Bacon Deviled Eggs

Two years ago, I was baptized on Easter Sunday. I was able to celebrate with my friends and family, and one of the highlights of the day (don’t laugh) were these rice krispie treats my friend made. They were sooo ooey and gooey and clearly very memorable.

I knew people made treats for Easter but I didn’t understand why. Growing up I didn’t celebrate Easter as a major holiday. We basically bought candy and hosted an egg hunt at our house for a few kids. I’ve probably taken pictures with the Easter bunny twice. That defined Easter for me.

But now I can see that Easter has a different meaning for those that follow Jesus. And people make treats to celebrate this occasion and to make memories, like ooey-gooey rice krispie treats! I’m not going to feature rice krispies today (you can find my chewy chocolatey recipe here), but I am going to showcase my bacon deviled eggs!

My mom never made deviled eggs… Hello! I grew up in a Chinese household. Soy sauce eggs can be found in the fridge constantly, but none of this mayo-mixed egg yolk. The first time I had a deviled egg that I could remember was at Park Tavern in San Francisco about 2 years ago (where have deviled eggs been all my life). At $2 for half an egg, I’d rather make my own version at home. Don’t get me wrong, the smoked deviled eggs are amazing, but I don’t know if it’s $2 amazing…

So challenge accepted, and I set out to make my own smoked deviled egg. The bacon deviled egg is my result! Not too much mayo, and lots of smoked flavor from the bacon, paprika, and hickory salt.

I made these for my last LAN party and they were a hit! I actually had to save two for a friend who was coming to the party late. This recipe calls for a dozen eggs, but I’m not even kidding when I say you should make more!

Finished

Bacon Deviled Eggs

Ingredients:

  • One dozen eggs
  • 6 strips of bacon*
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (normal paprika is good too)*
  • 1 teaspoon of hickory salt (can substitute salt)
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes

*Both from Trader Joe’s. The applewood smoked bacon is amazing and the smoked paprika has a great flavor

Directions:

1. Boil the eggs. The best way to do this is to submerge your eggs in cold water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and leave the eggs in water for 15 minutes. Drain out the water and place the eggs in ice cold water for easy peeling. Peel all your eggs and cut them into halves, and take out the egg yolks into a separate bowl.
2. Cook 6 strips of bacon until crispy. Then set bacon aside and cut into small pieces.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the egg yolk (mayo, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper flakes). Now this is the money right here – add a tablespoon of bacon oil to the egg yolks. Mash up the egg yolks and mix in the ingredients until combined.
4. Scoop the egg yolk mixture into each of the egg white halves and top with a piece of bacon.

Eggs

Peeled

Yolk

One

Done

Bacon makes everything better. Agreed?

What are some of your favorite Easter treats? Do you have a deviled egg recipe that you love? Please share!

Stay tuned for my Good Friday post,
Jay

  

Simple Broccoli Salad

Last week it was rainy and chilly. This week is a whole different story! It’s so warm out, reaching 80°F in the afternoon and low 70’s in the evening. We actually have our air conditioning on!

I’m still running and training for my half-marathon (happening in August). It’s such a love/hate relationship. During the first two miles I’m always questioning “Why!! Why do you do this to yourself? How am I going to continue?” Then the next two miles are usually pretty easy going. After the run, I love running and think to myself “Seriously a great work out. I can certainly do this again!”

Surely, the entire thing happens all over again, day after day! Now it’s so hot out that I can’t even run during lunch time. Evening running is great though! It’s a bit cooler, more people are out and about, and it’s right before dinner so I can be super hungry after running (yup, food is my motivation for running). No judgement.

Since we’re running in the evenings now, it’s important to make a quick and easy dinner to end the night. I’ll grill/pan-fry meat, and we’ll also have a salad. Today I’ll share with you a delicious and scrumptious broccoli salad recipe. It’s so easy; simply get the ingredients and mix it all together!

Title

Simple Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium broccoli crowns
  • 1 apple, diced*
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 1/4 cup poppy seed dressing

*Substitute candied walnuts for the sweet-tooth

Directions: Cut the broccoli crowns into bite-sized pieces. Toss in the remaining ingredients and combine well.

Tossed

Served

Perfect bite^^^ The perfect bite

It’s extremely easy and extremely delicious! It’s also a great salad to make for potlucks because you can prepare in large quantities at a cheap cost. If you love crunch, then this is the perfect recipe for you!

Is this something you can make? What are some of your favorite salad recipes?

Crunch crunch,
Jay

  

My Favorite Asian Green Beans

If you haven’t noticed yet, I’m big on cooking at home. Now only does it save money, it’s also always a healthier option. When you cook, it’s less oil, less butter, and less fat since you’re in control on the ingredients.

I almost always have a side of veggies with every dinner meal. Because I grew up in a Chinese household, there’s always been a variety of foods on the table to be eaten family style. Usually our house had one meat dish and two different plates of vegetables, and of course rice, for a family of four. So I love variety when it comes to dinner. When I cook for two, I always have one meat dish and one veggie dish (we try to go without rice too). This week I’ll share with you a meal that I cook for MG and myself (chicken and veggies). We’ll start out with the veggie dish first – green beans!

Green beans

Green beans are my favorite vegetable. I love the crunch of the bean and the squeak between your teeth when eating. I basically always make this recipe when I have green beans – it’s my go-to! It’s Asian because of the soy sauce and oyster sauce, and the sauces make the beans extremely tasty. Another big plus, it’s a 3 step dish!

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz package of green beans
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 green scallion, chopped
  • Soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Salt and pepper for taste

Directions:

1. This is my tip: steam or boil the green beans first so they cook faster! I like to boil because it only takes 5-7 minutes. Then drain and set aside.
2. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a pan on medium-high heat, and cook the garlic and scallions until crisp and golden, but not burnt. Now add the drained green beans to the pan – I love the sizzle in this process!
3. Sprinkle salt and pepper, add a teaspoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of sesame oil, and a tablespoon of oyster sauce. Mix it into the beans until beans are thoroughly coated. Serve right away!

Ginger and scallions

Sprinkle seasoning

Oyster sauce
Get this at any Asian market – it’s also delicious just eating it with rice!

Beans
Those crunch garlic/scallion clumps are deee-li-ciousss ^^^

All done
Yeah, we basically licked up all the sauce!

What’s your favorite vegetable? Do you have any veggie recipes to share? I’m always on the lookout for new vegetable recipes!

Stay tuned on Friday for my chicken recipe to pair with the green beans!
Jay

  

Brunch at Home

March means Spring is here. March also means it’s Mg’s birthday month! One of my best girlfriends also shares this birthday month too!  As you can imagine there’s tons of eating and splurging that goes on in March.

This past Saturday, I decided to cook brunch for the birthday boy and girl. Such a fun thing to do! Brunch in an intimate environment, save some money, and eat home cooked food. On the menu was crab cakes benedict, apple smoked bacon (from TJ’s, best bacon evarrr!), hash browns, fruit, and mimosas. Delicious and oh-so-filling!

Centerpiece
^^^ My sweet centerpiece. Holly’s present in the middle, with a gorgeous daffodil. Perfect for Spring!

Holly & David
Holly and David

MG&J
The Lams

Birthday girl
Birthday girl ^^^ Happy birthday Holly!

Birthday boy
My sweet Mingus ^^^

Here’s my crab cake recipe so that you can have your own brunch at home. It’s a classic recipe, without any fluff, just a lot of sweet, pure crab meat.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz jumbo lump crab meat (You can purchase for $15 at Costco)
  • 1  egg
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (I used my homemade breadcrumbs, instructions here)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Directions for crab cake:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the crab meat, mayo, mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, onions, and pepper. Beat the egg and pour it into the crab mixture. Combine well. Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the fridge for 20 minutes.
2. High heat to heat up a large pan and add butter. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat down to medium, and place 1/3 cup of crab mix onto the pan. Shape each patty to your liking.
3. This next part is all about patience. Leave the crab cake on the pan for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown. Then very carefully flip each crab cake and cook the other side for 5-6 minutes. Set the cakes aside and let it cool for 1 minute. It’s ready to eat!

Crab Cakes

Pan Frying

Gorgeous

Done

Directions for crab cake benedict:

1.To make hollandaise, whisk 4 egg yolks and 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice together until light in color and fluffy. Mixture should thicken and double in volume. Use a mixer if you have one! It’ll make it easier. Melt half a cup of butter and let it cool but not solidify. Prepare a double boiler, pour in the egg yolks and continue whisking rapidly. You do not want your eggs to cook. Then slowly pour in the butter to the egg yolks – do not stop whisking! Add a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of salt. Once the hollandaise sauce is thickened and warm, it’s ready!
2. Toast an english muffin, then spread butter onto the muffin.
3. Now combine your ingredients – first the muffin, then the crab cake, add a poached egg, and a spoonful of hollandaise sauce. Brunch away!

Brunch

So much food! As you can imagine, we had food comas afterwards. We tried to fight it by walking to the local farmer’s market, but once it hit 3pm, it was nap time.

What’s your favorite brunch item? And also tell me your favorite brunch restaurant (because I may need to go check it out).

What did you do this weekend?
Jay
—–
Original hollandaise sauce recipe

  

Tried & True Roasted Veggies

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been keeping myself busy with a current DIY project that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon! Details to come…

I’m going to keep this Friday’s post short and simple! This is my tried and true roasted veggies recipe. I make it frequently for guests. I also make it on the weekends so that I can keep roasted veggies in the fridge to snack on. It’s perfect for all kinds of veggies – cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, brussels sprouts, peppers, seriously every vegetable.

For this specific post, I used broccolini and carrots. Roasted carrots are so sweet, and I’m sure even picky eaters will enjoy these.

baking

Tried & True Roasted Veggies Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic salt
  • Italian seasoning

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Cut up vegetables into bite size pieces. Drizzle olive oil on the vegetables. Use a tablespoon of olive oil for every 2 cups of vegetables. Sprinkle garlic salt and italian seasoning. Toss everything together until the vegetables are evenly coated with oil and seasoning.
3. Put vegetables on a baking pan and stick it in the oven for 30 minutes, until edges of veggies are crispy.

Seasoning
So easy!

Done
Baby broccoli (also called broccolini) has a stem ^^^

Veggies
^^^ Broccoli florets above do not have the stem. I also used baby carrots in this picture above

As the vegetables are roasting, the house smells so good! I put leftovers in Pyrex and keep it in the fridge. I’ll sneak veggies into my mouth throughout the day.  I don’t even have to sneak around while eating these since it’s a healthy snack.

What are your favorite vegetable recipes? Please share because I need some good veggie recipes!

Have a great weekend!
Jay

P.S. Can’t wait to share my DIY project next week! Come back!!!

  

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a hearty comfort food?

Pie

Mine has always and will always be chicken pot pie. Chicken, veggies, cream, and a crunchy, flaky pastry? Yes please! You know how sometimes you crave certain foods based on weather? For me, hot days mean sushi and fresh seafood. For cold, rainy days, I crave noodles, soup, and pot pie. Do you have those cravings too? Pot pie is one of those recipes that warm the soul and honestly leaves you with a happy belly. Most times I cannot have more than just once slice!

I have a cooking tip for those of you reading.

Cook multiple chicken breasts and keep them in the fridge! 

It’s hard to put dinner on the table throughout the work week because when you get home, you’re tired. You want to veg out on the couch, eat something, and go to bed. I get it. I’ve been there! I get it so much that I make food on the weekends and keep everything in the fridge, so that when the weekday comes along and you need to make dinner, it’s basically microwaveable. Chicken breasts is perfect for this!

I typically cook 3 chicken breasts on the weekend because I can make so many different meals – chicken salad, chicken in pasta, chicken stir fry, chicken tenders, and yes, chicken pot pie. So many different options!

This savory pie recipe is one that I often make for cold days, for dinner guests, and for pot lucks. It’s great for 4-6 guests, if you’re able to stop eating after one slice. The most difficult part is the crust, but that’s only because you need time to refrigerate the dough. That’s not even hands-on! Make this simple recipe, and it will not disappoint!

Crust

Hearty Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Ingredients for crust (makes 2 pie crusts):

  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/2 cup of cold water

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup of frozen carrots
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 ribs of celery, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of butter
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1/3 teaspoon of celery seed
  • 1 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • 2/3 whole milk

Directions for crust:

1. Let’s make the crust first since it needs to be refrigerated. In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. Then mix the diced butter into the dry mix until it resembles crumbs. Stir in water a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is tacky and can form a ball. Cut dough into two pieces, and wrap each piece in plastic. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.
2. Roll out dough to fit your 9 inch pie dish. Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the dish and sides. Roll out the second piece of dough, and this piece will go on top of the pie, after the filling is complete.

Directions for the filling:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 ° F.
2. Add water to a saucepan and boil the carrots, peas, and celery for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. In the same saucepan, melt the butter and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Once combined, stir in broth and milk. Simmer until mixture thickens, and add chicken and veggies.
4. Pour the filling into the bottom pie crust, and cover the filling with the other rolled out crust. Cut away excess dough, and make small slits to allow steam to escape.
5. Bake the pie for 30-35 minutes, crust should be golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes then serve.

Ingredients

Filling
This filling is making me hungry!!!

Served
Filling spilling out ^^^

This makes me miss the cold, rainy, winter days in the Bay Area. Unfortunately, this west coast has been in a drought this whole winter season, but I might just have to make this pie even on a sunny, hot day!

Is this something you can make? What’s your favorite savory pie? Better yet, can you share the recipe?

Happy belly,
Jay

—–
Original crust recipe

  

The Crab Mountain Sandwich

Remember that crab roll from Fish in my previous post? It’s seriously the most expensive sandwich I’ve ever had. But totally worth it! Buttery crunchy bread, with loads of crabmeat! All that comes with a hefty price though, but it’s such a perfect lunch for Treat Yo’Self day.

I absolutely love crab. It’s my favorite food of all time. Some people hate cracking and peeling the crab, but I don’t even mind that part. Sometimes I will peel crab for MG to eat, and we joke that it’s the labor of love. The evening that MG asked me to marry him, he had ordered crab for dinner at my apartment in San Francisco. I was having a bad day at work, and he had purchased crab takeout from R&G Lounge to make me feel better. This is my favorite restaurant for crab in the Bay Area. Dinner would have been the perfect way to make my day. But a diamond ring too? I was beyond elated!!!

Yup, crab was part of my engagement story. That’s how much I love this little crustacean (anyone hate this word too? Sounds gross)!

So this crab roll, I can’t eat it frequently cause I would be dirt poor at $25 a sandwich. I can always day dream about it! To satisfy my cravings, I decided to embark on making my own crab roll. Super easy to do, and 6 crab rolls will cost you under $20. Let’s do this!

Finished

Crab Mountain Sandwich Recipe

Ingredients (5 ingredients only!):

  • 16 oz. can of crab meat (You can purchase for $15 at Costco)
  • Loaf of white bread
  • Butter
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper for taste

Directions (3-steps only!):

1. Heat up a pan on medium-high heat. Cut a slice of butter and melt it onto a pan. Toast a piece of bread on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Toast 6 slices of bread and set aside.
2. Add butter to the hot pan. Drain out the water from the can of crab, and add the crab meat into the melted butter to heat up the meat. Add garlic salt and pepper to season.
3. Scoop a large heaping of crab meat onto your toasted bread. Serve with fries or chips, and eat!

Crab Roll Ingredients
Ingredients for deliciousness

Toasted
I could eat toasted bread with butter all day… I wish it didn’t have calories

Done
Crab mountain ^^^

Bite
So simple and so satisfying!

Isn’t this such an easy lunch idea? Plus it’s only $20 to feed 6 people vs. a $25 sandwich at Fish. Hells to the yesss!

Do you like crab? Do you love it as much as meeee? What is your favorite crab recipe?

Crustacean lover (eww),
Jay

  

Fancy Grilled Cheese

Bread. Butter. Cheese. All delicious. Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich?

But I’m going to one-up this traditional sandwich. Fancy open faced grilled cheese sandwiches.

Up close

Here’s a recipe for my grown up grilled cheese sandwich. If you read the last post, you know that I made these treats for my Super Bowl party. It’s such a great food to have at a party because you can make it in bulk, and it won’t break the bank account! For under $20, you can easily feed 10 people with gourmet grilled cheese.

Ingredients: butter, bread, American cheese, onions, tomato, arugula, and a fried egg.

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
2. Let’s prepare the bread. Melt butter and spread it onto both sides of the bread with a brush. Then pan fry the bread on both sides. Once golden, place the bread onto a baking sheet.
3. Add two slices of cheese onto the bread. Yes, I said two. Super cheesy!
4. Now the veggies. Caramelize the onions (cook them in olive oil until browned), then add sliced tomatoes on top.
5. Place the baking pan into the oven and bake for 3 minutes, until cheese is melted.
6. While it’s baking, fry an egg. I like my eggs runny and over easy.
7. Take the bread out, add the arugula, and finally add the egg.

Serve this baby up, and eat the deliciousness.

Fancy grilled cheese

Crispy, buttery bread is always satisfying. The caramelized onions add sweetness. The tomatoes give it some tartness. The arugula is peppery, and the egg is the perfect topping.

Ready

What do you think about this recipe? Is thing something you can create? What are some of your favorite grilled cheese recipes?

Are you hungry yet?
Jay

  

Chicken Fig Salad

Have you decided to eat healthier, lose some of that holiday weight? Cause I am, and I’m in the same boat with you! After my month long vacation, I’ve gotten a bit pudgier. Ugh.

I’m still in Orlando, but I can’t wait to get home and get back into a regular diet. I always tell myself to control the sweets intake around the holidays, but it’s so hard! It’s a test, and I always fail. Anyone with me?

I wanted to share my favorite salad with you. It’s extremely easy to do. What? A salad? I’m never full off a salad… I know, I’ve thought the same way. But this one has chicken and an egg, and you’ll be satisfied. Give it a try, and it won’t disappoint.

Salad

Ingredients: Cooked chicken breast, salad mix (I like to use a spring mix or spinach salad), fried egg, figs, feta cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

Directions: On your plate, add salad mix, bite size pieces of chicken breast, slivers of fresh figs, a fried egg, feta cheese, and now sprinkle a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar (a little vinegar goes a long way).

Fig

If you’re having trouble finding figs, check out Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe’s. If figs aren’t available, other great fruit options are strawberries, apple slices, and blue berries. Bleu cheese can also replace feta if you want a stronger cheese.

Salad

Want to be extra healthy? Make a cup of sweet green juice and add that chia!

What do you think of this salad? Do you have a scrumptious (but also filling) salad recipe?

Onto healthy eating (when I get back into the Bay),
Jay

  

Beet Juice

I’m proud to say I’m still juicing! Ever since I’ve taken my oath to be a bit healthier back in September, I’ve actually been trying to drink a glass of fresh juice a day. I can’t honestly say that I’ve felt a huge surge of energy or a difference in weight since I started juicing, but it definitely helps cleanse my system, if you know what I mean *wink*. That must be a good thing right?

I find cleaning the juicer machine to be such a pain. So instead of juicing every day, I actually make enough for four glasses. One glass for myself, another for my husband. Store two other ones in mason jars and leave them in the fridge for the next day. That way I have to clean the juicer every other day. Pretty genius, if I do say so myself.

We have so much leftover pulp that I’m trying to figure out whether or not I should start composting. We live in a town home with a patio but no backyard. Composting seems a bit silly to do since we don’t need fresh soil. But it would be an environmentally friendly way to dispose of waste. City folk, any tips?

Here’s another great juice recipe that I’ve put together – beet juice. Costco has some cooked organic beets in the fridge section. Go take a gander!

Beet Juice

Ingredients: 3 beets, 4 carrots, 1 cucumber, 2 apples, half a head of romaine lettuce, 2 kale leaves, 4 celery stalks

So delicious and nutritious!

Do you know of another great beet juice recipe? Please share!

Cheers to your health,
Jay