Saturday, March 28, 2009

Banana - Reese Chips Cupcakes

One of my friend from physics has always wanted to bake cupcakes. These cupcakes are incredible, I strongly suggest to bake it yourself. You will be suprised how delicious are these cupcakes.

Yields 36 cupcakes
Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 25 mins
Printable Recipe


1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3-4 bananas, mashed (approx. 1 cup)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup milk
300 g Reese chips
Nutella for frosting(optional)


1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed until it reaches a creamy texture; gradually add sugar.

2. Add eggs, banana and vanilla, beating until blended.

3. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Add alternatively flour mixture and milk to banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold until blended after each addition. Fold in the Reese chips.

4. Slightly butter and flour the baking cups in muffin pans (just a very thin layer, this will prevent from adhesion of the bread to the moulds). Spoon batter into pans, filling cups two-thirds full.

5. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 25 minutes. Insert toothpick to check for doneness. Let it cool for a few minutes.

6. Spread with frosting, if desired.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Eggplant Parmigiana

I found an interesting eggplant lasagna recipe and decided to test it on my usual Friday night's cooperative cooking. I never used "western" eggplant, I'm used to the asian one. I realized that these eggplants are very sensitive to change of temperature and must not be cook at very high temperature, otherwise it will burn. This just happened to me today.

Serves 6-8
Preparation Time : 40 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Printable Recipe


2 large eggplants
1/2 cup flour
3 large eggs or more
bread crumbs for coating
1/4 cup olive oil or more
2 cups tomato sauce
300 g mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan
1/3 chopped basil


1. Peel in stripes leaving half unpeeled. Cut eggplants into 1/2 inch slices.

2. Beat eggs and season with salt and pepper. Dredge each eggplant slice in flour, shake off excess. Dip it in eggs and let drip back into bowl. Finally, coat it with bread crumbs.

3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Work in batches, fry slices until golden about 2-3 minutes each side. Remove and use paper towel to drain oil.

4. Preheat oven to 325F.

5. Layer tomato sauce, eggplant slices, mozzarella, parmesan and basil leaves in 13x9 inch pan. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Finish with sauce and cheese.

6. Bake for 30 minutes.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Marsala Chicken

Marsala chicken is a famous Italian dish in which it consists of lightly floured chicken with a sweet and delicious and sliced mushrooms. Marsala wine are not hard to find, it should be found in the Italian wine section. I received a bottle of marsala wine from one of my professor after giving a talk about my research at my old school. You can add some shallots or even some pancetta. It is important to reduce the sauce until it becomes slightly thick. If not, just add a little bit of flour. My recipe is very basic, I'm pretty sure there are fancier version of marsala chicken out there.

Serves 4
Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins


4 boneless chicken breast
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp basil
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp oil
6 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup Marsala wine


1. Pound chicken to 1/4 inch thick between 2 sheets of plastic.

2. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.

3. In a bowl, mix well flour, salt, pepper and basil. Dredge chicken in seasoned flour mix.
4. Cook chicken until lightly browned on first side about 3 minutes. Turn chicken and add mushrooms. Cook about 2 minutes longer.

5. Add wine to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 10 mins.

6. Serve with cooked pasta, mashed potatoes or rice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pineapple/Mango Pepperoni Pizza

Mango as a topping seems strange, isn't it? You are right. While my friend and I were at the supermarket, we were wondering what topping we should put on pizza. My friend likes pineapple so we went on the preserved fruit. I actually joked about mango pizza and she said that we should try this experiment. I said that it was a bad idea, because it can't preserve the freshness through baking, not like pineapple. We ended up trying it. It tasted good but not superb.

Serves 6
Printable Recipe


1 can of diced pineapple
1 can of mango or 2 fresh mangoes
400 g grated mozzarella cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Spread dough on pizza plate. Spread pizza sauce on top of the dough. Add cheese and finish up with the rest of toppings.
3. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes. Serve.

Tinga Poblana

I finally received the recipe from my Mexican physicist friend, Fernando. It seems that this dish is popular in Mexico. According to my Mexican friends, Tinga means disorder which refers to a tasty shredded meat, usually as a filling for tacos. It tasted so good that I wanted to share this recipe.

Serves 4
Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 40-50 mins
Printable Recipe


1 Chicken Breast
5 medium tomatoes, preferably Italian, cubed
1 medium onion, 1/2 finely diced and 1/2 cut into large cube
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
3 chipotles, canned
10g or 1 cube chicken broth powder
1 1/2 tbsp oil


1. In a medium-sized pot, put chicken, large cube onions and smashed garlics. Add water to cover. Add 1 tsp salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam on surface. Reduce to medium-low heat and let it simmer, uncovered, until chicken is opaque throughout. About 20-30 mins.

2. Meanwhile, using a blender, blend chipotles and tomatoes.

3. Transfer chicken to plate. Reserve broth if needed. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove fat and coarsely shred with fingers.

4. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until transparent.

5. Add tomato mixture, chicken broth powder and shredded onto skillet. Cook for 10-15 minutes. If it is dry, add liquid chicken broth but do not add too much. You don't want it to be runny.

6. Serve with rice or tacos.

Cream of Carrot Soup

Serves 6
Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Printable Recipe


8 medium carrots, peeled
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
approximately 1 cup warm water
500 mL milk
Salt/pepper to taste


1. In a large pot, boil all the carrots until softened. About 10-15 mins.

2. In a small skillet, cook the onions until transparent.

3. Using a blender, add cooked carrots and onions and add enough water to blend.

4. Transfer the blended ingredients to a soup pot, add milk and seasonings. Boil soup over medium-high heat.

5. Serve with croutons.

Homemade Pizza Sauce

This week, my friends were craving for pizza. Each time we use store-bought pizza sauce, it ends up to be very salty. My Peruvian friend found a great pizza sauce recipe, very easy to make. Even a person that does not know how to cook can follow simple instruction. No cooking required. To get the best taste out of it, prepare it a few hours or a day in advance.

Preparation Time : 5 mins


1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
3/4 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, chopped and cooked until transparent (optional)
1/2 tbsp oregano
1/2 tbsp basil
salt/pepper to taste


1. Mix well together tomato paste, water and olive oil.

2. Mix in onion, garlic, oregano, basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Refrigerate for a few hours to blend flavors.


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