Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you for visiting Eat, Drink & Be Merry.

Unfortunately, this blog is discontinued, but I have a new blog!
If you like to see my new recipes, please visit my new site:Beyond Gohan

Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy my new blog!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Amanatto Green Tea Muffins

Amanatto is a Japanese traditional sweet made of beans such as azuki and snow peas.  The name may remind you of the stinky fermented soy beans, natto, but they are completely unrelated.  The beans are cooked in syrup, dried and then coated with sugar.  To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of these sweet beans.  When I was a kid, my grandparents often kept them in their snack can and offered them to me behind my mother's back, but I always refused.  I would have gladly accepted if they were chocolate or cookies.

My father, however, loves amanatto.  He brought one bag with him on his last visit and left it untouched.  Though I still don't like them much, I didn't want to waste them since they had made such a long journey.  So I used a tactic parents often use to make kids eat more vegetables: incorporate them into something more attractive.  So I put them in muffins.  The green tea muffin base was a perfect match for the sweet beans.  As both my husband and I enjoyed the muffins, one batch wasn't enough, and after the second round, the bag was empty.  More than 20 years later, I found a way to enjoy this Japanese confections.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Support Japanese Home Cooks! - Daikon Salad

One month has past since the devastating magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.  Right after I saw the news on March 11th, I called my family in Tokyo.  The phone line was down, and that made me nervous and very worried.  When the phone finally rang a few hours later, my aunt picked it up and said, "I thought I was going to die."  Even in Tokyo which is far from the epicenter, the magnitude was close to 6.  More than ten thousand people died, mostly from the monstrous tsunami in northern Japan. Fifteen thousand people are still missing, and more than one hundred fifty thousands are displaced and living in shelters.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Blueberry Pancakes

Do you know your state food? Some of them are somewhat obvious, such as oranges for Florida and jalapenos for Texas. But I would have never guessed Jell-O as a state food (Utah.)  You can find your state foods at your state government website, or look here or here. In New Jersey, blueberry is the state fruit, and many farms host blueberry festivals during the harvest season.

I spent the past few weekends making pancakes using our state fruit. I keep a box of pancake mix in my pantry, but I thought that such fresh, low-mileage blueberries deserved better. In this recipe, yogurt and whipped egg whites are the keys to making these pancakes light and fluffy. Sprinkle just enough powder sugar to cover the pancakes, and drizzle your favorite maple syrup for more sweetness.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Artisanal Macaroni and Cheese

There is a reason why Kraft Mac and Cheese is in so many pantries.  It's quick and easy comfort food that's perfect for lazy or busy days ... or so I thought.  Then I came across the artisanal mac and cheese recipe developed by Terrance Brennan, the chef at the Artisanal Fromagerie, Bistro in New York.  This recipe was featured on the cover of the May 2010 issue of Saveur, and the picture looked inviting. I wonder why it didn't catch attention when I flipped through the magazine for the first time. 

This recipe uses three different types of cheese and a generous panko-parmesan crust.  The cheese sauce is bubbly, and the crust become super crunchy after 30 minutes in the oven.  The combination of the cheesy pasta and the crunchy crust is irresistible!  This isn't a quick dinner, and there are more than three steps to follow, but it's worth spending one hour for this Kraft substitute.  My family and I were rewarded by the best mac and cheese we ever had.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Meatball Cupcakes

Yes, they are cupcakes for meat eaters! After using a mini muffin tin for baking meatballs(link), I was looking for ways to use a muffin tin for savory dishes, and this is my first idea. I buried meatballs in polenta, covered with store bought marinara sauce and topped with pizza cheese. I can't wait to serve these cupcakes for my next party!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Italian Meatballs

I have been baking meatballs in a mini muffin tin after reading Alton Brown's Good Eats. My Sage meatballs came out with nice brown color on the top side only, and I wasn't satisfied with the result. This time, I flipped the meatballs half way through, and they were golden brown on all sides! A regular baking sheet works fine too, but I found a mini muffin tin useful as it keeps meatballs from rolling around.

They are perfect meatballs for spaghetti and meatballs. These types of meatball recipes often call for Parmigiano Reggiano, however you can certainly substitute with Grana Padano. Just like Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano is a hard granular cheese from northern Italy. Grana Padano has a slightly more delicate flavor, and it is less expensive than its counterpart. Also, you can use dried herbs instead of fresh and vice versa. I used fresh parsley since it was available at the grocery store. Generally, you can substitute one teaspoon of dried herbs with one tablespoon of fresh herbs (one to three ratio.)