey and, sometimes, fruits. Geographic location and language account for the difference in name more than anything else.Before it was … [Read more...]

Chicken with mixed berries and almonds


I've heard it often said that sweet and spicy go well together as they enhance each other's flavor. Well, this dish proves the truth of that statement. The chicken fillets were cooked in white wine with sweet-tangy dried berries, ginger and chili. Pearl onions and toasted almonds were added for a surprising contrast. … [Read more...]

Soy-orange chicken with walnuts


Lemon and pineapple often figure in Asian stir fried dishes. Oranges make a more rare appearance perhaps because orange segments easily disintegrate over high heat and constant stirring. But that can be prevented, or at least minimized, by adding the orange segments at the last minute.The previous post about how to segment an orange was a prelude to this recipe -- a … [Read more...]

The pops that became stuffed cookies


Pops are cakes or cookies on sticks. You've probably seen them in bake shops and candy stores. They are very popular gift items especially during Valentine's Day. You know, heart shaped cookies covered in red frosting with piped text that say a dozen different messages. They're fun to eat but it's even more fun to make them. Children will especially enjoy the activity … [Read more...]

Birthday salad


It's called birthday salad because it was made by three people who celebrated their birthday last month -- Buddy, Laura and myself. Just like my complete salad from 2008, this one is savory and filling as it has everything in it -- meat, vegetables, fruit, egg and even nuts. Laura prepped the veggies, Buddy grilled and cut the chicken and yellow pepper, and I made the … [Read more...]

Toasted butter cake with walnuts and cream cheese frosting


When I posted the recipe for bruschetta with tomatoes, basil, pimiento and cheese, I meant to follow it up with a recipe for biscotti to distinguish between the two (in a nutshell, bruschetta is toasted bread while biscotti is twice baked cake). But other interesting dishes were cooked and posted instead.A few days ago, I recalled how I intended to write about biscotti … [Read more...]

Apple and almond strudel


A strudel is a pastry that consists of a filling (often but not always sweet) wrapped in dough. To be more illustrative, the dough is laid out, the filling spread on it, then the dough is rolled, cigarette-like, then baked. The baked pastry is sliced, dusted with confectioner's sugar and served with whipped cream.Traditional recipes call for handmade dough rolled very … [Read more...]

Sweet-spicy red cabbage salad with quail eggs and cashew nuts


This salad contains two kinds of cabbage -- red and green. After adding the salad dressing, however, the red cabbage started to sort of "bleed" and everything turned pink including the hard-boiled quail eggs. Very pretty.What's this salad about anyway? Consider it a low-fat cole slaw with Asian flavors and textures. The salad dressing is the Vietnamese nuoc cham which … [Read more...]

Apple and walnut cake with cream cheese frosting


Based on the carrot cupcake recipe, this apple and walnut cake is moist inside with a light crisp crust on top, not too dense, not too sweet and the addition of roughly chopped walnuts provides a nice contrast to the otherwise old-fashioned texture. The cake is wonderful by itself but, for a more festive look and feel, I decided it deserves to get smeared liberally with … [Read more...]