Happy 90th Birthday to Maria Callas

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Today’s Google Doodle honors Maria Callas. She would have been 90 today. My grandmother loved Maria’s voice. Ever since she passed, I’ve been more interested in opera to be closer to her. For you, Grandma.

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Test Recipe: Banana Mango Bread Muffins

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Since I hosted and prepared Thanksgiving dinner, we have so many leftover dishes. I haven’t been able to touch the case of mangoes and the two over-ripe bananas. Probably should be eating them instead but why not live a little 😉 So I decided to make muffins with the ripe bananas and mangos. Doing a little research online, I came across a recipe that utilized virtually no dishes. Everything was mixed in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Score!

Recipe below and I made the following changes: I only had two ripe bananas, so I used two mangoes to add to the recipe. I cut the sugar down to 5/6 of a cup. I also baked mine for almost 35 minutes because they were runnier. No glaze. It came out really moist but I think I needed to use a little more flour. May try adding pecans or walnuts next time. And substituting coconut oil for vegetable oil. Maybe even using coconut extract for the glaze to make it truly tropical 🙂

The Best Banana Bread Muffins Ever
Makes about a dozen muffins

3 brown bananas (1 cup mashed)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

Glaze (optional):
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or lemon juice

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Get out a 1/2 measuring cup and a 1/4 teaspoon (these will be all you need to measure your ingredients).
  • In a large Ziploc bag, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, seal the bag, and shake and squish until combined.
  • Add the sugar and mix well.
  • Dump in the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Before zipping and mixing them all the way in, mix them together a little with your measuring spoon.
  • Now add the oil and vanilla and shake and squish until well combined.
  • Snip the corner of the bag and squirt the batter into a lined muffin tin (if you don’t want to clean the pan, line it with tin liners so the grease doesn’t come through). Don’t make the hole very big at all because the batter is very runny. Pinch the corner between each muffin.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • To make the glaze, just mix together the powdered sugar and milk or lemon juice and spread over cooled muffins.

Recipe courtesy of: Yammie’s Noshery

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Post Thanksgiving Sandwich

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I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for over 10 years. Of course there are leftovers so we always make a Thanksgiving sandwich the next day with almost everything. This year’s sandwich has smoked turkey, ham, green bean casserole, mac n cheese, collard greens, carrot soufflé, mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing. Best lunch ever!

Dreaming of Dominican Republic

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Hello pretties! It’s been awhile since my last post but last week, I took a trip to Dominican Republic to make like geese and head south for the winter – albeit temporarily. It was a beautiful trip. The water was warm and I discovered my new favorite beach at Sanoa Island. This was where Johnny Depp’s character in Pirates of the Caribbean was stranded in the middle of the sea. The waves were minuscule and I was literally rolling around in them without drowning. (Those pictures came out horribly and thus aren’t being posted :))

The resort was right on the water and we were able to get premium liquor so the BF was happy to say the least. I got horrible bites from sand fleas(?) all over my lower legs and they killed. Lol. The food was asi-asi or so-so. Nothing to write home about. The meats were dry and I found myself eating a lot of carbs. They had a Dominican night and that was good. There was an amazing soup, goat stew and roast pig or lechon. Delish! I’m pleased to say we had a very relaxing vacation.

Almost every night, we had dinner reservations on the resort and had to dress “formally” to dinner. See below for my outfits for three nights. I mixed up prints, went all black with red lips and threw in some street style with a bralette, joggers and a dark lippy.

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20131127-111905.jpgPictures from the excursion to Sanoa Island below:

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20131127-112057.jpgIsn’t it beautiful?

On every trip, souvenir shopping is on the agenda for my loved ones but I almost always get a Christmas ornament and/or a piece of jewelry. I’m really mad at myself for not getting an ornament this time but the pickings were extremely slim. However, I did manage to buy this beaute.

20131127-112247.jpgMy favorite animal is the sea turtle; Green, Leatherback, Loggerhead – I love them all. This piece is also special because of the stone: Larimar. It’s only found in Dominican Republic. The stone was coined after the namer’s daughter Larissa and the Spanish word for sea, Mar. It’s said to have healing powers; especially to help communication skills if it’s worn close to the throat. I don’t know about you but I love that kind of stuff.

Hope you enjoyed reading about my vacation! I was hoping to have a really jazzed up post but my week has been insane with work and prepping for Thanksgiving. I’m starting my pies tonight to alleviate tomorrow’s work. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!

Questions or comments? Let me know!

Musical Monday: In a State of Aloha

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Picked out a song from my playlist for you guys!  I love, love, love all things Hawaiian.  It’s probably my favorite place in the world (besides home) so far (since I have yet to see more of the world).  One day I will write a post on beautiful Hawaii – I’ve been to Oahu, Maui and Kauai – the Big Island is next!  I cannot figure out why Hawaiian music isn’t more mainstream since it’s so beautiful and relaxing like most island music.  And speaking of island music – my favorite to dance to is dancehall reggae.  w00t w00t!  Hope you enjoy this fantastic Hawaiian artist.

I will be MIA for the week so see you lovelies on the other side!  Aloha and Mahalo for listening.  Enjoy!

Weekend Recap: Empanadas and Bestie’s Housewarming

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This weekend has been pretty hectic with errands and work. Saturday, after an appointment, I grabbed empanadas for lunch. El Patio in Rockville, MD are known for their Argentinian style empanadas. The different flavors include beef, chicken, ham and cheese, spinach and corn. I also grabbed a saltena and a pastry made with guava and cheese. The empanadas were decent and the pastry was so so – nothing like European pastries. While I’m no expert on either empanadas and saltenas, I think I definitely like saltenas better. They’re bigger, juicier and tastier to me. I used to go to a Bolivian place called My Bakery on Falls Church but they are unfortunately closed. This place had an awesome drink called mocochinchi – a cinnamon peach drink that is delicious! I have yet to find a place that’s as good as My Bakery. Here is a picture of the empanadas I ate:

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While on the Latin cuisine topic, I am also on the hunt for yummy tamales. They’re apparently hard to find in the DC area. Checked Yelp and the places that come up are mostly known for pupusas. Hopefully I will find a place soon because I may have to resort to making my own. But like making egg rolls, spring rolls or dumplings – it’s very labor intensive. Not sure if I want to invest time to make 300 tamales for a craving. Lol.

I digress. Back to Saturday. Later that night, I headed over to my bestie’s place for her housewarming and her man’s birthday party. Since it was very casual, I decided to don my bandana print leggings, my Frye boots and a sweatshirt blazer thing from Forever 21 bought on my trip to King of Prussia mall. It was an outfit varying in shades of black, white and grey, so I threw in a splash of color with my Pendleton purse. The tank is actually from Target and one of my favorites. Who knew?

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Hope you all had a good weekend. I’m hoping I can post once more before I go MIA for the week.

Personal Kimchi Chigae

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Tonight’s quick dinner. I finally used my Korean earthenware pot with the lid. It’s the perfect size for a personal meal. I also cooked a huge pot for the BF. His is made with pork and mine with a can of tuna. After using this, I feel like I leveled up as a Korean cook. Haha. Have a good weekend lovelies!

Trenchcoat Thursday

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It’s Thursday, so it means I take my weekly bathroom selfie. Today I wore, the bottom half of a Banana Republic blue pantsuit, a light blue Uniqlo silk blouse, a Banana Republic trench and a Ferragamo yellow and black reversible belt. Black pumps not shown. A friend of mine commented that I looked like a detective. Been watching too much Homeland – I’m channeling Carrie Mathison. Hope you had a great week so far!

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Clean Out Your Fridge Fried Rice

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I don’t know about you, but I hate wasting food and inadvertently, I do it all the time. When I cook, I cook for like 20 people and have so much leftover. And don’t get me started on grocery shopping. Yowza! I have gotten a lot better though 🙂

When foodstuff are getting to the end of life, I make an everything but the kitchen sink fried rice. For example, I had 2 day old Chinese takeout rice (perfect for fried rice) and a bag of baby spinach that I needed to use. I almost always have Chinese sausage from Costco in my pantry and had these little Korean sausages in the freezer. Throw everything in a pan and give a whirl. Recipe is below but be creative with it. Throw in leftover chicken or steak. I’ve used baby bok choy and peas. Use brown rice and firm tofu. The possibilities are endless. I usually don’t use measuring tools so the amounts below are estimates. Throw in a little at a time until you get the desired taste. Also, I tend to make my fried rice Thai-style with fish sauce, so if you don’t like that then omit it. Lastly, I try to avoid adding salt to my dishes but you will get sodium from the soy sauce and/or fish sauce.

1 carton of Chinese takeout rice or about 1.5 – 2 cups of cooked rice
A bag of baby spinach
1 small onion diced
2-3 eggs
2-3 garlic cloves minced
Canola spray
1-5 Thai bird chilies minced (depending on your spice tolerance, I like mine extra spicy!)
2 links of Chinese sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
~ 1-2 tablespoon(s) (to taste) of soy sauce
~ 1-2 teaspoon(s) of fish sauce
~ 1 teaspoon of white pepper
~ 1 teaspoon of Thai crushed dry chili pepper (optional)

Make sure you have all the ingredients prepped. It will cook fast.

1. Spray the wok or large pan with canola oil and turn the burner on to medium-high heat.
2. Add the Chinese sausage when the pan is hot. The sausages will start to release some oil.
3. Throw in the onions and garlic.
4. Cook for a minute and then throw in the eggs. I just break them into the pan but you can scramble them beforehand. Cook the eggs like you’re cooking scrambled eggs.
5. Throw in the rice and spinach. Break the rice up and start mixing everything together.
6. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce. All the while still stirring.
7. Add the chilies, crushed dry chilies and white pepper.
8. Make sure you’ve cooked everything through and it’s pretty evenly distributed. Then serve.

Spinach cooks really quickly so if you’re using a more substantial vegetable then you want to either throw it in with the onions or right after. For example, it’s if celery, carrots or Chinese broccoli, I would throw it in with the onions. If it’s bok choy then I would throw in before the egg and cook for a minute. This is a really good recipe to experiment with, so give it a go!

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