Thursday, November 29, 2012

Crowd Pleaser: Sushi Bake

Yes, you heard that right SUSHI BAKE.

I was first introduced to this delicious dish when I attended my son's kindergarten potluck last year. I saw kids and parents just diving for this one after the other. I was curious to see what it taste like and I was so lucky to even had one!

After trying it, I went on a hunt in the parish hall to see who brought that Sushi Bake!

I finally found that person (thanks Pia!) whom I immediately asked for the recipe. She was not hesitant to share the recipe where she got it from but she was right, it is very easy to prepare and make.

The ingredients in the Sushi Bake can be changed from time to time depending on the type of crowd you'll be in, like for example, some may not like tobiko (fish roe eggs) or baby shrimp. You can definitely change it up (for filipino breakfast plate lovers, try spam and eggs!).

To see another version of this sushi bake, you can visit my co-worker's blog at

For this particular Sushi Bake that I'm posting, you will need:

Sushi Wrappers (flavored or Non-flavored) - I used non-flavored
1/2 cup mayonnaise or japanese mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
3-4 cups of chopped imitation crab (which I used) OR 3 cans of real crab in water (drained)
1 bottle of Furikake seasoning
Cooked White rice

1. Preheat Oven to 375.
2. Chop the imitation crab
3. Mix the mayonnaise, sour cream together like so :

4. Next, spread the cooked rice all over your 13 x 9 pyrex dish, pat it down with your rice spoon. I usually like to have more of the crab mixture and less rice, so I probably made the height of the rice about 1/2 inch (that's just how our family likes it).
5. Take your crab mixture and pour that over the cooked rice, making sure it's evenly spread across the rice.
6. Next, take your Furikake seasoning, and as for me, I like to start pouring (the whole bottle) starting from the sides but it's up to you really! I just wanted to make sure that the corners are taken care of :-) I have a tendency to start with corners when I bake (ex. brownies).
7. Place the prepared pyrex dish in the oven. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes.

8. While the sushi bake is in the oven, open your Nori Sushi Wrapper and grab one sheet. With scissors, cut and make 4 squares (as shown below) set aside:

9. Your probably already smelling the smoked aroma from the furikake seasoning by now! Ok, time to pull out the sushi bake (after 20 minutes have passed or your timer has told you). You can cool it for about 10 minutes but I really don't wait for that (lol).

10. Take a tablespoon and place it in the wrapper, fold it and then .. well, you have to try this recipe and let me know what you think!

This is definitely a CROWD PLEASER!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner (Quiche)

I know this sounds crazy, my family sometimes eats breakfast for dinner on some days where in we all just get that craving for eggs, ham, pancakes and orange juice. I Love, Love (did I say Love?) breakfast! I personally was not a big quiche fan since my parents never really introduced it to me growing up.

My parents always made my sister and I..well what else? fried eggs, spam and fried rice! (notice the lovely word "fried") constantly?
My mom was a baker back home in the philippines but she only concentrated on making cupcakes & cakes, so she never really tried making a Quiche let alone introducing it to my sister and I.

I fell in love with Quiche's as it's the most easiest dish to prepare and also you can try different ingredients in it! Sort of an "All in one" kind of a dish. As long as the important (yummy) ingredients are in the Quiche, I can guarantee you, it will turn out as delicious as the one you get at high end markets.
My Quiche is semi-homemade as I'm a working mom and trying to incorporate less steps to any recipe really helps me alot.

Like I said, you can Add anything to a Quiche, in this case, I made a Vegetarian dish since I did not have any bacon on hand (sad face), if you do try the bacon, just fry it or bake it, then chop it up and just add it to your mixture.

Ok, here we go, this is what you'll need to prepare this dish:

*Recipe calls for 2 pies*

1 stick butter
1 whole large (or 2 medium onions), Thinly sliced
2 cups of white mushroom, washed and sliced
2 whole ready made Pie Crust ( I used Marie Calendar's), Thaw the Frozen Pie Crust about 20 mins
1 can quartered Artichoke hearts, drained
7 whole eggs
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups of grated swiss cheese ( I did not have this on hand, so I used sharp cheddar)
Optional: Fresh Chives or Fresh Parsley

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

                                                        2. Chop the mushrooms like so:

                                                           3. Thinly slice the onions:

4. In a skillet, melt the butter:

                                 5. Add the onions, cook for about 2-3 minutes until translucent

6. Add the chopped mushrooms to the onion, butter mixture, Season w/ Salt & Pepper and cook for another 10 minutes, set aside

7. Add the Artichokes into the mixture:

8. Crack the eggs into a bowl

9. Add the heavy cream and using a whisk, slowly whisk the mixture

  10. Grate the cheese, I prefer a whole block of cheese to grate vs. a pre-packaged cheese ( the moisture is loss + you won't get that "stringy" effect) plus I can get my arm exercise too! After grating the cheese, Add this to the egg, heavy cream, artichoke, onion, mushroom mixture and using a fork, just slightly mix it until it's well incorporated.


                                           11. Once mixed, Pour the mixture in the pie crust:

As you can see, this recipe had enough for 2 pies, so I opted to make one that's crustless but because I only had 1 ready made pie in my freezer :-)

12. Place in the oven, and loosely cover it with foil. Let it bake for about 1 hour. If you see after an hour, the quiche is quite loose or jiggly, then place it back in the oven for a couple of more minutes.

And then, this will be the end result. Allow to cool and set for about 10-15 minutes and then slice them into wedges and voila! Doesn't the one with the Pie crust look good? You can slice them into wedges or like in our family, we sort of just get a fork and dig in.

    Happy Eating!

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Blog name

Hi Everyone,
As you can see I actually changed my blog name as after a couple of posts, I started realizing that baking and crafting is more what I do or more focused on.
If you can continue to follow me under the new name I'd appreciate it:

Thank you so much!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Girl Scout Mint Cookies Anyone?

I have to admit that every time the girl scouts come knocking at my door, I usually don't answer the door as I don't like to turn away and not buy anything from them to be honest, or I just don't have the funds to buy a box at that time (yes,  I know that sounds harsh), BUT I've gotten to not do that anymore as I slowly fell in love with their cookies.

One in particular that I totally did not care for is the Mint Cookies, I was never a mint fan, even with it being in ice cream and let alone in a cookie!

So here's how I ended up making this:

My son's school was hosting a Holiday Fair and I volunteered to bake. As I accepted that task, with perfect timing, my oven decided to part ways, unfortunately.  So it turned out that I had to immediately think of a recipe that required no baking, I had less time to prepare and less time to actually make it.

I came up with this recipe which I called Thin Peppermint Cookies.  The only cooking part was making the chocolate dip other than that, it's semi-homemade and easy to do!

I was pretty surprised at how easy this was going to be! It's a great gift for the holidays if your thinking of giving this away as treats for your friends and family and it costs way less than popular brands out there.

Give this simple recipe a try!

Here is what you need:

**1-2 c milk chocolate chips
**1-2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 (dash) of peppermint extract
15-20 Andes Chocolate Mint
1 Box of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers

**Note: Reduce the amount of chocolate chips to 1 cup if you are only using 1 box of the Nabisco Chocolate Wafers as this makes a lot of the chocolate mixture.

1. When it comes to melting the chocolate, I usually prefer the slower and safe method rather than having it to melt in the microwave. If you really have to use the microwave, then I remove the chocolate after 30 seconds, then put it back in for another 30 seconds intervals until the chocolate it melted. In my opinion, I choose not to do this method as I always end up with burnt chocolate chips and I end up wasting it and throwing it away. This time, I  took an empty medium pot, added water (half way) and simmered it, while the water is simmering (not boiling), I took another empty bowl and placed it on top (but make sure the bowl does NOT touch the water).

2. Pour in both the milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips, just like the picture below:

please make sure to constantly stir it every so often until it gives a nice smooth, glossy consistency
4. Next, once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and throw in the Andes Mints and continue to stir until the Andes mints have been incorporated into the chocolate mixture.
5. Once it's all mixed in, Add a dash or 1/8 tsp of the Peppermint Extract and stir:
6. Take one of your chocolate wafers and with a fork, dip the whole cookie and then remove it trying to shake the excess off the cookie. In this case, I ended up just coating it on one side as I was in a hurry and trying to get these cookies in a holiday tin can. 

7. In a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the newly dipped cookie on the baking sheet to cool for about 30 minutes. 

8. You'll notice that I kind of got tired of the solid chocolate layer, so I ended up getting a fork, dip it in the chocolate mixture and drizzled it on top of the cookie. 

Well, I hope one day you'll give this a try or if your thinking of what to serve for a small dinner party at home, this I think is a perfect dessert accompanied by hot tea to end the evening. 

- Darlene

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deck the halls... already?

Can you believe this is an ornament?

Each year I always go to the Christmas Store in the mall even though we have yet to celebrate Thanksgiving. Even though I can't wait to celebrate Christmas, I do go by what Nordstroms has posted on their glass doors with the saying " Celebrate one holiday at a time" hence, their stores are not quite ready to welcome the holidays just yet. I really love Christmas time and the beautiful ornaments, lights and the air being so festive! One night after eating dinner at the mall, I could not resist going in the store that's totally calling you from outside with a big christmas tree all lit and reindeers with lights twinkling at you? So, my son and I went inside the store and was amazed at each ornament, nutcracker that they had displayed! I totally wanted to buy the whole store (that would be awesome) but I grabbed my phone and started taking photo's because they were just way too pretty, I was being careful that the staff wouldn't see me as I left the store w/o buying one single thing (just between us).

Here are some beautiful ornaments to inspire you when you are ready to decorate your own Tree this Holiday season:

How OWL you?

love this stuffed animal tree

San Francisco, All in one

Check out this Sushi ornanment!

This is one of my Fave ornaments in the store

I totally love this Japanese Girl ornament


love the detail done on this Dragon Lion Ornament
Candy Cane theme

who does not like a Silver/White Christmas?
                                                 Here are some other festive decor for your home: