Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Almond and Garbanzo Bean Dip


I'd have called this a non-tahini Hummus, but it seems as though Hummus requires tahini, so I'm opting to call this a Garbanzo Bean Dip ^^

It's that season of life when I realize that my pantries are well stalked and while I don't mind giving away our food when we leave this season, I'd like to take advantage of as much of it as I can and that means soaking and slow-cooking a LOT of beans! Which would be awesome for soups and stews were it winter...

But it's not.

So, the beans keep finding themselves in my food processor and in a Ziploc Tupperware container with a bag of chips serving as a light, yet delicious and nutritious lunch. 

For this dip I threw some Garbanzo beans, Almonds, Olive oil and Basil with Olive Oil 'ice cubes' into the food processor - a touch of water (or was it wine...) to help achieve the correct consistency and wam, bam, thank you ma'm we have ourselves a bean dip!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crepes with Broiled Plums and Home-made Yogurt


I've read through breakfast cookbooks and browsed recipes online and chatted-it-up with friends enough to discover that a grapefruit, topped with a bit of sugar and broiled is something heavenly, delicious and easy. I have yet to have the opportunity to try such a technique with a grapefruit, but having recently been gifted a bag of tart, happy little plums, I figured it was worth a go substituting plums for grapefruits and without fail, they were delectable!

Simply halve your plums, remove the seeds, sprinkle with some brown sugar and place under the broiler for about 10 minutes (I'm not sure my oven's broiler is a legit broiler, so the time may be a bit off) let them cool slightly and enjoy!

I sliced ours up and placed them in crepes with a bit of homemade yogurt, sprinkled some powdered sugar on top and enjoyed a lovely Saturday morning.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Banana Cream Pie



Prepare a single pastry crust that has been pricked at 400 F for about 12 minutes or until lightly golden.

Meanwhile, heat 3 cups of Milk in microwave for approximately 3 1/2 minutes. 

While milk is heating, combine 1/3 cup Cornstarch and 2/3 cups Sugar. Add 3 Egg Yolks to the sugar mixture. 

Add 1/2 cup of the hot milk to the egg/sugar mix, stir and gradually add remaining milk, this will be your custard. 

Continue to cook the custard in the microwave at 2-3 minute intervals, stirring in between intervals until you reach the desired consistency. Chill custard.

Layer bananas (2-4 fresh) and custard in the pie crust, chill and serve with whip cream.

I sprinkled some cinnamon and nutmeg on top of my bananas for added pizzazz!

Enjoy with friends on a weeknight card game gathering!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Brownies

We have a lot of peanut butter, much more than we can use before our grand departure, but that doesn't stop me from trying ^^

I made these to share with my co-workers as a "thank-you" gift for being my co-workers for the past year. They were quite thrilled with them and, I must say, I was not disappointed.


In a bowl, blend together 1/2 cup Peanut Butter, 1/4 cup Butter, 1 tsp. Vanilla and 1 cup Brown Sugar. Add 2 Eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 2/3 cup Flour. Spread batter in a well-greased 8x8 baking pan. Bake at 350 (177) for 20-30 minutes until golden and bake through (use the toothpick test). Cool and enjoy or add a peanut butter icing of 1 cup Peanut Butter blended with 1/3-1/2 cup Powdered Sugar.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Peanut Butter Beer Bread


I was so impressed with how the Banana Beer Bread turned out, I thought I'd try another variation: Peanut Butter Beer Bread.

The banana variation was better, but truth be told, both were delicious and so easy to throw together!


In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups Flour1 tsp. Salt3 Tbsp. Sugar, and 1 Tbsp. Baking Powder.  You will need a total of 8-12oz Flat Beer, add about one cup to dry mixture as well as about 1/2-1 cup of Peanut Butter. Add additional beer as necessary to gain the proper consistency, thick and sticky, not too runny. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan, dollop 2 tbsp. of Butter on top of the raw loaf and bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Banana (n)Ice Cream Pie


Well this is basically the same idea...but in Pie form.

Graham Cracker Crust - or Oreos or Nilla Wafers, anything would do.

Banana (n)Ice Cream with Peanut Butter blended in.

Banana (n)Ice Cream with Coco Powder blended in.

Crust, Peanut Butter Layer, Coco Layer = P.B. Chocolate Banana (n)Ice Cream Pie!

Keep in the freezer, let set at room temp about 20 minutes before serving for easy slicing and forking^^

Easy Tofu and Pork Skillet Lasagna

A while back I inherited some lasagna noodles when saying farewell to more than a couple of friends who were departing the land of kimchi. However, lasagna and Korean toaster ovens aren't necessarily the best match-up. Nor is it possible to find ricotta or cottage cheese and while it's possible to make either of those without too much effort, it still requires effort and planning ahead...

Fast forward more than a couple of months to a dinner date with some Korean friends, one of whom enjoys cooking and baking and even knows a deal more than the typical Korean regarding western foods. During conversations of food I learned that her and her husband have come to enjoy lasagna on a relatively regular basis and have happily discovered that the ever ready and available tofu is a perfect substitute for ricotta!

With renewed inspiration and motivation I again pursued the making of a lasagna, sure that while it may fit in the oven, I didn't have an ideal pan, I dug from my memory brain box a post on Pinterest for a Skillet Lasagna and set forth on lasagna making adventures.


Squeeze the excess moisture out of 1 pkg of Firm Tofu and season with Salt, Basil, Oregano, Black Pepper, and 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese. Set aside.

In a large skillet brown 1 lb. Ground Beef or Pork and choice of veggies (onion, zucchini, etc) and 2 cups of Pasta Sauce (I used a couple baggies of home-made sauce from my once-a-month-adventures). Remove about half of the sauce from the skillet and set aside.

If you have no-boil Lasagna, use those, otherwise boil water and semi-prepare non-boil lasagna noodles while making the tofu/cheese mixture and sauce. 

Over the top of the sauce that remains in the skillet place 2-4 lasagna noodles, covering the sauce as completely as possible. Layer about 1/2 or 1/3 of the Tofu Cheese Mixture followed by sauce, noodles, etc. until the pan is filled. Top it off with shredded mozzarella cheese, cover the skillet, reduce to medium-low heat and cook for about 20 minutes, let set for 5 before serving.

Enjoy with a nice baguette.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Brown Butter Plum Cobbler


The thing I undoubtedly love about Korea is that if I want to know what is the produce of the season, I merely look out the window of my bus as I pass a handful of old men and women selling various fruits and vegetables. Whatever is being sold at the best prices, is undoubtedly what I should be putting into our meals.

So, mourning the tardiness of pie adventures, as in missing out on strawberry season, I figured it would do my skills some good to work with the glorious little plum that was popping up in all the little vendor stalls these days and quickly googled my way to this recipe which served as the starting (and essentially, finishing) point of this summer evening plum cobbler.


In a small bowl whisk together 1/2 cup A-P Flour, 1/4 cup Wheat Flour, 1/4 tsp. Baking Powder, 1/8 tsp. Salt and 3 Tbsp. Ground Almonds.

Separately, in a small sauce pan brown 1 stick of Butter, melting it completely and continuing to cook, stirring often, until it has bubbled and turned a nice brown, nutty color. Cool the butter slightly and mix in 1/2 cup Sugar followed by 1 Egg Yolk and 1 tsp. Vanilla extract. Refrigerate. 

For cobbler filling, combine 1 Tbsp. Cornstarch with 1/4 cup Brown Sugar, Cinnamon and Ginger to taste. Toss into this sugar mix 1 1/2 lbs. quartered or halved Plums.

Tumble plums into a greased baking dish, plop on the browned butter dough evenly and bake 40-45 minutes. 

Will be tart. Can add additional sugar to the cornstarch mixture if you desire a sweeter summer treat.

Would be delectable with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream on top!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Black-Eyed Pea Hummus

Maybe readers are curious as to why the sudden increase in black-eye pea recipes...well, that's primarily because they're one of the dry bean varieties (along with chickpeas, red beans and black beans) that are available at the foreign food markets of Daejeon, South Korea AND there has been a tendency for folks leaving Daejeon to gift their leftover beans to Melissa. 

Not a problem really, considering the Harrington's eat like vegetarians in their homes and carnivores out in public. 

Anyway, this supply of beans and the impending departure of the Harrington's from South Korea has Melissa frequently searching out the next best way to incorporate black-eyed peas into a meal or snack, which in turn yields this Black-Eyed Pea Hummus, inspired by Foods for Long Life.


In a food processor combine 8 oz of Roasted Red Bell Peppers (I roasted my own, but you could use store bought), 15 oz (about 2 cups) of Black Eyed Peas, 2 Tbsp. Tahini, 2 cloves of smashed Garlic, Sea Salt, 3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice, and a dash of Cayenne Pepper. May need to add olive oil or water to reach the desired consistency, process until smooth and dip-able!

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

I've always appreciated a hearty salad in the summer, but living in South Korea, I NEED a hearty salad in the summer. I need salad because it's not a hot meal nor a heavy meal and it fits summer perfectly. This Black-Eyed Pea Salad was delicious on it's own and absolutely fantastic served over/mixed with some brown rice.


Prepare 1 lb. of dried black-eyed peas (I soak my beans over night in the slow-cooker, rinse in the morning, cover with water and cook on low all day, 8-10 hours). Drain and Rinse. In a small sauce pan heat up 1/4 cup Sugar, 1/4 cup Olive Oil, 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar, 1 clove of Garlic, minced and a shake of Black Pepper, heat until sugar has melted. Cool this dressing to room temperature. Meanwhile, combine the black-eyed peas with 2 Bell Peppers (Red and Yellow will yeild the most appealing salad), 1 Onion (again, red is preferred) and 1/2 cup chopped Celery if available.  Toss with dressing and chill salad before serving!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Pineapple Curd and Hummingbird Cake

As I began to fell like I was the master of curds and realize that it was essentially fruit juice plus eggs to make a kind of custard, I began to think it might just work with a wider variety of juices than previously considered and upon realizing I had just the right amount of pineapple juice on hand, I decided it was as good of time as any to go into experiment mode.

Turns out, substituting pineapple juice for lemon juice in a typical Lemon Curd recipe results in some deliciousness to be sure.

For true delicacy, make a Hummingbird Cake, spread some Pineapple Curd between the layers and top with either Cream Cheese Frosting or Yogurt Frosting...sure to please!

Lemon Curd


For Easter, I had made an Orange Curd which received rave reviews from our two 'family' members that joined us for the Easter Meal. One of the two recently began preparations for our 4th of July in South Korea celebration and requested another batch of curd. Unfortunately, oranges are out of season and unavailable at my local market, however, I was able to pick up a few lemons and used up some fake lemon juice as well to make this more tart and more sour than orange, Lemon Curd.


In a small sauce pan heat 1 cup Sugar with 1 Tbsp Lemon Peel, grated and 1 cup Lemon Juice. Whisk well. Once heated, add 3 Tbsp. Butter and 3 Lg. Eggs, slightly beaten. Stir constantly until the mixture is thickened and coats the back of a spoon - about 8 minutes. Pour into glass jar or other container with cover and chill. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months.

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