Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dine for Darfur

On March 4Th 2008, a long list of Seattle restaurants and coffee shops will be donating 25% of proceeds to aid relief efforts in Darfur.
For the list of establishments, click here

Why not eat out for a great cause?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I feel compelled to tell you all about my favorite breakfast. A part of me doesn't want to tell because I am scared that one day I will go into the supermarket and realize that all the boxes of this cereal are SOLD OUT. I feel that it is my duty to share this useful information so I will.
Ezekiel is made from freshly sprouted certified organically grown whole live grains, legumes and seeds. The cereal has no flour, minimal amounts of sugar and lots of protein!!
Yes, protein.
Whenever I go food shopping, I spend a lot of time in the cereal aisle. I compare cereals
and try to find the cereal that has the least amount of sugar. A lot of people don't usually remember to check the sugar content on cereal because they are busy looking at the calories. It is really hard to find cereal with less than 3 grams of sugar and many of the cereals make healthy claims but hide incredible amounts of sugar.
Protein is one of the most important things that I look for in a cereal because it keeps me feeling full longer and enables me to concentrate better.

Ezekiel, what's the story?
The original flavor has 8 grams of protein, 190 calories per half a cup serving (it is very filling so a half a cup is more than enough) and ZERO sugar! I avoid sugar in the morning because sugar in the morning keeps me craving it all day long.

The other flavors are Almond (8 grams of protein and 1 gram of sugar), Golden Flax (8 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar) and for those with a sweet tooth, Cinnamon Raisin(7 grams of protein and 8 grams of sugar). The cinnamon raisin can be compared to Raisin Bran which has a measly 4.7 grams of protein per serving and a whopping 19.7 grams of sugar.
I love the taste of Ezekiel because it tastes rich, hearty and crunchy. I even sprinkled Ezekiel on some hot lentil puree that I made last night. It gave it a nice crunchy texture.
I know this sounds like a cheesy commercial but I love, love love this cereal.
The almond flavor is my favorite.
Has anyone tried this?

Pasta with Vodka Cream Sauce

This pasta is a favorite of mine. Vodka adds the tang that it needs. Perfect for a weekday dinner.

Three Words: Easy, Tasty and Creamy!

500 grams of pasta
1 and a half tablespoons of butter
Olive oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 and a half cups of whole canned tomatoes (diced)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Fresh thyme (about 4 sprigs)
250 ml of cream
¼ cup of vodka
Fresh Basil
Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil and butter in pan. Put onion in butter and sauté until transparent.
2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and thyme. Cook while stirring, until the liquid
disappears (about 10 minutes).
3. Add cream, vodka and Tabasco until thick ( about 3 minutes).
4. At the same time, cook pasta according to directions.
5. Mix with sauce and top with basil and Parmesan if desired.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Amateur Gourmet Has His Own Show!

Amateur Gourmet has his own cooking show! Check it out!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Weirdest Fruit Ever is Durian

I made a little trip to Uwajimaya when I noticed a huge spiky fruit.

Could it be Durian? The Durian that I heard so much about, the one banned on airplanes, the fruit that you either love or hate. Could I resist the temptation to try a new flavor?

I grabbed the fruit and took it at home. The whole way home, my mouth watered and questions popped into my head. Will it taste like Guava? Will it taste like Litchi?

I ran into the apartment and popped it with my chef's knife. I could not take the time to research how it was supposed to be cut. I wanted my durian and I wasn't going to wait.
As I sliced it, the odor threw me back. It smelled like sweat from a person's forehead after they remove their baseball cap.
Inside was a beautiful custard, the creamiest texture of perfection. The custard was surrounded by huge pits. Suddenly it looked like the insides of a human's body. I decided it was time for the taste. I had to break the curse of ambiguity. The taste was odd, kind of like a guava meets umami. A sweet taste ruined by a whiff of soy sauce.
So strange, so strange. I had to Google it, maybe I got a bad fruit. The directions on the internet said that it grows on you. I took another bite and another one and the stink was unbearable.
Then they started coming up, little burps in my mouth of fowl flavor.
EWWW! I quickly called all my neighbors in the building, no one answered. Please someone take it! Then my friend said she was stopping by to borrow my camera. I quickly put it in some Tupperware and ran to hand her the surprise. She was repulsed by the smell but she took it. Then I ran back to my apartment and almost puked, the tiny apartment smelled of stinky feet.
The durian had taken over my whole house.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Free Bread Baking Class Tonight

Free Baking Class Tonight in Bellevue
Click Here for more Details

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weirdest Tasting Fruit

Yesterday I tried the weirdest tasting fruit ever. Can you guess what it is?
Hint: See picture

Friday, February 15, 2008


For Valentine's Day this year, hubby and I decided that a romantic dinner would be our best bet. I really wanted truffles (the mushroom not the chocolate) but when I saw that one truffle from Italy cost 100 dollars, I changed my mind. Finally, I found black truffles from Washington for only about 10 dollars a truffle.
This seemed much more reasonable.
Hubby and I made pasta with my pasta machine and topped it with truffle butter. This is a tip we got from Sosio's in the market. The man who works there told us to grate the truffles in the butter. This way a little goes a long way. That is what we did. Then we tossed our pasta with chives, truffle butter, lots of parmesan and some truffle shavings.
The taste reminded me of a creamy mushroom soup that I used to make.
I have used truffle salt in many dishes and tasted truffle oil but this was something else. Perfection!
To go with that, we made root vegetables with apple juice and wine. The vegetables were fun to chop up; we used parsnips, rutabagas, yams, carrots and turnips.The dish was O.K., nothing to blog home about.

Here are some pics from last night..

Truffle in rice (apparently a good way to store them)

Greek Gods Contest Winner

The winner of the Greek Gods Greek Yogurt Contest is Lisa Carr from Connecticut. And now for the winning recipe! Lisa received a 150 dollar gift card to the restaurant of her choice!

North African Chicken with Yogurt Cumin Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/ teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
!/2 teaspoon black pepper
, divided
4 6 ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 cup Greek Gods Regular Yogurt
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped English cucumber
1 cup dried brown lentils
2 sprigs parsley
1 slice Spanish onion ( 1/2-inch thick)
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
4 very thin slices proscuitto
3/4 cup minced Spanish onion
3 cups thinly sliced zucchini
1 ( 6 ounce bag) prewashed baby spinach

Combine 1 tablespoon oil, zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt,
paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Add chicken; turn to
coat. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours.

Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, Greek Gods Yogurt, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley,
mint, cumin and garlic in food processor; process until smooth.. Place
yogurt mixture in medium bowl; stir in cucumber. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place lentis, parsley sprigs, onion slice, thyme sprig and bay leaf in a
large saucepan; cover with water to 2-inches above lentils. Bring to a boil;
cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Drain. Disard
parsley sprigs, onion slice, thyme sprig and bay leaf.

While lentils are cooking, wrap 1 proscuitto slice around each chicken
breast. Place chicken in a 10-inch by 10-inch baking dish. Bake at 375
degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

While chicken is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium
heat. Add minced onion and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add
zucchini and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lentils,
spinach, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cook 5 minutes or until
spinach wilts. Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoon chopped
parsley. Serve chicken over lentil mixture; drizzle with the yogurt sauce.

Makes for 4 servings

Pike Place Market