Just a good, colorful bento guest that, though I have never tasted, is enjoyed very well by my husband!
Tips and tricks
I've done this many times without mirin and I think it was fine. I have no idea between the difference in taste, anyway. ^_^;
Another version of tamagoyaki that earned a voluntary "the egg today was delicious" comment from my husband was when I used small bits of eggplant (instead of carrot and bell pepper), a bit of milk (instead of mirin) and cheese slice (instead of nori).
I've had better days with tamagoyaki rolling but I didn't have a chance to do a pictorial aside from when they were already in my husband's bento box:
When I first cooked this recipe for my husband exactly a year ago, he asked me to cook it for dinner and his bento again. And then again. We ate this 5 times during that week.
Then a few weeks later, I found out from his mother that since he was a child, he has never liked curry. I was so surprised! Turns out, my husband doesn't like Japanese curry-- in which they put a bit of ketchup, Worcester sauce and apple to flavor it. (I've tasted it from a vegetarian restaurant in Nara City called "Kinatei" and for me, it is to-die-for! I couldn't get enough of it. But well, if I'm cooking for just 2 people, I'd prefer to cook this coco curry so that my husband will also eat. :P But I'll be posting a standardized version of vegan Japanese curry next time. ^_~)
Anyway, let's just go straight to the recipe. :)
My husband loves my cheesecake. And my cheesecake is my favorite. Probably because I can make it a bit more lemony than the ones available here. Honestly, I'm not yet fully satisfied with the texture of my cheesecake (because I want it a little more fluffy) but my husband finds it perfect so I guess you'll also be fine with this recipe, especially if you are more into the texture of unbaked, moist cheesecake. :)
You'll also notice in this recipe that I used margarine instead of butter. I would have preferred to use normal cooking oil (like I did when I was once just craving for my lemony cheesecake and it went out fine). But since I cooked this to give as a present, although I know it's not really healthy, I used margarine because butter is also... well, financially unhealthy. :P
Ever since my first cheesecake passed my husband's standard, it has become our habit to give it to his co-workers whenever we're invited to their homes. However, I never had the motivation to standardize it or even just write a recipe because for me, baking, especially cheesecake, is like a calming ritual. I just feel the ingredients and play with it, usually while on an Indian sit or something, on our freshly-vacuumed floor.
Then last week, we decided to make mothers' day and fathers' day cakes to bring to his hometown. And my husband said sweetly, "Won't you make a recipe of your cheesecake so that I can also make it when I want to?" So came the birth of this recipe. :)
As for the preferred cookie base, in this recipe, I used 150 g fruit granola and a pack of 100 g cigarette cookie. I've also used cornflakes + cigarette cookie as base and the traditional 100% crushed graham crackers before. Even ground muesli + instant oats + sugar and Oreo cookies for the chocolate cheesecake I made once. I hope to make vegan cheesecake (tofu-cake doesn't sound so enticing) and use ground cashew and some other things for the base and cashew again and tofu for the cheesecake part. But that will have to wait, especially now that my kitchen adventures will be decreased since I just got a job again!
I'd love to try using yogurt instead of cream but I usually don't have yogurt in stock because it expires much faster compared to cream... But I'll surely try that next time. ;)
Don't dare over-mixing the cheesecake mixture once the eggs are incorporated or else your cheesecake will crack when baked.
If you want to make chocolate cheesecake, be careful with the lemon! I'd suggest putting a few more drops of vanilla oil instead, and just half to a tablespoon of lemon or else you'll have no choice but to smile at a sour chocolate cheesecake... mmm...
Neither my husband nor I have ever tasted the original Mexican tacos. And I'm not sure if this is my second or third time to cook tacos, nevertheless, it's a recipe I am very proud to declare as a "must-try!"
The first and only tacos I've ever eaten from the moment I was born til a week ago was that cooked by a vegetarian friend probably 8 years ago. But that moment of gastronomic experience lives in me until now. She used ground textured soy protein then, but I used frozen-and-thawed tofu-- a very accessible ingredient for a wonderful ground-beefy effect.
2. Put a nonstick pan over medium high heat then pour oil as soon as it gets hot.
3. When the oil is hot, toss in the tofu bits and season with black pepper, ajinomoto,
cumin, chili powder and soy sauce. Mix well and stir-fry until some tofu bits are
quite brown and crunchy.
4. Toss in the tomatoes. I used canned tomatoes because fresh tomatoes here are quite
expensive. But if you're using canned tomatoes too, you should scoop out the tomato
chunks using a fork to minimize wetting the ground tofu taco filling or else you'll
end up with soggy tacos.
5. Add sugar and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Turn off fire.
Tips and tricks
The way my husband and I enjoy eating this is, first, having a bite on the taco, munch it a little followed by a bite on the paprika strips-- this way, the paprika gives a burst of refreshing sweetness to the whole taco! I tried biting the paprika simultaneously with the rest of the taco and the effect was different-- the paprika just blended in very subtly, almost unrecognizable, to the strong cumin and soy sauce flavor.
This dish is one of my and my husband's favorites. We have this once a week, like spaghetti. Do you need more convincing on how wonderful this recipe is? ^_~
It looks difficult because of the many layers of flavor pad Thai has, but it actually isn't! It is actually simple and quick, if you follow the recipe. And don't worry about the ingredients-- below, I wrote some tips and alternatives if some of the ingredients are not available in your area.
Tips and tricks
If you don't have chili bean paste: Just use the best chili flakes or powder you have.
If you don't have aburaage: The thing with aburaage is, it absorbs some of the pad Thai sauce, giving you a burst of flavor when you bite into it. So if you don't have aburaage, deep fry tofu then use it the same way you'll use aburaage in the recipe. Or, just do what I did-- add more vegetables. It's delicious-- just less the burst of flavor.
This is what's currently trending in my kitchen.
One night, my mother-in-law cooked it for dinner and ever since then my husband has been asking me to cook the same dish for him. I've cooked this probably 5 times the past 5 or 6 weeks. But each time I matched it with different sauces. Once with a simple white sauce, then with quick pesTomato sauce, then with gli spaghetti alla primavera sauce, and recycled lettuce-bell pepper salad turned into tomato red spaghetti sauce. My husband is not a fan of white sauces but all versions were successful. But I'd recommend basil pesto or pesTomato sauce-- basil really put wonders to simply delicious meal.
Tips and Tricks
I'd recommend mixing in a bit of vanilla essence to the batter to neutralize the smell of egg. Also, when I made this for myself, I used much less egg and more milk and it tasted wonderful.
Well, here we go to two great recipes that I learned from my husband and from his mother.
This peppered pumpkin is one the my husband's favorite way of eating pumpkin. I've never seen pumpkin prepared this way until he cooked it, and I instantly fell in love as much as I fell for him. Uhm... maybe I'd choose the pumpkin. *evil laugh*
I've heard about tofu burgers before but my first time to cook it was after I actually watched my mother-in-law prepare her own version. Which was also her first time. It was good and I loved it but it was quite thick (about an inch) so the non-vegs in the house didn't appreciate it as much as I did.
Then the next day, before lunchtime, I was looking for it. And found out that my sister-in-law ate all the remaining 3 and a half burgers while drinking non-alcoholic beer the previous midnight.
So I guess this dish passed with flying colors! ^_^
For the peppered pumpkin, I'd like to mention a very important comment from my husband: sweet pumpkins work wonders in this recipe.
Fried tofu on gingery cabbage topped with stir-fried shiitake mushroom is a simple-tasting yet delicious dish that is perfect for freshening up your taste buds specially after a series of too flavorful meals.
Inspired by the Filipino soup, nilaga, the cabbage layer of this dish is flavored quite similarly with the said soup. However, since this one was also meant to be included in my husband's bento, I made this one as "dry" as possible. I just lightly stir-fried the cabbage on ginger, then added a little water to cook and soften it.
My husband loved this dish from the moment he first tasted it, so he requested it to be cooked again and again and we ended up eating it for 4 consecutive meals... 0.o
A classic Japanese food!
You can't go wrong with the taste but be careful of overeating because it's a solid pool of oil!
Tips and tricks
If you don't have tempura flour, you can use cornstarch and flour mixture. But it burns faster so you will have to cook the vegetables in lowest fire or else the outside will end up cooked or burnt and the inside really hard and inedible, especially in case of pumpkin.
Flour-cornstarch mixture and a little ajinomoto can make a delicious tempura but I've never made crunchy tempura out of this. They look crunchy while cooking but they end up oily (or worst, soggy) a few minutes after removing from oil.
So, if you discover any good tip and tricks to a successful tempura even without using tempura flour, please share it with us! ^_^
This dish won over my husband's taste buds because:
I made my own version of ramen once, and of course since my husband grew up in the Land of Ramen, I expected he wouldn't like my ramen. I don't remember why he suddenly wanted to taste my ramen that night, but when he tasted it, he said it was really delicious. He asked if I cooked a lot because, although he had just eaten a full dinner, he wanted to eat my ramen too. However, he didn't order a serving, so I cooked for only one. But seeing him very excited to eat MY cooking (yes, it's one of the greatest feeling when his eyes spark, asking for more of my cooking), I said the usual lie-- "I'm quite full/I didn't really want to eat" (plus some more reasoning so that he'll believe that I'm totally fine if he eats it). So he ended up eating mine and I had bread for dinner instead. hahahaha
My stomach felt more full while watching him enjoy my cooking than when I eat my own cooking, so, I didn't actually lie, did I? ^_^
Egg noodles are normally used for ramen. But ever since I was born, I have never benn a fan of egg. So I've tried using different kinds of noodles-- eggless noodles, vermicelli noodles, spaghetti. For me, they all tasted much better than egg noodles! Try it for yourselves!
Garden Fresh Pasta. There goes the name. So just harvest your vegetables, chop 'em up and spaghettize them!
...Even though that word hasn't been used anywhere I know. ^_^;
A vegetarian for 12 years and a kitchen warrior since I moved in to Japan, my favorite battle has been winning over my husband's interestingly complicated taste buds.