Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

We were in the car, heading home from the farmer’s market, and discussing what to have for lunch. I wanted a salad, but Annie said that we didn’t have very much Romaine lettuce left. Undaunted, I started calling out some salad ingredients: avocado? Got. Feta? Got. Chicken? Not much. Ham? Nope.

Then Annie said, "Hey, we’ve got grapes and apples from the farmer’s market. And celery in the fridge. How about we make Waldorf salad? I have a recipe from Fine Cooking magazine that I’ve been meaning to try, the same one that featured the Chopped Mexican Salad and Chopped Greek Salad."

Sounds good to me!

Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

Chopped Shrimp Waldorf Salad

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Aunty Marlene’s Banana Muffins Recipe

Are you pake, (pronounced "pah kay", pidgin for cheap Chinese) like me? While I was shopping at this new grocery store that opened in the Almaden Plaza called "Real Produce", I saw that they had overripe organic bananas sitting in a basket. I asked one of the baggers if they were going to sell them for cheap.

After conferring with his supervisor, he came back with a bag and proceeded to fill it with 7 or 8 bananas. He then looked at me and said, "one dollar?"

This is how cheap I am…I responded to this very good deal (they weren’t super overripe and some could still be eaten) by saying, "Could you put in some more?" Yes, people, I am that cheap! And you know what, it never hurts to ask. He didn’t have any problem filling it with another bunch of about 4 more. Score!

Bunch of Bananas

bunch of bananas

(A little explanation on the "cooking for engineers.com": CFE is part of a massive giveaway of HP laptops going on this month. 15 websites are giving away one HP laptop, and they all had different criteria for entries. CFE’s criteria was you had to take pictures of food, with "Cooking for Engineers.com" showing up somewhere in the picture. This was our entry. We didn’t win. So we’re still plodding on with our 5-year old Dell…)

Never Waste Food

I know bananas aren’t very local and we should try to eat locally but I am also a firm believer of never wasting food. I know that stores throw away tons of overripe produce everyday. If I can take these overripe bananas and use them, I’d rather do that then have them go to waste.

Also, I really do like bananas (I’m from the tropics after all). Nate, on the other hand, is not a big fan of them. Sad…so sad…(he will concede to eating a few apple bananas when he’s home in Hawaii).

But I digress. So what am I going to do with so many bananas? Well, my kids love bananas too so we ate a few of them. And the rest, I had plans to bake some muffins and maybe fry up some banana kuih kodok (balls of fried mashed bananas mixed in flour and sugar but that’s another post).

Good Intentions

I have a really yummy banana muffin recipe. It calls for 6-7 bananas and makes super tasty, very banana-y flavored muffins. I got this recipe from Aunty Marlene while I was living in Hawaii (she’s not really my aunty but they call everyone aunty there–makes me feel right at home cuz that’s what we do in Malaysia too).

I made some regular sized muffins and some mini ones. Those mini ones are so great. If you don’t want to over-eat, but feel like a little treat, it’s so great to just be able to take one that is a small bite. Of course, in this case, I pop one in my mouth, then end up sneaking another one and ok, maybe just one more! Sigh, good intentions and all that…

So if you’re ever in a situation like me with an overabundance of ripe bananas (and please don’t use bananas that are not overripe, they just don’t work when baked), this is the recipe for you! Or you could halve the recipe and still get a great treat. This recipe does make quite a number of muffins. I ended up with 17 regular sized muffins and 2 dozen minis.

Aunty Marlene’s Banana Muffins

Ingredients
1 cup Butter
2 cups Sugar (I used 1 1/2 cups and it was still really sweet)
6-7 Bananas, mashed (I used 7 because I could!)
4 Eggs, well beaten
2 1/2 cups (12.5oz) All-purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Soda

Method
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add bananas and eggs to butter mixture and mix well.
4. Sift AP flour, salt and baking soda and add that to batter and mix gently till incorporated.
5. Grease muffin tins (or use muffin paper cups) and fill to about 3/4 full.
6. Bake for about 12 minutes for mini muffins and 20 minutes for regular muffins. Test with toothpick to make sure muffins are cooked through.

Remove from oven, remove from tins and cool on wire rack.

Aunty Marlene’s Banana Muffins

Aunty Marlene's Banana Muffins

Enjoy!

Cheers, Annie

Evolution of Dessert: Sake-Poached Asian Pears with Ume and Li Hing Sauce

What was I thinking?!

Sake-Poached Asian Pears with Ume and Li Hing Sauce

sake-poached asian pears with ume and li hing sauce

It all started when one of my friends emailed me the link to the Pear Recipe Challenge at Santana Row. Basically, people enter a recipe using pears, and 5 of them would be chosen to present their recipes before a panel of judges (one of the judges is going to be FoodGal, Carolyn Jung) at the Pear Festival at Santana Row on October 19. The winner would get a cookbook, a restaurant gift card, a shopping spree, and their name in lights, (well, okay, their name on the SR website…close enough). It got me thinking because I recalled seeing this amazing picture of a poached pear in "Working the Plate" by Christopher Styler and wanting to do a poached pear myself.

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Steel Cut Oatmeal

How about some whole grain goodness for breakfast?

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Craisins, Raisins, Slivered Almonds, Flax Seed Meal, and Buttermilk

steel cut oatmeal with craisins raisins slivered almonds flax seed meal and buttermilk

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About Us

My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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