Kim chee Spam musubi
Last week was one of those "Times of Your Life" days--full of middle school, high school and even a college graduation. With all those "Collect the dreams you dream today..." moments, the weekly rotation got taken out, literally.
It was also an odd week where the kids were eating with friends a lot, either here with takeout to feed an army or out getting fed by someone else's parents (Thank you!). So what's cooking this week is a mish-mash of last-week's intentions and lazy summer dinners.Monday
Homemade Kim Chee Spam Musubi
with L&L plate lunches. I draw the line at paying $3-$5 for a Spam musubi, but every now and then, we need a decent plate lunch. We had mixed plate
, chicken katsu
, seafood mixed plate
and loco moco
, but with chicken katsu instead of the hamburger.Kim chee Spam musubi
is an excellent modification that is best eaten fresh. Like most rice dishes, it get's hard and not-so-sticky-and-just-plain-icky in the fridge.
Evolved. The problem the first time was that the pistachio crumbs don't stick very well to tofu. This time, we grilled and added some home-grown cucumber and fresh tomatoes for a kind of stacked salad. This is much improved in prep time and visually. Click here
for the update, soon to be a Greenhouse graduate.
Pistachi-zu Tofu, Before
Pistachi-zu Tofu, Reconstructed
From-scratch Pork Loin #1,
salad and toasted bread. An easy sandwich for dinner. We again made two pork loins so that my children and their assorted friends will have something to eat during the day.Thursday
Mauna Lani Leftover Chicken Pasta Salad.
Because I have two more cucumbers that should be ripe by Thursday. Will likely make a lot of this because it keeps well and it popular with the teenagers.Friday
BLT sandwiches with Fluffy White Bread.
Summer tomatoes are finally coming in, and my husband is craving bacon.
Passion Lychee Arnold Palmer
Extras--measurements posting this week.
Passion Lychee Arnold Palmer
A friend of mine gave me fresh lychee as well as frozen lychee juice. and another friend gave me a bunch of lemons. All I had to do was make sun tea, add water and mix. Life is good!
Lychee Whipped Cream
Another variation on whipped cream. Just add lychee juice and let the mixer do its thing.
The common theme through all the graduations and requisite graduation speeches was this: it's important to live your life and not just get through it. What a perfect thought to begin the summer.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Rainboots in June. SJ Sharks color of course!
It didn't just drizzle today. It poured. For the Bay Area in June, this is just plain weird. This is fitting, considering Monday's meal.
Leftover Group Project Dinner. 3 large pizzas, half a watermelon, a bag of chips, 2 dozen cookies, a gallon of juice and 7 teenagers came over for lunch and a group project.
1 entire pizza was left. How is this even possible? 6 of them were girls, and the boy left early. They are coming back tomorrow, so I'll need to stock up again.
Perfect purple rice
TuesdayKorean Chicken Soup
, kim chee and purple rice. Perfect for a soggy post-rainy day in June. We'll see how the group project kids feel about this meal! Plan B for the teenagers is a full loaf of bread, roasted turkey and Havarti cheese.Wednesday
Even when I go out to dinner, I still like to make sure the teenagers and the husband don't starve. So Grandma Nancy's Braised Beef
is perfect because they can manage the final 15 minutes in the oven. Even better, a Facebook-Feeding-My-Ohana pal does this in a crock pot. And she will send me her cooking instructions for this method soon. Hint, hint.ThursdaySalmon and Grape Sauce
. This has been lounging in the Greenhouse for far too long. Salmon and grapes are in season. I also have a kale salad recipe that sounds too good not to try. It's kale, walnuts, cranberries and feta cheese.FridayChicken Adobo
, salad and rice. Just something simple to finish out a weird week.
I've gotten new recipes from my clients today, so we'll have to queue those up this week sometime too.Eat Well. Be Well.
Click pic for Cooking Light arugula facts
Arugula has not been a frequent consumable in our house. It's been called weeds when the household is feeling charitable but typically arugula is relegated to cud, as in what cows chew.
OK, so it does look a little weedy. It doesn't have the sweet crunchiness of what my children call 'normal' lettuce (romaine, butter, red leaf or Manoa). Even the then-candidate Barack Obama had an unfortunate arugula moment a few years back.
Arugula needed a makeover. This week, I'm happy to add 2 new recipes for the weedy but crunchy/peppery arugula. While both use happy doses of cheese and cream, they are plants-only dinners
From last week, my arugula toss-together
using Trader Joe's Lemon Pepper pasta, macadamia nuts, mushrooms, parmesan and arugula
. Click here
for the recipe. The entire household was very happy--tasty, fast and most importantly, no leftovers
is from my friend Kat, who made a cream sauce version using a few other veggies
and leftover heavy cream from when she made scones
. Click here
Both recipes are featured in the Greenhouse
. Either way, arugula deserves a fresh look. Eat Well. Be Well.
A friend of mine said, "There is no perfect recipe. The good ones always evolve."
Willows Shrimp Curry is a perfect example.
At a library cast-off sale, I found an out-of-print "Taste of Aloha" cookbook from the Honolulu Junior League. It's a beautiful book with Pegge Hopper illustrations and throwback recipes like Punahou Carnival Malasadas, baked kumu from the old Maile Restaurant at the Kahala Hilton, or opakapaka from Hy's Steakhouse. Honolulu restaurants like Bagwell's and Michel's, circa 1980, that you went to for special occasions: prom, grandma's birthday, family reunions, and the occasional funeral.
I remember Willows Shrimp Curry as something fancy and special from my childhood, so I was looking forward to re-creating it at home. But one look at the recipe, and it was clear that some serious updates were in order. 6 tablespoons of butter, 9 tablespoons of curry powder and 1/2 gallon of coconut milk to feed 6 people? Perhaps 6 people the size of Rubeus Hagrid.
General health and time-to-prep parameters also influenced the alterations. When you are trying to get a weekday dinner going, you simply don't have time to let something sit for a few hours nor do you desire to strain a sauce before you can use it.
I streamlined to 1 can of light coconut milk, 3T of plain butter (did not clarify it) and 4T of curry powder. It took about an hour and the end result was pretty good.
It's much thicker, creamier and definitely milder than a Japanese or Thai curry. It's the kind of curry that works best with traditional accessories. We dressed it up with honey-roasted peanuts, cranberries and dried (unsweetened) coconut. Chutney would have been good too, but we didn't have it. Definitely worth repeating.Click here
for what I came up with.
What restaurants do you remember? Eat Well. Be Well.
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.
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.
Sunset at Waikoloa. This is what Paradise looks like.
No, I've not given up on vegetables. However, after returning from a lovely, battery-recharging trip home to Hawaii (see left), the garden is in full-production mode, thanks to a lot of TLC from my in-laws. Going the full week with homegrown veggies.
My brain is still on Hawaiian time, so this week's menu is a mish-mash of a couple of things we had on vacation and a few things that take advantage of the garden being in full yield.
Monday: Mauna Lani Leftover Chicken Pasta Salad
, with our lettuce
. My brilliant and and very resourceful vacation-buddy made this using all
the leftovers from our last day in Kona.Tuesday
: Take out! Curry House 30% off day
(Wednesday too)Wednesday: Chicken Adobo
with the adobo-sauced garden bok choy
and jasmine rice. This is the exact same meal I made two years ago when we got back. Bok choy
is running amok.
Thursday: Bottle+ BBQ Chicken (adding a little Li-Hing powder), grilled zukes and eggplants (still from the garden) and some garlic naan bread from Trader Joe's.
Friday: BBC(tm) pizza. Bacon, Bok Choy (tomato, mozzarella) Variation on a BLT. Taking a Boboli pizza whole wheat pizza crust, our tomatoes, the rest of our bok choy, bacon, and mozzarella. Could be good. Or a disaster. Stay tuned.
Enjoying the last bits of summer!
Eat Well. Be Well.
This week, it's a combination of hyper-local (i.e., in our garden) and generally in-season from our local produce market.Monday
--Eggplant with Hot Garlic Sauce
. Eggplants are in season and we finally have a few.Tuesday
--Spaghetti Sauce II (with the Jars)
. Basil, oregano and zukes are in abundance in the garden. Red peppers are in season at Safeway. No sausage this time.Wednesday
--My Mom's Chicken Katsu
. Chicken Katsu always seems to be in season.
--BBQ Pork Sliders
. This is the extra that was frozen from a few weeks ago.Friday
--Omi's Shoyu Fish (#2). My sister sent me a new fish recipe. I've put it in the Greenhouse
to start, but she has a pretty good track record.
We'll round out a salad from the cukes, lettuce
that are finally coming in.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.