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Tag Archives | Japanese

Crispy Chickpeas

Crispy Chickpeas are roasted in the oven with potent spices and baked into a crispy, healthy
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‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Healthy holiday snack

Turn that can of chickpeas into a healthy, crunchy snack. It’s cheap, easy and the basic flavor of the beans latches onto a variety of spices and herbs. Seasoning ChickpeasIt’s pretty easy to chow down lots of nuts, chips and sweets during the holidays. This Tex-Mex version has a little kick. You can also try Moroccan, Japanese or Cinnamon Chickpea options found in the Notes section below.

Place a bowl of these chickpeas on the appetizer buffet or just on the kitchen counter for snacking. You can also garnish salads, soups, and rice dishes. It’s a versatile crunchy snack you can make from ingredients in your pantry.

You may also enjoy Bleu Cheese Ball, Magtag Bleu Terrine w/ Fruit and Nuts, Rockamole, Fetamole, Hummus, Baba Ghannouj, Creamy Italian Feta Dip, Antipasti and Tapenade.

3 of 3 part series ”Easy, Handy, Tasty Holiday Fare”. Part 1 Fromage Fort and Part 2 Trail Mix Chocolate Bark. More about Appetizers.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Biscoff Cookie Butter Mounds
2011 AniversaRecipe – Icebox Butter Cookies

Recipe: Crispy Chickpeas

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Inactive Time: 30 Minutes | Cook Time: 40 Minutes | Yield: 1 1/2 Cups | Level: Easy

15 oz can chickpeas
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

Special Equipment – mesh strainer, small bowl, baking sheet

1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Dry Chick Peas2 Drain and rinse chickpeas. Spread on a kitchen or paper towel to dry. Lay your open hand on them and roll around to assist drying. If any of the skins loosen, discard.

3 Place dry chickpeas into a bowl. Add olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt. Stir to coat.

4 Place chickpeas on parchment-lined baking sheet in one layer so they can crisp evenly. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes with a shake of the pan half way through.

5 Cool on the counter. For more crispness, turn off the oven and allow to slowly cool surrounded by the residual heat in the oven.

Best eaten same day but will keep a day or two in an airtight container on the counter.

Chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans.

Add more or less cayenne depending on your heat preference.

Moroccan Chick PeasTry three other seasoning options.
Moroccan Crispy Chickpeas
Omit cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt. Mix in 1 teaspoon of Moroccan Spice Mix and follow baking and cooling instructions.
Moroccan Spice Mix
4 tsp cumin
Moroccan Spice Mix2 tsp coriander
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp cloves

Japanese Chick PeasJapanese Crispy Chickpeas
Omit cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt. Mix in 1/4 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp wasabi powder and 1 tsp Togarashi seasoning (Japanese 7 Spice Powder). Follow baking and cooling instructions.

Cinnamon Crispy Chickpeas
Omit cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt. Mix in 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Follow baking and Cinnamon Chick Peascooling instructions.

You can also garnish salads, soups, and rice dishes with Crispy Chickpeas.


Dish Designer

  • Exchange seasonings for maple syrup and cinnamon.
  • Exchange seasonings for rosemary, garlic and black pepper.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Crispy Chickpeas
Written by
Photography and Styling by Helen Horton
Updated: December 15, 2013

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Japanese Salmon with Dashi Udon

Japanese Salmon with Dashi Udon is baked in a light Japanese cooking sauce and served with dashi dipped udon noodles.

The Sauce: Dashi Udon Sauce – Simple two ingredient noodle dipping sauce made with dashi and soy sauce, it’s light and seasons the udon in five seconds.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

Where’s your

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fish market?

I walked across the street to the fish market for fresh salmon. Yeh! You got it. Cameron’s Fish Market is right across the street from our place. This reminds me my kitchen is about 90 x 100 inches. By the time you account for a few cabinets, fridge, dishwasher and stove there’s not much floor or counter space. Chopping, rolling, stirring, kneading and tossing spill into the dining room every day.

We’ve been talking, thinking and a little dreamy about getting a new place with a bigger kitchen. We actually toured a few options last month with more kitchen, especially counter space. Upon review we decided not to give up a 7 minute walk to the metro. I’m not ready to increase the proximity between my markets and me. I’m about 1 mile or less to 2 supermarkets, Whole Foods, natural food co-op, Asian market and Jewish grocer, all walkable.

Salmon with Cucumber SaladBut one of the big clinchers is the fish market across the street. The salmon is so fresh all it needs is a little sea salt and pepper and a short roast. But I prefer this Japanese inspired cooking sauce with dashi udon noodles. It reminds me of the beautiful and delicious dinners we enjoyed while living in Japan. Konbanwa.

You may also enjoy Sesame Shrimp with Miso Dipping Sauce, Chicken Stock, Beef Stock, Sushi on the Fly, Thai Chicken with Fresh Basil, Vietnamese Kebobs with Dipping Sauce, Shrimp and Pork Balls with Spicy Lime Sauce, Nigiri Fruit Sushi, Pearl Balls with Ponzu Dipping Sauce, Number One Dashi and Yakitori.

3 of 3 part series ”Land of the Rising Sun”. Part 1 Misoshiru and Part 2 Cucumber Salad. More on Japanese cooking.

2012 AniversaRecipe – Coconut Cream Pie
2011 AniversaRecipe – Licorice Caramels

Recipe: Japanese Salmon with Dashi Udon

Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Yield: 4 Servings | Level: Easy

Cooking Sauce Ingredients2 Tbsp dashi
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
dash freshly ground black pepper
2 green onions with tops, sliced
1 1/2 lbs salmon, cut into 4 fillets

Dashi Udon
2 3-oz bundles udon noodles
1 cup dashi
Udon Noodles1/4 cup soy sauce

Special Equipment – medium baking dish, medium saucepan

Salmon Fillets
1 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2 Combine dashi, soy sauce, brown sugar, canola oil, garlic, ginger, black pepper and half the green onion in the bottom of a medium baking dish.

Salmon with Cooking Sauce3 Cut the salmon into 4 pieces and lay in the baking dish skin side down. Spoon some of the sauce over the fish. Place in the oven at 400 degrees and bake until it becomes opaque but still bright pink and flaky, about 15-20 minutes depending on thickness.

Dashi SauceDashi Udon
4 Bring 2 quarts of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add udon and cook for 4 minutes.

5 Meanwhile combine dashi and soy sauce in a medium bowl. Heat until warm in the microwave.

Dipping Udon in Dashi Sauce6 Drain udon noodles through a strainer, then place them in dashi sauce. Balance the strainer over the saucepan or a bowl and pour the noodles back into the strainer.

7 Place a serving of udon on a each plate, top with salmon and garnish with a few remaining green onion slices.

Udon noodles are made with wheat flour and differ from soba noodles which are made from buckwheat. They don’t take long to cook and are usually served hot in the winter and cold in the summer.

Dashi is one of the easiest soup stocks to make and only takes about 45 minutes. Instant dashi graniles reconstitute in seconds and is a very good substitute. Use 1/2 teaspoon to 1 cup warm water. Stir to dissolve.

Serve the udon noodles cold with some sliced green onions.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange homemade dashi stock for instant dashi. See note section for more on how to reconstitute instant dashi.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Japanese Salmon with Dashi Udon
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: October 23, 2013

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Gyoza with Dipping Sauce

Japanese dumplings steamed and pan fried, dunked in a soy and vinegar dipping sauce.

Oil and water don’t mix, or do they?

Tradition has it that Japanese traders who crossed the East China Sea to buy and sell wares also bought a cache of Chinese dumplings to take home.  By the time they arrived the dumplings were cold so the Japanese mama-sans would pan fry and dip them in a potent soy sauce with vinegar spiked with chili black bean sauce.  This dish became known as Gyoza.  The small dumplings are steamed soft on the top and pan fried to a crispy golden brown on the bottom.  The filling is a combination of pork and cabbage with ample fresh ginger and garlic.  I love these little morsels of meat wrapped in delicate and crispy dough.

Goyza-With-Dipping-Sauce2The ‘piece de resistance’ is the sauce.  It imparts umami, or savoriness which is the fifth basic taste distinguishable on the human palate.  Sweet, sour, salty and bitter are the other four.  The thin but potent dipping sauce has perky, savory umami. Dunking the Gyoza makes it the first taste on your tongue. When you bite in to the meat filling, it adds even more umami.

The cooking process is simple but unique.  With as much contrast as East and West, Gyoza is steamed and fried in a one-stop cooking process.  Here’s where a mix of oil and water don’t repel but diplomatically take turns in the cooking process.  First the water steams the meat filling plus the top and sides of the dumpling.  Once all the water has evaporated, the oil kicks in to pan fry the bottoms to a crispy golden brown.   Serve with the savory dipping sauce.

2011 AniversaRecipe – Thai Chicken with Fresh Basil

Recipe: Gyoza and Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 45 Minutes | Cook Time: 8 Minutes per Batch | Yield: 3 Dozen | Level: Moderate


  • 4 cups loosely packed finely chopped Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 Tbsp microplane grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, microplane grated
  • 1/4 cup green onion tops, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 package of gyoza skins, about 3 dozen
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup very warm water

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Chili with Black Bean

Special Equipment – 8” or 9” non-stick skillet

1 Place the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl.  Mix in the salt and set aside for 5 minutes.

2 In the meantime, combine the pork, ginger, garlic, onion and sugar in another bowl. Using fingers mix well to distribute ingredients evenly.

3 Squeeze the cabbage one handful at a time, discarding the water.  Add cabbage to the meat mixture and work in until evenly combined.

4 Place 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the center of a Gyoza skin.
5 With a wet finger, apply a thin coat of water around the edge of the Gyoza skin.
6 Fold in half.
7 Make a small pleat on the left side.
8 Make 4-5 more small pleats and press to seal applying a little more water with a wet finger as needed.
9 Place on a tray or baking sheet and cover with plastic or a towel to keep them from drying.
10 In an 8-9” non-stick frying pan, place 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil and 1/4 cup very warm water.   Arrange 18 Gyoza dumplings in the pan so they are touching each other but not packed tightly. ;)
11 Cover and place on the stove set at medium high.  Cook for about 5-6 minutes.
12 Remove the lid and continue cooking until the water has steamed out and the bottoms are crisp and golden brown, 1-2 minutes.
13 Using a large spatula lift the Gyoza out and flip so the brown side is facing up.  Repeat for the second batch. Serve with the crispy golden brown side facing up along with the Gyoza Dipping Sauce.
Dipping Sauce
14 Combine the soy sauce, vinegar and chili black bean sauce in a small bowl.

15 Serve in a saucer for sharing or individual dipping bowls.

Napa Cabbage – Use the frilly, leafy top half of the head of cabbage avoiding the thick, white stalks.
Allowing the salt to draw out the water in the cabbage then squeeze and discard water.  It keeps the meat mixture from becoming soggy.

Without a microplane grater, finely mince the ginger and garlic.

Gyoza Skins are basically the same as wonton wrappers except they are round to create a half moon shape when folded.  They are also a little thicker which helps to hold their shape when they are pan fried.  Substitute wonton wrappers by using a 3” round cookie cutter. Egg roll wrappers may also be used and cut to size.   Find Gyoza skins in the produce department of most supermarkets or at an Asian market.

Cooking Gyoza – Using a gas stove, turn the burner on and set the loaded pan on the heat.  Using an electric stove, turn the burner on to heat but don’t place the pan on the burner until it is heated to medium high.

Gyoza-Chili-Black-BeanChili Black Bean – Find Chili Black Bean at an Asian grocery store. It keeps for a year or more in the fridge. Substitute with Chinese chili sauce and a little sesame oil.

Umami – “Taking its name from Japanese, umami is a pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in may foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products.  As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don’t recognize umami when they encounter it, bit it plays an important role making food taste delicious.” From Umami Information Center.

Another name for Gyoza is Pot Sticker.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange napa cabbage for regular cabbage but chopped it very finely or parboil before chopping to soften.
  • Exchange ground pork for ground chicken.
  • Exchange fresh ginger for 1/2 ground ginger.

Inspiration – Saucy Cuisine Kitchen
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: May 1, 2012

Continue Reading · 2

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