Thursday, December 20, 2012

All I Want for Christmas is Food

     As the holidays are upon us, so many people can’t wait to get presents, start vacations and get on with their Christmas break. However, for some people, it’s not about the expensive things, but about spending a Christmas meal with their family and reminding themselves of the true Christmas spirit. Well, the dish I’m about to show you represents warm memories to all, that one sweet treat that was beloved to all in those old winter nights. I’m talking about the delicious peppermint bark, the one dessert makes you merrier than Santa Claus. And although it’s simple to make, it’s going to be the best holiday treat for sweet tooths all around the world.

My Peppermint Bark Recipe:

What You'll Need:

12 ounces of semisweet chocolate

1.5 teaspoons peppermint extract

1 pound of white chocolate

3 candy canes, crushed

1. Chop up the semisweet chocolate and white chocolate into 1/2 inch pieces.
2. Line a 9 by 13 inch baking dish with aluminum foil.
3. Heat up water in a saucepan until the water is steaming.
4. Pour all but 3/4 cup of the semisweet chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.
5. Place the bowl over the saucepan but do not let the bowl touch the water.
6. Stir until about 1/3 of the chocolate is melted.
7. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and mix and stir the 3/4 cup of semisweet chocolate you saved earlier until all of the chocolate is melted.
8. Stir 3/4 teaspoon of the peppermint extract into the melted chocolate and mix.
9. Quickly pour the chocolate into the baking dish and spread it until the chocolate is even.
10. Leave the chocolate aside for 10 minutes until it sets.
11. Then, put all but 1 cup of the white chocolate in a heat-proof bowl.
12. Repeat the melting process over the water in the saucepan.
13. Stir the remaining peppermint extract into the white chocolate.
14. Pour the white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate and spread it until it is even.
15. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes immediately over the white chocolate.
16. Set the baking dish aside for 1 hour at room temperature until the bark is firm.
17. Break up the peppermint bark into pieces.
18. Congratulations! You have successfully made 2 pounds of peppermint bark.

Your delicious peppermint bark if you follow these easy steps.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Satay Night Fever

     I have been back in the States for more than a year now since living in Singapore for a couple of years. It is a tiny, multicultural country located in Southeast Asia. Because of its diverse ethnicities, Malay, Indian and Chinese, the people of this nation fused the flavors of their different cuisines to suit their taste buds. And every now and then, I would miss that tantalizing aroma of chili and curry in the Hawker Center. I would long for the taste of fish sauce and lemon grass. Luckily, I discovered this gem in the heart of Bellaire. Houston's Banana Leaf Restaurant was the answer to my cravings!

    Banana Leaf is a mom and pop shop specializing in Malaysian cuisine. The place seemed authentic. To whet my appetite, I ordered the classic Malaysian/Indian appetizer that everyone loves. Roti prata is a delicate Indian pancake that is served with a delectable curry sauce. The pancake is somewhat crispy and versatile that you can ask for different types of meat in it, sweet fruits, or even a fried egg. When it came out, I noticed that the curry sauce was a tad watery than I remember it should be. I dipped a small piece of pancake into the sauce. The flavor was wonderful. I thought that it was a good start!

    One of my favorites to eat in Singapore was their charcoal grilled satay. These chicken or beef skewers (or combination if you ask nicely) are perfectly served with a spicy peanut sauce, which, in my opinion, is one of the best sauces on Earth. This dish immediately brought me back to Asia. Everyone should definitely try this because it is such a well-composed dish, street food or not.

    For my entree, I opted for the traditional Singaporean laksa noodle soup. Now this isn't some boring, bland chicken noodle soup. No, this is a spicy coconut and lemon grass soup that will make your taste buds explode with an exotic blend of Asian spices. The noodles, along with the chicken, shrimp, pork, and vegetables, is sheer perfection. Just a word of caution, this bowl of soup is rich not only in flavors, but also in cholesterol. So, eat sparingly!

    If you don't want a soup, that's perfectly acceptable, because there's plenty of other dishes in the restaurant that are designed to feed each person's individual needs. For example, a classic Singaporean dish is their Hainanese chicken rice. A true clean-cut dish, it's merely steamed chicken served over white rice with the chef's special soy sauce. The secret of this dish is in the rice and unfortunately, I didn't get that Hainanese flavor that I was looking for so I was a bit disappointed.

    So if you're brave enough to try the Southeast Asian flavor, you don't have to travel thousands of miles to taste it. Just hop into your car and visit Banana Leaf in the heart of Chinatown. Houston is so lucky to have a restaurant like this, not only because of their delicious food, but because it will one day expose the majority of Houstonians to a different world of gastronomy.

For more about Malaysia and the restaurant...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

So Appethaizing

     Thailand is a small country in Southeast Asia known for its beautiful beaches, its famous religious temples, and most of all, its spicy and delicious food. Thai food isn't about the simplicity of it, but the juggling of different flavors and elements to create a harmonious dish that Thai people care about in their cooking. That's what has made Thailand one of the staples in Asian cooking over the past century. Today, I'm going to be showing you fried fish with sweet and sour chili sauce. Although the dish sounds as generic as other Asian food, the fish combined with the sauce provide a wallop of flavor from the spiciness of the chilies to the sourness of the tamarind and the sweetness of the sugar.

Fried Fish With Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce

What You'll Need

4 peeled garlic cloves
3 peeled shallots
2 tbsp of chopped cilantro
1 tbsp of chopped red chilies
1/4 cup of cornstarch
1 lb of fish fillets ( any fish )
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of tamarind paste
3 tbsp of water
2 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tbsp brown or palm sugar
1 tbsp of cilantro leaves
1 tbsp of red chilies


1. Combine the garlic, shallots, cilantro, and red chilies and use a mortar and pestle or food processor to make them into a paste.

2. Put cornstarch onto a dish. Pat the fish until it's dry and coat the fish with cornstarch.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until the fish turns brown and crispy on both sides and the fish is cooked through. Transfer the fish to a serving dish. Leave only 2 tbsp of oil in the skillet after cooking the fish.

4. Add the garlic paste to the oil and cook for 2 minutes, or until the paste is fragrant. Add the tamarind paste, water, fish sauce and sugar to the garlic paste. Stir the paste so that it can heat through and thicken slightly.

5. Pour the sauce over the fish and garnish the dish with cilantro and chilies.

For more information about Thai cooking...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Follow That Truck!

     Decades ago, if people say food truck, Mexican trucks selling tacos and burritos come to mind. In recent years, thanks to Food Network and other food channels, food trucks have evolved and have become the latest craze in eateries. "Street Food" is now considered hip and chic especially to young urban professionals. This fad has now reached Houston which incidentally has been voted America's coolest and hippest city to live by Forbes.

     So, when a friend invited me to try Chi'lantro, a Korean-Mexican fusion food truck that originated in Austin and made its way to the Bayou City, I had to bring my camera and palate to check what's special about these mobile restaurants. First, we had to check out their website for their schedule. We found the truck along I-10 and Antoine. Now you may be thinking, "Oh, food trucks are dirty, so you might catch a disease!" The truck didn’t look anything filthy. It was artistic and the aroma was inviting. I checked their menu and ordered one of their specialties, the Korean tacos.  You could choose pork, beef, chicken or tofu as your meat. The bulgogi meat was cooked and placed onto soft double-layered corn tortillas, and topped with soy vinaigrette Korean salad, cilantro, onions, and their signature Korean salsa.  It was tasty. There was a perfect blend of Korean and Mexican flavors in every bite. For $5, you get two tacos which was reasonable. I was almost full by the time I finished my meal.

   But I couldn’t just walk away without trying the famous kimchi fries. Their kimchi fries was an entrĂ©e by itself. The serving was huge. To make this amazing dish, they caramelized the kimchi and placed a sizzling heap of Korean BBQ, grilled onions, cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses, cilantro, sriracha, sesame seeds, and their magic sauce onto a mound of crispy French fries. It had some heat but I would expect more kimchi. To me, if you are calling it a kimchi fries, you better give me more of that kimchi flavor. So, I was a little bit disappointed. Overall, the flavor was good. It was well seasoned and balanced.

      The experience had opened a whole new concept of dining to me. Food trucks can provide delicious, sanitary food at affordable prices. I would definitely check out Chi'lantro again in the very near future and try their quesadillas, burgers, and rice bowls. So, why don't you go to their website and follow that TRUCK!

To find out more about Chi'lantro,

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


          Everywhere we go, we hear buzz words such as 'Green', 'Organic' and 'Sustainable Farming'.  So, when I heard that Houston had a certified green restaurant, I just had to check it out.  Located at Citycentre in Westside Houston, Ruggles Green is a restaurant that uses organic, all-natural, hormone-free, and preservative-free products to create healthy and delicious food for your whole family.


         So, one Sunday, I just had to march to this place and see what they had to offer. For my appetizer, I ordered Ruggles Green's famous hempanadas. These delicate empanadas are made with high-protein hemp flour, handcrafted and filled with raisins and the tastiest cheeses. Then the juiciest beef is added and is baked until the dough turns golden brown. With their special sauces, a garlic cilantro sauce that makes your taste buds tingle with excitement, and a peach chipotle sauce, which leaves you wanting more, their hempanadas are the absolute perfection.

         For the main course, I decided to try their signature veggie nut burger. Placed between a whole-wheat bun, the patty is made with sauteed vegetables, potatoes, almonds, fresh corn, hemp protein, bread crumbs, and organic hummus to create something mouthwatering. Garnished with some mixed greens, your pick of cheese, and their house-made pickles, this burger makes you want to turn vegetarian. However, although the veggie nut burger is very scrumptious, the lack of fat while cooking makes the patty dry and causes the burger to crumble. It was a little bit messy but it was quite satisfying.

         I could not leave this place without trying one of the desserts and I was glad I saved room for it. Their absolutely heavenly white chocolate bread pudding will make you see the stars. Made with the sweet white chocolate, this bread pudding is simply topped with a fresh-made vanilla bean ice cream and a tasty strawberry sauce on the side. Then, topped with a chocolate design, this dessert is just divine, with no other bread pudding coming even close to it.

      Ruggles Green did not disappoint. Who knows that gluten free and preservative free foods can be healthy and delicious at the same time? As I walked out the door, I was filled with satisfaction knowing the fact that I not only ate something that was beneficial to my health, but that I also contributed to the health of our planet.  Don't you want to save your planet today?

If you want to learn more about Ruggles Green...

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's It All About?

       Hey guys, this is my new blog called Yummy for Your Tummy. Basically, what I'm going to be doing is showing you some awesome recipes from all around the globe and where and what are the best restaurants in the U.S. I'm going to show you these things almost every other week. This blog will be different from all the other blogs because I'm going to ask you to make and rate the dishes that I'm showing you. I also want you to give me some of your delicious recipes that you want the world to see and taste for themselves. I want you to tell me about the best, most outrageous restaurants you've ever been. I'll be posting a whole range of different foods from the fanciest, most expensive dishes to the most savory and humbling street food. Trust me, you're not going to want to miss this. So come and write and read some of the best posts of food and cooking this year. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy my blog and tell your friends.


These are just some of the blogs that relate to what I'm going to be doing with "Yummy For Your Tummy".