chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cake etc…

chocolate chip cookies
cookies! photo from Star Tribune

Some of my go to and to try recipes and I’ll just keep adding to this list:

cioppino recipe

pizzaiolo's fish stew

Pizzaiolo’s fish stew (via Instagram)


– saute until translucent
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic
1 small fennel bulb thinly sliced

– add and bring to boil
1 1/2 cup of sauvignon blanc

– add and simmer covered for 25-30 minutes
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 8 oz bottles of clam juice
1/2 cup of water
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
5-6 fresh sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf

– finish broth
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons of butter

– saute separately and add
1 1/2 lbs of fish, monkfish or halibut (or 1lb of U-10 scallops)

– finish/garnish
1 lb littleneck clams 5 minutes
1 lb of shrimp 2 minutes
1 lb of PEI mussels 1 minute
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley

serve w/ toast and aioli

power & emergency dessert

Power Dessert – Tofu w/ Chia Seeds and Maple Syrup

In a cup, add the following:

  • 3 tablespoons of chia seeds (after soaked in water for 10 minutes)
  • 2/3 cup of silken tofu (I like Hodo Soy’s from Berkeley Bowl)
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of maple syrup (real maple syrup not pancake syrup)

That’s it.  I’ve been eating this a lot lately, instead of ice cream and other desserts.

Emergency Dessert – Castella

My other go to dessert is Castella or Kasutera, a simple slight honey flavored sponge cake brought to Japan from Portugal.  They have these in the freezer section of Berkeley Bowl.  I like to keep it in the freezer and I like it as an emergency dessert for myself (as in if we’ve got nothing else) or in case we have guests over.  It’s good with tea, coffee, morning, afternoon, late evening.

chicken chow mein recipe

For my reference, adapted from here.  Easier than I thought

  • 1 lb of fresh chow mein noodles
  • 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 lb of chicken thighs sliced or small cube (or breast or shrimp or pork)
  • 1/2 cup of carrots, small dice
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (out of tube or fresh)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion white and green minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced or 1 cup of leeks
  • 10 shittake mushrooms


Boil/cook the noodles, pat them dry.  Heat 1/4 cup of the peanut oil in a wok.  Fry the noodles until they’re fried to your liking.  Transfer noodles to a paper towel-lined plate. Set aside. Discard any excess oil and wipe out the pan.

Mix the chicken broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar in a small bowl, and set aside. Season the chicken with the sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and set aside.

Heat the wok over high heat. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons peanut oil until very hot. Add the ginger, garlic, and scallion and stir-fry, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and stir-fry, until lightly browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, and mushrooms and stir-fry, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Spread the ingredients to the outside of the pan to form a well in the center. Pour the chicken broth mixture into the well, bring to a boil, and stir to coat the chow mein mixture.  Season generously to taste with pepper.

Transfer chicken chow mein to a warm platter and top with the fried noodles. Serve immediately with rice.

chicken curry recipe

For my reference (adapted from here).  Turned out to be very easy.

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb of chicken thighs
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cup quartered potatoes
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of carrots large dice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk or chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of butter


  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Remove bay leaf, and stir in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.  Finish with butter.

shrimp etouffee

Shrimp etouffee is one my favorite things too cook and say. Very quick and easy to make.

1 stick butter (unsalted)
2 medium onions
1 tsp celery seed (or 1 celery rib finely chopped)
a few garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoon of minced jalapeno pepper
2 tbsp flour
1 14 ounce can of plum tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
1 tbsp of paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 to 2lbs of shrimp, shelled, deveined Louisiana Gulf white shrimp preferred
4 scallions
1/2 cup parsley (curly not flat)

1. Melt the butter. Add the onions and celery seed, a little salt, and cook until onions are glossy about 5 minutes.
2. Add garlic, jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Rough chop tomatoes and stir in with juice, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add shrimp and stir until cooked about 2 minutes. Stir in scallions and parsley. Serve over rice and add a lemon wedge.

Serves 4 – 6.

You can substitute crawfish for the shrimp and also catfish probably. A nice, dry oaky chardonnay or sauvignon blanc; fruity wines, probably not.

hamachi carpaccio w/ candied kumquat

I made this the other day for some friends. I saw something similar on Iron Chef and I thought it was too easy not to try it at home. It’s a nice and light appetizer and good for the summer.

1/2lb of sushi grade hamachi/yellow tail
3-4 kumquats
shiso leaves
great olive oil, salt and pepper

Thinly slice the hamachi. Get some plastic wrap and pound out the hamachi with a hammer or mallet until very thin. Place slices on a plate. Heat up some simple syrup, or 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar. Slice kumquats thinly and put them in the simple syrup pan and candy for a four to five minutes. Julienne the shiso leaves.

Place some of the kumquats and shiso on top of the hamachi. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper.

beef and turnip soup

A friend made this for me and I recreated.  It’s simple and hearty and seems like good diet food.


  • some lean beef, maybe 1/4 to 3/4lb ground, cubed, whatever you have
  • a dozen turnips (the root part, can keep unpeeled if you want)
  • can of beef stock, 1 to 2 cups of water
  • oil, salt, pepper, garlic

In a soup or sauce pot, fry beef and turnips in oil.  Add water and then boil.  Add garlic, salt, and pepper and beef stock.  Simmer until turnips are ready.

I suspect you can add other vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms, and celery.  And you can probably swap out the beef with chicken or turkey and chicken stock.

That and roasted sweet potatoes is what I’m digging lately.

red and green salsa

My favorite salsa recipe comes from my roommate senior year college. It’s addicting. The green salsa one, we got stuck with a bunch of tomatillos via our CSA so had to make it. It’s good though. Both of these are my College or NFL Football watching snacks.

Chips, I like Native Chips. These guys are local, based out of San Leandro and they give people (like my CSA) their used oil so they can make biodiesel. I have this weird local food circle where it seems everyone’s connected with Eatwell Farm e.g. Joseph Schmidt, Hanger One, Blue Bottle, Native Chips, etc.

New Mexico Red Salsa

6+ New Mexico chiles dried
1 small can of tomato sauce, and 1 can of water
couple cloves of garlic

Put everything in a blender. Blend away.

Green Salsa

Some tomatillos
2 small onions
3-4 cloves of garlic
bunch of cilantro

Put tomatillos, onions, garlic in a cast iron skillet and char them a little bit. Put tomatillos in a blender. Add the cilantro. Chop up the garlic and onions and toss in. Add salt to taste.