This is a very typical meal rotation. A balance of 'American' meals like spaghetti and chicken divan with 'Asian' food like Kim Chee Pork and Dan Dan Noodles. I'm finally getting to a Poached Salmon with Grape Sauce Recipe from the Greenhouse.Sunday
How do you feed 4 hungry teenage boys
who have decided to stay for dinner? Spaghetti Sauce II--Laurie and the Jars
and lots of it. Friends and family are always welcome here.Monday
It's dinner for breakfast. Ham cups filled with egg, a little pesto, chese and tomato. How can this not be good?!
Plus fresh hash browns. I've borrowed a brunch cookbook from our local library at least three times and now I'm hell-bent on finally making this. I anticipate this will be fast-tracked in the Greenhouse too.TuesdayKim Chee Pork
. Another fast-tracker in Greenhouse. All I need to do is balance out the enoki to kim chee to thin pork ratio. This is going to be a great winter speed dinner.
. Mid-week comfort food. What's not to love about cheese and broccoli?Thursday
Dan Dan Noodles. I'm finding that the Middle Eastern tahini paste has become very, very handy for Asian-type recipes. Will try making Dan Dan Noodles with tahini.FridaySalmon and grape sauce
. This is another recipe that's been sitting in the Greenhouse for way too long.Happy Halloween. Eat Well. Be Well.
Some quick updates
and long overdue additions
. I don't think of it as a recipe, but the kids were Most Displeased that this was not in the Four Legs section. So now it's there.
We had Shabu Shabu
this week and I made the ponzu and sesame sauces from scratch. It was very easy, and will eliminate the half-used bottles in the fridge.Kim Chee Pork
I made this awhile ago with 4-thumbs up around the dinner table. It rocks over hot rice, and just needs a little tweaking for the pork to enoki mushroom ratio. Really, it could almost be a vegetarian meal.
Triple-D Recipe Review
Updates from the new recipes from this past week. Triple-D recipes were 2-1 this week, with the winners fast-tracked to the Greenhouse. I'll make them once more, just to make sure.Shoyu salmon sandwiches with ginger/sriacha mayonnaise
was definitely a unanimous "Yes." Easy and ono. Mahi mahi, snapper and even a big fish like halibut would work with this too. Spicy Asian Coleslaw
. Also a yes, but I need to take it easy on the Sriracha sauce.Not all recipes find a home in this house.
The sweet potato/black bean empanadas
were weirdly dessert-like and too much work, even with wonton wrappers as a shortcut. While I like the idea of black beans, sweet potatoes, a little cinnamon and cilantro, if I make this again, I'll just serve it like mashed potatoes as a side dish.
A rare free Saturday night's all right for getting my electronic recipe drawer in order. Eat Well. Be Well.
My incredibly creative friend made these. There was a pig, but his house fell down.
Yes, they are sugar bombs. But who can resist such a thing, especially for Halloween?
All you need is a box cake mix, a tub of frosting, sticks, candy melts (available at Michael's), assorted candies, and a bit of creativity.
Make the box cake, then mash it up to crumbs. Mix in about 3/4 of a can of frosting. This will make cake-Play-Doh that you can shape into whatever you want. Birds, pigs, Pokemon, or the simplicity of a singular creepy eyeball. Freeze of refrigerate them for a bit to get them to stick better.
Now the fun part.
Follow the directions for melting the candy. Dip one end of the stick into the candy melt and then into the cake ball. This is so that the stick stays stuck. Then, dip the whole ball into the melt. Decorate while the candy coating is cooling around the cake ball. Angry birds were made using Twizzlers, candy corn, black licorice and candy eyeballs from Michael's.
One box of cake mix can make about 48 very angry birds, or at least 6 levels of house-of-pigs-collapsing mayhem.
Eat Well. Be Well.
I adore and salivate over Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
. The show has authenticity; I happily vouch for Rainbow's
, Falafel Drive Inn
and Super J's
, three places where I've eaten and that also have been featured on "Triple-D" . Even better, I found a Triple-D cookbook at the library. Thus, this week is an homage to Diners, Drive-Inns and Dives.Sunday
Grilled pork fajitas with tortillas, the last of the fresh salsa, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Husband grilled, and Guy Fieri would have been happy.MondayShoyu-salmon sandwiches
adapted from a Triple-D recipe for mahi mahi sandwiches with ginger-wasabi mayonnaise from Taylor's Automatic Refresher
(which I think is now called Gott's Roadside) in St. Helena. I'm planning to swap wasabi for sriracha sauce.
Pairing it with a Triple-D inspired Spicy Asian Coleslaw
, using a combo of recipes from the formerly-named Taylor's Automatic Refresher and Joe's Farm Grill
in Gilbert AZ.Tuesday
Leftover pork, plus Sweet Potato/Black Bean Empanadas
, again adapted from a Triple-D recipe from Silk City Philly
in Philadelphia, PA. To save time, I'l use either wonton wrappers or puff-pastry instead of making empanada dough from scratch. With some Tropical Fruit Salsa
if I have time.
with tofu because you simply can't eat diner food for an entire week without exploding.ThursdayWarm Ginger Apple Chicken Salad
. Perfect combo of warm/cool salad for when Honeycrisp apples are in season.Friday
and oven roasted sweet potato fries and sriracha mayonnaise. My daughter says, "Sriracha mayo is hecka good." Who am I to argue?
Not-quite-Asian-but-still-All-American food that's just a little quirky. And lots of things to add to the Greenhouse. Eat Well. Be Well.
Onions. Garlic. Ginger.
The first two are, by far, the most used ingredients in my house. And while I don't use ginger quite as often, for each of them, I found a very useful, wacky and ridiculous-sounding way to make cutting, peeling and chopping the Big Three a lot easier. This isn't a "Punk'd" blog
. I have adopted these new ways.Skinning garlic in 15 seconds
I posted this link
on to the Feeding My Ohana Facebook Page
a couple weeks ago. It was so quirky and unbelievable, I had to try it. Bash a whole head of garlic with your hand to split the cloves up. Then dump all of it into a covered bowl and "shake the Dickens out of it" for about 15 seconds. And peeled garlic magically appears.
It's utterly amazing. I even used a Tupperware instead of the the two metal bowls, but it still worked. My only advice is to do the garlic smash outside, either on a table or a cookie sheet, because it's a little messy. Also, this is best when you need a lot of peeled garlic all at once because the garlic get a little dented in the "shaking the Dickens out of it" phase.
Cutting an Onion with a Piece of Bread Sticking Out of Your Mouth
I use onions about 4 times a week. So I cry a lot. Someone recommended that I put a half-slice of bread in my mouth so it hangs out like a bad moustache. Blogs and message boards both swear by and thoroughly pan this technique.I tried it in the privacy of my own home with no pictures. I looked ridiculous. I felt ridiculous. My kids thought it was ridiculous. But it worked (more than once), so there's definitely something to it. I've done a little more research and it seems that burning a candle as well as a very sharp knife will help. We shall see.
Skinning Fresh Ginger with a Spoon
Thanks to the good peeps at Hui 'Ilima
for showing me this trick. Don't bother with a peeler or the precision, slightly risky peeling with a knife.
Simply cut the fresh ginger and use the side of a spoon to peel the skin off. Like the Dickensian garlic method, you'll be done in about 15 seconds. No knives makes it a job for anyone. This should be read, "Your kids should peel your ginger from now on."
So try these and let me know how they work. Better yet, post or send me your best human kitchen tricks.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Grilled Tandoori Chicken
works only if there are actual leftovers in play. Lunches and teenagers cleaned out the fridge last week. I ended up getting a whole chicken from the Chinese market and stir-frying broccoli for Friday's dinner.
We also had Garlic Cilantro Mahi
and Salsa instead of Bacon Salmon
because fresh mahi mahi was on sale.
So this week, I'm trying a Sun-Friday plan. We'll see how everyone holds up in week 2 of the New Gig.SundayGrilled Tandoori Chicken Sandwiches
, tomatoes, red onions, leftover salsa, feta cheese and store-bough naan bread. (see left)
MondayPlum Sauce Chicken
wraps with the leftovers of the whole chicken and tortillas. Shredded lettuce and cukes will round it out and make sure we get our requisite vegetables. A quick dinner so that we can watch hockey and Hawaii Five-O.TuesdaySmoked Salmon Pasta
and a green salad. We haven't had this in a very long time and chard's coming in season.WednesdaySesa-miso Eggplant
, Tonkatsu and rice. Put the chicken in their Huli-Huli bath.
Huli-Huli Chicken, Baked
, My Mom's Japanese Coleslaw
(x2 for Friday's vegetable), and riceFriday
TBD Tofu--either Tofu-Tuna Burgers
, Naomi-take Tofu
or Pistachi-zu Tofu
and the rest of My Mom's Coleslaw.Extras for after-school feeding
2 loaves of sourdough bread, 5 gallons of milk, homemade hummus
, homemade salsa, tortillas, shredded cheese and Lean Cuisines. All in an effort to avoid the afternoon low-blood sugar ugliness.Eat Well. Be Well.
and the Puako Petroglyph Field
were two more places we visited on the Kona side of the Big Island. These two small parks give you a good sense of the native Hawaiian culture, and at Pu'ukohala, a better understanding of Kamehameha I, who was born in Kohala and unified the Hawaiian Islands.Puako Petroglyph Trail
Ki'i pohaku (images in stone) is the Hawaiian name for petroglyph, and the 233-acre Puako Petroglyph Archaeological District has the largest concentration of them in the Pacific. We did not view all 233 acres. Instead, the Puako Petroglyph Trail
is a flat 1.5 mile hike.
According to the guidebooks, you can see over 3,000 petroglyphs on the trail. There's a bit of a learning curve to discern petroglyph from pockmark, but once you do, you'll see them everywhere. Look for circles of rocks that enclose single petroglyphs. Polarized sunglasses also help. And no matter how enticing a shortcut it may be, especially when it's hot, do not walk on the petroglyphs.
The trail is easily accessible from the Mauna Lani Resort or the Fairmont Orchid. It's best to go in the morning, or the afternoon because walking through lava fields at mid-day is mercilessly hot. Wear shoes
because lava fields and keawe trees are spiky. I wore slippers and shouldn't have.
Kapu markers at the heiau platform
Pu'ukohola (whale hill in Hawaiian) was built by Kamehameha I around 1790. According to a prophecy, Kamehameha would conquer the entire Hawaiian islands if he built a heiau at Pu'ukohola. The National Parks brochure notes that Kamehameha formed a human chain 20 miles long to get the lava rocks to construct Pu'ukohola. They built the heiau literally stone-by-stone.
The first thing that strikes you is the sheer scale. 100 x 224 feet, with walls at least 10 feet tall. Each stone is at least the size of a small microwave and many times heavier. Hundreds of thousands were used. Moreover, all the walls and platforms were constructed without nails or mortar. In terms of architecture, it is one of the last examples of pure native Hawaiian architecture.
Pu'ukohola is a sacred site and is still used for ceremonies today. Stay on the path and don't take rocks as a souvenir. Their gift shop is well-stocked the the guides are very knowledgeable and friendly. Go this route.
Puako and Pu'ukohola can easily be explored in a single day with time to spare for Hapuna Beach. Admission is free. Unlike the busier, more touristy attractions like Volcano and Kealakekua Bay, Puako and Pu'ukohola are enclosed pockets of spiritual quiet, in almost a chicken-skin way. Well worth visiting for the feel-it-in-your-gut sense of what Hawaii is.
Eat Well. Be Well.
One of my dearest friends, very sweetly, but very firmly, tells her clients, "I can't pay ink any amount of money to dry faster, and I don't have the super-power to add more time between right now and then
." These are words to live by, especially now that I've taken a consulting gig again.
From Monday through Friday, I will somehow allocate each 24 hours to taking care of my darling husband, my real ohana, Feeding My Ohana, my new job, excercise, sleeping and what my mom calls 'goof off' time (i.e., checking on our most-awesome San Jose Sharks, reading People magazine, watching TV, Facebook, or simply sitting in my WiFi-less Adirondack chair--doing and thinking nothing, with a cup of coffee or tea). I'm no different from any working parent. There are days when things work out great, and days when you set the oven on fire
The new gig means a little change this week. There are still 5 meals, but instead of Mon-Fri, I've done a proper Sunday meal that will be good for leftovers, and have already designated Friday as "Leftovers Roulette."
Peanut Butter Beer Miso Chicken
A Proper Sunday
MealPeanut Butter Beer Miso Chicken
, Japanese Potato Salad (new recipe--posting mid-week), grilled zucchini, rice and kim chee. Made a lot of chicken and potato salad for leftovers.Sunday Prep
Keo's ribs for baking on Monday.
20 minutes to steam ribs and make marinade). Ribs will sit in their coconut-milk bath 'til Monday afternoon, when they will finish in the oven.Grandma Nancy's Ranch Dip
--to eat with quick veggies throughout the week.MondayKeo's Ribs
, raw carrots, celery and microwaved broccoli with Grandma Nancy's Ranch Dip
and rice. Raw broccoli is a little strong for us, so a quick microwave does the trick.TuesdaySloppy Joes from Scratch
on green onion bread and a green salad. 30 minutes for dinner. Important when you have ravenous teenagers and a late-afternoon conference call.
WednesdayFrom Scratch Falafel
with yogurt sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and pita. I make patties instead of the traditional ping-pong ball shape. Less oil for cooking and much easier to pack into a pita. ThursdayBacon Salmon
, spinach, toasted Safeway asiago cheese bread. Everyone loves this meal.FridayLeftovers Roulette
. Some possibilities include Sloppy Joe nachos, salmon salad, miso chicken wrap with shredded cabbage, and Japanese potato salad croquettes. It just depends on what's left. That's the fun of it.Eat Well. Be Well.
For our anniversary, I thought I would surprise the husband by baking a cake. Instead, it went like this, "Happy Anniversary! Don't mind the smoke and by the way, I didn't burn the house down!
The husband and children are the designated bakers in the household. But for this occasion, I decided that I can indeed bake a cake. After all, I figured out all those lovely flavored whipped creams
and have baked batches of strawberry muffins
this summer. How hard could a 2-layer cake with a filling, frosting and toasted coconut be?
I found an simple standard white cake with a touch of almond extract that I modified only oh-so-slightly. Cakes flipped out of the pans perfectly and were cooling nicely.
Lemon pudding with coconut for the filling layer. A hybrid cream cheese/whipped cream frosting.
Things were going well.
All that was left was to toast the coconut. A short broil on the top rack of the oven and I'm done. I even set the timer so as not to overdo or worse, forget.
And suddenly, I was in an "I Love Lucy" episode. Oven and smoke detectors beeping at different intervals and different frequencies. I'm flittering around, simultaneously getting our fire extinguisher, opening all the windows to get the smoke detectors to stop, getting ready to dial 911, and above all, trying not to panic 'for real.'
Yeah, right. While I did turn off the oven and get it to stop beeping, my thoughts were a fully jumbled mess:
"Do I call 911 if it looks like the fire will be contained to the oven? Should I use fire extinguisher? Will it be overkill, especially if it trashes the oven? What about that episode of Mythbusters where they showed that an oven fire can smother itself out when the door closed and all the oxygen is used up? When can I open the oven to see if the oxygen is actually used up? Really, what is my threshold for using the fire extinguisher? If the house actually catches fire, how am I going to drive soccer carpool this afternoon?
Thankfully, the small tray of coconut flakes did indeed burn itself out in 90 of the longest seconds of my life.
Here is what I learned that:
1. 5 minutes is WAY TOO LONG to broil a small tray of coconut flakes.
2. Unsweetened coconut flakes are quite flammable. Pretty much like dry sawdust soaked in, well, coconut oil.
3. F2 on your oven indicator means there is a fire in it. In case the smoke emanating from it isn't enough of a clue. And no, I do not have a photo, although my husband did ask.
4. Oxygen deprivation is very, very effective for extinguishing a SMALL, fully-contained fire, but very, very bad for your thinking ability and health in general. Remember to breathe in crisis moments.
5. If you open the oven to see if the fire is out, oxygen will whoosh right in and revive the fire. This was my "Backdraft" moment. Use the oven light instead.
And in all seriousness, a fire extinguisher is a NECESSITY in your kitchen. If this were anything larger than a small flat pan of coconut flakes, I would have used it in a heartbeat, or gotten out of Dodge and called 911.
All things considered it turned out well. Almond Layer Cake
is in the Greenhouse
, but I won't be using the instant lemon pudding plus coconut for the filling, or the too-heavy cream cheese frosting.
And I rather like the pure, clean look of simple flaked coconut.Eat Well. Be Well.
is finally in the forecast in the Bay Area. In fact, I took my first rainy run this afternoon. These recipes have been stashed away with the flannel sheets and the household is looking forward to switching it up, at least for this week.MondayChristine's Clam Chowder
, Beer Bread
and green salad. Even with store-bought tomatoes, this was The Perfect Meal
for the first rain of the season. This time I used Kona Longboard Pale Ale for Beer Bread, which made a slightly sweet, very light caramel-colored bread.
TuesdayPortuguese Sausage Sticky Rice
and a green salad. When we have 'heavy' main foods like clam chowder or sticky rice, I like to balance it off with a good light salad.WednesdayGinger/Cilantro'd Fish/Chicken with Coconut Sauce
, revisited from the Greenhouse.Thank you to a Feeding My Ohana Facebook fan
with the suggestion to use chicken. I won't be grilling in the rain, so chicken will be baked.
I'm craving Hawaiian food so it's Crock Pot Kalua Pig
, poi (which comes in on Thursdays at Imahara's in Cupertino), Okinawan Sweet Potatoes
and some way to make lomi salmon or maybe just lomi tomatoes. I need to add a good lomi salmon to Feeding My OhanaFridayMy Grandma's Meat and Macaroni
. This is one of my all-time comfort foods. See how an first-generation Japanese Grandma rocks macaroni. Every last one of her grandkids loves this.
Celebrate the change of seasons. Eat Well. Be Well.