Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pickled Mangos

pickled mangos watermarked

When I was younger, one of the reasons that I looked forward to going to Cambodian New Year was for the pickled mangos. I didn't mind waiting in a long line, paying for a couple of salty spicy mangos packed tightly in a clear zip lock baggie. I remember asking friends out of politeness if they wanted any and then that they'd say "no." But of course they'd ALWAYS say, "yes." And then, my mind would be flooded with thoughts like, "man, I should've spit in it." Hindsight sure is a bitch.

pickled mangos2

The following is my take on how to make pickled mangos. It's not too salty, not too sweet, but HELLA SPICY and HELLA GOOD. Man, reminiscing about pickled mangos has definitely brought back the Tacoma girl in me because I've never written the word "hella" that many times, EVER.


6 Green mangos, peeled and sliced(do NOT use ripened mangos)
1/4 cup of salt

For the sugar water:

6 cups of water
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of red chili flakes(optional)

For the chili paste(dip):

1 Tbsp of salt
1 Tbsp of sugar
5 Thai fresh chili peppers
1/2 tsp of chili flakes
1 tsp of garlic powder

To make the chili paste: Combine all of the ingredients above into a mortar and pestle. Pound it until it becomes a paste. Set aside.

Take your sliced mangos and place them in a large, shallow bowl. Try not to stack too much on top of each other. Sprinkle your salt over the mangos and toss to coat. Let them sit for a MINIMUM of 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

While you're waiting for the liquid to draw out of your mangos, make your sugar water. Add your water, along with your sugar, into a saucepan. Bring it to a quick rolling boil. Remove the pan from the heat(add in your chili flakes if using), and allow it to come to room temperature.

Boil a large pot of water and place the pot in the sink. After your 1 hour is up, CAREFULLY add your mangos into the hot/boiling water, and wash/rinse them off for about 1 minute. Drain well.

Allow your mangos to dry(for at least an hour)on two wire racks fitted over two baking sheets. You may use paper towels instead.

PACK your dried mangos(snuggly), into a container. Pour in your cooled sugar water. Cover tightly with a lid, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 full days. After 2 days, place your mangos into the fridge and wait 2 more days. It should take ABOUT 4 days total. Eat within 2 weeks.

Note: You may cut the recipe in half.

Watch the tutorial here to see how I cut and slice my mangos!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

My husband took this banana bread into work a few weeks ago and a little birdy told me that someone said, "man, this is better than my wife's banana bread!"


I'm sure my husband has said that before, and well...if he has, he better make damn sure that I don't find out about it because let's face it men, as the saying goes: "don't bite the hand that feeds you, because if you do, the mama lion will shred you into pieces before feeding you to a pack of angry, laughing hyenas."

Or, something along the lines of that...


2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
5 overripe bananas
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 sticks of SALTED butter, melted and slightly cooled(I use Darigold's CHEF'S CHOICE European style butter)
2 extra large eggs
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips or pecans(optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Melt your butter in the microwave. Set aside to cool, slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, add in your bananas and fork mash them first, to make them easier to work with. Add in your sugar, and using a hand mixer, whip them for about 2 more minutes. Add in the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla and beat well. Don't forget to scrape the sides. Mix in your dry ingredients well, using a spatula to prevent over mixing. Seeing some lumps is okay, cause that's mostly tiny banana chunks. Fold in your nuts, or chocolate chips(my kids' fav), if using.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a few good taps on the counter to help get rid of any air bubbles.

Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes(or until toothpick inserted through center comes out clean). Rotate the pan every 20 minutes for even browning. Once done, allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pan, and place on wire rack until cooled COMPLETELY before slicing.

NOTES: If a crack develops down the center during baking, that is very normal. Or if the tops begin to look too brown for your liking, just tent the bread lightly with some foil for the last 15 minutes. Allowing the bread to cool completely is very important. It needs to finish cooking, and if you slice into it too soon, it will appear raw and undone. Also the tops of the bread may seem hard but after it finishes cooling, it softens. Banana bread also tastes better the next day! :)

Adapted from Tyler Florence's Banana Bread with Pecans Recipe.

Watch how to make it here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mini Nutella and Banana Crepes

These are my kids' absolute favorite breakfast food, EVER!! They could literally eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I let them! They are so sneaky too...anytime my nieces or nephews stay over, they always start off by saying,"Oh mommy, it's a special occasion..can you make crepes??" Lol.


These are super easy to make and taste a million times better than store bought ones! I still can't believe they sell previously made crepes! They don't even taste like crepes, more like...tortillas.

Make these for your next breakfast...or brunch! You won't be sorry! :)

You will need:
1 1/3 cup of flour
3 T of ricotta
3 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
3/4 cup of cold water
4 T of melted butter(plus more for frying crepes)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 T of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt

Optional garnishes and filling:
strawberry or raspberry jam
whipped cream
powdered sugar
*you will also need a two inch biscuit cutter(optional)

Put all of the ingredients listed above into a blender. Blend it for 30 seconds. Stop motor, scrape the sides down to make sure you have no flour sticking to the sides. Put the lid back on and puree for 30 more seconds.

Place a stainless steel skillet on your stovetop and turn heat on to medium. When it's nice and hot, add in some butter and swirl it around the skillet. Lift your skillet up OFF of the stove and quickly pour in some batter and swirl that around to evenly distribute the batter as well. Place skillet back on stove top and allow to cook until slightly browned on bottom. Once browned, flip over and cook for 15 more seconds or so.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

French Cut Green Beans

This so called "side dish" is sooo good...that I can probably eat it as a "main dish", instead! Everything that is good in this world can be found in this recipe. First, I cook some shallots and garlic in some bacon grease, then...add the green beans in, along with some sliced mushrooms, and FINALLY, top it all off with some crunchy bacon! Did I say ANYTHING wrong, here?? :)


18 ounces of French cut green beans
8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
1 shallot finely chopped
1 pkg of bacon, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp of red pepper flakes
fish sauce, salt, sugar, black pepper to taste
lemon juice(optional)

Cook your bacon in a cast iron skillet until crispy. Place the bacon on a paper towel lined plate and reserve the bacon grease for later use.

Get an ice water bath ready.

Boil some water. Add in some salt. Cook your green beans for about 1-2 minutes. If you're using regular green beans, cook them for about 5 minutes. Drain them well and then place them in your ice water bath. Drain them well again, and then pat completely dry.

With a skillet on medium high heat, add in 2 Tbsp of bacon grease. Add in your chopped shallots and cook until tender. Add in your garlic plus 1 tsp of chili flakes, and cook until fragrant. Add in your mushrooms, along with a pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, and some black pepper. Cook until mushrooms are almost tender. If your pan seems dry, add in some more bacon grease as needed.

Next, add in your green beans along with some fish sauce and a pinch of sugar. Lastly, add in your crispy bacon and continue to cook for about a minute. Adjust seasoning as needed. If using, squeeze in some lemon juice and toss to coat before removing from heat.

Watch the video here.

Vanilla and Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Protein Shake

Anytime, anyone would mention protein shakes to me, I would automatically think, "gross." I mean...anything with powdered protein in it, can't taste delicious, right?? WRONG.

My husband is training for his first big jui jitsu competition and he recently asked me to start making them for him. He used to purchase his shakes after his classes at Emerald City Smoothies, but of course THAT started getting pricy, as well. WELL, NOT ANYMORE! Now, he just comes homes and actually makes them himself. It's that easy!!


1 cup of LIGHT vanilla soy milk
1 ripened banana(frozen is optional)
1 1/2 Tbsp. of creamy all natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp. of protein powder
1 packet of splenda
6 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately.

Note: If you double this recipe, use 1 plus 3/4 cup of LIGHT vanilla soy milk. :)

Watch the video here.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Beef Loc Lac(Beef Stir Fry over Salad)

I've been getting a lot of requests to do more Cambodian food...and I'm listening! :) I have a few yummy ones to share with you guys this summer, so definitely stay tuned for those! :)

This dish is very popular in the Khmer community. There is a Vietnamese variation of this dish as well--the only difference, is that they top their stir fried beef with slices of hard boiled eggs and then top it off with some roasted peanuts.

Don't forget to have your sweet and sour dipping sauce on the side! I don't have a written recipe for it yet but I will tell you that it consists of: fish sauce, chopped garlic, sugar, water, lime juice(or vinegar), and chili peppers(or black pepper).


1 pound of thinly sliced sirloin(I used 100 % grass fed beef from Paso Prime).
2 cloves of chopped garlic
half of a small shallot
Olive oil

For the beef marinade:

1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/4 tsp of onion powder
1/2 Tbsp. of sugar
1/2 Tbsp. of fish sauce
1 tsp. of soy sauce
1 Tbsp. of corn starch
1/2 of an extra large egg white
pinch of salt
black pepper

For the sauce:

1/3 cup of water
2 Tbsp. of oyster sauce
1 1/2 tsp of fish sauce
1/2 tsp. of sugar

For the thickener:

1/2 Tbsp of corn starch mixed with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of water.

You will also need:

green onions(for garnish)

In a small mixing bowl, make your sauce and then set it aside.

Take your sliced beef and place it into a mixing bowl. Add in your marinade and allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes. If you have overnight...even better! Just remember to bring it back to room temperature before you start frying.

While your beef is marinading, start washing your lettuce(and also pat them dry). Slice up your tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions and plate them before you start cooking.

In a hot skillet or wok, add in some olive oil. Add in your shallots. Cook until soft. Add in your chopped garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add in your beef and cook until most of the pink is gone. Add in your reserved sauce, and cook until done. Taste check. Add in your cornstarch and water mixture. Cook until thickened. Serve immediately!

Watch the tutorial here.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Eat Now, Cry Later Youtube Channel Trailer

Hi, everyone!! If you have the time, please take a moment to check out my Youtube Channel! I really do appreciate it! Leave me a comment on one of my videos...I love reading them all! :)
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