Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Love Olive Pesto Pasta Salad (recipe)

Olive Pesto Pasta Salad
from the Radical Recipes 4 Boys cookbook

This pasta has most of my favorite things in it: garlic, basil, olives, and salami! Add bubble gum and I'd be set...just kidding.

Stuff You Need

For the pesto:
2 ounces of fresh basil (about 1 1/2 cups loosely packed)
2-3 cloves of garlic 
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil (I like to use garlic olive oil)
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives (Greek black olives)
1/2 cup pitted green olives
1 tbsp lemon juice

For the pasta salad:
1 17-ounce bag/13-oz box of bite-sized pasta (rotini, penne, shell)
1 chopped yellow or red bell pepper
1 cup sliced salami
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper to taste

Equipment You Need

Food processor
Measuring cup
Measuring spoon
Spatula spoon
Large serving bowl
Pot stirring spoon
Colander (big word for the thing you drain the pasta in)
Cutting board

What You Do
1. Add 4 quarts of salted water to a boil on the stove.

2. When water boils, add pasta and cook about 11-13 minutes until "al dente" which means "to the tooth". (No idea how the Italians came up with that, but it means that the pasta is a teeny bit chewy in the middle, not mushy.)

3. Drain the pasta in the colander and add to the large serving bowl. Toss in a tiny bit of olive oil to keep it from sticking together in one big blob as it cools.

4. While pasta is cooling, make the pesto by putting the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and olives in the food processor. Chop for about 30 seconds until things are roughly chopped. Slowly add the olive oil and lemon juice and blend until smooth. Add a bit more olive oil if it is too dry.

5. Chop up the bell pepper into bite-sized pieces and slice the salami into strips.

6. Mix together the pasta and pesto. You can experiment with how much pesto you like...all of it or just some of it. Add the bell peppers, salami strips, and Parmesan cheese and give it a toss. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6-8 depending on how hungry everyone is.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Easiest Non-Chocolate Chip Cookie: Pecan Sandies (recipe)


Stuff You Need
1 cup of butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp. water
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups chopped-up pecans

Equipment You Need
Mixing Bowl
Measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Stirring spatula
Cookie sheet

"Cream" the butter and sugar (which means mix it together until it is smooth). Add the water and vanilla and mix it in completely. Then add the flour and pecans.

Chill the dough for about 3 hours until firm. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Then take a teaspoon and make dough into balls. Put balls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Try and let them cool before you eat 'em but I'm warning's tough. These cookies are sooooo goooood!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Obama-style Hawaiian Burgers (recipe)


Makes 6 burgers

Stuff You Need
1 1/2 pounds ground beef or turkey
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup pineapple jam
1/3 cup bbq sauce
Hamburger buns

Equipment You Need
Big bowl
Small saucepan
Stirring spoon
Measuring cups and spoons
Cookie sheet to put patties on
Brush to spoon on sauce
Grill spatula
*Grill* (Ask your mom or dad to help with this part.)

Mix together in a big bowl the ground meat, onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Be brave. Use your hands! Form into six patties and put on cookie sheet.


In a saucepan, combine the pineapple jam and bbq sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring the whole time.

Brush the patties with the pineapple/bbq sauce mixture. Put patties on heated grill (ask an adult for help). Grill for about 5 minutes and then turn, brushing the burger with sauce again. Turn again after 5 minutes and brush patties one more time. When burger is done how you like it, remove it from grill and serve on bun or in a lettuce wrap.


For added touch of Hawaii, you can add a slice of grilled pineapple. Personally, I'm not a fan of grilled fruit, but try it. You might like it.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Gabe Gross's Unbelieveable Catch

player photo
Gabe Gross is one of the A's outfilders, and is a great fielder. Watch this video and be amazed.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chemistry Kidz

My friend, Christian, is a brainiac and has a blog about chemistry...for kids. Chemistry Kidz teaches kids that chemistry can be fun and easy (adults, too). Make sure to check out his blog at

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Amazing Chocolate-Chip Banana Breadini (recipe)

It's like magic. I make this banana bread, and it disappears. This is one of the first things my mom let me make...the banana smooshing is really fun.

Here are my top 3 banana thoughts:
1. How is a banana on the street like music? If you don't C sharp, you'll B flat.
2. What is yellow and goes buzzzzzz? An electric banana.
3. Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas.


Stuff You Need
3 super-ripe bananas (the mushier, the better)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
Dash of salt
1 egg
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Cooking spray

Equipment You Need
Loaf pan
Large bowl
Fork or potato masher
Small microwave safe bowl
Stirring spoon or spatula
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray. (Here's a cooking spray tip: the drops from the spay will make the floor very, very slippery so always spray over the sink.)

Peel and mash the bananas in a large bowl. Add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and egg.

Melt butter in microwave and add it to bowl. Stir all of the stuff together until it is mixed up.

Pour the batter in greased loaf pan and sprinkle on the chocolate chips. If you absolutely love chocolate like my sisters do, add a few more chips. Bake for 60-70 minutes until a toothpick put in the middle of the loaf comes out without any gunk on it.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Hockey Buddy, Mitchell (recipes)

My buddy at school is an amazing hockey player. He is a goalie and I saw him play between periods at a San Jose Sharks game. Totally cool!! Mitchell likes to cook and gave me some of his recipes so I could share them on my blog.

(serves 3 people)

Stuff You Need
2/3 pounds of ground chuck
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp goat cheese
1 egg
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Equipment You Need
Adult (to help you with the grill)

1. Throw all of the ingedients into a bowl and mush it together with you hands until everything is mixed up. Make into 3 patties.

2. Have adult start and heat up grill. When it's ready, put patties on grill. Cook them until you like them (we like our meet cooked until it's brown all the way through or the technical term "medium well").

3. Add cheese or gilled bacon to the burgers, if desired. Grill buns slightly.

4. Serve and enjoy!!

(serves 3 people)

Stuff You Need
1 onion
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 scallops

Equipment You Need
Cutting Board
Frying Pan
Slotted Spoon

1. Chop onion into chunks and place in frying pan with brwn sugar. Add balsamic vinegar and cook until onions are soft...5-7 minutes.

2. Using a spoon with holes (slotted spoon), scoop onions out of the pan leaving juice.

3. Cook scallops over medium heat until the vinegar soaks in and the scallops are cooked through. Don't cook too long or they will taste like hockey pucks!

4. Serve and enjoy!

(serves 3 people)

Stuff You Need
3 bananas
6 scoops of ice cream (your choice)
Caramel sauce
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar

Equipment You Need
Small bowl
Cutting Board
Frying Pan

1. Put brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix up.

2. Chop bananas into "coins"...about 1/2 inch thick

3. Coat bananas with the cinnamon sugar mixture (dipping bananas in bowl).

4. Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add bananas and cook until sugar mixture makes a hard crust.

5. Scoop ice cream into bowls and spoon bananas over the scoops. Drizzle caramel sauce over bananas.

6. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mango A Go Go (recipe)

Mangoes are my favorite fruit. I love the dried mango from Costco, the Mango A Go Go Jamba Juice, fresh mango, mango get the picture.

I did a twist on my mom's pineapple glaze for ham this year and added mango jam. Outrageous!

Mango-Pineapple Glaze
Stuff You Need
8.5 ounce jar of mango fruit spread
6 ounce can of pineapple juice (about 3/4 cup)

Equipment You Need

1. Pour fruit spread and juice into saucepan. Heat to slow boil and reduce heat to simmer (lowest setting on dial). This gives the chance for the stuff to "reduce" or as my Papa explained "lets the water evaporate from the sauce".

2. Cook about 10 minutes, stirring a lot, until the sauce is thick.

3. When the ham is about 15 minutes from being done, take it out of the oven and drizzle the sauce in all the layers of ham. Bake uncovered the last 10-15 minutes until the ham is done.

Cooking is Chemistry (scalloped potato recipe)

My Papa is a scientist...a biochemist: biology + chemistry = biochemist. He likes to cook and on all the holidays, he is in the kitchen with my mom. He always says "cooking is chemistry" but my mom just rolls her eyes. She's more of a give-it-a-try cook. My Papa is exact. For Easter, mom wanted scalloped potatoes, so Papa and I got to work. I was going to try to slice the potatoes with a knife until Papa showed me how to use a mandoline slicer. Very cool tool.

Papa's Exact Scalloped Potatoes
Stuff You Need
5 large Yukon Gold potatoes, skin on
1 medium onion, sliced in rings
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
1 /3/4 cup milk
Cooking spray
pinches of salt and sprinkles of pepper

Equipment You Need
2 1/2 quart baking dish
Mandoline slicer
Cutting board
Measuring cup
Measuring spoon
Aluminum foil

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease baking dish (I sprayed mine with that cooking spray stuff).

2. Peel onion and slice into thin rounds, separating out the rings.

3. Wash potatoes and pat dry. Figure out the mandoline tool (ask your Papa) and slice potatoes into disks. Slices should look like skinny hockey pucks.

4. Make a layer of potatoes covering the bottom of the pan. Layer over the onion slices. Add small chunks of the butter. Sprinkle over flour. Continue the layering until you reach 3/4 of the baking dish.

5. Pour the milk over the layers making sure the potatoes are covered with liquid. Use pinches of salt and sprinkle the pepper over the top.

6. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until tender.

(*We cheated this Easter since we didn't have a lot of time. We covered dish with plastic wrap and put in the microwave for 10-15 minutes, until the potatoes were just soft. Then, took off the plastic, covered with foil, and baked for 30 minutes. We uncovered it for the last 10 minutes of baking. Turned out soooo good.)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Spice Is Nice When Added to Rice

I'm working on a spice tree. I'll let you know when I have it all figured out. The Indian spices are crazy...there's like a million of them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Groovin' In The Kitchen Playlist

I like to cook with music. It makes it more fun to do my guitar solos with my spatula! Here's my current playlist:

1. Hot Blooded, Foreigner
2. Walk This Way, Aerosmith
3. We Will Rock You, Queen
4. War Machine, AC/DC
5. Juke Box Hero, Foreigner
6. Welcome To The Jungle, Guns 'N Roses (my mom hates this song)
7. 21 Guns, Green Day
8. American Woman, Lenny Kravitz
9. In The Evening, Led Zepplin
10. Hell's Bells, AC/DC
11. Just What I Needed, The Cars
12. Saint Of Me, The Rolling Stones
13. Free Fallin', Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
14. Pinball Wizard, The Who
15. Back In Black, AC/DC
16. Warning, Green Day
17. More Than A Feeling, Boston
18. Dude Looks Like A Lady, Aerosmith
19. Houses of Holy, Led Zepplin
20. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly (get 2 wooden spoons for drum solo)

Add these to your iPod, grab a spatula and get ready for the solos. Just don't fling pasta sauce everywhere. I got in trouble for doing that :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's The Difference Between Broccoli and Snot? (recipe)


Actually, at my house that's not true. All 5 of us kids eat broccoli. I like it best raw dipped in Ranch Dressing but everyone else eats it steamed, roasted, raw, pureed (well, my baby brother does).

Here's a recipe I made to make steamed broccoli a little more...better!

Stuff You Need
4 1/2 cups broccoli "florets" (that's a fancy word for cut up broccoli pieces)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce (my mom only buys the low-sodium kind)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Equipment You Need
Pot with lid
Steaming basket
Small mixing bowl
Serving bowl
Cookie Sheet
Hot pads

1. Put steamer basket in pot. Add water just to bottom of basket. Add broccoli. Cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until the broccoli is soft, but not mushy. I usually stick a toothpick in one to see how soft it is.

2. While broccoli is doing it's thing, heat oven to 350 degrees and put sesame seeds on cookie sheet. Toast in the over for 3-5 minutes until they are just LIGHTLY brown. Using hot pads, take out of oven and set somewhere out of the way.

3. In a small mixing bowl, using a whisk, mix up the sesame oil, soy sauce, and sesame seeds.

4. When broccoli is done, pull out the basket and put broccoli into serving bowl. Pour the oil/soy sauce mixture over, mix it up, and serve it to your brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guys in Goggles

Got this hilarious picture from @anarchistchef this weekend. He liked my picture of me cutting onions in my swim googles. He's a sushi chef and said he makes wasabi @onosushi wearing his dive mask!! See, mom, lots of guys wear cool eyewear to cook.

Radical Ribs (recipe)

Over the weekend, to make me feel better since my allergies were killing me, I headed to the kitchen to make my FAVORITE ribs with my dad on grill assist. My sisters cheer themselves up with chocolate, I cheer myself up with BBQ Ribs!!

Stuff You Need
1 18 ounce bottle of BBQ sauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
Juice of 1 large lemon or lime
1 tbs A1 steak sauce
2-3 lbs pork loin baby back ribs

Equipment You Need
2 Cookie sheets
Crock Pot
Big Bowl
Cutting board

1. Open up the package of ribs and rinse meat under water. Drip dry and set on cookie sheet.

2. Lightly salt both sides of the meat. (Make sure to do both sides. I sometimes forget.)

3. Ask adult to help you start grill and heat to 400 degrees. Once heated, place ribs on grill for about 20 minutes on each side. Wash cookie sheet or make sure to put it in the sink and get a clean one out for later!!

4. While the ribs are cooking, get your bowl and pour in all 'yer BBQ sauce! Cut lemon/lime in half and squeeze all the juice into the bowl. Add brown sugar and A1 sauce and stir it all up.

5. When ribs are done on the grill, use your tongs and put the meat on a clean cookie sheet. Turn off grill.

6. Cut the ribs in between the bones and put in a crock pot. Pour the sauce all over the ribs and put on the lid. Cook for 2 hours on low setting. Then, switch the ribs around (ribs on the top, put on the bottom and vice-versa) and cook for another 2 hours.

7. Wait. Wait. Wait. BUT, soon you will have ribs that fall off the bone and are so good you'll want to lick the crock pot...just don't let your mom see.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Opening Day of Allergies

Ugg. Just had my baseball parade for opening day of Little League, and my game is later today. My allergies are awful and I'm kind of mom gave me medicine and I'm going to head to my pillow. I'll post my potato salad recipe later. See ya!

Friday, March 19, 2010

My First Interview!

Thanks to Twitter mom @betterwaymoms for my first interview! She was really nice and thinks what I'm doing is pretty cool. Here's a link to my interview!!

Who's Joe? And Why's He Sloppy? (recipe)

TGIF! This week felt like it had a couple of extra days in it and I'm sooo glad it's over. Tomorrow is my opening day of baseball and I've got an early parade. I want to chill out tonight so mom is letting me make an easy dinner of Sloppy Joes. SJs and a bag of Lay's potato chips, and this guy is ready to go!

Serves 8

Stuff You Need
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (get out your goggles)
2 pounds of ground beef or ground turkey
1 can of tomato soup (Campbell's condensed style)
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic salt
Hamburger buns

Equipment You Need
Cutting board
Large frying pan
Wooden spoon
Bulb syringe or spoon

1. Put olive oil in pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and saute (stir around) for about 3-5 minutes. Onions will start to smell good and get soft...that's how you'll know they are ready.

2. Add ground beef/turkey. Let it brown while chopping it up into little pieces. Remember, the meat will be crammed on a hamburger bun so it needs to be as small as you can get it. When all the pink color is out of the meat, push the meat to one side and tilt the pan. Turn off the stove and drain the liquid using either a bulb syringe or spoon (ask for help for this part since the pan is ridiculously hot).

3. Return the pan to the stove and turn the heat back on to medium. Add all of the other ingredients (except the hamburge buns!). Stir until everything is all mixed up and once it starts to boil, reduce heat to simmer. Let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently so the bottom doesn't burn.

4. Turn off stove. Open up the hamburger buns and pile the sloppy joe filling as high as you can! Serve with potato chips and some carrots with ranch dressing!