Welcome to Pleasant Taste!

This blog is about happy cooking and delicious eating. Scroll on to find creative recipes and fun stories!

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Personal Plate of Pasta, Please

For a breezy spring day with barely time for a breath, this beautiful little plate of pasta was just perfect to give me a little restoration time. Don’t forget to treat yourself as precious. After all, you are a valuable creation: there is only one of you in all the earth. Never undermine your own value.

Stir a can of diced tomatoes into your favorite cooked pasta (drained and seasoned (I like to use olive oil, salt, garlic and pepper flakes)). Pour a little warmed cheese sauce on top and sprinkle torn basil leaves. Enjoy!

P.S. Thanks to those of you that are still following my blog! I know it’s been several months now since I’ve last posted. I really appreciate your support! 🤗❤️😊

Unique Christmas

So… My brother and his wife were over this year during Christmas holidays. She is from Thailand and I love many Asian foods so we decided to have an Asian themed Christmas dinner – and it was fantastic! This meal is actually really great for lunches in the summer as well because it is refreshing and invigorating. 

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

Strawberry cake mix

Eggs

Oil

Water

Whipped Topping

Cream Cheese frosting

Sliced strawberries
Directions:

Prepare cake mix according to package instructions. Let cool after baking for at least 30 minutes. Mix together thawed whipped topping and frosting. Spread 1/2 of frosting mixture over the top of the cake. Scoop the rest into a plastic bag. Squeeze frosting to one side of bag and cut a small hole in the bottom corner. Place sliced strawberries on cake. Squeeze remaining frosting mixture over cake. Yum, yum! 

Korean-style Potatoes Braised in Soy sauce

Ingredients:

Cubed potatoes (approx 3-4 cups)

Chopped half onion 

Minced garlic (2-3 cloves)

1/3 c. Soy sauce 

Cayenne

1 Tbsp sugar

Salt

Water
Directions:

Saute onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and sauté 10-15 minutes. Add in 1-2 cups of water (not quite covering potatoes in pan). Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook on med-high heat till potatoes are tender. Salt to taste. 

Note: This recipe is “korean-style” not Korean. I have never had the opportunity to try authentic Korean braised potatoes, though I would love to. This recipe is the result of scanning over various recipes and watching Kdramas, such as Healer and looking at photos. 

Kimbap

Ingredients:

Seaweed wraps

Cooked white rice

Carrots, julienned or thinly sliced sliced longways

Onions, sliced into thin rings

Cucumbers, julienned

Tofu

Avocado slices

Spinach

Sesame seeds

Oil

Vegetarian meat or tuna
Directions:

1) Saute/lightly fry and salt each ingredient separately excluding cucumbers and avocado. Sprinkle sesame seeds on to spinach after cooking. Season cooked tofu with salt, garlic powder and onion powder. 

2) Lay seaweed on sushi roller or wet cloth. Spread rice evenly over one third of the seaweed. Place vegetables longways over rice and roll. Slice into bite sized rounds. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. (Sesame oil is also a great way to give this a more authentic flavor if you have some on hand). 

For a tutorial on rolling kimbap see this Youtube video by Amy Kim

Korean Eggroll 

Ingredients:

Eggs

Finely diced carrots, garlic and green onion

Salt to taste

Cayenne to taste
Directions:

Whisk together all ingredients. Pour a tbsp of oil into a pan on med heat. When hot, pour in 1/2 of egg mixture. Do not stir. Fold egg over, and over leaving last bit flat. Pour 1/2 of remaining egg mixture onto pan and over the egg still touching the pan.  Cook a few minutes. Roll egg again and repeat process once more. Place on plate or serving dishes and slice. For a tutorial click here.

Growing up we celebrated holidays differently from most of our American friends and relatives, so I have never actually eaten a traditional Christmas meal. I just recently figured out many Americans eat ham at Christmas – we were vegetarian growing up as well so that may be the reason I didn’t know about the ham. That being said, please comment your traditional Christmas dinner below. I would love to see what other people usually eat for the holidays!

Pita Wraps

The other day I needed to throw a lunch together for my husband, but we were out of bread so I used the other quick option on hand: pita bread. It turned out so good, we have a enjoyed it twice since both as a birthday party dinner as well as a quick, filling breakfast. I’m sure this is something that has been made many different ways by other people, but since it is our first original recipe with pita bread I am pretty excited about it. If you have your own delicious way of preparing pita wraps, please comment below so I can try it, too!

Ingredients:

Pita bread

Mayo or spread of your choice

Lettuce leaves (I prefer red leaf)

Tomato slices

Cucumber slices

Sauteéd, sliced Bell pepper

 Onions (sliced into wedges-sauté optional)

Sliced Olives

Sliced avocado

Shredded Cheese

Hot sauce (optional)

Vegetarian meat crumbles, tofu or eggs – you choose which filler suits your mood
Directions:

Lightly fry crumbles or tofu (for eggs, scramble as usual). Set aside. Lightly season Bell peppers and onions with onion powder and salt. Place all ingredients starting with mayo and lettuce on one side of pita bread. Fold over and enjoy (this is like holding a soft taco – it is messy)! 
Note: anything in this recipe can be modified or replaced to suit your taste. Make it taste good! In food preparation the 3 main rules to hold to are: 1) Nutrition 2) Taste 3) Visual Appeal. If you can get that down, you will be able to warm your loved ones hearts and tummies with just a little practice.

Fried Rice and Soup

Well, it’s the season for sniffles and coughs, and we have definitely been getting our share. After a long cold day, this just hit the spot. For anyone unfamiliar with Asian style soups – give this a shot! It may look a little different than you’re used to, but it will surprise you how tasty it is 😉

Fried Rice:

Saute onions, carrots, broccoli and garlic in light olive oil for 7-8 minutes or just until tender. Add an egg or two and saute 2 minutes more. Season with cayenne, onion powder and salt. Add in white rice (and gochujang if desired). Serve with a smile!


Jjigae (Soup)

Boil chopped onion, garlic, and cabbage until tender. Stir in mushrooms, tofu and seasonings (cayenne, soy sauce, lemon juice, salt). Simmer until flavors have blended (approximately 5 minutes). 

Homemade Tomato Soup

Ever get tired of paying an arm and a leg for tiny cans of soup that never quite measure up to expectations? Well, that’s what happened to us. To be more precise, we went to Noodles and Company, where my husband ordered a bowl of their delicious tomato soup – I was sold. Problem is, we can’t afford to eat out every day —- so —– I looked up a few recipes online, modified them to our particular taste, and Voíla! Here you have it – Tomato Soup!
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 med onion

2-3 garlic cloves

2 small carrots

4 cans diced tomatoes

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Cayenne

Basil

Bay leaf

Salt
Saute onions, garlic and carrots 8-10 minutes. Add canned tomatoes and seasonings. Boil on med-high heat for 40 minutes or until carrots are tender. Blend until texture is creamy. Yum, yum!
(If desired, blend and set aside a portion for baby leaving out the salt and cayenne). 

Empanadas

Today I was balancing my baby on my hip while unloading my buggy at the grocery store before checkout (for those of you unfamiliar with the term, “buggy” is the southern word for “grocery cart” 😉 ). When I was about halfway through, the woman behind me came up and asked, “May I help you with this?” Of course I was surprised, but I gave my consent, and she proceeded to help me unload the rest of my groceries. After I paid, she also helped me bag them up, and gave me a smile as she left. I’m sure she won’t think much of it, but I can assure you, it brightened my day tremendously, and I will definitely remember her act of kindness. I hope that I will be a blessing to others in my life as she was to me. 

On that note, here is a nice little recipe I’m sharing with you – I hope you can make it yourself and brighten a loved one’s day!

Ingredients:

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, diced finely

1/4 green bell pepper, chopped

1/3 c chopped mushrooms

1/2 bag of Morning Star vegetarian crumbled burger 

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Taco Seasoning

Salt
Directions:

Heat skillet on med-high heat.

Sauté onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, add green bell pepper and sauté 3-5 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Add crumbled burger and seasonings. Lower heat slightly and add seasonings to taste. Sauté 4 minutes. Turn off heat.

Roll out premade biscuits into flat 4-5″ diameter circle. Place small spoonful of sautéed mixture on one side of dough. Fold dough over and seal closed with fingers or fork. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Enjoy! 

Tropical Orange Sorbet

Nothing like a cold treat on a summer night after the noise quiets down and the lights are lowered. Tasty, fresh and sweet; this little evening splurge was right on target. (Romantic, too, if I might add 😉 ).

1 Orange

3/4 c frozen fruit punch concentrate (I like the 100% juice, but use whatever you have)

2 tbsp white sugar

2 c ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender (VitaMix work great for this). Start on lowest setting and gradually speed up. Blend until the consistency is smooth, but be careful not to blend for too long or the sorbet will melt. Serve with a touch of romance!

Servings: 2

Mediterranean Pasta

It was a busy day for me today! I had cleaning, laundry and dishes to catch up on, not to mention watching my ever active baby trying new tastes (furniture, the cat, his blankie, etc) every chance he gets. Needless to say, I didn’t have time for a huge meal, but this dish was simple and fairly quick – and the best part: my husband says I’m the best at making zucchini taste great (he usually doesn’t like it). Try this recipe for yourself and let me know if he is right or not 😄.

Ingredients:

Few tablespoons light olive oil

1/2 med onion, cut lengthwise and sliced into 1/4″ wedges

2 cloves finely diced garlic

1 med zucchini, chopped

1 chopped roma tomato or 1/3 can diced tomatoes

Onion powder

Salt

Heat oil in skillet or frying pan on med heat (just a tad higher). Sauté onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add zucchini. Sauté for 6-8 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and seasonings and sauté 2 more minutes. Serve over seasoned spaghetti noodles (I like to stir olive oil, salt, garlic powder and parmesan into it). Top with crubled feta cheese. Enjoy!

Serves 2

Tip: This recipe goes great with a light salad

Veggie Lover’s Patties

Ok, so I admit it: I am partly a “dump cook.” That is, I enjoy following recipes, but who doesn’t like improvising – and if the occasion calls for it, just putting ingredients together until it feels right?

With that said, I will do my best to give directions for this recipe. 🙄

Directions:

In large saucepan boil 3-4 cups of water, 1 med chopped carrot, 3 chopped celery sticks and 1/4 onion, and seasonings (onion powder, garlic powder, salt) for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. (You can adjust the seasonings to your taste – it should be a little salty.

Turn off heat and stir in quick oats until thickened (similar to the texture of thick breakfast oatmeal). Remove from heat and let set for 5 minutes until stiff.

Preheat oven to 425°F. On a well greased pan/cookie sheet place heaping spoonful (approximately 3-4 tbsp) of mixture. Mash into shape (I like mine nicely rounded) about 1/4″ thick. Bake for 30 minutes on bottom rack, flip and bake 10-15 minutes more.

I served the patties on buns with feta cheese, tomato and mayo, but they also work great with gravy or however you prefer.

Enjoy!

Makes 6-9 patties