Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pickled Daikon Radish - Guamanian Style

If you like really hot and tart foods, you're going to love this recipe. I learned how to make "pickled radish," as we call it in our family, from my mother.  She rarely used recipes so I watched, learned, and memorized until I could make it on my own.  In order to post the recipe today, I had to take mental notes as I put it all together.

Coming from a Guamanian/Hispanic family, we always had some sort of spicy sauce or vegetable to go with our meals.  Salsa, pickled jalapenos, sriracha sauce, pickled radish, and finadini were staples at our table. Because my father is from Guam, we had white rice with all of our meals...even if it was a Mexican food. In those instances, my mother would make Spanish rice. Day in and day out, we ate rice, rice, rice.  As a kid, I wanted potatoes like the Anglo neighbor kids on the block but my father never budged.  So, we kids learned how to spice up the damned rice on our plates.  Enter pickled daikon radish and finadini (I'll post a delicious recipe for finadini later).

Daikon radish combined with jalapenos, white onions, and vinegar make for a delicious, crunchy, tart, and HOT accompaniment to your meal. I like to chase a piece of chicken or beef with a slice of pickled radish.  It definitely adds a bit of zing with every bite.

Ingredients for 2 jars of pickled radish:
2 pkgs of pickled daikon radishes
3 green jalapenos peppers
2 yellow chili peppers
1 medium white onion
White distilled vinegar (approximately 40 oz)

Ingredients for 1 jar of pickled radish:
1 pkg of pickled daikon radish
2 green jalapeno peppers
1 yellow chili pepper
1/2 medium white onion
White distilled vinegar (approximately 20 oz)

You won't find pickled daikon radishes at your run-of-the-mill grocery store.  It's going to take a trip to an Asian or international food market.  Here in Arizona, we have LeeLee's market.

You'll need two 32-40 oz glass jars if you have 2 radishes.  I don't recommend using plastic jars because these ingredients have very strong flavors that will penetrate whatever container they are in. I know this is a pretty big recipe but what you don't keep you can give to your friends, especially those who like hot stuff. They'll love it.

Large glass jar
Pickled daikon radish comes in various sizes and packaging.  I like to buy the kind that comes flavored with kimchi.

Take the radishes out of the package and rinse with water.  Cut the radish into approximately 1/4" slices then cut each slice into four pieces as shown below:

After you've cut the radishes, put them aside in a bowl.  Now rinse the Jalapeno peppers.

Fresh Jalapeno Peppers
Slice them as shown below.  Be careful not to touch your eyes while cutting the peppers as it will burn like hell from any contact from your hands!

Now do the same with the yellow peppers.

Take care with these babies too! They're HOT!.
Cut the onions into thin slices as shown below then cut them up further into small pieces.

Toss all the sliced peppers and onion pieces into a large bowl. Sometimes I also throw some raw bite sized pieces of cauliflower into the mixture as well because I like pickled cauliflower. My mother adds sliced carrots as well but I don't care much for sweet/tangy flavor of pickled carrots. You can experiment and add whatever suits your fancy.  If you like things less spicy, add fewer jalapenos.

Combine all the vegetables together in a large bowl.
Put combined ingredients into each jar and fill to the top with vinegar until the veggies are covered.

Put lid on jar and refrigerate for roughly 12 hours.  The longer this mixture sits, the more the spiciness and flavors of the peppers will soak into both the radish and the onions.

Since I just made the pickled radish today and it needs to "marinate," I don't have a photo of it with rice but let me assure you, it will liven up ANY meal!  Here is a nice photo of a serving suggestion. Some people put a few pieces of the radish and onion on the side with their rice but I like to pour a spoonful of the vinegar on top as well.  I also have a penchant for eating slices of the pickled radish right out of the jar because I love tart stuff.  I'll leave it up to you to decide how you want to eat it!  Enjoy. the way, if you're on a diet, this is another way to add more flavor to an otherwise boring meal. Since all the ingredients are vegetables, there are very few calories! Yay!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blueberry Streusel Muffins - Hit or Miss Recipes

I had a package of blueberries in the refrigerator that either needed to be eaten or baked into something so I went searching for a blueberry muffin recipe online.  I found one on 

I altered it ever so slightly by adding a little more milk because the batter came out really thick and sticky. With this recipe, you're supposed to end up with 12 muffins but I got 18.  Also, even though I thought I was being pretty liberal with the Streusel in each cup, I found had too much so I threw some of that into the leftover batter as well to sweeten it a little more.

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margine (I don't like to use margarine)
1 egg, beaten
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter

In a mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add egg; mix well.  In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk.  Stir in vanilla.  Fold in blueberries.
Fill 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  In another bowl, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon; cut in butter until crumbly. I ended up adding a few pinches of flour because the Streusel wasn't cumbly enough.

Sprinkle over muffins.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until browned.

This recipe didn't call for a whole lot of butter in the batter so the muffins didn't really have that rich buttery flavor that I expected.  I guess it's not such a bad thing calorie-wise though.  Still, I'd like something a bit more flavorful.  Like most of you who bake or cook, finding the best recipes online is a hit or miss thing.  Sometimes you need to tweak them to suit your own tastes.  I think if I used this recipe again, I'd use brown sugar instead of white sugar for the Streusel and maybe use more vanilla flavoring or sugar for the dough.  Also, next time I'm going to use oven mitts because I ended up burning myself on the oven door. Ouch!

Just as I was writing this blog post I Googled "Blueberry Streusel Muffins" and found another recipe on that looks a little more appealing.  This recipe calls for using yogurt for the dough and rolled oats and brown sugar for the Streusel.  Yum!  I'm definitely going to give it a try!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Super Simple Tasty Cajun Peas & Beans

Raw goodness just waiting to be cooked.
This recipe comes from my friend Anna who made it recently for a work potluck.  I haven't actually tried cooking it yet but did get a bowlful when she brought it in.  The soup was flavorful and had quite a kick to it thanks to the Cajun seasoning.  Once I picked out all the carrots from my bowl I loved it (I don't like cooked carrots).    

1 Green Pepper, coarsely chopped
1 bag of Butternut Squash (16 oz)
2 Carrots, sliced (optional if you're me)
1 Can of Black-eyed Peas (14.5 oz)
1 Can of Butter Beans (14.5 oz)
1 Can Vegetable Broth (14 oz)
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp Cajun Seasoning

Louisiana Brand Cajun Seasoning
Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 5 hours, or around 7 hours on low.  Check liquid level periodically.  Add a bit of water if necessary.  That's it! How easy is that?

I wish I would have taken a photo of the soup when it was cooked so you could see it. Guess I'll have to make it soon...and I will!

For those of you who made a New Year's resolution to lose weight (like me) and want something tasty for lunch but low in calories, this is the way to go!

Where's the beef?
This is Riley.  He belongs to Anna who contributed this great tasting recipe.  Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Big Boi's

The recipe for this hefty cookie can be found the Complacent Cooking blog written by @Tomboy_Femme (Twitter).  As she states, it's one of the easiest recipes to make (She had me at "easy").

A couple of weeks ago I had a twitter conversation with @Tomboy_Femme that revolved around bacon.  She maintained that the marriage of the chocolate chip cookie and bacon could be blissful.  I was skeptical but at the same time intrigued by the idea. I'm willing to try anything once, so at her suggestion I decided to try the recipe.

Dipping my spatula into foreign territory I cooked up some bacon and cautiously tossed bits of  it into the cookie batter.  As I stirred, I kept thinking, this is a nutty idea (that's when I remembered to add walnuts).  I put a tray of the chocolate chip/bacon dough balls into the oven and waited patiently to pull them from their hot little love nest.  Like newlyweds, my cookies emerged with a special glow.  To my surprise, they were substantially large cookies. They didn't flatten out like other chocolate chip cookies that I've baked.  I can only best describe these yummy beasts as Big Boi's...tall, dark, and definitely handsome.

I'll have to admit that I was a little squeamish before biting into the first one.  It was "okay."  I think I had a chip on my shoulder (pun intended) about the whole idea from the start.  I brought them in to work and my coworkers were split. Some liked them and some where like me...ambivalent and sitting comfortably on the fence.  I just don't think I'm ready for bacon in cookies yet.  I did see a recipe for bacon chocolate cake that looks tasty though. Wonder if I should try it or leave well enough alone?

I will tell you though, that this is one of the BEST tasting recipes I've tried for chocolate chip cookies. They're not too over-the-top sweet and when you bite into them, they're soft on the inside and firm on the outside.

On my second try at baking them, I threw in some mini M&M's. It made for some colorful and crunchy cookies.  As you can see, I'm not so good at making spherical balls of dough but whatever shape you make them in, they're not going to flatten out.  That is what I love about this recipe. I don't care much for flat chocolate chip cookies.  I like 'em like how some of you femmes like your bois...BIG!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Easy Pineapple Bread Pudding

Because I have a sweet tooth and it's been a bit chilly here these last few days, I felt like making something sweet and warm...bread pudding seemed to fit the bill pretty nicely.  By the way, I know the rest of the country is buried under snow right now but we're not used to it being 30-some degrees during the day here in Arizona. So, no snickers from you Midwesterners and Eastcoasties about how cold it is to me aight?

My mother used to make bread pudding all the time but I never paid attention to how she did it because I would conveniently disappear when the dirty kitchen utensils, pots, & pans started to pile up in the sink.

Today I didn't want to spend a whole lot of time in the kitchen so I looked up recipes online for bread pudding that could be made in a crock pot. Bingo, I found this one on and adapted it to suit my own taste.

2 cups sugar
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 eggs
6 cups bread cubes, Italian and/or Semolina bread (cubed or cut in small pieces)
2 cans (15.25 oz size) unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raisins
1 banana (not overly ripe), cut into small pieces

Because I had spaghetti for dinner yesterday, I used what was left of a loaf of semolina bread (about half) and then used a full loaf of Italian bread for this recipe.  

Break the bread into small pieces like shown below and let it dry out the day before you make this.  If you don't want to wait, toast the bread on a baking sheet in the oven at 375 degrees for about 4 minutes  or until fairly dried out. 

In a large bowl, beat sugar, butter, and cinnamon with a mixer.  Add eggs and beat until mixture is thoroughly combined.  By the way, I wasn't too keen on the idea of using 8 eggs so the next time I make it I'm going to see what happens if I cut it back to 6. 

Fold in bread cubes, walnuts, raisins, banana, and pineapple into the mixture and stir with spoon until bread is coated.  

Pour into crock pot.  Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.

When it's done, the finished bread pudding will look like below..cinnamony goodness.

Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and serve the dish to your femme while on your knees. Ha! Just kidding! I was checking to make sure you were paying attention! Were you?

The walnuts give the bread pudding a crunchy texture and the cinnamon, pineapple and banana create a mellow blend of flavors that will cause your taste buds to do a happy dance all over your tongue!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lesbian Lifestyle Editor's Blog Pick

Giant cupcake that I baked all ready to be
frosted. Such chocolaty goodness!
I'm tickled that my humble little blog is this month's editor's pick on The Lesbian Lifestyle website! 

This makes me feel pretty good considering that I just launched the blog in January, it's a labor of love, and that others might enjoy reading it. 

As I continue to bake, cook, research, write, and tweet, I'm finding that it's also a lot of work but at the same time, so much fun.  I love poring over cookbooks, scouring the internet for cool recipes, ogling beautiful food blogs, and connecting with people.  I also love that it brings family and friends together too. Last week our kitchen was full of people as Cindy cooked the Shrimp Sambuca.  The good natured cajoling, laughing, photographing, and working together on the meal (plus baking) made the kitchen an emotionally warm and inviting place to be. It was wonderful and I am looking forward to sharing many more meals with friends, family and you, my dear reader (Hope that doesn't sound too cheesy...I'm just feeling warm and fuzzy right now).

I'm also discovering that I really enjoy photography too.  Right now I have a simple point and shoot digital camera and the one on my smartphone but sometime soon I'd love to get a Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP (18 Mega Pixels!). This puppy is about $849...a bit pricey for a "new" hobby according to a certain unnamed friend who I won't tattle on....especially when that conversation lead to shared confessions of covert shopping sprees.  That's a whole different topic though...I'm not about to confess to how many times I've bought stuff and stashed it away in the closet then later took out "said purchase" when the coast was clear!  

Anyway, while Dan was everywhere in the kitchen taking photos with his fancy D-SLR camera I found myself feeling quite inadequate with my measly smartphone camera.  It just seems like the possibilities are endless with a much fancier one like the Canon.  I'm going to start stashing away funds for the purchase of one of those babies!  I WILL have one I tell ya! I WILL!

One more thing that I thought I should mention; I'm going to really try to put some healthy recipes and information on the blog.  Just like so many, one of my New Year's resolutions is to lose weight and eat healthier.  So if you've got some tasty and healthy recipes, please do share!