Finally, some nice weather
! As I sit here in the glorious sunshine, eating the last of the 15-minute fish
, I figured out not only what's cooking this week, but the order of things so I can best use the oven. Ever since we converted to solar electricity a couple of years ago, we've been really trying to be more energy efficient.
Anyhow, here's what we're eating this week. The energy efficiency doesn't always happen, but it's something I aim for.
, Orzo Salad and sauteed spinach
. My son has been not-so-gently reminding me to make an orzo salad and that it is not currently posted to Feeding My Ohana, so this is the day to do it. Also, I'll bake the mayonnaise chicken, a couple of extra chicken thighs (for enchiladas) and meatballs all together today to maximize the oven use.Tuesday
with Simple Spaghetti Sauce
and a salad. Meatballs were made yesterday, so spaghetti and salad are a fast dinner on carpool driving days.Wednesday
--Chicken Enchiladas, based on the seasoning for Tortilla Soup
. In the ideal world, I would have made this on the same day as mayonnaise chicken, but I'll have to use the oven today.
--Attempt #2 at Pan-fried Noodles
, w/leftover (frozen) chicken breast from last week's Pad Thai experiment. Another fast dinner for carpool day.Friday
, Teriyaki Salmon
, or my Sister's Fish Sticks
, depending on what's at the store. And some Swiss Chard.
For those of you in the SF Bay Area, enjoy the week of warm weather. We've earned it! Eat Well. Be Well.
Here is Part 2 of mad-scientist week. I got a recommendation for an easy orange cake and found a quick-cooking fish.
Here's the report card, as graded by the household.Fifteen-minute fish
--Easy. Fast. Ingredients you have in your house (olive oil, butter, flour, almonds, lemon, optional parsley). As my techie friends say, "FTW"Orange Cake
--I love the spirit of this recipe
. Rather than juice an and zest the orange, the entire thing goes into the food processor with some nuts and cranberries (or raisins).
I got the recipe from a friend of mine who was trained in Europe and works part-time as a personal chef. I have a feeling that mad-substitutions may have gone too far. The flavor was good, but it was a very squishy short cake, more like banana-bread-like than cake. I'll have to her for pointers. A solid recipe, but still under development in the Greenhouse
Look for the weekly menu tomorrow. Til then,
Eat well. Be well.
I tried out 4 new recipes
this week; two of which involved baking. They came through a friend, the newspaper, and an amalgamation of cookbooks. Then they went through the "Hmm, I don't really like this, that or the other thing" filter to change things up.
This results were definitely a mixed bag. I've already posted Beer Bread
, by far the week's winner. This will be a regular from now on and the bread maker is looking neglected and a little worried.
Next was getting to a practical Pad Thai
without using a telephone and a credit card. I went through 3 cookbooks, the back of a few boxes at the market, and a few standby cooking sites to cobble something together. About half of the recipes included few tablespoons of tamarind paste, but definitely not enough to justify buying an entire jar of the stuff. My goal was to not to use tamarind paste but still taste "like takeout".
I used a combination of catsup, black bean sauce, fish sauce, white pepper, ginger, lime juice, Sriracha sauce and fish sauce. What I ended up with was not bad, but definitely not takeout. Bean sprouts, lime juice, green onions and fish sauce are definitely in. The rest needs some research.
I also have to give a big assist to the Facebook Feeding My Ohana for their moral support and suggestions for Pad Thai. I shall have to try this again, especially since I've got half a package of rice noodles. Eat Well. Be Well.
We went according to plan last week. However, I learned that one Costco chicken, no matter how far you may want to spread it out, will not feed a family with two teenagers over 5 meals. We ended up with vegetarian Spanish Rice nachos, and skipping Chicken Divan altogether.
We also had a potluck--chicken curry
, ground pork and asparagus (to be posted the Greenhouse), homemade cookies, spinach dip, roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, and fluffy/sticky white Japanese rice.
Here's what we'll be eating this week. Beer bread
is our winner of the week.
--Steve's Lamb Chops
--this is a very easy and flavorful lamb that is crying out for a picture. We also had 5-minute Tomato Salad
, leftover green beans, and tried out Beer Bread
with green onions added in. Major ono
--with the leftover roasted carrots and sweet potatoes from our potluck.Wednesday
--Pad Thai with either shrimp, chicken, tofu, or some combo of them. New to even the Greenhouse. I hope it will taste "like takeout" to my kids.Thursday
--We had a pre-cooked Turkey breast on Sunday. Since we didn't have enough chicken from the Costco chicken, this got pushed out a week.Friday
--Orange-peel Tofu--Another one going into the Greenhouse. I'm stir-fry crazy now. Will be using an orange peel beef recipe and making modifications.Back-up
--Fish Amandine--classic preparation sounds almost as easy as Lemonade Pie.
Have a good week. Eat well. Be well.
Remember those in Japan.
Back in December, Feeding My Ohana sponsored a virtual community food drive (See the original post: Because No One Should Go Hungry
for the original p). You helped raise enough funds to provide over 1,000 meals for families in San Mateo and Santa Clara County (CA).
So while this award was mailed to me over the weekend, it really belongs to all of you.Together we've eaten well and done good
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We are having BBQ chicken pizza, and maybe some Irish beer. We don't eat very much cow, and on top of that, I don't really like corned beef. I did buy some corned beef to placate the beef eaters in the family.
To answer the title question, corned beef takes a circuitous etymological path. "Corn" is an Old/Middle English word that generically meant grain. Back then, corn could describe wheat in England, oats in Ireland and rye (korn) in Germay. It was us Yanks that verbally restricted corn to the yellow (or white) stuff on the cobs.
Corned beef was then so named because of the small (generic) grains/corns of salt that corned beef uses. Sometime around 1560, corn morphed into a verb to mean preserved with (grains) of salt.
In case this sort of thing keeps you up at night. So instead of Irish recipes, all I've got today is an Irish blessing (food for the soul?):
May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind always be at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall softly upon your fields,
and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Winner--Lemonade Pie, Take 2
was a colossal production fail the first time. Who knew that "chill" was secret-cooking-code for "freeze"?
But with 4 ingredients, no measuring and no baking, the upside was just too great not to try again. So I made some changes.
1. Froze them
so they were really "chill".
2. Used individual tart-sized crusts.
2a. Improvised with ramekins because I had too much filling and too few tart-sized crusts. This can be avoided with proper planning.
3. Fully defrosted the Cool Whip
and used the entire tub.
This time it was marvy. The filling was still sweet/tart/creamy and it didn't go soupy, even after being out for awhile because "Glee" was on and we were distracted.
The only hiccup was that 6 individual tarts were not enough to use up all the filling. Initially, I was going to spoon it into the ramekins and go for Lemonade pudding, but decided to try to improvise a crust instead. I was actually looking for Girl Scout Lemon Creme cookies (Hah! eaten weeks ago.), but used a package of fortune cookies. Why we have spare fortune cookies in the house remains a mystery, but they worked out. Just enough crunch.
It's a little bit too cold to make as a winter dessert, but we'll be eating this often once it's warmer and summer berry season kicks in. In the meantime, we'll just have to polish off the rest of them. Yum.
Eat Well. Be Well.
We did the Costco run this weekend, and of course, picked up a chicken. It's the poultry equivalent of Mary Poppins' magic bottomless bag. One $4.99 Costco Rotisserie Chicken will fuel for 4-5 meals this week.
Here's what what's cooking. I'm using up the orphans from last week. So we won't be wasting the rest of the cornbread from last week's chili, an errant red pepper, part of a humongous red onion, and the Costco-sized bag of broccoli florets.Sunday
--Pasta with Broccoli, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Shredded (Costco) Chicken
, as made by the husband. This is not a new recipe, but an unfortunate "I forgot!" so look for a tardy posting later this week.Monday
--Costco chicken with Cornbread Stuffing
(using the previously noted leftover cornbread), roasted broccoli w/garlic & pancetta
, and Okinawan sweet potatoes. I might even make some gravy. The all-oven meal.Tuesday
--What Started Out as Tyler Florence's Pork Chops
. There is no picture of this, and we haven't had it all winter yet.Wednesday
--Sweet and Sour Chicken
, Yaki Musubi and Tangerine Spinach, Take 2. I'll use Drumettes here.Thursday
--BBQ (Costco) Chicken Pizza
, with red onions and extra red peppers from last week's fruit salsa.Friday
--(Costco) Chicken Divan
, using the rest of the Costco broccoli.Saturday
--Nachos with Spanish Rice
, Warm Jalapeno Cheese Sauce
and yes, if there is any more of it, the rest of the Costco Chicken.
Eat Well. Be Well.
With no shave ice to be found, I've been stalking milk tea with tapioca pearls (aka Bubble Tea). Or as our household irreverently calls them, "Eyeball Drinks". This is a cool, sweet and light concoction of black or green tea, milk, a shot of fruit flavor, and a collection of squishy, shiny, blueberry-sized tapioca "pearls" (eyeballs) or other assorted jelly bits. My favorites are passion fruit, lychee and strawberry. They cost about as much as a latte. And while not nearly as nutritious as a Jamba Juice, they are still filling because of the tapioca pearls.
A little history here. Bubble drinks originated in Taiwan where they are immensely popular with young kids/adults. The craze traveled first to Canada, and then to the US, cropping up primarily in areas with a large popluation of ex-pat Chinese teetotalers who were craving the flavors of home. Thus, the highest concentration of Bubble Drink providers seem to be in SF, LA, Canada and WA. Bubble Drink establishments are not nearly as ubiquitous as Starbuck's, but you will have no trouble finding one in the Bay Area.
4 of the more popular and more widely located ones are listed below, in order of preference.
Tapioca Express | Hands-down household favorite
Why? 1) Variety
, both of the kinds of tea and the fruit flavors. 2) Add-ins
. Taking a cue for Japanese restaurants, where dishes are shown using beautiful lifelike plastic models, Tapioca Express has a nice plastic platter that showcases the various add-ins for your drink--big pearls, small pearls, coconut jelly, apple jelly. 3) Happy customer service
. They are well-trained and explain what all the various add-ins are, in English as well as Chinese. Locations all over California and a few outposts in Washington, Texas and Canada.
Fantasia Tea and Coffee | Solid Second choice
The variety of tea and fruit flavors are similar to Tapioca Express, but I'm not sure that they have as many add-in varieties. The second place comes because their customer service can be uneven, and sometimes downright lacking. 3 locations (Cupertino, Milpitas and Santana Row). There was another unrelated Fantasia Tea in Columbus OH, that appears to have closed.
HoneyBerry & Quickly
Oh, how I want to like Quickly. There are many locations all over the Bay Area, their popcorn chicken is yummy, and their milk tea is pretty good. But unfortunately, I can't get past the underdeveloped customer service and the non-payoff of its name. I've been to a few Quicklys, and I always seem to end up feeling like my order is a huge, complex imposition on an employee's otherwise peachy-keen day.
Now my pet peeve--the name Quickly. This implies fast food--McDonald's, KFC, or In-n-Out (which can be In-a-long-line-n-Out, but I digress). "Quickly" is the phonetic equivalent to the Chinese name of this chain Kuai Ke Li. All good and fine, except Quickly...isn't. Unlike In-n-Out, where even if you are standing in line, you see employees bustling about trying to get you In-n-Out, there is not a lot of quick at Quickly. Despite this,I still go there grudgingly, primarily for the chicken.
Finally--Honeyberry. To be fair, Honeyberry is really more of yogurt and sweets store. This is also reflected in the milk tea. Way too sweet. However, Honeyberry is the only one of them all that takes credit cards.
This was by no means a scientific or endorsed assessment, so feel free to chime in with your favorites. I'm especially on the hunt for small or independent shops that I can try out.
Eat Well. Be Well.
The last two weeks were a mish-mash of meals due to late-afternoon doctor appointments, head colds, vacation and general post-Hawaii ennui. However, I've got a whole new load of cookbooks, and one titled "The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
" sounds very promising. Even though we know our grandmothers, Asian or otherwise, never used cookbooks. Check out the Greenhouse
for the starting points for this week's new recipes as well as an update on the ill-fated Lemonade Pie.
So here's what the week looks like:Sunday
--Crock Pot BBQ Sliders
. Perfect for lunch leftovers for today.
. This is NY-style thin crust pizza. Our favorite is the Eggplant Pizza (aka "Boston"). Normally, this is a 'special' dinner--it is pricey for pizza ($25 for a large eggplant pizza). But today
, the full 100% of the proceeds at Amici's Cupertino go the the Sharks Foundation
, so this is a good reason to splurge.
Tuesday--Mahi with mango/onion relish and Thai corn cakes. The fish is an experiment based on a Halekulani recipe from the illustrious Chef Mavro. We shall see if it can be done in a household kitchen on a weekday. The Thai corn cakes just sound weirdly yummy--corn, buttermilk and Thai spices (cilantro, shallots and fish sauce).
Wednesday--Thai Omelets and PDQ Hot and Sour. I'm pretty sure I can lock down PDQ Hot and Sour Soup this week. Thai Omelets use green beans, tomatoes, a bit of ground pork and our favorite stinky spice--fish sauce.
--After subjecting the family to 2 days of experiments, we'll go back to tried and true chili
. Maybe I'll even make SoCal Buddhist Cornbread
and Yaki Musubi. I never ended up finding butterfish a couple of weeks ago, but I spied some nice Pacific salmon this week. This will be a fine substitute.
Have a great week. Eat well. Be well.