A Photo of the Chef!

Attempting to make cheesecake for my mom’s birthday cake. The crust turned into a total disaster though, it wouldn’t stick together so it woudn’t pres into the pan. NOT using that recipe again.


Homemade biscuits are probably my all time favorite comfort food! Even in Australia I found some time to make some. I’ve been making them with the exact same recipe (well, quantity of small or large batch changes) since I was a kid, this is one of the first things I ever learned to cook, and the recipe is appropriately titled Jessica’s Favorite Biscuits cuz really they are.

biscuits: done finished

Biscuits: done almost ready!

Biscuits: cooking ooooh, oven glow~

Biscuits! cookie cutters make good biscuits

Biscuits: needs more water needs a little more water

Biscuits: mixing a little water added, needs more

Biscuits: Butter mixed in well butter evenly mixed

Biscuits: mixing in butter butter is clumpy, needs more mixing

Jan 10: Fried Bananas

Having had leftover tacos (home-made of course!) for dinner, I still had energy left over to cook some desert tonight. I got a couple cookbooks at the Library’s monthly book sale yesterday, and had been eying a recipe for fried bananas from the 1979 Sunset Mexican Cookbook. Another one of my sub-goals for broadening my culinary experiences is attempting more international dishes, being able to make meals with different ethnic flare. In Costa Rica they served a lot of fried bananas, and being something they just don’t have in San Diego, even if I was sort of ho-hum about them at first (until I realized with ketchup on them they tasted like a french fry) .

Looked pretty simple too, requires one banana (green-tipped, not overly ripe) and 1.5 teaspons of butter.

Melt butter over medium-low heat in a saucepan (“wide frying pan”).

Cut the banana lengthwise. I cut it in half as well since my saucepan was a little on the small side.

Add the banana (cut side down) in the saucepan (in the butter) and continue cooking on medium-low heat for 10 minutes (until lightly browned on the bottom). Oh my goodness a teaspoon and a half looks like a lot of butter melted!

Carefully turn the bananas over and cook for another 5-10 minutes (until lightly browned on both sides now).

Serve warm.

My rating? It really doesn’t taste anything like the fried bananas in Costa Rica, a lot more juicy and buttery tasting. But none the less it made a fantastic (fairly) healthy desert, definitely worthy of repeating. And it really was every bit as simple as it appeared. It didn’t require a lot of babysitting while it cooked or anything, I only checked it a couple times and set the timer. The only thing that was sort of hard was figuring out how to flip the bananas over. I ended up using a combination of a pancake spatula and a pair of tongs. It sort of worked, but was a little awkward. That part of the process could be improved perhaps with different tools.

Jan 3: Curried Pilaf

I was feeling a craving for some curried *something*, curry seasonings being on my list of ones I’d like to learn to cook with more. So I went to the grocery store and bought some curry powder, but also found a box of basmati rice with pre-mixed “curry” seasonings and couldn’t decide and got both. So I made the rice per the instructions on the box, and then mixed in some cooked shrimps and cooked green beans (just simple cooked in water on the stove over medium heat for a while) and tomato chunks. So far so good, looks pretty appealing.

But then I tasted it and decided it was a bit bland and dry, and mixed in some plain yogurt and freshly squeezed lime. Tastes much better, but now it looked gross. In hindsight to improve the aesthetic appeal of the dish, perhaps the yogurt could be gravied (or at least mixed in some milk or something to thin it to the point its pourable) and drizzed over the dish artistically.

But overall, I’d probably attempt something like this again, though I might want to try more of an indian butter sauce for the topping. And I would definitely mix the rice seasonings myself rather than relying on rice in a box.

Jan 0: Broiled Chicken

I actually cheated and started my new years resolution a little early, making broiled chicken on New Year’s Eve. Not a new recipe, but it looked so cool with the broiler reflections on the pan that I thought I might work on new pictures or step by step pictures for recipes on my website.

Welcome to My Adventures In Cooking

Inspired by my Aunt Marilynn’s Recipe Blog, I am starting a blog to document my adventures in cooking.

One of my new years resolutions this year is to eat less soy (because I’m mildy allergic to it). Accomplishing this realistically means really means dining-out less and cooking-in more. But lest I get bored of eating spaghetti every night, I shall be working on expanding my cooking repertoire to have more variety.

Sometimes I cook from recipes, but quite often, I just “throw something together” experimentally and I’d really like to document some of my concoctions, so I can remember what I liked and didn’t like about each one, so I will remember what to do differently should I try a similar recipe in the future or decide its worth repeating, like my Un-Chinese-Stir Fry.