Posted in cooking, Food

Enchiladas: Cans Edition

MMmmmm… Mexican food. I don’t know how to make good mole or refried beans from scratch so the beans and sauce are from cans at my local grocery store. It’s still delicious and this provides me at least three more meals that I’ll freeze for later consumption. Here’s how I do it.

Oven at 350

Mixing spoon/spatula

A large mixing bowl

Two medium bowls

Tablespoon spoon

Cutting board

Sharp knife

Can opener

Big enough mixing for two cans of refried beans

Big enough pan to put all your food in. I use a 10×15 glass pan this time.

A bag of fluffy tortillas

Two 16oz cans of refried beans

One big can of enchilada sauce

A frozen bag of corn

Mushrooms. I don’t have chicken or fish right now, but I have mushrooms! Scratch that. They were bad. šŸ˜¦

A bag of Mexican cheese

4 Roma Tomatoes – chopped

One bundle of Green onions – diced


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F
  2. Chopped tomatoes and diced green onions and set them aside in their bowls.
  3. Open bag of corn, stick a spoon in it, and set aside.
  4. Use can opener to open two 16oz refried beans and emptied them into the mixing bowl. Use mixing spoon to give the beans a good mix and set aside.
  5. Use can opener to open the one big can of enchilada sauce. Pour a thin layer of sauce to cover the area of the pan that the enchiladas will touched to prevent sticking. Set the rest of the sauce aside.
  6. Tortilla in the palm of your hand. Spoon two scoops of refried beans, one tablespoon of corn, fold down one side, fold down that opposite side, and put it in the pan you sauced a little bit ago. Repeat for seven more times.
  7. The pan should now have eight enchiladas. Pour the rest of the sauce evenly and completely cover the tops of the enchiladas.
  8. Sprinkle all the tomatoes and some or all of the green onions on top.
  9. Sprinkle about a half bag of the cheese on top.
  10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered.
  11. Enjoy!

It is good and easy that you can enjoy by yourself or share with anyone you care about. I froze the ones that I can’t eat in small freezer bags. They keep for a while. They last me about two weeks since I have days I don’t want to cook and I made that frozen food. Why not have that as my meal than fast food?

This is not the first time I made this, so this time was not as good as the first time I did it. It’s a little too sweet from the corn and little dry from the beans. The tomatoes can help with moisture.

Note for next time:

  1. Put some tomatoes in enchiladas along with corn and beans.
  2. Put some sauce in the bottom of the pan before putting enchiladas in the pan to prevent sticking.
  3. Try some cooked chicken, corn, and tomatoes, instead of just corn and beans.

Give it a try and tell me what you think in the comments.

What’s your favorite Mexican dish?

Posted in cooking, Food

Easy Biscuits

So the other day I went to have some biscuits and gravy at Bolyard’s, a local butcher shop with a couple of cooked dishes, in Maplewood. The portion was a little small, but good. I was still craving for some biscuits and got some flour to used up so why not make some? Online we go for a recipe.

This is what I found that I know it will be good because it’s from Alton Brown and it looks easy to make. I don’ t have every ingredient on the recipe but that’s okay. I use what I have!

Alton Brown’s BiscuitsĀ recipe that I modified a bit to what I have in my kitchen.

2 Cups Flour

4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

3/4 Teaspoon Salt

4 Tablespoons of cubed Unsalted Butter

1 Cup Cold Whole Milk

A Big Fork

A Big Mixing Bowl

A Big Clean Flat Surface for a little dough kneading

Aluminium Foil

Jelly Roll Tray

Oven at 450F

Put all dry ingredients and mix a bit in the big mixing bowl. Butter goes in the bowl and cut into dry ingredients with a big fork until the mixture is crumbly. You can put the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes if you think it got too warm in the room temperature environment.

Preheat oven at 450F. Line the jelly roll tray with aluminium foil, flour it a bit, and set aside.

Make a well in the middle of the mixture. Pour whole milk in the well. Mix together well. The dough for me was slightly sticky and it pulled away from the mixing bowl when done mixing. Flour the clean flat surface a bit. Put the dough on the floured surface and kneading it for five turns. Kneading is fold the dough in half, push down and forward a touch, turn the dough 90 degrees, and repeat. Divide the dough into 12 even piece. Make them into little 1 inch tall disks and put on the floured, aluminium foil lined jelly roll tray. Put tray the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes depending on your oven.

They are very hot when they are out so wait until they cool enough to touch.

Enjoy them with chicken and salad or by themselves with some butter and jelly!

What is your favorite kind biscuit? What do you pair with biscuits?

Posted in cooking, Food

Chicken Meal

I like to bring my lunches to work instead of buy. It’s cost efficient and healthier in the long run. I know what are the ingredients in my meal. Now I was a vegetarian for ten years before my start of college. It just went down hill once I need to cook for myself. I need to cook it quick and needs to be delicious! So my choices of proteins were and still are tofu and eggs. Mmmm…

Well, I’ve been expanding my horizon a bit more with chicken. I cooked fish many times now, but chicken is so different. I come to find that don’t like dry chicken. It’s easy to over cook with no flavor. A double whammy, especially if you miranated before cooking. One I don’t have those spices individually. Second these were things I have in the kitchen.

Inspired by this recipeĀ from The Kitchen Girl.

Two and a Half Teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning

Two Tablespoons of Oil

Six Drumsticks

A big mixing bowl

Whisk or fork or your fingers

Aluminium foil

Jelly Roll Tray

A meat thermometer

Oven at 400F

Pre-heat over to 400F. Line the jelly roll tray with aluminium foil and put aside. Mix the oil and Old Bay in a big mixing bowl. Put drumsticks in the bowl to coat them evenly. Lay drumsticks onĀ aluminium foiled jelly roll tray. Put them in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes depending on your oven.

Make sure the internal temperature of the drumsticks reached 165F before calling them finished. We want to kill off any bacteria before consumption. Food safety!

Enjoy by itself or with your favorite food pairing with the drumsticks from bread to salad to really whatever you want. šŸ™‚ I ate mine with a small salad and sweet potato.

What’s your favorite thing to pair with chicken?


Posted in Food, Made to Order

Fried Chicken Adventure: Part 1 – Pat’s Famous Fried Chicken

The year was 2016. It was a chilly January day and one of my friends had a yearning for some fried chicken. Half a chicken is on the menu. I’m in! Only other place with half a chicken on the menu that I see at the time was Russell’s on Macklin. (2017 is coming to an end and I still haven’t tried it yet!) I never had real fried chicken. I had fried chicken like McDonald’s McNuggets and Wild Bufflo Wings’ wings, but no chicken that makes me wonder if there’s more like this elsewhere.

Pat Connolly Tavern is an Irish pub in St. Louis located on the edge of Dogtown. The name Dogtown was derived from mining terms when the area was a mining town in the mid 1800s, according to Wikipedia. The inside of the pub has the old timey European atmosphere with its mahogany bar, floor, seating booths, etc. A place that would make Ron Swanson at home.

That day was a weekday so there were only a few tables filled with workers of nearby businesses. Service was good. Food was made to order so it took a while.Ā  My reaction when it was finally in front of me was, “Here is it! Half a chicken! All mine and no one else’s!!” It was definitely fresh. And hot! I almost burn my tongue on it. It was good, but it was missing some spices that makes me want to devour the half in front of me and get a second half. The price was reasonable and I had leftover that lasted me two more meals. From then on, I went on a search for some finger licking good fried chicken that will make me want more.

What is the dish that sparked your food adventure?

Posted in Baking, Food

Leftover Cookie Dough

I personally don’t like to waste food. I’ll take home leftover from a restaurant if there’s any left. I’ll take home leftover from a family or friend gathering if they need help to dispose of it. I just stand perfectly good, non-spoiled food go to a dumpster. (I have throw some food out these days since I just can’t eat my produce fast enough. Sad days.) Anyway, I made some shortbread cookies for my “baby” cousin as his 6th birthday gift about a week back and still has some dough left. I used the leftover dough to make some dollar coin size cookies. And they turned out pretty good. Here’s what I did. Sorry, I don’t have pictures but only the end result picture.

I first shaped the leftover dough into a cylinder with about an inch diameter. Then put that in the refrigerator for an hour. As the dough cool, I prepared the pecans. I baked the pecans 4 to 5 minutes at 400F. Have the dough out and cut it in half, then in quarter, then in eighth. I ended up with 15 cookies. I needed to put two little dough disks to make a better size cookie, so 15 it is! Each is about a quarter inch thick. I put them on tray that I already lay the aluminum foil on. I didn’t put anything on that foil. The pecans were still a little warm with I press them on the raw cookies. The whole tray is back in the fridge for a half hour before baking them at 350F for about eight minutes. I let them cool for a couple of minutes while I prepare the chocolate. I think it was about three tablespoons of chocolate chips. Microwaved in a ceramic bowl for 15 seconds, stir, and repeat until it’s a nice smooth liquid chocolate for dip and drizzle. Be patient or you’ll burn your chocolate making it not workable. I dipped the bottom of each cooled cookie, placed them on a parchment paper, and drizzle the remaining chocolate on cookies. The cookies are back in refrigerator before handling/eating.

They were delicious!

What do you with your leftover dough?


Posted in Slice of life

Press my Luck

So yesterday was the eclipse day. I was fortunate enough to witness a solar eclipse without traveling far or disrupting my weekday routine. I was preparing to not watch any of it because I didn’t get my eclipse sunglasses in time. I would still be there for the totality but will miss the start of the moon covering the sun. That’s the cool part. Not everyday you see an object big enough to block out something so important to life from your view. And with people around me talking about it and ordering the sunglasses in advanced for this. My parents would be witnessing the eclipse with their work providing the sunglasses. All this hype. I want to be in too. One of my coworkers actually ordered some for us about a month before only to find out a week before that those sunglasses are fakes. *Disappointment* I spent half an hour to search online only to find reputable vendors already sold out. I visited the Science Center twice that week and sold out both times. I really felt it might not meant to be.

I woke up yesterday morning, felt great, and ready to rock and roll. I decided to put on my contact lens because why not! I’ll press my luck and maybe someone will have an extra pair if I’m meant to see it. I’m already working in the path of this solar eclipse totality when I’m usually at a different work site. Why not prepare for the best outcome too? I can borrow someone else’s for a few seconds, look at the eclipse shadow through a pinhole, etc. Something will work out. So it did. I got to work, walked in, and my supervisor got an extra pair. šŸ™‚ I watched the eclipse with the sunglasses, a cereal box, and a piece of paper with a pinhole. Witnessed the sun being “eaten” by the moon with a smile on my face. I don’t know if I’ll remember this when I’m much older but it was a cool experience and that way of thinking made my day.

When was the last time you pressed your luck? How did you handle an event that you prepared for then end up not being prepared for at all?

Posted in cooking, Food, Fun

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Lasagna

Last March I was visiting my friends in Boston, MA. I went to bunch of places, including a one-day quick tour of Boston. I believe they told me this city is about three miles, so you can really see Boston in day. During my trip, I have the pleasure to go Knight’s Move, a board game cafe! This place charge you $5 to play whatever games they have, $7 if you bring your own food in. I decided that I’ll make a lasagna for this special game night. Now this dish is time consuming like making French bread. It took a total of 6 hours! It’s worth though. I’m making myself hungry as I write this. Thinking about it make me drool. It has a bit of kick from the sauce, tenderness from the cheese, and fiber from vegetable! Here’s how I do it.

4 Medium size Zucchini and Yellow Squash

1 Pound of Fresh Mozzrella

1/2 Cup of Italian Cheese from Kraft

24oz Spicy Red Pepper from Classico/other brands

1/2 of small White Onion

3 cloves of Garlic

1/4 teaspoon of Dry Basil

Some Olive Oil for pan and baking Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Paper towels or cloth towels for Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Baking sheets for Zucchini and Yellow Squash

9×12 inch glass pan or 7×11 inch glass pan

1. Slice Zucchini and Yellow Squash into 1/8 inch thick slices, salt a side to get water out (about 3 minutes wait), pat dry with paper towels or cloth towels, and repeat for the other side. Then repeat the process again once more until it looks dry. As you are getting the water out, pre-heat oven at 325F. You also have time mince the garlic and dice the onion.

2. Lightly Olive OilĀ baking sheets, then put Zucchini and Yellow Squash slices on sheets.

3. Bake slices for 6 minutes at 325F. Every oven is different so watch them to prevent from burning. The slices should look a bit dry, but sometimes they need a little more time. I baked them for additional 3 minutes until they look dry.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash have a lot of water. NEVER skip these steps. You need to do this so your final product doesn’t come out too watery.

4. Layer sauce at the bottom of your glass pan, then squash, mozzarella cheese, and repeat to fill up your pan.

5. Sprinkle the Italian Cheese on top before baking at 375F.

For a 9×12 inch glass pan, cover bake for 30 minutes and then uncover bake for 35 minutes.

For a 7×11 inch glass pan, coverĀ bake for 40Ā minutes and then uncover bake for 40Ā minutes.

When you take it out of your oven it will look watery and bubbly. No worries. It just came out of an oven. It’s still cooking. Set it aside to let it sit until you can touch the pan without burning you. Cut it up and enjoy!

Now this is just how I do it. I’m not an experienced cook so it probably took longer than it should.

What unexpected dish or activity did you do on your trip?