Monday, December 29, 2008

Curried Cabbage Slaw

This is from Mom's cookbook, I think this recipe was originally from the Oregonian. Unless you are a ginger-fanatic, I would cut it down to 1 tsp, or leave it out completely. It overpowered the delicious fried cabbage and onion flavor. Cabbage is my new favorite vegetable. It's very high in vitamin K and C, and folate, and it's dirt cheap.

1 tbs. veg oil
1 lb. green cabbage, sliced (or a big bag of cole slaw)
1 medium yellow onion, sliced (I always added extra)
1 tbs freshly grated ginger
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tbs. brown mustard seeds
salt and pepper to taste

In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the cabbage and onions and saute until translucent, 8 - 10 min. Stir in the ginger, curry powder, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds until well-combined. Remove from heat and let cool. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature. Store in a an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Makes 3 cups.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Easy Mexican Rice

I adapted this from my coworker's recipe. I substituted quinoa for the rice.

½ chopped onion
½ tbsp olive oil
1 cup washed rice
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tapatillo or hot sauce
1 cup chicken broth

Saute onion in olive oil on medium heat for about 3 minutes or until tender. Add rice and continue to cook for about 5 minutes until rice is mostly dry (this is called puffing the rice). Add cumin, tomato sauce, tapatillo, and chicken broth. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Brown Sugar

I may have overdone it on the ingredients in this, but it turned out delicious. Brussels Sprouts are so bland they need a lot of flavor.

1 lbs brussels sprouts (I used one bag of frozen because I can't find them fresh)
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced (sliced might work nicely)
1 thick slice bacon, torn to pieces
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Wash and chop brussels sprouts in half through the stems. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok and dump in bacon, shallots, and garlic. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds and then add the vinegar and sugar. Add brussels sprouts and saute for about 5-10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and sprouts are tender.

Serve with hot mustard or parmesan cheese.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oh my god, these cookies are good. The batter is ten times better than the cookie itself. My coworkers raved about these cookies. They are very fudgey like brownies. I used butter flavored shortening instead (remember to add 6 Tbs water for every cup of shortening used).

Cookies will puff up like this when they are about done.

Once cooled, they will deflate slightly but should still have a mounded shape.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In large bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the butter mixture until well blended. Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or just until set. Cool slightly on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

*Note: Bake for 10 minutes, or your cookies will not be done on the bottom and they will fall apart when you try to transfer them to a cookie sheet and you will have to eat all the ruined ones. Slightly underbaked, they are still good but will be difficult to handle.
*Note: Try using peanut butter or white chocolate chips, and definitely double the walnuts. I also used 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar because I ran out of white sugar, and I do not regret it.

Russian Tea Cakes

Finished product

Cookies are done when slightly cracked on top


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and vanilla until smooth. Combine the 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar and flour; stir into the butter mixture until just blended. Mix in the chopped walnuts. Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place them 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. When cool, roll in remaining confectioners' sugar. I also like to roll mine in the sugar a second time.

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

My friend sent this recipe for a 5 minute chocolate cake made in a large coffee mug. It really works! It's rather dense (like brownies), not too sweet and is terrific with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The sweetness can be adjusted.... and the "optional" chocolate chips in the recipe form the "frosting" when you dump the cake out on a plate.

All of a sudden, I can't find any coffee mugs.


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix
thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate
chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.

Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts
(high). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be
alarmed! Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

No More Special Food

Living in Asian countries for many years, we naturally developed a taste for spicy food. (Mutton masala in India, kimchi in Korea, etc. Mmmmm.) Upon settling in Oregon, I started experimenting with spices more and more and I must say, I began turning out some great meals. The older kids appreciated my exotic style but the little kids didn't like it and preferred bland food. BOR-RING. Whenever I cooked a spicy curry or a tasty new Asian dish, I prepared a little Mac & Cheese side dish for the little guys. Many times I’d be all inspired about my new spicy dish as I was setting it on the table and suddenly remember, “Crap! Mac & Cheese!” I’d have to hurry and whip up a batch on the stove real quick while everyone waited. It was a real drag.

One day I decided I'd had enough. I sat Daniel and Rachel down and said, "Listen up. The baby gazelle has to run with the herd within one hour of birth, or it will be eaten by the lions." They looked at me with big eyes and I continued: "From now on, no more special food. You run with the herd."

So that was the end of “special food”. If someone didn't like the dinner I'd prepared, I'd say, "Great! Now there's more for the rest of us!" and they could make their own PBJ. Funny thing is, both Dan and Rae started eating my spicy dishes and now that they are teenagers they love spicy food.

The moral of the story? You must run with the herd.

And just say NO to Special Food.

White Bean and Asparagus Salad

This is one of my favorite dishes as it only takes a few minutes to put together. It's nice served with garlic bread or on a bed of greens. Or just by itself with some Tabasco! I usually add more lemon zest as I just love the lemon-y flavor. For leftovers, you can eat this cold but I like to warm it up a little.

(Adapted from

4 servings

1 lb. asparagus or a bag of frozen asparagus

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp. Lemon zest

2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. black pepper

2 reg. cans white beans, rinsed and drained well

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cut asparagus diagonally into 1/4” slices. (If using frozen, microwave for about 5 min. in bag and then cut.)

Bring oil, lemon zest, juice, salt and pepper to a simmer in a 4 quart heavy saucepan, then stir in beans and asparagus. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add parmesan cheese and parsley, toss and serve.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

And now we present an entry from that great Southern cook, my own sister, your Aunt Lisa:

2 8 oz. Blocks cream cheese

2 10 oz. Cans chicken, drained – or you can use 2 cups cooked shredded chicken

1 cup ranch or blue cheese dressing (I use blue cheese)

1/3 to ½ cup of Franks Red Hot (I use ½ cup)

1 ½ cups cheddar cheese (I like sharp)

Combine first four ingredients and 1 cup cheddar in sauce pan or microwave safe bowl. Melt slowly on stove top or in the microwave, stirring frequently. Put in crock pot and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Serve with celery sticks and Chicken in a Biscuit crackers.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Rotis (Chapatis)

Ah, the sweet taste of success! I tried making these before because they seemed so easy but they came out flat, dry, and dense. They wouldn't puff up like they were supposed to - I didn't know what I was doing wrong. This time I had more confidence and was determined to get these right. After about 3 batches that went in the trash, I checked out some other recipes and found that they call for chapati flour (not plain whole-wheat flour). I don't what chapati flour is, but I tried using half whole-wheat flour, half all-purpose with some baking soda to make the texture lighter and it finally worked! My technique may have improved too.

Here's my recipe for 4 rotis:

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup water

Combine first 4 ingredient in medium bowl. Add water and stir with your fingers, gathering the dough together and lightly kneading it while scraping the sides. Dough should be slightly sticky. Fill a plate with flour and dredge your dough in the flour. Knead on a countertop a few times till dough is soft and pliable then separate into 4 sections. Roll into balls and set aside. Leave for about 5 minutes. During this time a skillet (a heavy iron one works best) should be heating up on medium heat.

Take one of the dough balls and dip in the flour. Splat against the countertop and roll out with a rolling pin or wine bottle. The dough will probably stick to your pin after a couple of rolls so dip one side in the flour dish again. Splat against the countertop and flip to the other side so both sides have a light dusting of flour. Continue rolling until dough is about 1 mm thick. I think the thinner they are the better they puff.

Splat onto your pre-heated pan. Once you see little bubbles popping up all over flip it to the other side and pat edges down with a spatula. Keep flipping and patting down the bubbles, pushing the air throughout your roti so it puffs up like a ball. Once very lightly browned, remove from heat, brush with ghee or butter and the roti will deflate and be light and fluffy.

This is the original recipe I used. Follow Manjula's technique:

Note: I haven't tried using all whole-wheat flour with the baking powder. If someone feels adventurous, let me know how that works.

Easy Quiche

3 eggs
½ cup milk (whole makes it best, but all others work too)
½ cup flour
½ pt. cottage cheese (one cup)
1-2 cups shredded jack or cheddar cheese
¼ cup melted butter

Add your choice of:
chopped ham
chopped green onions

Beat eggs, milk, flour and butter in blender. Pour mixture in bowl. Stir in cottage cheese and shredded cheese. Add in ingredients that you wish from choices above, or get creative and try a new one. Pour mixture into 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

This is the first recipe that I ever learned as a child and I still make this all the time and get raves from Andrew and Emily. It is probably not that healthy, I admit, but it is easy and very yummy. I double the recipe so that there is one to freeze and reheat later. Enjoy!

Joe's Non-dairy Quinotto

Linda has decided to avoid dairy products for a number of reasons which are beyond the scope of this blog, so, last night, I decided to see if I could adapt my famous quínoa recipe* to be dairy-free but just as delicious. This was the result.

  • 5 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 slice of bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder (I use Jamaican, but this may not be available in all jurisdictions. Substitute as you see fit)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of quínoa, rinsed and drained 
  • 2 cups of organic, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup sliced zucchini/eggplant/squash (whatever you like) 
  • 10-15 fresh basil leaves
Step 1: Prepare a sofrito.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat.
  2. Add bacon and cook till lightly browned (optional)
  3. Add onions and cook for about 5 minutes, till translucent.
  4. Reduce heat slightly and add garlic, curry powder, salt and all other spices and stir for about a minute.
  5. Immediately add the can of tomatoes. You don't want to burn your curry powder or your garlic. Add a little water if needed.
  6. This mixture is called sofrito in Spanish. Let it simmer at medium heat for about 5 minutes to soften up the tomatoes and bring the flavors together. Here's a picture:
Step 2: Add the quínoa
  1. Stir the quinoa into your sofrito and let it absorb the flavors for a few minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of chicken stock at a time, while stirring and adjusting the heat every so often to ensure that the mixture is simmering gently and not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. As the quinoa grains are reaching the desired level of doneness, and before too much of the moisture has been evaporated, mix in your vegetables and mushrooms. I do this about 5 minutes before the quinoa is done.
  4. Finally, remove from heat and stir in the basil leaves.
  5. Serve while hot onto two plates.

*The original involved half a cup of heavy cream toward the end of the cooking process, and then some cheese folded in at the very end. You might consider topping with fresh parmesan cheese to get some nice cheese flavor without too much extra fat. 

2nd generation foodie

Taking time to appreciate the little things in life

Emily drinking "wine" (juice)

Enjoying a nectarine in the summer time

Good Food

"I like good food. My mama liked good food too. She always said, 'I'd rather have good food than bad food any old day of the week.'"

Luther Heggs to Alma in "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken"

Heininge Rhymes with Dining: Coincidence? I think not

Food has always been popular with the Heininges.

Christmas 1986, Japan

Chris (7), Joe (6), Andy (4) , Mom, Anna (1), Dad and Mark (3)

Thanksgiving 1989

Joe (9), Tim (17), Joan (2), Dad, Andy (7), Chris (10)

Baby Phil

Christmas 1999


Phil (10), Rachel (6), Anna (14), Joan (12), Chris (20)

Chris (20), Joe (19), Daniel (8), Andy (17), Tim (27)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Curried Quinoa

Quinoa is a great side dish because it is a complete protein. I use it interchangeably with rice.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed (this removes the bitter taste on the grain)
1/2 tsp chicken bouillon
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp gr. cumin
1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
1/4 tsp garlic salt

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add all ingredients listed. Reduce to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check quinoa and fluff up a bit and then cover and cook for another 3-5 minutes, checking occasionally so the bottom doesn't stick (which it tends to do). If you have a rice cooker you can probably just throw it all in there and cook it just like rice.

Mammy’s Dahl

Mammy's Dahl with Anna's Curried Quinoa (see above)

There are thousands of dahl recipes and this one is very basic and simple. I like it because I can make it with ingredients already on hand; the only fresh ingredient you have to have is cilantro. I don’t mash the lentils like some recipes suggest as I like the dahl chunky. Oh, it also freezes well.

2 cups red lentils* (thoor dahl or masoor dahl)
6 cups water
½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. mustard seeds
½ tsp. crushed red pepper/red pepper flakes
2 Tbs. oil
2 cups chopped onion or 1 bag frozen onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 jalapeno peppers (or Thai or Serrano) split lengthwise (with or without seeds removed)**
2 cups chopped tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1-1/2 tsp. salt
¼ cup chopped cilantro

Bring lentils, water and turmeric to a boil, then turn the heat down. As it starts to cook it will “foam”; just scoop off some of the foam and discard. You have to check on the lentils as the water could boil down. You may have to add more water but be careful you don’t add too much as then it’ll be too “soupy”.

Meanwhile, in a wok or heavy saucepan, heat cumin seeds, mustard seeds and crushed red pepper in oil until mustard seeds start to pop. Turn the heat down and add onion, garlic and chilies. Fry for about 5 min. until soft.

Add the tomatoes (drain canned tomatoes if using) and cook for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, the lentils should be about cooked. Add the tomato and spice mixture, and the salt, then simmer for a couple of minutes. Turn off and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with basmati rice or if you’re watching carbs, a little low-fat cottage cheese.

*You can use yellow split peas if you prefer but you must cook them longer with more water.
**You can buy red lentils at Fred Meyer in the bulk section
*** You can make this hotter if you leave the chili seeds in. You can dice the chilies or just split them lengthwise.
Serve with basmati rice or if you’re watching carbs, a little low-fat cottage cheese.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mexi-Thai Coleslaw

1 - 16 oz. bag coleslaw mix
3 green onions
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup yellow corn kernels (I use frozen)
1 cucumber, peeled, quartered, and sliced
1 small green bell pepper, diced


1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all vegetables together and toss with dressing.