bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Have you ever had a craving for brownies sneak up on you? Home baked, warm, fudgey, chocolatey brownies? And you can’t help it, you must have one? But that’s when you realize how totally in the way your life is — you’re too tired, you’re on a diet, you don’t have it in you to bake and so you end up tossing a frozen burrito in the microwave instead, right?

Well, what if you could satisfy your brownie craving with a warm, delicious VEGAN brownie without having to bake an entire pan of treats, in about the time it takes to microwave that burrito? Enter my beloved single-serve VEGAN fudge brownie, made in a mug in your microwave! When I first started looking into vegan cooking, my omnivore (but good food loving friend) Josh sent this my way to help me out.  This is one of my all-time favorite recipes, and it’s easy to see why!

Recipes: Single-Serve Vegan Fudge Brownie In A Mug!
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Faith
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
A delicious single-serve VEGAN fudge brownie you can make in the microwave!
Ingredients
  • Vegan Microwave Mug Brownie 01

    Vegan Microwave Mug Brownie 02

    Vegan Microwave Mug Brownie 03

  • 4 T Flour of your choice
  • 4 T Organic sugar or your favorite powdered or granular sweetener (may have to adjust the recipe if substituting!)
  • 2 T Organic cocao powder
  • 2 T Melted extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 T Water
  • Vanilla Extract (to taste)
  • Pinch of salt (do not omit)
Instructions
  1. Place the flour, salt and cocao in a coffee mug and stir until well blended.
  2. Mix in the coconut oil thoroughly to form a paste, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Pop the mug in your microwave on high for 45 seconds to 55 seconds. The brownie should look a bit damp in the middle.
  4. Let cool for a minute or two then grab a fork and dig in!
Serving size: 1 Calories: 310 Fat: 14g Saturated fat: 13g Trans fat: 0g Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 8g Sodium: 325mg Fiber: 2g Protein: 1g Cholesterol: 0g

 

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

I admit that, while I like ice cream, I don’t eat it much. It’s an unnecessary expense and I have problems processing dairy, so ice cream may taste great but it comes with the nightmare of borderline lactose intolerance. But, I also love to cook and started experimenting in the kitchen, and I came up with this great-tasting dairy-free ice cream made with almond milk!

Okay, so technically it’s more of an ‘ice milk‘, but that’s only if you make it the ‘easy way’. But I’ll get to that in a moment.

The first thing you should know about this post is that it’s the first of my healthy living posts, and it’s not only dairy free but can also be vegan and gluten free, as well. It all depends on you and your preferences and dietary needs.

This particular version of the recipe is raw, gluten & dairy free as well as being vegan (and tasty!) – so, what’s the easy way? Well, I’m about to show you!

Recipe: Raw dairy free strawberry ice cream!
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Author: Faith
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Quick and easy vegan, dairy-free & gluten-free strawberry ice milk!

Ingredients
  • 1 C Fresh or Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 C Almond Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • Scant 1/8 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Liquid Stevia (to taste)
  • Plastic freezer container or ice cube tray
  • Blender, vitamix, magic bullet, food processor.
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat all ingredients until bubbles start to form. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the almond milk is pink and tastes like strawberries. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Pour cooled mixture into a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in your freezer for 8 hours. Alternatively, you can pour the mixture into ice cube trays and cover with plastic wrap.
  3. Once the mixture is frozen, break it up into smaller pieces and blend it in a vitamix or blender until smooth. For a more ice cream-like texture, you can skip the blender and pour the mixture into your ice cream maker.
Serving size: 1/2 C Calories: 50 Fat: 1.3g Saturated fat: 0 Unsaturated fat: 0 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 4g Sugar: 0 Sodium: 325mg Fiber: 1/2g Protein: 1/2g Cholesterol: 0mg

You can mix this recipe up – make it with agave, white table sugar, maple syrup, or any other sweetener that’s too your liking. It works with all sorts of fruit, and all sorts of dairy-free milk. And it’s so delicious!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

It’s been a long time, but my sister spent some time in the hospital so everything was (and is) put on the back burner. I’m just getting back into the swing of things with this review of my first trip to Hunan Chinese Restaurant out in Kearney, Missouri!

We were given a lovely combination platter (of which there is some not as lovely video – my phone stinks!), then Orange Chicken for Laota and Three Ways + Sizzling Rice for moi (about $10 per huge plate) – Some pics & video!

The rice was a bit heavy (I’m used to sticky rice, though, so that may be why), and everything was fried or drenched in sauce – which is all fine, actually. It was American-style Chinese food and absolutely lovely! The people were lovely, the food was good, the atmosphere is amazing (piano music and some fantastic singing). Couldn’t have had a better time!

Speaking of Asian food, I have a review of Kato Japanese Restaurant coming up!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

We had a movie night last night. We popped the film Loser into the bluray player and dug in to some new ice cream flavor is that we had never cried before.

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Laota tried out the cake boss flavor strawberry shortcake, which I had the night before and will post photos of later, and I got to try second Street Creamery’s sweet ol’ joe, which is just what it sounds like a delicious creamy coffee flavor.

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5 stars to both flavors of ice cream!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Oh, silly mother for showing up with stawberries and little, store-bought sponge cakes then forgetting them when she left. A little homemade buttercream, some warmed preserves and I have a feast! A feast of sugar! BWAHAHAHHAAAAH! *coughs* Ahh, ouch!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

bento_box: KFC Christmas (KFC Christmas)

Made my first ever re-fried beans! I basically just decided to try stuff until it worked instead of finding a decent recipe, but it turned out great!

Frijoles Refritos

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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We tried something a little different this year. We thought it would be fun to do something that’s done in Japan these days, and that’s Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas!

My sis and I had a rare and welcome Christmas alone, which meant parade and movies, lighting the Christmas tree and playing records – no family drama, how sweet is that? But we didn’t want to have just your ordinary, everyday Christmas dinner. We decided to do it the KFC way, the way so many people celebrate in Japan.

Well, we can’t get to a KFC and we don’t know all the recipes, so we just had to find a recipe for corn salad and sort of wing it then buy the chicken and cake at Hy-Vee – here’s how it’s supposed to look:

Japan KFC Christmas

And here’s what our make-shift Christmas dinner looked like:

Our Version of a Japanese KFC Christmas

Pretty close, huh? Okay, not exactly – but it was fun and tasty!

Our Version of a Japanese KFC Christmas

Our Version of a Japanese KFC Christmas

Our Version of a Japanese KFC Christmas

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Home made mushroom and olive pizza

Long time no see! I’ve been snapping pics of everything, but I haven’t had time to come on and post for a bit – sorry about that! I may yet still be a bit shaky getting back into it, but I’m giving it my best!

We made a couple of hand-tossed crust pizzas the other day, this pic is of the pizza with olives and mushrooms (both canned – which tasted surprisingly great on the pizza). The first pizza has cheese, the second has velveeta because we didn’t realize that Hubby had used up all the cheese in at breakfast – was still good!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Just a tad late with this, but we went on an excursion for Mother’s Day all the way to St. Joseph, Missouri to my mother’s favorite place in the world – Ryan’s Grill Buffet & Bakery.

I’ve never been a big fan of Ryan’s, partially because I just don’t like buffet style food, but this last year I’ve been there a few times and it’s always been really good. This time was no exception!

I nabbed two big platefuls ( Mashed potatoes and gravy, fried chicken, potato wedges, BBQ ribs, carrots, rolls and macaroni and cheese ) and a little ice cream. I would’ve had more but one of our party got sick (as usual) and decided to be a downer the rest of the time, including freaking out because we were still enjoying the buffet after she had already had her fill and gone to the car. Women!

Ryan’s gets 3 stars out of a possible 5, the food was good but not necessarily great and the atmosphere always leaves something to be desired. Plus our service woman was rude (not just to us, to everyone).

4302 North Belt Highway
St. Joseph, MO 64506
(816) 390-9855

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Nice surprise today, the rents brought by a coconut cream pie from Perkins that we split 4 ways, which was especially nice because I haven’t had much to eat today and don’t feel like making anything lol. Snapped a bad picture of the pie in the light from my laptop, lol!

Perkins Coconut Cream Pie

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Sorry about the awful quality of these pics, I took them in the dark with my phone last night before I went to sleep because I couldn’t wait to break into the package! For anyone not familiar, this is Meiji’s Strawberry Yan-Yan – delicious slightly sweet biscuits with also mildly sweet strawberry frosting to dip them into. It sounds heavy, I know, but it’s actually a pretty light snack and sooo tasty!

I’d never seen them for sale in the states before, probably because I live in the middle of Buttcrack, Missouri where they don’t sell anything (lol), but we were in St. Joe yesterday at Wal-Mart and low and behold, there they were between the botan rice candy and the Pocky in the ethnic aisle!

This is how long it’s been since I’ve had Yan-Yan – there weren’t messages on the biscuits, or at least that I remember, the last time I had it?

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Okay, not first but it may as well be. For those of you who live near franchises, this isn’t a big deal but for me? It definitely is – this is the first Egg McMuffin I’ve had since I was about 19. Not because I don’t like fast food (I can take it or leave it), and not because I can’t afford it (can’t, but that’s not why lol) – there’s literally not a McDonald’s around here for some 30-odd miles in every direction and I have to walk. The only fast food in town is the local Subway, and it’s only been here for a few years. Feast your eyes on the glory of…. my burned McMuffin!

Faith's Burned Egg McMuffin!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I found this great recipe for cinnamon rolls at AllRecipes and it looked too easy to be very good – but it’s about the best dough recipe for cinnamon rolls I’ve ever come across! Here are the pics of my *almost* step by step process (my phone battery died on me, so no pictures of the cinnamon mixture spread out on the rolled out dough – sorry!) from start to finish. You make the dough in your bread machine, so no fuss and no muss!

Dough Recipe:

# 1/2 cup milk
# 1/2 cup water
# 2 tablespoons butter
# 3/4 teaspoon salt
# 3 cups all-purpose flour
# 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
# 1/4 cup white sugar
# 1 egg

The Rest at Allrecipes.com

These are a bit dark for cinnamon rolls, as they were in the oven for only 3 minutes longer than they should have been. I didn’t hear my timer go off, but 3 minutes was all it took. They were still delicious, but make sure to watch them carefully while they’re cooking!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Or filled pie/cake maker. To be honest, I don’t entirely know what this is but I’m a sucker for this kind of thing, and I’ve been eying it on eBay for two or three months – finally had the money so we just bought it, it’s too cute! It just arrived from Hong Kong today. It was labeled with the word Bento so it showed up in our searches, and now seeing how big it is I bet it would be perfect for a dessert tier of a standard sized bento.

This is a microwave contraption comes apart and the two Mickey Mouse head compartments are filled with your batter or cake mix, then little back end plates fit over the mix and it goes into the microwave. When it’s done you take it out and remove the back plates, which have made impressions in the cake for you to spoon filling into. Then you place one side of the cake on top of the other and use the enclosed plastic sealer to seal the the blasted thing – now you should have a finished, stuffed waffle!

I plan on testing it out with some honey wheat waffle batter and cream cheese filling! I have no idea how long you’re supposed to cook these things but I’ll tinker around and let you know what I find out. Squee!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I’ve been meaning to review this since 2006 but I’ve never had a camera that would take photos that actually look like photos, so I had to wait. This is my favorite soup cup in the whole wide world, marketed by the Instant Noodle King brand this is a huge cup of soup for not a lot of money.

Why review an instant soup cup? Well there are several reasons for this particular choice. One is that in the Midwestern United States you just don’t see lobster soup, more or less ever. The bible belt has a tendency to shy away from products they deem to be gross or odd (like kimchi, unagi, abalone, wakame, etc.) so before I’d made my first Asian Food Grocer order, I’d never had it before in my life.

The reason I take so many photos of packaging and not just the food is because when I visit food blogs that review products, especially Asian products, the packaging is my favorite part and I always wish they’d take more photos of it!

This noodle soup is in a big, hefty bowl (about the size of two ramen cups put together) and is made up of a delicious fatty lobster base that has a dreamy warm, savory taste that I could drink by the cup and not get tired of. Into that we put a really fine egg noodle that softens even in hot tap water (which is all I had, so that was dreamy as well) and some delicious veggies like cabbage, wakame, corn and chives.

The soup only has to stand about two minutes to be edible but I’d leave it in for a full 4 or 5 if you’ve used tap water. As you can see from the photos I didn’t fill it up to the inner line (I left about a half an inch), and the reason was that the last portion I had tasted a bit watered down, but this particular cup was perfect so I’ll be leaving that much room every time from now on.

For those of you who can’t buy these at the store, you can get lobster egg noodle soup at AFG along with a bunch of other deliciousness, and they’re about a buck 70 a cup with savings per unit the more you buy. They’re definitely worth the price and the week-long shipping wait!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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As you may know if you know me personally (since I can’t stop gushing), Laota and I purchased our first Asian Food Grocer package in almost two years this month, and it’s been agony waiting the 6 days for it to get here! We followed it closely on the FedEx tracking website, like children follow the Santa Tracker at Christmas time, and today it finally arrived, as always, packed methodically and undamaged – as is Asian Food Grocer‘s way.

We got some of our favorites that you can’t buy here, like prepared azuki, five spice powder, spring roll skins, bamboo chopsticks and white peach Yogu Time yogurt soft drinks. But we also got our favorite soup in the world, Noodle King’s Lobster Egg Noodle Soup, which is so addictive we tend to spend way more on it than we should!

Some new-to-us finds were a kind of low salt miso (with no MSG, which will be rectified when I prepare it lol), honey spiced umeboshi pickled plums for our onigiri and mix fruit mochi.

Today was actually the first time I’d ever had mochi and now I’m addicted! You can see some crappy photos below of all the fun things we bought – we’ve purchased through Asian Food Grocer since 2005 or 2006, and can’t say enough good things about them! We’ve never had a lost or misdirected shipment, never had missing goods, never had to pay too-steep shipping (the shipping for everything was about 7 bucks FedEx ground).

Enhanced by Zemanta

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I reviewed this restaurant in November, I believe, because I’d gotten to treat there for my birthday (which is in November) during their grand opening and had nothing but nice things to say about the place.

Well, my tune hasn’t changed. In the last several months I’ve had take out from them a few times but this is the first time I’d been back to dine in since November.

China King isn’t a chain, or at least I don’t think it is. It’s Americanized Chinese food at it’s best. It’s clean, the staff is SO courteous, patient and nice and the food, as always, is to die for.

I went with Laota, Mom and her Hubbs and we sat in the well lit dining area (flanked by two big-screen TVs tuned to Discovery and History channels) and had a great meal, here’s some of what we had:

The only issue I have with China King is that it’s so small, and I think that limits their appeal to the locals but I love the place. The food is hot, served fast and fresh, the staff are wonderful and they have the best crab rangoon – probably the best Chinese restaurant I’ve been to in Missouri, period.

Curious? Check them out:

Tel: 660-425-8884
604 20th St.
Bethany, Missouri USA 64424

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I’m absolutely crazy about seafood, and I don’t get it that often because it’s very expensive here. But there’s one treat I do get on occasion and that’s Tilapia, a tender and mildly sweet whitefish. It’s decently priced and incredibly tasty, but unfortunately the other treat I need to do any real cooking is time off – a treat which I rarely can afford.

The solution to this was simple, but it took me ages to figure it out – you can make many small fish fillets in the microwave! While I”m not an advocate of cooking just anything in the microwave (unless you know what you’re doing), this is one dish that comes out delicious and piping hot every time! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Tilapia Fillets, 6-8oz each (frozen)
  • Lemon Pepper to taste
  • Accent! to taste. (Yes this IS commercial MSG, but I’m actually a big advocate of MSG awareness and use. If you’d rather not use it, a little salt or soy sauce will do!)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (one tablespoon for each fillet)
  • 2 slices of lemon (one for each fillet)

  • Prep: 1 minute
  • Cook: 4-6 minutes

Place your FROZEN tilapia fillet (one at a time, please) in a microwave safe dish with a cover – I place mine in a bowl and use plastic wrap, but I’m used to doing this and if you don’t watch the fish carefully you could end up with a melted plastic mess!

Liberally season both sides with your Lemon Pepper and Accent! then place a slice of lemon and portion of butter on top of the fillet. Now cover your fillet and place it in the microwave on high for 4-6 minutes (check after 5 minutes). Let stand for a full minute then re-plate. Great with salads, soups or by itself – makes a tasty sandwich, I hear!

We like to have this by itself as a midnight snack at our house, and Laota and I have been talking about having it with some wilted baby spinach and mashed sweet potatoes. If you try this, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Yep, that’s really all there is to this dish. It’s tasty, and pretty – dinner in 5 minutes!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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I really wish my camera was working (and not an idiot, lol), because my halfway-homemade steamed pork ginger dumplings worked out to be cute and delicious! Here’s my method (hehe, I love that term – I saw it in a 1912 cookbook!):

1 pack of store-bought wonton wrappers
1.5 lb of ground pork
2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed and chopped
2 T. grated ginger (must be fresh! and yes 2 whole tablespoons)
Soy sauce to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash (light dash!) sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 shallots, finely chopped
5 large napa cabbage leaves (3 shredded, one whole)

In your steamer (or the steamer rack of your rice maker, which is what I use), fill the water tray with the amount of water your manufacturer recommends. Place half of the ginger in the water and a dash of salt and start the steamer.

Save out the skins (obviously!) and the whole cabbage leaf and combine everything else in a large bowl. Try and make sure it’s as dry as possible so make sure you try not to over do it with the soy sauce.

In your steamer rack, place the whole cabbage leaf (it’s a great way to protect the rack from food getting stuck on it!). Now place your wonton skin in the palm of your hand and put about a rounded teaspoon of filling right in the middle. Remember, don’t over do it! Now make a loose fist (don’t squeeze too hard, just tight enough to close up the dumpling) and place the dumpling on the cabbage leaf in your steamer. Don’t over crowd (make sure there’s a dime’s worth of space between each or they may touch each other and stick). Now just steam them over a boil for 5-7 minutes, and take them out carefully to avoid being scalded by the steam.

You can serve these as is, but I like to let them cool for a few moments and serve them with either a good spicy mustard or a ginger-based sweet sauce. Hope that wasn’t too hard to follow without the photos!

Mirrored from Hanamachi Lights: Bento & Food.

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Well we’ve finally evaded my awful, horrible mother’s grasp (she wants us to live in KC but to never go anywhere – which annoys me to no end, since she should have no control over my life at this point, but I digress, lol.) and visited one of our favorite fast food places which would be Panda Express. Now, we’ve never been to this one (it’s up on Barry Rd. in Kansas City, where St. Claire(?) and Barry Rd. intersect about half a mile from Lake Waukomis and The Coves.

panda express 019panda express 010

It was awesome, very clean and friendly with a great atmosphere. We bought some of their famous orange chicken, I had a pepsi and Laota had a tea. We sat and took some pictures then grabbed a bottle of their orange sauce (very good, we’ve had it as a glaze on roasted chicken since). It even has a little outdoor spot with a few tables to eat – pardon the bad pics, had to take them with my phone! Out of five stars, it easily gets four – check it out if you have time!

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