pumpkin

some easy starters..

This pumpkin salad is dedicated to a dear friend who loves pumpkin so SO much.  Every time we have potluck at hers or her boyfriend's place, she would ask me to make something with pumpkin.  I know it's not exactly the pumpkin season right now but we are fortunate to have the luxury to get them from a few local farms here in Yuen Long.  I especially like the mini squash because they give off a much sweeter flavor.  

Another starter that I always make is bruschetta.  There are many different ways to make bruschetta.  I usually make it according to what I have in my fridge or what I can get in the nearest supermarket.  There are times when I can't find mozzarella cheese (like today) and if it happens, I usually just skip it.  And sometime if I happen to pass by Il Bel Paese, I would grab a small bowl of fresh olives in oil to add to my bruschetta.  Just be flexible and creative.  Our imagination is unlimited.  :) 

Have a good week ahead! x

some easy starters for a mini gathering.

Servings: 4 persons 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 mini pumpkin, deseeded & skin removed, chopped in wedges

1 large bowl arugula or mixed greens

1-2 sprig sage leaves

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 180ºC.  Get a baking tray, drizzle a little oil, add pumpkin, sage, garlic, and chili.*  

2) Roast the pumpkin for about 15-20 minutes.  Try to stir and flip the pumpkins in midway.  

3) Once the pumpkins are ready, mix them with the greens.  Season, add more oil, and ready to serve! Simple!! 

* If you don't like your garlic, chili, and sage a little burnt, add them to the pumpkin a few minutes after roasting.  

Servings: 4 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 1-2 minutes for toasting the bread

Ingredients: 

1 small loaf baguette

1 garlic clove, minced half garlic and leave the other half to brush the bread's surface

200g - 250g cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced or chopped according to the size that you like

2 tbsp basil pesto*

1 tbsp pine nuts

1 tsp caper, finely chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

*Remark: To make the basil pesto, simply blend a bunch of fresh basil leaves, 1/2 garlic clove, 1 tsp of roasted pine nuts, and sprinkle a bit of grated parmesan, season and add oil.  

Instructions: 

1) Slice the baguette into 6-8 pieces and toast the bread.  

2) Get the halved garlic and rub against each bread's surface.  

3) Get a small bowl, mix pesto, tomato, minced garlic, and caper.  Season.  

4) Transfer the tomato mixture to each slice of bread and sprinkle some pine nuts on top.  Garnish with some basil leaves if you like.  I ran out of basil leaves so I couldn't do it. ;) 

sunday squash sandwich

It is funny how some of us were drawn to separateness at one point in our lifetime.  Perhaps it was the unknown that triggered our curiosity, interest, and desire.  Maybe this was how I felt toward NYC.  I wish I had more time and money to afford to stay there and explore longer.  It's definitely the unknown that made me want to drill into the city more.  

So today, I spent more time goofing around with editing photos.  I retrieved some pictures I took last winter in NYC.  Argh.... that made me miss NYC so much.  I missed taking the stinky L and G trains to Union Square and Trader Joe's in Brooklyn Height.  I adore so much the diversity that Brooklyn has nowadays.  I met so many interesting people from all over the world during my stay.  Some I even met just out of randomness on my train rides to work.  I am actually still in touched with most of them.  This is what I love about New York--- the city is full of surprises, energy, and possibilities. 

It is getting late and I have to retype my entire post again because the last one mysterically got deleted.  Ugh...  

I wish you an awesome week ahead.  x

I visited Greenpoint quite often in NYC last winter.  It was the only neighborhood that I felt familiar with since I lived there for quite some time with my cat, Boo Boo.  We were on Freeman by Franklin in the late 90's.  Today, Greenpoint is so different from how it used to be.  There are so many cool shops, restaurants, and cafes on Franklin Street.  

One Girl Cookies is my most favorite cookie shop so far.  Their cookies are amazing.  I used heavenly to describe them.  I used to swing by on my way to Trader Joe's for grocery.  

One thing I did quite often when I was in NYC was to look up to the sky and take a deep breath thinking how nice it would be if Marco and my family were there with me.  It was fun living away for awhile but at one point, I realized that I do need someone close nearby.  

Servings: 2 persons

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 mini squash, diced

1/2 small onion, thinly sliced

1/2 capsicum, julienned

2 garlic cloves, with skin on and wrap in foil

1/2 chili, seeded, finely chopped

1 sprig sage, chopped

1 sprig mint leaves

1 tomato, thinly sliced

2-3 lettuce leaves/fresh salad greens

extra-virgin olive oil

2 ciabatta or any breads, toasted

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 180-200ºC.  

2) Get two baking trays.  One for pumpkin, sage, and chili. Season and add a little oil.  Toss the foil wrapped garlic to bake with the pumpkin as well.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes.  

3) Another tray is for capsicum and onion.  Season and add oil.  Roast for 15-20 minutes.  

4) Get a bowl and a potato masher to mix the roasted garlic and pumpkin together.  Use it as spread for the breads.  

5) Top the sandwich with some roasted pepper and onion, fresh greens, tomato, and mint leaves. 

an easy sandwich that is packed with flavors...