Easy Macaroni And Cheese

Simple, creamy, so easy to make comfort food Mac and Cheese with crispy turkey bacon and broccoli and it’s ready in 30 minutes.

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A reader from talker blogger requested this recipe for her son.  I haven’t made this in a while, so I thought it’s a good idea for dinner tonight.  My family loves this Mac and Cheese recipe with crispy turkey bacon (protein) and some broccoli for iron and fiber.  I had a small serving and it was so good (as usual)!   I loved it! ❤

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Roasted Garlic and Herb Quinoa “Fried Rice”

It has been a gloomy and stressful week.  I found myself making one of my comfort foods, quinoa and made “fried rice”.   With all that stress, I wanted to be good to my heart, so I decided to add garlic; plenty of them.  But rather than the typical minced garlic, I settled to roast the garlic cloves whole in olive oil.   I added rosemary to make it more flavorful.

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Seared Beef with Spicy Dipping Sauce

Here’s an excellent, super easy to make beef appetizer that’s definitely a crowd pleaser.  Absolutely  delicious! Seared beef with Korean inspired spicy dipping sauce so versatile, you can use it with other meats, seafood, vegetables , and tofu.

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I finally made the sauce I have been meaning to create.   My children liked it so much, they wanted me to make this “again and again”.  I had to remind them to leave some for their father and my eldest son said “I know, mommy, but it’s just so good.  I can’t stop eating it.”  He didn’t even mind the spicy dipping sauce.  He doesn’t like to eat anything spicy, but he would not eat the meat without the sauce.  What a compliment!

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FOR THE BEEF

  • 2 lbs. Top sirloin beef
  • ground black pepper
  • olive oil or avocado oil for searing
  • 6-inch wooden skewers (optional)

Wash the meat and pat dry with paper towel before cutting.  Cut it in bite pieces about an inch thick.  Season with black pepper.  Do not season the beef with salt.  The sauce is full of flavor, you would not need it.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil when hot.  Add slices of beef to the skillet and sear.  Try not to overcrowd the skillet, so you’ll have a nice seared meat.  Turn over and sear the other side.  Don’t overcook the meat.  Remove and let it rest for the juice to settle before you skewer the cooked meat.  Skewer the meat and place on a plate.  Serve warm with the sauce.

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FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoon soybean and hot pepper mixture for meat sauce (Sunchang Ssamjang; available at any Korean store)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Sesame oil
  • 2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 3 stalks of green onions, thinly cut

Combine and whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl until well incorporated. Refrigerate any leftover.

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If you do not like spicy dipping sauce, try soy sauce and lemon juice.  Just mix 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce and juice of 1/2 lemon.  Stir to incorporate.

You can either dip the meat and eat it right from the stick or…

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You can eat it like the Koreans do; lettuce wrap style!  The best! 🙂

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Now Devour!  Ahhh…so good!  The lettuce was so refreshing and crunchy. Yes, I tried some.  I had to.  It was so good!

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Variation:

Tofu Wraps. My dinner.  You can either eat the tofu raw or you can pan-fry it.  Serve with the sauce.

You can also try it with vegetables such eggplant; pan-fried or stir-fried using the sauce, salt and pepper as the flavor. Served over quinoa.

Note:  If any of these recipes inspire you to use as a guide in creating your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you.

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013-2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

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Cinnamon Quinoa Belgian Waffle

Note:   If  this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

Fall, apples, pumpkins, and soup.  These are favorites during this time of year.  Speaking of apples made me thought of a breakfast favorite when I was still living in Hawaii, the Belgian waffle.   It was served at a local restaurant called “Yum Yum Tree”.  The thing that I like about this breakfast dish is the topping; spiced apples and Macademia nuts then drizzled with maple syrup.   It was so delicious.  I just love the combination.   A friend of mine would always order it every time we went there to eat.

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Yum Yum Tree Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Honolulu Advertiser

However, I am saddened by my discovery that this local restaurant that served this awesome breakfast dish closed in 2005 because the center owner wanted to make way for a new tenant just because they had a month-to-month lease.  It just makes me sad losing a favorite local restaurant.   This restaurant had 42 employees and had been in business in 1982.   It was a favorite breakfast restaurant that most locals went to.

Living away from Hawaii and wanting to go back to visit restaurants I’d come to love and to find out that they no longer in business really makes me emotional.   Besides the Belgian waffle, Yum Yum Tree had an exceptional cornbread you can’t find anywhere.  This was when I’ve come to love cornbread.  I used to go there just to buy cornbread.   They also sold homemade pies.  Oh, the memory!

Anyway, this prompted me to make my very own Belgian waffle using the quinoa flour so my children can enjoy it without having allergic reactions.

Here it is!  The fluffiest, lightest, moist, and most delicious Belgian waffle I’ve ever had.  My children each had two of these waffles.  🙂

Yields:  5 waffles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 (6 oz.) vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup organic milk (2% fat), plus 1/8 cup
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Macademia nuts, chopped
  • Lucky Leaf Apple pie filling (available at your local grocery store)

Preparation Methods:

  • Chop the Macademia nuts and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.   Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs.  Add the buttermilk, milk, butter, yogurt, and vanilla extract; mix well.
  • Add half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture and stir until just combined.  Add the remaining flour mixture and whisk until you have a very smooth batter.
  • Cook in a preheated waffle iron according to manufacturer’s directions until golden brown.  Serve with cinnamon apples and sprinkled with Macademia nuts then drizzled with maple syrup.

Topping variations:

  • strawberries and whipped cream
  • banana with toasted coconut
  • peaches and whipped cream
  • pumpkin or cinnamon butter

Note:  You can make the waffles ahead of time and freeze them.   You don’t need to thaw them.  You can cut them in quarters and toast them right away.

Enjoy!

IMG_20131028_172241_741©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

Hello, I’m back!   Too long to explain why.  So, without delay, here’s one of the recipes I promised to publish next.  The easy, super speedy tangy meatballs you can serve at your next party.   Just add all the ingredients in a pot and cook them over medium heat until the sauce thickens.  You have more time to take care of the last details of your party rather than spending time in the kitchen until the guests arrived.

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So many meatballs with pretty much the same flavors are out there, so I decided to give this very common appetizer a new flavor.  I hope you give this recipe a try.  It’s fast (if you cook them over the stove), simple and something different.  I have and I would make them again simply because my children love this particular flavor.  🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 can (6 oz.) pineapple juice
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mustard
  • 4 tablespoons  mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20-25 pieces prepared meatballs (beef, turkey, or chicken)

Combine and whisk the first seven ingredients in a medium pot until well incorporated.  Add the meatballs and cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens.  Serve warm.

Note:  You can also place them in a slow cooker and cook them in low setting until the sauce thickens.   You’ll have a warm appetizer ready for your guests.  My children had these meatballs for dinner and they loved them.  My oldest said that they were yummy and flavorful and ate more meatballs than usual.    Bon Appetit! 🙂

If you like this post or my blog, don’t forget to Subscribe or Follow to get the latest recipes.  Please be kind and link back to source when you use or share any of my recipes.  Thank you for stopping by.  Until next time.  Have an awesome day!

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Super Easy Tofu Salad

I want to share this super easy vegetarian dish I brought to a gathering three weekends ago.  It was a very light, refreshing, and flavorful salad and everyone liked it.  This salad is also great with spinach or Romaine lettuce, dried cherries and cheese.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 oz.) firm tofu, cubed in bite pieces
  • yellow and red cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup prepared pesto sauce
  • fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to incorporate.    I told you it’s super easy.  Enjoy. 🙂

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©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2014-2015)   Other than personal use, unauthorized duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Chicken Curry, My Way

I was originally making chicken adobo for our dinner tonight.  I even sauteed the garlic and onions and add the chicken, but then I don’t know what came over me.  I started sprinkling curry powder on the chicken.  Well, I said okay since I rarely make chicken curry anyway.  It would be a nice change.  I went ahead and made it-my way.

When making a curry dish, I don’t like the chicken swimming in very thick sauce.  It’s overwhelming for me.  I want it to be subtle, but just enough to  live up to its name.

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I didn’t plan on blogging this dish, but I took some pictures anyway after everything were added in the skillet just in case.  Well, it turned out succulent and delicious. I couldn’t help but  share.  🙂   I didn’t have any fresh ginger, so I substituted ground ginger and it came out just as delicious and my family enjoyed it so much they asked for seconds.  🙂

Prepare the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 15 Chicken drumsticks (not pictured)
  • 5.5 oz. can coconut milk, separate 1/4 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 3 Tablespoons curry powder, divided
  • 3 dry bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon (not pictured)
  • ground ginger (according to your taste)
  • Weber roasted garlic seasoning
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 baby red bell peppers (not pictured/optional)
  • 3 sprigs green onions, cut in tiny pieces  (optional)
  • cilantro for garnish

Preparation Methods:

Heat a skillet with a lid over low heat and add oil when hot.  Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are translucent.  Add the chicken drumsticks and sprinkle  with 2 Tablespoons curry powder and season with black pepper, roasted garlic seasoning, chicken bouillon and ground ginger. Cook until slightly brown. Turn on the other side and cook until just slightly brown. Add the coconut milk and bay leaves.

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Cover and simmer for 10 minutes before turning them to the other side.  Sprinkle with the remaining curry powder and salt to taste.

DSC_0180Simmer again and cook until the chicken is tender about 15-20 minutes.*  Remember we are cooking in low heat.*  I did this to achieve moist and tender chicken.   If you are using frozen chicken, make sure the chicken is completely thawed before cooking.   Mix the 1/4 cup coconut and 1 tablespoon flour and add to the chicken 5 minutes before end of cooking time.  Stir until well incorporated.  Add the bell peppers 2-3 minutes before end of cooking time.  Cover to let steam cook the peppers.  Garnish with cilantro and green onions.

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Serve warm over steamed Basmati rice…

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Or quinoa, my fave. 🙂  Enjoy!

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Update:  November 23, 2013

Variations:

I cooked this chicken curry in a crock pot and served it at a gathering about a week ago.  Oh, my goodness!   It was very tasty and everyone loved it.  The chicken simmered in curry sauce for 3 to 4 hours made it more succulent and flavorful.  I doubled the recipe to serve about 10 to  15 people.  Just follow the instructions above, but do not cook the chicken all the way.  Transfer the seared chicken to a crock pot and cook at low setting for 3 to 4 hours.  Add the red bell peppers 10 minutes before end of cooking time.  Add the cilantro just before serving  and serve an extra cilantro leaves on the side for the guest to eat it with the chicken.  Mama Mia!  It was absolutely delicious!

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*Note:  Cooking time may vary depending on the type of stove you are using. 

©annascuisine.wordpress.com (2013)   Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material herein without expressed and written consent from this blog’s author, Annabelle Bedell, is strictly and completely prohibited.

Tilapia with Fiery Shrimp and Orange Pineapple Sauce

Note:   If  this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

I know some of you have been waiting for the recipe.  So without further a do, here it is as promised. 🙂

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Prepare the ingredients.

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Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Tilapia fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cocktail shrimps
  • mini bell peppers
  • 1 can (8 oz.) pineapple tidbits
  • 1/2 cup of orange pineapple juice
  • sweet chili sauce
  • orange zest of 1 orange
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Methods:

Roast the bell peppers  by placing them on the burner stove with low heat.  You will hear a cracking sound while roasting.  Don’t panic.  It’s just the peppers’ skin popping.    I roasted the peppers only until they are somewhat soft.  Place them on a platter.  Set aside.

Coat a heated skillet with olive oil and add the seasoned tilapia.  Cover and cook until brown. Turn over to the other side and cook until brown.  Remove from the pan and put them on the plate with the roasted bell peppers.

Cook the sauce.  On the same skillet, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil or butter.  Add the shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add in the flour and stir until a paste is formed.  Using a whisk, add the pineapple orange juice and whisk constantly until you create a smooth roux.   Add the orange zest and sweet chili sauce and pineapple tidbits.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Remove from heat and pour over the cooked Tilapia fillets.

Serve warm with your favorite starch.  Bon Appetit! 🙂

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Pesto Tomato and Quinoa Salad

Note:   If  this recipe inspired you to use as a guide to make your own, please be considerate and credit annascuisine.wordpress.com.  Thank you!

These tomatoes are so brilliantly red, sweet, and delicious and were handpicked right from the vine.   They looked very ripe, but still have the crunch when you take a bite which is really refreshing.  You can also use this salad as stuffing for grilled cheese sandwich, which by the way, the best stuffed grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had.  See recipe below.

I have been circling around the kitchen trying to look for something to eat for breakfast.  I see oatmeal, pancakes, cereal, just the typical food everyone normally consumes everyday.  But, I wanted something refreshing without leaving me that feeling of “I want something else”.  Then I saw these brilliantly red tomatoes screaming to be eaten.  However, they looked too beautiful to eat.  :D

I normally use tomatoes when I make salsa or sandwiches for my family, but that’s going to be a lot of sandwiches if I have to use all these tomatoes.  I don’t have that many people to feed.  I don’t feel like making salsa today either.

While I was cooking an egg for breakfast,   I remember my mother would always make tomato salad to complement eggs and seafood anytime of the day.  It was so refreshing and I thought it would go very well with the boiled egg.  Then the quinoa and pesto came to mind.  When I’m a bit downcast, I cook and eat rice with anything.  It’s my “go to” comfort food in time like today.  To substitute rice, quinoa would be it.  I bought some “ready-to-eat” quinoa the other day and it would be a perfect addition to the tomato salad and the basil pesto as the perfect seasoning.  A superb outcome.  This would be a great side dish to seafood and chicken or better yet, stuffing in between grilled cheese sandwich.  🙂

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Ingredients for the salad:

  • 1 serving of cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto
  • 3 large vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 boiled egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

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Preparation Methods:

Cut the tomatoes in bite pieces.  Place in a bowl.  Add the basil pesto.

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Mix until well incorporated.

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Add the quinoa.

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Mix well to combine.

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Serve with boiled eggs.   Smile it’s good for you :)

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Stuffed Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:  2 slices multigrain bread, 2 tablespoons pesto basil, 1 slice cheddar cheese, 1 creamy white cheese, pesto tomato and quinoa salad, butter.

Preparation Methods:

  • Butter one side of bread.  Add and layer pesto sauce, white cheese, cheddar cheese, tomato and quinoa salad and another  creamy white cheese.
  • Place the bread with the butter side down on the skillet and cook over very low heat.
  • Put the other bread on top of the cheese.  Press down the bread to flattened (Panini style) while cooking.   When the bread at the bottom turned brown, butter the top side of the bread. Flip over to the other side.
  • Cover the skillet with a lid.  (This will melt the cheese faster)
  • Brown until the cheese is all melted.

I was supposed to give my husband the other half of the sandwich, but it was so good I ended up eating the entire sandwich. 😀

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As I was editing/proofreading my post, my husband saw the pictured above. He asked why I didn’t make one for him.  I scrolled back up and had him read my comment (above the picture).  He said he really wanted one because it looks so good.  To compensate, I went down to the kitchen and made one.  Fortunately, I had one scoop of the tomato and quinoa salad left. I used a slice of white bread and a slice of multigrain bread.  He’s eating it as I try to finish this post. 🙂  Here’s the other half of what I’ve made for him.   This gives me an idea about breakfast tomorrow.  Mmm…I’m definitely making it!  🙂

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Craving for Bubble Tea?

Hello!  Are you craving for Bubble tea?  Here’s an inexpensive, easy way to suffice your craving for Bubble Tea in a jiffy.

Okay, here’s the drink that I was crazy about eight years ago.  Of all Bubble tea flavors out there, here’s my favorite, Thai Bubble Tea.   I prefer my bubble tea with a lot of ice.

You don’t have to go through a lot of trouble trying to get the authentic bubble tea because believe me, this bubble tea tasted exactly  the same bubble tea served out there.  In fact, better! (I’m speaking based on my experience) I had one at a Chinese restaurant in Fairfax, Virginia and the tapioca pearls were overcooked and the tea was watered down.  It was expensive too.  Ever since then, I make my own bubble tea using the tapioca pearls sold at any Asian store.

I was staring at the Thai tea we had in the refrigerator and I saw the tapioca pearls in our pantry I purchased about a month ago.  I immediately thought of “Bubble Tea”.

I know it’s different when you drink bubble tea with a sophisticated straw, but I didn’t have any.  The ice tea spoon was good enough for me.  :)

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Here are the ingredients.  1 can (16 fl. oz. ) Thai tea, 1 cup black tapioca pearls, 1/3 cup maple syrup, 3 1/2 cups water.

*Note:  The cooking instructions for the tapioca pearls called for 10 cups of water to cook 1 cup, but I didn’t think it was necessary since the type of tapioca pearls I used require only 5 minutes of cooking time.  However, please add more water if you are using tapioca pearls that require cooking for long periods to prevent them from melting or sticking together.

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FLAVOR VARIATIONS YOU CAN MAKE:

Chai Bubble Tea:  Chai Tea drink and tapioca pearls

Purple Yam (Ube) Bubble Tea:  Almond milk, purple yam spread, purple yam essence, tapioca pearls

Mocha Bubble Tea:  Coffe, ground chocolate, half and half, tapioca pearls, agave

Chocolate Bubble Tea:  Hot Chocolate mix or ground chocolate, tapioca pearls, agave or honey or sugar

Green Bubble Tea:  Green tea, cream, tapioca pearls, honey or agave

Cantaloupe Bubble Tea:  Cantaloupe juice, honey, and tapioca pearls

Mango Bubble Tea:  Mango juice, tapioca pearls

Orange-Carrot Bubble Tea:  100% Carrot juice, orange juice, tapioca pearls, honey or agave

Make sure you shake vigorously when mixing the above bubble teas.

PREPARATION METHODS FOR THE TAPIOCA PEARLS

Bring water over high heat to a rapid boil.

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Add 1 cup of tapioca pearls and 1/3 cup of maple syrup.  Stir.

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The tapioca pearls float after 2-3 minutes.  Continue to cook until the pearls are translucent.

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Keep stirring.

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The tapioca pearls are cooked when they’re chewy and translucent about 5-6 minutes.  Do not overcook.

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Drain and scoop some cooked tapioca pearls in a tall, wide glass. Add ice and pour the Thai tea.  Stir and enjoy.

*Note;  I didn’t want to remove the sweetness of the maple syrup in the tapioca pearls that is why I didn’t rinse them.  Besides, they didn’t stick together.

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