Turkey plate #1
Controlling the leftovers is one of the benefits of hosting Thanksgiving. This week is all about creative and tried-and-true ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers.
First of all, my relatives want to know what the no-leftover Thanksgiving winners were (not that we're competing or anything). So here it is: honey-walnut prawns, sashimi, spam musubi, inari sushi, steamed green beans, pumpkin mini-muffins, sauteed American peas
and Chinese chicken salad
Most requested take-home leftovers: salted version of Thanksgiving turkey, sweet potatoes, pecan pie
and full-cream pumpkin pie.
And lucky us, now we have a fridge full of Tupperware leftovers. Leftovers roulette is one of my favorite activities and it's even better with Thanksgiving leftovers. Along with plain old turkey sandwiches, here's what's cooking this week.SundayMy Daddy's Fried Rice
using the leftover ham, carrots, onions and the spare green beans we had 'just in case' Husband also made pear sour cream coffee cake
to take advantage of in-season pears.Monday
Mom is requesting (Aunty) Marie Callender's
. They don't have these in Hawaii.Tuesday
I'm going to attempt a turkey shepherd's pie, with onions, mushrooms, celery and the rest of the mashed potatoes. I may even throw in the rest of the gravy and some stuffing.Wednesday
Leftover ham, cranberry sauce, green salad and sweet potato fluff
. Simple and satisfying.ThursdayTeddy Bear Turkey Soup
with more turkey and the last of the carrots, celery and onions.FridayBBQ Turkey PizzaWhat were your Thanksgiving winners? Eat Well. Be Well.
Thanks for giving.
In the midst of all of our own Thanksgiving preparations, thank you for all who have contributed. Our 'little' virtual Food Drive
is now up to $640
. Watch for matching funds to be added over the weekend.
This has been a particularly busy week: a heavy consulting schedule, visiting relatives, Thanksgiving food shopping and the usual "getting stuff done" The progress of Feeding My Ohana Virtual Food Drive has been the most deeply satisfying item the past few weeks.
Mahalo. Your generosity is humbling. In the midst of everything going on in our lives (see below), you took the time to support programs to feed the hungry. This is what Feeding My Ohana is all about. (see right).
Chopping completed. Cornbread baked. All the 'stuffs' for stuffing and gravy.
Eat Well. Be Well. Happy Thanksgiving.
We like to have very non-Thanksgiving food before, so here's what's cooking before Big Thursday, as well as what's prepping daily.SundayCrock pot kalua pig
, asparagus, salad and rice
Thanksgiving prep: My Daddy's Ogo
Curry House at 25% off (see coupon below), and no, I don't get any money for promoting this, but perhaps I should...hmm.
Thanksgiving prep: pick-up turkey, groceries and make cornbread
with the leftover Kalua pig and pickled ginger. This is about as un-Thanksgiving as you can get.
Thanksgiving prep: chop-chop-chop bread and veggies for stuffing. Start turkey brining (evening)Wednesday
Thanksgiving prep: Oven work. Bake pecan pie, both stuffings, bake furikake chex mix
. Make gravy
. Time permitting, make guacamole
Thank you for all of those who have supported the Feeding My Ohana virtual food drive! Happy Thanksgiving all! Eat Well. Be Well.
Plate 1 from last year.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
We've had about 25 people over ever year since I-don't-know-when. Relatives, friends, friends' parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, 'work or dorm orphans,' everyone is welcome, even on short or no-notice. Even though it'll be raining and we're 2,500 miles from the Hawaii, we always aim for a casual party that feels like a day at the beach. Everyone pitches in to clean, cook, and of course, eat and chat. Here's what we're having.AnimalsTurkey
. Picking up a fresh 25-pound turkey from Whole Foods. We've done a salted version
as well as a traditional brine
. We're switching up the brine so we'll see how the relatives vote. Brining starts on Tuesday.Ham
. One of my calabash Aunties brings a ham because she doesn't like turkey.Honey-walnut prawns
from cousin #1 in San Francisco because they live close to Chinatown.
PlantsChinese chicken salad and a TBD hot vegetable
, from cousin #2Portuguese sausage stuffing
and Cornbread stuffing
. Making Cornbread
on Monday.Make ahead mushroom (+ onion) gravyFresh cranberry sauceMashed potatoes
. This is my children's responsibility. Yukon golds for this.Candied sweet potatoes
, my Aunty's specialtyChinese noodles
, also from cousin #1 in San FranciscoRice
because this is, after all, a Hawaii house!
SnacksSpinach/artichoke dip and TBD appetizers
, also from cousin #2Spam musubi
, made by my daughterFurikake check mix
, made by my son
, another of my Aunty's specialitySashimi
from cousin #2My Daddy's Ogo
, making this today (Sunday)Fresh persimmons, pears
and probably some cheese/crackers
Sugar2 pumpkin pies: full-fat and skinny-version
from cousin #3Mini-pumpkin muffins
, also from cousin #3Pecan pie
, from husband, with a shout-out to a friend who does this with macadamia nuts
instead for Thanksgiving!TBD dessert
, from cousin #2Sugar-free dessert
, from my friend's Dad and Aunty
Thank you for supporting Feeding My Ohana. I've met so many great people along the way. Wishing you and your ohana a Happy Thanksgiving.Eat Well. Be Well. Give Thanks.
The Trans-Pacific o-miyage exchange never fails to bemuse me.
O-miyage (pronounced "oh-me-ah-gay) is a Japanese word describing little gifts one brings back from travels, or sometimes just a little something you take to someone's house. Whenever we visit in Hawaii, we never go empty-handed and never leave empty-handed.
Here is how this dynamic plays out across blue Pacific.
I have relatives visiting from Hawaii. This is a good thing because besides in addition to being allowed to turn the heat up to slightly-above-tundra, we are on the receiving end of various gifts and snacks, including a brand-new Hawaii Regional Cuisine cookbook, Big Island snack mix, private reserve Kona coffee, various forms of macadamia nuts, and all things li-hing mui.
Now for the quid-pro-quo, or what my husband sometimes calls the accounting of affection.
My Hawaii-based ohana asks for Trader Joe's
and Archer Farms
food. Yep, you read that correctly. Target food
. And yes, there are 4 Target stores in Hawaii, but they don't have the same stuff as our neighborhood Target. Like Lemon Raspberry Granola Bites
or Paul Frank Kids clothes. Go figure.
But Trader Joe's
is my Hawaii-based ohana's version of the Holy Grail. What I not-so-fondly call squirrel food and what serves as my post-Hawaii plate-lunch detox, is what my relatives lust for. 10 bags of trail mix, 6 boxes of Trader Joe's Mac and Cheese and assorted bags of pistachios, almonds, cashews and dried apricots.
The best part is that we all think we got the better end of the deal.Eat Well. Be Well.
Last week, the family was mighty pleased with the weekly menu. It was a rare confluence of the ideal meals for the weather. And as a bonus, two full meals of Portuguese Bean Soup
and Chicken Tortilla Soup
safely tucked away in the freezer for 'one of those days' that inevitably come up.
More cold weather is forecast, so I'm aiming for spicy-warm, lighter fare in anticipation next week's Thanksgiving Day meals and leftovers. My secondary goal is to use the bag of shredded carrots and another very large bag of baby green beans, both of which seemed like such a good deal at the time. Here's what's cooking this week. Sunday
Breakfast for Dinner. One of my children's school food-class project was to prep, make and clean-up a full family meal. Eggs to order: 1 scrambled, 2 over-easy, 1 "rubber" egg (over-easy, but with a hard yolk), bacon, scones
, from-scratch hash browns and fruit. No, this is definitely not light, but we'll have the whole week to work it off.
As a special treat, husband made apple-cranberry pie
with homemade pie crust
. We like it when he practices for Thanksgiving!MondaySalt and Pepper Shrimp
, using chicken. While this is faster and prettier using shrimp, it's still mighty tasty with chicken. Rounding out the meal with fresh green beans, rice and poke avocado stacks
based on an Alan Wong's recipe in the Blue Tomato. This falls squarely into the spicy-warm yet lighter meal category.
, edamame rice
and more green beans. This should finish out the green beans and the last of the shredded carrots.Wednesday
A Diners, Drive-ins and Dives-inspired meal. The featured dish was apple brie pancakes with a side of meat. I need something fast for carpool-Wednesday, so it'll be black forest ham, honeycrisp apple and brie sandwiches, grilled
. In theory, this sounds fab, so let's hope it's not another Bacon-bok-choy-tomato pizza debacle
ThursdayThai Chicken Curry
. One of my daughter's favorite meals. Spicy and rich, but full of vegetables and pineapple to minimize the heaviness in the dish. If there are any more green beans left, they're getting thrown into the mix.FridayHot and Sour Soup
. Finishing the week going tofu-only for a light but satisfying, spicy-warm meal. Right in time to start preparing for Thanksgiving!Eat Well. Be Well.
Kal-bi. Even on a styrofoam plate--still ono!
Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Taste Hawaii Tour
in San Jose. It featured a book signing/lecture with Arnold Hiura
, author of Kau Kau
and Chef Alan Wong
, whose newest book The Blue Tomato
was written in collaboration with Arnold Hiura.
These books nicely dovetail the high concept "Hawaii Regional Cuisine" and down home feel of family style eating in Hawaii. Both 'get' the soul of what Hawaii food means. Kau Kau
historically outlines how home-style Hawaii plate lunch/potluck food evolved. The Blue Tomato
is the flip side. Alan Wong gives us "Hawaii Regional Cuisine" taking a familiar local favorite like Kal-bi, and re-inventing it in a completely different, yet still recognizable way. And making it taste better than you think it could. Chef Alan Wong just plain kicks some serious cooking butt. Hawaii Regional Cuisine should be on everyone's bucket list, and there are a few options to doing this.
Taste Hawaii Tour
, when they start up again.
The ultimate takeout
was the food in San Jose. The book/lecture included lunch with two Alan Wong dishes as well as food from Hukilau San Jose
. We ate on paper 'school lunch' trays and the appetizers came on small styrofoam plates. Even in the ambiance of a community center on a cold day in San Jose, the taste and spirit of the food just sang.Alan Wong's
Restaurant on King Street in Honolulu, HI
This is "the" Alan Wong's restaurant and definitely a "no-slippers allowed" place. Some of the best food I've ever eaten. I also like that it hasn't expanded into a mega-brand or even a larger space because you definitely feel like something special is being done just for you.The Pineapple Room
on the 3rd floor of Macy's Ala Moana, Honolulu, HI
While it's more casual here, the service and food are still top-notch. it's not as expensive and easier to get a reservation. Even a friend of mine who's not from Hawaii, but travels extensively through Europe and Asia told me that his favorite restaurant is the Pineapple Room. The food is a little down-home local than the dinner restaurant, and they also serve breakfast.
The one pet peeve I have, being an online junkie, is their website is always *very slow.* For a faster view of Kau Kau
and The Blue Tomato
, go the the Greenhouse
and click on the Amazon links.
Next week, I'm trying to make the Avocado Poke Stacks using my Spam Musubi maker. If that works out, it might make it to the Thanksgiving table.Eat Well. Be Well.
My kids fondly describe Japanese potato salad as "cold mashed potatoes with vegetables that still tastes really good." This is the epitome of a back-handed compliment. I have bought Japanese potato salad many times and finally made it awhile back.
Photo Courtesy of Just One Cookbook
I found an easy-to-follow and really beautifully photographed Japanese Potato Salad
from Just One Cookbook
This blog focuses Japanese home cooking with a few others thrown--like Tandoori chicken puffs. The blog is well-organized, well-photographed and just plain well-done.Just One Cookbook
has a pretty straightforward Japanese Potato Salad
recipe that I adapted a bit for our ohana. I've noted the link, but the original recipe is as follows:
2 Russet potatoes
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ inches of carrot
¼ cup corn
2 inches of English cucumber
2 black forest ham slices
¾ cup (12 Tbsp.) Japanese mayonnaise
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
Peel potatoes and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces. They should be roughly about the same size so that they’ll be done cooking around be the same. Put potatoes in a large pot and add water until it covers all the potatoes. Boil potatoes with high heat. After water boils, lower heat to medium and cook until a skewer can goes through the potato smoothly. Drain the water from pot and put the potato back on the stove again.
On the stove, evaporate water and moisture of the potatoes over medium-high heat (for less than 1 minute). Shift the pot in circular motion so the potatoes won’t get burnt. When you see there no liquid in the pan, remove from heat. Mash the potatoes but leave some small chunks for texture. Sprinkle salt and transfer it into a big bowl and let it cool on the kitchen counter.
Meanwhile prepare a boiled egg. Remove the shell and mash the egg with a fork in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cut carrots into quarter (or half) and then slice it thinly. Put them in a microwave-safe container and cover it with water. Microwave for a few minutes until a skewer goes smoothly through the carrot (don’t overcook). Drain water and cool down. Peel the cucumbers (leave some skin on to create stripe pattern) and cut into quarters. Then slice it thinly. Dice the sliced ham.
Prepare and boil corn (canned corn kernels works as well). Add ham and veggies into the mashed potato bowl. Grind some pepper over and mix well. Add mayonnaise. Add boiled eggs and mix a bit but don’t over do it. Let it cool and keep in the fridge till you are ready to serve.
I did use the same ingredients, but changed up quite a bit along the way. Please note that ours is tasty, but not yet so well-photographed! Click here
for the recipe. Here is the laundry list of changes:
1) Did not evaporate the potatoes.
2) Used shredded raw carrots.
4) Used a whole can of corn.
5) Used American mayonnaise. Japanese mayonnaise can be hard to find and has a fair amount of MSG to boot.
6) Added a sesame oil, a dash of vinegar, some white pepper and pickled ginger.
7) Used 2 eggs.
8) The ham, salt and pepper stayed exactly the same.
I'm thankful to Just One Cookbook
for a wonderful setting-off-point for our family's version of Japanese Potato Salad
. We ended with a crunch of raw carrots and cukes against the softer texture of the cooked potatoes, ham and corn. And the shot of vinegar and sprinkling of ginger wakes everything up.
Either way, it's going to be good.Eat Well. Be Well.
Standard Time brought cold weather and a hankering for some of my Mom's Portuguese Bean Soup
. Bringing out the one-bowl meals this week.Portuguese Bean Soup
is total Hawaii comfort food. Like macaroni salad, every family has its own spin. If there is any 'secret ingredient' to soup, it's time. Making it is definitely a process that needs to start on the weekend. But it will make enough for a weekday meal plus a frozen one.Pictures from Day 1
The first day is all about creating the stock and removing fat (See picture at right). Skim it and send it into the trash than through your arteries.Sunday
Furikake salmon, two flavors, salad, roasted sweet potatoes and rice. Just crust salmon with furikake, cook in a bit of oil and eat over hot rice for a fast simple dinner.MondayMom's Portuguese Bean Soup
. My house is feeling warm and cozy and smelling very good.TuesdayOyako Donburi
. More comfort food for cold weather. Another warm bowl of goodness for dinner.WednesdayPan-fried noodles
. This is overdue as we haven't had it in quite awhile. Will use a bit of chicken, or perhaps go vegetarian altogether.Thursday
It's hockey night. Spam musubi
, li-hing apples
and string beans with a goma shio-sauce. Go Sharks!
FridayChicken Tortilla Soup
. With more rain forecast, tortilla soup sounds like a good way to end the weekend.Eat Well. Be Well.
My ohana has been fortunate. We have never suffered chronic hunger. Yet in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, my home and location of some of the most successful companies in the world, 1 in 4 people are struggling to put food on their tables.
I started Feeding My Ohana for the obvious reason of sharing my passion for recipes and eating but ultimately, to address eating in a more fundamental way. My high school Headmaster once said, "It's not enough in this world to do well. You must also do good.
" The 'doing well' part is that the site continues to attract traffic, my Google AdSense account is ever slowly inching up, and I've 'met' some really great people.
The 'doing good' part comes from donating 95% of AdSense (see right), and sponsoring a Feeding My Ohana Virtual Food Drive.
If Feeding My Ohana has been helpful or entertaining, consider donating to the Virtual Food Drive
. It's simple and secure. Here's how:
1) Go to the Virtual Food Drive Page
1) Select Community Group
from the first drop-down menu
2) Select Feeding My Ohana
from the second drop-down menuFeeding My Ohana will match donations submitted, up to $500 in total contribution.
Eat Well. Be Well. Do Good.