Monday, February 28, 2011

Celebrating Roti n Rice, My Featured Guest and My 100th Post!!




This is a very momentous day for me...Today I'm featuring one of my favorite food bloggers...Biren!! Biren writes Roti n Rice and is a dynamic chef and food photographer!  Her food blog is very special to me as she inspires me with her with words and her passion for cooking.  I truly admire her way around the kitchen!




I'm also kicking off my new At Home with Rebecka-Hug Page Featured Guest Post and Food Blog Directory. I'm happy to share that Biren is also my "first" Featured Guest on my New Hub Pages. 


Every two weeks my Hub Page will feature a fellow food blogger biography, recipe and photos.  Some of the featured guests have been around the food blogging world for a long time and others have just begun their journey. 


I hope to create a resource, in a new venue, for food enthusiasts; a place to find fantastic food bloggers who frequently get missed in the vast world of food blogging.   For more information about my Hub Pages and how to become a featured guest click here


Last but not least, this is my 100th blog post!!  What a great way to celebrate this day!  


Let me introduce you to my friend Biren.  Once you see her in action you'll be hooked on her blog just like I am!  Welcome Biren!!..

Hi! I am Biren of Roti n Rice and I am deeply honored to be the first featured guest here in At Home with Rebecka. Many thanks to my gracious host Rebecka for inviting me to share with you a little bit about myself and my blog. My base is the Twin Cities, Minnesota with its diverse city culture and just a stone’s throw away from the rich farmlands of the surrounding region. 
At Roti n Rice, I blog about my passion for cooking and memories made in the kitchen. From here, I spend time rediscovering old family recipes and dreaming up new ones. My family is my greatest food inspiration and it is a joy to share with my children the foods of my childhood and to help them broaden their palates. That is why I will only cook foods the family enjoys because food is most delicious and tasty when shared.
The other thread of inspiration for my food comes from my Malaysian heritage. Growing up, home cooking was an eclectic mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines. These cultures infuse my cooking with the spices of the East, rich flavors from centuries of culinary excellence.  After moving to the States, I started baking and incorporating more western cuisines into my daily repertoire. Today, my cooking reflects a little of the culture that I live in which is a melting pot of cuisines.
I invite you to join me on my culinary adventures at  my blog  http://www.rotinrice.com/. You can also find me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Roti-n-Rice/242815743598 and Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/rotinrice.

And now, let me share this recipe with you…
Savory Steamed Glutinous Rice

Lo Mai Fun as this dish is known in Malaysia, is a popular breakfast street food. Steamed in large trays and topped with chopped peanuts, dried shrimps, sliced green onions, and chilies, it is considered the simple cousin of the dim sum favorite, Lo Mai Kai (Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken) made in individual bowls. This dish can certainly be made vegetarian by omitting the dried shrimps.


Here is what you will need to put it together.

2 cups glutinous rice, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
1 tsp sesame oil
½ tsp five spiced powder
1 tsp salt
1¼ cups water

Toppings
¼ cup toasted peanuts, chopped
¼ cup dried shrimps
1 onion or 6 shallots, finely sliced
5 to 6 green onions, finely sliced
2 red Anaheim chilies, seeded and sliced
¼ cup canola oil


Rinse and drain dried shrimps. Soak in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and give shrimps a rough chop.

Heat oil in a medium sized pan. Fry onions  or shallots until brown and crispy. Remove with a slotted spatula. Add chopped dried shrimps and fry till crispy. Again remove with slotted spatula. Set aside.


Place a metal rack in the center of wok. Fill with about 1½ inches of water. Bring to a boil.

Rinse and drain soaked glutinous rice. Transfer rice to a heatproof dish. Add sesame oil, five spice powder, salt and water. Transfer dish to wok, place a dome lid on,  and steam for 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff rice with fork. Cover and steam for another 5 minutes. Remove from wok and allow to cool for 10 minutes.



Sprinkle peanuts, cooked onions and dried shrimps, green onions and chilies onto rice.



Serve immediately. Time to dig in!


I hope you enjoyed the post and recipe.


Yours Truly,
Biren

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mexico In My Kitchen Give Away

Molcajete



Mely from Mexico In My Kitchen is having a fantastic give away on her blog.  She is giving away a beautiful  Molcajete (pictured above) to one lucky reader.  Stop by her blog to read her wonderful post and enter to win. 
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Monday, February 21, 2011

Recipe Impossible Winner!!


I Won!!  WOOT!!  It feels so great to win a challenge and this one was a blast. Literally, Szechuan Buttons and a little martini equals "winner, winner chicken dinner"


MarxFoods announces Mixology Challenge Winner.....

"Ten challengers pitted their shakers against each other in a Szechuan button booze battle to see who could come up with the very best in cutting edge cocktails.

We put their creations to a vote here on the Marx Foods blog, and Knuckle Salad’s Tootsie Pop Rock Martini zapped its way into our readers’ hearts.  As a reward Knuckle Salad will be receiving their very own mixologist sampler, including more Szechuan buttons (once you’d started playing with these shocking little flowers, it’s hard to stop) and two herbs with very complex cocktail-friendly flavors: shiso leaves & dulce leaves.

But that’s not all.  There’s a second sampler on the table.  The recipient of this one was decided by an internal vote by the challengers themselves…and it’s going to: At Home with Rebecka’s Bite My Sweet Tarts-Tini recipe!"






Thanks to all my fellow mixologists for your votes.  Justin, thanks for continuing to make the food world a brighter place with all your wonderful cooking products and adventurous cooking ingredients!

To visit MarxFoods and view the other 9 competitors Szechuan Button cocktails click here 
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Giveaway-Barista Organic Coffee Beans



The Foodie Blog Roll is hosting another amazing giveaway in conjunction with Barista Organic Coffee makers. 

The Prize:

Barista will be giving away 3lbs of organic, freshly roasted coffee. One each of their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe (light roast), Guatemalan Chajul (medium roast), Costa Rican Amistad (dark roast).


"Barista's Beans specializes in roasting-to-order, only the finest shade grown coffees. We focus on Organic, Fair-Trade, Rainforest-Alliance, and Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified coffees whenever possible. These certifications promote clean sustainable farming while preserving biodiversity and providing habitat for migratory birds and other animals. Not only does it improve quality of life for the animals, but the farmers and their families as well"

Totally delicious coffee beans and earth friendly!!  Gotta love Barista!
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just a little "Retail Therapy"...Hate to shop...Love a great bargain!


I don't live to shop and I don't shop to live!  Actually, I think spending  hours in a Mall walking from store to store is exhausting.  I'm a no nonsense shopper.  I never go shopping without the intent to "get in and get out" as fast as possible and I generally have a list which keeps me focused on the task at hand.

However, there's almost always and exception to any rule... I really like to grocery shop, mostly because I love to cook but I get all giddy inside when I shop for dinnerware.  China, stemware, bar paraphernalia, etc. and when I find a great bargain...a quite peace comes over me and I am transcended to a place of calm! 
A few days ago I went to my local Safeway store to purchase a loaf of bread and milk.  What I came home with was a 12 piece set of dinnerware.  12 Square dinner and salad plates, 12 round dinner and salad plates, 12 cereal bowls, 1 platter, 2 sets of salt and pepper shakers, 2 bread plates, one veggie bowl, 4 condiment bowls and 12 egg cups.  Unfortunately, they were out of the matching coffee cups or I would have purchased them as well. 

Grand total for my bargain...$156.00.  I saved so much money on the transaction that a manger had to come and authorize my purchase. 
Total savings...$425.00.  I felt like I had died and gone to heaven!!  

 


I'm not sure what I'll do with 12 egg cups since I'm the only one in the family that eats soft boiled eggs but I'm sure I'll find a purpose for them. At .75 each I couldn't leave the store without them.  Honestly, I felt a little feverish as the checker bagged up my bounty!




My new dinnerware isn't fine china and doesn't come with a fancy designer name.  I probably won't be able to find replacements if I break a few pieces but it's dishwasher and microwave safe!! I think it's kinda pretty and best of all.....it was ON SALE!!  






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Monday, February 7, 2011

One, Two, Three Creamy Fudge Recipe

This three ingredient, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge recipe, is not only easy to make but the creamiest, tasty fudge you'll ever eat!

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes |
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
|Servings: 24


  • 1 10 ounce Tub Original Kraft Cooking Creme
  • 1 16 ounce Tub Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
  • 2 cup(s) of Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp. of butter for greasing pan
Steps
  1. spoon prepared frosting into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute, in another microwave safe bowl add peanut butter and microwave on high for 1 minute, blend both ingredients together and add 1 tub Original Flavor Kraft Cooking Creme until smooth about 1 minute, pour mixture into a buttered 8x8 or 9x9 pan cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight .
  2. Remove from refrigerator and cut into 1 inch by 1 inch squares, serve immediately or store in an air tight container for up to 1 week
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Savory Garlic Salmon en Papillote

Savory Garlic Salmon en Papillote
featuring Kraft Philadelphia Savory Garlic Cooking Creme 
This recipe is a show stopper for dinner parties or a special evening with your sweetie. With the addition of the Kraft Savory Garlic Creme this recipe is over the top in flavor.

Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes |
Total time: 60 minutes
|Servings: 6


  • 2 pound(s) of Salmon Filet
  • 1 ounce(s) of Tub Savory Garlic Blend
  • 2 shallots diced
  • 2 tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 3 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 cup(s) of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 cup(s) of wild and white rice blend
  • 1/4 cup(s) of slivered almonds
Steps
  1. Prepare rice by adding 2 cups water to a sauce pan with a lose fitting lid, add 1 tablespoon butter and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil and add 1 cup wild and white rice blend, cover and cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed, remove from heat and set aside
  2. Cut parchment paper into 19 by 15 inch sheets, trim corners from all four sides to make edges rounded, set aside
  3. Dice shallots and seed and dice tomatoes, cut salmon into 4-6 ounce pieces (2 pounds = 6-7 servings), rub the middle of the parchment paper with 1 teaspoon butter, place 1 piece of salmon on buttered parchment, just a little off center, spoon 1-1/2 teaspoons of Savory Garlic Cooking Creme over top of each serving of salmon and sprinkle each filet with shallot and tomato, add 1 teaspoon butter to the top of fish and wrap into papillote, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-18 minutes (total of 3/4 tub distributed equally on salmon filets)
  4. stir remaining Savory Garlic Cream into Rice (about 1/4 cup), pack rice into a buttered ramekin, press top firmly, invert on plate and remove ramekin
  5. remove salmon en papillote from oven, open pouch and slide salmon onto plate, serve.
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Savory Garlic Breakfast Kolaches

Savory Garlic Breakfast Kolaches

This was a real winner with my family on Christmas morning. We had a house full of people and I didn't want to spend my morning in the kitchen cooking an elaborate breakfast. The Savory Garlic Cooking Creme allowed me the opportunity to make a healthy, hearty breakfast and time to spend with my family. I made up a new word in this video that exemplifies the flavor of the Savory Garlic Cooking Creme..see if you can catch it..hint, garlic****!


Prep time: 40 minute
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 36
  • 2 pound(s) of ground pork
  • 10 ounce(s) of tub Kraft Savory Garlic Cooking Creme
  • 2 tsp. of red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) of Orange Marmalade
  • 1 package frozen dinner rolls
Steps
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees, spray two cookie sheets with cooking oil and place frozen dinner rolls 1 inch apart, spray top of rolls with cooking oil and cover with clean dry towel, place in oven for 15 minutes, remove and allow to rise additional 5-10 minutes.
  2. Brown pork in a heavy skillet on medium high heat, remove from heat and drain fat, add spices and 1 tub Savory Garlic Creme (reserve 2 tablespoons creme for marmalade), salt and pepper to taste
  3. Prior to baking kolaches adjust oven temperature to 350, using thumbs make an indentation in the middle of roll, fill with 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons pork mixture, wet edges of roll with water to create seal, pinch edges together tightly, place on prepared cookie sheet and continue until all rolls are filled, bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
  4. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons Savory Garlic Creme with 1 cup orange marmalade in a microwave safe bowl, mix to blend, heat for 1 minute in microwave and stir, serve with Kolaches
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Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Whisper of Ice and I'm ready for Spring





Last weeks ice storm covered our mountain town in what looked and felt like a deep freeze.   The aspen trees were frozen stiff by pure white ice crystals, standing at attention despite the wind. 

This week we are covered in the biggest snow fall of the year.  


This is my son in our driveway this morning!  The snow was falling while he lay there in about 2 feet of the fully, white stuff!  The weatherman promises another 2 feet by morning. 



It's days like these that I dream of warmer days living in Sanibel Florida.  The warm sand between my toes and the gentle sound of the waves as my children laugh and play in the surf!  I don't miss the bugs but I could go for a day of fun in the sun.




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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Creme Date Bars


My mother has been making this Date Bar recipe for holidays for many years.  These delicious date bars have all of the components of the perfect bite!  Salty, sweet, crispy Oates paired with creamy sweet dates deliver a deliciously decadent dessert/snaking experience. 

This is one of my Kraft Video Cooking Creme recipes that unfortunately, never made it into the challenge; instead it ended up on the editing floor.  My Chile Rellenos con Camarones never made it into the challenge either.  Ugh! Both videos were editing nightmares!  Many hours of hard work rendered useless by my less than stellar video editing abilities.  But, as luck would have it, the recipe is absolutely delicious with the addition of the Kraft Original Flavor Cooking Creme! 

Preheat oven 375 degrees

Crumb Topping

3 cups rolled oats
2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups vegetable shortening or oil
1 teaspoon baking powder

In a large mixing bowl, crumble all ingredients together and set aside

Date Filling

2 pounds dates
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 10 ounce tub Kraft Original Cooking Creme

Pit dates by mashing with a large knife, mix with water, sugar and Kraft Original Flavor Cooking Creme until well blended, spread 1/2 the crumb mixture into a square sided baking pan, spread date filling over crumbs, cover dates with remaining crumb mixture, bake for 30 minutes.

Makes 32-36, 2 inch square bars.


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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Saucy Santa Fe Mary Cocktail



Kraft just released 4 flavored Cooking Cremes that have revolutionized many of my family recipes.   The 10 ounce tubs of Cooking Cremes are "Chef Inspired" by the makers at Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese. They are entirely different from the cream cheese we've all used in the kitchen for so many years.   There is no need to cook the Cremes or allow them to come to room temprature before cooking with them.  They are smooth and creamy, pourable, and spoonable.  Use a whole tub or just a few spoonfuls to add rich flavor and creaminess to your recipes.  The Cooking Cremes  supply the same amazing quality and taste of the Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese but deliver a powerful burst of flavor and an endless array of recipe ideas.

I've been very busy this past month taping several videos for the Kraft Philadelphia Cooking Creme Video Challenge.  Finally, the last of my videos is complete and I can breath a sigh of relief! 

I found that making cooking videos without the aid of a personal videographer, or a lighting and editing crew was horribly frustrating, time consuming, and exasperating!  It was also a labor of love, filled with funny moments, technically genius blond moments, and six delicious new recipes. Sadly, I lost one new recipe videos due to my horrible filming and editing skills! However, all is not lost....I'll be posting the recipe for Creme Date Bars with some pictures very soon.  

Recipe #5 Santa Fe Blend



This cocktail is absolutely delicious with the addition of the Kraft, Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme. It takes the everyday Bloody Mary to new heights in flavor and brings a new dimension of creaminess to this wonderful morning cocktail drink. Omit the alcohol and the whole family can enjoy this healthy and filling breakfast drink .

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
|Total time: 20 minutes
|Servings: 4-6 8 ounce
  • 1 quart(s) of Spicy Tomato Drink (like Spicy Tom or V8 Spicy Tomato drink)
  • 1 quart(s) of tomato juice
  • 1 10 ounce tub Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme
  • 1 4 ounce(s) bottled clam juice
  • 1 tbsp. of worchestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of hot sauce
  • 8 green olives
  • 1 bunch celery stalks
  • 6 ounce(s) of Vodka
  • 2 lemons
Steps
 
1.  Using a 5 quart pitcher blend tomato juices, worchestershire, and hot sauce, clam juice, lemon juice from one lemon (cut remaining lemon into wedges), 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper and 1-10 ounce tub of Kraft, Santa Fe Blend cooking Creme, and whisk together
 
2.  Wash celery stalks and cut bottoms, do not remove leaves, place in a cup of cold water and set aside.




 3.  Run a lemon wedge around the rim of an 8 ounce Pilsner glass, invert on a small plate and salt rim (celery salt can be substituted) fill glass with ice add 1 1/2 ounces vodka per glass, add Saucy Mary mix

4.  Garnish with olives or your favorite fresh vegetable, lime or lemon wedges, serve with additional hot sauce and black pepper to taste, Stir with celery stalk and serve. Saucy Santa Fe Mary mix can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.






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Bite My Sweet Tarts-tini ~ MarxFoods Mixology Challenge





Please visit the MarxFoods link and vote for me...polls are open until Feb. 15, 2011

~~
♥Szechuan Button♥ ♥Mixology Challenge♥ 


My recipe is complete and the MarxFoods Szechuan Button mixology challenge is on!  

Over the past 6 months MarxFoods has been gracious enough to send me several of their companies fine herbs, spices and kitchen products, all of which have been truly fabulous! 

Thanks to Justin Marx, I'm being given another chance to experiment with one of MarxFoods exceptional quality exotic ingredients, Szechuan buttons. Excerpt from MarxFoods description...

"Szechuan Buttons (aka Sechuan Buttons, Sichuan Buttons, Toothache plant) are an unusual food in that their primary use is not nutrition or flavor but rather to impart a sensation to food and drink. They possess a slightly bitter, herby flavor that isn’t unusual, but a few seconds after consuming them something very interesting begins to happen in the mouth."

I braved the Colorado Arctic cold front and sub zero temperatures today to do some cocktail recon at my local grocery store.  It turned out to be a very successful foray with the exception of the frigid temperatures!

The moment I walked into the market I  was overcome by the large Valentine display at the store entrance.  Volumes of pink balloons, flowing pink and white crepe paper and several life sized heart displays, beckoned me into their trap!  Like a magnet, I was  drawn to rows and rows of shelves, laden to the brim with all manner of sweet candies!  I'm a corporate marketers dream!

A pretty pink box caught my eye...Sweethearts! 

This was exactly what I'd been looking for but didn't know it until I saw the box.  What a delightful ingredient for a perfectly playful cocktail; add some Szechuan buttons and you've got Bite My Sweet Tarts-tini!


...BiteMySweetTarts... is one of my favorite avatar gaming names.  It is the pseudonym by which I'm known on YouTube and Facebook.    So, it seemed a fitting name for my challenge entry.


Bite My Sweet Tarts-tini Recipe
~~

Drink Mix
2 Szechuan Buttons
1-2/3 ounce Orange Flavor Vodka
1-2/3 ounce Ceren Vodka
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
2/3 ounce Galliano
2/3 ounce Angostura Bitters
2 ounces sour mix
1 12 ounce bottle Strawberry Soda (I used CRUSH Soda)
Tonic Water



from left, Sweethearts, Flavored Twizzlers, Smarties
 
Garnish
2 Szechuan Buttons
1 package Smarties
1 package sugar cured green cherries
1 box Sweethearts

Fill 2 cocktail  glasses with ice to chill,
fill large shaker 1/4 full with ice, pour vodkas, Grand Marnier
Galliano, Angostura Bitters, sour mix over ice, shake vigorously.

Remove ice from glasses, run a lime wedge around the rim of glasses and dip rim in sugar mixture, pour half of the cocktail mixture into glasses distributing liquid evenly, the top half of glass will be empty, fill 1/4 of the empty space with Strawberry Soda and other 1/4 with Tonic Water, drop 3 whole Sweet Tarts into each drink.

Garnish Preparation
using a clean coffee grinder, pulse Smarties (about 10-12 pieces) until resembles course powder, pour into a saucer, cut entire head of 2 Szechuan buttons into fine pieces and add to Smarties sugar, toss gently to combine.



Garnish drink with 2 Sun-Ripe  green cherries and 1 whole Szechuan Button

Recipe Serves 2


Drinking protocol
When trying something new it's always a good idea to add something that's familiar too, so I added the green candied cherries. Their sweet flavor aids the drinkers experience by masking the Szechuan Buttons initial taste of metal, preparing the palate for the sweet crisp flavor of the drink. 

If your are the adventurous drinker, start your Szechuan Button drinking experience by eating the two cherries and Szechuan button at the same time, before sipping the drink.

For the more timid drinker, sip the drink from the glass rim to enjoy a mild tingly sensation from the Szechuan Button infused sugar. 

The flavors of the sour Smarties and sweetness of the strawberry soda accent the tingly sensation of the Szechuan Buttons perfectly.  It's also a fun drink to watch as the Sweethearts dance on the bubbles from the soda.


 Bite My Sweet Tarts-tini is a dangerously delicious drink!

This post is also linked to...

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All Things Domestic
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