Hanpen Cheese (Japanese Fish Cake with Cheese)


What is hanpen? It is a Japanese fish cake with a mild taste. It is unlike any other fish cake or fish ball that I have ever tasted. Hanpen is really soft and fluffy. I know it may sound bad, but the texture is kind of like marshmallow. Trust me, it is incredible delicious!

I first tried hanpen at a Japanese restaurant called Furibo. They stuffed the hanpen with American cheese, wrapped them with seaweed, dipped in batter, and fried. The hot and gooey melted cheese oozed out from the soft and crispy fish cake. It is a dish that is hard to forget. I always crave for it. But luckily, I found hanpen in Japanese supermarket. Instead of frying it, I sear it with some garlic until golden brown. It makes a great appetizer or side dish.

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Macaroni and Cheese with Garlic Panko


This is no ordinary macaroni and cheese. It is a stove top dish. No oven is needed. There are bacon, caramelized onions, and garlic panko topping. I love the little sweetness and smokiness from the onions, and I can taste the bacon in every bite. The panko give some perfect crunch. The flavors are amazing! I have made this recipe many times, and after many tries, I am finally happy with my cheese choices. This is definitely my go-to mac and cheese recipe. I hope you will like it too!

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Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada


I don’t always make Mexican food at home, because Bryan’s families are from El Salvador. We can easily eat those similar tasty food from Bryan’s mom. But when I make “Mexican” food, they are usually not very authentic and very different. This tostada is the perfect example. When I saw this recipe in Bev Cooks, I hesitated for a moment. Tostada traditionally is fried and it definitely does not top with guacamole. Because of the beautiful looking pictures and tasty combination, I decided to give it a try. It turned out to be amazing. The tortilla was crispy and great with melting cheese. The guacamole was creamy. Shrimps were well seasoned and meaty. These tostadas are good as main dish and good to serve with salad or veggies.

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Stuffed Bell Pepper with Mozzarella

Bryan and I don’t eat bell peppers much. I was a bit hesitated to make this side dish. Surprisingly, Bryan and I both love the peppers. The peppers looked incredible. The juice and cheese almost oozed out. The pepper was smoky, cheesy, and sweet. And, there was a hint of tartness from the balsamic vinegar. It was an amazing side dish! I am very happy that I gave this recipe a try.

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Pao de Queijo (Brazilian Cheese Bread)

When I first tried pao de queijo in a Brazilian restaurant, I immediately fall in love with it. The texture of pao de queijo is not really like bread. It is gooey, chewy and savory. The cheese makes the bread amazing. It is very addictive. I can eat 5 -6 of them at a time. This recipe is very good, Bryan and I ate 12 bread all at once. Bryan likes the bread at room temperature, because they were less gooey. But I like my bread warm. If you are making this little bread, make sure to make extra. To complete your Brazilian night, this dish goes perfect with Brazilian chicken stroganoff.

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Chicken and Cherry Tomato Quesadillas

Quesadilla is so easy to make, and it can be changed up with different ingredients. It is a perfect dinner during weeknight. This recipe was inspired by a college friend who made a quesadilla with cherry tomatoes and parsley. Instead of using parsley, I used cilantro. The flavor of cilantro is much stronger. The cherry tomatoes gave some sweetness and freshness to the cheesy quesadilla. It was delicious! Don’t forget the salsa, sour cream and guacamole!

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