The end of the school year torpedoes away in a mad rush of "lasts"--piano recitals, soccer games, concerts, school functions, end-of-the year/season parties, banquets, proms. I think that unless one lives in a rocking singles community, a lot of your life's cadence is based on the academic year. It's a bittersweet time, so what's cooking this week is my personal comfort food. Busy, bittersweet times
Not Meatless MondayChicken, Stuffing and steamed green beans
. I LOVE
stuffing, and yes, this happened on a work-day. It's an injustice that stuffing happens only when it's cold or during the holidays. Here's how I did it on a Monday.
1) Buy a Costco or Safeway rotisserie chicken, green beans and a small-diameter loaf of very crusty french bread. 2/3 of a complete meal before you even unload the car.
2) If you are really in a pinch, also buy pre-sliced onions, mushrooms and celery. I chose to chop, but mainly for the therapeutic mental health benefits.
3) When you get home, chop onions, mushrooms and celery and cube up the whole loaf of bread. The small-diameter bread means more crust, less chopping, and better texture on stuffing.
4) Make stuffing and dump it into a pan. Turn the oven on and let it go until the bread gets crusty, about 20 minutes. Put the green beans into a microwave-able glass bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel. Go 2 minutes.
5) Eat, be happy and pretend it's the weekend or a holiday.
Take-out TuesdayL&L Hawaiian BBQ Yep, this was once a fish.
. This is the most consistent plate lunch when I'm not in Hawaii. Game 1 of the Sharks vs. Kings didn't go the way we wanted, but at least we ate well.Meatless WednesdaySummer Soba Salad
. A good quick full-meal salad.ThursdayChicken Divan
, with the rest of the rotisserie chicken. Another one of my comfort-foods. When I first started cooking, this was the one of the few things
I could make consistently.
Fish on FridayOkonomiyaki
with kamaboko. No char siu/chashu after last week's literal pig fest.
If dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets are still considered chicken, then kamaboko is most definitely fish.
Good luck to all those students in or approaching finals angst...and to their Very Patient, Always Even-Tempered, Supportive Parents!
Hello warm weather!
With apologies to Midwest and East Coasters, who should kick the tar out of Punxsutawney Phil and his entourage for incorrectly predicting an early spring, we are going with warmer weather dinners this week. Meatless MondaySummer Soba Salad
. Something quick and light for a piano lesson and soccer practice evening.Processed Meat TuesdaySpam and String Beans
. I grew up in Hawaii and make no apologies for Spam. However, I do draw the line at Vienna sausages. Blech!Meatless WednesdayFrom Scratch Falafel
. I shape them more like a hash pattie so I don't have to deep fry. Experimental ThursdayThai Chicken Pizza Take 1
. Aiming for the CPK Thai chicken pizza, but adding more veggies--bean sprouts, carrots and red peppers. Plus a little more zing with lime juice. We shall see.Good Friday FishShoyu Fish Sandwiches and Spicy Asian Coleslaw.
The pasta with soy-rizo worked out well last week. No photos, but will post the recipe later this week.
Hang in there with the last bit of cold. Spring is on the way!
After the fun and games of Kalua Pig week, we are all ready for a lighter fare.
, My Mom's Japanese Coleslaw
, "Nekkid" kale chips
with teriyaki dipping sauce
and rice. Back to school means "brain food" so salmon seems like a good choice. This time, I seasoned kale chips with only with olive oil, sesame seeds and fresh cracked pepper. To make the dipping sauce, I used the basic teriyaki sauce recipe and heated it just to a bare boil.TuesdayOrzo salad (on the fly)
. Peppers, basil, tomatoes and cukes are all in season. I'll probably toss is a little arugula as well.WednesdayFalafel, Greek Salad and pita bread.
Either from scratch
or more likely, from Five Star Falafel
. 12 fresh falafel for $5.99 that I can pick up on my way from work is looking mighty appealing for a mid-week meal.
using my friend the panini pan. Recipe posting this week.FridayTofu/Soba Salad
revisited and My Mom's Kabocha
, which is just now coming into season. The coconut/curry pasta
didn't work out. It was too sour, too salty and just too much to tinker with, so I'm trying a completely new and lighter-flavored recipe.
Good luck to all who are going back to school, as well as all of those who make sure they get there.Eat Well. Be Well.
The weekly menu is a little late due to a cross-country flights from New England. It takes nearly 10 hours of total time to get from Providence, RI to the SF Bay Area. If you were to continue back to Hawaii, it would take another 5 1/2 hour flight. I can't believe this is what I did to go to school.
With that, here is what's cooking this hot summer week. Taking advantage of homegrown cukes and lemons.
Dimsum & Diet Coke. First Course.
Although I did manage to get my son to soccer practice, I spent most of the day trying not to fall asleep at inopportune times. Hence, the Diet Coke/Dimsum appetizer. Thankfully, my totally awesome husband brought back my favorite Chinese food for dinner.TuesdayZaru soba
topped with green onions and perhaps kamaboko. Plus the rest of the Chinese food.WednesdayRomescu Chicken.
Thinking this will be made as a salad or open-face sandwich with lettuce and cukes.ThursdayWhole wheat pasta and tofu with coconut curry sauce
, a riff on Cooking Light's Beef Soba Noodles
. The original recipe got only bell curve reviews, but has a lot of potential with the ingredients--coconut milk, lime, honey, curry powder...in other words, the perfect baseline to tinker with.FridayYaki Musubi
, My Own Namasu
and Furikake Salmon
. My sister made furikake salmon for my Hawaii ohana last week, and now I'm craving it.
To use the lemons and cukes and to keep the teenagers in checkSummer Water
, gobs of it as a thirst-quencher.Lovely Lemon Curd
, because it plays well with so summer berries and stone fruitFresh cut watermelonSpinach dip
for crackers, carrots and cukes
Another batch of Kale Chips
, trying a sesame oil/furikake version.Eat Well. Be Well.
What's an uku-pile
is the Hawaiian word for head lice. NO
, our household has not been attacked by head lice. Uku-pile
is a pidgin English mesh of a Hawaiian language phrase ku ka paila
(pronounced KOO' kah pai' lah) which means a big pile of something, usually work, laundry, dirty dishes...say it really fast and you can hear how this was shortened to uku-pile.
By request, here are some recent recipes and updates that I've added to the site. And Kale Chips
and Sweet Po's and Peachy Catsup
can be made in time for a 4th of July BBQ.
30 minutes to satisfy that potato chip craving in a healthier way. With or without parmesan cheese at the end.
Teenagers were very skeptical, but ended up eating every last bit. Even better, they can make it themselves.
Sweet Po's and Peachy Catsup
Colleague's recommendation, teenager requested and family approved. We've eaten this several times to test it out.
Co-Worker Kale Salad
Another winner that has been colleague recommended, teenager requested and family approved. Plus, the recipe was requested by a friend who came to our last potluck, who was quite surprised that it was kale.
Yes T, I really did feed you kale.
Adrienne's Soba Salad, with spaghetti swap
I couldn't bear to see gobs of leftover spaghetti as I contemplated opening a new package of soba.
Worked out very well as a stir fry with snow peas, red and yellow peppers and a bit of char siu.
Happy 4th of July to All.
Eat Well. Be Well.
Happy New Year of the Rabbit to all! This week has been all about the Japanese tradition (superstition?) of cleaning up for New Year's. We thoroughly clean the house--we're talking dusting baseboards, trips to Goodwill, rotating mattresses, cleaning up longstanding scuff marks on the floor (with a toothbrush!) and vacuuming places that no one ever sees except for when cleaning for New Year's. My cousin reminded me that you also need to take out all the trash and brush your teeth. This is supposed to get rid of the all the old/bad/unclean spirits in the house and literally start clean. Culturally, it's very interesting that the Japanese the word for "clean" is also the same as "pretty" (きれいな).
New Year's also means Japanese/Hawaii hybrid traditions. Last night, we had soba and champagne at midnight, while watching Dick Clark. My cousins did the same and rolled some sushi. In Hawaii, we'd also be shooting off firecrackers and watching Japanese TV. Growing up, I never knew anyone who went to fancy dress-up New Year's Parties. It was either at home or at a close family friend's house.
We display special plastic encased mochi decorations that are never actually eaten--on our cars and the kitchen counter. These will stay up until Chinese (Lunar) New Year's. This is for good luck. Later, I'll get some paper 'omamori' (good luck symbols) to place in our bedrooms and over entry doors. All part of good luck for the New Year and out with the bad or worse, unclean stuff from last year.
For breakfast, we had soba, tangerines, and mochi. I went for my new-traditional mid-morning jog and later, we'll all head over to a dear friend's house for more traditional Japanese New Year foods.
New Year's Soba
1 package soba--this is not a meal, it's tradition
Hon Tsuyu (1/2 cup to about 6-8 cups of water). Do not use the proportions on the bottle, it will be much, much to salty
Green onions or mizuna (optional)
Heat up soup base to boiling. Drop the soba in the soup base until tender, a few minutes. Ladle into individual bowls. Add two slices of kamaboko and green onions or mizuna if desired. Slurp loudly and sip champagne.